Below you’ll hopefully find answers to the questions we get asked the most about.

If you have any questions that are not covered by the list below, please feel free to contact us directly, visit our flying site or chat to us using chat window in the bottom left hand corner of the page. There is also a series of pages on learning how to get started with radio controlled planes.

Kenley Aerodrome static display. (2018)

Help! Where do I start?

No worries. In the first instance we always recommend you contact us and visit the field.  You can also take a look at our article here on Getting started in RC which has lots of information about getting into radio controlled planes.

Do you offer training?

Yes – for fixed wing! Training is accessible via some of our senior members on a 1-to-1 basis and support is always available to all members whenever needed.

Because our membership are primarily fixed wing pilots this means we currently only have fixed wing instructors/examiners. Some instructors do fly helicopters so we can offer advice and limited support but we do not offer structured training unless it’s for fixed wing..

What are your flying restrictions?

Due to being within the Biggin Hill’s Air Traffic Control Zone (ATZ) we have some restrictions imposed on us:

  • No model can exceed 300ft above ground level.
  • No model can exceed 7.5kg in weight.
  • No automated/autonomous/gps guided flight of any kind.
  • During the day: Maximum 6 powered models in the air at one time with a noise limit of 82db at 7 meters. After 7PM: No more than 4 powered models in the air of which only 2 can be internal combustion models running at a reduced nose level of 80db at 7 meters. Flying can continue until dusk.
  • Flying on bank holidays/Christmas/Boxing Day/New Years/Easter etc is restricted to silent electric flight only. For example no pylon racers or ducted fan models or internal combustion engines.
  • Saturday flying is usually not advised due to Tactical Warfare restricting our airspace.
  • Sundays flying usually gives priority to fixed wing pilots depending on how many members are present.

When can I fly?

The Fickleshole flying site is available for use 7 days a week between 10:00am and 09:00pm. We do not recommend flying while Tactical Warfare are meeting due to the restrictions their activities have on our available airspace. We allow quiet electric only flight on bank holidays.

Do I need to buy a plane before I learn to fly?

No! You can use a club demonstation model for your first flight or two, before comitting to the hobby. There are also a lot of second hand models and radios available all year round online. Our instructors and members can help so please ask plenty of questions.

Can I fly Drones/Quadcopters/FPV?

Quad-copters (racing quads) are allowed so long as they stay below the top of the trees however no automated, autonomous or GPS guided aircraft of any kind (including drones) are permitted to fly by order of Biggin Hill Air Traffic Control as we fall within the 2.5km boundary of their commercial runway. Most of our racing quad pilots meet mid-week.

FPV pilots can only fly with a spotter who is able see the model with clear line-of-sight at all times and not outside of the our sites boundaries.

On Sundays fixed wing usually takes priority so the availability to fly can vary depending on how busy the day is. There are no restrictions on any other days of the week.

Can I fly Helicopters?

Yes! RC Heli pilots are welcome.

You can fly whenever suites although for safety we do not recommend fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to be in the air at the same time. Sundays have fixed wing priority so your availability to fly helis on Sunday can vary depending on how busy the day is.

Can I fly indoors?

We do not have any facilities for flying indoors. Our flying site at Fickleshole is on open farmland, however, when demand for it is high, we do occassionally rent out a sports hall somewhere close by to use in winter.

Can I fly on my own?

Yes as as long as you’re a cleared solo pilot (or BMFA A), but we usually don’t recommend flying alone.

RC Aircraft generally can dangerous so the primary concern is that if something happens and you injure yourself you would be in an open field with no one else around. We strongly recommend you fly with another pilot or at the very least bring someone with you.

Do I need to be a member to fly?

Non-members are allowed to fly as a guest under the supervision of the inviting member on three separate days in a given year before being required to join. This allows friends from other clubs to visit and prospective members to give flying a try before committing to the hobby.

If I join mid-way through the year, do I have to pay full fees?

No. Our memberships start in January and last 12 months so if you joined in July you’d only be asked to pay 50% meaning only a proportion of the membership fee is payable if join later on in the year.

Please contact our membership secretary if you have any questions about joining and the fees you’ll need to pay.

Do I need to be insured & who are the BMFA?

Absolutely! But don’t worry, insurance is provided as part of your BMFA membership.

The BMFA are the British Model Flying Association and they are the UK national governing body for the sport of model aircraft. The mandate for the BMFA is based from the Royal Aero Club, dating back to 1922, the Civil Aviation Authority and Sport UK and they provide an enormous number of services to the club including insurance, member achievement schemes, examinations and legal support.