Comment on 'Ten Steps to Safer GA'

Paul Crispin has written in with this comment on the article in the Autumn issue of GASCo Flight Safety, copied in the September issue of Flight Safety Extra:

 “Step4: Exams Tests 

The old chestnut of SEP / SSEA Revalidation/Renewal
You don't have a "Revalidation Flying Test"  

An LPC by an FE is for a Renewal of a lapsed Rating, and must be passed to a fit standard. Safe and Legal. A training flight is just that, a flight with an FI. 

We do have the issue that if a 'poor' pilot manages his SEP Rating period OK and has done a training flight, to whatever standard, then, with sufficient flight hours,  he satisfies the Revalidation criteria. Only if the ‘poor' pilot's rating lapses and thus needs to pass an LPC, can an FE insist on sufficient retraining, if the standard is not achieved. 

Yes, most pilots are receptive to continuous improvement, and if they have fallen into a 'poor' category are keen to bring themselves back up to standard. But, what if there is no mechanism to lever those that are falling by the wayside into more than the 1 hour with FI if it is required?

We share the sky with these guys. All our instructors are encouraged to expand a pilot's knowledge and experience at each rating Revalidation Flight. 

The training syllabi are the basis for the core skills required. I would hope that all schools DO train for infringement avoidance as part of their Navigation and Planning training and also show how this is backed up by electronic planning and use of a GPS.”

‘Colin Wright replies:

First of all, many thanks for taking the time to reply, there is nothing worse than being ignored. You are, of course quite right regarding a training flight, I was fooled by the Licence page headed ‘Revalidation’ with ‘Test’ and ‘Examiner’ on it. 

There is total agreement with your point regarding the inability to control poor performance without a formal lapse.

Poor performers are often keen to hide their deficiencies or limit their operation to match their abilities as a containment strategy.

Trainee after a first solo ‘I don’t need any more training as I am never going to leave the circuit’

In the airline we had the ‘Dirty Dozen’ all very able to pass Instrument Ratings and Route checks but some of their other decisions could be breath taking.

What do you do with a pilot who is known as ‘Dangerous Dave? Tried this question on the CAA, no reply so far.

Or another, in retirement, who single handedly prop swings a vintage aircraft with no chocks and a string on the throttle to cover when he is not quick enough running around the wing as it moves off without him. There seems to be a an inability to blend Aptitude and Attitude. If you have poor decision making processes your flying skills may not save you, hence my puzzle in the last edition. I would like to think the GA practices could continually improve both.

For example the use of GPS, I would make this the default training process, In many areas you cannot afford to be ‘Unsure of your position’ and a safe reroute is much simpler and more relaxed.

‘We share the sky with these guys’

So true and so sad.

Colin, Thanks.