FAQs

1. If I am a MAAA member do I have insurance cover down at my local park when flying within CASA requirements?

Yes, provided you also operate within the MAAA MOPs and have permission from the owner of the park to operate model aircraft. See MAAA MOP 057 http://www.maaa.asn.au/images/pdfs/mops/MOP057-Policy-Insurance-Conditions-15-May-2016.pdf

3.6 Flying Venues  The MAAA insurance policy only applies when the land/property owner/lessee has given permission for the area to be used for the purpose of flying model aircraft and any local requirements are complied with. This applies whether the property is privately or publicly owned and indoor or outdoor.  If the area is being used long term, or if it is considered possible that the approval might be challenged, it is advised that the approval be obtained in writing.

2. 2.4 GHz radio Systems - If a club member personally imports a transmitter and that transmitter has FCC or CE (or both) certification by the manufacturer, can that transmitter be used in Australia without a C Tick?

The C Tick is a requirement of the ACMA for product that is sold in Australia as providing evidence that the supplier accepts the responsibility that the product meets the Australian Standards. The suppliers are subject to audit by the ACMA to prove they have the supporting documentation.

Certain specific FCC and ETSI Standards, which are listed in MOP058, are accepted by the ACMA as being the equivalent to the standards specified for operation under the 2.4 GHz Class License.
If a C tick has not been applied by either the manufacturer or the importer then the user is the one who accepts responsibility for the product meeting the Australian Standards. This is the legal situation not an MAAA position.

3. I have been asked to join friends to fly my slope soarer at a near-by beach headland; does my MAAA insurance provide cover for me?

MOP057 is worded to allow this. It is MAAA Policy that our Insurance will only cover our members if they are flying at a Club Field affiliated through an MAAA State Association and any site while involved in MAAA sanctioned activities.

You should also be aware that if non-affiliated members of MAAA are also operating from the same site, they may not have the equivalent or any insurance cover should they injure you or damage any of your property. The MAAA insurance does not provide cover against the actions of non-affiliated members.

4. If my model aircraft hits someone who I did not know was on the runway, is there an MAAA requirement that he had to make sure that I heard any call that he might have made?

The MAAA makes no specific rules for the circumstances that you outline as appropriate procedures will vary from club to club. All members are expected to operate using due care and a Court might take that into consideration when assessing liability for accident.

5. If I am hit by a model aircraft at my club that is being flown by a visitor who is not an MAAA member, is he covered by the MAAA Public Liability Insurance. Is there any difference if I did not personally know he was a visitor?

If a non MAAA member does not sign in as a visitor in accordance with MOP057 then they are not covered by the MAAA Public Liability Insurance. Many clubs require that members wear badges at all times they are present at the field to confirm their membership status for this reason.

6. I am an MAAA Member and if I am hit by a model aircraft does the MAAA Insurance Policy cover me?

The MAAA has two Insurance Policies that might apply in this case, Public Liability and Personal Accident Cover. The first point is that the MAAA provides Public Liability Cover to cover affiliated members for claims made against them as a result of the operation of model aircraft. This is unlike Personal Accident Cover where you claim for death and personal injury, against a scale of benefits, and medical expenses for your own injuries. This Cover applies almost whatever the cause is as long as you, as an MAAA Affiliate Member, are taking part in sanctioned activities. Any claim as a result of an incident under Public Liability has to be made against another person or entity claiming them as having caused of the loss on a legally justified basis.

The basic premise of Public Liability Insurance is that it is not for claims directly to the Insurance Company. If the person claimed against is insured for that type of accident, whether the MAAA Policy or any other, then the Insurance Policy will respond if requested. If the person does not have insurance, or the claim is not forwarded to the Insurance Company, then he has to personally pay any damages that are assessed, even if that makes him bankrupt. The amount of the settlement should be independent of any insurance cover that he has. The summary of the MAAA Insurance Policy conditions on the MAAA Web Page should be looked at for further information.

7. Does my MAAA Insurance cover me for Radio Control, Free Flight and Control Line flying?

Yes, it covers all three disciplines equally no matter what club or State Association you join.

8. Do I have to fly at my club field to be covered by MAAA Insurance?

MAAA Insurance covers members flying legally anywhere in Australia providing that both the flying environment and their flying meet the following requirements:

  • Have the permission (preferably in writing) of the owner of the property to be used for flying.
  • Operate within the CASA Regulations CASR Part 101 A,B,C and G
  • Operate in accordance with the MAAA Manual of Procedures (available on this website)
  • Also see 'Notice To Members FAQ'
9. Where can I find information regarding my MAAA Insurance and any excess payable when a claim is lodged?

All MAAA Insurance details can be found on the MAAA website at www.maaa.asn.au.
Additional information relating to MAAA Insurance including excess amounts, can be found in MOP057 Insurance Conditions.

10. Does the MAAA have recommendations on how to construct a safety fence to protect pilots from runway operations?

The MAAA cannot recommend the construction of safety fences that include metal framing or panels, although many Clubs do operate with these types of fences with no apparent problems. The reasons for this include:

  • Conducting material reflects radio waves.
  • The better the conductor the more effective the reflector.
  • This is the principle behind the Faraday cage that provides complete Electro Magnetic Radiation screening and is also the basis of the design of TV antennas.
  • If items are placed at random it is difficult to predict the effect without sophisticated modelling.
  • The effect depends on the frequency, the location of the transmitter and receiver antennas and their orientation, and the size, shape and position of the reflector.
  • This is why model radio range testing in the proximity of cars and wire fences gives unreliable results with variations of at least 50% in range having been observed.
  • Rust and high resistance connections can make the situation worse by generating spurious signals and in-band 3rd Order Intermodulation. Operation at 29, 36 and 40 MHz frequencies are a particular concern.
  • Due to the unpredictability and unreliable repeatability of the interference it is impossible to know if any radio problems were either caused by, or exacerbated by, metal fences when they are used.
  • The more the metal there is around and the more the transmitters are enclosed by metal the higher the probability of issues arising.
  • Metal behind or to the side of the transmitters will affect the outcome as well as metal in front.
11. Does the MAAA have a specific requirement for a safety fence to protect pilots from runway operations?

The MAAA has no specific advice as it depends on local conditions Factors to consider include the physical separation between the runway and where the pilots stand, the number of pilots flying at the same time, the weight, speed and type of aircraft, restrictions that may be placed on having either a permanent or temporary barrier, and susceptibility to vandalism. Clubs are advised to undertake their own risk assessment to determine if one is justified but the safety of operations is always a high priority.

12. I am concerned that if my club promotes a flying event in any way this may bring it under the Display Procedure in MOP019.

It is certainly not the intention that club events advertised in a Club Newsletter, Club Website, a Club, State or Federal Event Calendar, or notices in a model/hobby shop always result in the event being a Flying Display under MAAA MOP019. The words used in the notice of the event are the key element and should be aimed at Club and/or MAAA Members. It is important that these words do not state or imply that members of the public are welcome or that the flying event is to entertain spectators. Whilst some members of the public, who have no connection with anyone in the MAAA, may visit on the day, the Club can reasonably say that they were not invited.

13. I have not been an MAAA Member for several years and am about to re-join. I can’t remember what my old membership number was, but is it possible to get the same number back?

In most cases the answer is yes. When you re-join please tell your club that you were in the MAAA before, and would like your previous number again. If you are certain you know this number and your previous club, then tell them what it was. If not, give them as much information as possible, including: date of birth, previous club, your address, the year when you last registered, together with anything else that you think could help to identify you. This information will help identify you in the Membership System and providing the membership number has not been allocated, allow you to use the same number.

14. I have read in the MAAA Manual of Procedures that there are both requirements and recommendations. What is the difference?

Requirements have to be complied with, although clubs may decide to go beyond what the MAAA states. Recommendations are not mandatory but may cover good practice including safety issues. Clubs and members should always carefully consider all recommendations and if they decide to do something different be prepared to justify their decision. For example in some safety cases, an implementation cannot be specified by the MAAA, as the layout and constraints on individual clubs vary. A mandated requirement might not be practical but a totally satisfactory alternative could achieve the same outcome.

15. Can my club make rules that are different to those of the MAAA?

All MAAA clubs are totally autonomous bodies and they can make whatever rules they like as long as they comply with the law of the land, which includes CASR Part 101 A, B, C and G, and also comply with the MAAA Manual of Procedures. However they can decide to have additional rules that go beyond those requirements. As an example there are clubs that specify electric model aircraft only because that is the only way that they can obtain a flying field.

16. Does my MAAA/FAI membership card entitle me to fly at any MAAA registered club throughout Australia?

No. Every MAAA Club is an autonomous body with their own rules which apply to their operations. Most clubs welcome visitors but it's best to contact the club you plan to attend to check what you need to do to comply with the club requirements. If the club does allow you to fly, your current MAAA/FAI card will confirm that you are automatically covered by the MAAA Insurance policy under its normal conditions when you do.

17. What distance can I operate my helicopter outdoors, from other pilots?

The MAAA requires that helicopters flying outdoors are not to be flown any closer than 9 metres to all pilots operating at the time.

MOP014 – 6.5

18. Is there a distance I have to adhere to when flying a fixed wing model doing 3D manoeuvres?

The MAAA requires that all fixed wing model aircraft flying 3D manoeuvres outdoors, excluding electric models with a wing span of one (1) metre or less, are not to be flown any closer than 9 metres to all pilots operating at the time.

MOP014 – 6.4

19. Can I fly alone at my Club?

You should consider club by-laws and the risks involved especially if operating large models or helicopters. We’d suggest safety first and perhaps making sure there is another person nearby when you fly.

20. Where is the ‘30 metre rule’ measured from?

It is measured from the nearest edge of the flight strip to the Public barrier at your flying field.

21. Who do I contact to change my MAAA membership details?

Contact your Club or State Association Registrars. Details can be found here.

22. How do I join MAAA?

You join through a club of your choice within your State. Links to all MAAA State Associations are available on this web site. Locate your local club here.

23. Flying at Non Affiliated Fields or Activities

Flying at Non Affiliated Fields or Activities

The MAAA has no objection to our members flying with members or clubs affiliated with other organisations nor is any action being taken to prevent this, however the MAAA will not accept any responsibility or accountability in respect to any insurance claim eventuating from this activity. To do so would be neglecting our duty and responsibility to our general membership.

It is MAAA Policy that our Insurance will only cover our members if they are flying at a Club Field affiliated through an MAAA State Association and any site while involved in MAAA sanctioned activities.

This policy has not been adopted in haste and has been taken after due consideration and proper risk assessment. It has been adopted in the interest of protecting members’ insurance claims and from excessive increases in insurance premiums and to comply with our corporate obligations.

The MAAA as an incorporated body has obligations to its Members, CASA, Insurance Providers and the general public at large.   Read more

24. What do you need to do to fly a circuit properly?

Flying a circuit is one of the proficiencies needed for Bronze wings. Most new modellers require six to eight hours’ flying before working towards the Bronze wing proficiency. If you fly each weekend (weather permitting) you can expect to go solo in about eight to 10 weeks. Be aware however, that training can take as long as 12 months. At the other end of the scale we have taught people to fly in one week of intensive effort. It all
depends on how much time you can devote to learning.

Here, we take a look at some tips and challenges faced when flying a circuit.

What is a circuit?

A circuit is a rectangular path that radio-controlled aircraft are flown around and is used for taking off and landing approaches. All pilots need to be able to fly a circuit in both directions.

If the wind changes direction then the circuit direction is changed so that the aircraft always takes off and lands into the wind. The idea is to fly along the circuit at a constant height keeping control of the aircraft. The trick is to use small smooth inputs to keep the aircraft heading in the desired direction and at the desired height.

What do you need to do to fly a circuit properly?

  • all turns should involve no more than 30 degrees of bank;
  • you need to maintain the same height throughout the circuit;
  • make turns at the appropriate location and make sure your control inputs are smooth and gradual.

What common problems do pilots face?

  • not leaving enough room for the turn resulting in a bank greater than 30 degrees;
  • not finishing the base leg turn to be lined up with or just before the centre of the runway; and
  • not being able to fly the circuit in the opposite direction.

How can you improve?

The short answer is practice. You need to make sure you leave enough room to turn and undertake activities that challenge your hand/eye coordination. Often being able to fly the circuit in the opposite direction is a matter of getting used to a different orientation, but it can feel like trying to write with the wrong hand. Lining up the base leg turn is a simple matter of turning the model until it is facing you. If you are really keen you can buy a flight simulator for your computer that will help to improve your skill and let you advance faster.

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