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Current legal situation to depart / approach IFR across Europe

Malibuflyer wrote:

If airspace Golf in Croatia is only up to 1000ft, then a climb from 1000ft to 2000ft would happen in Echo not Golf – therefore it must not be done IFR without clearance. The question is if you get a clearance to enter Echo this way…

Exactly. You have to obtain IFR clearance before entering Echo:
a) while in the air (still in Golf)
b) on the ground (preferred by ATC)

Regarding option a) Croatian ATC is pretty relaxed (due to generally low level of traffic) and they will not object if you climb a little bit above Golf some 1000 ft is still ok. But legally it’s as listed above.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

Malibuflyer wrote:

If a EU rule allows something, a national rules that does not allow it is a deviation to EU rules and subject to restrictions (based on the topic) up to the point that EU law is directly applicable in some areas and therefore a national law banning it is irrelevant.

As this rule is not allowing anything but bans departures below a certain RVR, a national regulation asking for a higher minimum is not a deviation from this EU law and therefore it is ok (there might be another EU rule, though, where it deviates from). It would be a national deviation if Germany publishes a lower minimum RVR…

That’s not how it works. It’s not a question of individual rules. If the EU has published legislation in a certain area, then individual countries may not make their own legislation within that area. So because the EU has published ops rules, individual countries may not make any ops rules of their own. To put it another way, anything not prohibited by part-NCO is allowed by part-NCO, so a country can’t make its own rule prohibiting it.

It is true that a country may mandate a higher RVR minima for IFR departures, but that’s because NCO.OP.110(a)(1) expressly states that pilots must respect such minima.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Emir wrote:

Malibuflyer wrote: If airspace Golf in Croatia is only up to 1000ft, then a climb from 1000ft to 2000ft would happen in Echo not Golf – therefore it must not be done IFR without clearance. The question is if you get a clearance to enter Echo this way…

Exactly. You have to obtain IFR clearance before entering Echo:
a) while in the air (still in Golf)
b) on the ground (preferred by ATC)

Regarding option a) Croatian ATC is pretty relaxed (due to generally low level of traffic) and they will not object if you climb a little bit above Golf some 1000 ft is still ok. But legally it’s as listed above.

Right, so for option b) – did I understand correctly that I can takeoff from an airfield in Golf and then climbe further into Echo/Delta/etc, if I have called the ATC previously on the phone and asked for that?

EGTR

arj1 wrote:

Right, so for option b) – did I understand correctly that I can takeoff from an airfield in Golf and then climbe further into Echo/Delta/etc, if I have called the ATC previously on the phone and asked for that?

I think yes, you climb with phone clearance, the caveat there will be a “time to void” and you have to “maintain VMC (while inside CAS)” until radio & radar contact is established and and transponder & altimeter are verified before getting the full IFR fun, you won’t get “cleared IFR to destination” on phone even I got “climb FL70 in Class Alpha TMA remain VFR” !

The other way around is not talking to anyone and clear yourself “climb in IMC/VMC, remain OCAS” then ask for “IFR join”

Last Edited by Ibra at 16 Nov 14:50
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

Right, so for option b) – did I understand correctly that I can takeoff from an airfield in Golf and then climbe further into Echo/Delta/etc, if I have called the ATC previously on the phone and asked for that?

Yes.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

UdoR wrote:

To give a starting point, in Germany IFR in uncontrolled airspace G is impossible (not forbidden, just impossible) due to a combination of low base of airspace E (either 1000/1700 or 2500 ft AGL) and due to the requirement to be 1000 ft above the highest obstacle within 8nm radius in order to commence IFR. In-air IFR pickup is typically done stating that “IFR starts when reaching XXX” (where XXX is an altitude or flight level and might include a position like a GPS fix or nav aid).

…just to be precise, flying IFR means flying according to instruments, not to visual references, and has nothing to do with ATC guidance. The moment a pilot enters IMC he also flies IFR. The notorious German “IFR starts passing xxxx feet” is frequently used but wrong.

If you take off from a VFR airfield, you typically have a flight plan with a pickup somewhere, so you take off with the visibility you need for takeoff, then you enter IMC in airspace G and change to IFR (instead of looking out, you look at the instruments), and you become VMC again when you enter airspaces C/D/E (there is no ground visibility necessary for VFR in C/D/E), then you get a clearance for controlled IFR and remain ‘VMC’ until you reach pickup altitude. Weather conditions are usually really good between ground and IFR pickup altitude, particularly during uncontrolled IFR flights in Germany. This is of course purely anecdotal evidence.
Here’s the FAA definition of IFR: ‘IFR flight depends upon flying by reference to instruments in the flight deck, and navigation is accomplished by reference to electronic signals’.

Last Edited by EuroFlyer at 16 Nov 17:17
Safe landings !
EDLN, Germany

EuroFlyer wrote:

…just to be precise, flying IFR means flying according to instruments, not to visual references, and has nothing to do with ATC guidance.

To be even more precise, being able to fly according to instruments. I certainly don’t have the AI as the main attitude reference when I’m flying IFR in clear weather.

Here’s the FAA definition of IFR: ‘IFR flight depends upon flying by reference to instruments in the flight deck, and navigation is accomplished by reference to electronic signals’.

Oddly enough, EASA regs. permits IFR flight without electronic navigation equipment if navigation by reference to landmarks is possible.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

UdoR wrote:

due to the requirement to be 1000 ft above the highest obstacle within 8nm radius in order to commence IFR

You mean for IFR cruise? surely you can be IFR during departures & arrivals, you can be IFR on the ground during taxi !

PS: I noticed people do log IFR time during taxi but sadly they were using VFR 7000 on TXP, under EASA rules is one need to “start their IFR” by setting 2000 on their TXP pending on getting proper ATC squawk on departure from controlled aerodromes or on pick-up to join controlled airspace (2000 is also used to filter ground movements, it does not show on TWR ATC radars only GND ATC radars it’s used for oceanic flights, uncontrolled IFR, default ICAO for VFR and I recall once was used by APP ATC to track interesting an VFR flight who was crossing Belgian borders without V-FPL, I forgot to manually address it to them )

Last Edited by Ibra at 16 Nov 18:22
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

Ibra wrote:

PS: I noticed people do log IFR time during taxi

This is accordance with part-FCL.

but sadly they were using VFR 7000 on TXP, under EASA rules is one need to “start their IFR” by setting 2000 on their TXP pending on getting proper ATC squawk on departure from controlled aerodromes or on pick-up to join controlled airspace (2000 is also used to filter ground movements, it does not show on TWR ATC radars only GND ATC radars it’s used for oceanic flights, uncontrolled IFR, default ICAO for VFR and I recall once was used by APP ATC to track interesting an VFR flight who was crossing Belgian borders without V-FPL, I forgot to manually address it to them )

SERA does not specify a specific code for IFR, nor is there any mention of “starting” IFR by squawking some code. What SERA says is this:

SERA.13005 SSR transponder Mode A code setting
(a) […Emergency settings…]
(b) Except in the cases described in (a) above, the pilot shall:
(1) select codes as instructed by the ATS unit; or
(2) in the absence of ATS instructions related to code setting, select code 2000 or another code as prescribed by the competent authority; or
(3) when not receiving air traffic services, select code 7000 in order to improve the detection of suitably equipped aircraft unless otherwise prescribed by the competent authority

Note that the competent authority may prescribe otherwise and many (most? all?) authorities have done so.

The UK wants you to use 2000 for IFR and 7000 for VFR in both cases (2) and (3) above – unless using a listening squawk.

Sweden (to pick an example I am familiar with) uses 7000 in case (2) as well as (3) – the same for IFR and VFR.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

EuroFlyer wrote:

…just to be precise, flying IFR means flying according to instruments, not to visual references, and has nothing to do with ATC guidance. The moment a pilot enters IMC he also flies IFR.

This is not correct according to EASA rules: Flying IFR means flying under instrument flight rules (this is exactly the reason why it is called “rules” and not e.g. instrument flight conditions).
IFR in EASA land is a legal condition, not a meteorological or a flight situation. You become IFR by a legal declaration (depending on the airspace either self declared or by declaration of ATC). It doesn’t matter at all what meterological conditions are out there, if you see the ground or not, etc.
The fact that in many cases you are not allowed to enter IMC if you are not flying under IFR (note: in most cases! In some countries it is completely legal under certain requirements to e.g. do VFR glider flying in clouds), doesn’t in turn mean that you automatically become IFR as soon as you are in clouds.

And btw.: It is a good thing for pilots that you are wrong. If you were right that you became IFR as soon as you entered the clouds, accidentally touching clouds on a VFR flight would be flying without license which is a crime and not an administrative offense as it is in reality.

Germany
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