GAINS project seeking pilots for trials

The General Aviation Improvements in Navigation and Surveillance (GAINS) project, funded by the SESAR 2020 programme, is looking for pilots with aircraft or access to aircraft to fly demonstration flights.

GAINS is a two-year project assisted by a consortium of AOPA-UK, Helios (UK), Pildo Labs (Spain), Trig (UK) and Funke Avionics (Germany).

A survey (link below) will help GAINS get a broad range of pilot and aircraft capabilities. It’s looking for experienced and less qualified/experienced pilots, as well as aircraft with a range of different capabilities.

The demonstrations fall into two work streams, and pilots can express interest in participating in one or the other or both.

Flying a number of unusual instrument approach procedures accurately. An instrument qualification (including IMC rating/ IR(R)) will generally be necessary for pilots, though we may accept a few pilots training for these ratings.

Participating in operations at GA aerodromes where situational awareness is enhanced by using equipment that displays the positions of other aircraft (electronic conspicuity). Portable cockpit EC equipment will be provided. If your aircraft already has suitable EC equipment, this can also be used.

All the activities will be undertaken in VMC under VFR with safety pilot. The navigation element will be flown as simulated instrument flight (i.e. under the hood or with foggles).

These activities will take place at an aerodrome within one hour’s flight from the south-east region of the UK.

Expected timescales (indicative)
Flight trials: March – September 2019

1st Phase of trials: October – December 2018
2nd Phase of trials: March – September 2019

Reimbursement of costs
Subject to appropriate permission from the UK CAA, GAINS will reimburse the operating costs of flights (including flights to reach the participating airfields) for all participating pilots (including PPLs).

This may be by paying for fuel for participating aircraft. In some cases, there may be upgrades for aircraft equipment to participate, in which case the GAINS project would pay a proportion of the upgrade cost.

What to do next
If you are a private pilot interested in participating, complete the survey, if possible by 30 October 2018.

GAINS aims to select initial participants in late October/November 2018, but subject to the number of volunteers, it would be interested in expressions of interest after those dates to add pilots and aircraft to the demonstrations.

If you are an organisation (e.g. flight training organisation, flying club, aerial work operator) with multiple aircraft or have any questions about participating and completing the survey please contact

The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete. Details of your avionics and a photo of your panel will be required in order to complete the survey, photos can be submitted via email afterwards if preferred.

Take survey

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