Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A proposal for Park Flyer regulations -- Alan Fraser

Preliminary thoughts on the Regulation and Control of Park flying in RSA.

1. Introduction:
Park flying is here to stay! The progress of technology in recent years in the areas of electric propultion, power sources, materials, construction methods and radio equipment, has made it possible to fly r/c models in much smaller spaces than we have been traditionally used to.
This has resulted in an ever increasing number of pilots flying their models from sports fields, open urban velt areas and even indoors in sports and school halls, from here the advent from "park" to "indoor" flying.

2. SAMAA and park/indoor flying:
SAMAA has the responsibility of regulating and controlling all r/c flying activities in the RSA. SAMAA has therefore started a process of looking onto the phenomena of park/indoor flying in an attempt to establish the ways and means for it`s members to participate legally in this fast growing dissipline of our hobby, in a safe and controlled manner at recognised flying sites with insurance cover and, without interfering with other RC flyers.
This regulation process obviously needs to be done in such a manner that the enthusiasm and growth of park/indoor flying is not dampened.

3. Definition of a park/indoor flyer:
"A small and light electric power driven aircraft that can be flown in a confined area such as sports fields or indoors in a hall".

4. Specification suggestions:
4.1. Aircraft:
Wingspan: 1,2m max.
Weight:1kg max including battery.
(Note: This specification will force a trade-off between the model type, size, mass, and the limits of the specification ie.: a glider type model will fit into the 1,2m wingspan, 1kg limit, but a power model might have a reduced wingspan for the same mass.)
4.2. Helicopters:
Main rotor diameter: 800mm total max.
Weight: 1kg max with battery.
4.3. Propulsion:
Electric power only
4.4. Flying sites:
"Field" size app. 100m x 50m (outdoor.) Hall size app. 35m x 20m (indoor.) ie.: Rugby, soccer type sports field.
*Park flying sites are to be at least 2,5km apart, and at least 5km from normal R/C flying sites.
4.5. Airspace:
All flying to be done within the perimeter of the field used, to a max. of 50m high.
*This is a very important restriction as it will ensure that the pilots fly the type, size and weight of aircraft that is within their proficiency and skill level, to stay within the boundaries of the field that they are using.

5. Management and control:
5.1. In time all park/indoor flying sites will have to be registered with SAMAA as such.
5.2. Each site will have to be under the control of a club committee or a responsible person.
5.3. Normal SAMAA safety rules are to apply, ie.: Frequency control, spectator lines, no-fly areas, pilot proficiencies, SAMAA membership, insurance cover etc.

6. Process:
6.1. Publish the draft suggestions in the SAMAA news and website for comment by members, refine the document to final publication.
6.2. Draw up a database of sites being used for park/indoor flying.
6.3. Register as many of these sites as possible with SAMAA.
6.4. Encourage as many people as possible to make use of these registered sites, and to stick to the aircraft specifications, through SAMAA news, website and distribution of a SAMAA park/indoor flying leaflet through the dealer network.

7. Conclusion:

We have to start somewhere. Please address your comments to: Allen Fraser, the Chairman of the special committee on Park Flying and the SAMAA Dealer Association
Tel:012-362 4925 • Fax:012-362 4926

for what it is worth my comment to Alan is here. John


Piet Le Roux said...

I am glad that SAMAA have started to put something on paper about this heated subject. But as a glow power flyer I feel that we are getting the short end of the stick. I have an open field near my house, it’s more than 200m from any buildings and I like to fly my ultra stick there, but if these proposals are accepted I will become an illegal lose cannon. Simply put: If Johnny plays in the park so can I.

Ray Leach said...

I agree with Piet. I fly electric and IC power planes and helicopters.

Being a SAMAA member hasn't done much for me, but I still pay my subs just so I can fly at a designated flying field. If SAMAA don't do this properly, they will not only anger their existing members, but could possibly destroy the hobby completely ...

Flying at my local club is not as much fun as simply going to the park/field/hall and flying their. The atmosphere is far more tense.

I also beleive that responsibility is the key here. Whoever you are and wherever you fly, if you're not responsible in your flying you will peeve other fliers ... common sense and courtesy are imperitive.

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