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This Looks very Worrying

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simon_t

Quite a bit more discussion in the Drones thread in general discussion....  And yes it looks very draconian in Ireland, either on purpose or by by mistake, through rushing these these rules in.  I have heard of other proposed rulings in Czech Republic and Germany, so we may see more, but at least for the moment the BMFA has an excellent relationship with the CAA, and the CAA tend to take things slowly but carefully.

 

Simon

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Robin Sleight

This topic was discussed at the BMFA/CAA meeting earlier this month - a meeting which I attended  as a BARCS & BMFA representative. Whether we like it or not the current definition of "drones" or SUVs (or whatever) does include fixed wing and helicopter models in the traditional sense as well as multirotors which is what John Q Public generally thinks of as drones.  The good relations with the CAA will (I believe) prevent any knee jerk restrictions on our type of flying and the key document is CAP 658 targeted at recreational model flying.  HOWEVER there is a draft in existence of an EU document "EASA's doc A-NPA 2015-10" which may in time supersede the CAP. and as it stands it would cause problems. Being an EU document it is likely to take years before it becomes a fact and Ireland appears to have jumped the gun.  It does suggest that "drones" in the open category (defined as small drones of less than 25KgAUW) are restricted to NOT fly more than 150M above the ground.  The minutes of this CAA meeting do include the remark (attributed to BARCS) that control of model soaring gliders is readily achieved at heights up to 1,500 feet,a "one size fits all" definition is not sensible for this draft document. The CAA recognise time it will take to get any EU document into reasonable shape especially as the applicable technology is still evolving and so they will update and re-issue CAP 658 in the next few months essentially leaving things as is for model aircraft flyers.  However continued effort will still be needed so the BMFA's Drone Awareness campaign (which has CAA support) is an important element of a much needed ongoing strategy.

Robin

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pete beadle

Hi Robin

Sorry, whose " current definition of "drones" are you referring to, please?

If I were reading this document I would have suggested that the words "of drones" be inserted immediately after "helicopter models" and before "in the traditional sense"  to clarify they were referring to models of drones, not model aircraft - such as radio-controlled model gliders, powered aircraft models and the like, used, at present by model flyers as a recreational pursuit and for the recognised sport of model flying - so -

Whether we like it or not the current definition of "drones" or SUVs (or whatever) does include fixed wing and helicopter models OF DRONES in the traditional sense as well as multirotors which is what John Q Public generally thinks of as drones

I'd agree to that

Pete Beadle

BARCS1702

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Steve J

The definition in the EASA document that Robin refers to is -

‘Drone shall mean an aircraft without a human pilot on board, whose flight is controlled either autonomously or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle.’

i.e. a drone is an unmanned aircraft and can be fixed or rotary wing.

Steve 

 

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FrankS

But there is also this section when describing the "open category"

" This approach affects mostly model aircraft practitioners and the ‘open’ category drones. Model aircraft flying has been practised for decades with a good safety record because it is a well-structured activity. The intention is to develop rules for the ‘open’ category that will not affect model aircraft flying."

So it looks like the EU authorities are recognising a difference between drones and model aircraft and don't intend to penalise model aircraft practitioners.

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pete beadle

Hi all

Referring specifically to  the detail FrankS has found (above) - it appears that BMFA are now being presented with the perfect opportunity to confirm to their, and BARCS members, that we do NOT have to worry about this legislation as  "The intention is to develop rules for the ‘open’ category that will not affect model aircraft flying."  

Surely this information is exactly what both the BARCS and BMFA members want to hear right now?

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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Steve J

Is anybody in Mark Pritchard's constituency (The Wrekin)?

On the 7th December he asked the Secretary of State for Transport, "if he will introduce regulations to monitor the sale of drones for private and commercial use."

On the 15th December, Robert Goodwill, Secretary of State for Transport answered "The Civil Aviation Authority keeps a record of all the permissions they have issued to fly commercial drones in UK airspace. However this does not extend to leisure users of drones. To address this the Department for Transport is currently looking at a range of options including regulation, registration and licensing options and a database to increase transparency on the use of drones for the general public. We will be looking to address these issue without placing unnecessary bureaucratic burden on this emerging industry. We intend to consult on all of these issues and other possible solutions in 2016."

I feel a letter to my MP coming on.

Steve

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pete beadle

Go for it Steve!

The last time I complained about a local problem to "my" MP where I live (Andrew Dismore LAB, Hendon North), I was invited to a meeting with him at his constituency office, asked what I wanted to have him do, and was then asked, by his staff, to provide any material I had to support my complaint that he could use

Believe me ANYTHING that refers to the rights of the individual and/or complains about current policy of the opposing political party is never wasted

Also, don't forget the UK has a long history of listening to peaceful protest and even looking favourably such things as civil disobedience in pursuit of getting a perceived wrong righted - you never know, your local MP may become famous for championing your cause against the passing of legislation that you and his/her other constituents bring to his attention 

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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Scram

Would it not be appropriate to define Drones as "autonomous aircraft transmitting a video signal back to a remote pilot to aid /allow flying without direct visual contact of the aircraft by the pilot".  Thus, normal model (of any type) flying would not be affected by legislation on Drones.

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Steve J
On 20/12/2015 at 14:31, Robin Sleight said:

HOWEVER there is a draft in existence of an EU document "EASA's doc A-NPA 2015-10"

A-NPA 2015-10 is not a draft, it is a consultation document which now has a technical opinion (https://easa.europa.eu/system/files/dfu/Introduction%20of%20a%20regulatory%20framework%20for%20the%20operation%20of%20unmanned%20aircraft.pdf). The opinion has a bit about 'Special provisions for operations such as model aircraft', but, I definitely get the feeling that things are about to change and not for the better.

Steve

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1901

And stuff like this - http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/dec/23/champion-skier-marcel-hirscher-has-near-miss-as-drone-falls-out-of-sky - doesn't help.

Maybe time to start talking about 'Special provisions for operations such as model aircraft' and put some distance between ourselves and these guys. There's no further information about the operator but I would guess he's nearer the commercial/TV/news end of the spectrum than the hobbyist end.

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Robin Sleight

The minutes of the December 2015 CAA/BMFA meeting are now available on the BMFA website.  I did however extract the height related message with reference to the EASA document and included that in my earlier posting.

Robin

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Jef Ott
On 23/12/2015 at 05:23, 1901 said:

Maybe time to start talking about 'Special provisions for operations such as model aircraft' and put some distance between ourselves and these guys.

Totally agree.

Have just written to my MP, Rebecca Harris, with the following and my address and phone number details. 

"Hello Rebecca.

We have not met, to my knowledge, and I have lived in Castle Point all of my adult life and for most of my childhood.

In almost all of that time, I have gained immeasurable pleasure from building and flying model aircraft.

My models are mostly gliders which are graceful and silent, and are controlled by hand - eye co-ordination skills of the finest honing, making use of natural up currents of air to stay aloft. I do not use cameras to fly any of the aeroplanes that I own, and it concerns me that those that do use "First Person View" will, by the dangerous pursuance of their own irresponsible enjoyment, finish it for all of us.

I have represented Great Britain in two World Championships, flying rocket launched gliders, and have flown many forms of other gliding competitions with my son AND my father. My proudest moment may have been becoming the radio controlled Hand Launched Glider Champion at the British Model Flying Association's National Championships, for the second time, with my father and son in attendance.

My daughter has given me two grandsons. They are starting to show interest in aero-modelling too.
You can probably appreciate how important I feel it is that they are given the opportunity to enjoy some of what I love.

Unfortunately, due to multi-copters - commonly referred to as drones, becoming very widely available for general and indiscriminate use, by people that have no grounding in using aerial vehicles, there is a strong chance that my hobby is in jeopardy.

Please can you do whatever is necessary to make my voice heard, and to protect my sport, hobby and lifetime interest, whilst also ensuring that the harmonious use of models and full size aircraft continues in safety throughout Essex and the UK generally. "

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pete beadle

Hi Jef

Well said

Let us know when/if you get a reply, yes?

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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EssexBOF

I fear that the whole thing is escalating now with the adverse coverage on the media. There ia an article in the paper today where insurers are excluding drones or as they put it "motorised and remote controlled vehicles" Aviva would seem to be the exception.

All it requires is an exemption for remote controlled models,that do not carry cameras. Job done IMHO as you cannot fly, control any object that you cannot see where it is at any given time.

But it will exclude all those claims for lost models from the past.

BARCS 230

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Jef Ott
15 hours ago, pete beadle said:

Let us know when/if you get a reply, yes?

Of course I will Pete.

Posted the letter here so that others may follow suit with ease, should they also deem it appropriate to take action to safeguard their hobby, rather than sit back and regret not having done so.

Happy New Year everyone!

Jef

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PeterT
Quote

Have just written to my MP, Rebecca Harris, with the following and my address and phone number details.

Jef, nicely put,

If you get into a dialogue with your MP or her assistants, you might care to remember that the government is promoting STEM, and this is what the website quotes:

"Science and research are major contributors to the prosperity of the UK. For our prosperity to continue, the government believes we need high levels of skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and citizens that value them"

I suggest that "aeromodelling" in all its forms helps that and  there are a significant number of "us" in the aerospace, science & technology fields. As one example (although he died recently), you could cite Tom Smith. From memory he was in the British team at a World Champs many moons ago, but more importantly he was the leader of the project team that designed the British space shuttle - 10 years before the US..........typically, the project got canned by the government of the day! There are many others I'm sure, including Paul MacCready, the founder of Aerovironment in the US that designs & supplies many of the small UAVs used by the US & UK forces.

The business pages of a newspaper had this headline a couple of days ago "Aircraft makers help to propel UK Industry"

My worry is that the bureaucrats, in an attempt to be seen to be doing something, will end up throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Sorry to rabbit on :rolleyes:

Peter

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mikef

Peter,

Your point about 'aeromodelling' being a good way of developing engineers is a good one.  Tom Smith was still at BAe Warton when I knew him - his obit is here:- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/technology-obituaries/9649596/Tom-Smith.html  A quick look in my history spreadsheet shows that Tom was never on a GBR team - I remember him specialising in Open Power rather than F1C.  (I have a table of all the GBR representatives at Championships since 1951, with their class and placing - I'll put a copy in the Free Flight section to prevent too much thread drift)

A couple of names that instantly spring to my mind as aeromodellers in aviation are Sir Edwin Alliott Verdon Roe (AVRO) and Sir Sidney Camm (Hawker Aircraft) - a list of their aircraft is left as an exercise for the student.  There are many more.

MikeF

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