Gyro Record Breaker 2019
Amazingly the gyro community has done it again, for the third year running it has broken the record for the largest number of gyro's flying into a single UK airfield in one day.
The event has been held at Old Warden airfield in Bedfordshire. Home of the World Famous Shuttleworth Collection and James Bond's famous autogyro "Little Nellie".
Gyro's from Kent, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Merseyside, Shropshire, West Midlands, Oxfordshire, Norfolk, Essex,Hampshire, Wiltshire and more turned out in force so that we could once again establish this record.
According to a senior member of staff at Old Warden, the event attracted more visitors than some of their own evening airshows. A massive thank you to all of you that helped make this happen.
Please note the video is from 2018
James Ketchell and his Round the World in a Gyro attempt.
March 31st. James Ketchell set off on his attempt to fly around the world in a Gyro. He has already single handedly rowed the Atlantic and has Cycled around the world. He has climbed to the summit of Everest and many other incredible challenges. Norman Surplus attempted this a few years back and was sadly blocked by Russia, having made it as far as Japan he then after a long effort to get through Russia, decided to fly back again. Norman has helped James source the team that have arranged the permissions etc. on the route and was there with Family, Friends, Dignitaries and a good few Gyro pilots to send him on his way.
You can follow James's adventures........... Follow him on Instagram
On Wednesday 3rd April 2019, I was attending a meeting at Luton focusing on airspace infringements.
Every year despite lots of effort and expense both from NATS, the CAA and Gasco, infringement numbers continue to rise. Statistically and as you would expect, fixed wing account for most of these as of course most of GA is fixed wing, however 11% of last years figures were Rotorcraft.
Unusually this is one area where the CAA actually include Gyros.
The use of electronic moving maps has certainly helped reduce the number of occurrences laterally, but you would be amazed how pilots squawking 7000 are skirting around controlled airspace without talking to anyone.
The lesson that came across so clearly was that Listening Squawks are key to sorting this problem out. If a controller sees an aircraft coming towards his area of responsibility and the aircraft is squawking 7000 and not listening to the correct zone, then that controller can only guess what he or she may be going to do next.
I also learned that if any controller loses separation, which at Luton is now 3miles or 3000ft, that controller is suspended for the rest of the shift. Other areas are still using 5miles or 5000ft so hopefully they too will be reduced over time.
If that pilot was Squawking the relevant listening squawk for that area, the controller could have simply called them on the radio to clarify there intentions, this removes a massive amount of guess work and could keep the airport open.
I was shown examples of aircraft inside the zone, where pilots were blatantly lost, the airport closed whilst they blathered around not speaking to anyone. So easy to prevent, so please when flying, use the listening squawks or better still get a basic service from whoever's zone you are flying around.
It also came to light that D&D would be very happy to hear from any pilot either in a practice pan or training fix, they are there to help and want pilots to engage with them. Please just listen first to make sure there is no actual emergency in progress. The frequency is 121.5 MHz and is there to help.
The CAA made it very clear that they would like to address this issue by education, not by prosecution. Prosecution is happening only in the most serious cases and interviewing in the less serious.
Please put the word around your local clubs and airfields to use the listening squawks and speak to controllers. They will wherever possible accommodate requests for transits, be clear about your preferred track, entry and exit points, VRP's where possible. This will give the controller confidence and help his decision on what path to allow you.