Booking System Review

Good evening everyone,

The booking system has been active for a week now tomorrow (Friday), and we have reviewed the current situation after looking at the trend of bookings.

It has been decided to remove the restriction of two bookings per week. There is now no limit on pre-booking your flying sessions at all. This has been done due to all but a couple of AM slots being available, and slots still being available on nearly all of the days in the PM. The initial rush thankfully wasn’t as large as anticipated, even with the perfect weather we had this week.

However, please ensure you are being fair to your other members and try to resist from large block bookings! If it is found this is occurring, we will have to look into reinstating the restriction. 

It is still only AM or PM, with no all day bookings and no evening bookings available just yet. This is always being reviewed each fortnight, and I’ll keep you updated on if there are any changes.

As before, if you have booked for an AM slot, and by midday there is enough availability for you to stay for the PM slot, you may do so but you MUST book in for PM slot whilst at the field on your phone/tablet. Otherwise, you won’t be able to stay and will have to vacate the field by 13:30. The times for AM and PM remain the same, and the restriction of no IC and a max of 3S electric between 9am and 10am and after 8pm persists. Rushwick has other limitations on IC, which are detailed on the website.

The limit of 6 per session per site also remains in place until at least May 17th.

Hope this can improve some things, and allows us to all enjoy flying a little more!

Cheers,

Sam Booton

Club Secretary & Webmaster

Booking Services have reopened!

Good Evening Everyone!

After now having confirmation from the Government that the 29th March is definitely going ahead, I am happy to be able to reopen the booking system as of 5pm tonight!

The rules are similar to before, but for a refresher they are:

  • Rule of 6 – no more than 6 per session per field (including trainees and instructors)
  • AM is 9am to 1:30pm, PM is 2pm until dusk
  • Between 9am and 10am, and from 6pm onwards is 3S electric only
  • Only two pre-booked slots per 7 days
  • If on the day you wake up and there are empty slots, you may book these in addition to you pre-bookings. This could mean you could fly 7 days per week if 5 of those days had availability on the day when you woke up
  • Instructors can pre-book as many slots as they like, provided they are teaching someone on the additional slots
  • This will be reviewed weekly

RUSHWICK

Please do not book for Rushwick on MONDAY 29th MORNING. We are preparing the site with rolling and mowing during the AM slot and flying will not be possible.

After the AM slot, Rushwick is open. However, it is a little rough at the moment after the resurfacing last year settles down and would recommend hand launch only.

Happy flying, and enjoy the nice weather next week!

Cheers,

Sam Booton

Club Secretary and Webmaster

March Chairman Update

Hello everyone,

I expect you are feeling as I do… beginning to get a sense of optimism about the prospect of going flying soon.

The committee are in countdown mode as we approach March 29th.

We have been speaking to our landlords this last week.  They are looking forward to seeing us again.

Committee members visited Hanbury in the last couple of days to check out the mower. It’s ok… There are sheep and lambs in our field there… David the landlord says they will be taken out of our field by March 29th.

Our landlord at Rushwick will be assisting us to get that field up and running during April by rolling and mowing a new runway. The committee will be organising a work party soon to include some committee and regular Rushwick users to stake out a new runway.  We will let you know when shortly.

You will by now all be aware of the new CAA article 16 regulations which  now define the legal requirements in respect of the operation of UAV’s  (un manned aerial vehicles) meaning Drones and Model Aircraft.

The BMFA have done a very good job for us modellers by ensuring that we can continue our activities very much as before.

Regarding the new regs.  A couple of members have raised the question of separation distances between our flying models and people passing by when we are flying. Bearing in mind that our runways have public footpaths or bridleways passing quite close to our runways.

The new regs do not mention proximity to public footpaths or bridleways.  What they do say is this; We must not fly within 30 meters of any un-involved person. This can be reduced to 15 meters for take off or landing.  They also state we must not operate within 50 meters of ASSEMBLIES OF PEOPLE

Note: CAA DEFINITION OF ASSEMBLIES OF PEOPLE IS PEOPLE OF SUCH DENSITY THAT THEY ARE UNABLE TO MOVE AWAY DUE TO THE DENSITY OF THE PEOPLE PRESENT. CLEARLY NOT AN ISSUE AT OUR SITES.

Our advice, backed up by the BMFA is that if you see a person approaching whether on a public footpath or otherwise you should if necessary land you’re model as soon as possible. And if necessary land  it away from the runway.

The committee have taken all mitigating measures to ensure public safety at out sites is in place with clear warning signs on gates and stiles

Our experience of flying at our current sites for over 20 years is that the use of adjacent public footpaths is extremely low. Hanbury for instance sees fewer than three people per week during flying times.  However we must at all times remain vigilant.

So that’s it.  We await the green light from Boris.  The Committee will keep you informed via the website as we approach the end of March.

See you at the fields

Regards

Dave

Booking System and IT Support

Good Afternoon Everyone,

We are hoping the Government will still allow us to begin flying again on March 29th. In preparation for this, we have implemented a new outlook on the booking rules to make sure fairness is key. We were concerned after such a long lockdown, and winter months, there may be a bit of a rush to book to fly. To make sure everyone gets a chance, initially we are being restrictive on how many sessions you can book per week. If it ends up being quieter than expected, this will get reviewed. The committee will discuss every week or so whether the current system is working, or whether it can be edited. Your input is also key to this, so let us know if you think it’s working by replying to this email, or emailing contact@wmac.uk when booking re-opens!

The rules will become:

Pre-booking sessions: You may book TWO booking sessions in advance of the current date per 7 days

On the day sessions: If you wake up and see free slots on the day, you may book these in ADDITION to what you have pre-booked. Technically, if sessions are always free each day, this means you could fly 7 days a week.

AM/PM/All Day pre-booked: Due to the anticipated rush to fly, we are restricting to booking AM or PM, and not any all day bookings and no combining AM and PM to create pre-booked all day bookings.

AM/PM on-the-day bookings: If you have booked an AM slot, whether that’s a pre-booking or on the day, you may book a PM slot to make it all day and remain at the field IF AFTER 12PM (midday) on the day there are free PM slots left. You will obviously need to check the booking system on your phone, and you will need to book.

AM/PM flying times: These are 9am until 1:30pm, and 2pm until dusk. Remember the site rules though, where before 10am is 3S electric only and after 8pm is 3S electric only. This is 5pm on Sundays at Hanbury, whilst no IC is allowed at any point on a Sunday at Rushwick.

Field Conditions: We are arranging to visit both sites to ready them for the 29th. More updates on this will come, but hopefully both sites are flyable on the 29th.

We are hoping this makes it fair for most members. We are trying to find the right balance between having slots available for everyone, but equally not allowing empty slots to go to waste if someone wishes to use them.

The rule of 6 is expected to be still honoured, so as before you will need to book and restrict it to 6 per session per site. We also ask if you have the NHS Test & Trace app, to please scan in at the fields and maintain social distance outside of your chosen bubble.

All of these rules are written out now on the booking page, but the booking system will remain offline until we have official confirmation that we can resume flying on the 29th March.

To address quickly to those querying about flying as of today (8th March) – the BMFA have sent an email out saying the government allow people to fly with 1 other person, but this is not on sites people have to pay for. So if you have a field or some land and are allowed to fly for free, this is legal. As we pay for our sites, we are therefore classed as a facility and so must remain closed until at least the 29th. So please don’t fly at Hanbury or Rushwick before the 29th!

The website is also coming back online today, but over the next week or so you may notice a couple of things ‘looking a bit weird’ whilst more updates are implemented.

IT Support:

We have implemented a new system to gain IT support from the webmaster. You will need to log in, and expand the ‘Members Menu’ and click ‘IT Support’. Upon doing that, if you need to raise a new issue, click the red ‘new ticket’ box and submit your problem / query. Ongoing tickets will be held in the window on that same page, and will be private between you and me. You will be able to see and send more replies in that window by clicking onto an existing ticket.

We have had to do this as a couple of members thought it acceptable to send hundreds of messages late into the night on WhatsApp, so to counter this and to push back operation of the website to my development business we are operating a ‘Support Ticketing System’. It is also to log any issues to record common problems, in order to allow easier recognition where website improvement is needed.

Emailing may now mean your query gets missed, plus not logged, so it’s best to use the ticketing system for the quickest response!

Thanks, and hopefully see you all down the field soon!

Sam Booton

Webmaster & Club Secretary

Confirming your details and your CAA Number

EDIT: The WMAC are asking you to provide the number to the committee, not the BMFA

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I have been speaking to the BMFA, and we have been informed that there may be an insurance issue if flying without a CAA Number. A term and condition for your BMFA insurance is to be flying within the law, and obviously since the new ruling came into effect on being registered with the CAA that requires registration immediately. Without an Operator ID, insurance is invalid on models over 250g.

We have been advised to capture all the member’s CAA numbers, and store them on your online profile on our website. This is so the club have record of everyone covered, so we have covered all bases should an incident occur. If an accident is had without a valid CAA, the model club can say we did all we could and have shown due diligence in ensuring all of our members are operating legally whilst covered by insurance.

We will soon be implementing a club rule that requires anyone flying anything over 250g has an Operator ID, and this ID is sent to us and is shown upon your model following CAA guidelines and must have insurance.

Your number will have been emailed to you from the CAA, and will look similar to “GBR-OP-ABC123D4”.

The form below also asks you to confirm your details to us, to ensure we have the most up to date information on file and to gain your permission in securely storing this information. It is important we get this form back from everyone.

The form you need to complete is available at: https://forms.gle/vh2LaiGuWHUcYEXZ9

If anyone struggles opening the form, or completing it, please contact me at webmaster@wmac.uk

If anyone does not have CAA cover, please log into your BMFA account and purchase it if you require it (anyone flying anything over 250g), or contact the BMFA.

Many thanks in advance to you all for filling this form!

Kind Regards,

Sam Booton

Webmaster & Club Secretary

Government Announcement 22nd Feb

Hi Everyone,

As you probably all saw, tonight we had a lockdown update from the Government and an exit strategy back to a normal life. Sadly, whilst it was what we expected, the fields will be remaining closed for the foreseeable.

One glimmer of hope, however, lies within the Prime Minister’s steps towards a normal life again. With his four step plan, one of those steps stated on the 29th March, the rule of 6 will once again apply. We are hopeful this will cover our activities at the flying field, with the 21st June being a return to total normality. Once the Prime Minister gives us another press conference at some point in March to confirm the next step, and with your committee discussing options with our landlords, it is hopeful we can return to flying just in time for the spring! Obviously, we can’t guarantee this, but we are remaining optimistic!!

Hopefully, those summer BBQs at the field are now in sight….

Stay safe everyone and hopefully bring you some better news in the coming weeks.

Thanks,

Sam Booton

Club Secretary

National Lockdown Field Closures

It is with great regret that I have to email you all once again about closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The Prime Minister announced a number of restrictions during his speech on Monday 4th January. Within that announcement, a third full national lockdown with similar severity as the one in March of last year was put into effect. We are sorry to say this means no travel, and our activities at the flying fields are to cease immediately. We have therefore had to close the fields until further notice. This is the advice from the Government, the BMFA and our landowners. 

A review is to be held on the 22nd February, so we will update you on what happens to our flying fields as soon as we hear from the Government.

All current bookings have been cancelled, and ask you please not to travel to the fields during this time for any reason. 

During this time, the safety of the nation and our families is the most important thing. The new strain has caught healthcare off guard, and is far more contagious than the 2020 strain. It isn’t just our elderly and at-risk members we have to consider here, but all of our members of any age and any level of fitness.  Anyone can catch this virus, and even if you are fit and you contract, it is the frontline NHS staff who need to treat anyone who has the virus. They are struggling to cope, and we must do all we can now at this time and help prevent passing on the virus to more people.

The end of this is near, we have vaccines now and so a way out in sight which we did not have last March. Just a little longer, and we will be back to flying all week and having those much anticipated BBQs!!

Stay safe everyone, and Happy New Year from all of us at the Committee!

Thanks,

Sam Booton

Worcester Model Aero Club

WMAC & Tier 3

Good afternoon all, and a Happy New Year! 

Hopefully in 2021, vaccines will mean a gradual relaxation of the rules, and a return to normality. Club outdoor events, social evenings and an EGM/AGM will once again finally be possible! 

I have had a few emails asking about the status of the club now we have been placed into Tier 3 regulations, so I thought I’d send an email just to clear up any confusion. The following rules that I’ve had queried are currently in place:

  • The field remains OPEN to those in Tier 3
  • No more than 6 per booking slot
  • You must book in order to fly
  • Masks are not required
  • Social Distancing is an absolute necessity
  • If you are happy to, please check in using NHS Test & Trace apps

If you are in Tier 4, according to government instruction, there is a stay at home order in your local area. This means you should not be passing from your Tier 4 area into Tier 3 to fly. To read more on what you are allowed to pass tier boundaries for, click here.

We are also asking that, due to the new strain that is more contagious and more easily transferable, that you please use the NHS Test & Trace posters to check in if you have the app on your phone using the NHS app. 

Also, social distancing has never been more important. The club has many people in the ‘at risk’ category, and even the younger members are at risk – no one is immune. Please, for the safety of each other and families, maintain the 2m social distancing rules so the club can still operate legally. Bring hand gel, keep your distance and feel free to wear a mask if you so wish (but you don’t need to at all). 

If we get placed into Tier 4, we will update you on our next round of decisions – hopefully we don’t get that far though!

Have a great new year, and hopefully see you down the field soon!

Thanks,

Sam Booton

December 2020 Newsletter

Hello everyone,

Trust you all keeping well and safe,

Just one or two bits of info to keep you informed.

First concerns parking at Hanbury over the Winter.

David the landlord has very kindly agreed to us parking inside one of his barns.

It is the GREEN barn on the left as you enter the farm.. the one between the caravan store and the wood store.

Once parked on the concrete inside the barn you then have direct access via the open door at the far end directly into the top of our flying field.

So no more driving on muddy tracks .  This facility will remain for the next 3 months at least.   Great.

I will be going over there later this week to pay the rent for 2021 plus some bottles of wine and a Christmas card.

Good to see lots of members paying the £52 subs already..Where else can you pay £! Per week for such facilities as a mown runway, free parking, good company and a beautiful view ?

And of course a new field at Rushwick to look forward to.   We still have a few vacancies. Also we have, in the last few days, had new people join from looking at our website even saying on line – to quote one new member, “ we looked at local clubs around Malvern area and your website was by far the most appealing” enough said.

Thanks again for all your compliments posted on the AGM hub last week – very much appreciated.

That’s it for now.

All the best for Christmas and 2021

Dave.

BMFA CAA Notice

An email from the the BMFA:

Dear BMFA Member

(Sent to all members)

The UK adopted the EU regulations for unmanned aircraft (which included model flying) in 2019 and these will come into effect on December 31st, 2020.  This is the same day that we exit from the EU, but regulations in place at the point of departure will be transferred directly into UK law.

Some requirements of the EU regulations were already in place (such as a height limits, Operator Registration and Competency requirements) following changes to the Air Navigation Order set out in 2018, but the EU regulations introduce further changes.  Full details of the regulations for the operation of unmanned aircraft (which includes model aircraft) can be found in CAP 722 (http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP722%20Edition8(p).pdf).

However, given the excellent safety record established by model flyers throughout Europe, the EU agreed that model flying conducted within the framework of Associations like the BMFA should be subject to more flexible regulation to allow us to continue largely ‘as we do today’.  The mechanism to facilitate this is referred to as an ‘Article 16 Authorisation’ (within the ‘Specific Category’) and we are now in possession of our Authorisation from the CAA, which sets out the regulations which will apply to our members with effect from December 31st, 2020.

Our Authorisation essentially permits us to continue operating as we do today.

The new EU regulations allow for alternative sets of rules to be applied to unmanned aircraft. The ‘Open Category’ rules set out in CAP722 can be used by anyone in the UK, regardless of whether they are members of any club or association and, amongst other things, include a ban on flying above 400ft. The Open Category requirements will not apply to BMFA members flying in accordance with the terms and conditions of our Article 16 Authorisation.

There is a lot of information to digest, but to assist with this we have produced a new ‘Quick Start Guide’ which can be viewed at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BMFA-QSG-V16.pdf.  We have also produced a more detailed guide which can be viewed at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/article-16, where you can also access the Article 16 Authorisation document.

We will be holding a Zoom Webinar at 7.30pm on Monday 21st December, to explain the Authorisation further for which you can register at  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/7616081155190/WN_Fs1b3JWTS-6co_Rx_fxUmA. Places are limited, but a recording will be made available to view afterwards.

It has been a long process to arrive at this point, starting with negotiations with EASA and the European Commission back in 2015 which laid the foundation for special recognition for model flying within the EU unmanned aircraft regulations.  Once the EU regulations were finalised, we then entered into prolonged negotiations with the DfT & CAA to try and arrive at a sensible outcome for members. 

I would like to record my thanks to our special advisers (Cliff Whittaker and Roger Hopkinson MBE) and also to Rob Buckley (Secretary of the LMA) for the many hours they have put in to help us achieve this outcome for the UK Associations.

Dave Phipps – CEO

Tel:  0116 2440028

email:  admin@bmfa.org 

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