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Drones & Model Aircraft Banned from Royal Parks

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pete beadle

Hi Brian

 

Very Interesting

Firstly, I agree with this action wholeheartedly BUT WONDER how are they going to enforce it?

As the Mail says, any flying of aircraft is already banned in the Royal parks and incidents still occur.....

 

Reading deeper into the article it says police can NOW confiscate/impound aircraft being operated from within the parks etc

What about the ones operated from Ipads and such which can be "tasked" to fly to a point and return from possibly up to a mile (or two) from their "launch and command" position - for example, how would you prevent FPV controlled "drones"

 

We've already had the story circulated of the aeromodeller whose wish/intention is to produce a "scale drone" and task it to fly from launch to a designated point, photograph that point, then return to base all programmed using a laptop computer and without a physical control input....

 

Recently, I am reliably informed that a drone/hexacopter/flying R/C controlled "helicopter" was observed by police videoing the exterior windows of the Palace of Westminster, and the command to shoot it down by armed police present was only prevented/not given because of the very real chance of collateral damage/injury to people inside, and bystanders outside, the parliament building 

 

The public's view of camera-carrying hexacopters costing thousands of pounds is already changing from "big boys toys" to threats to security, including life and limb of the general public by the very fact their sale is not controlled AT ALL because they are "just toys"

 

I think the next few months, in the lead-up to a general election are going to be pivotal in establishing the public's view of flyers everywhere, whatever they are flying - is it time to get our side's point of view "out there" in the media asking what our sport can do to help regarding this problem, before the "ban it brigade" get the ammunition they need to prevent ALL recreational model flying - anywhere, being banned in the "knee jerk" reaction to this type of story - shouldn't we be a bit more positively pro-active providing the factual information that it's NOT a problem being caused by model flyers - its the bad guys using things we also happen to fly? 

 

Any thoughts?

Regards

 

Pete

BARCS1702

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EssexBOF

Well they used to fly gliders in Richmond Park plus others in Bushey Park so guess that puts a stop on that.

 

Thing that worries me is when these goons start flying them on NT property.

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Bear

Yes Pete, lots of thoughts on it, most pretty contentious!

 

What it has absolutly shown is that the BMFA has shown itself incapable of pro-active thinking on promoting our hobby and as you say "get our side's point of view "out there". They need and have needed for sometime a professional PR department getting media airtime whenever there is a story in the news. Press releases targeted at mainstream media should be pouring out of Chatsfield House. Where is the BMFA statement on the latest news from the House of Lords? or this Royal Parks ban? We desperately need a model flying body that represents the interest of individual model flyers and whilst we lack one we can only look forward to more prohibition. The ironic thing is that prohibition has been shown time and time again to only affect the law abiding and not deter at all those who might be a potential threat to safety, privacy or security.

 

Whilst we need good relations with the CAA, we need to be fighting in the court of public opinion because that is where the danger is. Sadly most people do not seem to give a monkeys until it is their site or club that suffers.

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mikef

Well they used to fly gliders in Richmond Park plus others in Bushey Park so guess that puts a stop on that.

 

Some good news.

 

This 'Ban' was brought to my notice by the BMFA (Manny Williamson), who knew that I used Richmond Park.  I'm one of a few surviving members of the 'old' Richmond club - having moved away from the area, none of us use the park regularly these days.  There are several DLG flyers who fly there regularly and I have been to fly with them a few times.  The BMFA was concerned to know if the situation had changed there.

 

I called the Park Police and they told me that there is no change in that Model Flying (and 'drone' flying) is still permitted but only in the designated area as it always has been since I was in short trousers (early 60s).

 

I believe that the 'designated areas' rule has applied to all the Royal Parks for a long time.  I don't know if there are designated areas in other Royal Parks but if there are, perhaps the situation there hasn't changed either.

 

The notice seems to be aimed at the 'newcomers' who have been attracted to 'drones' and might not see them as small aircraft or be aware of any of the aviation law that applies to them and all other model flying.

 

I have reported back to the BMFA - good to know they were 'on the ball' again on this one.

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Dave Elam

Very reassuring news Mike for those who use Richmond park.

 

Unfortunately though there is a negative chipping away regarding the perception of certainly drone fliers, and then by association, ourselves.

 

I do wonder where this could all lead.

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Robin Sleight

Bear, in his comments above, is a bit harsh on the BMFA. As other comments have shown, Manny is up to date with the situation and, for much of its activity, the BMFA relies on its membership, especially the Area Representatives and Elected Officers all of whom are volunteers. The PRO position is that of one of the Elected Officers and the current PRO works hard at what he sees as his main priorities. One can always disagree with these priorities but essentially it boils down to who is prepared to stand for election and take on the job. It may be that position comes up for election again come the end of this year so, rather that beef on a forum, please consider standing and thus helping in a formal capacity. Even without an election, given a willing volunteer the BMFA has precedents to follow such as the current role of Jim Wright who has been co-opted to assist with formulating plans for a possible National Flying Centre.

Robin

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pete beadle

Hi Robin et al

 

I am always concerned when anyone answers the raising of a query with "If you don't think the incumbent is doing a good enough job, you should volunteer to do that job yourself"

One of the most important reasons for actually having a PRO is to provide a focal point for what people want, if it differs from what they are currently getting......

It is NOT good enough to reply to a query by saying "If you don't like what I'm doing, stand for the post yourself"

 

Pretty soon, in the leadup to the general election, the incumbents in every post must be assessed on what they have or haven't done and with a view to changing that person for somebody else if they're not effective enough in their post - this situation does not apply in this case and it is not a fair comment to say it does

If you ask people to tell you what they want - don't be surprised if it is something you're not doing!

 

Good news about the royal parks but don't forget the motto of the Daily Mail  - "don't let the facts get in the way of a good story"

Like it or not the Mail has never been shy to raise unfounded concerns and use them to sell papers

 

In this instance I believe it is NOT sufficient to sit back and hope that the public see the distinction between people that fly for fun and don't do anyone any harm, and those who also fly but with very different aims and consequences 

Regards

 

Pete

BARCS1702

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Bear

Quote from the minutes of full council minutes regarding the PRO,

 

"It came as a surprise to him that he would be here today as he had submitted his resignation to the Executive however they duly persuaded him to withdraw it."

 

This is 2015 and an organisation that has 36,000 members has no professional PRO! So Manny Williamson was "on the ball" by which I suppose you mean he was in touch with the editors of the national newspapers giving the largest organisation representing aeromodelers there opinion on the Lords debate and the Royal Parks issue. And I mean being pro-active getting in there first not as (again from the minutes)defending,

 

"There is much media interest in drones and quite a lot of office resource has been spent defending queries from the media and the public."

 

Some might think a phone call to a member to find out what is happening regarding model flying in Richmond Park is being on the ball, to me it is more like "scrambling across the goalmouth to make a desperate save!" It is however good news that flying continues but it is hardly due to the BMFA.

 

Quote Robin,

 

"It may be that position comes up for election again come the end of this year so, rather that beef on a forum, please consider standing and thus helping in a formal capacity."

 

Unfortunately Robin as a Country Member there is no other way of communicating ones opinions to the wider membership of the BMFA except forums like this and other social media such as facebook. So I apologise if I should not air my views here and kindly delete my post's. I have no wish to be banned from this forum as others have on similar forums for daring to disagree with the direction of the "leadership" of the BMFA. My area of expertise is in management(M.B.A) of a large company, the black art of PR I delegated to professionals within the company. What I do know is that if, as has happened the CAA was to produce leaflets on drones and my company had not managed to get the BMFA on those leaflets I would tender my resignation!

 

Again from the minutes,

 

"The CAA has produced an awareness leaflet to point out the legal responsibilities to potential purchasers of these items. (Copies of the leaflet were handed out). Unfortunately the leaflets do not refer people to the BMFA or other model flying associations where they could obtain much more information."

 

What an opportunity missed!

 

As for the National Flying Centre it shows better than anything just how out of touch and dismissive of the memberships wishes Chatsfield House has become. With all the attempts to publicize the  survey it only received support from less than 10% of the membership. Yet still the powers that be push on with it, offering no alternative for the "future of the BMFA" than a museum. Although to be fair that might be the only place to view model aircraft if we don't get some real leadership on the "drone" issue.

 

Finally I do not think it is those that have a contrary opinion are the problem, I think those that have no opinion at all are the issue, apathy is what will see us legislated out of existence. However as I have noted at least two gentlemen employed by the BMFA membership would prefer no discourse on social media unless it is positive.

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Robin Sleight

Hi, I have no wish to disagree with any contrary opinion but my point remains that the best way of fixing a problem in an organisation like the BMFA is to get suitable people to stand for election or pending that to volunteer to pick up some specific and relevant ball. It is misleading to state that only 10% of the membership supported the idea of a National Flying Centre (which if it happens will be very much more than a museum, the museum is a very secondary consideration). The percentages varied depending on what people thought it was mean for their subscriptions and in any case the survey was before the issues with Barkston Heath arose which, to my mind at least, drives home the fragility of our current arrangements for good flying sites and the peril of relying on the good offices of an ever diminishing RAF.

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Bear

Please Robin, I clearly stated the Survey only received support from 10% of the membership despite attempts to publicise it. That is an epic fail to engage an organization's members any way you look at it!. The National Model Center itself got a resounding NO of 57.52% if it means an increase in subs from those that bothered to reply. So unless the leadership progresses on the understanding there will be NO increase in subs (which it hasn't) then it has no mandate to proceed.

 

I have made it clear that I believe the BMFA requires a professional P.R.O. perhaps you can tell me how to get support for that idea other than the use of social media. 
 

Oh and by the way I have already visited and reported to Manny on the largest collection of aeromodeling subjects in the country at his request. So I have picked up a specific and relevant ball. 

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Robin Sleight

I frankly also have concerns about the bad press that "drones" are creating and the consequent risk to our sport. In part, to track this activity, I will attend the mini RPV beyond line of sight lecture at the RAeS London tomorrow evening. Obviously it would help if more publicity was given to "our" side of the story. One option which you might consider is to get your Area Representative (Peter Disney if you are based in Cornwall) to put forward a suitable proposal to the BMFA May Council meeting. I could readily suggest wording and format for such a proposal but I hesitate to do that on an open forum, especially as this is a BMFA issue NOT a BARCS one. If you contact me by email - Chacksfield House could give you my contact details if you can not readily find them, I would be happy to give you a suggested proposal on the topic you raise and put you in touch with Peter Disney.

Robin

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Bear

Thank you Robin I will do so, and contact you directly. I see this as a "everybody who fly's a model issue" so maybe I should try to get support from BARCS for the proposal as well.

 

Roger

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oipigface

I am not particularly interested in politicking, but I would like to report that I was flying a Rotmilan at a local site recently, when a group of walkers came past. One of the men explained to his girlfriend that 'it's a drone'. The distinctions that we make because we are involved are not necessarily those that the public at large make.

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Sean Cull

Aren't all websites meant to state the legal entity that operates them ? This feels like a scam

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Woodstock

Aren't all websites meant to state the legal entity that operates them ? This feels like a scam

No-one is going to go to the trouble and expense of compiling a web site of that sophistication as a scam.  They include their address, a map, phone numbers, what more do you need?

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oipigface

No-one is going to go to the trouble and expense of compiling a web site of that sophistication as a scam.  They include their address, a map, phone numbers, what more do you need?

 

But they do not say who they are, what their legal powers are, or where those powers come from. However, they are not alone in wanting to enforce no fly zones: http://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(no-fly-zone-u-k)_121856.htm

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