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Rick Goddin
06-03-11, 19:41 PM
SSDR won't be complete until the need for personal licensing, medicals and the need to register and to put letters on the aircraft are all done away with.

Over the years we have been gradually suckered into a process where our aircraft are now subject to the same regime as Boeing 747s, where the pilots' licence regime has migrated to rigmaroles and procedures which are completely inappropriate to the sort of flying done in the early 1980s and now in SSDR. And according to the great and the good of the BMAA, we should apparently be grateful for this!

I would call this b*llocks. When I come across renegade unlicensed pilots flying old out of permit aircraft, one of my instincts is to say "good on you".

Bill Scott
06-03-11, 20:02 PM
I agree, the present set up is daft.
I think the medical declaration should be just that and the 'authorities' can check 10% at random , at their cost.
Haven't got a problem with registrations, but I don't think the details should be in the public domain on G-INFO.

However, there are empires at stake ;)

PeteCymru
06-03-11, 20:34 PM
Good contentious stuff Rick! As a student, I have no opinion; however I shall enjoy following the debate.

Let the games begin..

GregH
06-03-11, 21:14 PM
well said.

P Kelsey
06-03-11, 21:30 PM
Bill/Rick,
A few things within SSDR would need to stay :studyingbrown:
(1) I think some form of medical has to be in place,otherwise we could have skies full of 'Coffin Dodgers' on life support machines
(2) A Callsign or registration would need to be shown on the SSDR for purposes of recognition ( the CAA could issue G-0001 - G9999 ) Now whether they list them on G-INFO or not doesn't really matter.
(3) I agree that a Pilots Licence shouldn't be a requirement, why would anyone expect someone who is in charge of a Flying Machine to have any sort of licence !

I know it is De Regulated, but surely there has to be some guidelines to ensure flight safety, next we will be getting IWR ( instrument weather rating ) on SSDR with the only requirement to gain it is to understand Michael Fish
:-P


I agree, the present set up is daft.
I think the medical declaration should be just that and the 'authorities' can check 10% at random , at their cost.
Haven't got a problem with registrations, but I don't think the details should be in the public domain on G-INFO.

However, there are empires at stake ;)

rifruffian
06-03-11, 21:57 PM
Rick Goddin you are right on, spot on and more power to your viewpoint.

P Kelsey, a good understanding of Michael Fish and colleagues is an information resource that has often constituted part of my pre flight preps...!

Rick Goddin
06-03-11, 22:00 PM
Bill/Rick,
A few things within SSDR would need to stay :studyingbrown:
(1) I think some form of medical has to be in place,otherwise we could have skies full of 'Coffin Dodgers' on life support machines
(2) A Callsign or registration would need to be shown on the SSDR for purposes of recognition ( the CAA could issue G-0001 - G9999 ) Now whether they list them on G-INFO or not doesn't really matter.
(3) I agree that a Pilots Licence shouldn't be a requirement, why would anyone expect someone who is in charge of a Flying Machine to have any sort of licence !

I know it is De Regulated, but surely there has to be some guidelines to ensure flight safety, next we will be getting IWR ( instrument weather rating ) on SSDR with the only requirement to gain it is to understand Michael Fish
:-P

This is the kind of twaddle which I would expect a GA type to come out with. Shows how out of touch you are with the real spirit of microlighting Peter. You may have flown a few for your own commercial purposes (not sure how you do this on a PPL, but still......................) but those of us who have been in microlighting from the start will know exactly what I am getting at. The fact is that more and more people who are fed up with all this stuff will just do their own thing. If I was grounded for medical reasons would I stop flying? Not until I decided that i didn't want to do it any more. OK, it would invalidate insurance so that would be a saving of cost because there would be no point in having any. I wouldn't need a permit so I could leave the BMAA as well! If i lost the plane, tough, I would go and buy another one.

You don't need a call sign if you have no radio. Why is "recognition" needed? PPGs dont have call signs. The only people who would get hurt are the pilots themselves - this is how other countries operate. The fact is that we were seduced into this morass of regulation partly because we were self important enough to think that we were being recognised. A big mistake. And we were infiltrated by people from GA who in their own pompous way think that this is all necessary. I therefore applaud those who bimble around free of this this bumphh, without permits and licences etc. I predict that there will be more of them.

Bob T
06-03-11, 22:02 PM
(1) I think some form of medical has to be in place,otherwise we could have skies full of 'Coffin Dodgers' on life support machines

And do you think that the skies are full of dying old gits causing accidents in 450kg machines in France where we have no medical?
Come on Pete, you know that is rubbish, and you don't normally write such c**p.

P Kelsey
06-03-11, 22:58 PM
Rick,
That was predictable that you would bring the GA Moniker into the equation, that really is wearing a bit thin now. I am doing my utmost to speak from a microlighting point of view on these matters.
I will give reason to my way of thinking :
If a SSDR flying machine was to have an Airprox with you I would imagine that you would like to know that it was G-1121 as opposed to ' The blue trike with the yellow wing ' thus my desire to see recognition remain on even the SSDR machines for such reasons.

I would in a perfect world like everyone to be medically checked to some extent if they are taking to the skies, but if the general concensus is to allow freedom from being medically checked on SSDR then so be it.

The question of not needing a licence is something that will always be discussed and will no doubt have a split verdict, does the general concensus think that because a trike weighs 115.1kg upwards the pilot should be licenced, but if the trike weighs 115kg or less it should exempt the pilot from needing a licence ? Fine line I know, but still worthy of a sensible discussion.


This is the kind of twaddle which I would expect a GA type to come out with. Shows how out of touch you are with the real spirit of microlighting Peter. You may have flown a few for your own commercial purposes (not sure how you do this on a PPL, but still......................) but those of us who have been in microlighting from the start will know exactly what I am getting at. The fact is that more and more people who are fed up with all this stuff will just do their own thing. If I was grounded for medical reasons would I stop flying? Not until I decided that i didn't want to do it any more. OK, it would invalidate insurance so that would be a saving of cost because there would be no point in having any. I wouldn't need a permit so I could leave the BMAA as well! If i lost the plane, tough, I would go and buy another one.

You don't need a call sign if you have no radio. Why is "recognition" needed? PPGs dont have call signs. The only people who would get hurt are the pilots themselves - this is how other countries operate. The fact is that we were seduced into this morass of regulation partly because we were self important enough to think that we were being recognised. A big mistake. And we were infiltrated by people from GA who in their own pompous way think that this is all necessary. I therefore applaud those who bimble around free of this this bumphh, without permits and licences etc. I predict that there will be more of them.

P Kelsey
06-03-11, 23:05 PM
Bob,
My wording was: Could not Would.
I don't really believe that France has the perfect system when it comes to not having medicals, but that is the only minus factor in the French System of Ultralighting.
I agree with more of what the FFA are doing than what the BMAA are doing, so the non medical situation in France is just something you take in the rough with the smooth.


(1) I think some form of medical has to be in place,otherwise we could have skies full of 'Coffin Dodgers' on life support machines

And do you think that the skies are full of dying old gits causing accidents in 450kg machines in France where we have no medical?
Come on Pete, you know that is rubbish, and you don't normally write such c**p.

Rick Goddin
06-03-11, 23:13 PM
Rick,
That was predictable that you would bring the GA Moniker into the equation, that really is wearing a bit thin now. I am doing my utmost to speak from a microlighting point of view on these matters.
I will give reason to my way of thinking :
If a SSDR flying machine was to have an Airprox with you I would imagine that you would like to know that it was G-1121 as opposed to ' The blue trike with the yellow wing ' thus my desire to see recognition remain on even the SSDR machines for such reasons.

I would in a perfect world like everyone to be medically checked to some extent if they are taking to the skies, but if the general concensus is to allow freedom from being medically checked on SSDR then so be it.

The question of not needing a licence is something that will always be discussed and will no doubt have a split verdict, does the general concensus think that because a trike weighs 115.1kg upwards the pilot should be licenced, but if the trike weighs 115kg or less it should exempt the pilot from needing a licence ? Fine line I know, but still worthy of a sensible discussion.

Peter, it's not your fault that you don't have deep microlighting credentials and don't really unterstand where many of us come from on this subject. Most GA people think the way you do. They are often very precious about all the licences, ratings etc which they hold as they see these things as accolades rather than nuisances which they are required to have. I remember one of the first things which you told me about yourself was a recitation of all your various licences and ratings. Microlight people just don't think this way. We regard these things as a nuisance not as some kind of badge.

No licence is required to fly a PPG, nor are there any numbers on it. Nor do you need a licence to fly a hang glider or a foot launched microlight. This is because there is no significant risk.
Do you know how many third party (obviously non passenger) claims have been made in respect of accidents involving single seat microlights? None in modern times.

NigelJ
06-03-11, 23:19 PM
I agree the medical requirement seems a little over the top as it seems to be a requirement mainly so you can take passengers, yet we can't do it for reward (unlike a taxi driver) and as a normal car driver we don't have to have a medical yet we can take passengers!

However if SSDR flyers were to be unregulated and not identifiable and start causing noise annoyance, airproxes or controlled airspace violations then as far as the general public are concerned every microlight is the same (i.e. just as bad and should therefore be banned). Having requirements and responsibilities make pilots take care (if a driving licence and car insurance was not required would the roads be just as safe?). Yes you can just buy another plane if you crash it but not replace someone's life. If I saw an unlicenced and uninsured pilot flying a microlight with no permit I wouldn't say "good on you", more likely "**** you" as they are threatening the future of microlighting as an affordable leisure pursuit for the rest of us. Perhaps the authorities are more laid back in France - well lucky you. Over here they're not, so I doubt defying the law will change anything, apart from getting us all banned.

Bob T
06-03-11, 23:19 PM
Peter in the past 6 years I can only think of one accident, in a fleet of 14,000, where the cause could be due to medical reasons. It was thought that the 3 axis pilot had a heart attack and the microlight flew into the ground. Would a medical have saved him?
How can a record like that not be part of a perfect medical less system?
A couple of years ago there was an autogyro display with three machines doing stunts and dropping flags etc, the combined age of all three pilots was 224 years. Guess what, all of them managed to finish the display and land while still alive.

Katie
06-03-11, 23:25 PM
I agree with getting rid of the medical requirements but not the licensing.
I believe that with foot launched, especially hangliding, that launching is the difficult bit so no one without training could get airboure? With an SSDR aeroplane it would be very easy to get off of the ground..... The resulting crashes would good for evolution but bad for microlights and SSDR would soon get itself banned.

P Kelsey
06-03-11, 23:38 PM
I can see where you are coming from :redface: I would be the 1st to agree that GA Pilots seem to see Ratings and licences as Trophies, I accept that I fell into that Category and was very vocal about such things when I first dipped my toe into the microlighting pool. Nowadays I tend to keep away from the credentials and accolades as I quickly realised they are superfluous in microlight circles and yes I agree that having to revalidate this and revalidate that is a pain in the rear in GA World.

Taking your point on PPG & FLM I can see how you come to the conclusion that registrations are not required and that by a non requirement for holding any licence that it would seem fair to extend these privileges or rather actions of freedom to those participating in SSDR.

I will now sit back and slowly read each post on this subject and see what the general opinion from people with interests in microlighting say and digest the opinions before answering .


Peter, it's not your fault that you don't have deep microlighting credentials and don't really unterstand where many of us come from on this subject. Most GA people think the way you do. They are often very precious about all the licences, ratings etc which they hold as they see these things as accolades rather than nuisances which they are required to have. I remember one of the first things which you told me about yourself was a recitation of all your various licences and ratings. Microlight people just don't think this way. We regard these things as a nuisance not as some kind of badge.

No licence is required to fly a PPG, nor are there any numbers on it. Nor do you need a licence to fly a hang glider or a foot launched microlight. This is because there is no significant risk.
Do you know how many third party (obviously non passenger) claims have been made in respect of accidents involving single seat microlights? None in modern times.

P Kelsey
06-03-11, 23:46 PM
This is covering every point I was trying to make, but you put it far more eloquently and it is good to see that my opinion wasn't a singular view :wink:


I agree the medical requirement seems a little over the top as it seems to be a requirement mainly so you can take passengers, yet we can't do it for reward (unlike a taxi driver) and as a normal car driver we don't have to have a medical yet we can take passengers!

However if SSDR flyers were to be unregulated and not identifiable and start causing noise annoyance, airproxes or controlled airspace violations then as far as the general public are concerned every microlight is the same (i.e. just as bad and should therefore be banned). Having requirements and responsibilities make pilots take care (if a driving licence and car insurance was not required would the roads be just as safe?). Yes you can just buy another plane if you crash it but not replace someone's life. If I saw an unlicenced and uninsured pilot flying a microlight with no permit I wouldn't say "good on you", more likely "**** you" as they are threatening the future of microlighting as an affordable leisure pursuit for the rest of us. Perhaps the authorities are more laid back in France - well lucky you. Over here they're not, so I doubt defying the law will change anything, apart from getting us all banned.

P Kelsey
06-03-11, 23:58 PM
To a certain degree I agree that the Medical isn't really a failsafe answer ( bit like MOT's on Vehicles ) but it does give a yearly/2 yearly/5 yearly or whatever period you choose to get checked as a record of your medical fitness over a period. I fully understand that I could be passed as fit today at some point and suddenly have a Coronary a few minutes or hours later.

My partner who I consider to be medically unwell had a Doctors report for assessing her fitness level and after walking 200yds from a bus stop to the medical centre immediately saw the Doctor and after sitting there breathless was deemed medically fit. This tells me there are serious flaws in the medical system and if she needed a NPPL Declaration signed on that basis he would have signed it.

Crazy world we live in, but at least she chose to have a medical check for what it was worth .


Peter in the past 6 years I can only think of one accident, in a fleet of 14,000, where the cause could be due to medical reasons. It was thought that the 3 axis pilot had a heart attack and the microlight flew into the ground. Would a medical have saved him?
How can a record like that not be part of a perfect medical less system?
A couple of years ago there was an autogyro display with three machines doing stunts and dropping flags etc, the combined age of all three pilots was 224 years. Guess what, all of them managed to finish the display and land while still alive.

Rick Goddin
07-03-11, 00:07 AM
I agree the medical requirement seems a little over the top as it seems to be a requirement mainly so you can take passengers, yet we can't do it for reward (unlike a taxi driver) and as a normal car driver we don't have to have a medical yet we can take passengers!

However if SSDR flyers were to be unregulated and not identifiable and start causing noise annoyance, airproxes or controlled airspace violations then as far as the general public are concerned every microlight is the same (i.e. just as bad and should therefore be banned). Having requirements and responsibilities make pilots take care (if a driving licence and car insurance was not required would the roads be just as safe?). Yes you can just buy another plane if you crash it but not replace someone's life. If I saw an unlicenced and uninsured pilot flying a microlight with no permit I wouldn't say "good on you", more likely "**** you" as they are threatening the future of microlighting as an affordable leisure pursuit for the rest of us. Perhaps the authorities are more laid back in France - well lucky you. Over here they're not, so I doubt defying the law will change anything, apart from getting us all banned.

Mostly misconceived tosh I'm afraid. No claims from third parties arising from the operations of single seat microlights.

There are loads of uninsured and unlicensed drivers on the road - didn't you know that? Also, the unlicensed pilots I know need to be and are a lot more careful than many licensed people. Who do you think causes the airproxes, airspace violations and nuisances at the moment? Certainly not the unlicensed, more likely to be people like you and me!

Rick Goddin
07-03-11, 00:13 AM
[QUOTE=P Kelsey;29242] This tells me there are serious flaws in the medical system and if she needed a NPPL Declaration signed on that basis he would have signed it.

[QUOTE]

It might seem to you to have flaws but that's because you plainly don't unterstand and haven't acquainted yourself with the requirements which the doctor has to follow before signing a PPL/NPPL declaration. The doctor is required to apply the DVLA driving standards, which are very detailed, to determine whether she could have Group 1, Group 2 or maybe nothing at all. You should look it up, it's all on the internet :-)

P Kelsey
07-03-11, 00:25 AM
The DVLA standard is partly where the Flaw is : She is OK to drive, but not fit to walk more than 200yds


[QUOTE=P Kelsey;29242] This tells me there are serious flaws in the medical system and if she needed a NPPL Declaration signed on that basis he would have signed it.

[QUOTE]

It might seem to you to have flaws but that's because you plainly don't unterstand and haven't acquainted yourself with the requirements which the doctor has to follow before signing a PPL/NPPL declaration. The doctor is required to apply the DVLA driving standards, which are very detailed, to determine whether she could have Group 1, Group 2 or maybe nothing at all. You should look it up, it's all on the internet :-)

Rick Goddin
07-03-11, 07:12 AM
The DVLA standard is partly where the Flaw is : She is OK to drive, but not fit to walk more than 200yds

[QUOTE=Rick Goddin;29244][QUOTE=P Kelsey;29242] This tells me there are serious flaws in the medical system and if she needed a NPPL Declaration signed on that basis he would have signed it.

It sounds as though she could be suffering from ischemia or angina (perhaps silent angina, which is angina without the usual pains) which are cardiac conditions, usually arising from cardiovascular impairment. I have it also. The main point is that sitting in and operating a car or an aircraft doesn't require the same levels of oxygen as walking, as no exercise is involved.

When I went nearly to the top of Mont Blanc on foot and by cable car I was quite breathless. Yet I have flown past the same place at over 12000 feet for about 40 minutes and was perfectly OK.

She probably wouldn't be able to get a LGV licence (which is the group 2 standard for NPPL) without completing an exercise ECG to the McGregor protocol which, on your report, she would probably fail.

Sounds like a very logical judgment to me

Edited to add: it's a statistical fact, incidentally, that those who are clinically or morbidly obese are also more likely than the general population to have suden heart failures which are unlikely to be predicted at regular medical checks, especially in those cases where there have been premature deaths in the family. Maybe fatties should also be banned, no matter how fit they might seem at an annual check? I can't see that being a popular move, can you?

P Kelsey
07-03-11, 11:46 AM
Her medical problem is Chronic Rhinitis & Chronic Asthmatic, she cannot go up 3 flights of stairs without a rest so going up Mont Blanc would be a certain No No, barometric pressure can change her breathing immensely and I am lucky that I usually get 12hrs notice of bad weather as she will say " My chest is getting tighter" and sure enough the bad weather arrives soon after
:x


[QUOTE=P Kelsey;29245]The DVLA standard is partly where the Flaw is : She is OK to drive, but not fit to walk more than 200yds

[QUOTE=Rick Goddin;29244]

It sounds as though she could be suffering from ischemia or angina (perhaps silent angina, which is angina without the usual pains) which are cardiac conditions, usually arising from cardiovascular impairment. I have it also. The main point is that sitting in and operating a car or an aircraft doesn't require the same levels of oxygen as walking, as no exercise is involved.

When I went nearly to the top of Mont Blanc on foot and by cable car I was quite breathless. Yet I have flown past the same place at over 12000 feet for about 40 minutes and was perfectly OK.

She probably wouldn't be able to get a LGV licence (which is the group 2 standard for NPPL) without completing an exercise ECG to the McGregor protocol which, on your report, she would probably fail.

Sounds like a very logical judgment to me

Edited to add: it's a statistical fact, incidentally, that those who are clinically or morbidly obese are also more likely than the general population to have suden heart failures which are unlikely to be predicted at regular medical checks, especially in those cases where there have been premature deaths in the family. Maybe fatties should also be banned, no matter how fit they might seem at an annual check? I can't see that being a popular move, can you?

NigelJ
07-03-11, 17:07 PM
Mostly misconceived tosh I'm afraid. No claims from third parties arising from the operations of single seat microlights.
There are loads of uninsured and unlicensed drivers on the road - didn't you know that? Also, the unlicensed pilots I know need to be and are a lot more careful than many licensed people. Who do you think causes the airproxes, airspace violations and nuisances at the moment? Certainly not the unlicensed, more likely to be people like you and me!

-I'm quite aware there are uninsured and unlicensed drivers on the road - I'm paying for their accidents through my insurance. Anyone can cause an airprox, airspace violation or whatever, either by accident or carelessness, the difference is the legal pilots can be traced and dealt with. It's called being responsible. British airspace isn't the wild west. As for uninsured drivers having to be more careful, that doesn't seem to matter to a lot of them, after all why worry about losing your licence or insurance ncb if you haven't got them in the first place? I'm all for minimum regulation, but getting proper training and a licence to show for it, along with insurance shows you are aware of your responsibility towards other flyers and the public down below.

bingoboy
08-03-11, 11:24 AM
I am somewhat divided in my views on this but I see no reason why self medical declaration is not OK as it worked fine for glider pilots until the rules changed a few years ago.

Katie makes a good point in that training of some sort is probably the only way that we could minimise incidents but probably more importantly stop becoming the headline act on the news on a slow news day and not just a haha moment for Harry Hill.

Most folk have a level of need to ensure that they fly something that is relatively safe - the footlaunched folk have such things.

But then I do support the push to release all single seaters into the SSDR regime which might push total deregulation boundaries.

I would solve this with an true experimental category for (obviously :-) ) heavier stuff.

littlewing
20-03-11, 21:20 PM
All the population is devided for a two types: people and sheeple. First one category is prefer to be free and second one to be guided.
Who is who... just up to you

Paul Dewhurst
21-03-11, 14:34 PM
I agree that for light single seat Medicals aren't needed. The individual can decide if they are fit to fly - as they do anyway even with an NPPL medical.

Training though I believe is somewhat different. Non mandatory training Works just about with foot launched, but only just about, and helped by the fundamental definition of foot launched. Any fool can get in a wheeled craft open the throttle and get airbourne, and Ito a world of trouble. With foot launched the most subtle most coordinated phase of flight is the launch. Without training they will break lots of kit and are unlikely to get airborne - neatly driving them into getting training.

I say this works only just, because many part taught foot launchers don't bother to fly with charts and don't understand air law properly. For example we had two paramotors drifting in and out of Sywell ATZ on the live side conflicting with downwind traffic for a hour this weekend, obviously oblivious to the ATZ or the rules for entry.

Unfortuneately having no requirement for licence is sometimes Interpreted as it is not necessary to get training, and understand the way airspace works and other important stuff. I believe that training is always necessary, and more so for SSDR where energy is higher and potential for self harm greater, and they are more akin to regular microlights and likely to be operated in the same environment. Removing the need for a licence would in my view and with what I have seen of foot launched ( and I have some experience of this as flylight has manufactured 260 doodlebugs), would discourage a proportion of people from getting training, or completing it.

We have developed simpler requirements for solo paratrikes , and given good cross credit for converting foot launchers, and proposed a simpler instructor rating to go with it.

Registration was something that CAA were keen to keep, and made it clear it was non negotiable. Purely from an identification perspective. Seems they regret not including it for foootlaunch.

What we wanted when we were negotiating SSDR was a proportionate step between foot launched and regular microlights. we can pick over some of the details and debate, but I believe it has been reasonably successful at meeting that.

It's interesting that there seems to be a widely held surprise in CAA that we got it through, and still very sceptical in many quarters.

Key figure in CAA that helped was John Marshall, sadly no longer with them.

We have recently proposed, based on the success so far, to expand SSDR to all single seat microlights, but CAA not very receptive at all just now.

Paul

Rusty
21-03-11, 16:48 PM
Rick, I think you are onto something critical here; the proverbial elephant in the corner of the room. Everyone knows it's there but no one wants to do anything about it.

My turn to put my head above the parapet now. The NPPL medical is a farce. It is vastly inconsistent across the country and is quite an embarrassment for the UK. Why else would France insist Class II medical for LAA pilots??? Notwithstanding the BMAA reciprocal arrangement.

SSDR should have been a really inexpensive route into aviation; "to revive the spirit of bathtub aviation" was the phrase quoted I believe. Since its introduction, how may SSDR kits/Plans/RTF aircraft from the UK have we seen? How many of those are actually affordable????

And then the NPPL for SSDR aircraft. How is this supposed to work? I understand there must have been some training program for when there where only single seat aircraft but try and find an instructor who is prepared to train on an SSDR for a new pilot.

With ever shrinking uncontrolled airspace, how is an SSDR supposed to fly? And then without radio/XPNDR? To register the aircraft and decorate it with a G-Reg would be a mission on its own, not really a great deal of real estate on an SSDR for Reg marks. Then there's the LAA not willing to offer support for SSDR builders as they are not LAA aircraft, even when a builder is a full paying(engineering) member. Why should an SSDR owner be forced to register a private aircraft and make their details available to the public. Your car reg is not publicly available for reasons of privacy; why should your aircraft be any different?

To me, SSDR feels like a token gesture, the NPPL medical offers no confidence and the constant shifting sands of the EAA FCL and sport pilots licence are all indications of an agency out of touch with it the spirit of aviation. It should concentrate on commercial activity and pass the management of leisure aviation onto more focussed agencies.

There is a point to flying... Because you can.

Gentreau
21-03-11, 17:16 PM
Something which is very important and which the French Federation (FFPLUM) are always pushing, is that all microlights, whether single or dual-seat, foot, motor or catapult launched, are seen by the great unwashed as the same thing. Additionally, they all have to share the skies with other traffic and tend to make big news stories when they perform unintentional landings. Often the result of an incident is that someone will start pushing for more regulation rather than less. If we push to allow untrained pilots to fly and they cause significant numbers of incidents or accidents, then we risk being the authors of our own demise.

I know pilots here in France who think the regulation is excessive, while I consider that we have a pretty fair system that gives us a lot of freedom while ensuring that we can enjoy it safely. The key to that is training. Surely anyone who is going to take to the skies should be trained to a level where he/she can do so safely without scaring themselves and others, and be able to 'play nicely' with all the other things buzzing around up there. We have a military low flying zone between 800-1500ft above our club, and when it's active, they come though at about Mach 0.9 flying head-down on instruments. Not a good idea to be tootling around on a paramotor at that moment, blissfully unaware that you are in a Restricted zone....

Where I think the French have really got it right is the fact that there is no minimum number of hours. The decision is made by the instructor, meaning that someone coming from GA with many hundreds of hours of experience, could be qualified very quickly. However there is still a requirement for basic training whoever you are and whatever you want to fly. The training is tailored to the class of microlight you want to fly and the licence is only valid for that class.

Perhaps for SSDR, a move away from the fixed number of hours towards a machine appropriate, instructor granted licence would encourage people to complete training and reduce the calls to regulate us out of the skies.

</2penniesworth>

NigelJ
21-03-11, 17:26 PM
Good post, Gentreau. In the big bad world of aviation we are a long way down the pecking order and acting irresponsibly will be a godsend to those who would like to keep the skies reserved for "real" aircraft. Pootling around in a world of your own is not like kids riding their stripped out mopeds around a field who can be just told to clear off - you could cause a serious incident. It's the point I was trying to make in my last post that training and responsible flying is the only way to keep the authorities off our backs. You can still enjoy yourself without acting like a **** and spoiling things for everyone else.

Paul Dewhurst
21-03-11, 19:53 PM
Rusty

to tackle some of your points:

plenty of space to fix reg marks - wings generally bigger than Quik or Eurostar.

Training works exactly the same as if you own any single seater regulated or not - you can do the solo part of the training using it. cant see why an instructor would have a problem with that we have been doing it since the dawn of microlighting. We have always done it at our school no problem - free's up the school two seater for others and they cant crash my plane whilst flying their own!

Number of types / success - I reckon well over 20% of new sales are SSDR types now. We have sold 70 of our Dragonflies- not bad I hope you will agree? Our base model costs about half that of a firewall forward Rotax 912S package. Its really not possible to build a new aeroplane cheaper than that! SSDR has also got a large number of old types back out of retirement - many of which couldnt justify permit and inspector fees just to fly a few fun hours per year before.

Shrinking airspace? - we have more Class G airspace now than ever before in the last 50 years. Huge amounts of perviously miltary airspace has been relinquished and continues to be. Just last year Cottesmore zone closed, and Lyneham is due to go soon, with more to follow.

SSDR isnt for everyone - but it is grassroots microlighting and has opened up a category for experimenation and innovation, or just for simple flying with less cost and less hassle. This rarely happens in aviation!

NPPL medical is probaly a waste of time for light single seaters, but unless you are a really old Fossil, the relaxation in frequency is a useful gain over the old system. We have a 16 yearold learning with us - his next NPPL medical GP signoff is in 2035..

Paul

paramotorpilot
21-03-11, 20:18 PM
The training is tailored to the class of microlight you want to fly and the licence is only valid for that class.

For those that aren't aware even foot launched paramotors need a licence and have a registration mark here in France.
It does have the advantage that if I wished to move onto microlights I only need the practical training as I already have the licence that covers the theoretical parts.

Cheers,
Alan

Rusty
22-03-11, 11:10 AM
Paul,

Thanks for your reply. Glad to hear that someone in the UK is taking advantage of this class. The Dragonfly is a well priced aircraft and value for money. However, it is out of my upfront cost budget.

Of course there's Escapade (almost) with the cut-down Kid and the GSAL Eindecker but I can't think of many others. If it is such a lucrative market, why do we not see more affordable aircraft? I guess the term affordable is subjective but I do not see 5-6k upfront as affordable. I would much rather put that much money into a syndicate.

I cannot afford a Skyranger, Eurostar, Eindecker or Dragonfly or even afford to shell out for the kit modules on offer let alone the engines. If there were more individual parts on offer, alternative engines and more aircraft to choose from, I would to build my SSDR as I can afford it. I also want to do this starting now and balance the costs of flying lessons with the costs of building an aircraft. I know it can be done. But now I am forced to choose an American provider of my SSDR aircraft as there simply isn't the choice in the UK. Choice also being subjective and forming part of the affordability statement.

Welcome to the grass roots of aviation, where the cost of flying keeps it out the reach of most people.

Paul Dewhurst
22-03-11, 11:31 AM
Dont expect a big array of UK manufactures to spring up all surviving on SSDR machines. it,s a relatively new category, and will always be something of a niche Market. r&d costs even for SSDR are not to be underestimated too.

However there are some real bargains to be had used, and the odd part built kit going for a song. Keith negals part built minimax is for sale and includes a 447, and could be bought under 2k I would imagine.

You can get some perfectly flyable older single seat trikes below 2k too.

Paul

Rusty
22-03-11, 11:42 AM
Thanks Paul,

Kinda hijacked Ricks thread a bit and raved on. I agree with say about costs too. I just believe that there is an alternative to big upfront costs. Perhaps I will drop by Sywell sometime and have a look at your Dragonfly, I am intrigued (as a 3 axis pilot would be :grin:)

Paul Dewhurst
22-03-11, 12:00 PM
i guess by 'upfront costs' you mean the abilty to by staged part kits?

For kits that take a few years to build, separating out into part kits makes sense for those on a budget. But most SSDR kits don't fit that old school PFA mould and are very simple assembly jobs that can be done in a week or two, so Part kits don't really make sense for them.

We do a kit for our dragonfly. It saves some money over a ready built, but not a massive amount because it only takes us a relatively short while to do that assembly work ourselves.

Building from plans is I suppose the ultimate way to spread the cost, but it's not a common or popular way to do it those days, people generally being conditioned to faster gratification, and the engineering skills not being so common now either. There are a few such options, like the affordaplane - but seems all that's promised on spec may not be reality there. So you need to do your homework carefully before going that route.

A materials kit like the dream classic might be another affordable option - and I have a used 447 open to offers..!


Paul

Paul

NigelJ
22-03-11, 12:06 PM
I'm hoping to buy a flex possibly late this year or next and my budget woud be up to about 2K. There seem to be a few XLR-447s and similar on AFORs up to that price but they aren't SSDR. Can a 2-seater like a an XLR be converted to SSDR by taking a seat out, removing spats etc or will it still be over weight?

Paul Dewhurst
22-03-11, 12:14 PM
XL's start off life at around 150kg so you would have to get 35kg off, which is too much just by removing glass fibre bits and other non essentials. It's the beefy two seat wing and trike frame that is the problem.

Paul

factory-fit
16-05-11, 23:29 PM
Tend to measure dangerous kit against the chainsaw and the motorbike I own. Years ago as a young impetuous type filling in fixing hire plant, the boss bought a chainsaw to take out a small wood for a housing development. The distributor insisted on a short course before he would let me take it out of the shop, and that was the best couple of hours ever invested. The key thing is, insist the tyro gets trained, so that they can make INFORMED decisions about what and whether to fly.

If someone takes risks and kills themselves, fair enough provided they have been appraised of the risks and procedures first. That isn't nanny, just ensuring the person can make an informed choice.

The medical is just daft, if you restrict the mass and wing area of the aircraft to minmise the risk to the public from the combo piling into them, then the medical aspect of that risk is so vanishingly small as to be risible. It is that sort of overregulation that makes folk ignore the sensible rules, along with the daft ones.

A point made elswhere was interesting, Mike Sands has a Dragonfly, with its superbly economical Bailey motor. He reiterated that the extra weight of the four stroke was more than compensated for by the reduced weight of fuel you have to carry to get there. My two stroke 447 Magic Cyclone will barge along at a fair old lick, but is twice as thirsty, has twice as dirty exhaust gases and carries twice the fuel to manage a cross country.

So the SSDR category favours a less green and less energy efficient aircraft, carrying twice the petrol into the impact site at twice the speed...

The sums Paul Dewhurst has done elsewhere, busy family life means maybe 50-75 hours a year, so three or four hundred pounds more fuel cost per annum, but more speed means I can get to the Spamfield do in the same way as the old Chaser did. Suppose the choice between thirsty but fast against slower but economical holds true for most leisure machinery, you takes yer choice.

If the CAA want me to have a reg number fair enough, it doesn't weigh anything or cost anything to run, plus it means we can police idiots. What I am afraid of is someone like Geoff Weighell, decent bloke but lover of rules, managing to drag us into the suffocating umbrella of the BMAA.

Rather surprised to see how closely I agree with Paul Dewhurst on dereg of all single seaters and other aspects. The only thing I would like to see is a little more emphasis on the technical, to ensure the SSDR pilot can also make informed choices on maintenance and fault- spotting. Heard a couple of bothersome stories about SSDR folk of a less than technical bent, turning up with developing faults. The cure is worse than the disease though, permits, Technical supervision and paperwork.

Pilot logbook is also silly when the revalidation flight isn't needed, so is the logbook stamp, and in a way the aircraft logbook too. A motorbike is worth far less without a service history, so the same applies to an SSDR. As Harry McB might comment, just fill it all in after a few years using different coloured pens, then put some oily smudges on a few pages and sand the corners of the covers, this will make the aircraft fly far more safely...

Cheers

Kev

Loving every goddam minute of freedom

Paul Dewhurst
17-05-11, 11:29 AM
You have to appreciate the legal framework that this works under. One of the reasons it took six years of bmaa negotiating for this is that CAA / DFt couldn't see a legal way it could be done. Legal advice at that time was either full deregulation (so no licence reg or anything, or full regulation. Full deregulation wasn't supported by any party - indeed our argument for SSDR hung on pilot training, And there was a lot of fanning around trying to see if a reduced regulation format could work. But ultimately that was a non starter as CAA has direct liability if anything is found wanting.

Eventually the legal boss decided that we could deregulate sections of the regulation package - and so the new category was deregulated from the airworthiness requirements, and due to it being written into the ANO as a lump the government carry the can, not CAA, so they were happy.

So its only airowrthiness that is deregulated, and all else stands. It isn't possible to easily cherry pick bits of the other regulations to not comply with just for this category, That requires exemptions from the ANO and becomes CAA liability again.

As for medical, around the same time as SSDR came I to being the medical changed to the NPPL one which for the first time has a simpler requirement for solo flying only, so that was an improvement that has enabled some to fly when before they could not.

As for owners keeping their machines airworthy - that's where an anti establishment culture can be damaging. When we set this up we envisaged that BMAA inspectors would look at those machines annually - not out of compulsion , but out of peer / club pressure establishing that it was normal practice to do. However far from ' being sucked into a smothering umbrella' There was once again the worry of liability, so after an I it ail inclusion in SIGMA of advice for inspectors looking at those machines, cold feet happened and it was taken out.

Personally I think this liability stories is boll#####s - being bought up as a BMAA inspector who was expected to inspect the early exemption and type accepted machines.

However an independent look see should be encouraged, and I hope people get into a 'no liability' pact with their local inspectors to give their machines a once over. Nothing needs signing or recording, but this has to be good practice - especially those machines owned by people with no engineering background. All SSDR I porters and manufacturers should offer an inspection and engineering serve too - and I think most do.

As for the definition, the rule that favours your fuel load was not unnoticed by us. The alternative which we had to stave off, after pushing them kicking and screaming from 70, to 80, then 100, and most finally to 115kg max empty, was copying the US five gallon limit, or a capped MTOW below 300kg - both proposed by CAA. I believe the current rule carries greater freedoms.

I do hope people remember that SSDR was made possible by a bmaa team( no other associations were involved) and to fly SSDR without being a member is to miss that point and doesn't help in the quest to negotiate further freedoms.

Geoff who you casually diss as being a purveyor and 'lover' of rules seeking to drag you into a'smothering umbrella' has a good track record of negotiating reductions to the rules burden, just last week he succeeded in getting CAA to agree to two year exam validity for those under training - a bigger deal for those learning to fly than perhaps is obvious at first glance - that comes on top of last years easing of training on homebuilts (4 years we worked on CAA for that), and the year before, significant changes to make requirements easier for converting on to SSDR types for hanglider and paraglider pilots. He has also voiced his opinion in the past that perhaps the requirement for check flights should be dropped entirely. He was also the one that banged the table and achieved the option of no revalidation flight for single seat flyers, the other associations were happy as it was, and he met significant resistance. Surely this isn't someone then who is seeking to increase regulation, and doesn't deserve that sort of comment?

Paul

johnny3star
17-05-11, 23:25 PM
(Clipped slightly)

As for owners keeping their machines airworthy - that's where an anti establishment culture can be damaging. When we set this up we envisaged that BMAA inspectors would look at those machines annually - not out of compulsion , but out of peer / club pressure establishing that it was normal practice to do. However far from ' being sucked into a smothering umbrella' There was once again the worry of liability, so it was taken out. However an independent look see should be encouraged, as this has to be good practice - especially those machines owned by people with no engineering background.

I do hope people remember that SSDR was made possible by a bmaa team (no other associations were involved)
and to fly SSDR without being a member is to miss that point and doesn't help in the quest to negotiate further freedoms.

Geoff who you casually diss as being a purveyor and 'lover' of rules seeking to drag you into a'smothering umbrella' has a good track record of negotiating reductions to the rules burden. Surely this isn't someone then who is seeking to increase regulation, and doesn't deserve that sort of comment?

Paul


I quite agree Paul,
I believe all SSDR pilots should be willing and enthusiastic BMAA members.
Surely, only by standing together, can the BMAA negotiate further de-regulation advances within microlighting?
JM
(BMAA 8126)

factory-fit
25-05-11, 00:33 AM
I quite agree Paul, [/FONT]
I believe all SSDR pilots should be willing and enthusiastic BMAA members.
[FONT=Tahoma]Surely, only by standing together, can the BMAA negotiate further de-regulation advances within microlighting?

Good sentiment, however the BMAA has presented some serious obstacles in my last dealings with them, and certain clear logical safety considerations were ditched in favour of box- ticking. Conviction grew that blind obedience of rules was taking precedence. Won't clutter this thread with it but regrettably this is one area where Paul and I will never, ever agree. And both of us know that, I'd love to sit around a table and thrash out all the issues, but that isn't the way that affair has been handled.

So after a great deal of thought decided that paying an organisation to erect obstacles was beyond acceptable. Remain grateful to Paul for doing the deed along with Keith and the rest behind SSDR, and also owe him an apology for grumbling about the wing area rule, was wrong on that count.

However the BMAA in its current form seems more regulator than support organisation, dedicated to everything opposite to an SSDR pilot's wants. When it rebalances I will happily rejoin.

Cheers

Kev

johnny3star
25-05-11, 07:49 AM
I think 3 council seats are up for re-election this year Kev.
Surely the best hope of assisting any re-balancing would be from within?
You would get at least one vote . . . from me
JM

Tinworm
31-05-11, 21:00 PM
However small an aeroplane an SSDR may be, it is still an aeroplane. I personally think they have got the equation right.

On the roads there are loads of stupid kids on scooters with nothing under their belts but a cbt....and we don't say it is ok for them to be unlicenced because they are small and light. Personally I am not that bothered if they kill themselves; what bothers me is their nuisance ...making me less safe because they think the law doesn't apply to them.

There has been a lot of debate about cyclists....who are smaller and lighter and bloody stupider -(I know there's no such word) and you don't hear people saying that the law shouldn't apply to them because they are small and light....because our lives are a hell of a lot hairier for the carnage left behind because of the nuisance they cause. Only the other day someone almost drove into me because he was going round some clot on a bike .

I am all for deregulation (been there, know the advantages....especially now I am coming back to the world of mods and hads and tads etc), but let's kep it safe.

Tinworm
31-05-11, 22:50 PM
SSDR won't be complete until the need for personal licensing, medicals and the need to register and to put letters on the aircraft are all done away with.

I think I missed the point of your thread, Rick, and I think you have missed the point of SSDR.

The shortcomings of SSDR have nothing to do with regulation. That is like the anti-gun lobby arguing that banning honest people from having guns means that they are not used in crime. The renegade pilots already don't care about regulation. But SSDR pilots are not renegades; on the contrary, they are responsible pilots who just want a bit more freedom in the air.

Personally, I am grateful to Paul Dewhurst and his lobby, because without them there is no way the CAA was going to do anything as radical as allow pilots to fly at their own discretion, with the very minima of restrictions. To characterise SSDR as restrictive makes no sense at all. The degree of freedom SSDR gets is precisely because of the esteem in which the BMAA is held because of the quality of our training and safety management.

Back to what I mistakenly thought this thread would be about...the real shortcomings....which are about weather, mainly. Of all the countries in the world to experiment with deregulation of nanolight flight, how ironic that it should have been here, where it is seldom clement enough to fly anything very light.

Mike Sands
01-06-11, 00:10 AM
Dunno Tinworm - I've managed to get 15 hours in a little over a month - and May has been pretty grotty. I have read lots of your blog, and you have been very unfortunate (at least that's what I hope it is). You lived quite a way from the airfield and also had to derig your aircraft - if I remember correctly. I think the key is leaving it fully rigged in a hangar and being able to grab some time whenever the weather is OK rather than hoping it's going to be OK on (say) Fridays. Before the Dragonfly I had a Blade 582 - very similar to your Quantum, but I have to say that it's a toss up as to which was/is better in grotty weather(the Blade or the Dragonfly) . The Dragonfly is in my opinion better at ground handling, which is where I came a cropper once in a crosswind in the Blade. The Blade probably had the edge in crosswind landings, but the Dragonfly could land directly into wind diagonally on most runways. The Blade was much better in the rain than the Combat wing which is really making me nervous when wet (but I think I'll get over it). The Dragonfly gets tossed around a bit more than the Blade in turbulence but at the slower speed of the Dragonfly that tossing around doesn't have the harshness of the faster machines. The poor climb rate of the dragonfly and Bailey compared to the Blade 582 can be a bit nerve jangling if you hit sink, but the Blade 2-up was a bit lame too. I haven't had any problems yet with the Bailey and I did have 3 engine failures with the 582. Mind you that's 15 hours against 750 in the Blade. Staring the 582 when it's warm is an art form which you will come to love or hate.
You have had a bit of a catalogue of disasters with your Bailey which I hope is not typical. The 582 has its detractors but I'm not one of them. If you look after it - use the right oil, run it every week, cruise it lightly loaded, and make sure it doesn't run too lean, it's a brilliant engine. The things that go wrong with it are in my experience the ancillary things like carbs falling off, radiators springing leaks, and wires to ignition breaking, but if you know what to look out for, you can stop these things happening. Deepak used to sell a booklet by a guy called Mike Stratton that gave you all the info you needed to know about keeping the rotax 2 strokes in fine fettle. worth getting hold of if you haven't already
Mike

Tinworm
01-06-11, 00:56 AM
Well, I guess I could be wrong on all counts, but it is based on my experience. I am not condemning the Dragonfly...just saying I am glad that part of my flying is over, because 3 major engine failures in 15 months (and 4 less major emergencies) seems more than enough on one machine, let alone a life of flying.

You have done really well to get 15 hrs in a month, but you are right...living near the hangar and leaving your plane fully rigged ought to be the answer. I thought it was when I moved to Great Oakley. About a month ago I was on a roll too....

until my engine stopped at 1500'....

Despite my big end bearing failure I remailed evangelical about the Dragonfly until my last engine failure and then I just thought, fcukit, I have had it with this thing, and so I sold it.

Mike Sands
01-06-11, 10:26 AM
Thanks for the heads-up, I'll keep an eye on my Bailey, but I'm crossing my fingers that the 4V200 fitted to mine is 'sorted' compared to the 180 you had. When I said I had 3 failures with the 582, that's a bit unfair on the engine. I had one failure when the top end seized becuase I had lost all coolant. After that I fitted a big red warning light that warned me once in flight and I was able to idle back to the airfield with no damage, and once on take-off so I was able to abort. The two other stoppages were once when I had neglected to connect the back tank, and once when it ingested something above Blyth power station. So in 750 hours that's pretty good, and I can hardly blame the engine for any of the failures. You should be able to be confident in your 582.
Mike

Tinworm
01-06-11, 10:37 AM
That's what I need to hear, thanks. I need to build confidence in an engine and so far I haven't heard any bad things about it, though I accept as a matter of course that just as sure as what goes up must come down, eventually all engines stop.

It sounds, with respect, like your engine failure could have been avoided if you hadn't missed something in your pre-flight....perished fuel lines, coolant topped not full, hole in rad...etc? Wheras, ALL my engine failures were down to the machine, not me.

I hope you are right and you have no problems, of course. There are lots of paramotorists who have lots of negative stuff to say about Baileys on their forums, but I deliberately avoided reading their stuff because I don't like to get into product bashing....like to keep on good terms with the manufacturer and like to avoid a negative mindset. But ultimately, I have to speak as I find....and after all my bad experiences, all I can say is thank goodness I didn't do the Bleriot crossing.

Mike Sands
01-06-11, 11:22 AM
I could have avoided the engine seizure if I had been constantly scanning the temp guage, but in truth you stop doing this because of course 99.9% of the time when you look at it, it's normal. If a stone punctures your radiator on take-off, half an hour later you may have a real problem. The flashing red light solved the issue for me. The not-connected back tank was mostly down to me, but I do blame the previous owner as well. He showed me the back tank fitted in place but why he would put it there and not have the fuel pipe connected to the tap I have no idea. With the 582 it's not the engine that goes wrong but the ancillaries and as you say preflight and constant inspections can solve a lot of these issues - particularly coolant pipes, chafing ignition wires. cracking carb mounts and in particular cracking exhausts and breaking exhaust springs. Worth finding a good local welder to fix any problems with your exhaust. People have also had problems with 582 and fuel filters - the key here is probably to have a collection of them and replace them every few months. I have just remembered I did have partial engine failures on take-off once which I traced to rubber coming off the inside of the fuel pipes. I had dutifully replaced the original pipes with new ones (just because it seemed a good idea). problem was the new ones were crap, so I put the old ones back on and 10 years later they were still fine.
Mike

microman
08-06-11, 19:28 PM
I`m a little confused why SSDR is nessasary really.
30 years ago, most micros seemed to be light weight/some single seaters.
Then over the years,human nature and it`s need to improve kicked in, that`s where we are too now, 450kg 912 powered,fast micros, that`s what we all wanted!
For years, sitting in club rooms,chatting, (have you seen the latest 447/503?) wow! ,i got to have one of those next!!! so on , so on.
Will SSDR end up going the same way, increased wieght limits?more power?faster wings?
Is this a backward step to 1970`s/1980`s technology?
With such little weight ,will they be very weather dependant to use much?
I don`t find the rules we abide too that bad--a inspection----permit---insurance-- no need for many mods,they have all been sorted over the years!
i`m not a killjoy here,just wondering why?

Mike Sands
08-06-11, 19:54 PM
I think you are right microman. I guess all flying is a compromise so we are all looking for a trike that will take off like a helicopter and cruise like an Eon might, whilst landing like a paramotor, on 2 litres an hour with a range of about 1000miles.
Personally I have come to terms (for now) with SSDR limitations. I won't be pushing for passenger carrying as no-one ever wanted to come in the back with me (wonder why).
Even though Kev is after touring ability and I'm prepared to fly mainly round home base, I think we both agree that if SSDR allowed any single seater up to 300kg mauw, it would spur the UK industry into life and we would get small Bionix type wings that would allow landing at 25mph and cruising at 75, we'd have twin cylinder 4 stroke engines producing 45 or 50 bhp (HKS anyone?). they'd have built in panniers like Ace is proposing, a range of probably 5 hours, and still have the ability to go soaring if you want, and they'd climb out of the smallest field at probably 1000ft/min.
Let's hope Flylight are listening.
Mike

meggark
08-06-11, 19:58 PM
Not everyone does want the latest hotship. There's a lot of people who were attracted to microlighting because of it's grass roots type flying in basic machines, myself included. There's also people who want something that they can soar or easily transport. Look at the size of the ultralight (FAR pt 105) following in the US. There wasn't a lot of new kit available to fit that category in the UK before now, but it's now possible to bring such machines in from abroad, and many manufacturers are bringing new products to the market. The other big advantage is that it allows the people who like to tinker the freedom to do so.

Yes it's not what the majority want, but there's still a fairly large minority that SSDR provides for well.

Paul Dewhurst
08-06-11, 21:31 PM
Microman, if its not for you then thats fine. But it does appear to suit many others. Looking at the new registrations, SSDR is accounting for nearly half of all microlight resgistrations this year, so seems something a significant proprtion of microlighters do want.

Paul

Sam
08-06-11, 21:44 PM
Why haven't we got anything as Mike suggests ? SSDR or not it sounds like a plan ! Is there no market for it ?

Tinworm
08-06-11, 21:46 PM
I think there is a potential SSDRer in all of us, especially since it permits an owner to do modifications without having to pay for the privilege....and after all, as meggark said, many of us like to tinker and improve out machines, but I suspect that many will ultimately become frustrated with being grounded by weather,when heavier machines are flying.

Paul, you Ben and Stewart are naturally great advocates of the Dragonfly....with good reason because it is a wonderful machine....but when it is windy, you can take up a Skyranger or some other machine instead. But most people will not have the luxury of a second aeroplane for when it is windy.....which has been the case much of the last six months.

Tinworm
08-06-11, 21:49 PM
Paul can answer that one far better than I can, Sam, as he is the man we owe the very existence of SSDR to....but part of the reason we have SSDR is that we are unlikely to do a lot of damage to others with 115kg at low speed. It rather defeats the object if a single seater can go faster or has a higher all up weight.

we are basically being given the freedoms because we are only risking our own necks

microman
09-06-11, 08:56 AM
Microman, if its not for you then thats fine. But it does appear to suit many others. Looking at the new registrations, SSDR is accounting for nearly half of all microlight resgistrations this year, so seems something a significant proprtion of microlighters do want.

Paul
Paul, I hope that most of the owners of the SSDR limit that are able to mod themselves, are self confident in their abillities?
Having seen some horrendous attemps over the years in hangers with what owners seemed to beilive was (the best modification ever),well--!
Some i seen involved car exhaust brackets,jubilee clips, ect! You would honestly not let you DOG fly in them!
You have a life times experience in aviation, and know it inside out,there has been years and `s spend on development/checking/testing/proving, by manufacters, experts far more intelligent than myself and others out there!
As someone said somewhere-- shed man is gone now,PC man rules- so when a owner takes his new SSDR in to his dark garage and pulls out his 20 year old Black and Decker and clips in a 5/16 bit,does he know what he`s doing?
Is he drilling into something he can`t see underneath? Is he putting extra stress on something? Flexwings are a complicated science, and letting joe blogs loose without a leash?
OK, Most of the guys out there will be confident and be fine,but it only takes one with a gutter bolt through something critical!!!
Sometimes i find it a bit tedious, when i have to have a mod passed to wire a GPS in, but when i fly, i do not have to keep thinking ,did i, or didn`t i ,do that correctly?
Maybe it`s a new get out clause of the no win, no fee world--- sorry sir ,you modified your brakes, you can`t claim for that Cessnas damage you`ve done, or sorry Mrs ****** ,he self modified, no payout!?

Paul Dewhurst
09-06-11, 20:53 PM
The evidence (accepted by CAA and Dft after very close scrutiny and challenge) from around the world is that your fears are largely just that. In France for instance they have no annual inspections and no requirement for mods to be approved on all their aircraft - both one and two seat, and autogyro and soon to be light helicopter, and their accidents due to technical problems are not measureably higher than our more tightly regulated environment.

Paul

swopiv
15-06-11, 12:20 PM
If you look after it - use the right oil, run it every week, cruise it lightly loaded, and make sure it doesn't run too lean, it's a brilliant engine.
Mike

What do you mean lightly loaded? As in, don't fly to MTOW or low propeller loading?



After that I fitted a big red warning light that warned me once in flight


Sounds useful. Did you fit this through something like a flydat, or was it a cunniingng homebrew solution. If the latter, please share. :D

Tinworm
15-06-11, 17:09 PM
It can be a brilliant engine, though I do recall a time when Ben told me that my Dragonfly was the only one still in the air at a time when everyone else had some problem or other with theirs.

Mine was also not the first to have a big end bearing fail on take-off.....which resulted in several hundred pounds of damage.

I also had two engine failures attributable to a faulty carb (though at first I was told it was a failure to filter fuel, which actually I do RELIGIOUSLY!).

So, to paraphrase a little ditty about what children are made of, "When it is good, it is very, very good and when it is bad it is horrid"

Roger Mole
15-06-11, 19:03 PM
The evidence (accepted by CAA and Dft after very close scrutiny and challenge) from around the world is that your fears are largely just that. In France for instance they have no annual inspections and no requirement for mods to be approved on all their aircraft - both one and two seat, and autogyro and soon to be light helicopter, and their accidents due to technical problems are not measureably higher than our more tightly regulated environment.

Paul

We must be the only people in the only country in the world who think that going backwards 30 years in time is going forward. It is self evident from what Paul stated above that the extreme levels of regulation and control that we have in this country are actually totally unwarranted and unnecessary but because of the bloody-mindedness of the bureaucrats who wield the power in this country they will not do the obvious thing which is to relax them and by so doing reduce the costs of what is a very safe form of aviation and encourage economic activity and job creation. IMO SSDR is a sop to common sense that we have swallowed hook line and sinker because it's 'uncontrolled and unregulated'. What a sad bunch we are and I wonder what the innovators in our sport who have passed on now must be thinking - you know, the ones that did wonderful crazy things like jump off cliffs to test new wing designs, strap engines with unprotected props on their backs that almost chopped off their limbs when they fell over trying to take off, stuff like that. Hardly what they envisaged when they pushed the boundaries and so very British of us to be so, so grateful to be given back just a tiddly bit of the freedoms they fought for and that were taken away in the intervening years, it appears now for no real reason.

We are very good in this country at winning the war and losing the peace...... we afford our politicians and bureaucrats too much respect and they reward us by abusing their privileges and taking away OUR power.

There you go .. I thought it was about time someone put forward the radical microlighter's view as obviously nobody else was going too. Too comfortable by half I reckon.

PS - must cut down on all these radical little rants. What with my divorce and constantly kicking the sh1te out of my wife's solicitor, it's all beginning to take too much out of me:PullingMyHairOut:

microman
15-06-11, 19:30 PM
I can`t agree more Roger,
Is these imposed regulations that we all take and moan about, not only with aviation but with all things around us?
I belive it is a British trait ,that we will take it lying down and put up with it--- untill our backs are against the wall--then we come out fighting!
The French wont put up with it, much more relaxed rules over there,-how do they get away with it!?
We seem to think we have to comply all the way with it, instead of standing up or ingnoring it.
SSDR will end up in the hands of bureaucrats in the future,probably down the road as being able to earn (extra licencing ect) out of it.
Makes you wonder why one doesnt just buy a a/c and just fly from a field somewhere?---sod the rules--as long as its safe and keep away from trouble.
I will always go out of my way to not to prang/run into/hurt/crash/ ect when i`m flying , and never have had a incident in 25 years, so ,why do i need bureaucrats to tell me what to do,common sense, is it not?
If any of us thought NO , while we were in our training , that i`m not up to this, and there will be a problem here soon , we would leave it.
If it`s our thing, and we feel we know what we are doing, we don`t need some suited monkey preaching to us at every turn with a peice of paper.
I tried diving once , realized i was going to die so i gave it up! simple, i did not need someone to tell me too!
Phew!

Sam
15-06-11, 19:48 PM
If everyone was like you microman it wouldn't be a problem !!

I was watching a paramotor pilot take off last week on the same village green been used for a motorcycle meet, approx. 200 people.

He then proceeded to complete a couple of wing overs at 30-40ft above the crowd. The crowd were in awe of his aviating prowess and it was quite impressive !

However if there had been an accident (and it could have been one hell of an accident) who would that have reflected exceedingly badly on ?? I suspect the microlighting community in general.

I found out yesterday from the local aviation nut who scrounged a flight with me that the paramotor pilot had no training whatsoever, no BHPA training, nothing. His mate had shown him what to do and he had suggested he trained the local nut in the same way !!

Now his actual flying skills seemed quite good, but his theoretical, airlaw etc was obviously none existent. It cant be a good thing to do away with regulation all together, it seems with foot launch it has gone tooo far already !

Tinworm
15-06-11, 20:03 PM
well said, Sam. I am a not convinced by the reactionary lobby. I am happy to accept that rules of the air are sensible, if not common sense, and that bureaucracy, on the whole, is about making everything run smoothly.

I was brought up in Africa. When you have seen the absence of sensible governance at work you soon realise how good we have things here.

southcoastflyer
15-06-11, 20:56 PM
If everyone was like you microman it wouldn't be a problem !!

I was watching a paramotor pilot take off last week on the same village green been used for a motorcycle meet, approx. 200 people.

He then proceeded to complete a couple of wing overs at 30-40ft above the crowd. The crowd were in awe of his aviating prowess and it was quite impressive !

However if there had been an accident (and it could have been one hell of an accident) who would that have reflected exceedingly badly on ?? I suspect the microlighting community in general.

I found out yesterday from the local aviation nut who scrounged a flight with me that the paramotor pilot had no training whatsoever, no BHPA training, nothing. His mate had shown him what to do and he had suggested he trained the local nut in the same way !!

Now his actual flying skills seemed quite good, but his theoretical, airlaw etc was obviously none existent. It cant be a good thing to do away with regulation all together, it seems with foot launch it has gone tooo far already !

Sam, I'm in agreement with you about Paramotor owners. I hesitate to use the word pilots because I keep seeing idiots making a nuisance of themselves on them. They seem to think it's ok to fly very low over crowded beaches around here. I even saw two of them flying about 20 feet over Brighton Pier when it was packed with people. I reckon it's only a matter of time before one of them causes a big problem which will reflect badly on all foot launched pilots. I'm not saying that everyone who flies a Paramotor is irresponsible but there seems to be a hell of lot of them that are.

Mike Sands
15-06-11, 22:05 PM
What do you mean lightly loaded? As in, don't fly to MTOW or low propeller loading?




Sounds useful. Did you fit this through something like a flydat, or was it a cunniingng homebrew solution. If the latter, please share. :D

By lightly loaded I guess I meant one-up. I was able to reduce throttle quite quickly after take-off because I was one-up, then in the cruise I could do 62mph at 5000rpm which I think the engine was happy with.
The instrument I fitted was called an EIS from Grand Rapids technology in USA. Like a Flydat but much cheaper and smaller. I could program in various limits above which the red light would start flashing. Two or 3 times it saved the engine because it warned me the water temp was out of range. And very often it would warn me the engine was running too lean in the cruise. I also had it rigged up to a callibratable fuel guage and the red light would come on reliably at 3 or 4 litres left. I think you can still get these but you'd have to go through quite a performance to get the mod approved. I would imagine the statomaster thing that P&M sell would do the same thing, and since it's a factory option, it would be much easier to get approved.
Mike

paramotorpilot
16-06-11, 08:57 AM
I'm not saying that everyone who flies a Paramotor is irresponsible but there seems to be a hell of lot of them that are.

Unfortunately because there is no requirement for licensing there are idiots that have no comprehension of the fact that rules exist for taking to the air.
Those of us that that have common sense and research and train to aviate sensibly and safely are just as p*ssed of with those that don't.
There are clubs that take a very professional approach to paramotoring such as paramotorclub.org in the UK.

Fortunately you need a microlight license over here in France even for footlaunch so everyone knows the rules (even if they are ignored by some French pilots).

Cheers,
Alan

Mike Sands
16-06-11, 10:35 AM
I got a book for my birthday - it's called Soaring for Pilots, and it's aimed squarely at the plastic glider brigade. If you get a chance to pick up a copy, just have a quick skim through. If this author is representative of Gliding, then there is a subtle but huge difference in the approach of the glider fraternity and the microlight world. The emphasis is on fun and achievement whereas IMHO the emphasis in our sport is on safety. Where the author says you shouldn't go behind a hill into heavy rotor, it's mainly because he's saying you will lose too much height and not complete your task. Where he says you should avoid getting sucked into a towering cloud it's because you might not have warm enough clothes on. So far I have found no list of prohibtions on what you can't do as a pilot.
Pretty refreshing really .... and demoralising at the same time.
Mike

Mike Sands
16-06-11, 10:42 AM
.... by the way from january onwards French morocyclists will have to wear yellow fluorescent jackets. Apparently 4000 of them rode into Paris wearing only fluorescent vests last month in protest. Perhaps we need more co-ordinated protests. Here's one: Everyone who received the pointless CAA letter about vague EASA rules that CAA don't know much about yet and don't apply to most of the 55,000 recipients anyway, should post them back to the Head of the CAA marked 'Private and Confidential'
Mike

P Kelsey
16-06-11, 11:19 AM
Sam,
I think your post contains a 'generalisation' that because Footlaunching is de-regulated you think all footlaunchers are sub-standard aviators ? I can see your generalisation as I too had that opinion for a short while.
I had a friend who operated an aircraft that I was responsible for from a Norfolk strip and on a few occasions he told me about these few paramotor pilots who insisted on flying from the field at the very end of the runway. Now he offered these guys carte blanche use of the airfield he flew from so that he (and others ) would know their movements...... he was told to "Foxtrot Oscar" and that they would still fly from their field and he should improve his airmanship to avoid them. My reaction was " Fly at the feckers and see how long they stay there"
In a space of a few weeks he had encountered a few airprox's with them (mainly over the airfield).

For quite a while I thought like you that these guys were 'renegades' of aviation and should all be put against a wall and shot, now my opinion has changed dramatically as I have seen a complete change in the way Paramotor pilots operate in my local area. 99% of them show impeccable airmanship and if truth were known they operate far safer than some microlight pilots.
I think Generalisations in Aviation are a bad thing, it would be like me saying all Quik Pilots are dangerous, just because I know one guy "who writes cheques his body can't cash" whenever he flys his Quik, I could reinforce that theory by saying that another Quik pilot Starts up his Quik and then goes off to put his Ozee on so his engine is fully warmed up when he returns. (he also chocks the rear of his wheels )
Yet they are just a small minority who get noticed and yet we all refer to it time & time again !!! Very rarely do you hear someone say " Did you see the impeccable airmanship that Joe Bloggs just showed everyone"

All walks of aviation have good guys & bad, so I guess we will always have 'generalisations'


If everyone was like you microman it wouldn't be a problem !!

I was watching a paramotor pilot take off last week on the same village green been used for a motorcycle meet, approx. 200 people.

He then proceeded to complete a couple of wing overs at 30-40ft above the crowd. The crowd were in awe of his aviating prowess and it was quite impressive !

However if there had been an accident (and it could have been one hell of an accident) who would that have reflected exceedingly badly on ?? I suspect the microlighting community in general.

I found out yesterday from the local aviation nut who scrounged a flight with me that the paramotor pilot had no training whatsoever, no BHPA training, nothing. His mate had shown him what to do and he had suggested he trained the local nut in the same way !!

Now his actual flying skills seemed quite good, but his theoretical, airlaw etc was obviously none existent. It cant be a good thing to do away with regulation all together, it seems with foot launch it has gone tooo far already !

Sam
16-06-11, 19:27 PM
FFS Peter where did I say 'sub-standard aviators' ?

I actually said his flying skills were quite good, he just didn't know his airlaw !

I'm all for SSDR but there needs to be a middle ground, I dont think anybody should be able to legally take to the air without knowing there airlaw. I don't care if they kill themselves, but it would be disastrous if they managed to kill someone else and cause the whole microlighting fraternity further legislation !!

The problem is how do you ensure that everyone knows there airlaw prior to committing aviation ? Licensing ? Club membership ? Certificate, bit like a CSCS card ? I don't know !

southcoastflyer
17-06-11, 01:53 AM
I got a book for my birthday - it's called Soaring for Pilots, and it's aimed squarely at the plastic glider brigade. If you get a chance to pick up a copy, just have a quick skim through. If this author is representative of Gliding, then there is a subtle but huge difference in the approach of the glider fraternity and the microlight world. The emphasis is on fun and achievement whereas IMHO the emphasis in our sport is on safety. Where the author says you shouldn't go behind a hill into heavy rotor, it's mainly because he's saying you will lose too much height and not complete your task. Where he says you should avoid getting sucked into a towering cloud it's because you might not have warm enough clothes on. So far I have found no list of prohibtions on what you can't do as a pilot.
Pretty refreshing really .... and demoralising at the same time.
Mike

Mike, you are correct that the emphasis in the gliding fraternity is on fun, in the sense that they do it because they enjoy it but that's not to say that there isn't a strong emphasis on safety as well. The advice about not flying in rotor is not so much that you will lose height and not complete the task but more that it could actually kill you. I personally know several hang glider pilots and paraglider pilots who have been killed as a result of being caught in rotor. Being sucked up into a Cb (cumulonimbus) isn't good either because you can freeze to death and I could tell you about a few people that have actually died as a result of this as well. Not to mention the extreme turbulence that you would experience. Although, on the lighter side of it, I do know someone who was sucked up into a Cb on a hang glider and survived to tell the tale. He actually threw his chute hoping to come down out of it but was sucked up even higher and eventually ended up being spat out of it about 10 miles further away and ended up in a crumpled mess on a beach. The funniest part of this story was that he actually tried to claim it as an XC flight.

goldrush
17-06-11, 10:21 AM
Just to add. Remember it is not only Hang Gliders and Paragliders that can get uncontrollably "sucked" into a Cb and die, but sailplanes and US.
It really is no joke when you find yourself still climbing at a rate of Knots in a sailplane with full airbrake deployed being thrown all over the place whilst trying to get down at full dive brake limiting speed... and STILL GOING UP. (I did have a cloud flying endorsement at the time)

Windspeeds in a Cb have been recorded as over 200Knots............ so even if our puny little aircraft structures survive.. diving at Vne aint going to get you out:-(

Remember too the enormous loads on the airframe in such turbulent conditions.. sailplanes have been known to brake up in a Cb...... not to mention the probability of being struck by the internal lightening.

Treat em with the respect they truly deserve.

Mike Sands
17-06-11, 10:45 AM
I'm sorry guys - I understand the point you are making. But my point was that in gliding (at least in the book I'm reading) the emphasis is subtly different. Perhaps the fact that the first two responses on this (microlighting) forum are finger-wagging says it all. If we as a sport put the emphasis on safety and reducing risk when other aviation sports emphasise fun and achievement, do we put new entrants off? Please note I have said 'if' because maybe I'm wrong and microlighting does not have this as a starting point.
By the way Wally - thanks because you have answered a question I was wondering about as I'm learning about soaring - I might well get into lift that it is too great to escape from - I guess on a slightly less dramatic scale this can happen too on very thermic days even if it's not actually a cunim that is towering above you. What I'm trying to work out is - say you are in the core of a decent UK thermal and going up a bit too quickly for comfort towards grey cloud how far would you have to fly 'straight and level to encounter the associated sink? (and would you aim to do this up or downwind).

southcoastflyer
17-06-11, 11:39 AM
Mike, it depends what aircraft you intend to fly in. A sailplane, a hang glider, and a paraglider are all soaring aircraft but have vastly different speed ranges. A sailplane will be able to outrun and escape from strong lift much quicker than the HG or PG, but the HG would also outrun the PG. Again, it depends what size of cloud you encounter and how strong the lift is. As a general rule hang gliders and paragliders really only use the smaller cumulus to fly under and tend to avoid the bigger darker clouds. If clouds are higher than they are wide then we avoid like the plague. Also, remember that when you are thermaling you are actually drifting with the air so the wind direction doesn't matter so much. It can be pretty daunting getting into very strong lift and if you want to get out of it try to aim for the nearest edge of the cloud where the air will be sinking. There isn't any hard and fast rule that I know of for escaping lift other than to get out to the edge of the cloud. I wouldn't worry too much about it though because we don't often get conditions in the UK that are terribly dangerous. Actually staying up in the UK is the biggest challenge given the rubbish weather that we get.

MadamBreakneck
17-06-11, 11:55 AM
Mike,
maybe gliding has changed since I flew ('70s-'90s) but if I go back to my gliding books it only takes me seconds to find references to safety matters, such as daily inspections, pre-launch checks, launch procedures etc. One bit of compulsory reading was "Laws and Rules for Glider Pilots".

Maybe our biggest problem in microlighting PR in general is that we can't understand how anybody could think it could be anything other than immense fun... 'cos it is innit, that's the only reason most of us do it.

In my mind, it's because it is such fun that we need to continually stress the caution that is needed to avoid the pitfalls. We can't trust common sense in this because so much of what happens in flying is counter-intuitive. But yes, IT IS FUN.

Joan

goldrush
17-06-11, 12:02 PM
Unfortunately Mike.......... the answer to "how far must I go to escape" is..... "how long is a bit of string":-)
By the way, I cannot speak about Flexies as all my experience is with 3 axis.

I would suggest that we are unfortunately able to "get sucked in" as we "only" have 1 real means of "desperate" escape. a massive full power sideslip IF the aircraft is approved to do so.
The use of full flaps if fitted is not recommended.
1. flap limiting speed
2. high loads
3. they "can" act like sails at times due to the rapid wind change direction.

As a guide try a full power sideslip decent just below Vne (if full powered sideslips are approved) and check your rate of decent.
Add a safety margin and NEVER continue to ascend when the ascent rate approaches that figure.
I should point out that with our aircraft it is possible to get into difficulties under Cumulus.
(Also of course remember the rules re VFR)

As to when you are being "sucked up", like all Emergencies, Adrenaline takes over and helps!!
Remember that the generally accepted visualisation of a "thermal" is of a rising "doughnut" shaped "bubble" (or multiple bubbles vertually forming a column) with the greatest lift if the centre, which itself is generally "slanted" from the source ( area of concrete,, area of ploughed field/different crop etc) downwind, generally "meeting" the "sunny side" of the Cumulus.
Thus, if you "are 100%" in the core whichever direction you head the lift will be weaker. I personally would go downwind.
1. the sink is generally stronger there
2 ground speed will be higher, meaning you get out quicker.

In general it is difficult for us to get genuinely 100% in the core, thus as you circle you will remember where the lift was lowest and aim for that.

To put things in perspective, so far the strongest lift I have encountered in my Shadow (engine off) was over 1500 feet per min, with the lowest in the same "circle" around 1400. (here is Sunny Scotland:-)

Also please remember that the lift generally increases rapidly the closer you get to the base of the cloud so "get out quick" is the motto:-).
Hope it helps

southcoastflyer
17-06-11, 12:15 PM
...Thus, if you "are 100%" in the core whichever direction you head the lift will be weaker. I personally would go downwind.
1. the sink is generally stronger there
2 ground speed will be higher, meaning you get out quicker.


Wally, you obviously know what you're talking about but I'm not sure I agree with you on going downwind to get out qucker. I know this has been a long debated subject in hang gliding at least, but surely both you and the cloud are drifting with the wind so theoretically it shouldn't matter whether you fly downwind, crosswind or upwind. I would persnally always fly to the edge closest to me and get into the sinking air at the outside of the cloud regardless of wind direction.
By the way, this thread seems to be drifting away from SSDR.

Mike Sands
17-06-11, 12:43 PM
That's useful thanks chaps. I understand the point about the airmass moving therefore it shouldn't matter which way you head, but given that the thermal is sloping, and you are trying to descend, I presume going up wind might keep you in the rising air, whereas downwind should break out quicker. Wally - that's the sort of thing I was after - 1500ft ascent max that you have encountered. I was hoping someone would have said that a typical thermal is (say) 500ft across which would be comforting, whereas if they said they had encountered thermals several thousand feet wide, it would be worrying.
I'll have to ask Ben how to do powered sideslips in the Dragonfly :-)
Mike

goldrush
17-06-11, 17:16 PM
Southcoast... sorry for dragging this off topic. Maybe Vince would like to move this aspect to something like. "The advantages of SSDR".....

"it's ability to use Microlift".. :-)

As you rightly say "shortest way out is best"........... if in doubt. get the hell out!

Mike, in this country the core of most thermals generally extends to "hundreds" rather than "thousands" of feet.
However, the area of lift does not cease instantly, but gets less and more broken with distance from the core.
I should maybe have mentioned that the majority of "good thermals" in the Uk are usually give ascents of between 400 and 600 feet per min.
Also when talking about escape from Cb, when soaring the engine is usually stopped.......... so that option is removed if/when it does not restart :-(

I'll shut up now and get back to consoling myself with a few "wee drams" ......... as it's been gusting 25Knots:-(

microman
17-06-11, 18:12 PM
Southcoast...
I'll shut up now and get back to consoling myself with a few "wee drams" ......... as it's been gusting 25Knots:-(

What i want to know is---- How can you type /spell/ use correct grammer/ when you have been at the drams?
One sip for me and it all goes to pieces ! ,with puncterations and speling in the incurect places .,

goldrush
17-06-11, 20:00 PM
12 years of living in Scotland surrounded by Distilleries.....and practicing extremely hard.........daily. hic!!!

Ted Snook
18-06-11, 12:56 PM
To right Paul. When I was originally doing the ground exams, over the years of training I aced the lot - most of them several times, but due to work constraints, they all timed out and I lost the money..
You have to appreciate the legal framework that this works under. One of the reasons it took six years of bmaa negotiating for this is that CAA / DFt couldn't see a legal way it could be done. Legal advice at that time was either full deregulation (so no licence reg or anything, or full regulation. Full deregulation wasn't supported by any party - indeed our argument for SSDR hung on pilot training, And there was a lot of fanning around trying to see if a reduced regulation format could work. But ultimately that was a non starter as CAA has direct liability if anything is found wanting.

Eventually the legal boss decided that we could deregulate sections of the regulation package - and so the new category was deregulated from the airworthiness requirements, and due to it being written into the ANO as a lump the government carry the can, not CAA, so they were happy.

So its only airowrthiness that is deregulated, and all else stands. It isn't possible to easily cherry pick bits of the other regulations to not comply with just for this category, That requires exemptions from the ANO and becomes CAA liability again.

As for medical, around the same time as SSDR came I to being the medical changed to the NPPL one which for the first time has a simpler requirement for solo flying only, so that was an improvement that has enabled some to fly when before they could not.

As for owners keeping their machines airworthy - that's where an anti establishment culture can be damaging. When we set this up we envisaged that BMAA inspectors would look at those machines annually - not out of compulsion , but out of peer / club pressure establishing that it was normal practice to do. However far from ' being sucked into a smothering umbrella' There was once again the worry of liability, so after an I it ail inclusion in SIGMA of advice for inspectors looking at those machines, cold feet happened and it was taken out.

Personally I think this liability stories is boll#####s - being bought up as a BMAA inspector who was expected to inspect the early exemption and type accepted machines.

However an independent look see should be encouraged, and I hope people get into a 'no liability' pact with their local inspectors to give their machines a once over. Nothing needs signing or recording, but this has to be good practice - especially those machines owned by people with no engineering background. All SSDR I porters and manufacturers should offer an inspection and engineering serve too - and I think most do.

As for the definition, the rule that favours your fuel load was not unnoticed by us. The alternative which we had to stave off, after pushing them kicking and screaming from 70, to 80, then 100, and most finally to 115kg max empty, was copying the US five gallon limit, or a capped MTOW below 300kg - both proposed by CAA. I believe the current rule carries greater freedoms.

I do hope people remember that SSDR was made possible by a bmaa team( no other associations were involved) and to fly SSDR without being a member is to miss that point and doesn't help in the quest to negotiate further freedoms.

Geoff who you casually diss as being a purveyor and 'lover' of rules seeking to drag you into a'smothering umbrella' has a good track record of negotiating reductions to the rules burden, just last week he succeeded in getting CAA to agree to two year exam validity for those under training - a bigger deal for those learning to fly than perhaps is obvious at first glance - that comes on top of last years easing of training on homebuilts (4 years we worked on CAA for that), and the year before, significant changes to make requirements easier for converting on to SSDR types for hanglider and paraglider pilots. He has also voiced his opinion in the past that perhaps the requirement for check flights should be dropped entirely. He was also the one that banged the table and achieved the option of no revalidation flight for single seat flyers, the other associations were happy as it was, and he met significant resistance. Surely this isn't someone then who is seeking to increase regulation, and doesn't deserve that sort of comment?

Paul

Paul Dewhurst
19-06-11, 02:01 AM
Wally I don't understand why a full power sideslip would be your preferred method of losing height. Height loss would be far greater with an engine idle sideslip.

Also sideslipping at Vne is a bad idea - large control deflections above Va can cause structural damage. Flying at Vne in thermic air is also a bad idea and can cause structural damage anyway.

A fast spiral is best for losing height quickest generally, ( and holds true for flexwing as well). Or if you want to run to the edge of the cloud as quickly as possible and with highest sink rate it will be a toss up between a VA sideslip engine idle or an in balance straight run at idle and Vno,or nearer to Vne if air was smooth (unlikely)

Paul

Paul Dewhurst
19-06-11, 02:11 AM
Sam, the paramotor guy flying low Aero's over a crowd wasn't lacking in air law knowledge but rather was just insane. I don't think we need to know the 500' rule to know that this was asking for a punch on the nose by an sane member of that crowd, who without any air law knowledge would have known that it was extremely dangerous polo and crowd.

However I do believe that training is vital, and will result in far less likelihood of anyone doing such stuff. Indeed it is proven in accident stats over and over and recently again in the hawk report, that good training is more effective for flight safety than any amount of regulation for airworthiness or maintenance.

I think it's a shame that when paramotoring was introduced here that a mandatory training requirement didn't come with it.

Paul

swopiv
19-06-11, 18:40 PM
Paul,
I don't think Wally was advocating a full power sideslip as the best way to lose height; rather he was suggesting that trying to descend while at full power would be analogous to trying to descent while in a strong thermal.
David.

P.S. Agree on the more training=safer principle completely.

Mike Sands
19-06-11, 21:32 PM
it's not just us at the bottom end of the aviation ladder though. I remember being at Hartlepool Harbour festival about 20 years ago when a Seaking helicopter was doing tricks directly over the crowd including diving at them and pulling out low. OK they are well maintained machines but I still thought it was a risk too far.
Mike

factory-fit
27-06-11, 22:08 PM
Bit of a weird response but the issue seems to be the inability to dive to a pilot's requirements, when required. Just as too much throttle and too slow trim can end up in too steep a climb, even in a full sized flex you sometimes need to dive more than the bar in your belly will let you. Under a Cu Nim you wish your wing area and reflex in Hell.

An interesting technical suggestion would be to have several turns of cable around the basebar from the front and back flying wires, by rolling the basebar back towards you, you release forward wire and roll in back wire for a higher AOA relative to the basebar position. Get into a flap under a CuNim, you roll the basebar away, hauling in fore wire and releasing rear for a steeper dive than can normally be achieved.

Daft? Ok it is...

Kev

microman
28-06-11, 10:59 AM
An interesting technical suggestion would be to have several turns of cable around the basebar from the front and back flying wires, by rolling the basebar back towards you, you release forward wire and roll in back wire for a higher AOA relative to the basebar position. Get into a flap under a CuNim, you roll the basebar away, hauling in fore wire and releasing rear for a steeper dive than can normally be achieved.

Daft? Ok it is...

Kev
Why fly near a CuNim anyway?,i was taught if they are around the area, don`t fly!
Tempting fate?
We only fly featherwieghts anyway ,not 747`s !

ANDY1973
28-06-11, 11:14 AM
747's wouldn't go through them either.

It's important to remember Newton's take on all this: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, for all those updraughts there has to be a nasty downdraught nearby. In the heavy metal, we would initiate a max performance climb on encountering the updraught of strong windshear - as the slam dunk of the downdraught is going to get you soon!

Encounter this in a microlight, and it really isn't your day. But whilst you don't want to go IMC, neither do you want to lose too much height, as you might just need it!

Flyslow
29-06-11, 02:04 AM
Just to add. Remember it is not only Hang Gliders and Paragliders that can get uncontrollably "sucked" into a Cb and die, but sailplanes and US.
It really is no joke when you find yourself still climbing at a rate of Knots in a sailplane with full airbrake deployed being thrown all over the place whilst trying to get down at full dive brake limiting speed... and STILL GOING UP. (I did have a cloud flying endorsement at the time)

Windspeeds in a Cb have been recorded as over 200Knots............ so even if our puny little aircraft structures survive.. diving at Vne aint going to get you out:-(

Remember too the enormous loads on the airframe in such turbulent conditions.. sailplanes have been known to brake up in a Cb...... not to mention the probability of being struck by the internal lightening.

Treat em with the respect they truly deserve.

I am compelled to add a point - in turbulence like that, keep the aircraft below VA - please ! Trying to "punch out" of vigorous turbulence at Vne can break the wings off a light aircraft - not just micro. If you are in a truly aerobatic certified machine or a fighter jet - its a somewhat different matter.

Flyslow
29-06-11, 02:29 AM
The evidence (accepted by CAA and Dft after very close scrutiny and challenge) from around the world is that your fears are largely just that. In France for instance they have no annual inspections and no requirement for mods to be approved on all their aircraft - both one and two seat, and autogyro and soon to be light helicopter, and their accidents due to technical problems are not measureably higher than our more tightly regulated environment.

Paul

Can I add, that the old-fashioned French have the view that if you fly such machines then you need to be responsible for them in all possible ways. Also they like to let you know that YOU, the owner/pilot are responsible and if you fly a plane which you have made little attempt to make or keep airworthy (ignorance being no excuse) and you have an accident which causes problems they don't like - they will decide what to do with you after you have been arrested. And they seem to have many more "Gendarmes de l'air" than the CAA have enforcement officers (and the French ones are armed :surprised: )
In other words, freedom is for those who take a pretty serious level of responsibility for it on themselves. Personally, I strongly agree with that, 'cos it works. As Paul says, the statistics speak for themselves.