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Law - am I breaking bylaws?

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David Turner20/11/2009 15:08:51
76 forum posts
"I have heard some adverse comment regarding Model gliders flying from Teds Nose, NR Macclesfield, in that the BFMA, sold model fliers interest short,  with the local council who own the park."  ....quote
A similar thing has happened recently, with the FPVers. The CAA opened up  public consultation on proposed amendments to the ANO. The amendments concern restrictions which will be placed upon the privileges of model flyers who are using First -Person View" technology.
The BMFA made no representation the CAA, nor did it seek the views of those of its members who actually use FPV technology.  It simply accepted the CAA' recommendations at face value.
That's why the FPVers have formed their own society, with their own insurance  and guidelines. (incidentally, the insurance provides £5m cover, Crown Indemnity etc, for £15 pa...shameless plug!)
Erfolg20/11/2009 16:21:31
11637 forum posts
1294 photos
My few dealings with BMFA officials, have not made a positive impression with me.
I suspect that many members of the BMFA, are also NT members. Knowing how many of the BFMA membership are also members of the NT, could well provide the BMFA with a powerful voice to encourage a widening of access to say electric models, on NT sites.
I would guess that most of the BMFA  officials are volunteers. This can lead to a position, where commitment to tasks and success are not as total as with paid workers. Here continued employment, and professional advancement  is often dependant on success.
We should also recognise that within the national trust there manyare special interest groups(anti-hunting, bird conservation) whose commitment to working within the NT is about achieving a NT which incorporates their objectives. There is nothing wrong with us and the BFMA adopting a similar approach. As those BFMA and NT members, do believe (I would hope) in many of the aspirations and objectives of the NT, with the proviso of wishing to see greater access to the community to fly models and toys in an responsible manner.
Get started BMFA, advance our interests, help keep us legal and flying.
Allan Bennett20/11/2009 19:35:38
1602 forum posts
44 photos
Posted by Bruce Richards - Moderator on 20/11/2009 12:17:12:
Allan, what makes you think it is illegal to fly model aircraft anywhere. As far as I know (and I think what others are saying above) it is legal to fly anywhere as long as it is safe and not specifically forbidden.
Perhaps I've put the wrong emphasis on it -- it's not the flying in the air that I'm saying is illegal, it's the use of land as a flying field that I was meaning.  You need to have permission to be on the land and to use it.
Taking it a little further, you may even need Planning Permission if you regularly use the land (with owner's permission) as a model-flying field.
JayCee14/02/2011 09:52:09
507 forum posts
117 photos
Opening up and old thread.
Can anyone clarify whether or not you can legally fly an electric powered 'Foam' Park Flyer' in local parks and fields, I have BMFA membership and insurance.
What is the situation if you are challenged by either a member of the public or a park ranger.
ken anderson.14/02/2011 10:07:17
8544 forum posts
776 photos
hello jaycee...i would think(could be wrong)...that it will be down to local by laws......give the council a ring ask for the ourdoor recreation officer...they may be able to help you keep things in order/give you something in writing.......for the sake of a phone call it may be worth it......there's another thread going on at the moment reguarding model's over 7kg.....and what stick's in the back of my mind is a young girl who was killed a few year ago by an 'acrowot' that went out of i think that this forum should have a stand alone section reguarding the 'what/where/how you fly your model aircraft safely for anyone to access and refer to....
ken anderson ne..1.
JayCee14/02/2011 10:13:14
507 forum posts
117 photos
Thanks Ken I'll have a search
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator14/02/2011 11:12:07
15748 forum posts
1460 photos
Definately down to local laws. In the case of our club we are allowed to fly in the Country Park, but only at one specific location. If we fly from elsewhere in the park we are breeching a bye-law. Similarly if someone else, who is not a club member, flies anywhere in the park they would be breeching the bye-laws. Only the club has the flying rights and then only in a specific location.
Equally I know some local authorities that allow anyone to fly in the parks. So as Ken says you need to check it out JC. The Leisure Services Dept of your local council should be able to advise.
Tim Mackey14/02/2011 11:25:47
20920 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
I have a large park very close to home, but have only ever flown in it twice some years ago.
Personally I think the description "park flyer" is a real bad thing. Maybe if one considers Dartmoor a park, or maybe the huge spaces that pass for parks in the USA etc then fine, but I find your typical public park in the UK is wholly unsuitable fro flying any RC aeroplane, other than perhaps the very very smallest, slowest and lightest things....maybe more suited to indoor. Its a fact, that as soon as you take off, children, dogs, dog walkers, joggers, frisby throwers and all the rest will appear as if by magic to distract and endanger you and themselves. Most so called modern park flyers also get pretty small pretty quick, and one can soon find themselves flying beyond a predefined boundary.
I now NEVER fly anything in a public park, preferring instead to make the 20 minute drive to my proper, purpose built and paid for club strip.
JayCee14/02/2011 11:37:17
507 forum posts
117 photos
I did telephone my local council as suggested by Ken, but no surprise no body wanted to take responsibility to talk the thing through..........and just said no on HS grounds!
Steve W-O14/02/2011 11:48:17
2775 forum posts
310 photos
I think if challenged, the suggested procedure is to ask for identification, and ask if they would be kind enough to supply you with a copy, or where to find the code that prevents you from flying.
I do fly in a park, quite simply, there is no way for my son to fly solo at a club (thought i hoe that may be different with the new club, so long as there is no-one else he can get in the way of)
However, we only fly one at a time, very early in the morning, and we keep a lookout for any dog walkers going across the field, and not round the path on the edge. if anyones starts walking acrosss the field, we land and wait until they have gone. We only fly electric, not EDF or pusher near the wing.
We have had no problem, a couple of people have stopped and asked if they mind if they watch, and a few people have said it is nice to see the park being used by different people.
The council probably can't just say no on H&S grounds, the risk isn't very great, as shown by the small number of incidents and low insurance, and without doing a risk assessment (sp?) including what precautiuons you take. I doubt if they would give you that refusal in writing.
I don't think anyone who flies in a park full of people, which would be most parks during most of the day, could be said to be considerate, or being careful, as there is no room for error.
Chuck Plains12/05/2012 18:52:33
1096 forum posts
244 photos

Just to revive an old thread.

Having read most of the replies here, I found this Dartmoor National Park Authority. Other Activities. Being new to RC flying I want to just buzz my first plane round a local park, but I can't really find anywhere suitably large and safe around Exeter. So I may also end up a one of the ones that has asked a farmer or two. dont know Nothing to loose I guess.

Chuck Plains12/05/2012 19:01:03
1096 forum posts
244 photos

Ooo! And I have just found this, Dartmoor Byelaws scroll down to number 18 !!

If authorised, you can fly powered models! Kites and gliders are ok if you don't annoy people or scare livestock. And it seems that if your model weighs more than 5kg you will not get permission anyway.

John Privett13/05/2012 12:35:33
6033 forum posts
239 photos

The byelaws are probably based on a standard "model" set. There is a very similar rule to your 18 (2) in the byelaws covering the land where our club flies.

As a reminder that rule is;

(2) No person shall release any power-driven model aircraft for flight or control the flight of such an aircraft on or over the access land unless he is authorised to do so by the Authority.

I suspect it's written that way to allow the "the Authority" to determine whether or not they will allow model flying, and if so to whom and under what conditions, and to change their mind about it whenever they want to, all without having to change the byelaws. In our case, model flying is only permitted by those people who have the "consent of the Conservators." The Conservators give that consent to all members of our club, but not to non-members. The Authority at Dartmoor might, or might not, have a similar arrangement with a local club.

Chuck Plains14/05/2012 20:07:41
1096 forum posts
244 photos

Certainly the Dartmoor authority aren't averse to model fliers. And, although I haven't had a reply from them the Dartmoor Slope Soarers seem like a good bet as I want to get into R/C gliding. Another club, thai I've actually attended is the East Devon RCC on Woodbury Common near Exmouth, which, although it's common land, is managed by some 'Estates' group, whatever that means.

Edited By Chuck Planes on 14/05/2012 20:08:15

Kris112/05/2015 21:47:36
28 forum posts



I fly model gliders on the moor... These are from certain sites according to conditions... As a rule of thumb any rc model is not allowed, however a "blind eye" seems to be given to gliders... So no "motor" driven aircraft. I fly my electric gliders from the slope, just don't use the power... Most of the sites are a fair hike from the car park so are quite a distance from the public...

For more info contact these guys..

Stan Yeo is a good start as well, he runs Phoenix Model Products, he is a gent..




Edited By Kris1 on 12/05/2015 22:12:43

Cliff 195902/10/2015 23:35:04
409 forum posts
76 photos

Up at Haytor last weekend there were three drones flying, I've got to say I enjoy flying models but these were just bugging me, not only for the noise aspect but aren't they 'power models'? so should they even be there?

John Privett03/10/2015 11:37:26
6033 forum posts
239 photos
Posted by Cliff 1959 on 02/10/2015 23:35:04:

Up at Haytor last weekend there were three drones flying, I've got to say I enjoy flying models but these were just bugging me, not only for the noise aspect but aren't they 'power models'? so should they even be there?


It looks like Haytor is owned by the Dartmoor National Park Authority and governed by the Dartmoor National Park byelaws.

The relevant section would appear to be;

18 Kites and Model Aircraft

(1) No person shall fly a kite or model glider from the access land in such a manner as to give reasonable cause for annoyance to any other person or in such a manner as is likely to startle or disturb stock on the land.

(2) No person shall release any power-driven model aircraft for flight or control the flight of such an aircraft on or over the access land unless he is authorised to do so by the Authority.

(3) For the purpose of this byelaw “model aircraft” means an aircraft which either weighs not more than 5 kilograms without its fuel or is for the time being exempted (as a model aircraft) from provisions of the Air Navigation Order and “power driven” means driven by the combustion of petrol vapour or other combustible vapour or other combustible substances or by one or more electric motors.


Specifically the bit I've put in bold and italics. So I guess it depends on whether they are "authorised" by the Authority or not.

[EDIT] And looking back, that's more or less what Chuck Plains said three and a half years ago!


Edited By John Privett on 03/10/2015 11:39:33

Area 5103/10/2015 11:55:57
653 forum posts
1 photos

With regard to the Teggs Nose park in Macclesfield, Cheshire. I remember this problem arising due to modellers flying from the same or close to footpaths used by hill walkers, on the park trails (v.popular with dog walkers) etc. This resulted in some walkers being flown over as glider approached landing or used the slope lift..

The council took a view on this activity and it was negative for the flyers; it used to be clearly marked no model flying!

The Leek and Moorlands club have areas they fly around East Cheshire and the within the Peak District. However, this is not one of them. Their access to sites is by agreement with landowners and for members only..

I guess it will be down to who your local authority is working with or has expereince of... Always worth a call to check out the councils position.. I'm sure they would rather have some "approved users" looking after the site with a point of contact (say you own club), rather than any Tom, Dick or Harry trying it until there is a problem!.

Peter Christy03/10/2015 12:58:43
1716 forum posts

Its a long time since I was involved in bye-laws, but my understanding is that for them to be effective, they have to be clearly posted at all access points to the site. This may be impractical in large areas, like Dartmoor, where I would expect special rules to apply, but I'm pretty sure that at local parks, any bye-laws affecting their use must be clearly displayed. No display = no bye-law!

Having said that, just because you have the *right* to do something doesn't necessarily make it a sensible thing to do! I used to occasionally fly in public parks 30 or 40 years ago, but wouldn't dream of doing so now unless it was 1) a very small model and 2) an empty park!

I also seem to recall that the Councils are obliged by law to respond to any request for information on relevant bye-laws. Ignorance may be no excuse in common law, but I believe that that principle may not apply to bye-laws, which may not be obvious.

Rather than just ringing up, I would recommend a letter - recorded delivery!



john featherstone 103/10/2015 15:26:40
44 forum posts

many years ago had the same problem as far as i know all librarys must have a copy of the local bye laws (by law) when asked at my local library i was told they were wating for them to come back from the printers ?i never did receive a copy to look at, i was asked by the local council for what perpose did i require to see the bye laws on parks, my answer was to see if i could legally use a crossbow or throw a javalin ??i never said anything about model flying whitch is what i wanted to know (keep them quessing ) they were up in arms saying i could not do that on a local park, i was then told by someone on the council that if it says you cannot do it then you cannot eg(a sign saying no golf) if it does not say you cant do it what ever in this case fly a model aircraft then you can take as you CAN do it otherwise there would be a sign saying NO model flying you need the local bye laws to find out weather you can or cannot whatever its a mine field and the local council normally dont have a clue,

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