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Old 29th Nov 2009, 10:17   #1 (permalink)
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IMC: 'Hung out to dry by our own side'

summary of AOPA article in December magazine:

EASA recently held a working group meeting to determine, inter alia, the future of the IMC rating. The UK was represented by a Mr Jim Thorpe of Europe Air Sports and Deputy Chairman of PPL/IR Europe

Despite there being 23,000 current holders of the IMCR, Mr Thorpe has managed to convey to his European colleagues that there is no support for the rating in the UK

The Europeans have mistakenly gained the impression that the IMCR is equivalent to an IR with just one fifth of the training . . . . and that we can all trolley around up there in the airways with their commercial traffic. No wonder they are so opposed to it with this blatently misleading briefing that has been coming from certain quarters (possibly attached to the entirely independent PPL/IR org who of course have no agenda of their own to peddle )

Thorpe has told them that British pilots "will prefer a proposed En Route Instrument Rating for which a course of theoretical exams must be passed before the holder is allowed to fly in the cruise in IMC, with no approach and landing training or privileges" (no doubt this silly concept was dreamt up by a certain Mr J Thorpe - 25 explanatory manual available from all good bookshops)

At the meeting, the only person who tried to raise the UK GA's overwhelming support for the IMCR was Dr Michael Erb of AOPA Germany but he received no support from the UK delegates and so "it was decided to give the IMC rating no further consideration. Dr Erb felt unable to press the issue of a UK rating further in the face of opposition from UK delegates"

Sadly the meeting had been nobbled so as to exclude AOPA UK - all our seats were filled by Thorpe and his cronies.

Fortunately, the Germans seem to have a full measure of integrity not only demonstrated by Dr Erb, but also the Deputy Head of Rulemaking, Mr Eric Sivel, who was obviously surprised by the cleverly orchestrated hatchet job on the IMCR by the UK delegation . . .. . . . . and has agreed to meet urgently with AOPA UK "to ensure there are no further misconceptions about the UK rating".

Frankly I think current members of PPL/IR Org and Europe Air Sports should urgently change their management and to recruit exclusively Germans who seem to have adopted en masse our British sense of fair play. We, on the other hand, seem to have turned into a bunch of weasels . .. . .. . .. .

However, should you wish to abandon your IMC rating and to head in your Warrior for the Airways with a full-on gold standard IR then please contact Mr Thorpe at [email protected]

Drambuster
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 10:51   #2 (permalink)
 
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If this is true (and I am not suggesting it is not) PPL/IRs membership should have the guts to call an emergency meeting and sack Mr Thorpe. There are a few on here that are PPL/IR members - it will be interesting to hear what they intend to do. (I was a member and resigned over this issue).

AOPA UK should write to FCL008 and make their position clear. They should ensure their letter is in the public domain. There are more than a few AOPA UK members on here - it will be interesting to hear their intentions.
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 11:25   #3 (permalink)
 
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I am support of the IMCr, however, the latest magazine (if it is really reflective of the AOPA leadership) demonstrates how catastrophically they have been managing this issue.

AOPA UK seems to have had a view that they didn't need to lobby the CAA/EASA/Dft/ et al to agree to national ratings being attached to EASA licences (and all of the other strategies to keep the current IMCr running post EASA FCL). With a very naive view that the words "Review the requirements of the IMCr and other national IFR ratings, conclude if there was a need to develop an additional European rating...." meant "find a method to retain the current IMCr unchanged" AOPA UK seems to have sat on its backside wishing for an impossible outcome.

Then to present as fact a clearly risible argument, that in no way match what their membership wants continues the simplistic, at best, campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AOPA Mag
Despite its 27-year success record in the UK, much of Europe does not want the IMC rating, Partly because of the mistaken belief it allows IFR flight and access to controlled airspace
Quote:
Originally Posted by AOPA Mag
The idea that the privileges of the IMC rating are essentially the same as those of the IR is so wide of the mark that IMC rating holders must be aghast.
Certainly the vocal UK supports want the vast majority of the privileges of an IR, and specifically they DO want to plan IFR flights in proper IMC, they DO want to execute approaches in controlled airspace, they DO want to fly in controlled airspace (but accept they can't fly in Class A) (and would object vigourously if the air carrier airports moved from Class D to C airspace). They DO want to have the right to fly these approaches down to the same MDA and DH (but to a higher minimum vis).

Mapped into Europe, these are 'essentially the same as those of the IR' and 'allowing IFR flight in controlled airspace'.

They then go on to say

Quote:
Originally Posted by AOPA Mag
The purpose of the IMC rating, to save pilots who inadvertently fly into IMC by helping them keep control of their aircraft and returning them safely to the ground, has been utterly misrepresented.
Which just perpetuates the 'its a get you out of trouble rating not something you use to plan to fly in IMC' - While there are no doubt many who use the IMCr in this way, THE OBJECTIVE of saving the IMCr is to save the ability to plan and fly in IMC and shoot approaches!

This rhetorical strategy very badly misrepresents the objectives of saving the IMCr and as negotiations unfold will be demonstrably untrue (the enroute rating with some training of approaches as an emergency procedure - would accomplish AOPA's quoted objectives - BUT THAT ISN'T WHAT PEOPLE WANT!!!)

Hopefully AOPA has woken up to the challenge and will get its act in gear to negotiate the ability to attach national differences or sub-ICAO ratings to EASA licences!!
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 11:31   #4 (permalink)
 
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If this is true (and I am not suggesting it is not) PPL/IRs membership should have the guts to call an emergency meeting and sack Mr Thorpe.
And if it's not true, should AOPA "call an emergency meeting" and sack those who have persistently libeled Mr Thorpe?
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 11:44   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AOPA Mag
Despite its 27-year success record in the UK, much of Europe does not want the IMC rating, Partly because of the mistaken belief it allows IFR flight and access to controlled airspace
Who are they talking about here? If you talk to European PPLs and explain what an IMCR is, I think you will find that most of them would love to have the privelleges of an IMCR available to them.
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 12:07   #6 (permalink)
 
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As posted in the original opening thread , the Germans seem to have a handle on what the IMC entails , how did the negotiations end up with someone that is clearly not there to lobby for the IMC , that is the question I would liked answered
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 12:19   #7 (permalink)
 
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Sadly the meeting had been nobbled so as to exclude AOPA UK - all our seats were filled by Thorpe and his cronies.
Sadly this says quite a bit about the effectiveness of AOPA UK when they fail to rustle up an invitation to the meeting.
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 12:32   #8 (permalink)
 
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I can visualise Ron Campbell turning in his grave. RIP Ron - if you can!

P.P.
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 13:17   #9 (permalink)
 
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And if it's not true, should AOPA "call an emergency meeting" and sack those who have persistently libeled Mr Thorpe?
and if it is true will Mr Thorpe have the integrity to resign given that presumably he is well aware of the No 10 petition that we organised last year signed by more than 4,000 pilots.

Of course as I have said before if these meetings were open to public scrutiny like our own select committee meetings we wouldnt have to speculate whether or not it was true - so much for open government. It rather makes you wonder what would come to light if we examined their expense claims.
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 13:56   #10 (permalink)
 
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Surely this is a classic example of UK Aviation with numerous minority groups all pushing their own agendas with no regard for the broader community. It also illustrates how badly UK GA is represented!

With no IMC, rating more people will be killed chancing their arm in marginal weather, due to the lack of training.
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 15:31   #11 (permalink)
 
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This is a subject that is rather important to me (and many others) so, at the risk of sounding flippant, WTF is going on and can anyone point me towards hard facts rather than unhelpful mud-slinging?
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 16:47   #12 (permalink)
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If you look at how EASA works it's processes are in fact transparent. Though I admit that navigating their website and finding the right bits is still a nightmare.

You must also see things from the European standpoint, which emanates from Brussels and indoctrinates the Commissions executive agencies such as EASA.

Remember that EASA is still very new in regulatory terms. Their remit is being widened in stages; first was a/c manufacture and maintenance, next Air Operations, then Licensing and this will be followed by airports and ATC. Each stage is presaged by a change in European Law; adoption of the Rules follows a period of public consultation.

Pre-consultation working groups are formed BY INVITATION from EASA to draft Implementing Rules, Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material.

This has been going on for quite a long time and it has always worried me how little awareness of the process and consequences for UK aviation there is. And I mean some organisations as well as people like you and me.

The problem for EASA is that they don't know who to talk to. The know they don't want to talk to existing national entities like our CAA in isolation, because the EU is inclusive and wants the industry view as well.

A bit like when you move to a new area it's not easy to know which is the nice part of town and which to avoid.

Some organisations have simply played a better game of being good Europeans, doing the Brussels coffee-shop-lobbying culture, and elevating their stature so that EASA give them an invite. Others have been less successful. It's a people thang as much as technical competence or ones domestic standing. Anyone getting to know M. Sivell (he's French I believe) has literally 'swum the channel' as he's quite a character.

Another problem is the way we Brits have previously responded to Notices of Proposed Amendments (NPAs). Sending a response along the lines of "over my dead body" 3479 times is not the way forward and actually irritates the poor workers who have to include these in the Comment Response Document (CRD) and guess what? Those all counted as 1 reply.

Contrast this with responses that; raise an objection, explain how the Basic Regulation creates the problem, the Enabling Rule further adds confusion and how the Implementing Rule is too detailed and then proposes viable AMCs to provide proportionate levels of safety.

Which would you prefer to deal with? Answers on a 50 euro note to me please.

Things are happening now in Cologne which will affect UK aviation for years to come. All I can say is log on to the EASA website, look for the Rule Making pages and respond appropriately. I have to warn you that some battles may already be lost, though.

Sir George Cayley

Last edited by Sir George Cayley; 29th Nov 2009 at 16:54. Reason: spellink 'n punctuation
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 17:33   #13 (permalink)
 
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Sire George - I am in abosultely no doubt you tell it as it is.

However I am fed up with this sort of politics, as are I suspect a lot of people. It is up to those that sit on these committees to go out and listen to pilots views, take note of things like the No 10 petition and the views of our own CAA. If they dont they have failed - it may not do us much good in the long run, but it still needs to be said.
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 18:42   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Sending a response along the lines of "over my dead body" 3479 times is not the way forward and actually irritates the poor workers who have to include these in the Comment Response Document (CRD) and guess what? Those all counted as 1 reply.
If 3479 individual responses (or whatever, I know its a made up number!!) from different people do indeed get counted as one response because the premise of the reply is similar, then there truely is no democracy within Europe. The fact that 3479 people have responded in a similar way should tell them something!!

I will say it again - Tell any European PPL what an IMCR is, and then ask them whether they think its a good idea, and you will get a resounding "YES, wish we had that!!" in response.

Now, how does one get that response over to those in power in EASA?
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 19:00   #15 (permalink)
 
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Of course as I have said before if these meetings were open to public scrutiny like our own select committee meetings we wouldnt have to speculate whether or not it was true
What difference would that have made? You want everyone to listen to your views, but in an endless stream of posts and threads I have never observed you take any feedback or input whatsoever. Your own listening capacity appears to be zero.

Last May Jim took the trouble to get permission from EASA to publicise the interim outcome of FCL008. It was clear and NOTHING has changed to provoke this recent torrent of bile.

1. FCL008 was not proposing a Europe-wide IMCr for all the reasons that have been articulated to you ad infinitum

Martin Robinson himself said in the GA article "AOPA UK was not seeking to foist the IMC rating on the rest of Europe, as some had claimed, but it was extremely concerned to retain it, or else adopt a rating with almost identical privileges, in Britain"

2. FCL008 did not have access to any mechanisms to create either a national-only rating or a "limited by national discretion" rating

3. Therefore, the only two outcomes of interest to an IMCr holder that FCL008 could achieve would be a more accessible full IR, and a sub-IR rating that was acceptable/workable across Europe. The EIR was the best such rating that could be agreed.

All of this has been in the public domain since May. If you or AOPA, or Eric Sivel for that matter, had some mechanism for "saving" the IMCr consistent with 1 and 2 above, then you should have publicised it. The AOPA article admits that they don't know what the mechanism should be - yet castigates FCL008 for not having some magic potion to come up with such a mechanism.

Given it has been clear for 6 months now that FCL008 was not going to "save the IMCr", why don't you, as a self-proclaimed IMCr campaigner, tell us what you have been doing to achieve this objective? Similarly, AOPA UK appear to have sat on their backsides for 6 months and woken up now to an outcome and terms of reference they have known about (through their IAOPA representative) for most of 2009. An "urgent" meeting with Eric Sivel in December 2009. What have they been doing all year?

The rest of the AOPA article is irrelevant. It deals with some recent personal comments about the IMCr made by Jim Thorpe. He is not the "UK" representative, he is a European representative who happens to be from the UK. Amazingly, FCL008 had topics other than the IMCr to work on - gliding and the full IR. What makes the IMCr nutters think there should have been some FCL008 "vetting" so that only someone who had a prescribed set of opinions could sit on a committee?

I happen to like the IMCr because I both believe it is safe and effective, and personally had hundreds of hours of IMCr-holding flight in which I used the rating to the full. I hope the rating can survive, but I despair over the mix of obtuseness, naivety and malice shown by some IMCr campaigners; especially in this attack on Jim.

The man isn't a huge fan of the IMCr, his comments are balanced in the sense of acknowledging strengths and weaknesses. Big deal. Wake up and accept that some people think the IMCr is not great. Despite my personal and positive experience, I have heard first hand from too many experienced IFR instructors, whose views I respect, that the standard of many IMCr holders they fly with is poor or, even, shockingly poor. No matter how many "FACTS" you post, you are not going to sway first hand experience of this sort that will shape people's views.

brgds
421C

The only possible counter to my points above are the Eric Sivel comments which imply that FCL008 both had the mandate and the tools to "save the IMCr" but chose not to use them. I believe this to be plainly and simply untrue. I do not know whether Mr Sivel was misreported, misinterpreted or misguided in this respect. I suspect we will find out.....
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 19:22   #16 (permalink)
 
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By the way, little of Drambusters interpretation is true

Quote:
summary of AOPA article in December magazine:

EASA recently held a working group meeting to determine, inter alia, the future of the IMC rating. The UK was represented by a Mr Jim Thorpe of Europe Air Sports and Deputy Chairman of PPL/IR Europe [Not true. Jim was not a "UK representative". He was there as a European representative, with a specialised knowledge of IR, not IMCr matters. The IR was amongst the topics on FCL008's mandate in case this point has been missed by anyone....]

Despite there being 23,000 current holders of the IMCR, Mr Thorpe has managed to convey to his European colleagues that there is no support for the rating in the UK [Not true. The article says that but it is not a quote and I don't believe it. How could anyone on FCL008 or in EASA not be aware that IMCr holders passionately support their rating?]


The Europeans have mistakenly gained the impression that the IMCR is equivalent to an IR with just one fifth of the training . . . . and that we can all trolley around up there in the airways with their commercial traffic. No wonder they are so opposed to it with this blatently misleading briefing that has been coming from certain quarters [Not true. This was not a "briefing" to FCL008 and if anyone had attempted a factually misleading briefing I have no doubt IAOPA's representative would have corrected it](possibly attached to the entirely independent PPL/IR org who of course have no agenda of their own to peddle ) [instead of insinuating with smileys, why not state what you believe this "agenda" to be]

Thorpe has told them that British pilots "will prefer a proposed En Route Instrument Rating for which a course of theoretical exams must be passed before the holder is allowed to fly in the cruise in IMC, with no approach and landing training or privileges" (no doubt this silly concept was dreamt up by a certain Mr J Thorpe - 25 explanatory manual available from all good bookshops) [Not true. Neither Jim nor anyone else has claimed the EIR is prefered]

At the meeting, the only person who tried to raise the UK GA's overwhelming support for the IMCR was Dr Michael Erb of AOPA Germany but he received no support from the UK delegates and so "it was decided to give the IMC rating no further consideration. Dr Erb felt unable to press the issue of a UK rating further in the face of opposition from UK delegates" [Personally I believe this to be a misrepresentation]

Sadly the meeting had been nobbled so as to exclude AOPA UK - all our seats were filled by Thorpe and his cronies. [Not true. Whose seats are "our" seats? AOPA was represented through IAOPA by Michael Erb. There were other UK nationals on FCL008 other than Jim. BTW who are Jim Thorpe's cronies? This is conspiracy nutter stuff. The composition of FCL008 was published publicly last year.]

Fortunately, the Germans seem to have a full measure of integrity not only demonstrated by Dr Erb, but also the Deputy Head of Rulemaking, Mr Eric Sivel, who was obviously surprised by the cleverly orchestrated hatchet job on the IMCR by the UK delegation . . .. . . . . and has agreed to meet urgently with AOPA UK "to ensure there are no further misconceptions about the UK rating".

Frankly I think current members of PPL/IR Org and Europe Air Sports should urgently change their management and to recruit exclusively Germans who seem to have adopted en masse our British sense of fair play. We, on the other hand, seem to have turned into a bunch of weasels . .. . .. . .. .[I underlined 'full measure of integrity' and 'British sense of fair play' as an ironic reference to how utterly lacking these were in the misrepresentations peppered through the AOPA article and amplified on this thread.]
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 19:31   #17 (permalink)
 
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ahhhh I can feel a long bashing thread coming up.... misrepresentations, lies, anger, cries, reminds me of a scottish club and inhouse flying school falling out less than a year ago.....

Carry on, there s not much happening in the news anyway, I love all of you!
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 19:37   #18 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
During the transfer of the JAR-FCL requirements into the proposal for EASA Implementing Rules, the FCL.001 group and the MDM.032 group (dealing with better regulations for General Aviation) came to the conclusion that the existing requirements for the Instrument Rating seemed to be too demanding for the PPL holder. Additionally some of the group experts were in favor to develop a similar rating as the UK national IMC rating with lesser requirements than the current requirements for the Instrument Rating (IR) which allows the pilot to fly in circumstances that require compliance with the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) but in certain airspace categories only.


EASA's terms of reference.

One wonders why they even contemplated developing a similiar rating if it was impossible. Nore carefully no mention of approach limitations. Perhaps they didnt know what they were doing when they drafted their own terms of reference or perhaps they have chosen to ignore their terms of reference.

Quote:
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has been successful in ensuring that the UK IMC rating will remain in place during the four-year transition period, from the national regulations on flight crew licensing to the regulatory system governed by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). EASA has agreed to establish a rulemaking group to consider proposals for a similar rating at the European level. The Department for Transport will be working closely with the CAA and EASA to identify a solution, prior to the end of the transition period, to ensure that the privileges of IMC rating holders are protected.
This is what our Government said with the full knowledge of the CAA and the DTi. No mention there that the priviliges on the IMC rating holder could not be protected.

421C - it is a very dangerous game making statements such as these (and I could refer you to quite a few more) if you were never able to carry them out.

Anyway as I have said before discussion is a complete waste of time - you dont know what you are talking about anymore than most other people - time will tell and the battle lines will be drawn. If there is the will to resist these changes then indeed the changes will be resisted but it is not yet the time.
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 20:16   #19 (permalink)
 
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I always thought that the PPL/IR Europe organisation were some kind of elitist group who looked down their noses at IMC holders.. Looks like i were right!

Anyone fancy forming an elitist PPL/Night rating group?
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Old 29th Nov 2009, 21:02   #20 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by skydriller View Post
I will say it again - Tell any European PPL what an IMCR is, and then ask them whether they think its a good idea, and you will get a resounding "YES, wish we had that!!" in response.
Of course PPLs think it is a good idea (and certainly in the UK it is a better idea than just flying around in IMC with no training - which was what happened before the IMCr!). BUT - none of your National CAAs have in the past 27 years shown the slightest interest in implementing their own IMCr (which they were totally at liberty to do). It can hardly be a surprise then when the National CAAs get aggregated into EASA they still have no interest in implementing an IMCr.


Blathering on forums, Number 10 petitions, writing to FCL.008, dark threats, etc. are going to wind up with the IMCr holders being left behind. Only realistic lobbying of the key decision makers is going to achieve the objective of retaining all of the current privileges of the IMCr.

You guys need to choose your lobbying point and lean heavily on the CAA and Mr Sivel and/or whoever else is critical to making a decision - you need to give them a 'decidable option' - otherwise you will be left in the same lurch the UK government always leaves people in with a 'We tried really hard but sadly couldn't reach agreement...' as they sell you out.

PS - no one is 'holding their noses' up at IMCr holders - but the IMCr holders need to fight their battle not hope some Euro committee will save them!!

Until this weekend I thought AOPA UK were leading that battle - based on the magazine article they appear to have been leading from an armchair.
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