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Homebuilt regulations UK CAA letter 12/20

Your POV, LeSving, is fine for those who don’t care about being legal. Which is fine if

  • you aren’t worth anything, and never fly with passengers, so insurance is a “non-issue”, and
  • you are just passing through each place, and
  • you never crash, and
  • the book is written after the trip is successfully concluded

It is a fine POV so long as everyone understands the above.

I accept that a significant % of a certain sector of the GA community accepts a disregard for regs as being acceptable and normal, “live and let live” and all that, but one needs to be quite clear about it, in case a newcomer happens to think it is actually widely accepted, which it isn’t

If you want to come to say a EuroGA fly-in, and have posted it, then a lot of people will know about the flight in advance, and in general people do get the required permits, and those who can’t get them, or can’t get them in time, don’t turn up.

Nothing UK-centric about the principle of following regs, except that this thread was about a UK CAA position (see the subject header). We have tons of threads on homebuilt privileges elsewhere on EuroGA.

We have a fly-in to Cambridge, UK in May 2018. Maybe we will see you there? I don’t believe you have been to any of the previous ones, even those to Sweden or Denmark, so here’s your chance. Cambridge is a really nice place.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

> Cambridge is a really nice place.

And if you’re any way nerdy, it has the Computing History Museum (I’ve not been yet, but I know one of the guys who runs it and who often brings a stand to various computer history events).

Andreas IOM

Peter wrote:

Your POV, LeSving, is fine for those who don’t care about being legal

That’s really way off, and not what I said at all. If I wrote something like that, you would delete it. The point is, there are remarkably few rules about experimental aircraft, and national and international operations. Prior permission is the only “rule”, with nothing about technical or operational aspects or restrictions (UK exempted by the looks of it). The reason is of course the aircraft is non ICAO. This means it’s up to whoever receives the application to decide. ECAC has changed this, so prior permission is not necessary, at least in most western European countries, except a few. Those few either don’t care enough to make a statement, don’t see the issue, or they have to make some oddball local rules, if for no other reasons than to “be locally different and independent”.

Homebuilt/experimental aircraft is therefore left free for those who have the “yes can do” attitude. It has nothing to do with carelessness about being “legal”, whatever that is supposed to mean here. In most places on the globe, an homebuilt aircraft is as “legal” as any other aircraft when it has a document from the country of origin that says “C of A” with a stamp from the appropriate CAA. That document is enough, prior permission or not. There is no practical other way to assess the aircraft’s airworthiness in any case, than that document. The UK is the oddball here. Other countries say “send an application” or “ECAC rules”, and that’s it. That’s the only special “legal” stuff required.

What you are doing here, is spreading FUD. I’s a it of a mystery why you do it. Anyone can get themselves an EASA reg’ed aircraft, a Cirrus or Diamond preferably, and fly all over Europe, no questions asked (except immigration to UK …) Getting an experimental (building yourself or purchasing) requires a more “yes can do” attitude for various reasons, but it’s still by far the best choice when doing some really crazy touring, like crossing both poles in a SEP. There is nothing illegal about it, except maybe the way you would like to use a foreign experimental aircraft, operated from the UK.

Thanks for the invitations for fly ins, but to fly that far it would need to be substantially more “Oskoshy” for me to be interested. May is also way too early and off season for me to take days off.

If I wrote something like that, you would delete it.

Only breaches of the Guidelines are potentially removed which is basically personal attacks and other offensive material.

Discussion of regs, attitude to risk, etc is just discussion.

I know a few people here have been spreading stories about censorship but they are false. We have over 2000 posts per month and on average 1 per week is deleted and it is always the same 2 or 3 people who do it, presumably to see if the mod is awake (of course they know what they are writing) so he can be dragged out into the open where he can be beaten up…

I thought Sweden and Denmark are near Norway?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Only breaches of the Guidelines are potentially removed which is basically personal attacks and other offensive material.

Of course. And the admin is always non-offensive, as per def. I get it

What I’m saying is basically that a special attitude to certain things is necessary to enjoy the “freedoms” and possibilities of a homebuilt/experimental aircraft. The UK doesn’t even have an experimental category of private aircraft. It’s the only country in the world that doesn’t have it, that I know of. You can build aircraft as part of a regime, and receive a “permit” each year, but that is really a long, long way from having an experimental category like we have, and most others do, and where each aircraft receives a C of A valid for “life”. So whatever is going on there, whatever is “common sense” regarding the legalities or whatever about these things, means very little, except inside that island exclusively. I don’t see any relevance whatsoever to me or anyone else not living there.

Therefore, the UK-centric view on these matters are only applicable in the UK. You cannot simply extrapolate the perceived lack of “utility”, or perceived dubious legal matters to the rest of us. They aren’t applicable, and that is all there is to it.

Somebody has to make the decision on what is offensive. Believe me, you would not want to deal with some of the stuff that comes up – which you and everybody else don’t see because it is dealt with. You merely hear what those who chucked their toys out of pram tell you afterwards. I was countering your assertion that a technical / attitude to risk disagreement would be moderated; it would not be.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

LeSving wrote:

a special attitude

That special attitude takes two forms

  1. the tenacity to meticulously research what permissions are required, and where necessary obtain prior permission for flights abroad, and accept the somewhat arbitrary restrictions that are sometimes imposed (e.g., day VFR only)
  2. the willingness to ignore the required permissions and go anyway, and accept the risks that come with that.

This applies regardless of under which local national regulations non-ICAO-C of A aircraft are built, maintained and operated.

This forum is a place where people come for advice. The advice that – I am paraphrasing – an “experimental/homebuilt is best for international touring” is patently wrong in light of the above. This is the equivalent of saying that owning and operating a light aircraft is as easy as owning and operating a car.

I for one are glad that Peter, and others, keep correcting what is in their (and my) opinion misleading / bad advice, and I admire Peter for both sticking to his guns (by pushing back) while sticking to the principle of maintaining an open forum (by keeping the posts, even borderline ones). Especially in the face of what must be, at times, severe temptation…

Biggin Hill

i praise lesving for his honesty and also appreciate the rules as per peter
unfortunately the stick for regulations keeps me from bringing my airplane to europe and enjoy my experimental flying after reading all the stuff about illegal entries and exits and permits and getting out of the law
i wish flying in europe could be like here in usa
i can go anywhere anytime as long as i dont run into a tca or do something stupid, no need to report to anyone, no charges for landing at any airport, as a matter of fact most airports will lend me a car to go get food while i stop for fuel or not, will never happen in europe
i get the sense that in hungary i might be able to do some flying without a lot of regulations but no one will answer my questions about flying there with something like an rv-8
i am already aware that my evolution would never fly there since i need to be at 28,000 feet to get the best of the PT-6A 135 and i will be darned if i am going to fly a TP at 2000 feet to keep the regs happy
what a waste, not being biased i told before i get anywhere here in usa and canada and mexico 280 knots burning 28 gall/.hr for 1400 miles wish i could to that up there
happy holidays
please send me some more hopeful news le sving

KHQZ, United States

Cobalt wrote:

That special attitude takes two forms

the tenacity to meticulously research what permissions are required, and where necessary obtain prior permission for flights abroad, and accept the somewhat arbitrary restrictions that are sometimes imposed (e.g., day VFR only) the willingness to ignore the required permissions and go anyway, and accept the risks that come with that.

This applies regardless of under which local national regulations non-ICAO-C of A aircraft are built, maintained and operated.

I wouldn’t claim that an experimental aircraft is ideal for international touring, but it is perfectly possible by obeying these two tenets. I have flown to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, UK, Austria and over Germany in my homebuilt from France over the last 20 years with no bureaucratic bother.
In theory you need permission to enter Spain with an experimental aircraft and I have requested permission once or twice. Last time I asked, it was only available for a specified six month period in the year, so I stopped requesting permission.
Last year I had an accident at San Sebastian airport and all my papers were scrutinized. The Spanish authorities have not made any fuss and the French insurance company is dealing with the claim despite requesting copies of every conceivable document including my radio station license.
Simon

i get the sense that in hungary i might be able to do some flying without a lot of regulations but no one will answer my questions about flying there with something like an rv-8

I looked up your post @magyarflyer and it seems to have got missed by everybody who might have replied. We get over 2k posts per month so many people miss a post unless it gets enough replies to form a thread So I promoted it to the home page in the hope it gets some response. BTW it would help getting a response if you filled in your profile a bit more. Some people won’t respond to questions from an empty profile especially if the location is not indicated, even approximately.

There is no doubt whatever that you can fly an RV in Hungary, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter. It is a very popular type over here. There are just the long term parking limits (not in all countries) and some airspace prohibitions on IFR in non-certifieds – various previous threads, the details of which I can’t remember.

i am already aware that my evolution would never fly there since i need to be at 28,000 feet to get the best of the PT-6A 135 and i will be darned if i am going to fly a TP at 2000 feet to keep the regs happy

That is indeed an issue in a range of countries but it doesn’t prevent 1 or 2 of them flying up there in Europe

i wish flying in europe could be like here in usa

Many people here wish the same, but it won’t happen for many reasons, most of them political.

The UK is fairly unusual with its 28 day long term parking limit. 6 months is the more common number in Europe. So if you are doing a tour around Europe, you have no problem. Whether you can fly the Evolution in the UK, IFR, FL280, I don’t know and don’t know even where to look.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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