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Model aircraft pilots angry over drone laws

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Andy Carruthers06/06/2019 13:14:22
279 forum posts
23 photos

Just seen this on BBC News

Lainchy06/06/2019 13:23:51
249 forum posts
98 photos

Yep, this has been rumbling on for a while. I am a model flyer, of fixed wing, rotary and dabble with self build quadcopters. I am a member of a flying club, and therefore consider this is overkill. Only time will tell which way this will go, but as with a lot of other government decisions, we are unlikely to be heard. Hopefully though, the BMFA will, with it's members inputs, help to soften this proposal.

Former Member06/06/2019 13:24:59

[This posting has been removed]

Brian Oldford06/06/2019 14:00:27
686 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by Haggerleases on 06/06/2019 13:24:59:

It's one of the reasons I'm starting out in model engineering. Sold all my model aircraft stuff in a funk of annoyance and decided to plough my money into a lathe, a drilling machine and so on. Surely to God they can't legislate against that!

I wouldn't be surprises if the Whitehall Mandarins try.

Former Member06/06/2019 14:35:01

[This posting has been removed]

not done it yet06/06/2019 15:30:15
5419 forum posts
20 photos

They will soon increase that fee. Reason? It won’t cover the cost of the bureaucracy. Likely extra cost to partake in safety questioning, etc. Soon need a police check, too, like the DBS stuff for working in schools, etc.

Will these tests be like the army training - repeat as many times as necessary, to reach a pass level? Copied, roger and out.

Nigel Graham 206/06/2019 16:14:23
919 forum posts
16 photos

You may remember a few years ago some bunch, I think a committee of ££-eyed barristers who presumably would not be affected personally in the least, wanted all privately-owned equipment that could be used to make or modify firearms to be registered.

This was after a man was convicted of re-activating firearms and selling them on the criminal market. So basically, like the model-aircraft people, we'd be officially seen as potentially guilty of future criminal activities unless we can prove otherwise, at our expense and inconvenience.

Luckily that particular piece of stupidity was thrown out, but I would not be surprised if they or some other lot of professional ignorami try the same trick at some time after any similar event.

I seem to remember the proposed registration would have been via the Police, as if they don't have enough real work to do. If someone came snooping round my workshop I would be very tempted to point to a machine-tool or accessory, "Right, do you know what this called and what it's for?" and if they don't, ask, "Well, how can you do your job if you don't understand it?"

Only they'd probably charge me with obstruction or something.

A model-engineering friend said he did have a similar un-nerving experience, when a police officer called to see him after he'd reported an attempted break-in. The officer spotted a milling-cutter, though I doubt she knew that's what it was, and made some silly but very accusatory remark about it being "very sharp".

My friend said he told her quite firmly it would not work if it was blunt, and workshops need sharp tools. She didn't press the point.

Strange how they go after those seen as easy targets... I bet they won't demand registering our computers because they are frightened we might defraud the Stock Market or run a county-lines drug network on them.

oldvelo06/06/2019 21:43:48
257 forum posts
54 photos

Well Said Nigel

Sadly intelligent and responsible expert model fliers are being lumped in with cash rich morons that buy into a technology that is completely beyond them.

Putting drones in the hands of drones is now a reality

John Paton 106/06/2019 23:10:45
287 forum posts
17 photos

Last year I was checking how close I could fly to privately owned airfield (Westlands at Yeovil) and quite close to a military airfield (RNAS Yeovilton).

I triedCAA and the military. Neither were able to identify any sort of map that I could check online to identify where I should not fly.

So even a licensed flyer will be unable to access maps online showing restricted airspace.

Logically that should be the first improvement to make and it would cost virtually nothing.

Mark Rand07/06/2019 00:48:20
954 forum posts
8 photos

This resonates with the fact that if one wishes to be able to do such things as etch-test welds to check for penetration, anodize things that one has made from aluminium, clean brickwork, remove steel bolts that are seized into aluminium castings etc. and so-forth, then one now needs an explosives precursors and poisons license for stuff that one could and did get from the corner shop a decade ago.

Bazyle07/06/2019 00:57:03
5704 forum posts
208 photos
Posted by John Paton 1 on 06/06/2019 23:10:45:

So even a licensed flyer will be unable to access maps online showing restricted airspace.

Logically that should be the first improvement to make and it would cost virtually nothing.

Er no, that would be seen as highlighting the targets for the wallies who want to fly near them. Eventually Ordnance Survey maps will become prohibited. The clue is in the name.

Some of the modellers have apparently forgotten that we used to have to have a radio control licence. I think I remember paying £3.50 in the late sixties which would be £35 now. Also said licence was restrictive to just a 5 mile radius around my registered address.

not done it yet07/06/2019 06:48:54
5419 forum posts
20 photos

Licence or not, it would still not stop the idiots that carry out the illegal practices.

Does it stop criminals using or carrying firearms? How many of them actually have a firearms licence?

Should everyone need a licence to buy a knife?

We all need a current driving licence, be insured, have the vehicle taxed for the road - and with an MoT test certificate, if appropriate - before venturing onto the roads. Does that stop the (repeat) offenders, who drive around after being banned from the road, have no licence or even never having taken a driving test?

It is said that crime does not pay but it most certainly does - and costs the rest of us a great deal - and when they get caught, the offenders just get a tap on the wrist and are told not to do it again!

It is the tiny minority that cause almost all the trouble, but the majority who have to pay up. Every time.

Circlip07/06/2019 09:14:28
1223 forum posts

RC license was £1 for five years and you could specify your centre of operations for a five mile radius. My C of O was Bradford town hall, allowed me to use Baildon Moor for slope soaring and Harold Park lake for toy boating.

Drones? Big bucks will always defeat intelligence. There would be far fewer if they didn't have auto fly and land.


Regards Ian.

Edited By Circlip on 07/06/2019 09:19:14

Andrew Evans07/06/2019 09:43:59
331 forum posts
8 photos

It feels like an over reaction to the drone threat on airports. I was listening to a Radio 4 piece about it a couple of weeks ago, a security expert seemed pretty confident that police and airport security now have the right technology but more importantly command and control to deal with any drones on airports.

Not done it yet and your point about guns - I think the difference is that many guns only have 1 purpose which is to kill people and preventing people from using them does save many lives - just compare America with the UK. Yes, that is a restriction on the freedom of people who want to own a gun which is price that we, as a whole, are willing to pay in the UK. In America, as a whole, they are not willing to lose that freedom but have the school shootings and all the rest of it.

The point about cars and driving, having MOTs and licences etc - I have never heard anyone seriously suggest that people should drive cars with no training or licence.

All these things are a balance between individual freedoms, the need to protect other people from deliberate or accidental harm and the costs / hassle involved in regulating things.

Clive Steer07/06/2019 10:19:40
28 forum posts

Like most new legislation and control mechanism put in place by Government following incidents the innocent and responsible are often affected the most whilst the criminals and those intent on causing harm won't even loose sleep over the matter. Given that a local Sussex enterprise was manufacturing illegal semi-automatic pistols in their workshop on an industrial estate the control of machine tools may need to be "licensed" so watch this space.


BC Prof07/06/2019 10:55:59
150 forum posts

Typical knee jerk reaction. Lets give more jobs to civil servants that will be impossible to enforce. Do they seriously think that anyone who intends to disrupt air traffic will care that they should be registered?

I will now restrict my aircraft construction to the balsa and tissue models that I could not afford from my pocket money in the 1950's


Hollowpoint07/06/2019 11:45:28
366 forum posts
37 photos

I dont fly drones or planes but I hate this ban or restrict everything mentality we now seem to have, it really annoys me. angry I have several hobbies that are always being attacked by some do-gooder, I enjoy shooting, metal detecting and knife making all of which have been restricted in recent years. Our freedoms are being erroded bit by bit.

not done it yet07/06/2019 12:02:57
5419 forum posts
20 photos

Andrew Evans,

I was not making any point about guns or cars or drones (one drone could kill a whole plane load of passengers and crew, as well as people on the ground). They were examples of where the criminals or lunatics simply ignore the rules.

Pistols, which were banned in the UK after Dunblane, were virtually all used for target shooting. You cannot suggest that many of them were owned for killing people, can you? There are probably more illegal firearms available to criminals these days than there were back when they were banned.

The ban on automatic assault rifles, after Hungerford, was overdue. There was no excuse for assault rifles to be available to anyone outside the armed forces.

You must live a sheltered existence if you have never heard of stolen vehicles, joy riders, people caught driving with no licence, instances of imposters taking driving[ tests for others, driving while banned and a host of other offences. Even cases of getting others to take the rap for their traffic offences (back in the news today - the Peterborough election result after the outed MP was found guilty of lying)

I most certainly would not suggest that people should drive illegally. But they do

Mike Poole07/06/2019 12:23:32
2851 forum posts
67 photos

Will the government never realise that regulating the good guys is a near waste of time, apart from a few odd cases most gun crimes are committed by illegal guns and the epidemic of knife crime is committed with the knives everyone has in their kitchen. Regulation of drones will inconvenience the good and drive a market for illegal supply and theft of the licensed equipment. Regulating workshop equipment would be impossible to police as even if every machine was listed how would you ever know what it had been used for, most factory equipment is often used for the odd homer and it would not be difficult for a front business to obscure the activity of an underworld armourer or drone builder. The Swiss had ready access to guns but did not have a gun crime problem, it seems more a society problem than than an access problem. Knife crime is not about access to knives but about the culture that surrounds the drug scene, when scouts routinely carried a sheath knife we were not flooded with dead scouts.


Martin of Wick07/06/2019 12:26:52
222 forum posts
4 photos

The irony is the CAA are proposing a registration and training scheme when one already exists through the BMFA. needless to say, for model fliers the CAA scheme will be hugely more expensive, a cost risk to taxpayers and deliver fewer benefits than the existing scheme.

Unfortunately the reason for this sorry state is two hidden agendas.

one is the complete failure of our wonderful administrative classes to recognize the risk that multirotor drone technology posed until too late, resulting in the usual ' OMG, the public needs to be protected...' we must redeem ourselves and look like we know what we are doing... - cue knee jerk solution. Because the remedy is designed by bureaucrats it is an overly costly paper and red tape solution that will have no impact on illicit operation.

Secondly, the commercial drone operators have bent the CAAs ear and want a 'clear skies' policy - they don't like the idea of having to share airspace with those flying model aircraft, even though there is very low level of increased risk as unmanned vehicles will only take over activity conducted by piloted aircraft (in the main).

So as a model aircraft flier (proper aircraft that need to be flown by hand and brain as opposed to multi-rotor computer controlled abominations) I am not optimistic. if the CAA get their way, the charges will escalate so that within a few years model flying registration will cost more than owning a PPL, and that will be the end of it for model flying unless you want to specialise in micro models under 250g.

And lo and behold, criminals will still get their drugs delivered to their cell window and terrorists target their drones packed with anything they like to cause maximum mayhem from the other side of the word without batting an eyelid.

Look out for new registration requirements coming soon on owning knitting needles or garden spades, now deemed to be required to prevent potential slaughter in allotments up and down the land.

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