Latest Safety Notices

Steve Purdie's picture

Non-Approved Handheld Airband Radios Allowed :0)

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:

Steve Purdie's picture

DHV safety Notice - Reserve deployment system failure

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...

EdBewley's picture

Beachy Head Flying Rules Reminder

The conduct of some recent flights at Beachy Head suggest that a reminder of the restrictions that apply there might be helpful in avoiding problems with the local residents and the Eastbourne Borough Council who permit us to fly there.

The site is very popular with visitors of all kinds, and we must make sure that we do not draw the wrong kind of attention to ourselves.

Firstly, be aware that while the SE bowl may be flown all year round, the cliffs may not be overflown below 200 feet AGL (730 feet AMSL) between 1 February and 1 August.

The lower SE cliffs may be soared as far as Holywell café on the outskirts of Eastbourne, but we must avoid overflying the Whitbread Hollow bird sanctuary in the next bowl along from take-off towards Eastbourne. Soaring the promenade is forbidden.

To fly the south cliffs, you must be Pilot rated.

Please read the site guide entry for Beachy Head if you are in any doubt about the flying rules and restrictions, and if anything is not clear, please contact a committee member to highlight any confusion so that the guide can be reviewed and amended if required.

Steve Purdie's picture

If you value your faculties, wear a helmet!

It's a BHPA rule that a helmet must be worn. Insurance is provided on the basis that BHPA rules are adhered to. So if you fly without a lid - you may find you have no insurance...

I witnessed and was first aider at a paragliding crash where the pilot's helmet came off (4Fight, came off while done up with no visible damage to the helmet.) The russian female pilot had visible severe head injuries and is understood to have died after repatriation.

Steve Purdie's picture

South East Wales looking good this weekend! - Nant-y-Moel


Model Competition at Nant-y-Moel
Sorry for the late notice, but I've just heard that the model aircraft folk will be holding their international event, the Welsh Open, at Nant-y-Moel this weekend (Fri 20th - Sun 21st September 2013).

This is the penultimate event for a seasonal FAI Euro Tour Competition and there will be several competitors flying on the weekend in with a chance of wining the Euro Tour Competition so the level of competition will be high.

As the current forecast wind direction for Saturday is south westerly, this is likely to mean that their competition will take place close to the area we normally use for take-off and landing.

In the interests of safety, SEWHGPGC members are strongly advised to avoid flying Nant-y-Moel over the weekend whilst this competition takes place.

If however you do decide to visit Nant-y-Moel over the weekend, please co-operate fully with the Competition organizers and take extra care. Remember modellers have just as much right to fly Nant-y-Moel as we do, and if one of our pilots comes into contact with a model aircraft whilst flying it's really going to spoil the hang glider or paraglider pilot's day as he or she will most likely come off the worst in the encounter.


Steve Purdie's picture

I predict a great XC day with WNW drift on the 8th. Because...

Murphy say's you'll get one heck of a surprise:

H3934/13: Air display will take place
Q) EGTT/QWALW/IV/M/AW/000/021/5107N00043E006
AD TURN 510920N 0003854E
TP1 510448N 0003518E
TP2 510209N 0004157E
TP3 511025N 0004758E
AD TURN 510920N 0003854E
OPS CTC 01622890226. 13-09-0131/AS 2
LOWER: Surface, UPPER: 2,100 Feet AMSL
FROM: 08 Sep 2013 08:00 GMT (09:00 BST) TO: 08 Sep 2013 15:30 GMT (16:30 BST)
SCHEDULE: 0800-0930, 1130-1230, 1430-1530

Steve Purdie's picture

Team 5

Dimensional checks have recently been made locally on a number of Team 5 gliders and the lines have been found to be significantly out of tolerance. Consequently ALL Team 5 gliders should be considered grounded until such time as a satisfactory line length check has been completed.

Pilots are further advised by the DHV that line length checks should be undertaken every 50 flights..

Steve Purdie's picture


Closest point is only 1.3km NW of Mt. Caburn launch.

Pilots must take great care not to infringe the open air assembly rules if thermalling away from Mt. Caburn this weekend.

i.e. Minimum of 1000' above and height to glide clear and do not launch or land within 1km.

Steve Purdie's picture

Devils Dyke rule change: NEVER inflate gliders on or below the paddock footpath. ALWAYS check all around for traffic.

Good airmanship requires that paragliders must not be inflated in or below the paddock unless their pilots can see that there are no hang gliders present.
It is not possible for them to to so from low down the paddock, still less in front, without their first walking up to a position above the brow of the hill.


Pilots MUST be able to visually check that there are no hang gliders using or about to use the paddock before inflating their wings. This is no more than an affirmation of the general principle that a pilot MUST complete a full pre-flight check, in particular the all around 'traffic' check, immediately before inflating a paraglider.

(This modification to the rules was made under Rule 11a of the constitution which allows the committee to make such changes without reference to a general meeting.)

Hairy Dave's picture

Flying with model aircraft

Some notes from last night's meeting with Allen Elliott from the East Sussex Soaring Association.

The modellers are keen to break down any barriers between "us" glider pilots and "them" model pilots. We all recognise that we share the same airspace and the same land owners. Any incidents, be they in-air or ground-based confrontations, need to be resolved swiftly and amicably in the interests of safety and good land owner relations.

It is important to talk to the modellers. We can better understand each other's needs and flight plans. It seems that many of the model flyers have very limited knowledge of thermal flying and gliding practices and can benefit from the experience of SHGC pilots. By better understanding, we can better predict each other's actions and fly more safely together. For example, if the best thermal of the day is coming up the modellers bowl, what might be obvious to a glider pilot might not be to a model pilot focused on ridge soaring.

The biggest problem faced by the model flyers is that they are unable to keep a good lookout because they most keep focused on their model at all times. This produces a tunnel vision effect, so the first they might know of a glider's presence is when it arrives dangerously close to their model. WE CAN ATTRACT THEIR ATTENTION EARLY BY SHOUTING AS WE APPROACH AND PASS THROUGH THEIR AREA.

Allen agreed that all flyers must be full, insured members of their associations and operate in a sensible and responsible manner. He cited examples of young flyers with e-bay models and members of "the irresponsible idiots aerobatics club" as known problems. We can all look out for these types and explain the error of their ways. If a polite approach doesn't work, please refer to SHGC coaches, committee members or our counterparts in the East Sussex Soaring Association. Getting the land owner or police involved is a last resort and should never be necessary.

We discussed the different types of models flown on our sites and Allen proudly showed us his F3 racing model, a 3-5 kg, 2m wide solid carbon sailplane capable of 200 mph. While slow, light models are useful wind dummies and relatively safe to fly with if expertly piloted, some of these heavy, fast and aerobatic types do not mix well with gliders. It was a moot point whether a responsible model flyer should consider flying such things in mixed company.