Thursday 23 May 2013 15:16 UTC
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I visited Panshanger a few weeks back, and in my efforts to concentrate on the noise abatement circuit, got very close to the Luton Zone where it drops to ground level:
A couple of questions:
1. Would you consider this an infringement?
2. Should I 'fess up and report it, in the hope that this makes it less serious, or just keep schtum and hope? Assuming I 'fess up, how do I do that? Call Luton?
Regarding point 2, I seem to remember reading that in the States they have a scheme where you submit a form, and that renders you effectively immune from prosecution regarding the event.
Would appreciate your thoughts.
If you got "very close to it" that's not an infringement. If you went into it, it is.
In the latter case, since a few weeks have elapsed, I'd wait to see if they contact you. Had it been yesterday, I'd have called them to "discuss" it.
There's no "fess up and escape prosecution" here, but the CAA is normally sensible about such matters.
Moderatio in omnibus
I think no, but it was a close shave! Based on your diagram I can't see traffic inside the CTR being disrupted in this case anyway.
I guess one thing I try to bear in mind myself is to remain within gliding distance of the field.
Non-standard "noise-abatement" circuits should not take you outside the ATZ... if it does the ATZ needs enlarging.
I don't think Panshanger has featured in a NATS investigation for a few weeks now. Your track as represented on the chart would probably not generate a second glance from the TC Luton controller. If you let me have the date/time I will check the radar replay and try and capture a shot of what it looked like from our end.
I have to say that NATS are excellent when dealing with private pilots who make a genuine mistake and contact them. I met Jonathan Smith when he coordinated a tour of Swanwick a few years ago and was a fantastic education, brought me more confidence in my flying and reduced the 'us and them' attitude I had.
If anyone gets the opportunity to do the tour, I'd heavily recommend it. They give a good talk on infringments and how they happen.
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