Latest Safety Notices
The Red Arrows and many other minor flypasts and air displays are all over the country like a rash over the next few days.
Check NOTAMS religiously!
Paraglider Pilots, please don't forget to leave room at the car park end of the top for hang gliders to launch and land.
Don't ground handle near to hang gliders unless you can afford to pay for the replacement of a £17000 carbon rigid. (BHPA insurance is not meant for member-to-member claims!)
After a long period when they were categorised as a 'HIghly Endangered' verging on 'Locally Extinct' there is now a fairly active group of hang glider pilots and consequently we have downgraded their status to 'Vulnerable.' PG pilots need to generally be aware of their existence and characteristics. Why not approach them carefully when on the ground and ask if one will take you up dual to get a feel for how they differ, especially in terms of field of view and lack of maneuverability?
Once again it appears to be time to remind the members of some of the site rules and of their obligations:
* Ground Handle in the car park
* Land in the car park
* Overfly the car park (<500' say)
* Leave the car park gate open or unlocked
* Overfly (<500' say) the cottages at Brigden's Field and at Airworks' landing field.
* Launch from the slope
* Land on the slope other than in the designated areas (except in an emergency)
* Visiting pilots must receive a site briefing and join as temporary members (Fee from £0/day for bona fide foreign visitors to £5/day-£10/week for anyone else)
These rules apply to ALL PILOTS, especially the more experienced ones who ought to be setting a good example to the rest.
The BHPA have made it quite clear that the insurance is not there to cover member-to-member claims. If you damage a parked car it's your responsibility to put it right. However, our main reason for the rule is to make it clear to the householders that we are not overflying their cottages.
There is an obligation on all members to point out their error to anyone breaching these rules, lest the site be compromised again...
It's that time of year again, and I'm writing to advise you that a Temporary Road Closure Order has been issued by Wealden District Council which affects Bo-Peep Lane and Bo-Peep Bostal (including vehicular access to the Car Park at the top of the Bostal).
The attachment gives early warning of this closure, which is to permit our Annual Motorcycle Hill Climb up the Bostal.
I'm sorry for any inconvenience that this might cause you and your members, but would ask for your co-operation as usual by avoiding that area on this one day, 27th April 2014.
Keith T Rhodes
VMCC East Sussex Section
Just a timely reminder or two:
If you must walk down the hill to launch, remember that the land owner specifically prohibits doing so and that you risk our access to the site by your actions. If you really must do so, just set out and launch, do not set up camp as if it's a legitimate launching area.
Under no circumstances park at the western end of the hill to walk up. The reason that Airworks training field not a legitimate access route is not because we are a bunch of gits, however likely that may be, but because the parking pressure at that end of Ranscome Lane is severe and the residents get annoyed. If the SHGC car park is untenable, and I think that will be so for many months to some, then park in the village car park at Glynde and walk up the track opposite the post office , It's in the sites guide...
The CAA has announced improvements to VFR charts that it claims will improve the clarity of information depicted.Submitted by Steve Purdie on 23 January, 2014 - 11:19.
The alterations have been made in consultation with the aviation industry and will appear in the new editions of the 1:500k and 1:250k series charts that will be published in March 2014.
The main changes include:
The addition of boundary tint to all airspace boundaries regardless of classification
The reversal of the colour formatting of airspace classifications boxes i.e. white classification lettering within appropriate classification (blue or magenta) coloured box.
The re-alignment of all airspace annotations along the leading edges of airspace boundaries
The application of a white halo effect to all aeronautical information annotations that are located over land, and all airspace annotations embedded in airspace boundary tints
The removal of duplicate airspace controlling authority names from all airspace annotations, except in the outer extremity of the relative controlling authority’s CAS
Further information can be found on the NATS AIS website
BHPA safety Advisory: http://www.bhpa.co.uk/pdf/safety_advisory/sa010.122013.pdf
In a recent accident the hang glider pilot, as a result of a base-bar collision during landing, swung through the control frame. His harness allowed him to move forward to the extent that his head was in front of the high aspect-ratio glider’s nose plate, which his weight and momentum pulled down violently on to the back of his head / neck region. The pilot suffered serious injury.
Hang Glider pilots should make landing approaches with their hands on the uprights and shoulders raised.
There have been several reports of varios lost and found recently.
Most people do not know their vario's serial number, which they should make a note of lest their house burns down or some miscreant takes a shine to it.
But perhaps more pertinently, most modern varios can display the owners name and phone number on start up. Why not read the manual to see if your is one of them?
If not, I can provide a free sticky label with your name printed on it to anyone who calls into Airworks.
The CAA is to allow 8.33 kHz handheld radios to be used in flight following a review which concluded that radios conforming to existing European standards for non-airborne operation can provide the required levels of safety and performance for airborne use.
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The approval will allow pilots of ‘non-EASA’ aircraft’ to use handheld radios on their Aircraft Radio Licence outside Class A, B and C airspace; non-EASA aircraft, also known as ‘Annex II’, includes microlights, kit-built aircraft and many vintage aircraft.
Mike Barnard, the CAA’s General Aviation Programme Manager, said: “Pilots who fly aircraft that cannot be equipped with fixed radio sets will now have a viable and safe alternative.
“The latest handheld radios now have equivalent performance capabilities to fixed radios but without the need to modify aircraft systems. Allowing their use in flight will greatly improve the ability of pilots to build a mental picture of other airspace users, positively contributing to safety in the GA sector.”
The changes come in with immediate effect and further information can be found on the CAA’s website:
In short - you must always check that the reserve you fit to your harness can be correctly deployed. If in doubt get a professional to fit it for you.
If the strap connecting the handle to the inner deployment bag is too long, the DHV suggest that a figure of eight knot can be used to shorten it.
The problem appears to be evident with the harnesses in question only when high packed volume reserves are used but is in truth common to nearly all harnesses and reserves if poorly fitted...