Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
  • 1
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 10
User avatar
By TheFarmer

If you’re part of the ChocksGoAway movement, then I admire your resolve by joining this group.

The trouble is, what we do as a fraternity has a really unfair reputation. We aren’t rich playboys, and we wake up on a morning that we go flying on with excitement and joy, just like you do with your own hobbies.

We don’t want to rock boats. We don’t fly low over your houses, and we aren’t anywhere near as noisy as you all think we are.

We often only spend about £3,000 per year on our hobby, which is pretty much what I expect you spend on yours. We help each other out, and many of our ‘group’ are elderly and welcome the social contact that their flying hobby gives them.

Please erase from your mind the image of a flashy private jet and blokes in suits.

Most of us have a slightly tatty old 2 seat aircraft and we bring our garage sandwiches to the hangar, fiddle around a bit, and then go and fly for 30 mins. It’s not all rubies and diamonds I can assure you.

Please can I ask you to reconsider your pre-conceived ideas about light aviation and how it might impact you? I think you’ll find that it’s a really nice world.
AndyR, PeteSpencer, Dave W and 23 others liked this
By NickyAsh
I posted becuase I was concerned about a particular individual resident who has been targeted with some increasingly unpleasant messages. I'm sure the vast majority of pilots are very decent, rational and pleasant people but the changing tone towards one individual was becoming a worry.

I don't think there is some prejudice against pilots to overcome here, like I said I don't doubt most pilots are perfectly decent people. And I dont think anyone is expecting expensive suits and private jets :) The pre-application material gave a good deal of info about the numbers of movements, the facilities and the strip orienetation. The big issue here is the proposed site brings flying activity very close to hundreds of residences so it's clearly not a trivial proposition. I wasn't intending to provoke people, just to try and calm things slightly in terms of focus on one person.
User avatar
By Flying_john
Whilst it is nice to have a reasoned debate, we mustn't let over enthusiastic objectors state things as if they are fact.

Where are the 100's of residences that will be affected. Its one of the least populated areas of East Kent. Just a simple survey at 1000 metres from the proposed airstrip show very few dwellings, at 1500 metres you start to encompass Northbourne and East Studdal again very few houses ( I counted 30 buildings in Northbourne) and only when you expand to 2.5km+ do you start getting into the estates at Mill Hill.

Aeroplanes take off and are at 1000 feet plus in a fraction of these distances, tend to avoid built up areas and do not deliberately fly over noise sensitive areas.
PeteSpencer liked this
User avatar
By Flyingfemme
Hi Nicky. Welcome to our group. Can you please explain to me how this proposed strip brings "flying activity very close to hundreds of residences"? Looking at the map I can't see much flying happening close to any residences at all. A light aircraft circuit is quite small and they don't dive to low level miles away to drag themselves into the strip! In many places throughout England you cannot hear any aircraft over the noise of the traffic, the lawn mowers, the motorcycles etc. How about the music festival that is hosted at the "wedding venue" in question? Music Festival promoters object to farmstrip? It's more a question of live and let live than anything else. Perhaps the locals need to visit some grass airfields and see for themselves what actually goes on, and how seldom anything does?
User avatar
By ChampChump
I hope no one here has been involved of any targeted behaviour; I would be horrified to think that thoroughly decent, generous people could do so. I should point out though that it goes both ways: there has been some intimidatory behaviour to two people, one of whom has nothing whatsoever to do with the application; I'm sure that doesn't emanate from anyone you know. I have a couple of other examples of behaviour that goes contrary to what we would all expect.

The original intention was and is for those behind the propsals to meet local residents after the full plans were available so any particular concerns could then be discussed. DDC have been slow to issue the planning application and this has caused great foment locally, based on rather incomplete information. Understandably, perhaps, those who may never have had the chance to see any small aeroplanes have been vociferous and the campaign to stop it before it starts has included more than just the facts. We are not public speakers and you may understand that are wary of facing what sometimes feels to be a lynch mob, now supported by an uninformed MP.
Dusty_B liked this
User avatar
By PeteSpencer
Emphasis so far has been on the Objectors’ website and Facebook page .
Do the developers of the proposed airfield have a website or Facebook page where they can promote their side of the story or do supporters have to rely on the publication of the planning request before they can express their opinions.

There are so many items of false information taken as fact on the ‘Anti’ pages and surely wider public dissemination would be an advantage ?
By johnm
@NickyAsh I live in a small village in the Cotswolds AONB, nearby I have the A417 trunk road & Rendcomb grass airfield home of the wing walkers, guess which is the most intrusive.

To add to that we're also within traffic arriving and departing range of Fairford, where we see B52s and Stealth bombers which REALLY know how to make noise. Next to them is Brize Norton where we regularly see big jets arriving and departing.

Over the other side of Cirencester we have Kemble aerodrome which has a jet aircraft recycling plant, flying school and a few aerobatic aircraft and next to that a grass strip called Oaksey Park similar to the proposal in your neck of the woods.

The occasional movement from the grass strips is utterly irrelevant to the overall noise pattern and the number of movements from other places all added together means we see probably 12 aircraft a day for a few moments each.

The idea that a grass strip is a noisy and disruptive place is frankly laughable to anyone who is familiar with such. On the contrary they are havens for wildlife and quite tranquil a lot of the time. Many aircraft hangars are used by swallows and similar to nest and owners just cover up their aeroplanes and let them get on with it. We see buzzards sitting on the hold signs as we pass by and quite often hares boxing in the spring and so it goes on.....
User avatar
By ChampChump
It is a huge problem, as, for example, those who have read the local paper may be seeking more information: much of it, right or wrong, on one 'side', nothing but what has been quoted otherwise (specific questions have been asked and answered).

The planning documents are substantial and publicising them, which is what a website or facebook page would effectively be doing to explain things, could be seen as undermining the planning process, frustrating as this is.
Last edited by ChampChump on Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Crash one
I emailed “chocks go away” with this.
No names, no pack drill!

As a pilot of a light aircraft, based at a similar airstrip on a farm in Scotland. I am curious to know what your real concerns are?
Wild life (birds) are flourishing all over and around our airstrip, no one to my knowledge has ever hit one in an aircraft, their nests are safe and unmolested by farming activities etc. The same applies to foxes, rabbits, hares etc.

7500 movements per year, when light aircraft usually only fly in good weather, mostly by non commercial pilots, at weekends?
This would need operations similar to London Heathrow all day Saturday and Sunday. Utterly ridiculous.

Local inhabitants. We have various rules regarding landing approaches to avoid over flying villages, houses etc and all are easily complied with.

Safety. Pilots spend a legal minimum of 45 hours training, many take a lot more than that, 99% of which is safety related. From safe handling on the ground, take off, landing, navigating near sensitive areas, emergency procedures, engine failures, forced landings etc.
Aircraft maintenance regimes are also far more stringent than those for road vehicles.

What I would suggest is that you actually go to a similar airstrip, introduce yourselves to pilots, airfield owners and ask and watch operations. Most pilots would be more than happy to take you flying and let you see just how beautiful your country is from 2000ft, a lot more beautiful than it is from ground level I can assure you!


Replied with

Hello Mr xxxxx

In answer to some of the questions you asked in your email to us. Firstly I don't know your exact location but do you have 3 grass strips in excess of 750 metres, all very busy within 35 nautical miles from you farm strip? We do, and numerous grass strips scattered around as well. Theres plenty of options to base an aircraft within an hours drive from the proposed location.

As you say most of the 7500 flights will occur in good weather and at weekends. That coincides with most people being outside in their gardens.
It is a bit strange comparing Heathrow, the busiest dual runway in the world with a grass strip! At Heathrow using timed separation instead of distances aircraft arrive every minute from 06:00 until late into the evening. I know because I've flown 747's in there for 18 years. ergo no comparison. Or as you say "Utterly ridiculous"

Re avoiding local residents. If you really have the time and inclination zoom in on google earth. There are lots of properties that will be overflown. Impossible not to.

I have absolutely no doubt the pilots are well trained. It is in their interest if nothing else. I was a flying instructor for many years. All PPL's I met/taught were to a good standard. Thats not the concern.

There is no need to go to a similar strip to watch aircraft. Ive got 18000+ hours, taught PPL's and RAF cadets.

My opposition (and only mine) to this going ahead is the noise pollution, pollution from aircraft fuel (still containing lead), removal of hedgerows, removal of a right of way dating back beyond 1880. Theres no benefit to the community in any way shape of form.

Chocks away over.



From me

Hello xxxxxxx
Thank you for your reply.
Yes we do have at least 8 or 10 grass strips and 3 busy small licensed airfields within 30 miles. Perth and Dundee, heavy training and commercial plus large numbers of private, Fife, training plus private, with the shortest runway 750metres, Balado, microlight training and private.
I live in a quiet rural area with 3 of these within 4nm of my garden, during the good weather there is regular traffic between them, both private and training aircraft.
Noise pollution is definitely not an issue. My aircraft is based at Kingsmuir, 4 miles west of Crail, 3 miles north of Anstruther and I live 20miles west, outside the village of Freuchie.
Looking at Google maps of Little Mongeham, I honestly can’t see a problem with overflying anything. The application and site plan seem to have been removed but I think the site was to the north of the village?
I will admit that the strip would be a little close to Little Mongeham!
As you are no doubt aware, light aircraft do not follow a 3degree approach path, so 1–2 miles final from 6–800 ft is well above rule 5 minimum cruise altitude. 
Why is this a problem?
Fuel pollution, avgas has been used for many years, people are not dying in droves under the flight path of aircraft. They do suffer in towns from road vehicles, but apparently that’s ok!
As for the training and watching similar strip operations, my apologies for generalising, not being aware of your experience.
I just can’t see the reasoning behind these objections. The noise is normally short lived and seldom in rapid succession. Pilots don’t howl over houses at low level, we do our best to avoid upsetting anyone, yet there seems to be some kind of “anti aircraft” attitude for some reason. 
As for benefit to the community, any local public house or eatery/shops, hotels etc, may get trade from pilots/passengers. If such services are available, I don’t know what the local amenities are.
Just my opinion.

Best regards.

Sent from my iPad

No reply as yet.
I don’t think this amounts to “targeted behaviour” :D
Cowshed, kanga liked this
User avatar
By Dave W
A general observation: Isn't it interesting how many retired high-time airline flyers seem to become so anti their own industry in later life?
cjrpaterson, Flying_john, PeteSpencer and 9 others liked this
Sadly, I don't believe that the objections are actually about this specific application at all.
What I do believe is that it is sytemic in our culture to object to anything new, especially when it comes to planning. To read that someone who has earned their living from aviation is one of the objectors rather proves my point.
It is also sad to note that MPs will use their percieved authority to try to sway the planning committee rather than first engaging with the applicant(s).
ThePipster, rikur_, rdfb liked this
Dave W wrote:A general observation: Isn't it interesting how many retired high-time airline flyers seem to become so anti their own industry in later life?

They should be ashamed.
Again - pure nimbyism.
Katamarino liked this
  • 1
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 10