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Flying over towns


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Hi all,

This may seem a silly question, but I'm note sure what the legislation is for flying over cities/towns...

In France, a minimum height is required, based on the size of the city, and clearly shown in the aeronautical maps with specific colors as below:


On the UK map I bought, there does not seem to be a clear distinction:


Hence my question: is there any other limitation apart from the general 1000ft min + maintaining sufficient height to achieve getting outside within ones glide ratio?



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This is the relevant part of the CAA's 'Rule 5' regarding built up areas.

The 1000 feet rule

Except with the permission in writing 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 will permit, in the event of a power unit failure, the aircraft to land clear of the congested area.

Sent from my iPhone using PMC Forum mobile app

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If I may, can I ask other questions about airspaces? :)


What does "GVS" means?

I'm looking at a specific one here:


Lateral limit: A circle, 1 nm radius centred at 513150N 0023916W

Upper limit: 3500 ft ALT

Advisory Measures: Site operator recommended advisory vertical avoidance criteria, and rounded up to next 100 ft.

Does that mean that it is 'advised' not to go there? Or forbidden??

Another one: Dangerous Zone:


A circle, 4 nm radius centred at 511224N 0031353W

Upper limit: 5000 ft ALT

Lower limit: SFC

Activity: Live Firing.

Hours: When notified.

Service: DAAIS: Yeovilton APP on 127.350 MHz when open; other times

London Information on 124.750 MHz.

I understand it's forbidden to fly there when the zone is active.

But is there a simple way to know when it's active or not (internet/phone) instead of radio??

Thanks !!

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Pilots are advised to avoid flying over Gas Venting Sites (GVSs) below specified altitudes.

A warning circle is shown on the chart to identify a GVS and the hazard altitude is shown in

thousands of feet AMSL.

See UK AIP ENR 1-1-5.............................................................................


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  • 2 years later...

There is a very good seminar on youtube by the Derbyshire paragliding club on air law. They specifically mention towns with potential landing spots mainly on the outskirts of towns though, playing fields and cricket grounds etc. and these can be used for the land clear rule flying over a congested areas.


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I planned to do  flight over the closing ceremony of Big Brother, aired between 10.00 and 10.45 pm. It was just about possible avoiding the town and the restricted air space. All that was left was the police (cos I didn't want to get shot). The police were very persuasive with their argument that whilst it might appear technically possible they would not consider it so. I didn't do it. 

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