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Author Topic: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community  (Read 2781 times)

electrotor

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2019, 02:54:58 PM »

Please excuse me for not caring about this thread, I am here to enjoy what we have left of our hobby and to share cool stuff with everybody, not go on about something we have no power to change.

Just to add a spanner in the works before I go:

I grew up flying radio controlled model aircraft and I still fly radio controlled model aircraft to this day.
Call them what you like....I´m staying Old Skool  :P

Cheers All

Might I suggest a hint of cynicism? Fair enough, but if it wasn't for the efforts of the BMFA and other model flying organisations within Europe we would have a really draconian set of regulations, courtesy of EASA, which do not take into account the long history of safe model flying and, more importantly you and all the rest of us would not be able to enjoy our hobby. If you don't care about this thread, don't bother posting in it.
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simondale

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #46 on: March 15, 2019, 11:46:48 AM »

Not necessarily Big A because one thing you seem to be missing is that there is a huge number of people now not flying at designated club fields. Therefore it makes sense to have a ceiling for them and a floor for manned traffic to ensure separation - regardless of whether someone is flying at a club.

I would guess that most Phantom operators, for instance, are probably not members of the BMFA or any associated club.

At the moment someone can be flying (legally) at 400ft in the middle of nowhere then all of a sudden a manned aircraft flying VFR can come out of nowhere and cause a conflict - if they had to be above 500ft then this is a non-issue because you'd have a minimum of 100ft of separation. Not a lot, granted, but enough.

This way you have the ability to ensure separation by default, and are able to exempt club members to allow traditional operations.

I believe that this is where the priorities should lie - you seem to be of the opinion that historical operations should be preserved at any cost.

There is such a rule.   Manned aviation is required to stay 500ft from people in the UK.  (SERA (Standard European Rules of the Air) requires that manned aviation stays above 500ft, the UK has an exemption which changes that to 500ft from people (vertically, or horizontally)).   Of course HEMS/ Police and military are not captured by this.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 12:08:15 PM by simondale »
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simondale

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #47 on: March 15, 2019, 12:05:50 PM »



From: http://www.caa.co.uk/CAP1535P

Note: 1
The standard rule under the European Rules of the Air for a VFR flight is to not to fly below 500 ft above ground level, unless taking off or landing. The UK has used the permitted national discretion, in order to provide a more flexible rule for aircraft flying in the UK. When flying in other European states the standard SERA rule may apply


Here is the aforementioned exemption which allows UK aircraft to fly below 500ft (but they must still be 500ft away from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/1174.pdf

Police exemption: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=1&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=6550
HEMS exemption: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?catid=1&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=6549
SAR exemption: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/ORS4No1081.pdf
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FPVSteve

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #48 on: March 15, 2019, 12:19:32 PM »

Looks like, given the lack of accidents, that the existing regulations work quite well then. And it's nice to see that common sense does actually exist.

So my question now then is who is the new regulation for? Why is it necessary when history proves that what we already have works?

There has to be some commercial undertone to this.
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Lola

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #49 on: March 15, 2019, 02:29:20 PM »

Might I suggest a hint of cynicism? Fair enough, but if it wasn't for the efforts of the BMFA and other model flying organisations within Europe we would have a really draconian set of regulations, courtesy of EASA, which do not take into account the long history of safe model flying and, more importantly you and all the rest of us would not be able to enjoy our hobby. If you don't care about this thread, don't bother posting in it.
I am well aware of the efforts people put into the hobby and I am also well aware of what the EASA do, or better said don't do. It's just that every time something gets mentioned on here it creates unnecessary arguments and that is not what I am here for.
Thank you for respecting my opinions.

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electrotor

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #50 on: March 16, 2019, 01:05:20 AM »

Essentially the regulations work well, but like so many other things, they should evolve to take into account changes which occur. The rules of the air are essentially the same in nature to the rules of the road, setting out the dos and don'ts. The Air Navigation Order regulates navigable airspace within the UK and consists of a series of articles. These articles are expanded on in a series of CAPs which give more detail and are really the guidance material and acceptable means of compliance for the articles in the ANO. The principle, but not only one for model flying is CAP 658 which was first issued in 1995. Like many people I was totally unaware of any regulation when I first started flying (long before 1995) and it horrifies me now to think of some of the unsafe practices which we used to engage in. Just look at the old videos on YouTube. To a large extent we have been left to get on with our model flying for many years and through the work of various organisations and a generally increased awareness of safety there have been very few incidents.

I would suggest that if it was not for developments in model flying we might still be flying rubber powered free flighters. However I would like to make it clear that for shear fun and enjoyment, the free flight evenings at the British Nationals are for many the best parts of the weekend. If you ever attend you will never see so many happy faces both young and old.

A relatively recent new development in model flying is FPV. Whilst the ANO does not specifically address this, CAP 658 now does, the relevant section being written by Simon Dale and adopted by the CAA in a revision to the document in 2013. In addition the work of Simon and others has resulted in exemptions which we can all enjoy. BTW the current CAP 658 is due to be revised as the article references in it are out of date and other new developments need to be included.

It is unclear when the term "drones" first appeared in model flying circles, but like it or not, it is here to stay as evidenced by the widespread use officially and unofficially. Drones get both a good press, eg search & rescue, surveying, etc. and a bad press, eg endangerment of aircraft, intrusion of privacy, etc. You will note however that it is always the word drone which is used so there seems to be a perception that drones and drone flying are somehow different to models and model flying. When models and drones are all tarred with the same regulatory brush under the heading of Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA), those who consider themselves to be safe, competent and responsible model flyers are understandably annoyed at the increased regulation of an activity which has an excellent safety record.

Focusing for a moment on the bad press associated with drones, haters will always hate and politicians will always feel the need to be seen to be doing something. Add to this the lucrative perceived market in drone deliveries combined with typical media scaremongering and misreporting and you have the situation we now find ourselves in. Given that we are stuck with drones, whatever they may be, it is reasonable to try and preserve the long enjoyed activity of model flying and try to differentiate it from other forms of SUA and in particular drones. That is what the BMFA are trying to do.

This is a forum, on which lively debate of things which affect us or interest us should be encouraged as it allows us to see things as others see them. Argument in the proper sense of the word means presentation of often opposing points of view in a respectful and constructive manner. It does not mean that there should be any falling out; that is another thing and is called a row. Some threads on this forum may be of no interest to others, eg the latest video camera or bells and whistles charger. However regulation, whilst very often dull, boring and not likely to inspire like the next best thing, does and will affect all of us.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 01:13:30 AM by electrotor »
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FPVSteve

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #51 on: March 16, 2019, 10:40:42 AM »

Urinating into the wind unfortunately - we spend so much time going back and forth on here but it has zero purpose and just breeds frustration.
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electrotor

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #52 on: March 16, 2019, 04:20:39 PM »

More urinating in the wind I suppose. Well at least it didn't all blow back.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Eric

Many thanks for your note.

Differentiation of drone flying and model flying is an ongoing challenge, because the aircraft used share a single legal definition – small unmanned aircraft.

What we achieved with EASA was recognition that model flying within the framework of Associations/Clubs is a different activity to an individual operating their drone (or model aircraft for that matter) outside of an organisation.  However, the situation is clouded because certain types of drone operation would also be considered as model flying when conducted within the framework of Associations/Clubs (such as FPV Drone Racing).

What the EASA regulations actually state is:

Since model aircraft are considered as UAS and given the good safety level demonstrated by model aircraft operations in clubs and associations, there should be a seamless transition from the different national systems to the new Union regulatory framework, so that model aircraft clubs and associations can continue to operate as they do today, as well as taking into account existing best practices in the Member States.

EASA/DfT/CAA would probably just refer to it all as operation of small unmanned aircraft (or UAS), with those operations conducted within the framework of Associations being regarded as model flying.  EASA were reluctant to create a specific definition for model aircraft due to fears that it would potentially be abused by those seeking to operate a drone with the benefit of fewer restrictions.

This is reflected in the EASA regulations which were voted through a couple of weeks ago.  If you operate any unmanned aircraft on your own, then you will be captured by the EASA regulations.  If you operate it within the framework of a Model Association/Club, then you will be subject to national regulations based on existing practices whether it is a conventional model aircraft or ‘drone’.

There is no realistic prospect of introducing a specific definition for a model aircraft at this stage I’m afraid as the EU regulations have been voted through.  We fought for this at the outset of the regulatory path (back in 2015), but could not gain any traction or political support.

Regards

Dave

Dave Phipps
BMFA Chief Executive
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 04:35:44 PM by electrotor »
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FPVSteve

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #53 on: March 16, 2019, 08:17:25 PM »

Quote
If you operate any unmanned aircraft on your own, then you will be captured by the EASA regulations.  If you operate it within the framework of a Model Association/Club, then you will be subject to national regulations based on existing practices whether it is a conventional model aircraft or ‘drone’.

So my question to that is, what if you're operating it on your own - as an FPVUK or BMFA Country member, i.e. not at a club field but as an association member?
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ched

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #54 on: March 16, 2019, 08:39:12 PM »

So my question to that is, what if you're operating it on your own - as an FPVUK or BMFA Country member, i.e. not at a club field but as an association member?
I was thinking the same.
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big a

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #55 on: March 16, 2019, 10:21:18 PM »

So my question to that is, what if you're operating it on your own - as an FPVUK or BMFA Country member, i.e. not at a club field but as an association member?
Then you are operating within the framework of a national association.

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

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ched

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #56 on: March 16, 2019, 11:37:27 PM »

Then you are operating within the framework of a national association.

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
Does that mean that if an organisation wants to change their framework it must be legally approved? Is there currently a mechanism for this? Only reason I ask is that if the only legal framework is the BMFA's one then surely that is creating a monopoly?

Must admit that the rules are getting very silly if there are so many complications and exceptions. How on earth will these rules and exceptions be disseminated to the general public? As we know ignorance is no defence in law so we will all need an official way to find out what we can and can't do come November.
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electrotor

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #57 on: March 17, 2019, 01:42:29 AM »

Does that mean that if an organisation wants to change their framework it must be legally approved? Is there currently a mechanism for this? Only reason I ask is that if the only legal framework is the BMFA's one then surely that is creating a monopoly?

The CAA recognises various model aircraft associations, not just the BMFA.

The exemption for First Person View operations in excess of 400ft above the surface specifically lists the following :
BMFA
SAA
LMA
FPVUK

CAP 658 lists the following :
BARCS
BMFA
SAA
LMA
UKRA

I cannot answer the question about legally approving a change to their frameworks, but as you can see there is not a monopoly. There may be other model aircraft associations which the CAA recognises, eg GBRCAA & CLAPA but I can find no mention of these in CAA publications. And of course new associations may come into existence, be recognised by the CAA and thereby fall into the group of flyers "operating within a national association."

Must admit that the rules are getting very silly if there are so many complications and exceptions. How on earth will these rules and exceptions be disseminated to the general public? As we know ignorance is no defence in law so we will all need an official way to find out what we can and can't do come November.

The official way is via the CAA. Please refer to https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft/Model-aircraft/
This page appears to be slightly out of date and will obviously need updating by or before November, preferably long before.

You may be interested to know that a link on the above page attempts to differentiate between a drone and a model aircraft. https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft/General-guidance/Information-for-the-public-about-drones/
Unfortunately it takes a very limited view ignoring for example scratch built multicopters or GPS/flight controller equipped fixed wing and implying that ready to fly multirotors are drones.

It would seem reasonable to expect the various national model associations to disseminate the information to members. As to the general public, I suspect the haters will continue to hate.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 02:05:47 AM by electrotor »
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BigT

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #58 on: March 17, 2019, 10:42:06 AM »

So basically if the pilot in command or operator of a SUA or SUSA is not a member of any of the listed organisations they are then governed by the EASA regulations and laws. Now, is that in addition to or instead of any other regulations in the country of operation?

So for example when I visit Germany and fly at a German club or public show  I have to comply with the German registration and competency system as there is no agreement to accept my UK BMFA registration and qualifications by the FDR. I.E. go on line, complete the competency questionnaire, pay my reg fee, download my document, put my reg number on my model with a fire resistant label etc. It’s actually very simple, easier to do than write out here.

My BMFA insurance does cover me but my understanding is that is only of I comply with the law in that country.

If I fly outside of a registered club site, off piste gliding for example, a whole different set of laws kick in regarding size weight height age of pilot etc etc.

So  we are saying that in the UK SUA etc pilots and operators who do not belong to a recognised national body will be subject to EASA regs not UK regs?
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electrotor

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Re: New UK Drones Law punishes British Model Flying Community
« Reply #59 on: March 17, 2019, 11:18:28 AM »

So basically if the pilot in command or operator of a SUA or SUSA is not a member of any of the listed organisations they are then governed by the EASA regulations and laws. Now, is that in addition to or instead of any other regulations in the country of operation?
My reading is that the national regulations (in our case the UK CAA) take precedence over the European regulations (EASA) if you operated within the framework of a national modelling association, ie you are a member of that association. You are either a member (CAA Regulations) OR not a member (EASA Regulations), but not both.

So for example when I visit Germany and fly at a German club or public show  I have to comply with the German registration and competency system as there is no agreement to accept my UK BMFA registration and qualifications by the FDR. I.E. go on line, complete the competency questionnaire, pay my reg fee, download my document, put my reg number on my model with a fire resistant label etc. It’s actually very simple, easier to do than write out here.

Yes, unless or until there is a bilateral agreement, such as exists between EASA and the FAA for full size aviaition.

If I fly outside of a registered club site, off piste gliding for example, a whole different set of laws kick in regarding size weight height age of pilot etc etc.

No. Operating within the framework of a national modelling association does not identify a specific site or sites. The only "registration" of club sites is a record which the modelling association may keep of club sites. Neither the CAA, modelling associations or insurance companies stipulate that you must operated at specific sites. They may give guidlines for the layout of a site but that is all. biga already addressed this below.

So  we are saying that in the UK SUA etc pilots and operators who do not belong to a recognised national body will be subject to EASA regs not UK regs?

Yes.
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