Latest Safety Notices

Hairy Dave's picture

Brummel Hooks - Officially no good and here's the solution

Thanks to the good people in our club providing the BHPA with evidence to show the dangers of using Brummel hooks on paragliders, the European Paragliding Safety Committee have instructed the various manufacturers to find a better solution.

At this early stage it looks like there are two possible solutions.

1. For those who want a super quick connection, a quick release swiwel used as a key ring component is being trialed (very similar to the mechanism used already on hang glider pip pins).

2. For those not afraid of tying knots, a lark's foot is a good solution already used widely on power kites.

The quick release swiwel is cheaply available here

I'm told they need a slight modification to smooth the sharp edge where the string goes through (where the split ring is fitted when it's a key ring.) The end of a drill followed by a fine file or some abrasive paper will do that in seconds.

Drawings of knots suitable to tie them on are here.

A clinch knot (otherwise known as a fisherman's blood knot) is ideal.

The drawings also show a lark's head / foot knot, as per option 2. Note that on "cool" applications like paragliders and surf kites, the simple lark's foot can be improved (pimped up) by the additon of a kevlar reinforcement sleeve and a little webbing tab on the loop to help with it's release.

If you decide to try one of these before general release (which does mean modifying your glider, but it's got to be better than a brummel hook) then please let me know how it goes and I can feed useful information back to the safety committee and the PG manufacturers. It would be especially useful to have the regular XC folks who use speed bar in anger trialling the quick release swivels. If you do, I suggest leaving the string extra long with a loop on the end ready for an in-flight lark's foot in case the swivel lets go.

Steve Purdie's picture

10 miles of cat D airspace centered on Shoreham tomorrow, Tuesday!

All SHGC sites west of Saltdean affected.

Unless advised otherwise DO NOT attempt the cliff run tomorrow.

They are taking the urine!!! Less than 24 hours notice!

Nothing here:

Steve Purdie's picture

6th - 8th June D-Day Commemorations

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!

Steve Purdie's picture

Bo Peep

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?

Steve Purdie's picture

Mt. Caburn

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...

Steve Purdie's picture

Bostal lane closed 27th April - Hill Climb

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.

Many thanks
Keith T Rhodes
Competition Secretary
VMCC East Sussex Section

Steve Purdie's picture

Mt Caburn

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...

Steve Purdie's picture

The CAA has announced improvements to VFR charts that it claims will improve the clarity of information depicted.

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

Steve Purdie's picture

Hang Glider Neck Injury In Failed Landing

BHPA safety Advisory:

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.

Steve Purdie's picture

Before you lose it..

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.