Safety Rules for R/C Slope Soaring
Just like many other activities, if you do it carelessly, it will be dangerous to you and the others. Here are some guidelines for safety R/C slope soaring.
Before you go,
- Check the weather first. Do not go if the weather is turning bad.
- Some flying sites cannot be reached by transports directly. Try to find you companions if you need to walk a distance to the site by some rural trials.
- Bring along with you enough supplies such as drinking water, food, sun protection, phone and first aid kit.
- Beware of windchill! The felt temperature is much lower in the wind.
- Check the model and make sure that:
the airframe free of damages;
the batteries are good and fully charged;
the electrical connections are good and tight;
the transmitter, receiver and servos are operating correctly.
Do this at home and it can save you a lot of troubles at the flying site!
When you arrived the flying site,
- Even you have been flying there many times before, it is never a bad idea to walk around and see if there is anything changed since your last visit. Also let the others know another pilot has arrived.
- If your radio is an "MHz" system (Note 1), make sure your frequency is not used by the others. Otherwise, please coordinate with the pilot the usage of the frequency.
- Do range check, even your model has been successfully flown hundred times before!
- If the site is new to you, check the launching location and the landing course first. Never hesitate to ask for help from experienced pilots there.
- Check the wind condition. If it seems to you too difficult to fly, ask for help or advice before launch.
- If your radio is an "MHz" system, loudly announce your frequency and make sure again the frequency is free before turning on the transmitter.
- Turn on both the transmitter and receiver. Make sure all the settings on the transmitter are correct. Check if the transmitter and receiver batteries are good. Check all the servos and see if they are operating correctly.
- Check the airframe. Is the cg correct? Are the wings, tails and canopy, etc. fixed properly? Are the mechanics running smoothly?
- Make sure the air space before the glider is clear before you launch. Announce to the others that you are about to launch. Others pilots should free the launching space.
- When the wind is strong, or the model is large, it will be difficult to launch a model with one hand and the transmitter on the other hand. You should ask someone with launching experience to help you.
- Avoid flying over people. Never flies towards people or properties. Aerobatics or high speed approaching maneuvers must not be performed over crowds. Don't fly beyond your capabilities. If you are in trouble, ask for help from experienced pilots immediately.
- Note the other gliders that are flying with you. If the air space is crowded, fly in a simple course and avoid doing aerobatics.
- Pilots can agree with some flying regulations to prevent accident. For example, to avoid mid-air collision, all gliders will be flying in clockwise circle when they are below a certain altitude.
- Gliders can fly a long time in slope lift but human will get tired and battery will be drained. So don't fly too long. Get some rest and have the batteries checked.
- Don't fly too late or when the visibility is low. If there is accident it will be difficult and dangerous to search the man or the model.
- Announce to the other pilots that you are going to land. If you are flying please give way to the landing aircraft and avoid flying into the landing area.
- Make sure the landing area is obstacle free before landing. If there are people there, you should ask them to leave the area temporarily. Never take risk and land when people are still there.
- If you have difficulties in landing, ask for help.
- Please let the others at the site know if you are going to search for a lost glider. Bring with you the phone, walkie talkie, protective gloves, knife and enough drinking water. Try to ask somebody to go with you.
- Beware of snakes, bee and other animals when you are flying or recovering a plane in rural area.
- In all circumstance real aircraft has priority over model aircraft. Never fly in vicinity of real aircraft
flying areas. These include airport area, approach and landing paths. Helicopters may fly close to top of hills.
Stop flying immediately when a helicopter is flying around. (Note 2)
Please also see Safety in Radio-Controlled Model Aircraft Flying by Civil Aviation Department.
- Do not fly in populated area or any places that it could be a nuisance or danger to the public.
- Model aircraft is not toys. Improper operation could cause serious injury or death. New comers should seek helps from experienced pilots. Never try to fly a model aircraft alone if it is your first time.
- Protect our environment. Keep clean and never leave anything behind when you leave.
- Keep in mind we are all sharing the same sky with each others. Be gentle and considerate.
- Finally: If in doubt, don't fly.
- "MHz" radio systems: They are the old AM, FM or PCM systems that the operation frequency is usually ranged from 27MHz to 72MHz. They can be easily interfered by the others of the same frequency. Today's new 2.4GHz radios use spread spectrum modulation technology that are highly resistant to interference.
- The Ma On Shan and Shek-O flying sites are shared with paraglider flyers. Paragliders are man-carrying gliders that in all circumstances they have priority over model aircrafts. When there are paragliders flying there, assign a person to watch for closing by paragliders and gives warnings to the model pilots. Never fly close to paragliders, allways keep a "blue sky" between the models and the paragliders.