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Introduction of Basic IR

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Introduction of Basic IR

Old 9th Mar 2020, 00:06
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Introduction of Basic IR

So it looks like EASA have condescended to introduce (maybe) the BIR. This is essentially the UK IMC Rating but extended to euroland. However, the requirements to obtain the rating in terms of time and cost will be unnecessarily prohibitive, and yet again the efforts of AOPA UK (and not for want of trying) have been poo-pooed and dismissed by EASA.
I am continually perplexed as to how we get our point across in EASA - AOPA try but seem to be continually ineffective in the key GA area's. Sorry to say that having been a memberfor 30+ years.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 07:55
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The actual facts are that the BIR was developed by RMT.0677, which included members of the UK CAA, DGAC, PPL/IR Europe and IAOPA (Europe) plus others.

After a lot of work, we even persuaded the DGAC rep to accept that, with sufficient NAA oversight, there was no reason to exclude DTOs from conducting training for the BIR. So our draft NPA indeed included that. Based on IR(R) instructor / examiner requirements, we submitted requirements for BIR instructors and examiners to RMT.0596 which, at the time was working on Subparts J&K; the requirements were also passed to the FCL Training and Partnership Group's team working on instructor recommendations. All were quite content.

However, someone at EASA (and they've never admitted who it was), subsequently reversed the draft NPA DTO recommendation, so that when the actual NPA appeared DTO training had been deleted.

EASA Advisory Boards were happy with the final CRD and opinion; however, when FCL.835 went to the EASA Committee for a vote, the 'IR(R)-level' instructor / examiner requirements had been deleted, meaning that only IR instructors and examiners could teach / test BIR applicants. This now means that far from being the achievable rating available at your local DTO which was a core RMT.0677 requirement, the BIR will only be available at ATOs - at ATO prices, no doubt.

So far from being 'continually ineffective' as you wrongly state, AOPA (UK) convinced the EASA Advisory Boards. But someone in EASA decided that they knew better, despite the 4 years of work in which we'd been involved. They also introduced the same Class 1 medical hearing requirements which we'd said were totally unnecessary.

FCL.835 is now in European Law; however, the date of effect won't be until 1 Sep 2021. By which time the UK may well be outside EASA - so quite what this will mean to UK adoption of the BIR remains to be seen.

On other topics, AOPA persuaded EASA to ditch the '6 sittings' requirements for LAPL/PPL exams and we have submitted non-controversial proposals to allow night rating training within the PPL/LAPL course if the applicant wishes - and also recognition for all previous LAPL training for someone who starts a LAPL course but then wishes to change to a PPL course. At UK level we contributed to the work of the LAPL/PPL Exam Working Group by reviewing, accepting/rejecting and (where necessary) rewriting the 600 questions and 2400 answers for the forthcoming LAPL/PPL e-exams. All this work was unpaid, as was our RMT.0677 work.

What have you done to further the GA interest?

Last edited by BEagle; 9th Mar 2020 at 08:10.
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Old 9th Mar 2020, 17:50
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Firstly, BEagle, thanks for all the hard work you continue to do on our behalf. AOPA membership is always going to be a small minority of UK pilots, so in effect we 'punch above our weight' when it comes to influence.

Now, my understanding is that we justified retention of the UK IMC rating as the IR(R) whilst awaiting for the BIR to appear, which would be its replacement. It seems actually that the BIR is going to be a very different animal, both in terms of privilege and attainment. Hopefully, this difference will enable us to retain the IMC rating in the UK. Personally, I've no desire to make use of Class A airspace and the combination of IMC in Class G/D and sensible approaches is all I need. We're a very small DTO but nontheless we currently have 4 pilots training for the IMC/IR(R). We've an ATO close by but I'm not sure if they have any instructors qualified to full IR. I've never held an IR so I'm never going to qualify to teach the BIR. Losing the ability to train our Club members to fly safely in IMC is a massive blow to flight safety, especially in hte rapidly-changing weather we experience in the South-West.

TOO

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Old 9th Mar 2020, 18:04
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TOO, thanks! I put the point about retaining the IR(R) to the CAA at last year's GAP meeting and was told that there is no reason in principle for it not to continue into the future. That's certainly what AOPA wishes to see, particularly now that the BIR won't be available at DTOs.
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Old 10th Mar 2020, 02:10
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The resistance that exists, in many parts of Europe, to flight in imc is difficult to understand by us brits. It is common place for a UK instructor to take their students into cloud if only for the experience of it or most likely to obtain clear training air above. British trained pilots will be unlikely to have not flown in cloud at some point. The UK PPL is therefore likely to obtain the IMC rating later if only as a “get out of trouble” rating, they can see its value.

To the French “les nuages” is a place like no other, full of mystery where strange things happen. Few French instructors will have experience of flight in IMC. Fear and ignorance are the biggest killers and France still boasts high levels of fatalities from CFIT and loss of control. To the French hierarchy this isn’t because of a lack of training, it is because the pilot broke the rules. It is simple, for them cloud is the breath of the devil, stay away or enter at your peril.

With these deeply held but irrational believes it was always going to be difficult to sell the IMC even in the face of the evidence. In our modern world of artificial intelligence and courses for just about anything too many still believe in witches.
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Old 10th Mar 2020, 04:05
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Originally Posted by Fl1ingfrog View Post
The resistance that exists, in many parts of Europe, to flight in imc is difficult to understand by us brits. It is common place for a UK instructor to take their students into cloud if only for the experience of it or most likely to obtain clear training air above. British trained pilots will be unlikely to have not flown in cloud at some point. The UK PPL is therefore likely to obtain the IMC rating later if only as a “get out of trouble” rating, they can see its value.

To the French “les nuages” is a place like no other, full of mystery where strange things happen. Few French instructors will have experience of flight in IMC. Fear and ignorance are the biggest killers and France still boasts high levels of fatalities from CFIT and loss of control. To the French hierarchy this isn’t because of a lack of training, it is because the pilot broke the rules. It is simple, for them cloud is the breath of the devil, stay away or enter at your peril.

With these deeply held but irrational believes it was always going to be difficult to sell the IMC even in the face of the evidence. In our modern world of artificial intelligence and courses for just about anything too many still believe in witches.
This illustrates much of what is wrong with European rule/law making - not just in aviation.
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Old 10th Mar 2020, 10:56
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someone at EASA (and they've never admitted who it was), subsequently reversed the draft NPA DTO recommendation
How can this happen, a committee of experts comes to a conclusion and an unidentified unelected idiot can change it! This continues to illustrate the ineptitude of European rule/law making.
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Old 11th Mar 2020, 00:45
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Hear hear. Roll on leaving EASA.
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Old 21st Mar 2020, 09:21
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Its interesting that nobody has commented about the cost of the new BIR. Looking at the website of one PPL IR provider I see Instructor fees £500/day; SEP aircraft £280/hr; CAA test fee £807. Whilst there appears to be no minimum hours I doubt you could acheive it in less that 25 hours. That all seems a long way from an IMC rating advertised at just over £3000.
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 08:48
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A 20 to 25 hour minimum would be sensible. The extra 5 to 10 for getting used to using the lower airways. We could easily do it for £4k to £5k, at our DTO! I have 4 instructors (all with full IRs) with a wealth of experience in flying and teaching this stuff. I myself would need to get the rating first, but I've given several hundred hours of instrument and tested he IMC for many years.

CAA:- An IMC PLUS next year please? We could even call it a restricted IR!
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Old 2nd Jun 2020, 19:48
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Well, since the BIR does not have a required hour demand (like the CBIR), you can hire your own private instructor at a local club and fly away until you are proficient; and a lot of the training can be done on a non-approed simulator device (like Xplane or MSX).
When proficient, you can go to the ATO and do the required 3 sessions (one for each module) and a skill test. And since there is no hourly requirement for how long a module should take you can - if you are proficient enough - do all three modules in the same session. This will of course depend on how the ATO chooses to implement it, but where I work, this is the way we go.

I actually think that the BIR is a great step forward and will be very usefull for a lot of people. I have had many IR students where this rating would have been a much better path.

It's not cool what what happened (regarding BEagle's story), but I still think this rating will fit a lot of people and it makes an IR rating a LOT cheaper, easier and more accesible than what we have now.
I would definetely have liked to be on the board that has made this great effort, but I think there already was a Danish guy there :-D.
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Old 3rd Jun 2020, 15:15
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When proficient, you can go to the ATO and do the required 3 sessions (one for each module) and a skill test. And since there is no hourly requirement for how long a module should take you can - if you are proficient enough - do all three modules in the same session.
On that basis why would an ATO want to go to all the bother of obtaining an approval to run 3 hour training sessions, its simply not cost effective.
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