Code of Flying - v0.4
The Aim of this Code of Flying is to ensure safe and enjoyable flying for members of the club and to minimise any risk or annoyance to others.
- ALL Members must observe the PIT and STARTING procedures
- Flyers should respect the farmers grass crop and keep the trampling of the grass to a minimum in the car parking area and the edges of the pits, since it is part of the grass silage crop taken between the months of April and September of each year. All vehicles must be parked in the designated parking areas.
- The transmitter box and peg board will be used at all times when TWO or more 35 MHz pilots are at the field. These pilots must both use the transmitter box and obtain the correct peg for their channel number. Pilots flying on 2.4 GHz are exempt from these requirements.
- All 35 MHz transmitters must display a pennant clearly indicating the CHANNEL NUMBER of the crystal installed If a pennant is not displayed, no flying is permitted by that Member Note that 2.4 GHz transmitters do not need a pennant
- Only holders of the ‘A’ certificate and above are allowed to fly solo. All novices should enlist the services of a nominated Club instructor to supervise them before retrieving their transmitter from the transmitter box
- Only fly within the designated flight area, being the airspace forward of the flight line boundary (defined as the imaginary line extending out to the left and right from the baseline of the take-off area) ALL other areas are strictly out of bounds especially the pits area, the car park area, the farm to the EAST of the flying site, and the 3 noise sensitive buildings in the lane situated to the SOUTH of the take-off and landing strip The out of bounds areas are clearly marked on the map on the club web site – menu item “**No Fly Zones**”
- No manoeuvre should be made close to the flight line, unless a clear indication of your intention has been given to the other pilot(s) flying at that time.
- Take off should always commence from the end of the flying patch so that take-off will be into the prevailing wind direction, as agreed by the majority of pilots present. If the wind direction should change sufficiently during a flying session to warrant taking off from the opposite end of the patch, flying MUST cease and must not recommence until all members present are aware of the change. The decision to change the take-off end point will be made by the majority of pilots present
- Do not fly models that generate excessive noise. It is the responsibility of each Club member to take whatever steps are necessary to minimise model noise. Noise should be measured according to the club Noise Test Policy. If, in the opinion of two or more club members an untested plane is considered to be too noisy it shall be grounded until tested. Obviously, this rule has to be treated in a sensible way and adopted in a spirit of common sense by all members
- To reduce overall noise, only THREE I/C models may be airborne at any one time. On very busy flying sessions, this may be increased to FOUR at the discretion of any Committee member present at the time. A maximum of FIVE models of all types are allowed in the air at any one time.
- Ensure that any broken propellers, parts of aircraft, debris from crashes, food or drink packaging, cigarette ends, or ancillary equipment are taken back home and must not be left in the pits, on the field itself or in the car park area
- When flying glow or petrol powered fixed wing models, the published flying times must be strictly adhered to.
- The agreed frequency channel allocation for 35MHz flying at Lower Bentley must be STRICTLY observed. The allowed frequencies at this site are 55 to 59 inclusive and 81 to 90 inclusive.
- Any infringement of this Code of Flying may result in the immediate suspension from flying for the member or members involved, if the Committee deems this course of action is required. Any disciplinary action that follows will be governed by Club Rules.
- SMOKING is NOT permitted in the pits at any time.
- On arrival at the field, select a suitable space for your aircraft and equipment in the pits area and place any 35MHz transmitter in the transmitter box. When the grass is getting long prior to cutting for silage, ensure that you keep to all MOWN areas, and avoid flattening the grass, by placing chairs or flight boxes, or indeed walking in the long grass itself
- Carry out a physical inspection of the model prior to preparation for flying. A pre-flight check list is available on the Club web site.
Layout your equipment in an organised fashion orientated to whether you are right or left handed and ensure you have adequate space around you.
- When using fuel of any kind, (Nitro or Petrol), great care must be taken. Methanol can burn with a colourless flame and petrol vapour can be ignited from many feet away buy a discarded cigarette. There is no smoking permitted in the pits or in the pilots’ box. If you need to smoke, please do so well away from the pits and flying areas, and properly extinguish your cigarette before returning to the flying area.
- When not actually filling or draining fuel , then please keep containers closed. On a warm day an open fuel container can spread fumes over many feet, and these fumes are surprisingly easy to ignite and very difficult to extinguish once lit.
- When ready to fly, retrieve the 35mhz transmitter and relevant peg from the peg-board and carry out a full radio check of the model (including range check where necessary
- Under no circumstances should a 35mhz transmitter be switched on unless the correct frequency peg is available for use and is attached to the 35mhz transmitter
- Whatever (Safe) practice is adopted before each flight – stick rigidly to it until it becomes second nature.
- Follow the BMFA ‘be S.M.A.R.T’ guidelines and focus on your model – are controls moving correctly?
o S = Switch on
o M = Model selected is correct?
o A = Aerial secure / extended?
o R = Rate switches are in the correct position?
o T = Transmitter voltage is good?
- ALL models must be restrained before starting. Ensure the tail plane butts up to the restraint before attempting to start the engine. The restraint should be angled in such a way away from the engine to ensure the tail of the model cannot rise up once the engine is started. If you use a stand to support the model above the ground, ensure that the stand is stable, and preferably staked down.
- Pilots with larger models should consider positioning the model at an angle so that it does not encroach onto the pits as much
- Ensure all cables, equipment and tools are well clear of the propeller arc. Ensure the transmitter is to hand and as far away from the propeller as is manageable.
- Flick starting MUST be done with a “chicken stick”, leather glove or mitt.
- It is recommended starting the engine with the throttle open one third or less.
- Once running, remove the glow driver or connector and make any mixture adjustments from BEHIND the model.
- I/C Engine restarts are NOT allowed on the flight line – it is recommended that a pilot always returns to the pits and restarts in accordance with the above. However, if necessary, a model may be restarted on the pathway as long as another member restrains the model. This must be done with due consideration to all other pilots flying at the time.
Flight Line Procedures
- Whilst walking to the take-off area, please keep to the mown paths and ensure the propeller is facing AWAY from other people in the pits area.
- If a fellow member is carrying a model for a pilot, it is required that the pilot follows the member carrying the model in order to monitor the model itself.
- Use the appropriate MOWN path leading to the edge of the take-off and landing area and REQUEST CLEARANCE to move to the take-off position from ALL pilots that are currently flying. Do not automatically assume that you have clearance – always obtain positive confirmation.
- Before launching the model, check that ALL controls operate in the correct sense and then re-check the controls under full power. If there is any doubt as to the radio operation or engine condition, then the take-off must be aborted.
- Once the aircraft is airborne, move quickly & directly to the REAR of the pilots’ box in operation at the time.
- The OPERATIONAL CIRCUIT is dependent upon the wind direction. If we are flying from the left hand pilot’s box (viewed from the pits), then a LEFT HAND (anticlockwise) circuit is in operation, and from the right hand pilot’s box, a RIGHT HAND (clockwise) circuit.
- If you wish to perform aerobatics, these should be done with plenty of height with the axis of the manoeuvres being over the hedge parallel with the patch. It is also good flying etiquette to inform other pilots of your intentions if your flight path will DEVIATE from the operational circuit (eg low passes, doing figure of eight’s during training, stall turns, ‘A’ test practice, circuits and bumps etc etc). The intention should be to keep your fellow pilot’s informed of your intentions at ALL times.
- On deciding to land, call ‘LANDING’ loudly and clearly to the other pilots before turning onto the final approach and at this point MOVE FORWARD in the pilot’s box to where it joins the edge of the patch.
- Once on the final approach and committed to landing the model, reconfirm your intentions by calling ‘LANDING’ again loudly and clearly to confirm your intention to land to the other pilots.
- If you are landing because of engine failure, call ‘LANDING – DEADSTICK’ loudly and clearly to all other pilots. In the event of a dead stick, ALL other pilots should gain height and abort their own landing approach if necessary, thus giving the pilot with the dead stick absolute priority.
- Models may be taxied back to the original take-off point. DO NOT taxy the model towards the pilot’s box. Once the aircraft is stationary, stop the engine, switch off the MODEL first, followed by the TRANSMITTER, and remove the aircraft from the take-off area as quickly as possible. If you are retrieving a model for a fellow pilot, signal that you have turned off the model by raising one hand.
- Any person wishing to enter or cross the runway area must seek clearance from any pilot flying at the time before doing so.
- All pilots should note that for safety reasons, the engine control should be set up such that either by using a throttle cut function OR moving the throttle trim lever to the minimum at tick-over will cause the engine to stop.
- Immediately replace the 35MHz transmitter in the TRANSMITTER BOX, and return the PEG to the pegboard, unless it is intended to simply re-fuel and take off again without a break. It is good etiquette to check if another pilot is waiting to fly on the same frequency, in which case you must relinquish the peg and replace your transmitter in the peg box. It is also etiquette to inform the waiting pilot that the peg is now free.
- Note that the Bromsgrove Model Flying Club Code of Flying also includes the Civil Aviation Authority CAP 658 (A guide to safe flying). In addition, the AIR NAVIGATION ORDER with respect to Articles 137, 138, 166 and 167 and their relevance to modellers also applies.
Electric “Park Flyers”/”Shock Flyers”
- Members wishing to fly this category of model are allowed to do so but MUST fly them from the same take-off and landing strip as for powered models and with due regard for other members who are participating in powered flying.
- From a safety point of view, the Club STRONGLY advises Members to be accompanied at the flying site. If you do fly alone, it is IMPERATIVE that you take your mobile phone with you in case of an emergency. (Note however, that it is best practice to NOT have an active mobile phone in your pocket whilst flying – so ensure that it is kept in your flight box).
- LiPo batteries should be treated with respect at all times; especially during the charging phase (indeed it is recommended that LiPo batteries be charged in a fire proof container). Inspect LiPo batteries regularly for deformation and dispose of correctly if you are in doubt as to the integrity of the battery. As battery sizes grow to meet the need of larger and larger models, this safety point will become ever more important
- Be aware that electric motors do not stop if the propeller is impeded – the electric motor will simply draw more current
- It is good practice to have a separate power supply for the Rx and servos, rather than use the flight battery for both power and radio
- While it is OK to arm your model for pre-flight checks in the pits, it is advisable to then disarm it for the walk to the flight line and final re-arm immediately prior to take-off. After collecting the model, disarm the motor for the walk back to the pits. Where this is not practicable then a throttle cut switch shall be utilised to prevent the motor starting inadvertently. After collecting the model, disarm the motor or activate a throttle cut before walking back to the pits. Once an electric model has been armed/battery connected, it should be treated in the same manner as a running nitro model. I.E. it should be restrained when in the pits area and when being carried down to the patch, should be carried with the propeller clear and pointing away from others and yourself.
Helicopters / Quadcopters / Multi-Rotor Models / Drones
- For the purposes of this section of the Code of Flying, helicopters are deemed to mean any model aircraft with a vertical take-off capability which now includes quadcopters, drones and multi-rotor models.
- Members wishing to fly these categories of model are allowed to do so but MUST fly them with due regard for other members who are participating in fixed wing flying It is the responsibility of the helicopter pilot to ensure that the fixed wing operating procedures are not compromised.
- When flying helicopters, the published flying times must be strictly adhered to.
- During Fixed Wing flying times, fixed wing flying will always take precedence over helicopter flying. Helicopters may be flown during fixed wing flying times – BUT ONLY WITH THE AGREEMENT OF ALL FIXED WING PILOTS PRESENT AT THE TIME.
- Helicopter flight patterns are restricted to flying between the patch (i.e. the normal fixed wing flight line) and the hedges bordering the field in which the take-off area is situated. Also, a VERTICAL restriction applies, with a limit of 80ft (ie approximate tree top level).
- The Club noise limits must also be observed and applied to helicopters.
- Helicopter pilots must observe the existing flight box, flight line and pilot protocol.
- For safety reasons, all helicopters should be started or armed (if electric) on the patch at the take-off point, rather than the pits.
- Nitro and Electric helicopters of 600 size and above are limited to height restrictions of 80ft due to noise that can be generated. Smaller, quieter quads and helicopters are do not have the same height restrictions , but as with all forms of flying, care must be taken to keep noise from bothering our neighbour
FPV (First Person View)
- For the purposes of this section of the Code of Flying, FPV is deemed to be pilots that fly models via a standalone screen or vision goggles.
- All FPV flying must be accompanied by an ‘A’ test qualified (at minimum) observer / spotter in accordance with the guidelines described in the latest version of the BMFA Members Handbook. It is the responsibility of the club member who wishes to fly FPV to be FULLY conversant with the current BMFA guidelines regarding this form of flying.
- In addition, and for safety reasons, the BMFC Committee has agreed that the FPV pilot MUST be buddied to the observer / spotter who shall assume the role of Instructor and hold the master transmitter. When first taking up FPV (whatever the size of model) a buddy lead must be used and that the designated ‘spotter’ has the ‘master’ tx.
- Once the pilot can demonstrate to the CFI or Examiner, that they are competent and safe at taking off , flying circuits and landing safely back on the patch, they may fly without the buddy lead, but must always fly with a spotter. If a model is greater than 3.5KG then the spotter MUST be the ‘master’ pilot and a buddy lead MUST be used to ensure that you are flying within BMFA guidelines and are insured.
- Members wishing to fly FPV are allowed to do so but MUST fly them with due regard for other members who are participating in glow powered fixed wing flying. It is the responsibility of the FPV pilot to ensure that the fixed wing operating procedures are not compromised.
- When flying FPV, the published flying times must be strictly adhered to.
- During Fixed Wing flying times, powered fixed wing flying will always take precedence over FPV flying. FPV may be flown during fixed wing flying times – BUT ONLY WITH THE AGREEMENT OF ALL FIXED WING PILOTS PRESENT AT THE TIME.
- The Club noise limits must also be observed and applied to helicopters.
- FPV pilots must observe the existing flight box, flight line and pilot protocol.
- If the FPV model has vertical take-off capability, then the Helicopter flight patterns should be adhered to i.e. flying between the patch (i.e. the normal fixed wing flight line) and the hedges bordering the field in which the take-off area is situated. Also, a VERTICAL restriction applies, with a limit of 80ft (i.e. approximate tree top level).
- The Club uses the testing procedure detailed in the BMFA handbook Those wishing to take the tests of competence should contact the Club Chief Flying Instructor or a Committee member.
- A training procedure is in place for novices and those ‘A’ certificate pilots who wish to progress to the ‘B’ Certificate. It should be noted that those wishing to represent the Club at model flying shows must be qualified to ’B’ Certificate standard.
- All new members will be asked to undergo the tests on joining the Club unless they already possess the relevant documentary evidence of passes. Even then the Chief Flying Instructor or one of the Club’s authorised instructors will check out the pilot’s competence before solo flying is permitted.
Safety & Safety Officers
- The Club has an elected Safety Officer; however, all Members have a duty of care to all other Members of the Club and as such are requested to be diligent both for themselves and for others. If you think a Member is not operating in a safe manner, then tell him/her immediately.
- On matters of field safety needing immediate decision, the responsibility lies with the Safety Officer, if present, or a member of the Committee in that order. Any instructions must be accepted without dissent. However, should a member believe the instructions to be incorrect, then he should bring this to the attention of the Committee.
- Should an aircraft go out of control, the first priority must be the safety of persons with the second being the avoidance of damage to property. A warning is to be shouted by the pilot which must be heeded by other members.
- All operational failsafes in use on powered models operated from our club site must set the throttle to tick over, or stopped in the case of electric power and not ‘HOLD’. Failsafes are to be checked prior to flying by switching the transmitter off whilst the model is restrained.
- Mobile telephones must not be taken on to the flight line.
- Children must be closely supervised at all times and must not be allowed to run around the pits area or runways.
- Any incident involving a third party must be immediately reported to a Committee Member.
Public Footpaths and Presence of Members of the Public
- Our flying area has several public footpaths in the vicinity, and we share the area with the general public. When flying, it is difficult to keep note of people in the area. If you are in the pits area and notice that there are walkers approaching, please walk down to the pilots box, and make any pilots aware of where the walkers are. (please walk down and don’t bellow from the pits, unless it is a matter of urgency) Remember it is our duty to stay away from persons and property.
DMARES (Drone, Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme)
It is a club requirement that you are registered with the CAA for DMARES (Drone, Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme).
Once registered you will be issued an ‘Operator ID’ which must be located on each model.
There is no requirement to obtain a ‘Flyer ID’ as this will be covered once your have passed the BMFA ‘A’ test which the club will help you through.