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Flying over a prison


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ADMIN DO NOT REMOVE THIS POST AGAIN WITHOUT AN EXPLAINATION!

What is the law about over flying a prison, my flying site is near to a prison and the police want to talk to me about flying near to it.

as i understand it, prisons are not marked on air charts and as such do not have a no fly zone.

the only rule that i think fits is the 1500ft built up area law.

please help

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Bignos

Do go along and co-operate fully with the police. Please eat humble pie and explain that the wind made you drift that way involuntarily if there was any. Just a thought.

BTW How do you like your Walkerjet RR.? I have one too!

One to avoid, but not marked on airmaps, are free range chickens. You cant tell, from the air, which are for meat or which lay eggs, but they do feel harassed by us and can lay alot less eggs. Not good for the farmer who's probably on a slim margin already. Most livestock are nervous at first but the sheep and bullocks near me have gradually got used to paramotors. Even the Roe deer casually walk back into the woods, after a skyward gaze, when I'm warning them away from my crops.

Dave

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ive already called the police back, and will agree to everything they say! but ive now had an idea to fly with my GPS and then if it happens again, i can show an overlay on google earth to proove that i didnt!

Its a great field (60 acres with no trees or lines) and its free, but its close to the prison... I dont want to loose it!

Dave, the walkerjet RR is great but i have no other experience, ive also just picked up a Fly castellucio SMN122 so ill be able to feel the difference.

How do you cope with the torque pulling you to the right as there is no built in adjustments to compensate?

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Flying an efficient wing which has less drag helps alot,to combat torque steer. I also used to pull my left brake across infront of me instead of straight down, like I do with the right brake. Imagine you're arm wrestling someone with your left arm. This helps you keep your left buttock pressing down on the seat. If you pull the left brake straight down you tend to rock across onto your right buttock which obviously turns you right by weight shift.

Climbing out on full power, it's difficult to compensate torque with body weight shift alone so I clip the left brake toggle up, securely, then reach up for the outer tip, or stibilo line, and pull that one enough to straighten the flight. Might fit a tipsteering kit to make this easier and for turning when the trimmers are raised for speed.

Fit your reserve parachute on the outside of the left hangpoint frame. The WJ lends itself to this nicely.

You cant do this with your WJet but I have slid the fuel tank across to the left on my Flat-Top, so it's sat in one of the dual tank positions. A word of caution. When you cut the power to land there might be a slight left turn which you have to take out with carefull inching of the right brake.

Use less power!! I climb out just over half throttle. Full power just to blow me off the ground quickly but I carefully ease off soon after leaving the ground (or clearing the trees) Full power for those steep banked turns too! Fun!

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1054106874273

You get used to it when you've flown it for a while. Dont forget, you're also flying one of the safest frames in the event of a crash.

Dave

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Bignos,

Some good advice above. If the prison is not marked as restricted airspace (an open prison would probably not be LOL) then you just need to be aware and adhere to the Low Flying rules as defined by the ANO.

If the police want to talk to you it may be that either you did fly through a restricted area or... there may be responding to an inquiry from a concerned local member of the public.

Don't fear them, engage them. Evasion just makes them more interested. :wink:

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Hi Norman

I have worked in a few prison's. using my hawks for bird control clearing pigeons and pest birds from the grounds and roof tops of the prison. I have asked this question about light aircraft helicopters etc flying over prisons. And from what i was told all prisons should be treated as a no fly zone. I was told even police helicopters should not fly directly over the prison. Cat A prisons have wires over exercise yards to stop prisoners being lifted out. And there is also the problem of *removed by admin* (weed or other substances)being dropped into the prison grounds.

craggrat

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is just the sort of post which could bring the wrong kind of attention to this sport.

Clearly common sense would dictate that no private pilot should fly over or near a prison considering all of the sensitivities of a place like this. I would suggest that any flights over such a place would result in the pilots untimely incarceration until their intentions could be proven as accidental/stupid.

Even discussing such a matter is dangerous if it brings to light the kind of activities that some pilots are prepared to indulge in. A prison is not like a zoo where the inmates can be safely observed from the sky.

Please pilots exercise common sense. :D

Merlin

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This is just the sort of post which could bring the wrong kind of attention to this sport.

Clearly common sense would dictate that no private pilot should fly over or near a prison considering all of the sensitivities of a place like this. I would suggest that any flights over such a place would result in the pilots untimely incarceration until their intentions could be proven as accidental/stupid.

Even discussing such a matter is dangerous if it brings to light the kind of activities that some pilots are prepared to indulge in. A prison is not like a zoo where the inmates can be safely observed from the sky.

Please pilots exercise common sense. :D

Merlin

I'm sorry Merlin, this is complete paranoia. If the powers that be don't want us (or anyone else) to fly over a prison, then they will undoubtably have a restricted area declared around the environs. Unless an area is so marked on a CAA chart, and I am otherwise behaving within any limits of my permission to fly (be this a private pilots licence, or an exemption to the ANO that permits us to fly FLPPG's), then I will fly wherever I like, and will be more than happy to defend my position should the need ever arise.

As if it isn't bad enough, that we have to contend with vast swathes of airspace that are off limits to us, you are now suggesting that we should voluntarily, decline to fly in areas where it is completely legal.

And what would your suggestion be for pilots flying over unfamiliar areas of the country? Should they research all the prisons in the area, so as to avoid an overflight? Or should he/she simply plan their flight based on any NOTAM's and the current CAA chart? I know what I shall be doing.

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I'm sorry Merlin, this is complete paranoia. If the powers that be don't want us (or anyone else) to fly over a prison, then they will undoubtably have a restricted area declared around the environs. Unless an area is so marked on a CAA chart, and I am otherwise behaving within any limits of my permission to fly (be this a private pilots licence, or an exemption to the ANO that permits us to fly FLPPG's), then I will fly wherever I like, and will be more than happy to defend my position should the need ever arise.

As if it isn't bad enough, that we have to contend with vast swathes of Airspace that are off limits to us, you are now suggesting that we should voluntarily, decline to fly in areas where it is completely legal.

And what would your suggestion be for pilots flying over unfamiliar areas of the country? Should they research all the prisons in the area, so as to avoid an overflight? Or should he/she simply plan their flight based on any NOTAM's and the current CAA chart? I know what I shall be doing.

Hi Phil.

I appreciate your frustration at restrictions to our sport, I feel very much the same way surrounded by MATZ's in my area. However we are a minority sport, a small group of flyers and in the grand sceme of things are very un-important.

Sometimes its just best to 'keep your powder dry' and do what the ignorant fat head fascist *"*^ers dictate, for the good of the sport and for maintaining the freedom we have.

Ive always found being pleasant and co-operative works well, and of course being very apologetic when I get caught :lol:

Just talk to people Bignos, tell them who you are and what you want, offer to telephone the prison prior to flying with a flight plan etc. I bet they will be fine about it. Better than loosing a good site.

Regards

Whitters

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As someone with a "professional" interest in the justice system I feel that now is the time to add my thoughts...

There is nothing illegal about flying over a prison as longs as you honour the minimum height restrictions and are not in restricted airspace but it is not the flying that is the problem and why Her Majesty's finest are interested. Understanding why will help to avoid problems.

The work of a prisons is not just about keeping bad guys in. A huge part of their work involves stopping contraband getting in. A low, slow flying vehicle over a prison could, very easily, be used to deliver weapons or illicit pharmaceuticals - most likely illicit pharmaceuticals - to the inmates. We've seen all sorts of delivery mechanisms including radio controlled aircraft, kites, helium balloons etc. tried.

If you do fly over a prison then I don't think it is unreasonable for someone to want to ask you questions. If you haven't broken the law then you have nothing to fear and an open and honest approach will help. In reality you'll probably have a couple of fascinated bobbies who, once they've satisfied themselves that you aren't delivering a few wraps or spliffs, will want to know more about our fabulous sport.

If your flightplans regularly take you near a prison, or any other slightly sensitive place, they'll soon get used to you.

One last thought... prisoners are trapped as are the staff. They can't move away from your noise. If you regularly take off or land near a prison it is probably as well to regard the prison as a "no overfly zone" just as there are near many of our flying sites - horse stables, cattle farms, housing. It is simply being a polite neighbour and not upsetting the animals.

As ever, the courteous pilot is the one everyone looks up to. ;-)

Stuart

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Nicely put Stuart. I think that it is very important that we continue to exercise our rights as they stand. Whilst I can understand some peoples trepidation about a visit from 'Old Bill', the thought of that doesn't trouble me at all.

I agree that if a local prison comes regularly under our flight path, then it might be worthwhile dropping the governor a polite note explaining what we are up to, and provide contact details should they wish to discuss it. That is simply me being courteous however. What I positively will not do, is to ask their permission to overfly, (or imply that they have any power to stop me) and explain, should they become awkward, that I am acting within all the rules in overflying, and will continue to exercise my permissions should the need arise.

I don't mean to be bolshy, but people should realise that failing to exercise a right of access, can lead to that right being removed, just as readily, as it might happen if we upset people. Imagine the thinking;

Well, nobody seems to be flying over prisons anymore, so there obviously is no need for any aircraft to do so. As nobody needs to, then we might as well make all prisons a 'no fly' area, and stick a five mile exclusion zone around all of them, that way we can nail anyone who breaks the law, cos they must be up to no good!

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What I positively will not do, is to ask their permission to overfly, (or imply that they have any power to stop me) and explain, should they become awkward, that I am acting within all the rules in overflying, and will continue to exercise my permissions should the need arise.

I don't mean to be bolshy,

Well, nobody seems to be flying over prisons anymore, so there obviously is no need for any aircraft to do so. As nobody needs to, then we might as well make all prisons a 'no fly' area, and stick a five mile exclusion zone around all of them, that way we can nail anyone who breaks the law, cos they must be up to no good!

Keep flying over prisons and there will be an exclusion zone around all of them. We are such a small group against lots of bigger influential groups and they don't care if we can't fly, even less if we are bolshy. :)

Whitters

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I tend to agree with Whitters on this one.

I think that unless you NEED to fly over it for some reason (approach back to your landing or something) I would just fly around it.

Why do you want to fly over it out of interest?

SW :D

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I don't want to fly over prisons, but conversely I do not want to have my flight path dictated by a 'home made' exclusion zone. The same would apply to other 'sensitive' sites, army depots, power stations etc. Where do you think we should draw the line?

There are a couple of prisons not far from me that I have regularly overflown in light aircraft, simply because they happen to be en-route. Whilst not wishing to be obstinate for the sake of it, I will continue to exercise the privileges that are granted to me, and should the need arise, explain myself to the powers that be.

Again I ask the question, are other pilots going to research the location of prisons when they fly in an unfamiliar area, because the only ones marked on a CAA chart ARE the ones with exclusion zones?

It is not a trivial exercise having a restricted area created. Think for a moment about the likelihood of paramotors overflying prisons, and I would have thought that common sense should show that it simply would not be worth the hassle of creating one.

I'm sorry that folks think that my actions are likely to cause problems for other flyers, unfortunately I disagree rather strongly.

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I don't want to fly over prisons, but conversely I do not want to have my flight path dictated by a 'home made' exclusion zone. The same would apply to other 'sensitive' sites, army depots, power stations etc. Where do you think we should draw the line?

The point that Whitters and Slim made is... At the moment it is not resticted airspace. (and a valid point made by you, we ARE allowed to use it)

But, how long do you think it would take the Prison Officer to raise the (Valid) concern if you keep flying over it with the CAA?

I have set up 2 CAA sites now and they are both current on the UK airmap, for my operations. It takes a phone call, a 2 page document, and about 4 weeks to complete the process.

So here are my thoughts, If my job was to secure a government building from inside and out against contraban, and a paramotor kept flying over it, I would call the CAA to find out what I could do about it.

They would tell me to apply for an airspace restriction based on my concerns and I would 100% do it.

Its that simple.

Then your not able to fly there....

So,

If on occasion you need to over fly it to land, fine.. but if your flying over it loads expect a complaint and hope the warden does not call the CAA and close off the airspace to you. (and everyone else)

SW :D

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Are these not just points on the map? They aren't enforceable airspace of any kind, just regular Class G with notification of what happens there.

Edited by Guest
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Are these not just points on the map? They aren't enforceable airspace of any kind, just regular Class G with notification of what happens there.

Indeed yes but it is the same paperwork for a restriction and as simple to impliment. It's just a different box to tick and a little more justification.

The justification would be easy for a prison I recon? more so if someone is flying over it on a slow moving aircraft on a regular basis.

SW :D

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I thought you meant you had managed to secure an ATZ for your flying sites! I don't see how this could be achieved for an unlicensed airfield. I doubt the CAA would be keen to implement restricted airspace for a paramotor/paraglider flying site either.

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