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  1. #1
    300+ Forum Addict David Rogers's Avatar
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    I can fly (if I wanna!)

    Hi all,

    I had to share this news which is really exciting for me.

    I have had Type 1 insulin dependent Diabetes since I was aged 17. (I am now 35 so just over half my life). As a general rule, this discluded me from any aims or dreams in getting my PPL.

    However, I read yesterday that there has been a change in the law in the UK with regards to getting the NPPL (National PPL - a "sub-ICAO" license that allows flying of various aircraft categories; ie.. Microlight, Single Engine Piston, etc.... in UK airspace only, and restricted to a UK registered aircraft.

    Previously inulin dependent diabetes pretty much ruled out any flying for me but now, the government have aligned some ability to fly (see further restrictions below) with the standard DVLA* rules on driving vehicles.

    *UK Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency.

    As an insulin dependent diabetic with an excellent record of blood glucose control, no complications and excellent health, I am entitled to drive a Category 1 vehicle which is basically a car or small van. I am not entitled to drive a Category 2 vehicle, which is a heavy goods vehicle or any type of Public Service Vehicle (or pretty much anything else).

    The law for obtaining a NPPL in the UK used to be aligned to the Category 2 entitlement - so in order to fly you needed to be (medically) ok to drive a Category 2 vehicle; Heavy Goods, Busses, etc.

    However, you can now gain a restricted NPPL license, as long as you are entitled to drive a Category 1 vehicle (in other words your health is deemed ok for driving a regular car) and on the condition that you have a record of good blood glucose control, no complications, no eyesight problems, good warning signs of Hypoglcaemia (low blood sugar), and have regular diabetic check-ups.

    Applicants sign a Health Declaratrion which is then endorsed by the subject's Doctor (GP / MD). With this endorsed declaration you can apply for your license in order to begin instruction and learning (including flying solo).

    The restriction is that, while learning AND once licensed, you can only fly solo or with another licensed pilot. You cannot carry any passengers who are not licensed pilots.

    That's a pretty big restriction but I can totally appreciate the reasoning behind it.

    I have always prided myself in my control of my diabetes. I am also lucky in that I get really early and obvious warning symptoms when my blood glocose level is getting low. I don't believe there are any diabetics of sound mind out there who would put themselves and others at risk by pursuing something like this, knowing that they do experience problems. But for those like me, who basically put a lot of focus and attention into controling the illness, and who thus enjoy pretty much a fully normal life, this is a great opportunity and feels like a really good, progressive development.

    I am not sure whether I will ever take this opportunity up (we all know how financially commiting learning to fly is!) but, as someone who up until now has been completely unable to ever consider flying (or a flying lesson), it is an amazing feeling just to know that I can fly... if I want to!

    David.
    David R
    Durham, England

    1979 Mooney M20J Cockpit builder ......

  2. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie sas550's Avatar
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    Hey, that's awesome. Go for a lesson at least. The downside with that is that you prolly get hooked for ever.

    You have some really good national rules in UK. Ie. the possibility to have an instrument light rating. I'm not 100% sure about what it actually alows you to do but climb/descend through clouds.

    Wish we could have something similar in Sweden.
    Regards Anders Eriksson


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  3. #3
    Boeing 777 Builder


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    Go for it David,

    I remember going through a similar experience (although not as medically serious) when wanting to becoming a pilot. I am technically colourblind and I thought it precluded me from flying, but upon investigating in Australia, I found that it was no big deal up to and including Commercial level. The only thing I can't do is fly the biggies that require an ATPL. Not an issue for me at 46! I now have a PPL and looking to advance to Night VFR and maybe even IFR in the future.

    As for the cost, well there is a famous book with the title: "Do What You Love, The Money Will Come". See how it works for you.

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | AerosimSolutions | Sim-Avionics | FSX | FDS | FTX | REX2 | ASE | PPL | FlightCity | Kennair


  4. #4
    MyCockpit Support Staff


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    I'm partially colourblind and afraid of heights and they let me go up there!

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  5. #5
    300+ Forum Addict David Rogers's Avatar
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    Thanks folks, interesting stuff!

    Yes, the UK's devolution of 'recreational flying' has opened up many possibilities. For really low cost flying the NPPL Microlight license can be obtained within really reasonable costs, timeframes .... and some of these new generation microlights are pretty close to full fixed wing aircraft.

    Check out the Eurostar m/light here:-

    www.cosmikaviation.co.uk

    My local training school uses these aircraft for fixed wing microlight training - I may well look seriously into this avenue!
    David R
    Durham, England

    1979 Mooney M20J Cockpit builder ......

  6. #6
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor AndyT's Avatar
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    David,

    If you start to fly that plane you might just trash your tube and start over with this as your cockpit! Go and fly at least a lesson or two. You won't be sorry.
    God's in command, I'm just the Pilot.
    http://www.geocities.com/andytulenko/

  7. #7
    300+ Forum Addict David Rogers's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm a bit worried about that!

    I've never been much of a GA fan in the FS world but the real world's a different matter, and once I've experienced it for real, you're right, I may be cancelling my NG plans and ordering a whole bunch of nice analogue gauges!
    David R
    Durham, England

    1979 Mooney M20J Cockpit builder ......

  8. #8
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    Go for it David!!! There's nothing like flying the real thing. I've had my PPL for many years and lost my medical due to a heart attack - hence my interest in sim building. It's much more fun to fly for real with stick and rudder - you feel free as a bird and let your imagination run wild.

    Rob

  9. #9
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Careful, Dave. If think a sim is a lot of money wait 'till you start flying them for real...and those are just the bug smashers.

    That's great news though and if you've been dreaming of doing this all of your life, then go for it. You won't regret it.

    I didn't start simming until after I had my tickets and flying is a lot of fun and will teach you quite a bit. It makes things so easy in the sim. Knowing I would never make it t the left seat in anything the size of an airliner I resigned myself to building my own.
    Boeing Skunk Works
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