It's Springtime - Be careful

We were all pretty rusty after a wet winter and now after the COVID-19 lockdown we are well and truly uncurrent; So please be careful ...



This is a post copied from the TVHGC telegram from their safety officer, I think it's worth reposting here regarding currency;

Dear fellow pilots,

As you'll no doubt be aware the lockdown restrictions imposed on us are about to be lifted so that flying may resume within the guidelines laid out by the BHPA. I'm not going to discuss regulation, policy or social distancing but concentrate solely on flight safety. It is our intent to try and make as many experienced coaches and instructors available on the hill as we get back into flying. Within social distancing guidelines I urge you to make use of them.

We were all pretty rusty after a wet winter and we can now all be counted as well and truly uncurrent; some of you will be less current than you have ever been. I could just say be careful out there and be done with it but there are ways in which you can actively take some control of your own safety and of those around you.

Check your kit! Please don't just grab your kit and go. Have a look and make sure all your safety equipment is where you left it so that you don't put yourself in a difficult situation when you arrive on the hill. Take your time getting your kit out and inspect it to the best of your ability, it may have degraded since you last saw it.

Take your time. Have a look at those flying already and assess the conditions, discuss it with friends and more experienced pilots. Decide whether you intend to fly or wait for a more optimum day. Take your time putting your kit on, we don't want to see anyone hurt with silly mistakes.

Have a think about how many people are flying. If there are too many for your comfort level then wait a little while. Everyone will no doubt be sharing the sky and coming down after a while to allow others to fly (won't they?). And lookout starts on the hill; don't ground handle or lift your wing without looking out properly and do consider that everyone else out there is as uncurrent as you are. Make it easy for them too.

Make a plan! Have a think about which direction you might slope land in, or where you might bottom land if required. Have a think about where you're heading after you launch and what you're going to do. Have a think about what you'll do after launch if you have an issue of some kind (fly first, and look out!). The point about being a bit rusty is that some of the motor skills you take for granted will be lost and you'll need all the grey cells available to do what you previously did automatically.

If it's thermic then have a think about your immediate actions should you get a collapse, asymmetric or otherwise. Conduct a feel-check of your reserve handle (and have a look at it before you launch as part of your pre-flight). If it's windy then think about turbulence and venturi effect and don't put yourself in a position where you have to make quick decisions, plan ahead and make these first few flights as benign as you need to.

And finally, look out! Please, please avoid getting too close to each other and keep your eyes peeled… and if it's getting too crowded land, wherever it may be safe!

Safety Officer

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