Private pilot draws criticism for tribute to NHS during flight

Apr 28, 2020

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A private pilot has been reported to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) after spelling out ‘NHS’ during the Cessna’s flight path around Berkshire on Saturday.

As reported by the BBC, the pilot flew the Reims-Cessna F150 over Berkshire in order to check its engines, while spelling out NHS during the flight path.

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According to flight-tracking website FlightRadar24, the aircraft registered as G-CSBM, took to the sky at 3:20 p.m. on Saturday and operated the NHS flight path before landing at approximately 4:50 p.m. — about one-and-a-half hours of flight time.

(Image courtesy of FlightRadar24)

According to guidance posted by the government on 31 March, recreational general aviation has been prohibited in response to the coronavirus crisis. As a result, the CAA has allowed for exceptions for pilots in order to maintain the engine health of aircraft.

Blackbushe Airport (BBS), where the aircraft operated to and from, said in the aftermath that the pilot exceeded the exercises required for the engine health to be maintained.

“Whilst we appreciate this particular pilot’s intention, it is well outside of what is permitted and we will be addressing this with the pilot concerned”, Blackbushe Airport said on Twitter.

Proper engine health checked are permitted no more than once every four weeks, for no more than 30 minutes unless specified greater by the engine manufacturer, within 10 nautical miles of the aerodome, not below 1,000 feet except when on takeoff or landing and no passengers are allowed — solo flights only.

Featured photo courtesy of FlightRadar24.

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