Safe flying on the northern beaches

Now that the flying season is well under way, we’re already seeing times where we have more pilots on site than can safely fly at the same time. To allow everyone a chance to fly and still maintain safe separation we all need to work together and follow a few simple guidelines.

Good launch and landing etiquette helps to keep the site working safely and efficiently: 

Set your equipment up away from the launch/landing area and don’t move it onto launch until you are ready to fly.When you land, bunch up straight away and move your gear from the LZ. 

Don’t kite your wing unnecessarily in the landing area. 

Avoid congestion by considering using another site: 

Whilst supervised rated pilots are limited in their choice of sites, other pilots may be able to fly other sites such as Warriewood which can handle more aircraft and subsequently reduce the load on Cook’s Terrace and Long Reef. 

Limit your flight time to share the site fairly. 

If, whilst you are flying, you can see that other pilots are set up to launch, but appear to be waiting, there is a good chance that they are waiting for space to fly. Even though you may feel that there is room for another aircraft you should remember that we are a community which includes lower airtime and/or less confident pilots than yourself and that we all deserve the opportunity to fly. Share the air by having several short flights rather than one or two longer ones. 

Avoid “overloading” when moving from adjoining sites. 

If you decide to cross from one site to another (particularly from Warriewood or Mona Vale towards Cooks Terrace) be aware that you may be increasing traffic beyond the limit that the other pilots or possibly a duty pilot may have in place at that time. The pilots flying should give way to allow you to get safely into lift but, if there are other pilots waiting to launch or it is indicated to you, you should land immediately or leave the site. 

Duty pilots.

As well as being a requirement whenever supervised rated pilots wish to fly, duty pilots are invaluable to us when sites become congested.  

As a general rule, if there are more than 6 pilots at any of our sites a duty pilot should be nominated in accordance with the operations manual. 

Help the duty pilot by listening to their advice and obeying their instructions. Remember that they have volunteered to take on the position to assist you. The duty pilot will try to allow everyone an equal opportunity to fly so make sure that you introduce yourself and let them know when you are ready to fly. 

It is the responsibility of the duty pilot to assess the number of aircraft which can safely operate in the prevailing conditions and with regards to their knowledge of the pilots' experience. This could be as low as 1 pilot if conditions are poor and/or the pilot is low airtime but not more than 6 pilots (max 3 supervised) in optimal conditions at Cooks Terrace or Long Reef and a maximum of 8 at Warriewood. 

Although we’re getting a bit congested on occasions I’m really impressed with the patience and consideration shown by the majority of our pilots. Thank you all for making this a great community and for your ongoing support. 

Sydney Paragliding & Hang Gliding Club (SPHGC)

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