Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

Is there, or should there be, a comeback on a flying school or an instructor?

In the UK there has recently been a high profile prosecution, fine around £3000, for a pilot who busted the Stansted Class D, bimbled around in a Super Cub for a bit non-radio, non-transponder, and his JAA PPL was not valid.

I don't know how long ago he did his PPL (or his age) but he must have flown with an instructor to get the PPL, and he must have flown with another one every 2 years since.

His PPL was not valid because, apparently, he forgot about the 5-year renewal. However I think a very large number of pilots have done that too, because no renewal reminder was sent out by the CAA and the license layout does not make the 5-year expiry very obvious (it does make the 2-yearly revalidation obvious).

No GPS, obviously.

He is getting the usual lynching treatment on the UK pilot forums but I wonder if it would be more productive to look deeper at how this sort of thing happens, and keeps happening.

For a start, it seems to me that you will get the 2-yearly instructor signoff provided the instructor survives the flight.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter, the guy was lost and stupid. Do you go after a driving instructor because you have an accident 2 years after you get your licence?

Wandering around through both the Luton AND Stansted CTRs?

His fine was reasonable and actually pretty lenient IMHO.

Come on....

EGTK Oxford

Outlying events will always happen no matter what, rarely with any consequence. Avoiding accidents is the goal, not perfectly obeying rules. To believe otherwise is to be an ineffective control freak, not a promoter of safety.

It doesn't matter who was once his instructor either, or his kindergarten teacher :-)

One of the pleasures of private flying is that it's one of the few realms of life where you get to take personal responsibility for your decisions. For example it doesn't matter who overhauled the engine - if it fails in flight you have to deal with it or suffer the consequences. I find the idea that an instructor could be held responsible for my failings abhorrent, unless grievously negligent (e.g. falsifying lesson records; frequently giving poor advice etc...).


Yes. If at least one of my engines fails, the guy who is likely to blame will be flying the aircraft.

The idea that a system of legalistic regulation and associated blame would be my guiding principle for safety in aviation is so abhorrent to me, I would quite literally rather be dead, now, than consider it. Have I made myself clear?

Aviation is no place for either crucifying those who make mistakes, or playing blame games.

To clarify: I was not suggesting blaming the instructor for such an incident.

But perhaps examining the student's training record, or speaking to his last revalidation instructor, might be constructive.

When I did my PPL, 2000/2001, I was never taught to get notams. And I don't think that changed (at that school) for a good 5 years afterwards.

That school managed to turn out hundreds of PPLs in that time. Only a small fraction of them will end up flying anything resembling long-term but there is a few hundred people looking for trouble.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Silvaire said:

The idea that a system of legalistic regulation and associated blame would be my guiding principle for safety in aviation is so abhorrent to me....

....Have I made myself clear?....

I am sorry but you have not.

Are you saying that if your aircraft's only engine fails in flight due to a mistake made by an engineer that serviced it recently - you, the pilot, are willing to take the blame for the crash that follows?!


I was principally responsible, in my mind, for the quality of the engine overhaul. An A&P mechanic signed it off. The same is generally true for ongoing maintenance.

I happen to be a degreed mechanical engineer by trade, with 25 years of experience in design and development of rotating machinery... but in reference to the comment about the "engineer who serviced it most recently" no engineering has been involved with this particular engine since the late 1930s.

Peter - I'm not in favor of the concept of flying schools. Learning to fly is an individual endeavor, pursued through contact with instructors employed (or not) by whomever, culminating in a successful check ride with a government examiner based on practical test standards. From then on, as with aircraft type certification, its a direct relationship between pilot and government.

Busting airspace is violation of air law - instructors do not teach law, or only sideways. If a pilot usually touches down at three quarters down the runway one could (and, if in charge, one should ) talk to his instructor.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

The man was a plank.

There may be merits in your argument, but using this case as an example weakens those merits, as it's a very bad example.

47 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top