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Pumpkin drop event

Flying rules we can agree on?

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#1
In light of discussion earlier today on another thread, I think we, as a community, need to come to an agreement of rules to follow for flight. I'm not looking to RADICALLY come up with stuff; most of what I see is things that a lot of us take for granted, or expect others to know when it comes to flying; I guess I take a lot of these things as common sense, which many of you may take the same way. So, I figured I'd write up some things that I think we can all agree on, and a few things that, maybe they don't need to be out and out RULES, but guidelines to follow:

1) If you're flying line of sight and you can't see your aircraft, you're too far away/too high up. In this same train of thought, if you're flying FPV and your spotter can't see your aircraft, you're too far away/too high up.

2) DON'T FLY NEAR ACTIVE RUNWAYS/FULL SIZE AIRCRAFT! I think most of us understand why this is a bad thing, and it shouldn't HAVE to be said, but there's always someone out there who says, "Well, you didn't say..." Put yourself in this situation - you're on the full size aircraft/helicopter where an RC aircraft is flying around, and might potentially hit the blades or get sucked into the engine. How do you feel about the potential for things to go drastically wrong?

3) If you're like me and you can't judge how high 400' is, don't fly higher than the trees/hills immediately around you. Odds are, if there's full size aircraft flying overhead, they're going to have to be higher than that or else they're going to have a really bad day. :) Now, this also should take into account things like an active runway or helipad; I found a nice little field a while back out in Escondido, and thought, "Hey, this would be a really fun place to fly! Looks like I'm not having to worry about planes flying overhead from any airports, because they're 7-8 miles away from where I'm at!"

And then I saw a Medivac helicopter come flying in, and touch down right on the other side of the building I was behind, and I realized that I was right by Palomar Medical Center's helipad. That REALLY killed any sort of wanting to fly there for me.

4) USE COMMON SENSE. If you see a bunch of planes that are taking off from a runway 2 blocks away and they circle back over the field you're thinking of flying at, it's probably in your best interest not to fly there. If the field is private property, and you haven't gotten permission to fly there, again, not in your best interest to fly there as the owners might get upset for you trespassing. If you're flying near a busy street with a bunch of homes, cars, etc. that you can smack into should you go out of control, don't. Go find a cleared out area where you're not going to get in trouble.

5) DON'T FLY OVER PEOPLE. I apply my thoughts on this mostly to quadcopters, because you have 4 motors spinning vertically and as I look at it, "4 whirling blenders of death", but this still applies to fixed wing, motorized aircraft as well as gliders, helicopters, etc. My logic for this is that if you lose control or have equipment failure, you now have an object falling out of the sky. If the motor is turning that blade, you also have something that can make chop suey out of human flesh very quickly. If it's a large glider? It could hit someone and hurt them if it were to fall out of the sky. Sure, it may be flying on an air current, but when it ain't and gravity takes over...

If you ever go to an AMA sanctioned field, you'll see where they have a pit area, and a pilot line for the pilots to stand at and fly from, and it's not done to be spiteful and keep people back, it's done for safety. And that's what we need to take into consideration.

6) If you fly FPV, fly with a spotter. The FAA says this, the AMA says this for safety reasons, I'm going to say pretty much the same AND more. If you have a spotter watching, the spotter can say, "Hey, you've got some kids coming up at the end of the field, be careful of them," or "Hey, John just put his P-51 up in the air behind you, so maybe keep low and away from the runway - he's going to do low passes as he likes to do." Your field of vision is only what the fish eye lens can see, which doesn't cover what's immediately behind you, above you, or below you; having a spotter is invaluable in that respect. In addition, if you crash, your spotter can say, "Ok, look at 3 o'clock go out about 30 feet, and it should be right there," or "See the bush straight out from you? It's about 5 feet to the left."

If there's anything else anyone thinks of anything else we should add for rules everyone should fly by, please, feel free to add them. I think these rules are things that we can all agree on and follow, as I think they're pretty common sense, but maybe people haven't had it spelled out and can't think of good reasons to follow them.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#2
Well a little deeper common sense I would say to add to #3. If you hear a plane or any other full scale craft it is close enough to take the time to spot it. I do this simply because we have several squadrons that train near me out of cities or towns 20 to 50 miles or more away and there are many occasions over the summer when the week end warriors fly low n slow just over the tree tops. It takes just a minute or two so parking your RC planes or quads for 5 minutes or less is well worth it to guarantee you are not going to be or cause an issue. Even though I mainly do race practice under 25 feet or so I still park when I hear them coming. Besides its just so cool to see them that low and close it makes you feel like a kid again when you feel the rotor thump in your chest as they pass.

I am on the fence about that "MUST have a spotter" thing. If you use common sense rules and are aware of your surroundings or you fly at the same place all the time you are familiar with what goes on there. You know when or where people are most likely to be or come from. If I am flying a track I am turning fast and do notice when things are not where they should be. So on the side or behind my quad really does not matter. If it wasn't there when I started its highly doubtful something could come in so fast I do not pick up on it let alone get within any range I am a threat in the under two minutes I am in the air. As far as that line of the spotter must be able to take control of the aircraft that does not apply now as that was more meant during early days when radio gear was weak and unreliable and the only thing a spotter is good for with FPV racing is to tell me how far back my closest competitor is. There is no way even if he had a radio with a trainer switch he controlled he could take over fast enough if I was going to crash.

If at an airfield where RC flight regularly happens I would say a safety officer would be effective to watch the general area for intruding soft targets and be more then plenty warning. Specially if my first thoughts above are followed if you hear it it is in range to be a problem and you should land and take a 3 to 5 minute break in regards to aircraft.

Not everyone flys in a crowded area. I have more to worry over farm animals and deer or crashing into corn stalks if I swing wide on a turn. I know my area well and the people around me know me too. The kids know I love having them hang out and talk and goof around but they also know when my quad is in the air they are either on the bench behind me and quiet or over on the play set so I know where they are for the two minutes I am in the air.

When I go to the park I have enough open space around where I fly I can see intruding people like the ignorant vocational school teacher who marched her criminal justice class right thru the course I set up taking the long way back to their building instead of crossing well out of the area that they normally use that has cross walks specifically marked for them to go back and forth to the park from the school.
She had them grouped over in the parking lot and I was watching to see what they were doing as they never congregate where they did. I assumed it was to watch me fly. The second I was in the air she began their march across the field and I had a lap and a half already done and was down at my feet before they hit the closest flag to them. I can only assume she was dumb enough to think she could provoke a response in front of her class. All I did was shake my head the entire time the entourage walked by letting them know I know they are all complete and total idiots because not one of the class spoke up about the lack of safety they were being lead into. As potential police officers they were only taught they have power over people NOT the proper way to protect and respect and interact their communities that day.

I have DVR'd EVERY flight I have taken since I put my first FPV camera on my gear. Not to make cool videos as you can see by my YT page but to protect my self from the stupid people of the world like that teacher. I have ZERO qualms of someone starting or becoming a problem and calling police because I can on the spot show them the claims are false. Not only that it helps a TON to have the footage after a crash and your quad is burred so deep in alfalfa you can not hear the beeper until you are within 10 to 15 feet.

Bottom line is the rules were made for 1940's and 1950's era RC flight and gear. I agree they need revision. But the only thing the government wants is restriction. Not a way to make the hobby safer or to protect the non flying community. They only want to limit the areas we have so that big business ventures using UAV's can dig in and profit off of OUR flight space while they profit from lobbyist money, taxes, licencing, yet another insurance to rape us with.

If the government and the AMA for that matter was remotely interested in making our hobby safe they would delegate special areas within our parks and recreational areas specifically for RC use just like they do for baseball, football soccer, or parks that have pools and such. They have not even put that on the table so to me this will all only ever be to profiteer off our hobby and invent new ways to take more of our money and freedom away.

Ever hear the saying you can't fix stupid? Well that is true. You can't fix it, you can't regulate it, and you can't tax it. Stupid people will always do stupid things. By the time a human is 3 to 5 years old you can easily pick out the ones that are gonna be THAT guy or girl that says here hold my beer while I try this.. I think the "Heres yer sign" thing should become law before any further legal intrusion to our hobby occurs. That way when we see the sign we will know we have to land until it leaves the area. Those could be set up with the devices they are going to try and force us to put on our gear so we are more visible to full scale aircraft.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#3
I find it amazing how the law is often interpreted so differently. The best free, legal RC field today is 30 miles east AT the end of the taxiway at the Springs East Airport. Makes sense to me. If you wanna fly, go to the airport. The local AMA field is on the same 80 acres of land. Just keep it under 400 ft at the airport.

I don't often have a spotter but I fly over my own property, where people and animals cannot intrude without my permission. My failsafe is tested often and is in fall out of the sky mode. If I lose rssi for a few seconds, the copter goes to 0 throttle immediately.

My number is on everything I fly. My neighbors know me and several have seen through the goggles and know I don't build 'spy drones'. The neighborhood kids love them. I find a little PR goes a long way.

I fly 25mw vtxs. I think it would be rude to blast 600mw signal in the neighborhood.

Seems to me there are lots of examples of people paying a "stupid tax". I'm gonna have to argue with you on that one PsyBorg. Google "darwin awards" to see lots of people paying it. That link kinda does prove your "can't fix stupid" argument though.
 
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Namactual

Well-known member
#6
While there is nothing wrong with discussing ways to make the hobby safer, at the end of the day there is nothing stopping your neighbor from spending his/her first paycheck on a 25lb multi-rotor at a local Best Buy and with a touch of their iPhone, flying said multi-rotor straight to the nearest airport.

All of the rules, laws and regulation will not change that.

This may come across as brash, but I assure you that is not my intention. The phrase "preaching to the choir" does come to mind though.

I raced the Gravel Worlds Privateer course last year. They're an unsanctioned group for the most part but they always have pretty simple rules for events. The best one is "Don't be a dick." I think that's a good rule in any activity.
A perfect simple rule. I like it. (y)
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#7
I find it amazing how the law is often interpreted so differently. The best free, legal RC field today is 30 miles east AT the end of the taxiway at the Springs East Airport. Makes sense to me. If you wanna fly, go to the airport. The local AMA field is on the same 80 acres of land. Just keep it under 400 ft at the airport.

I don't often have a spotter but I fly over my own property, where people and animals cannot intrude without my permission. My failsafe is tested often and is in fall out of the sky mode. If I lose rssi for a few seconds, the copter goes to 0 throttle immediately.

My number is on everything I fly. My neighbors know me and several have seen through the goggles and know I don't build 'spy drones'. The neighborhood kids love them. I find a little PR goes a long way.

I fly 25mw vtxs. I think it would be rude to blast 600mw signal in the neighborhood.

Seems to me there are lots of examples of people paying a "stupid tax". I'm gonna have to argue with you on that one PsyBorg. Google "darwin awards" to see lots of people paying it. That link kinda does prove your "can't fix stupid" argument though.
<<<<<<HUGE fan of the Darwin awards. I applaud each and every one of their members for their bravery AND consistency.

I would say at least 60% to 80% of our current problems in the hobby is DJI I hate to say. They are the ones who irresponsibly started the "Anyone can fly a drone" train and have yet to take any of the blame or show any responsibility for what that did to the RC hobby in general. If they gave a crap about the hobby they wouldn't be wasting time trying to screw the rest of us over by marketing their virtual wall crap they are lobbying to make law and instead make the phantoms like a video game where you have to complete certain tasks to "Unlock a new feature" and train pilots more about how to actually operate the gear and not just stick it in auto mode and aim go pros.

Sadly I know that will never happen as there would be no instant profits and their customers with invasion of privacy issues would not have instant gratification.into peoples lives. ( No I do not lump all the responsible pilots in with the typical DJI morons causing most of the problem) After all the phantom is a valuable tool when used properly and can be very productive as well.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#12
I say we make the rule "Don't be a dick." number one on the list there Sprzout.
I agree that should be a rule; I just would put maybe a little more PG and say, “Don’t be a jerk.” Personally, I think a lot of that falls into the “use common sense” category, but i’m certainly ok with breaking it out into its own rule as well.

And Psy, I mainly state the spotters if you’re flying under FPV because i’ve Had close calls with joggers and loose dogs at a park that I thought was empty. I only caught them out of the corner of my vision while flying in freestyle, and being the litigious society that we have, i’d MUCH rather suggest that we fly with someone who can warn a pilot, whether it’s a kid who’s admiring your flight and yells out, “Dog!” or the aforementioned safety officer. I know i’m Not going to win you over on this (and the buddy box/handoff thing the AMA has is ridiculous; I know there’s No way even a supremely skilled pilot is going to save it if thugs go wrong 25 ft off the ground at 60 mph), but I think it’s a good idea that we SHOULD adopt.

And I DEFINITELY think we need to grant full scale pilots right of way; a local airfield does a “Wings over Gillespie” every year and they have Corsairs and Bearcats and a couple of bombers that come out (and for something like $300-$400, they’ll let you ride in the belly tank gunner position when they take you on a flight).

I like seeing it too, and really, we just need to use that common sense of, “get outta the way of the bigger dude” mentality. That’s a big part of flying RC, whether it’s under AMA sanction or not.

As for flying at the end of an ACTIVE runway, it’s a bad idea. I know there are clubs out there that do it. For anyone who has ever seen the movie Top Gun, you’ve seen Miaar, which used to be a Naval Air Station but is now a Marine Corps Air Station. They have a club that flies on the east end of the runway, and as of late, there are members leaving the club to go to other clubs and fields because they have full scale pilots harassing them for trying to get their RC planes down when the F-18s or transport planes are trying to land on the runway. You’re trying to enjoy flight, but in a constant state of panic that you’ll be interfering with not only a full scale aircraft, but one that might be carrying live ammunition and belongs to Uncle Sam? Common sense is screaming to me at the top of its lungs saying, “DON’T RISK IT!!!”, even if the base commander is the one okaying the RC flights.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#13
Spotters have their place for sure. But to say every situation requires one is not logical nor viable. The park you fly at sounds very busy at times. The park where I fly is mainly only active when ball games or practices are happening. The park has a first come first serve reservation system and if or when the time comes I find others to fly with that will be an option. For now I have a basic idea who is going to be active at what part of the year. I stopped going down there for holiday celebrations because the town has people always annoyong me to put my quad in the air to film for them

When I tell them I am not certified for that they say "we wont tell if you don't" I have tried several times to tell them its a bad idea AND the fact my gear is not designed for that anyways. The last time I spoke with one of them I told him Ok if you are that adamant you want me to fly write up a contract that states you cover ALL expenses, legal, medical, governmental and as you say litigious and get it signed by the entire village board and I will do it.

The guy was like OK whats the fine going to be.. When I told him up to 28k just for the FAA fines he thought I was joking. That's when I knew he was an idiot and would never get it so I stopped going down to town events at the park.

Anyway my ideas are just that and will probably never line up with normal society so this is just me tossing my two cents into the pit. It all has no effect anyways as the ONLY intention for rules is to gear it up for monetization on all levels so big business can profit and government can press that thumb just a little harder on us little guys.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#14
Around here the airport is the legal, designated place to fly. ALL public land is banned for the entire county. The airport is the only place in the county other than private property where the cops won't cite you for flying. It is illegal to throw a frizbee in a public park without a permit here, and they NEVER grant permits.

Common sense met our city/county government in the arena of bad ideas and government won by bashing its own brains out with the groupthink rock (again). You can fly legally, or you can fly sanely but never the two shall meet in this place.


I think the AMA did the PC "don't be a dick" rule very well with "I will not fly a model aircraft in a careless or reckless manner ".

It's a bit wordy by comparison, but at least you can say it out loud around decent folk. I think it makes for a great rule #1.

IMO rule #2 should be "Don't fly wasted.". o_O
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#16
One of THE DUMBEST rules I ran into I was going to go to a fun fly at another club until I found out they do not allow you to fly FPV you can give goggles to anyone you want but as pilot you are prohibited to use goggles.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Mentor
#17
One of THE DUMBEST rules I ran into I was going to go to a fun fly at another club until I found out they do not allow you to fly FPV you can give goggles to anyone you want but as pilot you are prohibited to use goggles.
Thats when you fly FPV and when they say hey you can't pilot using FPV and you tell them... "I'm not the pilot.. I'm the spotter and had to take over. Just make sure your buddy is the one that lift the quad off in the beginning of the flight. Rules are rules after all...
 

FastCrash45

Well-known member
#18
Around here the airport is the legal, designated place to fly. ALL public land is banned for the entire county. The airport is the only place in the county other than private property where the cops won't cite you for flying. It is illegal to throw a frizbee in a public park without a permit here, and they NEVER grant permits.

Common sense met our city/county government in the arena of bad ideas and government won by bashing its own brains out with the groupthink rock (again). You can fly legally, or you can fly sanely but never the two shall meet in this place.


I think the AMA did the PC "don't be a dick" rule very well with "I will not fly a model aircraft in a careless or reckless manner ".

It's a bit wordy by comparison, but at least you can say it out loud around decent folk. I think it makes for a great rule #1.

IMO rule #2 should be "Don't fly wasted.". o_O
Absolutely on the not flying wasted. I've seen people who could barely walk try to fly, results were funny cause no one got hurt!! Just lots of balsa chips for the idiot to pick up grumbling how he just built it must have been bad plans. The only bad plan was he thought he could fly his bomber bombed😅