Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1740905
SERA.5005(f) says a VFR flight shall not be flown:
"(1) over the congested areas of cities, towns or settlements...at a height less than 300 m (1 000 ft) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 600 m from the aircraft"
but that's caveated by "Except when necessary for take-off or landing".

Does anyone have any experience (e.g. CAA statements or legal rulings) of how that takeoff/landing exception is defined? So, for example, would any congested areas within an ATZ be excepted from the rule? Or does it have to be more clearly within the circuit i.e. on approach/climb-out?

NS
#1740909
I think you're over thinking it - its defined as :
Except when necessary for take-off or landing

However this is also some exemptions in place. I suggest reading from the link below https://www.caa.co.uk/uploadedFiles/CAA/Content/Standard_Content/Commercial_industry/Airspace/Rules_of_the_air/20191129SERAABC_ANO_PermissionsExemptions_ROTA2015Consolidation(1).pdf
p16 "Standardised European Rules of the Air – Exceptions to the Minimum Height Requirements "
#1740929
Not legally worried about flying over towns near aerodromes in the UK, more about inadvertent possible "ATZ infringement"... those rules are now as clear as mud...
Somewhere to put it down if it goes quiet up front would be on my mind though wherever the aerodrome was.

Regards, SD..
#1740934
NorthSouth wrote:SERA.5005(f) says a VFR flight shall not be flown:
"(1) over the congested areas of cities, towns or settlements...at a height less than 300 m (1 000 ft) above the highest obstacle within a radius of 600 m from the aircraft"
but that's caveated by "Except when necessary for take-off or landing".

Does anyone have any experience (e.g. CAA statements or legal rulings) of how that takeoff/landing exception is defined? So, for example, would any congested areas within an ATZ be excepted from the rule? Or does it have to be more clearly within the circuit i.e. on approach/climb-out?

NS


I have no definitive ruling or case law to quote, but anecdotal discussions suggest that within a UK ATZ, if you are intending to land at or take off from an aerodrome at that ATZ then you are indeed in the process of flying "when necessary for take-off or landing".

It does beg the question of airfield published circuits which are outside the notified ATZ, perhaps for neighbourhood relation reasons, whether these "bomber" circuits meet the legal requirements of some of those regulations.
After all, an ATZ exists with the aim of protecting aircraft within from clattering with those outside.

At a private strip, you are equally defended against the "low flying rule" because, if taking off or landing, you are doing so "when necessary for take-off or landing" or as it used to be called: "in accordance with normal aviation practice"
#1741120
Rob L wrote:
At a private strip, you are equally defended against the "low flying rule" because, if taking off or landing, you are doing so "when necessary for take-off or landing" or as it used to be called: "in accordance with normal aviation practice"

But be careful; if you are doing a go around to check out the surface state if the strip, it's not a take off or landing and people have been 'done' in the past for passing 'closer than 500ft' when doing this.
#1741131
chevvron wrote:But be careful; if you are doing a go around to check out the surface state if the strip, it's not a take off or landing and people have been 'done' in the past for passing 'closer than 500ft' when doing this.

I'm struggling with this one @chevvron . :?
#1741141
There has been previous discussion on that topic, including PFLs etc.

I seem to remember that the CAA issued a statement to indicate that action would not be taken in such cases where carried out in the interests of training or safe practice etc.
#1741148
Miscellaneous wrote:
chevvron wrote:But be careful; if you are doing a go around to check out the surface state if the strip, it's not a take off or landing and people have been 'done' in the past for passing 'closer than 500ft' when doing this.

I'm struggling with this one @chevvron . :?

There was a well publiced case about 25 years ago.
Aircraft did a go around at a private strip to check out the surface state; person fishing in a fishpond close to the threshold complained to the CAA who launched a prosecution.
If I recall correctly, the complainant was an airline pilot. :roll:
#1741150
flybymike wrote:There has been previous discussion on that topic, including PFLs etc.

I seem to remember that the CAA issued a statement to indicate that action would not be taken in such cases where carried out in the interests of training or safe practice etc.


It is a slightly grey area. The CAA have issued recent guidance in which they imply that the 500' rule need not apply when, inter alia, practising PFLs. But as far as I am aware there has not been any definitive exemption granted.

As with so many things, common sense applies. IIRC there were at least a couple of incidents a few years ago where a pilot was prosecuted for low-flying and claimed in his defence that he was practising for a forced landing. On those occasions, IIRC, the evidence was fairly clear that he was not; and he was convicted. On the other hand, if you plainly were practicing for a forced landing and breached SERA.5005f then I very much doubt that you would be pursued, unless of course it turns out that there were other factors in play.

As an FI I very often take a student's PFL down to well below 500' agl on the basis that much of the training benefit is unearthed in the handling of the last 500' an not the first 1,500'. I do my very best not to contravene SERA.5005f and so far, touch wood, I've not been criticised.
terryws liked this
#1741158
chevvron wrote:There was a well publiced case about 25 years ago.
Aircraft did a go around at a private strip to check out the surface state; person fishing in a fishpond close to the threshold complained to the CAA who launched a prosecution.
If I recall correctly, the complainant was an airline pilot. :roll:

One in 25yrs and counting doesn't exactly fit with notion 'people have been done', IMO.

What other circumstances were pertinent?

It would essentially rule out go arounds. That would be a dangerous precedent. :D

Regardless I don't think it is something to get overly concerned about. :wink: