I just wanted to get a few things straightened out!
I got my PPL in Australia a couple of years ago. I'm now at university in the UK and there is a chance that when I finish, I can convert my licence to a UK one and potentially do a CPL and ATPL (maybe in the UK, maybe not). I was just wondering about a couple of things. I went flying at Bournemouth a couple of times and there are so many differences in Australian and UK flying. Just wonder if people can answer some questions for me
1) I did my PPL at Jandakot, YPJT. You have to ask ground for start clearance for circuits, and you don't need clearance for taxi. Fair enough. I only know this because my instructor told me. But what about someone who has never flown from Jandakot before? How do they know that you don't need to talk to ground, where the runup areas are etc? Is there some information on that particular airport? I had LOADS of books, one with all the airfields in Australia, but never read YPJT because I already "knew" it.
2) Jandakot has several entry corridors (I'm not sure if they're called VRP's out there). But anyway, I know what altitude to be at abeam certain points, I know to tune YPTJ tower and tell them where I am when I'm there. But again, how would anyone else who'd never flown to YPJT know this?! It was the same at Bournemouth, the guy I was flying with knew who to talk to and when to talk to them, and where to enter from and at what altitude. But I just can't grasp how someone who's never flown their in their lives would know. Is there a certain rule that at each stage of the VRP you contact someone?
3) What on earth is flight following?! I've never had to use it. Australia is a pretty barren place to fly... after takeoff from YPJT if I was going to the training area, I would tune off tower when I reached a certain lake, then tune to Perth Radar (Perth international airport was not far away) but I would NOT talk to them, just tune them. Does this sound right? It seemed that in the UK I/my instructor was always talking to someone, but in Australia I could do whole navigation flights without talking to anyone at all!
4) Carrying on from the theme of question 3, I would be doing a navigation flight, not having spoken to anyone, just tuning the appropriate stations according to my charts (Only really Perth Radar and Melbourne Centre if I was going far). Then when I wanted to enter the Perth YPPH International Airport's control zone, I'd contact Perth Clearance Delivery and ask for "squawk code and clearance". Is this the same in the UK? Also, when you were on the ground at YPJT and you wanted to depart via Fremantle, then enter YPPH control zone immediately, you would contact Perth Clearance Delivery whilst on the ground at YPJT and ask for clearance there. Is this familiar to anyone?!
I guess my main issue is the differences in flying between the two countries. Just feels like I've been "denied" a certain amount of information. I looked at the map of Bournemouth airport and there's so many control zones, altitude constraints, basically lines everywhere. My map of YPJT had a small control zone, surrounded by YPPH's slightly bigger one, and then practically nothing else!
Say I wanted to fly from Bristol to Bournemouth VFR, never having been to either airports. How would I know how to properly depart Bristol? Would it all be on the chart of VRP's? And when I enter Bournemouth, how do I know who to speak to when I'm coming close? Approach? Tower? If I chose flight following, would they tell me?
Thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read this