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Trip to Sicily, via Brac in Croatia, September 2022


This article describes a somewhat complicated trip to Sicily, to a small airfield near Palermo called Bocadifalco. Italy is more complicated to organise and getting some local help is desirable.

Here is a glossary for non-aviation readers.

I have a small electronic business and due to being super-busy at work during 2021/2022, I have not had the time to write a detailed standalone article, so I am linking to a thread on the EuroGA forum which has most of the details - here. I hope to get back to doing my normal writeups during 2023.



An oxygen system is practically necessary for IFR in the Eurocontrol system, for anything involving flight over the Alps (except, marginally, flying in the canyons, which I don't do). Occassionally, the weather is nice and one can fly at FL090 or so but most people would still get tired after several hours. Also many routings are not available below oxygen levels, due to controlled airspace structures, and in some cases terrain.

On this entire trip the usage was around 30% of the 48 cu. ft. cylinder, for 1 person. Without oxygen, this trip is difficult. You would have to go around the Alps entirely, unless flying VFR close to the terrain.

The Value of an IR

The flights described could have been done under VFR, on similar routes, but probably with more "negotiation" enroute and you would be much closer to the terrain (so needing really light wind conditions) unless going around the Alps. And you would need to get enroute notams, very carefully, because ATC will not generally be looking after you. The real value of an IR is not to fly in IMC; it is the fact that ATC works with you rather than (as so often) against you, so you get access to airspace and altitudes where you can fly in sunshine.


This page last edited 21st August 2023

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