New PPL Examinations

In order to comply with new legislation requirements under EASA, a new PPL theoretical examination syllabus is being introduced by the UK CAA and will take effect from 1 September 2013. Full details are available from IN-2013/061 and Standards Document 11 (v12) but a summary of the main points as applicable to current students are included below. There are two main differences between the old and new exam syllabus: Increase from seven to nine exams Introduction of ‘sittings’ Increase In Exams The two additional exams in the new syllabus arise from the current Aviation Law & Operational Procedures and Aircraft General & Principles of Flight each being split into two separate exams. A comparison is made below: Introduction of ‘sittings’ There will be maximum of 6 sittings available in order to complete all the required theoretical examinations. A sitting is defined as a maximum period of 10 consecutive days within which one or more exams can be taken. In addition to these requirements, all the theoretical exams must be completed within an 18 month period (counted from the end of the calendar month when the applicant first attempted an examination). Once they have been completed within this period, the passes will be valid for 24 months for the purpose of license issue. Transition Arrangements The majority of exam passes before the transition date on 1 September 2013 will carry over to the new syllabus. There are however some specific arrangements listed below. As a result of the increase in exams mentioned above, the following arrangements apply: A pass in the current Aviation Law exam will be valid for both the Air Law and Operational Procedures exams under the new syllabus. A pass in the current Aircraft General & Principles of Flight will be valid for both the Aircraft General Knowledge and Principles of Flight exams under the new syllabus. Under the new syllabus, the topic areas in Flight Performance & Planning and Navigation have moved between subjects. As a result the following arrangements apply: In the case of the two subjects Flight Performance & Planning and Navigation, a student will need to pass both subjects prior to 1 September 2013 in order to carry the passes over to the new syllabus. No credit will be given for a pass in one subject only. Students who have not passed both subjects by 1 September 2013 will have to sit both examinations to the new syllabus....
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English Language Proficiency

The following is applicable to all pilots with a licence issued before 2008. In order to comply with ICAO obligations, all UK pilots holding a FRTOL (Flight Radio Telephony Operators Licence) were automatically given an endorsement by the CAA in 2008 following a global ruling by ICAO requiring all pilots to formally demonstrate their knowledge of English language. This was a ‘Level 4’ endorsement that was only valid for four years unless renewed, and therefore will have expired in March 2012 for the majority of general aviation pilots. Most commercial pilots will have been upgraded by flight test examiners to a Level 6 endorsement which is valid for life. However, for private pilots, unless a flight test has been undertaken in the last four years there is a high probability that the language proficiency has not been renewed. Whilst the exact status of your English language proficiency on the CAA database can be obtained by phoning personnel licensing, the safest way of ensuring your licence is valid and compliant with the requirements is to submit SRG1199 to the CAA which shows a flight examiner has assessed your English language proficiency. For native speakers this will be to ‘Level 6’ which will not expire in the future. All members with a licence issued before 2008 are recommended to request that SRG1199 is completed by an examiner which, on the condition of being assessed as Level 6, will be forwarded to the CAA to update their records and ensure licence validity is maintained. Those with licences issued after 2008 will already have the required proficiency on your CAA record so no further action needs to be taken. Members should email manager@flysynergy.com to arrange for the completion of the form and include in the email their CAA personal reference...
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May 2012 IMC Update

The CAA issued an update to the Instrument Meteorological Conditions Rating (IMCR) in May 2012. In short, it confirms that you can continue to train towards and have an IMCR issued on your licence up until 8 April 2014. Any UK-issued licence that has a valid IMC rating on it, prior to 8 April 2014, will retain these privileges when the licence is converted to a Part-FCL licence (the new European licence standard).  It will appear on the EASA licence as an IR(R) – a Restricted Instrument Rating. It will only be valid for use in UK airspace and will be subject to the same revalidation and renewal requirements as the current IMCR.  This is subject to any further comments that EASA may have and further details can be found in the May 2012 IMC update from the...
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EASA To Relax GA Regulation..?

When the EASA meeting board met on 13 March 2012, one of the items on their agenda was the regulation of General Aviation. The discussion revolved around the proposal as to whether a fresh look needed to be taken on the regulation of GA (General Aviation) within the EASA system. The Board agreed that although the subject was complex and difficult, action needed to be taken because there were serious risks that GA would significantly decline and/or that non-compliance would increase. It was further agreed that the acceptable level of risk for GA must be higher than that for Commercial Air Transport Operations, that more effort was needed to avoid mixing regulations for these different kind of operations and that the simplicity and accessibility of GA rules should be increased. As a result of these conclusions, a small group of experts (around 10 maximum) is to be set up, under the leadership of the Deputy Chair to the Board (Maxime Coffin), comprised of Agency, stakeholder, NAA and Commission experts to develop broad top-level guidelines for how GA could more effectively and proportionately be regulated. This recent development may provide many GA pilots with a glimmer of hope that EASA will act positively to ensure the regulations become clearer and simpler to adhere to. Further information can be found through the CAAs Information Notice IN–2012/055. We look forward to monitoring this with interest and will report back with their latest developments once...
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New UK – French Recreational Agreement

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced on the 15 March 2012 that following agreement with the French regulator, the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC), pilots of UK-registered amateur built aircraft and other listed types flying to France can now do so for up to 28 days through a general exemption. Previously pilots were required to make individual applications to the DGAC and also inform the CAA prior to each flight to France. The UK Light Aircraft Association and the French Recreational and Sport Building Association were also involved in the discussions, which offer reciprocal arrangements for French pilots. The agreement comes into effect immediately. Access is subject to compliance with a small number of conditions, such as the aircraft being registered and having a valid airworthiness certificate. Some non-ICAO compliant aircraft, such as ex-military aircraft types, remain excluded from the agreement and aircraft that do not qualify will continue to need to apply for an individual exemption as will aircraft seeking to stay beyond 28 days. The CAA has also taken the opportunity to complete a wider review of the agreement which is detailed in Generic Concession No.6 (GC6, previously Airworthiness Notice 52), specifically the need to notify the CAA prior to making a trip via a web address with the aircraft details. This requirement has now been removed further simplifying the process for pilots. GC6 provides a general exemption for certain amateur built aircraft in line with the 1980 European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) recommendation which sought to establish free movement of amateur built aircraft across Europe. It addresses the policy for foreign (non-UK) registered non-ICAO compliant aircraft to access UK airspace and the document has been revised to include details of the new agreement. DGAC France has issued a document on the agreement under the ‘Arrêté du 20 Février 2012’ and this has been published in the French ‘Journal Officiel’ reference NOR: DEVA1201924A. Source: UK CAA...
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IMC & EASA Changeover

**A more recent post regarding the IMC & EASA changes is now available.** In response to requests for information concerning the IMC and the proposed EASA changes, the CAA have issued an IMC Interim Statement. UK Issued JAR-FCL Licence Holders In brief, for holders of a UK issued JAR-FCL Licence, the IMC rating must be added to the licence by 30 June 2012. After this date, the IMC privileges can then be exercised on the JAR-FCL licence up until 8 April 2014. Applications for the IMC made after 30 June 2012, will have to be issued on a separate UK only licence. After the EASA changeover date on 8 April 2012, any JAR-FCL licence when renewed or amended by the CAA, will be automatically converted to the new Part-FCL licence. The ability to use the privileges of the IMC after 8 April 2014 OR on this new Part-FCL licence is yet to be determined although the CAA is currently in negotiations with EASA. It is expected however that the privileges of the IMC, as far as possible, will have a certain level of ‘grandfather’ rights. UK Non-JAR-FCL Licence Holders (Except NPPL) There is no restriction on adding the IMC rating to the licence for the foreseeable future. The IMC privileges can then be exercised on the UK Non-JAR-FCL Licence until 8 April 2014. After the EASA changeover date of 8 April 2012, the UK Non-JAR-FCL Licence will need to be converted to the new Part-FCL Licence, through an application to the CAA, before 7 April 2014. The ability to use the privileges of the IMC after 8 April 2014 OR on new Part-FCL Licence is yet to be determined although the CAA is currently in negotiations with EASA. It is expected however that the privileges of the IMC, as far as possible, will have a certain level of ‘grandfather’ rights. *Please note that the above is our interpretation of the changes. Please consult official CAA / EASA publications for the most accurate and up-to-date...
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