Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By MattL
As we start another year and hopefully exit virus problems, I think it is a good idea to counter some of the doom and ‘it was always so better in the old days’ merchants; so I thought I’d start some thoughts on things that are great and good about U.K. GA and what is positive for the future:

Flight planning and navigation has never been easier and the capability of what you can do with an app on your tablet is simply amazing compared to even a few years ago.

Flight training booking and aircraft management can be done instantly on your phone; gone are the days of ringing around and paper diaries.

Most of the smoke filled, misogynistic and often downright unfriendly clubrooms have been confined to history; still some way to go but the U.K. pilot community is generally a friendly and open one.

Pilots can instantly access discussion, views and advice in a variety of formats on their phone.

There are a number of vibrant, financially stable and forward looking associations looking after our community; allied to some active media outlets.

We can now access a range of really good safety information, webinars and workshops for free on our phones and tablets.

Alternative power sources are here now and are only going to get better and more accessible.

There are still large swathes of open airspace across the U.K. - lobbying for our airspace needs is actively done and quickly mobilised.

We have effective and affordable electronic conspicuity capabilities - the technology is still getting better each iteration.

So just a few to start - yes you can argue the toss about all the above, but next time you get the ‘everything is Carp, it all used to be far better’ speech kicking off in the clubroom perhaps we owe it to our students and prospective pilots to challenge a bit?
JAFO, ls8pilot, Flyin'Dutch' and 11 others liked this
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By ls8pilot
I'll add:

For many recreational pilots being fit enough to drive a car is all you need to fly a light GA aircraft.

New composite materials have allowed a greater variety of strong, low drag, airframe designs.

We finally have a sensible MAU for lightweight designs
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By DavidC
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
Good idea. A few more that spring to mind

The circular slide rule is no longer mandatory for PPL training - electronic flight computers can be used instead, including in the theory exams.

Flight simulators have improved considerably in many ways - closer flight characteristics of aircraft, visual picture resolution and quality, representation of airfields, instruments etc. - and can form part of basic and/or advanced training/practice.

Regulators for new ratings seem to be focussing more on competencies rather than setting minimum hours (e.g. CB-IR, Basic IR)

Some airfields accepting PPR and/or payment online

GAR scheme remains available, blanket exemption continued for many smaller airfields/grass strips

Avionics that can make vacuum pumps obsolete

Avionics that remove the need to constantly check DI/Compass sync
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By skydriller
DavidC wrote:Some airfields accepting PPR and/or payment online

Sorry, but this is not a good thing - you have fallen into the trap of accepting as normal an unnecessary practice... because you certainly arent talking about a farmers private strip suddenly going "online", are you??
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By Rob P
There is much that has improved over the thirty something years I have been flying. The UK exclusive blight of pervasive PPR and increasingly more pathetic ATSU availability cannot be numbered amongst them.

Rob P
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By kanga
ls8pilot wrote:I'll add:

For many recreational pilots being fit enough to drive a car is all you need to fly a light GA aircraft.

New composite materials have allowed a greater variety of strong, low drag, airframe designs.


On Sunday at JAM visitors included a party of 2 couples of (in my judgement) retirement age (one husband had been a Halton apprentice, so my guess is probably right). One wife mentioned that she'd had a PPL (earned on Tomahawks at Panshanger) a 'long time' ago. When I asked if she had plans to resume it, she said she doubted it, and apart from anything else the Medical had been a hassle.

I explained about the new Declaration regime, and the sophistication of modern types including microlights. I'm fairly sure her eyes lit up a little .. :wink:
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By leiafee
FLYER Club Member  FLYER Club Member
Really properly cheap microlights are super available.

A BHPA membership will cover you for super cheap 5mill public liability when flying one and we seem to be past that “insurance is getting hard” phase, with Visicover who didn’t originally accept microlight now having been doing so for some time, and new insurance models such as pay as you go being offered, all brings prices down and reduces that big overhead before you even get airborne.

All the things permit aircraft have been increasingly allowed to do - upon a time you couldn’t overfly towns, or do IMC, or do training.

Cheap electronic conspicuity is clearly coming even though there’s still a lot of shaking down on formats.

Those Grobs the RAF let third party contractors trash are being given new life.

The Scouts will, I’m sure as soon as covid restrictions ease, be back to flying kids - they are magnificently consistent in doggedly finding solutions to every risk averse safeguarding rule change that would otherwise hinder that.
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