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IAOPA Europe Enews  March 2020 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

Member Benefits from TopMeteo

IAOPA EU has made a deal with TopMeteo which provide some excellent weather resources for pilots. TopMeteo offers the following benefits to AOPA members:

+ 4 weeks free of charge use of European Super Package!
+ 50% discount on any subscription for the first year!
+ 30 % discount for the Europe Super Package for following years, and 25% for all other Packages for the following year.

TopMeteo offers very visual weather data for most of Europe. Special aggregated charts show e.g. the VFR conditions per day at a glance. 

TopMeteo covers all stages of meteorological flight planning: 

+ Forecasts up to 6 days inadvance (potential VFR hours, Significant Weather, Clouds, Winds at levels, Gusts, Rain etc.) for planning and timing purposes - as charts and site forecasts

+ Actual weather information shortly before take off: Satellite Imagery, Radar of Lightning. The Cloud Tops & Ceiling uses actual measurements from weather stations to be updated on a minute base

+ METARs and  TAFs can be selected along your routing. METARs are coloured for critical values and available for a shor history to derive trends

+ Inflight weather through the App TopMetSat (iOS & Android) which cares for the poor network connection automatically

You get your AOPA discount during checkout by entering your national AOPA member number and your name as recorded by your national AOPA. 
Should you have any problems getting your member number to validate please contact your national AOPA. They can help to verify it and if necessary make sure it is active for the offer.


Click here to visit the website.  


IAOPA EU Regional Meeting London postponed due to Corona virus

Due to Corona-Virus the IAOPA EU Regional Meeting that should take place from the 13th -15th of March in London will be postponed to a later date.

Michael Erb (European vice-president), Craig Spence (IAOPA gereal secretary) and Martin Robinson (CEO AOPA UK) decided that it would be better not to organize a meeting with people coming from all over Europe to London at this moment. ‘We are no virologists, but we had a close look at the issue, studied many publications and figures before we came to this decision, which was not just a knee-jerk reaction. We simply do not want to take any risks.’

The idea is now to hold a web-based conference on March 14th.  We keep you informed.

The European Green Deal | What impact will the discussion on CO2 have on General Aviation?

The political climate in terms of environmental protection has tightened significantly. 
So far the environmental discussion in aviation was  primarily about the consumption of finite fossil fuels and about aircraft noise. Today the emission of carbon dioxide as the cause of the Climate change is at the center of the discussion.

Influenced by these issues, the European Union has now announced the European Green Deal. It is supposed to relieve the environment significantly and become as important and innovative as the mission to the moon.
The new EU Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Valean has already stressed that it will be an ambitious challenge for aviation to improve connectivity in Europe on the one hand and to switch to sustainability on the other. Nobody knows yet how exactly this should succeed and what effects it will have on General Aviation (GA). But there are proposals in the European political landscape that must be alarming: in the British election campaign, the Labor Party called for business flights to be completely banned; the Swiss Council of States currently demands a levy of 500 Swiss francs for each "private flight".

Unfortunately, as a niche industry, we cannot actively shape the often overheated discussion. If some protagonists even demand the complete abolition of motorized private transport, then they do not listen to the needs of GA open-ended. Even large players such as airlines and the automotive industry are currently on the defensive.

Can you still argue positively for General Aviation today? We think: clearly yes!

GA is the most important research and development laboratory in aviation. What is developed here can often be found in commercial aviation a few years later. Examples include winglets that were originally developed for gliders and business jets and today reduce the consumption of commercial aircraft by up to seven percent. If you calculate these savings alone, they will exceed the consumption of the entire GA  fleet many times over. Laminar profiles and composite materials also come originally from gliding and came via motorized aircraft to commercial aviation. The first all-electric flights take place in GA today, as do most attempts with alternative liquid fuels. Another positive aspect is the low use of space by airfields per passenger kilometer and the noise limited to the immediate vicinity of the airfields.

The fact that a fast connection to remote regions is important becomes clear in view of the discussion about autonomous air taxis.

There are many political supporters here who support these connectivity concepts as long as they are only implemented electrically. There are many regions in Europe where there are only roads and a small airfield - no express train station, and certainly no catamaran berth for the next trip across the Atlantic.
After all, it must be possible to say this beyond any benefit calculation: The consideration of the environmental impact of human activity is too complex for simple arguments based on the motto "My hobby is ok when it comes to the environment, yours is not," as they are heard over and over again.

What changes are already emerging today?

Due to the increased CO2 tax that has just been decided, aviation fuel prices will rise by around 20 Eurocents per liter over the next five years. On both sides of the Atlantic it is also clear that an alternative to Avgas 100LL without the additive tetraethyl lead (TEL) must come. In the USA, intensive research has been going on for years on a more environmentally friendly successor, unfortunately without concrete success yet. But it should come as soon as possible, because the European chemical agency ECHA is also committed to banishing TEL. So the clock is ticking here.

No question about it: our industry has to evolve and face new challenges. This includes questioning ourselves and demands from us to be innovative, but at the same time self-confidently defending ourself against blind ecologically motivated actionism. Then we still don't have to be ashamed of our flying.

EASA proposal on revised IFR operating rules for GA in consultation

EASA  is consulting on a set of new revised IFR operating rules for GA. The overall intent is to customize the IFR rules to the GA operating environment that often involves smaller aerodromes where ATC, instrument runways and meteorological observers may not be assumed. IAOPA has been taking part of the working group developing the new rules and we very much welcome the result.

The main objectives have been to create rules for GA IFR operations that:

— are tailored for the safety of GA stakeholders, without making assumptions more relevant to commercial air transport (CAT) operations, and the aerodromes it uses;

— address the main practical risks for GA operations, rather than theoretical hazards;

— offer pilots a realistic choice to operate under IFR rather than visual flight rules (VFR) where there is a net safety benefit in doing so; and

— avoid complexity that is not justified by a regulatory need

Most of the new rules will make GA IFR operations simpler, lighter and better. A few places, where it is found appropriate, the proposal will tighten the requirements, like for instance when it comes to the weather requirement for your destination alternate.

The consultation can be found by clicking here

Please note: Deadline for comments 9. March 2020. 

Spatial disorientation



AOPA US puts a lot of effort in providing pilots with information about all kind of live saving issues. One of which is the issue of Spatial Disorientation. A lot of us have experienced this, for instance by all of a sudden flying into a cloud or getting surrounded by a dense fog, something which can easily happen when you fly oversea.


Spatial Disorientation is the mistaken perception of your position and motion relative to the Earth. More simply, any time the instruments indicate one attitude and the signals from your body tell you something else, you are experiencing spatial disorientation. You might see a turn on the instruments, but feel straight and level, or vice versa.


To learn more, read the Spatial Disorientation Safety Advisor


Hypoxia | Too little oxygen  -  safety issue

For people who fly on a high altitude Hypoxia or lack of oxygen is a real safety issue.
We talk about Hypoxia when an oxygen deficiency occurs in the tissue cells, as a result of which the tissue functions less or no longer. The term hypoxia comes from the Latin hypo-oxygenium and means "too little oxygen."
Oxygen deficiency can occur in various ways. The most common cause of hypoxia is the reduction of the partial oxygen pressure in the inhaled air. If this is not recognized in time, hypoxia can have fatal consequences.

As a result of a decrease of the oxygen pressure in the lungs, the oxygen saturation of the blood decreases. The oxygen saturation in the blood decreases faster above 10,000ft than between 0 and 10,000 ft (see oxygen (zuurstof in Dutch) saturation curve).
If someone is 100% fit, perfectly hydrated, well rested, has not drunk alcohol within the limits (alcohol makes it difficult to absorb oxygen into the blood), has no virus in his body, in short, if someone is the "perfect person", then this curve is correct. If not, this curve shifts to the right.

In practice, we therefore see 5000 ft as the height at which hypoxia starts, the so-called "mild" hypoxia.
The extent to which hypoxia symptoms manifest themselves depends on the cabin height, the time one spends at this height and the speed at which one rises. With a rapid rise to a great height without extra oxygen, the pilot will hardly experience the first mild symptoms. This will be the case with a slow rise from around 5000 ft.
Above 10,000 ft the risk of assessment errors increases. A false sense of security can happen; the pilot feels that he is flying better than usual. This is because especially the higher brain functions are 

susceptible to oxygen deficiency.

The way a person responses to and resists the lack of oxygen varies per individual. It is not possible to indicate what the individual symptoms are, in which order they will manifest themselves and within what period of time. A number of typical, most common physical and mental symptoms can be indicated:

Physical symptoms: • Feeling sleepy / tired • Headache • Dizzy • Blurred vision, tunnel vision • Tingling in hands and feet • Irregular breathing •  Nauseous • Pale complexion • Blue nails and lips • Decline in muscle coordination • Muscle spasm • Unconsciousness.  

Mental symptoms: • Loss of self-criticism • Decline in judgment • False sense of security • Loss of time awareness • Apathy • Euphoria • Aggressiveness • No longer approachable, but not unconscious.

Factors that influence the hypoxia tolerance of a person include height, ascent rate, duration, temperature, fatigue.

Hypoxia can be prevented by – among other things – increasing the percentage of oxygen in the inhaled air. And by having pilots experience their hypoxia symptoms so that they get the feeling for them.

Please keep us informed about the aviation news in your country

If you have any news or things that you would like to share with pilots in other countries - for instance if you organize a Fly-in (or Fly-out) that might be of interest or if there is news about airports or new rules and regulations in your country that other pilots should know - please don't hesitate to send it to me, Gerrit Brand | Netherlands | email:, telephone or whatsapp + 31 6 50831893.