Club Rules and Guidelines

REVISION - 17

(01/27/2021)

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE RULES & GUIDELINES WILL SERIOUSLY JEOPARDIZE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE RHODE ISLAND WATER RESOURCES BOARD.  ANY MEMBER WHO DISREGARDS THESE RULES & GUIDELINES MAY BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE EXECUTIVE BOARD FOR REVIEW.  CLUB MEMBERSHIP MAY BE TERMINATED AS SPECIFIED IN THE BY LAWS OF THE RHODE ISLAND AEROMODELERS, INC.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

*** Revision History Page(s) - On file with official Club Records. ***

Members are responsible for attaining the latest revision of this club document, either through a request via email ( an electronic copy provided; PDF) or by visiting the club website (MEMBERS ONLY TAB)

SECTION I - CLUB RULES and GUIDELINES (General)

     Purpose 

     Scope  

  1. Required Documents 

  2. Prohibited Articles/Usage Of 

  3. Field Rules (General)

  4. Ground Safety

  5. Flight Safety

  6. Right Of Way

  7. Restricted Flight Procedures

  8. Novice-Flight Instruction

  9. Model Configuration Restrictions

  10. Guest

  11. RIA Certified Flight Instructor Requirements

________________________________________________________________________

 

PURPOSE – To establish and maintain the official Rhode Island Aeromodelers (RIA) General Rules and Guidelines governing club membership, licensing (AMA Insurance), flying proficiency and to promote safe conduct of radio controlled fixed and rotary wing model aircraft at Beattie Field, West Greenwich, Rhode Island flying site.


SCOPE – The requisites concerning RIA club membership, AMA membership, general field rules/prohibitions, flight/ground safety, flight restrictions, flight instruction and non-club member (guest) guidelines.

 

1. Required Documents:

  1. Current AMA membership card with appropriate Pilot designation sticker.

    1. Yellow sticker for Novice

    2. Blue Sticker - Intermediate Pilot

    3. No Sticker - Advanced Pilot

    4. Orange Sticker - Instructor Pilot

    5. A list of current members in good standing and their Pilot Designation is posted in the safety enclosure.

  2. AMA Card must be on display in full view while at the field.

  3. All Models are to be identified with owner’s name, address or AMA number AND FAA Registration number on the exterior of the model/UAV.

 

2. Prohibited Articles/Usage Of:

  1. Firearms, explosives, or fireworks of any kind.

  2. Model rockets.

  3. Uncontrolled pets (must be on leash outside pit area).

  4. Uncontrolled children (must be accompanied by a supervising adult).

  5. Parachute dropping from models (unless approved by the club Safety Committee performed at sanctioned club events only, due to the close proximity of both Rt. 95 and Division Rd).

  6. Turbine powered models with a powerplant greater than 80N (less than or equal to 80N is allowed)


 

3. Field Rules (General):

  1. When less than ten (10) pilots are present: During these times the fliers present will decide on their own to fly as a group or individually in a manner such that all fliers present will have equal flying time of their specific technology (either fixed or rotary wing model).

  2. At busy times, when ten (10) or more fliers are present:  During these times the fliers may take turns flying helicopters separately from airplanes utilizing the main runways and flight boundaries.  Not more than five models will be in the air at any one time.  Turns will be taken such that all pilots present will have equal flying time of their specific technology (either fixed or rotary wing model).

  3. Any member(s) having litigation (lawsuit(s)) pending regarding any Flight Safety issue (accident/incident) against a member of this club, this club, State Of Rhode Island or the AMA is forbidden to operate a model aircraft at Beattie Field until the litigation is settled.

  4. All AMA and RIA Club Rules apply at any and all flying sessions.

  5. Flying over or beyond Route 95 is expressly forbidden, and can be grounds for disciplinary action taken by the Club Safety Committee with the possibility of club membership termination.

  6. All fixed wing models operating on the ground are required to have a tail restraint device installed or a second person holding the model prior to starting and running the engine.

  7. Fuel spilling is prohibited. The use of an overflow containment device is mandatory.
    (IE: overflow tank or return line used during all fueling operations).

  8. Do not leave a running engine unattended.

  9. Fixed wing model engines will not be started on the assembly benches. These benches are to be used to assemble and maintain models only. 

  10. For extended full throttle engine operation such as break-in or tuning, the model should be moved to the test bench provided, next to the storage container.

  11. Spectators are not allowed in the pit area or on the runways, unless accompanied by a RIA pilot member.

  12. Any model deemed not airworthy will not be allowed to fly until the situation has been remedied. Any safety committee member may inspect any model at any time.

  13. Remove all trash (bottles, cans, cigarette butts, etc.) and take it with you.

  14. The last member to leave the field is responsible for making sure the field safety box and lawn mower storage container are locked and upon exiting premises, locking the gate behind them.

  15. Un-sportsman like conduct or vulgar language will not be tolerated and may be grounds for disciplinary action or expulsion from the club. 

  16. All members under the age of 16 must have a Parent or Guardian present during all flying sessions. 


 

4. Ground Safety:

  1. The club strongly discourages flying unless there is at least one other individual of driving age present at the field (in case of an injury).

  2. All active pilots that are using other than 2.4 GHz have to displayed their frequency and name on the whiteboard.

  3. If using other than 2.4 GHz, check whiteboard for frequency use. (ensure your frequency is not currently in use) 

  4. Turn off transmitter immediately after engine shutoff and collapse antenna, if using other than 2.4 GHz.

  5. Pilots of gasoline-powered models must have a fire extinguisher available near their model at all times.

  6. Only one model at a time is allowed to taxi in the pit area.

  7. Pilots must fly from a position that is forward of the flight tables by at least 10 feet.


 

5. Flight Safety:

  1. The maiden flight of any new model shall be conducted with no other models in the air (pilot must inform other fliers of their intention).

  2. Five models airborne is the maximum number allowed at any one time.

  3. The use of the runways for taxi practice or hovering is prohibited if any other models are airborne.

  4. All fliers must stand off the runways during all flying sessions. 

  5. Helicopter models can be flown separately with the consent of the other pilots present.

  6. After landing, all models must be promptly removed from the runway.

  7. While group flying, pilots need to stand close enough to speak to each other. (spotters are recommended while group flying)

  8. Spotters are required while flying FPV (First Person View)

  9. Pilots, while flying in a group, must announce flight intentions.
    The MINIMUM are as follows:

 

  • ON THE RUNWAY – Pilot and/or models are present on, or intend to approach the runway.

  • CLEAR OF RUNWAY – Pilot and/or model is clear of the runway.

  • TOUCH & GO – pilots, performing touch and goes passes on the runways.

  • AUTOROTATION – To be treated the same as a dead stick.

  • DEAD STICK – Model has had engine failure and is coming in for landing.

  • COMING IN – Pilot is on base or final approach and intends to land.

 

6. In general, pilots should announce anything that differs from the flying activity in progress such as a change in the runways, wind direction change, low-level stunts, or touch and go landings.

 

7. Right of Way:

  1. Gliders, multi-engine models, dead-stick models have right of way.

  2. Models on final approach have right of way over other models.

  3. Novice fliers have right of way during landing attempts.

  4. Taxiing models must wait for runways to be cleared before taking off.

 

8. Restricted Flight Procedures:

  1. No flying within 250 feet of Route 95.

  2. Flying beyond the tree line on the right hand (Eastern) and left hand (Western) side of the field is allowed as long as in control and visual line of site is maintained.

  3. No flying over the pit, spectator or parking areas.

  4. No take-offs or landing allowed in the pit area or parking lot.


 

9. Novice Flight Instruction:

  1. Flight instruction will only be by a RIA Certified Instructor.  NO exceptions will be made under any circumstances.

    1. Note: Two (2) fully qualified pilots may ​"buddy-box" to provide additional safety for a member upgrading or becoming more familiar with an aircraft. - They can not give instruction but are there as a more experienced pilot to provide an additional level of safety only.

  2. All novice pilots must have a RIA Certified Instructor present during all flying activities until satisfactory completion of novice training.

  3. RIA instructors are not infallible, so while novice pilots are being instructed, they cannot hold the instructor or RIA responsible for any damages incurred to their models.

  4. Fixed wing novices without “Buddy Box” capable systems will be trained at the discretion of the instructor. Not all instructors are comfortable training novices without a “Buddy Box” and novices in this situation must expect limited instruction.

  5. Novices must satisfactorily complete and pass the Intermediate or Advanced Pilot, Helicopter or Multi-Rotor Flight Exam (whichever pertains) prior to attaining related “PILOT” status to fly without the assistance from a RIA instructor.

  6. Previous members that have a lapse in RIA membership of three (3) or more years must prove their flying skills that meet RIA test standards with an instructor before they can fly alone.

10. Model Configuration Restrictions:

To enhance safety at Beattie Field, as this location is bordered on two sides by well traveled road ways, one being Division Road, the other side being a major highway (Rt.95) and considering the fact that this site has been entrusted to the RIA club by the State of Rhode Island Resources Management Department, the club takes the following additional actions further enhancing safety in protecting  the club’s flying privileges as much as possible regarding the safe flying of compatible R/C models.

11. All models equipped with glow fuel or gasoline engines MUST be equipped with a muffler.


 

NOTE: If a model appears to be excessively loud, as determined by a safety committee member, the model in question will be tested for its sound level and the sound level reading MUST be below 98 dB at full throttle (from 6 Ft. away) before continuing to be operated at Bettie Field.


All Gasoline and glow fuel engine equipped models will be subject to testing for sound levels prior to flying and must have a reading below 98 dB at full throttle (from 6 feet away) in order to be operated at Bettie Field.

12. No model can exceed more than ONE of the following MAXIMUM parameters.

  1. Model Weight: 40 lbs.

  2. Wingspan: 110 inches.

  3. Engine Size: 85cc.

 

Example - A model with a larger than 110-inch wingspan could exceed the wingspan but not the model weight and engine size.

 

13. Guests: Members may bring an occasional guest, three (3) times maximum to the field to fly, within the year, provided: 

  1. The guest has a valid AMA membership card.

  2. Sponsor must be a RIA member in good standing. Guest Novice pilots can only fly with a RIA Instructor.

  3. Guest sponsor is to be present with guest at all times.

  4. The sponsoring member assumes ALL responsibility for the actions of their guest.

  5. A Club Official (Safety Coordinator, Instructor, or Board member must observe preparation and first flight of any guest prior to being allowed to continue additional flight operations.

 

14. RIA Certified Flight Instructor Requirements:

  1. A pilot who has demonstrated significant R/C flight proficiency and sound R/C flight fundamentals and has been nominated by a RIA instructor and voted for by the membership.

  2. Must have successfully completed one of the Instructor Qualification Exams.

  3. Instructors must be aware of the limits of their ability and may exercise their right of refusing to instruct for any reason they deem appropriate.

  4. Being an instructor is completely voluntary and will not be compensated by the club in any manner.

  5. In order to maintain Instructor active status, Instructors must be available on a reasonable (fairly often) basis, and agree to be responsive to training inquiries by members seeking their help and availability (what days and times) via email or phone.

  6. An RIA Instructor also has the added responsibility of being a Safety Officer and a good role model.


 

SECTION II - GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE (SAFETY & PROCEDURAL RULE VIOLATION)

      Purpose

      Scope

  1. Definitions

  2. Procedure

  1. Observed Violation (Coordinator not present)

  2. Observed Violation (Coordinator present)

  3. Observed Violation (Procedural in nature only)

  4. Safety Committee Actions/Judgments


 

PURPOSE – The grievance procedure provides a mechanism to enforce existing safety & Club rule by providing a progressive disciplinary system and method whereby members can submit a Grievance when a perceived Safety or Club Rule is violated.  Although most complaints can be resolved informally between the Safety Coordinator or Safety Committee member and the alleged offender, if a complaint is serious or cannot be resolved informally, the matter is to be referred to the Safety Committee for its consideration by means of a Grievance Form to be filled out in its entirety and turned in to the Safety Committee Chairman through the Safety Coordinator or directly to club officials, if alleged offense is Procedural, not Safety related in nature.  At least one witness is required to sign the Grievance Form.

SCOPE – The progressive disciplinary system of resolving Flight and Ground Safety Rule violations or noncompliance of Club Procedures.  All submitted Grievances are to be considered PERCEIVED until determined otherwise by the Safety Committee or the Safety Committee Chairman.


 

DEFINITIONS:

 

1. Grievance Form – This is the clubs official form to be filled out in its entirety and routed to club officials as detailed in this Procedure for any of the following circumstances:

  1. Any time a Safety violation cannot be resolved informally (verbally, if first violation only) by the Safety Coordinator whether they were present or informed after the alleged incident occurred.

  2.  Alleged observation/complaint is of serious nature (i.e. model crashes on/near Rt. 95, member injuries, etc.) whether it’s a first violation or not.

  3. A Club Procedural violation as defined paragraph II, 3, below.

  4. The RIA Grievance Form can be obtained from any club officer.

 

2. Record Retention – All documentation concerning all submitted Grievance forms will be filed with the clubs official records, including any accumulated documentation of Grievances that were initiated and subsequently rescinded by the originator during the process of review by the Safety Committee.

 

PROCEDURE

 

1. Observed Violation (Coordinator not present):

  1. Any member observing or involved in a Safety Rule violation whether Ground or Flight related, when no Safety Coordinator/member of the Safety Committee is present at the field is to contact the Safety Coordinator and inform them of the perceived violation.

  2. The Safety Coordinator is to contact the alleged offender or offenders for their side of the story and attempt to resolve it informally (first violation only).  If an alleged offender or offenders is/are uncooperative and refuses to resolve it informally, the Safety Coordinator is to report the situation to the Safety Committee Chairman after filling out a Grievance form detailing the nature of the violation as was conveyed to them.

 

2. Observed Violation (Coordinator present):

  1. Any Safety Rule violation whether Ground or Flight related observed by the Safety Coordinator is to immediately inform the offender and attempt to resolve it informally.

  2. If offender fails to be cooperative or continues to disregard the verbal warning (first violation only), the Safety Coordinator at that point can request the member to cease flying (whether it’s a first violation or not) as an interim safety measure.  The Safety Coordinator will then fill out a Grievance form and turn it into the Safety Committee Chairman for the Safety Committee’s judgment.

  3. Any time the Safety Coordinator cannot resolve a safety violation informally (first violation only), they will fill out and submit a Grievance Form to the Safety Committee Chairman for the Safety Committee's determination.

 

3. Observed Violation (Procedural In Nature Only):

  1. Any time a member that perceives a Club Procedural Rule has been violated by the actions of another member or members will submit a Club Grievance Form.  The form is to be filled out in its entirety (i.e., Date & time of occurrence, nature of perceived violation, etc.), signed by the complainant along with at least one witness signature, before submitting it to any club official or appointee (Safety Coordinator).  

  2. The club Grievance Form (see last page of this Section) is the ONLY official recognized club document format, club officials will act upon concerning all perceived violations of Club Policy, specifically delineated in this or any other official Club Procedure(s) or By-Law Article(s).

 

4. Safety Committee Actions/Judgments:

 

The following actions and judgments will be taken as a result of the Safety Committee's investigation and subsequent determination and judgment if offender is found to be in violation of the clubs Safety or Procedural rules.

 

1. First Violation:

  1. Viewpoints of both the complainants (i.e., member, Safety Coordinator, Safety Committee member and witness) and the accused will be considered

  2. Complainant’s name will be disclosed.

  3. The Safety Committee will give a verbal reprimand to the accused if found in the wrong, and this action will be filed with the official records.

 

2. Second Violation:

  1. Complainant’s name will be disclosed.

  2. The accused has the right to a written rebuttal, to be reviewed by the Safety Committee.

  3. If the Safety Committee so decides, the flying privileges of the accused will be suspended for thirty- (30) days.  Written notice of this action shall be issued and a copy filed with official club records.

 

3. Third Violation:

  1. Safety Committee Chairman will notify the accused and all eligible to vote members in writing via US Mail and or electronic means (E-mail) apprising members that the Club will vote on the expulsion of the accused at the next meeting.

  2. Said expulsion (if voted in favor of) will last for a one-year minimum time frame.  (Longer if deemed necessary by the Board of Directors).

  3. A member may be expelled from the Club upon a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote in favor of expulsion by the members in good standing and eligible to vote present at a regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

  4. Voting will be by secret ballot.

  5. The expelled member may reapply for membership after the expiration of the expulsion time period has elapsed.

  6. The three actions will not be enforced unless they are accumulated within a two-year period of time.

  7. Any member or members involved with a Grievance, who directs any retaliation action against the person filing said Grievance, will be subject to immediate expulsion from the Club.  This is to include threats, intimidation, physical harm, intentional equipment damage, or any other action deemed to be retaliatory in nature by the Board of Directors.





SECTION III - ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT REPORTING PROCEDURE)

 

      Purpose

      Scope

  1. Definitions

  2. Severity Levels

  3. Actions/Judgments

  4. Safety Committee Duties And Responsibilities

  1. Judgments

  2. Accident/Incident Reporting

  3. Accident Worksheet

 

April, 2017

 

PURPOSE – To promote a safe environment for all club members to enjoy the hobby of flying their R/C models at Beattie Field, and most importantly, the fact the club's continuing use of this site is dependent on the State of Rhode Island Water Resources Board's annual property lease renewal to the club. 


 

SCOPE – The Accident/Incident reporting procedure provides a mechanism for informing the club Safety Coordinator that an accident or incident has occurred involving a prohibited or restricted area model aircraft crash, or that a field safety rule was violated and the violator involved would not respond informally (i.e., told; what they were doing violated the club's Safety rules and no cooperation resulted).  This procedure also provides a means of determining the SEVERITY LEVEL based on where the accident/incident occurred.  In addition, this procedure defines what disciplinary action(s) to be taken by the club based on the recommendations of the Safety Committee.  It should be noted; Accidents occurring within the designated fly over areas involving only damage or loss of a model aircraft will be considered minor in nature, that is, no individual(s) were injured, no personal property damaged, nor were there any other models involved either during flight (mid air) or on the ground (runway only) . No formal written explanation is required but is recommended that the pilot on the model contact the Safety Coordinator or any member of the Safety Committee for historical purposes.

 

1. DEFINITIONS:

 

Accident - All model aircraft crashes identified to be a Severity Level 1 through Severity Level 3.

Incident – All field safety rule violations involving operating a model aircraft , both on the ground (in the pits or on the runways) or in the air (designated overfly areas) NOT involving a crash as delineated in Severity Level 4.

Model aircraft - Any model fixed wing/rotary wing aircraft (powered or unpowered

 

2. ACCIDENT/INCIDENT SEVERITY LEVELS

  1. LEVEL 1 - An accident involving a model aircraft (CRASH) in a prohibited area, which could possibly jeopardize the club's right to continue flight operations at Beattie Field:

  1. Beyond the 500 foot Safety Zone toward route 95 (measured from the end of the short North-South runway.

  2. On Division Road south of the flight line/parking lot (restricted to crossing over for take-offs and landings only).

  3. On the property of the neighbor to the East of the field, just beyond the tree line.

  4. Not necessarily causing personal injury, property damage, equipment damage or vehicle damages.

 

2. LEVEL 2 - An accident/incident involving a model aircraft (CRASH) in a prohibited over-fly area, not necessarily causing personal injury, equipment damage, or vehicle damages. 

  1. In the pit area.

  2. In the spectator area.

  3. Parking lot.

3. LEVEL 3 - All accidents involving a model aircraft (CRASH) occurring within the designated flyover areas involving only damage to or loss of a model aircraft.

  1. Accident occurred within the non-prohibited area.

  2. No individual was injured.

  3. No other model was involved.

  4. No personal property damaged.

 

4. LEVEL 4 - All incidents (NO CRASH) occurring within the designated overfly areas or a field Safety Rule violation and the violator involved would not respond informally (i.e., Told what they were doing violated, a club Safety Rule and no cooperation resulted).  When reporting an incident, the form must be signed by violator including witnesses.

 

3. ACTIONS/JUDGEMENTS

1. The following actions and judgments will be taken as a result of the Safety Committee's investigation and subsequent determination and judgment if the offender is found to be in violation of the clubs Safety or Procedural rules. 

 

4. SAFETY  COMMITTEE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1. Judgments - The Safety Committee shall use its judgment in carrying out action on the Following:

1. First Occurrence:

1. Viewpoints of both complainants and accused will be considered.

2. Complainant's name will be disclosed.

2. The Safety Committee will give a verbal reprimand to the accused, and this will be filed with official club records.

 

2. Second Occurrence:

  1. Complainant's name will be disclosed

  2. The accused has the right to a written rebuttal, to be reviewed by the Safety Committee.

  3. If the Committee so decides, the flying privileges of the accused will be suspended for thirty (30) days.  Written notice of this action shall be issued to the offender and made known to the membership.

 

3. Third Occurrence:

  1. Committee will notify the offender and the club members via email that the club will vote on the expulsion of the accused at the next club meeting.

  2. Said expulsion will last for at least one (1) year minimum. (longer if deemed necessary by the Board of Directors).

  3. A member may be expelled from the club only upon a 2/3 two thirds majority vote of the membership present at the meeting.

  4. Voting will be by a secret ballot at a regular scheduled monthly meeting.

  5. The expelled member may reapply for membership after the expiration of the expulsion time period.

  6. The (3) three actions will be enforced unless they are accumulated within a (2) two year period of time.

  7. Any member involved with an Accident/Incident report who directs any retaliation action against the person filing the report, will be subject to immediate expulsion from the club.  This to include threats, intimidation, physical harm, intentional equipment damage, or any other action deemed to be retaliatory by the Board of Directors


2. Accident/Incident Reporting - An accident/Incident reporting form can be obtained from any club officer and filled out. The completed form must be turned into the club Safety Coordinator or any member of the Safety Committee for action to be taken. At least one (1) witness is required.

3. Accident Worksheet - In order to help prepare the RIA Accident/Incident Form, a worksheet can be obtained from any club officer.