RC Bees Flying Rules
- All flyers must be members of AMA and must be able to produce for inspection at any time a current AMA membership card and a RC Bees membership card. At this time, it is recommended that all flyers have an FAA number. All aircraft must have identity markings consistent with current AMA and Government requirements.
- Club membership runs for the calendar year only and expires on December 31 of each year. All members must renew their RC Bees membership before the end of the year. Prior year members who renew after the deadline are required to pay all prior months' dues. Prior members who have allowed their membership to lapse for more than one year are again responsible for the field fee. New member dues are pro-rated.
- Hours of flying are 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., seven days per week. An exception to this might be a club-organized event such as a night fly.
- Close and lock the first gate whenever entering and leaving on weekdays. On weekends, the gates can remain open while members are at the field.
- Last person leaving the field will see that everything is properly stowed in the storage compartment, and that both gates and the locks of the outhouse and storage compartment are locked.
- Don't litter. Take out all of your trash, and keep the area clean.
- All dogs must be on leash. No dogs on the runway ever. Clean up after your dog.
Cars and Parking Area
- When driving on the levee inside the first gate, drive slowly to minimize dust. If you can see dust in your rear view mirror either while entering or leaving, you are driving too fast. Use of the field is at the discretion of the farmers who own the land and they don't like dust blown onto their growing crops or their workers.
- Members holding conversations near their cars are at an increased risk of being hit by an airplane and should monitor landing aircraft.
- When bringing or picking up aircraft and equipment from the pit area, no auto will pass the first pit area.
- Don't drive motor vehicles on the runway at any time.
Flying Areas and Pattern
- Takeoffs and landings will be performed generally from right to left The presence of trees at the ocean end of the runway implies that landing patterns have to be conducted by flying towards the pits if landing from left to right, which is intrinsically more dangerous than when flying from right to left. Consequently, crosswind takeoffs and landings should be practiced in the right-to-left mode. Only if the wind direction is substantially off shore shall flying be conducted in a left-to-right landing and takeoff mode. In either case, agreement shall be reached by all flyers present on the direction in which the runway should be used, and all flyers must abide by this consensus. It is not acceptable to land in one direction and takeoff in another unless required due to wind conditions, nor is it acceptable to fly contrary to the agreed consensus direction. Traffic pattern is never over the river.
- No flying over the pit area, or behind the pits over the river.
- If seaplanes are to be flown from the river, the runway will be closed, giving time for seaplane flying.
- No low flying over runway or levee area when people are on the levee adjacent to the flying field. At those times all aircraft already in the air must maintain a minimum altitude of 100 feet, and no takeoffs will be allowed. Landings will only be allowed in cases of emergency (e.g. dead-sticks). Routinely check the levee before landing. When people stop on the levee to watch our flying, a member should let them know that they are in a dangerous position, and we cannot fly while they are there. Invite them to watch from behind our safety fence.
- No flying of aircraft over Thurwachter Road or within 250 feet of the house.
- No more than five aircraft in the air at one time. This may be modified for special controlled events such as pylon racing, combat, etc.
- Pilots must call out takeoffs and landings to other pilots on the flight line.
- A landing pilot has the right of way over any pilot taking off.
- It is recommended that flyers have spotters alongside them to assist in identifying and calling out landing and taking-off aircraft.
- All pilots must stay in the pit areas and in line with or behind the safety fence for pilot safety.
- After landing, you may taxi an aircraft back to your pit, but you should not leave your pit to do so.
- No flying, except for electric-powered park flyers (planes, helicopters and multirotors) when five or more workers and/or cars are in the three adjacent fields on our side of the river. The three adjacent fields are defined as the one directly opposite our runway and the ones on either side. The northwest side boundary shall be the dirt road halfway between the river and West Beach Road. In these circumstances, limited flying is permitted by electric-powered park flyers. For helicopters and multirotors, flights should be contained within the region between the levee and the river, and the west end of the runway and the club outhouse. Altitudes should be kept as low as practical. All park flyers should follow AMA recommendations which are as follows: aircraft weigh two pounds or less, electric- or rubber band-powered and incapable of speeds greater than 60 m.p.h., with no flying within 250 feet of people, vehicles or property. It is therefore important that we are aware of where workers might be at all times. We do not want to lose our field through failure to follow rules that have been agreed upon with the farming community. Over-riding this requirement is that there will be no flying if so requested by farm owners or their employees.
- Don't walk or run across the runway to locate or retrieve downed aircraft when anyone else is landing or taking off.
- Announce your intentions to walk on the runway to others on the flight line.
- Retrieve stalled aircraft as quickly as possible from the runway.
- When retrieving downed aircraft from the field area, it is recommended that two persons go, a retriever and a spotter; they should walk between rows to protect crops.
- When retrieving downed aircraft, always take your transmitter with you.
Gas and Glow Aircraft
- No engine break-in or prolonged engine running in the pit area. Use the test stand area located at the gate end of the field. No engine running is allowed at any time in the spectator area. The spectator area is defined as the area between the safety fence and the river. The pit area comprises the six access areas between the safety fence and the runway.
- Mufflers are required on all powered aircraft of 0.10 c.i. displacement and larger. Aircraft must meet Santa Cruz County Noise Ordinance requirements (85db @ 50 feet).
- Engines must be started with the propeller slipstream turned away from other aircraft.
- If the engine quits on the runway, take your transmitter with you during aircraft retrieval. If the engine has not quit, you may attempt to taxi it back to the pits, but you should not leave your established station to do so. The reason for keeping your transmitter switched on is so that control can be maintained if required. Instances have been known where a pilot has thought that his airplane's engine had quit after landing, and in fact it had not. On switching off the transmitter, in at least two known cases, the engine has gone to full power on its own accord, inflicting damage to both people and property.
- When an aircraft with a running engine is on the runway, but the aircraft cannot be moved remotely, stop the engine manually before returning with it to the pits. Do not restart an aircraft on the runway.
Frequency Board and Transmitters
- The channel frequency board must be used whenever a non-2.4 GHz transmitter is in use at the field. When the frequency board is in use, it applies to all flyers using non-2.4 GHz transmitters.
- Channel frequency number flags are required on all non-2.4 GHz transmitters.
- Current RC Bees membership card (or photocopy thereof) must be used on the frequency board.
- Only one card is allowed to be in a channel frequency slot at a time.
- All transmitters must be 1991 certified per AMA guidelines.
Beginners and Visitors
- A visitor may fly up to three times without having to join the club within a year providing a current member is present each time. A visitor must be checked out by a current club member and have proof of AMA membership before flying at the field.
- Before a beginning radio control pilot is allowed to pilot a radio controlled plane, glider helicopter, and/or multirotor at the flying field without restrictions, the beginning pilot will complete the club's training course with a club provided trainer. A four phase training course for all beginning radio control pilots is to be completed with a club trainer.
- After three visits, a new flier is expected to join the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) and the RC Bees in order to continue training. At that time, a new flier is also expected to provide his or her own equipment, including model and transmitter as well as register with the FAA.
Helicopters and Multirotors
- Helicopters and multirotors should use the runway for takeoff and landings only. Flight should be done from the levee on out.
- All helicopters larger than park flyers should be spooled up on the center line of the runway and should be operated from pits 4 through 6.
- Members flying helicopters and multirotors should follow all current AMA and FAA rules regarding their use and flight.
- Micro-sized helicopters and multirotors may fly over the runway, but must give way to all aircraft.