Safe Model Flying
Dear members and visitors, we ask that you take a few moments to read and take in the following compiled by the club committee regarding safe model flying and incident reporting whilst at Little Haldon and our other sites such as the Dartmoor National Park. Safety has always been very important, however these days many models are heavier, faster and in our club generally have a propeller. Added to that the site at LH has limited open space and therefore a need to pay attention to safe model/person separation during arrival, preparation, launch, flight and landing. The aim is to be lawful, learn and improve as we enjoy this site safely. Please also refer to the Little Haldon Site Rules.
Guidelines are in the BMFA Handbook which you should all be familiar with. In particular the following sections are important to safety.
Everyone by now will be aware of the need for most pilots to register as an operator with the CAA and have evidence of their competency. Additionally there may be bylaws at other sites such as no powered flight (electric or I.C) within the Dartmoor National Park
The BMFA Quick Start Guide provides a concise summary of the legislation and Article 16.
Pilots are Responsible
The first thing we need to mention is that every pilot is responsible for the flight they are about to have. They must be in no doubt that the flight can be carried out safely. Any doubt’s you must not fly. Recheck, get help and advice. Know your limitations, fly safely and responsibly.
Our model pit area should be a good distance away from the runway at least 10 metres better if 30m.We know this is difficult to achieve as we have limited space. Pilots or helpers will need to carry their models to the runway. Members should not put their models, gear and chairs next to the take off/ landing area, have a good size gap where you can prepare the models and or chat to fellow members.
A number of incidents have happened since we have come out of lockdown, crashing into pit area, crashing outfield etc. Safety must be our priority to each other and to the public who could be anywhere walking around L/H visible or out of view. We are all here to enjoy ourselves but please review what you are doing and how you fly. You may be unaware that you are making other members uneasy or even scared when you fly. Remember things can go wrong at any time even if you have done thorough checks at home or whilst at the flying site, have an imagination, use best practice and be prepared for any eventuality.
The BMFA Article 16 Authorisation includes a requirement for remote pilots to report certain accidents, serious incidents and other occurrences to the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This was an existing requirement, but has been emphasised in the terms of the BMFA Authorisation.
To read the full guidance about mandatory occurrence reporting see https://rcc.bmfa.uk/art16-occurrence-reporting
If you have been involved in an incident and are not sure whether it is a reportable occurrence, or who to report the occurrence to or you need to report an occurrence, you should immediately visit the new BMFA Reporting portal at https://reporting.bmfa.uk We (DSSC) emphasis that it is the pilots legal responsibility to report an incident and not the club.
BMFA Members completing and submitting this online pre-reporting form will be guided through the correct process and the occurrence will be reported to the necessary bodies.
Although it is not a legal requirement, any significant incident (an occurrence with the potential to cause injury or damage to property) should also be reported to the committee so that it can be investigated to see how safety can be improved.
Safe Flying Everyone.
Dartmoor Slope Soaring Club