Cross the Ditch 11: Winter 2015

Cross the Ditch 11

As winter descends upon the Southern Hemisphere, it's time once again to Cross the Ditch!

Featured for Cross the Ditch 11

  • New Airport: Port Vila, Vanuatu

    We are very excited to be adding another Pacific Island airport to the Cross the Ditch catalogue! Vanuatu is a nation of sparkling Pacific Islands, active volcanoes, and interesting approaches.

    The flight route between Port Vila and Christchurch passes through the southern islands of Vanuatu, including most of the nation's active volcanoes. It travels the length of New Zealand's North Island, from the sub-tropical Far North, to the more temperate climate bordering Cook Strait, before traversing the northern section of the South Island's Southern Alps, some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand.

    Tropical Cyclone Pam

    In March 2015, Vanuatu was savaged by the Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam. While the current devastation in the region is not visible in Flight Sim, we are proud to include Port Vila in this event to stand in support of those whose lives continue to be affected by this disaster.

    Pam set a new record for highest sustained winds for a Southern Hemisphere Tropical Cyclone, and it is estimated that it will take several years to repair the damage to Vanuatu's buildings and infrastructure. While of course, absolutely optional, we would encourage anyone who can spare a few dollars to donate to one of the charitable organisations collecting donations to assist with the recovery efforts, such as:

    Runway 11 Offset Approach

    Note: the approach to runway 11 at Port Vila is offset from the runway heading by ~30° and requires a hand-flown turn just prior to touchdown.

    This is a very satisfying landing to pull off perfectly, but those flying NZCH->NVVV would do well to review the approach charts before arriving in the area.

    Pilots who prefer to avoid the approach, or who wish to fly larger aircraft - typically real-world NVVV only sees B737/A320 sized aircraft and smaller - can request the straight-in runway 29 approach, or might instead consider a flight that departs from NVVV.

  • Return of Sydney and Christchurch

    It's been three years since Cross the Ditch last visited Sydney, Australia - the busiest airport in Oceania. Always a favourite with pilots and controllers alike, with its parallel runways, serving the largest city in Australasia, we are excited to be returning.

    Similarly, while Christchurch was used as a large-aircraft alternate in December's event, it's been nearly two years since Cross the Ditch was fully based in the Garden City.

    The three airports we've chosen for Cross the Ditch 11 each highlight three distinct worlds and classes of airport. They will combine to create a unique and varied virtual flying experience.

What's it all about?

For twenty hours this June, 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 join the fun:


This season's event is following a three-airport structure, with an airport in Australia, one in New Zealand, and one in the Pacific Islands - in this case, Port Vila in Vanuatu.

Each flight should take roughly two to three and a half hours to complete, allowing pilots time to easily complete multiple sectors.

NOTE: despite the early start time, Sydney will be available for arrivals and departures from 20:00 UTC/06:00 AEST. Port Vila and Christchurch will be available from the start of the event.

Similarly, at the end of the event, Port Vila and Christchurch will remain open for arrivals and departures until 12:00 UTC/00:00 NZST. Sydney will be available until the end of the event.

The Arrival and Departure Slots available on the Flight Booking page will ensure that there is ATC coverage throughout your flight.

The Routes for Cross the Ditch 11 - Winter 2015 are:

Cross the Ditch 11 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