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1. Introduction

The purpose of this document is not intended to restrict members from enjoying the hobby or to dampen their passion for Model Aircraft Flying. As it is an expensive and dangerous hobby, it is of utmost importance that all members adhere to a uniform code of conduct, ethics and safety at all times. Radio Controlled model aircraft are not toys and are capable of inflicting severe damage if not operated correctly.

Every pilot must use common sense and be considerate of fellow pilots.

2. General Flying Rules

2.1. Only paid up members of SAMAA, SMFC and the Durban Shongweni Club (DSC) (and their SAMAA registered visitors) are entitled to fly at the Durban Shongweni Club.

2.2. All pilots must have knowledge of, and comply with, the SAMAA Model Aircraft Safety Code. All details and regulations regarding SAMAA are available at www.samaa.org.za

2.3. SMFC uses the "Peg On" system. Only pegs with the current SMFC membership card, or visitor's club card, are to be used. This rule also applies to flyers on 2.4 Ghg.

2.4. Members should be in possession of their current SMFC membership cards at all times whilst on DSC premises.

2.5. Flying Times for fuel powered aircraft.

  • Monday – Saturday: 07h00 to sunset
  • Sunday and Public Holidays: 07h00 to sunset

Flying times for electric powered aircraft.

  • Electric powered aircraft may be flown from sunrise to sunset.

The above times may occasionally be altered and members will be notified when equestrian activities are to take place. Members are not to fly during these restricted periods.

2.6. Members who have not passed a SAMAA Solo Proficiency test are to be accompanied by a SAMAA rated member whilst flying.

2.7. Maximum time for reserving a frequency for testing and flying is 15 minutes. It is therefore recommended that the "setting up" of planes should be done at off-peak flying times.

2.8. Helicopter pilots who wish to use of the circuit or "3D space" will plant a flag or place their helicopter at the center of the flight line. Pilots already airborne will be allowed to complete their flight. Pilots on the ground are requested to give a turn to the helicopter and "3D" pilots to complete their flight of no longer than 15 minutes. Thereafter circuit flying may be resumed.

2.9. When a portable windsock is planted on the field adjacent to the runway this denotes the flight line. Pilots must stand in line, or slightly ahead, of this flight line parallel to the runway. The runway is theoretically 9 metres in front of the flight line.

 

3. Safety Rules

3.1. It is the duty and responsibility of the pilot (or instructor where applicable) to ensure that his/her aircraft is in an airworthy state prior to flying.

3.2. No transmitter may be switched on without first placing the pilot's peg on the board. For 35Mhz only, the spot must be clear. This "peg on rule" applies to both 35Mhz and 2.4Ghz frequencies.

3.3. All aircraft starting in the pits should have the nose of the aircraft facing towards (perpendicular to) the owner's vehicle. This is both a safety and courtesy consideration. Either a mat or dish MUST be placed under the exhaust of any IC motor when filling and starting. This is to protect the grass from any fuel residue. This is a requirement of the polo association.

3.4. No aircraft, with its motor running, may be left unattended in the pits. It should be either securely tethered by means of a restraining device, or held by hand by a third party – not the pilot.

3.5. It is highly recommended that a "range check" be done, prior to the first flight of the day. Any Aircraft experiencing interference or glitches on the ground should not be flown until thoroughly tested. Any aircraft experiencing Glitches or interference in the air should be landed immediately.

3.6. All aircraft taxiing to the flight line should be held, by the pilot or helper, during this transit period. The aircraft can either be carried, or held by the tail while taxiing. Under no circumstances should aircraft taxi, under their own power, to the flight line if there are any flyers already on the Pilot Line

3.7. Pilots to be positioned on the Pilot Line and within talking distance from one another.

3.8. Pilots must clearly announce "taking off", "landing", "dead stick", "low pass" or any other intentions that may affect other pilots. A pilot who has announced "landing" or "dead stick" has preference over any other pilot actions.

3.9. Pilots may not take off from behind other pilots or directly from the pits.

3.10. The flight line and runway is depicted (see Appendix A) in the SMFC general club rules. Direction of takeoff and landing shall be determined by the prevailing wind, and all pilots must conform to the accepted direction.

3.11. Under no circumstances is flying over the following areas allowed:

  • Behind the Extended Flight Line
  • Over the Pitts Area
  • Motor Vehicles and People
  • Behind the eastern Pegboard
  • Over DSC facilities, the Filling Station and Housing Development.

3.12. After landing no pilot may taxi into, or towards, the pits. The engine must first be stopped at the flight line, and the aircraft the returned physically to the pits.

3.13. It is the duty and responsibility of instructors to ensure that their pupils know, understand and adhere to the club safety rules.

3.14. No more than 5 aircraft may be in the air at any one time.

3.15. No pilot is permitted to fly after consuming any alcoholic beverage and/or judgement impairing drugs.

3.16. No dangerous or reckless flying is permitted. Should any dispute arise in this regard, the club Safety Officer and/or any Committee Member shall adjudicate.

3.17. As the flying styles of fixed wing, helicopter and 3D aircraft are vastly different, all pilots must give due consideration to each activity. Aircrafts flying aerobatic manoeuvres not keeping with the flow of circuit traffic are restricted to flying North to South or vice versa, parallel to the runway and central between the runway and the opposing field boundary. See field diagram.

3.18. Pilots of electric powered aircraft should ONLY connect the red lead to the power battery when they are at the flight line, as power to these motors is instantaneous. Equally the pilot of an electric powered aircraft MUST disconnect the red lead to the power battery upon landing BEFORE returning the aircraft to the pit area.

3.19. Nitro helicopter engines may be started in the pit area but, at no time should the rotor blades be allowed to spin until after the helicopter has been carried out to the flight line, or to one of the designated hover areas.

3.20. Helicopters are not to "hover" in the Pits Area, behind the Flight Line, other than in the designated area, or over the Runway.

3.21. It is recommended that no young child should accompany a pilot to the flight line, unless the child is learning to fly.

3.22. Visitors must be informed of these safety rules by their hosting member before they fly. Should a visitor not be hosted by a club member, the Safety Officer or a Committee Member should perform this task.

Noise

4.1. At many clubs "noise complaints" have been a serious problem. SMFC is in possession of a decibel meter.
4.2. A pilot may be requested to have his/her aircraft "noise checked" by the Safety Officer or a Committee Member, if this is considered necessary.
4.3. The maximum permitted noise level at SMFC is 93db measured from 3 (three) metres in front and to the sides of an aircraft running at full throttle.

Visitors

5.1. Non-SMFC members who are members of SAMAA are allowed to fly at our field 6 times per annum without becoming members.
5.2. Visitors must be accompanied by a SMFC member at all times who will be responsible for making sure that the guest follows club rules.
5.3. When a guest arrives at the club, his host must meet him at the gate and open the gate for him.
5.4. If the SMFC host happens to be flying and the visitor is approached by anybody he should point out his host and state that he is that person's guest.
5.5. When the guest is ready to leave, he must be accompanied to the gate and the gate opened by the host to let him out.
5.6. DSC or Non-DSC members who are not SMFC members, who arrive at the field, must be greeted by a committee member or a senior member of the club to make sure that the DSC member is aware of, and follows, the club safety rules.

DSC General Rules

6.1. SMFC members are to comply with relevant DSC rules regarding entry, security and courtesy, in particular, the rule that no vehicle may be driven over the polo field, only around the periphery.
6.2. SMFC members are encouraged to use the DSC club house, ablutions, restaurant, and pub facilities.
6.3. If any issues arise between SMFC members and DSC authorities, all communication in this regard must be channelled through either the SMFC chairman or vice chairman.

 Appendix A

Shongweni Model Flying Club – Field Layout

GPS Co-ordinates: 30 44'32"E 29 47'49"S

field layout