Making Peace with European Air Law

Europe’s Air law is transforming at such a fast pace, it challenges even experienced pilots. As a result, there is insecurity among pilots about which rules apply. EASA tackles this issue with the new Easy Access Rules for Air Operations, a document similar to the FAR/AIM in America. The new Air Operations Regulation is applicable law for all non-commercial non-complex…

How to Comment on an EASA NPA

EASA seems to be working at wide open throttle in order to change its approach towards general aviation. You can help shape the regulation with the comment response tool (CRT).

IFR Minimum Equipment

EU Nr. 800/2013 will supercede national regulations (if they existed before) and this is  a big step towards simpler and better rules for General Aviation. It will become effective by 25.08.2016 in Switzerland. The important parts concerning IFR minimum equipment of EU Nr. 800/2013 for airplanes are as follows: NCO.IDE.A.125, IFR minimum equipment in Switzerland: magnetic compass clock*…

Que Sera, Sera – IFR Minimum Equipment in Switzerland

Que Sera, Sera. –  It isn’t just a popular song from 1956. It also isn’t just a great remix by French Hip Hop producer Wax Tailor. “Whatever will be, will be”, so the translation of the title, is the answer to a girl’s question to her mother about her future life. When she becomes mother herself, she tells…

330h CPL – Cessna Turbo 210

I flew a few hours in a Cessna Turbo 210. This plane asked for all my skills. To be honest, it felt as if I flew the first time all over again. The learning curve was steep and the airplane a thrill to fly. At first sight, the aeroplane looks like the usual Cessna. But look…

344.5h – Routine and Night Flying

Flying every day this month really got me in the routine of making decisions, and decisions is all flying is about. Especially interesting were the flights during night time. Night flying is so smooth – much smoother than driving a car – that it gives me a very comforting feeling in an environment that seems…

1.2h CPL – Complex Airplane

The past three weeks I had been studying intensively for the commercial written exam. It turned out that nearly all knowledge was already covered by previous courses for the private pilot license and instrument rating. Still, I wanted to work through the entire online class and immerse myself in my new goal: the commercial pilot…

45h IR – Instrument Rating, done!

So there it was, finally in my hands, the temporary airman certificate. I am an instrument pilot now, it says. But as always, it is just a license to learn and I stand at the very beginning. This spring was quite eventful, as I tried to get the flight training done before I got married….

39.8h IR – I Follow Roads

“Cessna 43L, cleared into Class Bravo airspace at 7’500, follow interstate I-25 to Centennial”, Denver Center told me while flying in simulated instrument conditions. The sky was blue but I had to wear foggles, glasses which restrict the view outside. While trying to fly IFR, with vectors from my instructor, I had to follow a…

38.3h IR – Phase Check

My flight instructor scheduled the examiner for next Wednesday and I was on the final stretch. I arrived at the flight school for a phase check with a senior instructor. First thing I heard when I arrived was: There was a regulation change by the FAA. Regulation Change On December 3rd the FAA changed its…

34.2h IR – Written Exam and Long X-Country

“We don’t have an instrument test scheduled for today,”, the lady at the test center said, “but in that case we schedule one for 15 minutes from now.” At 10.0015 my written test began, thanks to the American can-do attitude, and I noticed there was a whole book with figures I had never seen before….

21.8h IR – Half Way Through

The 20 hour sim-time regulation came just in time and now I am half way through the training. I am looking forward to fly the airplane starting with the next lesson until I am at the 40 hours of simulated instrument time required for the test. I like it how the pieces come together –…

19.6h IR – Trust in Instruments

Can I trust an instrument that is filled with schnaps*? I admit, until now I believed the magnetic compass and turn coordinator were instruments that randomly tumbled around. The magnetic compass has so many errors, I rather only used it in cruise to reset the directional gyro every 15 minutes. During the last flights I…

16.4h IR – When Everything Fails

This double lesson showed clearly what I am capable of and of what I am not. The full panel approach into Aspen went smooth and precise but as soon as I lost my directional gyro on a simple approach I got into trouble. Today’s approaches into six airports were exhausting – on the last approach…

13.2h IR – Any Approach You’d Like

A change in the FAA’s rules affects my flight training. Since last week 20 hours of simulator time, instead of ten, count towards the instrument rating. As soon as I heard about it I contacted my flight school. They checked my links and were convinced. The students can now save a bit more money: In…

9.9h IR – Three Approaches

This time I flew an ILS, VOR and GPS approach – even without becoming airsick. My confidence is back and I am eager to finish this rating within the next two months. I scheduled about six flights now before Christmas and until then I also intend to get the written exam behind me. Today’s flight…

8.6h IR – Airsick Pilot

Motion sickness caught me on my last flight, although it has never been an issue to me before. The turbulent air over Denver, the hothouse effect under the goggles and my brain trying to make sense of the pitching and yawing moments of the aeroplane – it was too much. It happens fast but takes…

EASA Struggling to Change

EASA’s new Executive Director Patrick Ky says (in the IAOPA Newsletter Nov. 2014) the whole approach to the industry must change, thus saying what the whole industry was pointing out for many years. I believe they can only excel if they are aggressive with the change and if they are determined towards the national CAAs….

7.6h IR – Vacuum Pump Failure

After today’s flight it is all repetition until my oral and practical test. It is impressing how much one can learn in 8.1 hours and a bit of ground school. Now I need 31.9 hours simulated instrument time to meet all requirements for the test. Almost all of it can be done with another student…

222.5h – Confident Flying

Yesterday I did my first solo flight in the United States since 2011 and it all went great. Back then, just after my checkride, I did only one flight as a private pilot in this country. The flight to Ocean Shores, WA, was quite eventful. I had direct crosswind on landing, deer on the taxiway,…