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What has EASA actually done for us?

If you look at it like that then EASA is the common denominator. Half of us would be better off without it, half of us would be worse off. One thing for sure is that EASA regulations and the EASA “philosophy”, if there is such a term, works much better in high population density areas than in scarcely populated areas, where it hardly works at all.


LeSving wrote:

If you look at it like that then EASA is the common denominator.


We are looking with envy at some FAA rules e.g. where experimentals can fly pretty unrestricted within all of the US, including IFR, non commercial.

In Europe, experimentals need permits to fly for almost all border crossings, sometimes there are agreements, sometimes are not, some countries allow IFR others don’t, same for night VFR and so on. For travelling, experimentals are therefore a liability.

And then look at the reason the original thread about UL’s was started: One country denies entry to the other and vice versa. Licences are not reckongized between EU countries. Each country has it’s own idea about certification, hence ULs are unduely restricted to fly in their country of registry.

Annex 1. Each CAA can deal with those as it wishes and consequently again, you end up with different rules, incertainty where you can fly to or not, what you can actually do with them. They are not under the protection about engine TBO’s and similar stuff either.

Now imagine that all these cathegories go under the umbrella of EASA. Yes, there would be stuff which is better and stuff which is worse for some people,yet you would not get threads like “France is banning German ULs”, “Switzerland prohibits historical airplanes”, “Germany unilaterally changes MTOW limits for whole classes of airplanes” e.t.c.

You’d get a rulebook which every local authority, however narrowminded they may be, how much they want to cover their arses, would have to run by.

And in any event, in my personal opinion, the whole certification drama is handled wrong, here as well as in the USA. Why? Because it is a total disaster that there even has to be a difference between certified and uncertified for the very reason that certification is practically unachievable financially for most companies and if it is, it results in pricing which is beyond the pale. Consequently, we get “refugee” classes like experimental or UL’s which don’t need certification. WTF? Either it’s an airplane or not. Why does one airplane have to be certified like an airliner while others can fly with an Ipad?

In my humble opinion, the elephant in the room where certification is concerned is one, which EASA has to an extent started to be tackled with Part NCO. The difference between UL, experimentals, ELA 1 and 2 and so on, is purely academical if you change the way light airplanes up to 5.7 tons are certified:
- Non Commercial: Just about everything goes, certification criteria are reduced to the bare minimum and closer to what experimentals and UL’s have to do than what todays certified class has to prove. Instrumentation: again, you can fly with anything you deem necessary for the job, as most experimentals do.
- Commercial: Certified up to today’s standards with the possible inclusion of some airplanes which today by definition can’t be used for commercial ops if they meet the criteria.

In practice this would mean that certification for anything up to 4-6 seats would cease to exist or have to be massively made easier for non commercial operation whereas everything which can be used for commercial operation would remain certified the way it is today. It would also mean that exclusion of whole classes of airplanes by individual CAA’s would be illegal. Non commercial GA would become everything from UL’s up to the current ELA1 and 2 classes. In practice this would make part NCO applicable to all of the above airplanes, which would define that IFR certification is no longer necessary and it is up to the pilot to determine what he needs to fly IFR, within the scope of what is required to do so by law. This would mean an end of the IFR ban for experimentals for starters. It would also mean experimentals would be allowed to fly all over Europe, as well as other Annex 1 and UL’s, as they are under a common law. CAA’s who would like to exclude them get their fingers slapped like some EASA countries trying to refuse e.g. the CB-IR did.

In licensing we might end up with an additional class of certificate covering what is today the UL pilots license, which in return would mean anything done on UL’s would count towards higher licenses such as the LAPL, PPL, e.t.c, be reckognized throughout Europe and the same if you make it in Finland, Norway, France, or Switzerland.

And think of something else. The continuing outpricing and PPR madness. In my opinion, and I know that this is shared by people within the EASA GA roadmap, is a safety concern and becomes more and more so. First, because pilots may decide not to land at an airport which is likely to ruin them financially in the case of urgency, precaution or emergency. Second, because IFR approaches and departures become increasingly unavailable to small GA and therefore, we would see a return to scud running and Y/Z procedures, which are known to be a lot more risky than straight IFR. You all know my opinion about infrastructure and the intent to stop the abuse of GA by commercial airports via this line of thought.

Now, if anyone can do something to stop this within Europe it is not even EASA, but the EU itself. However, EASA can be the driver behind it, by declaring the practice a safety risk and proposing rulemaking to the EU to stop it. Again, this could be based on nco via co ops, but there might be a real chance in this if legislation were to declare all airports infrastructure, cement the right of use and to cap the prices per airplane class which may be charged for the privilege, analogue to road pricing.

Yes, that is head in the clouds thinking. But the fact is: As long as GA is artificially divided into airplane classes, licence classes and what not and as long as every AOPA or Aeroclub in each individual country has to fight their own fights, chances are minuscule that something can be achieved. Would AOPA US have the same clout if it had to fight 52 individual CAA’s, one per state? Their advantage over us clearly is that they only have ONE organisation to deal with which covers the whole country.

While it is only human that we bitch about any regulator (the Americans bitch about the FAA as well and not less than we do, even tough for many in Europe FAA land is the promised land?) we might need to change our attitude towards the perspective that an European regulator can well be in our favour rather than our demise.
Now, a scheme like this could never ever be done under a single CAA, primarily because it doesn’t make sense in most countries sizewise and because it would not be reckognized anywhere else. For Aviation in Europe, the key to this is the EU and therefore EASA. What is not passed through EASA does not apply to all of Europe and is therefore subject to “interpretation” by each individual CAA.

Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 07 Feb 00:07
LSZH, Switzerland

LeSving wrote:

If you look at it like that then EASA is the common denominator. Half of us would be better off without it, half of us would be worse off.

I do think much less that half would be better off without it. Luftfartstilsynet may be unusually accommodating.

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 07 Feb 07:07
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Food? Wine? Sanitation? Streets? Safety?

Oh wait, that was the Romans ;-)


@Mooney_Driver – travelling (VFR) with Annex 1 aircraft within most parts of Europe isn’t a big deal really and very much feasable.


europaxs wrote:

@Mooney_Driver – travelling (VFR) with Annex 1 aircraft within most parts of Europe isn’t a big deal really and very much feasable.

@europaxs, more like “it so happens that right now day VFR flight is possible in Annex 1 aircraft in most parts of Europe”, and what it is going to be tomorrow you would not know, unlike the CoA aircraft.


arj1 wrote:

and what it is going to be tomorrow you would not know, unlike the CoA aircraft.

Give me just one example, where travelling abroad (not to mix up with basing) has become worse in Europe recently. I don’t see anything getting worse here. Rather the opposite like stated before (e. g. Belgium).

Anyhow – who knows what tomorrow will bring…


Excellent post above which I can fully get behind. I don’t think certification for sub 5,7ton, noncommercial aircraft is doing much to improve safety, but it certainly hampers activity by a lot and thus arguably even reduces safety because of increased cost and hassle to obtain state of the art equipment and fly sufficient hours to maintain currency.

Very well written!

Low-hours pilot
EDVM Hildesheim, Germany

Mooney_Driver wrote:

In Europe, experimentals need permits to fly for almost all border crossings

This is not correct. For the majority of borders there are no permissions. The same is true for UL, and things are steadily improving and getting “standardized”. That is the general picture. The CAAs are opening up, but at the same time they are getting clearer on foreign non certified aircraft being based within the country. This seems to be less and less possible. It’s all rather understandable. The CAAs are in charge of their air space, and they cannot be in charge of stuff outside their jurisdiction, like a national certified aircraft from another country. They can allow them to come and visit, and this is what’s happening. For the majority of owners of non certified aircraft, this is all just fine

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Either it’s an airplane or not.

I was of the same opinion for a long time, but this is simply not the case. Certification is when everybody wear the same “certified” uniform. Everybody eats the same “certified” food. Everybody abides by the same “certified” rules. What this does (in relation to this discussion), is it simplifies. It’s very little slack outside of what the standards specify, because that is what certification is all about (third party verification of adherence to a standard). This is good, because airplanes from anywhere can be certified according to the same standard (or similar enough standard), thus they can fly anywhere. A side effect of this is that a GA pilot can fly any GA plane, anywhere, in principle at least. A certified aircraft is in many ways much more a piece of a standard than it is an aircraft, at least when talking about GA aircraft.

For non certified aircraft, at least for ULs and experimentals, there are no standards, and consequently certification is nonexistent. For other non certified aircraft there may very well be a standard, but no certification (LSA for instance), or military aircraft. ULs and experimentals are all aircraft and very little standard. Something everyone here should remember It’s not even a joke This doesn’t mean they are not approved in some way. This approval is in the end the responsibility of the national CAA, more often than not it’s a personal thing. A person or two from the CAA shows up and approve it. It can also be delegated of course, but the responsibility is not. This is the reason for the trend that ULS and experimentals are allowed to visit, but cannot be based.

EASA could in theory take over the end responsibility. But how exactly is that supposed to work? Both ULs and experimentals are very much the result of tight cooperation between the CAAs and the pilots/builders. There simply is no such cooperation in Europe between pilots/builders and EASA is not manned to do this. All EASA does is to make regulations. The footwork is done by the CAAs.


Majority of borders between a few countries. Done this one before so many times

It’s a tradeoff. OK for some, not ok for others.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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