Minutes of the London Area General Meeting for Thursday 14th November 2019 The Pedham Golf Centre, London Road, Swanley, Kent BR88PP
Present: Steve Brett (Bickley); John Lewis (Epping & North Weald); Neil Bradshaw (FOOHLS); Tim Billings (Concord); Dave Warren (Concord); Bob Ryan (Bickley); Martin Dilly (Croydon)
Apologies: for absence; Dave Chinnery (Hayes); Alan Robinson (Eynsford); Bill Wheeler (Bickley)
Minutes of the previous Meeting: These were accepted. Proposed by Martin Dilly and seconded by John Lewis.
Matters Arising: None
Chairman’s report. Dave Warren said that it had been a quiet year. There was a brief comment about Terry Rounce who several of the committee has tried unsuccessfully to contact. Given Terry’s current health, Dave who had spoken to his family felt that Terry would be unable to continue on the committee.
Vice Chairman’s report. Steve said that he had completed several fixed wing A and B certificates as a club examiner. He had missed the Model Engineer Exhibition at Alexander Palace as he had been coordinating a BMFA pylon race meeting at Old Hay.
Secretary’s report. John Lewis reported that the committee had met five times since the last AGM.
Treasurer’s report. Dave Warren reported that due to Terry’s indisposition he was able to pay clubs for agreed events and travel expenses. There was £1007.35 in the current account and 36p in the deposit account. He felt that a new account would be required for the new treasurer.
Achievement Scheme Coordinator’s Report. Dave Warren read a report from Keith Berry.
“2019 started with little activity regarding the Achievement Scheme and continued in a similar manner until mid-summer when I was requested to attend a local club and undertake a number of A tests. It was a day plagued with gusty conditions but all 4 candidates declared they were happy to continue and attempt their tests, indeed many Club members were flying and coping with the weather without any obvious concerns. Of the four candidates it was obvious that the first two needed more practise as they were letting the model go where the wind took it and making little attempt to control it. I offered some coaching flights but I think they would prefer a less windy day and fewer ‘spectators. The other two however, were totally different in that they coped with the conditions and flew well and would have passed at their first attempts except for a couple of (potentially) serious faults. One candidate did everything as required except that he did not make the (electric) model safe until after he had carried it back to the pits and undertaken all of the post flight checks. He was unable to explain why he had made this out of character error. The other candidate, although his flying appeared controlled, was ‘jerky’ so much so that his landing approach looked as though he was flying down a series of steps rather than a smooth descent. During his post flight debrief he declared that all of his models now flew in that manner. Further discussion revealed that he had recently changed from Futaba to Spectrum radio and had manually copied all the settings to his new Tx. He did not realise until I pointed out that the expo settings on Spectrum were opposite to Futaba ie. he had more movement around neutral rather than less (interesting to note that a few other members who overheard our discussion walked quietly away and started checking their Tx).The candidate checked his Tx settings and after a check flight landed with a smile declaring ‘it was much smoother’. His second attempt resulted in a pass. A good example of RTFM.
I was recently asked to visit a club who had a number of members expressing interest in the Achievement Scheme. Upon arrival I was very pleased to face a barrage of questions by about a dozen members. The Club currently does not require any ‘certificate’ to demonstrate a level of competency but were looking to change this. Interest was being expressed by both general club members and their committee which was encouraging. Although the standard of flying was generally ok, I feel that peer pressure within the club from those practising for their As will make improvements to all. Even though some already had their A certificates it was obvious that very few were aware of the aims of the AS and what information is available. I spent what I think was a very useful day in explaining the aims and benefits of the AS and left after about 7 hours with many requests to ‘please come back again’ and an open offer to fly there whenever I want. I will keep in contact with the Club and assist in their aims.”
Bob Ryan reported:” I attended the Model Engineering Exhibition in January and worked on the BMFS simulator most of the day. I have taken part in all but one of our London Area meetings throughout the year. I have participated in a number of F5j competitions including the ‘Interglide’ International competition held at Ashford where I was middle of the field but saw some fantastic flying and I am pleased to say that the winner was British (Steve Hayley).I attended the BMFA Nats and reported a potential incident at a previous meeting. I have taken on the role of London Area Chief Examiner and Instructor part way through the year for both fixed wing and helicopter. I have passed 3 FW/B,1 FW/A,2 SF/A and also examined 1 FW/A and 2 SF/S all of which failed. I wonder whether the BMFA are intending to hold an Achievement Scheme Road Show in 2020? I would like to hold an examiners training day and an achievement scheme day at Bickley or Concord Club fields next year.”
There was a brief discussion about the Achievement Scheme. Tim Billings expressed surprise that members of clubs could fly solo without an A certificate. Dave and Bob explained that it was up to Clubs to run themselves but from a legal perspective some thresholds of competence were advisable. A brief discussion of the new CAA registration followed with Dave outlining the current state of play and BMFA’s advice. Two of the Committee had taken the on-line test!!Both had passed!!!
London Area Delegate’s & PRO Report. Martin Dilly reported “I represented the Area at all Council meetings but was abroad for the March 16th Areas Council and nobody on the Area committee was able to replace me, so we were un-represented and our position regarding future budget proposals was not made clear. As usual, three quarters of London Area clubs show no interest in any sort of model flying outside their own flying site and are thus un-represented at Area meetings. This insularity of many clubs and their total lack of interest is risking the future of our sport and leaving its protection and support in the London Area and nationally in the hands of a very few people.
The Area, together with help from the Southern Area and the invaluable support of Manny, manned the BMFA stand at the LMEE at Alexandra Place in January. Public attendance was considerably up on all three days compared with the previous couple of years, though there did seem to be rather fewer trade stands. The fact that Alexandra Palace will not be allowing any of the RC model flying that has attracted the public in the past, apparently because they think an electric indoor model weighing a few ounces is a hazard to the Alexandra Palace organ, makes one question their understanding of basic physics.
The Area again supported several contests and events, including Croydon Club’s Wakefield Day and Coupe Europa, Bickley’s Open Day and the Robert Mahoney Memorial event at Middle Wallop. Although a new logo was produced early this year for the Area website there still seems to be some problem in getting it actually used. “
Regret was expressed by the Committee regarding the failure to allow any RC model flying at the Alexandra Palace event. The problem regarding the new logo was an IT issue that Dave was aware of and trying to solve.
Safety Advisor’s Reports. Bob Ryan reported: ’Over the past two years I have observed a number of incidents. With F5j gliders, problems occur in the launch part of these flights which have resulted in injury to people and damage to models. I am pleased to report that the rules for F5j have now been changed so that the models are not allowed to deviate from a straight line for the first 5 seconds of the flight by which time the models are well away from the launch area.
Another area of concern is the reporting of accidents and incidents. I have been informed that the BMFA intend to adopt a no blame system of incidents which is in line with most professional businesses.
Education Officer’s Reports. Nothing to report
Silent Flight Report. Dave Chinnery had reported “I regret that for family reasons, I have to offer my resignation from this post, effective at the AGM but I will continue to organise the RLM Memorial event.”
Free Flight Report. Martin Dilly reported “The Area again supported several contests and events, including Croydon Club’s Wakefield Day and Coupe Europa.
Helicopter Report. Bob Ryan reported that there has been very little activity during the period.
RC Power Report. Steve Brett reported that he had attended the 4 events held at Bickley MFC; May fly-in; EDF; London Area sponsored Fun-Fly and Scale. He had also attended Wings & Wheels. All the events had passed off incident free.
Fixed Wing Turbine Report. Steve reported that this had been another incident free year.
London Area Webmaster: Nothing to report apart from the Logo issue referred to earlier.
Election of Officers
Officers served for two years. The positions to be elected included: Chairman, Dave Warren, proposed by Steve Brett and seconded by Bob Ryan; Safety and Helicopter, Bob Ryan, proposed by Dave Warren and seconded by John Lewis and Treasurer, Tim Billings. All were unanimously elected.
The Meeting closed at 21.05