Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as COVID-free as possible
Covid-19 measures throughout Europe
We wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with lots of flying. Let’s hope that next year things will be better for GA. As for the moment COVID measures are different for every country.
For the whole of Europe there are travel bans or at least travel advices: Don’t travel if it’s not necessary. That means annoying restrictions for us pilots. There’s almost nowhere we can go, with the exception of our own national fields. Now we are heading for winter and flight trips abroad are less common anyway, so maybe that is a consolation. But of course everybody is longing for normalization. Let it all become like before. Hopefully we will fly in all directions next year. Maybe with the coming vaccine campaigns things will improve.
While you might expect otherwise, the GA isn't in a slump. We hear from various reliable sources that - despite the limitations - there is still a lot of flying going on. In fact, some GA airports have reported record traffic numbers over the summer and GA in many ways is proving its worth by keeping Europe connected at a time where the airline network is very limited. With the limited number of seats onboard GA is offering one of the most COVID19-safe ways of traveling across Europe.
Anyway, it is good to see that GA is alive.
From our AOPA colleagues in Europe we get notes on the impact of Covid-19 measures on General Aviation.
Austria is getting out of their "lockdown", it seems, at the time of writing. Recreational flights are prohibited in Greece. In France, people are not allowed to fly their own private aircraft, even if the aircraft has to be serviced in another field. Training flights are allowed there, because that is an economic activity. In Belgium you can only fly solo or with loved ones. In Germany there are no restrictions on GA activities. The restrictions are only limiting stays in hotels, closures of restaurants and sport-locations, the number of people from different households that can still meet, number of customers in shops, etc. It could well be that the country goes into lockdown again. Some German flight-schools report though that they can hardly handle all their new students, avgas-sales are also growing.
It's a mixed bag in that regard, and the situation is changing all the time. A European approach or at least a more unambiguous approach would provide much more clarity. And have we not gained enough experience with the fight against the virus to determine which approach works best or are we all inventing our own wheel, despite the EU?
Both EASA and the national authorities are trying to help by providing extensions if pilots cannot renew their licenses due to COVID-19. Click here for a link to the EASA GA site where EASA tries to give an overview of how each country is administering extensions.
Let's hope that the worst of the coronavirus is over soon, and that we – with the availability of a vaccine – will soon be able to lead a normal life again. Let’s hope for a year in which we can really take off again. Let’s make 2021 a really good year for GA.
BASA Agreement between US and EU on Air safety | BASA extended and two Annexes added
From EASA we received the message that the European Union und the United States of America earlier this month signed two new Annexes to the Agreement on Cooperation in the Regulation of Civil Aviation Safety (BASA), expanding its areas of application to allow the conversion of pilot licences and to reduce duplication in the oversight of flight simulators.
On pilot licencing, the new Annex will ensure that pilots residing in the EU fly aircraft on the basis of licences and ratings issued in accordance with EU regulations, under the oversight of EU Member States. It will also ensure that they maintain and develop their qualifications via EU training organisations. The objective of the new Annex is to convert certain US pilot licences into EU Part-FCL licences and ratings, while taking account of the similarities between the US and EU regulatory systems. This is a cost-effective solution to converting FAA pilot licences into EU Part-FCL licences. Several thousand EU pilots are expected to take advantage of the new provisions and complete the conversion of their FAA pilot licences and ratings.
The second new BASA Annex, on flight simulation training devices, will allow for the reciprocal acceptance of findings of compliance, as well as documentation, on the recurrent evaluation and qualification of EU- and U.S.-based full flight simulators. It will generate resource savings, in particular by eliminating duplicate evaluations by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The aviation industry will also see costs fall: the operators of flight simulation training devices will no longer be subject to multiple re-evaluations, and these savings can be passed on to air carriers sending pilots for training.
Expanding the scope of the BASA between the EU and the United States marks another key deliverable under the Commission's Aviation Strategy for Europe – designed to generate growth for European business, foster innovation and offer passengers safer, cleaner and cheaper flights.
In addition to the new Annexes, the EU and the U.S. agreed on an amendment of the BASA annex on maintenance to allow that maintenance organisations from all EU Member States can participate in the safety cooperation as provided by the BASA framework and confirming the highest EU aviation safety standards as well the oversight role of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (‘EASA’).
So far the statement of EASA. But now the comment by IAOPA Vice-President Dr Michael Erb:
Bilateral agreement on license recognition between FAA and EASA | The big hit or maybe not?
For many decades the acquisition of US licenses was a pragmatic and safe alternative to the much more complicated training regulations of the European countries. The logic was simple: “You want to get an IFR in Europe? Don’t try it if you don't have a degree in electrical engineering. Go to the USA for IFR training: it takes three weeks, at a much lower cost and you can, as an extra bonus enjoy the nice weather in Florida. ”
The smaller European countries in particular often did not want to manage PPL licenses and also do not want to monitor small aircraft technically .
That is why it was even officially recommended in some states not to disturb the authorities and instead simply get US licenses and provide the aircraft with an N registration.
But now the EU has had EASA since 2002 and wants to emancipate itself.
Because the FAA does not allow permanent use of foreign licenses and allowances by US citizens in their airspace, and refers to the justification also to the ICAO regulations.
The decision to no longer recognize foreign licenses at EASA territory in the future was announced in 2008. Since then, we at IAOPA have taken the position that at least an attractive, competitive system of regulations has to be established in Europe. In fact, a lot has been achieved: The GA roadmap has been adopted, as a result, for example, the acquisition of an IFR license has become much easier, the LAPL has also become a successful model, and UL hours on three-axle vehicles can now also be used as minimum hours for PPL and LAPL Extension, and cost of flying can be shared.
However, in terms of customer friendliness in Europe, we are still lagging behind in some areas: Anyone who has not flown for a long time and wants to resume flight activity will still appreciate the advantages of the US system: You make appointments with an aviation doctor and flight instructor, show that you are physically fit and still can fly, or take some training to be able to fly again, and then the flying goes on without the intervention of an authority. In Europe we are still far too bureaucratic.
We were also promised a bilateral agreement between the USA and the EU, which should allow mutual, simplified recognition of licenses at the level of PPL / IFR / Multi-Engine. The work was started many years ago by EASA and FAA, a news embargo was imposed very quickly, there were reciprocal visits by the authorities to check working methods, negotiations dragged on, then lengthy translations of the texts took place that were finally made public on the 19th November 2020.
And what was the result? Without claiming to be exhaustive, these are the main points:
The advantage is that the previously required 100 hours of practice before the PPL transfer and the 50 hours of practice before the IFR transfer (each from FAA to EASA) are not required. It is also positive that completed multi-engine hours with a flight instructor are mutually recognized even without a completed authorization.
The disadvantage is that theory tests are now required by the FAA. If you want to acquire the FAA private pilot license or the IFR authorization, you have to work your way through the entire theory again, for which there are now numerous preparatory courses that can be completed at home on the computer.
Fortunately, the previous procedures for the so-called conversions (Private Pilot Certificate issued on the basis of a foreign pilot license, CFR 61.75), which do not require the theory tests, are to be retained. Unfortunately, the central appendix with the technical details TIP-L (short for “Technical Implementation Procedures - Licensing”) has not yet been published. It will enter into force next spring, which currently does not allow a final analysis.
But what is already certain is that you will still need both FAA and EASA licenses to fly an N-registered aircraft in Europe. Both licenses with all authorizations are to be extended according to the respective regulations.
Basically, the BASA is largely a disappointment, because in view of the long development process it is not really the big leap forward to the previously established procedures for license recognition.
In conclusion, it should be noted: the clock is ticking. Anyone who has not yet converted their US license to the EASA standard should have done so by spring 2022. Because then the transition periods granted by the EU will finally expire, which, however, are already no longer granted by some countries for the flights in their airspace.
Gigantic Danish Drone Corridor set "on pause"
The 150km long drone corridor that we previously reported on has been set on pause while the Danish CAA is re-assessing the application.
Earlier this year the corridor was approved in record time despite massive protests from AOPA Denmark and the rest of the industry. The corridor was to be implemented as a restricted area from 0 to 6500ft and with a length of more than 150km would effectively cut the country in two.
AOPA Denmark has pointed at the negative safety impact and questioned both a dubious approval process and the legal basis for the whole project. The case attracted headlines in national newspapers and very criticial questions from several members of the Danish Parliament.
On this basis the Danish CAA decided to re-open the case and re-evaluate the application.
When it comes to integrating drones into the airspace AOPA is strongly advocating to avoid segregated areas where manned aviation is barred from operating. Drones and manned aviation need to be able to share the same airspace. That is also the fundamental principle in the U-space concept for drones proposed at EU level.
European airspace users provide views on the interim update of Single European Sky (SES 2+)
IAOPA EU, EBAA, EHA and ERA have jointly reviewed the proposal, and we lay out below our initial response to the main elements contained in the SES2+ draft. Whilst we support many of the improvements laid out in the regulation, we encourage the European Institutions to address and work on the concerns raised. We stand ready to work together to ensure the regulation supports the entire the aviation value chain, the European regions and ultimately European passengers so that they receive the level of service and the financially and environmentally sustainable ATM framework they deserve.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted aviation and caused a severe drop in traffic demand it is also an opportunity to build back better a more efficient, resilient and sustainable European Air Traffic Management, aligned with the political goals and ambition of the European Green Deal and a European that is fit for the digital age. Click here to read more about the long awaited SES2+ update proposal that was published by the European Commission in September.
AOPA Italy supported the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Roma-Tokio Raid made by their former president Mario Panvini Rosati (who died in 1997)
50 YEARS AGO THE SECOND ITALIAN RAID ROME-TOKYO WITH A TOURISM PLANE
On November 15, 1970, one month after its departure from Rome city airport of “Urbe”, the SIAI-Marchetti S-205 single piston engine four seater aircraft, piloted by Mario
Panvini Rosati (1935-1997) landed in Tokyo's Haneda airport, with on board a TV reporter of RAI - Italian Broadcasting Company, Giancarlo Zane (1935) as a traveling companion.
The long flight – over 19,000 km – was completed after 26 stopover and 90 flight hours in total, to commemorate the fifty years earlier Raid made in 1920 by Arturo Ferrarin, Pilot, and Guido Masiero, Mechanics.
Aero Club of Italy, AOPA Italy (of which the Mario Panvini Rosati was president in the 90s) and Italy-Japan Foundation are proud to commemorate what in 1970, in the middle of the Italian economic miracle, proved to be one of the most important Italian general aviation endevour after second world-war period.
The flight across half the world to the East was a demonstration of the successful rebuilt of Italian aviation industry, confirming the spirit that distinguished Italy in 1920s in this sector.
The two protagonists intended to retrace the "bridge" between Rome and Tokyo.
Such significant endeavour also aimed at consolidating the affinities and ties between the peoples of Italy and Japan. Ambassador Umberto Vattani, recalling the celebrations of the first and second flights: "These celebrations are part of a large event, which we presented at the Senate of the Italian Republic last December and started early this year with a large exhibition inaugurated by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force in airport of Centocelle in Rome, from which Ferrarin and Masiero's took off in 1920. Testimony of the technological capacity of our aeronautical industry which."
The memorable enterprise of half a century ago was achieved with the contribution of SIAIMarchetti, which provided the aircraft (now that company has merged into Leonardo SpA, largest Italian industrial group in the aerospace and defense field); the collaboration of Esso (ExxonMobile in Europe), which supplied the fuel for the entire flight, and BOAC - British Overseas Airways Corporation - now British Airways - which provided ground assistance.
Due to the limitations resulting from Covid-19 pandemic, some of the commemorative activities and an upcoming publication about this remarkable event are postponed to early 2021.
Engine failure in a light twin aircraft (with interesting video)
In March 2019, an instructor and a student pilot took off from the Rand Aerodrome in South Africa. They were off to practice asymmetric circuits, on a Twin Comanche. Due to an engine failure, the aircraft was completely destroyed. Fortunately, the crew only sustained minor injuries. Learn what they did correctly and how to be prepared if this happens to you.
The key "Lessons Learned" are:
If you are unlucky enough to lose an engine in a light twin during the take-off, the margin for error is very small. Identiffy the failed engine rapidly and accurately. The propeller must be feathered whilst keeping the airspeed at the “blue line”. Promptly restracting the undercarriage can be vital.
Be ready especially on take-off. With an engine failure on take-off make sure to have planned emergency landing sites in front of you. As discussed in the Sunny Swift episode on the "Impossible Turn", never try to make it back to the airfield.
Watch the animation video here (Courtesy: Aviaze)
AOPA Switzerland Fly-Out to the Netherlands
AOPA Switzerland had big plans this year to fly to Russia, but due to Covid changed the plan to the land of windmills. With help from AOPA Netherlands, the Fly-Out was set up in a short time, and AOPA Switzerland was able to offer this trip to 25 participants on 11 aircraft, in the last week of August.
The participants met early Monday afternoon at Maastricht airport. The "C-Apron" was soon filled with many piston aircraft while there was even hangar space for some of them. The bus ride to the Hotel Crown Plaza, located in the middle of the old town and on the Maas, did not take long.
On Wednesday everything was different because of the storm. All crews were advised that the sole decision to fly rested with the PIC. When the wind slowed a bit the Swiss planes took off for Rotterdam, but wind and rain were the constant companions.
At Rotterdam airport they were directed to the local aeroclub to park where they were greeted by very helpful and extremely friendly people. A lot of beer and coffee was served in the club, while all crews reported on their experiences. It took a while for all the planes to be on the ground. Two aircraft with 600 and 680 kg MTOM are among the lighter machines that are particularly agile in the wind. But these two pilots also impressively demonstrated their skills.
Groningen was the next and last destination on the trip. At the start the visibility was good so far but the cloud base was too low. As a result, not all aircraft could take off. The ATC flight plans had to be adjusted over and over again. Finally, they all found their way to Groningen after some delay. And because the planned boat trip in the canals of this northern metropolis could be postponed, no participant had to do without this impressive trip. Often bridges had to be lifted to enable us to pass through the waterways.
Again, they found a very central hotel. Not far from there, a princely 5-course dinner was waiting in the historic Prinsenhof restaurant. The set-up and service were again according to Covid19 measures and so each crew was assigned their own table. As usual at the closing dinner of our Fly-Out, the AOPA Switzerland team thanked all participants and those preparing this trip without whom the Fly-Out would not have been possible. (Courtesy: Philippe Hauser (CEO) and Roland Kaps-Becker (Vice President) AOPA Switzerland)
Join our Facebook Page and/or Facebook Group
We have started a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group. People familiar with the social media (which we all are, isn’t it) will know what we are talking about. The Facebook Page is a bit more official. The editors of the Page can provide you with news about General Aviation in Europe and you can respond. The Facebook Group is meant for discussion and is open to any AOPA member who feels like sharing opinions and ideas about GA in Europe. So if you have anything to tell your fellow private pilots about flying in your country, don’t hesitate to join the Group and start communicating with the GA community in Europe.
Click here for the FB Page and here for the FB Group. For the moment the FB activities of IAOPA EU are moderated by Gerrit Brand, but if you wish you can be editor too. Just send a message to Gerrit Brand through Facebook.
Please keep us updated 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 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 all your news to me, Gerrit Brand | Netherlands | email: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone or whatsapp + 31 6 50831893.