Latest Safety Notices

Steve Purdie's picture

Festivals, Horse Trials, Country Fairs and any other 'Organised Open Air Assembly'

As the festival season is well upon us and pilots are flying cross country a timely reminder about the rules for open air assemblies is in order. The idiot paramotoring into Glastonbury will have added a lot of fuel to the CAA's drive to require licensing of FLPA pilots.

Whether you are flying powered or gliding:

- You must fly at least 1000 feet above any organised open air assembly.

- You may not launch or land within 1000 metres of an organised open air assembly. (Except at an aerodrome or with the written permission of the organisers of the event and in accordance with the conditions advised by the CAA.)

A possible get-out from prosecution may be to declare an in-flight emergency causing you to land, but...

If you are in doubt as to whether there are >999 people present, then there are.

Steve Purdie's picture

Ticks & Lymes disease

A number of pilots have been bitten by ticks in the last few weeks. A few of these have contracted Lyme disease, which if left untreated, can be very serious indeed.

Pilots are advised to take precautions to avoid being bitten, e.g., wear socks and long trousers, avoid laying on the grass etc. Inspect for ticks at the end of the day too. The ones which have been found biting have generally been smaller than the typical 5mm ones we usually see. You need to be on the lookout for arachnids as small as 1mm.

Please check this out:

Lyme halo

Hairy Dave's picture

Marshalling at Devil's Dyke and Beachy Head

Hi all,

There has been much talk about overcrowding recently so I'd like to remind all members about the systems already in place to control it.

For the Dyke, there is a marshalling kit in the cupboard behind the pub and it is the duty of whoever is first on site to get the stuff out and set up. Marshalling and controlling numbers of launches can be initiated whenever someone thinks it's necessary. This is the responsibility of every pilot on site.

For Beachy, marshalling, erection of the warning signs and notification to the council is now a compulsory part of the site agreement and is being checked by council representatives. If it isn't done every time pilots are on site, we risk loosing use of the site.

Details can be found in the site guide.

Nobody should be complaining about overcrowding without first themselves marshalling the site and doing something about it. - If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem!

Happy flying, Dave

Hairy Dave's picture


Forwarded on behalf of Tom Hardie:

Hi All,

There has been a considerable increase in First Person View (FPV) unmanned aircraft (drone) flying. This is where the pilot of the drone is wearing a device so that they can see the view as if they were in the drone. Therefore they have an extremely limited view when it comes to avoiding other aircraft. These drones can be of a multi-copter or helicopter design, or fixed wing design, both powered and unpowered.

There have been a number of incidents where FPV drone flying has caused the pilots of other aircraft concern for their safety, everything from a 747 to a paraglider. To cater for this and to protect third parties on the ground the CAA has drawn up a set of rules for the drone pilots to follow. These rules are in CAA Official Record Series 4, Number 1108,, copy attached.

If you become aware of FPV flying on or near where you are flying the best thing to do is to talk to the pilot to establish safe operating procedures, which it should be possible to do without over limiting anybody’s flying. Due to the readily available equipment, limited training facilities, and/or a lack of aviation law awareness they may not know about the CAA document.

Hairy Dave's picture

Will anyone get hurt this bank holiday?

It looks like it might be flyable this bank holiday weekend, which often means that someone will take advantage of silly season, do something silly and get hurt.

Can I ask everyone to be extra vigilant for unfamiliar pilots on our hills, especially anyone flying in an erratic fashion and have a word with them before anything happens. I'd much rather we all do our bit for safety and prevent accidents happening rather than watch someone get hurt and have to go through all that unpleasantness with first aid, helicopters, hospitals and incident reports.

Hairy Dave's picture

BHPA Safety Advisory

.... And the rest of the glider should be checked regularly too!

See attached PDF

Hairy Dave's picture

Accident waiting to happen

While analysing one accident I noticed film of another one waiting to happen. Getting in the habit of putting brake handles over the wrist has killed in the past and will undoubtedly kill again. Let's make sure it's not a SHGC member.

Please see

Steve Purdie's picture

Asperities in boots

A pilot recently broke his tibia while ground handling. A significant contributory factor was that he had a ~30mm thick roll of thermal trousers within the shaft of his well laced up flying boot.

This roll caused an asperity, about which the tibia failed.

Do not have any asperities within your flying boots. Think like you would with ski boots and keep your socks pulled up and your thermals outside.

Steve Purdie's picture

Kortel reserve handle safety notice

Steve Purdie's picture

Flying over Water

A few days ago there were two pilots simultaneously in the sea at Newhaven. Thankfully nobody died...

The danger inherent in a water landing cannot be overstated. It is usually better to fly into practically anything, downwind if necessary, rather than risk a dunking, unless fully SIV prepared with rescue boat, buoyancy aid and no back protection.

According to the BHPA Technical Manual:

Recommended Practice: Water landings should be avoided at all costs; experienced pilots anticipating flying
over or near to significant areas of water should ensure that a safe dry landing area is
always within reach
, wear suitable buoyancy aids and carry a suitable webbing cutting

Water landings - paragliders
Instructors must stress the probability, except within the most strictly controlled
environment, that a water landing is not survivable and must be avoided at all costs.
Pilots should, if flying near water, make sure that a safe dry landing is within easy
reach at all times.

If, however, it is impossible to make a dry landing (even with the risk of injury) then, the real
danger lies in the potential for entanglement with the paraglider suspension lines. It is
therefore imperative to get clear of the paraglider as quickly as possible. On approach sit
well back and unclip the chest strap and loosen the leg straps. On entering the water
release the leg straps (or riser-to-harness connectors) and FLOAT clear with the minimum
of movement. If an inflatable life jacket is worn it should be inflated.

If a modern seat harness is worn then sit well back and unfasten the chest and leg straps;
continue to lean back in the seat; just before entering the water draw the elbows well in and
tuck the head down. As the feet hit the water allow the body to roll forward out of the
harness, which should then be dragged clear by the still-flying canopy. FLOAT clear with the
minimum of movement. If an inflatable life jacket is worn it should be inflated.

Depending on the type of paraglider it should be controlled to land as far away as possible;
this keeps the suspension lines taut and away from you.

It is not advisable to drop from the paraglider before impact - it is often difficult to assess
height above water, especially if it is calm.

Water landings - hang gliders
Instructors must stress the probability, except within the most strictly controlled
environment, that a water landing is not survivable and must be avoided at all costs.
Pilots should, if flying near water, make sure that a safe dry landing is within easy
reach at all times.

A dry landing, even with the risk of injury, will always be the better option.