Club Rules

 

FLYING & SAFETY REGULATIONS

Affiliated to the Model Aeronautic Council of Ireland

Introduction

The following rules are established to minimise the risks involved in flying model aircraft. They do not however constitute an exhaustive definition of safe operating practice and nothing in them should be read as detracting from the ultimate responsibility of each individual pilot for the safe operation of his aircraft.

Not withstanding the provisions of rule (11) every member is a safety officer in their own right. If you witness a transgression then do something about it and politely inform the transgressor of their error. In many cases, it is simply lack of knowledge or the sort of oversight of which we are all guilty occasionally. In cases of persistent or serious infraction, inform the committee

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The M.A.C.I. Safety Code is deemed to form part of these rules.

 

1.1 Transmitter and Frequency Control

1.1.1 Frequency control will be affected by means of a pegboard. No transmitter may ever be switched on at a club site unless the operator is in possession of the appropriate channel peg. All transmitters must be fitted with a pennant or label displaying the number of the channel to which they are tuned. No member will retain the peg for more than 20 minutes without ensuring that another person does not require the frequency. All members should be aware that a separation between radio channels of only 10KHz can only protect against mutual interference between adjacent channels so long as the signal received by ones own aircraft is as least as strong as any signal present on an adjacent channel. Since all model control transmitters radiate at the same power, received signal strength will vary only with range and therefore for safe control a transmitter radiating on an adjacent channel must be no nearer to one's model than is one's own transmitter. Or more simply put, as we fly are all flying from the same location, more than 10KHz separation is needed between adjacent channels

1.1.2 Radios incorporating a “Fail-safe” MUST be set up so that the throttle will be closed in the event of signal loss. Owners of Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) equipment should be aware that all PCM radios incorporate a Fail-safe facility and that the default setting is usually “HOLD”. i.e. unless otherwise programmed signal loss will cause all controls to “freeze” in the last commanded position. Operation in this mode is highly dangerous and is forbidden. Fail-safes must as a minimum be pre-set to close the throttle. Members using PCM receivers may be asked at any time to demonstrate the correct operation of the Fail-Safe mode by the Safety Officer or other member of the committee.

1.1.3 The safety officer maintains a register of radio channels used by individual members. This is a most valuable means of minimising congestion on particular channels and members are asked to consult with the safety officer when deciding which channel to use. If the safety officer suggests a change of channel please co-operate if at all possible. The correct use of the pegboard is still mandatory.

1.1.4 If a member finds it necessary to change frequency at the field, extreme care should be exercised to ensure that the pennant is also changed, and the correct peg subsequently taken from the peg board prior to flying, generally following the procedure outlined below:

  1. a. Switch Off transmitter and replace current peg on Peg Board.
  2. b. Remove and store Pennant and crystal.
  3. c. Replace crystal with new channel
  4. d. CHECK crystal and replace pennant with correct channel Indication.
  5. e. If there is another member present, ask them to CHECK CAREFULLY that you have the matching crystal and pennant BEFORE obtaining the appropriate peg and switching on transmitter. 

1.2 Lost / Missing Pegs

1.2.1 If any member arriving first at a flying site finds a peg missing from the board, they may go ahead and place the board in it’s usual location and continue with their flying activities, however, they should NOT under any circumstances attempt to replace the peg, but should at the earliest opportunity inform the Safety Officer or Other Committee Member.

1.2.2 If the first arriving member finds the missing peg is for their frequency, they may at their own risk continue to fly, but must take into consideration the risks associated with the possibility of another member arriving who operates on the same frequency.

1.2.3 If a member arrives at the flying site and finds their required peg missing, they should first assume that the frequency is in use, and place their transmitter in the pound. If it then becomes apparent that no other members have the peg, that member may proceed to fly providing they have checked and obtained agreement from ALL other members present.

1.2.4 Should there be any doubt whatsoever regarding the status or whereabouts of a peg, the Safety Officer or Other committee member if present may at their discretion quarantine that frequency until such time as the Safety Officer or Committee are satisfied that the situation has been resolved.

1.2.5 In the event of a member accidentally removing a peg from a flying site, they should as soon as practicably or reasonably possible:

a. Consider returning the peg to the site at the first possible opportunity, (not necessarily being the next flying session, for example if you have returned home with a peg on a Saturday you should consider returning it on Sunday).

b. Notify the Safety Officer or other committee member of the error, and inform them of your intended actions, (i.e. You will be at the next flying session and will return the peg).



1.2.6 If you have inadvertently removed a peg from the flying site then it is YOUR responsibility to ensure it’s safe and timely return. To this end you should note the following:

a. If you are intending to return to the flying field at the next available session, DO NOT just turn up and start flying. Check with and obtain agreement from ALL other members who may already be at the site, that the frequency is not in use, BEFORE switching on your transmitter.

b. If on your arrival you find the frequency to be in use by another member, pass the peg to that member, (if they are flying or preparing to fly), and wait until that member has finished their flight and placed the peg back on the board.

c. You may be instructed by the safety officer to destroy the peg, please ensure you do so. The Safety Officer will then make arrangements to ensure a replacement peg is provided and placed on the peg board in a safe manner



Engine Starting and Running

Adequate clearance from other persons and models must be ensured before start-up, which should take place with the throttle at, or near, idle. Full throttle starting is quite unnecessary and can be dangerous. Once started, move clear of the plane of rotation of the propeller and make any adjustments from behind. Engine RPM must be limited to a fast idle within the pit area. Full power checks and prolonged ground running must take place well clear of the pit area. No aircraft may fly if its maximum sound level exceeds the maximum value allowed at a particular site. Should any member of the committee consider that any aircraft exceeds the maximum permissible noise level then that aircraft will be grounded until a noise test can be made.

3. Ground Movement of Aircraft

Aircraft will normally be carried to and from pit area. Where the size and weight of the model makes this impractical, taxiing is permitted provided that the model is kept under physical restraint (e.g. by a hand on the fin) whenever it is within or near the pit area. The air taxiing of helicopters within or near the pit area is forbidden.

4. Takeoff

Neither pilots nor their models shall enter the takeoff and landing area (hereinafter referred to as the runway) until they have checked and obtained positive clearance from other pilots that it is safe to do so, by requesting “Clear to Take Off”. Aircraft landing have priority over aircraft waiting to takeoff. When lined up a thorough visual check all round must be made before `brake release'. Once their models are safely airborne pilots must take up a position in the Pilots Box.

5. General Flying

All general flying will be carried out on the 'active' side of the runway. Flying on the 'dead' side is prohibited. Low passes at high speed are forbidden along the line of the runway. 'Touch and Go's executed from a normal landing approach are permissible.

6. Landing

Landings should be made on or near the runway and the aircraft taxied clear as soon as possible. If the model cannot be taxied then the person retrieving the model is responsible for informing other pilots that he is picking up and for avoiding models landing and taking off. Pilots must call 'Landing' when on the downwind leg of the landing circuits. Before any aircraft can be retrieved from the runway the pilot must obtain clearance from other pilots to maintain a high level of safety. Whenever in the course of model retrieval a switched on transmitter is taken outside the normal landing area, the aerial must be retracted.

7. Helicopter Flying

All members flying helicopters must observe the M.A.C.I. code for these aircraft. This includes a requirement for rigorous testing and frequent checking of all parts of the aircraft. Members should pay particular attention to rotorblade condition.

8. In Flight Emergencies

Any pilot experiencing an in flight failure of engine, airframe or radio control system shall make every effort to affect an immediate safe landing. A loud call indicating the nature of the emergency (e.g. 'Dead Stick' or 'Radio Failure') shall be made. Other pilots must, as far as possible, keep their aircraft clear of the circuit and approach path until the emergency is concluded.

9. Persons Entitled to Fly

The following categories of persons are allowed to fly radio models at club sites:

(a) Current members.

(b) Guest Pilots with current M.A.C.I. Insurance

10. Entry to the Pilot/Pit Area

A pilot may be accompanied within the pilot area by a maximum of one other person. Except with the consent of a member of the committee such persons must be members of the club. Young children, pets, and casual onlookers must not be taken or allowed to stray into this area.

11. Safety Officer

Responsibility for monitoring observance of these rules and dealing with cases of non-compliance rests with the safety officer. Members are asked to respect his decision and comply with his requests, or, in his absence, those of any other committee member. It is a responsibility of all members to remember 'Safe Flying is no Accident'.

12. Radio Equipment

Only commercially available radio equipment may be used. Any member wishing to use home built or other non-standard radio equipment must check with the safety officer before operating at club flying sites.

13 Public Flying Displays

Waterford Model Flying Club is not registered for Public Flying Displays at this time.

14. Car Parking

Cars may only be parked at club sites in areas designated for the purpose.

15. Propellers

Propellers should always be checked for balance before use. The condition of the propeller should be checked before initial fitting and after every flight. Chipped or otherwise damaged propellers should be discarded. As a general rule the use of un-reinforced plastic propellers should be confined to Aircraft using two stroke engines of less than 0.25 cu in (4cc). Any other aircraft and all four strokes, irrespective of size, must be fitted with a wooden or reinforced plastic propeller. Metal propellers are totally forbidden.

16. Checks

A proper pre-flight check is a must. It should always include a check of `controls full and free movement in the correct sense', performed while at full power. If there is the slightest doubt about the serviceability of the aircraft, shut down and investigate. Post flight checks are hardly less important, particularly after a hard landing or any abnormal behaviour of the aircraft. A thorough inspection of each model should always be carried out between flying sessions.

At the end of each flying session a careful check should be made before leaving to ensure that nothing has been left behind and THAT ANY LITTER HAS BEEN REMOVED.

17.Congestion

Whenever the number of models simultaneously airborne is at the maximum allowed and two or more members are waiting to fly please limit your flight to a maximum of ten minutes.

18. Non-Members

18.1 Visiting Pilots

Members may, on isolated occasions, introduce as guests R/C model fliers who are personally known to them and for whose competence they are prepared to vouch. Such guests may fly at a club site on condition that:

(a) The agreement of the safety officer or, in his absence, that of another committee member, is obtained;

(b) The guest has documentary proof of current insurance cover;

(c) The sponsoring member takes full responsibility acquainting his guest with these rules and monitoring his or her observance of them. Members are asked to limit their exercise of this privilege to a maximum of three occasions per year, and should normally check with the secretary beforehand that the proposed visit is acceptable.

18.2 Non-Flying Visitors

Members are welcome to bring friends and relatives to the flying site but please keep small children under control and ensure that there is someone minding them while you fly. Adult guests must be well briefed to keep clear of the flying area and of running engines. Spectators are only permitted in the designated spectator area only. Uninvited casual onlookers wandering into flying area are an extreme hazard. they should immediately be asked, politely, to clear the area by the first member to notice their presence.

19. Observance and interpretation of the rules

Every member shall abide by the Rules of the Club and also by any modification thereof, made in conformity with such rules. Failure to comply with the rules may result in suspension of membership or other disciplinary action

20. Suspension or expulsion of Members

It shall be the duty of the Committee to suspend or expel any member, should they find it in the interests of the Club so to do but any member so affected shall have the right of appeal to the full Committee meeting. In the case of expulsion being upheld, all or part of the Annual Subscription may be refunded, at the discretion of the Committee.

APPENDIX 1: WATERFORD MODEL FLYING CLUB FLYING SITE

1. Flying Site

Use of this site is subject to a conditional local and owners consent. The conditions governing the site use are as follows.

1.1 Hours of access:

There is no time restriction on access to our new flying site. "Common" sense and light availability are our guidelines.

1.2 Airspace Restrictions

No flying shall take place within marked “NO FLY” Area (See map).

1.3 Type of Aircraft.

All types of aircraft are allowed to be flown, including turbine propelled aircraft, not exceeding 20Kg AUW.

Models exceeding 7kg may be flown once they have a valid Large Model Registration Form. All relevant paper-work must be available at all times when the models are present at the site.

1.4 Noise.

A noise limit of 80db per model applies at this site. Where helicopters carrying out close in hovering for the purposes of training are excluded from this count.

1.5 Parking.

Cars must be parked in an area noted on the map. No exceptions. Parking out-side of the demarcated area is a breach of insurance conditions, as well as potentially hazardous to people and models.

1.6 Access.

Access is only allowed through entrances identified on Flying Site Map. Any gates found locked must be locked once you have passed through it.

 

The indicated no fly area (red hatched area on the Map) shall be complied with at all times without exception. 

A printable version will be made available as soon as possible.