Hello fellow members,
I'm writing to let you know that MASM Flying Field regulations and operation rules has been changed last week. We all should be familiar with the latest rules for our safety and safety of others. Please check MASM field regulations and MASM Field Operational Rules.
Among other minor changes there are some important new requirements or restrictions:
1. FAA introduced new law regarding aircraft model operations early this year. If you don't obey it you might get into real trouble with authorities. See FAA website for detail information http://www.faa.gov/UAS/REGISTRATION/, and http://www.faa.gov/uas/model_aircraft/ :
- You must have a current FAA sUAS Registration Certificate in your possession to be permitted to fly.
- All aircraft must have visible markings of the FAA sUAS registration number.
- No flying when a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) is active.
2. The area west of Eagles Nest Rd is now off limits for model aircraft activities. Historically we have this area available for hand launched gliders, even I don't remember anyone using it. Now, because this area is dedicated as a protected species preserve, we no longer can use it.
3. "First Pilot View" (FPV) and pre-programmed or automated flying (aircraft with "mission" programmed into GPS) is banned. We fly "by hand" looking from the ground and constantly controlling our aircraft. On board cameras or video recorders are still allowed as long as they are not used for any means of controlling the aircraft.
4. Multi rotor aircraft (also known as "drones", "quads", "sextas", "octas" etc.) are banned. We, as AMA charter club, are interested in "scale aircraft" flying. Traditional looking helicopters are still welcome, but (no offense) flying "Christmas tree stand" is not allowed in our field.
5. The 400ft vertical limit is still in place and it is now enforced by FAA. Under any circumstances do not fly higher than 400ft above the ground. This is the law.
6. Be always aware of the surrounding airspace, and always watch for full scale aircraft. Our flying field is 2 miles from Mather Airport runway and just below the downwind leg of their traffic pattern. Be specially alerted to low flying helicopters. They may cut through our flying field as low as 500 ft above the ground (yes, legally they can fly that low here). 100 ft vertical separation is very close for full scale aircraft and it is called "near miss", which must be reported to FAA. We do not want that.
Please, please, please, read these documents. If you do not understand, or you do not agree with something let our officers know. We will explain so it works out for you.
We are working with Mather Airport to obtain Letter Of Agreement (FAA recommended document when flying field is close to an airport) which will define "rules of engagement" for our flying without need to notify airport every time we want to go out. Without such Letter OF Agreement we would be required by FAA to call Mather Airport every time we want to fly. It is not practical for us and for Mather Tower. We can expect that Letter Of Agreement will have the similar restrictions as we have now in our updated Field Regulation and Field Operational Rules.
Now after reading this long letter and making sure we read and understand both documents let's go flying safely.
Mather Aerospace Modelers, Inc.