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Dave Wilkinson

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Good morning, I am seeking some advise on legal height over private property.

yesterday we had a flight over the private estate and house where the pilot was no more than 15 meters away from the main building, he was close enough that my team was able to get a clear picture of the pilots face.

could some please advise the legal flight requirements.

 

also is there any way of identifying the pilot / machine if this happens again ? 

 

Thank you in advance  

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In the UK the legal minimum distance is 500 feet from any building, structure or persons. If there are none of those then the pilot may go as low as they wish provided they are not likely to cause any danger as a result. Just 15 m from a building is not allowed.

Was this a paramotor that you are asking about? If so then it is possible to identify the wing and machine type. Then often, because we are a small community, someone can identify who it was.

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Dave, regulation dictates we have to be minimum of 500ft above people animals and structures, and 1000ft if population or gathering more than a 1000 people, but there is an exception and that's called take off and landing, and not knowing the situation was an emergency and a legitimate reason for such low flying.

 

Most try to steer clear of low flying over anything or anyone for safety reasons and noise, but in this instance not having witnessed the event there could be more to it and its easy to comment without knowing the whole scenario.

And IMO you'd be better of trying to communicate with said offender and just explain how you feel about him and his actions and ask if he could rethink about his flight path, but he might have a genuine reason which we know nothing about 

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For clarity, the actual 500ft rule DOES NOT include 'Animals' as suggested above. 

The PMC teach that we DO include animals into 'our' own 500ft rule because I think it's common decency. I think it 'should' be in the 500ft in some form.  

Below taken from the CAA website. 

(a) Failure of power unit. An aircraft shall not be flown below such height as would enable it to make an emergency landing without causing danger to persons or property on the surface in the event of a power unit failure.

(b) The 500 feet rule. Except with the written permission of the CAA, an aircraft shall not be flown closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure. 

(c) The 1,000 feet rule. Except with the written permission of the CAA, an aircraft flying over a congested area of a city town or settlement shall not fly below a height of 1,000 feet above the highest fixed obstacle within a horizontal radius of 600 metres of the aircraft.

(d) The land clear rule. An aircraft flying over a congested area of a city, town or settlement shall not fly below such height as would permit the aircraft to land clear of the congested area in the event of a power unit failure.

(e) Flying over open air assemblies. Except with the written permission of the CAA, an aircraft shall not fly over an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons below the higher of the following heights: (i) 1,000 feet; or (ii) such height as would permit the aircraft to land clear of the assembly in the event of a power unit failure.

(f) Landing and taking off near open air assemblies. An aircraft shall not land or take-off within 1,000 metres of an organised, open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons except: (i) at an aerodrome, in accordance with procedures notified by the CAA; or (ii) at a landing site which is not an aerodrome, in accordance with procedures notified by the CAA and with the written permission of the organiser of the assembly.

The exemptions from the low flying prohibitions are as follows:

(a) Landing and taking off (i) Any aircraft shall be exempt from the low flying prohibitions in so far as it is flying in accordance with normal aviation practice for the purpose of: 

(b) Taking off from, landing at or practising approaches to landing at; or (bb) checking navigational aids or procedures at a Government or licensed aerodrome.

(c) Any aircraft shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule when landing and taking off in accordance with normal aviation practice or air-taxiing, Landing and taking off at a training aerodrome

(i) Any aeroplane of which the maximum total weight authorised does not exceed 2730kg shall be exempt from the low flying prohibitions in so far as it is flying in accordance with normal aviation practice in the circumstances specified in subparagraph (iii).

(ii) Any helicopter or gyroplane of which the maximum total weight authorised does not exceed 3175kg shall be exempt from the low flying prohibitions in so far as it is flying in accordance with normal aviation practice in the circumstances specified in sub-paragraph (iii).

(iii) An aeroplane or helicopter or gyroplane flies in the circumstances specified in this sub-paragraph if:

(a) it is flying for the purpose of taking off from, landing at or practising approaches to landing at a training aerodrome; and

(b) the flight is one on which instruction in flying is being given to a person or a flying test is being performed by a person for the purpose of becoming qualified for the grant of a pilot’s licence or the inclusion or variation of an aircraft rating, a night rating or a night qualification in a licence.

(iv) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (iii), a “training aerodrome” means an aerodrome which the commander of the aircraft is satisfied on reasonable grounds has adequate facilities for the safe conduct of flights on which instruction in flying is being given to a person for the purpose of becoming qualified for the grant of a pilot’s licence or the inclusion or variation of any rating or qualification in the licence.

(b) Captive balloons and kites None of the low flying prohibitions shall apply to any captive balloon or kite.

(c) Special VFR flight and notified routes (i) Subject to paragraph (ii), any aircraft shall be exempt from the 1,000 feet rule if:

(a) it is flying on a special VFR flight; or

(b) it is operating in accordance with the procedures notified for the route being flown.

(ii) Unless the written permission of the CAA has been obtained, landings may only be made by an aircraft flying under this exemption at a licensed or Government aerodrome.

(d) Balloons and helicopters over congested areas (i) A balloon shall be exempt from the 1,000 feet rule if it is landing because it is becalmed. (ii) Any helicopter flying over a congested area shall be exempt from the land clear rule. (

e) Police air operator's certificate Any aircraft flying in accordance with the terms of a police air operator's certificate shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule, the 1,000 feet rule and the prohibitions on flying over open air assemblies and on landing and taking off near open air assemblies.

(f) Flying displays etc. An aircraft taking part in a flying display, air race or contest shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule if it is within a horizontal distance of 1,000 metres of the gathering of persons assembled to witness the event.

(g) Glider hill-soaring A glider shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule if it is hill-soaring.

(h) Picking up and dropping at an aerodrome Any aircraft picking up or dropping tow ropes, banners or similar articles at an aerodrome shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule. (i) Manoeuvring helicopters (i) Subject to paragraph (ii), a helicopter shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule if it is conducting manoeuvres, in accordance with normal aviation practice, within the boundaries of a licensed or Government aerodrome or, with the written permission of the CAA, at other sites. (ii) When flying in accordance with this exemption the helicopter must not be operated closer than 60 metres to any persons, vessels, vehicles or structures located outside the aerodrome or site. (j) Dropping articles with CAA permission Any aircraft shall be exempt from the 500 feet rule if it is flying in accordance with: (i) article 66(3)(f) of the Order (dropping of articles for the purposes of public health or as a measure against weather conditions etcetera, with the permission of the CAA); or (ii) an aerial application certificate granted by the CAA under article 68(2) of the Order.

This post covers most of the low level flying rules in the UK as they currently are (Check date of post!) 

They are now worded ever so slightly differently as from 2015 the definitions were changed to be more in line with SERA (SERA - Standardised European Rules of the Air) 

The important numbers remain the same and in the words of the CAA: Current Rule 5 is partially superseded by SERA.3105, SERA.5005(f) and SERA.5015(b) which have the same outcome as the legacy UK Rules of the Air. Therefore there is no impact arising from the implementation of SERA. Certain low flying provisions are being retained within the draft Rules of the Air Regulations 2015 and a series of permissions derived from current Rule 6 will be published in order to ensure that the legacy exceptions to the low flying rules are retained.

Full document can be downloaded here: 

20141204ROTA+SERAPlannedSuccessorSummary (3).pdf

SW :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I concur Simon. I have a friendly farm to take off from. Cows and horses to avoid. The farmer tells me it is fine to fly near them.....but then the cows trampled him to death last year.

This year the chicken farmer next door to him said I was frightening his chickens, even though I was above 500 feet. I now have an exclusion zone above there!

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