Monday, October 08, 2007

SAMAA Manual of Operations

I've posted on the SAMAA web site the SAMAA Manual of Operations. Acceptance of this Manual is on the agenda for the AGM.

It's a large document, over one hundred pages long. Its author is to be congratulated on an amazing piece of work. It is a major step forward. However I believe it is fundamentally flawed in at least two ways. I would urge SAMAA members to delay acceptance until there has been more debate on it.

First. The Manual is meant to fulfil the documentary requirements for ARO status. These requirements are precisely defined. You can see more detail here. As far as I can see the Manual fulfils some, but not all of these. In particular the Quality Control System is not clear.

ARO status is important so we must ensure that we comply.

Second. The Manual may compromise member insurance cover. There is a clear statement that failure to operate within the code will invalidate insurance cover. At the moment members are covered against general third party liability arising from model flying. There are no if and buts about it.
Now, unless you operate within the ambit of a one hundred-page manual you are not covered.

I recognise and support fully the need for safe flying. But this is ridiculous. Furthermore it gives carte blanche to the underwriters to repudiate a claim on "failure to observe small-print".

The notion that only "solo" pilots are covered has risen again from the ashes in spite of denials by both Joe and Bob.

As I said above this is a major step forward but it needs more debate. Trying to rush it through against an arbitrary deadline is a mistake.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the 2.4Ghz is only reserved for Shock Flyers, Park Flyers an Micro Helis, does this mean we are not allowed to fly a Raptor 90,70 or 50 with our RF equipment?... at a club? If so then my flying days at the club is over - i'll be flying somewhere else.

Piet le Roux said...

There is a few points in this manual that I can not agree with.
Here are just a few examples :
a)Point 3.3 b) : “To redress the inequalities of the past in aeromodelling and actively to pursue and implement a Transformation Plan for previously disadvantaged individuals in conjunction with the relevant Government Authorities to ensure access and full participation for all South Africans in all facets of aeromodelling.”
If they feel the need to put this in the Constitution they must also and a object that states that SAMAA is a non-racist organization that will not allow any member to be treated differently because of his or her race by any committee, SIG or Club.
b)Point 6(c) : “The Management Committee may refuse any application for membership without assigning any reason therefore, whereupon all accompanying fees are refundable”.
This is unacceptable, especially now that SAMAA has HRO status, if they want to refuse someone membership they must have a dam good reason!
c)PO 13 2) “Transmitter Control Area / Pound
The transmitter control area will be used for the impounding all transmitters not currently in use at the flying field.
All transmitters (when not in use) shall be placed in the pound. This also means and includes the impounding of transmitters in carrying cases and transmitters connected by buddy cords, and is applicable irrespectively of the number of members at the field.”
This is a good idea but totally impractical at most small Clubs.
d) PO 13 4)
“ Note:The Frequency marked with an Asterix * should be avoided or used with caution if the lower frequencies of 35.000 to 35.040 are in use as they may interfere with each other. It is advisable that clubs rule that there sets of frequencied shall not be used simultaneously at any flying field.

35.000 and 35.450 / 35.460
35.010 and 35.460 / 35.470
35.020 and 35.470 / 35.480
35.030 and 35.480 / 35.490
35.040 and 35.490 / 35.500”

This is not true! If one of these sets of frequencies is used they will interfere with all single conversion receivers in use at that field at the time ( I thought I made this clear in the article that I wrote?) The only way to prevent such a disaster is to suspend the use of the last six channels of the 35 MHz band (channel 105 to 110).
e) PO 12
“ The SAMAA strongly recommends that:
• All mobile phones be banned at radio controlled model flying fields at the following locations and in areas between them:
i. The transmitter pound
ii. The pit area
iii. The flight line”
This is totally impractical with the crime problem in this country! You need your cell phone on you to get help fast if you need it.

f)PR14 “Any accident involving a full size or manned aircraft is not covered (Please note that full-sized or manned aircraft have over riding right of way, so see how fast you can get out of the way.” This is unacceptable because a situation can result where the model pilot is un aware of the full size aircraft and then he can not be at fault.

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