Pete Cushion kindly composed the following. It is important that individual members use this to report the sad state of the lane as Wiltshire Highways do not respond to emails from the club.
Any members of the White Sheet Radio Flying Club who have visited White Sheet Down recently will be aware of the very poor state of the track and the increasingly deep channels that the winter weather has caused. It is only a matter of time before normal road vehicles will not be able to get to the top of the hill!
The track is the responsibility of Wiltshire County Council and in common with most county councils at the moment, maintenance of such Rights of Way are being given low priority.
Your Committee has ascertained that raising this topic with the council on behalf of the club will not carry any weight. We have been advised that to get any traction on this problem the best way to proceed is for individuals to report the problem to the council personally. Weight of numbers might result in a better chance of remedial works being undertaken.
If the track becomes impassable in the future there will be no point in complaining to the club committee as they are powerless to influence the council on this matter except as individuals. This problem needs concerted action by the club members.
To report this problem on the council website only takes a few minutes and anyone can register and report this issue. It is not restricted to people who reside in Wiltshire.
Therefore, in the interest of your club and all the membership I urge you to register on the council website and then report the ‘Potholes’ located on the upper part of White Sheet Lane.
1) Firstly, access the following Wiltshire CC site –
2) Click on the ‘My Wilts online reporting >’ icon. This will open a ‘Welcome to MyWilts’ page. On this page, click on the dropdown icon on the far right of the header line. Here you will see the prompt to Sign in/Register. When you click on this icon you will see a page that prompts you to either’ sign in, or register. Complete the registration form. If you are already registered this is also were you sign in to your account.
3) Sign into your account. You will now see the ‘Welcome to MyWilts’ page again. This time click on the ‘Report It’ icon on the header line. On the page that opens select the ‘ Roads, pavements and foothpaths’ option. This will open another list of topics. Select the option ‘Pothole’.
You will now see an interactive map. On the left-hand side of the page click on the ‘Pothole’ option. Now place your cursor on the map and locate White Sheet Lane. You will need to Zoom-in to see the lane and also to be able to click on the lane to raise the report. You will repeatedly be prompted to Zoom-in until you reach the necessary map detail. Next, click on the lane and you will be prompted to ‘Report a pothole’ at this location. Complete the Report Form.
Revised Level 3 Flying Restrictions from 14/9/2020 until further notice
Your Committee have reviewed updated BMFA advice and advise the following for members and visiting fliers. This is in addition to the advice already supplied about ensuring your fitness to go to the Down and fly.
It’s a game of two halves, everyday flying and competitions/events
We cannot provide a person at the slope at all times to ensure compliance with social distancing with the result that the default number of people from different households allowed to fly at any one time is 6. In order for this to happen it is important that you email name, date, time in and time out to our track and trace email database at:
We will keep an eye on it and if it is looking busy we will try and let you know.
This data will be kept for 21 days for NHS use if there is an outbreak. It is also important that you also email the above address if you develop symptoms after visiting the Down so that we can inform NHS.
Some members (actually, just Midweek Mike and me) have volunteered to be covid policemen at the time they are at the slope, so it may be possible to run two groups of 6 providing track and trace data and social distancing happens.
Given that social distancing is required at all times, we suggest a flight-line max of 4 people as this should ensure clarity of communication between fliers over the 6 metres
Competitions and Events:
We will do a number of things before hosting an event:
1/ Risk assessment
2/ BMFA questionnaire
3/ Provide a volunteer covid policeman/woman for the duration
The What3words app can be used to aid location in times of emergency. It can also be used for navigation by anyone who has the app on their phone or device. The relevant words for each of our main slopes will be posted, in this case, starting with the SW bowl, they are stressed.reinvest.clash
Had to chuckle as these words can describe some of the emotions that go through our minds when we are contemplating flying.
We have issued various advice since the start of lockdown, from “No Fly” to “Turn Up, Fly, Go Home” whilst always urging members to follow the over-arching advice that emanates from Government and other bodies. Indeed the BMFA generated the “Turn Up …” which is still a good one.
We reiterate this advice and ask that people use their common sense in its application. Health and safety both on the ground and in the air is a two way street. Whilst we will provide some sanitization facilities, it is also incumbent on members to follow social distancing and sanitization guidelines, including provision of your own PPE and anti-bac. This is particularly appropriate for touch points over which we have no control, the gates for instance.
At events prior to the bug we have always kept a log of attendees. This continues and takes on additional relevance as it provides our track and trace information. We therefore ask that you provide your name and contact telephone number to whoever is organizing an event (that includes you, Pike)
We do ask that you observe proper distance when setting up your kit and communicating with other members. Clearly, another member, or their glider, is a touch point, so please exercise caution even if it is the latest bright, shiny scale or Baudis model!
Events are by their nature, Outdoors, and we understand this to currently entail a maximum attendance of 30 persons. With many members shielding we have not got anywhere close to this number this year, but do not be surprised if the organizer suggests that we are at max and urges attendees to act accordingly.
It is important that any visitors to an event are made aware of the above, whether fliers or observers.
Anyhow – this is as of 2nd September, it could all change and we will endeavor to review accordingly.
PS – apologies for the z in sanitisation – Microsoft keeps thinking we are all American
Everythree years all USAV operators (Unmaned Small Aerial Vehicles) need to sit, and pass, an online test to qualify for a Flyer ID
Minimum age: None, but children under 13 can only register with a parent or guardian present.
For those without internet access a hard copy of the test will be available. (Details yet to be confirmed)
Exemption from the Test for those holding a BMFA proficiency scheme “A” Certificate has been agreed.
Important information for BMFA members
BMFA members will not be required to take the DRES test with the current online system. With permission an alternate online DRES test will be offered through the BMFA direct at a later date. (Details yet to be confirmed)
For those without internet access a hard copy of the BMFA DRES test will be available at a later date. (Details yet to be confirmed)
There is an annual fee for registration as an operator of £9.00
Operators will be issued an Operator ID
Label any drones and model aircraft you’re responsible for with your Operator ID
Important information for BMFA members
BMFA members are not required to register as an operator with the current CAA online system. With permission the BMFA will administrator Registration and the annual £9.00 p.a. fee for its members. This will take place initially by 31 January 2020
White Sheet Members
You may choose to register and take the test independently with the CAA online system but please be advised, your membership of the BMFA is a condition required by White Sheet RFC to maintain compliance with the National Trust.
As it stands today, as members of the BMFA you can choose to delay your DRES registration and test process in favour of completing requirements through the BMFA with your annual BMFA membership renewal. (Full details of this service are yet to be announced)
Full responsibility for safe operation remains with the person operating the UAV.
It is up to individual operators to assure themselves of the accuracy of the data and comply with all UK drone rules and regulations.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE FOR ALL MEMBERS
Nationally there has been an increase in claims on the BMFA insurance resulting in an increase in premiums for 2019.
Other than an emergency caused by equipment failure this should not happen if members are flying in accordance with club rules and the safety guidance provided by the BMFA.
In particular pilots should:
Only fly when standing on an agreed flightline for the conditions on the day.
Stand within communication distance of each other when flying.
Do not fly over or behind the flightline.
Do not fly over the pits, people, or parked cars.
Before each flight check that the failsafe for your particular Rx is correctly set and consider the SWEETS and SMART Acronyms.
– Where is the sun in relation to where you will be flying? Will it affect your flight patterns? What actions will you take if you accidentally fly ‘through ’ the sun? Should you be wearing sunglasses? Remember that low sun in winter can be a particular problem.
W – Wind
– Consider the wind strength and direction. How will this affect your flights? Will you have to modify your normal launch and, especially, your landing patterns? From your local knowledge, will there be any turbulence with ‘this’ wind direction and strength? And how bad might it be?
E – Eventualities
– What will you do if you hear or see a full size aircraft or helicopter flying at low level near the slope? What if the landing area is suddenly obstructed when you are on finals to land? What will you do if members of the public enter the slope.
E – Emergencies
How will you warn other field users if you have an emergency?
T – Transmitter Control Are you familiar with the system and understand how it works?
S – Site Rules
– Are there any specific site rules you should be aware of? Most importantly, where are the no- fly zones or dead airspace areas on the site?
Before Connecting Drive battery or starting engine check:
S – Switches ON (Tx before Rx)
M – Model selected is correct.
A – Aerial secure / extended if appropriate.
R – Rate switches all in correct positions.
T -Transmitter voltage good and Trims all in correct positions.
Apologies if this is seen as teaching an elderly female relative to suck eggs, but it is in all our interests to ensure that we operate and fly our models in a safe manner and that we maintain our excellent safety record..
WITH THANKS TO DAVID BRADFIELD AND FROME MODEL FLYING CLUB.
Please go here to see the new policy
Ladies and Gentlemen. A cautionary note on FRSKY RX and Futaba TX combinations. Please check that your FRSKY RX link cannot be broken by other 2.4 Ghz TX’s. Refer supplier or manufacturer for relevant firm/software upgrades. Info obtained from Ian Duff and Chris Williams via SSUK and others.
What a glorious day, wall to wall sunshine, rolling country side bursting with spring life, full size gliders being tugged to stratospheric height, most of the Phillips house hold all the way from Eastbourne and a north easterly breeze to keep us cool.
What more could we have asked for?
Whitesheet members, that’s What!
I arrived at the top of the hill at 10.00 shortly to be joined by JP, Wendy and Olivia.
We exchanged pleasantries, loaded ourselves up and headed for the slope. I’m sure the NE facing slope moves further away each year! We set up base just as our esteemed chairman Chris arrived and that was it? No one else arrived, not a sausage!
Well, we had enough pilots, Trophies had been polished, points needed to be earned for the Tallis wining Vagabond, Vino needed handing out to the Victors and conditions were improving.
JP was up first flying his Wildthing and in the slightly iffey lift conditions he went for the further out approach to start his loops. John completed 9 loops and landed 11 mtrs from the spot.
Olivia was up next flying her Wildthing and obviously was going to follow Dads idea by flying safely away from the slope ( I think I need to go to spec savers). Olivia managed 1 loop and landed 10.5 mtrs from the spot.
Chris, flying his ELF dlg gallantly forced his model through the by now increasing breeze to pull 13 loops and land 16 mtrs from the spot.
Joe, Flying his trusty McMeekin Predator completed 16 loops and landed 1 mtr from the spot.
JP Now went for the ‘lets try high approach’ with 14 loops and 1.5 mtrs from the spot.
Olivia sticking to the (flying in the next county) approach upped her loops to 5 and landed 18.5 mtrs.
Chris beat us all in this round with the most loops at 18 and landed at 5.5 mtrs (actually he landed a lot closer but the wind caught his little Elf and flipped over before we could measure it)
Joe, managed to gain some great initial height before doing 17 loops and land at 2 mtrs.
JP, Now going for the ‘ lets see how low we can go and still recover to the top’ popping in the most loops for the day at 19. Then worked way back up to land at 2 mtrs
Olivia, Upped her loops to 8 and gracefully landed 3.5 mtrs from the spot.
Chris having now switch models to his Mark Drela Allegro (broken fin on the ELF) pulled 8 loops and landed at 10.5 mtrs.
Joe, trying the close in approach managed 15 loops despite landing at the bottom of one! And managed to land at 3 mtrs.
So there you have it, a great day socially, fending off inquisitive cattle, fresh coffee with shortbread supplied and served by Chris and we all agreed that trying to identify the various light aircraft that passed by during the day must be Spitfires!
Most improved pilot of the day has to go to Olivia Phillips, Well done!
Loops and Spot (the Whitesheet Members ;-))
And to top it all, we all left with a bottle of vino each.
WSRFC comp sec