Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By flyingearly
#1828126
So, in light of today's forthcoming announcements (which I expect will be a bit of a damp squib), are there any educated guesses as to when restrictions on GA will be lifted for recreational flying?

Thinking specifically and selfishly here about myself as a club renter and at what point I might be able to think about having a check flight with a FI again.
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By MattL
#1828129
Having had a break to respect the community infection risk, a number of us are restarting training and testing from 1 March. Training is legally permitted as a reason to be out of your house in the Coronavirus legislation and as FIs/FEs we are at work. I have no more info on when recreational hire / self owner flights can start.
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By BoeingBoy
#1828130
I doubt any time soon but when Golf and Fishing are allowed I expect we'll get Tier 4 GA back (hopefully without the stupid stipulation about open cockpit flying).

In the meantime we must stay grounded to stop the proletariat from becoming envious of our enormous wealth and privilege as Aviators. :roll:

As for it being legal to be out of your house for training then I'm afraid that is still only applicable to commercial students and even then is a questionable issue. I for one disagree that it's necessary in current times although I acknowledge that integrated courses need to be completed.

As for hour building I'm afraid I have no sympathy with it being a valid excuse for travel right now but I acknowledge I'm probably in the minority.
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#1828143
Fishing doesn't "count" as exercise any more than another comparable sport. This lobbying-based set of "exemptions" for individual sports or industries is pathetically blatant cronyism.

Recreational aviation clearly falls within the spirit of "open air recreation", even if not necessarily within the letter (depending on if you have an open air cockpit!). That will once again be explicitly endorsed in law in 2 weeks' time. I'd say there is a strong argument that it will become a reasonable excuse to stay away from home at that point (if it isn't already).

The government has made clear that the tiers won't be making a return, so once the "stay at home" restriction is removed, currently mooted as happening on 29 March, there will effectively be no restrictions on recreational aviation, beyond being limited to flying with members of your own household/bubble.

Most people won't be able to fly until their home airfields allow them to, which could mean anything from that they were able to fly throughout the pandemic, or that they'll have difficulties even after 29 March!
By Longfinal
#1828149
MattL wrote:Having had a break to respect the community infection risk, a number of us are restarting training and testing from 1 March. Training is legally permitted as a reason to be out of your house in the Coronavirus legislation and as FIs/FEs we are at work. I have no more info on when recreational hire / self owner flights can start.


Still only commercial training allowed
#1828157
Firstly, there is no 'Legislation' relating to aviation training. Only guidance from the DfT. The statutory instrument governing the present lock down does not cover GA in any context.

Secondly. The 'Guidance' page was last updated on Feb 11th and still clearly states the following:

Flying training organisations providing training for professional pilots, for the purposes of work, may continue to do so. Individuals undertaking such activity may continue to attend for these purposes. Social distancing measures must be in place and observed at all times.

That does not mean that certain flying clubs who normally only offer PPL training can get all their students to sign an affidavit saying that at some point in their lives they intend to study for a commercial licence.

But let's put aside the question of what kind of flying is currently allowed, an consider what benefit those who are looking to hour build are going to get out of their time.

Hour building is in essence the time in one's career where you gain your 'experience' to enable and prepare you for the responsibilities of holding a commercial licence. That means that you should arrive at your qualification armed with the memories of episodes that both thrilled and terrified you in equal measure. If all you've achieved in the coming year is a couple of hundred hours of boring holes in the sky around the UK to and from the same field (and I see nothing in the guidance that permits regular landings away) then when you finally qualify you will be no use to the employer you hope will take you on.

Let's put that into context too. As a Boeing Captain from 1983 to 2015 I flew with more 'new' FO's than I can possibly count, including line training them. If I had a bad day out where engineering and/or weather issues were making life difficult, I wanted someone in the right hand seat who'd already faced his maker on more than one occasion. Someone who had already come to terms with what real fear is and how to manage it within themselves. If all I got was some wallflower who'd never faced difficult weather, failing aircraft or decisions that meant his/her own destiny was in question then they were more of a liability than a benefit.

So before you all start bleating about how important it is that you go flying immediately, remember what it is you're trying to achieve. It's not about being first in the race to put on a white shirt and a couple of go faster stripes. It's about having the ability to face difficult situations as a responsible and reliable crew member who isn't going to let his Captain, crew, the passengers and his employer down by cracking up at the first obstacle due to lack of experience.
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By marioair
#1828167
BoeingBoy wrote:Firstly, there is no 'Legislation' relating to aviation training. Only guidance from the DfT. The statutory instrument governing the present lock down does not cover GA in any context.

Secondly. The 'Guidance' page was last updated on Feb 11th and still clearly states the following:

Flying training organisations providing training for professional pilots, for the purposes of work, may continue to do so. Individuals undertaking such activity may continue to attend for these purposes. Social distancing measures must be in place and observed at all times.

That does not mean that certain flying clubs who normally only offer PPL training can get all their students to sign an affidavit saying that at some point in their lives they intend to study for a commercial licence.

But let's put aside the question of what kind of flying is currently allowed, an consider what benefit those who are looking to hour build are going to get out of their time.

Hour building is in essence the time in one's career where you gain your 'experience' to enable and prepare you for the responsibilities of holding a commercial licence. That means that you should arrive at your qualification armed with the memories of episodes that both thrilled and terrified you in equal measure. If all you've achieved in the coming year is a couple of hundred hours of boring holes in the sky around the UK to and from the same field (and I see nothing in the guidance that permits regular landings away) then when you finally qualify you will be no use to the employer you hope will take you on.

Let's put that into context too. As a Boeing Captain from 1983 to 2015 I flew with more 'new' FO's than I can possibly count, including line training them. If I had a bad day out where engineering and/or weather issues were making life difficult, I wanted someone in the right hand seat who'd already faced his maker on more than one occasion. Someone who had already come to terms with what real fear is and how to manage it within themselves. If all I got was some wallflower who'd never faced difficult weather, failing aircraft or decisions that meant his/her own destiny was in question then they were more of a liability than a benefit.

So before you all start bleating about how important it is that you go flying immediately, remember what it is you're trying to achieve. It's not about being first in the race to put on a white shirt and a couple of go faster stripes. It's about having the ability to face difficult situations as a responsible and reliable crew member who isn't going to let his Captain, crew, the passengers and his employer down by cracking up at the first obstacle due to lack of experience.


With zero visibility of how CAT training happens - how do you protect against quanity over quality in hour building? Seems like an epic waste of peoples time, money and the environment if someone goes off and does 200 hours and then gets kicked out by the Airline as they;ve just done 200h of circuits. Should the hour building not be more prescriptive?
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By MattL
#1828180
BoeingBoy wrote:If all I got was some wallflower who'd never faced difficult weather, failing aircraft or decisions that meant his/her own destiny was in question then they were more of a liability than a benefit.


Anyone doing a well taught PPL and hour building with effective TEM should have non of this ‘facing your maker’ rubbish. Avoiding dangerous situations should be celebrated not run down. Sounds rather judgmental to me to be honest, was your job as the training captain not to give those people the benefit of your knowledge and experience?
By tripacer
#1828185
BoeingBoy wrote:In the meantime we must stay grounded to stop the proletariat from becoming envious of our enormous wealth and privilege as Aviators. :roll:.


I have to disagree there. Being immensely rich and privileged it is only right and proper that I should fly not to induce envy, but to show my importance to the bovine hordes and induce due respect and reverence in them.

Er, for the avoidance of doubt that was... oh never mind.
Rob P, BoeingBoy, townleyc and 2 others liked this
By Stu B
#1828186
@BoeingBoy wrote:
As a Boeing Captain from 1983 to 2015 I flew with more 'new' FO's than I can possibly count, including line training them. If I had a bad day out where engineering and/or weather issues were making life difficult, I wanted someone in the right hand seat who'd already faced his maker on more than one occasion. Someone who had already come to terms with what real fear is and how to manage it within themselves. If all I got was some wallflower who'd never faced difficult weather, failing aircraft or decisions that meant his/her own destiny was in question then they were more of a liability than a benefit.


That's an interesting question. Our engines, airframes and avionics today are vastly more reliable than they were xxx years ago, and the accuracy of weather forecasts, and the detail available, the ease with which it can be obtained and the clarity with which is is presented are all vastly improved. And accident/incident rates have decreased accordingly. So there does seem to be a case for saying that measuring experience in terms of hours today is a very different metric from comparing hours flown by an earlier generation of pilots.
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