Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
  • 1
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
I'd like to focus on the silent majority of recreational pilots and their day to day involvement in aviation. I was for many years a 1 hour flight - once a month - club pilot desperately trying to cling on to my licence until better times.

Throughout those years I was in the clutches of gradually younger and younger instructors who knew nothing of my earlier days. Hence check outs, medicals, log books and the whole thing was kinda taken out of my hands.

Now many years later I'm on my own. Do I live the flying life I once dreamt of unfettered by mundane things? No.

In fact I'm busier, more distracted, less time rich than ever I was in my youth. So just getting to the strip extracting my plane from the hangar, flying and then reversing the procedure more than 12 times a year is a Herculean task. But so damn rewarding.

Keeping tabs of my repeat prescriptions is hard enough let alone the dozen or so gotchas the Regulator has set traps for me to fall into.

So my point is that many here eat live and breathe flying everyday but that silent majority out there numbered in the thousands don't have such exposure.

Think about trying to do something you ain't done in a long while. (No, not that!) I used to be able to play the drums but would struggle to paradiddle now. That uncomfortable lack familiarity is where a lot of Rec GA pilots find themselves regularly.
kanga, rogerb, MikeW liked this
Are you talking about people flying illegally because they can't be bothered or don't want to get involved with regulation, or are you suggesting that any private pilot who flies their own aircraft without the oversight of a flying school is out-of-control and something needs to be done about them?

I was picking up on something someone else wrote.

Just that if we are concerned about someone’s airmanship, and safety, maybe we should, without malice, help that pilot into a better decision.
We should not rely on the instructors to ensure a person is safe and has good airmanship traits, because an hour might not be enough to demonstrate every situation.

Most private pilots want to fly safely.

Regardless of licence situation, whether the pilot rents from a school or club with check outs being the norm, or if the pilot flies from a lonely strip somewhere, we should try to educate each other to stay safe.
It’s better if a pilot without a valid licence is found out through other means than by accident.

I think about the day myself and a passenger pushed the Jungmann back after an engine failure. The crowd in front of the hangar laughed, no one lifting a finger to help.
Let’s not be like them.
The next week, an aeroplane from that hangar crashed on the runway, and I was first on the scene to help.

Best bet to reduce CAA involvement is to offer to help people to not have an incident. Make it easy and welcome for them to ask.
Irv Lee wrote:I think the majority are working on getting 12 hours by the time of their next biennial instructor flight. In other words they have invented their own Sep rating future expiry as 2 years after their most recent training hour and don't worry about rolling validity

Thanks Irv. Given that all LAPLs are relatively recent I imagine the CAA will have email details for most holders, perhaps a handy email reminder ought to be considered?

So how many people have tried their best, yet been penalised by a surprise fine or suspension for not having the correct paperwork in place?
I seem to be going full circle.
I started with free flight model aircraft , then control line then radio controlled. From there I built my first microlight. I was probably lucky that it wouldn't get off the ground with me in it ! However I did progress to one that could . After a while I was lucky to have a moderate win on the football pools which enabled me to buy a Jodel which I kept on a farm strip.
No one told me I needed a licence. I flew for a while , and then someone told me I needed a licence so I went to a flying school to get one ( having flown in and parked round the back ).
I did my first cross channel flights and probably broke every rule in book because I was totally ignorant . Who needed a radio ?
Eventually I was told that what I was doing probably wasn't entirely legal so I became as fully legal as I possibly could. At this point I noticed my flying was becoming more expensive especially when they brought in compulsory insurance.
Since then the costs seemed to soar to the point that I am doing less. Hand on heart I try to be fully legal but if I am honest I fly on a LAPL and I am probably not totally legal to this day.

In this day and age what with instant information from the internet it should be easier than ever to stay legal but I am finding it harder to be so and just to rub salt into the wound the Cease All Aviation mob are now saying I will need a licence to fly the model aircraft that I have been flying since I was 8 years old !!!!
I have an NPPL, so don't have to worry about the rolling validity of the LAPL at the moment. However, I had an NPPL when it had rolling validity and I never once had a problem working out if I'd flown 12 hours in the last two years. If someone can't count to 12 then they shouldn't be flying and if they can't understand that they need to count to 12, doubly so.

If I'm flying today I can't see how it could be difficult to look in my logbook and see if I'd flown 12 hours, same as if I was taking a passenger I'd look to make sure I'd done 3 take-offs and landings (as I said, always good if they match) in the last 90 days.

If people simply can't be bothered to keep up and find out the answer then, again, I would question whether I wanted to share the sky with them. Perhaps they have forgotten that the privileges of a licence are just that and that they should not take the privilege or responsibility lightly.
patowalker, AlanC, Kittyhawk liked this
The world gets more complicated and we have to suck it up in aviation as we do everywhere else.

For example, my father was 17 years old in 1932 and working as an apprentice in the village garage. The foreman invited him to leap into a Vauxhall Prince Henry and the two drove around the lanes for a while. Father was then given the bus fare and 5 shillings to go to the local town and obtain his driving licence.

It's a tad more complicated these days as are the vehicles.

I hold an EASA PPL, a class 2 medical and both IR and IR(R) I also have a moribund FAA PPL. I know how to keep them current (or resurrect in the case of FAA) and have dates set up in reminders on my phone.....
TheFarmer wrote:..

.. the long term aim of the CAA to rid British skies of inconvenient GA, ...

The continuing aim of the CAA is presumably to comply with the objectives laid on it by Parliament (1971 Act) and interpretations (including priorities) thereunder by successive responsible Ministers (usually a junior within the Transport Ministry/Department under various titles; and usually of shortish tenure there, one of the recurring problems).

I'm not sure that the Act has anything to say about the preservation of GA activity. Until recently few pertinent Ministers have seemed to care about much either, but the current one and her predecessor (unfortunately reshuffled after not long in post) have seemed to. The predecessor visited quite a few GA events, including the Rally.

In short, I don't think the aim is or has ever been malign, but the effect of the inherent neglect may have had a malign long-term outcome.
MichaelP wrote:
Most private pilots want to fly safely.

Best bet to reduce CAA involvement is to offer to help people to not have an incident. Make it easy and welcome for them to ask.

The problem is that the CAA (as the regulator) don't see themselves in that role. An accident or incident leads to finger pointing by the CAA and all the time they are trying to find someone to put into court for wrongdoing.

All the pilots I have known don't want to crash or infringe so that means any crashes (wheels-up, etc) that I have known about have been mistakes, not intentional. I can't think that all the extra regulation would have stopped these accidents. The CAA will try to find something wrong, usually nothing to do with the accident.
So while I can see the argument that a regular flight with an instructor might be a chance to update the out-of-touch pilot with new regulations, if those regulations do nothing to enhance the pilot's safety, what is the point?

I can say, as a post-war (WWII that is) baby, that I have a probably gained more from flying with other pilots than I have from instructors. I have a friend who I would happily fly with and I know I would learn something from doing so, even at my advanced age. My friend isn't an instructor but, like me, has been around a bit. We both maintain our own aircraft and we know they are safe. I tend not to fly too far now because the fear of the fall-out from an infringement frightens me.

This won't change with Brexit. Haines, the last CAA CEO, managed to produce enough smoke and mirrors to show the CAA weren't inventing red tape. If they listened to some people from this forum rather than the ex-RAF types they think represent light aviation, maybe flying could be fun again.
flybymike liked this

Maybe your question deserves a thread separate from this one as I am sure there are people here with great ideas.

My immediate one would be to ignore the regulation that requires every single infringment to be reported. That's not the answer. An FIS for the whole UK (just like France) that helps pilots to avoid infringing is, IMHO, the answer. Understanding from ATC but stern action for the few infringements that really do cause problems.
OK, nationwide FIS is probably unaffordable but that's my bit of Blue Sky thinking.

But how else, other than blue sky thinking, do we try and come up with GA focused solutions to problems? The En-route Instrument Rating came out of someone trying to match something to the guidelines and that was a complete disaster.
G-BLEW liked this
An ex RAF person somehow got a job taking charge of Orkney Island airports and caused havoc. You’d think they were busy international airports - you’ve got to get a PPR form no less, no arrivals or departures either side of commercial aircraft ops (these are either Jetstreams or Islanders and these can have disruptive arrival/departure times as much as anyone else, you have to bliddy phone some co-ordination to enquire if grass cutting is taking place. This guy must think that GA are the “Hells Angels” of the aviation world. He’s probably from Essex or somewhere.
Lefty wrote:I Have been flying for a very long time, and a CRI for the past 10 years.
I had .945 privileges (?) added about 3 months ago.

Notwithstanding the rules (as discussed in this thread), I will not sign off an SEP for someone who pitches up asking for their 3-4 x 15 minute club currency checkout out flights to be considered as their 1 hour instructional flight.

I consider that I have a duty of care not to sign off and thereby (release / authorise / whatever), a pilot to fly, and perhaps carry passengers, unless I am personally satisfied that that pilot is safe to operate as pilot in command.

Likewise, even if I fly the full 1 hr instructional flight with a pilot, I will not append my signature if I feel that the pilot concerned is unsafe. (I have 2/ 3 things that I consider life threatening behaviours).

In these situations I will often ask the pilot whether they were happy with their flying? Or would they perhaps like to do a little more instruction so that they feel totally sharp and on top of their flying? In 99% of cases the pilot admits that they were not fully happy, and they welcomed the opportunity to do a little more instruction. I’ve only had two “students” who declined my invitation - whereupon I referred them to the CFI or another experienced examiner.
Bottom line is: I’m not going to sign off (and effectively authorise) any pilot that I think is unsafe.

Trouble is I've never asked my "instructional hour" instructor to sign off my NPPL SSEA validity.

All I do is the hour with an instructor, usually because they have an unusual type or a specific training offering (aeros/spins etc).

The signoff is only required at the end of the 2nd year and is only a logbook examination by the resident examiner, who in my case is always at a different field that I've done my "hour with an instructor".

The two are separate things, so no instructor can ever refuse to sign me off, as I'm not asking them to.

Similarly, all I'm asking the examiner to do is check my logbook, so he never really see's me fly and is only doing a paperwork check to count my hours (and prevent logbook false entries). If I was to approach you for a revalidation signature would you refuse until you flew with me?

Curious system isn't it!

FTAOD if someone tells me I'm doing something wrong, I will get instruction until I get it right, I've no desire to be a smoking hole in the ground, I'm just highlighting the different requirements on revalidations.

No doubt I've somehow miss-interpreted the rules thus proving the point of the whole thread :lol: :lol: :lol:

JAFO liked this
  • 1
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7