Bulletin June 2013

 

Club Meeting

The next Club meeting is  at 20:00 on Thursday 11th July at St. Rumon’s.

Minutes of the Last Meeting

The minutes from the last meeting are here.

Photo Competition

This month’s winner submitted by Andy R

 

Wyn and Lee at Carn Brea

Wyn and Lee at Carn Brea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quotation of the Month

The pilot lectures are over, but just a thought..

“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself” Chinese Proverb

News

Pilot Exam.

The first result from the last batch of examinees is in. Barry Hobbins has passed the exam with considerable ease, putting immense pressure on the remainder to retain the 100% pass rate. After completing the paper Barry wasn’t sure he’d done well enough to meet the pass threshold, but his mark was one of the highest we have seen. Well done to Him.

 

Barry Hobbins~Oenophile

Barry Hobbins~Oenophile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More pictures from the Pilot Exam.

Lee And Jon S

Lee And Jon S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiona & Michel

Fiona & Michel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STOP PRESS …… 2 MORE RESULTS TO BE ANNOUNCED AT THE JULY MEETING.

 

 

John Woolams

John is one of our more senior members, when he’s out flying, if you look up, he’s generally above you. John will be out of action for a while after having a small operation on his arm. Not, as you immediately thought, to prise money from his arthritic and bony fist, but more serious even than that. Nigel Eagle passed this message to me.

A warning to all ,John has just had a small brown patch cut from his arm .The Surgeon had to eventually cut a 4″ incision to remove something more . John doesn’t know what but he was shocked yesterday when he had the dressing changed . Because he’s on Rat Poison ( It hasn’t killed the B*****D yet !) the Surgeon had a big job stopping the blood flow .Even the stitches bled badly ! He heals very slowly it seems, so he’s realistically expecting it to take a month .No Flying ,no Surfing Just going to be a pain in the A** ! No change there then .

So I contacted John and he replied..

It was only a lump about a centimetre diameter but ended up with a cut eleven centimetres long with ten stitches which should please you as you are always trying to stitch me up. Can’t fly for a couple of weeks on doc’s orders.

I think we all know the dangers of too much sun, here is a real example of why we should use sun cream. Get well soon John, and in future don’t be like Icarus and fly too near the sun.

Adie’s Back

Yes, Adie’s back in two ways. 1) He’s back on the hill.  At Perran , apparently, in a megalomaniac frenzy, trying to control everyone there.

Adie at Perran  directing traffic

Adie at Perran directing traffic

Mussolini

Mussolini

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Below is a photo of the xray of his spine. See the compressed something or other somewhere in the middle ( sorry Adie, I got bored with your accident and  stopped listening hours ago).

Spine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Adie was airlifted to the hospital, the consultant was worried that he had been paralysed from the neck up, but when he found out Adie was an electrician, he realised his mistake.

World War Z

Member Steve Warner can be seen as an extra in the newly released film. You would never think that a 14 stone, six foot, shaven headed man mountain would be cast as  tough marine, but that’s what he was. We know Steve is gentle quiet kind of bloke, but when Brad Pitt tried to own him, Steve stood his ground, and the Pitt had to back down. I’m sure he’ll tell you all about it.

BHPA

The BHPA latest news release is here. the BHPA Bulletin is here. The events calendar is here, and the BHPA homepage is here. The link to Skywings magazine is here. Download the new BHPA Elementary Training Guide here.

ARTICLES

SIV Course

By Alan Knight

Oludeniz, Turkey. April 2013

Seven members of the KHPA  who, whilst trying to buy his latest video, had inadvertently booked an SIV course with the Jocky Sanderson Escape company (I thought £475 was a bit steep for a dvd), and found themselves in a “can’t back out now,” situation.

So Phil Lyons, Lee Knight, Phippsy and myself rendezvoused with Sam Alum at a truckers car park enroute, well known by it’s reputation as a ‘Dogging’ meet.

Wyn  and Carron Davies we met on the way and arrived at Gatwick with time to spare.

The seventh member, Mike Clelford, was already in Oludeniz having travelled with Mark Butler and Glen Fowler a few days before.

The journey went without a hitch apart from the five cheese rolls I had forgotten to take out of Phippsys van, oh well, they could hardly explode, could they?.

The Lagoon

The Lagoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We arrived at the hotel that evening to be met by Mike, Mark and Glen, so it was a good ending to the day.

The course didn’t start until the Monday, so that gave us two days of free-flying to acclimatize.

Saturday saw us up and eager to go up the mountain and Mike had already sorted the transport out with a paragliding company across the road from the hotel the owner of which, Hector, had an alarming resemblence to Mike—-shudder!!!!.

For those of you who have never been up the mountain of Babadag, it’s an experience in itself.

The winding road is slowly traversed in an open backed truck which at times seems precariously close to falling off the side of the mountain. Approximately an hour later and 6000′ higher you arrive at take-off.

A beautiful sunny day greeted us and we watched the tandems and Jockys SIV group take off to do their thing over the picturesque bay of Oludeniz.

We all took off successfully and landed down on the promenade in front of the town, just enough time for some dinner at the hotel and up the mountain again for a second flight.

A little bit more lift this time saw Phippsy and Wynn above take-off, so while the other lads were taking to the air, I pushed out towards Lykia world holiday complex and arrived with plenty of height and the option of taking a trip to Butterfly valley, an old Hippie hideaway at the bottom of 1000′ cliffs, only serviced by boat with no road access.

Still loads of height and enjoying the view I saw a boat heading towards the valley and thought I could land and get a lift back to Oludeniz and bore everyone with my tales of death spirals onto the beach from 2000’…..big mistake !!.

Landing Approach

Landing Approach

Safe landing, just avoiding the ‘ catch net ‘ for unwary paragliders which doubles as a beach volley ball net and is made of a material which only becomes visible from a distance of  3’.

Radio crackles into life” are you alright Rupert”, it’s Mike, aka ‘Pigsy’, Clelford,  “yes fine Mike” I reply, “ok, see you later” he says and disappears from view above the towering cliffs just as Lee comes into view.

Ten minutes later Lee lands on beach just as boat  anchors and starts unloading. As Lee packs wing I  go over and try to convey our wish to return to Olly and willing to pay “loadsa money”, only to be met with the sobering answer “ we are going not to there”.  Shieser !!

To cut a very long story short, we were told there was a boat coming to pick up workers at 5 o’clock.  At 5 about 12 men gather at Taverna and dinner is served we are cordially invited to join them .  Unusual but maybe because boat hasn’t arrived they have to feed them.

6 o’clock and boat arrives, we start to get up but nobody else moves, we sit down again. Big, very large gentleman referred to as Capitan, alights from boat and walks to the Taverna and proceeds to consume large amounts of food which in retrospect he would have to, to maintain bulk.

7 o’clock El Capitan gets up and starts walking towards boat as do the other dozen gentlemen. We pick up our gliders and follow down to the boat.

Oh dear, boat is full of wood.  Have you heard the expression ‘ full to the gunnels’, well! that expression  does not do it justice.

The boat was anchored and there was a three foot swell, the rear of the craft was bucking like a stallion with a red hot chilli inserted up its rectum.

The situation was becoming clearer, that boat had to be unloaded before we were going anywhere.

Two lines were formed from the beach to the boat with the last three being in the water to varying depths, the unloading began.

9 o’clock,  pitch black the last timber is thrown onto the mountainous pile of disassembled tree.

At last, we bid farewell to our co workers who with handshakes and gestures seem to have appreciated our help, at least I think that gesture meant that!!.

10 o’clock, we walk into the hotel everybody is having dinner, “ where have you been? it’s your round “.  Nothing changes.

Day 1

Jocky's briefs

Jocky’s briefs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday arrives, we assemble at a hotel designated as base for the daily briefing and to meet other members on the course and instructors.

Half of the lads are on the Acro course and the rest on SIV. It becomes apparent that the weather is not playing ball today so after a general talk about what the course entails we troop down to the seafront to become aquainted with the area we are expected to land in.

Act Narural

Act Natural

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later on we pick up our buoyancy aids and waterproof radio bags and agree to meet in the morning at 7 o’clock.

Heading off back to the hotel for a meal and a nightcap, before the anticipated carnage of our first attempts at defying Newton’s laws on gravity. (how can you take a bloke seriously who wears a wig like that).

 

Day 2

We have a quick briefing, loaded the truck and on our way by 7 o’clock.  Arriving at take-off we get the gliders ready, some quicker than others, check radios and at approximate 10 minute intervals launch into a world of excitement, fear, anticipation and dread !!!!!.

The manoeuvres we cover on this first flight are B-line stalls, Symmetric collapses + Dynamic & Accelerated symmetric collapses, Big big ears (my favourites) and Wingovers.

For the next ten minutes life becomes a blur of instruction, action and consequence, but flying over the beach to land seems a million miles away  and a happy relief from what has just passed.

Everybody down safely, even Wynn with his giant cravat coming in for a perfect landing, we head to the hotel for some dinner and then on to the debriefing.  Jocky goes through everybody’s routine giving suggestions as to improvement or praise where due. ( he obviously missed my dynamic Big big- ear line recognition manoeuvre).

A couple of hours saw us back at take-off for our second flight, this was to be Asymmetric collapse + Dynamic & Accelerated asymmetric collapses, followed by a 360 degree Asymmetric and a Point of stall recognition exercise seamlessly blending into wingovers and  an understanding that the world is really not a safe place to be.

Off to another debriefing and  a quiet disbelief that we fitted all that  into one day

Movers and shakers

Movers and shakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Day 3

Uummm

Uummm

7 o’clock briefing.  Today we were doing Full stalls, searching for Spin-point with no weight-shift and with weight-shift, Spiral dives, Turn reversals and Wingovers.

Off we go, everybody launching nicely. From the take-off you can see the wings that went first start their routine.  Too far away to see anything of note but can hear Jocky on the radio giving instruction and comical interjections which keep the rest of us amused .

Now on a personal note there was something about a full-stall I just couldn’t get right and  the fact that you were not to let up your brakes until you saw your canopy overhead was the problem.

From where I was sitting at an angle to the ground of 45 degrees, it was  overhead, unfortunately the canopy didn’t know that. When I let up my brakes the force encountered by a piece of material 13m x 2 .75m was a sight to behold. Momentarily I couldn’t see planet earth as the wing was shielding it and it wasn’t until seeing a plane under my feet did I realise  I was upside down, quickly followed by a whooosh as it passed me going in the other direction. Not to be outdone, the Spiral thought he’d get in on the act and I was suddenly looking down a worm-hole into Jocky’s boat from 3000′.  Luckily, Jocky wasn’t taking a slug of Tequila at this instance and instructed me to “ brake- brake-brake”, it worked and  after trying another 3 times with not much improvement I was glad to get to Wing-over time and the rapturous welcome from my pi** taking flying buddies.

Another debrief  and a delayed departure for a couple of hours to wait for low cloud to dissipate.

Small briefs

Small briefs

Load up truck and back to take-off.  Still a bit misty but once taken off it soon clears, steer out to the manoeuvring area and start Spirals, lock in, there’s that worm-hole again it spins up so quickly and the wind noise is more than I thought, brake and out.

90 and 180 degree spin- points, Turn reversals and Wing-overs to finish .  Debrief  over and individual choice of manoeuvres tomorrow will be mulled over and presented in the morning.

 

 

 

 

Corrrr

Corrrr

Tonight was Turkish- night at the hotel ,Michel and his wife  Terri  had arrived and it made for a good group evening, only to be let down by Lee, Phil and Glen trying to look up the belly-dancers skirt, but coming away disappointed upon discovering the she was probably a he ( to be fair Phil didn’t look too disappointed ).

 

 

 

 

 

Final day

At the meeting in the morning, menus had been finalised for the A la’carte , a series of manoeuvres chosen by each pilot as a preference .  Into the mix came the much acclaimed SAT which four of the more wayward members of the cast  added to their menu. Ampmax spins & stalls, Full stalls, 180 & 360 turn reversals, Spirals and Wingovers were also part of the delectable dishes to be served up to a waiting public.

Spectators gather

Spectators gather

As it happened there were not many out that morning, thank heavens.  Wanting to get it over with  I beat Lee to launch first and managed a  nearly correct Full Stall and Spiral, don’t quite know what happened to the Wing-overs!!.

The lads were all doing well, unfortunately from the beach they were not particularly easy to see so had to rely more on radio commentary, so when Jocky said “ Lee!, if you don’t turn back I’ll assume you don’t want to carry on” unbeknown  to Jocky at the time, Lee’s radio was hurtling towards him from 4000′ after being dislodged whilst pursuing a SAT entry , as it happens it missed Jocky’s boat but a Spanish submarine has gone missing in the area??.

 

Lee landing

Lee landing

With the boys completing their manoeuvres but as yet unable to hook into a SAT, it was left up to that intrepid adventurer, Pigsy Clelford to retain the honour for the KHPA,  although often falling from Grace (she is a big girl ) he twisted that little barrel of a body into the correct configuration to complete a flawless SAT that brought a gasp from the spectators.  Well done that man.

 

 

 

SAT man

SAT man

Aaaaaaahhhh

Aaaaaaahhhh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all the boys safely landed we headed up for our final debriefing as the last flight was cancelled  due to bad weather.

 

 

 

Jocky, as always was very meticulous in his appraisals and commended Phippsy for his record 17 second 360 turn reversals (don’t you hate it when that happens), and to Mike for being able to get into a SAT  at his age, (it’s even worse when that happens).

Well ! thanks to Jocky for a great course  I think we all got a lot from it and would do it again.

When it rains

When it rains

Because it was raining on our last day we  took our time packing and left our luggage in Phippsy and Sam’s room (yes! they slept together, it is the 21st century after all—grow up)

 

 

 

 

 

Onesies enough

Onesies enough

Come to think of it, Phil was in there as well lounging on the bed wearing a ‘onesie’, helping to decide which Butterfly would look nice in Sam’s hair ???????, don’t take my word for it check out Phippsy’s web site for April., which includes lots more photographs and in depth descriptions of manoeuvres.

The time had come to depart and as we drove away to the airport with Mike waving us goodbye with his sodden handkerchief clutched tightly in his hand, a lump came to our throats thinking that poor old Glen was having to put up with him for another four days.

Sorry Glen

Sorry Glen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arriving back at Gatwick just after midnight, bidding farewell to Wynn & Carron  it was with relief we piled into Phippsy’s van for the journey home.

“Ah! anybody hungry?” i said  remembering the cheese rolls i’d carelessly left on our departure 7 days previous.  Sam’s hand was there in a flash it must have been less than five seconds and the green mould had engulfed little Sam up to his boots, we got him out but I bet that wasn’t the first time Sam had been tempted by a bun, especially with his history of hanging around infamous truck stops, still!! what can you expect, he is a South Devon boy!!!.

Turning turtle

Turning turtle

 

 

 

Safety Officers Role

What is it that a safety officer does?

Sometimes I feel that I have to defend or explain myself when I send out any safety advice or warnings.  It’s often experienced pilots who think there’s a bit of ‘Big Brother’ directives going on. Ironically, it’s often the experienced pilots who are the perpetrators of the deeds. They think the things they do are above criticism, forgetting that the advice given out is aimed at all pilots, but particularly the novice pilots who may not know better. I  ( or  Paul H ) usually get  involved because I am told or I hear of something that I think could lead to an incident. The aim, of course, is to prevent an incident becoming an accident. I can only act on incidents I have seen or been made aware of, I’m not on every site on flyable days, so I need to be told if you have a concern.  Issues regarding site, gear or airlaw/notams etc, are a simple matter of reporting the facts. When I hear of an incident or other problem, I send out a request for more information, so I can get as many different views as possible. I don’t name the pilot(s) involved, but it is generally known who it is.  All of our flying is done in full view of everyone, so keeping things a secret is not really possible. The fact that we fly in full view of everyone from the public to other club members is crucial in setting a good standard of conduct.

I have to think whether the reported actions are something that needs to be looked at. Sometimes  advice needs to be given to the pilot or a more general safety message may need to be sent out. If it is an issue that could affect lots of people, then the only thing to do is to bring it to everyone’s attention. If it is a pilot’s actions that have caused concern, then there are two issues:~

1) How we all fly and behave affects how others do. If we fly safely, respectfully and sensibly, then that’s the benchmark we expect everyone to aim for. Someone who doesn’t fly in that way should be coaxed into doing so. The least we should do if the pilot concerned continues to take risks or be inconsiderate, is to make it plain to our other pilots that we expect more from them. Remember that a novice pilot will look to a more experienced pilot ( even if it is only a few hours more) as a role model or guide to how they should be flying.

2) As a club we need to promote safety. I send out the safety messages, the pilots then do what they like. But I make sure they can never say that they were unaware of the dangers. I won’t ignore a concern that has been raised when I think it is dangerous. Individuals are not always the best judge of how dangerous their own actions are, sometimes they need someone else to point that out.

Take flying in reduced visibility or fog, yes you may be legally entitled to so, just as on a motorway you can legally travel at 70mph. But you wouldn’t maintain 70mph in fog,snow, rain or ice just because you were allowed to. If you launch into fog you have no idea how thick it is, how far it extends or how much lift there is in it. If you get lifted into the fog and get disorientated, you will have no idea where the ridge is anymore. There is an account of a pilot soaring an orographic  cloud front that developed on a ridge, some time later finding himself a long way out to sea as the cloud expanded seawards. If the fog worsens you may find yourself having to put in somewhere that you would never consider as a landing place. And if you should pile in halfway up a steep ridge or overgrown slope and break a few bones, don’t expect the air ambulance to come and get you in nil visibility conditions. These are obviously worse case scenarios, but a lot of accidents happen in the most innocuous way, and if you can get hurt on a good flying day, how do the odds increase on a bad one.

How do I decide whether to make an issue of flying behaviour or not? I don’t purely base it what I consider to be sensible/ safe or not. I see and hear of people doing things I would not, but that’s up to them. Rather I try to think what a reasonable person would think. In this case, a reasonable person would think that flying into fog was not a sensible thing to do. So, who is a reasonable person? Unfortunately in the aftermath of an accident, that person is likely to be a Coroner a Judge or several jury members.
The aim is to try to reduce the risks of accidents. Being a club member is more than paying your fees and flying the sites, you have a responsibility to other members as well as to the reputation of the club to set an example. SM

 Chairman’s Chat
Some very good points and comments from all involved thus far and thank you for voicing it.
There are a few points id like to raise.
1. From my point of view (as a club member) i would like to think that if I had reported a ‘safety’ issue or concern re flying or any incident on the hill to one of the clubs safety officers, that it would be listened to, acted upon and steps taken to resolve it. Steve has done that and I thank him for it.
2. As far as I’m aware he was approached by ‘three’ independent club members on the same day re pilots flying in ‘unsuitable conditions’. Obviously there is a point here with perception of what is unsuitable conditions for some may not be unsuitable for others.
However three of our members that day perceived the conditions to be ‘unsuitable’ to fly in, three pilots of very different levels of experience, age, flying ability and personality. Therefore it would suggest that the conditions were ‘unsuitable’
3. Pilot decisions and choice to fly.
A long time ago I had a chat with another ‘slightly’ more experienced pilot than myself about a theory of theirs based on ‘Risk and Reward’ the crux of it being that if the risk of flying outweighs the reward  then stay on the ground, if it doesn’t then fill your boots.
Of course there are those of us who fly by the ‘you have to take risk’s to get reward’ theory of flying, and some of them can indeed be found at the top of XC league tables and atop Podiums of ACRO comps throughout the world……But some of them can also be found In spinal unit wards or sat in wheelchairs watching their mates from the hill (dramatic yes, but realistic) and I know there a hundreds if not thousands of examples of ‘non’ risk takers also in the same position. Sooo choices.
Guys (and gals) some of us have high risk jobs, at work we do all we can to limit those risk’s, My mate is a Mine clearance engineer, he doesn’t run around in mine fields, because its dangerous, another mate is an electrician, he doesn’t stick his screw driver into live sockets, because its dangerous, I know a Aerial erector who doesn’t climb towers without his harness, because its dangerous and a tree surgeon who doesn’t juggle with his chain saws, because its dangerous.
like it or not we all have a ‘high risk’ hobby, which we choose to do. When I fly I choose the conditions I fly in to minimize those risk’s, yeah o.k. I’m not going to be the next Pal Takas or Ant Green, but is sure as hell don’t want to be the next guy who ‘used to fly’ but can’t because of an avoidable accident, if I have one then i’d like to think I had done all I could to minimise that risk….and be resigned to the fact that ‘sometimes sh*t just happens’.
4. Steve’s point about pilots following other pilots and examples of flying is a good point. we can learn a lot form our contemporaries and peer group that we fly with, and that’s how we progress, that’s how we expand our flying skills, get new ideas and adopt new styles of flying, learning by example is one of the best ways to learn. Choosing what example to learn from is another matter.
I was out with Sam (my Sam aged 9 not the hobbit from Tavistock Sam) the other day and we were watching some kids tomb stoning at one of our local spots. they were using the rocks that we use and have used many times, when done with the right tides and kit its great fun. This day it was low tide, now Sam’s only 9 he turned to me and said “I’m no expert dad but there is no way I would jump with this tide” so was it perception of risk, knowledge of the conditions or the common sense of a 9 year old not to follow “that particular” example on that day?, common dog I think.
5. Steve’s point about promoting safety is bang on, as a club we (all of us, not just the safety officers) need to, we must.
Not to rain on anyone’s parade, not stop people having fun and defiantly not because we are ‘jobs worth’s’. We do it so that we can all fly safely and minimise the possibility of accidents…..nice though it is to have the opportunity of buying cheap kit when one of us can no longer fly, Id rather be up in the air with you having a crack and a beer after.
I know ‘issues’ like this are emotive and generally everyone likes to have a say, so come along to the meeting on Thurs and discuss if you want…be nice to see some more faces.
Summer do, have a think but general consensus is a casual Meal and Beer up at one of local pubs ‘Chivie Arms’ has been mentioned….any other ideas welcome…one with camping would be good and near a flying site even better.

 

 

Site Guides

At the May 2013 meeting the club voted to control access to some of the site guides on the website. The guides affected are for the sites that are restricted to KHPA members only. The decision was taken after the proposal had been discussed on several previous occasions. Like most clubs we have had problems and incidents involving visiting pilots. It’s OK for them, they just go back to their own local club (or Country) and we have to sort out the mess. It’s not a major problem for us at the moment, but the trend in other parts of the UK is an increasing number of incidents. It’s in order to protect our club only sites that the proposal to restrict access to those site guides was discussed. Those AGAINST the proposal were concerned that visiting pilots, not being able to access the guide for a particular site, would turn up anyway and perhaps unknowingly cause problems. Those FOR the proposal argued that hiding the guides and asking a visitor to contact the site warden and get the latest information and advice would allow us to explain the reasons for, and the importance of,  the site rules. Guides for ‘open’ sites, i.e. those that are open to any BHPA member, are still available to everyone. The sites in question are those that are on private land and the owner has asked that only club members or visitors accompanied by club members fly there. In most cases there are other rules that the owner has placed on the site. Observance of all of these rules is a condition of us being able to continue to use the site. Each site we have has a comprehensive guide with all the hazards, restrictions and rules clearly noted. Up till now all of our site guides have been, and on some websites still are, freely available on the internet, but this has not prevented visiting pilots jeopardising our continued use of the site by not sticking to the rules. Either visiting pilots are not aware there is a guide for each site, or they know the site and may have seen the guide years ago and not refreshed themselves of the information, or they looked at the guide before setting out, but have forgotten what it said or not read it thoroughly, or they just aren’t bothered about it. Whatever the reason, the crucial information about each site’s rules is not being followed. Add to that temporary rules and restrictions that affect the sites from time to time and may only be circulated to  club members by group e~mail, and it’s easy to see how visiting pilots can cause us lots of problems with the site owner, or waste their time going to a site that is unavailable. As an example of the latter, the Carbis Bay site has been ploughed and planted leaving no room for hang gliders to land. Without contacting the site warden a visitor would not know this.  Our sites are the only asset we can’t do without, so we have to make sure we protect them as best we can. It should be common courtesy that a visitor to one of our sites should contact us before setting out, and should introduce themselves to one of our members on arrival. Sadly this doesn’t always happen, and, at times, it is us who have to go over to a visitor to find out who they are and whether they are BHPA members and what rating they are. The decision to hide the site guides (something that other clubs also do) isn’t to try to dissuade visitors from flying our sites, it’s just the opposite. We want to have direct contact with the visitor and to make sure that they will be able to fly when they arrive. Strictly speaking, any visitor who wishes to fly a club only site should be known and invited by a club member. Visitors should not be turning up at club sites and then expect to fly. The new access arrangements to the KHPA member only site guides, makes it clear that they have to contact us each and every time they want to come down.

On occasions when visitors have contacted us in advance of coming to Cornwall, we have met them, been able to direct them to the best sites at the best times and to give advice that has resulted in a better experience for them as well as the club. We have made it clear to them that visitors are welcome on most of our sites and all that we ask is that we be contacted first. I’m sure those visitors we have met have gone back to their own clubs with good things to say about us.

The reciprocal arrangement we have with the Devon boys is still in force. I know they have mentioned the fact that they cannot see the club only site guides, but, in line with the site owner’s rules, should they still have to be invited by a KHPA member? Because of our agreement with them, they will never be refused permission, but they shouldn’t be on a KHPA only site without a KHPA member being present.

The other week at Perranporth was very busy. The guide for this ‘open’ site is still on the KHPA website, and the site is our most popular for club members and visitors. Yet I still had to ask people not to walk into the middle of the site and begin unpacking their gliders, Adie was also there marshalling and keeping things running smoothly, even asking me to move myself out of the way when I was groundhandling in the wrong place (so HE said). It’s not nice to have to ask people to modify their behaviour, and it can mean you get yourself a reputation of  being bossy, or worse, but this is what needs to be done. If this confusion can happen at such a well known and well flown site, is it any wonder we have problems at the lesser ones. It just shows that even when the guides are online we still have problems.

The point to remember is that we are trying to safeguard the sites for everyone. If we lose the sites then so do all the visitors. So by monitoring visitor access we are also protecting visitor access as well as our own.

Video Links

Hang glider and paraglider mid air collision here.

The End