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Maritime kite flying incident

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Article Information
Category: Safety Alert Safety Alerts
Content source: EUROCONTROL Safety Alerts EUROCONTROL

Safety Warning Message

Maritime kite flying incident

Date: 17 September 2009 Safety Warning Message.gif


EUROCONTROL Agency has been informed of an incident that happened on 15 September 2009 over the Southern North Sea:

"The aircraft was descending and identified a large kite/skysail flying ahead of the vessel and at around 1000 ft304.8 m
(just below the clouds).

It was attached to the vessel and was in the flight path of the aircraft as it headed towards a nearby installation. The 'skysail' was extended on a long cable and was moving around the vessel in an erratic manner.

Further research has shown that this is one of the first in a line of ‘experimental’ vessels using ‘skysails’ to supplement the traditional propulsion units."

Illustrative example of a “skysail”

Your Attention Is Required

  • Aviation Authorities are invited to review their kite flying legislation, rules, applicable constrains and required coordination.
  • Aviation Service Providers are invited to note the subject and investigate the relevance in their operational environment.
  • Aviation Professionals are invited to share their knowledge and experience about the described issue.


© European Organisation for Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) September 2009. This alert is published by EUROCONTROL for information purposes. It may be copied in whole or in part, provided that EUROCONTROL is mentioned as the source and to the extent justified by the non-commercial use (not for sale). The information in this document may not be modified without prior written permission from EUROCONTROL. The use of the document is at the user’s sole risk and responsibility. EUROCONTROL expressly disclaim any and all warranties with respect to any content within the alert, express or implied.