A return to the skies
Under Level 4, White Sheet is now open for members to return to airborne operations.
Please keep in mind and adhere to all government rules relating to the coronavirus, social distancing and use of PPE etc
Further to this, WSRFC recommends a flightline maximum of 4 people at two meters apart to ensure continual communication amongst those flying.
Stay safe, stay well and enjoy flying again.
We suggest that members use the BMFA to comply with regulations, it is available at https://rcc.bmfa.uk/rcc Copy and paste the link to the browser on your interweb and away you go
To do the test you will need, your bmfa number, your bmfa portal email address and your postcode
1/ access the above link and take the test if you do NOT have BMFA A / B test certificates (or equivalent LMA etc)
2/ take the on-line competency test via the above link.
3/ The on-line system gives you a list of any incorrect answers together with suggested corrections.
4/ Once passed, an email will be sent to you with a copy of your pass certificate.
5/ Download the certificate and then upload it onto your BMFA portal under the achievements section
If any members are experiencing difficulty, or can’t, do the online test, please let me know and we will do our best to assist.
We will have also to do two online opt-ins on the portal at some stage so that the BMFA can upload our data to the CAA.
Then pay your £9 registration fee to the BMFA together with your membership renewal, which remains unchanged from this year.
Mike Bleathman will send out a mailchimp email later to announce the dates/plans for the ‘A’ test day(s) to be held at White Sheet. Whilst we won’t get this done before the competency deadline of 30th November, it should obviate the need for repeat on-line test in the future.
Mike can be contacted at email@example.com
After much sterling service, Chris Lamming stood down as Chairman at the AGM, with Mike Bleathman now fulfilling the role of Vice Chairman and me picking up the Chair position. (contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org)
We are extremely fortunate that Chris Williams, Den Larking, Ian Duff, Jess Nicholls and Stu Wallace offered themselves for re-election in their existing roles.
Full AGM minutes will be posted on the WS interweb in due course.
In other AGM news:
- the 2020 calendars were available and given to members at the meet
- The Ahi prize for 5 event attendances was won by Jeff Crew, who kindly put it “back in” and the next name out of the hat was Pete Cushion
- Some beanies and caps were also raffled
- The 2019 Vice awards were as follows:
- Launcher of the Year – Jeff Crew
- Land-out of the Year – Richard Edmunds
- Fastest Time /F3F award – William Fourie
- Last man standing – Andrew Beaven
- Catch of the Year – Tim Brocklehurst
- Bacon of the Year – Mike Bleathman
- Cake of the Year – Mrs Mike
Last but no means least – Tech Support 2019, at the request of members, the Tech Support was awarded to Graeme Mahoney for the help and knowledge that he gives to all fliers.
One allows registration via the BMFA membership and portal. The other allows exemption from proficiency tests if you have passed BMFA ‘A’ or ‘B’ tests.
Registration & Test
New regulations regarding all Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)’s 250g -20kg come into force 30th November 2019. Please refer to latest BMFA news for updates
- Everyone wishing to fly model aircraft will have to:
Pass – Register – Label
- Pass an online (or offline hard copy) test to get a Flyer ID if you want to fly a drone or model aircraft.
- Register for an Operator ID if you’re responsible for a drone or model aircraft
- Label any drones and model aircraft you’re responsible for with your Operator ID
Tests – Flyer ID
- CAA DRES Test is now live. http://register-drones.caa.co.uk/
- Tests are free.
- Every three years all USAV operators (Unmaned Small Aerial Vehicles) need to sit, and pass, an online test to qualify for a Flyer ID
- Minimum age: None, but children under 13 can only register with a parent or guardian present.
- For those without internet access a hard copy of the test will be available. (Details yet to be confirmed)
- Exemption from the Test for those holding a BMFA proficiency scheme “A” Certificate has been agreed.
Important information for BMFA members
- BMFA members will not be required to take the DRES test with the current online system. With permission an alternate online DRES test will be offered through the BMFA direct at a later date. (Details yet to be confirmed)
- For those without internet access a hard copy of the BMFA DRES test will be available at a later date. (Details yet to be confirmed)
Operator Registration – Operator ID
- CAA Operator Registration is now live. http://register-drones.caa.co.uk/
- Operators must be 18 or over to register.
- There is an annual fee for registration as an operator of £9.00
- Operators will be issued an Operator ID
- Label any drones and model aircraft you’re responsible for with your Operator ID
Important information for BMFA members
- BMFA members are not required to register as an operator with the current CAA online system. With permission the BMFA will administrator Registration and the annual £9.00 p.a. fee for its members. This will take place initially by 31 January 2020
White Sheet Members
- You may choose to register and take the test independently with the CAA online system but please be advised, your membership of the BMFA is a condition required by White Sheet RFC to maintain compliance with the National Trust.
As it stands today, as members of the BMFA you can choose to delay your DRES registration and test process in favour of completing requirements through the BMFA with your annual BMFA membership renewal. (Full details of this service are yet to be announced)
- Full responsibility for safe operation remains with the person operating the UAV.
- It is up to individual operators to assure themselves of the accuracy of the data and comply with all UK drone rules and regulations.
Please check the BMFA & CAA websites for updates…
You may find the following safety apps useful
Download NATS Drone Assist app free…
Download Airmap free…
Many thanks to those of you who attended the meeting last Saturday. Turnout was excellent and the meeting went very well with contributions from everyone, which was great.
Thanks also to all of you who sent apologies – 21 in total – it made a big difference to know who was not coming and how you wished to vote on the electric assist rule change.
The meeting seemed to run well in the Dolphin pub and an afternoon slot seemed to suit a good number of people. I am sure we will be using this venue again next year.
Below is a summary of the key points that came up in the meeting. The full minutes will be written and circulated as soon as possible.
I hope you all have an excellent winter with flying and or building – 2017 promises to be a good year for WSRFC – I look forward to seeing you sometime up the hill.
best regards, Chris
Rule Book Changes
The new club rules and associated version of the club handbook were discussed and the matter of accepting the new proposal, to allow electric assisted flight, was voted on. The motion to accept the new handbook and rules was carried, with a unanimous vote for at the meeting, plus 21 further votes for and 1 vote against by proxy .
This change has immediate effect and is simply a continuation, in permanent form, of the trial that has been running for many years.
Please be extremely considerate and conscious of the fact that electric-assisted flying is permissible for height gain only and in general terms for the allowance of soaring when the lift is very light or when it is not on the slopes. What we as a club must avoid, is giving the impression to visitors and other non-members that e-flight in general is allowed at Whitesheet – which it is not.
The club committee (and also the club membership) will continue to monitor the use of e-soaring in 2017 and the matter will be reviewed again at the 2017 AGM. Minor tweaks or rule changes can then be made if necessary.
I very much hope that the changes will allow more soaring to take place at Whitesheet, more of the time. I also hope that these changes will encourage greater membership and better participation in future events at the hill, as our flyers will be encouraged to make the journey and meet up, knowing that the weather conditions have a lower impact on whether or not they will get some flying in.
Let’s all make the most of this opportunity in 2017.
Please note the new handbook which is now in effect is available to download here: http://whitesheet.org.uk/club-rules-constitution/
The club remains in a healthy state, financially. On the 7th November, the closing balance of the main club account stood at £5346.21. The balance of the road funds account stood at £392.87.
It was agreed that in order to simplify the accounting burden on the Treasurer, the funds in the road repair account will be transferred to the main account. The road fund account can then be closed.The fund in the road repair account will however be ring-fenced in the club accounting documentation, to reflect that the source of this money was from donations specifically for the repair of the road. Should road repairs be funded by the club in future, this money will remain available for this purpose.
The club had made more effort in 2016 to spend the money it received from subscriptions. This had taken the form of gratuities for land owners, stickers and posters for members and prizes for the competitions. Ignoring BMFA fees (which come in and go out of the accounts in equal measure) the club expenditure was £824.95 against an income from membership fees of £860.
Some of the expenditure in 2016 (sticker materials, vagabond prize for example) will roll over to 2017 and these costs will not reoccur next year. The committee will continue to think of ways of using the club funds to benefit the membership in 2017. Anyone with good ideas are encouraged to get in touch.
With the aim of avoiding further excess accrual of funds in the club account, it was generally agreed that the club was spending at around the right level, along with setting appropriate fees for the membership.
The following committee was proposed and voted for at the AGM:
- Chairman – Chris Lamming (I’m afraid you are stuck with me for another year!)
- Vice chair – David Bradfield
- Secretary – Julian Yelliah
- Treasurer – Ian Duff
- Membership Secretary – Den Larking
- Competition Secretary – Stuart Wallace
- Scale Secretary – Chris Williams
- Additional Committee Member – Jess Nichols
Membership Fees and BMFA Renewal
The present fee rate of £10 for adult members and £0 for juniors was proposed and accepted. This will remain the fee rate for the forthcoming year.
If you are intending on renewing your BMFA membership through the club (which is encouraged), please could you forward your membership fee and BMFA fee to Ian as soon as possible, preferably before the end of December. This makes the job of processing the membership applications with the BMFA much easier, in terms of the group-order/bulk purchase of membership. Please see the join page for Ian’s details:
Note that the BMFA have just announced that there are no changes to the renewal rates in 2017, see here for details:
Proposed Rule book changes on Electric Assisted Flying
You may be aware that the club has been working on negotiating with the National Trust on new rules for electric assist (for climb-out) at Whitesheet Downs. The committee will soon be issuing the final draft of the proposed changes to the handbook, that will outline what these rule changes mean and how it will effect the way the hill is used.
In essence, we now have full support from both the National Trust and the BMFA to make a permanent change to our club rules, that will allow electric power for the purpose of height gain only. This has been possible on an on-going trial basis since 2009 and it is now time for the club to choose whether to incorporate the change to our handbook or to stop the trial and all electric flight from this year’s AGM onwards.
I am presently working on the final draft of the handbook and hope to send it out well in advance of the AGM in November. Full details of the AGM will also be issued in the same notice and you will be invited to express your views on the changes. Expect something similar to last year’s AGM, with an afternoon or early evening start, with a free drink and food provided.
For those not able to attend the AGM, which is now likely to be held on Saturday November 26th, there will be an opportunity to vote by proxy on this important change. Additionally, all members not attending the AGM will have the opportunity to make a statement, for or against the change, prior to the vote and there will be an organised discussion on the matter before we finally decide.
Please make every effort to attend the meeting (full details to follow) and to take part in the vote.