The route inbound via the Mulgrave Valley should not be flown in low cloud or poor visibility. In any sort of inclement weather, it is safer to fly northbound via the coast and inbound via Cape Grafton.
Flying up the Mulgrave Valley, remember to call ATC early on Cairns APP 126.1 for clearance, particularly in strong prevailing southerlies, which will give you a tail wind and could cause you to enter class C earlier than you expected. Listen to the ATIS on 131.1 or VOR 113.0 prior to calling ATC.
Once you have passed Walshs Pyramid, a distinctive pyramid-shaped mountain, which is easily identifiable on the western side of the valley, you will reach the VFR approach point of Gordonvale.
Watch out for parachute operations in Danger Area 762, as Cairns is one of the busiest skydiving areas in Australia. Skydiving pilots will make their broadcasts on 126.1. If the area is active, ATC may ask you to remain a mile west of D762 as you pass.
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For safety reasons, there has been a recent change to separation standards and responsibilities between IFR arrivals and VFR traffic using the Western VFR Corridor. Whilst the Western VFR Corridor is still available, ATC advises VFR pilots seeking a clearance that there may be delays in issuing a clearance in certain situations, due traffic or weather.
At all times in the Western VFR Corridor, keep a good lookout and listen out for traffic. Remain west of the Bruce Highway and then west of Mulgrave Road as you track north keeping Earlville Shopping Centre on your right. Be careful NOT to follow the Bruce Highway which turns right towards the coast south of Earlville Shopping Centre.
Be aware that terrain shielding means ATC cannot keep you on radar as you fly from Earlville Shopping Centre to near the Cableway Terminal, a distance of some 7nm. ATC will probably ask you to report passing the Earlville Shopping Centre.
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From Earlville Shopping Centre, remain west of Koppen Park and Marino’s Quarry. Remember that Mount Whitfield provides terrain shielding and you will not be able to see the airport from Earlville northbound until you cross the Barron River, which is approximately a right base position for R15.
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From Marino’s Quarry remain west of the Cairns Western Arterial Road until the Cableway Terminal.
It can be very bumpy on the lee side of the ridgeline in the Western VFR Corridor in anything more than a 15 knot wind, but it is important that you remain as close to the hills as practical.
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If you find yourself unable to maintain tracking within the corridor, perhaps due to weather or turbulence, advise ATC immediately so they can assist you with an alternative clearance.
Follow ATC directions for joining the circuit.
No taxi clearance required. Monitor Ground on 121.7MHz.
Taxi clearance from Ground required before entering this area.
Specific clearance required from ATC before entering this area.
An area on the aerodrome intend to accommodate aircraft for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers, cargo, fueling, parking or maintenance.
That part of the aerodrome to be used for take-off, landing and taxiing aircraft, <strong>excluding</strong> aprons.
That part of the aerodrome to be used for take-off, landing and taxiing aircraft, consisting of the manoeuvring area and the apron.