23 September 2017

end of season scratch

The last day of summer and turns out to be
a rather wonderful, if scratchy session
for sloping slackers.

It's as good as windstill when we arrive.

Charlie brings out the heavy gear and helps inflate a paraglider....

 but he's soon getting blown backwards.

So it's time for some proper flying....

...and he's spotted fresh meat in the form of Simon's new combat wing.

The hunt.

But these chaps finally get it up, so it's time to reign in the fun....

....or maybe just go straight for the strings.

Failing that, call in reinforcements from off-world
in the form of Mothership.... 

...allied with some proper British hardware!

21 September 2017

15 September 2017

the end is nigh...

The European Aeronautical Safety Agency is one step closer to
outlawing our wonderful way of life on the hills.

The current draft ruling will mean that we will only be able to fly from club sites,
below 120 metres and with government registered models.
The only exclusion to this will be for gliders etc. weighing 250 grams or less.

The consultation period closes today 15th Sept 2017

EASA's email address is- npa@easa.europa.eu
ref- Notice of Proposed Amendment 2017-05 (B) and
Notice of Proposed Amendment 2017-05 (A)

proposal details can be found here-

The local MP for Thurnham is-

Please take the time to contact Mrs Whately (or your local MP) and make her aware of the
potential loss we are likely to suffer if (or more likely when) this legislation comes into force.
Don't just cut and paste, but maybe base you letter (or email) on the content below -

Dear Mrs Whately

The European Aviation Safety Agency is currently proposing extensive legislation to control the use of commercial and recreational drones. Whilst on the face of it this is a sensible idea, the current proposals will have far reaching implications on the wider aero-modelling community of which I am a part.

In fact the 'catch-all' level of legislation currently proposed will destroy most aspects of the hobby. This environmentally friendly activity encourages the development of technical, design and constructions skills. It encourages physical exercise in the countryside. It supports social interaction between people from diverse backgrounds and from a range of ages, from CEOs to plumbers and from children to pensioners. It is a community that I have been part of for X years and have many long-standing and close friendships as a result.

The area I have been almost exclusively involved in is radio controlled gliding. Most of my flying takes place on the North Downs at Thurnham just north of Bearsted near Maidstone. This site is one of the premier locations in the UK and we have a strong community of flyers who enjoy and support both the activity, and each other. This location has been used for model flying for over 40 years.

We have an exemplary safety record.

The new rulings aim to control drones for reasons of safety and privacy (which I fully understand) however if they come into force, they will be so wide ranging and draconian it would become illegal for us to fly our gliders. The community based around or hobby would disintegrate. The models that we have painstakingly crafted would become little more than match wood.

The European Union's motto is 'Unity Through Diversity'. I can see little evidence of this within these proposals.

Whilst I agree with the spirit of what this ruling is trying to achieve, I see absolutely no reason why models that use no autonomous or semi autonomous control systems, nor carry cameras, should be governed by these restrictions.

The safety record of our activity speaks for itself.

All this legislation will do is destroy a harmonious, environmentally friendly activity and the diverse, enriching community that it has built up around it.

Is there any way in which you can help reduce the impact of their proposals? This hobby is a harmless activity that means so much to myself and my fellow flyers. I dearly hope that there is some way that we can continue enjoying it for many years to come. 

Kind regards

11 September 2017

not much happening...

The flying just doesn't seem to be happening at the moment, so in frustration
we've taken up a new past-time of 'quiz nighting' (that's not a euphemism btw).

The local village event throws up an appropriate last place prize for team Goodwind-

Could that possibly be Thurnham off in the distance?