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Al B

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About Al B

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  1. I just want to add that although I don't know cloudsuck from a bar of soap, I will miss his commentry here.
  2. If you're going to transition from a 172 to a rag and tube microlight, I agree extra training is vital. Remember it IS possible to do a PPL in a GA registered Tecnam, or Cessna Skycatcher, and as time goes on this may become more and more common - there are obviously no handling differences between a GA LSA and an RAA LSA. I'm guessing it'd take an experienced RAA pilot several hours to get the hang of a 172. On the other hand I think a PPL conversion will take 10+ hours, a long flight test, extra textbooks, an exam fee, and a medical. I think the RAA would have to work pretty hard to make it as expensive. I agree the CTA endorsement is pretty in-depth. However it could be done for maybe $70 an hour less then GA training.
  3. After doing some more research I see you are correct. I was basing my theory on the PPL(glider) that the FAA issues and Australia doesn't - I've heard glider pilots complain about how hard it can be to fly overseas, and how a PPL(glider) would help. But as you say, glider is ICAO recognized, ultralight is not. I guess flying LSAs easily overseas is wishful thinking at present :) Was the old CASA restricted PPL (with 'no cross country' as a restriction) recognized overseas? If so, in a perfect world a PPL with MTOW + passenger restrictions would be recognized as well. I'm just trying to find a loophole... You'd know far more about the UK side then me, but the NPPL + Permit to Fly system doesn't look too bad. My personal perspective is of someone who would like 'GA lite', but without making things more expensive and complicated for the ultralight gents. I stole the following from the net: Who'd ever want to fly something more then 2 tons for fun? You could take a friend, a decent amount of fuel and enough gear to go camping. So what's the downside? I like the FAAs sport pilot license too. Although it's more restrictive then ours (cruise speeds, retracts, fixed pitch props etc) there are controlled airspace endorsements AND no silly splitting the rental fleet in 1 of 2 groups. The lack of a controlled airspace endorsement really bugs me. If recreational pilots in a heap of other countries can have it, why can't we? Cheers, Al
  4. Hi John, The FAA issues a PPL(glider) - I think in most countries you can fly on a PPL after some checks, but you must abide by any restrictions on your home license. Why couldn't CASA optionally issue a PPL(ultralight), with our usual restrictions as conditions?
  5. I agree that from a practical perspective there may be bugger-all difference. However CASA obviously believes the paperwork is safer, or else they'd let GA stop using it. I guess my point is our safety regulator is happy to let an RAA pilot fly a Jabiru that they consider 'less safe', but prohibit him or her for paying extra to rent a 'safer' (again, from their perspective) Jabiru of the same make and model. And if the 'less safe' Jabiru is good enough for us, why is it too dangerous for a PPL? There may be no self-administration in the US, but does it make a difference? I'd swap our system for theirs if I had the choice - very, very few rules for true ultralights, and Sport Pilots can enter CTA with proper training. Even if our sporting bodies got together we still won't have a license that is recognized widely overseas - only CASA can issue that.
  6. OK, I was holding off for a bit, but here goes. Massive Rant incoming We keep hearing about how good we have it in Australia. After doing some research, I think that's a load of crap. We have a regulator who doesn't want to bother with managing the recreational side of things, so they've palmed it off onto lots of groups, each with their own rules. Even though most groups basically want the same thing (and the RAA do a bloody good job given the circumstances) there is a massive duplication of work. Each group manages their own licenses, membership databases, billing etc. If you just want to fly one kind of aircraft it isn't too bad. However if you want to expand your experience it gets ugly quickly. Want to fly gyros AND ultralights? That's 2 lots of annual fees and 2 different licenses. Is your usual RAA registered trike is being repaired, but your mate has offered his HGFA registered Trike? Sorry, bad luck - you have the wrong license. Does that motorglider look fun to take on a trip? An RAA pilot might take a few hours to get the hang of treating it like a glorified Jabiru. However you need to join the GFA , have at least 20 flights in a glider, including 2 solos of an hours duration, before you can take it for a spin. Good luck flying overseas. Many places will only recognize a CASA-issued license. If we could optionally apply for a PPL(Ultralights), then it'd be so easy to go for a fly on your next overseas holiday. My pet hate is having multiple aircraft registers. A Jabiru doesn't know if it has letters or numbers on the side. It doesn't handle any differently at the same weight. The only difference is, in theory it is safer if it is maintained to GA standards. So why restrict Jabiru 24-1234 to RAA pilots and Jabiru VH-ABC to GA pilots? Why not let the pilot decide if he or she wants to spend the extra $50 an hour renting a LAME-maintaned aircraft? If we were using either the US's or the UK's system most of these problems would go away. I think Australia is missing a license type. In my fantasy world there should be something like Ultralight Certificate ---> Recreational PPL ---> PPL The idea being, someone who flies a microlight with 50 knots VNE doesn't have much in common with someone who wants to burn through CTA @ 120knots, so why have the one group (the RAA) representing both? If you enjoy flying 'low and slow' in a powered parachute, any 'low flying' rules relevant for RV-6's are just going to tick you off. And if you fly a Flightdesign CT, you'd resent being told that ultralights are 'too slow' to be allowed to land at Archerfield. Cessna 172s are hardly big scary monsters that require skygods to master. Any Tecnam/Jabiru/Foxbat driver can easily get the hang of one in a few hours tops. If we had a recreational PPL it could still have the 'only 1 passenger max' limitation to reduce liability, and a limit on stall speed for safety. There could also be optional CTA training which would have zero cost impact on ultralight enthusiasts (who hold a different certificate). There would be far more aircraft to choose from. Finally there should be several standards for all light aircraft maintenance - call them owner-maintained / experimental, commerical, and charter. The aircraft owner should be free to choose which standard they want to maintain too. Owner-maintained/Experimental is just that. It's the cheapest option but no use is permitted aside from private flight and training for the owner. The commercial standard would permit some pilot maintenance but would have LAME oversight - it would allow any use, including training, but excluding fare-paying passengers. The charter standard is most strict but permits any use, including charter flights. Note that for private flying, the pilot would be free to rent ANY aircraft that they are licensed to fly. At the moment we have the ridiculous situation where RAA pilots must fly aircraft with the least maintenance requirements only - we can't fly the better mantained (but more expensive) option. PPLs can't choose to save money and fly aircraft maintained to a lower standard. Under the proposed system, everyones aircraft rentral choices open up immensely. OK, I feel much better now. Cheers, Al
  7. I'll believe that certain computers may cause problems, but I'm puzzled how a common processor with the avionics could be the cause. What kind of glitches were you seeing? Darky: When it comes to the trunnion, you don't want to muck around. As well as possible compressor stalls each failure increases the possibility of carburettor blockage in the APU - not what you want on a hot day!
  8. 11 people so far have said they'd introduce some minor changes - please let us know what you'd change! I have my personal opinions on the matter but I'd rather wait till I hear more viewpoints :) Crezzi personally I think by the time CASA gets the CASRs finished, we'll all be in flying cars. My favourite part (which I can't link to because CASA's website is playing up) is a project entitled something like "Early implementation of certain parts of Part 103 via CAO". Part of the story goes that the Ballooning mob asked for some changes to the CAOs, but they were told "wait, it'll be fixed in the relevant CASR" - this was back in 1991. The CASRs then got delayed again and again, so this project aimed to amend the CAOs as asked for in the first place. The only catch is, the project status was last updated 2 years ago! Imagine if CASA were run like a business - many people would have been fired by now.
  9. Cameras, and most electronics, don't intentionally transmit anything. Unfortunately it is possible for electronics to unintentionally emit noise on a variety of frequencies. Certain design methods are used to minimise this noise, and most countries have limits on the maximum permitted amount. I guess one concern is that it _may_ be possible for some really badly designed device to unintentionally radiate enough noise to mess up the aircrafts navigation systems (which should be very noise immune anyway). Since aircrew cannot possibly check every single device, it's safer to err on the side of paranonia during the critical parts of the flight. Disclaimer: IAAEE (I Am An Electronics Engineer)
  10. Hi All, Let's pretend that CASA have decided to totally rewrite the rules for recreational aviation in Australia, and have appointed you their chief recreational flying consultant. You have full control to decide what system should be in place for the 'weekend warriors' - ALL pilots who want to fly for fun (ultralights, LSA, gliders, experimental, hang gliders, Cessna 172s etc) As part of your research, you look at several countries. Most of them have the traditional GA path, with a PPL as the basic first license that lets you fly almost anything under 5700kg with the right endorsements. Many have additional recreational options. There is information on additional countries at wikipedia So. Keeping in mind the skies must be kept safe for fare-paying passengers and innocent people on the ground, what rules would you draw up? Keep the system as is or something totally new?
  11. Hi Owen, There's a good chance I could join you for part of the trip from Caboolture to Bundy. I could fit the GoPro to get some shots of your aircraft if you want (from a safe distance naturally - I'm not formation endorsed )
  12. I'm not sure what this has to do with RAA and airspace, but... so what if his avatar is him firing a rifle? I have an aviation photo on several non-aviation related forums as my avatar and no-one cares. I don't think being a licensed, law-abiding shooter is anything to be ashamed of.
  13. I don't endorse anyone flying illegally (and I would never enter CTA unless there was an emergency) - but I thought that the only reason night VFR was permitted was because many pilots kept on doing it illegally, and the regulator reasoned it was safer for them to have _some_ form of training, rather then nothing? One viewpoint (and I'm not saying it's correct) is that if the RAA has x thousand pilots, and they are all legal and never use CTA, then clearly we have no use for it. If every year a moderate number got busted (by, say, calling for clearance and sounding like they don't know what they're doing) then some training could make these pilots safe and legal. Of course the other viewpoint is that if X RAA pilots bust airspace, then we're a bunch of cowboys who should be kept at least 50NM from the class C/D steps.
  14. The wide-angle GoPros do have the advantage of capturing a good chunk of the aircraft when mounted on a wing. A normal lens would mean you would focus on a small part of the plane and not see much else - and after the first few shots, the plane is the most boring part of the picture. As a bonus, if you put it on your car near the road, you look like you're doing 150 clicks when you're doing 80. For batteries I'd buy cheapish lithium AAAs from somewhere like Soanar (website is https://www.soanarplus.com/default.jsp?xcid=1) I wouldn't be too worried about the suction cup falling off. If you attach it to a clean surface you feel like you're going to break the cup before it'll pull off. A little bit of camerawork done at my airfield with a GoPro:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7UMQ2rCzuY"
  15. Ugh, this _really_ is a terrible idea. The GoPro is a great toy, and I really can't see it coming off. However, depending on where you put it, you can significantly alter the handling of the aircraft. I've had a Tecnam become unstable in yaw and feel very 'wrong' to fly - I couldn't wait to abort my flight and land. I'd had a hundred or so hours in that plane at the time, and was very relieved to be on the ground. I'd hate to have had that experience on my first solo - the plane will handle differently enough as it without the weight of the instructor! Please do yourself a favour, and do not do this. If you HAVE to use a camera then mount it inside the aircraft. Better yet get someone to film your landing from the ground. Before attaching the gopro, I'd either get more solo experience, or have an instructor or other pilot beside you. And even then attach it on a wing, not on the tail. Congrats on approaching solo - be sure to let us know how it goes!
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