Covid-19 Lockdown

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Leith
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Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Leith » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:57 pm

Hi,

We are all in “lockdown” at the moment and most,if not all,our flying clubs have closed their gates. Yesterday around midday, a Cessna 172 or similar flew over my house in North Cornwall at low level (hiding under radar) heading a North. I would guess that it was travelling from the vicinity of Newquay towards North Devon and possibly beyond. Sadly, although I tried, I did not get the registration but, given the current situation and the adult position adopted by DfT in these difficult time, I seriously question the sanity of the operator of that aircraft. It could be that the aircraft was carrying urgent medical supplies or medical staff to another part of the country but if it was a selfish individual thinking that the government rules do not apply to him/her I can only voice my despair and disbelief. Their actions could quite easily impact on the whole GA community. :(

Leith
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robinbalen
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by robinbalen » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:24 pm

A LAA aircraft was up today too... G-NICX, Southampton - Southampton 🤷🏻‍♂️
Robin Balen
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JMH
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by JMH » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:35 pm

I think Robin it was from a strip NW of Southend and after a fly by of Southend and Damyns hall it returned there.
Not that I'm bored or frustrated by all this, or of course there is nothing to do in the garden.....
I'm jealous but it does seem somewhat irresponsible to me (especially after the CAA echoed Steve S's comments)
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Gerry Holland
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Gerry Holland » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:08 pm

FR24 shows information as :
05 Apr 2020 Southend (SEN) - Southend (SEN) - GNICX -0:32 — 15:49 — Landed 16:20
G-NICX.jpg
Europa Trigear.
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Chris Thompson
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Chris Thompson » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:04 am

Great to see that I am not the only one who is bored with gardening and watched Flight Radar to keep sane while on a "tea break"!

I too picked up G-NICX just after it departed Southend. As this was obviously an LAA aircraft I was pretty amazed to see it apparently flouting the Government advice! The general wanderings of the flight certainly did did not look to be "essential" to me and at least once it got down to around 300 feet right at the western end of the route (see white section)!

I have also seen a C172 flying but obviously could not reveal whether it was "commercial". We cannot judge people's priorities but to me there is no real excuse for LAA aircraft to be flying (IF you can get to the airfield) even though it may be legal!
Last edited by Chris Thompson on Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gerry Holland
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Gerry Holland » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:56 am

The plot thickens as G-NICX was Squawking 4575. Southend Airport Conspicuity.
So that at least that was right. If Southend frequency was selected too why didn't they request his intentions? Maybe Southend was not manned?
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Leith
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Leith » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:59 am

A quick peep on Ginfo tells us who the registered owner is.... Perhaps the LAA would like to collect and collate reports like this?
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Brian Hope
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Brian Hope » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:09 am

As a member, rather than a member of the LAA staff, I can understand that people may get upset that aircraft are flying that they believe should not be. It is patently wrong in the current circumstances. However, unless the complete facts are know then I wonder if we should really be deciding to hold kangaroo courts and hang the culprits out to dry (although we do not actually know who was flying the aircraft). In the UK, are we no longer innocent until proven guilty?
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robinbalen
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by robinbalen » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:18 am

Completely agree. We shouldn’t get carried away. The point of my initial comment was to say that I had noticed at least one LAA flight and I was concerned that it could erode the current goodwill towards GA.

At least at the moment when restrictions are relaxed we can get straight back to flying. If they ban VFR then it could take some time before that’s relaxed, and it sets a precedence for the future.

Although there could be a good reason for the flight (which is somewhat hard to fathom from the track log), if that’s not the case it could really ruin things for the rest of us.
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Gerry Holland
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Gerry Holland » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:34 am

This is not the only visual contact I have had with a BMAA or LAA aircraft flying against the general advice given in past two weeks. The other two were wise enough to keep Transponder and PilotAware or whatever switched off so they couldn't be tracked.
Whilst safely airborne all is well and no real harm done but if during the flight cycle an accident ensued the hard pressed Emergency services would probably need to attend and thats where the annoyance stems from. I dont want sanctions or punishment but I see no problem with highlighting transgression when it happens. The Scottish Health Chief comes to mind!
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Brian Hope
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Brian Hope » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:55 am

Just to be clear, I'm not having a go at anybody here, just expressing an opinion. I would also like to think that when it is patently clear that the vast majority of pilots are toeing the line then more extreme sanctions should be unlikely.
Most of us do not operate in a vacuum, whoever was flying a particular aircraft will be known to local fellow pilots, so surely a better way to deal with this sort of situation is for somebody to have a quiet chat with them to firstly get the facts and then, if the flight was not in line with the criteria for accepted reasons to have been carried out, make them aware of their responsibilities. It may after all, simply be that they are not aware, albeit that if they had self-briefed properly they should have been.
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Leith
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Leith » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:06 pm

My reasoning for mentioning this potential “overlooking” of the lockdown rules is by no means to hold a kangaroo court or to name and shame but to enable the defence of a claim that significant numbers or most GA pilots and owners have honoured the trust placed in us by the DfT. If numbers of transgressions grow or there are persistent transgressors, the community will be able to assess if any action within the community is desirable. What we don’t want to do is betray the trust and find ourselves with a blanket ban and the potential of a lengthy period whilst we wait for legislation to be unpicked. As always, the transgressions of the few spoil it for the whole of us!
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Steve Slater
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Steve Slater » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:43 pm

Fully agree with all the comments above. We're all grown-ups and big enough to make our own decisions. As VFR flight in the UK is not illegal, he wasn't breaking the law. Whether the flight was appropriate in the circumstances. I think the comments here speak for themselves.

The CAA/DfT advice is perfectly clear, but it is not legally binding, so the pilot was not technically breaking the law. If he was, he may have found his insurance invalidated.

We have worked hard with DfT in particular not to ban VMC flights, thereby allowing essential flights such as shipping ventilator parts, which has been done by some Civil Air Patrol members and for aircraft to return to safe hangarage from potential outside storage at maintenance bases.

We're now working on strategies for a smooth and safe transition to normality when circumstances permit. Sadly those selfish pilots who ignore the Government advice weaken our case and credibility.
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robinbalen
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by robinbalen » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:18 pm

Obviously we don't know the pilot's reason for their flight, but without being overly pedantic, I think it's at least possible that the flight was in fact illegal (although technically the reason for leaving their home could have been against the law as opposed to the specific flight being against the law):
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020
6.—(1) During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020 ... ion/6/made
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Alan Kilbride
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Re: Covid-19 Lockdown

Post by Alan Kilbride » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:12 pm

For goodness sake, get a life you people. We aren't the Police. As has been proven on one more than one occasion over the last few days, light aircraft have been proven to be used to support the health service. I certainly know one LAA member who uses his aircraft to fly between his business's.
None of this is illegal. Indeed I live 3 miles from my local Airfield and will shortly be exercising on my cycle around 6 miles. Guess where to and from?
When I take my half way rest I may find somewhere to sit alone for an hour or so. Is that illegal?
We really are a bunch of holier than thou old moaners aren't we?
When I get to the Airfield by way of exercise(legally) I am legally allowed to fly. Not banned per sae, but I won't. That would be ignorant, selfish and bloody stupid, as it would be for any pilot flying for his own pleasure. But please don't blame without enough facts to back it up.
Please take this in the spirit in which it is intended. Lightly and a little sartyrically.

Alan
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