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UK CAA IR 7 year fiasco

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UK CAA IR 7 year fiasco

Old 31st May 2012, 15:06
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UK CAA IR 7 year fiasco


Regarding the 7 year nonsense re our UK Instrument Ratings, can you let me know if some Cathay pilots are planning a legal case against the authority? We are in the process of drawing up a mandate, but don't want to have to double up accidentally and would be willing to add our weight to the case.

Please PM me so that we can act accordingly.

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Old 1st Jun 2012, 10:20
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The feasibility of some sort of action was looked at - as the rule was clearly nonesence. It came from JAR FCL 1-185 which stipulated that 7 years was the longest you could not hold an IR for without having to renew it with exams and a further test. This came in in 2005, but the the UK CAA failed to act on it until last year when they finally got round to publishing LASORS 2010 - a year late. The result was tha if your IR had lapsed more than 7 years - tough luck!

The HK unions looked at a challenge and took the advice of BALPA who were looking at the problem on behalf of many of their overseas members. BALPA took legal advice which said that as JAR FCL was the guidance document, but produced by a body which no longer existed, the CAA had the power to interpret it as they saw fit. The only way to challenge their decision was through a judicial review which would be very lengthy, prohibitively expensive and would have less than an even chance of success. So the plan for some sort of action was dropped.

Now EASA FCL has been published (for UK pilots in CAP804 CAP 804: Flight Crew Licensing: Mandatory Requirements, Policy and Guidance | Publications | About the CAA) and there is little change. The seven years rule translates across to EASA FCL and is stipulated as such in the new document. It refers to "the rating" and not "a rating" therefore we must assume it means a JAR IR. So it appears that if you have an old UK licence with an IR expired by 7 years, you're still stuffed. If your UK licence has a LPC/IR within 7 years, you have until 8 Apr 2014 to convert it to an EASA licence.

For those who hold UK issued JAR licences, they are automaticly considered to be EASA licences until expiry, when on renewal you will be issued with the new style document. The EASA licence doesn't expire but is only valid so long as a type rating, IR and medical are current. This means a type rating will have to be done every year.

However, EASA FCL has the provision to add foreign ratings to your licence. Quote: Section 4 Part Q Subpart 1

(4) Aeroplane or helicopter type ratings may be issued to holders of Part-FCL licences that comply with the requirements for the issue of those ratings established by a third country. Such ratings will be restricted to aircraft registered in that third country. This restriction may be removed when the pilot complies with the requirements in paragraph C.1 of Annex III to Part-FCL.

These will be annotated "for (insert country) registered aircraft only. The CAA have been written to asking them how they plan to implement this. No reply has yet, but as the CAA has no power to interpret EASA FCL, they will have to go back to putting foreign ratings on licences as they used to. This means we will be able to keep our JAR/EASA licences current while flying in Hong Kong. It was also enquired if this applied to national licences - if they are still valid.

Of course, most JAR member states did still allow foreign ratings to be added and this allowed their pilots to retain their licences - which is where the CAA stance became so unfair. However, as all EASA licences are the same and a European pilot has the right to chose which authority he is registered with (the crieria is where the medicals records are kept) I can see a lot of British pilots working overseas changing their licencing authorities if the CAA continue with their position.

EASA FCL came into being on the 8th of April this year. EASA licences were supposed to be issued from 1st of July, but inevitably, this has slipped to the14th of September.
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Old 1st Jun 2012, 14:42
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Thanks Dan,

Actually, the legal angle we are taking is that the implementation of the change was not done properly, i.e. we were given no proper warning of the change. There are legal precidents regarding 'high handed bureacratic (?) rulings' that have been won. I'm hoping to meet an aviation lawyer in DXB in the next week to discuss things.

Incidentaly, I've heard the reason given why they didn't warn us of the impending change. I can't at the moment say any more for legal reasons, but when I can, you will laugh your heads off, it's beyond absurd. They are grasping at straws.

It is also worth considering that the exams they are asking us to resit are the very same exams on which our ATPL's are based, so why not take our ATPL's away as well...?

Also, the CAA is happy to put an EK earned A330 rating on my JAR/EASA licence as long as I present amongst other things; A copy of the non JAR TRE's authority, and a copy of my non JAR licence. And they're spouting off about how we need bilateral agreements, but they're happy to accept all of this non JAR stuff for a type rating!! The more you look at this case, the more you realise that they genuinely have no idea about how aviation really works.

It will be interesting to see how the pilots from all the other european countries react when they see that they've been shafted as well under EASA. I suspect they won't be quite so 'British' about it?

Anyway, we are in the process of setting up a petition etc., because I'm not letting this one drop; They screwed up, have admitted it, and so should provide a temporary remedy to sort it.

All I can ask is that everybody keeps hassling the CAA, if we do nothing then we are guaranteed to lose this.

Last edited by Fart Master; 1st Jun 2012 at 14:48.
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Old 1st Jun 2012, 16:41
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Thanks for the comprehensive DW.

FM, interesting that you stated, "CAA is happy to put an EK earned A330 rating on my JAR/EASA licence as long as I present amongst other things; A copy of the non JAR TRE's authority, and a copy of my non JAR licence." the buggers wouldn't agree to this in my case for my 744 licence based from an ICAO recognised carrier in Asia. Seems a bit arbitrary to me...oh well

All the best with the lawyers...

Meridian Star
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Old 1st Jun 2012, 19:18
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I will dig out the e-mail received from the CAA and post it here.

I think your statement sums up the situation well, the CAA are arbitrary and random because basically they aren't sure of what they are doing themselves. I've been told this by more than one ops inspector when discussing the Licencing dept. Raymond Elgy who runs it basically gets his minions to deal with our e-mails and doesn't give a sh*t about our concerns or complaints


Last edited by Fart Master; 1st Jun 2012 at 19:23.
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Old 2nd Jun 2012, 01:38
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thanks for bring this one back to the surface chaps.....i had resigned it to the 'too difficult' tray based on protracted dealings with the CAA and my plans to stay with an Asia Carrier. i.e. if i lose my job, i can redo the exams if i want or need to; if i lose my health, can't get a job anyway.

time for a re-attack!
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Old 2nd Jun 2012, 04:25
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Quite simply, they no longer have the power to make arbitary decisions. They have to follow EASA FCL. I've written to them regarding how they're going to implement the the foreign rating bit, but not had a reply yet. I await with interest - and fully expecting a PFO letter in return. Then I'm going to go in for the attack. It's interesting that CAP804 is a series of verbatim quotes from EASA FCL with CAAA comments on hown the regs will be implemented, exceot they offered no comments on this matter. I strongly suspect they want us to pay them money to take more exams.

I'm in the process of writing to the Irish AA about how they plan to implement it. After all, we have the choice about where our licence is issued!

FM - Good luck with your action. I look forward to hearing the results.
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Old 2nd Jun 2012, 10:40
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As I understand our present situation LASORS is still valid until CAP804 comes into force on 1st July. Therefore we are going to submit a legal claim based on an illegal implementation of the rule change, regardless of whether the CAA said it was incorrect in the first place.

There is no point pursuing the stupidity of the situation at the moment, regardless of how wrong it is, not until EASA regs are in force and we can enlist the support of all European pilots.

I am in the process of creating a simple to use online petition, and a college and is writing a letter to Andrew Haines (Chief Executive of the CAA) to hopefully arrange a meeting in London to discuss the whole situation. As you all know trying to correspond from abroad is a laborious process....

Regarding it being a desire for us to cough up more cash, I'm not so sure, I don't think there's that much money in it for them, plus I don't think they really know what's going on, if in doubt, quote the rules and hope this all goes away...

We need to emphasise that we are not trying to change the rules, merely, that we want a window of opportunity to renew our IR's and then carry on as per the regs.


Last edited by Fart Master; 2nd Jun 2012 at 10:44.
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Old 3rd Jun 2012, 11:49
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Know quite a few people here in M.E. who have lapsed I/R's

including myself

keep us up to date with whats going on

if the CAA just want money why can't they just say it

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Old 3rd Jun 2012, 11:56
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Actually, I don't think it's about the money, it's more to do with blind obeyance of the rules...

I'm in the ME with EK. When I get the petition up I'll be sending it out to all forums

Last edited by Fart Master; 3rd Jun 2012 at 11:57.
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Old 3rd Jun 2012, 18:10
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Petition online


I've created an online petition at Change.org - Start, Join, and Win Campaigns for Change but for some reason cannot find it if I try to search for it as if I am a member of the public. I've e-mailed the website for information regarding this.

On the offchance you manage to find it, it is titled;

UK Civil Aviation Authority: Temp approval for affected pilots to renew their IR without resiting exams

Pass the word, let's not roll over on this and I'll let you know about accessability issues as I get answers, but try to find it if you can in the meantime.
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Old 4th Jun 2012, 02:11
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Thumbs up

Hi have just signed; your link takes you to the open page of the (US) petition site, you then have to do a search e.g. "uk caa" to find your petition, which may be a Bridge too Far for some of our more Luddite colleagues.. can you embed a link straight to your petition. ? Cheers..Keep up the good work..
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Old 4th Jun 2012, 11:01
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Petition: UK Civil Aviation Authority: Temp approval for affected pilots to renew their IR without resiting exams | Change.org

Does this help, let me know if this link get you to where you need to be.

I am planning to hopefully meet an aviation lawyer in Dubai next week to discuss matters.
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Old 4th Jun 2012, 15:02
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Yes this worked for me, good work.
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Old 4th Jun 2012, 16:03
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Latest is that myself and another EK Capt are plodding away. He has sent a letter explaining our situation to his MP, who has acknowledged said letter and has said that he will forward it to the Minister of Transport. It's a long shot but it's just one of a few 'leverage' points we are formulating. I am in the process of drafting a letter fully explaining our position to the Chief Exec of the CAA as we have received a reply from him (Andrew Haines) to a previous letter we sent. I will copy in the BALPA lady who has previously been involved, plus one of the EASA rule makers.

We can only hope..

Please keep spreading the word, the more people we get the better our case.

Last edited by Fart Master; 4th Jun 2012 at 16:04.
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Old 5th Jun 2012, 08:15
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Red face

1) 7-years, or once every 5 years for licence renewal?
I thought you needed a current medical and to have had an IR check (within 5 years) to renew your UK-JAR licence when it expires every 5 years? I have been doing my A320-IR once every 5 years in Singapore with a JAA approved TRE... I therefore dont understand what this rule about 7 years is about?

2) Can we finally use 6-monthly local checks to keep our UK licence current with
What I would REALLY like is parity with other EU countries that accept local recurrent 6-monthly sim checks, and give pilots the IR on their EU licence (restricted to B-registered aircraft only). This would then save having to book a sim once every five years....

3) Renewal of medicals before EASA transition on 17th September
I was informed that "if the pilot renews [his medical] after EASA dates with expired JAA [medical], then need to renew all tests, but if with current status then renew whatever is due eg. ECG." Does this mean you effectively have to do an initial Class 1 medical all over again? Do I only have to renew the expired items, or the additional items in a class 1 medical?

Last edited by Arrowhead; 5th Jun 2012 at 08:16.
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Old 5th Jun 2012, 08:36
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Thanks FM signature has been added.
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Old 6th Jun 2012, 05:12
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Thanks for signing the petition, we are up to nearly 90 signees and counting. But please keep spreading the word as obviously the more people who sign up will add weight to our cause. Even pilots not planning to return back to the UK should be encouraged to sign up as it helps the cause, plus, as we all know as expats, circumstances can change unexpectedly in the places we live and we may be coming home not of our own accord.


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Old 7th Jun 2012, 12:18
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UK CAA 7 year rule for UK IR's. Petition and legal proceedings.

I've posted this on other forums, it may flesh out what we are proposing...

Dear fellow Aviators,

This information pertains to any pilot who has been issued a UK CAA professional licence (JAR or National) and have moved abroad to work under another ICAO licence;

If you possess a UK issued professional licence the publication to refer to is a manual called LASORS (LICENSING, ADMINISTRATION and STANDARDISATION,
OPERATING REQUIREMENTS and SAFETY), this publication is valid until 1st July 2012 at which point CAP 804 will come into force as its replacement under EU-OPS. CAP 804 is the UK CAA's version of Part-FCL (Previously called JAR-FCL).These 2 documents lay out how to attain, maintain and if necessary revalidate your licence.

The matter to which I draw your attention pertains to holders of a UK CAA issued Instrument Rating (IR), more specifically, the requirements for renewing that rating. Up to and including LASORS 2008 there was a clause in Section E of the publication that took into account the utilisation of your ICAO (In this case non UK) or military IR. I quote/paraphrase directly from LASORS 2008;

"To renew an IR(A) that has expired by more than 7 years, applicants must: ...For multi-pilot aircraft pass a type rating skill test with or observed by a UK CAA Flight Operations Training Inspector. Applicants will also be required to retake the IR(A) theoretical knowledge examinations."

However, and most importantly for the affected pilots (Mostly expats);

"...where IR privileges have been exercised in another category of aircraft (i.e. UK/JAR IR(H)) or under the privileges of an ICAO licence (Aeroplanes and Helicopters) or under a UK military IR qualification (fixed-wing or rotary), the renewal requirements will be based on the expiry date of that IR."

In other words as long as you kept your other ICAO IR valid your UK IR was safe from the 7 year renewal rule and most importantly we wouldn't have to undergo the ridiculous requirement to resist the 7 theory exams, the very same exams on which our CPL/ATPL's are predicated.

Now the bad news, WITHOUT ANY PRIOR WARNING, the CAA removed the ICAO/Military caveat, in an instant rendering 100's of UK issued IR's invalid. The authority state that the rule shouldn't have been there in the first place and was therefor removed, this despite all the other JAR authorities entering into the spirit of the agreement and renewing licences/IR's that had expired by more than 7 years when the pilot produced reasonable proof that he/she had stayed current, for example, flown for an airline. The CAA took the rule at face value and applied it literally, with no thought of the consequences. They have in effect taken away our careers as a licence without an IR is basically worthless. When queried recently as to why they didn't pre warn us of the impending change, and after all they are very quick to criticise us for not referring to the CAA website for these matters, the reply was.... They didn't want to potentially upset our families in case we were deceased. So you see what we're up against... Nuff said really. Although not confirmed, it may be the case that you have to go to an approved school to do your ground studies, obviously completely unacceptable given most of our circumstances.

I haven't got enough space to go into all the details and futile attempts we have made to get the CAA to see sense, so what a few of us are doing is taking legal advice to challenge, not the rule change itself, but the way in which the change was implemented, in effect, without any warning. We have also sent our case to an MP who has stated he will pass it onto the Minister of Transport. The CAA have admitted 'that they could have communicated the change better', the implication being that there was some communication in the first place, which was not the case.

Without even considering the fact that they are treating professional pilots like novices, consideration is also being given to legally pursuing the costs that the authority have in effect imposed on us if we have to do the 7 ground exams. Ground courses, costs of books, exam fees and other incidental costs. As we all know money is a big part of the CAA's thinking, so several hundred pilots multiplied by several thousands of pounds costs each may get them to pay attention and not hide behind their rule books?

So, what can you could do to help? An online petition has been created to add weight to our cause, the link is below, and I ask that you add your signature and a message if you wish. Equally important is that you spread the word to other affect colleagues who don't read PPRuNe. We are preparing and planning to lodge a legal complaint prior to the introduction of CAP 804 so that we have date stamped our claim based on LASORS regulations. Even pilots who don't plan to return to EASA land should be encouraged to sign up, as you never know what path your career may take.

Personal enquiries/complaints to the CAA, your MP and EASA should also be a consideration to keep the pressure up on the authority.

Good luck!


The link is;

Petition: UK Civil Aviation Authority: Temp approval for affected pilots to renew their IR without resiting exams | Change.org

Last edited by Fart Master; 8th Jun 2012 at 07:24.
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Old 7th Jun 2012, 14:35
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121 signatures so far - and counting. Keep them coming!
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