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Strip in use


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Coming back from picking up my CT in Horsham I came in to Riddells creek from the West and going by the new wind direction and speed indicators I now have in the CT I knew I was going to have to land on 02 so I came in over the threshold of 20, checked the windsock to confirm and noticed 3 cars lined up next to each other on the 02 threshold.


I had no idea who they were, what they were doing there but there was silence on the radio when I made my joining crosswind call. Still silence as I made my joining downwind, turning base and turning final calls. All the way around the circuit I was watching what they were doing but they were just sitting there on the threshold. I was getting concerned and tried to figure out the possible scenarios and what options I had. For all I knew they were just some louts that were having drag races along the strip as Riddells isn't very populated by people to keep this type of things in check.


I could possibly come in to land by just flying over them and down but what would happen if they planted the foot as I went overhead - I wouldn't see them nor they see me. Penfield (Sunbury) is only about 3 miles away so I could land there until it was cleared but then no doubt I would be charged a landing fee. There is a private strip that is parallel to Riddells about 1 mile away but I didn't know what it was really like besides it was someone's backyard.


I decided to come in low over the top of the cars and do a go around so if they did stay there they would see me trying to land and hopefully they would get the message to get off the strip. All around the circuit again I watched them and they didn't move. I started thinking that perhaps there wasn't anyone in the cars and it was some kind of message that the strip was closed. I looked closer at the strip and it all looked ok besides if it was closed then I presumed there would have been some other obstacle at the other end as well.


I came in on final thinking that I would do a long low flight along the strip to see if I could spot anything that may indicate the strip was closed first before I decided to do anything. just as I was on short final an arm came out of the window of one of the cars that seemed to be waving me in rather then trying to tell me not to land.


I now assumed that they knew I was there and coming in to land so I did but very cautiously - exactly what you don't need coming over a huge canyon on final, over obstacles (the cars) and onto a strip that is undulating to say the least whilst not knowing if they were in fact indicating for me to land or that they had some kind of murderous wish.


As I got down near the turn off there was a guy standing there with a camera to take pictures. I stopped, open the door and blasted the hell out of him telling him how dangerous it is to be using an airstrip for drag racing with no radio.


I put the CT in the hangar and as I was walking to my car I saw the airstrip owner who told me that it was him in one of the cars and they saw me when I did a go around so they stayed putt until I landed - I advised in no uncertain terms that a radio in one of the cars would have been the right thing to do - and I then stormed out of the airfield.


What would you have done?



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One of the things I love about flying is that there are are no idiots in their cars up there (here?, where?) look out)) if you get my drift. ;);)


So I would not be amused at finding them on the runway (or anywhere near it)


088_censored.gif.2b71e8da9d295ba8f94b998d0f2420b4.gif088_censored.gif.03b4fab6f26a58d5cdf75ba85c450225.gif088_censored.gif.2b71e8da9d295ba8f94b998d0f2420b4.gif088_censored.gif.03b4fab6f26a58d5cdf75ba85c450225.gif OFF!


Not sure if there has been a breach of safety/care or local council bylaws???


At least you gave them a serve Ian, ;) maybe next time a few brain cells will be called into play. ;)





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Guest disperse

moving the cars just off the strip would of been a good indication that it was clear for you to learn.. (if a radio wasn't available) and he at least could've got out of the car to signal you



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Sounds like you did the right thing Ian the only thing I can see is that it is HIS airfield and he has the right to do what ever he wants on it I don't know the arrangment you have with him for use so I can't really say anymore.


Would have been easy for him to pull off to one side though!!!


Just proves common sense isn't so common!





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This is one of the problems with a private airfield. I've often come across similar situations with aircraft, cars, motorbikes, hovercraft and even a jet-powered Hi-Ace van on the runway. I try not to lose sleep over it; I just use it as an excuse for a nice beat-up then come in and land. 9 times of out 10, I find that the runway occupier doesn't realise I'm coming in and usually clears out by the time I come around again to land. Occasionally a motorbike is after a drag down the runway, but who am I to decline, knowing that I will always win because I have the benefit of the third dimension (altitude).



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