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Flight Line Etiquette PSA


There is no denying that traditional flight line etiquette was not exactly followed at FTFF 2014. I am guilty, due to ignorance of such things, myself. I know you are shocked.

Bossy Monkey has suggested that the volunteers come up with a video of Flight Line Etiquette (FLE) that could be published by FT. I am up for the task, but am not the authority of FLE by any means. Let's use this thread as a repository of "good practices" at a flying event.

Please provide your input. Examples of "violations" that occurred last year are most welcome. One I can think of is some idiot flying his scratch built fpv flying wing low at high speed through multiple flight lines. That guy… Just don't know about him. :black_eyed:


Builder Extraordinare
There should be a "staging" area, ie. a line, for those whose intentions are to fly when a spot on the flight line is available.

There should be a flight boss at each line to encourage adherence to the PATTERN and make additional calls for landings, emergency landings, on the field, and no-fly.

ANNOUNCE YOUR INTENTIONS!!! Single biggest complaint from last year. There are a lot of things going on at these events. If you want to go home with all your eyes and fingers ANNOUNCE YOUR INTENTIONS. Your spotter should also announce your intentions. The spotter should acknowledge intentions to the spotter. That way the pilot and be told by their spotter that the line is clear to do as they intend. So along with intentions you should have a flight plan before you even get to the line. That way you can announce your intentions prior to execution.

I've got more but I'll let others chime in.


I have to believe that most folks attending FF2015 have had little or no experience with organized flight of this sort. While its important to keep everyone safe its probably not reasonable to think there aren't going to be glitches. Its important for pilots to announce their intentions, know and obey the flight pattern, and keep the airplane in front of them and not over the crowd. A waiting line at each station is a great idea and the pilot on deck becomes a spotter for the pilot currently flying. I'm sure the AMA has a set of rules for events just like this and those rules should be posted in several areas as well as handed out with each badge. Volunteers should have a copy of these rules before the event in order to become familiar with them. Any one of us could give a "friendly nudge" to those outside the rules. I could come up with a copy of the AMA rules if you need me to.


Monkey/Bear Poker
Here is a generic list of rules that the AMA has offered. I know that the rules need to be a little more specific, but this is a start:

1. Deliberate flying behind the safety line is prohibited.
2. Each transmitter must display frequency identification.
3. Taxiing is not allowed in the pit area.
4. It is strongly recommended that people do not fly alone.
5. Children should not be permitted beyond the spectator area unless under the direct supervision of an adult or under flight instruction.
6. The established frequency control plan will be in force at all times.
7. Helicopter flights are allowed in designated areas only.
9. Sailplane high start lines are to run parallel to active runway.
10. Direction of flight is determined by the wind direction, etc.
11. Flight operations will stop during electrical storms.
12. Models will fly only in predesignated areas, and will yield right-of-way to full-size aircraft.
13. If you are going to be on an active flight line, be sure to get the attention of everyone before proceeding. You should have a spotter to help with this. (Shouting; Taking off, Landing, Person on the Runway, etc...)

At least there is a start to some rules.
I am sure that FliteTest has theirs as well, and we need their input along with all of the volunteers so we can be sure we are all on the same page.

No matter what function the volunteers have signed up for, if there is etiquette issues that are seen, we should all encourage the pilots to do things correctly and be friendly.No one wants to be yelled at or put down. We want this to be fun!!!
One thing that I observed happening on a regular basis near the beginner flight line was people not using a flight station. Individuals would cross the caution tape line at any random spot(right of the beginner area) and fly. Sometimes is was 20' from the last flight station and sometimes it was halfway to the multirotor flight line. I did not see this happening on the main or heli flight lines...although I spent most of my time at the beginner flight line. I am thinking that pilots that have flown at an event before were using the main flight line and pilots that have not flown at an event before were flying at the beginner area.

I think a PSA video episode on FT would be a great start. The flight line map could have some information on how the flight line and pilot stations work. There should be an entrance opening in the caution line tape at each flight station. We should also have a sign at each of these opening stating that it is the entrance to the flight line and to wait for an open station. We could also have few other courtesy suggestions on this sign also...call out "on the field", "taking off", "landing" ect.

Flite fest 2014 was my first RC event of any kind. I had NO idea what to do, or what was appropriate etiquette.
Bixler told me "ya know what just go anwhere on the other side of the tape, no one is paying attention to the numbers anyway, and everyone is still having a great time."

While I think we need some structure, I think that single statement sort of sums up what makes Flite Fest SO AWESOME! The was almost no rule, LOTS of good naturedness, and everyone had a great time. Are those AMA rules, or AMA guidelines? We certainly don't want the AMA to pull their insurance coverage or membership benefits, but beyond that, make sure everyone is having a good time, and not angering anyone. I've been part of clubs in the past, where everyone was very regimented and appropriate, and we watched people walk out the door because of it. I'm not saying rules are bad. I'm saying that if we are to set this stuff up, lets build as few walls as possible. :)
I think something a bit shorter and more to the point would be better. Perhaps a flyer, that could be handed out by or comrades at the registration tent? Perhaps TWO such flyers, one for pilots, one for spectators? I know I am AMAZED if I fly my quadcopter in public, how many people are totally fine letting their 3yr old run right up and grab the propeller. (as opposed to the people getting in their car and fleeing)


Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
I think something a bit shorter and more to the point would be better. Perhaps a flyer, that could be handed out by or comrades at the registration tent?
Or if you guys could draft something up, I could see about having one or two, or a few printed up as posted flyers at the event. One by Registration, and a couple at the flight line maybe?