KNOW YOUR AIRSPACE
Any of you who will have studied the Aeronautical charts for the area will have noted that the Pennine sites, in particular those to the south of our region, have many restrictions with regard to airspace.
The maps and charts reproduced here are merely a memory jogger and it really is up to you to ensure that your flight will comply with airspace restrictions before you take off.
Particular attention is drawn to the sites within the Manchester TMA and on the fringe of the Manchester Control Zone (a definite no go area unless you like prison food). In practical terms if the site you are flying is (and over 80% are) within the area bounded by Chorley, Accrington, Burnley, Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield, Shaw, Radcliffe, Leigh and Skelmersdale then you are within the Manchester TMA.
The ceiling for flights within this area is 3500 ft which in some cases is less than 2000ft above take off. When flying at Pule Hill, Lark Hill or Millstone however, note that the CTA is down to 3000 ft, about 1500 ft above take off. Of course, everybody knows that the transition altitude for altimeter settings is always 5000 ft, above which aircraft flying out of Manchester will judge their height in terms of flight levels. Descending into Manchester, the Transition Level is given to them by Air Traffic Control. This varies according to the barometric pressure of the day; eg. a particularly low pressure day will result in a high Transition Level.