Fickleshole Panorama - Feb 2018

Fickleshole Panorama – Feb 2018


There are several things you can do to help safety at the Club fields, most of which are covered by BMFA rules, the ones listed below are not an exclusive list but a selection of the more important ones.

Frequency Control

The vast majority of members using “modern” radios now use the digital 2.4GHz band. Most transmitters you can buy from shops are now 2.4GHz and you can tell this because they have short antennas mounted close to the body and the received are “bound” rather than selected based on a crystal frequency. These digital system adopt a “listen before talk” policy and advanced “frequency hopping”, therefore for this type of radio, we do not have or need frequency control.

For those using the older 35MHz crystal based transmitters, we operate a ‘Peg On’ frequency control system. ‘Peg On’ was selected as this negates the need for a number of frequency pegs to exist and overcomes the problem of pegs disappearing home at the end of the session. The system requires the user to display an indicator on a pegboard to denote that he/she is using a given frequency.

You must check the peg board before turning on your transmitter! Failure to adhere to frequency control can cause serious accidents and will be treated very seriously by the club.

FailSafe Setting

A major change to BMFA rules recently is that you should be aware of is the new requirement for failsafe setting. This stipulates that if your aircraft is fitted with equipment that has a selectable failsafe option, then you must set it to a minimum of throttle idle on loss of signal (and not leave it in the default setting which is generally ‘hold last position’). Most 2.4Ghz receivers have a built in failsafe so this must now be set.

This rule applies to power models of any weight (both I/C and electric, even a ‘Shockie’).
Many aftermarket receivers now have this option and it is not just limited to high spec PCM capable sets so bear this in mind when purchasing new receivers.

The requirement for failsafe on models over 7kg is unchanged but all gas turbine powered models must now be failsafe equipped no matter what their weight.

Important Site Rules

Due to the proximity of our site to Biggin Hill Airport, we have a strict altitude limit of 300ft AGL (above ground level). Full-sized aircraft are often seen overflying our site on their approach to Biggin Hill Airport therefore this limit must be strictly adhered to. Although not required, we welcome the use of in-flight telemetry so you can monitor the altitude of your model.

More details are available within our FAQ but the summary is:

  • Models over 7.5kg in weight are not permitted.
  • Our daytime noise limit is: 82db @ 7 meters.
  • Our evening noise limit (after 7pm) is: 80db @ 7 meters
  • No internal combustion flight is allowed on any bank holiday.
  • Max 6 models in the air at any time.

Flights must take place inside the boundaries of the site (the tree line) and never over pits/car park/ or pilots box. Additionally, care must be taken to the right-hand side of our site as there is a school and housing estate outside our boundaries behind the oak tree.


The whirly bit at the front end can cause untold damage and injury – keep children, pets and modellers well behind the prop when running in the pits. It is especially important to remove any debris which could be sucked into the propeller before attempting a start, loose glow leads and inappropriately placed electric starter leads can cause injury when sucked in at any engine speed. A cold engine opened up rapidly can easily kick off a prop. Four strokes are especially prone to this. Clothing type is important too, beware of the anorak hood draw cords, ties etc.

As per the BMFA rules we do not allow propellers made out of “hard” materials such as metal or glass.