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Riding Safely

Low Flying Aircraft

"Stop Lowflying" website launched
The North Yorkshire rider who recently formed an action group in a bid to stop lowflying helicopters and jets spooking horses (November/December news) has now launched a "stop lowflying" website. 
Linda Butler-Blades who is leading the campaign says through her website "there have been growing concerns over recent years of the incidents caused by lowflying military aircraft in rural areas.  For a long time these have gone unreported until the sad death of the rider Mrs Heather Bell in June 2003.  Since that time many more incidents have come to light, however the lowflying along with the distressed animals and humans continues".
The website contains an online petition, the ability to report lowflying incidents and MOD operational timetables and  calendars to identify in advance where and when lowflying will occur.
"We want to present a petition to the government to highlight the strength of feeling in the country at the disturbance caused by these aircraft" says Linda.
The "Stop lowflying -- give us back our countryside" website can be found at www.stoplowflying.co.uk


New Helicopter Hotline Goes Live


Following an announcement from Ivor Caplin, Under Secretary of State for Defence, a new freephone advisory service for members of the public enquiring about low flying military helicopter activity went live from Tuesday 1 March 2005.


The number to call is 0800 51 55 44 from 0800 to 1700hrs, Monday to Friday. During British Summer Time the hours will be extended until 2000hrs.


Mr Caplin said he was delighted to introduce this new advice line "The Ministry of Defence takes seriously its responsibilities when conducting essential low flying training. This new freephone service demonstrates our commitment to improving communication with the public on this issue."


The service will provide daily advice on planned low flying military helicopter activity in the relevant Low Flying Areas, including confirmation of whether low flying helicopter training is taking place and information on the expected number of helicopters planning to operate.


These forecasts will be valid at the point of issue, but members of the public should be aware that all military helicopter activity may be subject to change at late notice because of altered weather conditions or operational requirements.


This new advisory service has been introduced as part of an MOD review of low flying military helicopter training. It responds to one of the recommendations made by the Louth & Spilsby District Coroner, who held the Inquest into the tragic death of Heather Bell in June 2003.


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