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Proposed new drone legislation/registration

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Peter Jenkins12/02/2018 01:13:12
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If you are one of those who wonder what on earth the BMFA is doing about this matter, you may find the links I have posted below to many News articles published on the BMFA website on this topic as useful aide memoire. If you are a BMFA member, you can register on the BMFA website to get notification every time a News posting is made. The News section goes back several years. I've listed the dates on which the BMFA, mostly Dave Phipps the CEO, has published with links to the articles:

  • 12 Sep 2016
  • 25 Oct 2016 - where Dave states that despite passing the deadline of 15 Oct 2016 for comments, EASA were still receiving dozens of emails per day, mainly from the UK. Over 1,000 amendments were proposed, with 50-100 related to model aircraft. So, I think it will be fair to say that more than 30 UK pilots replied to the original EASA paper. For the record, I did respond.
  • 11 Nov 2016 and this links to an EAS/FAI notice
  • 24 Nov 2016
  • 18 Jan 2017
  • 31 May 2017
  • 24 Jul 2017
  • 26 Nov 2017
  • 8 Feb 2018 the latest one.

Additionally, Dave Phipps has put at least 2 updates into the BMFA News. Many contributors to this forum have stated that they just throw their copy of the BMFA News in the bin as it never covers anything of interest. Well, it clearly did in these instances.

Hope that helps.

Edited By Peter Jenkins on 12/02/2018 01:13:33

Cuban812/02/2018 07:47:21
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Posted by cymaz on 11/02/2018 09:29:45:

Is there a rule of thumb/ back of envelope guesstimate on how you determine 120m/400ft. .? I don’t have any telemetry or the Rx / Tx to ever use one.

Strap a ballon ( inflated of course) to length of string?

I'm reminded of the 'guess the height competitions' held at full size displays at Old Warden. Now, bearing in mind that the audience would be mostly used to watching aeroplanes of varying type over many years, you'd have expected that the guesses would be pretty close - not so, and often wildly out when the correct height of the aeroplane's pass was given, and the range of answers was announced. I have to admit that I tended to estimate on the low side and was usually out by several hundred feet, hence no prizes ever came my way.

Steve J12/02/2018 09:02:23
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Posted by i12fly on 11/02/2018 23:28:09:

So who else commented?

You missed MattyB.

Steve

ChrisB12/02/2018 11:14:22
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As well as commenting individually at each stage I also commented on behalf of my club of 90. So, does that mean 90 people commented each time I submitted a response?

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator12/02/2018 13:32:28
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Ha! We should be so lucky!
BEB
MattyB12/02/2018 14:01:02
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Re: The subject of slope pilots bandying together to create an overarching organisation to protect the public access sites without a "tenant" club...

I brought this up in late 2016 on the BARCS forum, and reached out to the BMFA at that time. Dave Phipps responded and I placed the highlights in that thread here... (extracts from my original email in italics, Dave's responses in blue)...

Based on the proposed EASA regulations there appears to be a possibility (though by no means certain) that model flying may only be possible from registered sites tenanted by a club under the wing of a competent authority (such as the BMFA, LMA etc).

This is not the current line of thinking. The hope is that you would need to belong to a recognised organisation and would fly under a blanket authorisation issued to them by the National CAA. At the present time there is no formal plan to restrict flying only to registered sites (the UK CAA does not want to become involved in any more admin than it is at present!).

If that were to occur slope and thermal soarers who fly from publically accessible sites not tenanted by a club would be breaking the law and would not be insured.

EASA also recognises that they have to find a way to accommodate this type of activity, so our hope is that the situation will not arise.

I therefore suggested a new BMFA affiliated club might be formed to register and “own” all the currently used public access slope and thermal sites that do not have a tenant club at present... Obviously the requirement to create such an organisation is based mostly on supposition and guesswork at this point; no-one outside the BMFA team really knows how the negotiations are going or whether this is likely to be required... My question is (based on your insight as to how the negotiations with EASA are proceeding) should the soaring community setup such an organisation at this time, and if so would the BMFA want to get involved?

At this stage, there is nothing to suggest that the above course of action would be required. The next draft of the EASA rules will probably be launched for consultation towards the end of May, but at the present time they still don’t have the formal competence to produce any actual rules. It seems that the earliest that any rules would be rolled out will be 2018 and then they will take three years to implement taking us to 2021. On this basis, there is no need for urgent action.

 

Based on the latest announcement in 2018 it would appear the BMFA and the other European modelling authorities have been successful in getting the concession that any member of the BMFA/LMA/FPVUK etc. should be covered to fly at public sites without a tenant club. They will of course have to meet all other requirements set out by the class of operation they are operating under (pilot registration, height limits etc), but if that is the case (tbc) at least we should not be arbitrarily banned. I will send another email to the BMFA to get an updated opinion on this.

Edited By MattyB on 12/02/2018 14:08:36

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator12/02/2018 14:33:47
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That is interesting Matty. Slope soaring is not one my activities - as you might have guessed! - but I'd hate to see our friends and colleagues who are interested in that area at a serious disadvantage which why I have been flagging it up as a potential problem. I'm glad to see that, hopefully, all will be well.

BEB

Steve J12/02/2018 14:53:17
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Posted by MattyB on 12/02/2018 14:01:02:

It seems that the earliest that any rules would be rolled out will be 2018 and then they will take three years to implement taking us to 2021.

I think that the UK government's schedule is a lot more aggressive than this.

It's also worth noting that U-space foundation services (registration, e-identification and geofencing) are supposed to be in place next year.

Posted by MattyB on 12/02/2018 14:01:02:

Based on the latest announcement in 2018 it would appear the BMFA and the other European modelling authorities have been successful in getting the concession that any member of the BMFA/LMA/FPVUK etc. should be covered to fly at public sites without a tenant club.

What concession? If you are talking about changing "framework of" to "member of", I don't see that as a concession and anyway, the wording in the draft regulation hasn't changed.

Steve

MattyB12/02/2018 15:36:12
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Posted by Steve J on 12/02/2018 14:53:17:
Posted by MattyB on 12/02/2018 14:01:02:

It seems that the earliest that any rules would be rolled out will be 2018 and then they will take three years to implement taking us to 2021.

I think that the UK government's schedule is a lot more aggressive than this.

It's also worth noting that U-space foundation services (registration, e-identification and geofencing) are supposed to be in place next year.

Posted by MattyB on 12/02/2018 14:01:02:

Based on the latest announcement in 2018 it would appear the BMFA and the other European modelling authorities have been successful in getting the concession that any member of the BMFA/LMA/FPVUK etc. should be covered to fly at public sites without a tenant club.

What concession? If you are talking about changing "framework of" to "member of", I don't see that as a concession and anyway, the wording in the draft regulation hasn't changed.

Agreed, it remains open to interpretation hence why I put tbc in my statement and am going to ask the BMFA for an explicit statement on this matter wink 2.

Steve J12/02/2018 15:53:21
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The means of compliance/guidance document is supposed to be released this week, hopefully that will clarify matters.

Steve

MattyB13/02/2018 08:13:59
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Test post (for some reason this thread is not currently appearing in the Latest Posts view...

Pete B - Moderator13/02/2018 11:28:38
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Same thing happened to BEB yesterday evening, Matt - he couldn't find the thread in the Latest Posts page either but after he'd made a test post it reappeared..... no, we haven't a clue why it happened!teeth 2

I've been able to view the thread all the time. Has it reappeared again for you after posting this morning?

Pete

Steve J13/02/2018 11:51:12
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I can only see the post that I made at 15:53 yesterday when I am logged in.

Steve

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator13/02/2018 12:24:16
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It's happen to me again today, after I thought I'd sorted it. Very strange, not seen this before.
Just for now while we investigate, I can still find the thread through the forum "topics" board, presumably so can others?
BEB
john stones 113/02/2018 12:44:03
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Threads put you both on ignore. wink

Working for me.

MattyB13/02/2018 13:43:47
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Posted by Pete B - Moderator on 13/02/2018 11:28:38:

Same thing happened to BEB yesterday evening, Matt - he couldn't find the thread in the Latest Posts page either but after he'd made a test post it reappeared..... no, we haven't a clue why it happened!teeth 2

I've been able to view the thread all the time. Has it reappeared again for you after posting this morning?

Yes it did, but then I came back mid morning and it had gone again from the Latest Posts view. It's there currently though. Very strange!

Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 13/02/2018 12:24:16:
It's happen to me again today, after I thought I'd sorted it. Very strange, not seen this before.
Just for now while we investigate, I can still find the thread through the forum "topics" board, presumably so can others?

Yes I can, though when I was looking for it this morning I realised I had no idea what subforum it was actually posted in so that didn't help much! blush

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator13/02/2018 14:55:49
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OK, we are making some progress. All Steve's posts dissapeared for short while, but I think we have sorted that. Let me know if we are wrong!

We are still looking intio why this thread isn't always visible in Latest Posts. Back soon - I hope!

BEB

MattyB14/02/2018 14:59:01
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A quick update... Had a very good email back from Dave Phipps from the BMFA earlier this week. I will not reproduce all of it, but in summary:

  • EASA now seems to accept that not all model flying takes place at organised sites and that there is no evidence to suggest that this gives rise to any problems.
  • The tweak to UAS.SPEC.055 reflects this and is helpful in that it means members of an association holding Competent Authority status (such as the BMFA, LMA, FPVUK etc) should be able to continue to operate from public access sites where there is no tenant club.
  • As a result the BMFA do not think there is currently a need to establish an overarching national club to "own" such sites.
  • The CAA remain supportive of maintaining the status quo. The BMFA are also engaging with the DfT who are looking to bring forward changes to the ANO for unmanned aircraft in the near future as has been mentioned earlier in this thread.
  • Even though the outlook does look better there are still likely be other battles ahead even after the EASA regulations are finalised (such as looking after the interests of model flyers during the implementation of U-space).

So all in all I am a little more optimistic now. Nothing is done and dusted yet and it may still not be our ideal outcome, but the likelihood of an acceptable outcome emerging does seem much better than it did a year or so ago. Thanks to Dave and the BMFA team for the work they have done (and continue to do) on our behalf.

Edited By MattyB on 14/02/2018 15:03:05

Sam Longley14/02/2018 20:03:30
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Posted by MattyB on 14/02/2018 14:59:01:

A quick update... Had a very good email back from Dave Phipps from the BMFA earlier this week. I will not reproduce all of it, but in summary:

  • EASA now seems to accept that not all model flying takes place at organised sites and that there is no evidence to suggest that this gives rise to any problems.

Well I would contradict that statement. Surely one might suggest that virtually all ALLEGED drone/projectile problems have come from sites or launch areas that are NOT organised sites. If not can one tell us where drone incursions have come from organised sites. That would indicate the opposite of what is being suggested above

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator14/02/2018 20:31:21
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I suggest that you read the statement more carefully Sam. It is specifically referring to model flying and saying that EASA recognise that model flying from non-organised sites is not a problem. Which is what we want them to say - for the benefit of our slope-soaring friends for example!
BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 14/02/2018 20:57:51

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