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Across the Pond #20: Report from Europe

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Across the Pond

Diamond Announces AE 300 Engine Launch

Diamond Aircraft along with Austro Engine have announced an official launch event for the AE 300 engine shortly after its predicted type certificate receipt from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), expected in fall 2008. The two-day event will be held at Austro Engine's headquarters in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. The companies are promising a detailed briefing on the AE 300 engine program, including technical specs and further development and certifications planned for the engine in other markets, including the U.S. and FAA certification. The engine will be flying in the DA40, DA42 and DA50 Magnum Diamond airplanes, which are presently in certification with the AE 300 engine.

The date is not firmed, but the news comes shortly after the German airframer announced that it would not be bidding for bankrupt Thielert Aircraft Engines after relations between the two companies soured. Many Diamond aircraft powered by Thielert turbodiesel engines around the world face being grounded through lack of spares under warranty.

However, all is not bleak for the insolvent diesel-engine manufacturer. The company announced that it had two dozen suitors at the end of the first round in the bidding process to buy its assets.

U.K. CAA Relaxes Rules For Light Aircraft Pilots

Microlight Aircraft

After campaigning from the Light Aircraft Association, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority has relaxed its rules on overflying congested areas and has agreed to allow aircraft flying on a Permit to Fly rather than a Certificate of Airworthiness to operate over congested areas, so long as such flights are carried out within the rules of the air.

The waiver includes microlights, and home- and factory-built aircraft with a takeoff mass not exceeding 1500 kg. (3307 lb.), which were previously eligible for a Certificate of Airworthiness. Aircraft undergoing test flights, permit renewals or approvals are not exempt; neither are aircraft above 1500 kg.

Padhraic Kelleher, Head of the Airworthiness Division in the CAA's Safety Regulation Group, said, "We are pleased to have been able to accept the case made by the Light Aircraft Association and others that this restriction can be removed without increasing the risk to the public."

The authority has also been more generous with its medical rulings to pilots who fly light aircraft. Holders of U.K.-issued pilot's licenses may continue flying microlights, self-launching motor gliders and simple, single-engine aircraft if they hold a medical declaration from their general practitioner (GP). This does away with the necessity of paying for an expensive, full, JAA medical.

However, as soon as a pilot moves to a medical declaration from their GP, then their license is more restricted, with the freedoms and restraints of the U.K.'s National Private pilot's license, rather than a PPL.

Rain Stopped Play At RIAT

The Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford in Gloucestershire fell foul of the British weather last month. For the first time in the event's 38-year history, it was cancelled due to waterlogging. Heavy rain drowned both car parks. Details of ticket refunds are on the RIAT Web site.

Gotta Get To Goteborg

Swedish Air Force Bunker

I'll keep my fingers crossed for better weather for Sweden's main event of the season, happening Aug. 30-31, the Göteborg Aero Show at Aeroseum, Gothenburg, open between 0900-1800 each day. The event aims to show off the best of Swedish aviation. Among the highlights will be the JAS 39 Gripen and classics like the Spitfire and the "Flying Barrel." Aeroseum is worth a visit in itself; it is an internationally unique exhibition destination. Take a tour inside a declassified Swedish Air Force bunker carved out of solid rock, and wander through the History of Flight. Stunning.

Freshen Up Your Skills In Eggenfelden

German AOPA's Trainingscamp in Eggenfelden is the country's largest refresher training event and takes place throughout August at Eggenfelden. Around 70 to 100 pilots attend the traditional event and share experiences and tips.

International Old Timer Fly-In

Another place worth visiting is Schaffen-Diest in Belgium Aug. 15-17. Diest Aero Club will organize the 25th gathering of the International Old Timer Fly-In. Hundreds of vintage aircraft from all over Europe are expected, alongside beautifully restored old cars. As usual, the main day of the Fly-In will be on Saturday, Aug. 16, when the majority of the airplanes arrive.

At the first event 25 years ago, 45 vintage aircraft made it to Schaffen; however, the event has grown, and in 1997, 449 aircraft landed, a record that still stands today. Aircraft arrive from Belgium, France, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, and England.

The Book

100 Greatest Women in Aviation

Thanks for all your help with my book, The 100 Greatest Women in Aviation. It was a pleasure to put it together and a privilege to learn about and interview so many wonderful pilots from all over the world. We launched it at the Farnborough Air Show last month and were delighted that two of the young cadet pilots from Etihad we mentioned in it were able to join us. It is available in hardback from Aerocomm at £19.99 plus P&P (through PayPal) and will ship starting Oct. 1.



For more aviation news and information from Europe, read the rest of Liz Moscrop's columns.

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