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…

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…

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…

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….

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…

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…

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…

6.6h IR – NDB Approach and DME Arc

This time I flew a non-directional beacon approach and a DME arc. It was a lot of fun and very rewarding. I am making good progress and I understand less and less why the instrument rating has such a rocket-science reputation in Europe. It probably is more difficult over there because everybody is saying that…

5.2h IR – Non Precision GPS Approach

I am having a lot of fun flying on instruments. This time I flew my second ILS precision approach and two GPS non-precision approaches. My learning curve surprised me and I hope I won’t have a learning plateau as I had – and I think every student had – during the PPL course. Saturday night…

1.8h IR – Increasing the Workload

VOR and NDB navigation, copying my first clearance and manoeuvering in IMC at night? When my instructor told me about this lesson I got a bit nervous. This was going to be tough, I thought. Josh made up an easy clearance and I started to copy it on my kneeboard. An acronym called CRAFT helped…

Class Delta Confusion

Does air traffic control ensure separation between IFR and VFR traffic in class delta? The answer is no. Curiously enough 75% of private pilots and 70% of airline transport pilots believe it is not their responsibility. A survey revealed these shocking numbers. An airprox involving a Saab 2000 and a military PC-7 occured on september…