High Hopes in the French Alps

Mont Blanc Start Gate!

Well we’ve never seen so many pilots swarming ’round Mont Blanc ever! It was the best and most incredible day for top landing the mountain. As usual we were grounded with students, but having said that next year the plan is to book out these few weeks in August and do some high Mont Blanc attempts ourselves… me, I was chomping at the bit, and on the verge of handing in my notice! It looked like a start gate gaggle up there!

As it happens there has been some controversy over the amount of pilots who totally disregarded  the ‘restricted airspace and areas’.  The helicopters at this time of the year are really busy keeping the huts replenished and fishing people off the mountain, doing their rescues. Apparently, they were winching someone off the side of the mountain and were having to contend with paragliders flying underneath and around and about them during a rescue. It seems there may be some slapped wrists over the total disregard of the rules.

There were some pilots who did respect the rules and approached the mountain from the correct side.  So that’s this years Mt. Blanc summit flying over… We wait to see if there is going to be a new ruling considering this in Chamonix now, if the pompiers and helicopter pilots put in official complaints we may be looking at a restriction or a ban…. hope not!

On the 20th August, there was another attempt and it was another free for all, with pilots who were not clued up on how to gaggle fly, jumbling up the sky in a mess! It’s a tough one to regulate!

As this weather seems to be hotting up even more these days, it seems that the Mont Blanc summit flight may become a bit of a regular thing now… so long as pilots respect the rules!

There were many more pilots up there than actually submitted their flights on the logs, maybe it was those that infringed on the restricted airspace that refrained from uploading.

Even so… it was a great day, and wish I could’ve been part of it… Enjoy the video pilfered from our local flying club!

August 21, 2012 - Posted by | Flying, One to One Tuition

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