Balloon Pilot Sentenced for Insurance Fraud.

A commercial hot air balloon pilot, who repeatedly submitted false insurance documents to the CAA, has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay more than £20,000 costs. 

Allan Nimmo, owner of Eagle Balloons, provided the CAA with false insurance certificates for each of his seven hot air balloons on three occasions, in January 2013, July 2013 and May 2014.

A minimum level of insurance is required by law for an aircraft to be officially registered and for an owner to obtain an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), which enables an operator to carry fee-paying passengers.

The defendant’s fraud was uncovered in July 2014, when a CAA Balloon Inspector asked Mr Nimmo to confirm the insurance status of three of his balloons, and he submitted scanned copies of insurance certificates. 

When the CAA cross-referenced the certificates with the named insurance provider, it became clear a previous insurance policy had finished and the certificates had been forged.  As a result, Mr Nimmo’s AOC was suspended.

In November, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Mr Nimmo admitted three counts of 'knowingly providing the CAA with false insurance certificates', which is contrary to the Civil Aviation (Insurance) regulations 2005.

Appearing at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday December 10, 2015, Mr Nimmo, aged 60, of Steinhousemuir, Stirlingshire, Scotland, was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay CAA costs of £21,898.58.

Alison Slater, CAA prosecutor, said: “It is essential for the protection and safety of passengers and the credibility of the hot air balloon industry that operators have the appropriate insurance in place. This was the first case to be brought using the Civil Aviation (Insurance) Regulations and the length of the sentence and substantial fine issued, shows the significance the courts place on this type of fraud. The CAA will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure aviation safety laws are fully complied with and this prosecution highlights how seriously we and the courts take such breaches.”

PPR at Biggin Hill from 1st January 2016:

London Biggin Hill Airport will be introducing a requirement from 1st January 2016 next year that  all non-flight planned aircraft movements be pre-notified to Air Traffic Control.

Peter Mirams, the airport’s Air Traffic Services Manager explains the background to the new arrangement;

“The need to introduce a permanent PPR status has been brought about by the increasingly complex task of integrating general aviation flights with corporate and business arrivals and departures.  The benefit of PPR will be that ATC is able to pre-plan for busy periods of demand and this will result in fewer delays for all users” he said.

The PPR booking system will have a dedicated website for 24/7 access – or via a link on the airport’s website   

The website is already ‘live’ for the benefit of users although the PPR requirement is not mandatory until 1st January.

PPR requests must be filed on the system with a minimum notice of 30 minutes before arrival or departure.

FITA: Aviate,Navigate, Communicate – The General Aviation Story:

Learning to fly is not just for the able-bodied or for the wealthy. As with most other sports, flying enthusiasts come from all walks of life.

#YouHaveControl Anne Wafula-Strike, MBE, who experienced her first flying lesson at Freedom in the Air (FITA), said:

"I’ve always wanted to do this, I’ve always wanted to get the Freedom you know, the freedom of being in the air, and to me Freedom means so much ”

FITA has spent the last seven months filming with Tony Rapson. Tony is the boss of the Civil Aviation Authority’s General Aviation (GA) Unit, the department responsible for regulating the UK’s recreational flying.


This film aims to give the GA community a deeper understanding of Tony’s and his hard-working team’s efforts towards making the UK General Aviation – or GA - sector the envy of the world.
We wanted to make this film in order to clarify the GA Unit’s role, as well as dispel some of the misconceptions that the flying public has about it.

The Unit is the latest demonstration of the CAA’s determination to being a better regulator, reducing and improving our regulation of this key part of aviation in the UK. The GA unit is mainly involved in regulating the businesses that support private pilot sector However, as Tony explains, there is more to the ‘GA Unit’ then most realise.
More detail of the GA unit is available at

FITA is committed to opening horizons for people with disabilities so that they can fly higher socially, physically and professionally.


Gautam Lewis
Director, Freedom in the Air, Community Interest Company Ltd

General Aviation no gold plating consultation: CAA response.

In September 2014 the CAA published an open letter to the aviation community from Andrew Haines, our Chief Executive and Martin Robinson, Chief Executive of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) reaffirming our commitment not to gold-plate European aviation regulations, and to act quickly and efficiently to remove gold-plating that already exists.

Andrew and Martin’s letter invited the GA community to identify where they perceived gold-plating had taken place through additional regulation or through the information and guidance published, detailing how we may have gold-plated and how the issue could be rectified.

All the responses have been assessed by the CAA and AOPA and any possible solutions discussed. This document outlines areas we are working on.

AOPA was happy to assist the CAA in this project. If members have examples of gold plating in the future then please let This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. know.

CAA extends pilot training on permit aircraft.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that initial pilot training will now be possible in aircraft with national permit to fly certification if the pilot being trained is the owner, or a joint owner, of the aircraft being used.

Today’s announcement builds on previous exemptions from the UK Air Navigation Order to allow aircraft on a permit to fly to be used for flight training.

Under the changes the pilot being trained must be at least a part owner of the aircraft (the current rules allow for a maximum of 20 owners of an individual aircraft).

If the training is for a European Aviation Safety Agency pilot licence or rating then it must be undertaken through an approved training organisation or a registered training facility. If the training facility is content this could still be carried out using the pilot’s own aircraft.

Tony Rapson, Head of the CAA’s GA Unit said: “This exemption is part of our commitment to bring in changes in advance of any future amendments to the Air Navigation Order that result from our recent review and consultation which is part of our ongoing GA change programme to make our regulation of GA proportionate and risk based.”

Welcoming the change Geoff Weighell, Chief Executive of the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) said: “The BMAA has engaged with and supported the CAA in bringing forward this change, which is consistent with the regulatory approach of enabling reasonable risk based decisions to be made by members of the GA community. It will enable part-owners of microlights to build and learn to fly in their own aircraft, encouraging new pilots and therefore providing a boost to training schools and aircraft suppliers. It is a winning result for the microlight community and other group owners in GA.”

The exemption is available at training exemption

CAA Brief Aircraft Owners On New Maintenance Rules.

The CAA has begun advising owners of General Aviation aircraft certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) of changes to maintenance rules. In the future owners of these aircraft not being flown commercially will have a number of maintenance options. The existing UK Light Aircraft Maintenance Programme (LAMP) will be phased out as it does not comply with EASA requirements.

The initial phase out of LAMP, covering EASA certificated aeroplanes with a maximum take off mass of 1,200kg or less, will begin in 2016. Owners have a choice of moving to:

  • EASA Part M requirements
  • The new Minimum Inspection Programme (MIP), where owners can self-declare their aircraft maintenance programme, or
  • A programme based on manufacturer’s recommendations.

Regardless of the option chosen it must be specific to the aircraft and include a declaration signed by the owner accepting full responsibility for the programme (if the maintenance programme is not developed by a maintenance organisation). The move should be completed by 31 January 2017.

Before making any decision maintenance organisations and engineers should be consulted on the best option. The CAA is in the process of briefing all Part M maintenance organisations on the changes.   

As a result of the changes an aircraft’s annual inspection and the issue of its Airworthiness Review Certificate can be done at the same time, by the same authorised engineer from the Part M Subpart F or Part 145 organisation, as long as the same engineer carries out the airworthiness review. The maintenance programme itself will also be subject to a review by the maintenance organisation to ensure it is appropriate.

A second phase out of LAMP covering EASA certificated aircraft with a maximum take off mass between 1,200kg and 2000kg (and helicopters certified for up to 4 occupants and up to 1200kg MTOM) will start in 2017 with a year to transfer. This is pending the release of Part M Light which is expected to introduce the new process for these aircraft. EASA aircraft between 2000kg and 2730kg will also be impacted.

The CAA has also committed to review the UK-specific rules for Annex II aircraft. The Light Aircraft Maintenance Schedule used by microlights, kit-builds etc may also be aligned to Part-M rules as a result.

Listening Squawks - November 2015.

Frequency Monitoring SSR Codes (also known as Squawk Codes) are in use for aircraft flying in the vicinity of: Belfast Aldergrove; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Leeds Bradford; Doncaster Sheffield; Manchester; East Midlands; Birmingham; Farnborough; Luton and Stansted; Gatwick and London City; Southampton and Bournemouth. For details of the correct squawk and frequency as at November 2015 see below :

© Seager Publishing 2015

This guide can be downloaded for printing here.

Further details are available at AIP ENR SSR Operating Procedures – Monitoring Codes.

Points to remember
■ Enter the appropriate listening squawk for the area, with Mode C if you have it
■ Tune into the appropriate frequency and listen out, without transmitting
■ Change back to 7000, with Mode C, if you have it, when leaving the area or
changing frequency

A listening squawk does NOT…
■ Clear you into controlled airspace
■ Mean that you are receiving any ATC service
■ If you need a service from ATC, contact either the appropriate LARS frequency or London/Scottish Information as required

For latest updates see


Biggin Hill Airport Consultation - Proposed new IAP Runway 03.

At present, all flights approach the airport from the north-east using the airport’s precision guidance system but, in certain weather conditions (approximately 30% of the time), aircraft then have to circle the airport in order to land from the south-west. The planned installation will avoid that circuit and permit aircraft arriving from the south-west to make a more direct approach, reducing the number of homes overflown and improving environmental performance by reducing the number of track miles flown.

Biggin Hill Airport are conducting a wide-ranging consultation with our neighbours, MPs, local government, local and special interest groups, airport and airspace users. The consultation – which will run until mid-February 2016 – is being conducted in accordance with the procedures laid down by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the Cabinet Office.

Graphic illustration of the proposed flightpath:



Biggin Hill invite you to respond to the consultation as a constituency, local government, interest group or user group representative.  The consultation document can be accessed below. It is both detailed and technical, but we have provided. A set of questions and answers is available as well.

The consultation document is available here:
The Q and As can be viewed here:

The website pages will guide you in how to respond.

As above, Biggin Hill are looking for responses from interest groups or user group representatives. If, after reading the Biggin Hill information provided,  you would like your views as an individual to be considered in any response AOPA makes please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your views and contact information (Name. Telephone number and AOPA membership number if you are a member).

Experimental Aircraft.

The CAA have published ORS4 No.1142 Experimental Aircraft. This provides new simple requirements from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for approving the initial testing of small experimental aircraft in the UK.E Conditions will benefit small-scale aircraft designers and manufacturers by reducing the red tape and financial burdens associated with securing airworthiness and operational approval for new light aircraft designs (less than 2,000Kg MTOM), encouraging the growth of new design concepts.

See also the E Conditions Competition being run by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

RAeS E-Conditions Competition 2015 - 2016

The CAA have published CAP1220 ,  Operation of experimental aircraft under ‘E’ Conditions. See ORS4 No. 1142 Experimental Aircraft.To mark the introduction of the E-Conditions the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) have launched an annual competition to raise awareness of this category and explore its boundaries.

The overall aims of the competition are:

  • To raise awareness of the creation of ‘E’ Conditions;
  • To stimulate interest in the use of ‘E’ Conditions for innovative aerospace design and
  • To  provide  a  fun  and  rewarding  opportunity  for  those  with  an  interest  in  the  field  to  have their ideas scrutinised by experts.

The scope of the competition from the RAeS website is:

The draft ‘E’ conditions are deliberately broad in their scope and are applicable to entirely new designs, existing designs that embody new modifications,  aircraft being operated in a previously unproven role or designs that fall outside the scope of existing regulations.  It may be that a single competition would be too broad and that several competitions need to be developed to cater for the different types of design idea that could be submitted. 

The same is true for the target audience.  The aim will be to encourage a broad spectrum of entries, from private individuals or companies, through to Schools, Colleges and Universities.  To formulate the correct competition strategy or strategies then, the General Aviation Group would therefore be pleased to hear from anyone or any organisation that  might consider entering such a competition and the category or categories of design that they would consider submitting. Examples might include but are certainly not limited to a replacement for the Rans S-6 for the RAeS Schools ‘Build-a-Plane’ project or an all-electric glider tug aircraft.

View the flyer for more details

Please click here to view the rules and regulations.

For further information or to enter please e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Pilot fined for entering controlled airspace around London Heathrow Airport.

The aircraft flew southwest and up to two miles inside controlled airspace, descending to 300ft. The aircraft disappeared from radar at 1.06pm and departures at the airport were allowed to resume.

Kiley told the CAA he had been to Wycombe for a flight test, before deciding to fly to Cliveden House for lunch. He explained he had been given directions to Cliveden House, but did not have co-ordinates. In addition he said he had been listening to air traffic control but it was extremely busy and, as the landing area was in view, he decided to land his helicopter. He further admitted he should have waited for clearance and apologised for his misjudgement.

Kiley, aged 62, of Caswell, Swansea, pleaded guilty via post, to one count of entering Class D airspace in the vicinity of London Heathrow Airport without air traffic control clearance, in contravention of the Air Navigation Order 2009.

At Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, on Tuesday October 27, 2015, the court was told Kiley had two previous convictions for aviation offences.

Kiley, who did not attend, was fined £1,700, order to pay costs of £600, a victim surcharge of £120 and a court user charge of £150.

CAA prosecutor, Alison Slater, said: “When a pilot infringes controlled airspace the CAA has a number of options it can use including further training, however in the most serious cases we can and do prosecute.
“Airspace infringements, no matter how short lived, can cause significant disruption and the knock-effects could means hours of delays to thousands of people.
“Every pilot should know and abide by the rules of the air and we expect all pilots to plan their journeys well in advance and follow the regulations.”

The London Control Zone is an area of Class D airspace, which surrounds London Heathrow Airport and is one the world’s busiest airspaces. No aircraft can enter the zone without clearance from air traffic control.

Business aircraft operators briefed on new regulation.

Operators of business jets and helicopters are being targeted in a new drive to raise awareness of changes to the way the sector is regulated. With just under a year until new Europe-wide regulations come into force, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is engaging with owners and operators of ‘non-commercial complex aircraft’ (NCC) to ensure they understand the implications.

Under the new rules, business aircraft operators will need to have an applicable operations manual and management system in place. Operators will also have to submit details of their aircraft type(s) and operational and maintenance arrangements.

The change is part of the wider process that has seen aviation rule making in the EU pass to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The regulation of commercial flight operations, airworthiness, aerodromes and pilot licensing already fall under the auspices of EASA. The CAA is now advising all affected operators that ‘Part-NCC’ will become applicable from 25 August 2016.

A dedicated webpage has been set up to provide information and assistance for individuals and organisations. In addition, leaflets and posters have been distributed to aerodromes popular with business aircraft operators. The CAA has also contacted directly those operators who have an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) to discuss the change. Events and a workshop are also planned over the next year.

Aircraft affected by the new rules are complex motor-powered aeroplanes with a take-off weight of 5700kg, or with a seating configuration of more than 19. Aeroplanes and helicopters certified for operation with a minimum of two flight crew are also affected, as are helicopters with a take-off weight of 3175kg, or with a seating configuration of more than nine.

The CAA said it is also working closely with industry bodies such as the British Business and General Aviation Association to ensure their members receive any necessary support and advice.

Further updates on the processes will be made over the coming months.

Civil sanctions for the Civil Aviation Authority - Consultation.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has opened a consultation about giving the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) access to the civil sanction powers in the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008. This would provide the CAA with a greater range of enforcement options across the UK, so it can regulate more flexibly, proportionately, and cost-effectively.

The DfT are seeking your views on:

  • which offences it is appropriate to have civil sanctions available
  • which of the possible civil sanctions should be made available to the CAA for each offence

Your participation will help us to create a properly balanced regime that allows the CAA to swiftly return offenders back into compliance. This will help to meet the interests of passengers, support a competitive aviation industry, assure safe private flying and contribute to economic growth.

The consultation closes on 12 November 2015. Full details and documentation can be found here.

Plymouth Airport - end in sight to saga of Jodel emergency landing.

Subject to a satisfactory final inspection of the condition of the Jodel aircraft on Thursday 27 August 2015, SHH Holdings, leaseholders of the former Plymouth Airport site, have agreed to allow the aircraft to be flown out on Friday 28 August. Hopefully the weather will be suitable.

The aircraft made the landing in rapidly deteriorating weather conditions on Sunday 9th August and the pilot, an experienced flight instructor, made the sensible decision to make an emergency landing on the nearest suitable ground, the former Plymouth Airport. No-one has questioned this decision.

However, there then followed a drawn out saga to actually allow the aircraft to be flown out of the former airport. This has been widely reported elsewhere, and became a high profile publicity campaign by fellow pilots, Charles Strasser for AOPA and Brian Davies of  the LAA.

Lessons have been learned from this event and SHH Holdings say that they will be reviewing their protocols should there be any future emergency landings.

In his reply to Charles Strasser, Graham Miller, Chairman of SHH Holdings, says "Going forward I will be asking our executive team to update the protocol which will be used for emergency landings at the former airfield. Since Plymouth Airport closed in 2011, this is the first such landing which has taken place to our knowledge and we will be far better prepared for such an eventuality on a future occasion. That said we have to emphasise that this site is no longer a functioning airport and I'm sure you would join me in actively discouraging any non-emergency landing at the site which would needlessly endanger public safety."

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