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FAA flight rules vs CAA flight rules

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FAA flight rules vs CAA flight rules

Old 15th Aug 2022, 07:40
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FAA flight rules vs CAA flight rules

Can anyone explain to me what the main differences are between FAA and CAA/EASA flight rules, if any, for GA pilots?

What could an American pilot learn from flying in the UK and the continent?

Thanks,

LA
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Old 15th Aug 2022, 11:42
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One oddity under the FAA system is if flying instrument training under the hood with a safety pilot then BOTH pilots can log P1. Talking about SEPs here.
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Old 15th Aug 2022, 13:44
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That applies on any occasion where (in the USA) I have a license that entitles me to fly the aeroplane but where I am undertaking a checkout, I get P1 as sole manipulator of the controls and the instructor does as well because he has responsibility.

Others of the many oddities are that most "untowered" fields in the US use the Unicom system, whereas we have FIS operators. In addition, in the US, I might be talking to Colorado Springs Approach but can leave the frequency without announcing that I intend to to. I can't see Farnborough Radar being best pleased if I just called up Redhill without telling Farnborough I was changing frequency and squawking 7000 (1200 in the USA).

Other things are our propensity for overhead joins and dead side descents, vs. joining downwind on the 45.

One thing I do like in the USA is being able to readily get a transit over a major airport. I can't see Heathrow allowing me to cross the 27 L threshold at 1500 feet any time soon.

Last edited by Dave Gittins; 17th Aug 2022 at 15:32. Reason: added "(in the USA)" for clarity
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Old 15th Aug 2022, 16:13
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Originally Posted by Meikleour View Post
One oddity under the FAA system is if flying instrument training under the hood with a safety pilot then BOTH pilots can log P1. Talking about SEPs here.
That's interesting. Never knew that, thanks.
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Old 15th Aug 2022, 16:15
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Thanks. So there's a bit more to it when you start asking around rather than searching online.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 08:57
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Incorrect Dave. In the UK (unless conducting training under the integrated system at an ATO) in an SEP, only one crew member can log P1. Therefore, in your checkout scenario, the instructor logs P1 and you log Pu/t, or you log P1 and the instructor logs nothing. The only other exception is, if undertaking an actual skill test or LPC with an Examiner, the Examiner logs P1 and - if successful - you log P1u/s. Since non-examiner instructors are not permitted to carry out such flights, what you're instructor said is wrong.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 11:17
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Not rules related but a major difference noted by US pilots over here is just how busy it is here. It can be a real culture shock to have to communicate constantly.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 13:56
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Incorrect Dave. In the UK (unless conducting training under the integrated system at an ATO) in an SEP, only one crew member can log P1. Therefore, in your checkout scenario, the instructor logs P1 and you log Pu/t, or you log P1 and the instructor logs nothing. The only other exception is, if undertaking an actual skill test or LPC with an Examiner, the Examiner logs P1 and - if successful - you log P1u/s. Since non-examiner instructors are not permitted to carry out such flights, what you're instructor said is wrong.
Completely wrong. A 'checkout' does not exist in regulation but the pilot is P1 being observed to protect the owners asset. An instructor may log P1, even when they are only observing, if as part of their instructor role.
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Old 16th Aug 2022, 14:08
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Fl1ingfrog:Surely if an instructor is there to protect the owners interests then he must have the authority to take control if the handling pilot's performance is below par.

You are suggesting that two concurrent pilots can legally be in charge of the aeroplane at the same time? Surely not?
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 09:13
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In a single pilot aircraft, that is one that does not require two crew, what I have stated is exactly correct and in no way wrong. If there are two crew members they cannot both legally log P1. Whether it is a checkout has no significance. If you want to encourage these kind of "double" P1 log book entries, that were specifically clarified as wrong by the UK CAA many decades ago, that is of course a choice you can make.



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Old 17th Aug 2022, 09:51
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I find the U.K. military system more logical (unless that’s changed since I left).

A pilot can log P1 or P2 and there is a separate column for captain. So you can be flying your test and log P1 and leave the captain column blank. The examiner logs P1 or P2 (or some of each as appropriate) but logs the captain time for the whole flight.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 13:39
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What are you looking for specifically? The thread so far has descended into logging rules, but there's way more than that. I have tried to compile a short list, below, but you really need to do a bit more research in some of these topics. And hopefully others will chime in as well.

Flight prep: No single flight info telephone number (1-800-WX-BRIEF) you can call to get all the info, but you have to get things (NOTAM, WX) from a variety of sources. No AF/D, but the AIP of the UK is pretty complete, and both Pooleys and AFE do flight guides as well. No FAA flight plan format, but the UK uses the ICAO format. FPL requirement rules are different, details are in the AIP. An app such as SkyDemon gathers info from all sources for you and presents it in a logical manner, and can also help you submit a flight plan and execute the flight. Highly recommended.

Airspace: You need a specific clearance to enter into class D, whereas in the US it's enough to have established radio contact. Also, the UK is a lot more densely populated and has a large air force that trains all over the country. Result: Far more complex airspace. So planning your route to avoid or transit airspace can be a lot more challenging than in the US. Also have a plan B when a transit is not approved - something that happens more often compared to the US. Again, SkyDemon can help you with the full picture.

Airfields: Most uncontrolled airfields have a "radio" (A/G) or "information" (AFIS) service, and airfields are closed when that service is closed. "Radio" is just there to pass on relevant info, but "Information" actually has authority over what happens on the ground so you need a taxi clearance from them. "Information" is just advisory for stuff that happens in the air though. There are a few, mostly microlight, fields that have no "Radio" or "Information". In that case there's a safety com frequency published and you talk to "traffic" broadly similar to how you use an uncontrolled field in the US. "Big" fields could have frequencies for ATIS, Delivery, Startup, Ground, Tower and a few others, but that's not really different from big US fields.

Quite a lot of UK airfields are PPR or PNR, and this is fairly strictly enforced as well. You cannot just show up and land. Mostly this is done so that the operator can verify you have been briefed on the noise abatement procedures (see below) and other particulars of the airfield. Don't fear a PPR/PNR telephone call: Most airfields are happy to receive you, as long as you conform to their procedures.

Circuits: Due to noise abatement, circuits are sometimes restricted to certain sides of the airfield only, may not be square, or may require you to follow specific visual landmarks. A lot of airfields also require you to "join overhead" where all traffic converges on a single point above the airfield at 2000' AGL or so, and then follows a prescribed path to descend onto downwind. On such fields, a direct join onto downwind is not allowed, let alone a direct base or final.

In WWII the Air Force created a lot of airfields in the UK. Most of these were outfitted with a triangular system of runways, so that with any wind direction you would have at most a 30 degree crosswind. These airfields were later privatised but it's rare for the full triangle to be maintained to runway standards. So you may find the situation that only one of the original runways is still in use as a runway, and sometimes only partly so (half the length, half the width). The rest is then used as taxiway, or simply not used for aviation at all. Sometimes those bits are even fenced off, not part of the airfield anymore but used for things like drag racing. But they're still there, visible from the air, and may cause confusion. Study the airfield diagram beforehand, make sure you land on the bit that is designated as the runway, and prepare for some convoluted taxi routes.

In flight: There is no such thing as "Flight Following". Instead, ATSOCAS (Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled Airspace) are Basic and Traffic, mostly. So you request "Basic Service" and you have to know what that means. (This BTW is an area where both the UK and the US deviate from ICAO standards.) Some airfields like to keep an eye out for traffic just outside their airspace, so the UK has a system where you "monitor" a certain frequency in a certain area but don't talk to anybody. Instead you select a "listening squawk" on the transponder to let the controller know you can be contacted if necessary. Apart from this, the VFR squawk is 7000 instead of 1200. 7004 is used for aerobatics. Outside of the UK, most European countries use the ICAO standards of "Flight Information Service".

Landing fees: Almost every field charges these, and sometimes they're eye-watering. "Big" fields actually may charge you three fees: ATC, landing and handling. Reason is that these are three different organisations with their own tariff structure. Most UK airfields (with just a few exceptions) have agreed to the "Strasser" scheme, named after Mr. Strasser who was the chairman of AOPA UK a while ago. This means that if you are performing a genuine diversion (for weather or technical reasons) to a participating airfield, you will not be charged a landing/handing fee. This is to ensure pilots who are facing a genuine diversion don't have to take a potentially very high landing fee into account when determining the safest airfield to divert to.

AWOS is pretty much non-existent in the UK. It's ATIS or nothing.

Licensing: After an exam a UK examiner cannot give you a temporary certificate. You have to wait for the UK CAA to return your paperwork (correctly - which may take several attempts, ask me how I know) before you can exercise the privileges. Written exams are typically a lot more thorough than the FAA counterparts, but flight standards are roughly the same.

Medicals: Although the standards themselves are roughly the same, you cannot go to just any doctor to get tested. You have to find a CAA-approved AME, and this AME has less authority than their counterparts in the US. Especially if you have a medical condition where the standard is not black and white, the AME has to refer your case to the CAA and this can take ages. The CAA also requires that certain medicals (initial class 1, from memory) has to be done at the CAA itself, not just at any AME.

Altimeter setting: This happens in hectoPascals (hPa, formerly called Millibars or mb) instead of Inches of Mercury. The standard setting of 29.92 inches is 1013.2 hPa. The transition altitude is way lower than in the US. Depending on the surrounding airspace, usually somewhere between 3000 and 6000 feet. Outside controlled airspace the country is divided up into a bunch of altimeter setting regions and each of those has a name. So it's quite normal to hear ATC pass you the "Yarmouth QNH 1016".

121.5 is monitored, amongst others, by a countrywide "Diversion and Distress" (D/D) service. If they're not busy with an actual emergency, they can be called up for a practice pan or something like that. And this happens a lot, mostly during flight training. So if you've learned the (otherwise good) habit of monitoring 121.5 on COM2, you'll be hearing a lot more traffic on that box than what you might be used to.

Weather: The UK/Ireland is the first stop for any low-pressure system that crosses the Atlantic. In the wake of such a low-pressure system you'll usually find a combination of cold and warm fronts, with all the associated weather. In addition to TAF/METAR, also learn to use the other information that the UK MetOffice makes available, in particular the 214/215/414/415 forms and the sigmet form.

Cross-channel flying: Don't underestimate this. Even on the shortest route (Dover-Calais) you'll be outside of gliding range for a while so you have to think about maritime survival stuff/training. For safety reasons most people will want to fly as high as possible to limit the risk, but flying high also carries the risk that the horizon is further away than the in-flight visibility. So the blue-grey of the sea seamlessly blends into the grey-blue of the sky. Even in VMC this means you need to be prepared/competent to fly on instruments. Or fly lower. You also have to think about customs and immigration at both ends - you cannot just fly from any airfield cross-channel to any other airfield. Generally speaking (there are exceptions) a flight that crosses a national boundary requires a flight plan to be submitted, even within the EU/Schengen area.

Flying clubs: If you rent an aircraft, you typically do so at a flying club. Make sure that you read up on their rules and stick to them. Quite a few clubs require a 28-day recency: If you haven't flown for 28 days, then you are required to go up with an instructor for a few touch and gos, before you can go off on your own. And this applies to all pilots, regardless of how many licenses you have. Most will also want you to do a cross-channel checkout with them if you've never flown cross-channel before.

Last, where the FAA genuinely seems to be interested in helping aviation along, with a light-touch regulation, the CAA seems to be in the business of gold-plating any sort of regulation, and erring on the side of caution at all times. Combined with Brexit where all of a sudden the CAA got a lot more work than they anticipated, this has lead to tremendously long wait times, half-arsed answers to complex questions, and sometimes dealing with untrained/incompetent staff. The CAA also charges hefty fees compared to the FAA.

Last edited by BackPacker; 17th Aug 2022 at 14:26.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 15:25
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I am talking about when flying in the USA. I have consistently been told that I can log P1 because I flew the aeroplane and hold a license to do so, whether that was a checkout or a BFR.

If I was in the UK .. I would only be able to log P u/t for post 30 day checkouts and a biannual flight with an instructor.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 15:52
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UK pilots tend to fly on the left-hand side of the airway.

[edit: added emoticon to avoid confusion]

Last edited by Jan Olieslagers; 17th Aug 2022 at 17:34.
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Old 17th Aug 2022, 16:09
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Originally Posted by Jan Olieslagers View Post
UK pilots tend to fly on the left-hand side of the airway.
If you'd put a smiley face on it, I'd know you were joking, now I'm not sure!!

So, on the road, we drive on the left which is right, and you drive on the right which is wrong. In the air, we all 'drive' on the right, which (in that case) is right.
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 08:33
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Dave
Of course your initial post was correct, but I didn't want loveair to get the wrong idea about the UK. My apologies.
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 08:34
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Thank you for the clarification.
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 08:35
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This is briliant, thank you. You should create a pdf booklet!
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Old 18th Aug 2022, 19:40
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"Flying clubs: If you rent an aircraft, you typically do so at a flying club. Make sure that you read up on their rules and stick to them. Quite a few clubs require a 28-day recency: If you haven't flown for 28 days, then you are required to go up with an instructor for a few touch and gos, before you can go off on your own. And this applies to all pilots,"
This frequently means "have flown their aircraft in the past 28 days". Most "flying clubs" are not clubs but like your US FBO.
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