So many questions …

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about. As always if you have any questions that are not covered by the list below, please feel free to contact us directly.

I don't know where to start in this hobby!

No problem, take a look at our article here on “Getting started in RC” and if you have any questions after reading that then why not join our RC forum and post your questions for us to help you. We are an extremely friendly club and more than happy to help newcomers getting started.

If you are local to Croydon then you can of course come and visit our club during flying times.

If you would like more help or to speak to one of us then you can find our contact details here on our committee page.

I don’t know how to fly - do you offer training?

Yes! Training is something can be provided by some of our senior members on a 1-to-1 basis and we do endevour to help others learn to fly where possible. As we have a membership of primarily fixed wing pilots, we currently only have fixed wing instructors.

We have a large section on our website with lots of helpful information about our training and instructors. Take a look…

Do I need to be a member to fly with CAMFC?

No! 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 a new member to give flying a try, before committing to the hobby. Additionally, if you are an accomplished pilot or member of another club and wish to try out our facilities, please let us know your coming and bring your BMFA membership card with you.

If you are a new member and you’d like to find out more, please contact a member of our committee.

Can I fly Drones at CAMFC?

Automated and Autonomous drones are not permitted at CAMFC by order of Biggin Hill Air Traffic Control, as we fall within the 2.5km boundary of the runway.

You can however fly quad-copters (Racing quads) so long as they stay below the top of the trees. Most of our racing quad pilots meet on saturdays, some even setup a racing quad track at the clubs private flying field in Fickleshole. You are welcome to fly on Sundays and other days (within the sites allowed time slots), however the vast majority of pilots flying will be fixed wing.

As such, we do not permit fixed wing aircraft and quadcopters to be in the air at the same time.

The main reason for this is that fixed wing tend to follow a predictable circuit. Racing quads tend to fly in all directions and we wish to reduce the possibility of a collision.

Can I fly RC Helicopters at CAMFC?

RC Heli pilots are welcome at CAMFC. Most of our RC helicopter and quad racing pilots meet on saturdays at our private flying field in Fickleshole. You are welcome to fly on Sundays and other days (within the sites allowed time slots), however the vast majority of pilots flying will be fixed wing.

As such, we do not permit fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to be in the air at the same time.

The main reason for this is that fixed wing tend to follow a predictable circuit. Helicopters tend to fly in all directions and we wish to reduce the possibility of expensive collisions.

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?

As long as you’re a solo pilot (or BMFA minimum A), then yes – but we don’t recommend it.

Apart from the fact that flying with your friends is far more fun, there are health and safety concerns when flying models without anyone else around. The primary concern is that if something happens and you need emergency services, you are in an open field with no one else around. Therefore, we recommend you fly with another pilot or at the very least bring someone with you incase something were to go wrong.

Do I need to be insured?

Absolutely! But don’t worry, insurance is provided as part of your BMFA membership. All flying members of CAMFC are required to be current BMFA or LMA (Large Model Association) members.

Who are the BMFA?

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.

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.

Am I only allowed to fly my plane at CAMFC?

Not necessarily. Some of our members have joined multiple clubs and some fly at the Croydon Aerodrome or slope soaring sites. With some of the small “Park Fly” models you may be allowed to fly these at your local park but most of the larger (heavier), models flown at our site (including the planes we use to instruct with), are not currently allowed to be flown anywhere other than a private flying site or Croydon Aerodrome (Roundshaw).

Always abide by CAP-658 if you wish to fly outside the club. Bare in mind that radio controlled models of ANY type are strictly forbidden on all National Trust land and above all, the onus is on you to know what the local regulations are!

Does the hobby cost a lot of money?

It can do. Above you membership fees, the monetary costs of the hobby relate to your transport to and from the flying field and the cost of any models or equipment you buy. The costs include ongoing maintenance of your models all the way through to buying fuel.

We couldn’t possibly put any exact figures on what it costs to get everything setup as a lot of what you fly will be down to individual choice, however, if you are starting out we’d estimate a generous budget of up to £500 for membership fees, insurance, radio equipment and to purchase a first trainer model and accessories.