Thursday, November 01, 2007

AGM 2007

I was at the AGM on Wednesday evening. What follow are my personal impressions. I'll comment on the election of the committee first, them on some of the other things discussed.

Election of Committee

The committee was elected unchanged. About ten percent of members voted. Compare this with about thirty percent for the last election.
It's not clear what the low voting percentage means, if anything.
Some representative members changed.

The committee is:
Dirk Meyer - elected member
Dave Armitage - elected member
Ludwig Steyn - elected member
Keith Nichols - elected member
Marietjie Skinner - elected member
Tim Blackman - dealer representative
Vic de Vries - club representative
Tony Stockwell - regional representative
Joe Coetzer - outgoing chairman

I took some photos with my cell phone. You can see them here.
The committee is largely unchanged so I expect it to operate in a similar manner as before.

SAMAA ARO status

It turns out that the Act makes no provision for a Model Aircraft Organization to have ARO status. You can see a copy of Neil de Lange's note to this effect here. What the SAMAA has is a special arrangement with the Aero Club and the CAA to represent Aeromodelling in SA. This is important. It allows, for example, the SAMAA to negotiate with the CAA for an increase in operating height above SAMAA registered flying field. In terms of 96.06.11 (i) no model aircraft may fly more than 150 feet above the surface.
Just what else the special arrangement means is not clear. The new committee will follow-up on this and in particular its legal status.
What the special arrangement does need though is approval of a Manual of Operation, which brings me to...

Manual of Operations

The meeting accepted the controversial Manual of Operations "in principle" with the proviso that it should be reviewed within the next few months. "In Principle" is one of those weasel phrases that mean nothing. The manual has been accepted. Until it is changed we are stuck with it.
I did raise my concern over the possible impact on insurance claims but this fell upon stony ground.

We clearly need a Manual of Operation in terms of the special arrangement. But not, I suggest, this one without amendment.

Park Flying

The meeting accepted the guidelines for Park Flying as set out in SAMAA News dated May 2007.

Drinking and flying

Some incidents of drinking and flying had come to the attention of the committee. The meeting supported the committee in its view that this never had been, nor ever would be, acceptable behaviour.

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