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Flying in Poland information



convex 20 | 3,987    
18 Sep 2010  #1

Alright, so I figured it's about time to post a bit of information on flying in Poland.

One of the first things to keep in mind if you're thinking about flying in Poland, is that the number of private pilots is extremely low, even compared to other European countries. Poland lacks the large glider and UL culture of its neighbors, which raises the barrier for entry. Polish pilots tend to be fairly well off, and flight is generally restricted to the upper income bracket due to the costs involved. Today, the acceptance of general aviation in Poland is growing, but it is an extremely slow process. The Polish CAA sees general aviation as a nuisance, but is accepting of it in that they do not overly regulate. I'll try to cover bits and pieces at a time.

We'll start with VFR flight planning:

Flight planning in Poland sucks. It's DIY for the most part, unless you're at an international airport...but they're not extremely helpful. For VFR flight, I use FL95.de. It covers Poland, and has most of the aerodromes (even the ones missing in the AIP). That will give you your basic information on the route. You can also use JIFP, it's pricey, but it does everything for you and has integrated weather.

VFR Charts:

Then it's time to bust out the charts. If you don't have a Jeppview subscription, you will have to buy charts. They are not available for free on the internet like in some countries. Everyone uses the Jepp charts (EP-1, 2, and 3) which will run you about 200pln or €50 for paper. There is also a single VFR map which sets you back 100pln, but I'm not really a big fan of it. Elevations are in feet.

AIP/Aerodrome Charts/NOTAMs:

The Polish AIP (and all European AIPs for that matter) is available online at the EuroControl website. All approach plates can be found there as well. Charts are metric, with feet/knots in parenthesis.

Weather:

There is no 1-800-wxbrief. International airports will have a met office where you can go in and get all the info you need. Selfbriefing computers usually aren't available at smaller airports. I usually take my laptop and a 3g card to solve the problem. Jeppesen has charts available for free online. I've found flugwetter.de. It's an online service and provides you with pretty much everything you need for €80/year. The Polish met office has current radar images available online for free.

It is extremely important to pay attention to the weather here, as conditions tend to deteriorate quickly. XM weather is NOT available, and the only currently available solution for "realtime" in cockpit weather is a laptop and sat phone. The lack of airfields means that you can't always count on a field being close if you have to divert. Unless you have radar or at least a strike finder, I would suggest staying out of the soup. More on this when I cover IFR.

Filing a flight plan:

Flight plans are mandatory when flying into controlled airspace or across international borders. Flights conducted through uncontrolled airspace just require enough fuel to get you to where you need to go (which can be problematic, will cover fuel later). Flying into controlled airspace will require the use of mandatory VFR reporting points, so check your chart and make sure to include them in the route. Border crossings require the Lat/Lon and EOBT in the remarks section. Flight plans can be filed in person at an international airport, over the phone, or by fax. The numbers can be found on the flight plan form uploaded here. Remember to file an hour before OBT, or else they tend require a bit of sweet talking. If you're flying to or from Germany, you can use DFS to file your flight plan online and have NOTAMs provided by email. It's a hell of a lot more convenient than calling in, and it's free. If flying into an uncontrolled airport, it's your responsibility to call and close your flight plan.

Anyway, that's a start. I'll try to cover more of the practical things like fees, , flying culture, regulations, IFR, and "how to minimize your chance of getting killed at uncontrolled airports" later.

If anyone has something to add, feel free.


Chewie    
22 Sep 2010  #2

Great information! Thanks. A couple of questions. Do you know how to transfer an FAA license to a Polish license? Is this possible without a written test or evaluation like in other EU countries?

Thanks
OP convex 20 | 3,987    
22 Sep 2010  #3

Poland is a JAA member, same deal applies.

Depends on your hours and ratings. FAA-JAA is much more difficult than the other way around. Basically it looks like this:

For conversion with more than 100 hours tt:

JAA Medical
Sit the Air Law and Human Performance tests
Check flight

You can also validate your FAA license. Same deal, but without the written tests.

You'll be issued a license which is dependent on your FAA ticket being current. Validation is done in each country and is only valid for that country.

I haven't done either, but I know a couple of people who have. If you're interested, just send me a PM and I can put you into contact with people a bit more in the know than me.

Good news is, you can fly in Europe with an N registered plane without any restrictions or validation. There are quite a few in Western Europe, not so much joy here or further East.

If you're planning on staying for a longer period of time, there are N reg'd planes for sale, or you can buy and then convert. It was about €3500 for my TB10 (includes a fresh annual).

BTW, if you actually need to go somewhere, expect stuff like this right before you want to leave the house:

EPWR 120930Z 33003KT 270V020 1000 R29/1500 -DZ BR SCT001 BKN003 05/05 Q1019

Yup, nearly noon. Good times.
delphiandomine 87 | 15,827    
12 Oct 2010  #4

EPWR 120930Z 33003KT 270V020 1000 R29/1500 -DZ BR SCT001 BKN003 05/05 Q1019

Go on, explain this to us :)
alexw68    
12 Oct 2010  #5

SCT001 BKN003

Schabowy, and bacon if I'm not mistaken. This is the receipt from the takeaway.
OP convex 20 | 3,987    
12 Oct 2010  #6

Go on, explain this to us :)

Alex got it :) Alma receipt.

1000' visibility, drizzle, fog, scattered clouds at 100', broken clouds at 300'... looks completely overcast to me though :(

Ah well, a chance to cook up my recently purchased pork feast.
EPWA VFR    
6 Jan 2011  #7

If You are to fly VFR to EPWA (Warsaw) prepare well for the flight. You can find help from little mobile phone application called EPWA VFR.

Put this address in Your mobile phone web browser

m.magmito.com/101273/epwavfr

Let the application install its icon (You won't have to remember the address no more then) and use it.

BUT ALWAYS CHECK AIP (ais.pata.pl) and NOTAMS (i.e notams.jcs.mil) !

Have a nice flight :-)
sobieski 109 | 2,132    
6 Jan 2011  #8

You flying types :) I just booked a ticket with Wizzair to go home..much more simple :)))))
LewisPilot2013 - | 4    
16 Jul 2011  #9

Anybody know of any flight schools or clubs in Rzeszów that'd rent an a/c to a US pilot? I'm going on a mini-vaca to Europe and will be in Rzeszów for a day or two, and i'd be cool to fly.



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