07 November 2011

WhiteFord; the graceful and the disgraceful!!

Sometimes it's easy not to take any notice of things you hear, like distant flying aircraft but I was watching the birds in the Great Pill from Berges Island and they were starting to look distressed. I looked up and saw some light aircraft go over at what I thought was pretty standard height, maybe a little low? Another aircraft was lower still at about 50m! While I was pretty annoyed with this it did put all the Eiders to flight and an opportunity presented itself!!
What happened next I still cannot believe! I could hear mass panic to my right and looked away from the flying Eiders to see this aircraft fly no more than 10m off the ground! It will be wrong of me to speculate about why the pilot chose to do this but it certainly wasn't beneficial to the birds present. I'm not fully up to speed on the boundaries or classifications of designation afforded to this area apart from the Burry Inlet is a RAMSAR and I think Whiteford is a SSSI?
At one point I thought it must be a crashing aircraft but the fact that it was controlled indicates a complete disregard to the safety. I will be pursuing this matter with both the police and CCW in the hope that maximum penalties possible can be imposed on this pilot and even the flying club. I wasn't the only one to witness this crazy act and Nick from Gower Photography will also be pursuing this matter. I'm not sure how successful it's going to be but if anyone else witnesses scenes like this it is well worth reporting them as this helps the police build a picture.


Neil Donaghy said...

Mark - this guy obviously does this on a regular basis. I've seen it a couple of times myself ahere he has actually landed on the grass by the hide.

Mark Hipkin said...

Thanks Neil, the flying regulations in "uncontrolled zones" are disappointingly lax! I've spoken with the CAA and I will be submitting a report with maps and pictures should they wish to take this further? Once I have got a bit more information I will report back on here as to where we stand and what to look out for.

Alan Kearsley-Evans said...

This is fantastic, we have been trying to identify this plane for months but no-one ever had a camera to record it when it was seen. I (National Trust) will investigate with the local police, with whom we have previously discussed the matter. You can contact me on alan.kearsley-evans@nationaltrust.org.uk

Anonymous said...

Great News Mark - I hope they nail this irresponsible person.