EBF in GA Season Opener

On March 21st, EBF participate in EASA’s “GA Season Opener”, which is actually taking place online until March 25th.

Find here the programme of our presentation!

Patricia Lamy will tell you all you always wanted to know about EBF.
Paul Spellward will explain in detail how the rules were made, how they can be improved, and what we do with the ongoing rules. 
Allie Dunnington will focus on safety matters   to help you prepare for this season.
Bastien Lefrançois will give useful advice on how to comply with the regulations in your balloonist’s everyday life.
Karel Abbenes will be happy to share with you a questions & answers session.

So don’t forget to join us on March 21st at 7:pm CET on https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81006151301?pwd=WDByTDRkQVhoT3MwdEJtK21tZDBpdz09

Message from the European Ballooning Federation (EBF) regarding U space and I conspicuity

What is this all about? U space is reserved airspace for manned and unmanned airspace for aerial vehicles like drones and Urban Air Mobility Vehicles.

There are a lot of new developments and initiatives that will promote and develop aerial vehicles used for tasks that are now carried out by helicopters or other vehicles. As an example, air taxi and low-level activity with drones. These activities need airspace which will made available to them by the National Aviation Authorities. This airspace is reserved for this activity and called U-Space.

We as EBF are advocating that we need to be able to fly our balloons and have no or hardly any negative effect from the use of U space airspace. EASA have introduced new legal wording in SERA 6005(c) which reads as follows and is applicable as of January  2023 ( see: Easy Access Rules for Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA) | EASA )

(c) U-space airspace

Manned aircraft operating in airspace designated by the competent authority as a U-space airspace, and not provided with an air traffic control service by the ANSP, shall continuously make themselves electronically conspicuous to the U-space service providers.

ANSP is Air Navigation Service Provider. This means that we have to make ourselves Electronically visible/detectable as of January 2023.

In order to make clear how this can be done we have attached several presentations which you can have a look at: Pre-Recordings for Webinar on iConspicuity – YouTube

We (EBF) have commented on the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA-2021-14) and have made clear that we would support a strict separation of drones and other airspace users as long as they are not limiting the use of airspace for balloons. We feel that drones should not hinder our balloon activities. 

EASA has proposed several solutions varying from ADS B( Automatic Dependant Surveillance Broadcast) which can be expensive, ADSB LIGHT with several yet unproven technology including not installed equipment such as telephone technology in 4 and 5 G. 

We have experimented with SAFESKY which is an APP on your telephone device making you visible for drones and other aircraft. We are looking at the maximum height/altitude on which this APP is reliable. 

Since U space is in many countries limited to 500ft ( with exceptions) this would mean that the App needs to make us electronically visible/detectable up to 500ft. We have seen that this is under most circumstances the case.

This message is to inform you that this is a topic for EBF and that we are involved in finding suitable solutions for the balloon operators and pilots. More news when this is available!

More information: kaa@ballooning-federation.eu

Solidarity with Ukrainian balloonists

Dear balloonist friends

Like all Europeans, EBF members express strongly their solidarity with Ukrainian people, and especially with our Ukrainian balloonists friends.

If there is a way we can help, for instance in welcoming Ukrainian balloonists families in one of EBF countries, or sending helpful stuff, please let us know.

We also have many Russian balloonists friends, and we know they are not responsible for what happens. We do hope the situation will be resolved soon, in respect of both Ukrainian and Russian people.

Patricia Lamy
President

Happy New Year

Dear balloonists across Europe,

2021 has been a difficult year, as well as 2020, and we have no guarantee that 2022 will be better!

Or maybe it will! If we do not give up hope and trust in ourselves!

Last month, our dearest friend and UK representative to EBF, Phil Dunnington, has deceased, and he certainly was an example for all of us, always cheerful and never giving up, with an incredible knowledge of everything about aviation and ballooning.

In 2022, we will follow his example and continue working for the future of our discipline, so that young generations of pilots benefit from a pilot-friendly environment. We will keep you posted.

In the meantime, have the best Christmas and New Year celebration. Let us meet again in the skies in 2022.

EBF Executive Committee.

Phil Dunnington

We have just learnt that our dear friend and EBF General Secretary Phil Dunnington has passed away this morning in Amman, due to a serious Covid. His wife Allie is still in the hospital, also with Covid. It is a terrible shock, as Phil was such a good friend and a precious contributor to ballooning rules. We address our most sincere condolences to Allie, and their children. We will always remember him as a great and very cheerful person.

EBF’s Board in a pub in Bristol, after 2019 General Meeting

SEASONAL MEETING ONLINE – 05/07/2021

Present:

Belgium: Geert Peirsman (Tr) – GP
Czech Republic, Petr Kubicek, 
Denmark: Jan Andersen (JA)
France: Patricia Lamy (President) – PL
Holland: Karel Abbenes (VP) – Ka
Germany: Benni Eimers (BE)
Spain: Neus llado (NL)

Apologies:

Austria, Thomas Herndl 
Switzerland: Balthazar Wicki
UK: Phil Dunnington (Secretary general) – PD

  1. Start of the meeting.

The assembly started at 16/00 online with “ZOOM” video conference tool.

  • Around the table: Covid situation by country

In all countries, business has come back to normal or nearly normal. Everybody flies a lot, with or without masks (in the balloon and/or in the car. There were problems with ground transportation for the passengers, but now everything is OK. 

  • AMC1.BOP.ADD.315(b)

Because Part BOP was made before Part BFCL, relations between Bop and BFCL are not always clear. So some AMC should be changed, and EBF want to open a discussion with EASA. 

Czech Republic sent a proposal to change AMC1.BOP.ADD.315 (in annex to this document):

  • in case of flight crew members engaged in commercial passenger ballooning, include the content of the proficiency check for the commercial operation rating specified in AMC1 BFCL.215(d)(2)(i) (AMC & GM to Part-BFCL);

TO: 

The Operator Proficiency Check shall be conducted by the flight operation manager nominated in accordance with BOP.ADD.040.(c).1

The document sent by the Czech representative Petr Kubicek details all justifications.

Karel Abbenes will make a proposal to EASA, and It may be more appropriate that instead of a “Flight Operation Manager”, it is an FI, or a “nominated person”, which leaves more flexibility.

However, until this rule is changed (or not), of course the current regulation prevails.

  • Examinations

The situation varies in the countries:

NL: The Federation has a delegation from the CAA to organize exams thing and it works fine.

B: Nothing exists: no learning objectives, no questions, no exams, so the Belgians go to NL to pass the exams.

D: The Danish Federation takes care of exams with the Gliders Federations. 

S: questions Ok, but no flexibility, candidates have to pass all questions the same day, and the success rate must be 80%.

G: All is managed by a new DTO, who is also seeing how to form Belgian FI-Fes.

CZ: 3 special FEs have been nominated to manage the exams. They have made their questions database.

F: Questions OK, but the DGAC cannot cope and we have very few dates and places to pass the theoretical exams. So the French federation proposed to delegate the exams to Fes

  • Recency requirements

Some of the members think it is not clear when pilots should do their checks, for instance: – “are recency requirements applicable for newly acquired privileges/ratings? For example, does a new BPL holder have to start with a prof check immediately after his skill test? Does a pilot with a new commercial operation rating have to start with a OPC prof check immediately after his skill test? Does an instructor have to start with an instruction flight with an FI immediately after his assessment of competence?”

The initial intention was simplification, so in general pilots have to combine as much as possible. Karel will discuss this with EASA so that it becomes clearer. 

  • How to cope with Dominique Roland’s retirement

Dominique Roland, who is very much in favour of General Aviation, and balloons, is retiring at the end of the year. As soon as we know who is replacing him, we must plan a visit to Cologne to present EBF.

  • Date of General meeting 2021

All agree that it will be difficult to organize a real trip for 2021 General Meeting. So everybody agrees that we have a virtual GM on Zoom in October, and then a real meeting, in Copenhagen where the Danish AeroClub is happy to welcome us, in May 2022. PL will create a doodle poll to choose a date.

The meeting ended at 17:30 with wishes to meet again soon in real life.