Flying Site Rules

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 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 grounding of the person concerned. In cases of severe negligence the Committee reserves the right to dismiss the member from the Club.  The LMFC site is restrictive because of surrounding houses and activities.

Flying Areas

When using the EAST-WEST runway.: Stand on the South side of the runway and face North. Do not fly behind your position as you will endanger the Pits and car park areas.

When using the NORTH-SOUTH runway (this runway must be used when football is being played on the adjacent field on a pitch either in line with the runway or to the North side of this line): Stand on the East side of the runway and face West. Do not fly behind your position. Before approaching from, or taking-off towards the South first ensure that no onlookers are walking in the field South of the Rye Brook. Appoint a look-out if necessary.

Never fly over the Football Club field or Riding Club field (S. of the Pits area). Never fly over and avoid flying close to the Recycling and Waste Centre (North of the flying field).

Never perform aerobatic manoeuvres over or close to people.

Operating Frequencies

The use of equipment operating in the 2.4GHz band is strongly recommended.

All frequencies in the 35 MHz band may also be used (i.e. channel numbers 55 to 90). For this band, adjacent channel operation should be avoided at all times, but is not enforced by the frequency control system.

The use of the 27 MHz band is not encouraged.

Transmitter discipline

For the 2.4 GHz band you need a peg with your name on it. This should be placed on the left hand side of the peg board before operating your equipment.

For the 35 MHz band the club operates a dual peg system – whereby you replace the “Orange Peg” for your channel with one bearing your own name – this makes it easy to tell who is using a particular frequency (and who has taken a peg home). You may only switch on a 35 MHz transmitter once you have obtained the “Club’s Orange Peg” and must switch off before replacing it after flying.

Pilot Discipline

When running engines or electric motors, always point them away from other people. A good practice is to point the model at the centre of the field. No one should be standing in the plane of rotation of the propeller when testing for top-end performance. The use of ground restraints is highly recommended.

Do not taxi aircraft in or back to the Pits area.

Prior to walking onto the take-off strip check with other pilots for “All Clear”. Check all controls for “full and free” before take-off. (Ensure all control surfaces move in the correct sense). The BMFA “SMART” pre-flight check routine is strongly recommended.

Pilots should stand near each other while flying. This avoids swamping and simplifies communication during flying.

Model Airworthiness

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.

Engine Noise

The Club operates to a standard of 79dB 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.

Helping Novices

The club has a number of BMFA approved instructors and Club approved assistant trainers. Only these people can give tuition and “air time” to beginners. Instructors must take novices up for the initial training flights. Thereafter, assistant trainers can 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.

Accidents

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. Simple checks before leaving the pits are essential to ensure correct operation of control surfaces, a successful take-off and safe flight. These should be routine safety behaviours practiced without fail by all pilots. There have been several reports that such checks are not being made, leading to a loss of control and crashes at take-off. All club members have a responsibility to enforce safe practices and behaviours, prevent such accidents and maintain high standards of safety. To help maintain these standards.

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 or 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 01372 454010). 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 crashes must be recorded on an incident log sheet (available at the field and on this site in the Members Only, Documents section) for review.

Note:

  1.    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.
  2.    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.
  3.    After an accident a pilot may not fly again until the accident has been entered into the log-book and an accident report completed.

Our definition of an accident is:

  1. Any airframe damage except prop and undercarriage.
  2. Any personal injury.
  3. Any landing in an out of bounds area including the pits side of the runway.
  4. 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

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 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 kg cannot be flown.

General

Flying times vary throughout the year depending on the daylight times. Any changes will be announced in the newsletter.

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.

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. There must always be at least one other Club member present.

Flying area Limits with E/W Runway in use.   This runway only to be used when there is no football match in the field to the East of the site.

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 pond is strongly discouraged.

Flying area Limits with N/S Runway in use.

This runway only to be used when there is no equestrian event in the field to the South of the runway.

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 pond is strongly discouraged.