PPL/IR Europe has, since 1993, provided private pilots with a way of exchanging knowledge and experience about instrument flying. In contrast to professional pilots, who are supported by the organisation they work for, private pilots are left to their own devices, and PPL/IR Europe seeks to remedy that situation.
PPL/IR Europe is open to any pilot who is interested in operating light aircraft under IFR in Europe. We now have over 400 members, most of whom are private pilots with current Instrument Ratings, but some members are still working on, or considering, this rating, and a number of commercial and airline pilots are also members. Most of our members hold British licences but we have members in Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and USA, and a growing number in all these countries fly on FAA licenses.
We also actively pursue the interests of our membership in relation to authorities, manufacturers and flying organisations. Much of this work is directed toward the rapid changes in European aviation rules and regulations and the ever increasing demands for new avionics. Our involvement in such matters is crucial to our interests as a relatively small group of private pilots who mix with commercial operators under IFR.
Our magazine Instrument Pilot is issued periodically in paper and electronic form. It announces and reviews meetings, reports on PPL/IR Europe activities, but most importantly publishes articles written by members on subjects touching upon every aspect of instrument flying. PPL/IR Europe relies heavily on membership participation in the collection and dissemination of knowledge and experience, especially for the contents of the magazine.
Back copies of Instrument Pilot are available from the Magazine page. The latest three issues are for members only and require a password, but older copies are freely available.
The magazine articles are backed up by a variety of events throughout Europe. We have had lectures on safety, regulatory, meteorological and technical issues, and have in the past been able to persuade some highly skilled and influential people to share their knowledge with us. We also arrange meetings of a more social nature at interesting venues across Europe.
PPL/IR Europe is not an alternative to AOPA, but a supplement. We are a group of instrument pilots, most of us AOPA members, who feel that the specific issues concerning instrument flying by private pilots need to be actively addressed. The focus of the organisation is firmly on the needs of the private pilot who exercises his or her privileges under IFR. These needs are as different from those of commercial operators as they are from the needs of the private VFR pilot, and PPL/IR Europe is the only organisation that specifically addresses these needs.
The annual subscription mainly covers journal printing and distribution costs but also pays for our membership of, or affiliation with, other organisations and for PPL/IR Europe representation on important committees and at important events. PPL/IR Europe is a non-profit organisation and the subscription is spent entirely in the interest of its membership. All Committee members are unpaid volunteers.
PPL/IR Europe is a company limited by guarantee registered in England under the UK Companies Acts with registered number 4379059. The registered office is 457, Southchurch Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS1 2PH .