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05 April 2015


Hi Roger (good French surname there)

There has been much previous discussion about this but not in the context of the CBM IR.

The conclusion, with the assistance of expert opinion, was that a UK-issued JAR/EASA PPL restricted pilots to flying 'in sight of the surface', even in countries where the air traffic rules allowed this.

However, the addition of the IMC rating, though not recognised outside of the UK, removed these restrictions from the PPL in those countries where 'VFR on Top' was allowed.

The problem is that the 'harmonised' European rules (originally JAR and now EASA) still have a number of local variations.

In essence, the UK PPL licence-holder in France has to observe two sets of rules which may sometimes be incompatible.

Nothing stays the same for very long in aviation so perhaps some of our readers could bring this discussion up-to-date.

There's always been a wilful misunderstanding about this. The UK IMC rating is only valid in UK airspace and no amount of wishful thinking will change that.

Hi Paul

I think that you are rather missing the point.

Nobody is claiming that the IMC rating is valid outside of the UK but the basic position is that a PPL-holder is allowed to fly 'VFR on top' according to the French rules

However the UK PPL-holder is restricted from doing so by conditions of their own licence - i.e. there are two sent of conflicting rules which must be accommodated.

if the UK pilot had a French-issued PPL, there would be no such restriction and, conversely, no PPL-holder would be allowed to fly 'VFR on Top' in the UK, wherever their licence was issued.

According to the senior CAA official with whom we checked this some years back, the IMC rating, though not valid outside of the UK, removes this restriction on the pilot.

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