Avoiding the Public on Mam
Avoiding the Public on Mam
Further to my earlier post about Flying on Saturday 22nd I’d like to congratulate the vast majority on having a great and safe first proper day of the season ..may there be many more.
However, there were also causes for concern, and I am told that part of my job as chair is to be the fun police! Let me spell it out.
Our most important relationship is with the National Trust as it gives us access to seven of our best sites and has taken many years of conflict, negotiation, agreement and, lately, almost partnership, to achieve.
It is however a very sensitive arrangement which depends on us consistently being able to show that we can organise and police safety on those sites in a better way than could be achieved without an agreement and with a ban on all flying!
The most delicate part of negotiation and safety has always been the situation on the top of Mam, the biggest honeypot on the hills of the Peaks, the jewel in the Dark Peaks crown and a take off which we have the almost unbelievable freedom to use.
The Trust always has at the top of its priorities the safety of the general public and it needs to be our top priority too! A single incident involving an injury or even a complaint about a collision, cut from a line or even a fall as a result of being startled could cause us great problems!
In committee last night we had a discussion about some behaviours which, if they continue could really and easily upset our apple cart!
Firstly on any busy site with members of the public present it is rarely appropriate to play games involving unnecessary close flying and the increased risk of contact. Grass skimming. high fives, and spot landings or touch and go games are great fun and can be extremely educational but have no place anywhere near the path or trig point on top of Mam. There are too many other flyers and members of the public who may appreciate the entertainment but do not see the risks!
I’m happy to be labelled as fun police because here the spontaneous fun of the few could cause a long term impact on the fun of the many!
On top of this it also seems apparent that quite a few of us are becoming too accustomed to there being members of the public present, and are not maintaining an adequate separation when taking off, ground handling or landing. I could give a long list of don’ts but it seems pretty obvious that you should always maintain a separation that excludes the possibility of you or your gear contacting any member of the public even if you cock up as we all do sometimes! With the constant large and increasing numbers up there on a flying day this means at least keeping well away from the path. There are still spaces where even a hang glider can land on a busy day with room to spare ..so use them..and then carry your gear back to take off!
Its only common sense folks…and I apologise to those who feel offended that I’m insulting theirs!