Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1519451
[Interest Declaration = Bristol Airport are my landlord!]

I know Bristol gets some bad press for high fees BUT kudos to the management for readily agreeing to reimburse a GA pilot of a light aircraft that had to divert into Bristol due weather worse than forecast.

I was asked to review the METARS against the TAF and, objectively, the weather was far worse than forecast. It helped that I was up flying and Bristol had a lot of CAT diverts on that day from Cardiff, Bournemouth, Southampton and Birmingham.

Good to see the continued support for AOPA's / Charles' scheme. :thumleft:
Flyin'Dutch', kanga liked this
#1519466
Rightly so. All airports regardless of size and use should encourage weather diverts, the alternative does not bear thinking about. There are probably many more VFR qualified then IMC rated pilots bimbling around the UK and if forecasted weather proves worse, each should be a safe haven. I have made a couple of weather diverts and thankful for both airports assistance. Taxi to and from home base, in one case a train cost me the equivalent of a good few hours aloft, money not wasted given the alternative.
Allan Armadale liked this
#1519543
So they made him pay and then agreed to a refund after they were convinced? Ummm....

Although I have to say if I am in the poop and struggling to land the last flipping thing I will be worried about is the landing fee.
#1519553
GolfHotel wrote:So they made him pay and then agreed to a refund after they were convinced? Ummm....

No that wasn't the case, I should have been clearer in my post. The
pilot asked, retrospectively. After his intended destination was below minima he carried out a missed approach, tried again, missed approach and headed for his alternate which was also below minima and was advised to divert to Bristol where the airfield elevation meant the airport was sticked out above the low flying cloud; even then when I landed it was on minima. Like you mention the pilot made the correct decision and didn't think about the landing fee. I was in the air when he landed and my ops team took the landing fee because the decision to waive fees is not ours, it lies with the airport authorities.

The aiport authorities asked me to check the details as, shock horror, naughty pilots have been known to tell fibs about such matters! :shock: They have a process which we followed and the pilot was reimbursed.

Maybe different at smaller airfields but the decision makers are not all aviators, so need some support from us as the GA handling agents.
#1519588
Thanks for the clarification. Looks like you charged him and they refunded then. :D




Allan Armadale wrote:The aiport authorities asked me to check the details as, shock horror, naughty pilots have been known to tell fibs about such matters! :shock: They have a process which we followed and the pilot was reimbursed.


I do worry about one of my friends who seems to thing the Scheme is an excuse to fly in conditions that are not suitable. as a result he has made several diversions.
#1519607
It depends what you mean by abuse - if you mean claim a diversion when in fact it was a planned destination, then if that can be proven it's surely fraud and could presumably be prosecuted as such (though I imagine most airfields would just not refund / send a bill rather than trying to take it further).

If you mean the pilot deliberately sets out in conditions that are clearly (eg prob80) not likely to work with the backup plan being the scheme, then I guess that's a valid use of it at the time, albeit not the right way long term to keep airfields etc on side. I suppose to some extent it comes down to airmanship...
#1519619
Allan Armadale wrote:At risk of being accused of thread drift...

What should happen if a pilot abuses the scheme?


Without a doubt, details of all their misdemeanours should be posted here, so after 48 pages of debate, discussion, thread drift, locking, unlocking, secondary threads (merged and unmerged) and general character assassination they'd wish they had never learnt to fly, let alone take the plss..

Seriously though, Charles Strasser, the founder of the scheme has been called on a number of times to act as arbiter when unfairness is suspected on either side, his principal motives being fair play, and to preserve the integrity of the scheme and thus keep the airports onside.
#1519627
Out of curiosity, in the original Bristol divert example, what was the pilot's original destination and filed alternate?

When selecting the alternate, did it meet reasonable weather criteria or did he/she simply select a random other airport likely to be subject to the same weather issues?
Allan Armadale liked this
#1519990
2D,

That's an interesting question and one which I pondered because with a full IF + capable machine one would believe (hope?) that the pilot's planning would take into account the vast majority of likely and indeed unlikely weather circumstances sonthat an unplanned divert is not necessary.
#1520118
Allan Armadale wrote:2D,

That's an interesting question and one which I pondered because with a full IF + capable machine one would believe (hope?) that the pilot's planning would take into account the vast majority of likely and indeed unlikely weather circumstances sonthat an unplanned divert is not necessary.


Presumably the pilot, if IFR, took into account the rules for destination and alternate. If unforecast weather occurs, you can hardly blame the pilot. Indeed that seems to be the point of the Strasser scheme.