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…

Headsetinc ANR Kit In-Flight Test

I had two flight lessons today for my commercial pilot license and took my upgraded headset along, a David Clark H10-13.4 with ANR set from Headsetinc. Honestly, despite the successful tests yesterday. I still had doubts if it would actually work in the cockpit. After all, the last time I soldered it was my guitar’s pickups…

Headsetinc ANR Retrofit

With up to five hours flight time per day and my first pilot job starting within the next months, I thought, I should take care of my ears. Every evening I have a light headache – I hope I can change that. I purchased an active noise reduction (ANR) set from Headsetinc for my David…

2.5h CPL – Maneuvers

Can you point out design maneuvering speed (Va) on this airspeed indicator? This airspeed is important to know if you are flying maneuvers or flying into turbulence; it is the airspeed at which the airplane stalls at its G-limit. In other words, it is the speed at which the stall protects your airplane from structural…

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….

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…

37.3h IR – Partial Panel

Today we had another standard session of ILS, localizer and GPS approaches at Front Range and Centennial. This time only the ILS with full panel and during the latter two approaches I had a simulated vacuum pump failure. Or to make it sound less dramatic, my instructor put sticky-notes on some important instruments. On the…

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…

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….

SERA Implementation in Switzerland

There is some information about the implementation of SERA in Switzerland that might be news for some of you, at least it was for me. Since Google delivered zero hits on that topic, despite the significant possible changes, be it positively or not, I want to discuss it briefly. The Standardized European Rules of the…