Thursday, November 02, 2006

Flying clubs should support the SAMAA

There was some discussion at the AGM about the value of the SAMAA to the ordinary club flyer...

In my view there are three main reasons for flying clubs to support the SAMAA:

1. The SAMAA insurance scheme covers members against third party claims. The scheme is very good value for money. Of course you can take out your own insurance. But this will be much more costly.

2. The CAA has given official recognition to the SAMAA. This means that registered SAMAA flying sites are protected by CAA rules. It is against the law to fly model aircraft near SAMAA sites. This is a key benefit. In the past the SAMAA found it hard to restrict this kind of off-site operation. Not any more. A stroke of the pen removed a possible source of radio interference.

3. The SAMAA has an effective link to ICASA. It secured a wider 35MHz band solely for model aircraft use. It has used the link to track down and remove illegal users of the band. Again this means safer flying.

SAMAA membership is of great value to "Sunday Fliers" - the great majority of Aeromodellers in South Africa. Membership gives safety and peace of mind at a low cost. Join the SAMAA now.


Piet Le Roux said...

The value of SAAMA?

That’s a good question. Mention is being made of a “law” that can be enforced by SAAMA; I would like to see this law for myself. The CAA regulation 101 still states:

(1) No model aircraft shall be flown –
(a) by night;
(b) higher than 150 feet above the surface;
(c) from or above a public road; or

(d) Within a distance of 8 kilometer from the aerodrome reference point of an aerodrome licensed or approved in terms of Part 139 of the Regulations and situated in Class G airspace.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-regulation (1), the Commissioner may approve in writing, and on conditions determined by him or her –
(a) Exempt anyone from the provisions of paragraph (1) (d); and
(b) Exempt anyone from the provisions of paragraphs (1(a), (b) and (c) in airspace specifically approved by the Commissioner for the purpose of flying model aircraft.

This regulation is marked: “(This part is not yet in operation)”

So you got to ask yourself, what regulation is in operation and what will be enforced?
I have no doubt that SAAMA has the best interests of its members at hart, but its one thing to have good intentions is quite different story to have it enforced.

AS far as ICASA goes just remember that the 35 MHz band is free band so it does not generate any revenue for them, how much will and can they do for nothing?

I think everybody should be aware by now (well I hope so!) of the dangers of using the bottom six channels of the 35MHz band in conjunction with its top six channels. Yet at the last MAASA event all channels (60 to 110) were available to the pilots flying on two flight lines! Is this what you call: “safety and peace of mind”?

I apologize if I sound negative but I think we must be honest with one self and each other

Piet Le Roux

John said...

I have seen no documentation to support this "law" either.
As I mentioned in the posting, the important issue is that the SAMAA has formal recognition from the CAA. This gives legal status to SAMAA registered flying sites.

Bruce said...

This appears to be a perpetual discussion around the world. What value is that distant national organisation to an individual who just want to get out and enjoy his personal hobby?

From what I read on John's post I would agree that your biggest strengths are the cost effectiveness of the block insurance available to members and that the national modelling organisation is the umbrella that keeps the might of the CAA off the backs of the individual - yet also gives it legitimacy.

Bruce Bird

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