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.
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.
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
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.....
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.