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

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  • #61
    CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

    [quote=Joan Walsh]Wowee! What triggered that thread resurrection?

    As far as I understood, the BMAA as an association - not necessarily individual members or employees - has consistently tried to reduce regulation against CAA generally tending to responde to pressure increase it. Now we have a CAA that's been mandated to reduce regulation (thank you Mr Shapps) and a BMAA that's not certain what to do having been let out of the cage.

    *Hi Joan

    Geoff is a little caustic on the contribution by Mr Shapps judging by our recent exchange of mails, when I expressed similar sentiments to him; his view was that the impetus for change and reduction came from the CAA head honcho. Geoff asked why Shapps had been sacked, which hinted at scepticism of the achievements during his tenure.

    Being a small business type I'm naturally in favour of politicians that have actually run a business, earned success at it along with a pilot's knowledge of flying being in charge of such matters, and heartened by Grant Shapps' publicly berating CAA thinking it OK to have a 'Head of Rulemaking'. Geoff also raised the relaxation of the 90-day rule, his view being that Shapps was the only one who thought it a good idea, I'm somewhat surprised that a fairly gentle rule reduction by CAA should be thought of as anything else...

    Fact is, for good or ill (depending on your leaning) a certain Iron Lady didn't actually change all that much but created an ATMOSPHERE of scepticism of self-serving bureaucracy, in a similar way it is beyond coincidence that the Rt Hon Grant Shapps oversaw a pretty amazing (even frantic) chopping of hallowed regulation that had killed single seater aircraft, strangled progress and driven too many people I met away.

    Although just renewed membership and shortly to pay an aviation insurer for Hull and Third party, the recent warnings in MF about BHPA insurance, third party and passenger liability don't apply at all to SSDR for instance, so to get and retain members the BMAA even more urgently needs to present an image different from the one I see at present, despite Paul Dewhurst's excellent work in defending it.

    Read Daniel Hannan on how established larger players and regulators frequently influence the system to retain overregulation as they have the resources to cope, while smaller ones struggle to get started at all, whilst we aren't Airbus, being blind to taking Occam's razor to paternal rules that don't affect the wider public safety will shrink the BMAA in the end, as Geoff himself points out, the BMAA pilot numbers already makes in-house insurance unviable.

    Cheers

    Kev
    G-KEVA
    BMAA 5696

    "If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls."

    R.J. Mitchell :- Designer of the Supermarine Spitfire

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    • #62
      CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

      Paul Dewhurst wrote: Steve - what's with the anti BMAA rhetoric - I haven't heard anything that the BMAA has any views on increasing regulation of ANY sort for paramotors. Indeed quite the reverse - the BMAA ANO consultation response makes the case that BMAA supports the current situation and suggests that it be extended to footlauched machines with wheel attachments.
      It's not the official BMAA stance or viewpoint to increase the regulation in this area, agreed, but once the members of a members' association start talking about restricting something else in another association, I think it has to be resisted. If not, we're on the slope.

      It's not anti-BMAA rhetoric, it's more the "making a point to change things from within".

      Paul Dewhurst wrote: BMAA also strongly responded of the Southend paramotor debacle supporting the right of the pilot to be where they were and that they were being used for scaremongering purposes.

      So please give credit where credit is due.
      Yes, massive credit due the BMAA here, everyone in opposition to unnecessary airspace is singing off the same hymn sheet, and there is no criticism implied or intended of the BMAA policy and action on keeping airspace available to us. I simply used the Southend RMZ report to show that microlights and GA also have trouble avoiding airspace.

      Paul Dewhurst wrote: As for paramotoring plateauing that's not what our friends in the industry are reporting, and Clive Masons relatively new school near us is thriving.
      It may be that these are conversions, and they are intending to motor a wing they already own. Maybe sales of motors are up.

      Paul Dewhurst wrote: I also fail to understand why you attacked my air law comment - if you hadn't snipped out of context you will see I referred to the Skyway code initiative
      I wasn't intending to attack but the phrase "promote basic air law and good behaviour" implies a lack of the same, or significant room for improvement. We'd possibly promote if it was good already, but there would be much less incentive to do so.

      Whilst I'm certainly not accusing you of anything, the more general tone in this thread seems to be that free flyers and foot launchers don't have to have licences and their air law is poor, and the two are connected.

      Paul Dewhurst wrote: We also have to accept that
      Most paramotor training goes on outside of the BHPA scheme - so some efforts to non threateningly engage with people teaching thus and their students may be a positive thing.
      For sure, that's a fact. In my BHPA club we've spent a lot of time engaging to preserve sites, and remain on good terms with land owners, without whose land we have nowhere to fly. We engage them, we accept we have no authority to tell them anything and we try to protect the reputation of the sport, because as we all know, the tabloids find it very hard to distinguish between the different types of death traps flown by death defying, aerial thrill seeking nutters.

      Geoff Weighell wrote:
      The BHPA foot launched power training scheme is an example of what might be a CAA approved scheme if such an approval was available.
      The problem with foot launched training at the moment is that there is no requirement for training so pilots can just teach themselves or if they do take training there is no requirement for the training to be approved to a standard. There are many training schools that are not part of the BHPA system and so are of an unknown standard. That doesn't mean that they are less good than a BHPA school, just unknown.
      You are right about the above. The practicalities of self teaching particularly with learning to ground handle a PG and deal with the aspects of the motor and propeller means that self teaching is only for the very talented. The first proper dragging experience can destroy wing, prop and lead to severe injury. Two busted props is probably the best part of a full course.

      In an increasingly litigious society, whilst there is no legal requirement for a course to a standard, any instructor in court would find that he or she would need to show due diligence as a minimum defence, and a good lawyer would probably tear them to bits if their course fell short of the "industry standard". At least one instructor outside the BHPA insurance has had to defend a case. And whilst the BHPA does defend such cases, the maximum payout is very limited. And it could be that expert witnesses get called who are inside the "industry standard" system by the plaintiff's lawyer.

      The situation with HG and PG (the free flight side) is that anyone can just teach themselves, but such people are very few and far between, and the self teaching phenomenon is not unknown in microlighting.

      Comment


      • #63
        CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

        Joan Walsh wrote: Wowee! What triggered that thread resurrection?

        As far as I understood, the BMAA as an association - not necessarily individual members or employees - has consistently tried to reduce regulation against CAA generally tending to responde to pressure increase it. Now we have a CAA that's been mandated to reduce regulation (thank you Mr Shapps) and a BMAA that's not certain what to do having been let out of the cage.

        I hope there's collaboration behind the scenes where there is apparently bitter rivalry on here.

        Joan
        Joan, Not quite sure where you are coming from here.
        The BMAA has been working to reduce regulation for as long as I can remember. In the past the CAA has looked after its role as a regulator by resisting change and keeping as many regulations as possible. Before the CAA RA2 paper, which was before the Red Tape Challenge, the BMAA had submitted the Time for Change paper that calls for a fresh look at regulation as applied to microlights covering airworthiness, licensing and operations. When the CEO Andrew Haines took over he started the reform of the CAA and his efforts are now making themselves felt. Yes there was gravitas added by the involvement of a couple of MPs, but they didn't start the reform. We continue to work to encourage the CAA to reduce regulation where we can. It can be a slow job and not all CAA staff accept that it is the right way to go so we meet resistance and delay, but it won't stop us trying.

        Comment


        • #64
          CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

          Steve, beat me to it. The interesting thing to me is that the moment this comes up some BMAA members with NPPL's get quite defensive about the fact that anyone could possibly be permitted to fly a craft without having to go through what they did. Human nature I guess.

          Comment


          • #65
            CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

            All my ex-RAF mates that went through the ATPL complained that it was full of irrelevant, outdated guff and the CAA should be taken to task about it. Then they passed the course and became great advocates that everyone who came after them should do the whole thing to become proper pilots.

            Comment


            • #66
              CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

              Ian,

              TBH. I suspect it's only after they really have a few scares once they go off on their own a few times (or more in my case) they realize just how life protectingly important proper basic instruction is - rather than any "dog in a manger" syndrome.

              mike hallam

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              • #67
                CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                Steve

                I think you are being overly defensive here, and may not know the background of some of the people expressing views- actually Richard Leigh is not a BMAA member bashing BHPA members - he is a keen and active hanglider pilot and BHPA member as well as flying microlights and GA. a good perspective to look at the merits of a variety of approaches I would say. I am a BHPA member and have manufactured 260 footlaunched powered machines and I am an owner of a BHPA school for hangliding and footlaunched powered HG. Yet apparently my ( I thought wholly and carefully unjudgemental) views are to be dismissed as BMAA against BHPA - I am quite insulted!

                Facts are paramotoring is not inherently a BHPA thing anyway as most training and flying of paramotors is outside BHPA, and those paramotor pilots within BHPA are probably not the problem as they will have a rating and will have passed an airlaw exam - yes BHPA insist on exams - yet my mere mention of promoting air law and engagement with those that are self taught or taught by a self appointed instructor outside any association scheme gets attacked!

                Also don't forget that the FAI regard paramotors as microlights and the BMAA is involved in admistering the FAI sporting licenses for them and sponsoring the paramotor team members on an equal basis as the microlight classic classes. And MF tries to feature paramotoring and has a fair few articles and a fair share of front covers, and BMAA promotional literature and the annual this is microlighting promotional magazine features paramotoring.

                So to imply that it's all a BHPA matter and no discussion can take place on the BMAA forum seems to me to be wrong.

                You may also long have a full perspective about the history of powered footlaunched training in the UK and why it has ended up as it did - not quite fitting in completely with existing associations. I put in quite a lot of work in a paramotor training scheme and was an examiner of instructors for the scheme. The process was ultimately doomed for various reasons - somewhat intrinsic to its unregulated status in hindsight. If you have a spare evening sometime I will explain the twists and turns, personalities and politics.

                Paul

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                • #68
                  CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                  Paul Dewhurst wrote: I am a BHPA member and have manufactured 260 footlaunched powered machines and I am an owner of a BHPA school for hangliding and footlaunched powered HG. Yet apparently my ( I thought wholly and carefully unjudgemental) views are to be dismissed as BMAA against BHPA - I am quite insulted!
                  I apologise. The intent was not to insult you. I don't think you are against the BHPA and are well qualified to offer a a reasoned and knowledgeable comparison.

                  Your credentials are impeccable. We all know them. I would argue with your views but would never dismiss them.

                  However, in my defence I arrived at this place on a very different journey from most of you, and therefore my opinions are very different.

                  And of course we should discuss it here.

                  Training and licensing are not the same thing. One is proof of the other, but as people on this thread are claiming, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. So, for most of my flying career I have been trained for it but not licensed.

                  But we all agree that training is paramount.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                    We have lots of different threads going on here and I think it's important to seperate them - we are tending to confuse bits and are falling into taking at cross purposes. Seems to me we have the following hares running:

                    1. Should the requirement for training be removed from SSDR
                    2. Should training be required - but not a license? ( can the two be untangled?)
                    3. Should / could there be extension to some very light types to be unregulated for training but not all SSDR?
                    4. Could there a reduced syllabus for some sub category of small light craft but still mandatory?
                    5. should training / licensing or some aspects of proving knowledge be mandatory for footlaunched powered.
                    6. Should footlaunched powered carry identification marks? ( topical pop up in light of last weeks Norfolk incident)
                    7. The possibilty of BHPA providing aspects of microlight training - good / bad /indifferent-/aggressive land grab / natural extension from footlaunched powered rating training?

                    When we are joining in the debate and disagreeing with others can we make it clear which of these 7 ( or more that I might have missed!) aspects we are talking about!

                    Paul

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                      Steve Uzochukwu wrote:
                      Originally posted by Paul Dewhurst
                      I am a BHPA member and have manufactured 260 footlaunched powered machines and I am an owner of a BHPA school for hangliding and footlaunched powered HG. Yet apparently my ( I thought wholly and carefully unjudgemental) views are to be dismissed as BMAA against BHPA - I am quite insulted!
                      I apologise. The intent was not to insult you. I don't think you are against the BHPA and are well qualified to offer a a reasoned and knowledgeable comparison.

                      Your credentials are impeccable. We all know them. I would argue with your views but would never dismiss them.

                      However, in my defence I arrived at this place on a very different journey from most of you, and therefore my opinions are very different.

                      And of course we should discuss it here.

                      Training and licensing are not the same thing. One is proof of the other, but as people on this thread are claiming, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. So, for most of my flying career I have been trained for it but not licensed.

                      But we all agree that training is paramount.
                      Hi Steve,

                      I'm certainly not against the BHPA, I've been flying hang gliders for more than 35yrs and microlghts for less than 10yrs, like you I have a BHPA membership and ratings as well as an NPPL and a EASA PPL SEP (also with several ratings). I work as a part-time instructor at an airfield with lots of hang gliding, paramotoring and paragliding going on as well as microlight and GA flying. (I have also been a very keen SSDR pilot since 2007 and more recently paragliding). Because of my day job in A&E and being one of several BMAA volunteers, I have spent considerable time trying to simplify/deregulate the NPPL medical standard so I'm also not in favour of needless regulation i.e. without some objective evidence that it is worthwhile. (The result has been recently published as the consultation document CAP 1284, if you have time to complete the survey it would be appreciated!)

                      I think that Paul has neatly listed the issues which merit discussion to define what are the ideal changes that can be achieved with the surprising enthusiasm the CAA currently have to reduce regulation. I see from your recent emails that you are sensitive about BHPA matters but Paul and I are members too, as are many other microlight pilots and I hope we all have equally valuable opinions.

                      It's easy to be misunderstood when writing, my views are my own and you are obviously welcome to disagree and present better alternatives, but to avoid unintended offence or misunderstanding perhaps we should all be discussing the issues over a beer rather than trying to write about them? I hope that somewhere there is aleady a similar legislative group discussing opportunities to reduce regulation, similar to the CAA Medical Working Group. Since the Red Tape Challenge the CAA seem to have an unprecedented appetite for appropriate simplification of regulation, surely an opportunity that all UK flying organisations should sieze?

                      So if anything could be added to Paul D's list perhaps it could be tp organise a very prompt discussion between interested parties and come up with a consensus opinion of safe regulation changes to suggest to the CAA - if we can't agree amongst ourselves then it's unlikely the CAA will be persuaded.

                      Richard

                      P.S. I also work stupid hours which is why I'm thumbing my way through this on my phone in a rare quiet moment with a cup of NHS coffee.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                        Of course we also live in interesting times - previously legislation has been imposed on us and pretty uniformly over the top and our job has been relatively simple in philosophy - fight to reduce all aspects!

                        However now it's not so simple, - CAA are reviewing stuff and saying 'what do you want - tell us and make a case for it' - so we are now in the position of having to judge what the sensible minima should be and what regulation is appropriate and desirable, and it's not alway none.

                        For our light stuff we are now the least regulated in Europe and being viewed with interest as an experiment.

                        We have to be careful in our enthusiasm to race for the bottom regulation wise that we dont throw the baby out with the bath water. Whilst regulation is mostly unecessary for the wise man - we only become a wise man after being through a structured system that educates and supports us. So we need to work out what is unecessary and can be safely thrown out, and what is necessary to nurture the sport, and whilst not being nanny, figure out what safeguards are appropriate for newcomers.

                        Paul

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                          1: No. See gravity and Darwin.
                          2:Yes. The licence demonstrates the proof of training.
                          3:Guardedly, perhaps. It has worked before.
                          4:Probably not. The new pilot needs to be protected from the aircraft and the rest of us as well as from himself. The fact that few complete the course in 15 hours suggests that it might not be a good idea.
                          5: Yes. Emphatically. It need only be a weekend course validated by a suitable body but it would have to include an air law exam.
                          6: Probably impractical but an ident beacon carried by the flyer would be very cheap to make and if it broadcast the user's licence number ?
                          7: Perhaps this could work with small flexwings but I do not see them being relevant to, say, a quik or Skyranger.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            CAA looking at Deregulate the pilot licensing of small single occupant aircraft

                            1. Should the requirement for training be removed from SSDR >> No. The current very generous BHPA insurance scheme relies, I suspect, on NPPL or BHPA training schemes ensuring competent risks.

                            2. Should training be required - but not a license? ( can the two be untangled?) >> License or BHPA (or other) formal training qualification.

                            3. Should / could there be extension to some very light types to be unregulated for training but not all SSDR? >> Probably.

                            4. Could there a reduced syllabus for some sub category of small light craft but still mandatory? >> I don't see a justification for that.

                            5. should training / licensing or some aspects of proving knowledge be mandatory for footlaunched powered. >> Yes, as Tom said.

                            6. Should footlaunched powered carry identification marks? ( topical pop up in light of last weeks Norfolk incident) >> I think so. Tom's beacon ID idea is interesting.

                            7. The possibilty of BHPA providing aspects of microlight training - good / bad /indifferent-/aggressive land grab / natural extension from footlaunched powered rating training? >> A step too far? Though as all microlight training, like GA, is by private enterprise, it's really open to anyone.

                            Dave (LAA, BMAA, BHPA member)

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