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Field Sound Levels:
To: All Sun Valley Fliers Members
Dear fellow club member,
At the beginning of 2002, information was passed by word of mouth and by notation in the club newsletter that your Board of Directors had decided to change the maximum allowable decibel level of model aircraft operating at the SVF field from 103 dB to 98 dB beginning on January 1, 2003. Following the recent election of officers and board members in May of 2002, the Board revisited this decision, and has determined that a more graduated approach to the maximum allowable sound level is in the best interests of the club at this time.
As part of this process, your Board reviewed the sound control policies of a number of other R/C clubs in the Valley, reviewed sound control guidelines of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, and reviewed what sound controls are being proposed by certain Special Interest Groups within the AMA. Our goal was to develop a reasonable and fair-minded decibel level standard that is both technologically achievable for nearly all club members and that will have the desired effect of reducing the amount of sound generated by our model aircraft flying at the field. This is necessary and important because of the planned housing development behind the flood control dike South of our field, which will require all of us to be responsible neighbors to those future residents.
The new maximum sound level standard that your Board set is 100 dB, effective January 1, 2003. Many club members have already been working to make sure that their aircraft would be able to meet the tighter standard by the start of the New Year. Those that have not need to measure the sound their current equipment makes now. In many cases a larger prop, a higher pitch prop, or a three-bladed prop will correct an aircraft that produces too high a sound level. Better mufflers or lower nitro content in the fuel may help also. You may additionally use mechanical means or radio end-point adjustment to limit maximum motor rpm as a method of reducing sound output. Whatever you need to do, please do it now. If your aircraft does not meet the new standard starting on January 1st, you will not be able to continue to fly it at the SVF field.
The measurement procedure that will be used is the one described on page 202 of the Academy of Model Aeronautics Competition Regulations for 2002-2004. The distance from the aircraft to the sound meter will be 3 meters (10 feet, 2 inches). I thank you for your understanding and support in making this change that will benefit each of us as members as well as our club by retaining our most important asset – our flying site.
Academy of Model Aeronautics National Model Aircraft Safety Code
Effective January 1, 2014
A. GENERAL: A model aircraft is a non-human-carrying aircraft capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere. It may not exceed limitations of this code and is intended exclusively for sport, recreation, education and/or competition. All model flights must be conducted in accordance with this safety code and any additional rules specific to the flying site.
- Model aircraft will not be flown:
(b) At a location where model aircraft activities are prohibited.
- Model aircraft pilots will:
(a) Yield the right of way to all human-carrying aircraft.
- (b) See and avoid all aircraft and a spotter must be used when appropriate. (AMA Document #540-D.)
- (c) Not fly higher than approximately 400 feet above ground level within three (3) miles of an airport without notifying the airport operator.
- (d) Not interfere with operations and traffic patterns at any airport, heliport or seaplane base except where there is a mixed use agreement.
- (e) Not exceed a takeoff weight, including fuel, of 55 pounds unless in compliance with the AMA Large Model Airplane program. (AMA Document 520-A.)
- (f) Ensure the aircraft is identified with the name and address or AMA number of the owner on the inside or affixed to the outside of the model aircraft. (Thisdoes not apply to model aircraft flown indoors.)
- (g) Not operate aircraft with metal-blade propellers or with gaseous boosts except for helicopters operated under the provisions of AMA Document #555.
- (h) Notoperatemodelaircraftwhileundertheinfluenceofalcoholorwhileusinganydrugthatcouldadverselyaffectthepilot’sabilitytosafelycontrolthemodel.
- (i) Not operate model aircraft carrying pyrotechnic devices that explode or burn, or any device which propels a projectile or drops any object that creates ahazard to persons or property.
Free Flight fuses or devices that burn producing smoke and are securely attached to the model aircraft during flight.
Rocket motors (using solid propellant) up to a G-series size may be used provided they remain attached to the model during flight. Model rockets maybe flown in accordance with the National Model Rocketry Safety Code but may not be launched from model aircraft.
Officially designated AMA Air Show Teams (AST) are authorized to use devices and practices as defined within the Team AMA Program Document.(AMA Document #718.)
- (j) Not operate a turbine-powered aircraft, unless in compliance with the AMA turbine regulations. (AMA Document #510-A.)
- Model aircraft will not be flown in AMA sanctioned events, air shows or model demonstrations unless:
(a) Theaircraft,controlsystemandpilotskillshavesuccessfullydemonstratedallmaneuversintendedoranticipatedpriortothespecificevent. (b) Aninexperiencedpilotisassistedbyanexperiencedpilot.
- When and where required by rule, helmets must be properly worn and fastened. They must be OSHA, DOT, ANSI, SNELL or NOCSAE approved or comply with comparable standards.
B. RADIO CONTROL (RC)
- All pilots shall avoid flying directly over unprotected people, vessels, vehicles or structures and shall avoid endangerment of life and property of others.
- A successful radio equipment ground-range check in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations will be completed before the first flight of a new orrepaired model aircraft.
- At all flying sites a safety line(s) must be established in front of which all flying takes place. (AMA Document #706.)
- (a) Only personnel associated with flying the model aircraft are allowed at or in front of the safety line.
- (b) At air shows or demonstrations, a straight safety line must be established.
- (c) An area away from the safety line must be maintained for spectators.
- (d) Intentional flying behind the safety line is prohibited.
- RC model aircraft must use the radio-control frequencies currently allowed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Only individuals properly licensed by the FCC are authorized to operate equipment on Amateur Band frequencies.
- RC model aircraft will not knowingly operate within three (3) miles of any pre-existing flying site without a frequency-management agreement. (AMA Documents #922 and #923.)
- With the exception of events flown under official AMA Competition Regulations, excluding takeoff and landing, no powered model may be flown outdoors closer than 25 feet to any individual, except for the pilot and the pilot’s helper(s) located at the flightline.
- Under no circumstances may a pilot or other person touch an outdoor model aircraft in flight while it is still under power, except to divert it from striking an individual.
- RC night flying requires a lighting system providing the pilot with a clear view of the model’s attitude and orientation at all times. Hand-held illumination systems are inadequate for night flying operations.
- The pilot of an RC model aircraft shall:
- (a) Maintaincontrolduringtheentireflight,maintainingvisualcontactwithoutenhancementotherthanbycorrectivelensesprescribedforthepilot.
- (b) Fly using the assistance of a camera or First-Person View (FPV) only in accordance with the procedures outlined in AMA Document #550.
- (c) FlyusingtheassistanceofautopilotorstabilizationsystemonlyinaccordancewiththeproceduresoutlinedinAMADocument#560.
C. FREE FLIGHT
- Must be at least 100 feet downwind of spectators and automobile parking when the model aircraft is launched.
- Launch area must be clear of all individuals except mechanics, officials, and other fliers.
- An effective device will be used to extinguish any fuse on the model aircraft after the fuse has completed its function.
D. CONTROL LINE
- The complete control system (including the safety thong where applicable) must have an inspection and pull test prior to flying.
- The pull test will be in accordance with the current Competition Regulations for the applicable model aircraft category.
- Model aircraft not fitting a specific category shall use those pull-test requirements as indicated for Control Line Precision Aerobatics.
- The flying area must be clear of all utility wires or poles and a model aircraft will not be flown closer than 50 feet to any above-ground electric utility lines.
- The flying area must be clear of all nonessential participants and spectators before the engine is started.
In Addition to AMA Safety Codes and SVF Standing Rules
1. PROOF OF MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED AND DISPLAYED: Persons wishing to fly at the SVF Field must possess and must visibility display a current valid AMA Membership card in his or her name. Members must have a SVF current year sticker affixed. Operators of turbine powered aircraft must be able to produce the proper AMA turbine waiver. Anyone not displaying their membership card will be reminded to do so by a board member to show they are a current member of the AMA and our club to all bystanders. If a pilot is a guest they must show their AMA membership and for those pilots from clubs without reciprocity may be subject to a guest fee or will be asked to stand down from further flying at the club field. If a visiting pilot is a guest of a member then the member in good standing must also be present.
2. MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES: Include but not limited to: Members must comply with SVF Field Rules, SVF Standing Rules and AMA Safety Code Rules at all times!
3. ENTRY GATE: The entry gate to the field must be kept locked at all times. Any non-member must be met and escorted in by a current member with member’s key. Do not loan out your key or make a duplicate. Each club member must unlock and lock the entry gate each and every time they enter and exit the flying site! They must not leave the gate area without it being locked. No exceptions are permitted.
4. PARK SPEED LIMIT: Park Speed Limit is 10 mph OR the speed that creates NO DUST, WHICHEVER IS SLOWEST.
5. 400 Ft. ALTITUDE LIMITATION: “Sun Valley Flyers utilizes a 400ft ceiling for flying model aircraft allowing for only momentary breaks caused by non-sustaining maneuvers. All pilots must utilize a spotter at all times and abide by AMA Rule 540d” (see pilot spotter rule #6)
6. PILOT SPOTTER: All SVF members and guests are required to fly with a Spotter assistant by their side. In addition to those requirements outline in AMA rule 540d the Spotter’s primary goal is to look out for full scale traffic and a secondary function is to watch out for the safety of the pilot while he/she is attentive to flying his or her aircraft and to assist the pilot in avoiding traffic that may constitute a risk of midair collision, runway access co-ordination, emergency procedures, etc. Spotters must be AMA members.
7. FLIGHT LINE PERSONNEL: Personnel who have no direct contribution to the flight operation of aircraft shall remain within the spectator area; defined as under the Ramada and/or areas south of the fences.
8. TAKEOFF/LANDING DIRECTION: Shall be established by an East – West traffic pattern as determined by the prevailing wind direction. Takeoffs, landings, dead stick conditions and aircraft retrieval from the runway and surrounding areas shall be ‘called’ out loudly, to give ample warning to other flyers.
9. FLIGHT STATIONS: All Pilots while flying from the main runway shall stand at one of the five flight stations at the spot designated and behind the barrier netting, behind the white line.
10. PROPER FLIGHT LOCATIONS: All aircraft operations shall take place north of the southern edge of the runway. All maneuvers shall be performed north of the asphalt, over the dirt. The runway itself and the airspace directly above it is for takeoffs and landings only. The white line in front of the pilot’s stations is the absolute “Deadline”. It extends east and west to infinity and must not be crossed under any circumstance. Park flyers, light electric aerobatic models, helicopters, rotary wing and sailplanes that may not fly a conventional flight path are encouraged to fly south of the wash, or west of the helicopter ramada and hover pad. Use of Hi-Starts or launch winches will normally be in these areas. No flying of any kind is permitted over any part of the parking lot or ramada. Central frequency control applies to all aircraft flown at the SVF facility, regardless of location.
11. HOURS OF OPERATION: The Cave Buttes Flying Field is operating under an agreement to allow flight operations during day time hours. No flight operations will allowed without prior request and permission from the SVF Board.
Rules Violations Remedy Procedure and/or Member Expulsion
SVF By-Laws ARTICLE VIII. Section 3
(Rules Violations Remedy Procedure and/or Member Expulsion)
EXPULSION OF MEMBER. Any member deliberately breaking Corporation rules, not acting in a sportsmanlike manner, or showing un-cooperativeness, is liable for expulsion from the Corporation by a unanimous, less one (1), decision of the full Board of Directors. This action may also be initiated by a signed complaint from any member(s) in good standing.
Procedure explained: The following procedure has been adopted by the SVF Board to provide a mechanism to enforce existing club, flight and safety rules for both members and non-members using or visiting the flying site. The remedy procedure will provide a progressive disciplinary system to resolve complaints and other infractions of the Academy of Model Aeronautics Safety Code, the Sun Valley Fliers Safety Code, the flying site rules, and any prohibited notices or regulations that may be posted from time-to-time by the Sun Valley Fliers, Inc., and the Maricopa County Flood Control District and or Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department that regulate the safety, operation, conduct and use of the facilities and flying site.
Although most complaints can be resolved informally, a complaint that is serious
or cannot be resolved informally should be referred to the Board for its consideration by means of a Form to be filled out and turned into the Safety Officer or to any Board Member. The Board shall use its judgment in carrying out action on the following:
1. Rules Violation Remedy or Member Grievance Procedure: There are two ways a complaint or grievance can be initiated:
- Any Club Member may file a complaint or grievance by filling out a Complaint or Grievance Form and turning it in to the Safety Officer or a Board Member. The form will name the complainant as well as the person named in the complaint. At least one witness who can verify the incident will be required to witness the Rules Remedy Form. Grievances filed by a member must follow the process outlined within SVF By-Laws Article VIII. Section 5 Grievances. Complaint and Grievance forms will be available from the Safety officer, the Club Secretary, or downloaded from the Club web site.
- A complaint may also be filed against a member or guest pilot for any AMA or SVF Rules violations identified by an SVF Board member to follow the process outlined below. For purposes of seeking to remedy or correct deliberate violations of a member or a guest pilot a complaint should be filed by those within this group by either using the complaint or grievance form or a submit a detailed letter to provide appropriate documentation and submitted as a new business at the next board meeting.
2. First Violations: (three strike process)
2.a. Non-member: The non-member will be asked to leave the flying site immediately, forfeiting the daily usage fee. The Complaint or Grievance Form will be forwarded to the Board of Directors and will be recorded in the Club records.
2.b. Members: Viewpoints of both the complainant and the accused will be considered. Complainant’s name will be disclosed. If the Board so decides, a verbal reprimand will be given to the accused and the reprimand recorded in the Club records and the accused member records.
3. Second Violations
3.a. Non-member: The non-member will be asked to leave the flying site immediately, forfeiting the daily usage fee. The Complaint or Grievance Form will be forwarded to the Board of Directors and the non-member will be barred from entering the flying site for a period of sixty (60) days. The non-member will be barred from becoming a member of the club for the period set by the suspension.
The accused has the right to a written rebuttal, to be reviewed by the Safety Officer and the Board. If the Board so decides, the flying privileges of the accused will be suspended for sixty (60) days. Written notice of this shall be issued to the member and recorded in the club records.
4. Third Violations Status and/or Expulsion of Club Membership:
4.a. Non-member: The non-member will be asked to leave the flying site immediately, forfeiting the daily usage fee. The Complaint and Grievance Form will be forwarded to the Board of Directors and the non-member will be barred from entering the flying site for a period of not less than one (1) year from the date of the complaint. The non-member will be barred from becoming a member for the period set by the suspension.
4.b. Member: The Board will notify the accused in writing that the board will vote on the expulsion of the accused member at the next meeting board meeting. As stated in the club bylaws: “a member is liable for expulsion from the Corporation by a unanimous, less one (1), decision of the full Board of Directors”. Said expulsion will last for a period of one (1) year. The expelled member will not be entitled to a refund of any club dues paid for the membership year. The expelled member may reapply for membership after the expiration of the expulsion time period. For the purpose of determining multiple violations, an accumulation of three (3) violations must occur within a two-year period of time.
5. Additional Provisions and/or explanations:
5.a: Any member who receives a complaint or grievance action from the Club and who directs any retaliatory action against the club safety officer, any person filing or witnessing said grievance, or against any member of the Board, will be subject to third violation status and subject to immediate expulsion from the Club in accordance the club bylaws. This is to include threats, intimidation, physical harm, intentional equipment damage, or any other action deemed to be retaliatory by the club board of directors.
5.b: Serious violations or immediate hazards at the facility: the Board reserves the right, when dealing with what it considers a serious offence and a potential immediate danger to the Membership or its property, to request the member or non-member to immediately leave the facility. Authorized personnel shall be limited to the Club Safety Officer, and in his absence, any Board Member. Any further escalation of enforcement will be by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Dept. or other City or County Policing Authorities.
5.c: Any notification of violations, remedies and or expulsion of members shall be by Board authorized personnel only and will be follow up by a written certified letter.
Sun Valley Fliers 400 Foot Rule
At the December 8th, 2014 SVF Board Meeting a policy decision has been made by the SVF Board of Directors as it relates to the model aircraft flight ceiling at the SVF Cave Buttes Flying Field. The matter was given extensive review by the SVF Rules Compliance Committee looking at three different options identifying the pros and cons of the most restrictive to the most lenient policies
SVF Complaint and Grievance form 1-2015 SVF
Standing Rules (detailed) February 2015
SVF 400ft Policy Announcement 2-2015
Member Rules Violation Remedy Procedure ver3 Feb 3, 2015
considered and after the board reviewed the findings it choose the following policy that is to go into to effect immediately.
“Sun Valley Flyers utilizes a 400ft ceiling for flying model aircraft allowing for only momentary breaks caused by non-sustaining maneuvers. All pilots must utilize a spotter at all times and abide by AMA Rule 540d (see and avoid procedures) ”
The above rule policy will be posted at each flight station and at the front Jomax gate entrance. Any member or guest pilot willfully violating this rule will be subject to disciplinary action and possible loss of flight privileges.
The SVF board’s intention for adopting a moderate policy is hopefully to relieve fellow members from making subjective interpretation or guessing at other members altitudes and therefore should provide for a friendlier and fun flying environment. The board does recognize this policy may eliminate certain types of flying that has occurred in the past but due to changes in our regulatory environment the intent must default on safety and protecting the long term use of our excellent flying facility.
As it relates to the terminology used in the policy: here is some guidance as it relates to the word momentary, in this context it means if a model aircraft for whatever reason appears to be going higher than 400ft it will be assumed that the pilot is completing a turnaround maneuver and will be coming back down immediately. Pilots, spotters and bystanders should be reasonable in their interpretation. You might consider that a break should be no longer than what it might take to spell the word momentary.
Guidance relating to the words non-sustaining maneuvers: that would be a break that continues well above 400ft with no intention of a momentary maneuver. Such a maneuver may be commonly seen made by gliders, scale aerobatic and/or pattern routines that typically would last for a longer period of time. These maneuvers or type of flying is no longer allowed at the Cave Buttes Flying Field.
See and Avoid