Home Forums Safety “Landing” field safety Reply To: “Landing” field safety

#8921
Jana Pivkova
Board Member

Fining people for crossing the line seems unrealistic, since the whole field should be open to anyone who needs to use it (unless it’s a busy afternoon with a lot of incoming traffic). Do we then fine hang gliders who can’t land in their own part of the field? Or just paragliders kiting their wing too close to the line? Who would volunteer to stand there and fine people all day for doing that? Calling the police? No way.

We have hundreds (if not thousands) of landings at AJX every year without incident. Hang gliders and paragliders are able to share the area quite well, especially when two skilled & aware pilots are coming in at the same time. It’s very rare that anyone needs to use the extra space to land whatever they’re flying, and most people with good training are able to have a good landing just in front of mid-field.

Personally I’ve only really seen a couple of visiting pilots needing to go all the way to the SW corner, or overshoot. That was usually in the morning, or at noon when there wasn’t much head wind. When there’s not much wind, the conditions for kiting are poor anyway. I don’t know what goes on during the weekdays, but on weekends when I’m there, it all seems to work out OK.

I’ve had a visiting hang glider pilot walk right in front of me carrying his wing across the PG section without looking around first. I was over the grass making my final approach, and I had a choice; I could either land on top of his glider into the wind, or go land elsewhere and run it out. I ran it out. I didn’t go lose my s**t on him, I figured he made a mistake and someone else already said something to him about it. So everyone, please try to be civil.

We don’t need fines, we don’t need to call the police, we don’t need raging. We need good communication skills. As they say, it takes a village. If you see someone doing something wrong, walk up to them, smile, introduce yourself and say “Hi, how you doin’? Just wanted to let you know that there’s people landing behind/in front of you, so you’ll need to ball up your wing and take it over to the shade structure to clear the landing area as soon as you can. Thanks a bunch and happy flying!” Not only will the person be more likely to comply, but they won’t walk away feeling hurt or angry, more likely to be spiteful. They’ll even want to come back to AJX and maybe pass the info onto their flying friends. Just my $0.02.