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SERA requires flight plans for all controlled aerodromes

A pilot is entitled to request ATC to elevate his flight to an IFR clearance, for any operational reason.

A pilot is entitled to what the law entitles him to do. As of today, filing IFR flight plans in-air is not within the pilot's rights in Germany (unless there is an emergency). That is very unfortunate but so are many things in our over-regulated society.

But the UK doesn't prosecute it, even in the most obvious cases

Neither does Germany, it happens all the time. However, it is prohibited by law and if the state attorney gets to know about it, he is legally required to prosecute. I am sure that's how most legal systems work. If you take off in OVC003 from a VFR only airfield and your worst enemy happens to witness it and takes pictures, you will be fined.

Each European country has its bad special rules that foreign pilots will never understand. Normally a EU wide regulation takes the worst of each country and applies it to all. Let's all be happy that SERA is an exception, it brings something good for everybody.

That Bonn-Hangelar circuit pattern issue is a purely local thing and will be cleared up eventually. A few pilots were fined but they went to court and they will win. In federalism, you have local authorities screw up, that just comes with it.

Reading this thread gives me the willies... These complex flight planning restrictions and limitations are unnecessary, in their entirety. The goal of the regulator (any regulator) should be to eliminate them.

As possibly the world's biggest fan of federalism, I would point out that the states can and do delegate some areas of law to the central government...

Tomorrow I plan to depart from one ATC airport, transit through two additional Class D areas, and land at a third. I have filed no flight plans since 2004... because it serves no function for me unless crossing national borders. None of the controllers will know where I'm going once clear of their area, or know that I'm coming or where I'm coming from. Conversely, if I needed to file IFR, I would expect to be able to do it airborne at any time.

Over-doing everything does seem to be a kind of limitless disease in European aviation.

Re SERA, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that nothing will really change much. Most of the "national particularities" will remain, because in most countries, the resistance to change something that has been done in a certain way for years and years will be too great.

Does anyone really believe that there will be just the SERA and that's it? Germany is famous for putting tons of "detail regulations" on top of their "laws". The same will probably happen here. Some of those regulations will indeed be partly in contrast with SERA (at least in case where things are up to interpretation, such as the flightplan thing). SERA will just "be there" and be part of the framework of national air regulations. More like a "guideline".

There are of course some exceptions to this, such as night VFR becoming a reality in UK...but wait a minute...will Ireland allow night VFR after all...? And Spain? And Belgium?

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

As long as the government employees 'sahnen ab' they are happy :-) the problem then becomes the cost, unintended consequences and confusion created by their existence.

Absahnen means taking the cream, or so I'm told... the Germanic version of being a gravy trainer. It's a really wonderful expression.

That has been the reality in Germany. If you try to file in-air, you can get prosecuted and there are cases where pilots got fined. Unexpected weather is not sufficient reason for air filing.>

Interesting, as we did just that some years ago. I was flying with an IR rated friend, coming back to the UK from Austria. Somewhere over Germany the wx turned sour and we air-filed IFR to enroute stop (can't remember, but think it was Maastricht). The controller certainly didn't give us any grief or queried the air-filing.

Most of the "national particularities" will remain, because in most countries, the resistance to change something that has been done in a certain way for years and years will be too great.

Well, SERA is law. Member countries do not have the right to deviate unless SERA itself provides for such a deviation. ICAO on the other hand is just an international treaty, it has no law character.

SERA will just "be there" and be part of the framework of national air regulations. More like a "guideline".

Absolutely not. There are EU directives and EU regulations. The former just create an obligation for member countries to issue legislation that implements the goals of the directive. A member country can delay that or screw up. The EU can fight back through a treaty violation suit but that is often hard. EU regulations on the other hand are directly applicable law, immediately and fully valid in each member country. SERA is as much law as anything else and it is directly enforceable in all courts. You can never go to court and assert rights from the ICAO treaty but you can do so from SERA.

but wait a minute...will Ireland allow night VFR after all...? And Spain? And Belgium?

I see now way around that. They'd have to get the EU to revise SERA or find some other loophole outside of aviation law (maybe Belgium has a constitutional nocturnal silence guarantee that could be seen in conflict with SERA allowing VFR night).

as a microlight flier I am disallowed at controlled airports anyway

What country is that in?

Not in the UK, for sure.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Belgium. All our controlled airspace is closed to microlights - including (active) CTR's, TMA's, and everything more than 4500' AMSL. Or, looking at it the other way round, we ARE allowed to fly but only if we really really don't make ourselves a nuisance. It makes for some interesting navigation exercises halfway Antwerpen and Brussel, which happens to be close to where I live. There's a single TMA overhead, up from 1500 AMSL, below that there's a precious couple of miles to get through east to west or v/v. The place is marked as low-altitude military also, but I never heard of any actual such activity. There's lots of visual references, but between checking them all out, cross-referencing the map every so often, keeping a steady half eye on the altimeter, listening to Brussels Information and looking out for traffic in this narrow and low corridor does make one wish for an able and active co-pilot.

Another interesting corridor is between EBLG and EHBK CTR's - again one has to remain below the TMA's, but to top off the excitement, terrain rises steadily east of the river Meuse.

I have heard tell-tales of Charleroi TWR occasionally allowing microlights to cross the CTR, and suggestions of the same at EBOS Ostend, but wouldn't even ask at EBAW Antwerp, they're really busy most of the time. Don't even think of asking if you can't squawk mode-C.

Belgian civilian CTR's are quite busy, but our military CTR's are often inactive over the weekend.

Rumour has it that BUN VOR was once relocated so as to offer a straight line through this corridor, its other end at MAK NDB. With neither NDB nor VOR receivers installed, I don't really care.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Well, in Spain night VFR technically has always been allowed - BUT with a proviso that it remained within the remit of the area chief of aviation (forget the precise title now). Result: there are all sort of rules about night VFR in the Spanish AIP, but in practice you can't do it. My guess is, that things like that will continue.

PS: the Microlight rule applies in Spain also, but isn't enforced. I even know a guy who built his very own little airfield for Microlight training right in the Seville TMA ;-)

Rumour has it that BUN VOR was once relocated so as to offer a straight line through this corridor, its other end at MAK NDB. With neither NDB nor VOR receivers installed, I don't really care.

But you could load them as GPS waypoints?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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