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  • Hot air balloons and RoWs
  • Just curious, that's all, but all this talk of footpaths and RoWs has got me wondering about what happens when a balloon lands where it shouldn't.
    How much control has the pilot got over his landing place ?
    I take it they can aim for the middle of a field OK without hitting the hedge, but what if the landowner is antagonistic towards balloons.
    Can he refuse access for the support vehicle ?
    Can he claim for damage to crops ?
    The whole idea of a crowd of people regularly dropping in on private land then expecting access with a vehicle and trailer seems at odds with the problems mountain bikers have discreetly riding along footpoths.

    Premier Icon xcgb
    Free Member

    This reminds me of my Mother in law who lived on a old raf base had dogs (mastifs Alstations staffies)

    Hot air ballon pilot calls down – I say, can we land on your fields, whilst dogs going totally mental, she just called back- feel free but I'm not responsible for what my dogs do!

    fast pull on the burners followed!

    Premier Icon sofatester
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    On the whole people who own and "fly" hot air ballons are very rich. This helps, like most things in life really.

    Premier Icon gusamc
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    hor air ballooning is the only sport I know where you set out to commit an offence.

    I believe that there is an agrement between NUF (or whaever the National Famers Union or National Union of Farmers) or whatever it is that determines compensation.
    "Several years ago the BGA and the National Farmers Union agreed a code of conduct for glider pilots landing in fields, I have reproduced that code below, it still holds good and recently the NFU have stated that they do not wish to change it. At the same time they set a maximum landing fee for both balloons and gliders of £3:50. Balloons have since exceed this figure many times over because of commercialisation, the figure was set many years ago and personally I feel £10.00 is about right now.

    If your farmer demands more, refer him to his local NFU representative, you will not know who it is but he most certainly will.

    If anyone threatens you personally, or you feel threatened then call the police immediately. They will not wish to get involved in a case of Trespass as this is a civil case, but in cases where you have been personally threatened then it is a criminal case and they have to.

    Legally the farmer is not allowed to prevent you from leaving his property or from taking your glider with you. He may expel you by force, but no more than is reasonably necessary and not before asking you to leave. He may not confiscate or impound your aircraft, if he does he is guilty of a form of theft.

    A recent case in 1998 demonstrated this fact when a court injunction was issued to prevent a landowner from detaining a pilot's aircraft.

    Once the landowner has prevented you from retrieving your aircraft he has effectively taken charge of the safe keeping of that glider. It is a amazing how quickly he will agree to your removing it if you explain this to him and point out to him the value of the equipment he has just impounded.

    Regardless of your reception, be polite, do not loose your temper and always return after your retrieve to thank, even the most belligerent farmer for his trouble. Make sure you take a note of his name and address and enter this in the land-out section of the cross-country book, he will be invited to the next farmers evening and you never know he might just come along. In addition, I always like to send a gift voucher for a trial lesson. If you have landed out along way from Lasham then get the nearest club to do it for you, obviously you will have to pay them but I think it is worth it. A little extra thank you for what is really a bit of an imposition for a very busy farmer.

    sofatester ?, apparently some people spend 3 grand on a bike as well, – lots of hire companies. I did from Bath Great Crescent – a truly memorable experience – you get such an view of what the landscape used to be (lines, marks etc etc) and from a new perspective.

    Premier Icon uplink
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    Legally the farmer is not allowed to prevent you from leaving his property or from taking your glider with you.

    Wouldn't you usually have to also get some sort of other vehicle on his land to facilitate this?
    Surely he can stop that?

    That was mainly my original point.
    I hadn't thought about gliders, I just assumed they always made it back to where they started.
    Taking the extreme case from another thread of a landowner who used force to prevent a cyclist carrying his bike along a footpath, what happens if he takes the same attitude to someone trying to collect their balloon with a Land Rover & trailer ?

    A balloon landed within sight of my house once.
    There's a track through a farmyard and across the field to a house.
    Both the farmer and the house owner are pretty easy going and saw the whole thing as a bit of a novelty.
    But what if they had refused access though ?
    Or what if they had gone on holiday for a week and locked the gate ?

    Premier Icon pjt201
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    my dad had to land a cessna 172 in field in an emergency once, the farmer wasn't too concerned about the minimal damage the plane caused, more so the 3 fire engines that turned up on scene after they put out the call on the radio that they'd had to do an emergency landing. Think they ended up paying some money to the farmer, turned out he had an old spitfire in one of his barns that he was restoring too.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    I believe it used to be the custom for the balloon team to carry a bottle of 'lubricant' to 'oil the wheels' when landing on farmland, usually scotch.

    Premier Icon higthepig
    Free Member

    I know a few balloon pilots, they are poor though, so no scotch, normally they carry a few bottles of wine as a peace offering.

    Premier Icon flip
    Free Member

    The pilot on the balloon ride i had from Shugborough Hall in Staffs just gave the farmer a bottle of Bells Whisky.

    Should have at least have been a single malt IMHO.

    Premier Icon Houns
    Full Member

    My Great Uncle was a Farmer and a Gliderist so no doubt got on ok with any Farmers whose land he happened to splash down onto

    Premier Icon nickjb
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    All balloonists fly with an OS map marked up with where they can and can't land and where they need to fly above a certain height (Usually where there is livestock). These maps are created by all balloonists feeding back to the regional rep what kind of reception they got from the land-owner. Most land-owners are friendly, some are a pain, some charge a fee. There is nothing legally binding just good manners and making life easier for yourself.

    Once landed ideally you want to get a vehicle to the landing sight so you try to land near a road/gate. Once landed you try and track down the owner and ask permission to drive in. If you can't get permission then you need to walk out carrying the very heavy kit, sometimes over gates and its several trips to carry everything.

    Premier Icon CountZero
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    Having helped unpack and inflate a balloon at the Bristol Fiesta years ago when it was unfenced I can confirm that all the kit is chuffin' heavy.

    Premier Icon mollyiom
    Free Member

    then lead balloons weigh a ton!

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I hadn't thought about gliders, I just assumed they always made it back to where they started

    So let's get this straight. You drive, sometimes miles and miles, to some countryside location, spend ages getting things ready with your exensive piece of equipment, set off, and then a couple of hours later end up back at the same place.

    It's madness, I tell'ee. It'll never catch on in these parts.

    Premier Icon esselgruntfuttock
    Free Member

    I was at a barby on a mates farm once when a balloon landed in the next field, which was grass. Matey goes over & says, 'my landing fees are….a free flight in a balloon' They keep landing there now for some reason.

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