Dangers of Overflying Gliding Sites.

Following a number of recent incidents that have compromised safety when aircraft over-flying glider sites have come into close proximity with winch-launching gliders, the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) and the British Gliding Association (BGA) seek to remind pilots about the dangers of over-flying gliding sites, especially as the summer months mean much greater gliding activity is likely.

Some recent Airprox incidents illustrate the risks:

  • 2014013 – a glider aborted a winch launch at Tibenham, Norfolk when a PA28 overflew the site.
  • 2014211 – an Augusta 109 helicopter came close to a glider winch launching at Dunstable, to the west of Luton
  • 2015026 – again at Dunstable, an MD902 helicopter came close to a launching glider
  • 2016036 – an unidentified light aeroplane overflew Lasham, the busiest gliding site in the country, during a winch launch.
  • 2016074 – an R44 helicopter overflew Husbands Bosworth south of Leicester and caused a winching glider to abort its launch.

Four of these incidents were categorised in the highest risk category - A – where it was judged a serious risk of collision existed and luck played a major part in the fact that collisions didn’t occur. The full reports are available from within ‘Airprox Reports and Analysis’, side heading ‘Individual Airprox Reports’, under the appropriate year.

The key point is that pilots should not rely on seeing the winch launch happening as they approach the glider site.  A glider will go from ground to 1000-1500ft in about 20 seconds, so spotting it in the climb is too late to do anything about the conflict.  Nor is the danger passed once the glider is released from the winch.  Pilots are very unlikely to see the cable itself and, depending on the winch-launch height, the hazard from these continues for at least another 20-30 seconds as it descends under a small parachute that is effectively invisible. 

Some glider sites are capable of launching to altitudes of 3-4000ft, with associated increased cable descent times.  Maximum launch altitudes are indicated on the 500K VFR chart with a forward slash and height; as an example, Lasham has a maximum winch-launch altitude of 3700ft, as shown on the attached graphic as /3.7.

Pilots should always assume that a gliding site is active. UK Gliding sites map 2016:

Ed Downham, who, as well as being a UKAB gliding member, is a Boeing 777 captain said: “So far, we haven’t seen an actual mid-air, either between the aircraft or with the descending winch cable. But it could soon be a matter for the AAIB rather than UKAB. Be under no illusion, such an encounter is highly likely to be fatal for those involved”. 

Chris Fox, another UKAB gliding member and an R44 pilot, also commented: “A recurring theme in these reports is that the powered aircraft pilot assumed that the gliding site would not be active – perhaps because the weather was less than perfect, or it was late in the day. Gliders can, and do, winch-launch in strong winds and any cloud base that permits the launch to be completed safely – often in conditions that would deter many other GA pilots.”

The UKAB advice is to avoid glider sites at all times; only overfly them if you have timely, positive confirmation from the site itself that they are inactive.  When avoiding glider sites, beware of simply skirting the ground location by a narrow margin because there are likely to be gliders operating close to the site as they soar within gliding range and, even if a site has finished winch-launching for the day, it may have gliders returning from cross country flights, or motor gliders self-launching into the local area. 

Many gliders these days fly with a system called FLARM, which is a relatively cheap electronic conspicuity aid.  The associated P-FLARM unit is also relatively cheap, easy to fit in any aircraft, and provides potentially life-saving audio and visual cues for those hard-to-see gliders.

Requirement to convert UK and JAR flight crew licences.

The UK CAA have issued Information Notice IN-2016/066 highlights the requirement for holders of both UK and JAR flight crew licences to convert to Part-FCL licences by 8 April 2018.

Applications must be submitted using Form SRG 1104.

Delaying conversion closer to the deadline may result in processing delays with grounding after 8 April 2018, until handling of applications and re-issue of new-format Part-FCL licences has been completed.


Welcome to the July 2016 Enews of IAOPA Europe, which goes out to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent.

Newsletter now available on the IAOPA EU website

VFR Guide for Norway - 2016 Edition.

The CAA Norway has updated its VFR Guide. The booklet is made to assist you as a VFR pilot in your planning and conduct of flight within Norwegian airspace. Here you can download it for free.


The vast majority of the Norwegian land masses consist of mountainous terrain with countless valleys and deep fjords. You will enjoy a spectacular scenery and great fun while flying in these areas, but you should also bear in mind that the environment may suddenly “bite” you during unfavourable flight conditions.

This booklet tries to raise the awareness of such unfavourable flight conditions. Relevant rules and regulations applicable to VFR flights within Norway are covered and so is other information necessary for safe planning and conduct of flight. Set your own limitations and prepare for the expected so you do not have to recover from the unexpected!

VFR Guide for Norway - 2016 edition

VFR-Guide 2016_English.pdf

Are You Ready for the Implementation of EASA Air Operations - 25 August 2016?

From 25 August 2016 EASA Air Operations Regulations come fully into effect. The Regulations (EU No 965/2012) already apply to Commercial Operations and from 25 August 2016 will be extended to cover Non Commercial Operations. Commission Regulation EU 800/2013 amending EU No 965/2012 and laying down the technical and administrative requirements can be found here.

The implementing rules are referred to as Part-NCO and will apply to non-commercial operations using non-complex aircraft. The CAA have set up a website intended to provide useful information about these implementing rules. The website can be found at

EASA Links to Part-NCO reference documents can be found here.

A major difference is the requirement for the carriage of ELT or PLB at all times on certified and EASA Permit aircraft. Other Permit Aircraft Operators should clarify requirements with their Regulator :

NCO.IDE.A.170   Emergency   locator   transmitter   (ELT)
(a)   Aeroplanes   shall   be   equipped   with:
(1)   an  ELT  of  any  type,  when  first  issued  with  an  individual  CofA  on  or  before  1  July  2008;
(2)   an  automatic  ELT,  when  first  issued  with  an  individual  CofA  after  1  July  2008;  or
(3)  a  survival  ELT  (ELT(S))  or  a  personal  locator  beacon  (PLB),  carried  by  a  crew  member  or  a  passenger,  when 
certified  for  a  maximum  passenger  seating  configuration  of  six  or  less.
(b)   ELTs  of  any  type  and  PLBs  shall  be  capable  of  transmitting  simultaneously  on  121,5  MHz  and  406  MHz.

For Helicopters:

NCO.IDE.H.170   Emergency   locator   transmitter   (ELT)
(a)   Helicopters   certified for a  maximum  passenger seating  configuration above six  shall be equipped with:
(1)   an   automatic   ELT; and
(2)   one   survival   ELT   (ELT(S))   in   a   life-raft   or   life-jacket   when   the   helicopter is operated   at   a   distance   from   land  
corresponding  to  more  than  3  minutes  flying  time  at  normal  cruising  speed.
(b)  Helicopters  certified  for  a  maximum  passenger  seating  configuration  of  six  or  less  shall  be  equipped  with  an  ELT(S)  or 
a  personal  locator  beacon  (PLB),  carried  by  a  crew  member  or  a  passenger.
(c)   ELTs  of  any  type  and  PLBs  shall  be  capable  of  transmitting  simultaneously  on  121,5  MHz  and  406  M

If flying internationally you should check the relevant AIP for any derogations for international flights.

There may be changes to the documents that you need to carry on your aircraft.:

For Non-Complex Non-Commerical Operations:

NCO.GEN.135   Documents, manuals and information to be carried:

(a)The  following  documents, manuals and information  shall  be  carried  on  each  flight as originals or copies unless otherwise specified:

(1) the AFM, or equivalent document(s); Annex VII ‘Part-NCO’
(2) the original certificate of registration;
(3) the original certificate airworthiness (CofA);
(4) the noise certificate, if applicable;
(5) the list of specific approvals, if applicable;
(6) the aircraft radio licence, if applicable;
(7) the third party liability insurance certificate(s);
(8) the journey log, or equivalent, for the aircraft;
(9) details of the filed ATS flight plan, if applicable; 
(10) current and suitable aeronautical charts for the route of the proposed flight and all routes along which it is reasonable to expect that the flight may be diverted;
(11) procedures and visual signals information for use by intercepting and intercepted aircraft; 
(12) the MEL or CDL, if applicable; and 
(13)  any other documentation that may be pertinent to the flight or is required by the States concerned with the flight.

(b) Notwithstanding (a), on flights:

(1) intending to take off and land at the same aerodrome/operating site; or
(2) remaining within a distance or area determined by the competent authority, the documents and information in (a)(2) to (a)(8) may be retained  at the aerodrome or operating site.

(c) Notwithstanding  (a),  on  flights  with  balloons  or  sailplanes,  excluding  touring motor gliders (TMGs), the documents and information in (a)(2) to (a)(8) and (a)(11) to (a)(13) may be carried in the retrieve vehicle. 
(d) The pilot-in-command shall make available within a reasonable time of being requested to do so by the competent authority, the documentation required to
be carried on board.

For Non-Commmercial Complex Operations:

NCC.GEN.140   Documents,   manuals   and   information   to   be   carried

(a)   The   following   documents,   manuals   and   information   shall   be   carried   on   each   flight   as   originals   or   copies   unless  otherwise  specified:

(1)   the   AFM,   or   equivalent   document(s);
(2)   the   original   certificate   of   registration;
(3)   the   original   certificate   of   airworthiness   (CofA);
(4)   the   noise   certificate;
(5)   the  declaration  as  specified  in  Annex  III  (Part-ORO),  ORO.DEC.100,  to  Regulation  (EU)  No  965/2012; (also see Acceptable Means of Compliance)
(6)   the   list   of   specific   approvals,   if   applicable;
(7)   the   aircraft   radio   licence,   if   applicable;
(8)   the   third   party   liability   insurance   certificate(s);
(9)   the  journey  log,  or  equivalent,  for  the  aircraft;
(10)   details   of   the   filed   ATS   flight   plan,   if   applicable;
(11)   current  and  suitable  aeronautical  charts  for  the  route  of  the  proposed  flight  and  all  routes  along  which  it  is reasonable  to  expect  that  the  flight  may  be  diverted;
(12)   procedures  and  visual  signals  information  for  use  by  intercepting  and  intercepted  aircraft;
(13)   information  concerning  search  and  rescue  services  for  the  area  of  the  intended  flight;
(14)   the  current  parts  of  the  operations  manual  that  are  relevant  to  the  duties  of  the  crew  members,  which  shall  be easily  accessible  to  the  crew  members;
(15)   the   MEL   or   CDL;
(16)   appropriate   notices   to   airmen   (NOTAMs)   and   aeronautical   information   service   (AIS)   briefing   documentation;
(17)   appropriate   meteorological   information;
(18)   cargo   and/or   passenger   manifests,   if   applicable;   and
(19)   any  other  documentation  that  may  be  pertinent  to  the  flight  or  is  required  by  the  States  concerned  with  the flight.

(b)   In  case  of  loss  or  theft  of  documents  specified  in  (a)(2)  to  (a)(8),  the  operation  may  continue  until  the  flight  reaches  its destination  or  a  place  where  replacement  documents  can  be  provided.

Included in the EASA documents is this one, which provides guidance on the acceptable means of compliance.

"BREXIT" and GA.

So the voters decided that leaving the European Union was the best thing to do for the future Britain but the exit process will not be done overnight.  Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty the exiting State must, before pushing the exit button, follow national procedures which in our case is through an Act of Parliament, which could end up being vetoed.

Personally, I have mixed views but, on balance, I think being in Europe and renegotiating how Europe should service its citizens would have been the correct thing to do. If you are not a Member of the Club you cannot expect to vote on how the Club is run.

The UK will still be part of the EASA system which means that for many aircraft owners, flying clubs and pilots there will be no change.  In fact the UK will be in a similar position to that of Norway and Switzerland where we will no longer be able to influence proposed rules but will still have to comply with them.  So, what’s the point in leaving?

This is the question that is being asked by most GA pilots currently – “Will Brexit mean that we can leave EASA?”  Answer:  No!

I find it strange that the arguments were being made about “unelected officials in Brussels making up the rules” and unaccountable individuals telling us what we have to do – well, it is the same here in Whitehall – the Civil Service advises Government on many topics from schools to NHS from roads to airports.  Do not be fooled into thinking that we have more ability with our own system – we do not, I could quote many examples but it is probably best left unsaid.

In some ways GA may be ok because we have already been through lots of changes, but what we do not know is how our freedom of movement may be affected?

However, our ability to influence directly on Regulations and Rules will diminish over the next two years!

Martin Robinson

Note: There are currently 31 Member Sates of EASA. The (currently) 28 EU Memebr States plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

NATS launches new AFPEx Lite service for small GA Airfields

The new service is designed for small airfields that want to send and receive up to 200 messages a month.

AFPEx Lite offers elements of the full AFPEx service such as the ability to send and receive flight plans, as well as access to a help desk between 9am and 5pm seven days a week. The service will be offered at a price of £500 a year.

The introduction of AFPEx Lite comes after the decision by NATS last year to begin charging users for the original AFPEx service following a review with the CAA. The move sparked significant debate and concern within the general aviation community.

Mark Balsdon, NATS Head of Data Solutions, added: “Following the strength of feedback we recognised that we needed to find a way of ensuring smaller airfields have access to AFPEx to allow them to continue to offer the services their customers have come to expect. Private pilots can continue to use AFPEx for free, while smaller airfields can now access the great value Lite service, leaving the full service for high volume commercial airfields and commercial only users.”

The AFPEx Lite service will be available from July. Interested airfields should contact NATS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

Welcome to the June 2016 Enews of IAOPA Europe, which goes out to 23,000 aircraft owners and pilots in 27 countries across the continent.

Newsletter now available on the IAOPA EU website

New Director of Aviation at DfT :

The Department for Transport have announced that Dan Micklethwaite has been appointed as the new Director of Aviation at the Department for Transport. 

He will start on Monday 25 July.  

Dan joins the DfT from HM Treasury where he is currently Head of Transport, and responsible for advising the Chancellor of the Exchequer on all matters DfT-related since 2012.

Acceptance of Training Gained Prior to 17 September 2012, before Proceeding to a Skills Test :

The CAA have provided further clarification to the information given to AOPA and published in the AOPA UK Enewsletter of May 2016, and to be published in the June edition of the Aircraft Owner & Pilot Magazine. Information Notice Number: IN–2016/053 applies to student pilots who started their training under the requirement of JAR-FCL 1 and 2 for PPL(A) or PPL(H).

Pilots who started training for commercial licences should contact the ATO that undertook their training, if they require further information.

Article 9, paragraph 1 of Commission Regulation (EU) No.1178/2011 as amended (the Aircrew Regulation) states:

"In respect of issuing Part -FCL licences in accordance with Annex I, training commenced prior to the application of this Regulation in accordance with the Joint Aviation Authorities requirements and procedures, under the regulatory oversight of a Member State recommended for mutual recognition within the Joint Aviation Authorities’ system in relation to the relevant JAR, shall be given full credit provided that the training and testing were completed by 8 April 2016 at the latest."

The CAA applied the Air crew Regulation with effect from 17 September 2012, so all training undertaken prior to this date was conducted under the relevant JARs.

Those who have not completed all elements of the experience requirements as stated in FCL.210.A or FCL210.H may claim credit for training completed prior to 17 September 2012, under JARs, as follows:

FCL.210.A PPL(A) - Experience requirements and crediting

Applicants for a PPL(A) shall have completed at least 45 hours of flight instruction in aeroplanes, 5 of which may have been completed in an FSTD, including at least:

  1. 25 hours of dual flight instruction; and
  2. 10 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 5 hours of solo cross-country flight time with at least 1 cross-country flight of at least 270 km (150 NM), during which full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different from the aerodrome of departure shall be made.

FCL.210.H PPL(H) - Experience requirements and crediting

Applicants for a PPL(H) shall have completed at least 45 hours of flight instruction on helicopters, 5 of which may have been completed in an FNPT or FFS, including:

  1. 25 hours of dual flight instruction;
  2. 10 hours of supervised solo flight time, including at least 5 hours of solo cross-country flight time with at least 1 cross-country flight of at least 185 km (100 NM), with full stop landings at 2 aerodromes different from the aerodrome of departure; and
  3. 35 of the 45 hours of flight instruction have to be completed on the same type of helicopter as the one used for the skill test.

Applicants wishing to rely on training time completed prior to entry into force of Part-FCL in the UK must contact the CAA (see below) prior to being recommended for the skills test to establish what administrative steps will be required to enable recognition of training completed under JARs. Failure to do so will result in the applicant being required to undergo additional training under Part-FCL and retake the skills test.

Any queries or requests for further guidance should be addressed to:
ISP Licensing Policy
Civil Aviation Authority
2W, Aviation House
Gatwick Airport
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AOPA UK members may of course contact the AOPA UK Office if, after contacting the CAA, they have any further query or issue in this matter.

FNPT - Flight and Navigation Procedures Trainer
FSTD - Flight Simulation Training Device
FFS - Full Flight Simulator
FCL - F1light Crew Licensing
JAR - Joint Aviation Requirements

Edinburgh Airport flight path consultation -

Edinburgh Airport has today launched a consultation seeking views on the potential impact of altering flight paths above Edinburgh and the surrounding areas to allow for maximum operational benefits and to minimise community impact.

The airport is the busiest in Scotland and has experienced more growth the in the past three years than it did in the 10 years prior.

Edinburghs' airspace was designed in the 1970s when the airport had around 1 million passengers per year.

Regulations that cover modernising airspace means that Edinburgh are obliged to engage in an Airspace Change Programme (ACP). This ACP involves a two stage consultation process; firstly, launching today, and for 14 weeks up to 12 September Edinburgh Airport aim to gather views from the public.

The results of this initial consultation will help guide the design and development of potential future flight path options which will be presented in a second consultation stage which is scheduled to commence on December 16.

Read more here.

The full consulation document can be found here.

CAP 413 Radiotelephony Manual :

Edition 22 of CAP 413 Radiotelephony Manual was published on 26 May 2016, to take effect on 23 June 2016.

In  addition  to  editorial  and  administrative  corrections  amendments  to  the  following technical content have been incorporated:


  • Introduction of Supplementary Instructions (SI) to CAP 413.


  • Addition of (EU ) No. 923/2012 Attributions.
  • Update  of  ‘Automatic  Terminal  Information  Service  (ATIS)’  in  line  with Regulation (EU) No. 923/2012 (Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA)).
  • Update of ‘Significant Point’ in line with Regulation (EU) No.923/2012.

Aerodrome Phraseology:

  • Use of Runway/Position Designators in clearances for fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

Emergency Phraseology:

  • Retention of SSR Code setting. 

Any  queries  or  requests  for  further  guidance  as  a  result  of  this  communication  should  be addressed to:

Intelligence, Strategy and Policy
Safety and Airspace Regulation Group
Civil Aviation Authority
2W Aviation House
Gatwick Airport
West Sussex
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Licences to be provisionally suspended for infringing pilots :

Pilots who infringe controlled airspace could have their licences provisionally suspended while the incident is assessed, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced today. The decision is the latest attempt to try and reduce the number of infringements occurring in UK airspace - which remain worryingly high despite previous attempts by the CAA, air traffic service providers and General Aviation (GA) representative bodies to tackle this serious safety issue. In 2015 there were over 1000 infringements reported to the CAA.

Under a new process, a pilot who is identified as having infringed controlled airspace, a Danger Area or Restricted Area, could have their licence or licences provisionally suspended, while the details of the incident are investigated and follow-up action considered. The CAA is committed to delivering a speedy resolution to any investigation and will only impose a suspension for as long as necessary.

Details of new infringement events received by the CAA are assessed on a weekly basis by a team of experts made up of in-house pilots, investigators and air traffic controllers. If an incident is deemed to reach a certain level of seriousness then the licence of the pilot involved will be provisionally suspended until further notice (the criteria used to determine the level of seriousness of a particular infringement has also now been published Depending on the outcome of the subsequent follow-up action, a decision will be made about lifting the provisional suspension.

The CAA has always acknowledged that the majority of infringement events are unintentional but some do have a significant impact on the operations inside Controlled Airspace.All events, however, carry some risk. Some events clearly show inadequate pre-flight planning, poor airmanship, or insufficient pilot knowledge. In a few cases, a deliberate intention to fly into Controlled Airspace has been found and there have been instances of multiple infringements by the same pilot. It is likely that in these circumstances pilots will have their licences suspended.

Following a recent serious incident at the beginning of the flying season, when a Red Arrows display was severely disrupted because of an infringement, the CAA has provisionally suspended the licence of the GA pilot involved.

Despite today's announcement the CAA will continue to focus on tackling infringements through education and training and opt for provisional suspension or legal enforcement in more serious cases. The CAA is fully engaged in the Airspace and Safety Initiative campaign with GA representatives, air traffic control providers and others to promote awareness of the risks of infringement.

The CAA's Rob Gratton, Chairman of the joint Airspace Infringement Working Group, said:

“The number of infringement incidents in the UK has not seen any serious decline in recent years, despite the strenuous efforts of the CAA, GA representatives and many others. Therefore, we really do feel that this measure has become necessary. We hope that this decision will bring home to those pilots who do infringe the gravity of the situation. Any infringement has the potential to be a very serious safety incident. We need to see the numbers decline urgently.

”We will be working with the GA community and in particular, the Future Airspace Strategy VFR Implementation Group over the coming months and developing our education work. We are hopeful that this continued engagement activity will lead to a reduction in these incidents and enhance aviation safety.”

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