MAAA Wingspan

Fortunately, the MAAA successfully negotiated exemptions to some of these new regulations and our members’ flying activities have been the least affected. We are fortunate, many other countries are severely restricting or outlawing the flying of remotely piloted aircraft flown for sport and recreation purposes. What does all this mean? It means we can no longer go out to the park throw our model into the air, fly anywhere and as high as we like; in the future, the airspace in which we can fly may be further restricted to recognised model aircraft flying areas. Fly outside these areas and risk a collision with pizza or mail delivery. Some may grumble about these changes, however, bear in mind most changes have come about as a result of aeromodellers experimenting and trying to expand boundaries. The Wright brothers were aeromodellers who tested their ideas with models. Juan de la Cierva, the inventor of the Autogyro, was interested in aviation as a boy and experimented with gliders from a young age. I remember a well-known aeromodeller in South Australia showing me an experimental version of the now multirotor aircraft; more than 15 years ago. It would not fly at that stage, but he was on the right track. The MAAA will continue to monitor changes in technology and legislation and keep our lines of communication with governments and authorities open. It’s the only way to negotiate the best possible outcome for our members. I urge all members and non-members to help preserve aeromodelling in Australia by abiding by the rules and remembering it is all about safety. Safety for the aeromodeller, safety for full-size aviators and those not involved. Fly safely and within the rules and we will be able to justify our position. Remember it only takes one to make the majority suffer. This year has not started well; we have seen the country ravaged with bushfires causing much loss. The MAAA Executive has canvassed all state organisations to ascertain if any of our affiliated clubs have been affected; fortunately, none have been reported. Hopefully, our flying sites have come through unscathed. We will continue to monitor this situation and assist any clubs that have suffered. This new year will also see the changes to Instructor ratings and qualification. After the July 1 2020, only those MAAA instructors who have completed the re-qualification course will be recognised as MAAA Instructors, able to issue wings. The re-qualification course is not hard and will only take a day out of your busy lives. I urge all current instructors who have not yet completed the course to put their names down. In addition to this, when the compulsory registration of models and pilots becomes effective, the public will be required to pass a compulsory written examination. Prior to obtaining wings, new MAAA pilots will also be required to do so. This year we will also see a new general competition introduced. In July, the New South Wales Free Flight Society (NSWFF) and Control Line Aeromodellers Society (CLAS) will introduce the West Wyalong Nationals. This event, although run along similar lines, should not be confused with the previous MAAA Nationals. They are separate competitions. More will be publicised on this later however, I urge all those who have participated in MAAA Nationals in the past to make your way to West Wyalong in July, it should be a great event. The Alice Springs Masters Games will be held in October, another unique aeromodelling experience. If you have never flown in the red dust, now is the time to try. The competition is low key, and the hospitality is great. Give your family a holiday, show them what the outback is like, pack your van or book your accommodation and come along. What the next decade will bring us in aeromodelling, one can’t say however, I feel sure our grandchildren will be in for an exciting time. We should all go along for the flight. I wish you all the success for 2020 and I trust your interest in all model aircraft continues to be rewarding. Neil Tank President MAAALogo. 04 5 president’s report CONTINUED... 0 FEBRUARY WING SPAN safety matters: SAFETY FIRST AND FORMOST FOR MAAA MEMBERS Safe flying as an association is paramount to the longevity of our sport and the privileges we are given, aside from CASR-101. Further to the sub parts of CASR101, is the Directive 96/17 which was released by the Director of Aviation Safety in 2017. He states: “I direct that a person controlling an unmanned aircraft must not operate the aircraft higher than 400 ft AGL.” Shane Carmody Director of Aviation Safety Direction-operation-of-certain--unmanned--aircraft.pdf Since 2017, the MAAA Executive, in conjunction with the State Associations and clubs have been obtaining Area Approval (CASA Instrument) which provide specific conditions under a detailed Risk Assessment which allows for operations at greater heights than 400 feet. While the issuing of an Area Approval from CASA is the first step, members are still responsible to ensure that the approved heights are not exceeded. In some cases the height that some clubs have requested is significantly greater than that which they actually require. Obviously, the use of ½ or 1/3 scale gliders would need a greater height than a Tiger Moth for example, so height increases are representative of the type of aircraft and events undertaken. Fortunately, our technology in Aeromodelling is keeping up with the requirements that we as modellers can obtain to assist in our safe operations within the airspace, we operate in. Recently, while reviewing a Risk Assessment, a cub actually made reference to utilising a benchmark to demonstrate to members how high their model looked at certain heights- the incorporation of telemetry, which is not something new to our sport. However, in doing a little research I did discover what was new and not widely known was several manufacturers now incorporating telemetry devices into lower channel RX’s. One such example is the Spektrum6610T. This simple RX (which retails for about $120) has a built- in barometer (height indicator) and vario indicator ( vertical speed - lift) without the need of additional sensor or telemetry modules. For a full range Receiver, this unit provides significant technology in a single unit. ProdInfo/Files/SPMAR6610T-Manual-EN.pdf A little more investigation highlighted that there are other manufacturers beginning to release similar tech and will serve to provide the tools for our aeromodellers to confirm and where needed, demonstrate to other members the heights we are actually flying at. As an RAAO with CASA and to continue to enjoy the flexibilities we enjoy as members of the MAAA, it is important that we all strive to recognise and respect the airspace we fly in. Happy landings and stay safe.