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Interesting reply from email to Richard Moriarty, CAA

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Doc Marten01/08/2019 18:18:39
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I think I've lost the thread of this topic, I was under the impression that we'd all kind of accepted that there is going to be a registration scheme with an annual fee and that we are really just awaiting the final agreement on what that fee will be and if it will be under blanket registration or individual?

Steve J01/08/2019 18:36:24
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The thread has just wandered off to discuss the failure of a commercial multirotor in Switzerland. Zero relevance to registration and testing in the UK, but these things happen and can be quite interesting.

Back in Blighty, the message from the DfT hasn't changed, Baroness Vere has dismissed the idea of clubs registering on behalf of their members and the CAA haven't published their post-consultation charges (which I suspect will be very similar to the charges in the consultation).

Steve

Jason-I01/08/2019 19:02:10
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Posted by Steve J on 01/08/2019 18:36:24:

Back in Blighty, the message from the DfT hasn't changed, Baroness Vere has dismissed the idea of clubs registering on behalf of their members and the CAA haven't published their post-consultation charges (which I suspect will be very similar to the charges in the consultation).

Steve

Not only that, but the CAA is not even taking any notice of our emails or complaints - this is the latest comment from them:

'The CAA will not be entering any of the enquiries, complaints or feedback into its complaints process or referring these to an ICA'.

Peter Christy01/08/2019 19:06:03
1823 forum posts

Jason: Presumably they've been overwhelmed with negative comments! Perhaps a FOI request may elicit more info?

SteveJ: The Baroness may have dismissed the idea, but if the wording of the regulation permits Amazon (for example) to register all its "drones", surely the BMFA can do the same. There cannot be "One law for them and another for us". That way leads to a judicial review and a long pause in implementation....!

--

Pete

Philip Lewis 301/08/2019 19:15:55
53 forum posts
Posted by Steve J on 01/08/2019 18:36:24:

Back in Blighty, the message from the DfT hasn't changed, Baroness Vere has dismissed the idea of clubs registering on behalf of their members and the CAA haven't published their post-consultation charges (which I suspect will be very similar to the charges in the consultation).

Steve

that flies completely in the face of the CAA's response letter which states that "model aircraft associations, or clubs would have the option of registering as the operator with their members" acting as remote pilots.

Don Fry01/08/2019 19:16:38
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Doc, the diversion was merely, wailing and nashing, and rending, as to why an idiot, with a permission, should be permitted (encouraged), to do stuff, you would not, for safeties sake, do.

GONZO01/08/2019 19:21:58
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Pete, what about the situation in my club. The club bought and owns two trainers with associated equipment. there is a custodian/main trainer with others occasionally doing the training. So, does the club register as the operator, pay the fee and get a number to put on the outside of the plane? Does the trainer put his 'flyer' number(whoever it may be at the time) on the outside along with the 'flyer' number of the trainee? Lots of numbers, changing regularly with no one able to see them when in the air and I would think no one ever checking them on the ground. Absolute load of nonsense!

Steve J01/08/2019 19:26:02
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Posted by Peter Christy on 01/08/2019 19:06:03:

The Baroness may have dismissed the idea...

See her evidence to the Common enquiry (Q490 to 493). I make no comment as to the legal merits of her position.

Steve

Edited By Steve J on 01/08/2019 19:27:35

Steve J01/08/2019 21:08:25
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Posted by GONZO on 01/08/2019 19:21:58:

Does the trainer put his 'flyer' number(whoever it may be at the time) on the outside along with the 'flyer' number of the trainee?

Why do you think that the remote pilot's number needs to go on the model? As far as I am aware, only the operator's number goes on the model (ANO 94D).

Steve

GONZO01/08/2019 22:46:33
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I was under the impression both had to be displayed. Otherwise, how do you determine who was the 'flyer'/culprit if there is a transgression involving the 'drone' being subsequently seized. Although, unless caught in the act it would be difficult to successfully prosecute as it would be easy to claim that the drone had been stolen etc. Its only in the recreational model flyer situation where the 'operator' and 'flyer' are one and the same and the transgressor can possibly be identified from the operator registration number. It would still be necessary to catch someone in the act to remove all doubt. The other issue still remains regarding whether the club is the 'operator', as it owns the planes, or should it be one of the club members doing the training? IMO all this nonsense with numbers just goes to show what meaningless idiocy it is. Its no more than a smoke screen for a money grab.

Martin Harris02/08/2019 00:24:23
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I fully agree that there is a great deal of muddled thinking and flawed reasoning involved in the legislation but it seems clear to me that the operator of a model will take responsibility for ensuring that any pilot that they allow to fly is competent and operating within the law - much in the way that notification of a speeding offence is initially addressed to the registered keeper of a car and responsibility defaults to the keeper unless they identify the driver at the time of the offence. It's also similar to permitting an uninsured driver to use your car - both driver and owner can be prosecuted.

Given the above, I think it most unlikely that the BMFA would register our models on our behalf and clubs will most probably take the same attitude even if the final legislation allows it.

Philip Lewis 302/08/2019 00:39:13
53 forum posts
Posted by Martin Harris on 02/08/2019 00:24:23:

I think it most unlikely that the BMFA would register our models on our behalf and clubs will most probably take the same attitude even if the final legislation allows it.

I disagree, having read the draft legislation the legal responsibilities of the operator are not that onerous, prove any required test is passed, comply with any ANO, only fly where allowed legally to do so and ensure any laws are obeyed.

The rest rests firmly on the pilot and always has, i.e. ensure it is safe to make the flight.

Vere is talking a good story but won't actually write the legislation anyway.

Martin Harris02/08/2019 01:14:37
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I'm not sure how that differs from my interpretation. The" responsibility to prove any required test is passed, comply with any ANO, only fly where allowed legally to do so and ensure any laws are obeyed" sounds like a simple amplification of my statement of taking "responsibility for ensuring that any pilot that they allow to fly is competent and operating within the law "

Of course under the ANO the pilot is responsible for the safety of the flight and I do see the point you're making but the operator takes responsibility for ensuring that the pilot is both legally and physically competent and may have to prove that they took all reasonable steps to ensure the operation was compliant.

Can a club committee really ensure that all members are "policed" or are of such a standard and mindset that they can be relied on to abide by and operate within all legislation and operating procedures at all times and locations? At the very least, they will be legally responsible for "providing" a well designed, built and maintained model including the complete control system as a pilot experiencing a loss of control leading to prosecution might well be able to claim that the "operator" failed to exercise due diligence and shared blame.

Edited By Martin Harris on 02/08/2019 01:18:05

Simon P02/08/2019 01:25:20
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Recreational aviation, including model aviation, in this country is under heavy attack. An airspace and land grab, the likes of which have not been seen before, is under way.

Many of you will know of the long established Lasham gliding club. They’re about to be squeezed out of their airspace after losing the fight against Farnborough’s vanity request for controlled airspace. The CAA decision makers blithely state that they are required to accept any proposal that increases safety. Of course, looked at in isolation, controlled airspace seems safer but this ignores the wider picture wherein much other air traffic not under Farnborough control will be displaced, encouraging long detours and, in particular, pinch points with associated collision risks.

We also have almost all our airfields in private hands despite almost all being established with public funds. Many smaller airfields are being encroached upon or built over by new build housing. This is the sad fate of Old Sarum aerodrome which recently gave notice to all its tenants that the airfield will be closing permanently at the end of October.

While we may see things from slightly different angles us model flyers and the wider recreational aviation market are under attack from the same forces. In fact the plight of us modellers has featured quite frequently in letters to editors of light aircraft oriented magazines.

In our case the reasoning behind the whole exercise can be shown to be completely flawed, affecting only the law abiding and making a reasonable approximation of a mugging whilst they’re at it! Structure already exists for modellers to demonstrate competence and knowledge of the law.

The law is a blunt tool or is that a reference to those who make the law?

Edited By Simon P on 02/08/2019 01:27:18

Steve J02/08/2019 08:02:42
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Posted by Philip Lewis 3 on 02/08/2019 00:39:13:

having read the draft legislation the legal responsibilities

What 'draft legislation' have you read? ANO 94C-F articles are law as are EU regulations 2019/945 & /947.

The CAA's registration and testing system is supposed to be live in a couple of months.

Steve

Dickw02/08/2019 10:18:34
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Posted by Philip Lewis 3 on 02/08/2019 00:39:13:
Posted by Martin Harris on 02/08/2019 00:24:23:

I think it most unlikely that the BMFA would register our models on our behalf and clubs will most probably take the same attitude even if the final legislation allows it.

I disagree, having read the draft legislation the legal responsibilities of the operator are not that onerous, prove any required test is passed, comply with any ANO, only fly where allowed legally to do so and ensure any laws are obeyed..

If I was out for the day, say 100 miles from home, and flying in a farmers field, how would the BMFA or my club be able to ensure I was only flying where legally allowed to do so and was obeying all relevant laws?

I am not against the idea, just trying to figure out how it would work..

Dick

Peter Christy02/08/2019 10:44:37
1823 forum posts

OK, how about this for an alternative plan?

Set up a small Limited Liability Company - let's call it Model Aircraft Registration. Co. Ltd. (MAR for short). Anyone flying a conventional model aircraft (fixed or rotary wing, but NOT autonomous or semi-autonomous) can register with them for a nominal amount (say £1, but enough to cover the costs of setting it up and running it), and the company then registers with the CAA just like Amazon, etc, will.

As a separate legal entity, this protects the BMFA, clubs and pilots, yet its liability is limited in law (as the name suggests). Setup and running costs should be trivial, and it should meet the letter of the law.

Anyone with any legal experience out there see any flaws in this idea?

--

Pete

Steve J02/08/2019 11:34:05
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Posted by Peter Christy on 02/08/2019 10:44:37:

OK, how about this for an alternative plan?

Assuming that the CAA don't require recreational operators over 18 to register themselves (which 94C seems to allow them to do), it would last until the first time that the directors found themselves in court.

Steve

Cuban802/08/2019 11:35:55
2960 forum posts
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Pete, I don't know if what you're suggesting is a good idea or not. However, I do have a sneaking feeling that there is going to be a big problem with getting people to register with anything, official or third party, or anything else for that matter. Making a charge simply makes it worse.

Many of the thousands of people who operate 'quite happily off the radar' without any connection to BMFA or clubs and without creating any problems, aren't going to bother, and unless it becomes a mandatory condition of BMFA membership to register, I suspect that even some club members will probably 'forget'. You can just see it coming.

BTW, I'm just referring to model flying, I dread to think how few independent recreational drone flyers will actually sign up. When the authorites realise that in reality, only a fraction of their 170,000 potential 'customers' have bothered to sign up and pay up, where will we be then?

Edited By Cuban8 on 02/08/2019 11:38:10

GONZO02/08/2019 11:54:32
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C8, further to your last comment.

A little story to illustrate 'the problem'. Earlier this week a friend of mine was with his wife walking their dog on the beach at Colwyn Bay. My friend was on the prom when a car turned up and a man got out with a drone. He set it on the pavement, turned it on and in the words of my friend, "threw a switch, pushed a button and it shot up to a reasonable height and just stopped and hovered". He then continued to fly it around for a while before landing on the pavement of the prom, packing it away and leaving in his car.

I've had several incidents of drones popping up from amongst the houses where I live in Abergele and one with a DJI Mavic just over the back of my garden wall in the woods. I spoke to the owner of the Mavic and he was totally unaware of any national organisations(BMFA, FPVUK, CAA, etc) or any rules/regulations. IMO the genie is out of the bottle. Of course I've never heard of any 'delivery' drone flights in my area, let alone seen one!

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