The concept of reporting a fellow pilot for doing something "illegal" would be foreign to most GA pilots. Even if this flight were "illegal" what harm is it? Flying at night attracts the same risk whether one is "legal" or "illegal" so there is no differing threat to public safety. This kind of small mindedness is akin to phoning the Gardai to report that the vehicle in front of you has a dirty numberplate! I'd be inclined to pull over myself and check that my own was fine if I were worried about such trivialities.
In my opinion it would be a pity to see the foreign value of "snitching" introduced into Irish aviation.
The high moral ground is a very lonesome place.
From my point of view, it seems extremely suspicious that a small aircraft was flying around at 4 in the morning near a closed airfield (just checked and Knock had a 200ft cloud base at the time) probably under primary radar coverage. I was thinking more along the lines of smuggling.......
Interesting to see the differing perceptions of the same situation.
Not a fan of snitching either!!!
Anybody, in any field of life, is doing something illegal for one of 2 reasons:
1. Criminal activity, in which case the obligation on everybody is to report them or
2. They dont know what they are doing. In the field of aviation this is unacceptable and at the very least questions must be asked of the people who did it. If that gets nowhere then they need to be reported. This is not called snitching its called self policing and safety enforcement. commercial aviation, in general, is pretty good at it but GA are not. Unfortunately this gets the entire sector an undeserved reputation on the behalf of a few.
With regards to this flight VFR night flight can only take place in a control zone. A night flight can take place if IFR regulations are complied with as was stated here. However IFR approaches can only be active within protected airspace therefore as EIKN was closed this approach could not be considered as a legal approach.
Also if the weather above is correct it is well below the ALS out minima (because the airfield lights were off) and therefore even if the airport was open the approach could not legally continue beyond the FAF.
Either way, in my opinion the aircraft was either there illegally because they didnt know what they were doing (or flaunting the rules) or on illegal activity. while I would be more concerned about the later either is worthy of a report.
If we are to accept the most recent post on this, where does that leave lorex's previous two postings when he/she claimed responsibility for being in the air that night....
There was only one aircraft out there so which one was it?
Two weeks to the day (last night) I was again awoken, this time at 1.20am by the sound of another low flying light aircraft heading over Boyle in a south west direction - this time on the flight path used by commercial traffic into EIKN. I witnessed the aircraft this time and it was travelling at speed and again sounded like a Cessna. I understand EIKN were not open last night.
It is coincidential it was the same night two weeks later.
The plot thickens.........
It was not myself but a friend who did their night rateing that night, although on reading the posts it seems the airspace over boyle was very busy. How do we check what flightplans were filed at that time and location?
Personally witnessed by me: illegal helicopter flights, ie, people being given flights at night for cash.Pilot a PPL, using a private helicopter.Aerobatics at night, in an unapproved aircraft, from an unlit aerodrome.Deliberate arrivals at same aerodrome(outside any zone) after end VFR, for unconfirmed but known-to-be-dubious reasons.
In the end, the IAA got them all, one way or the other.You're always on someone's radar.
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