Hello SEFSD members,
Have you seen it? Have you noticed? If you haven’t you are one of the few.
Multi-Rotor craft are multiplying at our field like Tribbles*. The technology has gotten affordable for many, and multi-rotors of all types are now being seen at Mission Bay in fast-growing numbers.
The DJI Phantom has become one of the most popular models with nearly 20 SEFSD members owing them. Toss in the additional 4, 6 and 8 motor ‘copters that are at the field every day, and you can understand that Multi’s have become a club favorite in a very short period.
Although the inherent safety built in with many multi-rotor craft versus Helicopters gives pilots lots of confidence, and the dramatic reduction of spinning mass (a heli rotor blade is spinning at 300 mph at liftoff) reduces the amount of damage the craft can do, the same operational guidelines must prevail. With any new development in RC, we must be patient and diligent in our club operational rules as it relates to operating, and sharing our airspace with Multi-Rotor’s. Multi-Rotors for lack of any other definition, operate much like a helicopter, and need to be treated as such at the flight line. For normal day to day general flying, Helicopter operations are currently held at flight stations 5 and 6 when the craft is being operated the open area to the north of the runway, and flying in the normal traffic pattern. Extended hovering operations are reserved at the helipad, just east of the Pilot’s Ready Room. The thought behind holding Heli-style operations from station 5 and 6 is to allow other pilots to make visual contact when making their landing approaches. This of course is subject to the conditions at the time. If there are no other pilots around, and you want to fly from station 1 solo, then you are not encroaching on anyone else, so no worries. The main crux with having aircraft hovering near the runway, is to always give priority to fixed wing craft when they are on the runway, or coming to land. If a fixed wing pilot calls out a landing, and you are hovering over the edge of the runway, go ahead and push out to give them ample room. A little courtesy goes a very long way.
So if you haven’t yet caught the bug, ask one of your club mates about theirs. Even some of the most die-hard-never-gonna-try-something-new guys are getting multi’s, and loving every minute of it.
* Tribbles were a fuzzy little alien ‘bug’ that infested the USS Enterprise on Star Trek in very large numbers.
See you at the field,
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