Dear TVHGC Members
Over the last years, our sites have been threatened many times by overcrowding and poor behaviour towards land owners and other land users. The committee has worked hard on your behalf trying to improve this situation and make sure the sites remain open and available for you to fly whenever the weather is suitable. The committee was hoping the situation would improve, but within the first few fledgling days of the cross country season we have seen more incidents on sites in full view of land owners and it must not continue. When confronted, most pilots claim ignorance, have not read the site rules and are hardly ever identifiable as a member. In the most recent incident a pilot literally laughed in the face of a coach who was politely trying to educate them.
There have been multiple votes and a mandate over the years to remove the reciprocal agreements. This was with the hope to improve the situation but no action was ever taken as we are well aware of the freedom this offers our community. However, the committee now feel it is right and proper to consider, you, our members first with regards the use and preservation of our sites.
It is primarily for this reason that we are suspending the reciprocal agreements this year.
As of the 1st of April, ALL pilots using our sites will require a current TVHGC helmet sticker or TVHGC email stating proof of membership.
We will be restricting access to other TVHGC resources such as Facebook and Telegram to encourage full membership. We will also be monitoring the XC league and request the deletion of flights from our sites where the pilot is not a full member.
Please be assured this decision has not been taken lightly and I realise it may be unpopular with some members, but I ask you in this instance to consider the bigger picture. If we were to lose key sites in TVHGC, it could instantly overload sites of our neighbouring clubs and compound the situation still further. This is not just bad for TVHGC, but for the whole paragliding/hang gliding community.
It is my sincere hope that with this move, we not only ensure everybody using the sites are members and know and respect the site rules, but that we restore a sense of belonging to Thames Valley with a collective sense of responsibility on TV sites.
Know your sites, and the site rules. Refresh your memory before you fly or ask another member for a site brief. Feel empowered to help and inform other pilots who you see breaking the rules.
Lastly, have a great, safe and happy 2017 season.