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Calm down, it's the Kessock Bridge, no Tower Bridge....

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Calm down, it's the Kessock Bridge, no Tower Bridge....

Old 28th May 2015, 14:59
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I'm also pretty sure that the old 500 ft rule has been retained, not the otherwise universal 500 ft SERA rule which Billiebob quotes
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Old 29th May 2015, 10:57
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Originally Posted by gasax
I'm also pretty sure that the old 500 ft rule has been retained, not the otherwise universal 500 ft SERA rule which Billiebob quotes
Correct (at least as far as I can see):

ORS4No1065.pdf

Extract:
General (SERA.5005(f)(2))
a) The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) permits, under paragraphs SERA.3105 and SERA.5005(f), an aircraft to fly at a height of less than 150 metres (500 feet) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 150 metres (500 feet) from the aircraft, subject to the condition set out in subparagraph (b).
b)The aircraft must not be flown closer than 150 metres (500 feet) to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure except with the permission of the CAA.

OC619
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Old 29th May 2015, 11:36
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I fancy a Microlight Helicopter.
How about this one. My neighbour has one but, up to now, he has only hovered it in his garden. I have no idea how legal it is.

Mosquito Aviation - Home of the Ultimate Ultralight Helicopter : Index
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Old 29th May 2015, 11:42
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The ORS permission addresses only half of the SERA rule, that relating to the minimum distance from obstacles. There is no permission to fly at less than 500ft above ground or water.
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Old 29th May 2015, 11:48
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Originally Posted by BillieBob
The ORS permission addresses only half of the SERA rule, that relating to the minimum distance from obstacles. There is no permission to fly at less than 500ft above ground or water.
a) The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) permits, under paragraphs SERA.3105 and SERA.5005(f), an aircraft to fly at a height of less than 150 metres (500 feet) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 150 metres (500 feet) from the aircraft, subject to the condition set out in subparagraph (b).
b)The aircraft must not be flown closer than 150 metres (500 feet) to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure except with the permission of the CAA.
Am I missing something here - as I read it, providing I am 501 feet horizontally from "and person, vessel, vehicle or structure", then I am legal flying along 1 foot AGL.

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Old 29th May 2015, 12:13
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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I find that ORS very puzzling, particularly the definition of obstacle in a):
... above the highest obstacle within a radius of 150 metres (500 feet) from the aircraft ...
If you are 450' away from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure then you violate para b) & para a) does not apply. If you are 550' away from any person, etc then para b) is OK but para a) doesn't apply anyway.

The only way that the ORS makes sense is if you interpret obstacle as something that isn't a person, vessel, vehicle or structure. Ground, water & very tall trees would seem to be the only obstacles that aren't structures.
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Old 29th May 2015, 14:08
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I was basing my comment on this;
Minimum Heights By Day

Although SERA changes the minimum height to a blanket 500 ft above the surface, the CAA has used the flexibility provided in SERA to allow aircraft in the UK to fly below 500 ft provided they are 500 ft away from persons, vessels, vehicles and structures in other words no change from the UKs former '500ft Rule' that people flying in the UK are used to applying. The CAA has also granted generic permissions to allow for all the long-standing exceptions to the old rule 5 that were contained in rule 6 i.e. gliders hill-soaring, aircraft picking-up and dropping articles at aerodromes, practising forced landings and flying displays/air races/contests, to continue unaffected. Otherwise 1000 ft is the minimum height over cities, towns or settlements or over an open-air assembly of persons above the highest obstacle within a radius of 600 m from the aircraft.
Which comes from the CAA website - of course that in itself does not necessarily make it true!!!!! It is however a lot more understandable than the ORS....... When is the highway code of the air going to be published? That might bring these threads to an end!
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Old 29th May 2015, 15:09
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My guess, yes.
I did that last week, no pier though.
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Old 29th May 2015, 15:19
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Your guess is incorrect. Whatever the previously expressed intention of the CAA, the extent of the permission granted by the ORS is clear.

SERA.5005(f)(2) reads:

elsewhere than as specified in (1), at a height less than 150m (500 ft) above the ground or water, or 150m (500 ft) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 150m (500 ft) from the aircraft.
The ORS specifies that the permission in relation to this requirement applies only to flight within 150m (500 ft) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 150m (500 ft) from the aircraft but does not include permission to fly below 500 ft above the ground or water. This has the effect, in the UK, of amending the SERA requirement to read:

elsewhere than as specified in (1), at a height less than 150m (500 ft) above the ground or water, or closer than 150m (500 ft) to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure except with the permission of the CAA.
It may well be that this is yet another cock-up by an Authority that (as its middle management now openly admits) is in terminal decline but, until it is rectified, VFR flight below 500 ft above the ground or water is not permitted unless taking-off or landing or with the permission of the competent authority.

Should anyone object to flight along a 'deserted' beach at 20ft, one would be hard pushed to find legal justification before the beak.
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Old 29th May 2015, 15:28
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I don't have the rules in front of me but I remember recently, months, hearing that the EASA new version, 500 ft above the surface or anything, was rejected by the CAA in favour of the status quo, 500 foot rule.
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Old 29th May 2015, 15:39
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BillieBob,

I read it that you are granted a 'General Permission' to fly below 500ft by Para 2(a). The condition, at Para 2(b), further clarifies it to state that to exercise this permission, you must be in excess of 500ft from persons, vehicles etc, instead of having just a blanket permission to fly lower that 500ft, as the original permission in Para 2(a) states. A general permission with conditions...

Certainly confusing, and written in legalese by lawyers for simple pilots. No wonder it's a mess. Flying under a bridge is a dumb thing to do and of course, will end up giving the rest of us rich weekend hobby pilots a bad name from Joe public and the likes of the Daily Mail.

If only we had a small booklet like the Highway Code.....
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Old 29th May 2015, 15:52
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Billiebob has it.

Whilst the CAA have published in various places that the old 500ft rule remains, the actual regulation prohibits flight at less than 500ft over ground or water.

Calling them a bunch of plonkers would seem to be an apt technical description of their collective ability. Publishing advice which their own enactment of the regulations makes incorrect just about sums up what is wrong with most of this sort of regulation!
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Old 29th May 2015, 17:42
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Standard British justice system, make the rule as ambiguous as possible then they can charge us whatever we do.
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Old 29th May 2015, 18:11
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http://flyontrack.co.uk/wp-content/u...15/02/SERA.pdf

Sums it up nicely.
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Old 29th May 2015, 19:36
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no dagowly, Irv has copied the same statement from the CAA that I quoted.

Billibob quoted the actual regulation, which as he states, does not agree with what the CAA published in these bulletins.

That the regulator can make such a mess really takes the biscuit.
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Old 30th May 2015, 23:56
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Bridge flyers

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting the two guys who flew under the bridge. They were on the homeward journey of an impressive trip from the Continent almost to the tip of the UK and back again, one in an open cockpit.
The bridge incident was not deliberate but forced on them by a combination of being caught in a down draught, not being on the same frequency as the seaplane flying above them and losing sight of him so not able to risk climbing in time to avoid the bridge. All told to me with a straight face over coffee.
Anyway, a very cool pair of flyers whom I had the privilege of flying in formation with on the start of their journey home this morning and am looking forward to meeting up with at their home field later in the year. Perhaps they will include a bridge or two in their familiarisation flight there also.....?
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Old 31st May 2015, 02:41
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Standard British justice system, make the rule as ambiguous as possible then they can charge us whatever we do.
The converse also applies. The ambiguity also works in the defendants favour.
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Old 31st May 2015, 08:17
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They were on the homeward journey of an impressive trip from the Continent almost to the tip of the UK and back again, one in an open cockpit.
In that case I think I can work out who one of them must have been so I'll be keeping an eye on his YouTube page to see if anything turns up.

Like Maoraigh1, while I really don't think this was in any way hazardous it'd be better if it didn't happen. We're presently fighting off an airspace grab by Inverness and although this exploit occurred below their ambitions it is another small incident with the potential to be used for chipping away at our freedoms.

I know of several losses of facilities that were triggered by the exuberant actions of one pilot. So while I don't want to be a killjoy, we really don't need more.
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Old 31st May 2015, 10:30
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How high is the highest part of the road span above the water ?

If greater than 500ft (which I doubt is the case) but then of course they would have been clear of persons, objects, obstacles and vessels by 500ft vertically and laterally if flying at sea level, only a thought.

Those Scottish down drafts are very powerful
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Old 31st May 2015, 11:58
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For the barrack room lawyers:


SERA:
(f) Except when necessary for take-off or landing, or except by permission from the competent authority, a VFR flight shall not be flown:
(1) over the congested areas of cities, towns or settlements or over an open-air assembly of persons at a height less than 300 m (1 000 ft) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 600 m from the aircraft;
(2) elsewhere than as specified in (1), at a height less than 150 m (500 ft) above the ground or water, or 150 m (500 ft) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 150 m (500 ft) from the aircraft.
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