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Undecided 30th Oct 2021 07:22


Originally Posted by pilotmike (Post 11133856)
I would concur with anyone disputing that a Commercial Pilot's Licence simply allows the holder to be paid for their flying, and that it has no bearing on their ability to fly safely, especially under adverse conditions.

Training for - and passing the tests - for gaining a Commercial licence give the far greater knowledge and skills to Commercial pilots, allowing them to make better, safer judgements, especially under commercial pressures. All Commercial pilots are tested thoroughly for their theoretical knowledge and their flying ability, as well as judgement to a greater degree than a mere Private pilot's licence. Even the Class 1 medical is a far higher hurdle to pass than the lesser requirements of a Private pilot. Many perfectly able Private pilots are weeded out at the Class 1 medical as being unfit for Commercial flying.

Otherwise, what would be the point of requiring Commercial pilots to undertake an enhanced medical, as well as a long and arduous course of study, as well as an in-depth course of flying training in order to demonstrate the flying skills required to a considerably greater level than that required for the PPL? The theory course and written exams, as well as the flying course and test(s) cost at least £20,000 and 8 months of dedication and hard work. Many prospective Commercial pilots invest far more time and money than that. Gaining a Commercial Pilots Licence is sufficiently difficult that many never achieve it, despite putting their heart and soul into it. It is NOT an easily gained qualification, for the avoidance of doubt.

If it were merely a paperwork exercise, as has been reported, wouldn't it be far simpler all round for anyone wishing to be paid for their flying simply to stump up say £20,000 to buy a shiny new Commercial licence, then operate with impunity and without the greater knowledge and skills required for the Commercial environment?

Wouldn't that be simpler? For sure! As safe? Definitely not! Anyone suggesting it is merely a paperwork issue would either be ignorant of the facts or misrepresenting them. It is interesting that the jury in the recent Henderson case apparently aligned with these sentiments and found the defendant guilty, despite suggestions that inadequate licencing and qualifications weren't relevant.

To put the above into context, when I flew aeroplanes and helicopters as a Private pilot, I believed I was a good pilot, about as safe, knowledgeable and experienced as could be, able to undertake almost any flight completely safely - coincidentally with similar hours to David Ibbotson's reported hours. Then I underwent the ATPL training, comprised of studying for 15 difficult written exams, flying training, flight exams etc, and blowing £40+k in the process. If it gave me just one thing, it was the knowledge that I didn't know it all. It taught me that there were vast areas of potential risk that I was previously either unaware of - or more likely in denial: that I needed to be more careful than I had ever realised or admitted before, factors that needed more careful consideration than I had ever before believed possible. Mercifully I learned that I had SO much more to learn about inclement weather, commercial pressures, Aviation Law, and taking tough decisions when I had doubts about the aircraft's serviceability, that the ATPL training has thankfully kept me safe to this day. "There but by the grace of God".

To that extent, I find myself fully supporting Katamarino's sentiments on the true value of Commercial Pilot's Licence. It demonstrates a level of knowledge, ability, experience and competence that merely holding a Private Pilot's Licence does not. It is more than a paperwork issue.

I agree with the sentiments of the PilotMikes' post however, having followed this story and thread with interest, I would welcome views on some recent incidents with Commercial pilots at the controls. The S92 (G-LAWX) incident has been discussed at length on Rotorheads
(https://assets.publishing.service.go...LAWX_08-21.pdf)
With a crew of 2 ATPL holders and a Commander who lectures on Safety Management Systems they managed to get themselves out of shape. Whilst I accept that none of us are immune from a bad day at the office, I have been critical of the Commanders actions and wondered whether any superior skills over a PPL holder were demonstrated on the day? If not, then does the fact that the CAA seem to have deemed it appropriate that no action needed to be taken against the Commander, are the CAA themselves indirectly supporting the position that there really is no difference between the skill set of a private pilot and professional pilot licence holder?

jumpseater 30th Oct 2021 08:37


Originally Posted by Undecided (Post 11134338)
I agree with the sentiments of the PilotMikes' post however, having followed this story and thread with interest, I would welcome views on some recent incidents with Commercial pilots at the controls.

May I request you start a new thread on that one please. The sentences for the Sala case have not yet been determined, and the two events aren’t connected.

Timmy Tomkins 30th Oct 2021 10:40


Originally Posted by biscuit74 (Post 11134108)
'pilotmike' and 'katamarino' - I entirely agree with your comments with respect to the Commercial Pilot Licence and the testing, training and extra discipline required. I am an experienced private pilot; my partner, also originally a private pilot, became a CPL holder several years ago, The style and professionalism of her flying impresses me, and gives me confidence in her capability and judgement. I still have more flying hours than she has, in a wider variety of aircraft and circumstances, but I'd rate her flying judgement over mine any day. The careful professional way she prepares for sorties - her commercial work is not airline flying - is a pleasure to watch.

I wondered beforehand whether a CPL would really make any difference - it most certainly does. It is in my view a significant step up and beyond the PPL level, professional though I try to be in my approach.

That sums it up well in my view but also let us add Currency. She does this for a living and so like most pro pilots is current and famililar with dealing with the constantly varying conditions that we meet in commercial aviation. However capable, most PPLs are not. As Ibbotson was not in this instance.

Pilot DAR 30th Oct 2021 11:12

An element of CPL training is the decision to decline a flight for any of several worthy reasons. A PPL may learn this by osmosis over time, and good for them if they do. A CPL is taught, and examined on the topic for the license. I have seen many occasions when a PPL appeared eager to fly a flight that a CPL was reluctant to fly).

parkfell 30th Oct 2021 12:46


Originally Posted by Timmy Tomkins (Post 11133515)
Have there been previous prosecutions by the CAA or convictions for similar activity? There may have been but it took the poor Sala family to suffer this avoidable tragedy to raise the profile of this type of activity. I hope it has an impact on public awareness as well as the CAA's policy of dealing with dodgy customers. I am sure we have all known a few

Robert Murgatroyd was convicted at Manchester in 2019 for illegal charter/endangering life etc.
40 months at “Her Majesty Pleasure”.
Had previous aviation convictions

Midlifec 30th Oct 2021 13:05

The same Robert Murgatroyd that helped a well known football agent and or the agents son with an aircraft purchase and the management of illegal charter operations.This whole rotten affair is full of individuals that have been and are up to their ears in dishonest illegal aviation operations and as I said previously a number of them were listed as witnesses in the Henderson trial. The CAA are so close to these crooks and yet nothing will probably be done about it.

happybiker 30th Oct 2021 13:28


Originally Posted by Midlifec (Post 11134488)
The same Robert Murgatroyd that helped a well known football agent and or the agents son with an aircraft purchase and the management of illegal charter operations.This whole rotten affair is full of individuals that have been and are up to their ears in dishonest illegal aviation operations and as I said previously a number of them were listed as witnesses in the Henderson trial. The CAA are so close to these crooks and yet nothing will probably be done about it.

Getting the evidence is far from straight forward from the individuals involved in illegal public transport operations. See post 2238.

Union Jack 30th Oct 2021 13:33


Originally Posted by Midlifec (Post 11134488)
The same Robert Murgatroyd that helped a well known football agent and or the agents son with an aircraft purchase and the management of illegal charter operations.This whole rotten affair is full of individuals that have been and are up to their ears in dishonest illegal aviation operations and as I said previously a number of them were listed as witnesses in the Henderson trial. The CAA are so close to these crooks and yet nothing will probably be done about it.

.....unless, perhaps, enough representation is made by those concerned to their respective MP?

Jack

parkfell 30th Oct 2021 13:34


Originally Posted by Midlifec (Post 11134488)
The same Robert Murgatroyd that helped a well known football agent and or the agents son with an aircraft purchase and the management of illegal charter operations.This whole rotten affair is full of individuals that have been and are up to their ears in dishonest illegal aviation operations and as I said previously a number of them were listed as witnesses in the Henderson trial. The CAA are so close to these crooks and yet nothing will probably be done about it.

Get the new CAA chairman & others to encourage politicians to become interested.
Start with the “cost sharing” rules & regulations.
Refine the ANO etc to clearly explain in unequivocal terms with anti avoidance legislation what “hire & reward” means & confine ‘grey charters’ to the dustbin of history.

Midlifec 30th Oct 2021 13:46

It is difficult to put it all together but insurers succeeded in doing so with regard to a claim presented by one owner, when the claim was denied no appeal or fuss was made- probably in an attempt to stay beneath the authorities radar. The CAA need to grow some balls on this subject, listen to the reports, build some factual databases and start knocking on doors- it can be done.

Yellow Sun 30th Oct 2021 16:11


Originally Posted by Midlifec (Post 11134506)
It is difficult to put it all together but insurers succeeded in doing so with regard to a claim presented by one owner, when the claim was denied no appeal or fuss was made- probably in an attempt to stay beneath the authorities radar. The CAA need to grow some balls on this subject, listen to the reports, build some factual databases and start knocking on doors- it can be done.

However it may only be done within their remit under the applicable legislation:


Prosecutions

The Civil Aviation Authority is tasked by the Department for Transport to investigate and prosecute breaches of aviation safety rules and some aviation related consumer protection and health and safety requirements.
The Authorities resources for carrying out investigation are limited and as has been pointed out, these are difficult areas to investigate. If you could tie it in to national security issues or importation of drugs or firearms you might get a bit of interest. But it’s relatively low level white collar crime and comes relatively low down the list of priorities. If the figures involved are big enough and substantial loss to the treasury demonstrated then HMRC might raise an eyebrow. That is a body that does have some heavyweight investigatory powers. But the players have very good accountants which makes the task very difficult. Don’t rely too much on the insurers either, if they detect a breach of policy conditions they will refuse to pay out and they will decline cover to previous offenders, but as long as the premium is paid they don’t care.

I have little faith in new, revised or additional legislation. What’s there is usually adequate, it just requires the resources to apply it and as we know those resources are limited. A classic example is UK firearms legislation that has steadily enlarged and become more restrictive since it was first enacted in the 1920s. The law abiding observe it and bear its burden, the criminals ignore it and we still have the one off nutters who commit atrocity.

There are ways of making life more difficult for those who attempt to evade the legislation but it would mean further restriction and considerable intrusion on the activities of those who observe the law.

YS

parkfell 30th Oct 2021 16:35

Expand the legislation so that those who organise/participate/carried on “grey charters” have committed an offence.
Some might say that this is harsh, but adequate protocols need to be established so that such activity simply evaporates away.

Yellow Sun 30th Oct 2021 16:59


Originally Posted by parkfell (Post 11134572)
Expand the legislation so that those who organise/participate/carried on “grey charters” have committed an offence.
Some might say that this is harsh, but adequate protocols need to be established so that such activity simply evaporates away.

Parkfell,

whilst I fully understand your sentiments I would caution to be very careful what you wish for. It would appear on first sight that Sala would have committed an offence under the regime you propose. Is that what you would have intended? There are forums on the internet where lawyers and those interested in legal matters hang out, you may wish to ask for views on what you have in mind. Then there’s the Secret Barrister’s blog, it does give an insight into why the law so often appears inadequate and how difficult it can be to fix it; his books aren’t bad either whether or not you agree with his politics.

I am afraid that the only answer is for the industry to “grass up” offenders and then be prepared to give evidence against them if the case comes to court..That can be quite difficult.

YS

ShyTorque 30th Oct 2021 17:09

The best witness would be a passenger stepping out of the aircraft. Asked the questions: "Did you pay for that flight and if so, who to and how much?" Could be very revealing.

The CAA regularly used to attend major functions such as race meetings and check flights out; how often is this now done?

simmple 30th Oct 2021 17:25

I started off my flying career with a PPL, just for pleasure as I was told at school I was too stupid to be a pilot.
After many years of doing it for fun and when I had the hours, hating the job I was in a decided to try to be a pilot.
I thought I was a good, knowledgeable pilot.
I did the BCPL course thinking they were right wot they told me in school, what a step up from PPL stuff!
After that I did the instructor course, same thing, realised I knew nowt even after doing the CPL exams. Learning to pass an exam and having the knowledge to teach it, world apart.
Many hours later of instructing, time for the multi IR. By this time I thought I could fly an airplane. What a shock, the toughest thing I ever did in aviation, it sure “perfected” your handling, situation awareness and planning etc . And so it should.
Getting a job and doing the type ratings were relatively ok after that, well not the getting a job!
A PPL holder doing a grey charter is no way trained and rarely capable of handling what can be thrown at them.
I missed my instructor training, just, when it could be done on a PPL, I was wound up I had to spend my money getting the BCPL first. Looking back it was a change for the good. Now it seems PPL holders can teach etc, backwards step? Same with all this Wingly thing, PPLs advertising charters!

parkfell 30th Oct 2021 17:26


Originally Posted by Yellow Sun (Post 11134579)
Parkfell,

…. It would appear on first sight that Sala would have committed an offence under the regime you propose. Is that what you would have intended?…..
….I am afraid that the only answer is for the industry to “grass up” offenders and then be prepared to give evidence against them if the case comes to court..That can be quite difficult.

YS

Clearly in 2019 Sala would have been oblivious to the arrangements entered into between Cardiff FC and other parties.
It is only with significant publicity to any new legislation would the public become aware, and put them on notice that they must play their part in not participating in “grey charters”. The “protocols” to be followed.
1st offence: simply a warning. 2nd offence et seq: get their collar felt.

parkfell 30th Oct 2021 18:20


Originally Posted by simmple (Post 11134591)
…... Now it seems PPL holders can teach etc, backwards step? Same with all this Wingly thing, PPLs advertising charters!

I started instructing on a PPL in the 1980s as that was the route many used to gain 700 hours experience, unless you attended an “Approved School” such as Oxford or Perth for the ab initio course.
At the 700 hour point sufficient non approved training to pass a F170a & undertake the CPL GFTs & IRT under CAP54.
Ground school attendance was not required; you simply applied to sit the CPL ‘Nav block & the ‘Tech block’ exams. PPSC correspondence course was an option. When the BCPL came in, PPL club instructors were granted grandfather rights for a BCPL restricted (to club instructing)
PPL could always instruct in a club environment but not for payments.

As for “this Wingly thing” the CAA need to re-examine all aspects of this style of operation…

SWBKCB 30th Oct 2021 19:25

Don't want to go to far off topic, but can a PPL still instruct? On my recently gained NPPL each entry in my log book had to be signed by an instructor along with their number.

And getting back on topic, I wonder how many passengers are aware of the position they are in? That the pilot isn't a professional? The a/c isn't operated by an approved organisation? That they are un-insured? What about their employers?

Whopity 30th Oct 2021 19:40


but can a PPL still instruct?
A PPL holder has always been able to instruct so long as they hold an Instructor rating. There was a period when a PPL holder could not be remunerated for instruction, the BCPL was only necessary for remuneration, not to qualify as an FI. Remuneration was reintroduced for PPL holders by EASA in 2014.

Jonzarno 30th Oct 2021 19:54


A PPL holder doing a grey charter is no way trained and rarely capable of handling what can be thrown at them.
Not trying to defend grey charters but I think there are probably many highly experienced pilots who fly very safely but who have never needed a CPL because they don’t want to earn money from flying.

If I take three people I don’t know for a flight in my aircraft, for example flying veterans and their helpers to Project Propeller, and don’t charge them, that is deemed to be legal and, by implication, to offer an acceptable level of safety. If I charge them for the flight illegally, it doesn’t change the level of the danger they face even though I would be committing an offence.


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