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Where do you go to practice your IFR Approaches?

Hi All

As a bit of backgrond. I am in the process of revalidating my SEP IR. You may have seen other posts where I have covered getting the IFR / Night Approval for our shared Vans RV10.

As a Commercial pilot with valid EASA and CAA ATPLs I am not able to fly the RV10 in Class A airspace but by renewing my IR-SPA-SE I can. Once valid again, it can then be revalidated by experience providing your IR-MPA is valid and you have met the required experience in single-pilot aeroplanes.

I have not done any Light Aircraft Instrument Flying since I initially gained my ATPL IR, which was over 20 years ago. But the time has come to become proficient again!

So I now have the aeroplane, with a Garmin 530, 2 ILS and an Autopilot.

We are based in the Southampton Zone in Southern England but Southampton have decided not to allow practice Approaches. We are in discussion with the Airport Operator to see if this can be changed.

Peter has suggested ILSs at Lydd and GPS Approaches at Shoreham.

I am wondering if the Channel Islands might be a good bet or is there anywhere that happens to leave the ILS on that we could use?

Whilst I have started this thread for my benefit it might also be of use to talk about where you do your practise approaches and give rough idea of cost per approach?

In that way we might all be able to learn where it is best to go and practice some IFR approaches…RNAV, ILS and Procedural. Also some practice departures.

This will also help to gain the experience for keeping the IR current.




Cherbourg LFRC could be a good spot,

  • far less busy than the CIs,
  • good ATC from Deauville Approach,
  • ILS, LPV and even NDB approaches !!
  • lots of crosswind
  • friendly airport with AFIS, customs and restaurant
  • no fee for approaches, 12€ per landing according to SD
LFOU, France

I find Cardiff very good, you have to book a slot which is one hour. I am only 750K its just £7.31 an approach, my usual sortie is a hold and two ILS and one RNAV and I can do it on my own as it’s in controlled airspace. I have also used Guernsey for three approaches and if you land you only pay for two approaches, similar charges.

United Kingdom

There was a special deal offered by Oxford recently.
It was something ridiculously cheap.
The offer may no longer be available but it’s definitely worth a look.

United Kingdom

Why was my recommendation to Calais deleted?

EGKB Biggin Hill

I see no deletions.

Next time someone thinks their post was deleted, or whatever, could they please contact Admin, rather than drag the mod/admin out into the open so they can be beaten up, by the 2 or 3 characters who hover behind the scenes looking for an opportunity. Also I don’t always monitor the forum.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Well, it disappeared.

Anyway, Calais is great. Very quiet, very cheap, LPV, good IFR from a very helpful and friendly Lille, a challenging NDB approach that can be used to challenge students’ knowledge and understanding, Immigration on request.

EGKB Biggin Hill

It was never posted, Timothy, as far as typing in and submitting a post is concerned. I have just checked. BTW the % of deleted posts runs at only about 0.2%.

Lots of people from the UK have been flying approaches at Calais, so that’s a good tip.

Did that UK PPL/IR training operation (not sure if they are still running) ever get CAA permission to fly approaches at French airports? I recall they were particularly interested in Calais.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I don’t know about ATOs, but I train there as an Independent IRI, unconstrained by the rules set on ATOs.

EGKB Biggin Hill

Thanks, all good and very useful.

For us Guernsey is about 40 minutes away. So when you combine the fuel draw back and then cheap fuel to fill up again I think it might be our preferred choice.

We might be able to add Cherbourg on the same trip and then do the RNAV at Alderney.

A friend who does IR training in his N reg Cirrus also recommends the French airfields. So will get details from him and post them on this thread.

I had a look through the Oxford charges and can’t see any “deals”.


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