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Old 14 June 2011, 17:25   #1
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Low flying air craft near miss

I thought I had seen most types of stupidity while on the water until today, while in studland bay today I saw a light aircraft flying low toward old Harry, it dissapeard from view having rounded old Harry, I say rounded as it didn't fly over it. I opened to full throttle to head past old Harry expecting to see a crashed plane. After rounding old Harry from studland I spotted the plane flying fro swan age bay back this way along the cliff. I could see the cliff above the plane ! It must have been flying along the cliff about 20 feet from the cliff and half way between the water and the cliff top, say about 20 feet above the water. Nuts.

P.s. I captured some of it on my video camera. Will post here in a couple of days.
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Old 15 June 2011, 03:45   #2
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idiot pilot

you should have got his registration and reported him to the police or the air registration board or any airport control tower
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Old 15 June 2011, 03:48   #3
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you should have got his registration and reported him to the police or the air registration board or any airport control tower
...Why?
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Old 15 June 2011, 04:24   #4
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...Why?
Coz your not allowed to have fun!

Seems a bit pointless getting upset about it though, and for all you know he may well have had permission to do so. The air space in that area is pretty well controlled, so the authorities are quite likely to be aware of it.

Years ago I chartered a light aircraft for a Hurn to Jersey trip I needed to do, and on the return flight the pilot thought it would be fun to do a "bombing" run on the Barfleur in Poole Bay, he called up on the R/T to ask permission, and was told to do what he liked as it was a quiet day. Great fun, and the pax on the boat seem to enjoy it as well!
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Old 15 June 2011, 06:19   #5
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...Why?
I have considered reporting it, NO WAY would he have had permission to do what he did, I will post the poor video I took and you can make your own minds up. 20 feet or less above the water next to the cliff face with hikers on the cliff and boats etc on the water.

wait for vid to be posted
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Old 15 June 2011, 08:45   #6
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I have considered reporting it, NO WAY would he have had permission to do what he did, I will post the poor video I took and you can make your own minds up. 20 feet or less above the water next to the cliff face with hikers on the cliff and boats etc on the water.

wait for vid to be posted
It had better be convincing otherwise I shall be adding you to my rather long list of health and safety obsessed Ribnet traffic wardens...
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Old 15 June 2011, 09:30   #7
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I am bit vague on the UK rules since I fly mostly in the USA but I think provided he was 500ft above any people, buildings or vessels within 1000 ft horizontally. He wasn't breaking any laws. I m using the iPhone to post so will check later but google 'rule 5' as that deals with that sort of thing.

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Old 15 June 2011, 10:00   #8
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500' away from any people, vehicles, man made structures is what is required without special permission and when not taking off or landing. So, down to 1ft over the sea and away from boats would be legal. Whether it is wise in a single is another question.
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Old 15 June 2011, 13:13   #9
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The airspace at Old Harry is uncontrolled (Class G) airspace, as the control zone around Bournemouth airport extends to around the harbour entrance.
Rule 5 does apply to all pilots and you are correct about 500' above any person, vessel or structure, in any airspace, except for landing and take off.
It would be very difficult for any pilot doing this to positively prove that there was no person walking along the cliff top or in the water and so was probably breaking this Rule. However, the burden of proof would be on the person doing the reporting and a video would be a very good start. The max height of the cliffs at Ballard Down is 141m, so if indeed below cliff top, would have been below 500'.
If pursued by the CAA, the pilot would probably be fined for flying in a manner likely to endanger him(her)self, the aircraft and/or public.

PS There is NO way ANY controller would give permission for a pilot to dive bomb any vessel!! They neither have the authority to do this and would never encourage any activity of this sort, which to be frank is pretty dumb. If you know there is a large gathering of people (like on a large ferry), then the minimum overflying height is 1500', which of course any qualified pilot would know ....
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Old 15 June 2011, 16:21   #10
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The airspace at Old Harry is uncontrolled (Class G) airspace, as the control zone around Bournemouth airport extends to around the harbour entrance.
Rule 5 does apply to all pilots and you are correct about 500' above any person, vessel or structure, in any airspace, except for landing and take off.
It would be very difficult for any pilot doing this to positively prove that there was no person walking along the cliff top or in the water and so was probably breaking this Rule. However, the burden of proof would be on the person doing the reporting and a video would be a very good start. The max height of the cliffs at Ballard Down is 141m, so if indeed below cliff top, would have been below 500'.
If pursued by the CAA, the pilot would probably be fined for flying in a manner likely to endanger him(her)self, the aircraft and/or public.

PS There is NO way ANY controller would give permission for a pilot to dive bomb any vessel!! They neither have the authority to do this and would never encourage any activity of this sort, which to be frank is pretty dumb. If you know there is a large gathering of people (like on a large ferry), then the minimum overflying height is 1500', which of course any qualified pilot would know ....

What he said ^^^

Even here the rule is 500' from any person or building, as we come under CAA regs. I certainly know of occasions here when people have broken this (like many things it's OK between consenting adults if nobody else is looking!!) but to do it anywhere where other people might be present would be asking for trouble and I guess that's most of the UK.

Also agree that with all pilots having to pass the PPL as a minimum qualification I'd be surprised if anybody would be that silly as to completely flout the rule as they'd risk getting hammered. The only way you can fly a plane without a PPL is if you're with somebody qualified or an instructor, and either of those would be ultimately responsible for anybody unlicensed acting like an arse while they were P1.
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Old 15 June 2011, 19:04   #11
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PS There is NO way ANY controller would give permission for a pilot to dive bomb any vessel!! They neither have the authority to do this and would never encourage any activity of this sort, which to be frank is pretty dumb. If you know there is a large gathering of people (like on a large ferry), then the minimum overflying height is 1500', which of course any qualified pilot would know ....
So I imagined it. bugger, it's amazing how your mind plays tricks on you!


We were in the twin engine whatever it was, used to do the traffic reports on local radio, possibly known as the "flying eye". A pal of mine was having lessons, and i chartered the plane, together with the instructor, for a quick return trip to Jersey. My pal flew it for most of the journey, but was struggling to keep a level flight on the way back, so we had a bit of a big dipper kind of ride. Instructor flew the last 20 or so miles, and at one point asked for permission to go below a certain height. He didn't actually ask if it was ok to "bomb run" the ferry, he was a pretty senior instructor so obviously knew the regs, and we didn't actually over fly the vessel, but we and the passengers thought it was fun.
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Old 15 June 2011, 19:57   #12
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Come to Los Angeles and the shoreline clearance when passing LAX airport North and South bound along the beach for helicopter traffic is not ABOVE 150' ASL

120kts at 25 feet over the ocean is great fun. You're going to get (at best) very wet if something goes wrong but hey...

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Old 16 June 2011, 01:23   #13
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Near miss?

Surely this would only have been a near miss if Old Harry had been flying in the other direction?
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Old 16 June 2011, 04:00   #14
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Dirk, imagined it - no, accurate description in your first post - no.
I replied to what was stated in the post. If you came across IFR at FL70/90 and then asked to descend visually or to go VFR, then no doubt it was approved. Even 1500' looks very low from an aircraft. Glad to see that your captain did not dive bomb the ferry
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Old 16 June 2011, 04:58   #15
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Bear in mind that some operators have approval to fly lower, for example, the fishery patrol aircraft operated by Direct Flight and, of course, the military.
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Old 16 June 2011, 09:07   #16
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Ive posted the video on you tube and have to edit it to keep it within size, take a look, open full screen mode and look from start at centre of cliff and half way along cliff, you should spot the plane.

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Old 16 June 2011, 10:05   #17
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And here is a still image thats been edited, look between the two red lines and that is where the aircraft is, the two red lines represent flight path !
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Old 16 June 2011, 12:48   #18
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Don't see a problem with that - other than as was said above he's in the water if he gets an engine problem.

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Old 16 June 2011, 16:30   #19
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Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines

Nothing wrong at all...a bit of fun beating up the coast. No harm to anyone.

Why is it that this nanny state is overun by those health and safety merchants so typified by certain Ribnet wardens? Fun? Oh no, not without a safety assesment first and if spotted a thoroughly outraged post will appear on Ribnet with muttered threats of reports to the CAA. Anyone get the registration? Lucky for the pilot he was too far away otherwise the authorities would be inundated by emails from certain jobsworths on here.

Is it the case that the manservants in Terry-Thomas's time are now the inflatable boat owners of today looking to get their own back on their former masters?

I see a grudging resentment by many on here of the "devil may care" attidude so typified by the ruling class that once made this country great...
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Old 16 June 2011, 16:34   #20
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To be honest there does not seem much wrong with that,It doesnt look that close, I would hazard a guess at 50-60ft and at least 200 feet from the coast.The pilot is banking port side at 10 degrees and as he exits the needles there is a reasonable gap clearly visable
the bottom line is .even if your flying within limits and within the law, if its going to piss someone off,just do it somewhere else.

Ive requested to drop out of radar coverage on occasions and my best is along the River Severn at less than 10 at around 150 knots vne. exhilarating and just me of course...
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