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UK LFA SFC-2000ft areas in .897

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All new to me but seems strange....

I have just downloaded .897 and discovered that large parts, virtually the whole of the southern part of the UK seemingly has accumulated large SFC-2000ft 'LFA' Military areas labelled and shown on the chart, seemingly active any day..Mon-Sun.

These 'LFA' areas were not shown at all on .894 and whilst I know that LFA areas do exist I can't see whyor where these are supposed to be for a temporary excercise or whatever so can someone explain please?.Is this labelling of military low flying area as shown correct?

Where has this all come from?...Why have they not been shown before?

All news to me and are not shown on UK ICAO paper charts.

Alan.

 

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Hi Alan
 
The LFA areas are Military Low Fly Zones which, as you rightly say cover virtually all areas. We have added these following some requests from instructors who fly in areas which are very active with military low level flying.
In essence, the message to ALL UK pilots should be that if you are flying outside of controlled airspace then keep in contact with London Information at all times as low level military should be talking to them.
I personally, have had F-15s fly below me and I knew they were about because of London Information. Earlier this week, I saw a photo on social media of an air to air photo of an A-400 below a light aircraft.
The jury is still out as to whether having these listed is a benefit or a distraction. Perhaps it just focusses the mind?
At present not all of of the daytime areas have been added. It is quite time consuming due to the way that the UK MIL AIP data is presented so it will build gradually as they are processed. These are marked Daytime only so the EV4 Smartmap facility will only display these during the day, similarly and eventually the nightime areas will be dimmed out during the day.
If the feelings are strong that they are not adding value, then we can remove them apart from possibly the Welsh fast jet areas.
 
It is not the new version of EV4 which has triggered these, but the updated data set, so they will also be visible in EV3.
 
I would welcome your further thoughts on this topic.
 
Kindest regards
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@dave-rowe

Hi Dave,

Feel strongly about this! No I definitely don't want to see them shown. I have been flying in Class G airspace for the last 37years and not needed to have them before and have many times been in the vicinity of fast jet traffic which is usually Notamed anyway that it is going to be where I intend to fly.

As I said earlier these labels are not shown on UK ICAO paper charts so why do we need them shown in Ev4?

To me it is unnecessary distraction and yet more chart clutter, so if we 'must have' them can we have the ability to turn them off please?

I can't currently see them in Ev3 which I also fly with and I have the latest database installed?

Alan.

 

 

 

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Heli.Lamb
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Presumably the LFA can be turned off using the "military" section of the airspace display settings? If so then people who don't find a benefit can turn them off?

Personally I'd like to have the information. There's not much use overhearing a load of jets on London info "operating in LFA1A for the next 30 minutes" if we have no idea where that is.

Will the flow arrows also end up displayed as part of this?

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887F7259 6192 444A 9729 E0EBB5DDE9EC

 Andrew is correct, by using menu->movingmap->airspace settings you can disable Military from beeing shown in both the movingmap and vpv, and turn off any airspace warning 

 

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Ok Rob that is good.

However that will remove all military airspace warnings, including any popup military warnings won't it?

RAF Waddington are going to be testing 72ft Drones on occasion and  I would still want to know when they are around!

It is the just the LFA labels all over the country that are now being shown in Class G airspace, and only these labels, that are the unnecessary clutter that I would want to have the ability to remove.

Alan.

 

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Dave,

As an aside and nothing to do with Ev4.

I am sorry but I don't agree about using London Information outside Controlled Airspace. They don't have any radar they can use so all they can usefully tell you is the en-route weather, or open a flight plan for you.

Contacting London Information is a chocolate teapot pointless excercise IMHO. I fail to understand why pilots do it except for someone to talk/chat to and tell them they are airborne in an aeroplane somewhere!

Far better to talk to LARS who at least can see you on radar and give you a Traffic service.

Alan.

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Heli.Lamb
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@emailalanradford-co-uk Agreed but we have no alternate up north.

We teach, in order of service preference:
1.Local ATZ
2.Local approach/radar
3.LARS
4.London/Scottish
5.Flight following via sms

Around here we often go from number 1 to 4 and sometimes straight to 5. London/Scottish don't officially have a radar but they do access radar data. They provide information about other aircraft operating in the vicinity but based upon reports. They are also useful for giving you a nudge about NOTAMs, active Danger areas and for passing your details to the approach/radar of the next unit. They generally know about SAR ops and military traffic. And yes they can also provide weather info. Especially in the Lakes, they are very good at providing an additional layer of safety on sorties and so appreciate an ops normal call and will attempt to make contact if you do not report at your estimate.

Oh and we love to squawk 1177 with mode chaaarleh 😉

I think the LFAs are a good idea. We can always turn them off if they don't suit our needs. Mil flow arrows would be a great help also. All this will elevate EV4 above SD and RWHD

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Alan

We are currently reviewing this and will get back to you as soon as possible. The Waddington UAV areas will be designated Danger Areas so will not fall under the "Military" Airspace type.

Dave

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Good to hear that Dave,

Please keep me posted.

Alan.

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Heli.Lamb
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Posted by: @emailalanradford-co-uk

No I definitely don't want to see them shown. I have been flying in Class G airspace for the last 37years and not needed to have them before and have many times been in the vicinity of fast jet traffic which is usually Notamed anyway that it is going to be where I intend to fly.

I've had entirely the opposite experience. Mil traffic rarely, if ever, being NOTAMed and getting uncomfortably close and also overhearing details of applicable traffic but not having sufficient information about the locations to build a meaningful mental picture and so not assisting situational awarenesses.

I can see how they would be distracting if not appropriately managed on the screen and through audio alerts though.

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It is a known fact that virtually everywhere in the UK you can and always have been able to encounter fast jet traffic anytime! The knowledge that you could encouinter this traffic is though not marked all over a UK ICAO paper chart and is unnecessary in Ev4 as a VFR App for General VFR Flyers.  

However we still need to have Military traffic warnings 'enabled' but do not need to have these LFA labels all over the chart creating extra clutter.

So the only solution I can see if you want to particularly aim EV4 at the flight training market is a dedicated button to declutter these LFA lables and also other clutter ( Mil flow arrows!)that Instructors feel their students need a constant reminder of but is totally unnecessary for general VFR flyers.

As an aside there are also too many London Information labels! Just one in a sector is sufficient!

Rant over.

Alan.

 

 

 

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Heli.Lamb
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The UK paper charts are not fit for purpose, have not been for years, and are therefore not a good comparison.

My comments were aimed at UK VFR daytime GA pilots - not flight training, however, my thoughts are specifically geared towards rotary pilots who operate in a very different way to fixed wing. They spend much more time in the environment where military flying is relevant.

I've flown on military charts in the past and the flow arrows and training area data does assist with building a mental picture of other airspace users based upon radio reports however, as with anything, the pilots needs to have capacity to interpret all this data and it also needs to not be a distraction to those who will not benefit from it.

See what the guys come up with.

 

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