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Variable Pitch/constant Speed Propellers adid = 26704

Aviation Photo number 31332
Aviation Photograph 2
Views so far = 5456

Engines & Props, Instruction

Dear Flying Friends,

I see a few BMAA/LAA Microlight Aircraft owners are now in the process of wanting to fit Inflight adjustable Propellers to their microlights? In the BMAA/LAA mod application process for fitting Inflight Adjustable Propellers I am hoping there is some provision for Complex training to be considered as a flight-safety issue for the pilots/owners fitting these propellers to their microlights, it would seem these propellers are being fitted without pilots/owners having a full understanding of how to correctly operate them.
See : http://microlighters.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=354

I personally feel that allowing fitment of Inflight adjustable propellers is a great step forward for the progression of microlights, however I can also see that this progression could have detrimental flight-safety implications on both the pilot/owner & BMAA/LAA if no Complex training is given and an accident culminates from a lack of training or a lack of understanding of the propeller system fitted.
Complex or differences training is mandatory for General Aviation Pilots who wish to fly GA aircraft with Variable Pitch Propellers / Constant Speed Propellers, so I see no reason why the same standards shouldn't be applied to Microlight Pilots who wish to advance themselves outside of the basic configuration that is categorised and known as the Microlight Category.

I can see that if Variable Pitch Propeller fitments get accepted as a Mod and that no form of training familiarization is made a condition of fitment that the next step will be retractable undercarriages being fitted as a mini mod. I can see the snowball effect leading to such things as oxygen systems being fitted to allow flight above 10000ft.
I hope you read this and see it as a Flight Safety Concern if no Flight Instruction is given to these pilots and give due consideration to the issues I have raised.
All UK General Aviation Pilots who want to fly Light Aircraft with Variable Pitch / Constant Speed Propellers have to undergo 'Differences Training' as a CAA REQUIREMENT, The same applies Worldwide as far as I know.
Having discussed this with the BMAA, it seems they see no reason why pilots/owners fitting these propellers to their microlights should need some form of tuition on how to correctly manage Variable Pitch / Constant Speed Propellers.
I would welcome ALL FLYERS who read this to give your opinion on whether you think Microlight Pilots who have Variable Pitch /Constant Speed Propellers should be required to undertake tuition or not?

# I would be extremely grateful if you could share YOUR OPINIONS either by email contact or by placing your ANSWER on this page,so I can gauge opinions #
Send VARIABLE PITCH a Secure Message. Ask a Question

There are 5 Questions posted by interested users.


Q1 I would agree, that a small training session, perhaps one hour, would be in order. If you can afford a Variable Pitch Prop, then you can surely afford an hour with an instructor. as Tech progresses, so to does flying Microlights and LSA. Microlights in particular, was supposed to be low cost flying, or at least as low a cost as it could possibly be. This seems to be getting lost, as one cannot help feeling a poor relation, in amongst all the high tech aircraft. There are now enormous differences in the flying characteristics of different microlight aircraft types. It would be very silly, for instance, to do your GST in an old thruster, then jump into a ct, or a Zenair with variable pitch props, and even Flaps for that matter and fly 3 times the speed you were used to. Alex

A1 Thank you for your response,I am pleased that you consider that pilots should definitely go for training. All sorts of issues, from how to start-up / shut-down correctly, how they fail-safe and what limitations go with a failure, how to manage manifold pressure etc are all parts that pilots need to be trained on.I hope this is definitely an unbiased piece with good concerns raised that others will support.


Q2 As a rule these days your train in a C42 or a Quik then get a ?3,000 dinasor that flys at half the speed...... I don't see many instructors using a 503 three axis or an old XL for training..... I think if your buying a prop you will have done a little homework beforehand.....no one showed me how to have a pull,but at the age of 13 I seem to have managed quite well without instruction

A2 I have openly said I am all for progression and at the introduction of Microlights,much of the training was completed on 2 stroke 3 AXIS & 2 stroke FLEXWINGS....But many years on Progression has taken us into the C42 & Quik as training machines,progression into having Variable Pitch Propellers is perfectly acceptable if the correct training is given and that is all this entry is asking for opinion about. I guess there will some answers like yours that will be irrelevant,but I am hoping many more opinions will be forthcoming.


Q3 Not all pilots are stupid. I think there is too much legislation in our lives in general as well as the world of flying. Too many people think that making rules is an easy way to solve problems. All that does is make life difficult for everyone. And the problems still exist. Should we have to pass a test to graduate from a two stroke to a four stroke ? or from a four stroke to a two stroke? Is a Quik too much for an Alpha pilot? Where do you want to stop? Give pilots a bit of credit. I?m sure the vast majority of pilots can decide themselves when they need help and since we are all different we all need different help at different times. Don?t make rules for problems that don?t exist. Just because you think some mythical (idiot) pilot can?t hack it don?t screw it up for all the competent pilots. Your post is a little condescending ? as was your answer to question two.

A3 My listing is not implying all pilots are stupid, my listing is asking for opinion on a subject that has disparity between Microlight Aviation & General Aviation. Your "Not all pilots are stupid" remark reads as though you think because it is Mandatory for GA Pilots to undergo differences training,they must either need the training or are stupid?. I agree there is too much legislation in our lives in general as well as in the world of flying,however in flying we need a balance between legislation & correct training. The trouble with opposing something that is simply looking for opinion just detracts from what can be deemed as a Flight Safety consideration. You may think that we are just looking at trying to get rules in place as an easy way to solve a perceived problem,the problem as you put it can be easily solved by a brief training session. All that would do is make life simpler for everyone who wants to advance onto variable pitch/constant speed propelled microlights/LAA types. The perceived problem would not still exist if training was mandated inline with the proven CAA process,onto your question of " Should we have to pass a test to graduate from a two stroke to a four stroke ? or from a four stroke to a two stroke?" My simple answer is "no" and my reason is for the same reason as why a GA pilot doesn't convert from a Gypsy Major engine to a Lycoming or Continental engine. The progression to Variable Pitch/Constant speed propellers is the subject in question and if a Tiger Moth Pilot wants to fly a Variable Pitch/Constant speed propeller aircraft he/she needs to under CAA/EASA Mandated training get a conversion of differences. In GA terms the Tiger Moth was an early training aircraft and over the progression of time the trainers of today are Cessna's & Piper's. Some GA aircraft have 'advanced systems' and the progression from training aircraft involves differences training. Any conscientious pilot converting from an Alpha to a Quik would get either a pilot friend or instructor to sit in for a few trips etc,giving pilots a bit of credit,I would hope they can see the Flight Safety logic behind this subject?. The vast majority of pilots can decide themselves when they need help and since they are all of different levels of experience it would seem that an 'on merit' process could be adopted. we do all need different help at different levels of our flying, Don?t assume that these problems don?t exist because the BMAA/LAA haven't adopted the CAA way. The intent of this subject isn't to screw it up for all the competent pilots, competent pilots wouldn't have a problem with this subject as if competency is already in place they will accept it with good grace. The problem is complacency in thinking that a few hours of familiarization is not required.


Q4 I thought you were selling a VP prop, but you are using afors for sale/wanted webpage for a discussion? No problem with the question/debate but not on this website! What next, a "for sale" VP prop on eBay asking the same questions?!!

A4 There was an advert for a Italian built VP Prop but due to excessive timescales with BMAA & LAA the sales are 'on hold' until we get full clarity of their requirements. The advert here was 'cleared ' so it remains until I need to revert to Sales advert ;-)


Q5 Hi, Alex here from afors, the listed e mail for this advert is bouncing, can you get in touch, so we can resolve, Thanks Alex

A5 awaiting answer