July 2014

 In This Issue

  • Last Month’s Strut Meeting – Bar Flying
  • Lee-on-Solent not getting an ATZ – yet…
  • Kent Strut Rochester 16/34 80th Birthday LAA Fly-In
  • Across the Pond – Flying in the United States – Paul Reilly

Last Month’s Strut Meeting

On Wednesday 4th June we had some indoor flying fun when Paul Cave demonstrated his collection of quad and hexacopters.

A man holding a radio control handset in front of a hexacopter on a bar table.

Paul at the controls

The technology in these tiny things is amazing.  The hexacopter below has a HD video camera and has taken some amazing elevated moving panorama sequences.  It can be flown using first-person view through a second camera transmitting in real time to a viewing screen enhanced with flying instrumentation.

A hexacopter sitting on a bar table.

Paul’s HD camera equipped spy in the sky

I just couldn’t resist captioning the photo below…

A young man controling a small quadcopter that is hovering in front of him.

Feel the Force young Skywalker


Lee-on-Solent not getting an ATZ – yet…

With all the recent changes at Lee, it looks like the proposed ATZ has been postponed indefinitely.  See www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/InformationNotice2014098.pdf for details.

Kent Strut Rochester 16/34 80th Birthday LAA Fly-In

2nd-3rd August 2014

Perhaps one of the last opportunities to visit Rochester Airport on a fly-in using the grass 16/34 runway before work begins on the new hard 02/20!

Overnight parking is included in the landing fee (£12).  LAA members flying in can claim Half price landing (£6).

Camping on site or use a nearby Hotel. Airport Café for breakfast.  Pancakes available through the day, evening BBQ and live music!

Take the opportunity to visit Historic Rochester – Castle, Cathedral and Dickensian High Street; Chatham Historic Dockyard – Historic buildings, ships, lifeboats and submarine; The Royal Engineers Museum; Paddle Steamer ‘Medway Queen’ or Fort Amherst. Transport can be arranged. Rolls Royce cars and vintage motor bikes on Sunday,

Medway Aircraft Preservation is located on the airfield.

Contact Gary Smith 07849 16990507849 169905
John Dean 07880 74806407880 748064
Simon Pratt 07973 40298607973 402986
Rochester Airport 01634 86996901634 869969

Across the Pond – Flying in the United States

I know many strut members visit the United States, some attend the ‘Big shows’ whether it be Oshkosh and Sun & Fun but have you thought about renting an aircraft while in the United States. While it’s not as simple as getting a car rental it is possible although if you are only looking to do it for a few hours then it will be far simpler to go out with an Instructor. Rates are cheaper than the UK, as well as an extra pair of hands to help with different airspace and radio requirements. So going longer… this is how to do it.

Disney PlaneFAA Paperwork

Start the process about 2-3 months before your scheduled travel plans. The first thing you need to do is apply to have your current license verified by the FAA. Go to the FAA website: http://www.faa.gov and find the link to ‘Verify the Authenticity of a Foreign License, download the PDF on that page. While filling out the form it will ask which Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) you wish to make your application too. You can use the FAA website to locate the most local one. There are plenty of template forms to copy so no to get it wrongYou can submit the form once completed via post or by Fax, which is recommended as its much quicker but make sure it’s a good quality otherwise it won’t be accepted

CAA Paperwork

You also need to contact the CAA to allow them to give your details out the FAA which there is a charge of £40 for this service Fill out these two forms: SRG1160 & SRG1187 and send to the CAA. For this they never confirm that they are processing your request and as I found out they can take some time.


The next thing that will happen is you will be sent a ‘Letter of Authenticity’ from the FAA, which you must take to the FSDO. A duplicate of this letter will also be sent to the FSDO you have applied to. When you get the letter phone the FSDO and make an appointment. Don’t try to push this process as they won’t let you book an appointment unless they have your letter on file. Appointments can take up to 2 weeks to get but if you are flexible it can be shorter.

Upon your arrival you can set the appointment they will check your letter, logbook, license and medical certificate, afterwhich they will get your to complete a form and issue you a temporary certificate. To activate this you have to complete a BFR. In the US this includes 1 hour of flight time and 1 hour of ground school. Its similar to the UK, whereby you cannot fail but maybe not signed off until after further training.


Your real license should arrive to your home address within 90days all at no cost (Except the UK CAA!!!) But remember this method of license issuance (Piggyback type) requires you to stay compliant with both your US license (FAA instructor BFR) and your UK license and that includes BFR, Medical and current license. For example, if you change your license to an EASA PPL from a JAA one this will invalidate your US license as it was based on the JAA one. Just watch out.

Make the most of your new ticket. There is some great flying to be had especially when most airfields don’t charge a landing fee. I hope to bring you some pieces of these experiences over the coming months.

Paul Reilly


For a list of the currently planned events look under the menu above or click this link: Events

Next Strut meeting: 2 July 2014 at The Swiss Cottage. Talk on Early French Aviation by Andrew Jarvis.

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