13December

Safe, festive flying to you and your families!

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Merry Christmas to all our members! Once again, the festive season is upon us, time to spend with family and friends. Many of our member clubs will have already held or are about to hold their annual Christmas functions and I suspect many ‘war’ stories will be told. The New Year will bring to us all new challenges, but I hope 2019 will be prosperous to us all.

Merry Christmas to all our members! Once again, the festive season is upon us, time to spend with family and friends. Many of our member clubs will have already held or are about to hold their annual Christmas functions and I suspect many ‘war’ stories will be told. The New Year will bring to us all new challenges, but I hope 2019 will be prosperous to us all.

The past year for the MAAA, as like other clubs and associations, has been challenging and it seems that the older we get, the more complex the challenges become; not because we are getting old but, due to technology, issues move at a faster rate.

Many successful club events have been conducted over the past 12 months-some as major events and many as club events. I have endeavoured to attend as many as time permitted. From what I have seen, in the MAAA Wingspan and John Lamont’s Australian Model News, all have been highly successful. The models presented have been world-class and a testament to the skills of our members.

MAAA Secretary

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In the past 12 months, we have seen the appointment of our new Secretary Tyson Dodd and the retirement of Kevin Dodd. Tyson took up the role at the conclusion of the 2018 Annual Conference and quickly embraced the challenges. I must say it was a big learning curve initially, but I am pleased to say Tyson has now settled into the role, challenging as it is. He is much younger than the average age of our membership and his new ideas and outlook will be refreshing to all.

Past Secretary, Kevin Dodd, officially retired in November and is now becoming accustomed to life as a retiree. Kevin takes with him a wealth of aeromodelling knowledge, gained over many years as a modeller and MAAA Secretary. He still retains a rich knowledge of the organisation in respect to our history and, more importantly, why decisions were made in the past. This, I hope over time, will be passed onto our current secretary and Kevin has indicated his ongoing support. Kevin will not totally leave the aeromodelling administration scene as he will be continuing with his role as CIAM Secretary; a role independent of the MAAA. For a short time, he will also continue the role of MAAA Safety Manager in preparation for our entry into Part 149. On saying all of this, on behalf of all members I wish Kevin all the best for his retirement. Word has it he has already purchased a new F18, decked out in RAAF colours.

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CASA part 149

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CASA part 149 has now entered legislation and the MAAA has been invited to become an ASAO (Aviation Safety Administration Organisation). Prior to the MAAA entering into any agreement, Part 101 must be changed. In respect to club operations, nothing will change. Part 149 places several extra administration activities upon the MAAA but these will not flow down to ordinary members or clubs. As mentioned, Mr. Kevin Dodd is currently preparing the necessary expositions and job profile for an MAAA Safety Manager. More will be advised as 2019 progresses.

The Senate deliberation, in respect to unmanned aircraft, has concluded and recommendations submitted. Although the Federal Government has not agreed to all recommendations, it has agreed to the compulsory registration of all pilots and/or aircraft. The MAAA has been invited to join a working group in respect to the implementation of this process, the MAAA Secretary being our representative. It is our belief that the MAAA safety systems and operating procedures are such that membership of the MAAA should be enough to avoid compulsory registration. The MAAA Executive believes the current training processes, club culture and safety attitude of members is far superior to any proposed process implemented by the authorities. The safety record of MAAA members has been publicly acknowledged by CASA and other organisations on many occasions. This is the very reason we enjoy the privileges we do today. The MAAA will continue to repeat our views in an endeavour to ensure members’ rights are maintained.

The direction by CASA in respect to height limits for all RPAs is now in place and from 30th October 2018, no model aircraft is permitted to be flown over 400 feet (121 metres) unless it is flown in an area approved by CASA. MAAA clubs that haven’t applied for a height clearance and who desire to fly higher than 400 feet should do so through their State Secretary.

Upcoming 2019 events

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As 2018 draws to a close, planning is already underway for an exciting 2019 with a number of major events on the agenda, including:

  • 71st MAAA National Model Aircraft Championships held in West Wyalong, New South Wales between 24 April – 1 May.
  • FAI World Drone Racing Championships

Many other exciting events are being planned, so please do check the MAAA Events Calendar.

And, please remember, if you have any club events the MAAA will help promote them on Facebook for you. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with some background information, name, date/time, location, club hosting, event flyer and your Facebook or website links. 

MAAA Office Holiday Closure

In closing, I advise that the MAAA Secretary's office will be closed from Friday the 21st December to Monday 7th January. Only urgent emails/communications will be answered, (the urgency to be determined by the MAAA President). I know this may be a departure from the norm, however I am mindful of the fact that the current MAAA Secretary has a young family and deserves to spend quality time with them.

Over the past year some long-time respected members have gone to the flying field in the sky. On behalf of the MAAA, I wish their families and friends the best for Christmas; the festive season may not be the same but please take comfort in the enjoyment your loved ones received from aeromodelling.

Once again, on behalf of the MAAA Executive, I wish all members, their families and friends a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and safe New Year. May you continue to enjoy your aeromodelling activities and comradeship.

Happy, safe flying!

Neil Tank

President

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