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CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

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  • #31
    CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

    We already have a syllabus Marc, perfectly suited for SSDR and proven by decades of safe pilot training, no point in reinventing the wheel. The microlight syllabus is only 25 hours and yet I believe the majority all take longer than this to get the necessary skills so I'm not sure how you shortcut unless you chop bits out and I'm not sure what is actually sacrificial that won't result in less competent pilots.

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    • #32
      CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

      Marc Asquith wrote: Hi all,

      The BHPA position on Paramotors has been that what is required is training to an approved standard, not licensing. After all, that is exactly what we have run for HG and PG pilots for many years.

      I anticipate that we will respond to the CAA suggesting that this is the correct approach for SSDR Microlights and that we are in a position to produce a syllabus for their approval in very short order.

      The intention would be that this would reduce the bureaucracy imposed on SSDR pilots even further. Perhaps, thereafter, given a track record of incident free flying, we could lobby to remove the legal requirement to register such aircraft, or offer to maintain a register ourselves.

      Food for thought..

      Regards

      Marc.
      I think my initial reaction to this is that certainly in the case of trike and Fixedwing SSDR you are trying to fix something that is far from broken. What value can be added by changing the current system as you propose?

      The current syllabus works well and it's hard to see what is contained that is unnecessary, or how the hours to gain competence can be reduced.
      Dual tuition would still need to be provided by trained instructors in two seat machines and I can't see how we could short cut the system there.
      So basic learn to fly costs are not likely to be reduced.
      They may actually be higher - at present BMAA membership is not required and no fees are levied to schools by BMAA - yet for BHPA training fees are charged to schools, all students even trial lessons have to be BHPA members and fees paid by school fir each trial lesson and compulsory membership by training students.
      The end result would have less value in that with no license issued travel in Europe becomes difficult, and even in UK there could be problems with airfields denying access to non licensed pilots - we have fought for years for access to GA airfields against prejudice and this could be an opportunity for that to flood back. It also has less value in that it creates a gap to cross to move to two seat flying.

      The other concern is accident rates. If the law does not require a license then the assumption is easily made that training is less necessary and some folk will elect to just try it themselves. This is exactly the case with paramotors - the majority of learning is done outside of the BHPA. That doesn't cause too much of a problem as they are very low energy - and some skill in canopy handling is needed before flight can occur. Any fool can get airborne in an SSDR by simply opening the throttle - then they have a responsive aircraft to try and fly that can easily exceed 100mph at modest attitudes.
      So it does all seem to be a very silly idea - unless sone significant safeguards are added.

      Paul

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      • #33
        CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

        Just got e-mail from a guy ... he asks - how I can get pilot license?

        My reply was - why aren't you asking "how I can LEARN to fly?" ...

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        • #34
          CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

          Hi All,

          I merely comment on what I expect that the BHPA will be doing - in all likelihood we will produce a pilot training syllabus with several levels - some elements seriously poached from the existing Licence scheme - and will take it to CAA, offering to administer it.

          If you do not like it - you can still get your NPPL or what ever Licence you like.

          I would expect that as with Paragliding, Paramotoring, Hang Gliding and Powered Hang Gliding, our insurance will cover the Training operations and instructors that register with us.

          We will require that they train to our CAA accepted programme to a basic level. We will introduce a scheme of ongoing Pilot Development. It's all about training - not licences.

          We will seek displace CAA involvement from Microlighting for BHPA members as far as it is possible.

          By way of track record - no BHPA member has ever been prosecuted for an airspace infringement - Ever - and almost none of us have ever held a Pilot's Licence.

          That is the goal.

          Regards

          Marc
          BHPA Chairman
          Vice President RAeC
          Barrister at Law

          Comment


          • #35
            CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

            In the early days of microlighting, before realistic two-seaters, it was possible to train.
            I did it, though I had some previous hours hang-gliding, which was taught by an approved school.
            Whether a BMAA instructor or school wants to take the risk of single-seat training, as our first instructors did, is another matter in these litigious times.
            But the BHPA, with a more open view of training, may well feel it is viable.
            There were accidents, but not usually serious. The early microlights had barely enough energy to inflict serious harm. (Biggest difficulty was extracting the student from the ball of aluminium and cable that was once a tow-training Eagle ;-)
            Dave

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            • #36
              CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

              There may have been no prosecutions for airspace infringement but I can assure you Mark it is not because it has not happened.
              So I would'nt be shouting too loudly about lack of prosecutions

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              • #37
                CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                There may have been no BHPA members prosecuted, but there certainly have been some high profile paramotor non-members prosecuted.

                It is this problem with getting people into a non-compulsory system that gives concerns. It works well for those in the system, but for those that do not enter it at all, or leave because they don't agree with it, or those who choose to set themselves up teaching to their own idea of what is best, then there is no corrective or enforcement action possible until after an accident/infringement etc.

                Cheers,
                Paul.

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                • #38
                  CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                  Marc wrote: By way of track record - no BHPA member has ever been prosecuted for an airspace infringement - Ever - and almost none of us have ever held a Pilot's Licence.
                  Doesn't mean it doesn't happen a lot. These aircraft are impossible to detect by radar, even if spotted on a radar the return is so small it would be assumed it was a crow or something.

                  Not entirely convinced by that argument... no prosecutions but I bet a lot of unnoticed infringements that fortunately come to nothing..?

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                  • #39
                    CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                    OK, we do have evidence for this. I'll agree with Willy Russell, BUT - we have a huge database of the flights that are entered in the National XC leagues every year, and we actually do some distances without engines that are close the endurance of aircraft like the Quantum.

                    Flights are disqualified for airspace breaches, and we mean tiny ones. This is a public domain record of the XC flights tracked by GPS.

                    My gut feeling is, compared with some GA I hear on the radio, we do very well for infringements.

                    The blue traces are flights.

                    This is a rough idea, it isn't possible to filter it by years or aircraft types (HG/PG). The airspace is current but some of the flights may have been made before/after airspace was added/removed.

                    We have a number of agreements like the one for Robin Hood or Bath Gap, which is why you see some clearly "infringing flights byut they are not, the phone call has been made and the corridors opened up. Co-operation between the BGA and the BHPA. Same is true for DZs.



                    And let's remember that the fuss over the Southend air miss was misplaced. The incident was not the paramotor pilot's fault - it took place in Class G.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                      It's an impressive picture but what does it show?
                      1. People who submit their traces know (because of the rules) that they must not contain infringements otherwise they are disqualified so this is the enforcement making it self policing - no point in submitting a dodgy flight and therefore no point in making a dodgy flight.
                      2. People who are presumably good enough to get away from the hill and go XC. So not EP/SP or even CP?

                      I'm not sure how this transfers in any meaningful way to microlights. Other than showing that rules, enforcement and penalties work?

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                      • #41
                        CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                        In order to enforce infringements the documented identification is necessary. The only way to do so is mandatory two way radio communication and transponder with personal identification code. It is impossible to install transponders to ALL microlights, hanggliders and paragliders, it impossible to provide personal codes to each of them and it is impossible to keep two way radio communication with all of them. So, the prevention of infringements is based exclusively on consciousness of individual pilot. It doesn't matter he bears license, or not. It depends on conscious abidance by rules. That can be achieved by constant education and self education and care about others. I think I didn't tell anything new - that touches all areas of our lives and activities.

                        I don't say that license must be removed. No way. I'm just saying that license holder doesn't become "good guy" just because he went through licensing (not training but administrating) procedure and got final product - the license. I do have license of course, but funny thing is that nobody, never have asked me - "your license Sir please ..." since I started flying microlights Well, international and National competitions, air shows - yes. But on daily basis never. Of course license will be checked if I crash but that would be a day after the fair

                        License just gives right to start self training and education

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                        • #42
                          CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                          Training is important and necessary, licence proves that you have reached a required standard. So... leave things as they are. As Paul D and others have said, we have won some gains based mainly on the principle that pilot training=safety (as opposed to the regulator's disproportionate tendency to think that airworthiness=safety). I think it would be dangerous to backtrack on that.

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                          • #43
                            CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                            The CAA has statistics on all infringements. Those that result in a MOR show that allt ypes of aircraft are involved. http://flyontrack.co.uk/statistics/

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                            • #44
                              CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                              And I know from personal experience that the CAA responds to FOI requests about MORs. If it interests you enough to frame a request, go here http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1357

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                              • #45
                                CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                                Gwyn Carwardine wrote: It's an impressive picture but what does it show?
                                It gives an idea of the cross country flights being flown by HG/PG pilots in the UK and also hints at how well the training has worked because it can be hard to avoid airspace when your fuel source is taking you up into it, and all around is sink.

                                Gwyn Carwardine wrote: 1. People who submit their traces know (because of the rules) that they must not contain infringements otherwise they are disqualified so this is the enforcement making it self policing - no point in submitting a dodgy flight and therefore no point in making a dodgy flight.
                                Not quite, only the UK leagues can disqualify, other International Leagues and databases just host whatever gets put up, and this is an amalgam of all of those tracks, the reason for it is partly to overlay tracks to see "house" theramls, is there a pattern to the sources of thermals when flying in certain areas?

                                Gwyn Carwardine wrote: 2. People who are presumably good enough to get away from the hill and go XC. So not EP/SP or even CP?
                                CPs can do pre-discussed cross country flights in a similar way to an NPPL student pilot doing solo XCs. They're "supervised".

                                Gwyn Carwardine wrote: I'm not sure how this transfers in any meaningful way to microlights. Other than showing that rules, enforcement and penalties work?
                                'Twas more of a reply to Andy Fell really.

                                To summarise, it looks like the general opinion is that the legal requirement for a licence should remain, but some of the details surrounding keeping it current and medical requirements could be streamlined?

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