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Member postings for Nigel Heather

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

Thread: Solafilm and Alternatives
05/06/2020 22:50:56
Posted by Alan Gorham_ on 05/06/2020 20:23:10:

You'll find it pretty difficult to locate fresh stocks of Solarfilm anywhere since they ceased production permanently a few years ago. Their website st is selling off remnants.

Other alternatives are Oracover, easycoat and films from Hobbyking and Aliexpress and banggood.

That explains a lot - I’m clearly out of touch.

Will look at those that you suggest.



05/06/2020 20:19:35

Can't say I'm surprised but SolaFilm seems very hard to come by and/or expensive these days (and I'm talking about the days before Covid).

I guess ARTF and foamies has really taken a huge bite out of that market.

I live reasonably close to one of the largest RC model shops in the country and yet their stock of SolaFilm is minimal.

Are there any alternatives I should be looking at.



Thread: RCM&E Plans Available?
05/06/2020 19:04:02

Recently, when I wanted the plan for the Ohmen from the October 2018 edition, initially I was pointed towards Sarik but then I had the idea of checking eBay. Found sellers with a large range of mint copies of magazines complete with plans. Was able to buy the magazine with plan very cheaply.

To give you an idea, Sarik charges £16.50 plus p&p  for the plan but I was able to buy the magazine for £4.99.

Maybe I was lucky but worth checking first.



Edited By Nigel Heather on 05/06/2020 19:07:54

Edited By Nigel Heather on 05/06/2020 19:10:16

Thread: BMFA Membership Card
22/02/2020 13:07:00

My card has just turned up, all seems correct but I notice the validity date

Valid: 1/1/2020

Expires 31/12/2020


Now I'm not going to moan about the 52 days use I missed out on and demand a pro-rated 49.7p back (yes I have accounted for it being a leap year) but more to question what happens next year.

I expect the card process to be more mature and established by then but how do BMFA and Vectis intend to handle continuity. The BMFA renewal window doesn't even open up until the first weeks of December - do I believe that even if I pay up promptly on first available day that BMFA will take my order, get it across to Vectis, who will print my card and send it out to arrive before the 1/1/2021 - not really, I would be presently surprised if that could be achieved, but I won't be holding my breath.

So what happens then as we become unaccustomed to using the cards - are we going to have to deal with a gap at the beginning of each year when our membership of the scheme has expired.




Edited By Nigel Heather on 22/02/2020 13:08:03

Thread: Jammed OS engines
22/02/2020 08:45:05

If you are lucky it will just be gummed up castor oil and a cleaning solvent like WD40 or white spirit or cellulose thinners or brake cleaner will break that down. Mind you petrol would have worked too - did you remove the carb and glow plug when soaking - and did you try turning the engine periodically.

If it is ceased due to rust they may be beyond economical repair or safe operation.

Have you tried taking the backplate off to look inside - will give you an idea of whether there is any rust.

The other trick is to heat it in a pan of water, that will soften any gunge and the expansion will help release the puston from the liner. Make sure you lubricate thoroughly and ideally run afterwards as you don’t want the engine left with any water inside.




Edited By Nigel Heather on 22/02/2020 08:46:14

Thread: BMFA Membership Card
22/02/2020 07:19:36
Posted by Andy Symons - BMFA on 21/02/2020 18:14:52:
Posted by Barrie Lever on 21/02/2020 18:05:49:


Looks like there is a heap of money to be saved with the BMFA membership card, seems like you might have to slightly change your shopping habit to using these digital gift cards alike Andy eluded to.

If you can shift your mind on that there seems to be pretty much 5% of at Tesco's on store shopping about the same at John Lewis, Waitrose and M&S.

Seems like this model flying just got a lot cheaper.

Please pick me up if I have got this wrong.


You have it about right, we have just got 5% of our weekly shop at tesco by buying a preloaded gift card before we went. Take about a minute to do and just scanned my phone at the till. Really quite simple but just a bit different to normal.

Pretty much the same offers that I can get in the two other schemes that I have access to. But the Tesco one caught my eye as we shop there every week - it’s 4% by the way not 5% but it will still pay for the card 100 times over if I just use it for that.

Unfortunately, no Amazon (as teased in some of the BMFA promotional material) but I was expecting that, no one that I am aware of does Amazon.

What I generally find with these schemes is that they are mostly for stores that I wouldn’t normally use because I can find cheaper and better service elsewhere. A good example, being Currys, wouldn’t normally touch them with a barge pole but once in a blue moon they have a deal that is better than anywhere else - one such case was leading up to Christmas and they had the Nintendo switch cheaper than anywhere else so I used my reward scheme (not the BMFA one) to save another £40 on the package. But those are rare, usually I find the savings don’t even bring them down to competitor prices.



Thread: CAA ID number discussion
21/02/2020 16:32:07
Posted by Dickw on 21/02/2020 16:00:42:
Posted by Nigel Heather on 21/02/2020 15:52:06:


My number begins with ‘OP-‘ , are they all like that, a bit nugatory, meaning ‘Operator’ or is it just a councidence.


Edited By Nigel Heather on 21/02/2020 15:52:21

I believe they all begin with OP-.

If you get a Flyer ID from the CAA they beging FLY-


Thought they might - well that is a waste of three characters.


21/02/2020 15:52:06

Just got mine too.

My number begins with ‘OP-‘ , are they all like that, a bit nugatory, meaning ‘Operator’ or is it just a councidence.



Edited By Nigel Heather on 21/02/2020 15:52:21

Thread: BMFA Membership Card
21/02/2020 10:15:05
Posted by Andy Symons - BMFA on 21/02/2020 10:09:31:

On the card and getting discounts, so far for me its working well, saved £7.00 at Argos and another £5 at B&Q so far. Not bad for £3.50.

I'm decorating the house at the moment so scope for more savings too.

Edited By Andy Symons - BMFA on 21/02/2020 10:10:08

Rubbing it in that you have your card devil



21/02/2020 07:52:16
Posted by SR 71 on 20/02/2020 23:57:09:

I dont know my membership number, as i say i have heard nothing, been checking my emails including the spam every day,

Did you pay online in the BMFA Portal. If so, as Andy siad, you should have got email confirmations pretty instantly. If you didn’t get these emails then easy to check - just log in to the portal and check the membership status - it should show both the BMFA and CAA as active.

Pretty sure there has been a magazine this year too, did you get that?



20/02/2020 16:21:37
Posted by Michael Adams 4 on 20/02/2020 11:29:12:

Hi, can any one please explain while this is all going on if we do get a beak in the weather and can fly

are we

INSURED I have paid my dues to the BMFA also to the CAA but nothing about INSURANCE.

All so what proof have we got that we are in fact INSURED, is this what this card is all



If you log onto the BMFA portal you can print out your paper membership card. This is an A4 piece of paper, the bottom 25% is the card that you can stick together and pop in your wallet and the top 75% is your insurance certificate.



Thread: CAA ID number discussion
20/02/2020 10:16:18
Posted by John Privett on 17/02/2020 21:01:18:

OK, I now realise what (I believe) is happening.

Being an IT person, I erroneously assumed the CAA would just be doing a bulk upload into their registration system of the data from the BMFA.

They'd then issue the operator ids by email - which would have been quick and - having got the validation errors sorted out at the beginning of the month would have meant we'd all get our emails at about the same time.

I also work in IT - here is my speculation based on many years of experience.

The CAA have awarded the contract to a private company (I might be wrong but I think it might be Atos) for an extortionate price.

The CAA calculated how much we would have to pay to cover that extortionate price but have now significantly reduced that amount so the taxpayer will be making up the difference.

Then the CAA made agreements with organisations like the BMFA to do bulk uploads. They went to the contractor to arrange this who rubbed their hands because it is a really simple thing but said "ah ha, change request, it is really complicated and will cost you £1 million and will take 9 months to implement".

So the CAA have had to go with the alternative. They print off the BMFA upload file and get a small army of staff to manually type them into the system, complete with transposition and spelling mistakes.

And that is why it is taking so long and why they are coming out in dribs and drabs.

CAVEAT - I don't know this for fact, I am just speculating based on many years experience in the industry.



Thread: BMFA Membership Card
20/02/2020 09:06:12
Posted by Neil Hobbs on 19/02/2020 19:05:10:

I joined the BMFA for insurance for my drone but decided I would have a go at fixed wing flying. I think I can fly as good as most but because I have no A certificate I had a load of hassle.
And now I am really peed off about this £3.50 membership card. If I do not attain my A certificate this year I will not be renewing my BMFA membership next year. I have found a cheaper insurer and will go with them and will fly at a non BMFA affiliated club.

Card aside, what hassle have you been having with BMFA clubs.

I've been a member for about 35 years although there have been periods of non-flying during that time.

I don't have a 'A' Certificate either - nothing against it, simply that none of the clubs I have been a member of have required it. The only time it has been an inconvenience is having to waste a few minutes doing the idiot test so I'll probably get round to finally doing it this year.

As for membership card, again I have never been asked to present it, so the piece of card in my wallet has always been sufficient.

Now I have recently enquired at two clubs that have a rule that you can't fly solo without an 'A' Certificate, maybe that is what you encountered. I haven't joined those, but I guess if those are the rules then they have plenty of guidance and help on tap and examiners galore to help you comply.

The card - because I have never had to use mine in 35 years my initial thought was not to bother. I do like the idea of a plastic card but really, does it matter if it will never get used. I know it is only £3.50 but once I had put the £38 membership and the £9 registration in the basket and then the card pushed it over the £50 mark I did wince a bit. The thing that pushed it into the shopping basket was promotional material that showed Amazon as one of the participating retailers (I use them a lot so that seemed a no brainer).

If Amazon really is included then I will be renewing next year and the next and so on. If not it will depend on whether I get any use out of the card, if not, even though it is only £3.50, I probably wouldn't bother again.



Thread: The Gov't, CAA, BMFA & UAV legislation thread
19/02/2020 17:22:01
Posted by Martin Harris on 19/02/2020 16:56:55:
Posted by Nigel Heather on 19/02/2020 15:40:57:

He is most likely flying FPV. I know that the regs don't like FPV and seems to think that a spotter with line of sight is more effective but I'm not convinced. I don't fly FPV but I have watched guys at the club field flying fast small quads and I struggled to track them. But I have also worn a pair of slaved goggles while they are flying and it was totally different - I knew exactly where the quad was at all times - much more so than when I was trying to follow it line of sight.

OK - looks like my post has backfired a little and we don't all have full understanding of the regulations - although as a non-FPV pilot, I'm sure Nigel's lack of knowledge of the FPV laws isn't indicative of any shortfall in his general understanding of normal model flying regulations.

Nigel, the law requires FPV pilots to have a competent observer monitoring the flight path visually at all times and to be in direct communication with the pilot. FPV models over 3.5 kg must be flown on a buddy lead with the competent observer able to take over if he feels that the model is becoming difficult to monitor safely.

Edited By Martin Harris on 19/02/2020 16:58:05

Wow not only was that pretty snide but pretty wrong. I think if you have bothered to read my response properly it would have been clear that I am aware that a line of sight spotter is needed at all times.

What I was saying is if you have ever tried to follow a 250mm freestyle quad flying at 80mph, close to the ground and  turning very fast when there are two other freestyle quads in the air at the same time doing the same thing you will know how bloody difficult it is.  I’d go as far to say that in that situation, my effectiveness as a line of sight spotter at all time was pretty low.


And no way was I saying that he was flying legally, just that in the situation there was nothing particularly dangerous.

Just like I warrant that some people on this forum exceed the speed limit (which is illegal) but feel that they are doung it safely (and probably are).


Edited By Nigel Heather on 19/02/2020 17:26:55

Edited By Nigel Heather on 19/02/2020 17:39:33

19/02/2020 15:40:57
Posted by Martin Harris on 19/02/2020 15:00:16:
Posted by J D 8 on 19/02/2020 13:53:41:

Do not see any problem with that video except perhaps the craft may have been out of sight behind a tree for a mo for any one following direct.

Flying at low level over his own land/lakesad not over or near the road no problem.

That's precisely the point - there were several hedges between the drone and the presumed operator's position. At 3 feet AGL I don't think anyone except Steve Austin with his bionic eye would have been able to monitor the flight sufficiently to avoid a collision with someone or something on the ground - what if the video feed had failed while the drone was flying towards the road - and ground conditions were certainly not favourable for GHz frequency performance.

He is most likely flying FPV. I know that the regs don't like FPV and seems to think that a spotter with line of sight is more effective but I'm not convinced. I don't fly FPV but I have watched guys at the club field flying fast small quads and I struggled to track them. But I have also worn a pair of slaved goggles while they are flying and it was totally different - I knew exactly where the quad was at all times - much more so than when I was trying to follow it line of sight.


And after all, real full-size planes are flown FPV without a line of sight spotter.





Edited By Nigel Heather on 19/02/2020 15:42:34

19/02/2020 13:58:56

Not saying that they have done this, but there is nothing in the regs that precludes getting permission to fly anywhere.

So I would not be surprised to see drones flying like this on TV programmes.

As for the farmer, you can see a lot worse on YouTube posted after the introduction of the regs. And I think you will continue to see it. Plod are not going to be interested in what the farmer is doing. For the most part he is on his own land and within regs. I think the only time anyone with ever look into the regs is if someone is seen flying very recklessly. Doubt plod will even be interested by kids flying in the park if they are being sensible. They certainly not going to roll up to a desolate hill and arrest a drone flier using FPV without a spotter.



Thread: BMFA Membership Card
19/02/2020 12:36:15
Posted by Gary Manuel on 19/02/2020 11:48:53:

Yes Nigel, I agree.

When I saw the PowerPoint presentation, I thought I saw the likes of Screwfix, B@Q, Argos, Asda?

I guess companies who accept Vectis come and go as their needs to attract more customers changes.

Yes, I saw Amazon at one point which is what convinced me to go for it. I like the idea of the plastic card but on the other hand let me count the number of times I have had to show my membership card in the last 35 years, bear with me it's a lot of years ..................................... and the results are in - NEVER.



Thread: The Gov't, CAA, BMFA & UAV legislation thread
19/02/2020 11:22:00

Be interesting to keep hearing who has received their operator IDs.

I was hoping (especially given how much they are paying for the purchase and running of the system) that it would be simply a case of

  • Upload batch file provided by the BMFA
  • Automatically create registration accounts with the data provided
  • Automatically generate emails and send them

All done and dusted in a few hours.

But given the drip feed of emails I suspect it is more like this

  • Print out the batch file provided by the BMFA
  • Split the printout into small batches and hand out to data entry people
  • The information is read from the print out and keyed into the CAA system manually
  • eMails are created and sent out as each registration is completed

Will take weeks or more



Thread: BMFA Membership Card
19/02/2020 11:13:15
Posted by Gary Manuel on 18/02/2020 19:11:10:

No I have not got my card yet Nigel, but I noted from the BMFA GoMembership portal that the BMFA card I was signing up for was a Vectis Card (not Vectris).

If you want to know what Vectis deals are available in your area, click HERE and enter your postcode.

Thank you, that is very helpful. Disappointing list in my postcode to be honest - but I agree that the card is so cheap I only have to use it once or twice to cover the cost.

I'm at work so don't have the BMFA Card flyer with me so I can't say for sure but I seem to remember that it displayed the logos of all sorts of famous name retailers, but these are not coming up in the link that you kindly provided.



18/02/2020 18:39:50
Posted by Gary Manuel on 18/02/2020 16:16:20:

Go Outdoors doesn't work like that Nigel.

You just need to show your card at the till for an extra 10% on top of the Go Outdoors Discount Card. You do need to ring for a discount code for on-line purchases though.

See HERE for Go Outdoor / Vectis terms.

The SPECIAL20 looks good if it works, but I do prefer to try shoes on before I buy them.

Edited By Gary Manuel on 18/02/2020 16:17:02

Does that mean that you have got your BMFA card - oh I see, that is how Vectris cards work so the BMFA one should work that way.  Hopefully there are a few more retailer deals like that



Edited By Nigel Heather on 18/02/2020 18:42:08

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