Safety Bulletin October 2013

REMEMBER: NO MARKERS NO FLYING

With the new flying season upon us, it is timely to take take a look at some current and past issues to help ensure an incident free flying site.

CURRENCY

The HGFA requires that all pilots meet a minimum number of flight/hours over a certain period of time to remain current. These minimums are outlined in the Operations Manual in Section 7, Pilot Certificates and Endorsements.

As a number of pilots will be getting their wings out for the first time in many months they may require a check flight by a CFI or SSO.If you have any doubts about your currency, please contact the club SSO, Mark Mitsos, to discuss it with him.

WATER LANDINGS

There have been at least 2 water landings over the past 6 to 12 months which have thankfully ended with no worse than hurt pride and minor wing damage.

We all know that conditions at Stanwell can change dramatically with little prior warning and so it is imperative that our situational awareness is at its highest at all times. Glide slope, fluctuations in wind speed and direction, signs of change on water and traffic volumes are all things we should be monitoring at all times.

A tree landing is far preferable to one in water.

SITE CLOSURE

During the recent bushfire emergencies, a bushfire started at Otford near the Pie Shop.

An unknown pilot flew to the site of the fire and caused a water bombing helicopter to abort its run at the fire. This gross act of stupidity caused the Police to attend and officially close the site for the remainder of the day. Had the club been able to identify the pilot, he/she would have fronted the safety committee to show cause why his/her flying priviliges should not have been suspended.

The only upside to this incident was that the site closure procedures were carried out quickly and efficiently whilst the Police were in attendance and they made good comment on the way in which it was done.

The site closure procedure is

  1. All markers and signs are to be removed

  2. The white cross is laid out on launch

  3. 3 blasts are given on the airhorn to alert pilots to the closure

  4. The Duty Pilot/SSO, in consultation with CFI’s, will have final determination when it is safe to reopen the site.

  5. The white cross, airhorn and first aid kit are kept in the security bin.

HIGH WIND LAUNCH

Paraglider pilots using the high wind launch are reminded that they require a spotter to be positioned on top prior to launching.

FLY SAFE, RESPECT YOUR FELLOW PILOTS AND SHARE THE SKY