IAOPA Europe eNews June 2016 - Welcome to the IAOPA Europe enews which goes to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent

Time is Running Out – Register Now for the IAOPA World Assembly!

Make sure that your affiliate is represented next month. The IAOPA 28th World Assembly (July 21-24, 2016) hosted by AOPA US is just around the corner and the cut-off date to guarantee your hotel room at the discounted price is rapidly approaching.

We will be discussing subjects that are critical to every affiliate’s future as we go in-depth on rebranding, AOPA Global initiative, and topics including medical reform, integration of unmanned aerial systems and much more. 

The Assembly is being kicked off with an up close and personal roundtable discussion with three of the most influential people in aviation worldwide:

Dr. Fang Lui, ICAO secretary general, Mr. Patrick Ky, executive director EASA, and the honorable Michael Huerta, administrator FAA will all be sharing their visions of general aviation. 

It is critical that your affiliate be represented so now is your chance to help shape the priorities of IAOPA over the next few years.

After attending World Assembly don’t miss the opportunity to experience EAA’s AirVenture without the hassles of planning and spend time with pilots from around the world. 

AOPA has created the ultimate Oshkosh adventure that takes all of the hassles out of planning allowing you to just kick back and enjoy AirVenture with all the luxury of a 5-star resort surrounded by good friends. 

Amenities include meals, transportation, tickets, and unique once in a lifetime events like a lakeside barbeque and lobster bake, exclusive cocktail cruise on green lake, and a Private Dinner Reception in the AOPA Activity Tent where you will be able to enjoy the Wednesday night airshow. (Open only to those registered for the AOPA sponsored follow-on Oshkosh Adventure.)

Rooms for both the World Assembly and the follow-on Oshkosh trip are limited. If you haven’t registered don’t delay, now is the time to act! 

Register Now

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SESAR Joint Undertaking Showcases Progress

On 14th June the SESAR Joint Undertaking and its members showcased the future of aviation with the delivery of a catalogue of technological and operational solutions from its very first work programme at a three-day conference and an exhibition held in Amsterdam in collaboration with the Dutch EU Presidency.

The conference brought together key decision makers from both the public and private sector related to the air transport and aviation industry.

By the end of 2016, the SESAR JU says it will have delivered over 60 solutions to assist in the modernization of Europe’s airspace that cover improved automation, increased digitisation and essential communication between airports, airlines and air navigation services.

Marian-Jean Marinescu MEP said: “SESAR offers Europe an incredible opportunity for modernisation. We will accomplish the Single European Sky through technology, through the new air traffic control systems of SESAR.

"The services and underpinning technology should be designed keeping in mind the 600 million passengers flying over Europe each year. Passengers should benefit from safety, comfort and affordable tickets. A more efficient air traffic management system can deliver this.”

At a press briefing in the presence of Marinescu and other key figures from the aviation industry, Florian Guillermet, executive director of the SESAR JU, said the determination and commitment of Europe’s aviation industry to modernise the continent’s airspace and deliver these solutions had gone beyond individual interests and politics, placing innovation and unity firmly at the heart of Europe’s skies.

Europe’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) system is highly fragmented and reliant on aging technology.

Current inefficiencies in the air traffic management value chain amount to €4 billion annually and long lead times often mean that technological change happens at a slow pace.

And yet in a short space of time, as Florian Guillermet pointed out: “SESAR JU has succeeded in bringing together more than 100 organisations and 3,000 experts from across Europe to fast track the delivery of tangible performance-based solutions, validated, documented, packaged and publically available for implementation by industry players. It’s testament to what Europe can do when we work together.”

To deliver these solutions, the SESAR JU and its members together have conducted 300 industrial research projects, 350 validation exercises and 30,000 flight trials, taking ATM research “out of the lab” and into real-life air traffic operations across Europe and internationally.

These solutions have been delivered in line with the European roadmap for ATM modernisation (European ATM Master Plan) and serve as a basis for further research in SESAR 2020.

For an average trip taken in Europe, it is expected that these solutions will offer a 20 minute reduction in door-to-door travel time, 10kg in fuel savings per passenger and €15 in ticket savings.

SESAR is not only bringing real economies in time and expense for passengers and the necessary innovations for the industry; it is also a solid investment. Every euro invested in SESAR R&D results in a €6 return on investment for Europe. (Note picture is Edinburgh Tower, NATS image)

IAOPA Provides Free Part-NCC Manual Templates

AOPA Germany has led the way in creating Part-NCC Manuals in cooperation with partner ARAC. They are available on the iaopa.eu website or by clicking HERE.

The German LBA has also published the documents:

Although the download is offered for free, IAOPA is happy to receive voluntary contributions which will be spent on the association’s European activities.

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An Update from AOPA Denmark...

Danish CAA eases up on interpretation of medical rules

As previously mentioned EASA has confirmed to IAOPA that work is in progress to resolve the situation where the holder of a commercial licence is unable to use the PPL privileges of his license if he has a valid Class II medical but his Class I medical is expired.

AOPA Denmark has forwarded the correspondance to the Danish CAA and asked them to review their policy. This has lead to an AIC where the Danish CAA confirms that with effect immediately the holder of a higher level license and a lower level medical is now allowed to excercise the privileges corresponding to the valid medical.

This means that a CPL holder with a Class II medical can now continue to fly where only PPL privileges are required. Also the holder of a PPL can fly with a LAPL medical as long as he only performs operations where a LAPL license is sufficient.

This makes very good sense and saves the license holder from meaningless and expensive conversions of his license from higher to lower categories and back every time there is a change in his medical status.

Danish CAA revises equipment requirements

After input from AOPA Denmark, the Danish CAA has confirmed that it will suspend existing Danish rules on equipment requirements. For instance existing Danish rules requires two radios and two altimeters for IFR operations. The new EASA OPS rules requires just one altimeter and one radio.

After a review of both ICAO rules and EASA certification and OPS rules the Danish CAA has confirmed that it has no legal basis for the existing requirements and will suspend them with immediate effect.

Considering that many aircraft owners will soon have to upgrade to 8,33 radios, this is welcome news that has the potential to save aircraft owners quite a bit. Maybe other countries have similiar old national equipment requirements which should be reviewed?

Mandatory passenger and passport lists for international GA flights to and from Denmark abolished

The Danish Parliament in December passed new anti-terror regulation mandating detailed passenger and passport lists to be submitted by airlines to the Customs Authority for all flights in and out of Denmark.

The Danish Customs Authority has since then been working with plans to apply this also to non-commercial private flights.

After meetings with AOPA Denmark the Danish Ministry of Justice has now confirmed that the rules will NOT be applicable to GA. The rules are based on EU regulation, so it is quite likely that similar cases could also pop-up in other countries around Europe – so watch out!

AOPA UK to Celebrate 50th Anniversary at AeroExpo

AOPA UK will celebrate its 50th anniversity at the AeroExpo event, which will be held at Sywell Aerodrome, 1-3 July (this will be reported in the July eNews). AOPA will also have a BBQ for members on the Saturday evening.

The British Light Aviation Centre Ltd was created at a meeting of the Royal Aero Club in January 1966.

Some four years earlier, AOPA in the US had spearheaded the creation of IAOPA to gain more influence at ICAO, and in 1967 IAOPA approached BLAC with a view to it becoming an IAOPA affiliate member, which led to BLAC Ltd trading as AOPA UK – which remains the situation today.

For any AOPA member attending Sywell, we hope you enjoy your weekend – and your chance to celebrate with AOPA UK!

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Amazon Proposes Drone-only Airspace

Although the mass-invasion of drones isn’t quite there yet, their operators already start claiming airspace exclusively for themselves:

The Guardian newspaper in the UK reported recently, “The company’s aeronautics experts propose that a 200ft slab of air – located between 200ft and 400ft from the ground – should be segregated and reserved for state-of-the-art drones equipped with sophisticated communications and sensing equipment and flying at high speeds of 60 knots or more.

A further 100ft of airspace – between 400ft and 500ft – would be declared a no-fly zone to act as a buffer between the drones and current conventional aircraft such as passenger and cargo planes, thus mitigating fears about the impact on manned flight or dangers posed to people on the ground.”

Can FAA Rebates ‘Kick Start’ ADS-B Equippage?

The FAA is rolling out a $500 rebate incentive programme to encourage earlier equipage for up to 20,000 operators of fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft, according to a report in U.S.-based Aviation International News (ainonline.com).

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the rebate program in May in Washington, D.C., at the same time FAA Administrator Michael Huerta was detailing the programme to the Wichita Aero Club luncheon in Wichita.

The FAA estimates that the 1st January 2020 ADS-B Out mandate will affect as many as 160,000 aircraft, the vast majority of which are piston singles.

Foxx noted that manufacturers have stepped up with new compliant equipment and, as a result, costs are coming down. "We’re hoping that these low prices combined with the FAA’s $500 rebate will encourage aircraft operators to get off the sidelines and take advantage of all the benefits ADS-B has to offer,” he said.

Fewer than 20,000 general aviation aircraft (non-air carrier aircraft), or roughly between 12 percent and 20 percent of the anticipated affected fleet, were ADS-B compliant by 1st May. “The equipage numbers aren’t currently where we’d like to see them,” Foxx refelected.

The FAA will offer the rebates on a first-come, first-served basis for one year or until all 20,000 rebates are claimed. The program is expected to begin this fall, said FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker.

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New UK DfT Director of Aviation Appointed

Dan Micklethwaite has been appointed as the new director of aviation at the UK Department for Transport. 

He will start on Monday 25th July. 

Dan joins DfT from HM Treasury where he is currently Head of Transport, and has been responsible for advising the Chancellor of the Exchequer on all DfT-related matters since 2012. Until he joins DfT Kate Jennings remains acting director.

CAA’s Tony Rapson Attends AOPA CMC

Tony Rapson, head of the CAA’s GA Unit, attended the meeting of the AOPA UK Corporate Members Committee on 6th April. (Tony is pictured below with Martin Robinson receiving AOPA UK's CAA PROUD certificate for its Wings Scheme).

The shortage of flight instructors was discussed along with a letter from Chris Rollings, who attended the meeting. Chris suggested a Basic Instructor Rating (see article, below), which was established successfully in the gliding community some years ago.

Aerodrome issues were then tabled, starting with Manston, where the proposed construction of two 1,000ft masts for financial trading could put the resumption of fixed-wing operations at risk. John Walker said that the GAAC had raised an objection (See article below listing issues with UK GA aerodromes under threat).

Addressing the committee informally, Rapson said that the GA Unit was still relatively new (it started operation on 1st April 2014). It reports to the director of safety and regulation, Mark Swan. Rapson said it had 36 staff having added recently due to the extra work on air display safety since last year's Hunter crash at Shoreham. Airworthiness has 12 people to look after 18,000 aircraft and 450 approved organisations.

He said the GA performance-based regulation work was slightly behind with Shoreham having become the top priority. On airshow safety he said the CAA’s view was that the system had done very well for a long time but it relied very much on individual integrity and professionalism rather than a system approach.

He said there would be a post-season review and the usual DA (display authorisation) seminars would continue.

On safety Rapson said there were approximately 1,100,000 hours flown by GA registered aircraft in 2015. There are 13 fatal accidents a year based on a 10-year average (and 20 fatalities). So this has been fairly static, he said.

 “Basic Instructor Rating” for Powered Flying?

The following is a letter from Chris Rollings which was considered by the AOPA UK Corporate Members Committee, and was published also in the June issue of Aircraft Owner & Pilot.

I was extremely pleased when the CAA’s relaxation of regulation extended to allowing non-instructor pilots to conduct paid for “Trial Flights”. This puts the power flying world in the same position as the BGA was in during the late 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s.

Glider pilots with a Bronze C (approximate BGA equivalent to a PPL) and 50 hours P1 were allowed to carry passengers, with the approval of the CFI of their club. This was generally interpreted to include members of the public who had purchased an “Air Experience Flight” the price of which included temporary membership of the club.

I became CFI of the gliding clubs at Wycombe Air Park (at that time the second largest gliding operation in the UK) in 1973. We followed the normal practice of allowing suitably qualified non-instructors to carry out these flights. I noticed, as the 1970s progressed, that we were selling increasing numbers of these flights, but the proportion of the participants who subsequently took up gliding was reducing. I decided, in 1979, to modify my requirements for carrying out these flights.

Pilots qualified to carry passengers, under the BGA rules, would be allowed to continue to do so with their own friends and guests as passengers.

However, these pilots would only be allowed to fly with those who had purchased an Air Experience Flight if they underwent a 2 day course under my supervision (in fact I carried out all of the flying) in which they were taught to teach effects of controls and medium turns in exactly the same way as it was taught on an Instructor Course.

I also used the opportunity for a refresher on stall/spin awareness and recovery and launch failures. The normal brief was that the pilot should always fly the take-off and launch and the latter part of the circuit, approach and landing.

The result was a modest improvement in the numbers taking up gliding following their Air Experience Flight. The BGA adopted the idea and in the mid 1980’s it was introduced throughout the BGA as the “Air Experience Instructor Rating”, later re-named the “Basic Instructor Rating”.

It should be added that the making of this rating a requirement, rather than a recommendation, for BGA Clubs, was in response to the CAA’s changed view of such flights and their proposal that such flights, if non-instructional, should be conducted by a Glider Commercial License holder (no such thing) in a glider with a Public Transport C of A (no such thing).

The purpose of all this is to suggest the introduction of a similar rating for power flying. It should be simple and inexpensive to obtain, a 2- or 3-day course should be sufficient, and approval to run the courses and examine for the rating should be simple and inexpensive to acquire.

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Status of UK Aerodromes Under Threat

The following list was produced by John Walker of AOPA UK and was up to date as of late May.

Andrewsfield (pictured left): Braintree, Colchester and Tendring Councils are cooperating in developing a Local Plan for north-east Essex and have identified Andrewsfield airfield as one of four sites for potential housing in a new garden city with 10,000 homes.  Extensive public consultation on draft Plan is expected to start in June 2016.

Bourn: Site earmarked for 3,200 homes in current draft Local Plan by South Cambridgeshire District Council.  The draft Plan will be the subject of further examination by a Planning Inspector in June 2016. Current site leases expire early this year.  Planning consent recently given for outside storage of shipping containers, plant etc. on most useable runway.

Deenethorpe: The latest Joint Core Strategy for north Northamptonshire has identified Deenethorpe Airfield as a potential exceptional opportunity for development as an exemplar garden village with around 1,250 homes.  The Brudenhall Estate, the site owner, who have supported the development, now need to produce a master plan for the site in accordance with the Core Strategy, for approval.

Dunsfold: Site owner submitted plans to Waverley Borough Council for mixed development with 1,800 homes on site which area is in planning Core Strategy for employment purposes. The Council expects to submit final draft Local Plan for examination in November 2016. (Note this aerodrome is well-known as home to the BBC's Top Gear track, and it is not home to any flight training organisations).

Halfpenny Green (Wolverhampton Business Airport): Bobbington Estates has sold the aerodrome to MCR Property Group, an investment and development company focused on commercial and residential real estate resulting in much speculation about the future of the site.

Kemble: Commercial Estates Group’s (CEG) plan proposes to build a 2,000-home sustainable village on this ‘brownfield’ site as an alternative to the draft Local Plan proposal for a greenfield site near Cirencester. Full Planning Inquiry into the draft Cotswold District Council Local Plan and alternatives to it scheduled for late 2016.

Long Marston: Planning permission for 400 homes on site granted in November 2015. Airfield is in Stratford-upon-Avon planning Core Strategy for housing with up to 2,100 homes by 2031.  Developer is Cala Homes in conjunction with site owner.  Refer to entry for Wellesbourne, below.

Manston: Thanet District Council having rejected proposal for a CPO of site with River Oak who wish to retain the aerodrome, now have three other potential CPO indemnity partners which the Council’s Cabinet are considering.  River Oak has given notice of intent to apply for a Development Consent Order for the aerodrome as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. The current site owners have proposed a mixed use development with land earmarked as a Spitfire Park allowing occasional landings by Spitfire aircraft in conjunction with existing museums.

MoD Sites: RAF Hullavington airfield, the former RAF Wethersfield and RAF Wyton airfield (see below) now being disposed of by MoD along with sites currently occupied by USAF at Alconbury, Molesworth and Mildenhall.  Further airfield sites expected to be declared as surplus resulting from the current review of the MoD estate which is due to be completed in September 2016.

Nottingham City (Tollerton): With the support of the land owner, site earmarked for up to 4,000 homes in Local Plan Core Strategy adopted by Rushcliffe Borough Council after approval from Planning Inspector.

Old Sarum: Site owner’s proposal for housing development and 10 additional hangars amongst other work, objected to by various parties as detrimental to the sites heritage and potentially limiting use of the airfield.  Planning application due to be determined by Wiltshire Council on 9 October 2015 but decision has been delayed several times since then.

Panshanger: Site earmarked for housing in draft Local Plan by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council with final draft Plan open for public consultation in July 2016 and Planning Inquiry to be held in early 2017.  Recent proposed site development plans include 3 different scenarios for a new runway to the north, south or across the previous runway 11/29.

Plymouth: Central Government have commissioned a study into viability of reopening the airfield with a report now due in early 2016. FlyPlymouth, a local social enterprise aerodrome support group, plans to reopen the airfield by 2017 and start regional airliner services by 2018. Sutton Harbour Holdings, the site lease holder, have proposed a mixed use development of the site although the current draft Local Plan retains the site for aviation.  The Plymouth City Council Local Plan will be the subject of a Planning Inquiry in July 2016. The next FlyPlymouth public meeting will be held on 28th June at the Future Inn.

Rochester: Judicial Review into Medway Council approval of hard runway, 3 new hangars and new control tower postponed from November 2015 as Consent Order issued for Council to review decision at a special meeting to be held shortly.  Enterprise Zone status granted for commercial part of the proposed site development.

Wellesbourne Mountford: Gladman Developments in conjunction with the owner have proposed a housing development with 1,600 homes on the site although the Stratford-on-Avon draft Local Plan has earmarked Long Marston airfield as a preferred housing development site. After Local Plan Core Strategy hearings held by a Planning Inspector, the latest version of the Plan issued for consultation states that “The aviation related functions at Wellesbourne Airfield will have been retained and enhanced”.  Tenants notified by owner that flying activities will cease on 24 December 2016.  The District Council has agreed to fund a feasibility appraisal of the site to try and secure the future viability of the airfield for local businesses.

Wycombe Air Park: Site lease holder (Helicopter Aircraft Holdings Ltd), after prolonged discussions with the land owner (Wycombe District Council), has agreed a new lease. The draft Local Plan provides for an industrial/warehousing complex on the south-eastern part of the site, potentially resulting in loss of a runway and cessation of gliding activities.  The Council expects to submit a final plan after public consultation to the Planning Inspector by January 2017.

RAF Wyton: Airfield site being disposed of - Defence Infrastructure Organisation and local property developer Crest Nicholson proposal for 3,750 homes on site.  Site earmarked in draft Huntingdonshire District Council Local Plan for mixed use development including housing.

Hangar Homes Update

In the context of airfields threatened by housing developers waving wads of cash, start-up company Hangar Homes Ltd hopes that pilots having aircraft at their homes on airfields could help stem the tide in future.

Peter Day, founder and director of the company, says he has now made a pre-application submission for 24 units on Perranporth Airfield to Cornwall Council.

“When I flew around the UK last summer visiting various ‘target’ airfields for my Hangar Homes, Perranporth was by far the best because of its location," he said recently.

“The Hangar Homes will be sited to the east of the unlicensed 01/19 runway, now used as a taxiway, and the balcony overlooking the airfield will provide stunning sunsets over the sea, while the morning sun will flood the other balcony overlooking Perranporth town and the beach, which is only walking distance away,” says Day.

“If Cornwall Council give a positive response, then a full planning application will be submitted later this year with the hope that the Hangar Homes will go up in 2017/18, depending on how long the planning application takes.”

Peter claims that Perranporth could become the first GA airfield in the UK to have residential use.

For further information, please contact Peter Day via www.hangarhomes.co.uk.

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UK CAA Acts on Infringements

Pilots who infringe controlled airspace could have their licences provisionally suspended while the incident is assessed, the UK Civil Aviation Authority announced on 20th May.

The CAA stated, “The decision is the latest attempt to try and reduce the number of infringements occurring in UK airspace – which remain worryingly high despite previous attempts by the CAA, air traffic service providers and GA representative bodies to tackle this serious safety issue.”

In 2015 there were over 1000 infringements reported to the CAA, it said.

Textron’s New Turboprop

Textron Aviation unveiled the cabin mockup for its single-engine turboprop (SETP) on 25th April in Wichita.

The low-wing, T-tail configuration includes a large cargo door on the left aft fuselage and will be powered by GE Aviation’s new advanced turboprop engine, which is as-yet unnamed. The avionics will consist of Garmin G3000 with touchscreen controllers.

The introductory price is $4.5 million, promising a range of 1,600 nm and a maximum speed of 285 knots.

The maximum altitude will be 31,000 feet, with a cabin altitude of 6,000 feet and full-fuel payload of 1,100 pounds.

First flight is scheduled in 2018. The standard configuration will be a six-passenger executive layout.

Farnborough Air Show Takes Off in July

Excitement is mounting ahead of this year’s Farnbrough Airshow, will take place 11-17 July.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is expected to be the star of the show as well as Boeing, which will be celebrating its centenary.

China has a pavilion for the first time, while the other first-time country pavilions will be Austria, Brazil, the Republic of Ireland and South Korea–bringing the total of international pavilions to 22.

As of mid-May the organisers had 94 aircraft listed for the static display including two Airbus A380s and two A350s (one each from Airbus itself and Qatar Airways), along with a wide range of business and GA aircraft.

“We have strong support here, for example the HondaJet will be at the show–with [UK dealer] Marshall Aerospace–and Diamond are bringing three aircraft. Dassault are bringing a Falcon 7X and 2000LX and we have four slots for Gulfstream,” the organisers said.

A Pilatus PC-12, Cessna Caravan and Viking Air Twin Otter Series 400 will also be on the static.

Current plans are that on Monday morning (11th July) the F-35 will fly past with the Red Arrows around 10.30am, and the F-35 is due to fly also at around 2.30pm. It won’t fly on the Wednesday and Thursday as it will fly on Friday to Sunday for the public days.

On the public weekend the highlight this year, apart from the flying display, will be a Drone Show and a Drone Safety Weekend “to help educate recreational drone pilots and the general public about the laws relating to unmanned aircraft in the UK, as well as give sensible advice regarding safe flying and possible dangers.”

Successful ABACE Held in Shanghai

The annual Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) took place at Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai in April.

The GA show is China’s answer to EBACE and the U.S. NBAA event, and is run in partnership with NBAA by AsBAA and the Shanghai Airports Authority. 

Many GA manufacturers were present including Cirrus (left), Viking, TBM and Pilatus, along with various business jet manufacturers.

Last month China announced another wave of liberalisation and freeing up of airspace to help GA to develop.

The country sees it as a key sector for economic development and is not slowing down despite the austerity/anti-corruption drive over the past couple of years and the commodity crisis that has hit China hard.

EBACE, Geneva, 24-26 May 2016

The highlight of last month’s EBACE event was an appearance by one of the Pilatus PC-24 flight test aircraft (see below over Geneva's iconic fountain), which took a 24-hour break from its busy schedule to attend.

Meanwhile a VVIP Boeing 787 that is being transferred to Deer Jet was a win for the Guernsey 2-Reg, with a deal being done at the show to register the aircraft there.

Others that were present included TBM with its new 930, and Honda with two HondaJets.

Diamond was exhibiting a DA62 which Aircraft Owner & Pilot hopes to fly for an article in the August issue.

Embraer was celebrating with Flexjet at the show with a Legacy 450 flying in from London City Airport (LCY) after EASA had approved it for the steep approaches there.

The mood of the show was cautiously optimistic although the economic signals are mixed at present, with a significant downturn in aircraft sales and more used inventory for sale.

Flying activity is down considerably in the east, especially Russia, according to consultancy WingX.


Air Plains 172 Upgrade

Air Plains is promoting its EASA approval for Cessna 172 engine upgrades. For 172R models (1986-2004) without Garmin G1000 avionics, the 180hp performance kit (of which it has sold 150 already) includes new McCauley propeller; new heated induction box, duct and control cable; tachometer (exchange); ASI (exchange); installation hardware and clamp kit; drawings and Flight Manual Supplement.

It is covered by two STCs, one for the engine and a second for the increased gross weight to 2,550lbs (an additional 100lbs). Shipping is not included, and a $350 export fee applies if being shipped outside the US.

Air Plains explained: “180 Horsepower allows you to take advantage of the horsepower originally designed into the engine. By allowing the engine to turn 2700 RPM, the full value of the engine is utilized. Installation of an alternate air system allows positive control of the alternate air system in the event that induction ice or the filter is blocked by ice, or other foreign material.”

The 172R was built from the factory with 180 horsepower engine, Lycoming IO-360-L2A, but the propeller limits the performance (de-rates the RPM) and allows to turn only 2400 rpm. With the new propeller and performance kit the engine can turn full 2700 rpm getting full value and use of the performance originally designed in to the aircraft and engine. Also, with the added performance the user gets an additional 100 pounds of useful load.

Installation takes approximately 8 hours from start to finish and Air Plains provides technical support via phone or email if any questions during or after the installation.

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Sortie Management for Instructors

Instructors are some of the most well trained, most current and experienced pilots operating GA types in the UK, writes Matt Lane, of AOPA UK’s Instructor Committee.

However, recent airspace infringement statistics reveal that, year on year, a significant percentage of infringements happen with an instructor as the pilot in command.

The root causes and contributory factors leading to an infringement are often many and varied, but clearly this trend is highly undesirable and as an instructor community we need to work on reducing the rate.

Unlike many GA PPLs who enjoy touring and ‘landaways’ with their licence, when instructors get airborne it is often to a ‘well known’ local area for training, then a recovery back to home base.

So it should be easy then? Well, clearly there are a number of ‘Threats’ facing us and ‘Errors’ that can be made that keep catching us out. 

The aim of this article is to discuss some aspects of ‘sortie management’ for instructors that may be useful ‘Mitigations’ and may help you avoid becoming one of the statistics.

No-one has the monopoly on good ideas, and many of you will have your own thoughts and views so please take this in the spirit intended – if nothing else, I hope it stimulates some debate and reflection.

Perhaps a good activity for an instructor crew room discussion on a rubbish weather day (and we haven’t been short of those lately!).

‘Mental Model’

UK airspace is incredibly complex, especially in the South East, and has many shapes, layers and protrusions ready to catch out the unaware.

It is vitally important that you have a good ‘mental model’ of the airspace where you are going to operate and how that relates to the landscape over which you fly.

As we all increasingly use flat screen tablet computers and phones, our ability to think in 3D is apparently being degraded over time.

To keep yourself sharp, make sure you can verbally describe the key features of your operating area that can help you maintain a safe operating area clear of airspace.

For example, at Wellesbourne I know Birmingham airspace is above the airfield at 3500’ so I never climb above 3000’ until I am certain I am well clear to the South or West.

I also know that Birmingham airspace comes down to 1500’ at Junction 15 of the M40 just to the North, so I always make sure I have turned away towards Stratford area well before that visual reference. If you can keep ‘not above’ altitudes and references likes this in your head, it can help keep you clear.

What’s the situation today?

Complacency can creep in to the best of us, and it is also too easy to trot out the well trodden and timeworn ‘TEM’ or ‘Airmanship’ points each sortie.

However, what we should be doing, and coaching our students to do, is assess the specific conditions and environment of the day and making judgments based on that. I suggest the following considerations:

This is also where you need to take an honest view of the training value of the sortie on the day. It is always tempting to try and get airborne, but if it is a poor weather day, strong wind and you are going to try and get a turning exercise done in a small gap around a load of airspace, you might just be stacking too many cards against yourself…


How you position the aircraft during a sortie can significantly improve the training experience for the student and help you reduce the risk of an infringement.

Some more considerations are:

GPS Usage

There are many GPS moving map type display devices now available, either as apps on tablets or dedicated GPS devices.

The situational awareness that a GPS display can give you is immense and can significantly reduce your workload when instructing.

Moreover, pretty much every PPL student will go straight out and buy an app or a device as soon as they can, so I believe it is incumbent on us to introduce the safe and correct usage of these aids during the training process.

It is complete urban myth that GPS cannot be used during PPL training; yes the student must demonstrate a level of dead reckoning navigation skill on their test, but we have moved on from Tiger Moth navigation days!

Radio / Transponder Usage

Selecting an appropriate Air Traffic Service is sometimes a difficult call. A purist answer would be to always try and obtain a Traffic Service, however we all know how that is not always available and what busy frequencies can be like when trying to instruct…

A Basic Service is often most appropriate, but remember what it actually means the controller will and won’t provide – collision, terrain and airspace avoidance remain your responsibility even if a friendly, alert controller might warn you if he/she spots an impending issue.

Many areas of the UK now have listening squawks so please try and use one if possible when operating near to airspace.

Transponders - everybody always uses Mode C or Mode S if fitted don’t they?? No excuses, ever. Enough said…


We all know and love the ‘Aviate, Navigate, Communicate’ adage, don’t we? Well, why when instructing is it one of the first things that often goes out the window?!

The point is, don’t over-prioritise instructional patter and neglect checks, positioning and LOOKOUT. 

Sometimes, it is entirely appropriate and right to break off the instruction, take control, tell the student to relax for a few minutes, and reposition the aircraft or take a breather to update your situational awareness.

Equally, don’t let a bad student position or error develop too far so that you deny yourself options to maintain your position or altitude. Also be careful of apparently benign sorties like trial lessons – a flurry of questions, talk or photo taking can be just as distracting.

I hope these points have been of some interest and may stimulate some thoughts of your own – no-one is immune from errors, but we can all try and take some mitigating actions to reduce the risk and pass on this ethos to our students for their flying careers.

List of Suggested Checks:


What is the wind direction and strength? Is there a large gradient today? How will it affect us during the flight? How much drift could we suffer?

Is the visibility poor? How will it affect our ability to see features and the airfield?

What is the cloud base like? Are we likely to be kept low? If we go above cloud layers, how much space above the cloud tops do we have?

Are there rain showers around that could cause us to divert around them?

Altimeter Setting

What pressure setting are we going to operate on? Is it appropriate for the operating area? If a low pressure day, could it cause a dangerous differential?

Controlled Airspace

Review that mental model in relation to where we are going to operate today.

Are there are restrictions or temporary airspace that could affect us?

If weather means I have to move from my intended area, where can I safely go to continue the sortie?

Other Traffic

Ideally we don’t want to go where lots of potential airborne threats will distract us or cause to move to an unintended area.

Is it good weather - are there large amounts of other local or airborne traffic that could distract me?

If it is a good gliding day, beware of operating near to cloud base or near to concentrations of gliders.

Where are my other school aircraft likely to be going?


Where is the sun? How strong is it? A student will struggle to see and maintain attitudes if being blinded facing into sun, and the sun / haze can seriously degrade visibility of ground features.

Anchor Points

Make sure you select some visual ‘anchor points’ or ‘handrails’ (line features) ground features that you can keep in sight when manoeuvring around to keep your positioning. These will also help you keep an eye on drift by watching the sight line angle perspective maintained.


Select an appropriate Altitude for training that gives you an adequate buffer from airspace and caters for inaccuracies in altitude maintenance when training. Equally operating near to cloud base can degrade your visibility and make accurate altitude maintenance more difficult than necessary.


If possible, an upwind operating area is desirable. It will facilitate an efficient return to base post training and gives you the opportunity to see and avoid approaching weather. If teaching turning or long straight legs, beware of drift. 


Think about how your profile, especially altitude changes, will fit with the intended exercise – stalling, climbing and descending exercises for example will need some thought and planning to select an appropriate start altitude and operating area.

Try and ensure the profile gives you an efficient end position for recovery back to base, and gives you options to space appropriately for other traffic and airspace on the rejoin.

Dos and Don’ts for GPS usage during training:

DO make sure the device is appropriately mounted and secure.

DON’T put it near the compass (an iPad underneath will cause a 30-degree swing!!)

DO make sure your app and airspace is up to date.

DO make sure you fully know how to use the app/device.

DO understand how it works – e.g. how GPS altitude relates to barometric altitude.

DO use the GPS position to back up and confirm your other sources of location.

DON’T degrade your LOOKOUT by getting focused on the device.

DON’T get caught out by inappropriate airspace depictions, e.g. IFR tailored displays on Garmin 430/540 units.

DON’T use GPS to fly right up to the edges of airspace – leave an appropriate buffer.

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I Started a PPL. But Can I Still Finish?

A number of student pilots might well have started their PPL training in the days of JAR-FCL, but didn’t manage to finish their training before 8 April 2016.

Unfortunately, writes Nick Wilcock, there’s a part of the Aircrew Regulation (Article 9 of Regulation (EU) 1178/2011 to be precise) which states:

Credit for training commenced prior to the application of this Regulation:

1. In respect of issuing Part-FCL licences in accordance with Annex I, training commenced prior to the application of this Regulation in accordance with the Joint Aviation Authorities requirements and procedures, under the regulatory oversight of a Member State recommended for mutual recognition within the Joint Aviation Authorities’ system in relation to the relevant JAR, shall be given full credit provided that the training and testing were completed by 8 April 2016 at the latest.

In English that means that if they hadn’t passed their PPL Skill Tests before 8 April 2016, any flight training they’d received before 8 April 2012 would no longer be accepted towards a Part-FCL PPL.  There’s no real logic in this, but it might take a long time to change the European legislation, so we have to live with that for now.

However, after we discussed the matter with the UK CAA, they helpfully evolved a solution. Basically, student pilots caught in this situation will need to apply for an ‘Article 14(4) exemption’ and to have had it issued before taking the Skill Test.

Some important numbers:

Application must be made using CAA Form SRG2137.  The CAA estimates that it will take around 10 days to process and issue the exemption and the exemption must have been issued before the Skill Test is taken.

The administration fee is £53 for an exemption valid for a two-month period.

The Skill Test must be passed within two months of receiving the exemption.

This was the most pragmatic solution the CAA could identify, given that the Summer flying season is now almost with us and people caught by the 8 Apr 2016 deadline needed a quick answer, so that they could carry on with training towards a Part-FCL PPL.

Watch Your Airspeed (not the ground!)

The following letter from Bob Gilchrist appears in the Letters section of the June issue of Aircraft Owner & Pilot.

It really is quite remarkable how some aviation myths endure in the face of clear evidence to the contrary.

One such myth concerns the “downwind turn”. Reader Roger Bunbury in the latest letter entitled “Windshear” (February 2016) makes an impressive contribution, citing words such as “inertia” (when describing “momentum”) – but unfortunately he, like so many before him, has a firm grasp of the wrong end of the stick. The myth is quite easily put to bed and really, and ought to have been a long time ago.

The start of this correspondence was a thoughtful letter written by Kristjan Arnason in August, 2015. Arnason is completely right to warn about the effect of the wind on groundspeed, urging pilots to watch their ASI, and not the surface, when turning close to the ground. However, the language he uses unfortunately also implies that performing a steep 180 turn from a headwind to a tailwind causes some kind of windshear, which is not true. Reader Michael J Newman responded to point this out (Letters, December 2015) and he was right, as I shall endeavour to show.

An aircraft in flight exists in a body of air and its aerodynamic performance relates entirely to that mass of air. It matters not if that body of air is in motion.

Let us consider flying above a solid deck of cloud in the sunshine. There is a wind blowing of 40kts from the North and our airspeed indicates 100kts.

Our heading is due North (“into wind”) and we make a 30 degree banked turn to the left, adding a little power and holding enough back-pressure to maintain level flight.

In this stable turn, the aircraft will go round and around until we run out of either fuel or patience, but it will always indicate the same airspeed regardless of its direction into (or out of) the prevailing wind.

So, one can see that aerodynamically speaking, there is no difference between a downwind turn and an upwind one – and one certainly does not need to add “a safe margin of flying speed,” as Bunbury asserts. 

The confusion on this topic arises from conflating an aircraft’s performance in relation to the ground, with its performance in relation to the air in which it flies. People stall their aircraft when making a downwind turn simply because they are using groundspeed as a reference instead of their ASI.

Let’s imagine a pilot is flying his PA-28 into a grass strip oriented 27/09, with a wind from the N of 20kts – a direct crosswind.

However, our pilot has handled a 20kt crosswind before and he’s going for a landing on 09. He joins the left-hand downwind leg, having already slowed to 75kts as he is concerned that it is a rather short strip.

He adjusts his heading in this leg so as to maintain a parallel track to the runway, but maybe it’s not quite enough to hold off that wind so he is getting closer to the airfield than he intended – and he is getting anxious about that strip length.

He reaches the turning point for the base leg and he reduces power, puts out more flap and makes his turn (the “downwind turn”).

His attention is riveted to that threshold – he isn’t looking at the ASI – and he sees his turn to finals coming up too quickly. He feels too high and too fast (he isn’t too fast, of course.

If he looked at his ASI, he would see that the airspeed has not changed, the effect is because he is now assessing speed by looking at the passing ground) so he instinctively pulls back on the yoke and closes the throttle.

His airspeed is now reducing through 60kts but he’s oblivious to this as his eyes are still on that threshold and he feels he is still racing across the ground. He continues to pull and is taken by surprise when the aircraft stalls.

Correcting Airship Perceptions

The following letter was sent to AO&P by Paul Ross, trustee of the Airship Historical Trust.

It was disappointing to find so many historical inaccuracies in Dr. John McAdam’s otherwise interesting article on the Airlander project in the April issue of Aircraft Owner & Pilot.

Count Zeppelin’s first airship, LZ1, was designed by Dipl. Ing. Theodor Kober.  LZ2 – and every subsequent Zeppelin – was designed by Dr Ludwig Dürr.  

Dr Hugo Eckener was not present at the first flight of LZ1 over Lake Constance in July 1900 but reported on a later flight for a Frankfurt newspaper.

He then helped to publicize Count Zeppelin’s work and subsequently took charge of flight operations for the Zeppelin Company, having proved himself to be a ‘natural’ airship pilot.

The British airships R100 and R101 were designed and built at the same time to a common performance specification. R100 was constructed at Howden in Yorkshire (not Cardington) and made its first flight on 16 December 1929. R101, built by the Royal Airship Works at Cardington, first flew on 14 October 1929 – two months before R100.

It was a deliberate Government decision in 1924 to commission two prototype airships in order to evaluate the best features of both - and to avoid a Vickers monopoly.  

R100 used largely conventional technology while R101 incorporated a number of innovative features.  

Both airships had their faults and neither developed sufficient lift to enable a commercially viable payload to be carried.

At the time of R101’s twelfth and final flight in October 1930, R100 was about to be cut in half and lengthened with an extra gasbag to provide additional lift – the same modification that had already been made to R101.  

One of the reasons why R100 never flew again was because the framework was found to be badly corroded.

Finally, there was no use of geodetic construction in R100; apart from the mesh wiring that transferred lifting forces from the gasbags to the main structure.

Both airships were built using polygonal transverse rings linked by longitudinal girders and both were filled with hydrogen – not just R101.

[In later correspondence:]
So many ‘myths and legends’ have grown up around the relative merits and failings of R100 and R101 that it’s important to try and put the record straight.

Sadly, many of these myths have developed as a result of people reading Slide Rule, which is now widely regarded as an autobiographical novel.  

Much of what Nevil Shute wrote about R101 and the men who designed, built and flew her is simply untrue but once these ideas are in the public domain it’s very difficult to shift them.

Part of the blame also rests with Barnes Wallis, who appears to have planted the idea in Shute’s mind that the R101 team was incompetent, despite the fact that it contained some of the brightest engineering brains of the day.

I’ll be delighted to see the Airlander in the air but its future will depend on someone placing a firm order. At least No.1 Shed at Cardington has a large airship in it again!

Picture: The Airlander is due to fly at the Farnborough Airshow next month but is now on a tight flight-test timetable that could make that difficult.

AOPA’s London Simulator Proving Popular

The AOPA simulator is situated in the basement of AOPA UK’s headquarters at 50A Cambridge Street, London (just behind Victoria Station). It was established in cooperation with Anthony Davis, a private pilot and presenter on Smooth Radio.

Earlier this year Anthony flew the simulator with Carol Vorderman, best known for the TV quiz show Countdown. Carol is planning to fly her Diamond DA42 (pet name ‘Mildred’) around the world.

The immersive flight simulator is an affordable alternative to expensive full motion sims. It is built on the X-Plane 10 platform from Laminar Research which has the most realistic flight model, and coincidentally is also sold as a retail pack of six DVD’s in the shop (The AOPA Pilotstore) upstairs!

Anthony has flown all of the publicly accessible simulators in London and has created an unrivalled sensory experience with full HD graphics, vibrating aircraft seats and digital surround sound. He says, “People forget that light aircraft can be very bumpy, noisy and claustrophobic!”

The London Flight Sim can accurately recreate that experience, without even leaving the ground. “You can feel the turbulence going right through you - it’s a lot of fun, and entirely safe!” he says.

Anthony has invested in a broad range of aircraft types to suit all pilots. Singles, twins and turboprops are all catered for. Piper Seneca or Archer, Cessna Caravan or 172 Skyhawk.

Perfect for the novice pilot before a trial lesson or for GA pilots keen to refresh their knowledge ahead of an exam without the expense of ‘going up’.

Commercial pilots enjoy flying instrument approaches and practicing emergency procedures using our Boeing 787 Dreamliner simulation in a relaxed, pilot friendly environment.

“We recently had a booking from a young lady pilot who was due to do a check ride with a major commercial carrier for a prospective job. We installed the Dash 8 aircraft just for her so she was able to practice flying the exact routing and approaches that the airline had specified, on type.

After a couple of hours in the simulator she could do it with her eyes closed, and went to the interview filled with confidence. We were thrilled when she emailed us a week later to say she’d been offered the job!”

The advantage of a software based simulator is its versatility. If you’ve ever flown X-Plane on a home computer you may have thought ‘wow this would be amazing on a big screen with a proper yoke and pedals’.

Well, we took that concept several stages further to max out what can be done on a home system, utilising iPads to provide GPS and avionics input control, plus an instructor screen to adjust settings during flight such as weather, aircraft equipment failures etc.

Private pilot and TV personality Carol Vorderman accepted an invitation from Anthony to practice her attempt to become the ninth woman in history to complete a solo trip round the globe as part of her new television show on Channel 5.

Anthony installed an identical simulation of Carol’s Diamond DA-42 Twinstar named ‘Mildred’, including the G1000 glass cockpit, to enable Carol to practice her complex routing and approaches in all weathers.

Her journey will see her travel through Europe, across Asia, north to the eastern-most point of Russia, across the Pacific Ocean, the United States and then finally she will make her way back through the icy north towards the United Kingdom.

The London Flight Sim welcomes everybody for an introduction to flying or a fun filled aerobatic afternoon. Available with instructor from just £60.00 per hour. Additional discounts are available for AOPA members. Please call 020 7834 1949 to make a booking or visit www.londonflightsim.co.uk


The following material has been extracted from the latest AOPA UK Flying Directory (also available via the above link, and published with the June issue of Aircraft Owner & Pilot magazine).

Chairman’s Introduction, By George Done:

Whether you’re an aspiring pilot, young or not so young, or a pilot who wants to get back into flying, or someone who flies and is keen to improve, AOPA’s Corporate Members have the skills, expertise and range of training aircraft to help you to develop.

This Flying Directory can be your guide to broader horizons in general aviation.

Even for those that go on to become airline pilots, military pilots or corporate aviation pilots, it is hoped that you won’t leave the world of light aircraft behind and will continue with private flying and perhaps put something back by instructing (See article below).

The UK and Europe have a network of under-utilised airfields that are a pleasure to visit, whether for business or pleasure. They will not survive if they are not used yet they provide entry points to some of the most beautiful areas of the UK and Europe.

Our aim with this guide is to allow you to choose your nearest airfield and flight training school or club. Meeting pilots (whether students or instructors/examiners) and aircraft owners is the first step into this world of flying which is often not as frightening as you might imagine.

This is why we have an article on cost sharing, and explain sharing aircraft in groups. For many this represents a cost-effective way to fly and enjoy the pride that comes with owning a share in an aircraft.

The following five articles are extracted from the Flying Directory.

Obtaining a Private Pilot Licence

This Flying Directory can’t give you all the information you need on the opportunities available in flying, but it will give you the list of contacts you need. There is also a large amount of information available on the AOPA website (www.aopa.co.uk).

For example you can find information about the AOPA aerobatics certificate or AOPA companion’s course, instructor seminars and many other things.

In the UK the central reference for pilot licensing and related matters is now CAP 804, which can be found on the CAA’s website (www.caa.co.uk). The CAA website also provides information about medical examiners, as to do a full PPL you will need a ‘Class 2’ medical (commercial pilots need a ‘Class 1’ medical). Another useful and interesting document that prospective PPLs will need to know well, as they will have a test to get their radiotelephony licence, is CAP 413, also available on the CAA site.

For many pilots the starting point is the 30-hour Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL), for which you need only a LAPL medical certificate from your GP.

This can also enable those who are unable to get a Class 2 medical any more to continue to fly on a LAPL.

However, the LAPL pilot is restricted to day/night in visual flight rules (VFR),  and no instrument qualifications can be added. Flying is limited to European airspace and max seating of four people, and aircraft max weight of two metric tons. Also the first 10 hours flying after issue must be without passengers.

A conversion can be done to full PPL later (with 15 hours of flying). The LAPL (which is also available for sailplanes/glider, balloons and helicopters under different rules) can be obtained at 17 years (16 for balloons and gliders).

To obtain a European (EASA) PPL(A), which is for fixed-wing Single Engine Piston (SEP) aircraft) and is administered in the UK by the CAA at Gatwick, you will need to complete 45 hours of flight training, a least 25 of which must be dual with an instructor. Then there is 10 hours of supervised solo flying - many do a first solo by their 10th hour and later do solo cross countries (after doing a couple with the instructor). One has to be at least 150 nautical miles (1nm = 1.15 statute miles) with two full-stop landings at other aerodromes.

Theory is very important and your course will contain quite a bit of ground school. You need to pass 9 exams, which can be taken at the flying club/school an have a pass mark of 75%. These are: Air Law, Operational Procedures, Human Performance, Navigation, Meteorology, Aircraft General Knowledge, Principles of Flight, Flight Performance & Planning, and Communications.

This doesn’t seem so bad when you consider that to be a commercial pilot you’d need to take 14 more exams!

After You Get A PPL…

Getting a PPL is a great achievement and your licence is the key to opening a lot of doors. Once you’ve completed those 9 exams, a radiotelephony exam, 45 hours of flight training and the skill test, and have your licence, you may want to try some cross-country excursions with friends or family.

And once you have some experience you may want to help others to learn, and do an instructor rating (see article below).

And/or you may choose to buys a share in an aircraft, or share the costs of your own aircraft or one you’ve rented or borrowed. Here we explain how cost sharing works, and how you as a PPL holder could take those interested in experiencing flying on ‘Introductory Flights.’

‘Complex Motor-powered Aircraft’ is defined as:

An aeroplane:

• with a maximum certificated take-off mass exceeding 5,700 kg, or

certificated for a maximum passenger seating configuration of more than nineteen, or

• certificated for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots, or

• equipped with (a) turbojet engine(s) or more than one turboprop engine;


A helicopter certificated:

• for a maximum take-off mass exceeding 3,175 kg, or

• for a maximum passenger seating configuration of more than nine, or

• for operation with a minimum crew of at least two pilots; or

A tilt-rotor aircraft

Cost Sharing

Key Points:

The maximum number of people who can share the direct costs of a flight has been increased from four to six, including the pilot.

Direct costs include fuel, airfield charges and any aircraft rental fee.

Any other costs not directly related to the flight, for example the annual cost of keeping, maintaining and operating an aircraft, cannot be shared and no profit can be made.

The requirement for those costs to be shared equally has been removed.

How much each individual person pays is not prescribed, but the pilot must pay something.

A flight can now be advertised in advance, but it should be made clear that it is a cost sharing flight, and not commercial air transport under an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), since it is an offence to advertise the sale of a public or commercial air transport flight without being in possession of an AOC.

Introductory Flights

Introductory flights are a new EASA provision designed to allow people to be taken on air experience tours in light aircraft.  Provided the following conditions are met, it is not necessary for the pilot to be an instructor or for the flight to be operated under commercial air transport rules: The flight must be performed either via an EASA approved training organisation (ATO) with its principle place of business in the UK, or through an organisation created to promote aerial sport or leisure aviation, on the condition that:

• The aircraft is either owned or dry leased by the organisation;

• Any profit made from the flights are kept within the organisation; and

• If non-members of the organisation are involved, for example members of the public, the flights represent only a marginal activity of the organisation.

In the UK, EASA and non-EASA aircraft may be used. However, they must have a valid Certificate of Airworthiness, or be a type approved Permit To Fly aircraft that is permitted to be used for remunerated training and self fly hire within the terms of relevant exemptions.

Trial Flights are not designed to replace the trial lesson in which a qualified instructor would give flight instruction. Flight time as a passenger on an introductory flight will not count as training towards the grant of a pilot’s licence.

While holders of private licences may conduct introductory flights, they may not personally receive any payment for doing so.

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Speaking French to the French

Martin Wellings gives a lesson in aviation French for private pilots...

“The Cardinal rule – don’t let a lack of knowledge of French get in the way of a good French meal over the Channel!”

We all know that English is the international language in aviation, but not quite international, as at small airfields in France, or when there is no air traffic service, French is de rigueur (as they say in France).

One does not need to get hung up on the language issue, and the basic procedure can be boiled down to a few basic phrases, particularly when the requirement to speak French is usually when there is no ATC operating, and you are just advising other French pilots.

The basic drill is to prefix the call “Le Touquet traffic” (or other airfield) and pass the message, so just add one of the very basic phrases.


C182 (a/c type) inbound to you

C182 a destination de vos installation (C182 are destinasyon der vozs instalassion)

Inbound from                     

En provenance (Oh provydawse)

Level at 2,000 feet

Stable a deux mille pied(Starbler ah der meal pee-ed)

Estimating overhead at 53

Terrain estime a 53 (cinq trois) (Terra estimay ah 53 (sank twa))

In the Circuit:


Verticale (Vertycal)

Downwind (left hand/right hand)     

Vent arrière (main droit/main gauche) (Vont arryair (man dwat/man go-sh))


En base (On bass)

Finals (for 32/14.)

Finale (pour 32/14) (Feenal (poor tront der/cat-oars))

Going Around

Remis des gaz  (Remy day gaz)

Runway vacated                       

Piste degage (Peest daygarjay)

Taxi & Departure:


Taxi  (Taxi)

Holding point  

Point d’arrêt (Pwant darray)


Remonte (Remontay)

Lining up

M’aligne (Ma-lean)


Décollage (Daycollage)


En montee (Or monty)

Right/Left turn out

Virage a droit/gauche (Veerage ah dwat/gauch)

Leaving circuit to north/south

En sortie de circuit dans le nord/sud (Or sorty der circy daw ler nor/sood).

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Lost in the UK? Get a Fix on 121.5

This article by Flt. Lt. Nick Perrott is designed to be kept as a handy reminder of how to use the Distress & Diversion Cell (of which he is Officer Commanding) if lost or disorientated in flight. Remember, it makes sense to practice!

The weather forecast is good and you have a spare day to go flying. Why not brush up on your navigational skills and land away at an aerodrome you have never visited before? What could possibly go wrong?  Better make sure that the aeroplane is full of fuel and do a thorough external check – it has been unused for well over a month. 

Everything checks out and you are ready to go!

All is fine and the navigation is going according to plan, avoiding controlled and restricted airspace, but it is getting a bit hazy and the north westerly is picking up. The engine sounds a bit rough, but it is a good workhorse and has never let you down.  The GPS that was fitted three months ago is great and the instruction handbook you read this morning was easy to follow.

The transponder is set to 7000, but you have not had a mode C airborne check in ages.  The trim setting is fine, but you are adjusting it much more than usual and the wheel is very stiff; anyway, back to remembering what that manual said. You look up and it is apparent that you are unsure of your position, but it is not a problem - just press on.

Now you are lost - but surely very soon you will recognise a landmark?  Now the engine is sounding very rough - let’s just press on, it has never let you down (if you say it often enough you will start to believe it). 

You are now very concerned and are unsure at first what to do or who to call.

You remember that the emergency frequency is 121.5 MHz and decide to call Distress and Diversion (D&D), but you have not called them in years.

What do you say?

What can they do for you?

“Am I going to die?” you think to yourself. 

It all sounds melodramatic but does happen. You would be amazed how a few basic mistakes can snowball; if any doubt exists, do something rather than nothing!

D&D is manned 24 hours to provide an emergency and fixer service for all military and civil aircraft on 243.0 MHz and 121.5 MHz. 

Experienced controllers and support controllers are able to provide assistance and guidance to all aviators, and practice calls are highly recommended. 

D&D have the facilities to provide a fixer service for aircraft in an emergency or practice emergency on VHF. 

This service provides a non-radar position report based on Direction Finding (DF) equipment and may have a +/- error of 3nm. 

Radar can be used in conjunction with DF for an accurate position report inside radar coverage; but the use of a transponder makes identification much quicker and easier. Therefore, it is essential that you can operate all the equipment inside the aircraft. One day it may just save your life!

D&D assimilate and disseminate information on aircraft emergencies; such information is critical to provide the best possible outcome.  Emergencies are broken down into two categories:


A condition of being threatened by serious and/or imminent danger and of requiring immediate assistance.

A MAYDAY should be declared.


A condition concerning the safety of an Air System (including lost) or other vehicle or of some person on board or within sight, but does not require immediate assistance.

A PAN should be declared.

Both emergencies can be passed on behalf of another aircraft if it is seen in distress and doubt exists about its safety.


• D&D can provide information in an emergency on airfield serviceability, opening times, runway lengths, weather and its tendency, regional pressure settings and myriad additional information through official publications and contacts...

• Additionally, we can request assistance from the Police, Fire and Medical services or receive information from them...

• The Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Fareham have the authority to launch rescue helicopters based around the UK, a helicopter is automatically launched if a MAYDAY call is received...

• Helicopters are strategically based around the UK, and are at 15 minutes Readiness State during the day and 45 minutes by night...

• The service that D&D provide is unique to the UK and available to you. Practice calls are actively encouraged from all aviators.  The more you practice the easier it becomes. If you do not get it right the first time just call again until you are happy...

We look forward to your next call; remember, the service is free and we need the practice too!

You can download a Pilot’s Guide to D&D and Practice Emergencies via the RAF(U) Swanwick website (www.raf.mod.uk/latccmilswanwick)

For more information please contact:

Flight Sergeant Jay Ferguson



Name: Jay Ferguson



Tel: +44 (0)1489 612691

Fax: +44 (0)1489 612392

Mobile: +44 (0)7768 290529

[The D&D LEAFLET WAS REPRODUCED AS THE CENTRE SPREAD of the AO&P magazine, June; and also of the Flying Directory, which is part of the magazine. Both will be available from 1 July electronically at AOPA.co.uk or iAOPA.eu]


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Have You Ever Thought About Becoming an Instructor?

Nick Wilcock outlines what you need to become an instructor in the UK (there will be variations in other EASA states). He says that you don’t need a CPL any more, but you do need the commercial theory. But PPL with FI ratings can be paid now also:

At a couple of recent AOPA UK committee meetings, we learned that there appears to be a looming shortage of PPL instructors. 

So I asked around IAOPA (Europe) and several AOPAs advised me that they’re also beginning to see a shortage.  It’s reported that airlines are beginning to recruit again, so perhaps some existing instructors are heading that way - but why are so few people coming forward to replace them, unless they too are hoping to build hours before applying to the airlines?

Perhaps the main reason is that most PPL holders don’t actually know what options are available to them as potential instructors, so let’s have look at them:

Do I need a CPL to be paid?

If you hold a Part-FCL PPL, then no you don’t!  Under FCL.205A(b), the holder of a Part-FCL PPL(A) with instructor or examiner privileges may receive remuneration for the provision of flight instruction for the LAPL(A) or PPL(A).

Do I need to sit loads of exams?

When EASA launched NPA 2008-17b, the intention was that an instructor only needed to hold the licence or rating for which instruction was being given.  So to teach at PPL level, you should only need to hold a PPL. IAOPA warmly welcomed this, but some Member States and, it has to be said, perhaps a few self-interested organisations, objected to this. 

So EASA was obliged to amend FCL.915.FI(b)(2)(i), requiring FI (Aeroplanes) applicants to have met the requirements for CPL knowledge.  Which means passing the CPL exams even if you just want to instruct PPL.

What about the LAPL/FI?

LAPL holders may not include an instructor certificate in their licences; all ab initio LAPL instruction has to be provided by at least a PPL/FI. 

Originally there was to be an EASA animal termed a Light Aircraft Flight Instructor to support the needs of LAPL training, but with lower training requirements than are required for an FI. 

This proposal was also rejected; as a compromise, following observations by certain Member States, the CPL exam requirement does not apply to FIs wishing to instruct only for the LAPL and associated ratings. 

So if you want to instruct for the LAPL, first persuade your local club to start marketing the LAPL rather more positively.

Then, once you meet the pre-course prerequisites, you can start an FI course without needing to sit any more EASA exams.

You will also be able to instruct for the NPPL and if any of your students decide to change to a PPL course instead of a LAPL or NPPL course, then any training you may have given to them can be credited towards the PPL.

Pre-course prerequisites?

Paraphrasing FCL.915.FI, a PPL-holding applicant for an FI(A) certificate must have:

• Received at least 10 hours of instrument flight instruction on aeroplanes, of which not more than five hours may be instrument ground time in an FSTD.

• Completed 20 hours of VFR cross-country flight as PIC on aeroplanes.

• Except for an FI(A) providing training for the LAPL(A), met the requirements for CPL theoretical knowledge.

• Completed at least 200 hours of flight time on aeroplanes or TMGs, of which 150 hours must be as PIC.

• Completed at least 30 hours on single-engine piston powered aeroplanes of which at least five hours must have been completed during the six month period preceding the pre-entry flight test for the FI course.

• As PIC, completed a VFR cross-country flight of at least 
300 nm, including two intermediate landings.

So an experienced PPL holder may well find that he/she already meets most of the prerequisites to provide instruction for the LAPL, but then if you’re hoping to instruct for the PPL, we come back to the topic of exams. 

It’s becoming evident that the CPL exam hurdle is the one real obstacle faced by the suitably experienced PPL holder who would like to do some instructing, perhaps on a part-time basis as an escape from the day job. 

But in previous times, the pre-course requirements included an exam to check that the aspirant FI had the appropriate level of theoretical knowledge, rather than CPL knowledge. 

Even the Basic Regulation states that flight instruction must be given by ‘appropriately qualified instructors’, who meet the theoretical knowledge and experience requirements ‘appropriate’ for the instruction being given, rather than any commercial level theoretical knowledge requirements. 

So we think that it’s high time to press-to-test on this and to propose a return to rather more pragmatic previous ways. 

At the forthcoming EASA FCL Implementation Forum I intend to seek members’ views concerning a proposal for the amendment of FCL.915.FI(b)(2) to include an option of ‘a pre-course written exam approved by the competent authority and conducted by the ATO, which will confirm that the FI(A) course applicant has demonstrated an appropriate level of theoretical knowledge to be able to exercise instructional privileges for the PPL(A) and LAPL(A).’ 

This would be a rather more proportionate approach. 

Several European AOPAs are already supportive, as are the UK ATOs with whom I’ve spoken. 

AOPA already has the Ground Instructor Course pre-entry written exam, so with a little tweaking and titivating, a pre-FI course exam could be developed pretty quickly from the GIC exam. 

But at the meeting we were told that the group considering Learning Objectives is already looking into a reduction of theoretical knowledge requirements for PPL/FIs, so perhaps change is in the air?

‘...a pre-course written exam approved by the competent authority and conducted by the ATO, which will confirm that the FI(A) course applicant has demonstrated an appropriate level of theoretical knowledge to be able to exercise instructional privileges for the PPL(A) and LAPL(A).’ 

Are other instructional qualifications available at PPL level?

Yes, the Class Rating Instructor.

A CRI on single pilot aeroplanes may provide training for existing licence holders, such as the ‘training flying with an instructor’ required for revalidation and may also, if suitably qualified, conduct aerobatic rating training. 

Quite a useful qualification, no CPL exams needed and the course itself only requires three hours of flight instruction, plus 25 hours of teaching and learning instruction and 10 hours of technical training. 

See CAP 804 Part I Section 4 part J subpart 3 for full details - and if you haven’t already done so, download CAP 804 from the CAA’s website. 

A CRI who is an acknowledged expert in a specific field or on a particular aeroplane is a useful person from whom a pilot might seek the relevant training for such purposes.

What does the FI course include?

Having met the pre-requisites and passed the pre-entry flight test, the course itself consists of:

  1. 25 hours of ‘teaching and learning’
  2. 100 hours of theoretical knowledge instruction
  3. 30 hours of flight instruction and, finally
  4. An ‘assessment of competence’ taken with a Flight Instructor Examiner, which also includes a ground oral examination. 

Your own flying skills will need to be of a good standard and the pre-entry flight test will soon identify areas which might perhaps need a little more polish. 

The ground training is intended to ensure that you can brief a student competently in both flying exercises and technical subjects, before you put them into practice with your FIC instructor 
in flight. 

You will be taught to identify and rectify any student errors in a manner which will encourage your student, rather than the “Look, you numbskull, I’ve told you how to do it, I’ve shown you how to do it, I can do it, the aircraft can do it - so why the hell can’t you do it?” style which some of us may remember from the bad old days! 

Of course you will also learn how to conduct a post-flight debrief for your student in a clear, concise and constructive manner.

Are there any restrictions on newly-qualified instructors?

Initially, you will be under the supervision of another instructor nominated by your training organisation and you will not be permitted to supervise first solos or first cross-country solos until you have gained more experience.

But once you have flown 100 hours of flight instruction, supervised 25 student solo flights and gained the approval of your training organisation, these restrictions will no longer apply.

Are there any FI revalidation requirements?

Yes.  The FI certificate is valid for 3 years and may only be revalidated if you have met the relevant criteria by completing two of the options of having either 1. Conducted 50 hours of flight instruction, 2. Received refresher training at an FI seminar or, 3.  In the final year of the validity period, passed an assessment of competence. 

For at least every alternate revalidation, the assessment of competence is a mandatory requirement. 

But will I earn much money?

It’s perhaps not fair to accuse training organisations of paying their FIs as little as they can get away with, although at times some FIs might feel that this is indeed the case! 

In recent years, airline recruiting hasn’t been particularly buoyant and there were few financial retention incentives for FIs, given that there were probably more around than the training world really needed. 

But things are beginning to change; for example, one popular UK airline has recently announced significant expansion and has placed a pilot supply contract with a major European ATO, which itself has now launched an FI recruitment drive. 

Faced with all its FIs rushing off to the airlines, it’s indeed likely that instructors’ pay might improve. 

But don’t forget that the cost of any pay increase will probably have to be recovered from the customers; to remain competitive, most flying training organisations try to keep their flying rates as low as possible, otherwise prospective trainees will look elsewhere. 

If airline recruitment really does take off at the level many predict, training organisations are going to find it much harder to retain their FIs, particularly those who have already obtained CPLs. 

Amending the Aircrew Regulation can often take many years, so if we are to avoid a dearth of PPL-level FIs in the coming years, we need to highlight the CPL exam problem to EASA without delay and that’s my intention.

Meanwhile, flying clubs could help themselves by looking more at the LAPL and by encouraging their more experienced PPL-holding members to think about becoming LAPL-level FIs. Worth thinking about? 

CAP 804 is available as a PDF on the CAA website, www.caa.co.uk.

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e-Go Makes First Delivery

A launch event took place at Cambridge-based e-Go aeroplane’s Conington facility on June 7 to celebrate the hand-over of e-Go’s first production aircraft to its first customer.

Some 70 guests gathered to witness and toast this important milestone in the company’s history.

They were treated to a stunning display by test pilot, Keith Denison, who demonstrated the aircraft’s impressive maneuverability.

William Burnett, owner of the latest e-Go (registration G-OEGO), showed his delight by saying, “I come from a background of flying a variety of aircraft, including a Vulcan many years ago, but there is really nothing that compares with this aircraft.  It’s such fun.”

Malcolm Bird, e-Go aeroplanes’ chairman, who has  also flown the prototype aircraft, said “Everyone who flies this aeroplane has enjoyed the experience. There is nothing quite like flying a single seater.”

e-Go aeroplanes now moves into serial production of this “fun flying machine”.