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[30th July, Departures 17-19z] Midnight Sun

Wygene Chong

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Wygene Chong


Midnight Sun - Saturday 30th July 2016

Departures: 1700z-1900z | Arrivals: 2300z-0400z

Anchorage ARTCC, Edmonton FIR and Reykjavik CTA invite you to join us for an Arctic flight from Keflavik (Iceland) to either Anchorage (USA) or Edmonton (Canada). Icelandair operates both of these routes in real life, so come enjoy the polar beauty and the midnight sun of this unique long-haul event. This is one event where the sky will remain bright throughout the night!

Departure: BIKF, Iceland
Pilot Briefing/Charts: http://vatsim-scandinavia.org/pilots/airports/iceland

Arrival: CYEG, Canada (~6+ hours flight time)
Charts: http://edmontonfir.ca/charts.html or http://www.aircharts.org/

Arrival: PANC, United States (~7+ hours flight time)
Charts: http://www.aircharts.org/

ATC Online Times

Reykjavik CTA - BIKF (1700-1900z) | BIRD (1700-2200z) | BICC (1900-2200z)
Edmonton FIR - CYEG (2300-0100z) | CZEG (2000-0200z)
Anchorage ARTCC - PANC (0000-0400z) | ZAN (2300-0400z)


Both routes are available for download from vRoute (http://www.vroute.net) straight into your FMC/GPS.


Edited by Wygene Chong
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  • 2 weeks later...
Wygene Chong

Has your VA heard about this? Is it in your Facebook group of VATSIM friends? Are you a visiting controller and don't see it in your home country's forum?

Help us spread the word! :D Just under 2 months to go for a unique midnight Arctic event.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Wygene Chong

Are you ready to experience the Midnight Sun? Saturday 30th July, Keflavik, Iceland (BIKF) to Anchorage, USA (PANC) and Edmonton, Canada (CYEG). Be there.

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Wygene Chong

VA staff: if you could re-post the following in your local threads that would be much appreciated! :) 

We have confirmed that BA Virtual, Delta/Air France Virtual and American Airlines Virtual will all be participating. Perhaps even more VAs would like to join in? Full ATC has been organised on the Iceland side and you should see DEL, GND, TWR, APP, multiple CTRs and FSS online to guide you across Iceland and Greenland. We are also aware of extensive Arctic ATC being prepared for your trip across the tundra in North America to land at either Edmonton (Canada) or Anchorage (Alaska).

Never flown from Iceland? Here are the relevant procedures laid out step-by-step.

Step 1: Visit the Reykjavik Pilot Page - http://vatsim-scandinavia.org/pilots/airports/iceland/
Step 2: Download the Guide to Iceland. You may also wish to examine the Sector Map showing the combined Iceland-Greenland airspace block, CTR/FSS sectorisation and underlying airports. There is also a collection of recommended sceneries for added enjoyment.
Step 3: Skim through the section for BIKF - Keflavik International Airport. Please do NOT depart from BIRK, our domestic/regional airport, as you will likely not be able to get off the short runway with amount of fuel needed for this long haul flight.
Step 4: On Saturday 30th July, load up at one of the 15 stands at the International Terminal (14 stands in newer sceneries). If these are not available, you can try the stands at the Cargo Apron (66-70 for older sceneries), the International Terminal Remote (newer sceneries stands 20-24) or the East Apron (designated generally as 'parking'). Do NOT load up on a runway. 
Step 5: Download one of the recommended routes for this event from vRoute. For this example, we flying to Anchorage with the route "ENIMI 69N030W 73N040W 75N050W SINVU M454 POTAT J167 FYU J160 AYKID ENN TAGER8."
Step 6: Add a mach speed and flight level to the start of your route. We've chosen a B753 flying mach .82, FL360. Remember it's even flight levels for westbound flights. Our route now looks like "M082F360 ENIMI 69N030W..."
Step 7: With your route in front, call up BIKF_DEL ('Keflavik Delivery') for clearance. The response will probably be "standby." Remember, oceanic clearances are long and BIKF_DEL may be coordinating with CTRs later down the line to organise better traffic flow.
Step 8: Receive your clearance. In this example, it will probably be: "ICE123, cleared to Anchorage via runway 01, direct ENIMI, 69 north 30 west, 73 north 40 west, 75 north 50 west, then direct SINVU. Initial climb FL290, mach decimal 82, squawk 4401." 
Step 9: Read that back. You must read the route back in full.
Step 10: On receiving "readback correct," you will be instructed to contact BIKF_GND for pushback and startup. You can make this request whenever you are ready, but try to avoid sitting at the stand for too long as there may be other pilots waiting for you to vacate the stand. Parking space is a premium for a busy event!
Step 11: The rest of the phraseology follows in the Guide to Iceland > BIKF section > "Phraseology Example – ICE251 – North American Departure – BIKF – PANC." Note that your 'departure frequency' is given by TWR when you are airborne, not in your initial IFR clearance. Other than that, Icelandic departure procedures are broadly the same as elsewhere in the world.
Step 12: No position reports are needed under BIRD_CTR ('Reykjavik Control'... not 'Center') as this is a radar position. CTR will just give you directs where possible and step climbs on request. For flights to Edmonton, you will remain with CTR controllers the whole way so you can stop reading here. For flights to Anchorage, as in this example, you will pass so far north that radar service cuts out. From there on, BICC_FSS ('Iceland Radio') will take over. 
Step 13: Under BICC_FSS, you need to give position reports at every waypoint in your flight plan. This usually means a report every 20-30 minutes. Reports are in this format: [CALLSIGN], at [POSITION], [TIME in zulu], [FL], [mach], estimating [NEXT POSITION] at [TIME in zulu], [THIRD POSITION] thereafter. For example, "Iceland Radio, ICE123 is at 73 north 40 west, time 2104z, estimating 75 north 50 west at time 2128z, SINVU thereafter." 
Step 14: BICC_FSS will read this back to you, and you then reply with "readback correct" or "negative... [correct the controller]." Please be patient with BICC_FSS as this controller also has many other responsibilities across the whole of Icelandic airspace. So you may hear him/her giving oceanic clearances in Greenland, inbound oceanic clearances from Europe/Canada/Russia and possibly even giving information services at the special underlying airport of Jan Mayen!
Step 15: Transfers to CZEG_CTR ('Edmonton Centre') will occur somewhere over Baffin Bay, the sea between Greenland and Canada. At that point you will have successfully navigated through Icelandic airspace!

We recommend you practice flying from Iceland before the event, perhaps on shorter flights to Europe/Greenland.

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Wygene Chong

3 days to go! 

If you are unable to make a 6-7 hour midnight flight, consider flying to/from BIKF to take advantage of full Icelandic ATC at least during 1700-1930z. But we will be prioritising event traffic wherever possible. Remember, live event updates will be going out on the Vattastic shoutbox.

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Wygene Chong

This is tonight! Please note that for those on the latest AIRAC, the waypoint "SORIR" can replace "ENIMI" (vRoute update has been requested). If you're the owner of a tablet or smartphone, try out the brand new, free, AIP Iceland App, available for Android and Apple devices:


Of course charts are also available from the usual Iceland Pilot Page (click here), where you can find our comprehensive pilot info, sceneries, maps and more!

See you there :D

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Wygene Chong

The event is now officially over. 

From the ATC team in Iceland, a thank you to every single pilot who flew and made this never-before-attempted Arctic event worthwhile. Personally it was a blast to see 4 planes queuing for takeoff at the runway with another 5 sitting at the terminal and a dozen away in the air. Pilots acted with professionalism and displayed an extraordinarily good understanding of local procedures. Thank you for being a part of Midnight Sun and we look forward to seeing more of your screenshots and videos!

To our partners in Edmonton and Anchorage, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did in the east. It is certainly is rare to see BICC_FSS and BIRD_CTR handing off directly to the dynamic duo on CZEG_FSS and CZEG_CTR, as well as so much north-eastern traffic approaching the very busy Ted Stevens Anchorage International. So thank you for your amazing support!

Recorded data from Saturday 30th July 1459z (first BIKF>PANC departure) to Sunday 31st July 0400z
Keflavik (BIKF) - 32 departures - 10 arrivals - a movement every 4.6 minutes at peak
Edmonton (CYEG) - 7 arrivals - 2 departures - a movement every 20 minutes at peak (but lots of enroute traffic!)
Anchorage (PANC) - 27 arrivals - 7 departures - a movement every 6.9 minutes at peak

Timelapse of the first 3 hours under Reykjavik Control (Jouka Ahponen)

The View from Iceland Radio (Eoin Motherway)

Don't make this your only flight in the Arctic! Iceland, Canada and Alaska are open all year round for visitors. We hope to see some of you back for more in the days and weeks to come :D

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