I received the following today from the BGA and I think it worth repeating here:
‘As you will be aware, all qualified glider pilots flying EASA sailplanes including powered sailplanes (which include TMGs) will be required by law to hold an EASA pilots licence and medical certificate from 8 April 2021. We currently expect this to remain the case regardless of the terms under which the UK leaves the EU. We are planning accordingly.
While the new sailplane licensing rules are reasonably straightforward, the LAPL or class 2 medical certificate requirement is a key issue. Whilst many pilots may choose to hold a medical certificate, the BGA and the CAA recognise that the requirement is proven to be disproportionate for air sport and therefore promote and support the use of medical self-declaration where possible.
Supported by other potentially impacted air sport organisations, the BGA has written to the Department for Transport laying out why the UK CAA self-declaration medical standard to driving licence standards and associated exemption from EASA medical requirements should be extended to the thousands of pilots of all recreational EASA aircraft including sailplanes operating in the UK through 2021 and beyond. There is dialogue underway and currently no certainty regarding the outcome.
Meanwhile, to support further justification of continued medical self-declaration, our STRONG recommendation is that all glider pilots including those with a class 2 or LAPL medical consider and if they are able to, sign up to the CAA’s pilot medical online self declaration process. This is a straightforward process and is free. Although the declaration doesn’t specify aircraft category (eg glider, aeroplane, etc) and it can be confusing which box to tick, the key point is to make the declaration if able to. If in doubt tick NPPL. This doesn’t impact on the current BGA medical requirements which until 2021 should remain as they are. By making the one-off declaration, pilots may potentially future-proof themselves against change.
The CAA self-dclaration medical portal is here
We would be grateful if you would pass this information to all your club pilots and encourage participation.’
Wenlock Olympian Games Gliding
As of today we have six entries for the Olympian competition, most of them from abroad but it is noticable that there are no entries on the list from our own club. I can’t believe that no one from the Mynd is interested so I am asking that if you are considering an entry you do it now via the online entry form. Having lots of entries encourages more. Click here to go to the website and follow the link from there. No payment is required at the time of entry. You wil receive a digital invoice sometime after where you can pay online via Sage Pay, our secure online payment portal. It would be a great shame to have to cancel the event for lack of entries as it is entirely unique in the gliding calendar worldwide and brings a lot of attention and revenue to the club, which we all know we need. Even if you are not sure you can cancel before the middle of May and get a full refund. If we have to cancel again this year it is highly unlikely that this event will ever happen again.
Airspace Classification Review
Back to the BGA. Following on from the APPG-GA instigated Kirkhope Inquiry into Lower Airspace, which highlighted many of the challenges associated with unecessarily restricted airspace, the Govt has directed the CAA to regularly review airspace classifications including consultation with airspace users, and where appropriate amend the classification using (new) procedures developed by the CAA.
The CAA has launched an airspace classification review consultation that closes on 3 Mar 2020.
The BGA believes this is an opportunity. The airspace committee has met to discuss the potential BGA response. Its representatives have also attended a CAA stakeholder engagement meeting that described the consultation and the likely steps following the consultation. They have highlighted to CAA the very limited scope of data supplied in the consultation and the potential impact that will have on the consultation. It was clear from the stakeholder meeting that CAA will only be looking in any detail at those volumes of controlled airspace that are the focus of multiple responses.
The BGA believes that it will need to seek club pilots support in responding to this consultation. As such, around mid-February, it anticipates sharing some information that pilots will be encouraged to use to form their own responses in time for the 3rd March.
The consultation can be viewed here
Winter Lecture Series
Don’t forget the next lecture is this Saturday 18th January by Afandi Darlington. Afandi is a senior inspector at the AAIB. He holds a PPL(A) and is a keen and experienced glider pilot. He holds a first class degree in Aeronautical Engineering and will be covering why the AAIB investigate accidents and serious incidents, the legal framework they operate within and some examples from GA and the commercial world. We are immensely privileged in having such a distinguished speaker and I urge you to come along, support your club, learn more about aviation and have a flight and meal as well. The talk will start at 1800 and there will be the usual request for contributions to the Social Fund to cover costs. The next one is on the 8th February by Richard Head – ‘My Life in the RAF’ and trhe final one of the series this year on 7th March from Simoan Adlard and Mike Fox on the latest news from the BGA, especially winching.
The Juniors are coming
I’m delighted to see the response to the Juniors Winter Series weekend at the Mynd (30th January to 2nd February) has been remarkable with more registered entries than have ever supported one of their Winter Series weekends at any site in the UK ever. This is a testament to the burgeoning interest in Junior Gliding and especially their interest in our club. These are the people who will go away and tell their friends and club members what a great time they had with us and that will encourage more visitors and maybe even more members. In the correspondence I have had with the organisers they have mentioned several times how much the Juniors like our club, the people and how welcoming we are. I hope this year will be no different.
Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday: Neal Clements (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Dave Cole (LD)
Sunday: Steve Male (No 1), Mark Jerman (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Peter Orchard (winch), Laurent Couval (LD)
The next few days
I am unashamed at repeating DC’s recent blog post here about flying over the next few days.
Friday – Probably the best, 20knt WSW (or just north of west depending on which site you look at). The warmest day with a reasonable amount of sun
Saturday – 15knt NW. A little less warm but a nice day a good amount of sun and some cummulus
Sunday – 5-10knt NNE backing NW and reducing in strength. The coldest with much less sun in the afternoon with possible orographic and canopy misting to finish the day
So, yet again three flyable days, if there are any instructors willing to help on Friday I am sure there will be people to fly.