The story

Anger at 'impounded' Plymouth emergency landing plane

From the BBC:
A decision to "impound" a vintage aircraft that made an emergency landing at a former airport in bad weather has been branded "outrageous".
Sutton Harbour Holdings - the leaseholder of the site which closed in 2011 - claimed the pilot had committed an act of "trespass".
It has insisted it can only be removed by road, because of safety.
But the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) said there was "no good reason" not to let it fly out.

'Unprecedented' action

The pilot, who has asked not to be identified, made the decision to land his Jodel G-AXSU at Plymouth after a deterioration in the weather during his flight from Cornwall to Kent on 9 August.
Charles Strasser, vice president of AOPA, said the pilot made "exactly the right decision".
He was instrumental in negotiating the Strasser Scheme, whereby aerodrome owners adopted a policy of waiving all charges for emergency landings or diversions.
It followed a review by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in 1997 which stated that a number of fatal accidents could have been prevented with "a timely diversion or precautionary landing".
Mr Strasser's scheme has now been adopted by all military and 98% of commercial airfields in the UK - including Plymouth until its closure.
"This was a good decision by the pilot and, let's be honest, a much better bet than trying to land in a farmer's field," Mr Strasser said.
"I think it's quite outrageous - and unprecedented - for an airfield owner to act this way... and I can think of no one good reason for it.
"This flies in the face of the spirit of the agreement."
A concrete block has now been placed in front of the aircraft to prevent it being moved.

Scrapping fear

Sutton Harbour Holdings said its decision was "entirely a question of safety".
"We believe that the safest way for this 54-year-old aircraft to be removed is by road, regardless of the competencies of the pilot or the reliability of the aircraft in question," a statement said.
"The former airport site, which has been closed for almost four years, is in a built-up area and has none of the facilities to safely manage the movement of aircraft.
"For that reason we will not give permission for the aircraft to take off but have no issue with it being taken away at any time by road."
But Mr Strasser said the cost of moving the plane by road could result in it being scrapped.
"Taking it to pieces, plus transportation costs, then putting it back together could cost far more that the value of the aircraft and the pilot might be forced to give it up," he said.
"All I would hope for is that at the 11th hour [Sutton Harbour Holdings] see sense, back down and let this pilot fly out."

Links

Discussion pages

Flyer forum discussion (post on here if you want something added to this page)
Free the Jodel facebook page
#FreeTheJodel Twitter page
Supporters of Plymouth Airport
Support Plymouth Airport
Yachting and boating World thread
Letter to Charles Strasser from SHH

FlyPlymouth

FlyPlymouth website (Plan to rescue Plymouth Airport)
Crowdfunding page

Media reports

BBC TV

19 August 2015 Spotlight piece on #FreeTheJodel

BBC news

19 August 2015 Anger at 'impounded' Plymouth emergency landing plane
27 August 2015 A plane'Impounded' aircraft allowed to leave Plymouth airport

Flyer Magazine

18 August 2015 Stand-off at Plymouth Airport
18 August 2015 Jodel free to fly out of Plymouth

Light Aircraft Association

26 August 2015 Statement on Jodel Aircraft at Former Plymouth Airport

Daily Mail

21 August 2015 Plane silly: Aim-listed property developer flies into turbulence for impounding vintage aircraft that made emergency landing at disused airport

Plymouth Herald

15 August 2015 Storm forces pilot to make emergency landing at Plymouth's closed airport
19 August 2015 Pilot cannot leave Plymouth's closed airport by air for 'safety reasons', says former operator
21 August 2015 Plymouth airport operator 'working with pilot' to allow release of stranded plane
22 August 2015 Conservative MP urges Plymouth airport operator to release stranded Jodel plane
22 August 2015 Councillor 'absolutely furious' at Plymouth airport stranded plane
23 August 2015 Former Plymouth airport operator hits back at speculation over stranded Jodel plane
24 August 2015 Free The Jodel: Online campaign gathers pace as pilots call for stranded plane to take off
24 August 2015 Pilot instructed to cover stranded plane at Plymouth airport as talks continue
24 August 2015 Free Plymouth disused airport operator tells MP: "We'll let pilot fly his plane out"
25 August 2015 Pilot forced to sign gagging order and pay costs after emergency Plymouth landing
25 August 2015 Plymouth emergency landing pilot backed by aircraft owners association chief
25 August 2015 SHH's treatment of pilot puts flight safety at risk
26 August 2015 Plane 'impounded' at Plymouth airport allowed to fly out on Friday
28 August 2015 Will Jodel be freed from Plymouth airport this morning?
28 August 2015 Jodel pilot at Plymouth airport: 'A military air base would have treated me better'
28 August 2015 Crowds gather to watch Jodel plane take off from the former Plymouth airport

Western Morning News

21 August 2015 Plane which landed at Plymouth airport not allowed take off and may have to be dismantled for 'safety reasons'

Business Travel news

24 August 2015 Plymouth Airport stand-off

Share websites chat

Plymouth ADVFN
LSE

Other related stories/Information

20 August 2015 George Osbourne: Airport viability study underway
Location of aircraft
Plymouth Council article on Airport petition
Plymouth city airport wiki

SHHplc pages (feel free to post your views)

Management team link on their own website
Linkedin account
Facebook page
Marina Facebook page
SHH selfie page for posting pics
Trip Advisor
Company check
Youtube account
Experience Sutton Harbour website
Glassdoor
Rotolok list SHH as one of their group companies.
Google Reviews
Instagram

DCA PR Company for SHH

PR Company webpage(Facebook page)
Google page

20,215 Signatures

SHH Public Statements

19 August 2015 Statement 1
From our point of view this is entirely a question of safety and we believe that the safest way for this 54-year-old aircraft to be removed is by road, regardless of the competencies of the pilot or the reliability of the aircraft in question. The former airport site, which has been closed for almost four years, is in a built up area and has none of the facilities to safely manage the movement of aircraft. For that reason we will not give permission for the aircraft to take off but have no issue with it being taken away at any time by road. We have made that clear to the pilot and await a response
21 August 2015 Statement 2
Our position is quite clear in that as a responsible company we have to be satisfied that any decision we make ensures that this aircraft leaves safely.
The former airport site, which has been closed for almost four years, is in a built up area and has none of the facilities to safely manage the movement of aircraft. During its operations no aircraft movements took place at the former airport without the approval of air traffic control which is of course no longer in place.
We have increased security at the site to ensure the aircraft is secure and access has always been available by prior arrangement.
We are continuing to work with the pilot's representatives/insurers and other third parties over the arrangements to enable the aircraft to leave the site safely and as quickly as possible providing that the appropriate and necessary indemnities are in place. In the meantime the pilot and his insurance company have been informed that if he wishes to provide temporary weather protection for the aircraft he is able to do so by prior arrangement.
23 August 2015Statement 3
Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc is awaiting a response from the pilot and his insurers in respect of confirmation of airworthiness and indemnities to allow the aircraft to safely leave the former Plymouth Airport site.
We had a positive meeting on Friday with Councillor Nick Kelly (Plymouth Moor View) who has also met with representatives of the pilot. Following this Cllr Kelly was quoted in the Plymouth Herald as saying Sutton Harbour Holdings are simply acting in the interest of safety, adding: "I have had face-to-face meetings with Sutton Harbour Holdings and representatives of the pilot to come to a workable solution to allow the aircraft to leave as soon as possible, but with no danger to the local residents of Moor View."
We have also had a positive discussion with Sir Gerald Howarth MP, following his public statement on the issue, and we agree in principle with his comments regarding establishing of the serviceability of the aircraft and necessary insurance indemnities.
As we have made clear previously, this confirmation of airworthiness (from a public safety perspective) and the proper indemnity cover being in place are the key issues for us, as a responsible company, in order that we can be satisfied that any decision we make ensures that this aircraft leaves safely.
This is what we have been working towards securing over recent days and we are currently awaiting a response from the pilot and his insurers regarding the indemnity and airworthiness confirmation our lawyers have proposed.
Contrary to some reports we have not insisted that the plane be dismantled and we have invited the pilot to have access to cover his aircraft to protect it from the elements.
We would also like to put on record our deep disappointment at the level of abuse which has been directed at the company, and personally to some of its employees, over recent days.
The former airport site, which has been closed for almost four years, is in a built up area and has none of the facilities to safely manage the movement of aircraft. During its operations no aircraft movements took place at the former airport without the approval of air traffic control which is of course no longer in place.
For some commentators on the other side of the country, or indeed the world, to offer reassurances that 'everything with be all right' is simply unacceptable. Since a private pilot was tragically killed nearby at Newquay Airport just a short time ago we are surprised that anyone involved in aviation would take safety matters lightly.
We will continue to work with the pilot and his insurers to reach an agreed and safe solution to the resolution of this matter as quickly as possible and will provide updates as these become available.
24 August 2015Statement 4
Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc has today been in further contact with both the pilot and his insurers and we believe a resolution of this matter is imminent.
The pilot has been to site yesterday, at our invitation, to cover his aircraft to protect it from the elements.
Earlier today we briefed the local MP Johnny Mercer and were reassured that he understands the situation and the actions that the company is taking.
We are pleased at the progress made today towards an agreed solution which should hopefully allow the aircraft to safely leave as soon as possible.
26 August 2015Statement 5
Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc can confirm that all the necessary arrangements are now in place for the aircraft to safely leave the former Plymouth airport site.
It follows an airworthiness inspection of the aircraft which was carried out on site earlier today and confirmation by the pilot's underwriters that the necessary indemnities and insurance required are in place.
Our position throughout this matter has been quite clear in that as a responsible company we had to be satisfied that any decision we made ensured that this aircraft was able to leave safely. We are pleased that agreement has been reached on the matters necessary for this to happen and we now look forward to receiving notification from the pilot on his departure plans.
28 August 2015Statement 6
Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc can confirm that the aircraft safely left the former Plymouth Airport site at about 11.25am today.
As previously advised this followed an airworthiness inspection of the aircraft which was carried out on site on Wednesday and confirmation by the pilotís underwriters that the necessary indemnities and insurance required were in place.
Our position throughout this matter has been quite clear in that as a responsible company we had to be satisfied that any decision we made ensured that this aircraft was able to leave safely. We are pleased that the matter has now been resolved.
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