Our club secretary, Vic Blackwood, has emailed all members with the following:
‘Following the publication of further guidance from the BMFA (and the LMA), model flying will be permitted as from 13 May, within the published guidelines. However, it is not a green light to simply rush to fly! Do take the time to read and digest the information sent direct to you (if you are e-mail-registered with the BMFA) or else visit the BMFA site and read the new information. Bear in mind that our sites have been unused during “Lockdown” and Rougham in particular may require preparation before “normal” (the new normal?) flying can take place.
The Club has received no update from our 3rd, jet suitable, site and thus, for the present, we do not have permission to resume flying there.
The overall aim is to limit any possible exposure to contamination from the virus. The 2m social distance represents the minimum spacing. If practical, this distance should be increased. It should be relatively straight forward to avoid contamination as regards your own personal equipment/car/model/Tx etc, but do not permit others to touch your stuff and do not touch theirs! However, some actions will be compromised and will require special precautions. Members will now have to carry with them additional items if safety is to be maintained. Thus, members must bring laytex/nitrile gloves, hand sanitiser, face-mask/s, paper towel and a waste sack when intending to access our flying sites.
The Access gate should be wiped and sanitised before opening/closing. Gloves must be worn.
Remember to lock the gate when entering or leaving the site.
Gloves must be worn when removing/replacing the perimeter fencing. (It is impractical to sanitise each post.)
Similarly, gloves must be worn for access to the Club container or to open the radio box to get the scanner. (These should not be the same gloves as were used on the access gate/perimeter fencing to avoid cross-contamination!)
Anyone handling the radio scanner must wear gloves and, when acting as “Spotter”, must wear a facemask. The scanner must be sanitised before hand-off to the next user and also prior to being replaced in the radio container at the end of flying.
Social distancing must be observed at all times. This should be straightforward as regards parking vehicles in the pits, but do not touch any equipment other than your own.
Occupancy in the Pilot’s Box must normally be limited to 3, ie 2 flyers and the spotter. Again, the 2m social distance must be maintained at all times. However, this number may be increased to 4 if a novice pilot is under instruction and using a suitable buddy lead/wireless link. In this case, the novice is to be positioned at the end of the line.
Do not help with other members’ models. If your model is too big to handle on your own, leave it at home and fly a foamie!
Do remember that there are other hazards associated with our hobby and, if you are equipped to deal with the virus threat, then you are also equipped to deal with any first-aid incidents. Do not let the threat of a possible virus prevent helping another flyer in the event of a serious accident.
It is in all our interests to maintain these new rules. If we ignore them, we risk spreading the virus (a direct threat to our members) or we may generate a backlash against the easing of the “lockdown”. Please stay safe, fly safe!
Please also note that the BMFA stress shared facilities (e.g. the hut, the loo and the handset) are all out of bounds.