Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) Safety Guidance

edited October 2013 in Safety
All, I have had numerous request to post the KAP Safety article that I authored (with input from many on this forum) in the AKA Kiting magazine this past summer. Below is the article and supporting pictures (including pictures submitted by members of this forum). I encourage all to read and add to this subject over time. I also recommend new KAPers be directed to this resource as they start their journey.

Note: This is a long article and due to size limitations this is part 1 of 2. Part two contains the summary, supporting tables and pictures.

Fly Safe

WW

***************** Text from KAP Safety article ********************** PART 1 OF 2 ******************

So You Want to Take Pictures from a Kite - AKA Kitting Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) Safety Guidance
By Jim Powers (Wind Watcher)


As you feel the kite line tugging at your fingers and that smile of wonder spreads across your face…think safety too…as your kite soars into the blue sky above pulling a camera dangling on the line above higher into the sky. You need to complete this enjoyable moment by bringing the camera and kite safely back on tera firma. The focus of this KAPtions column is on Kite Aerial Photography safety.

Kite flying and KAPing has risks. You need to know how to mitigate the risks. You need to know when the conditions are not optimum and walk away to fly on another day if the conditions so dictate. Participating safely in the fun endeavor of Kite Aerial Photography brings with it special challenges and considerations that you need to understand prior to putting your camera up in the air.

The sources for the following guidance and safety tips range from the US FAA regulations on kites, kite manufacturers safety tips, kite merchants safety tips and fellow Kite Aerial Photographers (KAPers) and pilots who contributed their thoughts on this important subject.

Kite Regulations:

Laws governing kite flying vary by country and kite fliers should take care to understand their environment prior to putting a kite into the sky. While the regulations and laws vary by country, the principles remain the same and for the most part are based on common sense.

The concept of a shared airspace to keep things in the air safely separated from each other is the main principle. Aircraft have rules to follow, minimum altitudes (generally 1000 feet) and defined altitudes based on compass headings and special restrictions near airports where planes are taking off and landing. Helicopters are granted special waivers from the minimum height restrictions “if the operation is conducted without hazard to person or property on the surface.”

The shared airspace concept also applies to kites. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regulations Part 101, Subpart B – Moored Balloons and Kites has a list of specific restrictions.
Section 101.1 (2) in the applicability section defines when the regulations apply to kites. This section states: “(2) Except as provided for in ₴ 101.7, any kite that weights more than 5 pounds and is intended to be flown at the end of a rope or cable.” Is covered by the FAA kite regulations. Many kite fliers incorrectly stop reading here and assume if their kite is less than 5 pounds (and many kites used for KAP are well under 5 pounds) and that the specific regulations in section 101 do not apply to them. For the most part this is true with the important requirement of section § 101.7 Hazardous operations. Which states:
(a) No person may operate any moored balloon, kite, amateur rocket, or unmanned free balloon in a manner that creates a hazard to other persons, or their property.
(b) No person operating any moored balloon, kite, amateur rocket, or unmanned free balloon may allow an object to be dropped therefrom, if such action creates a hazard to other persons or their property.

These general clauses apply to all kite flying including KAPing.

FAA regulations change over time. With the introduction of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drones (both smaller hobby quads and advanced aircraft) into the shared national airspace additional regulations are expected. Impacts on existing kite regulations is unclear at this time.

Common sense kite flying safety tips:

Carefully consider risks to others and property prior to putting your kite into the sky. Your kite and camera while important should be a lower priority.

- Use a safety box. A safety box is an area where your kite or KAP rig could come down in an emergency. The primary purpose of safety box is to protect people and property (not just your kite, camera or KAP rig). A good example of a safety box in a congested area could be a park, a forest canopy or even a river or body of water. The safety box should include good visibility of the kite and KAP rig throughout the flight envelope, from launch to maximum height and recovery. You need clean sight lines at all times. You may have to “sacrifice” your kite and camera (for example an emergency landing or crash into a lake or river) to avoid harm to others.

- Practice, what practice…Yes, just like basketball (no offence AI) practice is important with kite flying. Kite fliers should practice flying each of their kites in different conditions prior to putting a camera into the air. The weight of the KAP rig can influence flight characteristics, especially in lulls or heavy wind.

- Basic kite safety rules include: a) pick the correct kite for the wind conditions to avoid uncontrolled overpowering of the kite and subsequent crashes or line failures b) avoid flying over power lines (kite lines can conduct electricity with hazardous results). c) Avoid flying in electrical storms (Ben Franklin was lucky). I did a bit of research on this subject. I was amazed of the experiments in the early 1700 and 1800s and the number of injuries or even death from lightning strikes. d) Avoid flying your kites where it could distract a motor vehicle operator or spook animals (example horses). e) Avoid contact with other kites or kite lines (crossed lines can easily melt and separate). f) large kites (> 4 meters in longest dimension or > 32 SqF), sport kites, power kites all can develop significant line loads that need special equipment to anchor and control the kites. g) Avoid flying kites close to airports (specific restrictions apply, varies by country) and special permission is generally required. h) Use quality kite line and inspect prior to flight for safe and fun kite flying. Woven Dacron is my favorite for several reasons including low, stretch, easy to handle and inspect for weak points. Appropriate line strength for the kite and conditions is also important. i) A good pair of leather gloves is recommended. Saves your hands big time and helps a lot with safe kite flying when line load increases. j) A strong reel for the kite line is very important for control of the kite. I use the WW modified Stratospool reel. The reel design helps reduce the risk of kite flying by providing a simple way to quickly let line out with a brake, a simple way to lock or tie off the line, a way to wind in the kite line in under all but extreme load conditions and a simple way to rapidly wind in the kite line when the wind suddenly stops (equivalent to running backwards to keep the kite up (but without having to change location which is a big risk reducer)). This is just a partial list for kite safety.


Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) Safety Considerations:

Flying a kite with a camera on the line adds challenges that the KAPer needs to be aware of and take active steps to manage a safe experience.
- The human element (the KAPer): Two general factors impact the human KAPing experience:
o Multitasking: keeping track of the kite, the kite line, the KAP rig, camera, safety box, changing weather, R/C controller (if used), other objects in the air, people nearby. This is especially true for KAPing during the Kite launch, KAP rig attachment and camera activation and recovery at the end of the flight.
o Getting the shot. KAPers by their very nature are interested in photography and in obtaining the special shot from the air above an interesting subject. In striving for the perfect shot risks are taken that sometimes exceed common sense.

Ten Practical steps to a fun and safe KAP session:

- Step one: Advance Planning: Wind / Weather / Launch site selection and check out (done a few days or hours prior to launch). Use Google Earth or similar tool to research the launch site, identify a safety box and any special conditions (like a nearby airport). Use on-line weather data (wind speed / radar) for last minute information.

- Step two: Go / No Go fly decision. Walk the selected site to define a safety box and any special conditions prior to launching your kite. This is step that is skipped by many. Sometimes you just need to find a new location or walk a way to fly another day. Check the weather in the immediate launch location for any specific risks (building thunderstorms, weather fronts, wind speed / direction changes).

- Step three: Kite selection. Based on prior data collected and direct observations in the launch area select the appropriate kite and line for the flight. Need to select a kite that easily lifts your rig and camera but without over powering the kite or line. Bring multiple kites that cover a range of wind speeds (forecasts are often incorrect!).

- Step four: Preflight Kite inspection. Including kite frame, spar pockets, attachment points, line, bridle settings, reel for kite line and tie off points. Look for any damaged spars or kite fabric damage (especially in the high stress areas around the spar pockets and bridle attachment points). The use of a stratospool or similar kite reel also provides additional safety through improved line control.

- Step five: Launch the kite. Raise the kite up quickly into clear air. This is one of the high risk steps (launch) due to the presence of ground turbulence. The best strategy I have found is to quickly raise (or lower) the height of the kite to limit the time the kite is flying in the ground turbulence zone. Fly the kite for several minutes to assess wind speed, shifts in direction, position of kite in the safety box, confirm you selected the correct kite (wind speeds and direction change with altitude). Switch kites or positions in the safety box if required to maintain safety. Wind turbulence near the ground is one of the most common causes of “kite crashes”. Too much wind and too little wind are the second and third most common causes of “kite crashes”. You need to know this. Wind tumbles and turns as it passes by and over ground objects. A good rule of thumb in estimating how high you have to fly to get free of ground turbulence is to take the highest objects upwind of your launch area and multiply by a minimum of 2 to 3 times the height. Bottom line, you need to fly higher than the ground turbulence zone to obtain a stable kite and platform for safe KAPing. Sometimes this means flying several hundred feet off the ground to get clean air.

- Step six: Attached high visibility streamers. I use Mylar streamers of ~ 6 foot in length) to your kite line (at approximately 75-100 ‘intervals). The use of streamers is not required for kites under 5 lbs. by the FAA but I have found this helpful in providing visibility for line location, wind direction and most importantly to others who may be sharing the same airspace (think helicopters). I normally place the streamers above and below the KAP rig and at additional locations if flying higher.

- Step seven: KAP Rig Attachment, Camera Settings and Activation. Now the fun begins! While keeping a constant eye on the flying kite, tie off the kite line to an anchor or other suitable object (this is so you can have both hands free to attach the rig to the line). I use the WW modified stratospool reel to tie off the kite. The KAP rig needs to have a final inspection (best to do a preflight check before launch of the kite) for any broken parts, missing or loose nuts, Picavet Cross, lines and attachment points. The camera attachments to the rig along with a safety line need to be confirmed. Attachment of the rig to the kite line needs to be confirmed (I use the Brooxs Hang Ups (they are wonderfully simple devices)). Non safety related items include the camera basics of batteries, memory cards, (CHDK/SDM KAP scripts in my case), proper estimate of photographic exposure settings, level the rig, start the CHDK scripts (or shutter trigger) and / or rig servos (AuRiCo controller in my case), R/C controls and syncs are confirmed (for those who fly R/C rigs) … all while watching the kite. Think multitasking…think risks….that must be managed. A few additional thoughts on step 7 are listed below.

o Rushing or skipping the steps outlined here have resulted in many inflight failures (refer to pictures in this article for examples). Variations on the above steps include multiple cameras, multiple KAP rigs, multiple kites (trains). These variations add complexity and need to be accounted for.

o The size (weight) of the camera(s) and KAP rig is important. A simple rule here. Larger, heavier cameras carry more risks than lighter cameras. The DSLR camera bodies and lens can weigh well over 600-900+ grams and thus drive the need for larger kites and higher strength kite line and thus higher risks compared to lighter point and shoot cameras that weigh ~200-400 grams and can use lighter kites and line.

o Radio Controlled (RC)-Video KAP Rigs have higher risks than Auto KAP Rigs - why - RC/Video down link takes your eyes off flying the kite to look at the picture on the video display which distracts you from flying the kite. The ground controllers also use up a free hand adding more risks. Picture holding a reel with a kite pulling hard in one hand, a RC transmitter in the other hand, trying to frame a shot by aiming the camera / rig with a third hand….oh and also watching the kite…..let’s just say there is a bit of risk here. Can you do KAP safely with a RC Rig and transmitter? Absolutely yes! Is there more risk compared to Auto KAP….yep….and you need to understand the extra risks and mitigate the risks with a bit more focus on flying the kite.


- Step Eight : Confirm kite flight stability. Confirm the kite stability with the rig and camera attached while raising the kite to the desired height. Attach additional visibility streamers if appropriate. Bring the KAP rig and kite down if you need to make adjustments for any reason (e.g., higher winds aloft). Do not continue to fly if your kite is misbehaving or the conditions are changing where your KAP flight could be at risk.

- Step Nine: Fly your kite! Take action if needed due to changes in wind speed or other conditions. This is where I like the advantages of Auto KAP where you can focus on just flying and not on pushing servo controllers around on a R/C hand held box. Bring the KAP rig and kite down if conditions change to a point where the risks are too high. Keep an eye on the weather behind you (as you are properly focusing on the kite). If you walk you kite around during a flight take time to verify the kite and KAP rig continue to have safety box under them and watch out for any unexpected power lines nearby.

- Step 10: Recovery. Reverse the above steps by bringing in the kite line with a reel, by hand, by walking down the kite. Removing the visibility streamers as you go. Keep an eye on the kite while this process is underway. Common pitfalls during the recovery phase include lower wind speeds and ground turbulence as the kite nears the ground combined with a focus on the KAP rig (and not the kite) which leads to crashes. Recovery of the KAP rig brings an increase in activity (distractions from kite flying) as the multitasking factors increase. Takeoffs and landings are the high risk times for airplanes and for kites. Just like pilots take special care for takeoffs and landings (including checklists), KAPers need to do the same. Carefully pack away the camera and KAP rig but still keep a focus on the kite. Take care to keep others clear of the immediate landing area as kites tend to “dance” in the ground turbulence. Recover the kite line, streamers and kite. Carefully pack up the kite, kite line and KAP equipment. Double check that you have not left any equipment in the field. Last but not least….enjoy and share the pictures.

See part 2 of 2 below for the rest of this article on KAP Safety.

WW



Comments

  • edited October 2013
    All, I have had numerous request to post the KAP Safety article that I authored (with input from many on this forum) in the AKA Kiting magazine this past summer. Below is the article and supporting pictures (including pictures submitted by members of this forum). I encourage all to read and add to this subject over time. I also recommend new KAPers be directed to this resource as they start their journey. Note: This is a long article and due to size limitations this is part 2 of 2. Part two contains the summary, supporting tables and pictures.

    Fly Safe

    WW

    ***************** Text from KAP Safety article ********************** PART 2 OF 2 ******************

    So You Want to Take Pictures from a Kite - AKA Kitting Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) Safety Guidance
    By Jim Powers (Wind Watcher) **** (Continued)



    Special KAP Safety Considerations:

    Bump and Drag KAPing :

    Flying the KAP Rig (and camera) close to subjects on the ground (I refer to this as the “Bump and Drag KAPing”) to get a close up shot of an object (say a light house or wind mill) can add risk. Many KAPers do this to get the “best close shot”. Bump and drag KAPing leaves very little room for error if the wind suddenly stops or changes direction. You can find your rig and camera wrapped around a building or other structure which opens up a whole new set of risks. Plus you lose focus from flying the kite which adds even more risk. I prefer to fly high, free ground turbulence and clear of ground objects. Photographic zoom functions can be used to get tight shots at lower risks.

    Airplanes and Helicopters:

    The risks are real. I know from personal experience. The short version: A low flying (~ 100 feet) helicopter cut my kite line while KAPing over the Delaware River a few years back. I lost my kite (floated to New Jersey). The KAP rig and camera fell into my safety box (the Delaware River) and the helicopter kept flying with no apparent issues. The pilot and I were lucky. The safety items discussed in this article find their roots from this event. As Cris Benton and others have published and discussed the importance of safely sharing the airspace with others. A few tips. Be aware of airport locations near where you are KAPing. Use high visibility streamers on your kite line (I do this on all kite flights). You never know when a helicopter or low flying plane will show up, even if you are flying low. Be alert to aircraft sounds and be able to quickly assess the speed, height and heading of the aircraft. I have found the aircraft encounters are sudden (less than 30 seconds) leaving very little time for corrective action. Use lighter cameras and smaller kites with lighter test weight kite line. Use wide angle lens to get the high perspective shots.

    These 10 steps of KAPing and the associated risks and mitigation options with each step are summarized in the table below.

    The table provides general guidance and list possible risk mitigation options. The risk assessment process, including the definitions of probability, severity and impact are inherently subjective and should be reviewed / modified as special circumstances dictate.

    KAP Safety

    KAP Safety

    KAP Safety

    Summary:

    Kite Aerial Photography with a solid understanding of the risks and how to mitigate them can be enjoyable, fun, rewarding and a safe endeavor. There are many hobbies / sports / occupations / private aviation that have higher personal, public safety and property (damage) risks than kite flying and KAPing.

    I hope this detailed safety discussion will improve Kite Aerial Photography for both experienced and newcomers.

    Kite Safety References:

    Good news here. There are many excellent sources for safe kite flying and KAP available on the internet. I have list a few below for easy reference. I have listed the FAA regulations and few of the KAP related references at the top of the list.

    http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/fac/1805.html
    http://www.arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/background/safety.html
    http://www.arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/background/safety2.html
    http://oklahoma4h.okstate.edu/scitech/docs/geospatial/RS/KiteAerialPhotographyKitInstructions.pdf
    http://www.geospectra.net/kite/basics/basics.htm
    http://www.gombergkites.com/nkm/safety.html

    The following are pictures that supported the article:

    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
    AKA Kiting - KAP Safety - Summer 2013
  • edited October 2013
    Thanks Jim.

    Well thought out and a credit to all involved, very useful indeed. I definitely think this should go up on the KAPwiki.

    I particularly enjoyed:

    In striving for the perfect shot risks are taken that sometimes exceed common sense.

    I'm trying to print it out on paper as a supporting document for project proposals. Are there any attributions I need to include apart from the obvious 'made in the USA' label?

    Could you let us know the captions for the pics? ( unsettling selection-I have worse- but I'd have liked to see an example of a sucessful, safe outcome illustrated too! )

    One comment on the text. The added risk of using an RC rig is described but the amelioration of getting someone else ( appropriately briefed of course) to work the camera while you fly ( teamwork) is not. Scope for another KAPtions article perhaps?

    B
  • Jim,

    I'm going to post a condensed version of this on a new saftey page on the wiki. Can you let me know how it should be cited?

    B
  • edited January 2014
    Here it is:

    https://sites.google.com/site/kapwikipage/safety


    do let me know if it needs any work.My worry is its too' wordy'...

    ..i'll have to do some diagrams I think.

    B

  • 1 very nice article, Jim!
    2 Great work on the Kapwiki, Blake
    3 I've been away from KAP for tooooo long. (again..)

    Cheers all,
    Wicherd
  • edited January 2014
    I'll be adding pics to the safteywiki as I go. Please take a look and let me know I'm on the right tack!

    Wind Watcher: I haVe seriously abridged your text, I'd appreciate some oversight from you!

    B
  • I see you used my shot of my Delta in a Death Dive - glad to see it illustrate something many of us witness but seldom can get a shot of.
  • edited January 2014
    It is a remarkable and sickening shot. Larry I'd like to caption that shot correctly can you let me know how the citation should be?

    I'm thinking of adding the RA tables as sub pages but I want to reformat them for web.
  • If you're crediting it, it's Larry Cole, location Aspen Park Colorado. This was only about the third time I had put a camera aloft and the Levi got hit by a mini-vortex or something. I was shooting video with an old GoPro 960 on a homemade picavet and the camera managed to catch the delta diving as it was falling (the pic is a freeze frame). Kite and camera survived.
  • @Larrycole done. Refresh page.
  • I find that when I'm KAPing at kite festival my mind is working overtime and my head is swivelling in all directions to keep an eye on.....
    The kite...where is it, is it still stable?
    The rig and camera.... where it's pointing, what there is to take interesting shots of.
    The space around me - people, lamp posts, overhead wires, barriers, other kite lines (sometimes practically invisible) and the other kites which can move quite a lot when you're not watching,
    Where I want to go next - I'm not a static KAPer
    If I have the video down link I can show people what the camera is seeing and what I'm doing wandering around (safely) in the crowds while doing all the above!

    And.... can I eat an ice cream or have a drink while KAPing or should I take it down for a while?

    I've only had one line cut 2 years ago and the bent rig to straighten (camera was OK) in 7 years of KAPing so I must be doing something right. (I tangled with the same kite twice at Frejus last year!)

    There's a lot going on and people say it must be very relaxing going kite flying!!
    Still I love it

    Fly High

    Sue

  • edited January 2014
    @Sue, being of agile mind and keeping all the conflcts of kite flying and photography in balance is what makes KAPers special: if you stop and think of the risks element by element it all looks terrifing but experience tells us what will work ...and what won't!

    I have posted my 1st bash at a saftey box diagram:

    image

    For context see here:

    https://sites.google.com/site/kapwikipage/safety

    Unfortunately the box is a 3d thing so I'm going to have to work a bit harder to show that. Is it a cone, cube ..or something else?

    It occurred to me the box changes shape with the height of the kite and rig....comment please!
  • Looks good to me. In my delta dive photo you can just see the power lines in the trees - I was flying within my box when it went down, which it did faster than the proverbial rock. I like the ribbon on the dog stake - I hadn't thought of that.
  • I'd not overthink the safety box. To me, it's simply an awareness of what lies downwind, so that if things go wrong the gear can come down in an area where it doesn't risk damage or injuries to yourself or others. When things go wrong sometimes it involves letting out line fast to bring the gear down beyond a subject or obstruction. Sometimes we run swiftly to one side or the other. A tower in a park is an example where everywhere except the subject is the "safety box". So often, in places like fishing harbours I will walk all around with a rig in the air, with no "safety box". Nonetheless, always acutely aware of strategies if things start to go pear-shaped.

    I'm personally not particularly enamoured of the "safety box" concept and would much prefer to think of this concept as wide awareness of the flying site and downwind risks and safety strategies, in total context of the rig, the kite and the line.

    Simon
  • edited January 2014
    Simon, I'm with you there!

    WW has put such a strong text together I think his idea should be worked through. In general I find I'm most intrested in the very edges of the box most of the time: not someting I'd want to advise as method but that's how it seems to work out.

    image

    is my latest version.

    It's a useful idea although I perfer to think of a 'swept cone' myself.

  • I still have trouble judging horizontal distance when the rig is several hundred feet up. Unless it over-flys me directly overhead, I don't have a good feel for where it would crash if a spar broke.
  • edited January 2014
    @Larrycloe

    I have given this some thought and I can only come up with the reply that judging the down wind distance comes with experience. You have some clues such as the ammount of line paid out and the angle of the line to the kite. The apparent size of the kite in the sky is very difficult to judge as there are no references up there!

    I often work on assuming the line between the rig and the kite being vertical and estimating the distance the rig is from me. I test the nadir view by video relay to see what the rig is over if I'm flying an RC setup but otherwise it's not easy at all.

    Hope that helps.
  • Gents,
    Very useful article. I've recognized myself in a few described risk-situations. It lead to an idea, that I've never seen worked out.
    Could it be possible to design a kap rig that does autokap during take-off and landing, and remotely switched over to normal radio control as soon as the kite is safe and up?

    That would bring the option to completely focus on flight safety during take-off and landing WHILE you are still making photo's. We know the direction of our target, and the kite-line already, so probably camera-only control would be sufficient. Just put your rig in the desired angle and direction just before takeoff.

    Regards,

    Bas


  • Bas,
    I believe there is a controller that will let you do just that:

    http://www.kapshop.com/Rig-Parts-Motion-Control-CAMremote/c6_81_58/index.html

    but I prefer the (counter intuitive from the point of view of simplicity) 2 rig method. I launch an autoKAP rig ( I have a choice of 2 one heavy, one light) and if that goes well I then add an RC rig to the line.

    The idea is that I maximise the opportunity and get high level panoramic cover from the auto rig and directed 'close up' cover from the RC one. Doesn’t always work out and needs a lot of down wind space if the wind is light.

    I get to have a 'donkey' rig up without worry and then get a feel for the benefit of the RC opportunity. It's not always worth the faff of committing the RC rig but its always worth having a go with an auto rig.

    So there you are: my answer to your question is to fly 2 rigs. Doesn’t make sense on paper but seems to work in the sky!

    B
  • Bill. Like your work with the 3D safety box. Does help to visualize the basic idea. Fully ok to copy / reference this content on your wiki. Perhaps it should also be on the main Wikipedia pages in addition to your google page.

    Keeping KAP safe for all remains a responsibility for all of us. Thank you for the excellent work.

    WW
  • Jim,

    Thanks for the confirmation, I didn't want to ake your name in vain.

    I should point out the KAPwiki is not my wiki but goes back to 2007

    http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/discuss/index.php?p=/discussion/727/kapwiki/p1

    when Wicherd took on the task with able help from Brooks and many others, I am fortunate to have the time to add to the accumilated knowledge placed therein.

    B
  • Hi to all Kapers of this interesting, nice blog.
    I'm new here, I live in Italy.
    I'm 61 and since many years I'm a fan of KAP, too.
    My first shoots were with my old Yashica TL Electro, with the on board timer (one shot per time) ... in 1993, with Kodak dias. Entry level results ... but great emotions!
    Now I "play" with my 5 little PS Canons, all charged with their own CHDK intervalometer.

    I have read the post of Jim Powers - Wind Watcher about Kap Safety and I really think it's a quite important reference not only for all the kite flyers with cams and videocams in particular, but also for kite flyers in general.
    I would like to ask WW the permission to translate it into italian, and distribute it to my friends, of course with Author's Name.
    Moreover, I kindly suggest you to increase the KapWikia about Kap Safety, with the pictures of accidents or short reports happened, that all kapers could contribute to send.

    Thanks, kind regards

    Anemos Kite Team Verona
  • I've brought this discussion back to the top (December 2014) because there are quote a few new KAPers on the forum just now. There's a lot here but I think it's good to learn from other people's mistakes !!

    Fly High

    Sue
  • edited December 2014
    Good move Sue.

    Just to be clear: some info on height limits for kites in the UK:

    In the UK kites may not exceed a height of 30m above ground level (AGL) within 2.5 Nautical Miles or 4.6Km/2.87 statute miles (an area officially known as the Aerodrome Traffic Zone or ATZ) of the centre of the runway of an operational aerodrome.

    Elsewhere kites are permitted to fly up to 60m AGL.
    The rule of thumb is: no more than 100' within 3 miles of an aerodrome or no more than 30m within 5km of one in the new money.
    The definition of an ATZ is here: http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/DAP_ATZEstablishmentAndDimensions.pdf

    The rules on height of a kite are here: http://www.thekitesociety.org.uk/KiteRules.htm

    There are special rules for London see discussion here: http://www.arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/discuss/index.php?p=/discussion/3585/kap-rules-in-or-near-london/p1


    B


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