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N register and the UK

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N register and the UK

Old 23rd Oct 2021, 19:53
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N register and the UK

I suspect I am going to get some flak for asking this question.

In view of the Sala case is it time the CAA clamped down on UK based N registered aircraft operations by non resident and non American pilots ?

The majority of these are in the upper echelons of private light aircraft operations. Most countries in the world impose a time limit on how long a foreign based aircraft can operate internally. Many are pilots flying on a piggyback US licence.

Apart from pilot licensing and maintenance these aircraft are usually operating behind trusts therefore disguising the beneficial owners.

I have written to my MP to raise this matter in the Commons.
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Old 23rd Oct 2021, 20:25
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Originally Posted by Mike Flynn View Post
I suspect I am going to get some flak for asking this question.

In view of the Sala case is it time the CAA clamped down on UK based N registered aircraft operations by non resident and non American pilots ?

The majority of these are in the upper echelons of private light aircraft operations. Most countries in the world impose a time limit on how long a foreign based aircraft can operate internally. Many are pilots flying on a piggyback US licence.

Apart from pilot licensing and maintenance these aircraft are usually operating behind trusts therefore disguising the beneficial owners.

I have written to my MP to raise this matter in the Commons.
.

At the risk of being slightly mischievous can I ask if you have also written to the Secretary of State for Transport?
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Old 23rd Oct 2021, 20:48
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From my own experience the vast majority of 'N' reg owners act responsibly and keep their aircraft and their own competence as they should. Cowboys have been around for decades and to them it matters little whether the aeroplane and/or the pilot has FAA oversight or EASA or the UK CAA. It is not possible to comment on the Sala case.

Murder, robbery and fraud have been rife for thousands of years and so has the law against them but ................ Criminals and cheats always find a way to bend and break the rules and always will. Nation states, subject to ICAO, find it almost impossible to ban or restrict foreign registered aeroplanes and crews in the way you suggest Mike. EASA tried to limit U.S. aeroplanes, pilots and engineers some years ago and they fell flat on their face, under FAA pressure. In many ways this attempt by EASA's two left feet simply opened the doors.
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Old 23rd Oct 2021, 23:28
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Isn't it about time to reconsider the Chicago agreements that laid the foundation for ICAO rulings? The world has changed a bit since 1944.

Last edited by Jan Olieslagers; 24th Oct 2021 at 06:36.
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Old 24th Oct 2021, 09:23
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Try taking a G reg to the USA. Shortly after 6 months, I'm pretty sure you'll be told to get it on the N reg or take it home!
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Old 24th Oct 2021, 12:52
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Jan, the Chicago Convention is primarily a set of principles. First amongst them is the international freedom of movement.

ICAO,the International Civil Aviation Organization, an arm of the United Nations, was formed by 26 countries to manage how this is achieved and maintained: setting minimum standards of aircraft design and construction, the training and qualification of pilots, navigators, engineers, air traffic controllers and the air traffic system. ICAO membership is now 193 states so covering most of the world. Only by having these agreed minimum standards, which are continuously revised and new ones created, can we freely operate internationally. ICAO doesn't involve itself in national operations.

Each member nation manages it's own internal affairs as it sees fit So we have national permit to fly aircraft and unlicensed aerodromes. Because these standards may vary enormously there is no fixed international agreement and each state may limit international flight of these aircraft to short visits or not at all.
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Old 24th Oct 2021, 13:29
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How many EU registered aircraft are permanently based in the UK and being operated solely by EASA licence holders on EASA AOC's? The CAA don't have any oversight of them either.
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Old 24th Oct 2021, 17:07
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Originally Posted by Mike Flynn View Post
I suspect I am going to get some flak for asking this question.

In view of the Sala case is it time the CAA clamped down on UK based N registered aircraft operations by non resident and non American pilots ?

The majority of these are in the upper echelons of private light aircraft operations. Most countries in the world impose a time limit on how long a foreign based aircraft can operate internally. Many are pilots flying on a piggyback US licence.

Apart from pilot licensing and maintenance these aircraft are usually operating behind trusts therefore disguising the beneficial owners.

I have written to my MP to raise this matter in the Commons.
Mike - you sound the like the kind of person who grassed on their neighbour during lockdown for leaving the house more than once each day.
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Old 24th Oct 2021, 19:05
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Originally Posted by MrAverage View Post
Try taking a G reg to the USA. Shortly after 6 months, I'm pretty sure you'll be told to get it on the N reg or take it home!
That’s pretty much the scenario with most first world countries. The UK appears to circumvent these rules in the case of US trust registered aircraft.

The Sala aircraft was registered to trust operating out of a small office in Norfolk.

See companies house register https://find-and-update.company-info...A/appointments



Last edited by Mike Flynn; 24th Oct 2021 at 19:16.
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Old 24th Oct 2021, 19:24
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Contrary to the experience of the earlier poster, mine has been that a common reason for an aircraft in the UK remaining on the N register was reduction of cost and avoidance of the maintenance rules which h the rest of us have to follow. In fact one owner of an N registered aeroplane openly said as much - and he was the MD of a small air charter company (though its aircraft were properly UK and maintained) Eventually he landed his machine wheels up due to a failure.

Well done for bringing the matter to the attention of your MP; I would suggest a gentle nudge to the CAA as well. Far from 'grassing up', the lax approach to N registration encourages behaviours which reflect poorly on all owners and pilots in the minds of the general public. Arguably we all may suffer - the odds are depressingly good that rather than deal with the root problem 'the authorities' would prefer to use an easy popular option even if costs us all.
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Old 24th Oct 2021, 19:25
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The Sala case is currently at trial in the UK. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-59010670

The whole business of what can/does go on with private aircraft has been very shady for as long as I can remember. Certain websites freely advertise "cost sharing" flights which are about as close to hire and reward as one can get. Pilots that claim to be "professional" when their credentials are nothing more than a recently gained PPL. Nothing will ever change. People always try to find a way around the rules and couldn't care less about the consequences.

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Old 24th Oct 2021, 19:47
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Well done for bringing the matter to the attention of your MP…
Perhaps your MP can ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he still keeps his Saratoga on the N-reg?
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Old 24th Oct 2021, 20:36
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a common reason for an aircraft in the UK remaining on the N register was reduction of cost and avoidance of the maintenance rules
That's very true but I'm sure you don't mean all "maintenance rules" are avoided. What do you suggest is wrong with the FAA regulations? The FAA rules are very strict also but perhaps are more pragmatic. The rules being different from the UK or EASA doesn't mean they are inferior. The pragmatism of the FAA regulations is the attraction and most owners tell me that the ongoing maintenance is only marginally cheaper maybe but probably not in practice. Another major attraction for owning an FAA registered aeroplane is the ability to obtain an FAA IR and continue to maintain it, also in a very pragmatic way.

Aircraft are commonly held outside of the country of registration throughout the world, there are many here in France although owned by french nationals who are resident here. The ones I know are extremely well maintained and the pilots conscientious and responsible. The claim that you can do all this only in the UK is wrong.

Whether an aeroplane is owned by a trust and where it is registered is irrelevant. Aeroplanes that are operated legally and safely are not a problem. If the aircraft is not maintained properly and the pilot operates outside of their competence then that is the issue. I believe it is correct to say that all those involved in the 'Sala' flight are British and French and so no other countries regulations can be blamed for their misdemeanors. I don't understand Mike why you think it should.

Last edited by Fl1ingfrog; 24th Oct 2021 at 20:51.
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Old 24th Oct 2021, 21:21
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Perhaps the best way to describe the scenario is comparing the black cabs in London with private hire and latterly Uber operations. Anyone can drive an Uber vehicle but black cab drivers have to pass the knowledge exam which requires a lot of hard work driving the streets until they fully know the city. The regulation of UK based N reg aircraft is really in the hands of the insurance companies.

I am not sure how Grant Shapps gets away with this.




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Old 24th Oct 2021, 22:09
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The Sala case is not a reflection on N reg aircraft in the UK but the pilot flying a flight for which he wasn't qualified. If the aircraft was G reg or F reg it wouldn't have changed the fact that the pilot was flying beyond his ability and training.

I fly an N reg privately and it is maintained to the FAA rules and is perfectly legal. I fly VFR only on my CAA ATPL / SEP rating. There are several N reg aircraft at my club and everything is above board.

Do you have any figures to suggest N reg aircraft within the UK are more dangerous or likely to have an accident than G reg aircraft?
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Old 25th Oct 2021, 00:39
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Well said C172Navigator
You will not get any facts that N reg are not as safe as G reg or any other EU reg,
Because there are no such figures, this old debate pops up now and then, i am so tired of that.
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Old 25th Oct 2021, 00:47
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The accident rate for GA aircraft is similar, or even slightly better in the US over the UK. This is done with a much more practical pilot licensing regime and aircraft maintenance requirements. The ridiculous level of over the top regulatory requirements in the UK has done nothing but force UK based aircraft onto the N register.

Mike Flyn

I would suggest you should be careful with what you wish for as you may get it. Getting rid of UK based N registered aircraft will reduce the already low level of UK GA hours to a level that may make many parts of the UK GA infrastructure unsustainable

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Old 25th Oct 2021, 14:40
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Originally Posted by C172Navigator View Post
The Sala case is not a reflection on N reg aircraft in the UK but the pilot flying a flight for which he wasn't qualified. ?
I lost track of the number of occasions I've seen the CAA (or other UK government bodies) tighten up rules THAT WERE NOT FOLLOWED, after something awful has happened. It's a ridiculous kneejerk response that happens over and over again.

And clearly, if the existing rules weren't followed, tightening up rules already being ignored, is unlikely to change much!

G
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Old 25th Oct 2021, 17:43
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
I lost track of the number of occasions I've seen the CAA (or other UK government bodies) tighten up rules THAT WERE NOT FOLLOWED, after something awful has happened. It's a ridiculous kneejerk response that happens over and over again.

And clearly, if the existing rules weren't followed, tightening up rules already being ignored, is unlikely to change much!

G
If the American register and rules are better why bother having the CAA and the British register?

Is the UK awash with FAA approved engineering inspectors and flying instructors?
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 03:55
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Originally Posted by Mike Flynn View Post
If the American register and rules are better why bother having the CAA and the British register?

I?
An excellent question. The UK could have the same accident record with a much more practical and fit for purpose regulatory regime,
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