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  1. #51
    Co-Pilot Martin Watson's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    Mmm well, how about stopping asking questions that you won't like the answer to...?
    BMAA 5370
    Fixed wing instruction, examinations and revalidations in Norfolk.

  2. #52
    Co-Pilot Sean Dougan's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    What he means is that should the all up weight increase, then the manufacturers should be prevented from bloating the airframe empty weight up to swallow that difference, much like what happened when we went from 390kg to 450kg.

    Incidentally, there are a few structural differences between microlight C42s and the LSA version. I was down at Comco back at the beginning of November and was told what the differences were (I had a nosy through the parts bins at some of these bits as well) - the primary being the wing rear spars are stronger, the U-brackets the wings hang from are of a thicker material as is the box steel fittings at the bottoms of the struts. Also the nose leg is stronger to comply with a side-loading requirement that LSAs have. There may be a few more differences.

  3. #53
    Co-Pilot Wexfordair's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    wouldnt it be easier to just specify a max empty weight into the microlight definition (eg 210kg??) and make anything over that fit into a new heavier category thus saving the smaller stuff from possible extra regulation?
    Or is that a whole extra can of worms that has been discussed to death

    Kind of like a brexit for beefy microlights

  4. #54
    Test Pilot Paul Dewhurst's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Roger, itís been the main focus of the EMF since I first attended - around 15 years ago. The wall was EASA. They refused and instead created ELA1 and CSLSA -basically 600kg light sport within EASA regulation. They promised light touch and low costs, but couldnít deliver. Flight design spent a rumoured 1 million Euros on this route - undoubtably contributing to their collapse..

    With that project so obviously failed renewed pressure was bought to bear, but EASA again strongly resisted. It was only by bringing outside political force to bear and EMF / EAS finding a political lobbiest that the campaign gained some inertia and ultimately produced the opt out. Itís not really how we would have wanted it, as itís not uniform across Europe, but it does bring about opportunity for change.

    So this has been achieved by a long and sustained campaign by cross EU microlight associations.

    The most reluctant were the French - who pretty much opppsed it all the way - as they have the lightest touch system in Europe and were afraid to lose that. That is reflected in the modest move to 500kg. With a max empty weight of 295kg in the regulation that gives a payload of 205kg. Still doesnít allow a trip to spamfield non stop from far afield for our 92kg friend with a similar sized mate and overnight clothing and tent, but does make things a bit easier for more modest sized folk.

    I donít believe any insurance claims have not been paid out for run of the mill prangs? - the pilot has to fill in a report form and declare the takeoff weight.. and I think there is some law where they would have to prove causality - so if itís not an overweight accident per se it should be ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mole View Post
    Yes, and it was ever thus, for 20 years at least. It is scandalous that it has taken so long for the situation to be recognised and our representatives who knew about it should have been fighting on our behalf for years as it's been practically impossible to purchase a modern 3-axis microlight that's legal to fly 2-up with reasonable fuel reserves for some time. And I'm not having a pop at the BMAA - FFPLUM is just as responsible as many more 'heavy' models are used in France for training compared to the UK.

    Thank goodness it's at last in the open and being resolved. Pity all the poor bu gg ers though who've had insurance claims rejected because of it in the meantime.

  5. #55
    Captain Roger Mole's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Dordogne, France
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    Thanks for that Paul, your background insight is always both interesting and useful. Re the French, it was a pity that the matter came to a head at about the time Dominique Mťreuze died and a new man took over at FFPLUM. He was fearful of having his hand forced after a couple of bad years of accidents here in France and was reluctant I think to go for any weight increase at all. In the event the DGAC were sympathetic that this was a training rather than an airworthiness problem so weight really became a bit of a non-issue and I think that if DM had still been around, he'd have pointed out that the 'heavy' aircraft had been flying for 20 years under the existing 'light touch' regime without incident due to airworthiness and that therefore France could be safely aligned with other countries with a higher weight limit. But now it's water under the bridge sadly, although if in due course incidents do not increase in the rest of Europe and pilots here want to push, I suppose the limit in France could be looked at again, especially as the same aircraft will be being sold here in France as in other countries with higher weight limits. Whether it'll be in my time though I don't know.

    Re causality, I seem to recall an incident 'up North' in the UK some time before I left when an unfortunate guy dropped his CT into a ditch at the side of the runway after landing and rolled it. Because he'd taken off overweight, the flight was deemed illegal and his insurance claim denied. Maybe someone else will be able to provide more details if I'm right.

    The good thing though, is that at last the issue has been recognised and dealt with so kudos to all involved.
    Last edited by Roger Mole; 19-12-18 at 10:28 AM.

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