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Richard Swindells

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GeoffN

Quote from Daily Mirror 

Some of the drone sightings near Gatwick during the airport shutdown may have belonged to police, it has emerged.

Sussex Chief Constable Giles York made the admission as he said he felt “really sorry” over an innocent couple being held for 36 hours in connection with the disruption.

He insisted he was “absolutely certain” a rogue drone caused the three-day pre-Christmas chaos, but added confusion could have been caused as “we launched our own drones to investigate”.

So drone sighting -airport closed - police launch drone to investigate - police get drone sightings - police launch drones to investigate -.................

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EssexBOF

Interesting piece from Rui Silva in Portugal, regarding the problem. He is caught both ways being an ATC at Porto Airport.

 

This year our club and the club at Braga had problems with the Portuguese airspace regulatory body because of lower airspace limits for our flying fields in 2019, they ruled 170m for us and 120m for Braga.
We managed to get back to 300m but we have no idea if we can get the temporary (weekend) 450m limit with NOTAM and coordination.
If we cannot get the 450m we cannot organize F5J comps anymore.

Our regulatory body is fully aware of the differences between "wild" drone flying and "regulated aeromodelling" but due to political pressure (both Lisbon and Porto airports closed once due to drone activity) they chose to lower the limits for flying fields in controlled airspace, although NAV Portugal (ATC provider and my employer) has no problem whatsoever with our activity.
It took a lot of diplomacy to get them to reason... and I really don't know what will happen when we will request the NOTAM for 450m.

 

 

 

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Steve J
3 hours ago, GeoffN said:

Quote from Daily Mirror ...

It is worth listening to the interview on the BBC that various articles in the press this weekend are based on -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001t04 

(the interview starts just after 1:10).

Steve

PS 'based on' may not be the right term...

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paulj

I saw one video which linked the drone problem with the sale of 50.1% of the airport to the French company Vinci. According to this person's opinion, the problem could have been a last ditch effort by staff to influence the sale.

I have no opinion on this personally...

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pete beadle

Hi all

Over the last 20-25 years, until two or three years ago, I used to be great friends with a motorcycle traffic cop who lived nearby. He retired and moved to the south coast, Kent I think it was, and unfortunately we've gradually lost touch.

He used to be brilliant as a source to find out what actually happened in large-scale incidents covered and investigated by the police

I'd have loved to have an evening with him, over a pint or two, getting the real, inside story of what the local force actually did during the Gatwick incident

He'd have been scathing about the appearance on the radio of this Assistant Chief Constable, the old saying "Lions led by donkeys" would probably have cropped up, and he'd have reminded me of the fact that, these days, serving senior officers were/are MUCH better at PR than in real policing. 

He frequently used to say that his senior management were literally just managers now, and using  methods that "old school coppers" would detest.

More importantly he would have told me exactly what DID happen rather than what that "manager" was trying his hardest to avoid revealing (and failing):yes:

Happy New Year to all:)

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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Richard Swindells
On 30/12/2018 at 20:18, pete beadle said:

Hi all

Quote "Everyone knows the new laws are stupid and unworkable" unquote -  Really?

What am I trying to do? I'm trying to remind everyone concerned that there is always the option of just saying "No, I won't accept these rules, because they really are both unworkable and unenforceable, so what are you going to do about it?"

I'm trying to convince you that you/we shouldn't meekly accept what is being proposed, and should register our/your objection to them, and make a stand as individuals exercising their rights as we are all entitled to do

I'm trying to convince you that the law is on our side too......that what the various authorities are proposing is provably bad law......and should be rejected as such

Is that clear enough?

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

The only section of the new laws that I am objecting to is the 400ft limit. As it seems the BMFA has acquired exemption from this limit for it's members, it would seem that at very least the CAA has acknowledged the potential disruption to aero-modelling activities. (The 400ft height limit is unworkable in practice, without a reliable method for all models and enforcement agencies to determine altitude above ground, it is this part of the law that is "stupid and unworkable", BARCS members all know that)

Registering models and/or myself as a competent pilot is inevitable. If it makes it easier to distinguish & prosecute the idiots flying drones from Curry's then I'll happily oblige.

I've registered my opinion at the relevant consultation around classification of "drones", highlighting that there are simple ways to distinguish between the types of aircraft used.

However I am not willing to risk my ability to compete in domestic or international competitions, by refusing to adhere to the law. (Currently there are way more important issues, that have a far more significant potential to affect my freedoms to worry about)

 

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pete beadle

H Richard

Thanks for this reply

Quote - "However I am not willing to risk my ability to compete in domestic or international competitions, by refusing to adhere to the law"

As I understand it, there is no law in the UK yet, and also I understand European Contest Organisers/Directors are now applying for exemptions to run their competitions and, in Europe anyway, are having these applications being considered favourably

Finally, can I confirm I have NEVER suggested that anyone breaks any law, but believe there's a big difference between fighting the introduction  of restrictions, and  simply accepting them and allowing them to be applied, and thereby accelerating the demise of model flying throughout the UK

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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Steve J
1 hour ago, pete beadle said:

As I understand it, there is no law in the UK yet

The ANO changed last summer. I am surprised that you don't know this. It was discussed quite a bit on here. CAP 1687 describes the changes.

Steve

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pete beadle

Hi SteveJ

My apologies, I was aware of the changes to the ANO but assumed the discussions quoted here and in BMFA News which came after July 2018 - about where the 400 feet restriction  started, slope level,  sea level etc were still ongoing or, at least, still under discussion

So to be completely clear, I am already breaking the law when I am flying my R/C aircraft in unrestricted airspace higher than 400 feet from where I am controlling the model - in my case, from the edge of the slope?

I really must be cracking up then, because I assumed that discussions after July 2018 about how the 400 feet measurement was obtained proved that it was impossible to actually measure this height accurately in real time and using current technology........

Sorry, I'll go back and check  how and where I made this wrong assumption and, in the meantime, not fly any comps where I would be breaking this rule

Well, don't I feel a fool!

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702 

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Richard Swindells

Copy/Paste...

Your aircraft must not fly higher than 400ft.  The remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly it at a height of more than 400 feet above the  surface, unless the permission of the CAA has been obtained [Article 94A of the ANO]. 

BMFA NOTE: The BMFA, Large Model Association, Scottish Aeromodellers Association and First Person View UK have a ‘Permission’ from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which permits their members operating ‘conventionally piloted’ model aircraft (not including multi-rotors) of less than 7Kg to fly higher than 400ft.  The Associations also have a separate ‘Exemption’ from the CAA which permits their members operating ‘conventionally piloted’ model aircraft (not including multi-rotors) of less than 3.5Kg to fly up to 1000ft when flown using First Person View with a ‘competent observer’.  For further details of the Permission and Exemption, please visit www.bmfa.org or email admin@bmfa.org.  Model aircraft weighing more than 7Kg (and multi-rotors) may only operate above 400ft under the terms of an ‘exemption’ from the ANO obtained directly from the CAA.

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Jef Ott

Pete,

Hope I am correct in thinking Richard was referring to the labelling/registering of his aircraft, when saying what he said, about adhering to the law, in the future.  This has for a long time been standard practice in some international model flying competition formats.

Also, in a nutshell, if your model weighs less than 7kg you are legally allowed to fly safely at any height.
Models greater than 7kg had restrictions on them previously (before last summer), if I read Brian Austin's post correctly, but (I have never had any interest in flying something that heavy, so) don't quote me on it.

Hope this helps clarify the situation, but I doubt it will! 😊

Jef

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pete beadle

Hi all, especially SteveJ and Richard S,

OK, I've found the reason why I was telling you chaps that "there was no law in the UK yet", it's NOT because of the problem of measurement of the 400 feet limit, it's because of this - 

Quote from BMFA News - The recent 2018 amendments to the Air Navigation Order will come into effect on the 30th July, making it illegal to operate any unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) above 400ft.
The UK model flying associations (BMFA, SAA, LMA & FPVUK) have been working in close collaboration in ongoing negotiations with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and we are pleased to report that earlier today the CAA issued us with a joint ‘Permission’ to allow our members to continue operating ‘conventional’ model aircraft (excluding multi-rotors) weighing less than 7Kg at heights in excess of 400ft.

So, my understanding of the "permission" was that the law would  not apply to UK flyers  because the previously held  limit had been reinstated by agreement with the national body - problem solved(?) - I'm probably still wrong, but at least I now remember why I thought that the amendments to the ANO wouldn't apply to us

My  apologies for my lapse in memory, I'll try not to let it happen again

Regards

Pete

BARCS 1792

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Richard Swindells

Hi Jef. 

The law I am referring to is that we are still considered to be a SUA pilot (small unmanned aircraft) so will be required to register AND take a relevant compitancy test AND display the CAA supplied registration number on our aircraft. 

The removal of the 400ft height limit is a separate written exemption that does not remove any requirement for us to register our models. 

Richard 

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f3fisa

Hi Peter,

It is important  to remember that the 400 ft exemption applies to BMFA members only.

If you see anyone flying above 400ft who cannot prove they are a member of the BMFA then they are flying illegally unless they have special permission.

I wonder how this effects foreign flyers visiting the UK , especially in comps when they may be limited to 400ft ?😉

David.

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pete beadle

Hi David

Yes, an important distinction I should have mentioned the need for BMFA membership, thank you

However, while sorting through old posts on the subject , which BTW has now been closed, I now remember the fact that I made the point repeatedly in several of my posts at the time , that enforcement of these new regulations would be impossible without our active co-operation

I made several posts asking who would actually enforce these new regulations and got no official response. only helpful suggestions from BARCS members, so, in the absence of an official response, I would have to say to David that, foreign flyers visiting the UK, especially competitors,  should ask their UK host or UK Competition Director.....the responsibility for asking would be on the visitor though

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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oipigface
3 minutes ago, pete beadle said:

... who would actually enforce these new regulations ...

The courts?

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satinet
16 minutes ago, oipigface said:

The courts?

To be fair it would be extremely difficult to prove a model was over 400ft without telemtry from the model itself. 

I assume this is the point Pete is making. 

However the law is not designed so that the police can go around nabbing people flying over 400ft using special laser beams. It's so that people can be prosecuted after the fact, which acts as a deterrent, in theory. If a model hits a full size at 2000ft you can't claim you didn't know.

The fact that a drone, or at least the idea of one, can shut down gatwick while flying under 400 ft shows obvious flaws in the law. 

The fact that you can get life in prison for interfering with airports under terrorism laws means people who want to do that probably won't register.

But you can't bury your head in the sand and pretend this is going to go away. 

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Steve J
2 hours ago, f3fisa said:

I wonder how this effects foreign flyers visiting the UK , especially in comps when they may be limited to 400ft ?😉

Competition organisers can apply to the CAA for an exemption. 

I wonder when the CAA will get around to updating Form SRG1308 ...

Steve

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Steve J
27 minutes ago, satinet said:

The fact that a drone, or at least the idea of one, can shut down gatwick while flying under 400 ft shows obvious flaws in the law. 

What Gatwick shows is that airports are going to have to have systems in place so that they know what is operating in their ATZ.

By far the best article that I have seen on Gatwick is on the Altitude Angel website.

Steve 

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oipigface
4 hours ago, satinet said:

However the law is not designed so that the police can go around nabbing people flying over 400ft using special laser beams. It's so that people can be prosecuted after the fact, which acts as a deterrent, in theory. If a model hits a full size at 2000ft you can't claim you didn't know.

Exactly my point, Tom.

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