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Member postings for Andy Symons

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

Thread: BMFA - Is the 'A' for apathy?
27/11/2012 23:08:04
Posted by Erfolg on 27/11/2012 22:59:06:

Andy, my comments refer to the one issue I am aware off, the raising of an issue, under any other business, last year, "the visionary thoughts with respect to a National Facility, for Flying"

No business was raise under AOB at last years AGM, there are no AOB items allowed at the AGM, all proposals have to be submitted in advance so they can be included in the AGM notices that go out

No problem at all with "having a go at the BMFA" for its own good, I think there is a responsibility to find out the actual situation before having a go at specifics though.

27/11/2012 22:38:09
Posted by Area 51 on 27/11/2012 22:25:22:
Posted by Andy Symons on 27/11/2012 22:16:08:

How about "how it can be done?"

All well and good but sometime you have to accept that it can't be done!! AGM at the Nationals can't be done, not enough hours in the day, nowhere to hold it, you can't get all the required people there because most of them are already tied up for most of that weekend, not all at Barkston either, I suspect you would get less attendence anyway as there are too many distractions, oh its also totally the wrong time of the year to hold the AGM. Its not a case of accepting the "Status Quo" in this matter its a case of accepting reality.

I agree that improvements should always be looked for and I don't believe anyone is standing still and yes more shouting about achievements is required!!

27/11/2012 22:16:08

Whatever the BMAA's reason for holding their AGM at the Flying show is irrelevent with regards to holding the BMFA AGM at the Nationals, it is simply not possible to hold the BMFA AGM at the Nationals.

For info, AOB items are not allowed at the AGM so suggestions they are slipped in the back door are somewhat wide of the mark.

I'm bowing out of this discussion now.

Thread: When does a fly-in become a show for a B cert?
26/11/2012 11:41:36
Posted by kc on 26/11/2012 11:34:41:

Andy, that's just the sort of thing we criticise the BMFA for! These show organisers expect to pocket the proceeds of the display for themselves and get BMFA insurance free while we BMFA ordinary members have to pay a membership fee far higher than just our insurance cost which is all we really want.

Really? So all you want is insurance? I suspect there are some that only want to pay for insurance but are happy to take the other benefits too such as representation where it matters.

The majority of show organisers are BMFA clubs and BMFA members so its a service supporting BMFA members and clubs. Big commercial shows, not that I can think of many but Wings and Wheels is one, organise there own commercial insurance to cover the event.

26/11/2012 11:18:17


If you email the BMFA office for attention of me on I will send you a copy of the Display Organisers Handbook which explains everything, it also includes the display site assesment forms which event organisers can fill and return and then subject to the details being acceptable event organisers get a letter by return confirming extended insurance for the event all at no charge!!

Just another service included in the incredibly reasonable BMFA subsciption. wink

Thread: BMFA - Is the 'A' for apathy?
24/11/2012 00:57:28
Posted by Peter Beeney

I very much suspect that 99% of our members only join for the insurance, and because they have to. The remaining 1% is a gentleman and a BMFA official. Can you be both, at the same time? The guys only really want to fly models, and they probably consider that the BMFA doesn’t really help them to do this very much, at least in a practical way. It doesn’t provide any flying facilities, for a start.

whether the BMFA should be providing flying facilities is a matter of opinion. However there is a substantial amount of time, effort and resources that goes in to flying site protection. Currently there are a number of legal challenges against affiliated clubs which are being assisted by the BMFA, there are usually about a dozen clubs going through the planning process at any one time that are being assisted by the BMFA. There have been a number of clubs that have lost their sites this year that are back on them thanks to assistance from the BMFA. One club was assisted to prevent a residential development nearby that would have been likely to severely restrict if not stop their activities. There are always ongoing noise issues that clubs face that are being assisted with. Always disputes going on that the BMFA assist in resolving. They are all things that allow members to just get on and fly. Not to mention the all the events organised up and down the country. Then there are the countless telephone calls and emails dealt with everyday where help and advice is given.

then there's the education program, representing model flyers with official bodies, achievement scheme etc etc

the BMFA just insurance? Look just a little bit closer!!!

The best aero modellers insurance package, along with the assurance of assistance to help you keep flying and representation where it matters too.

All for 61p a week!!! Bloomin' bargain!!

Edited By Steve Hargreaves - Moderator on 24/11/2012 11:56:46

22/11/2012 22:01:06
Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 22/11/2012 21:55:40:

Actually Rob, I stand to be corrected here, but I believe that one of the biggest pay outs ever by the insurance (if not the biggest) was actually the result of an accident with a small indoor flyer. So the stereotype of small equals safe and jets/large equals risk doesn't seem to quite hold! Plus, as someone has said above the reasons we get so much cover for so little outlay is; the distributed risk and our overall excellent safety record.


You are correct BEB, the highest payout was due to an incident with a chuck glider. The majority of claims are also from your normal club sized models too.

Perhaps Rob should be asking why jet and large model fliers should subsidise him?? wink

22/11/2012 20:25:37
Posted by Area 51 on 22/11/2012 20:09:05:

Maybe an idea if each AGM is moved around the regions to promote the "Chacksfield message" and give the remote clubs, "our brothers", the chance to go along... after all, hiding in the East midlands is pretty central, but to expect members to mobile themselves from all over the UK to this location is not a good proposition..

The "roadshow" should really go to the members.. I expect there is only a few of them to go along to this, so one small bus can provide the transport..!

Just a thought to address some of the comments on low turn out... I am in Cheshire, club secretary, and the journey over to the AGM was a trip too far on my own!

How about holding at the Nationals, quite a few members make it there...

Then there is teleconferencing on the web.. but I have seen the IT support of the BMFA site and classifieds... so I will be talking spanish here...

Only my thoughts for what they are worth..

Its not really very practical to move the AGM around the regions, it needs to be reasonably close to the office, it should be remembered that the AGM isn't really about promoting the "Chacksfield Message" its a business meeting, its primary purpose is to accept directors reports, review the accounts and following years budget, set subs for the following year and announce election results. However the BMFA hold an annual Chairmans conference which does move around the country on a 4 year cycle. The next one is in March at Basingstoke. Last years was in Brighouse West Yorkshire. Staff are also available to visit clubs for club talks to spread the message and answer questions.

As to holding the AGM at the Nationals, well everyone is a bit busy... err organising and running the Nationals

21/11/2012 23:53:45
Posted by WolstonFlyer on 21/11/2012 23:45:28:
Err it is 36 pounds to join the BMFA and cover is 10 million third party insurance ??

Still very reasonable and good to know the protection is there and the support the BMFA offers is great should you need it.

It's £32 Pounds for 2013, cover is £25 million for third party liability, the insurance element in total costs about £10 but that includes the personal accident cover which is about £1.50 of that £10 hence £8.50 for the third party cover. However joining the BMFA is a lot more than just insurance and you are correct it's very reasonable and the extra support is very good indeed.

21/11/2012 23:40:49
Posted by bouncebouncecrunch on 21/11/2012 23:00:34:

MY Views are that insurance and governing bodies are needed. but why are the third party insurance costs so high? you pay for a year but fly on a Sunday if the weather is fine.

I suppose it's a matter of opinion but you would struggle to convince me that about £8.50 per year for £25 million pounds worth of third party liability is high. It's amazing value!!

21/11/2012 14:18:55
Posted by kc on 21/11/2012 11:16:14:But the reason most clubs dont send delegates is some years ago the BMFA stopped clubs contacting each other to arrange new proposals. You cannot get a list of club contacts. So only those proposals that come from the self perpetuating BMFA committee will stand any chance of acceptance. So clubs dont waste money to send delegates. We know the BMFA committee will have it's own way.

On the other hand local clubs do all the work insisting on all their members being BMFA members too and so do all the work collecting the BMFA subs for the BMFA! The local clubs keep the BMFA in members, collect the fees and yet have no real influence on the BMFA.

Im sorry, but that is entirely incorrect. There is no way the BMFA can stop clubs contacting each other. Proposals to the agm can (and do) come from clubs, fellows or directors they do of course have to be notified in advance so all are aware of any proposals.

With regards to the "BMFA Committee" being self perpetuating, firstly I assume you mean the BMFA council which is made up of directly elected officers elected by a voting slip in the BMFA news for 2 year periods and also a representative of each area elected by the clubs in that area for a 2 year period. How is it self perpetuating?

As regards to clubs not being present so could not vote, that is a matter for the clubs, if they wish to send someone they can, nothing is stopping them, they can also arrange for proxy votes too.

Thread: Encouraging young people
16/11/2012 09:13:38
Posted by Rob Jones 2 on 15/11/2012 18:12:46:

Onr problem is the cost of CRBs!You need them if you come into contact (pun not intended) with kids under 18years.They cost about 45£, and are needed for each individual, and for each individaul activity (having one for say, swimming instructing does not cover you for foatball instruction).Lake of a CRB means 10k£ fine!

The BMFA have always covered the cost for CRB checks at affiliated clubs.

The CRB system has changed very recently too, It's now DBS instead of CRB (Disclosure & Barring Service) It's early days but it appears a more sensible system if it all works as they say. You will no longer need a check for each activity.

The theory behind the changes is that the individual applies for the DBS check not the company/association and the company/association who then needs to ensure the individuals checked gets the certificate from the individual and can check online if there are any changes to the certificate since it was issued. Therfore only one DBS check required for multiple activities. There is also some changes (relaxation possibly) in what is regulated activitiy too. The repurcussions are still being investigated but in gneral it should be a more comon sense approach.


Having said that the old system, certainly for BMFA clubs wasn't at all onerous, fairly straightforward and free, I could never really understand anyones particulary objections.

Edited By Andy Symons on 16/11/2012 09:14:17

Edited By Andy Symons on 16/11/2012 09:14:36

14/11/2012 19:27:06
Posted by Martin Harris on 14/11/2012 12:47:56:

Application of A cert requirements is a matter for the individual club to decide. We have a policy of requiring a power A for power (logically) holding of which is then seen as demonstrating sufficient awareness to operate EP models - good case for some EP safety questions to be used during the test although not directly related to the i.c. discipline being tested?!

What I.C. discipline being tested? There isn't an I.C. specific achievement scheme test, the power type in the fixed wing power tests is irrelevent!!

Thread: The BMFA.......
12/11/2012 10:52:20
Posted by Codename-John on 09/11/2012 22:25:44:

Does anybody know whats the difference between being a country member and joining through a club ?

I got an email sent out from the club, saying that for next year they wont be arranging BMFA membership for members, as, even though we are paying the same amount, some members feel we are being treated unfairly and are restricted from flying in accordance with BMFA regs and insurance provisions ?

Does joining through your club mean your only insured while flying at the club itself etc ?

In terms of insurance there is no difference at all between being a club member and country member for the individual. I have no idea where the "being treated unfairly" comes from.

The club should carefully consider the effects of not being affiliated, the extended insurance benefits to the committee, landowners and other club principles will be lost. Also the employers liability cver is lost.

In relation to the club flying site rules that is purely a matter for the club the BMFA can advise but not impose them on the club. As long as the clubs and members activities are lawful and recognised BMFA activities the insurance is in place. (By lawfull I mean the law of the land, not club rules or BMFA guidelines)

It sounds very much like the club has got hold of some misinformation and based a decision that appears detrimental to the club.

With regards workload for the secretary, there may be a bit of saving, not a huge amount though. As an aside many clubs have a specific "membership secretary" who only deals with the membership.

If someone joins through the club the club know the member is insured immediately they receive payment, otherwise they have to check with each member to ensure insurance is in place.

I suggest the club secretary contacts the office for clarification on the concerns, perhaps also arrange a club talk from the Development Officer, Manny Williamson or myself.

Andy Symons

BMFA Club Support Officer

12/11/2012 10:40:21
Posted by ken anderson. on 09/11/2012 17:11:56:

last night was our AGM ....where we talked about the sub's for 2013(BMFA)....I read somewhere a couple of weeks ago that the BMFA had changed insurer's...and as a result the ins premium was going to be cheaper? ..... the membership fee's would be cheaper......anyone have any more info please.....

ken anderson ne..1 BMFA dept............

The BMFA changed insurers to come into effect from the beginning of 2012, the premium is not particularly cheaper however it is better value due to better benefits and increased limits.

The AGM is next Saturday when the fees will be set. The proposal from the treasurer and council is for £1 increase, however it is the clubs that are represented that will decide what what. Make sure your clubs send a representative!!

Thread: Why boost Tx power?
30/10/2012 16:56:37

"Why boost TX power?"

There is no reason at all to boost TX power in the UK, unless you are planning on flying illegally.


Edited By Andy Symons on 30/10/2012 17:10:03

Thread: November 2012 Editorial
27/10/2012 13:44:45

I haven't read the editorial but thought I would comment from my own experiences both from my learning experiences ages ago and many many hours instructing others.

Personally I think you never stop learning to fly so perhaps before discussing whats best for learning to fly it's best to define what your end goal is going to be, be it comfortably stooging around the sky or perhaps getting to A cert and beyond. I learnt to fly in the club situation and most of the instructing I have done was in club situations. Over the years I have also introduced structured training programs and training days/evenings at a couple of clubs. So im going to be considering the scenario of getting to "BMFA Fixed Wing power A cert and beyond".

Every learner is different so by neccessity I'm going to have to be fairly general in what I say.

Before even getting to power source choice you need to consider a model suitable for the task in hand, so as we're looking for something that will get us to A cert and beyond, as a minimum, it needs an undercarriage and to weigh more than 1kg. Ideally it needs to handle on the ground reasonably easily and taxi and track reasonably straight on the ground. In the air it needs to be responsive enough to respond to stick inputs in a reasonable time but be reasonably stable too. It's helpful if its capable of handling a bit of a breeze too.

So I would recommend, bearing in mind the stated aim of A cert and beyond, your fairly standard 56" ish span high wing aeileron trainer with a trike undercarriage, nosewheel fixed or with only very small movement.

As for RC gear, 2.4Ghz, any manufacturer if you have 2 tx's and a buddy lead, or whatever manufacturer your instructors have got.

So we can now consider power source, well it doesnt matter, it needs 2 qualities though, be reliable and easily refuelled in a reasonably short period of time.

Stick time is what is important, and reasonably regular stick time too, I would suggest if a learner wants to progress reasonably quickly to "A cert and beyond" training sessions where you could get say 6 x 10 minute flights in say a 2 hour period would be just about perfect.

Electric power and only 1 or 2 flight packs isn't good enough, neither is an unreliable IC engine.

Electric power and 4 - 6 packs, or a reliable IC engine is the way to go. Fly land, flight debrief, few minutes rest, refuel and repeat!! 6 x 10 minute flights once or twice a week and in general the learner will be at "A cert and beyond" level reasonably quickly.

When instructing over the last few years the learners, in general, that have progressed the best have been those flying models as above, usually but not exclusively IC power. So at the moment I would still recommend a standard trainer, IC powered.

Please note these are my personal thoughts and should not be considered the official position of any body or association!! wink

Thread: Models found under unusual circumstances!
26/10/2012 12:56:22

had this across my desk this morning.


Thread: House/Contents Insurance.....
12/10/2012 19:16:00
Posted by Jon Laughton on 12/10/2012 15:40:02:


Sorry Andy I should have known better but thanks for the tip off - I am now actively considering this for myself as I have frightened myself with the replacement costs....(hope SWMBO doesnt find out that particular number!)

Important point: was it Hiscox that you were referring to when you said earlier in this thread you had been helping a modeller claim for stolen items? I presume not but you may want to 'pm' me on that one?!


Edited By Jon Laughton on 12/10/2012 15:40:16

No it wasn't Hiscox, they underwrite the new policy.

Think of a nodding dog saying "Oh Yes!!" and great WW2 leaders! Should be all the clues you need!!

12/10/2012 15:29:23
Posted by Jon Laughton on 12/10/2012 13:56:38:

I've just knocked up a quick list and costed it and I have to say even I am surprised at the replacement costs - is there an opportunity there for the BMFA to independently offer members separate optional home contents insurance through their normal brokers for models and rc equipment/ tools kept at home?

Perhaps Andy Symons will read this thread and pick it up?


Edited By Jon Laughton on 12/10/2012 13:57:19

Hi Jon

Thats exactly what the new insurance does!! **LINK**

link address is

There are 2 policies available, one for club equipment and also one for an individuals modelling stuff too, covers at home, in secure storage also accidental and fire damage.

Edited By Andy Symons on 12/10/2012 15:31:54

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