Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#812117
Goodday all,

I have searched this forum for some more information regarding the following question, but did not find a satisfactory answer. I hope some of you can help me out here.

Basically, I want to know if I can fly (and land) in vfr at night, with a belgian JAR PPL with night rating (but without instrument rating!) on a UK airfield (in this specific case: the channel islands).

I searched the internet and came to the following conclusions:
* night vfr is not allowed in UK
* at night, you must always file an IFR flight plan
* however, you can fly this flightplan without instrument rating (????)
* because of the missing instrument rating, entering CTR's will be under "special vfr"
==> so in practice, night vfr is allowed.

Is this reasoning correct ? I find it a bit strange.

Then some follow-up questions:
* if the above is correct, does my plane has to be ifr certified, or just night vfr certified ?
* if I fly from France to the channel islands, is it possible to start the "ifr part" of the flightplan at the border, or does the whole flightplan has to be ifr ?

Thank you very much for any advice,
Kind regards,
Digits
#812129
In the UK you can fly IFR outside controlled airspace without any instrument qualification, so night IFR for a JAR-PPL is no problem if you have a JAR night qualification. Remember the British peculiarity of quadrantal rules for altitude rather than semicircular rules.

Inside the Channel Islands Class A your only option is SVFR but that isn't a problem in VFR conditions.

You'll need to file an IFR flight plan from the UK FIR boundary I think, but request SVFR in the Jersey zone in box 18.
User avatar
By Chilli Monster
#812147
digits wrote:* night vfr is not allowed in UK


Correct, but the great thing that most people outside the UK don't realise is that below 3000ft amsl, clear of cloud and in sight of the surface you are exempt the minimum height rule (1000ft above the highest obstacle within 5nm), and the quadrantal rule for level selection. Above 3000ft amsl Minimum Height Rule and quadrantal rules for en-route level selection apply. So - below 3000ft amsl you can be IFR, but the operation is no different to being VFR if you are VMC

* at night, you must always file an IFR flight plan


No Flight Plan required unless the flight will cross an International FIR boundary - IFR flight does not require a clearance in class 'G' airspace, so no Flight Plan required.

* however, you can fly this flightplan without instrument rating (????)


Yes - bizarre isn't it, but we're quaint like that on this side of the channel :wink:

* because of the missing instrument rating, entering CTR's will be under "special vfr"


Yes

* if the above is correct, does my plane has to be ifr certified, or just night vfr certified ?


Neither - a normal CofA certified aircraft is suitable, there is no "Night VFR" certification of aircraft in the UK. The aircraft certainly doesn't require to be IFR certified

* if I fly from France to the channel islands, is it possible to start the "ifr part" of the flightplan at the border, or does the whole flightplan has to be ifr ?


As your flight will remain within French airspace until the boundary of the Channel Isles CTR you can actually file VFR for the whole flight, as you will be VFR in France, SVFR inbound to Jersey
User avatar
By dublinpilot
#812150
In the UK you can fly IFR outside controlled airspace without any instrument qualification, so night IFR for a JAR-PPL is no problem if you have a JAR night qualification.


I'd be careful about that. While it's true for UK pilots operating UK aircraft, I'm not so sure about it for others.

JAR FCL will allow anyone without an IR to operate under IFR provided you are in VMC, if local regulations require it for some reason (eg night in uk).

But you're also bound by the requirements of the state of registration of your aircraft. In my case Irish leglistation states that the an EI registered aircraft can only be flown under IFR, if the pilot in command holds an instrument rating. There is no teratorial limit on this restriction, so it would seem an EI reg aircraft can't be flown under IFR in the UK with just a night rating.

Not that this causes our Belgian friend any problems, because he doesn't need IFR. He can fly VFR in French Airspace, and as soon as he hits the Jersey Zone, request SVFR.

dp
#812153
So, let's see if I understand this correctly: this means that if I want to fly outside controlled airspace (in the UK) at night, I would need to fly IFR, and in that case I would have to check Belgian regulations if i could do this without instrument rating?

So luckily I only fly in controlled airspace in the UK part of the trip, so I have no problems because of this regulation.
By johnm
#812159
I'd be careful about that. While it's true for UK pilots operating UK aircraft, I'm not so sure about it for others.


Hmmm good point I forgot about that :oops:

Why do regulators switch their brains off when they go to work :?
User avatar
By Iceman
#812182
As a matter of interest, in the past I have often filed an IFR flight plan for night flights between various southern UK airfields and Jersey, these flights remaining clear of airways. On contact with Jersey Zone, they have always asked me whether I wanted an IFR or an SVFR clearance into the zone. Would a 'Y' flight rules plan have been more appropriate / an absolute requirement in these cases ?

Iceman 8)
User avatar
By Chilli Monster
#812183
As a non-IR holder you should really file a "Y" plan, to change at the boundary of the Jersey Zone. Having said that - Jersey are just as up to speed as anyone else with reagrds to Night / Pilot Qualifications, so they probably always ask if you're coming from the FIR rather than the Airways Route Structure just to make sure.
By mm_flynn
#812237
Does the "UK Night is IFR, but if it is VMC a PPL can operate IFR and the operation is broadly the same as VFR" concept add value to ATC's life or is it just the regulator was board when he drafted this part of the ANO?

(Yes I do know the IFR requirement keeps PPLs out of CTAs and forces quadrantal levels (for those not susceptible to nose bleed :wink: ) - but it seems unlikely to be the reason for creating such an 'out of step' regulation)
User avatar
By Iceman
#812242
mm_flynn wrote: ... or is it just the regulator was board when he drafted this part of the ANO?


Are you accusing him of being a plank or of being bored :lol: ?

Iceman 8)
User avatar
By Chilli Monster
#812271
mm_flynn wrote:Does the "UK Night is IFR, but if it is VMC a PPL can operate IFR and the operation is broadly the same as VFR" concept add value to ATC's life or is it just the regulator was board when he drafted this part of the ANO?


Nothing to do with ATC as far as I know, this has been around since the days of Kingsway.
By Womble
#812278
Don't forget it is not just about arcane licence privileges, night VFR over water is very challenging flying. If you usually just fly VFR even with an occasional night flight over land I would think twice about flying low level over the sea at night with no visual reference.
By Frank Leopald
#812298
Night VFR en France? Impossible ne c'est pas? OK avec une moteur seulement.

a vous

Frank Leopald
User avatar
By Fishhead
#812742
In the UK you can fly IFR outside controlled airspace without any instrument qualification
This is true of a UK National PPL but not for a JAA PPL which is subject to the conditions and restrictions of JAR-FCL 1.175. This requires an IR or IMC rating however, where flight at night is required nationally to comply with IFR, then a night qualification is all that's required.

The aircraft does not need to be certified IFR to fly at night, it just needs the lights as required by the law of the State of registration and of the State whose airspace you are flying in.

You cannot file IFR from the CI Boundary which is Class A airspace, but you can file SVFR. The CI is not actually part of the UK, EU or EASA and is in the Brest FIR. In order to fly Special VFR, the holder of a UK issued JAA licence would need a minimum of 10 K visibility however; the holder of a Belgian JAA licence will be subject to the limits imposed by the Belgian authorities, or
c. Special VFR clearance to operate within the CTR, for the purpose of proceeding to or from an aerodrome within the Zone, will not be granted to an aircraft if the reported visibility is less than 3 km or the reported cloud ceiling is less than 600 ft at the aerodrome concerned.
. whichever is the more stringent. http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/aip/curre ... GJJ_en.pdf.