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Euro and GA

Over the last few days I have found myself getting increasingly bored by this forum and it is certainly not Peters fault.
For a start there is an ever increasing number of posts about how wonderful everything in the USA is and how everything in Europe is crap. Quite apart from neither of these things being true, especially the latest about freedoms. Having lived and worked in the USA, yes it is the land of the free as long as you can afford it. I would also point to the name of this forum EUROGA.
Secondly there seems to be a distinct lack of anything GA on this forum, overtaken by Covid19 at the moment in which most posts seem to forget that GA actually exists.
I would point out that here in France (and I am sure we are not alone) you don’t have to be rich to become a pilot and fly an aircraft of one type or another.
So in the hope of starting a thread that might get a few GA posts, I would like to share the following to hopefully start a debate re post Covid 19 GA.
“From the FFA bulletin this month IAAG are running a series of courses for pilot owners. The dates are published along with the remark that it is dependent on interest. It goes on to remind Pilot owners of non complex aircraft under 750kg that they can sign their own CRS (certificate of return to service after maintenance) and the paperwork process involved. This BTW is under EASA annexe VII or could be VIII, I forget which.

France

gallois wrote:

Over the last few days I have found myself getting increasingly bored by this forum and it is certainly not Peters fault.
For a start there is an ever increasing number of posts about how wonderful everything in the USA is and how everything in Europe is crap. Quite apart from neither of these things being true, especially the latest about freedoms. Having lived and worked in the USA, yes it is the land of the free as long as you can afford it. I would also point to the name of this forum EUROGA.
Secondly there seems to be a distinct lack of anything GA on this forum, overtaken by Covid19 at the moment in which most posts seem to forget that GA actually exists.

I both agree and disagree. If you skip the Covid-19 threads and the political thread, everything else really is about GA. Yes, there is a tendency to put the FAA on a pedestal and complain about EASA. That can occasionally be tiresome — particularly when it is made by N-reg owners who are unfamiliar with the how the EASA maintenance regime actually works today — but I don’t see that too often.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

I know very little about the practicalities of flying in Europe, but I’ll have to get to deal with it because we will be returning to France soon (ish). It’s true though that I read with horror some of the bureaucratic silliness in EASA ad CAA territory. Things like barely having GPS/RNAV approaches and still needing an ADF in the aircraft.

I do have one data point – in trying to decide whether to bring my N-reg TR182 to France, I said at one point, maybe it would make more sense to sell it and buy an F-reg. The universal reaction was “you’d be crazy” – this from Europe based pilots on this forum and elsewhere, not in the US.

KPAO, United States

Thank you for your post, gallois! I too think that it is important to remember and repeat that this is a forum about European GA, and while I don’t think anyone here minds people who live and fly outside the scope of EASA sharing their views, it should be universally accepted that this European reality is the one we operate in and serves as basis for all discussions on here.

I also think that in many past discussions, the importance of regulations for flying activity has been vastly overstated. The fact that Europeans fly less is largely not due to inferior regulations compared to the FAA, but mainly because of simple things like geography, infrastructure that is far superior to the US (both roads and railways) and a population density that makes the general public less tolerant of noise, which leads to restricted operating hours of airports and in turn a reduced usability of GA.

Generally, I also support your sentiment that we should try to maintain a positive outlook on GA. For me as a low hours pilot, one of the most encouraging aspects of this forum has always been the trip reports, which show us what is possible with a GA aircraft and inspire us to plan and execute our own trips, even if the scope is smaller than say Peter’s flights to Greece or more so terbangs transcontinental trips to S. America.

Novice pilot
EDVM Hildesheim, Germany

I know 2 people from work who stopped flying in the US because of “too much FAA red-tape & local airports hassle”, they are doing scuba & sailing now

Last Edited by Ibra at 14 Jul 11:37
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

johnh wrote:

Things like barely having GPS/RNAV approaches and still needing an ADF in the aircraft.

I do have one data point – in trying to decide whether to bring my N-reg TR182 to France, I said at one point, maybe it would make more sense to sell it and buy an F-reg. The universal reaction was “you’d be crazy” – this from Europe based pilots on this forum and elsewhere, not in the US.

just answering on the GA related aspects:
Almost every IFR-Airport these days have GPS/RNAV approaches and there are not more than a handful (if at all) where you need an ADF – in Europe you basically only need the equipment in the plane you actually need – if your flight doesn’t involve an NDB-Approach (very rare) or a leg defined by an NDB-bearing (nether) you don’t need an ADF. I threw mine out at the last avionics upgrade.

You will, however, realize that there are fewer airports in Europe which have an IAP – reason for that is what MedEwok stated: Due to geography, economic structure and available alternative infrastructure the relevance of GA in Europe is much smaller.

What is true, that it is still much easier to operate an n-reg plane in France than it is to operate and F-Reg in US. But as AA rightly stated: Much of the noise on regulation comes from history (on both sides) and a romanticized view on the FAA by people from Europe.

But doesn’t matter if n-, f- or whatever-reg. The own plane is still by far the best way to go if you want to decide spontaneously in the morning if you want to have Schnitzel in Austria, Shrimps at the North shore of fish on an Italian Island for lunch….

Germany

I spent most of my early life in Europe, spend virtually every vacation in Europe and met my European wife in doing so I have no relatives except my immediate family outside of Europe, I own and fly a European built aircraft for which all airframe parts have to be ordered from Europe. I have also flown GA in Europe and found it to be a hugely expensive pain in the ass, done by people who are understandably edgy and defensive. The exception was the ultralight flying in Italy (in a Tecnam 2002) which stayed ‘under the radar’ and as a result was a lot more fun. Actually it was really great, including the social scene. I can imagine France is the same and would love to hear about it.

Maybe reality is creating the situation described by the OP here versus misconceptions or lack of experience.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 14 Jul 14:31

What a backhanded way to start a thread: complain about one thread to start another.

@gallois don’t you get that complaining about something is talking about it and this perpetuates the very discussion you say you want to end?

Flying GA in the US is a vastly better experience than in Europe.
Why? Because Americans fight for it to be that way.
No landing fees, cheaper fuel, etc don’t come free. They come through blood, sweat and tears (as we say), which is why some of us who fly in Europe have the boldness that we do.
We want Europe to have the great GA experience that the US does.

One of the reasons Mx has improved so drastically in the past few years is that the FAA set a great example and demonstrated good results.

BasicMed is something that many older pilots are thrilled by and it extends our passion.

Isn’t it better that we talk about these incredible advantages experienced by the American pilots?

Your complaint smacks at the heart of why European GA is so expensive. Everyone says “shut up and deal with it… Be glad for what you have and don’t ask for more.”

I think there are plenty of those who think like you do, and it’s sad that freedom makes you uncomfortable.

Also, the forum you’re “bored” by is specifically labeled "Covid19“.
If you didn’t notice, that’s something which is impacting aviation in a major way. I can’t currently contribute to airport landing fees because of it.

A few great threads going are:
Covid19 GA updates

Manufacturers discouraging LOP

The Impossible Turn

Fuel Efficiency in Cruise

If these topics aren’t sexy enough for you, I think your thread must mean that you really don’t like Americans sharing their experiences flying GA in Europe.

By the way, the best airport I’ve landed at in Europe was Chartres Champhol Aerodrome. Absolutely gorgeous, very friendly locals and free landings… Highly recommend it to everyone here.

Last Edited by AF at 14 Jul 15:53

AF wrote:

No landing fees, cheaper fuel, etc don’t come free.

Yes, for instance they are paid by a property tax for aircraft that has to be paid in most US states but is unknown in most European jurisdictions …

And btw. on the myth of cheap fuel:
Avgas in the US currently sells on average for about 4.75/gal (100ll.com) regular fuel at about 2,20/gal (aaa.com). That is a multiple of 2.16 that comes from “blood, sweat and tears” of the pilot community.
Avgas in Germany is at about 2.20/l on average compared to an avg. of 1.24/l for regular fuel. That’s a multiple of 1.77.

So the only reason why avgas is more expensive in Germany is that fuel in general is more expensive in Germany. That has nothing to do with aviation or the strength of the GA community. The spread between Avgas and Mogas is significantly bigger in the US!

Germany

@AF I’m not sure what it was that I wrote that got you throwing your toys out of your pram so forcefully, and quite frankly I don’t really care.
Just as you are free to express your opinions I thankfully live in a country where I am free to express mine.
One thing, I will say, however, whether by coincidence or not, since I started my thread and Peter started his there seems to have been an increased volume of GA posts compared to coronavirus. IMO this is great. Long may it continue.

France
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