Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
Safety
Safety around model aircraft is all about attitude, thinking ahead and predicting what might or could go wrong and then doing everything possible to eliminate or reduce the risks to both yourself and the people and property of those around you. We all have a personal responsibility towards our own safety and the safety of everyone else present when we are at the flying field. We should all feel confident to speak up if we see something that concerns us or if something someone is doing makes us worried or uncomfortable with regard to safety. We should not take it personally if someone points out something to us that could improve our own safety or the safety of others. We all want to enjoy our hobby in the knowledge that we are as safe as we can be in a happy and relaxed atmosphere where safety is a built in part of the culture, but does not descend into a rigid set of dos and don'ts, rules and regulations that spoil our freedom and our fun. If we adopt a common sense approach and consciously think about what we are doing, it reduces the need for a raft of rules etc. the BMFA handbook already gives very clear guidance on many aspects of general safety and I would urge all members to read it....(or we might go over bits of it together on Wed evenings in Chopper's hangar? ) All I would wish to add to the BMFA code is a few things that I feel are most relevant to our particular site and the types of models that are normally flown there. At our site, the majority of models are fixed wing powered and this is increasingly by either electric power or petrol engines with a few glow motors still around. ...so the object is to keep fingers and other body parts ( your own and those of others) away from rotating parts like propellers and sources of heat / fire. This would most likely be from engines, motors and batteries, particularly lipo batteries. Another key objective is to keep aeroplanes and anything in the air from falling / crashing into or onto people , cars, models and other property!In addition we need to ensure that if bits break or fly off models, that they can't hit people , property etc. ...eg broken propellor blades, spinners, starting motor rubber cones etc...or lipos falling out of models in the air!So how can we achieve all that? .... We need to think about where we place our starting tables for smaller models that use them. Often people weave in and out of starting tables whilst they are in use and this increases the chance of being hit by a prop or prop blade flying off or a model. We should point or angle our tables so they are not all in line with people walking infront of them. Also , they need to be moved back as far from the runway and pit area as is practical. If the ground was flat it might be better to spread them out a bit more and point them towards the road in a semi circle or adjust them so that they are not on a slope where models slide off when facing that way. This perhaps is something we could think about improving. It would also make it easier when taking models to the runway without having to move between starting tables and people. As a matter of course we should not take our own models to the flight line unless they are small enough to be easily held in one hand eg foamies, gliders etc. there is potential for throttle sticks to get moved accidentally and engines or electric motors to cut or injure their owner. We should offer and accept offers to help take models to the flight line and we should always shout our intention to go on the strip to any pilots already flying and wait for their signal that it is ok / safe to do so. As well as looking at the runway, anyone going on the runway should carefully scan the sky to see if there is a model in the air or on a landing approach etc. We need to be careful about transmitter neck straps and trays etc. neck straps should not be worn when starting models incase they get caught or blown into props , pulling you in. This is particularly important with large petrol or electric models that would not stop! If you use a tray , the Tx should be on it before you begin and strap kept well clear of props. It is dangerous to try to put a Tx in a tray whilst a model is active or even in flight and this should be avoided. When starting larger petrol models on the ground, they need to be firmly secured by a competent, experienced and fit person. The power can be immense and is capable of pulling someone over if taken by surprise. The helper needs to be fit enough to get their leg over a high and very expensive model without tripping on the fuselage, tail or fin / rudder! We have seen this happen at another site! Once the model is running, getting your leg over it to get out of the way needs a degree of flexibility and balance that increasingly challenges some of us! ...so we need to assess our ability to safely do that if we offer our help to others. Owners of such powerful models need to ensure that where they start up is clear of people and that there are no models or equipment behind that could get blown or damaged. All models should be shut down and stopped on the runway or edge of the runway, pointing across or away from the taxiway before returning to the pits. Models should not be taxied up from the runway towards the pits. Electric models need to be carefully removed from the runway, not with a Tx in your hand, and the battery carefully unplugged or switched off then unplugged. If a helper can collect the model and keep it pointing away from the pits and people etc until disarmed, that is the preferred option. If you return the model to a starting table to disarm it, this needs to be done carefully first before having a chat about the flight , or getting distracted by something else. Owners of electric aircraft ( as do other models) need to check their batteries , connections and the general safety and flight readiness of the model before arriving at the site and also whilst present at the site before each flight. Loose connections, uncharged or damaged batteries can cause a serious danger of a model crashing or going on fire. If a model is lost , all models should land immediately to allow the crashed model to be recovered quickly. This might help avoid a fire on the moor or might save some of the model's equipment if there is a short circuit or fire. The higher operating temperatures of petrol models present possible problems of fires or burning fingers on hot engines and exhausts. ...so don't go poking around your model straight after it lands...it will be very hot! Try to avoid refueling until,the model has cooled down a bit. Petrol or vapour might catch fire on a hot exhaust. When operating turbines, it is courteous to the pilot to allow them a few minutes of solo time given the complexity of jet flight and the critical nature of timing fuel burn and landing time. Turbines rarely have the luxury of many go arounds and have to burn fuel down to a certain level before landing. When starting turbines the most dangerous place to stand is to the side of the turbine. If a blade shears it will fly out sideways at great speed...you don't want to be in the way of that! They produce about 650 degrees heat at the rear so a serious burn risk, say well clear. A fire extinguisher is essential at every start up. I hope these few thought might be useful to all of us and help us to think about safety at our site. We have a good safety record and I am sure we would all wish to see that continue. It would be good to use this as a springboard for more debate within the club and if you can think of more things to add, what not write them down and e mail it around? Ally
Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
Safety
Safety around model aircraft is all about attitude, thinking ahead and predicting what might or could go wrong and then doing everything possible to eliminate or reduce the risks to both yourself and the people and property of those around you. We all have a personal responsibility towards our own safety and the safety of everyone else present when we are at the flying field. We should all feel confident to speak up if we see something that concerns us or if something someone is doing makes us worried or uncomfortable with regard to safety. We should not take it personally if someone points out something to us that could improve our own safety or the safety of others. We all want to enjoy our hobby in the knowledge that we are as safe as we can be in a happy and relaxed atmosphere where safety is a built in part of the culture, but does not descend into a rigid set of dos and don'ts, rules and regulations that spoil our freedom and our fun. If we adopt a common sense approach and consciously think about what we are doing, it reduces the need for a raft of rules etc. the BMFA handbook already gives very clear guidance on many aspects of general safety and I would urge all members to read it....(or we might go over bits of it together on Wed evenings in Chopper's hangar? ) All I would wish to add to the BMFA code is a few things that I feel are most relevant to our particular site and the types of models that are normally flown there. At our site, the majority of models are fixed wing powered and this is increasingly by either electric power or petrol engines with a few glow motors still around. ...so the object is to keep fingers and other body parts ( your own and those of others) away from rotating parts like propellers and sources of heat / fire. This would most likely be from engines, motors and batteries, particularly lipo batteries. Another key objective is to keep aeroplanes and anything in the air from falling / crashing into or onto people , cars, models and other property!In addition we need to ensure that if bits break or fly off models, that they can't hit people , property etc. ...eg broken propellor blades, spinners, starting motor rubber cones etc...or lipos falling out of models in the air!So how can we achieve all that? .... We need to think about where we place our starting tables for smaller models that use them. Often people weave in and out of starting tables whilst they are in use and this increases the chance of being hit by a prop or prop blade flying off or a model. We should point or angle our tables so they are not all in line with people walking infront of them. Also , they need to be moved back as far from the runway and pit area as is practical. If the ground was flat it might be better to spread them out a bit more and point them towards the road in a semi circle or adjust them so that they are not on a slope where models slide off when facing that way. This perhaps is something we could think about improving. It would also make it easier when taking models to the runway without having to move between starting tables and people. As a matter of course we should not take our own models to the flight line unless they are small enough to be easily held in one hand eg foamies, gliders etc. there is potential for throttle sticks to get moved accidentally and engines or electric motors to cut or injure their owner. We should offer and accept offers to help take models to the flight line and we should always shout our intention to go on the strip to any pilots already flying and wait for their signal that it is ok / safe to do so. As well as looking at the runway, anyone going on the runway should carefully scan the sky to see if there is a model in the air or on a landing approach etc. We need to be careful about transmitter neck straps and trays etc. neck straps should not be worn when starting models incase they get caught or blown into props , pulling you in. This is particularly important with large petrol or electric models that would not stop! If you use a tray , the Tx should be on it before you begin and strap kept well clear of props. It is dangerous to try to put a Tx in a tray whilst a model is active or even in flight and this should be avoided. When starting larger petrol models on the ground, they need to be firmly secured by a competent, experienced and fit person. The power can be immense and is capable of pulling someone over if taken by surprise. The helper needs to be fit enough to get their leg over a high and very expensive model without tripping on the fuselage, tail or fin / rudder! We have seen this happen at another site! Once the model is running, getting your leg over it to get out of the way needs a degree of flexibility and balance that increasingly challenges some of us! ...so we need to assess our ability to safely do that if we offer our help to others. Owners of such powerful models need to ensure that where they start up is clear of people and that there are no models or equipment behind that could get blown or damaged. All models should be shut down and stopped on the runway or edge of the runway, pointing across or away from the taxiway before returning to the pits. Models should not be taxied up from the runway towards the pits. Electric models need to be carefully removed from the runway, not with a Tx in your hand, and the battery carefully unplugged or switched off then unplugged. If a helper can collect the model and keep it pointing away from the pits and people etc until disarmed, that is the preferred option. If you return the model to a starting table to disarm it, this needs to be done carefully first before having a chat about the flight , or getting distracted by something else. Owners of electric aircraft ( as do other models) need to check their batteries , connections and the general safety and flight readiness of the model before arriving at the site and also whilst present at the site before each flight. Loose connections, uncharged or damaged batteries can cause a serious danger of a model crashing or going on fire. If a model is lost , all models should land immediately to allow the crashed model to be recovered quickly. This might help avoid a fire on the moor or might save some of the model's equipment if there is a short circuit or fire. The higher operating temperatures of petrol models present possible problems of fires or burning fingers on hot engines and exhausts. ...so don't go poking around your model straight after it lands...it will be very hot! Try to avoid refueling until,the model has cooled down a bit. Petrol or vapour might catch fire on a hot exhaust. When operating turbines, it is courteous to the pilot to allow them a few minutes of solo time given the complexity of jet flight and the critical nature of timing fuel burn and landing time. Turbines rarely have the luxury of many go arounds and have to burn fuel down to a certain level before landing. When starting turbines the most dangerous place to stand is to the side of the turbine. If a blade shears it will fly out sideways at great speed...you don't want to be in the way of that! They produce about 650 degrees heat at the rear so a serious burn risk, say well clear. A fire extinguisher is essential at every start up. I hope these few thought might be useful to all of us and help us to think about safety at our site. We have a good safety record and I am sure we would all wish to see that continue. It would be good to use this as a springboard for more debate within the club and if you can think of more things to add, what not write them down and e mail it around? Ally
© 2020 Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
© 2020 Glenluce and Galloway Flyers