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IFR in homebuilts - UK LAA programme (merged)

Day IFR Clearance for U.K. VANS RV10

We just received the above for our RV10.

Next step is getting the Night added, which requires a test schedule, permission to test, the flight itself and then the approval.

I am hoping to do this in the next few months, so will report back.

We have a Garmin 530, SL30 and AFS EFIS and are about to fit a DME. There are so few LPV approaches in the UK at this time that a 530W would not add much more capability. We have an autopilot which works in heading, track, lnav, alt hold and vs. The autopilot is not required for IFR or to fly the approaches.

We are the first RV10 in the U.K. to gain the clearance, so had to go through the test phase and various other hoops.

We are not part of the initial batch of test aircraft and I think maybe the first or second after that.

Due to work commitments I am very busy at the moment, hence so few posts.

As you can imagine this has been the culmination of a huge amount of work and effort.


Last Edited by Teal at 20 Nov 19:40

Will you fly it IFR outside the UK?

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

It reads like IFR is allowed in all airspace where homebuilt IFR is not prohibited but only during the day.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Congratulations Teal.

United Kingdom

Is it just me, or do some of the restrictions seem arbitrary?

- the aircraft can fly VFR at night, why not IFR?
- why 500ft / 1500m minimum, not 200ft/550 or 800m?
- why the restriction to not fly in IMC in areas with forecast thunderstorms or forecast (not just known) icing?

Sticking to the above, especially the last bullet point, are of course lowering risk, but why would they be riskier in a “homebuilt” than in a “certified” aircraft?

Last Edited by Cobalt at 22 Nov 07:42
Biggin Hill

Unfortunately I think the LAA sometimes likes to gold plate (even more so than the CAA).

Andreas IOM

1500m is quite limiting for many IFR ops. Especially frustrating for a departure! However, this is enforceable only if there is RVR reporting, which most “GA” airfields don’t have.

Operation in IMC in areas of known or forecast thunderstorm activity is prohibited.

Do they define that? If not, this reg has no meaning.

For example a PROB30 TEMPO TSRA is common in the summer TAFs.

However, as we did before e.g. here the LAA has sidestepped the whole lightning protection issue. I am not sure but I think the original documents behind the IFR proposal are in the open now, where they say lightning risk is negligible. Well, it is negligible in light of the above restriction It is OK in say an RV (all metal) but something like a Lancair would have no chance and even just IMC (shedding of water droplets) is likely to affect or block the VFR radio comms, ILS, etc.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

alioth wrote:

Unfortunately I think the LAA sometimes likes to gold plate (even more so than the CAA).

Leaving stuff like that up to a private club of unskilled individuals to decide is just plain silly. If the aircraft has the proper avionics according to the CAA, it should be good to go. Then it is up to the PIC to fly the plane as he/she sees fit, based on equipment, aircraft, weather and airspace requirements.


That would be plain silly, but the LAA has engineers (in the proper sense of the word) on its staff.

Teal, I have an RV10 and will submit ours soon. Would you be willing to share your documents?

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