You may have heard on the evening news something about drone registration and thought, I don’t fly a drone so that doesn’t apply to me…Think again, they were really talking about Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). So what exactly is a sUAS and what actually has to be registered?
After an exceptionally long winter many of us need a little refresher on runway communication and protocol. This system keeps our pilots and aircraft safe and prioritizes runway use.
Runway Communications are verbal announcements required to be used between you and any other pilots anytime you or your aircraft enters the runway area (grass or paved).
Most SLRCFA members are fluent in runway communication, but new members and guest may need a little help.
Runway Protocol/Priorities allow multiple aircraft operating in close airspace to land and/or maneuver on or over the runway in an orderly and safe manor. This list below is in order of priority.
High speed low-passes over the paved runway are never allowed and must be performed past the far edge of the paved runway.
Hovering over the paved or grass runway is NEVER allowed while there is an established pattern. If there is no established pattern or you are the only pilot flying, you may hover no closer to the pilot’s stations than the paved runway center line. However, if you are the only pilot flying and all other pilots present approve, you may move from the pilot’s station to get closer to your aircraft.
If more than one pilot is flying, the established pattern must be followed. Takeoffs and landings will be all in the same direction unless the wind changes and all pilots agree to reverse the pattern.
Field Rules (Dec 2016)
1. Only members and guests of the Saint Louis Radio Control Flying Association with current Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) membership cards are permitted to fly at this site. SLRCFA members are required to have their membership cards on their person and visible while at the field.
2. Per FAA requirements, ALL aircraft should have their FAA sUAS number visible. (can be inside of the aircraft if accessible without the use of tools)
3. Pilots shall not fly new or rebuilt model aircraft until the aircraft has been inspected and approved by two other club members.
4. Only narrow banded Radio Control systems are permitted to operate at this flying site and all pilots will have completed a successful radio equipment ground check before the first flight of a new or repaired model. (It is suggested that each day prior to flying, ground checks are conducted and that prior to each flight transmitter/receiver function be verified.)
5. All piston engines are required to have a muffler. All engines except turbines shall not exceed a sound limit level of 96 decibels (measure from 25 feet perpendicular to the aircraft on a hard surface). Propeller driven aircraft should not “rip the prop.”
6. All NEW Members are subject to a proficiency test.
8. If other people are flying, the established pattern must be followed. Takeoffs and landings will be all in the same direction unless the wind changes and all pilots agree to reverse the pattern.
9. Positively no flying over the pilot side of the runway, pit area, spectators or parking area. Landing out of pattern is permitted only in cases of emergency.
10. Low altitude, high speed passes are only permitted beyond an imaginary line represented by the outer edge of the asphalt runway.
11. All helicopters must be carried to and from the runway or hovering area. All hovering shall be conducted in a designated hovering area and forward pattern flight is not permitted from the hovering area.
12. 72MHz, 27Mhz, 50 and 54 MHz Operation:
a. All pilots must display the proper numbered frequency on the transmitter and your membership card must cover the corresponding frequency number on the frequency control board when the transmitter is in use.
b. When not in use, transmitters or their removable modules must be placed in the impound. Prior to removing a transmitter or module from the impound area; the membership card must be placed over the frequency number. When sharing a frequency, a transmitter’s on time is limited to twenty minutes. After this, the frequency must be surrendered and the radio returned to the impound. After replacing the transmitter in the impound area, the membership card should be removed from the frequency control board.
13. 2.4GHz Operation:
a. All pilots must wear their membership card when flying.
14. Regardless of the operating frequency, no more than six aircraft are allowed to fly at one time.
15. Piston and turbine engines are not permitted to run before 9:30AM
16. The Official AMA rules and regulation shall be applicable to all flying activities at this field. In situations where specific guidance is not provided, sound judgment and common sense shall prevail.
17. Repeated failure to comply with these rules and regulations by any member may result in termination of their membership in the Saint Louis Radio Control Flying Association pending a hearing by the Board of Directors of this Association. Process begins with a letter issued to the offender, member signs and returns the letter. Second infraction mandatory suspension or expulsion from SLRCFA to be determined by the SLRCFA Board of Directors.
18. All dogs should be on a leash when brought out to the field in accordance with St. Louis County Ordinances.19. No fueling or starting engines from under the pavilion or in front of the pavilion. ALL planes must be started from the concrete starting pads at the ends of the runway, from flight stands or using personal hold downs. Personal hold-downs must be located by the one of the two starting pads.