Ashcroft Airfield Statement
This webpage is normally dedicated to an "information source for pilots" but due to LAC related issues re: Flight Safety, Passenger Safety, Public Safety, omission of aviation laws, correct aviation regulations [and] Flight Manuals to use ... all affecting the lawful & safe use at Ashcroft ... you will perhaps excuse us for this brief 'diversion'.
We openly invite members of the CAA to join us in endorsing their "principal duty of care" to the general public ... in June ... in Manchester. Ashcroft has been accused of having little regard for flight safety ... so perhaps those person(s) responsible for making these accusations should be prepared to back up their comments in the appropriate 'arena'.
Bona fide pilots: rest assured that "normal service" will resume on 26 June 2014.
Ashcroft Airfield Updated: 23 Apr 2014 Click on RED
Pilots who are not involved with the Lancashire Aero Club please click here
Ashcroft (EGCR) is an Unlicensed (not private) recognised Diversion Airfield
Dispute Duration 3 years 4 months ...LAC related documents received so far 1350
Current Issues: "securing the safety of ...aircraft and of persons and property carried therein, [and] for preventing aircraft endangering other persons and property"
CAA policies (specifically the precise wording of SSL7C Jan 2013)
CAA statements (specifically Mike Barnard's comments to AOPA in 2013)
DAP statements (interpretation of ANO article 138 in context of low flying)
Passenger security (specifically the precise wording of insurance documents)
Air Navigation Order (Rule 5 3a)
"Failure of a Power Unit" at Ashcroft
Public Safety on roads (with regard to above)
Confirmation of legal Flight Manual performance
Confirmation of Runway lengths in legal documents.
Confliction of Aviation Laws ... "the most restrictive applies"
Should we wait for a 'mishap' to occur .. or take preventative measures?
Regarding ... "which person, persons and or bodies is or are responsible for determining whether an aircraft can lawfully and safely use Ashcroft Airfield" ... we would like to publish comments made by Lawrence Hay, Flight Safety Standards Officer, Civil Aviation Authority on 15 July 2013, regarding the use of "any type of aircraft" at Unlicensed Aerodromes.
"All aircraft will need to comply with existing aviation legislation including Rules of the Air Regulations"
"The pilot will have to comply with the principles of good airmanship & would need to go-around if he perceives he is posing a danger to persons & property on the surface, the pilot MUST comply with Rule 5 in regards to 'failure of a power unit' & adopt a reasonable approach or departure profile that would minimise this risk".
For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of Public Safety & Passenger Safety ..
(it seems that the latest CAA policies are 'relaxed' regarding the welfare of the pilot)
... we include the current ANO laws regarding Rule 5 and the relevant exemptions ..
In short... at Ashcroft ... " An aircraft shall not be flown below such a height as would enable it to make an emergency landing without causing danger to persons or property on the surface in the event of a power unit failure" (The "power unit failure" meaning an engine failure and the "height" referred to is (we suggest) considerably greater than 20 feet above a tarmac road on our Airfield boundary, frequented by our general public)
Road Safety Update: A low boundary road overflight that occurred in mid 2013 was captured on CCTV and was considered a 'reportable event' (see definition below).
Concerns were raised on 30.07.2013 and CCTV evidence was provided on 30.12.2013
A forensic report of CCTV data shows that the aircraft crossed our public road well below 50% of a normal flight profile. Any deliberate low crossing of our road affecting public safety is not only unacceptable to Ashcroft but also to the general public
Additional concerns are that the aircraft may have flown below minimum "reference speed" of 60kt to achieve this unorthodox landing. The aircraft speed will be checked using CCTV data by the same forensic lab, which established the aircraft's road crossing height
Flying below minimum reference speed can dramatically reduce landing distances but (as any experienced aeroplane* pilot knows) this can erode safety margins, which is of concern, when this is combined with a low level crossing of our Public Road
* Pilots of other 'flying devices' may not be familiar or have experience in this area
Eyewitness report confirmed that the pilot appeared not to be "carrying a lot of speed"
The general public expect the authorities responsible for regulating aviation laws / risks to be seen to act in a transparent manner by endorsing their policies, laws and public statements. Waiting until something goes "seriously wrong" before corrective action is taken, seems to contradict the teachings of every Pilot in the UK ... and may be viewed as unacceptable by the general public ... if they believed that their lives were at risk, because standard policies and laws had not been observed.
In the unfortunate event of a fatality to any member of our general public by Group 'A' aircraft pilots NOT using "sensible performance planning" & NOT using "normal airmanship" then it is likely that there will be a Coroners Inquest assessing the reasons why this was allowed to happen ... despite multiple warnings given by the Airfield owners
To be clear, unless diverting into Ashcroft, we will pursue anyone assessed as jeopardising our public by not planning to cross our boundary road by 50ft or more.
Similarly, landing on Easterly Runways with this public road at the end also requires sensible performance planning (taking into account the 0.8% downslope on RW09)
SSL 07: 8(c) "You should always ensure that after applying all the relevant factors .... the Landing Distance Required (LDR) from a height of 50 feet does not exceed landing Distance Available"
In our experience, most pilots act in a responsible manner and adhere to the relevant CAA safety policy documents regarding aircraft performance and Rule 5
In view of events in 2013, Ashcroft would like to define a 'reportable event'
A pilot planning to use Ashcroft Airfield but not using "normal airmanship" and assessed as endangering the general public on the Airfield perimeter Road owned by Ashcroft.
A pilot of a Group 'A' aircraft not using sensible aircraft performance planning measures, liable to endanger the general public (or any passenger in that aircraft, that has not been made fully aware of the risks of departing from ANO Article 87)
Whatever the CAA's attitude is to 'proportionate risk assessment', we have been advised by an Aviation Lawyer, that we have certain "responsibilities" to try to offer some protection to those individuals, who are not fully aware of the risks associated with aviation activities.
Ashcroft Airfield welcomes Pilots with a sensible 'Community Aware' attitude
Since our road is used by the general public, appropriate aircraft performance calculations (iaw the most recent performance data) are legally required to clear this road by at least 50ft iaw ANO Rule 5(3.a) ... pertinent to Unlicensed Airfields
Rule 5 (3.a) Failure of a Power unit: "An aircraft shall not be flown below such height as would enable it to make an emergency landing without causing danger to persons or property on the surface in the event of a power unit failure"
>> Public road owned by Ashcroft on Eastern Airfield boundary <<
CCTV data collected on 06 March recorded a 38 min inspection & 4 vehicles driving on our perimeter road between 13:33-14:05 (2 high-sided Vans, 1 Landrover & 1 Hatchback)
Recorded samples: (some days missed due to lens contamination & winds triggering false events)
02/04 03/04 04/04 05/04 07/04 09/04 (10/04+10/04) 11/04 16/04
CCTV cameras now re-positioned to collect data on our public highway from 0900-1800 between 02 Apr - 22 May in order to assess the risks to the general public, regarding low public highway overflights and over-run risks when landing on easterly Runways.
Bona fide samples of Road traffic between 09:18 and 17:29 on 10 April
CAA Safety Policy 7C (JAN 2013): Accidents such as failure to get airborne, collision with obstacles after take-off and over-run on landing occur frequently to light aeroplanes. Many have happened at short licensed runways, as well as strips, often when operating out of wind or where there was a slope. Poor surfaces, such as long or wet grass, mud or snow, were often contributory factors. Many, if not all, of these performance accidents could have been avoided if the pilots had been fully aware of the performance limitations of their aeroplanes.
CAA regulatory view of GA: "for securing the safety of air navigation and the safety of aircraft and of persons and property carried therein, [and] for preventing aircraft endangering other persons and property". The UK Rules of the Air Regulations are enabled under the ANO"
Caution: Regarding limitations of the "See-and-Avoid" Principle. Peripheral vision is reduced under conditions of high workload.
"A number of researchers have shown that peripheral stimuli are more difficult to detect when attention is focussed on a central task"
Safety Sense Leaflet 13: Collision Avoidance
"Another inherent eye problem is the narrow field of vision. Although our eyes accept light rays from an arc of nearly 200°, they are limited to a relatively narrow area (approximately 10–15°) in which they can actually focus on and classify an object. Although movement on the periphery can be perceived, we cannot identify what is happening there, and we tend not to believe what we see out of the corner of our eyes. This, aided by the brain, often leads to 'tunnel vision'.
"The pilot’s functional visual field contracts under conditions of stress or increased workload.
The resulting ‘tunnel vision’ reduces the chance that an approaching aircraft will be seen in peripheral vision"
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