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  1. #1
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    'Permit' renewal in France

    So long as nothing is done or happens to cause changes to your aircraft's specification and 'dossier technique', as a result of changes to the French system in the last couple of years or so, its yellow 'Carte d'Indentification' lasts indefinitely and there's no need to renew it every two years as was the case when I came to France nearly six years ago.

    Instead, all that is necessary now is for you, the owner, to submit a form entitled 'Aptitude au Vol' (a declaration that the aircraft is airworthy) every two years and that's the end of the matter. It used to cost 60€ which was reduced to 20€ but is now free.

    The last time I did this for my X-Air, the procedure involved downloading a PDF from the DGAC's site, filling it in and sending it off but not any more. Due to my health issues in 2017, the 'Carte Jaune' as it is still referred to on my X-Air lapsed last Autumn and that on my Savannah will lapse in a week or so's time, so I thought that it was about time that I did something about getting them both ' jour' (up to date) and therefore went onto the internet yesterday to sort out what I needed.

    I was then greeted by a pleasant surprise because since I last did the procedure for the X-Air just over two years ago, the system has been made even more streamlined and user friendly. When you go onto the government web site, you are invited to log onto your personal ULM web space (MonEspaceULM) where several good things can be done automatically, including submitting your 'Aptitude au Vol' declaration.

    You have to identify yourself by providing your name, date of birth and the date on which your last 'regular' two-yearly' 'Carte Jaune' started, so I did this for the Savannah. And 'bingo' - when I did, both of my currently registered aircraft, the Savannah and the X-Air, came up against my name. As a result, within 10 minutes I had renewed both aircraft's 'Aptitude au Vol' and printed off each one's 'Accuse de Reception' (proof of receipt) that used to take over a week to arrive by post. And all for free.

    So after a few minutes' work at my PC, both the Savannah and X-Air are now legally flyable for another two years and it will now be up to me to ensure that they indeed are by thoroughly inspecting both and carrying out any necessary maintenance and repairs or having the work done for me by eg a professional if I don't feel personally qualified to do so.

    I am not trying to crow or be rude but I think that UK pilots need to know how things work elsewhere and compare them to the hoops and barriers that you have to jump through and over every year in order to exercise your right (not privilege, an outdated 1930s concept IMO) to fly. And in doing so bear in mind that aircraft are not dropping out of the sky in France due to airworthiness issues any more than they are in the UK despite the tortuous airworthiness regime that you are subjected to.

    And before all the moaning minnies come on and say that (a) they LIKE paying for inspections and permitting and (b) ignorant passengers need to be protected, firstly you can still pay for an independent inspection if you want to and (b) because aircraft are not falling out of the skies due to airworthiness issues, passengers are not dying as a result - records show that the passengers that die do so as a result of pilot error, not airworthiness issues.

    I'm all for 'You and you alone are responsible for the airworthiness and safe operation of your aircraft' and I can't see why for the life of me the same shouldn't apply in the UK. And I think that my fellow 16000 FFPLUM members would most likely also agree with me.

    Remind me again - how many active BMAA members are there? And don't let's get onto what this means in terms of market choice.

    BTW, I've also today put the paperwork in the post (can't do it on line) to register the French Weedhopper that I acquired damaged, have repaired and replaced the engine, full wiring and instruments of. Having done a similar repair in the UK and being aware of the huge problems and battles I had with the BMAA to get it through their 'system', in comparison the procedure here was a doddle. When it's all sorted I'll explain how that was handled as well.
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 12-03-18 at 17:10 PM.

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  3. #2
    Co-Pilot jetlag's Avatar
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    Just been online, registered with them and found all my info including radio licences, clickerty click and all is done, same again in two years then.
    F-JRIB
    Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

    Phil.


  4. #3
    Co-Pilot jetlag's Avatar
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    Roger LF8255 I've been told there is a French/English bash going on down there from 23rd June till the 28th June. Haven't yet managed to find any info other than word of mouth, have you? How's it going with getting yourself airworthy? when may you be visiting our neck of the glorious woods? If you're having weather likes us probably a little while longer
    F-JRIB
    Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

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  5. #4
    Co-Pilot Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mole View Post
    I am not trying to crow or be rude but I think that UK pilots need to know how things work elsewhere and compare them to the hoops and barriers that you have to jump through and over every year in order to exercise your right (not privilege, an outdated 1930s concept IMO) to fly. And in doing so bear in mind that aircraft are not dropping out of the sky in France due to airworthiness issues any more than they are in the UK despite the tortuous airworthiness regime that you are subjected to.
    So just to compare:

    I've now sold my SSDR but apart from registering it my name and providing proof of insurance, I never had to log onto any web site anywhere and do anything to to exercise my right to fly. No dealings with the BMAA are needed, and as long as my BHPA membership is up to date, it's almost as free of paperwork as HG or PG.

    For my two seater, it had to leave the Weight and Balance Regime this year. One lot of paperwork. The it had to be inspected (thick end of 100) and check flown, then after that a payment of 160 was due to the BMAA which was sent in with the three sets of paperwork (inspection report, check flight and permit application).

    So, on the face of it, the rules for SSDR and sub-70 in the UK are more relaxed than France, and the rules for two seaters in France are much more relaxed than the UK?
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"


  6. #5
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Steve, in some ways that's a fair comparison, in other ways I don't think it is.

    I'd say that the French system is a model of consistency (a) it's a declarative regime so that's applied to all ULMs of whatever weight, pendulaire or multi-axe, mono or biplace and (b) the most important IMO, the principle 'You and you alone are responsible for the airworthiness and safe operation of your aircraft' which is consistently applied across the board.

    So there's no distinction between what you describe as UK SSDR and permit aircraft - they are all treated the same in France, paramoteurs and gyros and helis too (I think).

    Re weight and balance, I'll tell more when I've got the reg docs in my hand, but I had to declare my Weedhopper 'airworthy after major modifications'. This was because the previous owner had a 582 at the time of his accident which he removed with everything separately saleable including instruments and a parachute. So I had to declare the changes (engine replaced with 503, parachute removed) and provide a new weight sheet done according to one of the two methods described in the instructions ie using one or three sets of scales. Because the engine was one of the several 'approved' by Ultralair in the flight manual, there was no further need to modify the technical dossier.

    So then the procedure was as before except with an application for an initial Carte d'Identification putting it in your name, you have to pay 20€.

    So from whichever direction you look at the French system it is on the face of it, much more free, easy and laid back. But it can be so, because at the end of the day the buck stops with YOU the pilot. Nobody else is held responsible for anything, you will be fined if you are found to be bucking the system and making false declarations and the DGAC maintains the right, which it makes clear, to use whatever methods are necessary to check if they have suspicions of same.

    G-STYX showed the foolishness of any third party taking responsibility for anything to with ULM airworthiness over which it has no control once a permit has been issued. As a result the BMAA has been sucked into a system of its own making which is costly and onerous due to its need to protect itself as far as possible and its the owner who ends up paying by suggesting that the cost is necessary to protect him and his passenger.

    IMO this is not true. It's to protect the BMAA, but that is just my opinion and the purpose of this thread is not to start an anti-BMAA tirade or flame war.
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 12-03-18 at 20:46 PM.


  7. #6
    F-UK FLYER
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    Roger,
    The Italian system is pretty much the same style as the French system..... it works well for the Italian ultralight fraternity & I am sure the French ultralight fraternity enjoy the freedom their process offers them, The Italian theory is " If you don't maintain your ultralight to an airworthy condition, you may well die " Funnily enough it tends to have the desired effect in that most Italian ultralights are extremely well maintained.

    Everything is open to abuse ( by the minority ) but generally it is well documented by the majority to ensure compliance.

    Currently there is actually an investigation going on in the UK regarding a Microlight manufacturer who allegedly put an old engine into a new build but allegedly claimed it had a new engine fitted in the engine logbook. A bit of research into this comes up with some anomalies that you would think under the vastly over regulated regime that the UK microlight fraternity endure couldn't possibly happen.

    I was shocked by what a bit of research has unravelled, seems nothing is sacred here in Blighty.

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  9. #7
    Captain Gentreau's Avatar
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    Q: What's the definition of a pilot ?

    A: The first person to arrive on the scene of the accident !

    Keep that in mind, and you won't skimp on the maintenance .....
    The three most useless things in aviation:
    • The air above you.
    • The runway behind you.
    • The fuel in the bowser.

    Semper specto in clara parte vitae.

    .


  10. #8
    Co-Pilot jetlag's Avatar
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    That made me giggle Clive.
    F-JRIB
    Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

    Phil.


  11. #9
    Co-Pilot Randombloke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mole View Post
    Steve, in some ways that's a fair comparison, in other ways I don't think it is.

    I'd say that the French system is a model of consistency (a) it's a declarative regime so that's applied to all ULMs of whatever weight, pendulaire or multi-axe, mono or biplace and (b) the most important IMO, the principle 'You and you alone are responsible for the airworthiness and safe operation of your aircraft' which is consistently applied across the board.

    So there's no distinction between what you describe as UK SSDR and permit aircraft - they are all treated the same in France, paramoteurs and gyros and helis too (I think).
    And that't the point I'm making, by treating SSDRs, paramotors and powered hang-gliders like permit aircraft they are therefore subject to more regulation.

    Sub-70, and all foot launch aircraft are exempt from licences in the UK. There is no mandatory insurance for foot launch in the UK, but you'd be mad not to have it.

    Airworthiness is solely the responsibility of the pilot. Exactly like above.

    In the end, in order to have a fair and full comparison, we can't just cherry pick certain areas.

    If we are to make valid comparisons, we must look at all areas.

    We agree that two seaters are massively over regulated in the UK compared to France.

    By applying exactly the same logic that tells us two seaters are much more heavily regulated in the UK, we have to come to the conclusion that single seaters and foot launch are more lightly regulated.

    I agree about your principle behind all airworthiness. However, this is also the principle applied to SSDR, and foot launch powered and unpowered in the UK, and it results in less regulation than the same model in France.

    My SSDR had no dossier, or involvement with the CAA save for registration.

    If you are going to be critical, and I agree with your criticism, you also then have to give credit where credit's due.
    Steve U.
    PG, HG & microlights
    "Weekend bimbler, day to day car driver & genuinely undeserving Southern oik who has never done anything of any worth"


  12. #10
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    I hear what you're saying but the credit is just small apples IMO. SSDR isn't mainstream micro/ultralighting and will never be so IMO. The UK regime is slowly throttling the mainstream activity in the UK and has been doing so for many years. Nobody seems prepared to recognise this and do something about it and, amazingly, quite a few deluded individuals who are subject to it stand up whenever this is pointed out to them and proclaim that they actually LIKE it. You couldn't make it up.

    Meanwhile while the vine withers in the UK and participants there of the sport, pastime, whatever you want to call it, defend and maintain their 1980s mind set and outlook, elsewhere we see advancement, development and the application of new ideas and technology - all things that reflect positive change for the better. The way things are going in the UK there will be little, if anything, to defend or change pretty soon.

    BTW although I am not, and will not be, a member of the BMAA forum, I look in there for time to time and see that it is turning back into tumbleweed junction. Hardly surprising when you see the state of the art in the UK - it seems that the interest in micro/ultralighting is in major decline and nobody is really interested in engaging. The one small beacon and possible instrument of change MAY be this forum but it seems that most of the dyed-in-the-wool participants have vowed not to involve themselves here and are back to not contributing in any substantive way over there.

    It reflects a sad decline of what was once the vibrant heart of the sport and little wonder that in such an atmosphere, few new participants are attracted to it in the UK.
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 14-03-18 at 11:20 AM.


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