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A pilot rating system


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All,

Just as a matter of interest, are there many people here who would be interested in a 'Paramotor Club' licence? This would enable us to negotiate with insurance companies and provide a little more structure to what we have here.

I believe that (BETWEEN US) and not any one person; we can produce a top notch rating system that will make it simpler for people to enter the sport and safer though the combined knowlege that we already have.

I think that this club is the most active as far as hours in the air and so it is clear that we are the best people for the job from the outset.

An example of the system would be....

Pilot Rating 1 = existing pilot or new pilot. ( 1/2 hour flight and simple theory test )

Pilot Rating 2 = 10 hours logged. ( 20 km XC, 10 hours logged, theory test focused on Nav and Air Law )

I would also like to create a 'coaching system'

Now I know this sounds very like existing clubs and associations BUT

We are Paramotor pilots, not microlight pilots or Paragliders but Paramotor pilots. I am 100% sure that we can make this happen if we all put a little bit of effort in.

Thoughts?........

SW :D

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Hows about using the BMAA FLM Pilot Syllabus ? this is already in practice at a few clubs......

Practical:

1. Site assessments and organisational skills

2. Weather or not!

3. Multiple circuit patterns

4. Multiple take offs and landings

5. Multiple Low Passes

6. Multiple spot landings within 40m

7. Multiple spot landings within 20m

8. Basic navigational task

9. Limited fuel task

10. 20kms cross country flight

11. Equipment Maintenance

12. Awareness of certain equipment combinations

13. Precision flying

Theory:

1. Theory of Flight

2. Basic Air Law

3. Basic Meteorology

4. First Solo Flight Briefing

5. Further Air Law

6. Further Meteorology

7. Effects of the Motor on the Wing

8. Navigation and Flight Planning

9. General Paramotoring Information

10. BMAA Pilot Level Exam

Just my thought on the matter, that course seems quite comprehensive but the basics are the same, I was working towards that at the last school. You could still use your style of pilot rating within the club regardless ??

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Thanks very much for the PM inviting to take part in this but I feel it's not really my place to do so as I'm not a signed up member of the Lambourn Club due to the distance.

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Thanks Simon.

I think the coaching/mentoring idea is excellent and a great way of allowing your more experienced members to find further pleasure from seeing others develop.

With regard to a 'license' scheme, well I'd be a little bit sceptical about that one unless it really did give some very significant benefits. Norman and I have discussed in the past our discontent with other forms of aviation we have been involved in (primarily the gliding world) which have become overly burdoned with rule making and over-policing (sp?). It is a great idea in priciple but all to often it then becomes a slippery slope. As a club policy it would be ok as people would have the option to leave if it became problematic however I would not want to see a change to the overall national status.

Just my 2p and I expect most people would feel differently.

Ian

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I do agree that currently there is a mine field of rubbish out there as far as paperwork e.c.t The main reason I am no longer in the BHPA is because of the paperwork and red tape which seemed to stop people from progresssing and not helping them to progress.

This is why I feel that (if) enough people are interested we have the upper hand due to the nice clean bit of paper we have to start from.

Non of the politics.

The (rating system) would be there to aid the coaching / mentoring.... something would be needed to determin who can coach hence the ratings.

Its good to have feedback from as many people as possible, so just keep chucking 2p's into the pot. If it is not what people are looking for and or want to be invloved in, then maybe we can just carry on as we are?

this is the type of conversation I think is required to decide.

SW :D

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Getting it recognised by our CAA is the key to success here. A qual for its own sake is a good idea in that it shows a level of learning/study undertaken but much better if it is recognised by our CAA as it is then internationally recognised.

It would certainly make traveling to fly abroad simpler. Most EU countries accept pilot ratings of other countries but in some paramotors are classed as ultralight aircraft and in others (like UK) they are classed as (variously) FLPA or Powered Hang Glider (The CAA class hangies and PPG the same). In Ireland you have to apply for an exemption from their CAA to fly there and a recognised qual is essential.

I am in favour.

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I was going to leave it a while but as Ian mentioned my name....

The freedom this sport currently offers from regulation is unparalleled. So unparalleled that I wonder what lies ahead.

The two recent accidents attracted the attention of the regulators and from what I can gather, they were a little taken aback at what they found with regard to the certification processes of our machines and the lack of structure that the training systems have when you compare them to the rest of recreational aviation.

Regulation is about establishing and maintaining standards and verification of the same. The CAA and AAIB may well have felt a little of the breeze blowing after the recent fatalities in that whenever something falls from the sky, the MOD and the CAA are asked to explain the event and their part in it by politicians. For the cynical and presented in another way, regulation is also about arse covering. Is a picture forming here?

An industry norm - The CAA like to delegate the 'small stuff' away to 'august and established bodies' to save money and hassle.

I think the better we can structure ourselves the more chance we have to preserve our independence and the respect that we are held in by the regulators. It is feasible that events may well overtake us as the vested interests in the sport vie and compete to become the delegated regulator like the BGA, AOPA for GA flying instructors, the PFA for homebuilts and the BHPA for parachuting.

Because a paramotor has a 'parachute' and a motor it would seem likely that the 'interests' at play here would be the BHPA and the BMAA, not to mention the BPMA or whatever they call themselves. Watch this space?

I think Simon's suggestion is timely and a vital response to what may already be on the horizon. Where we end up on the qualification stakes is another question as the CAA will only sanction one qualification/licence and one governing body.

A sad fact of life seems to be that the better you cover yourself in syllabi, flying rules and internal regulation, the more respect and allowance you get from the regulators and anyone with a commercial interest, like insurers and dare I say it - courts of Law.

Personally I love the 'no politics' and 'a clean sheet of paper' principle.

As for a 'license' structure for the club with a ladder to climb and definite objectives within that structure - great idea.

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the CAA will only sanction one qualification/licence and one governing body.

Can we find out if that is actually the CAA position? The reason I ask is that the Irish CAA grant exemptions to pilots having completed "recognised training" leading to my assumption that there are more than one recognised by them. It may be that we are only ever used to one Association per discipline but that the CAA would, in theory, accept more than one group that could show a degree of responsible self regulation of participants?

e.g. at present both the BMAA and the BHPA have "sanctioned" qualifications. (although I am not sure what status either of these has outside the UK)

I do not mean to be contentious. In my own sphere of education we have a number of examination and qualifications bodies answering to the governement quango resposible for approving such things (QCA) and the system works well enough (and is understood by politicians).

I dread the potential for division that competing for the status of "CAA sanctioned Body" would bring between the different elements within the free flying comunity.

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Francis,

One license as in one valid license issued by the CAA. Many organisations are approved and can train people for the qualification, but the forms are sent to the 'ministry' for license issue.

I doubt that that is the way it would go to be fair, as you say, the CAA smile on the BHPA, the BGA and the BMAA do their own thing but they do deal with similar but separate craft. Gliders are numbered and microlights are registered with their G-REGN, but I don't believe that hang gliders are. A formal license is required to fly a microlight but not a parachute. We sit in the middle like powered hang gliders and are an 'unknown' until the authority changes the status quo.

At least that's how I see it but would be willing for those more knowledgeable in this area to put me right, honest! :lol:

I really hope it doesn't come to regulation and licensing, we don't need it and if we did, we would already have it. But the situation is fluid and as the sport grows it won't take much... Particularly if the sport continues to be sold on the back of the thrills associated with low flying. If complaints come piling in from the public and we drown a few/have several dangling from the National Grid on News at Ten - watch out for that heavy hand.

If I had to guess I would say that eventually the BHPA or the BMAA will take the starring role as the CAA move to the middle road.

IMHO

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re reading your original post, Norman, in the light of your clarification I see what you mean. When you say license you mean as in a ppl or microlight license as issued by the CAA. Yes lets hope it does not come to that!

I was thinking more in terms of a "recognised training course" as in the BHPA's FLPA endorsement of a CP "license" or now you can get a PHG "license" from the BHPA.

These are BHPA licenses not CAA ones and the BMAA have a PPG license also.

These licenses are recognised by other European Federations and the FIVL. BUT PPG is classified with "ultalights" in some other EU countries.

I would like to see Simon's idea develop into a FIVL or FIUL recognised "license" (proficiency statement) that can be used across the EU just as with the Fedarazione Italiana Ultra Legera paramotor "license" can permit an Italian PPG to fly in Austria for example. My point is that without that international recognition of any new rating scheme we dont really gain much on our present situation since we can carry on flying unregulated or choose to voluntarily submit to BHPA or BMMA regulation as we see individually see fit.

I dont see any imminent signs of more CAA regulation at present. Quite the reverse, I think they have just reclassified and derulated Self Propelled "Hang" Gliders after removing the PPG exemption

and have brought in a new classification of ultra-light that does not need CoA certification (although does require a PPL). I think these are to bring us in line with EU.

I think that as long as it is only the pilots who get hurt in not too high numbers they will probably leave us alone wont they?

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I would like to see Simon's idea develop into a FIVL or FIUL recognised "license" (proficiency statement) that can be used across the EU just as with the Fedarazione Italiana Ultra Legera paramotor "license" can permit an Italian PPG to fly in Austria for example. My point is that without that international recognition of any new rating scheme we dont really gain much on our present situation since we can carry on flying unregulated or choose to voluntarily submit to BHPA or BMMA regulation as we see individually see fit.

I dont see any imminent signs of more CAA regulation at present. Quite the reverse, I think they have just reclassified and derulated Self Propelled "Hang" Gliders after removing the PPG exemption

and have brought in a new classification of ultra-light that does not need CoA certification (although does require a PPL). I think these are to bring us in line with EU.

I think that as long as it is only the pilots who get hurt in not too high numbers they will probably leave us alone wont they?

Francis,

Yep', a distinct difference between a licence and an approved qualification.

Yes, if only the FAI had a licencing system (like gliding) for paramotors and all the rest then life would be sweet across national boundaries. Simons idea is a good one but expanding it into a full internationally recognised qualification would take time and money wouldn't it? When I think of the volume of paper and the ferocity of the counter arguments from the other vested interests I reach for a copy of Private Eye and a pint of Guiness I'm afraid.

We need to be careful here that we don't start to create the same mountain of wussy crap that the BHPA and others seem to revel in. That would be playing their game and it would probably take us in the same direction it took them. Not that I want to decry individuals who are doubtless devoted to their sport, it is just the politicians and f*&^wits that hardly ever fly and couldn't get on to their Parish Council that do us all a disservice.

No, I don't see the CAA taking a heavy hand either unless they are forced by circumstance. But I can see the circumsatances forming to prompt organisational changes that would place paramotoring under an 'umbrella' for 'guidance'. I think there are issues out there that need addressing and that has to happen within a framework.

In the US there would be an outcry if freedoms were removed, here the vested interests would line up nodding then fight it out for the fees and influence they would rake in. I'm cynical about some things - please someone, tell me I'm wrong.

Reading between Simons lines I think he wants to create a structiure to our PPG operations and a ladder that people can climb with defined goals along the way. He will of course speak for himself but I get the impression he wants the 'room temperature' to refine his plan.

Any aviation training organisation will need to create a structure if it is to survive deep scrutiny after accidents or serious incidents. A sylabus, training material, student records, recommended reference works and accident plans join many other things in the pot as fairly essential in the eyes of investigators when they measure you up for the drop (or not). :lol:

Affiliation to the BHPA orr something like it might solve one problem but would open a can of wiggly things. Do any of us want to go that route? What is the general veiw of these organisations amoung our members? Have I got hold of the wrong end of the stick?

Nature abhors a vacuum - some see lack of regulation as a vacuum.

If something falls out of the sky and doesn't do any damage, someone somewhere will wonder what would have happened if it had fallen on their constituents heads....

Sorry about the rant folks.... :shock:

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rant away!!!! and I dont disagree.

But the BHPA have pretty much alreday done most of the paper trail, sylabus, training programme, safety committee, structure stuff for PPG of which you speak.

The Vibe I get is that PPGers choose not to go through their system because of their experiences at BHPA training providers where they have 800 to 1500 quid lifted and "told its not flyable today mate come back next week" To the point where they say "**** it I'll teach myself".

The problem I see with orgs like the BHPA is that many of the voluntary posts are taken up by people who have a commercial interest in the sport. If the organisation refused eligeabilty to committee posts to anyone engaged in taking money for services regulated by the association it might be more acceptable. (But then of course the posts would stay empty cos we are all out flying)

Take the town council for example..... you dont see people getting themselves elected just so they can get planning permission for their shop do you?..............Oh....... yes I see..... hmmmmm

But anyway, the structure and training programme is there already and in the public domain. They have done the hard work for us, God Bless em.

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In my opinion any form of enforced licence or regulation will end up as the thin end of the wedge. The whole concept of paramotoring being “deregulated” should hopefully show that the CAA has no reason to regulate it or enforce more rules and regs. This was one of the major plus points for my interest in paramotoring, minimal regulations and red tape.

The only people that I believe would benefit from an enforced training program and pilot licence, would be the training schools and an appointed body to collect licence renewals.

NOW that is out of the way lets concentrate on Simons original post; “a pilot rating system”

“An example of the system would be....

Pilot Rating 1 = existing pilot or new pilot. ( 1/2 hour flight and simple theory test )

Pilot Rating 2 = 10 hours logged. ( 20 km XC, 10 hours logged, theory test focused on Nav and Air Law )”

Simon: spot on written on two lines, that’s what I like to see keep it simple!

Dan the Man : twenty three. Sorry mate not trying to have a dig, just trying to prove a point.

The rating system is a good idea as long as it gets structured correctly as a rating and not as a full blown training course. When I first started to ask many training schools about what they had to offer. All of them without exception told me over the phone without ever meeting me face to face, exactly how many days training I needed, and on what day I would be able to fly solo! Not taking into consideration whether I was Superman or a complete nerd! And at the end of the course BHPA or BMAA I get a recognised rating. Then I found out about Lambourn club and Simon, I had a chat with him liked what he had got to say, BUT in the back of my mind I could not stop thinking however good he was at training, at the end of it I would not have a recognised pilot rating from a recognised governing body.

So if a PARAMOTOR pilot rating scheme was to come about would it be better based on knowledge and experience as stated by Simon in his two lines and not on a set training course. Wasn’t Colin self taught?

Could I please start a new thread for pilots to us what recognised training and rating they have or self taught? Also how many hours flown on paramotors.

Paul

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hi iam lawrence. ive read afew of your replies and as ive recently joined the club.heres my view short and sweet.iam happy as is.if we are all happy why change it. hence simon question.ill give you a example even the most skilled pilots make mistakes thats why we are not perfect who is?if you dont fly safely then its all pilot error. no one elses fault.if your not sure then ask.another example whos gonna rate the pilots?then after the somone rates the pilot wont that cause problems amonst other pilots with more air hours?.....I LIKE IT AS IS ,.or shall we all choose a pilot to rate all of us................ problems are already starting arnt they? regards lawrence the novice:0) have a nice day

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Tony, (LAWRENCE)

All good points mate. Let me give you an example back.

Lets say you had only had 3-4 flighs.....

You turn up at a field / club

You are unsure about a forward or reverse launch, You would be happier if someone was giving you the all important thumbs up....

Would you be happy if the person helping had also only had 3-4 flights? Or would you prefer that the person who was helping had a good level of attempts at taking off ?

Night Night to all I am off to bed.

Great day!

SW :D [/img]

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Quite right Simon, what he needs is one of your senior members as a mentor not a license.

Re-reading the first post on this thread, it was Simon's intention to have something in place from a club perspective (which is why I had assumed I shouldn't really be posting). There are already 2 systems in place nationally (BHPA and BMAA) and it is largely because of dissatisfaction with those regimes that many of us are here and, as I understand it, why Simon set up as an independent. Do we really desire a third system on a national scale? If people want a ticket in their hand then they are free to go to one of the many training schools who as phatboy so accurately pointed out just wants to put them through a milking machine. The great thing about being independent and not having a 'licensing' scheme in place is that YOUR instructor can give YOU the training YOU need based on YOUR needs and natural abilities rather than having to stick to a rigid doctrine.

I think that rather than looking at licensing at club level you perhaps want to look at a development system to encourage those that want to work towards being coaches/mentors being able to do so. That way if all you want to do is fly solo and potter around you are free to do so without pressure but those seeking a higher status with their flying and within the club can work their way up. It also gives Simon support in the training role.

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.....are there many people here who would be interested in a 'Paramotor Club' licence? This would enable us to negotiate with insurance companies and provide a little more structure to what we have here.

Back to Simon's question above (the word license set the ball rolling in the regulatory direction didn't it?)

From a club perspective a local 'rating' or 'qualification' would be a great idea. It would define a standard and indicate a structure to those who were looking to fly with the club. It would give our pilots a ladder to climb and an achievement trail to set out on.

If we learn anything from GA it must be that the churn rate of new pilots qualifying then dropping out is massive. I believe that half the reason for the tailing off of interest is due to there being no exciting and meaningful achievement trail to follow, just a series of organizational milking opportunities for the schools.

2204.jpg

PLUS - Anything that helps bring down the cost of insurance and increases the standing of the club and its pilots has to be a very positive step.

Food for thought?

Edited by Guest
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How about this as a starting point for discussion.

All suggestions for tasks welcome.

Bronze Club Pilot

Equipment practical test complete.

Training to solo complete to syllabus.

Aviation Law exam complete.

Introduction to aviation weather exam complete.

First three solo flights complete.

Handling Task

Land to within 50 feet of a defined spot after motor shutdown from 300 feet.

(Three attempts allowed without hazardous maneuvering.)

Silver Club Pilot

Paractical Meteorology exam complete.

Navigation Examination complete.

Thirty logged flights completed.

Twenty logged flight hours.

Handling Tasks

One unaccompanied cross country flight of 50 kilometers.

Either a declared goal or a declared triangle with photos of turning points.

Gold Club Pilot

Produce a training paper covering an aspect of paramotoring that would have value to both Bronze and Silver pilots.

The value of the paper would be judged by club pilots anonymously.

60 logged flight hours.

Handling Tasks

One qualifying 100 kilometer cross country flight with one land away.

A goal or triangle flight with three nominated photographic targets recorded, one leg being not less than forty kilometers.

An altitude gain of 7000' above launch elevation. GPS/Barograph evidence must be produced.

Three consecutive spot landings within twenty feet of a nominated spot after motor shut down from 500 feet.

Three Diamond Flights

Suggestions please..... let's have some fun with this one. :wink:

2204.png

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Hi All,

At last sanity. I agree whole heartedly with the idea for a club rating and that it would be good for the club.

Certainly a system I would be enthusiastic to take part in.

Also perhaps the club could negotiate a scale of discount with on risk based on club rating a bit like advanced drivers do with cars.

Cheers Col.....

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Col,

Glad you like it, the badge system i a straight rip from the Gliding world - obviously. But if you are designing something to do a specific job, then it is bound to look similar to one of the better systems out there isn't it.

Ultimately (as has already been said here) some form of recognition is highly desirable as it makes your qualification portable to some of the more attractive flying sites around the planet, but it could be a start.

What would you like to see as challenges within a system like this?

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I really like Normans badge system.

This encourages pilots to attempt a range of flying tasks that will serve to give him/her a range of experience in "normal" flight.

What about this as well?........

A pilot gets trained and starts flying but has little appreciation of "dynamic situation" recovery techniques beyond the theory taught during his/her course. In paragliding the next step for a pilot is to undertake some simulation d'incident volaire (SIV) training. At present there is little attention given to this by paramotoring schools or trainers for paramotorists.

I suggest that insurers might favour (and offer discount to) participants of such courses since many crashes occur as a result of the pilots failing to respond appropriately to events. (In addition to extending their general experience as this thread is discussing)

Paragliding SIV courses are usually performed over water and from a high and adjacent mountain, giving around 10 minutes of collapse or spin recovery time per flight. This means an expensive trip to the mountains.

We can get to many thousands of feet in this country, with our motors, and can induce and recover from tucks and spins with thousands of feet to spare.

Certainly GA and Gliding training includes engine failure or spin/stall recovery.

I suggest that a pilot rating scheme should include an element of training in such techniques.

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