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Silvester trip EHRD - LJPZ and Italian class D

10 Posts

Good morning,

I am contemplating joining a fellow sailor in Portoroz LJPZ for the Silvester festivities if the weather allows flying. Route-wise, I thought to fly a first leg Rotterdam EHRD to Memmingen EDJA for refueling, and continue from Memmingen to Portoroz LJPZ. For the EDJA-LJPZ part of the trip, two routings seem sensible to me, first via Innsbruck, Brenner, Trento, Trieste/Ronchi; and second via Salzburg, following the Tauern highway to Villach, and then the VFR3 route through Slovenia.

The trip would be done with one of our club’s Robin DR40 (Diesel), but as I have no oxygen system, I am limited in how high I can cross over the Alps.

Should the weather be favourable, how easy is it to get access to the huge class D over northeastern Italy? I read of course up on (thanks for the great resource!), but if there are high chances that Italian ATC will not let me into controlled airspace, I would be forced to fly relatively low which I would like to avoid.


EHRD / Rotterdam

how easy is it to get access to the huge class D over northeastern Italy?

It has been a while since I have made it VFR, normally I do file IR to avoid any hassle, but as far as I can remember a crossing of D is not so easy to achieve. Flying low level was the best, but I can understand, that this is not your favourite choice.

EDDS , Germany

Peter, thanks for the information! I will see if a low-level route under the controlled airspace is not too cumbersome to fly, but will probably hope that the eastern routing via the Tauern has good weather in a week.

EHRD / Rotterdam

When high out get in touch with aviano so you can descend with them. If they understand your intentions are to descend and fly lower they’ll send you on to Ronchi and then LJPZ.

always learning
LO__, Austria

I flew from Zurich Oberland to Portoroz and back in September with a similar experience to several similar flights in 2018 and as mentioned by Snoopy. If your radio work is good (i.e. it sounds like you know what you’re doing) and you have Mode S, crossing D airspace is normally not a problem. It all depends on traffic.

Tell them what you would like and Italian ATC/FIC is very helpful and if they are unable to give you exactly what you want they will let you know what they can give you. If you want to stay high, say so. On the above trip, I had flight planned via Trento/TNT – VIC and asked to stay high (I was at 10’000 coming past Bolzano). They said if I wanted to route via VIC I needed to get under 2’000 due to traffic, but offered passing further east (which is really what I wanted anyway) and just had to be down to 5’000 when reaching the Po flats. I was able to cross CAS at 5’000 on a routing essentially DCT Trento-Portoroz right up to the coast, with successive handoffs to Aviano and Ronchi. Had to get down to 2’000 before entering Portoroz airspace. On the return, essentially the same routing in reverse, right out of Portoroz I had the guts to ask Ronchi for 10’000. They said stay at 1’500 and standby. About 2 min later I got a climb to 6’000 and before reaching was cleared up to 10’000. Suggest to use IFR waypoint name when requesting routings, although in the flat part they will likely give you some slight deviations via VFR waypoints if there is parachuting or some such underway. If you don’t understand the VFR waypoint, just query them and they’ll give you the other name (there are always 2 names, the long one and the short one (NE1, etc)) or if all else fails ask for a heading to the waypoint and they’ll give you that.

A very good route is from Altenrhein (LSZR) at the SE end of Lake Constance south along the Rhine valley (Swiss/Austrian border) to Bad Ragaz (LSZE) and then more or less direct to Bolzano (actually via Fluelapass to Susch, Zernez, and then Ofenpass), south to Trento and then direct Portoroz. You can also go from Trento to VIC VOR and then DCT or south along the highway from Trento to Gardasee and then DCT. Up until Trento, the higher you’re prepared to go (and weather permitting), the more direct (shortcuts) you can fly. 10’000 will result in just a few bends around the big mountains…. or you can follow the valleys along the above route if you prefer. LSZK to LJPZ in my C172 was about 2.5hr. You’re well-positioned for this route if you start from Memmingen. Following the valleys, this is a good route even if the weather is not perfect… you just can’t get up so high… anyone not knowing the area will need about 8’500 to get through.

LSZK, Switzerland

I flew this year my first few times in Italian airspace, and CAS crossings trough airspace Delta were fast and easy to achieve. I contacted ATC directly for my transits, without asking FIS beforehand. Self-confident RT does the ‘magic’.

Last Edited by Frans at 23 Dec 00:16

@Sebastian_H Hi, and happy Christmas. This has two examples of flights across some of the class D in the northeast of Italy, much like you plan to do.

As stated before, really easy. Make sure you are clear of airspace A, and then just say what you want. The northeast of Italy has only one busy airport and that is Venice. If you stay sufficiently away from that, no problem.

Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

From Trento via DIKEM and SOKIB you will be in the flat land via a valley near Aviano airport that thse days will be close . Friendly ATC, a piece of cake

Pegaso airstrip, Italy

As mentioned above: State your intentions clearly and best give them your desired next point(s) and be prepared to tell them estimates (in UTC) for every damn point until your destination. Also be prepared for a lot of chatter in Italian and “break break”. Happy flying

Last Edited by d00t at 24 Dec 12:47
LOWK, LSGS, Austria

d00t wrote:

be prepared to tell them estimates (in UTC) for every damn point until your destination.

That’s right , unfortunately
I love the sound of silence on frequency flying abroad

Happy christmas to everybody

Pegaso airstrip, Italy
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