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POLICE (Flying over roads)


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All,

The local Police 'Swindon' have contacted me.

On the 18th of June, a Paramotor pilot with a white wing and blue clothes, flew over the A420 at "lorry height" during rush hour (17:40) and continued to head South, close to the road for some time.

This event caused an 'minor' accident on the A420 (near Faringdon) when a driver slammed on his brakes as a result.

I don't know of anyone that flies from the Lambourn site with a white wing but would ask that if you are reading this and you think it could have been you, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DONT DO IT!. It is a sure way to get our sport clamped down on with a ton of bricks, in an instant!

The Police are not that interested in who it was, just that this 'currently friendly' message gets out to local pilots.

Nuff said on that one.

SW :D

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Hi Simon,

Let's hope it wasn't a member of the PMC as I feel everyone on here has more sense. Unfortunately if that's the case the miscreant won't see this friendly warning.

Why oh why do some pilots not think of the broader picture and the continued enjoyment of others :?:

Could get into a rant here but I won't.

Cheers all,

Alan

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It is always possible that the pilot was on his initial climb out from taking off. If his field was near to, and take off direction was towards the road, perhaps there was little alternative.

Just a thought, as I have been in a similar predicament previously, where the choice was turning near to a road, or directly overflying some horses at low altitude.

Phil

PS, it wasn't me ;-)

PPS, I also don't think that the pilot 'caused the accident' I would say that a poor driver did.

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might be an idea to put it on sky adds and the paramotors uk site also might be a possibility to stick it on ebay, not sure about that one, but the more places it is the better

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it may be possible that the driver spoke to the police and totally exagerated the whole thing and the pilot may have been plenty high enough but the driver needs to blame something dont he?

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Agreed.

The driver is at fault in the end.

And it was more than likely an OTT version of events.

EDIT But I also agree 100% with Pete of course.

SW :D

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not so long ago i was thrown abuse for pulling my wing up in a local field (public) it was from some horse riders passing by on the road, she was very abusive, my pal said if they startle easy they shouldnt be on the road, she comtinued shoutin and swearin, and said we cause accidents to people like her? so my pal said what about all time i ride my bike and skid on ya horse shit then lol.

just shows how fast people are to blame other things, so it would be good to find out the pilot and get the full story

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If you can not climb out safely then find another take off site.

Where would he have landed if his engine had cut out at the point of no return?

on the road????

Don't do wrong do it right no excuse.

Pete b

Kind of says that we should close most licensed aerodromes then Pete, together with a good few military. Heathrow, East Mids, Nottingham Tollerton, Waddington, Scampton, those are just examples off the top of my head, ranging from International to small local, where an engine failure on t/o (or landing) will put you down on a road. Most of you will remember Kegworth, I'm sure.

Whilst accepting that we often have the option, sometimes it's otherwise a good location. My small local strip at South Scarle, Lincs which takes anything up to a light twin and the farmer welcomes us paramotorists with open arms, has it's two runway ends delimited by a road at one end, and a railway line at the other. In fact the cables next to the railway have been buried for the width of the runway, for those 'oh sh*t' moments.

I'd lay a good few quid that the paramotorist in question felt he was high enough to clear the road in the event of failure. I for one wouldn't want to tangle with an eighteen wheeler. If it WAS a t/o, then I don't consider it a problem, however, if it was just en-route nav, then nail him for breaking Rule 5.

PK

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If you can not climb out safely then find another take off site.

Where would he have landed if his engine had cut out at the point of no return?

on the road????

Don't do wrong do it right no excuse.

Pete b

Kind of says that we should close most licensed aerodromes then Pete, together with a good few military. Heathrow, East Mids, Nottingham Tollerton, Waddington, Scampton, those are just examples off the top of my head, ranging from International to small local, where an engine failure on t/o (or landing) will put you down on a road. Most of you will remember Kegworth, I'm sure.

Whilst accepting that we often have the option, sometimes it's otherwise a good location. My small local strip at South Scarle, Lincs which takes anything up to a light twin and the farmer welcomes us paramotorists with open arms, has it's two runway ends delimited by a road at one end, and a railway line at the other. In fact the cables next to the railway have been buried for the width of the runway, for those 'oh sh*t' moments.

I'd lay a good few quid that the paramotorist in question felt he was high enough to clear the road in the event of failure. I for one wouldn't want to tangle with an eighteen wheeler. If it WAS a t/o, then I don't consider it a problem, however, if it was just en-route nav, then nail him for breaking Rule 5.

PK

We are not licenced aerodromes where people know that planes will be coming over low

But not that low.

There is no need for any of us To do this under any circumstances

Pete b

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We are not licenced aerodromes where people know that planes will be coming over low

But not that low.

There is no need for any of us To do this under any circumstances

Pete b

So you are saying that if the wind is straight down my farmers non licensed strip, I shouldn't use it, but it's OK for a Senneca?

And the issue is 'in the event of engine failure, you'd be on the road'. I'm saying that there are loads of aerodromes where in the event of engine failure, a light aircraft WILL be on the road. How is that is somehow more acceptable, than for a low energy craft such as ourselves? Chances are if we are twatted by a car, it's US that will get hurt.

And as for 'need', there is no 'need' for any of us to fly at all. I contend that there are circumstances where a field in the proximity of a road should not be ruled out just because of that proximity, and the perceived inability of drivers to deal with unexpected events.

For all we know, the guy HAD been dealing with an issue that put him close, but then corrected or resolved it and was able to carry on flying. For all we know, he might have descended from 4000 feet, then managed a restart and continued to his destination.

Didn't some of the T2T have landings close by roads?

PK

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Phil

Im saying that we need not do it.

I can take off and put in a turn at 20 feet or below and have done so I would not fly over a road.

Why give any one amunition to fire back at us and get us regulated.

So re worded

Please dont take off over roads, You dont have to listen to me if you dont want to

Pete b

nuff said me thinks :D

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I agree with Pete and he just beat me to it. Unless it's howlingly windy . I wouldn't even climb to 20 feet. As soon as your feet are of the ground bang on a load of brake and scrape the wingtip whilst turning a 180 to climb out away from the road. Much more fun for everyone.

Of course I jest. Consider rotor, experience, downwind demons etc etc etc

Dave

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i have a few fields and was thinkin there is a road and two sometimes next to the fields. assuming one is taking off towards the road then once lifted you are well high by the time you start going over the road. i really cant see anyone taking off close to a road and not havin much height. im thinkin if this guy was very low wagon height then didnt he get his wing caught in lamp posts and telegraph posts,,,

its a load of pony. if the pilot is a fruitcake then ya wont change him and if he wasnt then i dont believe it happened how it was told to simon.

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Is it worth considering that people are prone to exaggeration when reporting low flying sightings and that often they are reacting to the distraction, not the material fact of low flying. Paramotors are still very unusual in the UK and their power to distract is considerable.

If the police are passing a friendly warning it means just that doesn't it? They cannot identify the pilot and are reacting to a report. This also points toward there being a case for each wing to be identified with a form of registration mark, either national or club based so that reports such as this can be disowned if no registration has been logged. It may even be seen as a responsible move - possibly even a restraining one. Who is going to waz around at low level breaking the law if they know they can be identified quite easily?

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Hi Guys

I'm fairly new here so forgive me if I speak out of turn. This is not directed at anyone.

In this case I don't think it matters if the driver exagerated the claim was a terrible driver or even if the pilot in question did everything according to the rule book. The problem was that the pilot although possibly flying legaly managed to give the d!ckhead in the car an excuse for crashing. I think we have to not only comply to the "rules" but we have to use a huge amount of common sense and cater for the lowest common denominater of NIMBY out there, if there is any doubt that flying within the guidlines could cause offence then the guidlines should be extended in that instance. This way we give no excuse for any one to bad mouth the sport or us. Low flying is something that I have seen and heard of several pilots doing on a rewgular basis and although it looks like good fun I feel that it is the side of the sport that requires the most carefull consideration of sites used and conduct. In reality there can not be too many places in the UK were ground skimming etc is acceptible behaviour. In this instance the pilot may well of been in TO phase but the fact that someone has been able to use him as an excuse has effectively condemmed his decision and site selection.

Dan

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Good points Dan,

It is a great sadness that the sport is being sold by some as a vehicle for getting a bunch of kicks by low flying, particularly over water which is a lethal pastime.

Illegal low flying is not excusable, doing it legally and remaining so during the process is fraught with its own problems. Discourage it as we may there will always be those who insist that the kicks outweigh the risks. Handling them is a task for us all - a particularly vigorous approach to repeat offenders may save lives and ultimately the freedoms that the sport currently enjoys.

08_paramania_tai.jpg

This is lunacy. Skilled and super talented pilots are a comparatively rare commodity, made so in part by the abundance of them in graveyards.

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about the registration of wings? if they are registered is it not a step closer to being licenced. a lot come in to this sport because there is freedom and licencing wings is for me a no no. at the moment its like ridin a bike and i do hope it stays this way, there will always be moaners and people complainin cos of this and that, they do with bikes but they aint licenced them have they? or horse riders cause crashes but they aint been licenced either, so why start trying to regulate or semi regulate this sport.

i spoke in depth with the caa the chap who apparently looks after foot launch, and he said he has absolutely no intention of regulating it and it aint been mentioned.

so i really cant see why the big fuss.

im concerned with how i do things , if people wanna go doing daft stuff like water skimmin let them get on with it, its there life and its there right to do it if they wanna, people do not all think the same but it does not make them wrong.

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I too like the sport being unregulated but still think the individuals should be questioned/charged if acting inappropiately. If a cyclist causes an accident the police speak to the individual not the sport as a whole, same in this case. Same rules such as being drunk in charge of a horse/bike should be same for paramotoring. Just needs people to use common sense and if they going to do something illegal then do it where it doesnt put other people at risk or cause annoyance.

If you can not climb out safely then find another take off site.

Where would he have landed if his engine had cut out at the point of no return?

on the road????

Don't do wrong do it right no excuse.

Pete b

If the link fails, its http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT58Di51wDk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT58Di51wDk

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Re : Dangerous take off and landing.

Kegworth was caused by the crew shutting down the WRONG engine when dealing with an engine fire /heavy vibration on approach to land. It had nothing to do with the position of the road and it's proximity to the runway. Had they not done that they could have made the runway as they had one good engine.

If you can prove that loads of licensed/military airfields are dangerous due to roads /houses being nearby please do pass on your statistics to the CAA as it was they that licensed them as being safe. Your Senca scenario doesn't take into account that a Seneca has 2 engines and is capable of flight on one engine. If your farmers strip can accomodate a Seneca then it will accomodate any microlight/Cessna/PPG with an engine failure within the length of the strip.

All flights whether GA or commercial have to take account of any obstructions on approach or departure and runways are marked as such to reduce the length available (legally) on takeoff/landing. ILS etc is adjusted to accomodate the reduction. There are also clearways and overshoot areas on all licensed aerodromes. The crews also have to calculate given their load, wind, temp and pressure and configuration, their accelerate and stop distance and V1 and V2 speeds/distances BEFORE taking off. If the numbers don't add up you DON'T take off. If a pilot doesn't do any of the above and has an incident then if he'she survives they will find themselves in the dock.

As a paramotor pilot it's very unlikely you will go through this before taking off and landing BUT that does not mean we should be taking off low over roads, buildings or trees. Think engine failure on take off and brief before lining up as most microlight/single engine GA fliers do and you should always be safe.

And as for moving the boundaries every time some NIMBY objects we would have no sport whatsoever left in no time. I trained at an airfield in Oz where there where signs around a WW2 airfield saying "DO NOT BUY A HOUSE NEAR HERE IF YOU DO NOT LIKE AIRCRAFT NOISE". People still did and still complained about the noise and tried to shut the place down.

As for people exagerrating how low this fella was flying just ask the Police on a day to day basis how reliable 'eye witness' accounts are. Not very! I've been involved with a SAR operation who were called out to look for a microlight in the sea and a paraglider pilot crashing on the beach from so called 'eye witnesAses'. One was nothing at all (why would a microlight be 12 miles out to sea???) and the supposed paraglider pilot was a drunken fisherman. How wrong can you be?? I was accosted by an officer when ground handling a PG in the park. He reckoned he'd had calls that I was a skydiver and had reports I had landed there????????????

As for horse riders....... the SAR guys try their best to avoid livestock and horses but the base still seems to take calls from horsey types complaining. They seem to think that they leisure activity takes precedence over the saving of lives.

Unfortunately the sport is largely unregulated as there is no licensing system. That means any idiot can buy a PPG off ebay and go to a local field to crash into people or cars or houses and end up on local telly as an example of what a fine sport this is. The media just LOVE a bad news story involving some aviation related activity.

We are all tarred by the same brush.

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Re : Dangerous take off and landing.

Kegworth was caused by the crew shutting down the WRONG engine when dealing with an engine fire /heavy vibration on approach to land. It had nothing to do with the position of the road and it's proximity to the runway. Had they not done that they could have made the runway as they had one good engine.

The fact remains that an engine stopage, however caused, put the aircraft on a road

If you can prove that loads of licensed/military airfields are dangerous due to roads /houses being nearby please do pass on your statistics to the CAA as it was they that licensed them as being safe.

I don't feel the need to prove anything, look at many airfields and you will find that there are public roads just beyond perimeter fencing. There have been many accounts of aircraft departing the runway and ending up on such roads. If you really feel the need, I will trawl through AAIB reports to find references, but do I really need to? Standard procedure for engine failure after t/o in a single is nose down and land straight ahead. A huge number of airfields therefore have public roads that would then come within the forced landing zone.

Your Senca scenario doesn't take into account that a Seneca has 2 engines and is capable of flight on one engine. If your farmers strip can accomodate a Seneca then it will accomodate any microlight/Cessna/PPG with an engine failure within the length of the strip. It is for that very reason

Alright then, forget the Senneca, lets make it an Antonov biplane. (I was just looking for a largish example) What nonsense about being able to land straight ahead within the confines of the strip. All aircraft will reach a point where a failure will put them outside the confines of the strip! Add to that, that many GA aircraft do not have such sparkling rate of climb that they can gain much height before the boundaries, especially depending on wind conditions. During the landing phase, something as simple as a flap problem can mean that the aircraft gets dragged in low under power, hence the buried cables at 'my' strip.

All flights whether GA or commercial have to take account of any obstructions on approach or departure and runways are marked as such to reduce the length available (legally) on takeoff/landing. ILS etc is adjusted to accomodate the reduction. There are also clearways and overshoot areas on all licensed aerodromes. The crews also have to calculate given their load, wind, temp and pressure and configuration, their accelerate and stop distance and V1 and V2 speeds/distances BEFORE taking off. If the numbers don't add up you DON'T take off. If a pilot doesn't do any of the above and has an incident then if he'she survives they will find themselves in the dock.

Whilst true for a multi engined aircraft, it is simply NOT true for a single. As I stated above, there will be a point in ANY climb out, where the failure of the engine in a single, will create a glide path that will put you outside (but very close to) the airfield. It is simply an accepted fact that the risk benefit analysis has resulted in the decision that it continues to be worth it.

As a paramotor pilot it's very unlikely you will go through this before taking off and landing BUT that does not mean we should be taking off low over roads, buildings or trees. Think engine failure on take off and brief before lining up as most microlight/single engine GA fliers do and you should always be safe.

That all sounds perfectly reasonable, but sometimes more than one kind of sh*t happens at the same time, and we may make the best of a bad job. Hey, maybe you always turn out right to avoid a line of trees, but that day your engine coughs and splutters also happens to be the one where your brake line has got twisted round the riser and you can only turn left (yes your preflight should have spotted it, but I know I'm not infallible).

And as for moving the boundaries every time some NIMBY objects we would have no sport whatsoever left in no time. I trained at an airfield in Oz where there where signs around a WW2 airfield saying "DO NOT BUY A HOUSE NEAR HERE IF YOU DO NOT LIKE AIRCRAFT NOISE". People still did and still complained about the noise and tried to shut the place down.

As for people exagerrating how low this fella was flying just ask the Police on a day to day basis how reliable 'eye witness' accounts are. Not very! I've been involved with a SAR operation who were called out to look for a microlight in the sea and a paraglider pilot crashing on the beach from so called 'eye witnesAses'. One was nothing at all (why would a microlight be 12 miles out to sea???) and the supposed paraglider pilot was a drunken fisherman. How wrong can you be?? I was accosted by an officer when ground handling a PG in the park. He reckoned he'd had calls that I was a skydiver and had reports I had landed there????????????

Agreed, he could have been at a couple of hundred feet, and we might still be having this debate.

As for horse riders....... the SAR guys try their best to avoid livestock and horses but the base still seems to take calls from horsey types complaining. They seem to think that they leisure activity takes precedence over the saving of lives.

Likewise, as a paramotorist, I really do try to minimize my impact on others both animal and human.

Unfortunately the sport is largely unregulated as there is no licensing system. That means any idiot can buy a PPG off ebay and go to a local field to crash into people or cars or houses and end up on local telly as an example of what a fine sport this is. The media just LOVE a bad news story involving some aviation related activity.

We are all tarred by the same brush.

Ditches I still do, so far I've missed the houses, cars and people :-)

PK

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if regulation ever did come in i am bewildered how they would ever police it, they are so obtainable and take off from plenty places how would or could they?

number the wings well you can still get wings from abroad. i really cant see how they could police it and i think part the reason it aint regulated is due to the hassle doing it.

i think it would be one of those laws people would just ignore really

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