N203CD trading as Mustarrow Ltd
Before you go:
You need an FAA licence to fly out of the UK.
The easiest way is to obtain an FAA endorsement on your current licence, known as a "Restricted Licence". There is an excellent summary here.
Note that you need to apply to the FAA AND the CAA (who will charge you - form A and form B)
To keep the licence current you must meet FAA requirements (including the BFR)
Finally, you need an FAA radio licence. The form needed is FCC605 "Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit (RR)"
On the day:
It is mandatory, under FAA rules to have the following documents
Weight and Balance
You also need the VAT paperwork, insurance certificate, passport & money
To cross the Channel, you need a Flight Plan. Try EuroFPL or HomeBriefing, where you can file your plan, get TXT confirmation and a full weather and NOTAM brief, all in a few minutes. There are other sites too.
In section 18, you enter EET/LFFF hhmm, where hhmm is the number of hours and minutes after departure that you will be crossing the French FIR
The Equipment code for the Cirrus is SYBDGR/EB2, and PBN/A1B2C2D2L102S1, and you may wish to put "No ADF" in Section 18 RMK/. The Liferaft is D/4CYellow, the colour of the plane is Red over White, and the Life Jackets are J/L.
Download a manual blank flight plan here
The rules are quite complicated, but all the information is on the General Aviation Report (GAR),
The form has detailed instructions on what constitutes a Custom's "Designated Airport" (DA). Manchester and Southend, for example, are DAs. The rules state that you can arrive and depart from a DA without prior notice, provided a GAR is completed prior to departure and arrival. It is easiest to include your return details on the same form.
At other "General Aviation Agreement" (GAA) airfields, such as Tatenhill, you can depart without notification but 4 hours notice of arrival are required, communicated by the GAR as described above
Have a safe trip !!