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Member postings for Keith Lomax

Here is a list of all the postings Keith Lomax has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: BMFA NAtional Centre website launched
29/12/2017 20:13:32
Posted by Tony Kenny on 28/12/2017 21:49:44:

Just found this thread.... I've been to the centre a few times now, twice for the aerobatics training days which have been a fantastic learning opportunity for me and have really improved my overall flying skills.

Facilities are great, everybody I met there were friendly and helpful. I look forward to visiting each month and also look forward to the accommodation blocks being available.

The only thing I would add is, that given the average age of people in the hobby and given how far it is by road from the nearest town, I'd be tempted to install and AED (defribrillator) in case somebody experiences a cardiac event whilst on site. The difference, statistically, is taking survival rates up from 6% to 96%, provided of course, that they're not flying alone and somebody sees them go down within a couple of minutes! Maybe a fund raising event for that separately? I take it the air ambulance wouldn't have much problem finding a spot to land!


This is already in hand - authority was given for the purchase at a meeting of the Centre Steering Group in November. This was prompted by the successful use of one (by the first aid team) at the August Nationals that probably saved a competitor's life.

Thread: Well Done Harry Hill........
26/12/2017 10:25:22

I live in a small town in central Essex (Witham). I don't do social media, but SWMBO saw two separate entries in Facebook of people who have lost drones locally, both flying in housing estates.


Thread: Legislation Proposal at last
11/12/2017 19:13:45
Posted by Peter Christy on 11/12/2017 15:40:50:

I thought we'd settled the definition ages ago!

"If it is capable of controlled flight while out of LOS of the pilot, then it is a drone. If it is NOT capable of controlled flight out of LOS of the pilot, it is NOT a drone."



What about a fixed wing model with FPV? A multi rotor without FPV?

Thread: why we don't fly drones over crowds
10/12/2017 19:12:32
Posted by ChrisB on 10/12/2017 18:21:49:

The CAA, EASA and DFT could also learn a lot from model aeroplane flyers and their established rules and procedures!

Unsurprisingly, they do - The CAA meet regularly with representative of the larger model flying associations (BMFA, LMA, SAA, BARCS, and when there are relevant items FPV-UK). EASE have been in dialogue with representatives of several European model flying bodies, including the BMFA, and now the Euro Model Fliers Union in which BMFA is a leading player, and have massively redrafted their proposals as a result. Less established, but DFE, HSE and DFT also have ad-hoc meetings with BMFA representatives.

Thread: BMFA Classifieds Scammer Alert
10/12/2017 18:59:43

As BMFA Classifieds is restricted to members, I suggest that you email webmaster <at> bmfaclassifieds <dot> org with the details and he can check out / block this user.

Thread: Legislation Proposal at last
27/11/2017 19:16:09

It is likely (it is in the current EASA proposal but not certain in the UK until the actual legislation is published) that membership of an association that is recognised by the CAA will constitute "registration". These include BMFA, LMA, SAA, BARCS - at least.

Thread: Good News from the BMFA AGM
25/11/2017 18:34:45

Posted by Percy Verance on 24/11/2017 21:27:17:

Well Andy, they could have joined you to show commitment to the cause perhaps? And put themselves on show for those countless hundreds of members whom might otherwise never get to meet them in person. Not everyone lives in the Southern half of the country.

I have no bone to pick with you Andy. At least you were there. The others, to many of us, were just faces in a magazine.

Edited By Percy Verance on 24/11/2017 21:30:57

You have to remember, Percy, that Dave, Manny and Andy are both employees and model fliers. They have a day job to do, and can't be expected to work every weekend. Most of the stands around the country are manned by volunteers, usually people who have elected posts on either Council or on Area Committees.

For example, would you rather that Dave gave up his own time to fly to Germany to negotiate with EASA and protect the rights of all Aeromodellers in Europe, or went to a show and met a few dozen or at most a couple of hundred members?

Manny and Andy meet the members by doing club talks, at the invitation of clubs, and will go anywhere in the country to do so.

I'm not sure where you get the concept of a North-South divide, either? The only show in the South that I can remember any of these three guys coming to this year or last is Wings and Wheels (which I normally do but was in hospital this year, so Andy covered for me at short notice), but Andy has done several in the North each year.

Thread: BMFA A thread for off topic posts
24/11/2017 14:18:10
Posted by Andy Symons - BMFA on 24/11/2017 12:06:20:

As fas as I am aware Barkston is 900 acres.

Using Google maps, it is almost square, and both the South and East boundaries are pretty close to one mile. A square mile is 640 acres. If anything, BH is slightly less.

Thread: Good News from the BMFA AGM
24/11/2017 13:11:10
Posted by Cuban8 on 24/11/2017 13:01:04:
Thanks for the info re the hangar Keith. (predictive text turned off this time). The issue with the doors is what I heard, and it's a shame that a way around it can't be found.

I fully agree. From the perspective of the facilities it is a big loss. It also hits the finances as we have to hire a huge marquee for the bar and the bar concession pays us less because their turnover is down.

24/11/2017 12:43:16

To those who have been questioning the relationship with the sponsorship ...

There are two main companies involved in the insurance arrangement - a broker who negotiate and administer the deals and an underwriter who provides the cover. The underwriter determines the premiums, by negotiation, and then pays a commission to the broker. This is how virtually all insurance works. A few of the bigger companies combine both roles for consumer insurance, but anything big enough to be individually negotiated uses a broker.

The broker then chooses to return an element of their commission to us as sponsorship. They do this with a criteria that that it is used for developments and not to support the core activity. The theory is that development furthers the objectives of the Society/Association, and therefore ensures the longevity of the arrangement.

They are partly able to do this because at least 90% or the administration of claims is carried out in the BMFA office, so they don't need to employ staff to do it.


To the poster who suggested a £25k pay rise to the Secretary who donates it back to the NFC.

- the Secretary (I assume that you mean the Honorary Secretary) is a volunteer position, as are all of the directors.

- if you meant one of the permanent employees, then the cost to the Society to do so would be higher due to employers NI and pension (approx. another £3k - £4k). The employee would then have to pay NI and income tax on the money received so would only get about £15k to donate.

24/11/2017 12:31:08
Posted by Cuban8 on 24/11/2017 12:04:51:

Any chance of the hanger being available for indoor and kids' flying in 2018? I heard two quite different reasons as to why we lost the hanger - I feel that the weekend really needs it back if at all possible.

This is very unlikely.

The original reason why we lost the hangar (note spelling, you don't put your coat on it) was because it was in use for something else. Most RAF stations have "private flying clubs", where people who work on the base have their own aircraft and fly for enjoyment and relaxation - many but not all are people with an obvious interest in aircraft but are not pilots in their military role. It is in the RAF's interest to support these groups and promote an interest in aircraft, and as such they provide hangarage and access to runways. RAF Cranwell and one other base were allocated the hangar at Barkston in 2014 for this purpose due to lack of hangars at Cranwell and runway availability at the other base. In 2014 they removed their aircraft to temporary storage at Cranwell to allow us to use the hangar. This could not be arranged in 2015 and 2017.

However, the reason has now changed. During the time that we were setting up for the 2017 Nats, a structural inspection was taking place. It was found that the door runners were corroded beyond economical repair, and the flying clubs were given a week to remove their aircraft before the doors were closed for good. It is likely that they will be welded shut until such a time as the hangar is demolished.

This is a shame because it wasn't many years ago that it was re-clad at great expense to the MoD - ie. UK Taxpayers.

Edited By Keith Lomax on 24/11/2017 12:44:53

Thread: BMFA A thread for off topic posts
24/11/2017 12:05:23

​We are told Barkston is 15 times the size of the NFC. Imagine the extra fuss that would have created even if it was possible. Maybe one day when the planets all come into line.

NFC is 43 acres

Barkston is slightly over one square mile (640 acres)

Thread: Good News from the BMFA AGM
23/11/2017 10:40:07
Posted by kc on 22/11/2017 19:49:01:

What's the point of having an NFC if the Nationals are not held there?

Barkston is approximately 15 times the area of the NFC. The Silent Flight Nationals were held at Buckminster in 2017 and will be again next year.

To hold the equivalent of the Power Nats at the NFC would require five or six separate weekends - with a different class on each. Not spectator friendly for those who want a taste of each flightline, no trade, no showline, etc.

21/11/2017 22:40:43

Erflog, my "don't worry" was not intended to say that we are not worried about the drop in numbers - it was meant to indicate "don't worry, we are not being complacent, we are monitoring it".

Yes, it is a concern, but at this stage not a serious one. I have been involved with Council since about 1991. In that time I have seen the numbers grow from about 28,500 to around 37,000, drop back to 33,000, climb to 36,000 and now drop back to just over 35,000. The trend over the last ten years has been pretty much flat, but turnover in the region of 20% each year is the norm.

We are now starting to see people whose first taste of model flying was drones, and are wanting to progress to other categories. Hopefully, that trend will continue.

21/11/2017 20:10:36

Don't worry, it is being monitored - the Accounts Manager's presentation to the AGM included the last 10 years or so.

21/11/2017 19:10:42

ChrisB is right - 300 is nothing to worry about - 2015 and 2016 both went up by that amount. It is the "noise" in approximately 6000 not renewing and approximately 6000 new members or rejoiners each year. A swing of 5% in either number gives you 300.

If you consider the average time a member is flying ... say he starts in mid teens and finishes mid 70's ... that would be 60 years. On 35000 members that's about 540 giving up through ill health or worse each year.

21/11/2017 14:40:31

Re: Social Media ....

As it happens, BMFA has retained the services of a PR & Marketing advisor. He has just completed his first six month contract, and one of the area that he highlighted and has already made progress on, is Social Media. One thing at a time - the BMFA Facebook page now, apparently, has a critical mass and is getting around 30,000 interactions each week. He is looking to make use of Instagram next. However, next time I see him, I will mention the comments on here about YouTube.

21/11/2017 12:03:24
Posted by kc on 21/11/2017 11:14:12:

But are they doing the stuff we REALLY need? Why didn't we see the BMFA spokesman whenever drone regulation or problem was discussed on TV news? The BMFA officials seem to have been too busy with the NFC to bother appearing on TV to give the real aeromodellers point of view to the audience whenever this most important subject was discussed. Getting the general public on the side of responsible model pilots is far more important than anything else. The right spokesman is all important in in swaying public opinion when it matters.

Have a guess whether BMFA - or any other body or individual - can ask to be included in a news report on TV?

BMFA is on the list of people to contact in these cases, and from time to time somebody - usually Dave Phipps - is either quoted in News articles on BBC website, or interviewed for radio news items or discussions. However it doesn't help their often sensationalist agendas to have a voice of reason.

BMFA officials have been leading the fight against draconian legislation on behalf of all model fliers in Europe. The current proposals being discussed by EASA are much less restrictive than originally proposed. BMFA (along with SAA and LMA) has also been working with the CAA to ensure that when the EASA rules come to the UK, the CAA will adopt the least restrictive of the options that they have available. (Also, note that this is not an EU thing that we can opt out of in 2019 as it covers all European airspace regulators.)

In much the same way as five or six years ago, the EU proposed to ban the use of 2.4GHz for radio control, because of an interpretation by the Dutch telecoms industry that the bandwidth is reserved for "data" and RC signals do not constitute "data". It was the BMFA officials that you criticise who identified this possibility and lobbied successfully to get it thrown out.

Thread: 7000 Postings
21/11/2017 09:49:49

In the 1980's Essex and England cricketer Graham Gooch was approaching his 100th first class century. When this was achieved, he understandably had a celebration. Then the powers that be decided that one that he had scored against South Africa whilst on a "rebel tour" did not count and he was still on 99. His response - "I will just go and score one against Cambridge University". Normally when counties play the university teams, they rest the best players and let the youngsters and up and coming players have a go. The following season, Essex included Graham in their team. He hit the student bowlers all over the ground, got his century and then went home. Which has more value - his century against international calibre South Africans, one against part time students, or Cymaz's 7000 posts?

Thread: Good News from the BMFA AGM
21/11/2017 09:39:23

I can assure you that the decision to leave the country member voting situation as it is (and has always been) was not just taken as a throwaway. The late Robin Sleight, who was Honorary Secretary until this time last year, did considerable research and offered a number of options, but the status quo was the recommended option.

For example:

  • As somebody else has mentioned, where the voting by clubs is carried out, each club has a vote based on the strength of their membership. However they can only be cast one way. Therefore in a club that actually consults the membership, who in turn if they pay any interest, the majority in that club determines the votes of all of them.
  • If we took the option of having all country members as one "virtual club" then that club would have a voting strength that far exceeds the normal AGM attendance. How would you canvas those votes? Would those in the minority of that one process then be disenfranchised because their vote goes the other way in the final count? How much would that cost? Should the BMFA members who do join clubs subsidise it for those who choose not to? Even if it was electronic it would still require some sort of SECURE system to do so, which would cost, and would exclude those who are not connected.
  • If we went to all individual members as the voting population, this would then entail huge costs in distributing AGM notices, and collecting and counting proxies etc.

We looked at the National Trust. This has in excess of 100k members. They have one member one vote on all AGM proposals. Less than 10,000 submit proxies, which have to be counted separately for each vote. The proxies, however, outnumber the voting strength of those present at the meeting, so there is no point in having any discussion at the meeting as the decision is already made when the postal votes are closed. Is this any more democratic?

The other question posed by one or two in this thread - "how do we know that the majority of country members are members of one or more clubs?" Yes we did ask them. Country member renewals are posted out shortly after the AGM as a card to be completed and sent back with payment, or alternatively pointing the member to the payment portal on the website. Of course the latter is a recent alternative. At least one year, we asked an optional question on the card, "if you are a member of a club(s), which one(s)?" with "none" as an option. I can't remember the exact figures, but it did conclude that a significant majority were club members.

And for those who claim that by not being a country member they don't benefit from the club insurance cover - you still have the option of flying as a guest at a club site, if invited (and most clubs are likely to welcome you if approached). If you fly on National Trust or National Parks land as a sole flier, you do so because the BMFA has negotiated your right to do so, partly on the basis that they recognise our insurance policy. It also costs the BMFA more to process your membership as we can pack and post many renewal notices and membership cards to one club secretary, but yours has to go individually.

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