AGHHHHHH RAF jets!

MagicMelon

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I KNOW Ive moaned about them before but AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

One came over today SOOOOOOOOOOO damn low and sideways making a horrific sound. There is no way in hell it was above the legal minimum height limits! No way!

It scared me, let alone the horses! Ive just bought a youngster who I am in the process of backing, imagine if Id just been getting on or something (not that Im at that stage yet)?! Or if Id been on one of my others who has bolted occassionally if really freaked out.

Im fed up being on one of their flight routes. Why the hell cant they change routes? Fed up with them, I really am. Have phoned them before to complain but they do nothing - they just patronise asking me how high I thought it was and that it probably looked lower than it was. AHHHHHHHHH
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Christmas_Kate

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A helicopter came really low over the yard the other day. It was so low you could recognise the pilot! We get them from wittering, n. luffenham etc, and they have to come low for training purposes, doesnt stop it pi**ing me off though. I was just thankful I wasnt riding at the time!
 

pixie

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Yehp, we have them flying overhead here. I'm pretty sure they enjoy locking on to tractor too!
Very low, very noisy (terrifies the dog!) and very irregular days/timing so you're never really sure when to expect them..
 

Forget_Me_Not

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Do you wear a reflective jacket etc? We have been told to when riding or around young horses etc etc because its not like their lookig out for things like that.. could be an idea to try it when it comes to riding your baby!!
 

guisbrogal

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One came over us yesterday just as I was leading my friends horse back to his stable, after he had spooked over a 'loose towel in the yard'
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He had an absolute fit which is quite unnerving when you are dangling from the end of a 2' lead rope
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lizzie_liz

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ok this topic REALLY gets to me, my horses have all lived at the end of runways and for 3 years they live on an RAF base and not once have these horses been at all bothered by the aircraft. i have had a harrier hover at very low level over me and horses head and she was fine. i have a air ambulance fly right over horses head as it was coming into land at our yard and again all the horses just ignored it.
my old boarding school is the end of RAF runway and we have had red arrows do displays over the school and the horses were not bothered. a hercules flew below low fly level and my friends horse was more bothered about the plastic bag than the plane.

another question to ask all you lot who whinge about this...the planes were probably flying there before you moved there, therefore it was your choice.
-if your that bothered why don't get the flight plans from the RAF bases and work around that.
 

polaris

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Have to agree with Lizzi.....We are still at a fast jet station and there is a breaking and hunting yard at the bottom of the road. The RAF have been incredibly obligeing and notify the owners if there is a a runway change. We have had horses at an active RAF station and both our horses and our dog do not bat an eyelid. In fact our dog is a bit of a NATO potato and loves to watch Harriers in the vertical hover...Nowt more noisy than that. There are 2 riding schools incredibly clos eto our old Harrier station and I have not heard of any accidents caused by the aircraft...Plenty caused by bad drivers!
 

Clodagh

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Chill, L-L!!

Although I do agree with you, we live VERY close to Stansted, and get allsorts coming over. I was having a lesson a couple of weeks ago and a helicopter landed in the paddock next to me. My neds are all so steady to planes/trains/automobiles! The lesson was on my youngster and she didn't turn a hair, but she came from Scarborough so maybe theres lots of bases up there?
 

siennamiller

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mine is the same. This is the horse that spooked at a butterfly not long ago
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, but a chinook came over very low the other day and he just stood and watched it. I have to say tho, they obviously saw me and seemed to slow down and go a bit higher, I think it is important to be visible and stay relaxed.
 

1588

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Have run a trekking centre for years where i live and then the RAF built a fast jet training base 500m away. NO PROBLEMS at all, the kite surfers on the beach, now they are frightening!!!

Horses learn to live with them very quickly and there's nothing like an old horse to teach a youngster.
 

clipclop

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I'm with you on this.
I have always lived near an air base and out of all the ponies and horses I have ever had they have never had a problem with any aircraft. Now dustbins out on the road waiting fir the bin man,,,,,,vvvvveeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyy scarey!!!!

When we used to have an Air Day here, I swear the horses stood in the field and checked out the different types of planes that they weren't familiar with. I reckon they had thir "Geeks anonymous planespotting for beginners" book out on those days.
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OK, OK, I'm leaving.
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C x
 

MagicMelon

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lizzie - no offence, but just because your horses are used to them, certainly does not mean all horses are! Yes, my horses ARE quite used them as they fly over here all the time. However, what I disagree with is when they are clearly flying ILLEGALLY low!! My father is a pilot (not in the RAF though I may add) so he KNOWS the legal requirements and even he admits some do NOT stick to this.

What is the point in getting a flight plan from them? I cant stop them flying right over my place! Like I said, I do NOT have a problem with them flying over, only when they fly TOO low! YOU try sitting on a youngster (who is NOT used to these) when a jet hurtles overhead!!

PS. Funny you should mention those vests as I got mine in the post this morning!!!
 

polaris

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If it is so evidently illegal, contact your nearest RAF station with the time and grid reference and ask to speak to Ops. Put a report in and maybe you can gets some answers that would satisfy you.
 

Blackhawk

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It is often percieved that aircraft are ower then they are. RAF pilots are not cowboys. The majority of the flying you'll see at low level is training, and often if it's a two seater aircraft they'll have an instructor or a nav with them who guides them. If they go too low they will have alarms sound. They also have all sorts of hazards to deal with. At 600 miles an hour at low level you have to watch out for birds, other air traffic, pylons, etc. So they don't do it just for laughs.

Just because your father is a pilot doesn't mean he can accuratly percive distances either. I fly and I am forever being corrected by my OH who is an RAF pilot when I point at civvy aircraft and comment on how low they are.

So I'd kindly ask you not to point fingers and accuse people of illegal actions. If you're going to then at least phone up your nearest station ops desk and complain.

Also by obtaining a flight plan you'll know when the aircraft are going to fly so you can avoid riding for the couple of minutes that they'll be in your area.

The best thing that you can do is wear high visibility clothing if you know you're in a low flying area. Pilots CAN see you.

The MoD does it's best to accomodate everyone, but it is an impossible task. Personnel still need trained. If they suddenly weren't able to preform due to a lack of training then what sort of risk would that pose?
 

vivhewe

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We had the pleasure of the company of two RAF helicopters this afternoon - we are combining at the farm and seriously thought that something had gone disasterously wrong, and when you have machinery and people dotted around you are always a little bit on edge in case anything happens. It made the air vibrate (I know it sounds silly but if you've ever experienced it you will know what I mean).

The horses were galloping around like crazy as they flew right over the top of them (and they are 5m away from the house!) and luckily nobody was riding but it annoys me when I don't get sent reflective gear when it is obvious there are low flying aircraft right above us!

I didn't use my noggin and photograph it or I'd be compelled to write a letter of complaint
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lornaA

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My horses very good with jets and helicopters, its usually me they terrify. Just a few weeks ago i had my horses tied up in yard eating their t when a jet came over it made me jump but my horses just watched it then back to their t.. I sat and watched it and it was obviously flying round and round in circles as it went over bout 6 times and i'm sure it was same one. It would come really low then soar away up over the hill behind the farm. No way was it within the low flying limit absolutely no way, You could see the pilots! No fun if your horse is scared though as these jets are so fast you don't hear them till they are on you hence why they make me jump.
Maybe if you keep your horses in a low flying area for long enough they will get used to it, I can only assume thats why mine have so far been ok.
 

Blackhawk

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[ QUOTE ]
We had the pleasure of the company of two RAF helicopters this afternoon - we are combining at the farm and seriously thought that something had gone disasterously wrong, and when you have machinery and people dotted around you are always a little bit on edge in case anything happens. It made the air vibrate (I know it sounds silly but if you've ever experienced it you will know what I mean).

The horses were galloping around like crazy as they flew right over the top of them (and they are 5m away from the house!) and luckily nobody was riding but it annoys me when I don't get sent reflective gear when it is obvious there are low flying aircraft right above us!

I didn't use my noggin and photograph it or I'd be compelled to write a letter of complaint
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[/ QUOTE ]

Helicopters can be cleared to lower heights than jets as they are slower and larger and are less dangerous at low level. Working at low level also gives them the training that they need before they go to places like Iraq where they drop off troops and supplies.

I live about 1/2 mile away from an RAF base and my house is on the approach. I asked the MoD for reflective gear, but wasn't sent any so I'm going out to buy some myself! They only had limited number of kits and for those who didn't get one they've offered a discount on other reflective gear. Very fair of them IMO.
 

Paratus

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[ QUOTE ]
I sat and watched it and it was obviously flying round and round in circles as it went over bout 6 times and i'm sure it was same one. It would come really low then soar away up over the hill behind the farm. No way was it within the low flying limit absolutely no way, You could see the pilots!

[/ QUOTE ]

*sigh* It's funny how EVERYONE seems to think every jet they see is below the low flying limits. Do you know what the limits are?

Jets can fly at 250ft at up to 520kts routinely. In certain areas, they can fly at 100ft. Helicopters can fly at 100ft and in certain areas, as low as 50ft.

If you live near Dumfries, you live in Low Flying Area 16. Underneath LFA16 is a tactical low flying area called LFA20(T), which can be used for what we call Operational Low Flying training; that's when you get jets down to 100ft and sometimes up to 500-odd kts.

We only have three tactical LFAs; LFA20(T) in the south west of Scotland, LFA14(T) in the extreme north west of Scotland, and LFA7(T) in the middle of Wales. We keep our very low flying to uninhabited areas and do our best not to fly over anyone, but at the end of the day most of the country is splattered with buildings, houses, and farms; so some people will get overflown.

When flying at low level we're all terribly professional and do our utmost to stick to all the rules. The same jet won't have flown directly over you 6 times as we're explicitly forbidden from overflying the same point more than twice on a given low level sortie unless it's operationally necessary.

On anything bigger than a training jet, everything in the sortie is recorded and debriefed afterwards; so if the crew were flying below their authorised MSD (minimum seperation distance) then they'll be in a whole world of trouble when they land. You just CANNOT get away with breaking the rules. In a training aircraft, MSD is judged visually; you can't use an simple barometric altimeter to get your height at low level, so everyone does their best to make sure they're at what looks like 250ft. We even restrict students to 500ft to make sure there's no doubt!

If you have a particular issue with low flying, then there is a system by which you can have your farm marked as an avoid. You'd need to prove actual damage or danger through low flying, so if your horses are absolutely fine I don't think you'd be too lucky.

99.9% of riding schools for the disabled, for example, are marked as avoids. Big events get marked too even if they're only around for a couple of days (there's always some big ride out thing going on near Coldstream). Helicopters and things moving quite slowly WILL be able to see clear, reflectively marked things, and if it's not operationally necessary they'll do everything they can to avoid overflight. Unfortunately, with the world moving under you at 420kts+ it's very very difficult to see and avoid such small things on the ground; but we do still try!
 

Paratus

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[ QUOTE ]
One came over today SOOOOOOOOOOO damn low and sideways making a horrific sound. There is no way in hell it was above the legal minimum height limits! No way!

Im fed up being on one of their flight routes. Why the hell cant they change routes? Fed up with them, I really am. Have phoned them before to complain but they do nothing - they just patronise asking me how high I thought it was and that it probably looked lower than it was.

[/ QUOTE ]

They're not patronising you, they're right. Unless you've done an awful lot of flying yourself, it's very difficult to be able to assess the height of an aircraft overhead. And, without reading my post above, can you tell me what the legal limits are? Regarding your father's flying experience, is he aware that the civil limit for MSD is double that of the military?

Unfortunately, your military do need to train; especially with the amount of activity going on right now! Low flying is a very, very perishable skill; you need to practice it very frequently or you lose your abilities very rapidly. It's exceptionally complicated; the aircraft you see, unless they're small training aircraft, are probable working as one element of a formation of between 2 and 30 aircraft, and the coordination is very tricky.

Regarding routes, we can't change routes because we don't have any! Every LL sortie is different, and they're planned on the day or the day before depending on the training objectives, the task, and the weather. Some training bases have "standard routes" for teaching students, but from fairly early on everyone's planning their own routes based on where the weather'll let them go.

You can get information about large scale exercises and see where activity is going to be at its highest, but anywhere away from major built up areas in decent weather has a risk of jets appearing.

Without wanting to patronise, think how lucky you all are the air force isn't the size it was in the 1970s!!!!
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henryhorn

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I agree they do seem to use the same routes over and over again. We live part way up the side of a steep valley and they use it regularly to practise, we also have a massive pale blue barn right on the skyline, and I swear they use it as a landmark too.
Mostly here the horses ignore them, new ones take a while to settle in, but the worst times are when they appear at full speed from low down and hurtle over the house, I've seen people in the pool duck underwater they frightened them so much!
I would ring the number from directory enquiries or write to them, I did and to their credit they don't seem to skim quite so near to our trees anymore.
We did have an avoidance area for hot air balloons and helicopters etc when we kept deer, stupid animals they were used to panic and run full tilt into the wire fencing if one appeared.
try complaining and see what happens, I understand they have to practice somewhere, but like youm why does it always seem to be near me!!!
 
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