Check out my post on PPRUNE regarding "Listening to ATC advice"...maybe if he had taken note of the constant weather updates I had given him whilst still VFR and a fair distance away he may have come up with an alternative plan!!
An LAA permit aircraft is required to have a back up compass such as a liquid filled or card compass type. So suffering a total electrical failure would not effect the pilots ability to know which direction they are flying in.
PortAndCheese wrote:He could have been VFR-on-top of a solid layer of cloud, no?
No not legally.
1) The pilot would need a minimum of an IMC rating (which they may well have). 2) The aircraft needs to be certified for IMC flight, which it is not.
Are you sure?
1) Is no longer true due to the EASA rule changes, and that invalidates your point 2) as VFR on top isn't IMC?
Has the CAA done away with the UK slant on VMC on top then? if so then my point 1 is not valid. For my point 2, unless you find a whole you cant get VMC on top without going IMC.....so my point 2 is sort of valid.
My understanding was that with an IMC or IR, a pilot flying VFR in VMC is excused the requirement to remain in sight of the surface. As we don't know the credentials, it's possible that the pilot was adequately qualified.
The aircraft (MCR-01) is not certified for IMC, but no-one's suggesting he was IMC. The aircraft is pretty quick, so he could have covered different weather systems.
It seems the aircraft was making quite a lengthy transit returning to base, so it's not impossible that he popped up through scattered/broken cloud in the Midlands (for example) and then proceeded North over gradually thickening cloud.
Speculation: alternator failure, and battery only going to give ~30mins, not enough to fly to a cloud break and descend, so rather than fly MDR and bust Glasgow/Edinburgh airspace he made the best choice and called for assistance. Alternatively theories probably exist too, and every pilot will have their own comfort zone regarding continuing over poor en-route weather.
Timothy wrote:It is important to trot out the old chestnut about flight rules being utterly different from licence privileges.
VFR on top is perfectly legal, so long as you are 1000' above the tops, or 1500m horizontally from cloud, and not in Class A airspace, VMC/VFR is perfectly legal.
It is the qualifications you need to be there which are being changed by SERA.
That made it as clear as mud.
It used to be:
VMC on top with a vanilla JAR PPL was permitted, execpt for those with a UK CAA issued JAA license who had to have an IMC to be allowed toget there regardless of finding a hole or not.
The recent EASA changes (hear say) have removed the UK CAA restriction for VMC on top for UK CAA issued JAR/EASA issued PPL's.
According to VFR flight rules for the UK you had to remain insight of the ground, therefore VMC on top is not legal regardless of the 1000' and 1500m rules.
Are/have the rules been changed to allow VMC on top for UK CAA issued JAR/EASA PPL license holders without an IMC or IR ticket? if so are the VFR flight rules for the UK going to be updated to remove the "insight of the ground" rule?