Dear Members,

As a professional association, we are interested in offering you added value not only in collective bargaining agreements and flight safety, but also in practical matters. That is why we negotiate discounts and offers with various providers, for example for health insurance, that are specifically tailored to our professional group.

With R+V Versicherung, we can now offer supplementary health care at special conditions that go well beyond the basic coverage provided by statutory health insurance. A big plus: For active pilots (i.e. everyone with a current medical), there is no need for a health check! If you have private health insurance, your family members can still benefit from the special conditions.

R+V will only make this offer if at least 500 active pilots participate by November 1. So, if you are interested, don't hesitate to check the conditions and sign in if the insurance is beneficial for you. The details of the offer will soon be available in English and can already be found in German in the members section of our website at Service / Tips and Discounts. Please contact the member services team if you are interested and need information in English right now.

Malte Fuhrmann
Director HR

We have also been offering a special Loss of License insurance deal for our members for some time now and I would like to draw your attention to it once again: this discount for the LOL insurance has the special feature of no capital commitment, because it is not linked to an annuity insurance. Application for the insurance has become much easier since the last revision. You will soon find updated information and additional details in the members area of our website.

Finally, in my function as Director HR, I would like to introduce two new employees to you. Of course, I would also like to extend a warm welcome to both of them on behalf of the Executive Board and the entire VC Team:

Petra Dohl has joined the secretariat of our Legal Department in mid-August, which is now fully staffed again. She has broad experience as a paralegal in a law firm specializing in labor law. Dorota Grabowsky joined VC on September 15 as part of the member services team. This means that the member services team is also once again fully staffed.

ECA Legal Working Group meets on Covid and EU employee issues

The ECA Legal Working Group meeting at end of September focused on exchanging views on the effects of the Covid crisis on the airline industry and cockpit staff, as well as associated developments. Among the topics discussed were the issue of inquiries about vaccination status by employers, questions about mandatory vaccination for cockpit crew, and the different ways of dealing with quarantine regulations abroad (including room quarantine in China).

In addition, the working group dealt intensively with possible changes to EU Regulation 1008/2008. In the future, various terms such as "operational base," "home base," and "commercial air crew" are to be clearly defined which will strengthen pilots' rights throughout Europe.

VC attorney Bianca Scheidt attended the meeting on behalf of our association. Read her full report here on the VC Info Website.

Covid can't stop Cargo

During the Covid lockdowns, passenger flying largely came to a standstill, but airfreight was all the more in demand, which meant more cargo flights in the air. Felix Gottwald, head of our ATS WG and member of the UAS+ WG, flies MD-11Fs and tells AeroTime about the pros and cons of his job, restrictive quarantine regulations in Asia, how he walked the streets of New York all alone and much more.

Go to the AeroTime article: What has life been like for cargo pilots during the pandemic?

A Focus on COMLOSS

Since 9/11, security agencies have become increasingly reactive to possible security-critical incidents, which include prolonged loss of radio communications - "COMLOSS". However, in most cases, according to IFALPA, these are false alarms and no real threats to security that would justify official intervention such as an intercept or subsequent sanctions against cockpit crew and airlines. IFALPA has published a position paper on this issue: Loss of Communication with ATC.

In this context, VC working group ATS points out the importance of monitoring the emergency frequency 121.5 and draws attention to the matching SKYclip "Emergency Frequencies".

Security Culture - Signs of vulnerability?

In terms of security, it is the crew's responsibility to not show any signs of vulnerability of the security system during the flight. But how vulnerable is the system? On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Michael Petry, member of VC's SEC WG and Vice-Chairman of ECA's Security WG, looks at the current state of security for ECA:

9/11...20 years after

It seems that not all is well in this important field, as he writes: "And so it seems that I am rightly worried about the declining focus on security in aviation." Despite this conclusion, it can be positively noted that such concerns are being heard and that professional associations are having an impact. Michael's article has, among others, been linked by ICAO (scroll to the bottom of the page) which has declared 2021 the "Year of Security Culture."

Update on Collision Avoidance - ICAO introduces ACAS X

To be able to meet the demands for more operational flexibility with a potential reduction of separations, a new type of ACAS - ACAS X - has been introduced. ICAO has published a manual on this latest version of ACAS. It describes general technical aspects and differences between ACAS X and the existing ACAS II systems.

Implementation of ACAS X is expected to minimize nuisance alerts while maintaining existing levels of safety. Additionally, ACAS X will be capable of accommodating reduced separation minima. At the same time, ICAO says the existing level of safety is to be maintained.

More information at Uniting Aviation: Introducing the Airborne Collision Avoidance System: ACAS X

Women Quota on the Flight Deck: 5 % is not enough!

Just a little more than 5 percent... That's how low the worldwide quota of women on flight decks was last year. IFALPA - just like its member associations - has set itself the task of increasing this shamingly small number and has now published a new position paper on the subject:

Women in Aviation: Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion matter

"You're a pilot? Cooool… but isn't that a little boring? In the end, the autopilot is doing all the work, right?"

Technology fails, at least from time to time. Each one of us can think of situations in which things go wrong. Situations in which we have to execute tasks manually that should actually be automated. Where procedures contradict each other or processes don't work. That's part of the job, that's what we're trained for. And because it's our everyday life, these stories remain anecdotes that are told but often don't show up in reporting systems.

Our survey "Pilots as a resource for system resilience" aims to show how our creativity and ability to make decisions based on incomplete information ensure safe flights every day. Well over a thousand colleagues have shared their experiences with us. Thank you for your commitment and trust. We can thus demonstrate that not only once, but in fact hundreds of times, technical systems, procedures and processes do not work as intended.

What is our way forward? We analyse your reports. About three quarters of them so far relate to technical systems, especially to autopilots. Procedures and operations together account for about a quarter. The goal of our analysis is to find specific questions and focus areas for further, more in-depth and scientifically sound research.

We will close the survey at the end of October and welcome any further reports from you until then - Click here to participate.

Save the date: European Drone Forum on November 15

The European Drone Forum (EDF) will take place on November 15 in Cologne. The focus will be on the acceptance as well as the safe and commercial operation of UAS. Renowned experts from politics, business, legislation, research and development will provide insights into current issues and topics. The EDF is organized by the UAV DACH industry association together with EASA and BMVI, this time as a combined event of face-to-face and video conference.

More information about the EDF can be found here on the event website.

Further information about the UAS+ working group can be found here on the VC website and of course also by mail, write us at

Turning an Eye on Eye Turning

Functioning human-machine interaction in the cockpit is an important component of flight safety. Eye tracking technology, i.e. the tracking of the course of gaze by means of cameras and software, offers new possibilities for analysing the behaviour of pilots. The aviation portal Yocova has taken a closer look on this increasingly important topic.

Tanja Harter, Technical Affairs Board Director at ECA, also has her say in the article. She warns against using this technology to evaluate pilots individually, partly because of measurement inaccuracies. Instead, she says, the technology should be used to create a broad database that can be used for optimizing training methods.

To the article: Gaze tracking tech aims to make the leap into the flight deck

News from Associations, Organisations and Regulators

OPS Group - Snowy Ski Airports / MEL

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