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Safety Rules

 

Below is an excerpt from our Operations Manuals which is being enforced at our airfield. This manual was authorized by the Civil Aviation Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

 

INTRODUCTION

1. Why we have prepared this rules & regulations?

Radio Control Model Aviation is an educational and exciting hobby but all powered models have to be operated in strict compliance with the following rules and regulations such that all members, guests, spectators, and the public at large can enjoy this sport and operators will act in responsible manner so as not to cause danger of injuries to others or damage to properties. Operators who are not abiding by these rule and regulations will be suspended from flying and disciplinary action taken against him/her.

2. Why we have prepared so many restrictions?

Safety rules and field rules are not an obstacle to the enjoyment of model flying, they help to prove that model flyers are the responsible people they proclaim to be. It is not a sign of intelligence to show one’s own skill among spectators. The flyer may know what he/she is doing but has no way of knowing what anyone else will do. So, it is to his/her personal benefit to make certain that no action on his/her part will result in an accident. It is therefore very important not to fly any model aircraft in competition or in the presence of spectators until it has been proved airworthy by having been previously flight tested and comply in all respect the safety rules and field rules.

3. Enactment

These Safety Rules have been submitted to Civil Aviation Department. Any amendment to these Rules has to have prior agreement of Civil Aviation Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

 

RULES & ENFORCEMENT

A. General

1. Field and Safety Rules

There is a set of field & safety rules for the Tai Shu Ha Flying Site (Field & Safety Rules III). It has its special requirements and restrictions, please ensure you read and understand them thoroughly, and comply with the said rules.

2. General Definition of Model Aircraft

a. A model aircraft is a heavier-than-air craft of limited dimensions, with or without a propulsion device, not able to carry a human being and to be used for recreational, sport or competition purposes rather than unmanned aeronautical vehicles (UAV) developed for commercial or governmental, scientific, research or military purposes.

b. Unless otherwise stated, model aircraft shall meet the following general specifications;

  • Maximum flying weight without fuel 20 kg*

  • Maximum surface area 500 sqdm

  • Maximum loading 250 g/sqdm

  • Maximum swept volume of piston engine(s) 250 cucm

  • Electric Motors power source max. no load voltage 42 volts

*Note: The are special rules/requirements for operation of model aircraft weighting from 7kg to 20kg to conform to exemption granted according to Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 from DGCA.

3. Qualification / Classification of Flying Members

a. Flying members are classified into two (2) categories:

i) Fixed wing aircraft

ii) Helicopter & Rotary wing aircraft

b. And each category are divided into three (3) classes:

i) Novice

ii) Experienced

iii) Expert

All flying members must possess a Qualification/Classification Certificate of the HKMEC affixed with the HKMEC chop and signed by the Qualification Sub-Committee (QC). This Qualification/Classification Certificate is issued by the QC under the conditions and requirements of the Club. *For qualification/classification test information, please refer to Section IV of this leaflet.

4. Restrictions for Novice flyers

For Novice flyers, all operations of radio equipments and model aircrafts/helicopters must be supervised by an Instructor. Novice flyers are not allowed to fly alone without the supervision and tuition of an ‘EXPERT’, and are not allowed to fly model weighing more than 7kg. It is strongly recommended that an electronic training system [trainer cable] should be used during flying. The electronic training system (trainer cable) makes it possible for the Instructor to override any improper inputs by the Novice flyer and is a great safety device for training. Two transmitters are connected by an optional Trainer/Data Transfer cord. When the Instructor activates the trainer switch, the Novice flyer has control of the model aircraft. When the Instructor releases the switch, control by the Instructor is regained. This is very useful when the Novice flyer gets the model aircraft into an undesirable situation.

5. Disciplinary Actions Against Offender

Disqualification, Flying Suspension and even Removal of Membership For any action violating the Field & Safety Rules, disciplinary actions listed in the rules and Section III shall apply. The Chief Marshal on duty shall report to the Management Committee (MC) on any offence which he/she took discipline action on suspension of flying. For more serious offences, the MC will take action on disqualification, further suspension or even removal of membership.

AIRFIELD SAFETY RULES

A. GENERAL

1. Flying Site

Club’s Flying Site is located at Tai Shu Ha, end of Tai Shu Ha West Road, Yuen Long, N.T. (see attached site plan) All flying and operations of model aircrafts and radio equipments within this site shall be conducted in accordance with the ‘Tai Shu Ha Flying Site Operation Manual’ of the Hong Kong Model Engineering Club Ltd.

2. Flying Dates

On flying dates published by the Management Committee (MC) only. Dates may be cancelled at short notice such as inclement weather, assigned activities etc. Flying is automatically cancelled if:-

a. When flooding warning, landslide warning, thunderstorm warning, rainstorm warning, typhoon signal are announced by the Hong Kong Observatory;

b. When poor visibility (e.g. heavy fog) prohibits proper observation of the models, when visibility is less than 5km, and cloud ceiling is lower than 1,500 feet or due to atmospheric conditions that would be dangerous flying.

3. Flying Hours

09:00 – 18:00 or until darkness (whichever is earlier)

4. Admission

By valid membership cards and parking labels only.

5. Parking of Vehicle

Parking lots as shown in the site plan are provided for members and staff only unless otherwise directed by Marshals or Site guards. No parking facilities will be provided for guests unless by prior agreement from Marshal on duty, but it is not assumed to be automatic.

6. Loading/Unloading Area

The loading/unloading areas for model fixed wing aircrafts and helicopter are provided. Once loading/unloading is completed, vehicles must move back to the parking lot.

7. Reporting and Registering

Report to the Marshal on duty (whether model fixed wing aircrafts or helicopters) immediately on arrival. Enter names, membership numbers and radio frequencies on the Marshal’s Chart at the same time. The marshal chart is displayed in the shelter area.

8. Membership Validity

Members who cannot prove their membership validity have to apply for a one day Temporary Membership and pay the appropriate fees if they wish to fly. However, Granting of such membership is not automatic.

9. Temporary Membership

Temporary member has to go through flight test unless he/she declares to be a Novice flyer and thus required to be under supervision by Instructor. Solo flying of Temporary member can only be allowed if he/she has passed all the test requirements as set forth for ‘Experienced/Expert Flyer’ in Section IV. OR if he/she can prove by showing his/her qualification as ‘Experienced Flyer’ or above to the Marshal (such as Qualification Certificate issued by our Club under Section IV or Sporting License issued by the Hong Kong Aviation Club).

10. Insurance

Members are covered by the Club’s third party liability insurance policy up the HK$5 Million. Members are solely responsible for any claims of loss or damages by third parties over and above this coverage.

11. Marshals

Marshal(s) are nominated by the Management Committee of the Club, they will be on duty during each flying session. Marshal(s) are empowered to enforce all rules. Directions/instructions given by them must be followed. Direct all complaints/queries to Marshal(s) on duty. Marshal(s) should report any offensive flying to the Chief Marshal.

12. Chief Marshal

Chief Marshal is nominated by the Management Committee of the Club, he/she is empowered to disqualify and temporary suspend flying of any offensive flying member.

13. Instructors and Tuition

Any ‘EXPERT’’ class Club members can act as instructors. Only these qualified flyers are authorized to supervise the ‘NOVICE’ flyers. Members who need an instructor have to arrange themselves with individual instructor. Tuition fee to be levied, if any, is straightly between the instructor and the novice flyer.

14. Others

a. The Marshal may spot checks equipments and model aircrafts which are suspected not air-worthy (and therefore potentially dangerous). It will be grounded if the equipments/model aircraft is found to be not air-worthy or over-weighted.

b. Immediately before each flight, the flyer must him/her-self check the conditions and the proper functioning of all parts contributing to an efficient and safe flight of the model aircraft and the proper fitting and fixation of the various parts, with special reference to engines and propellers.

c. The flyers are encouraged to check his/her plane and equipment thoroughly before his/her flying activity. Model aircrafts that have not been tested and proven airworthy should not be flown. Endeavor to conduct all flights in a manner that avoids danger to spectators, other flyers, general public and properties in the surrounding area of the site.

d. Marshals on duty, instructors etc. will make sure that all rules are strictly comply with. In addition, members who are considered “UNSAFE” will be asked to stop flying, or “HELPED”. (Novice flyers are advised to make prior arrangement with instructors in order not to be disqualified for flying)

5. Fire Prevention Fire Blankets, CO2 Gas and Foam fire extinguishers are available for fire extinguishing purposes, make good use of it when needed. They are stored at the Shelter Areas for the model fixed wing aircrafts and helicopters.

B. FLYING

1. Transmitter

License Members are required to carry valid transmitter licenses at each flying session. It is the sole responsibility of the Members to obtain a valid license issued by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) for its radio transmitters. The Club is not held responsible for violations made by members without valid OFTA licenses.

2. Frequency Flags

Transmitters used must bear correct colored/numbered frequency flags provided by the flyer himself.

3. Master Pins

Each member will be provided with a ‘Master Pin’ with his/her name and membership number on it. ‘BLOCK’ your frequency on the frequency board with your master pin before switching on transmitter. No member may ‘Block’ more than one frequency at one time.

4. Pit Area

The pit areas are intended for fuelling, defuelling, starting of engines, adjustment of running engines and preparations before take-offs…etc. Those who have more than one model aircraft should keep other models in one’s ‘BOX’ in the shelter area.

5. Shelter Areas

a. Each member will be allocated with one ‘BOX’ area for placing of his daily flying tools and model aircrafts – on first come first serve basis.

b. Starting of engines, or adjustment of running engines in the shelter area is strictly prohibited.

6. Model Aircrafts

Make sure your model aircrafts are airworthy and that your radios are functioning properly. All model aircrafts should bear membership number (e.g. F-169, J-67 etc.) for identification purpose. The Marshals on duty may check the air-worthiness of model aircrafts in question.

7. Radio Operation

No one shall turn on and operate one’s transmitter without first ‘BLOCKING’ the frequency of the frequency control board with his/her your master pin, and he/she must make sure that no one is flying on that frequency. Testing of equipment should only be done in the pit area, any testing of equipment (except range testing) in other areas are strictly prohibited.

8. Range Testing

For safety, before and after the started up of engines, all flyers should conduct ‘Range Testing’ of radio equipments as per manufacturer’s instruction.

9. Silencers

Engines of .15 cu.in (2.5cc) displacement and above must be fitted with an effective silencer.

10. Noise Control

The Marshal may conduct noise test of any model aircraft. The maximum noise level allowed will be 96 dB measured at 3 m from the centre line of the model aircraft with the model aircraft placed on the ground over hard surface at the flying site. With the motor running at full power measurement will be taken 90 degrees to the flight path on the right hand side and downwind from the model aircraft. The microphone of the noise meter will be placed on a stand 30 cm above the ground in line with the motor. No noise reflecting objects shall be nearer than 3 m to the model aircraft or microphone. If a hard surface is not available then the measurement may be taken over bare earth or very short grass in which case the maximum noise level will be 93 dB. In the event a suspected model aircraft fails the test, that model aircraft must be grounded.

11. Time Limit and Limit Of Model Aircrafts Flying

a. When there are more than two (2) flyers on the same frequency, each flyer is allowed 20 minutes flying time including preparation, starting, take-off and landing.

b. No more than FOUR model fixed wing aircraft with weight limit of 7kg be allowed to fly at the same time. In case of fixed wing aircraft with weight from 7kg to 20kg, only ONE aircraft is allowed to fly, and all flying shall cease until such aircraft is landed.

c. No more than FOUR model rotary wing aircraft be allowed to fly at the same time. In case of rotory aircraft with weight from 7kg to 20kg, only ONE aircraft is allowed to fly and all flying shall cease until such aircraft is landed.

12. Pilot Area

Flyers are required to stand within the appropriate pilot area during flight or as directed by the Marshal on duty.

13. Traffic Circuit

I. For Fixed Wing Aircraft For Main Runway: Right hand circuit when runway 09 is in use Left hand circuit when runway 27 is in use For Second Runway: Right hand circuit when runway 03 is in use Left hand circuit when runway 21 is in use.

II. For Helicopter Left hand circuit when runway 09 is in use Right hand circuit when runway 27 is in use.

14. Take-Offs Announce intention to take-off, make sure runway is clear (give way to landing), then take-off in the direction along the runway and away from the pit area.

15. Safety Flying Zones

I. For Fixed Wing Aircraft in using either main runway (09/27) or second runway (03/21)

a. It is 50’ away in front of and away from its appropriate pit area. For aircraft with weight up to 7kg, flying shall be strictly within the designated area as indicated in the attached two site plans (Plan A & B). In case of fixed wing aircraft with weight from 7kg to 20kg, flying shall be strictly within the designated area as indicated in the attached site plan (Plan C).

b. Except take-offs and landings, all maneuvers have to be performed outside the middle center line of the main runway (09/27) and away from the pit area. Or outsided the center line of second runway (03/21) and away from its pit area when second runway is in use. Announce intention for any maneuvers which may affect other flyers (such as low passing………etc).

c. All model fixed wing aircraft flying will be restricted to the south and southeast of the Site.

d. Flying activities is limited to a height of no more than 100m above ground level of the Site which is 100m above mean sea level.

II. For Helicopter

a. It is 50 away in front of and away from the pilot area. Flying shall be strictly within the designated area as indicated in the attached site plan.

b. Except take-offs, landings and hovering, all maneuvers have to be performed outside the middle center point of the helipad area and away from the pit area. Announce intention for any maneuvers which may affect other flyers (such as low passing……..etc).

c. All model helicopters flying will be restricted to the northern side of the Site.

d. Flying activities is limited to a height of no more than 75m above ground level of the Site which is 100m above mean sea level and no more than 75m away from the center point of the helipad with the upwind and downwind legs no longer than 100m.

16. Forbidden Flying Zones

I. For Fixed Wing Aircraft in using either main runway (09/27) or second runway (03/27) Overhead and behind the safety line (see site plan *North of Safety Line for Rwy09/27) of the main runway 09/27, or northwest of Safety Line (see site plan for runway 03/21) of the second runway 03/21.

II. For Helicopter Flying outside the heli flying circuit zone is prohibited. Overhead and behind the pilot area of the helipad (South of the helipad area) are not allowed. (members will be warned, disqualified, flying suspended, or even membership removed if they breach this rule intentionally or repeatedly)

17. Restrictions

On Runway

a. The paved runway was designed for light loading purpose only, DO NOT drive your vehicle over it.

b. The runway was mainly designed for fixed wing models only.

c. Both the main runway and helipad will normally be in use all the time.

d. The second runway will be in operation only when the main runway is closed for repair / maintenance. All helicopter flying will cease when second runway is in use.

18. R/C Helicopters Zones

Helicopter flying is only allowed to be operated at the Northern side of the site as marked on the site plan.

19. Landings

Landings have priority over take-offs. Announce loudly the intention to land, make sure runway (for fixed wing aircraft) or helipad (for helicopter) is clear, then land in the direction away from the pit area and ON the runway.

20. Retrieving of Model Aircrafts

Model aircrafts must be retrieved immediately after landing.

21. Retrieving of Master Pin

Switch off radio and retrieve master pin from the frequency board immediately after each flight, and keep the transmitter in a safe place to prevent accidental switching on.

C. MISCELLANEOUS

1. Guests or non-members

Guests and non members are welcome but must be accompanied by members. Members shall be responsible for their guests for their safety and compliance of the appropriate Club rules. Guests and non-members who wish to fly may apply to the Marshal or Chief Marshal for a Temporary Membership and pay the appropriate fee. Granting of such application is not automatic.

2. Children

Children visiting the flying field must be accompanied by an adult and they will not be allowed in the pit area or on the flying zones.

3. Land Vehicles (cars, tanks….etc)

Model land vehicles are not allowed.

4. Breaking-In of Engines

Request for special permission from Marshal. Normally to be done away from the pit area.

5. Accidents

Report all accidents to Marshals on duty or the Chief Marshal.

6. Litter

Keep flying site clean. Members are responsible for disposing their own refuse.

7. Safety Precautions and Instructions

a. Prohibited: -

i) Metal-blade propellers or rotor blades;

ii) Damaged or repaired power propellers or rotor blades;

iii) Improperly mounted engines;

iv) Knife-edge leading edges;

v) Sharp spinners or propeller fasteners;

vi) Non shock-mounted radio equipment, where there is engine vibration;

vii) Any ballast or heavy parts-subject jettisoning;

viii) Any burning fuse that is not enclosed in a snuffers tube or similar device to retain and extinguish it.

ix) Any models with extremely hazardous fuels; such as those containing tetranitromethane or hydrazine.

b. Recommended: -

i) The model should bear an identification of the owner;

ii) All spinners and other forward-facing metal or equally rigid projections should have a minimum radius of 5mm.

c. Safety Requirement:-

Ensure that no model aircraft shall be flown while there is other full size aircraft flying in the area (within one kilometer radius).