Flying in Europe

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    I might have a need to bring an airplane back from Europe. Where do I get the information needed to operate in Europe regs etc. It is a US registered aircraft so that is relatively easy.


    Sounds like an interesting adventure. AOPA may be able to help you. I believe that there are a few TCF members in Europe that may be able to help. I do know that you have to pay to fly. I had heard that a US pilot certificate may not be acceptable anymore. I’m not sure if that is in effect yet. Be careful and make sure you have very effective safety equipment including dry suits. Good Luck.


    It would be easiest (for you) if you had a pilot with you that has done crossings. As said, you pay for damn near everything you do. It also helps to enlist the services of a handler like Universal. They will file your flight plans, set up customs where needed and get your slots. Once you coast out, it is pretty simple. Just HF position reporting and keeping a close eye on your times to fixes and staying on the track.


    I flew my Baron to Europe and back some years ago .Best route for standard 166 gal. tanks was Baffin Island, Greenland, Iceland and Scotland. Best time is probably June. You should ask each airport in advance of their operating hours, fee schedule and fuel info including credit card acceptability. Many places like Diners Club,but Visa and International Shell cards may also work. Many procedures are different. You must have tower permission to start your engines for example. AOPA can be helpful but the best info comes from the Airport operators themselves. Internet and e-mail works well. Eurocontrol will send you an ATC bill after you are back. They bill by the mile , FIR boundaries and other charges. My bill was about $200. It is an expensive adventure but very memorable.



    I fly to and from Europe from time to time professionally in general aviation turbine aircraft. It would be helpful to know which country(s) in Europe you intend to visit, as they differ slightly in customs procedures, etc.

    The best (and really only feasible) route for piston aircraft are the so-called Blue Spruce routes over the North Atlantic. These leave Scotland, go to Iceland, then across Greenland to Northern Canada. The altitudes you operate at are for the most part vacant. HF is good for position reporting if it is working OK, but aircraft above you will generally relay without any problem, and if you miss a reporting point for some technical reason, the world does not fall apart.

    The tricky spots from a weather perspective are in Iceland, Greenland, and Northern Canada, as the distances between airports is great, and the weather a bit unpredictable. I have had crossings however where we were in bright sunlight the entire way.

    You will find air traffic control in Europe to be a bit intense, but no worse that the U.S. east coast. Controller accents can be a problem, but they will slow down if you ask them. French customs people can be a pain, but those in Canada, Iceland, England, Belgium and Germany have always very pleasant and straight forward every time I have been there. There is no eAPIS nonsense over there, and even when compared to the French, the U.S. CBP people are without a doubt the most unpleasant.

    There are several flight planning organizations you can use, among them Universal, but they are quite expensive. For most of the trips I have done, we usually just file the flight plans ourselves or have the FBOs do it. Expect to drop substantial money on all services, and also pay $10 or more per gallon for 100LL.

    Providing you are just picking up an airplane, then departing via England and then Iceland, and you have the time available to pick the weather, it really will not be that big of a deal. If you get stuck somewhere, it will probably be BIRK. But not to worry. The Icelandic people are just great, nearly all speak English, and there are some interesting things to see there. There is a hotel immediately adjacent to the FBO, and getting into down from there is pretty easy.

    In returning to Canada, your first stop will likely be Frobisher Bay, CYFB. There is a good approach, and a huge ramp area. The FBO is accustomed to handling small aircraft. Hotel accommodations are a bit primitive but adequate.

    Obviously, the trip is easier in the summer than the winter. This is primarily because of the effect the Bermuda High has on weather above 45 deg. north in the Atlantic. That phenomena is in turn related to how the earth’s axis is tilted toward the sun. If you look all that up, and follow the position of the High it will give you a pretty good idea of when to go.

    Trip should be fun.

    Kevin Ware, ATP


    I’ll be keeping an eye on this – going to Europe is on my bucket list. One of my friends just ferried a Lear 25 from Oklahoma to Estonia – it went over there to die.

    quote DMOORE1:

    I might have a need to bring an airplane back from Europe. Where do I get the information needed to operate in Europe regs etc. It is a US registered aircraft so that is relatively easy.

    IF you fly IFR, which I guess you will do, no different from here. For flight planning, get yourself a subscription to Rocketroute. Best weather was from 21st Operational Weather Squadron, but they just took their public website offline for good. So best use the weather that comes with Rocketroute and . I personally prefer the Azores route due to no icing and better food. Avoid France…

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