Westland and Yeovil District Aeromodellers is a BFMA-affiliated model flying club.
In order to preserve our continued enjoyment of the hobby, and our continued use of our flying site, it is necessary to have certain rules of conduct to:
- Maintain safe operation;
- Avoid nuisance to the general public;
- Avoid inconvenience to each other.
The main aspects of safety are contained in the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) Safety Code, which everyone in the Club should ensure that they are familiar with (as they will receive this as Association members). In addition there are some specific local rules.
- Site the pits so that they are clear of the flight path of models taking off and landing;
- Keep models, flight equipment etc. well back from the edge of the flying patch – a minimum of 11 paces from the edge of the patch;
- After take-off, clear the patch as soon as possible to avoid obstructing those wishing to take-off or land;
- Always call before taking-off or landing and make sure you are given the OK before you proceed. Also, call your intention to go onto the patch to retrieve a model. Once clear of the patch, call ‘Clear’ to notify other users as soon as possible;
- Do not carry out engine test running close to the patch as this drowns the sound of models in the air;
- Keep an eye on other models when flying, and always check that the patch is clear before landing, even after you have called ‘Landing’;
- Observe the ‘No Fly’ areas designated for each flying area;
- Maintain a good lookout for full-sized aircraft.
The flying patches are shown in the picture below.
Club Noise Limitation Policy
The club has a Noise Limitation Policy. This is to protect us against the possibility of loss of flying facilities as a consequence of noise complaints from local residents, and in order to pursue a ‘good neighbour’ practice.
The policy operates in three ways:
- Limiting noise from individual powered models;
- Limiting noise by limiting the number of powered models flying at the same time;
- Limiting the times when we operate powered models.
Permitted Noise Levels
All models operated by club members and their guests must be effectively silenced and must conform to the current DEFRA/BMFA code of practice, i.e. the noise level is not to exceed 82dBA measured at 7 metres from the model in 4 directions at right angles.
Models that emit noise at a level such that they may not be heard outside the borders of the airfield are deemed to be silent.
Number of Models
We limit the number of powered fixed wing models operating at the same time to four.
Limiting Flying Times
There is a general rule for flying times. In accordance with the restrictions laid down in the Air Navigation Order and UK CAA regulations, it is the responsibility of the pilot to assure him or herself that all reasonable precautions are taken to ensure the safety of every flight. The club has determined that in accordance with this, no model may be flown during the hours of darkness at any club flying site. Specific flying times are listed below. Members are to additionally satisfy themselves of the suitability of the current light conditions before each flight.
|Sunday||0930hrs – 1230hrs||IC Helicopters and any craft meeting the club noise requirements for Silent Flight|
|Sunday||1230hrs – dusk||Any craft meeting the club noise requirements for Silent Flight|
|Monday||1800hrs – dusk||IC Helicopters and any craft meeting the club noise requirements for Silent Flight|
|Tuesday||1800hrs – dusk||Any craft meeting the club noise requirements for Silent Flight|
|Wednesday||1800hrs – dusk||Any IC, electric or other model meeting the club rules for noise|
|Thursday||1800hrs – dusk||Any craft meeting the club noise requirements for Silent Flight|
|Friday||1800hrs – dusk||Any craft meeting the club noise requirements for Silent Flight|
|Saturday||1230hrs – dusk||Any IC, electric or other model meeting the club rules for noise|
|Public and Bank Holidays||1230hrs – dusk||Any IC, electric or other model meeting the club rules for noise|
A major aim of the club is to promote the hobby and sport. It is therefore imperative that all members understand the safety implications in both the operation and flight of model aircraft. The training scheme is intended to introduce newcomers to the hobby to these skills and to ensure that they reach a recognised minimum standard of proficiency before undertaking solo flights.
The scheme is based on the BMFA training scheme ‘Up and Away’, and the BMFA proficiency scheme. It is operated by club approved instructors.
Any member who has not achieved the BMFA ‘A’ proficiency level may only fly when supervised by a club approved instructor.
The Instructors will monitor the progress of the students with the intention of entering them for the BMFA ‘A’ standard of proficiency. The club has a number of BMFA certified examiners who can be approached when a suitable level of capability has been achieved.
A list of names and contact details of club-approved instructors and BMFA examiners is available from the club secretary and will be proved to new members on joining.
Rules and Procedures – Leonardo Airfield
Leonardo is a secure site and is subject to a number of security measures. Members are to comply with all requests from security staff.
On arriving at the site, members must sign-in at the Security Office at the main gate off Lysander Way. Other access points exist to the site, but members are only to use this entrance, even if they are Leonardo employees.
The security staff hold a box file and ring binder for the use of the club. The binder contains sign-in sheets that are to be completed by members (and any escorted visitors) as appropriate on each entry and exit to and from the site. The box file contains the key (and spare) to the club hut on the airfield, together with a number of car passes. Each member is to exchange their current valid club membership card for a car pass, recording the serial number of the pass on the sign-in sheet. It is most important, in order to comply with Health and Safety regulations, that members do not forget to sign out when departing, as this gives the security staff an accurate record of who is on the site.
The company security regime varies from time to time, but members should expect to have their cars searched (and to agree to this search in writing) on both entry and exit to and from the site.
There are strict speed limits within the boundaries of the factory site and airfield which must be adhered to at all times. CCTV and speed monitoring is in use throughout the site and any breach of the speed limits may result in arbitrary removal of access permission for individual members. There is no right of appeal.
It must be remembered that the club enjoys the use of the airfield as a privilege. This privilege may be withdrawn by the company at any time.
Full Size Aircraft Movements
The airfield is used by a number of light aircraft in addition to the normal business of the company. Full size aircraft take precedence at all times and in all circumstances. In addition to maintaining an effective watch for full size aircraft both in the air and on the ground, members must be prepared to land immediately when an aircraft ground movement is detected or an aircraft is observed on final approach.
There are times when full size flying will take place outside of normal working hours. Members must be prepared to have access denied at the main entrance, or be alerted by security staff of an impending aircraft arrival. When extended periods of out-of-hours activity are forthcoming, the security staff will inform the club when possible ahead of time. In this event, it is advisable to contact the security office before travelling to the site to determine airfield availability.
No Fly Areas
The following picture shows the Fixed Wing No Fly areas for the airfield. Rotary Wing and Multi-Rotor aircraft may fly inside the No Fly areas provided it is safe to do so.
Caring for Children and Vulnerable Adults
All members, parents, guardians and carers are to comply with BMFA and club policies and guidelines for the promotion of welfare and care of children.
A junior member is defined as being under 18 years of age. A vulnerable adult is defined as a person of 18 years of age or over but through mental or physical attributes requires a higher level of supervision that would be normally commensurate for an adult member.
Junior members must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. The level of supervision is to be commensurate with with the junior member’s age, maturity, capabilities and levels of experience.
No child or vulnerable adult shall undertake any activity which might place him or her at risk. In any event prior consultation with their parent, guardian or carer must take place if there is any doubt on the member’s abilities to undertake a specific activity.
No senior member is expected to assume responsibility for a child or vulnerable adult unless he or she has been specifically requested to do so by the parent, guardian or carer. On agreeing to do so, he or she is to assume complete and total responsibility for the child or vulnerable person whilst he or she is in their charge.
Notwithstanding the requirements of the previous paragraph, should a member discover a child or vulnerable adult that is unsupervised then he or she must assume responsibility for that person’s safety in the first instance. The situation should then be rectified as soon as possible by seeking out the parent, guardian, carer or nominated supervisor. Any instance of such an occurrence is to be reported to the club committee as soon as possible and a record made of the occurrence.
When supervising children or vulnerable adults, members should avoid placing themselves in a position that could be open to misinterpretation or question in accordance with BMFA policy. Remember, the policy is there to protect you as well as children and vulnerable adults.
Should any member, parent, guardian, carer or the person themselves have concerns about the welfare of children or vulnerable adults then he or she is to contact a club committee member or any of the help lines given in the BMFA policy.
All members are required to respect the rights and dignity of children and vulnerable adults and to promote their welfare. Caring is largely a matter of common sense provided everyone is clear on what is expected of them and a few simple principles are adhered to. It is not a responsibility to be feared, but is nevertheless essential if we are to ensure that we are to be a club that offers opportunities to all.
Note to Parents, Guardians and Carers
Whilst this Club has a moral and statutory duty to take all reasonable steps to ensure the general welfare and protection of child and vulnerable adult members, in particular during the actual activity of model aircraft flying and associated pre-flight and post-flight procedures, the Club will not undertake the all-encompassing responsibilities of those acting in the role of guardians or carers unless specifically arranged.
Our activities at the flying sites do not finish at a regular time. It is therefore your responsibility to ensure the well-being of your charge over and above arranging a pre-determined collection time. Should you wish to leave your child or vulnerable adult at the flying site, it is your responsibility to arrange for one of the qualified club members to supervise him or her during your absence and, if necessary, make arrangements for the member to be able to make contact with you.
Should your child have any special medical or physical needs you are required to advise the Club in writing.
Should physical contact be required during model flying for instructional or any other purposes these will be explained to you and you will be required to record your agreement in writing defining the type and limits of contact.
Should the Club wish to use a photographic image of your child, the Club will follow the current guidelines given by the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit. In addition, your written consent will be required for the Club to do so.
In addition the BMFA has specific rules and policies relating to children and vulnerable adults, a copy of which can be provided to you, if required.
Membership application forms must be countersigned by the parent or guardian if the applicant is under 18 years of age or by the authorised carer of a vulnerable adult, thereby signifying acceptance of the conditions of membership.
Should you wish to discuss any issue, have any concerns or have suggestions on how we may improve our policies, then please contact a Club committee member or contact one of the helplines listed in the BMFA policy and guidelines as you deem appropriate.