Ashcroft Airfield Updated: 07 Dec 2013 ...Click on RED for details
Pilots who are not involved with the Lancashire Aero Club please click here
Lancashire Aero Club pilots now involved in their 4th year of dispute ... see below:
LAC Dispute documents received.. 1133 / Dispute duration ... 3 years 0 months
To give the casual observer some indication of what 1133 documents consists of, we have 3 lever arch files full of legal documents sent to us by the Lancashire Aero Club.
Threats of turning us from "planks into sawdust" is the general tone of the correspondence
The Lancashire Aero Club initiated legal action against Ashcroft Airfield on Christmas Eve 2011 (thanks Chaps!) This is one year after they had issued us a Ransom warning (23/11/10)
We advise anyone doing business with this organisation to exercise .. caution
This dispute is now (fortunately) sharply focused on flight safety and public safety issues. We believe that the Independent Expert (that we have fought so hard to get) will resolve these issues and will hopefully bring this 3 year LAC-Ashcroft dispute to a halt
It is perhaps fortunate that we managed to "stop" the LAC from operating at Ashcroft in an aircraft that had the wrong Flight Manual. This is an offence under UK & German aviation law and could have had fatal consequences. The LAC have been 'strangely silent' on this subject, possibly because it now seems clear that they had withheld this information from the aircraft's maintenance manager for no less than sixteen months
Since the Lancashire Aero Club have repeatedly reminded Ashcroft Airfield of the legal significance of the Chicago Convention (1944) and the requirement to comply with ICAO standards, they will no doubt understand the legal implications of operating an aeroplane with the wrong Flight Manual for 4 years.
On the 30th of July 2013, the LAC flew dangerously low over our perimeter road
(endangering our public, our neighbours, their family & people associated with their business)
On the same day, LAC members used our property like an 'assault course' and caused substantial damage to our gate post foundations (costing £370 to repair)
Our priority is to ensure that ...
safe flight operations are observed at Ashcroft & no more LAC stunt flying
the safety of pilots, passengers & the genuinely uninvolved public are protected
Ashcroft residents are protected & will never be affected by any Airfield dispute
The LAC are now insisting that we fit drains to Ashcroft Runways that were never fitted for drains (nor is there any legal precedence for this action) .... and the LAC Chairman wonders why the 'spotlight' is on his own Airfield! Probability of the Chairman taking action?
(1) The LAC Chairman is asked to ... comment on the following (13 Nov):
The Lancashire Aero Club ... has caused wilful damage to Ashcroft Airfield property (30 July)
The LAC ... is 'structured', with historically proven responsibilities for the actions of it's members.
The LAC ... has failed to moderate forum comments, resulting in yobbish behaviour from it's members
The LAC ... has promulgated inflammatory material, adversely affecting the reputation of Ashcroft.
The LAC ... has sent Ashcroft Airfield telephone calls, of an inflammatory, vexatious and distressing nature.
The Lancashire Aero Club Chairman has taken no action whatsoever ... to curb this 'yobbish' behaviour.
(2) The LAC Chairman is asked to ... account for the actions of his members (10 Nov)
(3) The LAC Chairman is asked to ... comment on "Schoolboy" behaviour (05 Nov)
(4) The LAC Chairman has received six (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6) warnings. It appears that he prefers to take a back seat attitude regarding LAC behaviour & private property damage
If we had one word of advice for any Airfield operator, who was thinking of trusting in the bona-fides of the Lancashire Aero Club's 'kudos value' then it would be .. dont
(1) CAA website: The UK Civil Aviation Authority announced (08 May 2013) that Mike Barnard has been appointed as General Aviation (GA) Programme Manager. "Mike’s main role will be leading a programme to develop and implement policy on how the CAA regulates the GA sector in the future to ensure it is safe and the regulation is proportionate"
Mike Barnard (General Aviation Manager, CAA) has stated to AOPA's CEO that the CAA's "Primary duty of care" is to the ..."genuine uninvolved third-party". Since most of our Runways are surrounded by public roads or dwellings, we also consider that our Primary duty of care is to our neighbours and the integrity of our Airfield.
Aircraft ignoring displaced landing threshold & crashing on a car <Click
The Lancashire Aero Club has tried to "trash" Ashcroft since Feb 2011. These are the facts:
The LAC Chairman has stated: “we have no interest whatsoever in Ashcroft Airfield”
I suppose that’s true, apart from… buying flying rights (behind our backs during purchase proceedings) and not forgetting… Ransoming us with these Rights.. and then… starting a 3 year legal battle, with a Christmas Eve deadline (nice touch!) … also ..photographing our Tower Logs and using them against us, oh.. and .. multiple FOI acts … criticising … Fuel Licenses.. Radios.. Electrical Certificates.. Runway lengths… Runway widths .. Runway Shapes… Runway drainage ...sending us 1133 legal documents.. clambering over our gates .. endangering our Public .. and attempting to discredit us in a 1,600 word grossly defamatory letter to the authorities. As Mr Mort said: no interest whatsoever!
As a co-owner of the LAC's Safety Officer's "steed" has commented ...
"As Trustee for the Citabriation Flying Group, I have today received a letter from the Lancashire Aero Club stating that, in effect, negotiations with Peel have broken down to such an extent that the previously expected handover date of 31st March for the hangarage lease (i.e. the hangar we keep the Citabria in) has not been accepted and that "unless we can agree termination on 31 March on terms we can meet then we will have to give you notice to vacate the hangar you occupy by 2nd March 2007."
My initial reaction to this is that the Committee of the Lancashire Aero Club is either consciously or subconsciously adopting a scorched earth policy by discouraging owner-operators at Barton from staying at Barton. After my previous comments on the Forum about my concerns of the Club pursuing a very deliberate "toys out of the pram" flounce from Barton, I can only say that those concerns are gaining strength day by day.
This isn't just about Peel. This (IMHO) is the death throes of a club which has lost its monopoly on an airfield and is thrashing about in impotent rage, trying to take down everyone with it - employees, members and their sport.
It's very sad that such a historic and dignified club ends up this way."
It is now widely accepted that the Lancashire Aero Club has being trying to "trash" Ashcroft Airfield since February 2011. Not surprisingly a "spotlight" has shone on KHF Airfield and focussed on the electrified twin track LPL-MAN Railway overflights.
The Lancashire Aero Club's recent shocking attempt to discredit all objectors has "galvanised" the Local Community into seeking a fair assessment of all safety risks.
Based on correspondence, the CAA's policy is clear, on risk to the general public.
Their assessment seems to be based on 'experience' with other Airfields with the same profile and 'proportionate' to the types (and frequency) of aircraft using an Airfield.
The only Airfield that matches the unlicensed (relevant due to Rule 5: failure of a power unit) & non Microlight criteria, associated with the KHF Airfield risk profile is ... Battleflat Farm.
I daresay, that if KHF aircraft movements (types & frequency) were roughly in line with those of Battleflat Farm Airfield then all parties may be satisfied.
The Chairman of the Lancashire Aero Club has recently admitted to an LAC trained pilot that "he would not fly into KHF Airstrip as his plane (a Cessna 172) has a slow take-off performance which the KHF undulated runway would not be best suited to".
This is also consistent with the 2011 temporary Chairman's comments (22/06/11) that ..
..... "KHF was too small to run as an Airfield for the LAC"
(1) We strongly object to the "methods" used during the LAC's visit on 30 July.
(2) The LAC should also remember that we trusted in the 'bona-fides' of their members to photograph our Tower Logs, these gentlemen then used this information against us.
Mr Mort / Mr Coxon: It seems that you have liberally distributed your 'engineered' 1,600 word grossly defamatory letter (attacking individuals who dared to challenge you both) to your local Airfield. This seems to be a 'typically tacky' LAC stunt that we are well accustomed to. Unfortunately (for you both) the local Community are determined to see fair play and will be writing to all addressees (not prompted by us) in order to ... "to restore your (Ashcroft's) good name as having acted in the best interests of our community having been requested to do so".
Comments from KHF Local Community ...
"I will compose a follow-up letter to the CAA based upon this 'Principal'. 'genuine uninvolved third party' also extends to the surrounding local community who have to endure cowboy flying by a number of complacent flyers"
Enquiries from KHF Local Community ...
The CAA have recently admitted (without a site visit) that there may be some risk to Network Rail passengers & staff due to overflying aircraft. Additionally, they have advised that pilots may need to adopt a "reasonable approach profile" over the Railway to cater for an engine failure. Turbulence & Downdrafts from the Railway embankment trees was not mentioned but it is anticipated that this issue should be raised with an expert risk assessor.