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EASA NPA 2017-05

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Piers Bowlan17/05/2017 22:29:40
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Apparently, only 10% of ultralights carry SSR Transponders and 35% of hot air balloons (and 0% of birds). I fail to see the urgency of UAVs carrying electronic identifiers.

XK5018/05/2017 08:31:03
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Having read Parts A and B of the proposals, I read, finally, the covering note.

With its "150kg" and "cross border operations", it does seem to support BEB's earlier assertions that this ain't really about model aircraft, nor even those naughty multi-rotors. It's seems to be about the commerce of fairly big things flying through the air, autonomously - Fedex and Uber for the skies!

I reckon we model flyers are, currently, in the position of small dog-cart makers and users, circa 1896, who had little concept of the horseless carriages, the lorries and the charabancs, plus their required network of roads, autobahns, and garagistes that were about to hit them.

This is going to be big .... very big. This will be the way the "millenniums" get their pensions paid.

But, just like the Great Crested Newt, I suggest we model flyers will be alright, left in our designated areas.

John

will -018/05/2017 08:38:50
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440 forum posts

Exacactly.

We don't need a lot of airspace, we just need to try to protect the bits we do use even if it's just once a year.

Easy enough for club sites, but the bit of hill side that gets used once in a blue moon when the wind is in the right direction is not so obvious.

MattyB19/05/2017 16:02:13
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Still nothing from the BMFA on this one - I guess with all this rain they must be out mowing the grass at Buckminster...

wink

Edited By MattyB on 19/05/2017 16:02:49

Frank Skilbeck19/05/2017 16:15:09
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Posted by MattyB on 19/05/2017 16:02:13:

Still nothing from the BMFA on this one - I guess with all this rain they must be out mowing the grass at Buckminster...

wink

Edited By MattyB on 19/05/2017 16:02:49

You didn't read this months BMFA news then?

cymaz19/05/2017 21:18:54
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This may be of interest....if only to our American cousins.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator19/05/2017 23:01:29
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This is not a place to make political statements regarding the benefits or otherwise of the EU. Once again, the topic is the NPA - not the EU, Mr Junkers, the French nation etc. etc. Off topic posts will be deleted.

BEB

MattyB20/05/2017 00:23:42
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Posted by Frank Skilbeck on 19/05/2017 16:15:09:
Posted by MattyB on 19/05/2017 16:02:13:

Still nothing from the BMFA on this one - I guess with all this rain they must be out mowing the grass at Buckminster...

wink

Edited By MattyB on 19/05/2017 16:02:49

You didn't read this months BMFA news then?

My copy has not arrived yet. What does it say?

Steve J20/05/2017 07:23:58
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Posted by MattyB on 20/05/2017 00:23:42:
What does it say?

That the BMFA are hopeful that negotiations with the DfT and CAA (the competent authority for the UK) will lead to members being "able to continue flying their models largely as they do currently".

Steve

ChrisB20/05/2017 10:52:46
1025 forum posts
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The CAA will be able to regulate airspace as they do now and make their own decisions about heights and areas that flying can take place, hence the ability to delegate to a competent authority within member states. The CAA aren't stupid, they know that for decades all has been well with the world. Its only in the last few years that tings have changed...whats the variable? Multi-rota/drone aircraft and who are the people causing the problems...the toy brigade.

All will be well Erfolg...the world won't end!

Steve J20/05/2017 14:48:01
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Posted by Erfolg on 20/05/2017 10:35:23:

I will repeat, I do see this as the beginning of the end for aeromodelling as we know it as a hobby.

A £5 registration scheme and either join a club or do some online training and a test is not "the beginning of the end for aeromodelling".

Steve

ChrisB20/05/2017 21:48:28
1025 forum posts
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Posted by Steve J on 20/05/2017 14:48:01:
Posted by Erfolg on 20/05/2017 10:35:23:

I will repeat, I do see this as the beginning of the end for aeromodelling as we know it as a hobby.

A £5 registration scheme and either join a club or do some online training and a test is not "the beginning of the end for aeromodelling".

Steve

We do e-learning modules for work. rather than us all go over to the training centre we each spend an hour reading some basic facts and then answering some multiple choice questions. Simple!

MattyB22/05/2017 11:08:11
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Posted by ChrisB on 20/05/2017 10:52:46:

The CAA will be able to regulate airspace as they do now and make their own decisions about heights and areas that flying can take place, hence the ability to delegate to a competent authority within member states. The CAA aren't stupid, they know that for decades all has been well with the world. Its only in the last few years that tings have changed...whats the variable? Multi-rota/drone aircraft and who are the people causing the problems...the toy brigade.

All will be well Erfolg...the world won't end!

Posted by Steve J on 20/05/2017 14:48:01:

A £5 registration scheme and either join a club or do some online training and a test is not "the beginning of the end for aeromodelling".

Steve

My copy arrived on Saturday. Having had a read (it didn't take long; half a page tucked away near the back that sadly most will miss) it seems the BMFA have adopted a more conciliatory tone compared to their response to the prototype rules; based on their interpretation there does seem reason for cautious optimism. I think we are a long way from being in the clear though.

On paper delegating that authority to the CAA (who have always seemed pragmatic and not overly worried when it comes to organised model flying) seems a good outcome for us. However I just cannot see the commercial interests involved who want access to that airspace below 400ft (Amazon, the logistics companies etc) supporting this approach. Allowing each country CA to negotiate and define it's own exception criteria for the rules with their local modelling associations will make the "U-Space" concept more costly and time consuming to legislate and implement; it would certainly make cross border operation far trickier. As a result I fully expect these organisations to put out lots of publicity and deploy employ expensive lobbying groups to set out why a top down, centralised approach across the EU with far less local variance is critical to the success of the commercial drone industry.

It then becomes a political decision as to which way the EU/EASA want to go - problem is all the £££s are on one side of the argument, and it isn't ours...

Edited By MattyB on 22/05/2017 11:13:12

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator22/05/2017 12:02:20
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Posted by MattyB on 22/05/2017 11:08:11:

My copy arrived on Saturday. Having had a read (it didn't take long; half a page tucked away near the back that sadly most will miss) it seems the BMFA have adopted a more conciliatory tone compared to their response to the prototype rules; based on their interpretation there does seem reason for cautious optimism. I think we are a long way from being in the clear though.

On paper delegating that authority to the CAA (who have always seemed pragmatic and not overly worried when it comes to organised model flying) seems a good outcome for us. However I just cannot see the commercial interests involved who want access to that airspace below 400ft (Amazon, the logistics companies etc) supporting this approach. Allowing each country CA to negotiate and define it's own exception criteria for the rules with their local modelling associations will make the "U-Space" concept more costly and time consuming to legislate and implement; it would certainly make cross border operation far trickier. As a result I fully expect these organisations to put out lots of publicity and deploy employ expensive lobbying groups to set out why a top down, centralised approach across the EU with far less local variance is critical to the success of the commercial drone industry.

It then becomes a political decision as to which way the EU/EASA want to go - problem is all the £££s are on one side of the argument, and it isn't ours...

Edited By MattyB on 22/05/2017 11:13:12

I see your point Matty on the commercial drive - but maybe it might not be so difficult to get them to accept - I believe this why EASA are so keen to make flying outside a club context more difficult for us. By corralling us into clubs on registered sites they know exactly where we are and what our flying zones are. This can be made public domain information - shown on suitable UAV aviation maps. Flight programming of commercials can avoid such areas and should not encounter significant model activity outside of those areas. This has two advantages, one us and one for them:

1. For us it means that as long as we stay within the designated club flight zone we shouldn't have to worry about U-Space - we can be exempted form those requirements on full commercial operators because our airspace is protected via an exclusion zone for all except the club.

2. The commercial operators can proceed, as safe as they can be, in the knowledge that as long as they avoid those zones they should not encounter any operations not showing on U-Space.

The big disadvantage for us of course is what happens to those not in a club, or participating in an activity like sloping that doesn't tend to be club orientated? The fear is that such flyers will have to comply with the full gammit of controls on commercial fliers to operate in U-Space - that would be difficult. While we can hope that Sloping Sites will be able to be registered - even without a formal club (that's a job of work for BMFA et al), I can see little able to save the lone flyer in a local farmer's field I'm afraid at the moment. Note I'm not saying he won't be able to fly - but I do think he is going to pick up a huge raft of additional requirements needed to operate in that context outside of the protected airspace of a club where all the exemptions can be in place.

BEB

MattyB22/05/2017 12:35:48
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 22/05/2017 12:02:20:

...The big disadvantage for us of course is what happens to those not in a club, or participating in an activity like sloping that doesn't tend to be club orientated? The fear is that such flyers will have to comply with the full gammit of controls on commercial fliers to operate in U-Space - that would be difficult. While we can hope that Sloping Sites will be able to be registered - even without a formal club (that's a job of work for BMFA et al), I can see little able to save the lone flyer in a local farmer's field I'm afraid at the moment.

Agreed, I think prospects for the lone flyer are now pretty bleak - irrelevant of price I am not sure the tech even exists to allow many fixed wing model comply at the present time, and certainly not gliders.

Selfishly it is slope sites I am really concerned about as that is my favourite form of flying and so many sites do not have a tenant BMFA club to look after them. When I floated the idea of an over-arching "UK Soaring Club" to look after these sites the BMAF stated they did not think it would be needed given the direction of negotiations, but looking at the latest NPA draft I think such an organisation may have become more likely with this iteration, not less. You could be right though, there is no reason that the BMFA could not just ask it's members (country and club) to mass register slope sites centrally online without such an organisation being required; every BMFA member could then use them legitimately. Even so some sites will be missed and some pilots will end up flying illegally, whether aware or not.

Edited By MattyB on 22/05/2017 12:43:21

Steve J22/05/2017 13:09:03
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 22/05/2017 12:02:20:

I can see little able to save the lone flyer in a local farmer's field I'm afraid at the moment.

Subcategory A3 privately built.

Steve

MattyB22/05/2017 14:18:09
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Maybe, but as I pointed out a few pages ago to operate in that category the aircraft must be flown "...in an area where it is reasonably expected that no uninvolved person will be present" and the operator must "...keep a safety distance from the boundaries of congested areas of cities, towns or settlements, or aerodromes". What do "reasonably expected" and "safety distance" mean legally?

It's massively imprecise and open to interpretation. They are going to need a lot more detail in these areas in order to create a workable outcome or else the first transgressor is going to embroil them in a lengthy precedent case.

Edited By MattyB on 22/05/2017 14:23:32

Piers Bowlan22/05/2017 14:18:13
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Subcategory A3 = Geofencing, SSR Transponder, Approved course of training (probably recurrent tests), 'flight controller redundancy' (presumably RTH and autonomous flight), Minimum age limit of 14 (I don't need to worry there!). Sounds very expensive and unnecessary and the list is probably not complete either. All this just to enable you to chuck your balsa glider off a hill or cliff; probably miles from anywhere and virtually zero risk to the general public or other airspace users.

A few years ago you couldn't have made this up!

 

 

Edited By Piers Bowlan on 22/05/2017 14:31:56

Steve J22/05/2017 14:39:12
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Posted by Piers Bowlan on 22/05/2017 14:18:13:

Subcategory A3 = Geofencing, SSR Transponder, Approved course of training (probably recurrent tests), 'flight controller redundancy' (presumably RTH and autonomous flight), Minimum age limit of 14

You need to have another look at the document because that isn't what is says for A3 privately built.

Steve

Piers Bowlan22/05/2017 14:47:53
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871 forum posts
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Thanks, just found it Steve in the NPA. Does mention a 'lost link management'(?) and 'selectable height limiter' How does that work?

Edited By Piers Bowlan on 22/05/2017 14:51:42

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