Polite discussion about EASA, the CAA, the ANO and the delights of aviation regulation.
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#1782611
Hi all,

I expect this question has been addressed in some shape or form in previous posts but I can't seem to find a clear yes/no answer on this.

Simply put, is the IMC/IR(R) rating still a valid and viable route for new PPL holders (i.e. those who have qualified this year)?

I've read a few posts and articles suggesting that a renewals for existing holders of the IMC/IR(R) rating are possible but nothing that specifically states that whether the rating is still available to first-timers.

Thanks,

Peter
#1782621
Yes, it remains valid and schools are training for it.

With the UK leaving EASA at the end of the year I’d hazard a guess that the long-term ability to use it on an EASA aircraft is more assured than it might have been were we to remain.
#1782625
Good place to start. I did my IMCR pretty soon after I got my PPL.

EASA has made good progress on making a full IR accessible, whether that will continue if/when we leave EASA no-one knows. Historically the CAA (and equivalents across Europe) weren't helpful in that respect which is why we ended up with the IMCR in the first place.
#1782647
johnm wrote:EASA has made good progress on making a full IR accessible. .

I am afraid Easa is always oiling the rich pilot's squeaky wheel at the safety expense of the "just about hanging in there" pilot.
E-IR - masses of wasted man-decades to satisfy the "where shall we go for the weekend darling, Nice or Salzburg?" brigade. How many sold (hardly suitable for business trip!)? Single figures?
CB-Ir - masses of man-decades to get something useful for the business man or rich fun pilot who can afford the costs of well equipped aircraft going hundreds of miles in airways.
Ok, what next... I know, man-decades discussing a basic i/r so we can stamp on that IMCR nonsense once and for all, by pretending all these annoying imcr people want to fly airways from Gloucester to Lee on Solent for a bacon sandwich from Lisa when in fact they just want a safety net of diverting into Bournemouth if weather is worse than predicted. We will made sure they have to attend expensive atos to fly expensively equipped aircraft, knowing all they really need is the ability to follow radar vectors whilat in imc to get them out of trouble.
If they want to show what the S in Easa stands for, at the same time they were providing new e-ir or cb-ir rules pretending the main reason was safety rather than satisfying richer pilot lobby groups, they could have spared just a little time extending the existing cloud rating to SEP... lots of real safety benefits for the masses... they allow sep to be vfr above cloud, why only let (powered) glider pilots get down safely? Maybe easa committees never heard of TEM
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#1782705
To be fair, there was progress on EASA implementing a basic instrument rating which would be roughly the equivalent of the IMC/IR(R) but Europe-wide. No idea if that will continue with the UK no longer being a stakeholder in EASA.

I'd like LPV approaches to the smaller GA airfields. There's no reason this can't be implemented more safely and cheaply than what is required currently (for example having pilots clear themselves like they do into uncontrolled aerodromes and even IMC in uncontrolled airspace). Then we might be able to break the vicious circle of pilots not having instrument training and we wouldn't have to be so dependent on the weather being high confidence VMC for every part of a planned route.

One would think that with our country having the weather it does, we'd be leading regulations on this. :cry:
#1782710
I am far from rich but I did take the time and effort to get an IR and I fly airways across Europe. The IMCR was useful but an affordable IR is far far better and EASA has made progress to such an opportunity valid in 30 countries, the UK CAA worked at making it as hard as possible.
#1782753
I really have no problem with an i/r being easier, unlike some, I have no desire to stop or restrict anyone getting anything where there is a perceived sensible need, therefore a cb-ir is fine by me for pilots (unlike me) who want to fly airways.
However, as Easa decided to regulate down through to the bacon sandwich layer of GA, then they should be supporting the safety needs of that layer, just as much as they do for the higher qualifications, and not just concentrating on making things easier/cheaper for pilots who want to fly airways.
The sep pilots permanently flying in the bacon sandwich layer with no intention at all of ever going anywhere near an airway, or for that matter going anywhere near an aircraft fully equipped enough to go in an airway, should not be forced to choose between expensive overkill (for their needs) courses (including the "not yet here" basic i/r), and nothing, when it comes to "get out of trouble" skills.
There is a huge missing link in easa IFR/IMC thinking, a hole in the safety chain sitting between a cloud rating for gliders and a new expensive airway capable B-I/R for SEP. Easa have shown they cannot even see the hole, never mind fill it, so should get out of regulating that bacon sandwich layer of flying and leave it to other agencies, one of which for 50 years has filled it with affordable practical imc safety training.
#1782756
Irv Lee wrote:Easa have shown they cannot even see the hole, never mind fill it, so should get out of regulating that bacon sandwich layer of flying and leave it to other agencies, one of which for 50 years has filled it with affordable practical imc safety training.


You mean the one that made obtaining an IR so difficult and costly that virtually no GA pilot got one, or the regulator who has been so slow in allowing IAPs at GA airfields that virtually none exist?

EASA has many faults, but in 20 years has achieved a fair bit compared with the CAA.

BTW how many IMC holders do any IMC flying between renewals?

:roll:
#1782759
Bathman wrote:I'm very much with Irv here. Want we need is an easa cloud rating and an FAA style IR.


We've needed a cloud rating and FAA style IR for decades. European regulators have consistently failed to address this effectively, until EASA had a go and made a good bit of progress in half a decade.
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#1782791
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:You mean the one that made obtaining an IR so difficult and costly that virtually no GA pilot got one, or the regulator who has been so slow in allowing IAPs at GA airfields that virtually none exist?

EASA has many faults, but in 20 years has achieved a fair bit compared with the CAA.

BTW how many IMC holders do any IMC flying between renewals?

:roll:

But what has this got to do with what I am saying? In fact in a way, isn't it agreeing with part of it? I am saying easa has been almost exclusively concerned with pilots who want an i/r and fly airways - aren't you agreeing? and with that, I am asking where is the affordable safety net for the sep pilots who never do or will? I can see it for glider pilots and tmg on ppl(s), but saying these sep pilots should take heart out of easa spending its time ignoring them on something that might as will be on a different planet to them does not really help.
The CAA has a 50 year record of supporting an affordable rating that the hobby PPLs could aspire to and were prepared to invest a relatively small amount for safety skill development whether they intended to fly instrument approaches or not. If the caa gold plated things for people wanting to fly airways, that is irrelevant to the point I am making on cloud ratings... at least the CAA didn't ban an sep holder from having a gold plated i/r like easa is banning an sep from having a cloud rating which would encourage affirdable development of safety skills. There would be queues at the doors of clubs for an sep cloud rating.
#1782792
johnm wrote:
Bathman wrote:I'm very much with Irv here. Want we need is an easa cloud rating and an FAA style IR.


We've needed a cloud rating and FAA style IR for decades. European regulators have consistently failed to address this effectively, until EASA had a go and made a good bit of progress in half a decade.

See my answer to FD... we had an affordable "cloud rating plus" for 50 years that was taken by pilots sep who only wanted the cloud rating half but realised the point in experiencing the approach bit too. The fact Easa is only concentrating on the airway end is surely indisputable (isn't it?) and doing nothing to help with satisfying safety net needs for sep pilots whose enjoyment lies purely in flying from Gloucestershire to Lee vfr for a bacon sandwich but know occasionally forecast are not accurate. What is good enough for the tmg goose is needed for the sep gander but easa cannot see this.
#1782793
@Irv Lee your view of EASA is that it is the devil reincarnated and that people who think that EASA has done anything good for GA pilots are wealthy and selfish.

The CAA has a long track record of gold-plating regulations and being obstructive in providing sensible solutions to common problems; they even had a 'cut the red tape challenge a few years back.

As far as the IR/IMC issue is concerned, the CAA afforded vanilla PPLs the option to get an IMC which is in real life as useful as a chocolate fireguard, at the behest of lobbying by AOPA. They very clearly did not want have PPLs flying around Class A and doing proper instrument approaches.

They could have easily afforded to allow PPLs to have an IR a la the FAA but the regulatory will was never there.

Whilst there are still improvements to be made - and EASA is the last one to deny that, there have been vast inroads to previously unattainable opportunities.

Class 2 medical sufficient for instructing anyone?

Clearly for those craving CAA specific POHs, Starter warning lights and another 125 CAA invented AANs there is some mourning to be done.
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#1782797
I would agree with @Flyin'Dutch' to a degree except that it is perfectly possible to use an IMCR as an IR except for airways and class A, I can say this with confidence having done so.

A current IMCR pilot is well on the way to having a CB IR.

Keeping current is important but is not trivial I admit, especially in the current climate, though a key part of currency is the instrument scan and that can be done on any old simulator. (I use Microsoft Flight Sim)

I don't know if anyone is actively lobbying for a cloud rating for SEP and whether there is demand. It might be worth inviting AOPA and/or LAA to find out?
#1782799
Having been the IAOPA member of RMT.0677 which developed the BIR, I read this thread with something of a wry smile...

My original concept was for 3 modules:

1. Basic IMC flying skills.
2. IFR approaches to IMCR limits.
3. En-route airways flights.

You will note that 1+2 = IR(R) and 1+3=EIR.

However, the PPL/IR member persuaded the group that:
1. IMC flying outside CAS was much more difficult than airways flying.
2. The BIR had to be nothing less than 1+2+3

We did at least agree that training for the BIR should be available at DTOs and that FI/FE requirements should be as for the IR(R), with the additional requirement for FI/FE to hold at least a BIR themselves.

I also dug my heels in and insisted that future work should include an 'aeroplane cloud flying rating'. Much like the old RAF 'cloud penetration certificate'. Again, the PPL/IR rep couldn't see the need for such a rating.....

EASA then amended the NPA we'd drafted, so that training for the BIR had to be at an ATO. Subsequently they also decided that BIR instructor/examiner requirements would have to be as for the IR.

So we've ended up with a BIR which will be more expensive and have less appeal, particularly in EASA MS where ATOs are at one end of the country and DTOs some distance away.

As for the 'Aeroplane Cloud Flying Rating', EASA has at least agreed that it will be a topic for RMT.0678. But that working groups is YEARS behind schedule.... Defining privileges will be difficult, so some people seem to think. 'Operation of an aeroplane in IMC not below 1000' above the highest obstacle within 5nm of the aeroplane's position' was my first thought.

Although the BIR has no minimum hours requirement, which will make it difficult for ATOs to price a BIR course, I would estimate around 20 hours instrument flight time as about right (EIR is 15, IR(R) is 15, but 5 are common to both).
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