Riders are encouraged to take part in research exploring the experiences of equestrians around low flying helicopters, in a bid to improve safety.

The survey, found here, is part of a collaboration between the British Horse Society (BHS) and The Ministry of Defence’s Joint Helicopter Command (JHC).

Since March 2021, more than 73 incidents involving low flying aircrafts have been recorded with the BHS via our Horse i app.

“Low flying helicopters can be a concern for horse owners, due to their low flying capabilities across all terrains,” said Des Payne, Safety Team Leader at the BHS.

“We have been calling for equestrians to share their own experiences of low flying helicopters in order to provide the foundations for informed research which aims to improve equestrian safety for all.

“Collating clear insight into the practices of equestrians, their use of high-visibility garments and their perceived risk of various equestrian related activities, will be key when it comes to considering proactive action.”

Des advised equestrians to be vigilant and wear hi-vis at all times while riding out.

“If safe and possible to do so, pilots will try to avoid flying directly over a horse and rider, if they spot them in advance,” he added.

“If equestrians are concerned about whether their ride will be affected by low-flying military aircraft, they can call 01489 443100 (standard call charges apply). This is a MoD helpline which is manned at all times and the operator will ask for the postcode of the area where you intend to ride. They should also be able to offer information on whether there will be any low flying activity in your local area.”

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