02 July 2021, 07:00 AM
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The sounds of crashing blue waves and the sight of luscious rainforests can only mean that this FIFO Friday has brought us to Far North Queensland and the region of Leichhardt. Being "where the rainforest meets the reef" as any local will tell you, this region has some of the best views in the country. Whether it be the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, the infamous Daintree Rainforest, or the mining hub of the Atherton Tablelands, this region definitely has a scenery to suit everyone. Here, FIFO flights focus on connecting the indigenous communities of Cape York to Cairns (YBCS). These flights are often the only connection to these towns, playing an important role in keeping a unique and ancient culture alive well into the future.
You too can bask in the wonders of Leichhardt by joining us between 0700z and 1000z (5pm-8pm AEST : 3pm-6pm AWST) for ATC coverage of the region. Regardless of your aircraft type, or experience level, we invite you to come take advantage of a fully staffed Cairns (YBCS), as well as enroute coverage from three different sectors encompassing the entire region. No matter where you fly, we hope you enjoy your time and we welcome you to Leichhardt this July!
The below map highlights some of the most popular routes which can be flown in this region:
Other airports of note within this region include: Mareeba (YMBA), Coen (YCOE), and Lockhart River (YLHR)
With ATC covering the entire region, pilots are free to fly in whichever direction and between whichever airports they choose. For the more airport pairs, we recommend the following routings:
YBCS - YCKN:
CS W567 GUPDA
YBCS - YBWP:
CS B473 WP
YBCS - YHID:
CS R204 HID
YBCS - YPMP:
CS Z11 MASHA
YBCS - YKOW:
CS W281 KOW
YBCS - YNTN:
CS J64 NONUM W793 NTN
YBCS - YAUR:
CS Z42 NECTA
YBCS - YNPE:
CS W567 LHR
Leichhardt is home to a whole array of magnificent regional airfields for you to explore. Being too small for full control services, OCTA services will be provided by enroute controllers to assist you. Below is a guide to help you with these servies:
The taxi call informs ATC of your intentions and that you are taxiing at your respective airfield. In response, centre will provide you with a traffic statement and a squawk code. Example:
SKP71: "Brisbane Centre, IFR Dash 8, SKYTRANS 71 taxies runway 14 at Pormpuraaw for Cairns"
BN-ARA_CTR: "SKYTRANS78, no reported IFR traffic, squawk 4782"
SKP71: "Squawk 4782, SKYTRANS 71"
Once you have departed, the departure call allows ATC to identify you and to provide you with your airways clearance to your destination. Example:
SKP71: "Centre, SKYTRANS 71 departure"
BN-ARA_CTR: "SKYTRANS 71, centre"
SKP71: "SKYTRANS 71 departed Pormpuraaw at time 49, tracking direct MASHA, passing 4500 for FL190, estimating MASHA at time :02"
BN-ARA_CTR: "SKYTRANS 71, cleared to Cairns via MASHA flight planned route, climb FL190"
SKP71: "Cleared to Cairns via MASHA flight planned route, climbing to FL190, SKYTRANS 71"
As you approach your destination, the centre controller will advise you that you are cleared to leave controlled airspace on your descent. They will provide you with a clearance, traffic statement, and the local QNH.
BN-ARA_CTR: SKYRANS 53, leave control area descending, no reported IFR traffic, area QNH 1015"
Termination of SARWATCH:
Once you have arrived at your destination, inform centre that you have landed and expect them to respond with a termination of your SARWATCH. Example:
SKP53: "Centre, SKYTRANS 53 landed Aurukun, time 38; cancel SARWATCH"
BN-ARA_CTR: "SKYTRANS 53, Aurukun SARWATCH terminated, time 38"
Communication with Other Aircraft:
When you are not in communication with the overlying enroute controller, you must announce you intentions on UNICOM (122.800), as well as monitoring and using the local CTAF frequency for traffic in the vicinity.
For more information, see here:https://vatpac.org/help/tutorials/ctaf-unicom-and-vhf2-monitoring/
FIFO Fridays are rostered events and applications can be filed via the events website: https://events.vatpac.org/
Only standard positions are rostered during FIFO Fridays, with non-standard positions only becoming available according to traffic levels, and only with the approval of a Senior Staff Member or C3 Controller. As such, the following positions will be rostered during this event:
YBCS - Cairns, QLD:Payware - ORBX (P3D / FSX)Freeware - Craig Scott (P3D / FSX)Freeware - FSClips (X-Plane)
YHID - Thursday Island, QLD:Freeware - Paulmort (X-Plane)
YBWP - Weipa, QLD:Freeware - AusFS (P3D / FSX)
Miscellaneous:Paywayre - ORBX Australia V2Payware - ORBX Global
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