SE Wales Sites UpdateBefore flying SE Wales sites, all pilots should check this page for any late breaking air space or sites news.
Additional news items for SEWHG&PGC members are also available on our Club News page.
Mode S Transponders - UpdateOn 31st January 2008 the CAA published the phase 2 consultation documents for their latest proposals on the compulsory carriage of transponders - go to www.caa.co.uk, click on the "Mode S" menu item, and follow the links.
The draft response from the BHPA Airspace Panel has now been published here. Time is unfortunately now very short, but further responses from individual pilots would obviously add weight to the arguments put forward by the BHPA.
A summary document is also available on the BHPA web site. This outlines the background to the CAA consultation, and lists the pros and cons of each of the options currently proposed.
You can respond to the CAA consultation document, online, by email, or by post. But it‘ worth remembering that online you can only answer the specific questions. So any "off topic" response must be made by post or email.
The deadline for all responses is 5.00pm on 31st May 2008.
Please use your own words, as multiple copies of exactly the same response will have little impact. You don‘t necessarily have to repond to the whole CAA Document, just respond to a one or two points that you feel most strongly about.
Every response from an individual pilot will add weight to the arguments put forward on behalf of our sport.
You can email email@example.com, or write to:
Mr Andy Knill
Head of Surveillance & Spectrum Management
Directorate of Airspace Policy
CAA House K6 G6
Annual Site ClosuresJust a reminder of annual site closures in SE Wales.
1st - 21st May
- Blaenavon - Members Only Site
1st March to Mid May
- Hay Bluff - Members Only Site
Monday - Friday from the 1st - 31st May
ie. the site can only be flown Saturdays and Sundays during this period
- Cymparc - Members Only site
Closed Bank Holidays.
Parking at Cymparc is restricted, and as part of our access agreement for this site we were asked not to use it over Bank Holidays so as to ensure there was adequate safe parking for other visitors.
Blorenge - Bottom Landing FieldCastle Meadows is now the only agreed bottom landing area for this site.
Paraglider pilots who find themselves going down must therefore use the main landing field at Castle Meadows, or slope land on the side of the Blorenge if they do not feel confident of making it safely over the power lines.
Pilots are reminded that they should not attempt to land in the small field adjacent to the Bridge Inn.
This land is owned by the Local Authority and has never been a designated landing area. Any attempt to land in this restricted area carries a very real risk of damage to property, or injury to members of the public. In the past there have been a number of unfortunate incidents created by pilots ignoring this rule, and putting their own safety at risk, as well as that of the public. This sort of behaviour is unacceptable and must not be repeated.
Pilots are also reminded not to park in the Bridge Inn car park or lay-by, unless they are actually visiting the pub.
Much has been achieved since 1997, when the Coal Authority first announced the sale of Pwll Du, and the SE Wales Club took the first few faltering steps towards purchasing the Blorenge.
The Lanarkshire and Lothian Club now owns two take-off areas at Tinto, the Longmynd Club has purchased the Longmynd take-off, and the Wessex Club has purchased Bell Hill. We certainly started quite a trend.
Air Space ChangesPilots are reminded that a number of important changes to the Bristol and Cardiff Control Zones and Control Areas came into force on the 31st August 2006.
Please make sure you are familiar with these changes before considering flying cross country from any South East Wales site.
A large scale map of the revised airspace can be viewed or downloaded as a scalable pdf document by clicking on the low resolution map displayed on the right.
Please note that this is a large file (628Kb) and may therefore take some time to display, especially if you are using a slow dial-up internet connection.
Our on-line and paper sites guides will be updated later this year (2007), when Club officers have had an opportunity to assess the full impact of these changes on individual South East Wales flying sites.
MerthyrUnfortunately the barrier at the north end of the track remains welded shut. But the gate at the southern end of the track is locked open, so pilots are advised to access this site from the south.
PandyPilots are reminded that they must not drive on to the common. The track that was used for many years is on private property, and permission for vehicular access was withdrawn when the property was sold.
Please park in the field on the right hand side of the road, immediately before the gate to the Common (see site map), and carry your glider to take-off.
Please enter the field by the second gate on the right after the last bend in the road, and when ever possible try to park in the SW corner of the field, next to the hedge. The car parking area slopes. If the ground is slippery and you are having problems driving up hill to the main gate, drive down hill, through the gate into the next field, and then exit via the gate in the SW corner of that field.
Whilst it‘s several years since protracted negotiations were needed to secure continued access to Hatterral Hill to fly this magnificent site, Pandy continues to remain a sensitive site.
Unfortunately problems can, and do, still flare up all too easily. Please help us to make the current parking arrangements work. Don't park on the road, or block access for local residents. Don't pass gliders or equipment over hedges, walls or fences. Always use the gates and close them after use.
Please observe site rules, and drive with care on the narrow roads that lead to and from the site.
Pilots are also reminded that at the request of the land owner and the local graziers, this site is closed each year from the 1 - 21 May to allow stock to be settled on the hillside.
Hay BluffVisitors are reminded that at the request of the Land Agent, Hay Bluff is strictly Club members only.
Club members should always keep their membership cards with them when flying the Bluff, and make sure that they are aware of the current site rules.
SoutherndownPilots are reminded that the Dunraven Estate has withdrawn permission for this site to be flown. It appears that this was done on the advice of the wardens at the Visitor Centre, who were concerned that our activities might disturb nesting Chuffs.
Whilst it‘s true that previous studies abroad have shown that wildlife largely ignores hang gliders and paragliders, this particular area is sadly covered by Local Bylaws which prohibit the take-off or landing of any aircraft. It therefore seems very unlikely that the situation is likely to change.
Foot Launched Powered Aircraft (FLPA) are not permitted on any of our Open sites.
Visiting PilotsVisitors will always be welcome on our "open sites" providing they follow the advice given in the SE Wales Sites Guide, and observe the following Club rules:
- All UK pilots must carry BHPA third party insurance.
- Non UK pilots must either take out temporary BHPA membership, or produce proof that they are covered for third party risks up £2,000,000 through a policy issued, or approved, by the sport‘s governing body in their home country.
- "Members only" sites may only be flown by SEWHG&PGC and WFFF members. No exceptions.
- Foot Launched Powered Aircraft (FLPA) are not permitted on any of our Open sites. No exceptions.
You‘ll always be welcome in SE Wales if you follow site rules, and keep to our open sites.
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