Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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This is a request / warning from a fellow LAA flyer and CRI. It appears that he is being punished for doing the right thing, when the pragmatic solution would be to fly away as soon as the weather improved.

From the Strasser thread, this is the incident mentioned, which has now become a major problem for the pilot involved.

A Jodel was en route home, but unforecast weather left very few options, so landed at Plymouth, a usable runway seeming to be the most sensible place for a diversion. The insurance company is happy that everything was ok and is happy to cover all the liabilities and agree that the most sensible recovery would be by air.

Initially, what was presumed to be the security supervisor was reasonably amenable to the aeroplane being flown out the next day but one, with regards to forecast weather (after an aborted attempt to send him off into 200' cloudbase). Since then, the owners and their legal eagles have been involved and the situation has changed. Conditions placed on the removal now include no publicity and that the aircraft must be dismantled and removed by road. Concrete blocks have been placed around the it. The landowners' costs are escalating, with the legal team (!) involved and discussions have been difficult: it is all but impossible to talk to a decision maker.

Politics may be at play, as the pilot concerned suspects the landowners think he is something to do with the campaign to re-open the airfield.

Any advice would be appreciated, especially from anyone in the area who is familiar with the set-up there.

Many thanks.
User avatar
By Charles Hunt
Sadly no advice.

But I despair of this once great country.

Safe landing. Presumably enough room to make a safe take off (where I assume thousands have been made historically) and somehow we choose to make a mountain out of it.
User avatar
By Rod1
Very sad situation.

I assume the costs will soon outstrip the value of the aircraft. Can the owner not get the insurance co to help? In the end, if the aircraft is stuck outside it will become a wright-off and the insurance will have to pay out. Failing that, are there any local LAA types who could help? It is not a huge job but I am a long way away.

User avatar
By muffin
Sounds like a case of £50 cash to a passing JCB driver to shift the concrete blocks out of the way just before dawn then scarper. Several years ago a friend of mine put his aircraft down in a field in a similar circumstance, and we all pushed it out on to the nearby road at 5 AM the next morning from where it successfully took off with no questions asked.
User avatar
By Dave W
Whiskey Kilo Wanderer wrote:Conditions placed on the removal now include no publicity and that the aircraft must be dismantled and removed by road.

Very one-sided. What's the aircraft owner's benefit in no publicity? Who decided to place concrete blocks around it and on what grounds? There has clearly been a decision maker at some point even if not to be found now.

Personally I'd be looking to escalate this outside the landowner's representatives by now. "Legal teams" :roll: can work both ways...

This advice from the balloonists is worth noting, and whilst it relates to farmers it's also likely applicable here:

BBAC wrote:Farmers are reminded that it is illegal to impound balloons. Any damage caused to the balloon by the farmer is recoverable by the pilot through the County/Sheriff Court. Once the farmer has received sufficient details of the landing, he should not unreasonably object to the retrieval of the balloon.

There's other helpful advice at that link.

Also, here's BGA guidance:

BGA wrote:Legally, you cannot be prevented from leaving a property or from taking your glider with you. You
may be expelled by force, but no more than is reasonably necessary and not before you are asked to
leave. Your aircraft may not be confiscated or impounded – that is a form of theft. If you have been
prevented from reasonably retrieving your aircraft, the person preventing you has effectively taken
charge of the safe keeping of that glider. Politely explain this to that person and point out to him or
her the value of the equipment that he or she has just impounded.

If anyone threatens you or if you feel threatened, call the police. They will not wish to get involved in
a case of trespass as this is a civil offence. But in cases where you have been personally threatened,
a criminal offence may have taken place and the police will get involved.

Again, more at the link.
By johnm
It seems that the aircraft owner may well be able to call Mr Plod and have the landowners arrested under the theft act. Alternatively we could try the old fashioned way and send the boys round, I have quite a lot of baseball bats..... :twisted:
User avatar
By Whiskey Kilo Wanderer
Hi Folks,

Many thanks for the replies and ideas.

I gather that the pilot is down there today in the hope of getting some common sense brought to the situation.

What's the aircraft owner's benefit in no publicity? Who decided to place concrete blocks around it and on what grounds?

The ‘No Media Contact’ bit is a demand by the Landowner / Landowners Legal Department. I suspect publicity on this particular matter is the last thing they want.

The best answer for all concerned would be for the aircraft to line up and depart, keeping it simple for everyone. Being a wood and fabric aircraft, it doesn't need to be stuck outside in the weather we have been seeing.

I fear the politics of a company that want to turn a former airfield in to a housing estate and dread any connection to aviation, no matter how tenuous.

This is so much against the spirit of the Strasser Scheme it defies belief. There again, the land owners are probably blissfully unaware of the Scheme and are just playing their own game.

Thanks again,
User avatar
By foxmoth
I would have thought the no publicity side is the way to get it sorted -"stop me taking off and it hits the press" there could even be some support from fellow aviators - how about a mass flyover at minimum level if they do not allow him out, that will certainly bring them publicity and at the end of the day they still have to ensure the aircraft is kept from harm.
User avatar
By flybymike
Bu66er the flyover, let's just have the next flyer forum fly in there :evil:
All very odd, I can only imagine that the last thing they would want is the adverse publicity surrounding an aircraft making a successful forced landing (the pilot is a hero) and then being prevented from leaving.

Where it me, it would be let me leave, or its in the press.
By richardpw
The situation since closure at this airport has been controversial and complicated. There's lots about it on the Internet. The owners haven't even allowed any emergency helicopters to land since closure. I hope the departure is approved.
By masterofnone
If the developers/landowners do not want to attract (bad) publicity, they have an utterly bizarre way of going about it. By impounding an aircraft in what appears to be an entirely illegal manner, they are going out of their way to attract trouble. What on earth are they trying to achieve? It is pure bloody minded mischief bordering on criminality.

I'd suggest getting in contact with the newspaper/ journalist who did the piece on Bruce Dickinson's diversion and ask them to do a piece on "when diversions go bad", and ensure that so much sh*t got shovelled in their direction, they'd never make the mistake of behaving the same way again.

I would imagine their are substantive grounds for pursuing them for damages. If I were the aircraft's insurers, I would make a point of doing this.
By JoeC
If you want to **** them off then call the press. If you want the aircraft back then humble pie ( no matter how foul tasting) and negotiating the quickest exit, by air, may prove more pragmatic.
User avatar
By foxmoth
JoeC wrote:If you want to **** them off then call the press. If you want the aircraft back then humble pie ( no matter how foul tasting) and negotiating the quickest exit, by air, may prove more pragmatic.

It would appear the humble pie has been tried and failed, certainly if THEY are the ones not wanting publicity I would be using this as a threat, after all, the aircraft owner is getting nothing out of the lack of publicity unless it is that they let him fly it out, even if they are **** off they still need to ensure the aircraft remains unharmed, the longer this goes on the more chance of bad publicity and the more they hassle it becomes to them, cause them enough and they will not want to continue with it.
Last edited by foxmoth on Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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