Sunny days plagued by phantom aviator

DAY in, day out in good weather, the parishes of Hovingham, Slingsby, Barton and Appleton-le-Street are plagued with a stunt pilot flying a very high powered noisy plane over us for hours on end.

The whining, screaming, noise emitted as the plane is thrown about the sky spoils many a peaceful sunny day and the pilot never seems to get fed up of it, as sometimes it can be flying for up to eight hours a day.

I wrote to the CAA who said they were powerless to take action on the grounds of noise, but that if I could get the plane’s number (!!!), they would contact the pilot and ask that he or she should extend their footprint.

I am advised that such noise is not classified as a statutory nuisance, nor is it covered by Noise Abatement Act or the Environment Protection Act. It seems that once you are off the ground you can make as much noise as you like with gay abandon.

To me stunt aircraft operating over our area is an accident waiting to happen as we frequently have RAF low flying under radar in planes capable of high speeds, while the stunt pilot continues, seemingly oblivious of the military activity in the close proximity.

I would like to take this up with the powers that be as a safety issue. But at the moment as I have no details of the pilot or number of the plane, so I am hitting a brick wall.

If anyone can throw any light on the noisy phantom aviator I would like to pursue the matter further.

Peter Bell, Slingsby

Ponder experience

AFTER the Tour de Yorkshire had hurtled through our town, and as the crowds were dispersing, we got chatting to a fellow spectator from Pennsylvania.

This is a state in the USA where fracking for shale gas is widespread. He said one problem of great concern to his fellow Pennsylvanians is the rotten state of their roads.

The thousands of truck journeys involved in the construction of well sites and then the relentless to-ing and fro-ing of tanker lorries bringing in the vast quantities of water required, and ferrying out the toxic waste-water, is causing real damage.

I must admit this was not an aspect of the issue that I had previously considered. It was fascinating suddenly to be talking to someone who actually lives alongside the shale gas industry, and our conversation was all too brief.

I wish some of our local politicians had been able to hear him. Those among them who are continually declaring war on Ryedale’s potholes, yet support the development of a shale gas industry in our region, would do well to ponder over his experience.

S Jennings, Pickering

Natural instinct

HOW many more people have to be hurt or killed by wild animals kept in confinement before we accept that these animals do not belong in captivity?

Every year, we see – yet still fail to learn – that caging them brings tragedy to both them and humans. No amount of time in a zoo, circus, or marine park can take away their natural instincts, and denying them the chance to engage in any of the activities that give their life meaning is torment for them – so it can hardly come as a surprise that many lash out when they get the opportunity.

Even the “best” zoos can never meet all the unique environmental, nutritional, and social needs of the various species they imprison. As long as we continue to treat wild animals as living exhibits, it’ll only be a matter of time before we’re talking about the next victim of a captive-animal attack.

With so many enthralling and humane ways to learn about animals, there’s never any reason to buy a ticket to the zoo.

Jennifer White, PETA UK, London

Fracking report

IT will have escaped the notice of some that Parliament and the public may have been misled on the likely impact of shale development on climate change.

This is the conclusion of a Talk Fracking report published in the latest edition of Ecologist and available online. In September 2013, the Mackay/Stone report persuaded the government and our then MP that “with the right safeguards in place, the net effect on UK GHG emissions... will be relatively small”.

In arguing this, and to justify their fracking stance against informed opposition, the government ignored and continues to ignore the Howarth report of 2011, which argued that shale gas emissions could be more damaging to the climate than those of coal-fired power generation, preferring the 2013 Allen study now rejected by the body which had part funded it.

The current report by Paul Mobbs, while highlighting these facts, concedes the validity of the process of the Mackay/Stone report, but argues that the data used in arriving at the government-preferred conclusion is seriously incomplete, collected predominantly by a method which consistently produces much lower levels of leakage than those indicated by an alternative method. The Mackay/Stone report is thus “completely discredited”.

A moratorium must be implemented “until we can state the impacts with certainty”.

David Cragg-James, Stonegrave