1.1 The club shall be called the Thanet Model Flying Club and will be affiliated to the British Model Flying Association. The Thanet Model Flying Club encourages and supports model aircraft flying and related modelling activities at all levels and within all social groups.
1.2 Thanet model Flying Club complies with the legal framework set out in the Equality Act 2010 with regard to the nine protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex, sexual orientation) See Appendices 1,2,3,4
1.3 The principal aim of the club shall be the promotion of safe and responsible model aircraft flying.
1.4 Members joining after January 2014 may fly fixed wing only. Members who joined before January 2014 may fly heli or other non-fixed wing models after obtaining agreement from all other pilots flying in that particular session. Gas turbine powered models are prohibited (this is following a request from the landlord). Members who either mount devices capable of recording pictures and/or sound OR fly purpose made fixed wing or heli or other non-fixed wing models capable of recording pictures and/or sound must make themselves aware of Article 167, (Small unmanned surveillance aircraft) of The Air Navigation Order (ANO) article 167 See Appendix 5
1.5 Alterations to this constitution can only be made at an Annual General Meeting or at a General Meeting called for that purpose. Any Proposed alterations must be submitted to the Chair in writing at least 14 days prior to the meeting.
2.1 A “member” means any class of membership.
2.2 The Committee has the right to refuse membership to new applicants.
2.3 New members will be required to serve an initial probationary period of 6 months. During this time they will not be eligible to serve on the Committee and may have their membership terminated at the discretion of the Committee for unsatisfactory conduct.
2.4 New members’ subscriptions shall be dependent on membership class, plus the joining fee as decided at the Annual General Meeting.
2.5 Subscriptions are due by 1st January each year. Members are allowed a ‘grace’ period until 31st March each year to pay all outstanding club subscriptions without penalty. However, BMFA membership must be in place before flying after 1st January each year.
2.6 Members who have not renewed their membership by 31st March will be deemed to have left the club and a renewal after this period will be treated as a new membership application.
2.7 All members must be members of the British Model Flying Association and must provide evidence of such before flying, if BMFA membership was not obtained through the club membership secretary. The only exception to this is for those members who play no active part in the club whatsoever; i.e. social members only.
2.8 All members, without exception, must comply with all club rules. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action by the Club which may lead to dismissal. See Appendix 6
2.9 Members may invite guest fliers to the site on arrangement with the Committee but they must be BMFA insured and the club member must assume total responsibility for the actions and safety of the guest. Guests must fly under the supervision of instructors if their ability requires it, and such arrangements must be made in advance of the visit.
3. RULES, DISCIPLINE AND SAFETY
3.1 Additions and amendments to field safety rules and regulations can only be made by proposals at a General Meeting.
3.2 All field safety rules and regulations will be reviewed annually, and will be considered binding for 12 months, excepting where urgent action is required. This action must then be ratified by the members at the next general meeting.
3.3 Any complaint concerning any member must be made in writing and signed by the complainant(s). The written complaint must then be forwarded to the Secretary so that the matter can be addressed at the next Committee meeting.
3.4 Where an allegation of misconduct is made against a member, the member may be suspended from all club activities while an investigation is carried out.
3.5 The Committee may impose a suspension from club activities including attendance at the club flying site, not exceeding 14 days upon any member in the event of misconduct. Any suspension must be accompanied by a verbal and/or written warning as deemed appropriate.
3.6 The Committee may consider removal of membership where conduct on the field or elsewhere is considered to be prejudicial to the club. Dismissal will be in accordance with the following procedure in order to comply with the laws of natural justice:
a. The member is to be given a verbal warning by an authorised Committee Member in which the member is made aware of his misdemeanour and what he is reasonably required to do to make amends.
b. If the member does not respond, s/he is to be given a written warning by an authorised Committee Member to advise them of their misdemeanour and what s/he is reasonably required to do to make amends.
c. If s/he still fails to respond, the Committee should invite them in writing to meet at a previously agreed date and time to discuss the situation, advising they are considering withdrawal of his membership.
d. If s/he still fails to respond to reasoning or fails to attend without reasonable cause, the Committee can advise them in writing that his membership is withdrawn, stating the reasons why this decision was reached.
e. When the member is advised of withdrawal of his membership, s/he must be given the right of appeal. If s/he opts to appeal, this will be to the Club membership at an EGM which the Committee would call on his behalf at a previously agreed date and time. The motion to uphold the membership withdrawal or reverse it must be in accordance with the voting procedures set out in the Club Constitution.
f. In the event of gross misconduct, immediate dismissal without warnings may be considered but the member must still be accorded his rights to present his case to the Committee and be given a right of appeal in accordance with sub-paragraphs c, d and e above.
g. In the event of dismissal the Committee will arrange for the member’s current membership fee (excluding BMFA subscription) to be reimbursed in full.
4.1 The Committee, Officers and Instructors, will be responsible for the running of the flying field at all times. Appointment to the position of Instructor or Examiner can only be made by a Committee decision.
4.2 All flying members must either hold the BMFA ‘A’ or ‘B’ certificate OR attain the minimum standards of safe flying as observed and agreed by a minimum of two Thanet Model Flying Club recognised instructors before being allowed to fly solo. The Thanet Model Flying Club positively encourages members to develop their flying skills by following the BMFA scheme outlined in the BMFA publication ‘Getting started’. See Appendix 7
4.3 Any member whose flying standards drop below the minimum requirement solo standard will be required to review their training needs with a Thanet Model Flying Club recognised instructor and participate in further training until the required standard is reached
5. COMMITTEE STRUCTURE AND APPOINTMENTS
5.1 The Committee of the Club shall comprise of not more than 4 members.
5.2 The Officers of the committee shall be, Chair, Membership Secretary, Treasurer and Safety Officer.
5.3 One senior club member should be appointed annually as the clubs’ BMFA Delegate who should represent the club at relevant meetings.
5.4 Any Committee member or member, who is involved in any organisational position within the Club, must hold membership of the British Model Flying Association.
5.5 Committee officers and members shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting from written nominations received no later than 28 days prior to the meeting, to serve for a period of one year. The Committee will be elected by majority vote from members present. All fully paid up members and life members are eligible to vote.
5.6 Should a committee position become vacant, the Committee may, by a majority vote, co-opt a replacement who will then serve until the following Annual General Meeting.
6. COMMITTEE ORGANISATION AND POWERS
6.1 Members elected to office will have full voting rights at all meetings. In the event of a tie the Chairman will have a casting vote in addition to his initial standing vote.
6.2 The Committee are authorised to carry out negotiations and make decisions in the interest of the club or on behalf of the membership where necessary without consulting the members. Approval from the membership at an ordinary meeting must be sought for expenditure greater than £500.00 (with the exception of annual field rent, which is notified in advance at the AGM in accordance with any agreements made between the club and the field owner or representative)
6.3 The Treasurer is required to submit a sample of his signature for banking reference purposes.
6.4 Money may only be withdrawn from the club funds by cheque signed by the Treasurer
6.5 No member of the Committee or Officer of the club may be a Committee Member or Officer of another model flying club.
6.6 Any Committee Member or Officer wishing to resign must do so in writing.
6.7 Any member of the Committee who is absent from three consecutive Committee meetings without reasonable cause will automatically forfeit his seat on the Committee.
6.8 The Committee may pay accounts and incur any normal liabilities on behalf of the club.
7. VOTING AND CONDUCT OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS
7.1 All committee meetings will have an agenda and minutes. Minutes of committee meetings will be made available to members.
7.2 A quorum of any Committee meeting shall consist of a majority of Committee Members.
7.3 All proposals must be seconded and voted upon. A majority vote of those present is required to carry any proposal.
7.4 Voting will normally be by a show of hands, however a secret ballot must be taken should any committee member request that this be done. Proxy and postal votes will not be permitted.
7.5 Non committee members may attend committee meetings as observers by applying to the Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting. Any non Committee Member may be asked to leave the meeting subject to approval from the Committee.
8. VOTING AND CONDUCT OF GENERAL MEETINGS
8.1 All general meetings will have an agenda and minutes.
8.2 A quorum of any general meeting is to be at least one quarter of the membership.
8.3 All proposals must be seconded and voted upon. A majority vote of those present is required to carry any proposal including proposals to alter this constitution.
8.4 Voting will normally be by a show of hands, however a secret ballot must be taken should any member request that this be done. Proxy and postal votes will not be permitted.
8.5 Amendments to proposals must be voted upon first.
8.6 Non club members may attend Club meetings as observers as invited guests of a club by applying to the Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting. Any non Club member may be asked to leave the meeting subject to approval from the Committee.
8.7 The Committee, through the Chairman has the power to ask a person to leave any meeting in the event of that person disrupting the meeting.
8.8 Patrons of the club have no voting rights but are free to attend all club meetings.
9. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS
9.1 A date for the Annual General Meeting will be decided each year by the Committee.
9.2 Annual subscriptions and the joining fee will be decided at the Annual General Meeting.
9.3 A competent individual (non-committee member) shall be elected by the Committee to carry out an independent examination of the accounts before the Annual General Meeting to verify that the balance sheet is correct and fairly represents the expenditure and receipts of the club, its assets and its liabilities.
10. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS
10.1 The Secretary will convene an Extraordinary Committee Meeting within 14 days on request from any officer of the Committee, stating the business to be discussed.
10.2 The Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the club by a resolution of the Committee stating the business to be brought before the meeting, of which 28 days notice has been given to all members in writing stating the business to be discussed.
10.3 The Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the club on receipt of a request in writing signed by not less than 15 members of the club, stating the business to be brought before the meeting.
10.4 The meeting must be called within 28 days of request and 28 days notice must be given to all members in writing stating the business to be discussed.
10.5 When a request for a meeting is made in accordance with Article 59 and it is not called within 28 days, the requisitioners may themselves convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Club by giving 28 days notice in writing to all members, duly setting out the purpose for which the meeting was called. Any resolutions passed at such a meeting shall have the same force and effect as if they were passed at a meeting convened by the Committee.
11. INSURANCE AND INDEMNITY
11.1 The club will hold both Civil and Employers Liability Insurance, provided through affiliation to the BMFA.
11.2 The club will indemnify all committee officers and committee members if they incur any liability on behalf of the club.
11.3 In the event of a Committee Member being awarded damages or costs in the course of proceedings taken by him in his representative capacity, such damages or costs will belong to the Club and not the Committee Member personally and upon receipt that Committee Member will pay them to the Club Treasurer.
11.4 When there is a joint meeting between Thanet Model Flying Club and another club, the participating club must be able to provide evidence of adequate insurance cover well in advance of the event.
12. DISSOLUTION OF THE CLUB
12.1 Should it be considered necessary or desirable to dissolve the Club, the Committee will call an Extraordinary General Meeting. Should a quorum fail to appear, the meeting will be adjourned and a further EGM must be called within 14 days. The second meeting will proceed even if a quorum is not present and the motion will then be carried by a simple majority vote.
12.2 On dissolution and after the sale of assets, settlement of all outstanding debts and the refund of subscriptions for the remaining part of the year to the paid up members; the funds remaining will be distributed to a charity or charities as nominated by members and agreed by the committee in equal shares.
12.3 If the final accounts are less than required to refund the subscriptions to the members, the total money remaining will be held in trust by the BMFA for a period of ten years. All members will receive a final statement of accounts.
13. FIELD / SAFETY RULES
13.1 Thanet Model Flying Club has planning permission to fly at the following times:
Monday to Saturday inclusive 9am to 7pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays 10am to 6pm
13.2 Junior members are those aged under 18 years of age and must be accompanied by a responsible parent/guardian/adult at all times whilst at the club. (See 14.1 for a detailed description)
13.3 All members must observe field discipline and comply with the Air Navigation Order (See Appendix 8), all relevant BMFA safety codes as contained within the BMFA Members’ Handbook and Civil Aviation publication (CAP) 658. See Appendix 9
13.4 On matters of field safety needing an immediate decision, the responsibility lies with instructors or a member of the committee in that order. Any instructions must be accepted without dissent. However, should a member believe the instructions to be wrong, then he should bring this to the attention of the Committee.
13.5 Members not holding their solo qualification OR attained the minimum standards of safe flying as observed and agreed by a minimum of two Thanet Model Flying Club recognised instructors, must not fly without the supervision of an instructor. The only systems recognised by the club is the ‘buddy lead’ or an approved ‘wireless’ buddy system. The club voted in favour of this policy as it was felt that although used in the past, the system of using one transmitter shared between the instructor and novice flyer was no longer appropriate and could pose an unnecessary danger to members.
13.6 All new members, even if holding a BMFA qualification will be observed on their first flights by two Thanet Model Flying Club instructors to confirm competence
13.7 The frequency allocation system in use is the ‘peg board’ system for members using 35 MHz transmitters. Make sure that you check the pegboard before getting ready to fly. Your frequency marker should have your name clearly marked on it so that you can be identified. Remove your marker when you have finished flying. The peg board system does not apply to members using 2.4 GHz
13.8 Members must ensure that they comply with the D of E Noise Code for the Minimisation of Noise from Model Aircraft. “Add on” silencers and “quiet” propellers should be fitted unless the model emits below 82 decibels at 7 metres without them. Notwithstanding if in the opinion of the Committee a model is excessively noisy in the air, then it is to be grounded until rectified.
13.9 If using a 35 MHz transmitter, before switching on, the member must confirm the operating frequency and must display the appropriate frequency pennant on the transmitter aerial.
13.10 Due consideration must be given at all times to trainee or novice pilots in the circuit. Intimidating flying of any sort is prohibited.
13.11 No more than 6 aircraft shall be airborne at any one time.
13.12 All flying is to be carried out in the designated areas only as indicated on the Map. See Appendix 10
13.13 Overflying Baxter’s Field Shown in red on the map (see Appendix 11) is prohibited, except when it is necessary for taking off or landing.
13.14 When flying, keep within the field in front of the flight line If a model lands in crops, minimise any possible damage caused when retrieving it by navigating your way carefully, following existing pathways when possible.
13.15 Pilots should always take off from the flight line and NOT from any other area
13.16 When taking off, make sure that those flying are made aware of your intentions. Call out ‘OK to take off’. Wait for confirmation from ALL those flying.
13.17 When landing, call out ‘Landing’ and again wait for confirmation of others flying.
13.18 A ‘dead stick’ landing takes priority, call out ‘dead stick’. Aircraft landing also take priority over those taking off.
13.19 When retrieving a model, call out ‘on the patch’ and make sure that it is safe before walking onto the flight line. When clear, call out ‘all clear’
13.20 Any person wishing to enter or cross the runway area must seek clearance from any pilots flying at the time before doing so.
13.21 All vehicles must be parked in the designated area only. It is prohibited to overfly the car parking area
13.22 All operational failsafes in use on powered models operated from our Club site must set the throttle to tick-over, not hold, (stopped in the case of electric power) regardless of the other control operations governed by the failsafe. Failsafes are to be checked prior to flight by switching the transmitter off whilst the model is restrained. However should an aircraft go out of control, the first priority must be the safety of people with the second being avoidance of damage to property. A warning is to be shouted by the pilot to make other members aware of the situation. If a model has a failsafe it must be set.
13.23 Before starting an engine the model must be suitably restrained either by a tether or by an assistant. Models must not be left unattended whilst the engine is running. In the interest of safety, if assistance is sought when running up engines and taking models to the runway for take-off, assistants must have BMFA membership.
13.24 Under no circumstances must an engine be run unless all persons are behind the line of the propeller with the exception of the person starting the engine. When carrying out power checks all persons including the pilot are to be behind the line of the propeller.
13.25 Children must be closely supervised at all times by their parent/guardian/ responsible adult and must not be allowed to run around the pit area or runways.
13.26 No dogs are permitted at the flying field unless kept on a lead or tethered.
13.27 Any incident involving a third party or another member must be reported to the Committee.
13.28 Please take any rubbish home with you
13.29 The BMFA publish regular safety bulletins in their web site and can be found at:
14. GUIDE ON CARING FOR JUNIOR MEMBERS
14.1 A Junior Member is defined as being under 18 years of age.
14.2 A responsible adult is defined as a responsible parent/guardian/adult, who has the experience commensurate with the type and degree of supervision required.
14.3 Junior members must be supervised at all times by a responsible parent/guardian/adult. The level of supervision is to be commensurate with the junior member’s age, maturity, capabilities and levels of experience.
14.4 Junior members under the age of 14 years shall not start an engine or carry a model with the engine running unless they are supervised by a responsible parent/guardian/adult responsible adult.
14.5 No junior member under the age of 14 years shall fly a model aircraft unless supervised by a responsible adult or the junior member holds the minimum of a BMFA Achievement Scheme “A” certificate and has been authorised to do so by the Club Committee.
14.6 No senior member is to be expected to assume responsibility for a junior member.
14.7 Notwithstanding the requirements of Paragraph 6, should a member discover a junior member is unsupervised he/she must assume responsibility for the junior member’s safety in the first instance. The situation should then be rectified as soon as possible by seeking out the junior member’s responsible parent/guardian/nominated adult supervisor. Any instance of such an occurrence is to be reported to the Committee as soon as possible.
15. Note to parents and guardians:
15.1 The Thanet Model Flying Club is a small club operating over 7 days. This means that the number of members attending any one session is variable and often low. Therefore the Club does not undertake to supervise junior members other than for the actual act of model aircraft flying and associated pre-flight and post-flight procedures during the period that they are undergoing training from one of the clubs officially recognised trainers.
15.2 Junior members will therefore only be admitted to the club when accompanied by a parent/guardian or responsible adult, who must make themselves aware of and understand the club rules, including safety rules. The parent/guardian or responsible adult is expected to remain at the flying field for the duration of the session. Once a junior member attends the flying field they remain the responsibility of the parent/guardian or responsible adult and must not be left unsupervised
15.3 On arrival at the flying field the parent/guardian or responsible adult should identify a senior club member to report to should an emergency situation arise
15.4 In addition this Club has specific rules relating to junior members and you are required to study them carefully.
15.5 The membership form of a junior member must be countersigned by the parent/guardian if the applicant is under 18 years of age, thereby signifying you accept the conditions of junior membership. See appendix 12 for supplementary rules for younger members