Short Approach January 2020:
I trust you all enjoyed the Christmas/New Year revelries, and that you came through unscathed… How’s the liver??
The Marlborough sounds were remarkably windless though not really warm. I had my annual waterski on my birthday; funny how I go shorter distances each year…
We have been very busy preparing our submission for The Ministry of Transport on the NPRM (Proposed rule changes) which eventually came out just before Christmas. Most of our membership will be well pleased; 5 passengers and able to fly over built up areas on an RPL like license. However, the logic was not sound, the process was ‘higgled piggily’ and the conclusions to exclude; agricultural flying, use of an aerobatic rating, night flying, pressurizing aircraft and IFR were not backed up by sound evidence or consistent process.
I am encouraged that the exclusions do not seem to have come from the Medical Department, they came from non-medical ‘experts’ who do not appear to have a firm grasp of aeromedical science. Our department friend, Elizabeth Bolton, who is the lead for this review of medical standards, initially approved all these now excluded flight types. The Medical Department would never have let the colour vision be such a major issue in night flying, they know that once your eyes adapt to low light intensity, we are all virtually colour blind, plus we have formally reviewed this recently; re-litigation helps no-one.
We have the final draft report from our consultants; we anticipate releasing it to all our membership within a week. Then we need you all to put pen to paper and get our thoughts to the Ministry in no uncertain terms.
Flying is what we enjoy and I would like to share with you the positive side of being on the AOPA Committee. Geoff Van Asch is leading the team organising the South Island Safari; all is looking good. Paul Hood and I are looking after the southern strips. So, as part of our ‘job’ with full approval from our ‘significant others’ we fired up JPN and headed off early yesterday morning to check the strips out. Checking out included approaching from both ends and getting photos from mid finals etc. Well what a day, 11 strips including one I have not been to before. Lots of chats with owners and enthusiastic people who facilitate our social events. Tried to convince owners not to spend too much time mowing and preparing… Had to drag ourselves home to reality late in the afternoon. There is a ‘work’ component to serving on an organising committee but all too often people forget how much fun we also have. The method in my madness for relating this story is that we have an AGM coming up on 7th March. I would very much like to hear from members who are considering joining our ‘Exec committee’. We have three long term members not standing for re-election this time. Don’t be bashful and also think about your friends who might be good for our organisation.
Enough from me at this time of year. Get some currency under your belt while the days are long and the weather is relatively benign. If you are coming to the Safari please get some precision landing and take off practice. All of the strips we visited yesterday were suitable for a C172 two up but some required a pilot with a high level of currency and competency. Currency is more critical as competency devalues the longer it is since you attained it….
Look forward to seeing lots of you at ‘Healthy Bastards’ and let’s look forward to a great AGM with lots to celebrate.