NO FLYING ALONE AT DIVIS

We have recently been contacted by the Warden at Divis NT. The good news is that he appears to be supportive of us flying the site provided we adhere to our own rules regarding; notification of flying to the NT Warden and compliance with the airspace rules.

 He has however requested that pilots do not fly alone. Divis is a newly reinstated sensitive site and we should respect this request, particularly as the NT warden who is often on the site could easily be notified of any breach.

 From today (Fri 12 May 2017), if you are flying Divis there must be two or more of you or someone on the ground supporting the duration of your flight. This is common sense when flying any site so that there is someone to help in case of accident.

 We appreciate you all complying with this simple rule as we do not want to risk damaging all of the recent gains we have made in securing the site, or worse losing the Divis site.

VERY IMPORTANT AIRSPACE INFORMATION

Important airspace changes occurred on Thursday 26 May 2016 that directly affect a number of our commonly used sites. 

Please read this message very carefully. See also 'Other Documents' links in the Members' Area for further details and background.

 On Thursday 26-May-2016 all Class E airspace in the Belfast TMA was reclassified to Class D.

Paragliders and hang gliders are permitted to fly in Class E without contacting Air Traffic Control (ATC) but this is not the case for Class D. 

Class D is effectively closed to us.

This reclassification affects the following sites:-

Site

Soarable Wind Direction

Hill Height

Class D (formerly Class E)
Altitude

1.1 Knockagh Monument (S-SE)

S-SE

865

2000

1.2 Agnew's Hill (E-SE)

E-SE

1555

2000

1.3 Shane’s Hill (SE)

SE

1555

2000

1.4 Big Collin (S-SE)

S-SE

1158

2000

1.5 Divis & Cavehill

E-SE

1698 (mast)

Class D

1.6 Slieve Croob (N-E)

N-E

1752

3500

1.7 Slieve Donard

All

2789

3500

The UHPC, BHPA and UGC all strenuously opposed the airspace change and submitted independent but coordinated objections within the consultation period. 

Although unable to prevent the airspace change from going ahead, the CAA did make it a condition that Aldergrove ATC must agree and sign a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the UHPC before implementation.

After a number of meetings and negotiations the LOA was signed yesterday. It defines five “designated areas” or boxes within Class D airspace that UHPC members can  activate for our use.

1.            Big Collin/Agnews

2.            Knockagh

3.            Slieve Croob

4.            Slieve Donard

5.            Divis/Cave Hill (not yet available to fly as negotiations with National Trust continue)

 

It is possible to soar all these sites (except Divis) without the need to contact ATC provided Class D airspace is not infringed. 

This is particularly an issue at Agnew's where Class D starts only 445 feet above the top of the hill - easily reached in good soaring conditions.

If XC flights or high soaring flights are possible then it is essential to contact ATC to activate the 'designated areas' and obtain clearance to fly.

 

So if you wish to fly in Class D airspace you MUST:

1. Read the Letter of Agreement (attached) and ensure you fully understand it. It is the law.

2. Ensure you have a GPS or properly set altimeter.

3. Ensure you have a working radio tuned to the club frequency 144.725MHz

4. Follow the "UHPC Procedure" defined in section 6.1 precisely.

 

Below is an extract from the LOA, however before contacting ATC you must read and fully understand the LOA.

The LOA contains the box boundaries and illustrative maps. This link is a good one to bookmark as it clearly shows the extent of each box on Google maps.

 
 
 !!! If you intend to activate a designated area, please read the LOA first so you are familiar with all the conditions. !!!

 

6.1       UHPC Procedure

1.         All UHPC pilots must be briefed before activating this LOA.

2.         A UHPC pilot will contact ATC at Aldergrove at least 15 mins prior to a planned flight to agree a time window and maximum permitted altitude for the required flying area. [ATC tel: 028 9448 4282 and 028 9448 4281]

3.         When a site is activated, the pilot initiating the activation will leave his name and contact number with ATC in case of emergency.

4.         On receiving an emergency call from ATC, the pilot will ensure that the call is responded to within 15 mins. If required, this pilot must have a method of ensuring that the area is vacated and shall advise Belfast/Aldergrove ATC when this is complete.

5.         Other pilots must confirm the vertical extent and time window before launch by contacting ATC or another informed pilot.

6.         All times agreed between ATC and the UHPC will be ‘local’ time.

7.         UHPC pilots will ensure that they are flying with a means of determining altitude (amsl) whether by GPS or barometric altimeter set to QNH. Such devices will have a tolerance of +/- 100ft.

8.         Pilots will ensure that they remain within the defined lateral notified areas of each designated site where bounded by Class D Airspace.

9.         Pilots will ensure that they meet the VFR flight minima as published for Class D Airspace.

10.      A UHPC pilot will notify ATC when flying has ceased earlier than the agreed expiry time.

11.      These LOAs refer only to segregated flying activity within Class D Airspace. ATC has no control or authority over other IFR/VFR flights which may be operating within Class G Airspace beneath the designated areas.

12.      Pilots must be aware that other VFR flights may transit the Designated Areas during the times of activation.

This notice constitutes a briefing to UHPC pilots.
The "method of ensuring the area is vacated" is by FM radio on the club frequency 144.725MHz.
This information will be repeated and elaborated in a future issue of the club magazine and if there is demand we could organise a club evening to answer any questions on the history and reasoning behind the airspace change and the UHPC LOA.

ULSTER OPEN COMPETITION 6/7 MAY 2017

May 6/7th May 2017 Ulster Open based at the Kilcronaghan Centre near Tobermore. 


This years annual flying event, open to all pilots was a great success.

Here are the Ulster Open 2017 Results:

  • T1 - Undeclared dog leg
  • T2 - Undeclared dog leg
  • Total - Sum of T1 and T2 distances.
 
Rank Name     T1        T2 
     Total
1 Maurice McBride 6.4 79.4 85.8
2 Damian Kalinowski    84.2 84.2
3 Franciszek Baron   83.6 83.6
4 Rafal Obora 12.2 66.8 79.1
5 Bogdan Bailka 13.1 58.7 71.8
6 Mark Piggott 4.5 61.8 66.3
7 Ian Cross 6.4 55.5 61.9
8 Michael Knight   59.2 59.2
9 Donal Hamilton   50.8 50.8
10 Steve Hill 3.3 41.0 44.2
11 Dave Tweedie 6.7 30.2 36.9
12 Gerald Prialgauskis   31.4 31.4
13 Colin Dowey   31.2 31.2
14 Alan de Tourtoulon 2.6 16.4 19.0
15 Rafal Turczynski   14.3 14.3
16 Graham McCormick 2.9 7.1 9.9
17 Anthony O'Connor 1.4 3.3 4.7
18 Kevin Walsh   4.6 4.6
19 Keith (HG) 4.0   4.0
20 Alan F 3.0   3.0
21 Kevin 1.2   1.2
 
Short video of all the T2 track together is available here: https://youtu.be/232LM8hgwe8
 
Congratulations to all pilots for some excellent flying on a challenging day. The prizes are as follows:

1) Maurice first prize - Years subscription to XC mag

2) Damian second prize - Cross Country flying book - "Thermal Flying"

3) Franciszek third prize - Speedarm and windsock

 Special well-deserved discretionary prizes of Speedarms are awarded to Danny Young and Colin Dowey who compromised their flying to willingly search for the site access padlock and negotiate with landowners.

 

Skerrywherry and Agnew's Hill West

Flying at these sites is restricted from April until mid-June due to nesting Grouse.

Anyone planning to fly there around those times should contact the gamekeeper, Alex Rodgers for advice. His mobile 'phone number is 07463124241.

FLYING AT SLIEVE GULLION (near NEWRY)

Following a recent incident at Slieve Gullion, all pilots should be aware of the sensitivity of this site.  Full details are available here

Please make any other pilots who are not on the UHPC or IHPA mailing lists, aware of this message.