Spe­cial fea­ture:

As the 31 De­cem­ber dead­line looms, the in­dus­try is con­cerned that per­haps only half the man­dated 25 to 8.33khz panel ra­dio con­ver­sions have been com­pleted – but there may be some wrig­gle room…

Pilot - - CONTENTS - Words Philip White­man

8.33 ra­dios – the cur­rent story as we know it and where it might go in the near fu­ture

In Septem­ber IAOPA re­ported that, just three months away from the of­fi­cial dead­line for equip­ping with an 8.33 khz ra­dio, a num­ber of states are now of­fi­cially con­firm­ing that they will ex­empt cer­tain airspace users from the re­quire­ment. In its newlset­ter, the as­so­ci­a­tion stated that ‘ac­cord­ing to Euro­con­trol the fol­low­ing states have no­ti­fied ex­emp­tions: Ire­land, Latvia, Portugal, Swe­den, Fin­land, Nether­lands, Slove­nia, Croa­tia, Hun­gary, Malta, Es­to­nia, Poland, UK, Nor­way, France, Spain and Den­mark.’

In Fin­land the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has ap­proved a ten-year tran­si­tional pe­riod. In Den­mark there will be ex­emp­tions for VFR traf­fic be­low FL 195 out­side Copenhagen TMA. In Ire­land IFR and VFR traf­fic in class G, and VFR traf­fic in class C is ex­empted un­til 2024. In Portugal any individual pi­lot or op­er­a­tor may re­quest ex­emp­tion be­fore 1 De­cem­ber 2017. Where granted, this ex­emp­tion will be valid only in Por­tuguese ter­ri­tory for un­con­trolled airspace and un­con­trolled aero­dromes, ex­cept those op­er­at­ing 8.33 ground ra­dio equip­ment.

Feed­back from AOPA mem­bers sug­gests that in Switzer­land, Ger­many and the Nether­lands the avion­ics shops will clearly not be able to do all the con­ver­sions in time− Pi­lot is hear­ing the same thing in the UK, where one source es­ti­mates that only half the man­dated 25 to 8.33khz con­ver­sions had been com­pleted by the end of Septem­ber.

“We are aware of a back­log in the avail­abil­ity of avion­ics en­gi­neers to fit new ra­dios to the air­craft, which was partly the rea­son­ing be­hind a num­ber of ex­emp­tions that we sub­mit­ted to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion at the end of 2016,” says CAA Air­wor­thi­ness Sur­veyor Paul Farrell in re­sponse to con­cerns

The UK plans to ex­empt around seventy fre­quen­cies... used by GA

raised by air­craft main­te­nance or­gan­i­sa­tions. “We are con­scious that many ra­dio users within UK airspace are not re­quired to carry a ra­dio but choose to re­main safe and able to com­mu­ni­cate where nec­es­sary. The in­ten­tion of our pro­posed ex­emp­tions is to spread the im­pact of a num­ber of users upgrading across a greater pe­riod of time.

“As set out in the Reg­u­la­tion, a State may ex­empt ground sta­tions from con­vert­ing, ‘for cases hav­ing lim­ited im­pact on the Net­work’. The UK ex­emp­tion pol­icy plans to ex­empt around seventy fre­quen­cies, pri­mar­ily to ad­dress those used by GA op­er­a­tors and fur­ther in­for­ma­tion is avail­able in CAP 1533 (the list in­cludes most of the coun­try’s GA air­fields - Ed).

“There are two con­straints to this. Firstly, due to the char­ac­ter­is­tics of VHF voice com­mu­ni­ca­tion fre­quency as­sign­ments, an ex­emp­tion can­not be as­sessed in iso­la­tion from the sit­u­a­tion and plans of neigh­bour­ing states. Fre­quency plan­ning is gov­erned by the rel­a­tive strengths of ra­dio sig­nals that have no re­spect for national bound­aries and the re­ten­tion of each 25khz chan­nel has the po­ten­tial to pre­vent the as­sign­ment of two ad­ja­cent 8.33khz

chan­nels in the sur­round­ing airspace/ airspace of neigh­bour­ing states.

“The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has asked Euro­con­trol, in its [for­mal] ca­pac­ity as Net­work Man­ager to as­sess the po­ten­tial im­pact of these ex­emp­tions as well as to pro­vide rec­om­men­da­tions to the Com­mis­sion on the re­view­ing (or not) of the granted ex­emp­tions. At present, Net­work Man­ager has still not ac­cepted the UK ex­emp­tion plan. We be­lieve this is due to as­sump­tions as part of the as­sess­ment process and are work­ing with Euro­con­trol to re­solve the is­sue be­fore con­firm­ing the fre­quen­cies avail­able.

“The sec­ond is the pol­icy at each individual aero­drome op­er­a­tor/ats unit. A small num­ber of aero­dromes have al­ready con­verted to 8.33khz ca­pa­ble ra­dios and have been as­signed an 8.33khz fre­quency. We are aware that a num­ber of aero­dromes have plans to con­vert also dur­ing 2018. We are seek­ing in­for­ma­tion from all ra­dio-equipped UK aero­dromes to un­der­stand what plans for conversion they have in or­der to best use the ex­empted fre­quen­cies that we have no­ti­fied, and are con­fi­dent that we will have this ac­cepted by the Com­mis­sion.

“Once we have this in­for­ma­tion, we ex­pect to pub­lish more de­fin­i­tive in­for­ma­tion on the ex­emp­tions, prob­a­bly in early Novem­ber. How­ever an air­craft op­er­a­tor will not need to ap­ply for an ex­emp­tion−this will be given to a ground sta­tion. Equally an 8.33khz ra­dio on board an air­craft will con­tinue to be able to trans­mit on a 25khz fre­quency. There are a num­ber of fre­quen­cies that will not con­vert to 8.33khz due to tech­ni­cal con­straints (e.g. emer­gency dis­tress/di­rec­tion find­ing or fre­quency off­set ap­pli­ca­tions). There­fore air­craft op­er­a­tors are not obliged to con­vert to 8.33khz if they re­main out­side of airspace where the car­riage of ra­dio is re­quired i.e. it will con­tinue to be le­gal to have a 25khz ra­dio in a UK air­craft after 31 De­cem­ber 2017.

“In the short term, a 25khz ra­dio may be able to con­tinue to trans­mit and be re­ceived cor­rectly by a con­verted 8.33khz ground sta­tion us­ing the ‘cen­tre’ fre­quency of the three new chan­nels cre­ated [al­though fre­quency drift of the ra­dio trans­mit­ter may pre­vent this]. Once we start to as­sign the ‘side’ chan­nels, the ra­dio re­ceiver may be sub­ject to in­ter­fer­ence from these chan­nels as the ra­dio will con­tinue to re­ceive from a wider band­width. Also the 25 khz ra­dio will not be able to trans­mit on the ‘side’ 8.33 khz fre­quen­cies at all.”

“In our opin­ion, what mat­ters is that the ad­ja­cent 8.33 chan­nels must not be as­signed to an­other sta­tion,” says Amar­jit Singh Bam­rah−known to all as Singh−of Fal­con Fly­ing Ser­vices/ Big­gi­nair Ltd. “Then the ground sta­tion can trans­mit on an 8.33 fre­quency which will be re­ceived by a 25khz ra­dio in the air­craft. The air­craft can trans­mit and the ground sta­tion can re­ceive−as long as the air­craft is not in­ter­fer­ing with an­other sta­tion 8.33khz ei­ther side of the fre­quency be­ing used. Can the CAA en­sure that fre­quen­cies are not as­signed in a way that would stop a 25khz ra­dio be­ing used?”

There has been much talk of ‘plug and play’ re­place­ment ra­dios, the func­tion­al­ity of such units be­ing dis­puted by con­trib­u­tors to our Air­mail sec­tion. “Slide in ra­dios to re­place ex­ist­ing ra­dios are not avail­able as per CAA sug­ges­tion,” con­tends Singh, who also dis­putes one other bit of CAA ad­vice. “Hand­held por­ta­ble ra­dios are not safe to use as a main

“In the short term, a 25khz ra­dio may be able to con­tinue to trans­mit...”

ra­dio,” he in­sists. “We have no for­mal data avail­able to know how many air­craft in the UK are still fit­ted with 25khz ra­dios. Per­haps the CAA could make this in­for­ma­tion avail­able [and] can the au­thor­ity con­firm we will not be pros­e­cuted for us­ing 25khz ra­dios after 1 Jan­uary 2018?”

Now there is an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion to end on, and one that drew an im­me­di­ate re­sponse when Pi­lot put it to Paul Farrell: “my un­der­stand­ing is the the an­swer is no – it will be ‘il­le­gal’ to trans­mit us­ing a 25khz ra­dio after Jan­uary 2018 un­less trans­mit­ting on the emer­gency fre­quency, 121.5 khz. [While] ex­emp­tions have been is­sued for ground sta­tions to use 25khz ra­dios, none have been is­sued to air­craft ra­dio sta­tions!”

Seven new avi­a­tion stu­dents have taken the first ten­ta­tive steps on Dundee’s BSC (Hons) Pro­fes­sional Avi­a­tion Pi­lot

Prac­tice pro­gramme. The group is the lat­est in­take on the course run by Dun­dee­based Tay­side Avi­a­tion in con­junc­tion with Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity and Avi­a­tion Skills Part­ner­ship. The new stu­dents, all aged be­tween eigh­teen and twenty, are Zac Chiswell from Car­luke; Alis­tair Cun­ning­ham from Stone­haven; Dun­can Mills from Peter­bor­ough; Kieran Mcgre­gor from Stone­haven; Emily Horne from Broughty Ferry; Shaun Sewell from New­cas­tle, and Panchb­haya Rokayya from Dundee. They bring the to­tal num­ber of stu­dents cur­rently on the course to 44.

‘Stu­dents not only re­quire aca­demic cri­te­ria sim­i­lar to most de­gree cour­ses but must also hold a PPL, prov­ing their ap­ti­tude, abil­ity and work ethic from the out­set,’ says Tay­side Avi­a­tion. ‘The course, which is the first of its kind avail­able in Scot­land, greatly in­creases and ac­cel­er­ates stu­dents’ chances of gain­ing em­ploy­ment as air­line pi­lots. It aims to en­hance stu­dents’ ca­reer pro­gres­sion within the in­dus­try and hope­fully at­tract more fe­males into the ca­reer who cur­rently rep­re­sent less than 10% of the UK’S com­mer­cial pi­lots. There are cur­rently 39 stu­dents work­ing to­wards their de­grees, eight of whom are fe­male.’

De­gree stu­dents can also gain ac­cess to fund­ing to help with the cost of flight train­ing. Tay­side’s three-year pro­gramme in­cludes struc­tured hours-build­ing in ad­di­tion to CPL, ME IR and MCC train­ing.

The pro­gramme also in­volves part­ner air­line Lo­ganair, which op­er­ates Saab 340s, and 2000s, Dornier 328s and DHC Twin Ot­ters. Tay­side Avi­a­tion has supplied Lo­ganair with ex­pe­ri­enced pi­lots on their pi­lot place­ment pro­gramme over the past five years. Tay­side Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Jim Watts said: “Aca­demic recog­ni­tion for all of the hard work be­hind be­com­ing an air­line pi­lot is long over­due. With all the part­ners in this process, we have a com­mon in­ter­est in our ap­proach, which was to re­duce the cost of ob­tain­ing a li­cence and pro­vide the best sup­port to stu­dents in our care. I am de­lighted that we now have this pro­gramme air­borne and look for­ward to work­ing with this lat­est group of young stu­dents.”

The next stu­dent in­take will ar­rive in April 2018. Tay­side Avi­a­tion holds monthly open days to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and course over­views. For more de­tails tel: 01382 644372 or visit taysideav­i­a­tion.co.uk

Ben Akhtar, win­ner of Big­gin Hill Air­port’s 2017 Nick David­son Memo­rial

Fly­ing Schol­ar­ship, be­gan his PPL flight train­ing course with EFG Fly­ing School in Septem­ber.

Now eigh­teen, Ben took up paraglid­ing at the age of four­teen and reached a high stan­dard in the sport, be­com­ing a ju­nior mem­ber of the Bri­tish team and com­pet­ing through­out the UK and Europe. He has also tried his hand at paramo­tor­ing, and joined the Big­gin Hill squadron of the Air Train­ing Corps, reach­ing the rank of Cadet Flight Sergeant.

Hol­i­day work as an as­sis­tant at EFG gave him an in­sight into fly­ing train­ing and en­cour­aged his as­pi­ra­tion to be­come a com­mer­cial pi­lot. EFG CFI and Head of Train­ing Ray Wat­son ex­pects him to have com­pleted all fly­ing and ground ex­am­i­na­tions by the spring of 2018.

Twenty-six-year-old Leo Tang has been awarded the TAG Fly­ing Schol­ar­ship

2017 which will pro­vide him with train­ing to­wards a PPL. Orig­i­nally from Hong Kong, Leo stud­ied Aero­space En­gi­neer­ing at the Univer­sity of Bris­tol and, since grad­u­at­ing, worked in air­craft en­gi­neer­ing be­fore join­ing the National Air Traf­fic Ser­vices as an op­er­a­tional re­source an­a­lyst at the Swan­wick Air Traf­fic Con­trol Cen­tre. He will train with Phoenix Avi­a­tion at Lee-on-the-So­lent air­field.

“I would like to thank TAG Farn­bor­ough Air­port for pro­vid­ing me with this fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity,” Leo said. “My ul­ti­mate goal has al­ways been to pur­sue a ca­reer within the avi­a­tion in­dus­try, to be­come a pro­fes­sional pi­lot and ul­ti­mately to qual­ify as a fly­ing in­struc­tor, al­low­ing me to pass on my skills to the next gen­er­a­tion of young fly­ing en­thu­si­asts and en­cour­age them to chase their dreams. The sup­port of the schol­ar­ship is in­valu­able and is al­low­ing me to make my dreams a re­al­ity.”

The schol­ar­ship is part of TAG Farn­bor­ough Air­port’s ‘Avi­a­tion to Ed­u­ca­tion’ pro­gramme. Now in its tenth year, it works with schools and col­leges within the lo­cal area to in­form and ed­u­cate about avi­a­tion. Each year, un­der the aus­pices of the Hon­ourable Com­pany of Air Pi­lots’ schol­ar­ship pro­gramme, TAG grants a schol­ar­ship with the aim of sup­port­ing young peo­ple who might oth­er­wise not have the re­sources to gain fly­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Over the past decade, schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ents have pro­gressed to a va­ri­ety of pro­fes­sional roles within the avi­a­tion in­dus­try, in­clud­ing be­com­ing air­line pi­lots.

The CAA has pub­lished Train­ing­com Au­tumn 2017 which con­tains news and ad­vice for flight train­ing pro­fes­sion­als. This is­sue cov­ers: Con­trolled Airspace in­fringe­ments; stalling; book­ing skills tests; use of GPS dur­ing VFR nav­i­ga­tion train­ing; dual flight; as­sess­ment of ME en­gine fail­ure after take-off (EFATO); in­struc­tor as­sess­ment of com­pe­ten­cies; unan­nounced CAA flight ex­am­iner vis­its; and the Sky­way Code. It can be down­loaded at: http://pub­l­i­capps.caa.co. uk/docs/33/train­ing­com_au­tumn2017.pdf

Heli­cen­tre Avi­a­tion Academy has an­nounced de­tails of its 2018 he­li­copter

pi­lot schol­ar­ship pro­gramme, un­der which it will award two full schol­ar­ships to suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants: a com­mer­cial pi­lot (CPL(H)) schol­ar­ship, val­ued at £55K, and a flight in­struc­tor (FI(H)) schol­ar­ship, worth £19K. The CPL(H) schol­ar­ship will cover the en­tire cost of all post-ppl(h) hour build­ing (in­clud­ing the chance to fly some hours at the com­pany’s Win­ter Haven base in Florida, USA), the ATPL(H) the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge course, and the com­plete CPL(H) mod­u­lar fly­ing course — a to­tal of up to 145 hours flight time in a Guim­bal Cabri G2. The FI(H) schol­ar­ship will pay for the com­plete thirty-hour flight in­struc­tor course and will re­ward the win­ner with a full-time flight in­struc­tor po­si­tion with the Heli­cen­tre Academy upon com­ple­tion.

This is the sixth round of schol­ar­ships of­fered by Heli­cen­tre, of­fer­ing bud­ding pi­lots a fast track to a fly­ing ca­reer, and rep­re­sents an in­vest­ment by Heli­cen­tre of more than £380k in pro­fes­sional train­ing since the schol­ar­ships launched in 2012.

“Our schol­ar­ship pro­gramme has been ex­tremely suc­cess­ful, pro­vid­ing win­ners with much-needed fund­ing in or­der to com­plete their pro­fes­sional train­ing,” Head of Train­ing, Cap­tain Sarah Bowen ex­plained. “It has also proved to be in­stru­men­tal in iden­ti­fy­ing ex­treme tal­ent and pro­fes­sion­al­ism; this is not just in the win­ning can­di­dates but also in the over­all high cal­i­bre of un­suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants, many of whom have se­cured ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties with us as pro­fes­sional he­li­copter pi­lots. (The) pro­gramme was cre­ated to meet the ever-grow­ing de­mand for he­li­copter pi­lots and has proven to be the big­gest sin­gle in­vest­ment in the fu­ture of our in­dus­try that we as a com­pany have made.”

En­try cri­te­ria and the on­line ap­pli­ca­tion form are at www.he­li­copter­schol­ar­ships. com. Any­one wish­ing to ap­ply for ei­ther schol­ar­ship must sub­mit their ap­pli­ca­tion and en­rol on Heli­cen­tre Avi­a­tion Academy’s PPL(H) course be­fore 31 De­cem­ber 2017. To be con­sid­ered, ap­pli­cants must com­plete their PPL(H) by 30 Septem­ber 2018. Schol­ar­ship ap­pli­cants also have the op­por­tu­nity to ap­ply for the Academy’s BSC (Hons) De­gree course, in part­ner­ship with Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity. If el­i­gi­ble for stu­dent fi­nance, the cost of self-fund­ing the re­main­der of the CPL(H) is re­duced to a min­i­mum. Heli­cen­tre Avi­a­tion Academy is head­quar­tered in Le­ices­ter.

Three years after Pan­shanger Aero­drome closed, a crowd-fund­ing cam­paign has

won the back­ing of pi­lots, politi­cians and busi­ness lead­ers who are de­ter­mined to see fly­ing re­sume at the site.

Pan­shanger Com­mu­nity Air­field’s Project Phoenix plan is to re­store the aero­drome to fly­ing op­er­a­tions and to re­gain its sta­tus as a vi­tal com­mu­nity as­set. Among those back­ing the cam­paign are Carol Vor­der­man, Pauline Va­hey from AOPA and the Gen­eral Avi­a­tion In­fra­struc­ture Net­work (GAIN), avi­a­tion in­sur­ance group Hay­ward Avi­a­tion, and lo­cal Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, Grant Shapps.

Shapps, whose Wel­wyn-hat­field con­stituency in­cludes Pan­shanger, said: “[The Wel­wyn Hat­field area] has been re­spon­si­ble for some of the most re­mark­able avi­a­tion achieve­ments. From the Mos­quito to de­vel­op­ment of the Comet, the world’s first jet air­liner, our area has con­trib­uted to avi­a­tion in a man­ner that few other places can boast. In more re­cent years, the air­field be­came known for its ex­tra­or­di­nary work for the lo­cal com­mu­nity, fo­cus­ing on ac­cess for res­i­dents to the café, re­vival days, fire­works and in help­ing to in­spire new gen­er­a­tions of young avi­a­tors to look to the skies.”

Pauline Va­hey said, “We will be giv­ing them all the sup­port and help we can to help re­turn this valu­able as­set back to its role, not only in the lo­cal area but also na­tion­ally,” while Tim Proc­tor of Hay­ward Avi­a­tion added, “We are sup­port­ing Project Phoenix as we are a com­pany who are strongly sup­port­ive of all as­pects of GA and par­tic­u­larly on sav­ing and if pos­si­ble re­viv­ing air­fields.”

As a re­sult of sup­port from lo­cal res­i­dents and former fly­ing club mem­bers, space has been al­lo­cated for an aero­drome in the lo­cal plan that is due to be re­viewed by a plan­ning in­spec­tor. How­ever, the air­field’s sup­port­ers are con­cerned that the lo­cal au­thor­ity and de­vel­oper are not fully com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing a sus­tain­able air­field for the com­mu­nity. The core team be­hind Project Phoenix in­cludes Nick Co­plowe, Sue Hart and Haim Merkado who all have ex­ten­sive back­grounds in avi­a­tion. It also in­cludes mem­bers with ex­ten­sive plan­ning, mar­ket­ing, fi­nance and ne­go­ti­at­ing skills as well as lo­cal his­to­ri­ans seek­ing to pre­serve the air­field’s her­itage.

‘All are lo­cal res­i­dents who are com­mit­ted to bring­ing Pan­shanger Aero­drome back to the com­mu­nity to en­sure its sus­tain­abil­ity for the longterm rather than solely for com­mer­cial gain,’ says the group. ‘The team’s vi­sion is for a revamped Pan­shanger Aero­drome to raise the bar to new heights, mak­ing the aero­drome a source of de­light and plea­sure for both the lo­cal and avi­a­tion com­mu­ni­ties. It will pro­vide a pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment for nur­tur­ing the as­pi­ra­tions of the younger gen­er­a­tion as well as in­spir­ing the older gen­er­a­tions, de­liv­er­ing pub­lic events from re­vival days to fu­tur­is­tic in­sights and a place where ex­perts from all fields can share a warm com­mu­nity at­mos­phere. The ob­jec­tive of Project Phoenix and the re­open­ing of the aero­drome is to let all peo­ple bring and share their pas­sions, to en­joy fire­works and night drone rac­ing, from cy­cling to aer­o­batic cham­pi­ons, and to ig­nite a sense of ad­ven­ture and dis­cov­ery along­side a sense of pride and hon­our in the com­mu­nity.

‘Start now by log­ging onto our web­site project-phoenix.org.uk, ex­plore its con­tent and sign up. Back­ers of the crowd-fund­ing ap­peal will be kept up­dated with key devel­op­ments and be in­vited to events re­lat­ing to the air­field. Record a short video of your most mem­o­rable time at Pan­shanger, what fly­ing means to you, how you would feel if it re­opened as a com­mu­nity aero­drome, and what you would like to see at the air­field. The most touch­ing, mov­ing and in­spir­ing videos will be shown Youtube. Join our Face­book group (project phoenix pan­shanger), or fol­low us on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram.’

8.33 ra­dio de­signed to fit the stan­dard panel slot: Garmin’s GTR 225

Com­pact and pop­u­lar for new in­stal­la­tions, Trig’s 8.33 com­pat­i­ble TY91

An 8.33 hand­held could be one work-around, pend­ing fitt­ment of an 8.33 panel unit

Trig’s 8.33 panel ra­dio, the slim­line TY96 is de­signed to fit the stan­dard stack width

Aim­ing for pro­fes­sional ca­reers, Dundee Pro­fes­sional Avi­a­tion Pi­lot Prac­tice BSC stu­dents with one of Tay­side’s PA-28S

Pre­par­ing for his first train­ing flight, Ben Akhtar (right) with EFG’S CFI & Head of Train­ing Ray Wat­son

Leo Tang (left) with TAG Farn­bor­ough Air­port’s CEO Bran­don O’reilly

Pre­vi­ous schol­ar­ship win­ner Cal­lum Tin­nion’s post-ppl(h) train­ing (in­clud­ing his in­struc­tor course) was cov­ered by Heli­cen­tre Avi­a­tion. He is now Base Man­ager at Heli­cen­tre’s Florida fa­cil­ity

Pan­shanger was a pop­u­lar GA des­ti­na­tion be­fore its clo­sure

Left to right: Sue Hart, Haim Merkado, Jane Quin­ton, Nick Co­plowe (PHOTO: PETER STER­LING)

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