The CIX VFR Club Wise Men on Camels
Club Events - Christmas Caper 2015
Follow the Wise Men of Old
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Briefing December 2015

For this year's "Christmas Caper", we will be following a probable route taken 2015 years ago by a group of "Wise Men"! (Note: we are not limited to just three participants - the number of men is actually not stated in The Bible, only the number of gifts they carried!)

Start Time and Place

Our starting point is Baghdad International (ORBS), the closest airfield to the ancient city of Babylon, the remains of which are visible from Saddam Hussein's Summer Palace.

What Aircraft can I fly

Any aircraft can be flown in this event as long as it is within the EASA GA category.

Wise Pilot Details

As we approach Christmas it is recognized that pressures on available time can increase, so the flying time for each leg reduces, or if desired several legs can be flown in one session. (A full stop landing is however required at the end of each leg - a T&G will not be acceptable.)

There are 9 legs in total.

  1. The first leg takes us to ORUB (UBAYDAH BIN AL JARRAH) - Just over an hour's flying.
  2. We continue on to ORTL (ALI BASE) -about 70 minutes flying time.
  3. Next stop = OERF (RAFHA) - just under 2 hours flying time
  4. Then on to OERR (ARAR) - another leg just under 2 hours long
  5. Takes us to OETR (TURAIF) - approx 100 minutes flying time
  6. Brings us to OJAI (QUEEN ALIA INTL) via OEGT (GURIAT) - total flying time 110 mins (approx), but this leg may be split into two of just over 50 mins each - legs 6a and 6b with a stop-over at GURIAT if desired.
  7. This leg takes us to LLMZ (I BAR YEHUDA) in a half-hour flight. Note LLMZ is the lowest elevation of any airfield on the planet; 1266 feet below sea level! This leg could be politically sensitive as it involves crossing from Jordan into Israel. Thus there are three options in order of preference:
    1. Fly online, but be prepared to disconnect if anyone from VATIL objects.
    2. Fly the leg "off-line" for the sake of completeness.
    3. Omit this leg altogether.
  8. We now fly on to OJJR (JERUSALEM) via Massada (The site of King Herod's Summer Palace, and of a defiant heroic stand against the Roman occupation), and Jerico (One of the world's oldest continuously occupied settlements/cities). Time for this leg approximately half an hour.
  9. After asking around in Jerusalem for the new political ruler (and thoroughly frightening/annoying the current rulers) we hurriedly leave and overfly Bethlehem before heading to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion (LLBG) to start our route back home "by another route" (see Matthew Chapter 2 Verse 12). This leg will take about 25 minutes flying time.

At the time of publishing this event plan, ATC has not been confirmed watch the forum for details.

Radio Discipline

Take care not to let our Teamspeak chat cut across ATC. Stop any conversation immediately the R/T comes alive, then continue if "he wasn't talking to us". This is difficult because when transmitting on Teamspeak you can't hear the R/T. So be brief on Teamspeak, and be aware that ATC might be trying to get through. If anyone hears an R/T message which seems to be being ignored, just say "ATC is calling G-CIXN" if you have identified the callsign, or "ATC is calling us" which is a cue for everyone to be quiet on Teamspeak until ATC call again (which they will). Remember too that if asked to "Stand By" by ATC, you do not reply - not even "Roger", but simply wait until you are called again.

Remember also that there are several different ATC frequencies in use, and you may not be able to hear when communications are taking place. Make sure you have set and know how to use a Teamspeak mute switch.

Acknowledgements Event planning: Max Symons. Briefing: Max Symons
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