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Crook Peak Bottom Landing Closed

As you may be aware, an Avon member was extremely fortunate to escape death below Crook Peak on Saturday, 7th August, when he overflew the bottom landing field and crashed into the high voltage power lines on the other side of the river (See Report Here). As mentioned in a previous message here, we were aware that the Estate were on the verge of removing the current tenant of the bottom landing field, with whom we have a good relationship; unfortunately, the new tenant will be the lady who farms the field containing the power lines who is now extremely anti-free flying.

The National Trust, who control the Peak itself, are being very supportive of our right to fly but the absence of a bottom landing option (and difficulty of top and side landing) means that, until further notice, Crook Peak must be restricted to experienced pilots only. For the purposes of this message I consider 'experienced' pilots to be those with in excess of 100 hours airtime - it is VERY difficult to land on the side of Crook Peak without damaging your equipment or yourself. I would also request that no pilot flies the hill unless they already have experience there. Needless to say, do not launch unless you are as certain as you can be of staying up. John Fielder continues to pursue the various parties in an attempt to resolve the situation in a manner favourable to ourselves and the Condors, with whom we share the site.

I realise that the above may seem a little strict, but please bear in mind that the accident would not have happened had the pilot concerned (who was wearing a red ribbon) heeded the site rules which state that 'Pilots with less than ten hours flying are recommended not to fly in anything other than a SSW/SW wind'. The wind was 90 degrees off to the SE.

The above is mainly directed at Paraglider pilots - I do not imagine a resurgence of Hang Gliding interest in Crook Peak in the immediate future (!) but, for those of you who do fly it please do not go down!

Thank You

Rich Harding

Reported on 24/08/1999 by Rich Harding