Cross the Ditch 12: Summer 2015

Cross the Ditch 12

December is officially the start of summer in the Southern Hemisphere...

But the change of seasons brings unpredictable weather to the Tasman Sea...

Chances are, you'll see it all when you Cross the Ditch!

Featured for Cross the Ditch 12

  • Wave Format

    We're adopting the Wave Format for our twelth event. This unique and popular approach sees the event divided into five waves where the event route changes every few hours zig-zagging back and forth across the Tasman to create six mini-flyins.

    The route you fly is determined by the time you wish to depart; the routes are designed to highlight some of the fantastic scenery in this part of the world, and to create as much crossing traffic as possible. ATC will be assigned according to the schedule to ensure great coverage throughout each flight.

  • New Airport: Palmerston North

    With our Wave events, we try to include a regional airport on each side of the Tasman as two of six event airports. These airports may not see the same level of traffic in normal VATSIM usage as the Aucklands or Sydneys that tend to feature prominently in the CTD roster, however they feature interesting procedures and scenery, and allow us to welcome visiting pilots to parts of our divisions that many overseas guests may never have experienced.

    Cross the Ditch 12 is no exception, and this time out we're excited to have been able to add Palmerston North (NZPM/PMR) to the Cross the Ditch itinerary!

    Wave 2 from Canberra to Palmerston North passes over the top of the South Island before descending towards Cook Strait (seen in our banner above, famed for sporting gale force winds on an average of more than 120 days a year). Wave 3 from Palmerston North to Hobart recrosses the strait and overflies the South Island's Southern Alps and Westland before heading out to sea enroute to the main city on Tasmania, Australia's island state.

    Both routes promise spectacular scenery - mountains, forests, beaches, and even the odd town - as well as a good chance of some bumpy weather.

    Palmerston North Large Aircraft Alternate: Ohakea (NZOH/OHA)

    The runway length at NZPM is 1902m/6240ft, and there is limited parking space (particularly in the default FS sceneries): aircraft larger than B737/A320 are not suitable for use at this airport.

    A skeleton crew will be staffing nearby Ohakea (NZOH) as an alternative to Palmerston North for pilots wishing to operate larger aircraft during Waves 2 & 3.

    Note: where possible, pilots are strongly encouraged to select an appropriate aircraft and fly the Palmerston North route as this will be the primary focus of ATC activity.

  • Wave Format Tweaks

    This year we've fine-tuned the Wave format to ensure an even better experience for pilots. The Wave timetable has been adjusted to allow more time for pilots to complete each leg, and to minimise the disruption to pilots' schedules in the event of unusually strong westerly headwinds such as we experienced last year.

    Anyone who is crazy enough to attempt it should now find that there is sufficient time to fly all six legs without falling behind and missing out on ATC coverage.

  • Big Two Finale: Auckland → Sydney

    The final leg of this event - Wave 5 - is dedicated to the busiest trans-Tasman sector in both the real- and VATSIM worlds. Auckland and Sydney are the busiest airports in their respective countries and they are by far the most commonly flown international city pair in the region.

    Always a favourite with pilots and controllers alike, with its parallel runways and serving the largest city in Australasia, Sydney has recently seen the release of new FSX/P3D scenery.

    The finale to this summer's event is sure to be a heavily booked and action-packed affair.

What's it all about?

For twenty hours this December, the skies over the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand will be filled with aircraft all on a mission to Cross the Ditch.

An example of that typical down-under understatement, this "ditch" is over 1100nm wide. The flight routes all range from two to three and a half hours flight time.

Throughout the event, the Oceania region's two divisions will be providing full gate-to-gate ATC coverage, in the Southern Hemisphere's premiere oceanic event.

This is a great opportunity to experience Oceanic flying without the need to commit to an eight-hour flight!

If you're new to Oceanic Flying, our reporting tool makes taking part a breeze.

Event Times

This twenty hour event is timed to allow pilots from all over the world to join the fun:


This season's event is organised in waves. Each airport will have a three-to-four hour departure window, during which time flights will be able to leave for the next destination. As the window closes, the departure window will open at the next destination.

Given each of the flights is 2.5 - 3.5hrs in length, the previous wave's flights will be arriving at the same airport as the next wave departs, maximising the amount of traffic at each airport.

NOTE: in order to ensure that you have ATC coverage throughout your flight, you MUST fly the wave route that is active at the time of your departure.

The individual routes are designed to ensure as much opposing traffic enroute as possible.

Each flight passes from one Oceania division to the other, and the result is six mini-flyins over the course of twenty hours!

The Waves for Cross the Ditch 12 - Summer 2015 are:

Wave Flight Departure Window
1 Christchurch (NZCH) to Canberra (YSCB) 1700-2000 0400-0700 0600-0900
2 Canberra (YSCB) to Palmerston North (NZPM)
(B737/A320 and smaller)
2000-2300 0700-1000 0900-1200
2a Canberra (YSCB) to Ohakea (NZOH)
(Large aircraft only)
2000-2300 0700-1000 0900-1200
3 Palmerston North (NZPM) to Hobart (YMHB)
(B737/A320 and smaller)
2300-0230 1000-1330 1200-1530
3a Ohakea (NZOH) to Hobart (YMHB)
(Large aircraft only)
2300-0230 1000-1330 1200-1530
4 Hobart (YMHB) to Auckland (NZAA) 0230-0600 1330-1700 1530-1900
5 Auckland (NZAA) to Sydney (YSSY) 0600-1000 1700-2100 1900-2300
Cross the Ditch 12 Route Map

Calling all Pilots and Controllers

Flight plans are available from the Flight Plans section.

Book your flights now from the Flight Bookings page. Bookings made on this site help us plan for the event, and will also show up in vroute.

Controllers wanting to get in on the action can also apply now at the event's ATC Applications page.

Cross the Ditch is brought to you by VATPAC and VATNZ VATNZ - VATSIM New Zealand VATPAC - VATSIM Australia/Pacific