COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

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Steve Slater
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COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by Steve Slater » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:08 am

The DfT has updated their advice to pilots that during the current lockdown, no leisure flying is permitted. A small number of flights for purposes of work or for professional pilot training can continue. Engine health and maintenance check flights can only take place where there is a critical safety requirement to do so, and alternative options are not available.

The full advice can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... l-aviation
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pereira37
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Re: COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by pereira37 » Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:45 am

For engine health and maintenance check flights. what is definition of critical safety requirements??
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Re: COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by mikeblyth » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:22 am

Could we say 30 minute's a month :roll: Especially for my health and mental condition.
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Steve Slater
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Re: COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by Steve Slater » Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:49 pm

The DfT has given a hard-earned concession regarding maintenance and continuity flying, we will not seek to interpret this for members. We believe that LAA members should make their own decisions based on their circumstances and risk assessment.

However I am generally worried that if this abused by members of the GA community, these concessions will be withdrawn.

There is a misconception that solo flying is entirely COVID-free. It’s not. Even if flying solo, there are risks. In travel to the airfield. Meeting people when you are there. Contamination from opening hangar doors. Refuelling your aircraft. Refuelling the car in which you are travelling to and from the airfield.

Currently there is a clear Government mandate of stay at home. It’s hard for us to argue against that. However when the time is right we’ll be making the case for further concessions and we’ll keep you informed as the situation progresses.

We’ll also be offering advice on post-lockdown inspection and skills review via our pilot coaching scheme. The good news is that, thanks to generally good judgement by members, the number of ‘skills fade’ incidents after the last lockdown was a lot lower than many had feared.

I would add too that you might also bear in mind the possible ill-feeling that may be engendered in local residents around your airfield who can’t visit their families, yet see a small aeroplane in the air. They can’t tell whether it is a legitimate maintenance or continuity flight, they’ll just assume it’s someone flouting the regulations.

Personally, I have oiled, greased and covered my aeroplane for the duration. Flying from a soggy grass airfield at this time of year would probably not have helped its condition anyway.

Steve
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Re: COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by P5151 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:23 pm

While I appreciate the difficult position the LAA is in as it has to be seen to act responsibly I see nothing in the messages that come from Steve that give me confidence that the very real issue of skills fade is being argued anywhere near as robustly as it should be. During one of the periods that rules were relaxed I and several others witnessed an accident that should never have happened resulting in a written off aeroplane and an injured pilot.

That was in an a very simple aircraft, not complex where the pilot not only misjudged his touchdown point landing far too far down the runway, but also at too high a speed.

All of the points Steve makes about potentially catching Covid opening hangar doors etc, seem to be nothing more than trying to justify a position he has taken as all can be mitigated against by wearing gloves and the use of hand sanitisers. Similarly there is an assumption that a pilot will meet someone where this is not the case.

I for one would not go to my airfield if there was a risk of catching or passing on this virus and kept away from the flying schools when they reopened.
For anyone lucky enough to own their own strip where there would be no contact with anyone else
These rules must be even more frustrating.

So, please stop treating us like we are unable to use hand sanitisers and avoid contact with people but help us to remain current and safe when hopefully we are able to gather again.
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Re: COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by alioth » Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:19 pm

"There is a misconception that solo flying is entirely COVID-free. It’s not. Even if flying solo, there are risks. In travel to the airfield. Meeting people when you are there"

But these risks are absolutely minuscule. There's risks even if you stay at home: the postman might knock on the door, or you might fall down the stairs.

Might as well not get out of bed at all!

"I would add too that you might also bear in mind the possible ill-feeling that may be engendered in local residents around your airfield who can’t visit their families, yet see a small aeroplane in the air. They can’t tell whether it is a legitimate maintenance or continuity flight, they’ll just assume it’s someone flouting the regulations."

If we are self-curtailling a necessary flight (for currency, or to stop our engines from rusting) because someone might be envious, and someone's perception might be entirely wrong as to the motivations of this flight, we might as well give up doing *anything* that might make someone else feel a bit left out, covid or not.
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Re: COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by P5151 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:08 pm

Dylan,

I was going to try include similar points on what I said frankly I find these ‘points’ complete nonsense and speculative made by someone trying to justify the position they have taken. The last couple of times I have done engine health flights and posted on FB server all people hav said the wishes the could come along or requested I fly over their houses.

It is annoying when people assume the ability to predict how others will think. What I want to see is the LAA being more proactive in supporting pilots in remaining current. The current arguments simply do not hold water.
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Re: COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by mikehallam » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:59 pm

The Government haven't had the benefit of time during this ever changing pandemic to deeply scrutinise their 'Guide Lines', so I ccept they aren't perfect.

Nevertheless on the whole most intelligent UK inhabitants do their best to keep within them. Unfortunately a percentage either don't care, or it's "not their problem" - so they look to weasel out of them.

Our lock-down indicates no casual driving, or not very far at all - even "for exercise".

I believe we as fliers should take the lead in the same spirit & not circulate close to base flaunting our toys.

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Re: COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by P5151 » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:41 pm

People have what seems to me to be a strange way of looking at this.

The issues is purely one of safety. I think 600 people logged into the Gasco safety webinar last night, the main focus of which was accidents due to human factors and lack of currency. If memory serves me well less than 30% of participants had flown enough during the last 12 months gaining enough hours, take off and landings to feel they were current.

To be legal to fly with passengers I believe a pilot needs to have done three take off and landings in the last month. That gives us a yardstick on what the powers that be think a ‘current’ pilot needs. Very few people managed anything like that last year.

This has nothing to do with flaunting toys it is about retaining and practicing skills to prevent accidents. It was notable that two of the speakers were pilots working with the CAA who were clearly aware of the risks.

The current guidelines centre on engine manufacturers recommendations for engine health. What about all the other systems on the aeroplane. Three days ago I tried to do an engine Heath flight but on doing the checks a high voltage caused all my electrical kit to switch off when the over voltage protection cut in. I therefore aborted the flight.

Now, consider a pilot who was not current who had this happen after takeoff! Would that lead to a loss of control accident and perhaps a fatality.

I am particularly concerned about group aircraft where under the current rules only one pilot can fly a month. This needs to change.
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Re: COVID Latest DfT advice, no leisure flying permitted.

Post by paul dalton » Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:35 pm

I too share the view that people need to fly regularly for safety reasons.

The fact that our association has consistantly failed to recognise that fact and prefers to be seen to "do the right thing" is a failure to promote the member interests or their safety.

We will see a fall off in membership in the future as a result of the safety case not being made.

It is not too dramatic to say that there will be accidents as a result of pilots lack of currency and there will be more poor piloting.

Saying pilots should take advantage of the Coaching scheme is no substitute for regular flying.
The pilot population is ageing and their collective abilities will deteriorate as downtime lengthens to Easter.

Do the officers really consider that it is in the members interests not to promote a return to flying?
Regards
PD

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