Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1755452
Below, the advice being offered to LAA members.

We’ve noted significant debate in the social media about whether pilots should fly during the current lock down on non-essential travel. We all have personal decisions to make on this; we’re all grown-ups and should be relied upon to make sensible judgements. Hopefully this advice will help you make the right decision.

Currently, unlike some other countries, there is no closure of VFR airspace. However, leisure flying is inadvisable. Even if it’s legal, it just doesn’t seem right, does it? Also, if something goes wrong, our whole community could be accused of recklessly using up emergency resources which are much more vitally needed elsewhere. Remember that others outside aviation might see your flight as an unnecessary indulgence, and you could generate ill-feeling from some around your flying site.

Travel to airfields for leisure flying cannot be regarded as ‘essential travel’. We therefore do not recommend members travel to their airfield except to check on the security of their aircraft and facilities when absolutely necessary. If you do, remember that contact with hangar doors and fuel facilities are potential cross-contamination points. Also, if you have a group-owned aircraft, remember that contact points such as door handles and controls are potential areas of contamination. Make sure you use hand gel or wash your hands regularly after contact.

There may be cases where inspection or maintenance work can be justified, but if this is necessary, please ensure the ‘social distancing’ advice is adhered to and cross-contamination precautions are taken.

We, and the other alphabet associations, are involved in dialogue with the CAA regarding potentially extending both pilot medical deadlines and developing short-term derogations for those who would have required a flight with an instructor. The CAA’s initial priority has been in developing these for professional pilots. They are now working on similar for private licence holders.

All these activities, plus our other work in developing a future strategy for sub-600kg aircraft and greater use of Permit aircraft in ab-initio training, depend on the CAA and DFT recognising our position as a credible organisation and as responsible citizens. Please bear this in mind as you make your personal decisions.

Finally, it goes without saying that the most important thing at this time is to maintain our own physical health to the best of our ability. Many of us are in the age groups that the public health authorities classify as being ‘at risk’, so do please take all the appropriate precautions and make sure you’re around and healthy when flying can legitimately recommence. Stay safe!

Light Aircraft Association
25th March 2020
#1755544
I hope those of us who have slightly bigger planes than those whI have are normally associated with LAA take on board their sound advice. [Where is AOPA in all this?]
GA is being watched and will be judged:
If we selfishly break the sensible rules by claiming “GA is not referred to” or “Up there, we’re not doing any harm to anyone”, there will be those who are restricted to their gardens looking up and thinking: “It’s one rule for the rich, another for ourselves”.
A little bit of restraint today could pay dividends for GA , tomorrow.
#1755793
I've locked this thread to keep it for updates only. @Stephen Slater, if you have further things that should be added here could you post them in a new thread then report your own thread (cog wheel top right 'Report this thread')?

One of us will merge the new post with this thread.

Any comments on the announcements can go in the main COVID General Aviation thread.
#1756776
Stephen Slater wrote:The LAA and the other alphabet organisations have been discussing this [Mod: Revalidation/medical extensions] with the CAA. Its firmly on their desk and we are hoping for a response shortly. Our case is:

There is likely to be a shortfall of instructors and examiners to validate licences and of AMEs to catch up with a backlog of out-of-date medicals, once restrictions are lifted.

Sensible extensions would allow pilots to maintain a valid licence and hence proficiency. There would be a minimal safety loss and a significant safety benefit in reducing the loss of flying continuity and currency and, most important of all, keep us flying.

There is a good precedent. CASA in Australia have announced that if a private pilot’s current flight review or proficiency check expires after 1 March 2020, they will be able to continue to use all the privileges of their licence for a further three months from when it expires. If, after these three months a further extension were to be required, these arrangements could be extended, by application, perhaps under an instructor’s counter-signature, for a further three months.

With UK licenses such as a UK PPL or NPPL, this should be achieveable under amendments to the ANO. With EASA licenses, as Mick has commented, its more complex, but some exemptions which were drawn up in the past weeks by EASA may allow for local intitiatives.

Watch this space. Meantime. Stay safe.