Latest Safety Notices

Steve Purdie's picture

Notam: If you cross Old Father Thames today, stay right of Brentford...

RESTRICTED AIRSPACE (TEMPORARY). RESTRICTION OF FLYING REGULATIONSMADE UNDER ARTICLE 161 OF THE ANO 2009 (MIL ACFT SHOULD COMPLY WITHJSP552 201.135.9).1. BETWEEN 0430-1000 ON 26 MAY NO ACFT IS TO FLYBELOW 2500FT AMSL WI AREA BOUNDED SUCCESSIVELY BY A STRAIGHT LINEFROM 514508N 0001309E TO 514055N 0000652E,A STRAIGHT LINE FROM514055N 0000652E TO 513232N 0000055W,AN ANTI-CLOCKWISE ARC OF ACIRCLE HAVING A RADIUS OF 17 NAUTICAL MILES CENTRED ON 512812N0002713W FROM 513232N 0000055W TO 513611N 0000311W,A STRAIGHT LINEFROM 513611N 0000311W TO513611N 0001830W,A STRAIGHT LINE FROM 513611N0001830W TO 515101N 0000025W,A STRAIGHT LINE FROM 515101N 0000025W TO515146N 0000006W, A STRAIGHT LINE FROM 515146N 0000006W TO 515155N0000120E, AND AN ANTI-CLOCKWISE ARC OF A CIRCLE HAVING A RADIUS OF 8NAUTICAL MILES CENTRED ON 515306N 0001406E FROM 515155N 0000120E TO514508N 0001309E. EXCEPT ACFT MAKING AN APPROACH TO, OR DEPARTINGFROM LONDON STANSTED AIRPORT, OR RAF NORTHOLT WHILST UNDER THECONTROL OF EITHER THE LONDON TERMINAL CONTROL CENTRE AT SWANWICK ORRAF NORTHOLT APPROACH OPERATED BY THE METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE,ESSEX POLICE, THAMES VALLEY POLICE, OR THE HELICOPTER EMERGENCYMEDICAL SERVICES OR OPERATED WITH THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY OF EITHERCHIEF SUPERINTENDENT PETER TERRY OR CHIEF INSPECTOR STEVE OSBORN OFTHE METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE. CONTACTABLE THOROUGH THEMETROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE AIR SUPPORT UNIT ON TELEPHONE 0208 34548882.BETWEEN 1900 ON 23 MAY 2011 AND 0900 ON 26 MAY 2011, NO AIRCRAFT ISTO FLY BELOW 2,500 FEET ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL WITHIN THE AREA BOUNDEDSUCCESSIVELY BY A STRAIGHT LINE FROM 513611N 0001253W TO 513611N0000311W, A CLOCKWISE ARC OF A CIRCLE HAVING A RADIUS OF 17 NAUTICALMILES CENTRED ON 512812N 0002713W, FROM 513611N 0000311W TO 512013N0000316W, A STRAIGHT LINE FROM 512013N 0000316W TO 512013N 0001255W,AND A STRAIGHT LINE FROM 512013N 0001255W TO 513611N 0001253W. EXCEPTACFT MAKING AN APPROACH TO, OR DEPARTING FROM LONDON CITY AIRPORT,LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT, OR RAF NORTHOLT, WHILST UNDER THE CONTROL OFEITHER THE LONDON TERMINAL CONTROL CENTRE AT SWANWICK OR RAF NORTHOLTAPPROACH OPERATED BY THE METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE, ESSEXCONSTABULARY, THAMES VALLEY POLICE, OR THE HELICOPTER EMERGENCYMEDICAL SERVICES OR OPERATED WITH THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY OF EITHERCHIEF SUPERINTENDENT PETER TERRY OR CHIEF INSPECTOR STEVE OSBORN OFTHE METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE. CONTACTABLE THOROUGH THEMETROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE AIR SUPPORT UNIT ON TELEPHONE 0208 3454888. AUS 11-05-0145. AS 6
LOWER: Surface, UPPER: 2,500 Feet AMSL
FROM: 23 May 2011 19:00 GMT (20:00 BST) TO: 26 May 2011 10:00 GMT (11:00 BST)

Hairy Dave's picture

Big ears and stalling

This winter I saw another glider stall in big ears and analysed an accident where that was the likely cause. That makes 3 I've seen and several more I've heard about. All on modern, sensible gliders in good condition. In the last two the pilots were badly hurt.

The problem is that in big ears you have about normal forward speed and plenty more downward speed (a much reduced glide angle). As paragiders maintain normal attitude in big ears, the result is a significant increase of angle of attack. The result of that is it doesn't take much for the glider to stall; a bit of turblence, a shear layer, brake, some rain, line skrinkage or cell stretch could all do the trick.

Current advice is that big ears should be immedialty and smoothly followed by application of full speed bar to get the angle of attack somewhere sensible again.

I suggest that big ears + bar should only ever be used when actually necessary and I can only think of two possible scenarios:

1. If you're in a cloud, or have made a mistake and are about to enter, and are following a compass bearing to escape in the right direction (without a compass you might just go round and round or hit something).

2. Possibly when bottom landing in wind much more than trim speed to avoid landing going backwards, thus gaining speed with extra collapse resistance. But entering a slower and/or turbulent boundry layer near the ground is one of the causes of big-ear stalling. I'd favour just enough speed bar and rear riser control if it's bumpy.

Clearly, both of these scenarios are to be avoided in the first place.

I think any other situation is better handled with speed bar, spiral dive or just patience. B-line is solely for if you're in a cloud and have forgotten the compass.

Steve Purdie's picture

Dual Flying

It has come to my attention that a small number of pilots have been flying dual while not appropriately licensed.

Unlicensed pilots may not fly dual with any passenger who is not themselves at least a licensed dual pilot.

I must remind you that this is strictly in contravention of BHPA mandatory safety requirements and they will be uninsured if they do so.

Duals may also only be flown when fitted with an appropriate certified reserve.

SteveP.

Steve Purdie's picture

Temporary Prohibited Airspace - Air Display near Hastings today

From Dave's fine website, http://notaminfo.com/ukmap & our NOTAMS page:

H1193/11: Air display will take place
Q) EGTT/QWALW/IV/M/W/000/025/5051N00033E002
AIR DISPLAY/AEROBATICS WI 2NM 5051N 00033E (MARINA PAVILLION, STLEONARDS ON SEA) 11-04-0131/AS 2.
LOWER: Surface, UPPER: 2,500 Feet AMSL
FROM: 23 Apr 2011 14:00 GMT (15:00 BST) TO: 23 Apr 2011 17:00 GMT (18:00 BST)

Steve Purdie's picture

Gentlemanly Behaviour

Once upon a time in the Southern Club there was gentlemanly behaviour in the sky. And it was Good.

Pilots on the ground were aware that they are the lowest form of aviation and justly gave way to all those above them. They even looked to check.

Pilots thermalling were given right of way and ridge soaring pilots would turn back before interrupting the thermalling pilot's 360.

When it was seen to be getting too busy, pilots would either thermal away or gracefully bow out after a few minutes ridge soaring to allow others the chance to do so.

In the early days of paragliding, once paraglider performance had advanced to the point where soaring was commonplace, we would often land unbidden to allow a waiting group of hang glider pilots free use of the sky. It would usually take only a few minutes before they were high enough to permit usual service to resume.

Wouldn't it be nice if those days returned?

Steve Purdie's picture

Spring is coming... Chest Straps, Stirrups and Pods

The turbulent days of spring will be with us imminently; we have already had a few good thermalling days and February has barely started.

The rougher air may encourage less well informed pilots to change their chest/waist strap setting. Before doing so, you must be aware of the effects of the riser separation:

Too wide and although you will have good feedback and weightshift authority, this may become wearing. You will also experience increased spiral stability (the tendency to stay spiralling - not a good thing) and within a range of deflations you will get tilted more aggresively. This tilting can result in line twists.

Too narrow and you will not get enough feedback to tell you when to land, you are also more likely to suffer deflations and more likely to suffer line twists.
Every glider has a designed chest/waist strap setting which will optimise perofrmance and safety. Use it! If in doubt of the setting for your wing, RTFM.

The pilot's moment of inertia will also affect the likelihood of line twists. If you fly very upright, with your feet down, 'the old man position' you will exhibit pretty much your lowest possible moment of inertia and would be unlikely to get line twists. If you fly very supine &/or with your feet out as if in a stirrup or pod, then you exhibit a high moment of inertia. This is not all bad, but it can complicate the handling of big deflations. It is far simpler, whenever you feel a deflation is likely, to lower your feet and maybe also sit up. This has the added benefit of making most harnesses less rigidly cross braced and so more likely to ride out the rough air.

If it's rough and you are near the ground, say 100', you should go into the PLF position. You may not think it looks cool, but walking away from a 60% deflation and subsequent crash looks a whole lot cooler than the alternative. In which regard, the next time you are on the hill waiting for conditions, why not have a PLF practice session. It'll definitely be a good laugh, because most pilots are hopeless at them!

If you find you have a big deflation when fully supine, initially roll with it and bring your legs down slowly. What you don't want to do is find yourself rotating and then quickly lower you're legs as that will cause the rotation to accelerate.

In my experience, line twists are usually caused not on any initial deflation, but occur when the initial deflation recovers fast and the canopy violently rotates in the opposite direction. This is when you want your moment of inertia to be as low as possible.

Don't forget your sunscreen, I managed to get sunburnt on Tuesday!

TTFN
Steve Purdie

Steve Purdie's picture

Cannabis

Nowadays the SHGC has to have a zero tolerance attitude to flying in our heavily used airspace whilst under the influence of narcotic substances. Consequently, anyone repeatedly doing so will be reported to the police.

I have received a report that cannabis has again been seen being smoked by certain pilot(s) on our sites prior to flying.

I am sure that all pilots are aware of the dangers and severe penalties of such actions and that therefore would not countenance such a foolhardy act. However, if you have indeed flown under the influence, I trust that you will not do so again, knowing the hazards…

Regards

Steve Purdie
SAFETY OFFICER
SHGC

David Webb's picture

Paragliders and Horses

**PLEASE REMEMBER** DO NOT FLY CLOSE TO HORSES/RIDERS AND
STOP ALL GROUND-HANDLING IF THEY ARE PASSING BY.

A rider was seriously injured after her horse was 'spooked' by a paraglider being ground-handled, near one of our flying sites last week. The lady rider is undergoing skin grafts after receiving injuries consistent with being thrown onto a barbed wire fence.

Whilst the SHGC is not directly involved we have had communication from the rider's family asking for some dialogue to help prevent this type of accident in the future. As a matter of good PR we will continue this dialogue as necessary.

PLEASE STOP ALL GROUND-HANDLING WHEN HORSES/RIDERS ARE PASSING BY.

David Webb
Sites Officer

Steve Purdie's picture

Horses

Lord Gage expressed deep concern regarding pilots flying low over a group of horses at Bo Peep/Firle on appx. 9/11/09.

Please be aware that low flying near to horses puts our access to most of our sites in jeopardy.

Please be especially considerate to horse riders when paragliding, or for that matter, driving anywhere near our sites.

Steve Purdie's picture

Safety Matters May 2008

Accepted wisdom is that a water landing is typically fatal, though this has been disproved on several occasions by our members, it is only a matter of time before someone DOES DROWN unless we all change our ways. The added buoyancy of the back protector in the harness usually holds the pilot face down in the water. Also the 400 metres or so of super-strong string is very effective at binding the pilot’s arms and legs to stop them swimming.

Whenever you are flying anywhere that there is a significant risk of landing in water you are well advised to wear a life jacket. Given the weather of this could be construed as every site we have, but really we mean the maritime sites. Locally this is Newhaven and Beachy, plus a few unlisted sites. Wearing a life jacket does not make a water landing acceptable, but it does improve your chances of survival. The best thing you can do is to never land in the water in the first place! To achieve this is quite simple:

• Don’t try to soar the harbour arm.
• Don’t fly out of reach of a safe landing.
• Don’t fly beyond the point when the wind is off to the south east.
• Don’t fly beyond the point when the tide is in, or coming in.
• Don’t fly when it is so crowded that there is not enough room to stay up.

Another hazard of cliffs and arêtes is of course the rotor. A new pilot was very lucky to escape with his life, let alone his legs unbroken recently when he strayed too far back and became pinned above the bungalows at Newhaven. A simple rule is that if you cannot see all the way down the face of the cliff to the beach, then you are too far back.

If you find yourself pinned in a hazardous position, then your best method for penetrating forwards is to:
• Point directly into wind; do not make any turns, swoops or other manoeuvres.
• Make sure that you have absolutely NO BRAKE applied – release any wraps.
• Consider using the accelerator while you are above any turbulent air. Big ears used in conjunction with the bar will allow you to fly fast in mild turbulence. Big ears alone will slow you down and seal your fate. Accelerator alone used low down in turbulence will also seal your fate.
• Get into the PLF position; the extra offset drag created will make the glider fly a little faster and if you do get a beasting, you may land on your feet and be able to PLF.

May, or even June will be with us by the time you read this. Allegedly we will be experiencing a warm but rather wet summer. If this is the case then we need to be aware of the formation of orographic cloud; wisps of cloud start to form very close to the hillside, followed by a very rapid blooming of cloud which can easily envelop the unwary flyer. If you spot telltale wisps then land immediately!

Given the very poor start to the year the biggest hazard is inevitably going to be rusty flying skills – I have flown on every possible day and I feel rusty, heaven help those who have not flown yet this year! Please give each other more consideration that usual and don’t assume that there is enough airspace left for you to fly.

Trees – the tree landing season will be upon us so remember, don’t risk falling out, make sure you are well and truly roosted.

You won’t live long enough to make all the mistakes, so learn from others.
Fly safe and keep having fun!
Steve Purdie