KITE SAFETY
CODE OF PRACTICE FOR SAFE KITE FLYING

THE LAW: UK
There are a number of laws relating to kiting activities laid down by The Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Defence. (Directorate of Airspace Utilisation) Amendments to the laws were made in 1996. Relevant laws are: (Articles 55,56,76, 118 & 121 and Rule 14) The C.A.A. classifies kites as aircraft.

You must not: fly a kite more than 30 metres (100') above ground level within 5 kilometres (3 miles) of an airfield. You should avoid take off and landing flight paths.

Be aware of: low flying police & rescue helicopters, micro-light aircraft, hang-gliders and para-gliders.

You must not: fly a kite more than 60 metres (200') above ground level without special permission from the C,A,A (Kite festivals usually get special permission to fly much higher)

Local bye-laws: You must not fly a kite as to create a public nuisance, this includes noise.
Some public places, e.g., parks, camp sites etc may have a ban on kite flying.

SAFETY:
Avoid: overhead power lines at all times. Electricity can kill!

Avoid: flying near roads, busy footpaths, railways, canals & rivers:

Choose: an open, clear area for flying away from the public if possible. (Fast moving, diving or crashing kites and flying lines can hurt people.

Avoid: flying in stormy, thundery weather, particularly on beaches. (lightning can strike or static electrical charges build up and run to earth down your line and through you, you may receive burns or worse)

Avoid: flying near trees, they can entangle your kite & lines, and your kite may be impossible to retrieve.

Avoid: flying too close to other kites to avoid tangled or cut lines, damaged kites and accidents.

Avoid: startling pets and live-stock, particularly horses when being ridden.

Be aware of: the dangers of tethering your kite, (this includes tethered inflatables) always see that your anchor is secure and clearly visible. Never leave a tethered kite unattended, always be ready to take control.

Be aware of: the pull, lift and speed of some large single line kites and many multi-line sport kites.

Be aware of: the inherent dangers in the use of glass coated flying line (Manja) for fighter kites

Do not: fly in winds that are too strong for those recommended for your kite, and make sure that all knots, clips, and spars are secure and that your line is suitable for the wind conditions. Do not fly in winds beyond your strength.

Do not: run with your kite unless absolutely essential and see that the ground ahead is clear and fairly level.

Never: leave any "waste" kite materials on the flying field: Always: pick up broken spars, clips, line etc, and take them home.

Supervise: inexperienced flyers and children, SEEK INSTRUCTION before flying stunt and sport kites.

Wear: gloves to protect hands, kite line can cut deeply and cause friction burns. Do not allow the line to wrap around fingers or limbs. Keep your feet clear of kite lines and tails on the ground.

Wear: sun glasses or peaked cap to protect eyes in bright light. Protect yourself from exposure to the sun.

Kite Traction activities, e.g.; Buggying, Kite Jumping, Kite Water Activities, Kite Skiing etc: participants must be aware of the increased, special risks involved in these activities for the public and themselves. Participants should take appropriate training and take all reasonable precautions to ensure safety at all times. (CHECK ON YOUR PERSONAL INSURANCE COVER, FOR YOU ARE NOT COVERED BY OUR CLUB'S INSURANCE)

Dropping objects from the sky: C.A.A have strict rules on this activity. Check with the club officers.

Be aware that: if your kite becomes entangled in power lines (apart from the serious dangers) you may cause power failures and receive a large bill for its removal.

Club members Must follow the instructions of the appointed Safety Officer at flyins and public displays.

Be aware that: if you cause an accident you, or the club, may be liable to pay out large sums of money in compensation. (In the event of any incident, you should involve the appointed Safety Officer, make notes of the incident and take details of any witnesses. )

Compiled by Harry Peart of North East Kite Fliers:- harry.rok@virginnet.co.uk