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How to mount your iPad on the cockpit GlareShield

cockpit Mission ipad attached to glareshield

The iPad is a great tool in the cockpit with its big touch green and the right navigation software it is a good alternative for the more expensive navigation avionics.

I was looking for a setup which allowed me to fly without hindrance of the stick or blocking my outside view and at the same time have the iPad screen within reach. cockpit Mission ipad attached to glareshieldThe solution that met all these requirements was a RAM iPad holder attached to the glareshield of the cockpit. The double socket arm allows to rotate the iPad cradle in almost any angle. Below the different components of my setup :

RAM holders also exist for iPad air or the iPad mini. The socket arm comes in the different lengths : standard (9,37 cm),  short (6 cm) and long (15 cm). The RAM products come with a lifetime warranty, the holders are made of high strength composite.  The complete configuration can be bought as separate items or as a complete set in the FlyForFun pilot shop.

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Good Pilot Magazine

It has been a long time since I added a post to the website, but I wanted to share this tip with you. Some might have already seen some of the pilot training video’s from Jason Schappert from MZeroA, if not you should definitely have a look. Since end 2013  Jason has also a e-magazine called Good Pilot Magazine available in the Apple iTune store, and it is free after registration. It features some of Jason’s video and practical tips to become a better pilot, to use Jason’s own words “Because a good pilot is always learning”.


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EU implementing regulation on 8.33 KHZ channnel spacing

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1079/2012 of 16 November 2012 was
published on 17 November in the EU Official Journal. It lays down the requirements for
voice channel spacing for the Single European Sky. The Regulation comes into force on 7
December and is applicable in all Member States.

In 2007 a regulation laid down the requirements for voice channel spacing above FL 195,
making the use of 8.33 Khz radios mandatory to reduce frequency congestion. At that
time, EAS still hoped that an extension of this requirement below FL 195 could be avoided,
as it would force owners to refit their aircraft, at their own expense, with 8.33 KHz spaced
radios. Many meetings of EAS representatives with other airspace users and talks with
service providers and the Commission were unsuccessful in limiting the requirement to
flying activities above FL 195.

In brief, the requirements of the Regulation Article 4 are as follows:

  • The Regulation will apply to all radios operating in the 117,975 – 137 MHz band (‘the VHF band’)
  • From 17 November 2013, manufacturers must ensure that all radios on the market are 8.33 kHz channel spacing capable.
  • Operators must ensure that all radio equipment put into service from 17 November 2013 includes the 8.33 kHz channel spacing capability.
  • Aircraft with a radio equipage requirement, for which individual certificates of airworthiness or individual flight permits are first issued in the Union from 17 Nov 2013, have to be fitted with radios with 8,33 kHz channel spacing capability.
  • Member States must ensure that by 31 December 2017 at the latest, all radios have the 8,33 kHz channel spacing capability

There are two more important final requirements:

The full text of the Regulation is available in all EU languages

To avoid a rush towards the end of the retrofit period it is wise to plan your retrofit early.
Most installations will be a minor change only but will need some time and, unfortunately,

Source : Europe Air Sports newsletter November 2012

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Microlight Helicopter Class in France

The Microlight Helicopter Class is now effective in France since 10 months. It became the 6th class of microlights, after Class 1 Paramotor, Class 2 Weight Shift, Class 3 Three Axis, Class 4 Augyro and Class 5 Airship. At this time four machines have received an identification index from our CAA. They are :

  • Kompress Charly I and II from Elisport (2 seats)
  • Runabout CH 77 from the same company (2seats)
  • Spirit Tandem from Cicare Europe (2 seats)
  • Mosquito XE from Innovator Technologies (single seat)

At that time,the 26th of November 2012, about twelve pilots get a licence and ten flying instructors are already in function, coming in majority from the “light certified helicopter category”.  As a transitional disposition, during still 12 months, if you get a instructor rating in the light helicopter category and if you are also a microlight instructor,  you could be a flight instructor by equivalence for this new class). The regulation is exactly the same for the 6 classes.

Source : European Microlight Federation


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English Language Proficiency (ELP) test

All Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers and all others who use English in radio telephony communication must be at International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) English Language Level 4 or above.

ICAO validity scale:

  • Level 4: Operational, valid 3 years
  • Level 5: Extended, valid 6 years
  • Level 6: Expert, lifetime valid

As Ultralight pilot you are not obliged to use or have a radio as long as you only fly in uncontrolled airspace. But being able to use the radio correctly will increase your safety and those of other pilots.

Below a report of the test I took in November this year at Kortrijk Wevelgem International Airport.

Part I

This was a paper based test, also in two parts, total time allocated 30 minutes. First you are given a complex story, mine was about an emergency exercise on an aircraft, afterwards you have to answer multiple choice question about this story. The second part consisted of completing a series of English sentences, again multiple choice. Different versions of the tests were distributed amongst the group, so copying your neighbors answers is not a smart thing todo.

Part II

This was an individual test everything was record on video and took no longer then 20 to 30 minutes. I was asked to introduced myself, we talked about work, flying of course. Then I was given a picture taken from an aircraft, and I had to described what was shown on the picture. After this I had to read out loud a text describing the workings of an altimeter. And finally we went through the questions of part I.

Overall the test was no too difficult, pay attention in the first part to the details. For the second part talk with confidence, the content does not really matter. The more you talk the easier it is for the examiner to get an idea of your level.

And yes, I passed, I obtained level 6 so valid for the rest of my life, if the rules don’t change. I paid 125€ for this test.


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The Flying Show – UK’s largest indoor aviation event

The 2012 Flying Show is the UK’s biggest indoor aviation event, featuring everything from Radio Controlled (RC) models, foot launch and free flight to high-end Light Sport Aircraft.

Building on the success of the 2011 event, a busy show which saw more visitors than ever before and the launch of a brand new microlight, the 2012 show will take place on 1-2 December at the Birmingham NEC.

In 2012, the show will have plenty of stands to visit and attractions to see, including:

  • Flight simulator
  • Flying displays – British Modeling Flying Association (BMFA)
  • Propeller carving and fabric covering demos
  • Turbine helicopters
  • Hot Air Balloons
  • Seminars
  • Aircraft displays

Click here, to find out more.

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The EASA approves Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro for iPad as Electronic Flight Bag

The iPad has not only had a major impact on enterprises and consumers, it is now also changing the way of working for pilots. Many ultralight & sport pilots already use iPad apps for flight preparation and navigation.

Recently the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved Jeppesen FliteDec Pro iPad app for use as Electronic Flight Bag (EFB).

The report states, “The EASA Operations Evaluation Board (OEB) sees no technical objections to the grant by National Authorities of an operational approval for the use of Terminal Charting (TC) Pro iOS and Flight Deck Pro iOS software applications taking the recommendations in this report into account.”  This endorsement clears a path for EASA-based certificated operators to gain Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approvals for the operational use of Jeppesen’s iPad applications, and thus further accelerating the tablet EFB revolution.

Because the iPad applications can be used in all phases of flight, integration of tablet EFB allows wide-scale reduction of paper flight materials resulting in substantial fuel savings while providing crew-based mobile platforms as key building blocks towards the ultimate goal of the connected digital airline.

More information can be found on Jeppesen website, here.

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AVGAS UL91 put to the test

Plein Vol* teams up with Pierre Pouchès – an expert with the French ultralight federation
(FFPLUM) and founder of the national ultralight testing and technical training centre (CNFTE)—to explore the risks of using road fuel in aviation and find out more about AVGAS UL 91 solutions.

Ultralights and fuel

There are still too many ultralight enthusiasts who fly using some form of road fuel, which fails to comply with the specific needs of aviation. For instance, distributors are required to include biofuel in gasoline for road vehicles (also known as “motor gasoline”, or “mogas”) to comply with European regulations, and the trend is set to increase: by 2020, 10% of mogas sold in Europe will be expected to come from renewable sources. Ethanol is still the most widely used and readily available solution. However, it has some real
drawbacks and can have an adverse effect on parts of the fuel system on a ultralight. UL 91 is an ethanol-free unleaded fuel based on Avgas 100LL that is compatible with these fuel systems. It meets the needs of pilots and the specific requirements of their aircraft, and has already been approved by engine makers such as Rotax and Lycoming**.

Risk N°1: ethanol can corrode parts of the fuel system

Pierre Pouchès: With the exception of the engine, ultralight parts are often incompatible with ethanol. That includes the fuel tank, hosing, filters and seals. If the aircraft is not used for an extended period, the ethanol can corrode these parts, or leave deposits in the fuel system. Without proper care, this can cause engine failure in mid-flight.

The UL 91 solution: UL 91 is a fuel designed for aviation and is made from the same hydrocarbon molecules as Avgas 100LL. It is completely ethanol-free, which means there is no risk to other parts of the ultralight fuel system.

Risk N° 2: Vapor lock

Pierre Pouchès: Between August and September 2011, the FFPLUM reported a significant increase in vapour lock throughout the south of France. The phenomenon occurs in warm environments, and can be particularly problematic for four-stroke engines, which have a tendency to produce high temperatures when a little too confined. It things get too hot, the fuel can “vaporize” in the delivery system, creating a pocket of gas that can cause the engine to stall.

The UL 91 solution: Road fuel volatility varies from one season to the next. Aviation fuel like UL 91 has consistently lower vapour pressure year round, which significantly reduces the risk of vapour lock.

Risk N° 3: Ethanol and condensation

Pierre Pouchès: Before any flight, the pilot has to purge the tanks to force
out any water resulting from natural condensation. The problem with ethanol
is that it attracts water. As a result, the use of road fuel such regular and unleaded—known as «SP 95» and «SP 98» in France—in an ultralight increases the risk of water in the fuel tank. What is more, if ethanol is present, then even a small amount of water in the tank can be difficult to purge; if there is a lot of water, however, the water pulls the ethanol molecules to the bottom of the tank, changing the fuel characteristics.

The UL 91 solution: UL 91 is guaranteed ethanol-free. No matter what the humidity, water can easily be purged without altering fuel characteristics.

Risk N° 4: fuel storage and quality

Pierre Pouchès: Pilots often tend to store fuel at home in jerry cans. However, if not
kept in the right conditions, fuel can deteriorate in just eight days. That is particularly true for road fuel, which is more volatile. Storing gasoline at home is not just dangerous; it can adversely affect the fuel itself.

The UL 91 solution: Through tight controls on the supply chain from production to airfield storage, UL 91 always meets optimal quality standards. As a result, you know you are filling your tank with clean, high-end fuel.

UL 91 versus SP 98 performance

Pierre Pouchès: During the Tour de France ULM 2011, some pilots felt as if UL 91 was running out faster than road fuel. The rumor began against a competitive backdrop, at a time when pilots were looking to push their machines harder than usual. In reality, however, once they were on their way home after the race at normal cruising speed, pilots reported no difference in fuel consumption.

The UL 91 solution: Like all aviation fuels, UL 91 has a guaranteed, higher calorific value than mogas. It has an octane rating of 91, compared with 87 for SP 98, which means it is more resistant to abnormal combustion phenomena, such as “engine knock”.

Did you know?

Nearly all gasoline for road vehicles contains some degree of ethanol. A European directive on promoting the use of energy from renewable sources has set a goal of reaching a 10% share of renewable energy in the transport sector by 2020. In a bid to meet this target, most distributors have chosen to mix gasoline with ethanol. However, ethanol has a lower energy content than a petroleum-based equivalent (for instance, for a given quantity of fuel, ethanol offers roughly two thirds the energy content of gasoline).

*Plein Vol is a magazine published by Total,  this article was taken from PleinVol n°19 May 2012 (published with permission)

**A list of approved engines is available from:
Rotax: Service Instruction SI-912-016, SI-914-019

Lycoming: Service Instruction SI-1070R


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Smartphone app to locate French Ultralight airfields

If you are the owner of SmartPhone and you are French pilot or you have planned a cross country flight to France then you might be interested to know that since recently the French Ultra Light federation (FR) has made its BASULM (FR) web application also available on iPhone and Android phones.

You can download the IBasULM app for free from the Apple app store for iPhone or from Google Play for Android phones.

Similar to the web application, which by the way is also free, you can look up ultralight airfields. It will display GPS coordinates, airfield elevation, runway(s), contact information, etc.

Both the web and Smartphone applications allow you to search for airfields based on criteria such as type, region and airfields nearby. The results can be displayed on Google maps.