convex 20 | 3,985 18 Sep 2010 #1Alright, 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.