Rules are necessary to ensure the safety of Club members, their property and the public as well as the continued use of our council approved site. They have therefore a positive objective although they carry the price of restricting our freedom.
They supplement, and therefore should be read in conjunction with, the comprehensive safety guidelines published in the BMFA handbook. Every club member who uses the LMFC Randalls Road site should do so in the knowledge of these rules and agrees to observe them in the letter and in spirit.
Continued breach of any of these rules will lead to appropriate disciplining in line with the Constitution. The LMFC site is restrictive because of surrounding houses and activities.
Flying times vary throughout the year depending on the daylight times. Generally these hours are as on the website in the ‘Flying Information’ section. Checking for a keyholder attendance and expected arrival time using the LMFC WhatsApp group is advised
Only three IC power models are allowed in the air at once. There is no such restriction on gliders (without IC engines) or electric flight models. It is recommended that under normal circumstances no more than 6 aircraft are airborne at any one time.
Bungee or tow launching of gliders may not take place during a power flying session. The use of a short bungee to assist take off for certain power models (e.g. electric ducted fan types) is, however, acceptable.
Flying alone is not permitted without specific permission of the committee and adherence to the risk assessment and method statement for Lone Flying. In all other cases there must always be at least one other Club member present.
In line with BMFA guidance it is recommended that mobile phones are not taken to the flight line or are set to airplane mode. The exception to this is where lone flying is being undertaken.
Only 2.4GHz and 35 MHz band equipment is permitted for control of models. Members are strongly recommended to use equipment operating in the 2.4GHz band. (Note: Don’t forget if you are flying with models on different frequencies to extend your aerial on the 35MHz Tx – so easy to forget after using 2.4GHz!)
The Club operates a ‘peg on’ board for the 35MHz band.
- It is the responsibility of every member using the club field with a 35MHz transmitter to provide themselves with a peg clearly marked with their name
- The first member at the field intending to operate on the 35MHz band is responsible for getting the pegboard out. 2.4GHz users do not need to utilise the pegboard.
- Before switching on 35 MHz transmitters, members must inspect the peg board to see if the channel is free. If a peg is attached, the channel is in use and not available. If no peg is present then the member may attach their peg to the board on the appropriate number and switch on.
- After the flight having used the channel, the member should remove their peg from the board unless no other members are using that channel during the flying session.
- The last member on the 35MHz band leaving the field is responsible for putting the peg board away.
- Members are reminded that if their equipment has failsafe capability, it is a legal requirement that it is correctly set.
Ground safety discipline
- The following practices should be followed in the pits.
- Before the flight battery is placed in the plane, or the IC motor started, the plane must:
- Be placed on the edge of the north side of the pits;
- Face the E-W runway i.e. away from the pits;
- Must be restrained either with a fork in the ground or a strap if the model has an undercarriage.
- If using a table to set up or prepare a model for flight then the model must be restrained before a flight battery is inserted and restrained immediately if returning from a flight
- Anywhere else, including by or in a car, the plane must not have a flight battery in it, be armed or an IC motor started;
- A plane must not be left unattended when a flight battery is connected.
- Anywhere in the pits area, transmitters (if have they have the facility) should have the throttle cut switch enabled so that the motor cannot be started by accidentally moving the throttle stick.
- No one should be standing in the plane of rotation or in front of the propeller when starting or testing for top-end performance.
- Models may not be taxied in, to or from the Pits area.
- Prior to walking onto the take-off strip, before or after a flight, permission must be sought from other pilots.
- Check all controls for “full and free” and that all control surfaces move in the correct sense before take-off. The BMFA “SMART” pre-flight check routine is strongly recommended.
- Confirm to all other pilots when you are clear of the strip.
- Pilots should stand near each other while flying to facilitate clear communication during flying.
General Flying Rules
- All pilots should stand close to each other to ensure good communication.
- All flights should be conducted in front of the flight lines for each runway to avoid endangering pits and car park areas as well as other pilots.
- Before taking off, landing or making low passes first ensure that there are no pedestrians/onlookers on the footpaths near the runway or in line with it such as the field south of the Rye Brook. Appoint a look-out if necessary.
- Aerobatics should not be performed on the normal circuit flight line. If aerobatics are being performed, they should only be done in the centre of the circuit and clear communication with other pilots must be maintained so all are aware of what is intended.
Leatherhead Youth Football Club (LYFC): You must not use the EAST-WEST runway under any circumstances if there are LYFC-organised matches or practice on pitches 3, 4 or 5 or the adjacent warm up areas as shown on the web site. This restriction applies to all of the rules below.
Stand on the South side of the runway and face North.
- The Pits area and Car Parking area are out of bounds at all times.
- The Football Field is out of bounds at all times.
- The Recycling and Waste Centre are out of bounds at all times. Flying over the sludge ponds is strongly discouraged.
Flying area Limits with E/W Runway in use. (See LYFC above.)
- This runway must not be used if there is an equestrian event taking place in the Riding field to the South of the runway.
- Stand on the East side of the runway and face West.
- The Pits area and Car Parking area are out of bounds at all times. The Recycling and Waste Centre are out of bounds at all times. Flying over the sludge ponds is discouraged
- Never fly over the Riding field (South of the Pits area).
Flying area Limits with N/S Runway in use.
It is advisable to have all new or substantially modified models independently checked before first flights.
Under no circumstances can models with known faults that render them potentially un-airworthy be flown. Any Committee Member can require faults to be rectified and the remedial action thoroughly checked before flying. If you have any doubts about your model aircraft do not fly.
The Club operates to a standard of 82dB at seven metres. If you are in doubt about the noise level of a new model/engine combination ask for the noise level to be checked on the club meter.
Any committee member can ask for your engine noise to be checked at any time.
On older engines, silencing to the required level will usually require add-on silencers. In judging the noisiness of an engine the opinion of Committee Members is final. Choice of propeller can have a large impact on noise level.
The club has BMFA qualified and BMFA approved instructors and a number of Club instructors. Only these people can give tuition and “air time” to beginners. Instructors must take novices up for the initial training flights but we also have a number of assistant trainers who can thereafter give air time and practice. If you are an experienced flyer and would like to assist in training novices, please ask the training officer who will be pleased to discuss this with you.
The CAA and the BMFA make clear that safe flying is the responsibility of both pilot and club. We fly in a field which has full public access. Maintaining high standards of safety at the flying field is essential to reduce accidents to a minimum and safeguard the well-being of all club members and all members of the public both inside and outside our field. To avoid a loss of control and crashes, simple checks and correct operation of control surfaces are essential to ensure a successful take-off and safe flight. These routine safety behaviours should be practised without fail by all pilots. All club members have a responsibility to enforce safe practices and behaviours, prevent accidents and to help maintain high standards of safety.
Should an accident occur which involves a third party or their property, immediately inform any present committee member and then the Secretary of the Club.
In any discussion with a member of the public, do not become aggressive, rude or defensive. Simply ask a Committee member to intervene. If one is not present give the third party your phone number and the Club Secretary’s (currently 07796 957050). Try to be helpful and sympathetic. Remember if you have an accident involving a third party, it will usually have been your fault.
The circumstances of all accidents must be recorded using the on line reporting form on our web site.
Our definition of an accident is:
- Any airframe damage except prop and undercarriage.
- Any personal injury.
- Any landing in an out-of-bounds area including the pits side of the runway.
Landing in the grass on the far side of the runway or at either end would not be classed as an accident unless there is damage or third party injury.
Note: Whilst not mandatory, ideally all non-controlled landings off the runways should be reported.
- Any committee member may require a demonstration from a pilot (before departing the pits for flight) that the model is airworthy. This might include that control surfaces are operating correctly, the fail-safe is set, the battery is charged and a range-check has been made.
- Should there be concerns about a pilot’s ability or behaviour, a committee member may suspend that pilot from flying until their competence is demonstrated to the safety officer or a committee member.
- Accidents should be reported within 24 hrs.
Weight Limits for model Aircraft.
The weight limit for model aircraft on our site is 5 kg for normal flying.
Between 5 kg and 7.5 kg flyers must have a BMFA ‘B’ certificate and must be accompanied at the pilot point by an assistant, who is also qualified to BMFA ‘B’ level.
Models weighing more than 7.5 kg may only be flown with committee approval and must be flown following the rules for models between 5 and 7.5 kg.