Hastings Model Flying Club Ltd.
General Code & Club Rules
Revised August 2017
All new members joining the Hastings Model Flying Club Ltd (HMFC) and renewing their BMFA subscription are issued with a copy of the BMFA Members’ Handbook and ‘Up and Away’ book.
The HMFC General Code and Club Rules set out below do not replace the BMFA Guidelines, but enhance them to take account of the particular circumstances that exist at the Middle Bridge Flying Site.
Flying Safety and Etiquette of every pilot will be practiced at all times as specified in your BMFA Handbook.
The Club operates to a high standard of procedure and safety and expects the same of its members.
Accessing the flying field
You may park in the field in the designated area when conditions allow otherwise park on the hard-standing between the drive and the picket fence at the bottom of the field. Look for and comply with any notice posted at the gate. If you are the only one at the field it is recommended that you close the gate and replace the padlock for security.
There is a 5 MPH speed limit in the field, please observe it.
Dogs are only permitted onto the field on the strict understanding that they remain on a lead and are properly supervised at all times. The owners shall remove any dog mess. At no time will dogs be permitted into the pit area, flight line or within the flying zone.
There are no facilities for disposing of rubbish at the field. Please take your litter home with you.
Junior members must be accompanied by a parent/guardian at all times, who shall be responsible for their safety, welfare and behaviour. That parent/guardian will be responsible for supervising engine starting and model restraint, through flying and return to the pits. That parent/guardian will be responsible for the proper use of radio equipment and frequency control by the junior member with respect to the Club Rules and BMFA Guidelines.
During overnight events at the club field, junior members will be closely supervised by a parent/guardian. No junior members will be allowed to occupy a tent without a parent/guardian being present at all times. If a parent has given consent for a guardian to take charge of a junior member whilst on HMFC Ltd property, then prior notice must be in given in writing to the Club Secretary.
First aid and accidents
All accidents in which you may be involved or that you witness must be recorded and reported to the Club Safety Officer.
If a model crash should happen where property is damaged or a person is injured this must be reported to the Club Safety Officer & the BMFA ASAP.
Photos of the crash scene & witnesses names & statements must be taken and a reported to the BMFA & CAA by the Club Safety Officer, Both of the above are legal requirements.
All members should have a first aid kit of their own because we are unable to keep a kit in the box as it is not secure.
Flying and safety code
If flying tuition is required you must have your own model, the Club training officer will arrange for one-to-one tuition with one of the Club Instructors. Your instructor will do his utmost to protect your model but neither he nor the Club will accept responsibility for damage to or loss of the model under any circumstance – whoever is flying at the time.
The frequency control system
35MHz band users
The Club employs a peg-board system. Each member is required to provide themselves with a suitable clothes peg which is marked with their name and Club number. Before flying you must place your peg on the peg-board over the channel number (55 to 90) of your frequency, unless there is already a peg over your channel number. This indicates that you have the use of the channel and can proceed to switch on. When you land you must remove your peg from the peg-board as soon as your model is made safe, thus relinquishing the channel number.
2.4GHz band users
Users of 2.4GHz are not required to use the peg-board system at all.
The flight Marshal
There will be a Flight Marshal at our Events who is empowered to ground unsafe models, and is also responsible for ensuring that the Club Safety Rules are observed.
Electric powered models
The power batteries of electric powered models must only be connected to the model in a start-up box.
After your flight, you must return to the start-up box and disconnect the power battery before leaving the start-up box.
Always assume that an armed electric powered model might start up under full power at any time.
FPV / Multi rotor
With effect from 1st January 2016, any club member or guest wishing to fly FPVs and Multi-rotors must comply with the latest BMFA guidelines & CAA regulations. Prior to being permitted to fly these aircraft, the pilots and their observers must confirm with a committee member that they have read the BMFA guidelines and HMFC rules on FPV/Multi rotor flying.
Both the pilot and observer must have a BMFA A or B Certificate for this discipline.
No other models will be permitted to fly whilst FPV/Multi rotor model flying is in progress.
Helicopter pilots should consider flying as a slot rather than clashing with other flying styles.
When flying circuits, helicopters must be flown in accordance with the rules covering fixed wing models insofar as they are applicable.
Setting-up activities and practising hovering (maximum height is 20 feet) may be carried out in the area used as a public carpark during fly-ins, provided that such activities do not interfere with fixed-wing flying.
Jet turbines may only be flown at Middle Bridge with the prior approval of the Committee, and may be the subject of supervision by an experienced jet pilot. All jet turbine powered models may only be flown on the Club Field by holders of a ‘B’ certificate. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Turbine models can only be started in the allocated start-up boxes.
The pilot must have a fire extinguisher close at hand when starting the model.
The exhaust pipe of the model must be pointing away from the public / pilots when starting.
Jet models must fly at least 50mtrs away from the spectators fence line, i.e. centre line of runway.
Only two models will be allowed to fly at the same time, subject to both pilots agreement.
At events more than two jets can fly together subject to the Flight-Line Marshal’s agreement.
All 3-D manoeuvres are to be performed over the second field, not over the runway, the Waller’s Haven River, or adjacent SAA land. The danger and distraction associated with this style of flying should be considered before taking off.
Models weighing more than 7Kg
Powered models weighing more than 7Kg may only be flown on the Club Field by holders of a ‘B’ certificate. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Before the first flight of a new model, have an experienced member check it over. This could save you money and much grief! Please allow a member with a new, unflown model to fly a slot on his/her own in order to concentrate on trimming and proving the model without the distraction of other models in the airspace.
If you fly a new model for another club member, please remember that the pilot must carry out the pre-flight checks as per the BMFA Guidelines. Pilots must not take the word of the owner who may suggest the model has been checked out and is ready to fly.
The pilot is responsible for ensuring that the model is airworthy and must carry out the checks as per the BMFA Guidelines
Starting the engine
Engines must be started only within one of the start-up boxes. The power batteries of electric powered models must only be connected to the model in a start-up box.
Only the pilot and his helper (if required) are permitted in the start-up box.
No Flying Areas
There is a hypothetical wall along the near edge of the main runway which extends all the way out and all the way up. Pilots will not fly pits-side of this wall at any distance or height with the exception of take-off and landing on the second runway (as stated below). If you are not perfectly clear on this, you should consult a Committee Member before flying.
There must be no unrestrained taxiing between the start-up boxes and the runway. If you need to taxi, a helper must manually restrain the model.
A maximum of six models may be operated at any one time.
At events more than six models may fly subject to the Flight-line Marshal’s approval.
Obtain permission from those pilots already flying, before pilot, model or helper goes onto the runway.
If the engine stops prior to take-off, or the model needs attention, you must return to the start-up box. You must not re-start or make adjustments on the runway.
The first turn must always be away from the road.
Pilots will take a position in the pilot box either before take-off, or as soon as practicable following take-off.
Each pilot may have one helper, if required. No other personnel should be in or near the pilot boxes.
All pilots have a legal obligation to fly safely and within the capabilities of the model. All pilots must make themselves aware of all legal issues regarding model flying as highlighted in the BMFA Guidelines.
The flying zone is set out in accordance with the BMFA guidelines. Notwithstanding this, the Waller’s Haven River, located at the south end of the runway, cuts through the HMFC Ltd flying zone and is used by angling members of the Southdown Angling Association (SAA). The HMFC Ltd has an agreement with the SAA that fishing will not occur at the end of our runway other than on SAA Match Days. This allows the minimum safe guideline distance of 30m to be maintained between model and angler during take-off and landing over the river.
During Match Days, pilots will only use the second runway, in which case a tight turn will be required at the north-east end so as to avoid approaching the lane or the A259 main road, and will not over-fly the river. Dates of the SAA Match Days will be notified to HMFC Ltd members as and when advised by the SAA.
Notwithstanding the above, every pilot must satisfy himself/herself that anglers are not occupying the end of the runway prior to flying. If anglers are occupying the end of the runway, you must maintain the above-mentioned safe distance, and notify other pilots of the anglers’ presence.
Pilots are to avoid flying over the Waller’s Haven River and adjacent SAA land at a height of less than 50m (30m when taking off or landing).
There must be no aerobatics performed over the Waller’s Haven River and adjacent SAA land.
The second runway
The second runway may also be used when prevailing wind and sunlight conditions dictate, in which case a tight turn will be required at the north-east end so as to avoid approaching the lane or the A259 main road.
Shout “landing” so other pilots are aware of your intentions.
Remove all equipment including any restraining device from the start-up box.
Section 3 of the Articles of Association states: “The Committee has the right to expel any member. It will not hesitate to do so for continued flagrant breaches of its flying field safety rules and regulations.”
Only complaints concerning contravention of HMFC Ltd. Club rules will be formally considered by the Committee as legitimate.
Any complaint must be made in writing and sent to the Club Secretary. This must contain the date and time of the incident, the person’s name, what exactly occurred (a good description of the events) and the names of any witnesses.
The Club Secretary (or other Club Official if unavailable) will send a written acknowledgement to the complainant within seven days of receipt.
The Club Secretary (or other Club Official if unavailable) will also send a letter (within seven days of complaint) to the person named by the complainant, requesting their version of the incident. This will have a transcript of the complaint in it but will exclude details of the complainant at this time. This will carry a seven-day written response clause.
If a response is received, a further acknowledgement letter will be issued by the Club Secretary (or other Club Official if unavailable) acknowledging their reply and stating that the Committee will consider all the evidence and notify them of the outcome.
If no response is received, a further letter will be issued by the Club Secretary (or other Club Official if unavailable) stating that no reply has been received and that the Committee will consider all the available evidence and notify them of the outcome.
The Committee, if it feels it necessary, can request that all parties meet to discuss the incident in more depth. Any new evidence will be collated and agreed by all parties. A decision by the committee will be taken at that meeting to decide the complaint.
Bringing the Club into disrepute
The Committee has the power to terminate or suspend the membership of any member whom it considers guilty of a breach of the club rules or of misconduct or offensive behaviour towards any Committee Member or Club Member on the clubs flying site or elsewhere, including social media.
Disciplinary options available to the Committee will include:-
a. Temporary removal of solo flying status.
b. Removal of BMFA Achievement Scheme ratings.
c. Written warning and/or signed undertaking of conformity
d. Imposed training requirement.
e. Dismissal from the Club.
Upheld complaints will be lodged with the Club Secretary and may be the subject of further consideration of any subsequent complaints against that club member.
When the grass on and around the runway (i.e. beyond the pits) is being cut, no flying is permitted. The field maintenance team will endeavour to give notice before cutting the grass, by posting a notice on the notice board.
No camping is allowed without the express permission of the committee member for field maintenance.