View Full Version : Possible Simplified IFR rating for French PPLs


KKoran
14th May 2011, 04:01
DGAC Inspector General Patrick Gandil is proposing a simplified instrument rating for private pilots.

While GA flying offers European private pilots some of the flexibility that American private pilots enjoy, extensive requirements for an instrument rating make flying in instrument meteorological conditions prohibitive: Most European Union countries, except the United Kingdom, require hundreds of hours of ground study to earn the instrument rating. Gandil said he was inspired by the instrument rating in the United States to work on designing an instrument rating for private pilots in France; he said he hopes to design the license in France this year, before the EU aviation system is fully integrated.
AOPA Online: French aviation chief gets taste of American GA (http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/articles/2011/110512french_aviation_chief_gets_taste_of_american_ga.html)



Whopity
14th May 2011, 06:24
Most European Union countries, except the United Kingdom, require hundreds of hours of ground study to earn the instrument rating.Since when has the UK been different?
Why has the UK never notified its differences from ICAO with respect to the IR?

mm_flynn
14th May 2011, 06:34
Since when has the UK been different?
Why has the UK never notified its differences from ICAO with respect to the IR?????
There are hundreds of posts on this board on the unique nature of UK Instrument flying, the UK only rating that allow pilots to fly in IMC with less onerous training than a full Euro IR, and of course the risk this UK only privilege will be lost on transition to EASA.

In fairness the report has one word wrong, it should be 'an' rather than 'the' Instrument Rating.

DB6
14th May 2011, 06:47
Ha! M'sieu Le Frog just can't bring himself to say we want an IMC rating just like our magnificent Britsh cousins!

IO540
14th May 2011, 07:09
This is a hilarious development give the head of EASA is a (openly crooked, admittedly) Frenchman. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in his office when he read about this...

But France would never let the EU do anything which France doesn't like. It is the only country in Europe with a backbone. It also has an airspace and ATC setup which is perfect for IFR flying.

It will be really funny if other EU countries start to accept this rating. This would lead to a de facto European IMCR.

An excellent development :ok:

Jan Olieslagers
14th May 2011, 07:33
It would certainly make me consider a French PPL, if ever I advance to that level, so I could add this French IMC-equivalent to it.

IO540
14th May 2011, 08:15
You would need to be resident for 180 days, I believe.

This rule can be bent in certain JAA countries but none of them are this far north ;)

Anyway what we are seeing was made possible by the virtual disintegration of the EU.

Schengen is being dismantled as we speak, according to yesterday's reports. I wonder what it will mean for GA? Passport checks are immaterial.

BEagle
14th May 2011, 09:50
As I understand it, the French concept (which has not been tabled for this month's EASA part-FCL Partnership Group meeting, nor has it been notified to the IAOPA representative), is for an EASA Instrument Rating (Restricted FR), with the restriction being that it may be used only in French airspace.

Much as we in the UK would perhaps like our proven IMC Rating to be re-named as an EASA Instrument Rating (Restricted UK), with the restriction being that the privileges remain those of the current UK IMCR!

Interesting times ahead - particularly given that the FCL.008 NPA still hasn't been released.....

Genghis the Engineer
14th May 2011, 10:32
Merge it with the UK IMC and we could call it the "Concorde rating", in recognition of the last time the Brits and French worked together to solve an aeronautical problem.

It is a very positive development - and if he gets fed up of DGAC in the future, perhaps a job could be found for him running CAA? Better still, running EASA.

G

FREDAcheck
14th May 2011, 17:49
It is the only country in Europe with a backbone.
Well, if the French go this way it might at least provide backbone support to the CAA in keeping IMCR.

Pace
14th May 2011, 18:16
The French allowed VFR flight in airways as did the southern Irish. Does this also mean they will allow instrument approaches which are not VFR but IFR?
We even with the IMCR did not allow flight in airways.
If they are really looking at an FAA copycat Instrument rating then that is good news as it would open the floodgates for a European proper PPL IR?
Either this is a backdoor climbdown by EASA or another red herring.

Pace

proudprivate
14th May 2011, 18:40
Ha! M'sieu Le Frog just can't bring himself to say we want an IMC rating just like our magnificent Britsh cousins!


I think it is actually Mr Ladida Bowlerhat who has been at the basis of gold plating the JAR IR, claiming that the FAA IR training package was "insufficient to navigate the airways safely". :yuk:

The reasons why the European national instrument ratings have always been expensive to obtain could be summarized as protectionist motives to shield national carriers from smaller start up competitors. The UK flight school "industry" has then jumped on the bandwagon, lobbying for extensions of the curriculum for their own financial benefit.

Clearly the French move should be applauded, as it will contribute to aviation safety by making a very useful additional training within reach of the private pilot community. One shouldn't forget that, per flight hour, FAA-certificated pilots have a much better safety record than their JAA-brethren. If one limits the statistic to the FAA-certificated pilots flying in Europe, the FAA safety lead over JAA becomes embarrassing. Why ? Because the majority of them is instrument rated. And why is that ? Because it less expensive to obtain and because unlike the JAA instrument rating, the requirements to obtain it do not distract from the real safety issues that a general aviation pilot would normally encounter when flying IFR.

It also puts the horse trading that took place in the EASA committee meeting of 7/8 december last year into perspective, with the UK getting a European Commission Aviation Transport Directorship and then some... (some "partnership" , eh )

[Note that the result of that vote hasn't made it to the European Parliament yet].


It will be really funny if other EU countries start to accept this rating. This would lead to a de facto European IMCR.

It is not funny. It is a disgrace that Europe has to operate in this way and it proves the complete credibility bankruptcy of EASA and the Aviation "Safety" people at the Commission.

IO540
14th May 2011, 18:47
The French allowed VFR flight in airways The airspace you refer to is Class E which is uncontrolled for VFR.

France does not nowadays allow enroute VFR in its FL120+ Class D.

as did the southern Irish. What airspace class was that in?

Does this also mean they will allow instrument approaches which are not VFR but IFR?Could you expand?

We even with the IMCR did not allow flight in airways.The IMCR allows access to all UK airspace classes D-G, IFR. You can fly in UK Class D airway sections with the IMCR but it isn't very useful. For example you could file a Eurocontrol FP from Bournemouth and fly some distance in the "airways" before London Control send you off into Class A and then you are out of license privileges :)

If they are really looking at an FAA copycat Instrument rating then that is good news as it would open the floodgates for a European proper PPL IR?
Either this is a backdoor climbdown by EASA or another red herring.I think it is classical French arrogance which, on this particular occassion, is a good thing.

A major EU country sticking a finger up to the EU is not the correct procedure, which is to use the EU parliament, but that option is not available because the majority vote will be done by mostly faceless toothless spineless brown-nosing Euro-MPs who are there just to ride the gravy train while feeling important.

I have explained the EASA moves to senior aviation execs on a number of occassions but they never showed much interest. It's obvious that they got onto the DGAC which told them to just ignore it; France will never let anything happen.

It is a disgrace that Europe has to operate in this way and it proves the complete credibility bankruptcy of EASA and the Aviation "Safety" people at the Commission.

100% true.

patowalker
14th May 2011, 18:55
This is something that has been sought by French GA for a long time. It is not something that suddenly occurred to Patrick Gandil.

La fenętre de tir est étroite | Aviation-Pilote (http://www.aviation-pilote.com/blog/2011/04/18/la-fenetre-de-tir-est-etroite/)

proudprivate
14th May 2011, 19:28
It is not something that suddenly occurred to Patrick Gandil.


True, but it is Gandil who drove the recent initiative (as per your reference link), inspired by
- quite a few French GA pilots petitioning it (both JAA and FAA rated)
- the French GA aircraft industry not overly happy with the EASA proposal (Gee, would I buy this TBM850 if there is a fair chance I won't be allowed to fly it ?)
- the French flight instructors frustrated by the large number of French FAA PPL IR graduates relative to the French DGAC PPL IR graduates per year (Somebody told me the ratio is above 50:1)

And it would be sought by GA in almost every European Country.

IO540
14th May 2011, 19:32
I've just translated that using google...

It may have been brewing for a while in the French pilot community but not for lots of years.

I recall doing some informal research in French pilot forums, about 3 years ago, by getting a well known French pilot friend to ask some questions for me there. The feedback was very mixed (the usual stuff with many wanting an "IMCR" desperately, while others were unsure whether anybody with less than 7 exams and 50hrs would be capable of instrument flight) but certainly there was no indication of anything known to be under official consideration in France.

It is of course possible that the DGAC, less than happy about everybody with a half decent plane being N-reg, had been planning something for a while, internally. One could say the same for the UK CAA and the German DFS. But, like the UK CAA, they certainly didn't do anything and merely presided over the continual gold-plating of the JAA IR.

I hope to be able to say, say 5 years from now, that French industry interests (Dassault, Socata, Eurocopter, etc) ensured that the French Govt stuck a finger up to EASA at the last minute, and made the vital difference.

dublinpilot
14th May 2011, 21:12
If I remember correctly, the French proposal is only a reduction on the theory exams. I believe that they are still looking for the full 45 hours training, so not really comparable with the IMCR, and probably no great cost savings.

patowalker
15th May 2011, 07:06
Can the French find a way out of the EASA maze? (http://www.aopa.fr/Can-the-French-find-a-way-out-of-the-EASA-maze_a256.html)

Pace
15th May 2011, 08:00
Patowalker

Why have our own CAA not already followed suit by taking the IMCR and converting that into a PPL IR based on the FAA system with one exam as the french are intending.

Maybe a question of too little too late as this could have been unilaterally done by individual countries a long time ago.

To get all this through and all the pilots converted now in such a short time maybe asking too much?

One thing that is clear is how out of order EASA is to its mandate of one of safety!!

Pace