AOPA Short Approach

May 2018 Short Approach

From the President?

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Short Approach – May 2018

Recreational Pilots Licence – revisited – logic has broken out in Wellington.

The RPL has matured. The RPL has now gained its rightful place as a ‘step-down’ licence in the line of ATPL/CPL/PPL/RPL/Microlight privileges.

If you have ever had a valid PPL or CPL or ATPL you do not need to apply for an RPL.  You do not need the bit of plastic with RPL on it… You do not need to spend the $235, you do not need another ‘Fit and Proper Person’ form, you do not need a Police check; you do not need to prove your colour vision competence.

For ATPL, CPL and PPL holders if for any reason you do not have a current Class 2 aviation medical you can now still fly under RPL rules; so long as you have a valid and current DL9 with P endorsement, plus your BFR is current. This is great news.

For student pilots wanting a RPL and the plastic licence, the $235 still stands as does the Police check, FPP and colour vison check. However the DL9 P endorsement is normally a lot cheaper and more convenient to get than a Class 2 aviation medical. Remember to keep the original DL9 with your licence as proof of currency.

Just to reiterate the RPL allows you to fly an aircraft under 2000kg, or a helicopter  (single engine less than 1500kg) with one passenger, not over built up areas, except for approach and departure from an airfield, not pressurised, not at night and not IFR. You need to keep the original DL9 with your licence just as you would keep your Class 2 aviation medical handy to prove your currency. You need to send a copy of the DL9 to CAA Licencing Department. Any conditions attached to the DL9 need to be adhered to.

The RPL is not a valid ICAO pilot licence and cannot be used overseas. However this maturing of the licence gives us an opportunity to advocate for wider privileges (you know that is a word I dislike and I would prefer ‘competencies’ but ‘privileges’ is the word which the law uses.) We will be assessing which extensions to this licence we will advocate for next – 4 passengers would be nice, pressurised is logical, night flying? IFR? – Plenty of work to do.

Best wishes

Steve Brown  President



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