The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has made it possible for private pilots to obtain a full European instrument rating in an alternative, flexible, “competency-based modular” way. In addition to a private pilot license, a candidate can use a UK IMC rating or an overseas (FAA, for example) instrument rating as the basis, along with experience logged flying in IMC or under instrument flight rules.
Private pilot licence
The FAA’s September 26 approval of a half dozen exemptions for some TV and film production companies to operate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) stopped just short of complete approval of those operations in the national airspace system. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the UAS to be used in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security.
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
Incorrect data in aviation records is serious in the extreme. Aviation depends on data entry to record everything from student pilot training to air carrier compliance with airworthiness directives to scores of information on every aspect of defeating gravity safely. For that reason, air safety relies in large part on records, the accuracy of which is critical.
The comment period for additional ideas for the FAA’s upcoming redo of its airman certification standards closes August 23. A notice published last month included a first draft of the authorized instructor certificate documents, a second draft of the private pilot certificate and the instrument rating documents, as well as a set of frequently asked questions.
Rod Machado, a prolific aviation author and educator, is a voice of reason when it comes to how we can improve aviation safety, and his recent comments in response to an FAA notice on new training standards put a fresh spin on an old problem.