News from the Celtic League:
‘Low flying military aircraft…does not just cause death or injury to the animals but also can lead to the deaths of horse riders’.
A number of horses had to be put down following an incident involving low flying United States Air Force jets in Cornwall (see link):
The Celtic League as part of its military monitoring for any years campaigned against the dangers caused by low flying military aircraft and helicopters. Indeed the CL campaign was itself derived from the local initiative in the Isle of Man by the Anti-Militarist Alliance (AMA) in the 1970s directed at operations around the Jurby Sea bombing range off the NW of the Isle of Man. The campaign resulted in an extension to the sea bombing range (now closed) being withdrawn and also a prohibition of low flying – below 2000 feet - over the land area of the Isle of Man by military jets (outside of the area controlled by Ronaldsway ATC).
Horses and other livestock are particularly prone to being spooked by low flying military aircraft which does not just cause death or injury to the animals but also can lead to the deaths of horse riders. Indeed the Celtic League logged a number of such fatalities in Wales, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire some years ago.
About a decade ago the Celtic League liaised with the owner of an equestrian centre in Scotland who was suing the MOD after putting up with low flying incidents for years that had injured up to a dozen horses (link):
We also supported calls from the Farmers Union of Wales for action over the issue a decade ago (link):
Both SW Scotland and mid Wales are areas where low flying is allowed at altitudes as low as 100 feet
The Cornish incident is the first serious event for several years although coincidentally social media reports on the Isle of Man referred recently to low flying by military aircraft. In the latter case its unclear if the aircraft were involved in an exercise (a weapons facility is still in use at Luce bay Scotland) or were the aircraft on test from the BAe plant at Warton on the Lancs coast.
Image: Military low flying area. Areas 20T (SW Scotland) and 7T (mid Wales) flying occurs down to 100 feet. The area of Cornwall involved in the latest incident is designated for low flying helicopters so in the circumstances the US jets seem to have breached guidelines. The area over and around the Isle of Man is a regulated or avoidance zone.
pp Celtic League Military Monitoring.