Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1823118
The decision about the new FCL regulations for electric, non-complex, aircraft has now been taken and the new regulations will be in force on 26 February. At that date, our DTO can apply for permission to train us PPL pilots. To be approved, the training manual and governing documents (I don't know the exact terminology, but you know what I mean) must be updated and approved by the Swedish CAA. From what I can see, nothing has really changed in comparison with the proposal that I talked about in an earlier post.

I know that the first Pipstrel Velis was delivered to Switzerland. Our was the second, but that was almost six months ago so others may have been sold as well. I don't know if any other EASA country (I think that's still the only place the aircraft is authorized) has sorted out the FCL issue before. If someone knows, please post.

I'm guessing that the document update shouldn't take that long since the Swedish CAA's requirements on the training contents are linked to the manufacturers advice. Perhaps they will be ready to submit when the regulations become active on 26 February? If so, I'm starting to feel confident that I can do my difference training sometime in the spring.

If anyone is interested enough to copy/paste into Google translate, the FCL regulation can be found in the following link. I think Morten is the only one on here, with the possible exception of kanga, who can read it without help. :D
https://transportstyrelsen.se/TSFS/TSFS%202021_5.pdf
G-BLEW, gaznav liked this
#1830098
A little update as the days grow longer and spring is around the corner:

Our club/school has now made two training curriculums and submitted them to the national CAA for approval: one for electric difference training for PPLs and one for ab-initio training in a combination of electric and SEP. It's obviously not possible to do all the things needed for a PPL in an aircraft with such a short range. The recommendation from the authorities is to keep all solo time in SEP only.

We don't expect an immediate approval, but the goal is definitely in sight. The difference training will include ground school, so either a virtual solution or we wait until we're allowed to gather. We are around fifteen pilots who have flown the Pipistrel Virus recently and I think most of us will want to take the training.

In parallel, our CFI Rickard invited an aviation Youtuber along. They're both Swedish, but they speak English to each other in the video. I don't know this guy, but he's got 100k subscribers which is a decent amount for an aviation channel. In the very beginning as they're walking from our club house to the hangar you can see a PA28, SE-KMG, getting ready, probably for a school flight. That's the aircraft I learned to fly in. I still fly it occasionally, including on a trip to Jersey in 2019.

This video covers the pre-flight and take off. Another video is coming, according to the end credits.



Also: you can see a tall orange structure at the airport. Can anyone guess what it is? It opened a couple of years ago and as a hint I can say that it makes a lot of rumbling noise.
nallen, Dave W liked this
#1830194
It’s interesting to speculate on the reaction if you started training a student 100% electric and only sat him in an SEP after he was fully at home in an aircraft. Would he be excited by the roar and vibration of the SEP. or would he say “ how can pilots bear to be in noisy rattling old dinosaur things like this”?
#1830205
Stu B wrote:It’s interesting to speculate on the reaction if you started training a student 100% electric and only sat him in an SEP after he was fully at home in an aircraft. Would he be excited by the roar and vibration of the SEP. or would he say “ how can pilots bear to be in noisy rattling old dinosaur things like this”?

Well, the SEP in question in our case is a Pipistrel Virus with a Rotax engine. For us who trained in spam cans, it's virtually silent. And as you can hear in the video, the propeller in the Velis still makes some noise so it's not like a glider.

We actually bought the Virus as a preparation since the handling is very similar; we've had it for almost two years now. The big difference is that there is no air brake in the Velis Electro (they took that out, together with the parachute, during the certification process). The Virus also has a flap setting of -1 for cruise, but that's not a significant difference. Going back and forth between a Pipistrel Velis and a PA28 during initial training would not be a good idea.

Just a few weeks ago, our first Pipistrel-only student got his PPL. It will be interesting to see what the transition to PA28/C172 will be like; I'm guessing easier than the other way around: a Piper or Cessna is much more forgiving. On the other hand, that first student is young so he would probably do the transition easier than older students anyway.

There are several things that I like about the Pipistrel Virus: the clean cockpit, the excellent view, the speed,... What I don't like is the almost non-existent baggage compartment. Also, since you can't reach over to the back seat (there is no back seat) you need to have everything you'll be using in flight in your lap. In-flight snacking therefore becomes difficult.

Hopefully the next update on this thread from me will be when we're ready to start the training for us regular pilots. (Unless someone has a question, of course, which I will try to answer.)
Stu B, gaznav liked this
#1830206
PeteSpencer wrote:Gas venting point for clubhouse latrine? :wink:

Given the habit of several pilots and instructors to eat frozen pizza and similar junk food for lunch, that's not a bad guess. But we're connected to the city's regular sewage system. :D
#1830234
akg1486 wrote:Also: you can see a tall orange structure at the airport. Can anyone guess what it is? It opened a couple of years ago and as a hint I can say that it makes a lot of rumbling noise.

Indoor skydiving?
#1830236
Morten wrote:
akg1486 wrote:Also: you can see a tall orange structure at the airport. Can anyone guess what it is? It opened a couple of years ago and as a hint I can say that it makes a lot of rumbling noise.

Indoor skydiving?

Akkurat! ("That's right!" in Norwegian.)
kanga liked this
#1851909
In our club's newletter yesterday, the members were informed that the Swedish CAA has now (finally!) authorized our CFI to train pilots and even ab initio students to fly electric aircraft. The training plan for new PPLs says that more than half of the required items in the curriculum can be done in the Pipistrel Velis; the rest will be in the Pipistrel Virus. Compared to getting a PPL in a 1980s PA28 Cadet, the cost should be some 25% cheaper (my estimate, not based on official budget). From what we've been able to find out, our club's school will be the first in the world to use an electric aircraft in PPL-training.

I'd be ready to start my own difference training now if it weren't for the fact that the aircraft is currently at the factory in Slovenia where the State of Health of the batteries is being investigated. I don't have the details, but from what I understand the SoH has dropped more than expected. :(