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The EIR - beginning to end (merged)

I don’t see any “antagonism” towards EIR. To doubt the usefulness of EIR is not the same thing as being antagonistic. I certainly hope that many people will take EIR training!

But again, it seems that the major advantage is to get the “implied clearance” as Peter puts it. But that could be done for VFR as well without the requirement for additional pilot training, provided the ANSP would be willing to!

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

The EIR is not really a license to fly in “bad weather”

Not wishing to be picking up a phrase out of context but there isn’t a “license” for bad weather. Well, not a pilot license.

The “license” for bad weather is an appropriately equipped aircraft

What the EIR can do is allow the pilot of an aircraft of an adequate performance to climb above bad weather for the enroute section. That’s actually all I can do in my TB20 and I have the full IR. The full IR enables me to do IMC in the terminal sections but I need to be careful about icing (which needs TKS, etc) and about convective activity (which needs a radar).

An EIR holder, once in the IFR section of his filed route, can climb as high as he wants (or can) and there is nothing ATC can do to stop him. Well, they can delay the climb clearance, for a bit, but generally not for long because the jets are aiming for FL200 or whatever ASAP anyway, and anyway the phrase “to avoid” works really well to get what you want

Whereas a VFR pilot is not entitled to any clearance whatsoever. ATC do in reality issue clearances to VFR traffic, of course, but only

  • out of the kindness of their heart, or
  • because they have to report refusals to the CAA (supposedly in the UK, and probably nowhere else)

This is the huge key issue in this whole debate and a huge plus of the EIR.

But that could be done for VFR as well without the requirement for additional pilot training, provided the ANSP would be willing to!

Of course, but that will never happen.

The whole reason why VFR activity is so much less regulated is because ATC is able to speak the magic phrase “remain outside controlled airspace”. That phrase has a massive meaning. It means that political resistance within the regulatory establishment to any proposed new regulation on VFR activity is relatively easy to overcome – because ATC can always keep those “poorly trained Cessna 150 pilots” out of the “proper pilots’ airspace”. These are real perceptions in the regulatory establishment. Even airline pilot unions have lobbied heavily against any reduction in IR requirements, and the EIR is thus a real triumph, achieved I think by a very few good pro-GA people being in just the right place at just the right time, and with a whole pile of anti-GA people being busy frying other fish elsewhere at just the right time.

Correspondingly, the implied IFR clearance is exactly why the IR is “hard” and has always been hard. And will always be relatively hard – in Europe. The basic politics will never go away. The CB IR is a big achievement too, of course, even if the eventual theory looks pretty much the same as the JAA IR……

If VFR traffic could get guaranteed CAS clearances, not many people would bother with the full IR. Just buy a decent plane, climb up into sunshine, and sit there, flying exactly the same route which you fly IFR, but without the standard routings. With the UK IMCR being usable at the UK end, you are done

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Whereas a VFR pilot is not entitled to any clearance whatsoever. ATC do in reality issue clearances to VFR traffic, of course, but only out of the kindness of their heart, or because they have to report refusals to the CAA (supposedly in the UK, and probably nowhere else).

Not really my point of view. In most countries, controllers do it because they know pilots have a right to get cleared. Simples.

Refusals for access to class C and D only seem to happen (regularly) in a handful of
places in Europe.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

John,

I would like to obtain the CBIR myself, probably directly as that would be of benefit to me, and bypass the EIR, as it offers not much

Well, on the way there you will pass a period of training where you can do the check for the EIR or you can simply continue towards the full IR. Up to you. Theory is the same and the training for the EIR is something included (and more) in the CBIR so there you go.

I don’t see any “antagonism” towards EIR.

I’ve seen quite some hostile comments, not related to the posts in this thread, but there are a lot of people out there who think the EIR is wrong and still will do anything to sabotage it. Their motives are not unified. Some simply think that small planes have no place in “their” playing ground (those are the same folk who don’t want GA at all and will out of principle fight anything which benefits it), some are simply angry that THEY had to do the whole doctorate while newbies will have the benefit of a more pragmatic approach. And there are forces in ATC who were violently opposed to having more slow IFR traffic in “their” airspace. And then there are some who will simply question everything they can.

there isn’t a “license” for bad weather.

Yea, sorry. corrected it. What I meant to say is that it is not intended as a rating whose main purpose is for people to fly into conditions neither their airplanes nor they can really master or are certified for.

Even airline pilot unions have lobbied heavily against any reduction in IR requirements, and the EIR is thus a real triumph, achieved I think by a very few good pro-GA people being in just the right place at just the right time, and with a whole pile of anti-GA people being busy frying other fish elsewhere at just the right time.

Add ATC unions and you got the lot. Interestingly, there were (and are) even flight schools who feared they would loose money with the new requirements, but most have found out by now that this won’t happen so they are now busier finding out how to actually implement it.

But you are right. The CBIR and EIR is a triumph in a time where most people thought GA had basically seen it. And while thanking the pro-GA guys (primarily AOPA UK and Germany) it should not be forgotten that the national French IR had a LOT to do with it too, as well as the IMCR you guys had in the UK. EASA had to do “something” and felt the IR was the most prominent thing they could relent while continuing to make life difficult elsewhere. But it is a huge achievement, that much is sure.

If VFR traffic could get guaranteed CAS clearances, not many people would bother with the full IR.

Well, that won’t happen and in any case, IFR flying is simply a different ballgame and, at leat for me, a much better way to operate in Europe than fiddling your way through the airspace chaos we have, looking for obscure reporting points and being fined for moving one planwith off a line some bureaucrat has drawn on a chart and which you are supposed to fly with the same precision as if flying an ILS Localizer and achieve the said precision by looking out of the window.

Refusals for access to class C and D only seem to happen (regularly) in a handful of places in Europe.

Or some places have A in the first place. Which btw is what some folks in certain places dream of. Make all TMA’s like Milan and Rome and forget about those silly bugs and insects polluting their airspace. That is what I had to hear from one rather highly placed guy within a central European ATC. A bit like Falwty Towers really, just see how we can run this airspace if there are no planes in it!

LSZH, Switzerland

EIR makes a lot of sense in countries like The Netherlands or Belgium, where large parts of airspace is TMA and a NOGO for VFR traffic.

If I want to fly VFR to the UK (let’s say Lelystad EHLE – Norwich EGSH) I need to fly low under the Schiphol TMA for the first 60NM.
That is just horrible.

Here overhead EHAM at FL070 on a IFR flightplan. VFR your options are very limited in this area. And you would have been below the clouds, which is uncomfortable.

Last Edited by lenthamen at 24 Sep 13:34

I’m with Peter and Urs on this issue.

While I do have a full IR, my home base is a VFR only airfield, and since I’m usually choosing the destination to have decent weather, there are not many flights I did that couldn’t have been done with an EIR. But quite a few that might not have been impossible VFR, but would have been quite tedious scud running for extended distances.

Granted, there is the occasional cloud break on an ILS or SID that wouldn’t have been possible using an EIR.

Refusals for access to class C and D only seem to happen (regularly) in a handful of places in Europe.

Such as Germany. I haven’t managed to get a VFR clearance for >=F100 in Germany so far.

LSZK, Switzerland

@ lenthamen: Interesting: I have never had problems with CAS im Belgium. It might be more difficult in the immediate Brussels area, but remember, over there they won’t usually let you in below FL130 or so even if you are IFR.

@ tomjnx. Interesting again. I have a 100% success rate over FL100. That airspace is empty. Only exception is Frankfurt, where they don’t like any (VFR or IFR) transitions below FL140.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 24 Sep 14:26
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Isn’t extensive Class A airspace in Schipol, Rome and Milan due to incompetence or relutance of their ATC being willing and able to integrate IFR and VFR traffic?
I can see where the EIR could benefit pilots but why should everyone feel like they should obtain this rating to get around ATC issues?
Isn’t a better alternative to lobby ATC or the regulator to return such airspace to Class B or below (or parts thereof) where the traffic intensity and complexity of the operation does not justify it?
The USA sees no need to have Class A airspace below FL195 and they have some very busy and complex airspace.
And on clear VFR days, crossing VFR traffic can be treated similarly to IFR in that nobody will be asking if they can climb/descend/turn to avoid cloud.

Last Edited by James_Chan at 24 Sep 14:42

Minor correction, no Class A airspace (or flight levels) below 18,000 ft in the US.

Little that’s man made in European airspace and regulation seems to make much rational sense, and as a result the side effect of having better access to airspace while flying on an instrument flight plan is a big deal. Equally true that proper VFR access to Airspace Classes B and lower negates that particular benefit. I have no personal need or interest in flying IFR in the US, as result of airspace access plus the more central advantage of good weather where I fly – I’ve never felt the need to fly in IMC and never have while flying from my US base.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 24 Sep 15:02

Only a few reasons for the EIR…


The two magenta areas are VFR prohibited above for most of the part 1000 ft AGL. The rest needs to be dechiphered and checked one by one if active or not.

South of France. Yes I know, with ATC contact most of the time flyable but who wants to BOTHER finding out. Takes more time than the whole flight.

Poland. Does anyone really wish to figure this out?

Belgium…

Yea yea, I know, read the notams, talk to ATC and all that. But why the hell bother if I can simply file an IFR flight plan and be on my way? Actually, I’ve done things like that, for instance here:

And it caused me to loose a whole day as they activated ALL of this without prior notice. The question on the phone was, “can you join IFR?”

And that is only the airspace aspect of it.

LSZH, Switzerland
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