Episode #185 "It's Not Right"

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Re: Episode #185 "It's Not Right"

Postby jorvis » Mon May 24, 2010 8:33 am

I think Jeb's comments have spurred an interesting discussion on international flying, both for Americans and Canadians.

Canadian recreational pilots and US sport pilots lack the possibility of flying internationally. Undoubtedly, this is due to the fact that the requirements for these licenses fall short of those set by ICAO and agreed to by its member states. I see the existence of sport and recreational licenses as a positive thing, regardless of the limitations imposed by lack of reciprocity. The fact that Canada and the US have attempted, with different approaches and varying degrees of success, to create permits that encourage the growth of the pilot population. This is commendable. The problem with trying to do this under the requirements of ICAO is presumably the enoromous inertia of moving an enormous organization, many of which have a decidedly negative opinion with respect to general aviation. China, an ICAO member, I understand has only recently allowed private pilots to fly in that nation.

Aviation in Canada and the US is very different than in most parts of the world. We enjoy more privileges and freedoms here than our counterparts in the majority of the world. If Transport Canada and the FAA can be criticized here, it is that they did not pursue a common approach to a "lesser" set of requirements for a certificate beneath the private pilot level. Having said that, it likely doesn't effect that many pilots, as has been pointed out. This is likely due to the fact that the number of pilots is fairly small, and international flying for the average recreational or sport pilot is probably not a mission they`ve intended to pursue. Perhaps there is room to homogenize the recreational and sport pilot licenses in the future, who knows. Until then, I hope that the sport pilot rating in the US proves its worth by swelling the ranks of GA pilots with no safety problems for naysayers to point to. If that happens, I suspect we'll see COPA pushing for a similar license on this side of the border.

Enough typing, I'm going flying ;-)

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Re: Episode #185 "It's Not Right"

Postby lucaberta » Wed May 26, 2010 6:17 am

gmarshall wrote:Given the number of people flying under that license, I can't help but think that the program missed the mark a little.

I don't have the time to look it up right now, but I get the feeling there's a *lot* more people flying under Sport Pilot in the US. (more than the 10:1 population ratio between the US and Canada, that is)

yes Greg, the Recreational license failed in the US too, in my opinion for two different reasons:

1- the medical requirements. The Sport Pilot privileges in the US can be met by simply having a valid drivers license, and elder pilots who fear they might fail their medical, simply don't show up at an AME and keep flying an LSA, limited to day only and VFR, fair deal. Most people do that anyways.

2- the aircraft. Sport Pilot makes sense only if LSA planes exist. LSA is nothing new, there's plenty of older planes that are eligible as LSA, and that's good cause we're also seeing many old but nonetheless beautiful planes being flown again, this time without the need of a full-blown PPL license. And a large number of new (and very expensive!) planes are now on the market, and some are being sold. And that's a good thing.

So the Recreational license did not achieve its goal mostly for point #1, and definitely point #2 is both cause and effect of the Sports Pilot license creation. I don't see why how someone with enough money in the bank and a PPL license would buy a plane today, a plane that maybe in a few years time he/she won't be able to fly any longer for medical reasons. LSA is the answer to this need.

Times have changed, and maybe Transport Canada should closely evaluate an equivalent to the Sport Pilot license, with similar simple medical requirements.

Nice discussion, thanks all!

Ciao, Luca
Luca Bertagnolio, CPL/ASEL/AMEL/ASES/IR

US States I've overflown or flown in:

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