You are reminded that by being accepted as a member of the club, you are bound by the rules and constitution.
The MSF has exclusive use of a field on Farm land. The flying of models is restricted to this area and due care is required when live stock are in adjacent fields. Crops may be found in adjoining fields and due care and respect for the farmer’s livelihood is required. All gates should be left as found, i.e. open or closed.
The safe flying of model aircraft is especially difficult for the beginner and the club have a number of Instructors to help and encourage the newcomer to become a safe pilot quickly. All members of the club enjoy membership of the BMFA and their activities are covered by the BMFA insurance policy.
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A schedule of fees is available from the club treasurer or secretary. They are reviewed each year at the annual general meeting of the club. Fees must be paid to the treasurer before the end of December each year. Late payment will incur a penalty set at the committee’s discretion.
New applications for membership can only be approved by the committee and are subject to applicants passing a competency test set by the chief examiner before their application can be accepted. In addition they will be charged an initial joining fee extra to the normal subscription.
RULES FOR FLYING AT THE CLUB SITE
The club adheres to the codes, guidelines and rules laid down by the British Model Flying Association as far as apply at our site and requires members to follow these in all matters pertaining to safety and good practice in all areas of operation. Where particular emphasis has been identified by local conditions and practices these are laid out in this book.
The club airstrip lies along a west to east line. Pilots should observe the correct circuit directions unless there is only a single airborne pilot. If the wind is from the WEST right hand circuits, wind from the EAST left hand circuits. It is requested that pilots stand on the flight line.
When flying helicopters, it is advised that they are not flown the same time as fixed wing aircraft. The only exception may be if unless the pilot is experienced, agrees to follow circuit directions with the agreement of fixed wing pilots on the circuit. It is preferred that they should be flown in their own slot or with other helicopters and only ever from the mown flying site. Fixed wing pilots are requested to give them their own air time.
An onus is placed on all club members to ensure that they make their models meet best practice guidelines for noise. Any on field assessment of nuisance noise in the first instance will be judged by any three club or committee members present. The committee will be the final arbitrator in all such matters.
All fixed wing power models must be restrained in the pit area while the engine is started and running. All engines shall be fitted with an effective silencer, normal silencers supplied by the manufacturers are rarely effective (unless super quiet type), additional silencing may be required.
The club places a limit on the number of model aircraft able to be airborne. No more than 3 IC (including no more than one petrol) powered model may be flown together at any one time. Additional electric aircraft may be airborne alongside these but in any event never more than five aircraft may be airborne at any one time.
Selection of a suitable propeller that has been balanced can greatly reduce noise. 4 stroke and small engines are usually quieter, however the club requires that BMFA noise limits of 82db(a) at 7m or less should be obtained for all models. Noise testing instruments are available. The model should be at least 1 metre off of the ground and tests are to be taken from the front, behind and to each side with recordings to listed and taken downwind of the model.
We are only allowed to fly at our site because we follow a noise reduction policy which ensures we are considerate to our neighbours all the time. Permission to fly at the site will always be dependant upon the club avoiding being a nuisance to neighbours.
SAFETY RULES & FLYING REGULATIONS
All members must comply with the BMFA rules re: behaviour and practices in the pits particularly in regards to safety and consideration for the safety of all of the people within the pits area.
Engines must not be run for prolonged periods in the pits area. An area for testing planes (not for running-in of engines) has been mown away from the pit area. It should be used with planes and engines pointing away from the pits area.
The limited space between cars, pits and runway mean that all members must take care and limit the number of models and tools they place in the pits area to minimise the risk to all. Particular attention must be paid to the proximity of others when starting engines and due warning must be given in advance to all in the area. All aircraft including electric must be restrained when starting or battery is connected and initial test carried out.
The following radio frequencies and equipment may be used.
a) 35Mhz transmitters on channels 55 to 90. This is the waveband designated for model aircraft control; or
b) 2.4GHz 100W certified transmitting systems approved for UK use and with CE marking.
27Mhz transmitters (mainly for gliders, cars and boats) and 40Mhz transmitters are not to used.
a) The club will allocate specific frequency channel to members who are required always to only use these frequencies when attending the club site.
b) Pilots must ensure that 2.4 GHz transmitters and receivers for each model being used have been properly ‘ bound ‘ before flight. Never switch on a 35MHz transmitter at a flying site – unless you have a channel allocated by the club secretary.
c) Radio transmitters have a range in excess of 1 mile when the aerial is fully extended. It is important that the aerial is collapsed at all times except when leaving the pits area to proceed to the flight line, the aerial should only be extended for the duration of the flight.
d) All transmitters should carry the correct channel pennant at all times. The pennant must match the crystal being used or indicate when a 2.4 GHz transmitter is in use.
e) If using any model fitted with a receiver capable of operating in failsafe mode (PCM or DSP) the operator must have the failsafe function set.
f) Power packs for radio equipment should be properly charged before any flying session and flying should cease before the voltage drops under load. Pilots should ensure that the battery capacity of on-board radio systems is capable of ensuring transmission security when servos are under heavy load and in any event meet or exceed manufacturer’s recommendations.
g) Ground checks and correct deflections of control surfaces should be carried out before committing to flight.
h) Range checks should be carried out before flight of all new models, after heavy landings and at least once at the beginning of each flying session. Particular care must be observed with electrically powered models. Radio check must be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
i) Pre-flight and after flight inspections should be carried out before and after take-off . After starting hold the plane steady and with full power ensure there are no system failures and all is working correctly. At intervals or after a heavy landing, checks should be made on all electrical and mechanical connections, hinges, clevis, servos etc.
a) This line, at which the pilots stand when flying their models, is set up parallel to the flying strip. The model pit and spectator area is usually at least a further 10 metres back from the flight line. Models must not be flown in the NO FLY ZONE, see back page.
b) Pilots must move to and stand on the designated flight line at all times when flying aircraft.
c) No one shall cross the flight line without permission from all pilots and only then to collect or place a model on the strip.
d) Pilots should warn the flight line of their intentions (taking off, launching etc.). When a pilot has to make a landing, routine or in an emergency, they must loudly shout their intentions (landing, dead stick etc).
e) Pilots on the flight line shall keep their models clear of the approach area, a pilot landing with power should give way to models without power at all times. Pilots about to take off should immediately vacate the strip in the event of a landing or dead stick call.
f) Models must not be flown down wind low over the runway when more than one model is in the air to prevent the risk of mid-air collisions as other pilots may be landing.
g) When Landing Pilots must Call “Landing” and walk forward 3 paces to give a visual notification that the strip is in use.
Training means the teaching of skills in a systematic way to another member. Flying training should only be carried out by an MSF registered instructor or in some cases an experienced pilot may be considered. Buddy box systems are widely available for all makes of transmitter and it is recommended that this be used for novices taking their first flights. All MSF instructors are BMFA registered and shall be deemed to be the pilot in command when buddy box systems are used. Non solo pilots should be accompanied by an experienced pilot, preferably an instructor.
All club members must take or be able to prove they are of a safe solo standard. Solo tests are assessed and have to be agreed by at least 2 different club instructors before a solo test certificate is issued once the required standard is attained. Even if a new member holds a BMFA “A” or “B” certificate they will be required to take the club’s solo test.
Novice flyers who have recently passed the club solo test, will have their standard of flying skill and capability monitored. If flying by these novice pilots, is considered unsafe or erratic, they will be put back on to buddy box training systems and their solo status revoked until their skills improve.
There are no exceptions to this rule. Only MSF BMFA registered instructors may administer this test.
Fixed wing test
Trainees are expected to confirm that the current BMFA safety rules have been read.
The solo test will consist of:- Take off and circuit in the correct direction followed by a landing approach, go around and climb out, fly an opposite hand circuit, (in front of the flight line) then rejoin the normal landing direction for the circuit, complete an approach and land into wind on the strip (or as near to it to satisfy the instructor), a simulated dead stick landing will also be required. The trainee will be expected to demonstrate after flight checks and answer at least three questions on the club or BMFA Safety Rules.
A junior member is usually defined as being less than 18 years old, but the club expects that particular care must be taken of those juniors under 14 and under the guidance and
supervision of a responsible adult. A responsible adult is defined as a senior member
or parent / guardian who has the experience commensurate with the type and degree of supervision required.
Visitors may be invited to fly at the club with the approval of any member of the committee. Any guest who claims the ability to fly solo should provide proof of BMFA competency. At their first flight a club instructor will evaluate them to confirm this. The club shall also be satisfied that the individual’s insurance gives adequate cover, equal or exceeding that received through the BMFA.
The club officers include a safety officer who advises and supervises the safe behaviour of members and will arbitrate in cases of disagreement or dispute guided by the BMFA rules. However, all committee and members of the club have a collective responsibility for the safety of themselves, members and guests at the club.
All members must ensure that they do everything within their capability to see that all those flying at the club adhere to these club rules, those of the BMFA and at all times follow safe habits in flying and the handling of models and equipment at the site.
The safety officer will from time to time make recommendations to club members to improve safety. These recommendations should be adopted immediately.
The committee will only approve large models up to a maximum size represented by
the current 50cc engine class as being flown from our strip. Any larger models are prohibited from being flown from club facilities. It has also been determined that anyone wishing to fly models under this limit but over 7 kg must comply with the following rules:-
a. They must have club approval before they are allowed to fly any such model.
b. They should seek approval by approaching the committee (in the first instance) for approval of both themselves and the model. This is irrespective as to whether the member or guest involved has a BMFA “B” certificate or not.
c. The safety officer is responsible for vetting models and making recommendations to the committee as to the airworthiness of the model in question. He has laid down specifications for club and committee reference and will keep these under review.
d. The committee will be advised by the chief instructor as to the suitability of the individual to fly such models.
e. Large electric models will be treated in a similar fashion. If in doubt queries or appeals should be referred to the committee for consideration.
f. The member flying the aircraft should ensure that at all times that its power, construction and radio systems meet or exceed manufacturer’s safety specifications for such models.
g. The committee reserves the right to withdraw permission to fly any such models at any time on the advice of the safety officer or chief instructor.
Indoor Flying Rules
Flight Controller supervises all indoor flying activities.
Pits and spectator areas will be established prior to any flying taking place. The pits is an area set aside for the assembly, preparation and maintenance of the aircraft prior to and after flight.
Pilots should only enter the flying area to retrieve models when it is safe to do so. A general call should be made before entering the flying area to retrieve a model so that all flying pilots are aware beforehand.
Aircraft may not exceed a weight of 450 grams.
It is expected that four models of a similar type can be safely flown simultaneously.
The number of aircraft permitted in the air at any one time shall be at the discretion of the Flight Controller.
When test flying a new model it is recommended that all other aircraft remain grounded for the duration of the flight.
When there are multiple aircraft flying all aircraft shall be flown in circuits in the same direction to be set by the Flight Controller unless otherwise agreed by all of the pilots.
Timed flying slots will be allocated fairly and equally by the Flight Controller for different types of aircraft.
Batteries can be dangerous if mistreated. A lipo safe bag should be used when charging.
A basic first aid kit will be available at the indoor flying venue.
Pilots and spectators are warned that rotating propellers and blades are a potential eye hazard and eye protection is recommended.
The club officers include a safety officer who advises and supervises the safe behaviour of members and will arbitrate in cases of disagreement or dispute guided by the BMFA rules. However, all committee and members of the club have a collective responsibility for the safety of themselves, members and guests at the club. They must ensure that they do everything within their capability to see that all those flying at the club adhere to these rules, those of the BMFA and follow safe habits in flying and handling of models and equipment at the site.
The Mid Sussex Flyers or its officers shall not be liable for any of the flying activities of its members. All members should take all reasonable precautions to safeguard themselves, their property, other members and be aware of their liability towards all third parties.
Although every effort has been made to compile these rules accurately and fairly, and it should be accepted in the spirit of “for the good of the whole club”, no responsibility can be accepted for any errors or omissions.