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Member postings for Chris Berry

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

Thread: DB Sopwith Pup flying weight
20/01/2020 18:23:36

My DB 1/4 pup weighs 16lbs with a Laser 200v. 4 flights with it today.

Thread: CAA registration take-up?
16/01/2020 12:58:24

That is certainly a possibility Simon. When you see all the public service information adverts about change for life, don't drive in a lane marked with an X, don't take antibiotics, don't smoke, don't drink, make sure you claim your benefits etc etc, they spend hundreds of thousands of pounds. Yet for drones, which are a menace to our society and will cause mass deaths from airliner crashes they hardly bother and pick on the very people who do know what the law seems perverse.

16/01/2020 10:17:23

A response from the CAA to my FOI of a few weeks ago regarding their media campaign.

It seems clear to me that central government and or the DFT do not see drone use and the associated risks as being as important as the various things you see on TV in relation to health, roads and tax.

The DFT and CAA have made little attempt to make the general public aware of the new regulations and have targeted us, when they know that we are not the issue.

Your request and our response:

"Therefore, the estimated annual cost for a major national drone safety and registration campaign is £300'000". (taken from the consultation document)

Can you please provide me with the following answers.

1. To date how much of the £300'000 has been spent on marketing DMARES, excluding internal CAA/DFT costs/recharges.

The circa £300,000 (including VAT) that has been allocated to be spent on drone safety education from the drone registration funding comes into effect at the start of the CAA’s new financial year on 1 April 2020. The CAA’s work in 2019 to promote the new drone registration scheme has been funded out of a separate £169,000 of funding from the Department for Transport.

2. How much of the £300'000 has been spent on TV marketing?


2a. Which channels were used and on how many occasions was the scheme advertised?

Based on the budget available television advertising is not a sensible or appropriate method for the promotion of the new registration scheme. One slot alone would cost (depending on time and programme) between £5,000 and £30,000. On top of this would be the considerable costs associated with developing the slot itself. Based on the overall budget, the large number of TV channels now available, the significant number of people who now view TV via catch up and the low level of audience targeting available this medium was discounted in favour of others that offered better value for money and targeting. While not undertaking paid advertising a significant amount of TV broadcast coverage and interviews were achieved by the campaign with an equivalent value well in excess of the overall campaign budget.

3. How much of the £300'000 has been spent on Radio marketing?


3a. Which stations were used and on how many occasions was the scheme advertised?

Radio advertising was considered as part of the campaign however due to the relatively small budget (compared to other national behavioural change campaigns), the large number of commercial radio stations and the low level of targeting available this medium was discounted in favour of others that offered better value for money and targeting. While not undertaking paid advertising a number of radio interviews and significant radio coverage was achieved by the campaign.

4. How much of the £300'000 has been spent on printed newspaper/magazine marketing?

4a. Which publications were used and on how many occasions was the scheme advertised?

Two adverts were placed in Drone User magazine at a cost of £1,500.

5. What other mass public media was used and how much did it cost?

Throughout the promotion work the target audience has been drone users who might be less aware of the new registration scheme. Commercial users, model aircraft enthusiasts and active members of the drone community may well have been exposed to the work but are generally more informed of developments in the drone world or will have been contacted directly by the CAA or their member organisations. The majority of our effort has been in working with national media to place stories around the registration scheme. This is the most cost effective method to reach a mass audience which has been proved (in this campaign and others) to be extremely successful in encouraging people to act. Our first media push which, among other significant coverage, achieved the front page of the Daily Telegraph, a top story on the BBC news online home page, a live interview on BBC Radio 5 drivetime and rolling coverage on the BBC News Channel. This success was replicated in the two further pushes at the beginning of December and post-Christmas that included coverage on Sky News, ITV national news and the Daily Mail. These have had a direct correlation to the numbers of people registering with the largest number of daily registrations being linked to the media coverage. The first media push in advance of registration going live was seen by over nine million people with 156 items of coverage. Other related work funded from this budget in 2019 includes:

• The development of a drone education and promotion stand that has been taken to events in 2019 to encourage safe drone flying, registration and promoting the drone industry. This included attending two Duxford Airshows where the stand was visited by significant numbers of people. This stand will also be used at events in coming years.

• Development of the new Dronecode for the DRES education system and Dronecode handout

• Development of the new drones reunited system and website and revised Dronesafe website

• Development of education material for drone retailers

• Development of display material for events

• Development of promotional animations for use on multiple channels In linked work the Department for Transport has arranged for promoted posts across a number of social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram targeted at those showing an interest in drones.

19/12/2019 19:10:50

I've had a response to my FOI today. I'm quite surprised they don't keep percentage pass/fail rates or lots of analytical data. I assume that of all those that have registered most are hobbists and professionals and not the christmas toy brigade.

How many people have signed up via the BMFA?

Dear Mr Berry Thank you for your request of 30 November 2019, for the release of information held by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Your request has been considered in line with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Your request and our response: Please note the information below is correct as of 16 December 2019.

The information requested below relates to the Drone Registration and Education Service

1. Since the launch date (5th November 2019), how many individuals have registered as:

I. A non flying operator? 5,219 (Operator only & Organisation Operator)

II. A flying operator? 60,470 (Operator & Flyer) III. Have registered a child under 13? 654 (Guardian)

1a. Since the launch date (5th November 2019) how many organisations have registered to use Drones or model aircraft? 3,026

2. Since the launch date (5th November 2019) how many individuals have:

I. Completed the online theory test? 67,945 (Operator & Flyer, Flyer only and Under 13)

II. Have completed a hard copy of the test? We have sent 15 offline flyer packs.

3. Since the launch date (5th November 2019) how many individuals have

I. Passed the online theory test?

II.Failed the online theory test?

III. Of those who passed the online theory test how many individuals had more than one attempt?

IV. Of those who failed the online theory test how many individuals had more than one attempt?

As we do not capture this data we do not hold the information requested. The Drone Registration and Education Service (DRES) allows an individual to register as an operator and complete the theory test at a later date, therefore the number of people registered is not reflective of the number of people who have passed the theory test.


I. Since the launch date (5th November 2019) what percentage of those who passed the online theory test answered all questions correctly?

II. What was the average score of all those who passed the online theory test?

III. What was the average score of all those who failed the online theory test?

We do not hold the information requested.

5. Since the launch date (5th November 2019) how many Operator ID numbers have been issued? 65,689 (Operator & Flyers, Operator only & Organisation Operators)

6. Since the launch date (5th November 2019) how many Flyer ID numbers have been issued? 68,614 (Operator Flyers, Flyer only, Guardian & Under 13)

Thread: Andy Symons PR on Countryfile
16/12/2019 08:51:13

Well done to all

Thread: The Gov't, CAA, BMFA & UAV legislation thread
12/12/2019 14:09:22
Posted by Gavin Mack on 12/12/2019 13:39:51:

Not sue if this has already been discussed but if your operator ID is on the outside, then anyone could take your operator ID and put it on their drone or plane, fly it and possibly crash it near an airport etc. You would have difficulty proving you weren't flying. Although more complicated each plane should have a unique number displayed on it, linked to an operator id which is kept private.

I think you're overreacting somewhat and suggesting something that makes your life harder, I don't get it???

 If someone wanted to crash a drone near an airport I don't think they would bother messing with numbers. You say anyone. Who do you mean? Your club mates or a member of your family, as presumably you don't leave your model in view of the public or sitting on your drive?

It is against the law to smoke in your place of work, be that a truck, bus, car, office, taxi or building site or if children are in a car. How many arrests and prosecutions have there been for those offences? I suspect very few if any. How many of you worrying about these new regulations have smoked in your place of work since 2007? How many of you have travelled in excess of the speed limit?

The Drone regulations are very similar to the smoking ban. The police wont enforce unless there are complaints.


Anyway, I said enough on this topic, I've got a life to lead and a hobby to enjoy.

Edited By Chris Berry on 12/12/2019 14:10:55

Edited By Chris Berry on 12/12/2019 14:11:57

12/12/2019 14:00:06
Posted by MattyB on 12/12/2019 13:20:58:
Posted by Don Fry on 12/12/2019 10:46:57:

Having had a read of the regulations, kindly helped by Steve J, I have to say I agree with him. The ANO of 2016, pilot in charge, has been replaced by remote pilot, a person defined in 94g of the amendment as, the person manually operating the controls. Plain and simple. Nothing about instructors, secondary controls, just in plain simple English, person manually operating the controls. Move a control, that is a remote pilot.

Argue that they didn't mean it, that's what it says, and there is a lot of case law where judges say, if that is what the lawmaker says, that's what they meant. They can change the law if that is not what they meant, judges just decide on what it says.

Exactly. It is pretty clear the buddy box use case was never considered when they revised the ANO, probably because the author did not know they were available and widely used. Those who are happy to take the CAAs assurances as gospel need to remember it is not the CAA that would be sitting in judgement on the other side of the courtroom in the event of an incident...

Edited By MattyB on 12/12/2019 13:22:42

As someone who writes policy for a living and is used to playing with legal speak I would happily sit in a courtroom and argue that case. Not that it would ever reach a courtroom of course.

12/12/2019 12:29:52

It seems to me that there are some who want to talk themselves out of the hobby.

Its plain and simple, the CAA are happy for those under tuition to not be registered or certified, as long as the pilot in command is. That's it, no more to say on the matter.

Feel free to Jack the hobby in, or turn away members because they haven't registered, that way it will be you who destroys the hobby, not the CAA.

12/12/2019 07:38:01

Thsts exactly the approach I'm taking Nigel.

Those joining the club with a view to flying solo should register and get an ID, certainly once they have committed to the hobby such that they have bought equipment, joined the BMFA/club etc and had a few initial flights. Those like the air cadets don't need to do anything.

11/12/2019 23:17:16

The response by the CAA to my question:

Twice a year I help the local air cadets have experience days using buddy boxes. What is the situation regarding students, those learning to fly or those flying only once on a buddy lead?


"Providing you as the ‘instructor' are able to maintain full control over the aircraft on the buddy box system, then your ‘student’ does not need to have a flyer ID/remote pilot competency certificate. The model aircraft still needs to display your operator ID number."

Edited By Chris Berry on 11/12/2019 23:38:02

Edited By Chris Berry on 11/12/2019 23:38:30

Edited By Chris Berry on 11/12/2019 23:38:50

11/12/2019 22:28:34

Steve. I think you really are overthinking things and are getting wound up over nothing. No laws can ever cover every eventuality. All laws are open to interpretation and reasonableness, hence there are lots of court cases to interpret the law.

I emailed the CAA a few months ago asking about training and got an email from them saying the PIC is the instructor.

05/12/2019 17:47:38
Posted by MattyB on 05/12/2019 16:48:35:
Posted by John Bisset on 05/12/2019 16:15:39:

I believe Chris Berry's recent posts have it fairly well right.

The aspiration of 'authority' to have on board identification and real time tracking of everything airborne is clear. It is not, however practical yet, not for some time to come. Theory is one thing, practice another.

I have two separate conspicuity/anti-collision systems in one aircraft of mine; it still frequently fails to be 'seen' in flight by remote stations even at medium altitudes. Earlier this week while flying I was struck by the number of calls for people to re-squawk because ATC was not picking up the transponders.

For close range collision avoidance the systems work well enough overall, as an addition to and back up for see-and-be-seen, which is what they are for. They are still expensive, power hungry and problematic at a distance except when flying high, say 10,000ft and above. At medium or low level, forget any distant monitoring except in very intensely monitored and geographically benign environments. This will change, but slowly. The degradation of signal at low altitude will continue to be an effective limiter.

Personally as a pilot routinely flying in and around the levels likely to be mostly used by drones, I'd be unhappy at the idea of everything transmitting its position, or trying to. That causes distraction, confusion and chaos, working against safety. For light aircraft operations, having radio control aircraft giving out position data will just confuse - we are not routinely flying below 500ft except around airfields or when on special tasks. We need the BMFA making this point clearly on our behalf - forget position info from R/C aircraft! Expensive, short range, useless and confusing for real world traffic.

For drones I only want info from the higher flying ones. Even between 500 to 1000ft the range available will be low, so its really collision avoidance stuff, not real tracking. Once a good, say ADS-B equivalent, set up exists at low cost and with high reliability, maybe worthwhile anti-colision will become feasible. Meantime, we keep our eyes open - and incidentally only believe a small proportion of the airliner's drone airmiss 'reports'.

Great post. I completely agree, but my concern is that the National Associations might be given an equally unappealing option if offered an exemption to the conspicuity kit. I suspect operating at "known" model flying sites is what they will suggest, but if the cost/complexity of maintaining that status is significant it will cause issues, especially for the public sites used by slope and thermal soarers where there is often not a Club involved. Hopefully some solution can be found, but I suspect those of us operating in those locaton will hace to carry conspicuity equipment to stay legal.

To form an club only takes 5 people. So any ad-hoc group if slope soarers could form a 'club' and that would be that.

05/12/2019 10:12:59

The other thing to remember is that UTM will only work if all flying machines have transponders. At the moment there is no requirement for micro lights, hot air balloons, paragliders or gliders to have transponders or iirc light GA aircraft. Therefore the system would not work.

Furthermore, UTM is aimed at BVLOS and not VLOS. Its aimed at those flying drones BVLOS or FPV or the autonomous systems they dream will happen like amazon.

For the majority of us, the whole point of the hobby is see the masterpiece we've created. We don't want to fly BVLOS and we don't fly BVLOS. We fly about 500m from ourselves VLOS and do so because that's the whole point of the hobby.

There was a consultation on UTM late last year/early this year iirc.

The other issue is how do we get notified of a possible conflict? Ok, we fly VLOS and we see and hear a full size approaching so we do as we do now, but how will the UTM/TCAS type system notify us of a conflict, as it must work both ways to be effective.

Much discussion will be had by the CAA and our associations in coming months and years, as theres a lot to iron out despite the waffle from the witch of Norbiton.

05/12/2019 09:22:13

The other thing to remember is that this whole concept is intended to help with the control of unmanned aircraft and their integration with manned systems.

That concept assumes that in a few years there will be thousands of 'drones' flying around delivering parcels an doing SAR and surveying etc as well as hobby flyers. There are those in government who genuinely believe drones will become significant users of our airspace or they want to believe it, as they can make money from government now, even if it doesn't materialise.


As we all know, the reality is that mass market and widespread use of drones by the likes of deliveroo and Amazon is never going to happen and the concept will be significantly watered down from the bright ideas they have at present.

Were'nt we all supposed to by commuting by flying car, hoverboard and jetpack by now?

Edited By Chris Berry on 05/12/2019 09:22:45

04/12/2019 19:20:27

This information has been about for a while. As I see it there will be several options.

By far the best are exemptions for association members or specific affiliated sites.

Ground stations which are ok but subject to weather, vandalism and human error.

Retrofitted onboard units with separate power and switch systems. Switch on fly, switch off. (Lots of little dots darting about the sky for 10 minutes at a time). Cost and size will be an issue.

Modified or retrofitted radio systems or add-ons to them. Again, cost and size are an issue.

It's a long way off and nothing to worry about just yet.

Thread: Who needs an App!
02/12/2019 22:39:26

For those who are fixated with apps that tell you where you can or cant fly, I suggest you replace them all.

From what I've found, the website...I know...old fashioned these days..a website called flightplanning is brilliant.

Very informative, up to date and explains everything you need. I've been using it for about 5 years.


Thread: The Gov't, CAA, BMFA & UAV legislation thread
29/11/2019 14:01:19

Not sure why people are asking the questions they are. The information has been published multiple times and is very clear.

26/11/2019 13:29:11

The basics are that none of us need to do anything different to what we've been doing for decades. Simple as that. Don't know why people are making more of it than they need to?

25/11/2019 19:17:42
Posted by Ron Gray on 25/11/2019 17:52:05:

Just wondering if there are any clubs who have / are proposing to enforce the DRES on all models, even those sub 250g?

Not sure why anyone would want to enforce on models under 250??

We don't check members have a valid eyesight test or are suffering from an illness that may hinder their ability to fly safely. Why would we enforce/police dres?

Thread: CAA or BMFA test to comply with OP & FLY ID
25/11/2019 07:24:40

A lot of comments here and on other groups saying the CAA is the best route to take.

I'm of the view that if the CAA recieve a list of those who have registered through the associations and see that we as modellers and as organisations know what we're doing and can be trusted and the numbers back up the talk, then its more likely to benefit us in the long run.

It seems many doubters are short sighted and are only thinking in the short term and not longer term negotiations.

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