Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By IMCR
#1704562
I just spent a good time typing this in answers to questions I was asked to find the thread had been locked whilst typing at the suggestion of a gentleman who has made no contribution to the thread at all. Surely this is not what moderation has come to?

if so, as some will no doubt be pleased, I shall take myself elsewhere.

"In so far as the statistical analysis is concerned, and the selection process, as I have indicated previosuly, the concern is that the selection process COULD (I didnt say WAS) be biased towards ensuring there are sufficient numbers for each course. In other words, we understand the courses are run at various locations around the country (a GOOD policy, as at least pilots are not having to travel too far), and we also understand they need to be viable. A room must be hired, expenses met, etc., and there will be a minimium number of attendees required to pay the bills. We also understand that the gap between courses cannot be too great.

In the winter we know there are fewer infrigements, for obvious reasons.

So it would seem important to ensure that doubts are put to rest that selection is driven by financial necessity, as opposed to following the selection policy. The way to do this is to be clear on the cirteria used to determine the pilots that are selected to attend the course, and then, that the pilots actually selected, fit this criteria.

At the moment the CAA guidelines indicate for the least serious infrigements the consequence can be a letter, GASCo or something else (I cant recall as I type). I dont think this is sufficiently clear, and its possible, in a slow period, more people will be asked to go on a GASCo course because the places have not been filled.

As to the pilots that have written to me, it is difficult to summarise their views because I havent asked all the necessary questions. Despite what some on here may think, I have no axe to grind and no intention of interpreting the information I have to support any case. I am not even sure I have a case for that matter - I have concerns, but I hope I am sufficiently open minded that I dont feel in a position yet to answers those concerns.

I can say that most of the pilots arent nashing their teeth about the course content, and I get more a sense of resignation that if this is the penalty - then so be it. The ONLY commonality is nearly everyone has expressed surprise at the makeup of the attendees, in that they are far more experienced pilots than they would have expected. THAT is the reason I have been pursueing this particular line of enquiry because it SUGGESTS (ON LIMITED DATA POINTS) that the pilots on these courses are not the pilots we might think these courses should be directed towards.

I dont know why, and again it may be because it is a reflection of the makeup of the pilots attending the course, most are in the conjested areas of the South (broadly the SE, but including north of the Thames). If this is representative, we know that operating in this area is especially challenging and we know that small lateral and vertical infringements are very easy to make. We also know that there are some large concentrations of GA in this area. Again IF this data is correct it may well point to other and better solutions. For example their are parts of the States with comprehensive flight following. It makes infringments very difficult. Maybe, if the SE is such a problem area, the indicators are that it is the pilots that need a little more joined up support from AT, rather than hoping courses and infringement letters are the solution?

I said previoulsy, and therefore believe it to be so, that the CAA is unique in most of Europe and pretty much the rest of the world in having to balance the pressure of a commercial airspace provider with the right of all to the airspace. Again, surely we can see the dangers (I am not saying that IS happening, I dont know) that such a provider can bring an enormous amount of pressure on the regulator, without making any contribution to helping to solve the problem because the more pressure they bring, and the less they actually do, the better it is for their bottom line. Of course, if I were NATS I would say I dont want any GA in our airpsace and I dont want to put any effort into policing our airspace. Again I am NOT saying that is what they are doing, I am SAYING there is that temptation if the accountants were put in charge.

Surely, whichever side of whatever fence you might be on, you can perceive these risks and concerns and understand why it is right and proper the questions are asked without the need to be confrontial, rude, flippant, or accuse people of lieing. To do so just debases the debate, and creates even more concern, because it is a tactic so often used when there are issues to be addressed (I am NOT saying there are ISSUES).

I hope that adds some clarrity and answers some of the earlier questions."
User avatar
By G-BLEW
#1704563
I just spent a good time typing this in answers to questions I was asked to find the thread had been locked at the suggestion of a gentleman who has made no contribution to the thread at all. Surely this is not what moderation has come to?


Nothing to do with CB's suggestion, that was just coincidence.

Ian
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By G-BLEW
#1704564
IMCR wrote:THAT is the reason I have been pursueing this particular line of enquiry because it SUGGESTS (ON LIMITED DATA POINTS) that the pilots on these courses are not the pilots we might think these courses should be directed towards.


My bold. Surely the courses should be directed towards people who infringe, not the pilots who 'we think' (your words IMCR) should attend?

Ian
By IMCR
#1704565
Sorry G-BLEW, I have pm'd you and I unreservedly apologise. More than happy if everyone feels this one has run its course.

It would be great to see the discussion continue with civility all round and for the discussion to move forward not go over the same ground.

I hope so, but so be it if not.

Thank you one and all.

Hat, coat, glasses, walking stick and will shut up now for the weekend.
Last edited by IMCR on Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By IMCR
#1704566
and a very quick courtesy reply -

Of course a very good point. I would say they should be directed towards the pilots policy states they should be directed towards and no one else BECAUSE that is the way our judicial system is intended to operate. In other words do x and the consequences are y.
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By Cub
#1704569
As an 'olive branch' to IMCR, because I don't like to see anybody upset. I will endeavour to facilitate, with those most directly involved, all the time necessary to sit down and explain the formulation and application of CAP 1404 on a face to face basis.

Hopefully, that will help address, in some detail, IMCR's remaining concerns and he/she can then describe the responses in a more eloquent way than I am apparently able.
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By flybymike
#1704573
I can’t help remarking on the irony that those who may be tasked by the CAA to re-educate infringers by further training (instructors and examiners) themselves apparently make up a fair proportion of the course attendees. A truly absurd situation and proof if any was needed that some degree of infringement will always occur, is unavoidable, completely unintentional, and a simple reflection of everyday human failings.
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By Paul_Sengupta
#1704629
IMCR wrote:For example there are parts of the States with comprehensive flight following. It makes infringments very difficult. Maybe, if the SE is such a problem area, the indicators are that it is the pilots that need a little more joined up support from AT


This is exactly the reason why Farnborough North and East were set up.

IMCR wrote:Of course, if I were NATS I would say I dont want any GA in our airpsace and I dont want to put any effort into policing our airspace. Again I am NOT saying that is what they are doing, I am SAYING there is that temptation if the accountants were put in charge.


The one person I know who was sent on the course has a different perspective on that. He was contacted by NATS to say he infringed. It was 7 seconds in the Manchester LLR. They said, "Pfft, no harm, no foul, we know it's just one of those things, we're not going to take it any further". He thought, "case closed". He was then contacted by the CAA to say "To the course ye shall go!"

So I don't think it's pressure by NATS or any other ANSP.

Note that I don't have all the details, all I know is what this person said in a room full of people when at a talk to do with airspace and infringements, but I have no reason to doubt him.
By cockney steve
#1704631
Is it because they're old, bold and blase? (sorry, unable to add a grave over the "e" ) Familiarity breeds contempt, and all that ? - Or is it simply totally unrealistic to insist a mainly amateur pilot-base should be as proficient and skilled at controlling the trajectory of a low-mass, low inertia light aircraft (which is subject to the vagaries of thermic and wind-action,) as a Commercial pilot with umpty-umpt tons of heavy metal which has the advantages of enormous inertia and a professional and very current co-pilot to keep it on it's chosen course....after , of course, it's ground- controllers have done their best to shoo-away all those erratic small machines and swept a nice clean route several miles around the big machine.
Looks a very biased and unfair system to me, even more-so when you add in the previously noted tolerance -levels for calibration of instruments , which is all loaded in favour of the professionals.
Several posters have drawn parallels with speeding motorists.....I remind you that both calibration -tolerance and an error- margin are deducted from the alleged speed to arrive at a "guilty" submission and that's before any action is taken against the alleged miscreant.
User avatar
By tomshep
#1704637
I think that if an explanation is offered, given and disseminated, many people should at least know where they stand if they are accused of infringement and be less concerned.
I suspect that the explanation itself will then spend the next fortnight being torn to bits here, but I'd like to read it anyway. Thank you Cub.
IMCR, are you up for it?
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By Flyin'Dutch'
#1704640
@cockney steve

Spare a thought for the thousands of pilots who manage not to infringe. It must be possible.
User avatar
By Sooty25
#1704646
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:@cockney steve

Spare a thought for the thousands of pilots who manage not to infringe. It must be possible.


Spare a thought for johnm who infringed when it all started going wrong in the cockpit. Was he a criminal?

Very few intentionally infringe, generally it seems to be as a result of something going wrong in the cockpit. The mantra "aviate, navigate, communicate" kicks in, only to end up getting beaten with a big stick for not becoming a hole in the ground.

An extreme comparison would be to do away with manslaughter and just automatically find everyone who caused a death, guilty of murder, without trial.
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By G-BLEW
#1704653
Sooty25 wrote:Very few intentionally infringe, generally it seems to be as a result of something going wrong in the cockpit. The mantra "aviate, navigate, communicate" kicks in, only to end up getting beaten with a big stick for not becoming a hole in the ground.


Hi Sooty

Talking about the range of possible regulatory outcomes as being beaten with a big stick, and suggesting if we hadn't infringed we might be dead, makes constructive discussion a bit difficult.

Of course Johnm isn't a criminal, but who says that he, or any of us, have nothing to learn?

Ian
By IMCR
#1704660
"So I don't think it's pressure by NATS or any other ANSP."

I agree, directly it probbaly isnt.

My understanding (possibly wrong) is that those in charge of any protected airpspace are being strongly encouraged to report any infrigements. The outcome of such a report is a matter for the CAA. The CAA determine the regulatory response, and, in doing so, there COULD be a temptation to course fill.

It is the combination of policy change that causes concern. At one time it would seem ANSPs had more discretion whether they reported an infringment or not. POSSIBLY, it suits the higher echelons of some ANSPs to report all infrigements anyway for the reasons I outlined previoulsy. (in other word we are fed up with the cost of infringements, and whatever the controller may think, the answer is to report everyone, and rely on the CAA to be more proactive with their response).

As I have said before ALL we really would like to know is:

1. Are infrigments really increasing or decreasing (in other words is the significant increase a manifestation of the changes in reporting),
2.What is the policy for minor infringements, and how does the CAA decide whether a minor infringer receives a warning letter or a GASCo course,
3. and, whatever the policy, for those who attend a GASCo course, which category of infringement do they fall within.

These are basic stats and information which would enable the integrity of the numbers to be tested and to satisfy any doubt that policy and reality are in harmony. As importantly, it is basic safety information that would allow all to assess wether or not the current safety initiative is actually working!

I have asked the same question so many times now. I have to say it seems odd to read "you have all the information you need", "it is a breach of confidential information" "why do you need to know" - to me it seems very straight forward and very reasonable?
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