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A lot of pilots leaving the forums

Old 10th Sep 2010, 15:47
  #81 (permalink)  
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What's the project?

You are not on one of Rod1's 100,000-hour homebuilts by any chance?
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 17:01
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When I undertook my PPL many moons ago in my naivety I imagined that once I held a shiny PPL I would be able to use an aircraft as I did a car but with the benefit of floating above all the traffic jams below.
That's one of the things that attract me as well. I like to be able to use it as a business tool or for work and actually go places.

However, the reality in the UK is much different. I'll give you a real world example. I work with film and on shoot days I have to be in London at about 7.30 and I work all day until at least 6pm.

That means that I have to takeoff from Lydd at about 5-5.30, fly about an hour to Elstree, take the foldable bicycle and ride to the tube. After work the reverse.

Now, the reality is that this is impossible to do, even if the weather is perfect. I'm not allowed to take off before Lydd opens without a special insurance thing. But even with that, then going back in the evening is impossible. I can't physically take off at Elstree and I certainly can't land at Lydd in darkness.

A quick glance at all the airfields around London suited for GA, and most of them are unusable for anything but leisure flying during daylight hours. The ones that would be useful, we're prevented from flying into either because they're in A airspace or charge you 500 for handling.

This is one of many problems with European flying. Once again, just too over regulated. Why don't they have rwy lights that can be xmitted on? Why do they have to have ATCO's after closing hours - just let them become a G class airport after they've shut the lights like in the US. I mean Van Nuys, the busiest GA airport in the world, turns into an uncontrolled airport after midnight or something. Why can't the same thing work here? Drives me nuts.
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 17:54
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ou are not on one of Rod1's 100,000-hour homebuilts by any chance?
More like selling my personal perfectly maintained plastic aircraft and trading it in for an older damaged speed tin-can, hoping it will soar the skies one day (hopefully next month) again..

The only way to know your A/C turn it inside out..
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 18:28
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However Class D Airspace reverts to surface Class E when everybody in the tower goes home if weather info is available (so still controlled airspace).
Class E is CAS for IFR, OCAS for VFR.

It's a very clever system but it is no good if you have privatised ATC because the "IFR" mode then becomes meaningless.
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 18:52
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I have an idea to make it allowable to use an airport in England after dark when everyone has left work at the airport.

Just put a bunch of strobe lights on the Hi Vis vests...that will solve the problem.
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 19:08
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No - Class E is Class E - period.
If it is uncontrolled then it would be Class G.
I will leave it to somebody else to quote ICAO on this one
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 19:21
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Lest the discussion turns into a slagging match again........
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 19:34
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Interesting thread.

PPRuNe is the only aviation internet forum I visit, that said these days I don't visit it so much.

Sometimes there are genuinely good threads that appear with many useful nuggets of information and (sometimes heated) discussion, but recently that seems to have tailed off somewhat. Most of the threads posted here of late I don't find much use, but that's me personally. Others will still find this a goldmine, depending on what's relevant to you.

Also, like all internet forums, there is a hard core element of trolling activity, know-alls and childish arguing that I can't really be bothered with. Opinions are cheap and plentiful but rarely any use.

Still visit at least once a week, but hasn't been much happening of late.

Smithy
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 20:27
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You are right on terminology. Class E is "controlled" but is effectively uncontrolled for VFR because no ATC clearance is required so VFR traffic can do what it likes.
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 21:00
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I have an idea to make it allowable to use an airport in England after dark when everyone has left work at the airport.
Chuck, it already works.

In England we have some flying "Clubs", where the "airport"[sic] is owned by club "Members", who have access to their airfield by right of being a said member. Like a golf club, or fishing club.

Therefore, we can use our airfield when we want (day or night) whether the "employees" (employed by the Club) are there or not.

I know you have the same in North America too.

Regards,
Russ.
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Old 10th Sep 2010, 22:12
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Hello Adam Frish ....

Commuting in your light plane to soar above the traffic jams? Don't think so.
Trouble is, unless you are IFR with at least 2 engines and a night rating, you will always be at the wrong end of the journey when the weather turns duff.

Robert Maxwell used to commute in a helicopter, with a professional pilot.
The rest of us have to take the Oxford Tube....
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 00:21
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Also - Class C and D. - NO clearance is required to enter.
I thought clearances were implicitly granted if your tail number has been acknowledged.

So "Station calling, standby" means remain outside Charlie / Delta.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 01:41
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Well, to get slightly off topic here, doesn't the E at Van Nuys start at 700ft? So technically, the airport is in G after hours. However since the pattern altitude is higher (1200ft, I think), there's no way of approaching it in G.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 04:55
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Commuting in your light plane to soar above the traffic jams? Don't think so.
Trouble is, unless you are IFR with at least 2 engines and a night rating, you will always be at the wrong end of the journey when the weather turns duff.
I would agree that reliable commuting using light GA is an illusion, but if you spend enough money on the hardware, and enough time+money an acquiring the papers to fly it, you can do it.

2 engines are however not relevant to weather capability; you can get perfectly well equipped singles. Something like a Cessna 400 will be pretty good; a Jetprop or a TBM will easily deal with frontal weather.

But in the end you will get shafted on airport opening hours - unless you do it between H24 airports and that will be super-expensive in N Europe. There are cheap H24 airports in the south.

Robert Maxwell used to commute in a helicopter, with a professional pilot.
Within the UK, or within any country in Europe, a heli is always going to be better than fixed-wing, not least due to airport opening hours, but you pay an awful lot of money for a capable one (millions).

Commuting works much better in the USA, due to airport opening times and a lot of instrument approaches. This will probably never happen in Europe, and definitely will never happen in the UK because privatised ATC will prevent GPS approaches setting up at small airfields.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 08:06
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We tend to fly summer and winter day and night usually IFR. I previously posted with a capable aircraft (deiced anti iced twin) minimum or very advanced single if you happy to take the single engine risk 95% mission success is quite possible.

I can remember flying from Ireland at night in snowstorms in winter. The flight was no major problem but I got stranded on a snowed out motorway driving my car back home after.

The major stop factor is fog.

You have to be selective on airports you use and times.

More worrying now is the lack of service OCAS flying IFR. A lot were military but we all know how even the big ones open at 0900 and close at 1700 so we are very much on our own if flying OCAS.

Pace
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 08:24
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More worrying now is the lack of service OCAS flying IFR. A lot were military but we all know how even the big ones open at 0900 and close at 1700 so we are very much on our own if flying OCAS.
That's emotionally worrying but not statistically supported. Midairs in IMC = 0 in the UK, to date.

However, if you have an IR and altitude capability, you would not be flying low level OCAS. That is what "low end" piston twins have to do, because they cannot practically provide passengers with oxygen. With a pressurised single you can get a reasonable utility (limited by airports) but can't do legal SE PT in Europe
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 08:31
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Few light aircraft pilots have the hours and experience required to reliably and safely use an aircraft for business. The get home-itis inspired by one's car at the destination airfield tempts the businessman into weather and situations best avoided.

We tuggies at Shenington gliding club, having stopped operations because of lowering cloudbase, poor viz and a light drizzle, will never forget watching a Cessna 180 (whose wife and car were waiting for him) attempt an arrival downwind. Touched down well over half way, kept right on going through the hedge at the end of the runway.

His accident report blamed the airfield (uncontrolled, non radio).
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 08:49
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His accident report blamed the airfield (uncontrolled, non radio).
Mary

Have to take you up on this one I would blame the pilot !00% for bad piloting skills.

There is no excuse for touching down halfway down a strip, attempting to stop and going through the hedge! Thats a bad pilot. That whole procedure is in his hands and control alone.

You can touch down at your correct touchdown point regaradless of winds! that is piloting skills. No one in the tower to give you the surface winds? just check your crab angle and keep half an eye on the groundspeed shown on the GPS compared to your TAS at various points on the approach.

If the good pilot is unhappy he can always go around the bad pilot will make the wrong decision.

10540 You very much can be in IMC IFR OCAS in capable aircraft happens to me in the Citation I fly as well as to RyanAir in their 737s Low level OCAS is not just the playground of light singles and microlights.

Pace

Last edited by Pace; 11th Sep 2010 at 09:12.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 09:10
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Indeed the issue is airports. How many close even as late as 6 or 7 pm if you are lucky - and a lot earlier in the winter? My airport has started to refuse fuel until 9-30 (although hopefully it will change back to 9). I suppose the trouble is most people dont care because they are "bimblers". When I have a meeting I like to be away before 9 and often back after 6 and I havent got the time to sort the fuel out the day before. This sort of thing is just yet another nail in the coffin for some who end up concluding they might just as well drive.

Places like Fairoaks have the right model. Is it any surprise they have so many Jetprops, twins etc. You simply sign the indemnity and come and go as you please. If you cant land your TBM at 9-00 pm in the Summer it immediatley starts to loose some of its utility value.

I recall my first trip from to Merritt Island. It suited me to go after dark, but after a three hour flight it would be gone 22-00. Obvioulsy the airport would be closed so bin that idea. You can imagine the airport thought they had a mad man on the 'phone when I asked for their opeing hours - its 24/7, but you and the security guard might be the only people they said.

Pace - your comment about OCAS slightly surprises me as well. Another trouble in this country is that when you need the service most because the world and his wife are flying the service is over loaded. When it is grey and miserable no one is flying and those who are transponding. For those reasons if you are using an aircraft "seriously" I think some form of TAS makes sense - although in fact it is the big sky that will keep you safe nearly all the time.

Personally I dont think a high despatch rate is achievable with a single (unless it has CAPS) and unless it is de-iced. You will end up doing too much flying with low bases and no flying in the colder months. Many accept the risk of IMC with low bases in singles but it worries me.

All that said it is surprising how good the despatch rate can be in any half sensible single - certainly better than 80%. I dont think for some that should be confused with pushing the limits. With experience flights can be conducted in weather that looks unpleasant perfectly safely. Fronts, embedded CB activity etc are the issues not just low grey cloud. However with the lack of redundancy on so many singles and the total reliance on the engine inevitably unexpected problems are much harder to manage hence the outcome is much more likely to feature in the reports.
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Old 11th Sep 2010, 09:19
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Pace - your comment about OCAS slightly surprises me as well.
Fuji what is surprising? Fly into LondonDerry and you will hear the 737s OCAS taking up a pilot interpretated hold and level with everyone else and everyone asking the others positions.

Pace
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