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US Experimental travelling around Europe

actually the topic is “traveling arround Europe”, sorry for those typos

The list so far, with the information provided by ploucandco (thx):

  • Belgium: 30 flying days in 1 year, 94EUR, report at the end of the period
  • France: just file flightplan
  • Germany: no costs, max 180 days
  • Netherlands: just file flightplan
  • Poland: just file flightplan

I already looked in some of the AIPs, but most times they just
say something like “for non european permit aircraft contact …”.

I don’t really wanted to start a discussion why we are on N-reg.
So far everything worked out quite flawless, the plane is
N-reg for now and no plans to change that in the near future.

EDGH

Wouldn’t it be easier just to contact all the local CAAs with an e-mail ? then you would get the correct official response.

@LeSving: Sounds like a good idea. I will type together a standard inquiry and keep you posted here on the responses.
Just thought someone here already has some detailed information concerning some countries.

EDGH

Because they can fly IFR, if properly equipped?

They can’t, because the ban on non-CofA aircraft flying IFR (in nearly all of Europe) is an airspace rule. If this was the solution, most of the homebuilt community would be N-reg.

The biggest problem with N-reg homebuilts is that most countries (probably all) in Europe have long term parking limits on them. The UK for example is about 30 days max. after which you need to get another CAA permission, and AFAIK you won’t normally get it.

Whereas N-reg CofA aircraft can park in Europe indefinitely – except I recall Norway and possibly still the old Denmark rule is active.

I fixed the title typos earlier – I usually do that.

This thread might also be of interest.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
Germany: no costs, max 180 days
The biggest problem with N-reg homebuilts is that most countries (probably all) in Europe have long term parking limits on them.

Germany allows permanent stationing of N-reg experimentals. You have to get a yearly permit from the CAA which is a simple paper exercise. There are many N-reg experimentals here, my hangar neighbor got one and it seems to be entirely hassle free. I’d be joining that crowd immediately, wasn’t it for the VFR limitation.

@Achim, which VFR limitation for Germany?
The GE authorisation that I got states:

And the FAA operating limitations of my plane states:

So with the right equipment (including DME), I am good to go as I read.

What is not allowed is fly an EU registered experimental under IFR using ECAC INT.S/11-1 as it is VFR only limited in Germany.

Now if I am missing something, I would be happy to see a legal reference.

Ukraine

They can’t, because the ban on non-CofA aircraft flying IFR (in nearly all of Europe) is an airspace rule.

Sorry, just can’t let this go undisputed. Not that it matters to me, I don’t fly IFR.

There is no such airspace rule to start with. Second, not all experimentals fly on a “permit to fly”. EASA aircraft can also be issued a permit to fly for various reasons, temporary or permanent, and there is nothing preventing an aircraft with a permit to fly to fly IFR. Such restrictions are only part of national regulations for some class of aircraft, microlights typically. Still, it does not automatically follow that a “permit to fly” aircraft (such as a microlight) cannot fly IFR. These are two ad hoc and separate decisions done by the local CAA. The CAA has decided a microlight must be issued a “permit” and no microlight can fly IFR. Some countries say that all “non ICAO/EASA aircraft” can only be issued a “permit” and must follow the rules of “permit aircraft”. Other countries have other rules.

The airspace rules only state that flying in this or that airspace require certain instruments. For IFR, the instruments must follow some minimum documented standard of performance. This usually means certified instruments, but this is no requirement. The requirement is the performance must be documented. The aircraft itself is irrelevant.

Nevertheless, C of A is a key parameter here (ICAO is not). In most countries in the world, experimentals are given a C of A after an initial 25-50 h of test flying where they are flying on some kind of restricted “permit to fly”. USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, all of Scandinavia, Italy, Poland, Australia and so on, I think even Russia. A CofA is a CofA no matter what, and IFR or no IFR has nothing to do with it. This is a separate thing entirely, and is based on the equipment installed when the aircraft receives its C of A (or later modifications).

Aviation is international, just like boating, sailing. An experimental with a perfectly valid C of A from USA, Norway, Italy, France, Australia or wherever is entering German airspace. Is the German CAA going to ban it from flying IFR in German airspace when all the instrument requirements are documented and are OK? On what basis? On the basis that a CofA from the FAA (or some other) is not good enough? It will never happen, and never has as far as I know.

When the UK soon starts permitting IFR for experimentals (in some odd UK specific way I am sure, but anyway), I guess the Germans will follow.

Whereas N-reg CofA aircraft can park in Europe indefinitely – except I recall Norway

Parking has nothing to do with it. It can stay parked forever. The CAA has for some odd reason decided that people living in Norway (Norwegians or foreigners) can only operate a foreign aircraft for 6, max 12 consecutive months. Just recently was this ban lifted for aircraft from any EASA-land. Essentially this means i person from USA can move to Norway and take his aircraft with him. He can have it parked for one year, then fly for one year, then parked for a couple of years again, and fly it home when he moves back.

What is not allowed is fly an EU registered experimental under IFR using ECAC INT.S/11-1 as it is VFR only limited in Germany.

This is not true. The ECAC recommendation say: "The Conference recommends that Member States accept Home-Built Aircraft with a certificate of airworthiness or a “permit to fly” issued by another Member State, to fly in their country without any restrictions other than those stated in the certificate of airworthiness or "permit to fly

This is the legal basis of flying into Germany with an experimental aircraft from another ECAC country without prior notice. There are no other legal quirks about this. If you do ask for permission, they could state that this is OK, but VFR only. But then you have already forfeited your right according to the ECAC agreement. Sometimes you simply shouldn’t ask questions when you don’t like the answer.

It is strange how a complete mess bureaucrats are able to make. Laws and regulations that are completely arbitrary. Agreements that effectively shoot large holes in those regulations. And it is all in the name of safety

They can’t, because the ban on non-CofA aircraft flying IFR (in nearly all of Europe) is an airspace rule.

There is no intention to derail this thread to an “IFR” one. We have had those already. However someone did ask why not just keep a homebuilt on the N-reg.

By “airspace” I used the wrong expression. Stuff like Mode S transponder carriage is an airspace rule, for example. This discussion is to do with airspace rights.

Quite simply, the ICAO treaty allows free transit to aircraft with an ICAO CofA if their crew is licensed in accordance with ICAO (which usually means having licenses issued by the State of aircraft registry).

And every ICAO Contracting State retains absolute sovereignity over its land and airspace. No country would have signed the treaty if this has not been the case.

It so happens that while almost the whole world signed the treaty, much of the world disregards it and one needs overflight permits, etc. For example most of Africa needs these. But that is a side issue, especially for Europe where no overflight permits are required for the above aircraft.

A homebuilt does not have an ICAO CofA! So it cannot fly freely as a default privilege. VFR or IFR.

With homebuilts, it is NOT the case that the rights (e.g. IFR) granted by the State of Registry are available wherever the aircraft flies.

It so happens that some European countries have granted concessions allowing free flight to homebuilts registered in other (specific) countries. But none of these include N-regs. If they did, probably the whole homebuilt community would be N-reg.

That is why one doesn’t have many N-reg homebuilts sitting in Europe long-term.

It would otherwise be easy to buy one of the many US types in the USA and just bring them over and keep them here. If you are not the builder then you lose the bigger maintenance privileges (see the other thread on this recently) but you can usually find an A&P who can do it sign off the Annual for you.

In southern Europe, or in the former communist countries where bribery and “connections” remain available to those with friends in the right places, a lot more is possible, and one does see some N-reg homebuilts down there. And if you move around a fair bit, nobody is going to get you.

But all you need is somebody in the tower who is a keen plane spotter, who knows the ICAO rules, and who likes being a “model citizen” (the last one is not a common thing in s. Europe but definitely common in certain n. European countries) and you will get busted if you stay there on the ground for long enough and if they can find somebody who understands their own regs (or knows where to find them… national regs can be very hard to find even for local pilots). It is also possible that some small country never implemented the treaty provisions in its national law, so they will have no way to bust somebody.

Obviously the “stay duration” regs are hard to enforce because if you e.g. park in a hangar, nobody may know you are in there. But in say the UK it is clear: an N-reg homebuilt needs a permission to enter the UK and the permission is good for just ~30 days (28 is the figure I recall). So, yes, you could fly in and have it sitting in a hangar, or probably anywhere, for the next 10 years. After all, it is just a lump of metal on wheels. But after the initial 30 days it cannot legally fly again.

I have had a lot of emails with pilots on this topic over the years and one thing which comes through persistently is that nobody wants to rock the boat. Of necessity, homebuilders sometimes operate on the margins when it comes to getting the overflight or landing permits (and other legality aspects – let’s face it, if you were legally anal you would not be a homebuilder in the first place, would you? ) and, with some countries, they cannot get them for months, so they just put in the request and fly.

When the UK soon starts permitting IFR for experimentals

That is already moving forward, but it will be for specific aircraft, with specific avionics, and with some homebuilt-market avionics not permitted (because they have certain issues).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Don Taylor flew his T-18 around the world in 1976 and its interesting to imagine how he got all approvals at that time.

In most countries in the world, experimentals are given a C of A after an initial 25-50 h of test flying where they are flying on some kind of restricted “permit to fly”. USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, all of Scandinavia, Italy, Poland, Australia and so on, I think even Russia.

In the US an Experimental Amateur Built aircraft is given a C of A before it is flown. The test program is done on the honour system, with no documentation of hours flown and no paperwork at completion.

It is strange how a complete mess bureaucrats are able to make. Laws and regulations that are completely arbitrary. Agreements that effectively shoot large holes in those regulations. And it is all in the name of safety.

Less is more.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 19 Apr 15:00

I am reliably advised that some recent UK to South Africa record breaking attempt was granted IFR permission by the UK CAA (because IFR is the only way most of Africa understands aviation as being possible) it was granted with the caveat that IFR is not done overtly in the Eurocontrol zone.

Presumably that meant the initial flight plans had do be “V” or “Z”.

One would need an international law specialist to input here but I don’t think that – apart from ICAO – anybody has any right to fly a plane anywhere. In the same way as nobody has a right to walk across a national border (again, special concessions excepted).

ICAO has made international flight possible with relatively few issues provided you stick to relatively civilised areas (Europe, USA, Australia, and some others). The price to be paid for this freedom is that the aircraft and the crew need to be ICAO compliant.

In Europe, the ICAO and the homebuilt regimes are gradually converging and for example you can fly freely (AIUI) between the UK and France, and for many pilots that is all they will ever need.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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