Further to my note of 19th April the committee received one representation from a member regarding FPV gliding. As a result we have undertaken a further review as set out below.
There are a lot of CAA documents to review and people to consult including the National Trust, Queen Elizabeth Park and BMFA. We have done this as carefully as we can.
Here is the position of the committee. It is based on our prime responsibilities to keep all site users safe and to maintain the sites for the use of the club. In every case we are appointed by the site authorities to carry out this responsibility and need to demonstrate that we are putting public safety first.
1. FPV is potentially as safe or safer than “line of sight” provided all the rules of the CAA exemtion are followed, including a competent and active observer. This gets round the poor situational awareness FPV gives you without an observer.
2. There is no debate about Harting Down because the NT dont allow anything with a camera. No FPV allowed. Any such activity up there would be illegal relative to NT Bye-Laws.
3. Butser is too crowded to allow FPV. The public appear randomly from all directions within 50m before you can react. The park authorities may be willing to allow FPV copter racing on Holt Down with the appropriate preorganisation.
4. Mercury would be possible provided a) no paragliders or hangliders are operating (rigged and ready to fly) and b) members present all agree and have time to land if they wish. An observer needs to keep an eye on the path for members of the public so that the FPV glider can maintain a safe and legal distance (50M).
In each case it is essential to follow the latest CAA regulations and exemptions.