Air­mail

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Read­ers make their views known on topi­cal and other mat­ters

I own a tail­drag­ger so usu­ally end up hir­ing a C150 or sim­i­lar for my reval­i­da­tion flight as FIS aren’t current on tail­drag­gers. On 27 March I did my reval flight at a West Mid­lands air­field (which cur­rently does not have a CFI) in one of their C150s and with one of their peo­ple who said he was not an FI but held FCL:945. He supplied and signed the rel­e­vant pa­per­work at the end of the flight (not­ing the next re­newal date in­cor­rectly as end March 2021 in­stead of end May 2021) and de­scrib­ing him­self as ‘Ex­am­iner’ with his num­ber.

Be­cause I’d been sur­prised by some of his com­ments and lack of knowl­edge dur­ing the flight (I have over 2,000 hours as against his 200+) I looked him up on the CAA web­site lists of ex­am­in­ers and couldn’t find him. A friend also told me that an FCL:945 had to be an in­struc­tor in or­der to sign off pa­per­work. So I rang the CAA to check, fear­ing my reval might not be valid.

The CAA told me I had to email their FCL web­site, which I did on 28 March, and the au­to­mated re­sponse prom­ises an aim ‘to re­ply within ten work­ing days’. Af­ter fif­teen work­ing days had passed with no re­sponse, I sent a chaser email on 20 April – and got the same au­to­mated re­sponse. To date how­ever, now an­other fif­teen work­ing days on (to­tal: thirty days) I have heard noth­ing and do not know if the reval flight was le­gal and hence whether my li­cence and, equally im­por­tant, my air­craft in­sur­ance is valid.

So what does the CAA do and why does is take so long to answer what is a fairly sim­ple query? Oh, but silly me, they are too busy push­ing for air­ports to grab airspace, and to re­duce safety mar­gins in Class D airspace, which will stop many pi­lots flying and re­duce their work­load! It may in­crease the AAIB’S, how­ever, due to more ac­ci­dents at the re­sult­ing choke points…

How do I get them to do their job and re­ply to me so I can get on with en­joy­ing my flying while I still can? Name and ad­dress supplied

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