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Can pilots cope with regulatory freedom?

In every pilot forum, sooner or later questions about regulation are discussed. For instance, the interpretation of differences training is discussed, or the regulation of cost sharing flights, on how to enter a traffic circuit, on how to equip your plane for legal IFR. And as soon as you detect, that the regulator has left some details up to the pilot, the notion comes up, that the participants have found a bad worded or bad crafted piece of regulation.

Why is that? Do pilots fear own responsibility and need someone to tell them how to fly? Or is it that some individuals just seek thinks to complain about, no matter how much sense a tighter regulation is? And then, why do they complain about too much regulation afterwards?

I don’t see this behaviour in other branches of life. Why pilots?

mh
Inside the sky.
EDXE, EDXF, Germany

Some individuals like to seek things to complain about, or alternatively, look clever by apparently finding “faults” or “holes” in regulations.

Andreas IOM

It seems to me that it’s often a case of pilots not being willing to accept that regulators’ mind sets are so far from their own.

Pilots in some cases want the regulations to be more restrictive than they are and “can’t believe” that they are relaxed as they are (cost sharing is an example; another is the IMC/IFR rules in the UK). They then seek endless reassurance from their friends and peers that the rules really do say what they say.

In other cases, rules have been made by regulators who simply don’t understand the modern world or the nature of real-world risk. Use of ADF for an NDB approach is an example. Pilots then seek endless reassurance from their friends and peers that the rules really do say what they say.

EGKB Biggin Hill

Timothy wrote:

In other cases, rules have been made by regulators who simply don’t understand the modern world or the nature of real-world risk. Use of ADF for an NDB approach is an example.

Are you sure that this is a new rule and not a leftover from times where there was no GNSS?

But yes, especially in Germany, IFR in G is “fun” to discuss with pilots. Good example.

mh
Inside the sky.
EDXE, EDXF, Germany

One problem is pilots simply can’t understand the regulation.

I dread to think how many pilots I have seen flying illegally because they don’t understand the renewal /revalidation/LAPL privileges.

Now when it comes to the FAA flight review I’ve never come across a pilot that doesn’t understand the requirements.

Especially in Germany we see a dramatic decrease in taking responsibility and begging for domination. Seems to be a culture thing from deep in that mind spectrum.

The “safety norms” are highly relative depending on the pilot groups and what they got used to !

I was talking to an American pilot/cfi about IFR in IMC OCAS without radar/radio contact while on climbs above MSA and I got slashed like hell, then he proudly show me how to overfly LA while on a long final to Santa Monica at 200ft on a SEP, one will be eaten alive in european clubhouse with such story…

Last Edited by Ibra at 07 Jan 10:32
EGSX, United Kingdom

A lot of pilots seem to enjoy finding reasons things cannot be done legally, or finding ways to interpret rules in the most obtuse and restrictive way possible. I guess these people just enjoy being told what to do and what not to do.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

I think the problem stems from the airline and military aspects of flying crossing over to private flying. A strict regulatory framework allows both of these domains to successfully achieve their goals. For the airlines, it is safety and for the military is the command chain/mission objectives.

Neither of these types of flying have much in common with a local bimble in a remote area. In fact, I think we barely need any rules for a single person to fly a plane in a remote area. Have atter! Just use common sense.

As the airspace becomes more crowded, and if there might be people on the ground at risk, then a minimum rule structure makes sense.

However, what I think happens is that people ‘believe’ that there should be more rules (as there are in airline flying – either by the regulator or company SOP), and thus read and interpret regulations that context.

Take for example a GA pilot who learns to fly at a school which is only producing airline pilots. Certainly the school will have a culture of rule following and safety, which is appropriate (and of course there will be a rule for everything). It seems likely to me that new pilots coming from this school will be most comfortable if all the rules are ‘well defined’. If the rules are not, then I could see endless discussion about defining them…

The same goes for the UK vs North America in relation to using airfields without a radio attendant and a fire crew. Most airfields in North America are unattended, and everybody gets on just fine (I think it is very rare that someone dies in a fireball on the runway). However, if you suggest that a UK airfield could be open at all hours without any one present, you get horrified looks about the ‘safety’ aspect. Yes, it is probably prudent (but perhaps not necessary) that a fire crew and radio operator are present if you have significant passenger transport operations, but is this really unnecessary for landing a little Cessna or Piper?

As such GA suffers from people considering the rules which might be appropriate for transport flying, when they are actually only flying a small GA aircraft.

Of course, I support having the safest possible outcome for personal flying, and surely some cross over from the airlines and military is welcome and appropriate.

Last Edited by Canuck at 07 Jan 10:47
Sans aircraft at the moment :-(, United Kingdom

I think the problem stems from the airline and military aspects of flying crossing over to private flying.

Maybe, but IME most airline pilots and military pilots also flying light GA have the exact opposite effect in many cases.

I think it’s more that a substantial portion of GA pilots have an urge to be as “professional” as possible. This in terms comes from the fact that another substantial portion of GA pilots couldn’t care less. They rather want things to be “wild west”.

In a way we lack a common concept of what it means to take GA “seriously”. Wild west or by the book ? Forums tends to attract by the book people maybe. Again IME airline and military pilots usually go for something in between with regards to GA.

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