Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By derekf
Keef wrote:Agree totally. Trouble is, the ideal model - 6 IAPs in 6 months, plus an airways sector etc - was invented somewhere else and is therefore not possible here.

But interestingly with the FAA route nobody checks the currency or how you fly. Any pilot with any sense would include an element of IFR work on their FAA BFR if they have an IR but its not required.
The IMCR at least have a check ride every 2 years (although the quality and content of that can vary depending on who does it).
On a purely personal note and based on flying conditions in the UK / Northern Europe I quite like the concept of both (FAA currency and some sort of annual or biannual check), however I'm now wondering if I should duck and run for suggesting more red tape :wink:
To be fair I think it's not the current currency or reval requirements that are at issue, it's getting the initial IR (from a JAR perspective).
By mm_flynn
I am probably a sad git -- but I look forward to my BFR and actually try and do it once a year. I find I always learn something and having a trim runaway just as you lift the gear or a fire just as you hit DH and have started the miss and loose all your vacuum instruments does help keep you thinking ahead!

Of all the thing about the JAA/IR the annual check must be the last thing to worry about -- but I do agree it would make sense for any future rating to have recency requirement (maybe 6 approaches in the last half year to avoid looking too much like nicking a good idea ;) )
By peterh337
A pilot who is running the FAA 6/6 IR rolling currency will probably be pretty current for IFR.

I generally manage about double the FAA requirement, and lately it has been achieved with very few if any approaches back home.

Most non-owners with an FAA IR report this 6/6 to be a real pain to maintain**, so in a perverse way it must be doing the job :)

Unless of course one cheats, by e.g. flying the 6 approaches one after the other, at your local airport, in VMC... but if you are doing that, you by implication aren't flying much IFR so your risk profile is not going to be great. IOW, somebody with a valid IR who is not current but who never uses it, is "safe" - perverse as that may be, it is valid from a population risk management POV which is all one can hope to achieve anyway.

** Nearly all non-owners with a JAA IR that I have met are lapsed anyway, presumably because they did not want to do the annual checkride. Go figure.
By denopa
Just received my copy which I always read with interest. Was taken aback by the update on FCL.008 "Hung out to dry by our own side". Looks like we've been out-manoeuvered by Europe Air Sports, and that the only hope is to appeal to Eric Sivel of EASA, who probably doesn't exactly have AOPA on his Christmas card list following the incessant gloating about the "knuckle rapping" letter from the EC to EASA. Is there anything at this stage that we can do to help Martin Robinson and co make their case, like a massive mail campaign to highlight the IMC ratings' value ?
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By Timothy
Jim Thorpe's own perspective may be read here.
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By Keef
Not sure. Need to think about it. Half of me says I've been sold down the river, the other half says let's see how they do with sorting the TK stuff. If an experienced FAA IR with an IMCR needs a year of study and seven written papers, it's a "fail".
By johnm
Many thanks for the link Timothy,

I'm still slightly mystified. I read a well argued bureaucratic paper giving an assessment of the IR world from a pilot who has the means and time to jump through any hoop he's faced with.

This is rather atypical.

Despite holding one, he seems to have a slightly patronising attitude to FAA and other ICAO ratings, but that may be because he's nodding to the European mentality and has become absorbed by the European committee process and the art of the possible within a political horse trading environment.

Nobody would argue with the proposition that getting a sensible PPL related IR theoretical syllabus and realistic recognition of prior experience in the training demands is sensible, it's what EVERYBODY wants.

However I don't recognise my own experience in some of Jim Thorpe's arguments. The key missing ingredient is airmanship and that relates to currency.

I did the IMCR immediately after the first 10 hours and took the test after 15 hours and passed, I've remained current ever since. I am most definitely not a "skygod" but the theory was relevant and straightforward and the flying challenging in terms of precision but otherwise fairly easy(apart from NDB tracking).

I'm now doing the IR and while my precision is improving further because I'm getting quite a lot of practice, I'm learning precisely nothing new, except a little bit on airways planning, but I could get that from a couple of hours reading on the web.

So behind all the huffing and puffing we get back to two simple requirements:

Do we understand the IFR procedures and rules and enough Met to avoid going off into silly conditions especially in relation to icing.

Can we fly with enough precision en route and through departure and arrival procedures and use the radio effectively.

That's all that's needed for a private pilot and that's what FCL008 should have delivered with a transition route for IMCR holders, other ICAO holders should merely need a satisfactory licence validation and check ride.
Agree with Johnm. Interesting article by Jim Thorpe, although there are errors in it, and it fails to adress what must be a concern for all IMC holders - i.e. a transition route. Sure there should be more training and a test if the privileges are extended to the rest of Europe, but should the IMC experience count for zero ? Or am I missing something ?
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By Keef
That's my "sold down the river" half.

No transition route: will UK PPLs under the "new regime" be allowed to fly out of sight of the surface, like French and others? Will the now-defunct IMCR make any difference?

Jim says that only a tiny minority of IMCR holders use it for serious IFR flight. I'm one of those, and I know a fair number of others. Whence came the statistics? From Steve C's survey which never did get published (and it's too late now anyway)?

OK, so we IMCR-in-real-IMC-flyers are still a tiny minority, even if not as tiny as implied - but then, IR holders are a tiny minority of UK PPL holders (3%, isn' t it?). That tells me something. Upmarket tiny minority has upstaged pleb tiny minority. Here was an opportunity to make the skies of Europe safer for all European PPLs by introducing something like the IMCR, which some at least have said would be a very useful feature. Has it been met, or has bureaucracy made it unattainable for all but a few?

Two things are missing that I can see (or rather, can't):
1) Where's the transition route for existing IMCR holders? Does their IMC time count towards the hours for an EIR or NewIR, as it does for the FAA IR?
2) What's the "conversion route" for FAA IR holders? Will they be required to do all the training and exams like a beginner? Inappropriate, if so.

I think Jim's put in a good effort, but I'm not so sure about the results. I fear he may have succumbed to the bureaucratic mindset.
Well, according to AOPA UK's magazine Martin gave Jim a thorough briefing but says now 'Hung out to dry by our own side' and that the IAOPA representative was the only person who made a case for the retention of the IMC as it is.

The same article also states that from the 28000 thousand PPL IMCRs ever given out 23000 still hold a valid medical. Not sure what that says about the useage and usefulness of the IMCR as I am pretty sure that the vast majority have let it either lapse or if renewed rarely use it.

If the upshot of this all is that the IMCR gets replaced with an FAA like IR then that is great news as the old style IMCR was ever only soma for the masses and led to the introduction of the 'in sight of the surface' restriction which vanilla PPL holders in the UK have to content with.
I echo Keef's comments. As an FI who uses his IMC rating on a very regular basis I'm left wondering where will this all go. I would certainly like my sack of IMC hours and 14 atpl exam passes to count towards something. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and spend £15K on an IR so I can continue doing exactly the same as I currently do. :?
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By Flyin'Dutch'
Dave Phillips wrote:I echo Keef's comments. As an FI who uses his IMC rating on a very regular basis I'm left wondering where will this all go. I would certainly like my sack of IMC hours and 14 atpl exam passes to count towards something. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and spend £15K on an IR so I can continue doing exactly the same as I currently do. :?

Yeah just get on with it and do your IR, as you were going to anyway.


No more writtens for you as you already have the ATPL writtens under your belt.

Doing the route via the FAA IR would make it more fun and cost effective for you than just banging off 50 hours over here.
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