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Shoreham EGKA to Aosta LIMW, October 2020

This highly scenic trip was done under difficult conditions due to CV19, and with the requirements changing daily. Italy required a CV19 test within preceeding 72hrs which was only just possible to organise. More info here.

It was done as IFR, with IFR cancellation to VFR for the flight into the Alps at FL130, and then the opposite on the way back.

On the way there, close to the Matterhorn and Cervinia, and on the way back climbing towards Mt Blanc before turning north. Trip report with photos:

http://peter2000.co.uk/aviation/aosta/

Here’s a video. It is long, because it contains nearly all the ATC interaction (intended for pilots working towards the IR, or just wanting to see how IFR and ATC works in Europe) but you can skip to the scenic bits



A super trip, and I am all the more glad I did it, with another lockdown coming soon…

It is just possible for the TB20 to fly from Shoreham, to the Matterhorn, fly over the summit a couple of times, and fly back to Shoreham. I might try that one day.

The video (on Vimeo) is much better quality than a version I put on Youtube but I got Vimeo to re-encode it with a higher bitrate, because there was some jello on the mountain shots, around 11:30 onwards. Now it looks ok. It was shot at HD 1920×1080, 50fps and 50mbps which is as fast as the X3000 camera will go. It will do 4K but there are other issues with that. The trip nearly filled up a 256GB SD card.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Thanks for posting Peter, great report and stunning imagery. I wish I had material like that when I did these boring IR classroom sessions year ago.

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Amazing scener and great trip!

Airline/Mentor/Safety/Instructor - Pilot
Based Austria | Operating Worldwide

Great video! Stunning image quality and nice editing w comments and ATC. Really mesmerizing video. Even though living in the area one never gets tired of those sights! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to edit and post!

LSGL (currently) KMMU ESMS ESSB

Thanks Peter – great video ! Cannot say it better than my previous speakers …

EDxx, Germany

Super video, @Peter!! Many thanks for spending the effort to record, edit, and post this trip. The quality is excellent, and Vimeo is much nicer to use than YouTube.

Including the ATC is also much appreciated, and should really encourage new IR pilots to head off farther afield.

For the climb out of Aosta, what was your climb IAS after takeoff and as you reached FL130? Do you have a different cruise climb airspeed that you use once terrain is cleared, or do you normally use best RoC all the way up to cruise altitude?

The X3000 specs suggest a battery life of about 2hr+. Do you use BT or WLAN to turn the camera off/on during flight, and with Live-View Remote or from a mobile phone app?

BTW, this VFR/IFR technique also works between Switzerland and Italy. I made a trip from LSZK Speck to LIRJ Elba in September, with a VFR/VMC climb up to 11’000 via the Gotthard Pass – ALESI which is just east of Locarno – SRN. IFR-joining was more or less at the Swiss-Italian border, with handover from Zurich Info to Milan Info to Milan Radar who issued the IFR clearance at FL110 and it was pretty much direct from there via GEN.

LSZK, Switzerland

Thanks for the nice comments – always appreciated

For the climb out of Aosta, what was your climb IAS after takeoff and as you reached FL130? Do you have a different cruise climb airspeed that you use once terrain is cleared, or do you normally use best RoC all the way up to cruise altitude?

I tend to climb faster than Vy. Usually 120kt, unless there is terrain (like in this case) and then I do 90-100kt. On autopilot (and that climb was all on autopilot, so I could take a load of still pics with the DSLR ) I use PIT mode which holds a constant angle, of about 8 degrees. More than 10 degrees and one is heading for the stall warner… I don’t find this is too critical, and in this case I already knew that there should be at least a 2x margin (see the LIMW thread).

The X3000 specs suggest a battery life of about 2hr+. Do you use BT or WLAN to turn the camera off/on during flight, and with Live-View Remote or from a mobile phone app?

I have an extra battery behind the X3000; good for probably 10hrs. It is started exactly together with the mp3 recorder (which is USB-powered in the cockpit) and runs all the time, so maintaining video+sound sync. I never touch either device on the entire flight. Yes there is a remote on/off function but as one would expect with Sony the software is crap They make great videos but everything else is rubbish, especially the “1970s VCR” user interface. For example if the camera is powered externally then this feature works only partially (I can’t remember the details). In fact it was lucky I got the outbound video at all because I forgot to check the red record=on light before departing. I just pressed the start button, heard the beep and went… one can however check in-flight with the phone app, over wifi (which is always enabled on the camera, because Sony prevent file deletion over USB so the only way to clean the card is with the phone app and the Format command, or extracting the camera from the housing) and that shows the video image, but I prefer to not do that in case it breaks something.

Yes I can see VFR works quite well around the mountains. I guess, apart from RAs etc, you can fly anywhere and nobody cares – until something like this. Am I right that, once IFR is cancelled, and when still in contact with Geneva INFO, I still need to clear an altitude change?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Am I right that, once IFR is cancelled, and when still in contact with Geneva INFO, I still need to clear an altitude change?

The short answer is no, but it is good practice to inform them since they try to keep people from flying into each other.

Swiss INFO (Zurich/Geneva) used to relay clearances through Class B/C airspace for things like TMA transits, but I haven’t heard it for years and don’t think they do it anymore. I’m sure they aren’t allowed to issue ATC clearances. My experience in Switzerland is that you will not get handed over to INFO as long as you are a) IFR or b) VFR (IFR-cancelled) in airspace requiring a clearance (i.e. Class C/D as distinct from CAS which includes Class E that doesn’t require a clearance under VFR). Rather than handing you over to INFO, ATC might hand you over directly to an airfield frequency similar to your descent into Shoreham in the video if there is no chance of a conflict arising, but similarly you would still need/have the descent clearance beforehand or part of the handover if you haven’t yet exited their airspace….. not your case since you were en-route.

You’ll occasionally hear VFR pilots requesting altitude changes from INFO, but my recollection is that it elicits an “at your discretion” reply, or depending on the location a reminder to remain outside a TMA/CTR.

LSZK, Switzerland

Great video. I hope to get there when I can fly a plane that can cross one of these passes.

How do you do to take pics 5 seconds before touchdown ?

LFPT, LFEH

By holding the DSLR and pressing the button rapidly, and by putting it down well before landing

The Pentax K1 does have excellent stabilisation so even at 1/80 (necessary to remove the prop blades) it gets a lot of reasonably sharp handheld pics.

However there are also stills from the HD video. Each frame is a standalone 1920×1080 image when one does a snapshot in VLC player i.e. no blurring. I don’t think I used any of them in the gallery but they aren’t bad e.g.






The above have no colour correction or anything else applied; they are directly off the X3000.

There was a Robin flying into or out of Aosta when I was there, and lots of other similar planes, so there must be ways to get in without going to 14k.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
21 Posts
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