Committee:

Chairman - Jan Sime : Vice Chairman - Gordon Browne : Secretary -Caretaken by Jan Sime & Gordon Browne : Treasurer - TBA

Representatives:

HTL - Gordon Browne : Bill Voss - Dennis Bird : Postals - Jan Sime : F3B - TBA : F3J - Ian Sime : F3K - Shaun Mileson : F5J - Ivan Williams : 2 Meter/New Commers - Shaun Mileson : Slope - Izak Theron (Gauteng) Kevin Farr (WC) Rus Conradt (KZN) : Cross Country - Chris Adrian


Calendar: Jan Sime & Gordon Browne


14 January 2008

Make flying safe...

Over the past few months a number of incidents (I have counted at least 3 to date) have occured where individuals were observered or caught flying RC aircraft within line of sight of club fields or competitive events. Obviously the consequences of a competition F3B/J model going out of control are simply horrendous, but I will leave that up to the more imaginative to narrate further.

It is my observation that we appear to be experiencing this more & more regularly & is not only a end-of-year insanity thing. We cannot blame the hobby shops (or general retailers for that matter) for distributing more & more equipment - because in some of the cases, the transgressors are experienced RC pilots! Nor can we blame the park flyers for wanting to experience the joy of RC flying simply because they are not members, AFAIK it is not a legal requirement in SA to be a member - if anyone can SHOW me which Act this is specified in, I'll gladly retract this previous statement.
The issue is what can we do about it? I do not believe that the current organisational structures have the capacity to deal with this on a voluntary basis. Also, IMHO, this is not a simple "pay someone to make the problem go-away" solution. I have received a number of suggestions or read the following suggestions on the various forums over the last few months, but would sincerely value your inputs:
  • SAMAA to produce a small (A5) sheet providing safety information for the purchase of radio equipment (Tx, Rx, servos, engines/motors, kits & ARF's), which LHS' distribute in all purchases

  • Legislation to be requested that requires certification of RC pilots, licensing of Tx's, and criminalising similar "negligent" flying activities (this begs the questions of the "negligence" & the reasonable person argument, but I am not qualified to comment on law matters...)
  • Individuals all to immediately purchase 2.4Ghz sets that do away with the "fixed" frequency issues

Or perhaps we need to implement a more radical field based frequency control mechanism the ... :-)



I would also like to know what other countries have done or are doing about this problem, as I cannot believe it is unique to SA? Please forward any suggestions via the MGASA forum on Yahoo! Groups.

Safe flying, please
Lionel

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