Keeping landowners happy is an ongoing obligation for members in our sport, given that we depend on the good will of landowners for our flying sites. This includes farmers and ranchers, private corporations, ski resorts, municipalities, regional districts, provincial or federal managers of public lands – in short all launch and landing sites.
There have been a few instances in Canada this season where landowners were not happy with us. Given that HPAC/ACVL has many brand new members this year, who will soon be flying beyond the confines of their school or home site, here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Ensure that you are familiar with, and observe, the rules of the site (these may change throughout the season due to crops, etc.); the local club or pilots will have worked very hard to negotiate access to the site and to maintain it
- If you are new to a site, please always connect with the local pilots so that they can brief you on any no-go areas and orient you to the best places to fly (they always know!)
- Conversely, if you see a new pilot at your home site, introduce yourself and give them an orientation to your site
- If you must land unexpectedly, either in a no-go area, or in a place whose status you are not aware of, move your gear to the edge of the property as soon as possible after landing and remove yourself from the property; if you run into the landowner, a deferential “I’m sorry” and an explanation as to why you had to land there will go a long way
- And a final point regarding safety: always restrict yourself to only one new thing at a time: either flying at a new site OR trying out brand-new gear OR flying in conditions completely new to you (e.g. ridge soarers at a high mountain site – fly only early in the day).
Thank you for protecting our sites. They are our sport’s most precious resource.