Many thanks to Geoff our resident safety officer for supplying the following article.
Well finally the good weather seems to be here for a bit, and with it hopefully somewhat more of us at the strip, so this month just a few reminders.

1 FAILSAFES Please remember that setting the failsafe on your radio (if it has this facility & most now do) is not only advisable, it is a legal requirement. If you switch off your transmitter the minimum requirement is that the throttle goes to low. Check this at the beginning of each session. Not having this facility enabled can affect your insurance in the event of an accident. The situation with helis is a bit vague – check the BMFA website for guidance.

2 BATTERIES I find that after a year, the performance of NiMH cells drops off considerably. The first sign is that they appear to be charged quicker than normal (If you are using a fast charger). A lot of chargers are capable of cycling the battery and then giving a readout of capacity. If you can do this you will probably be shocked at how bad some batteries that are a few years old have become! Don’t risk it – change the flight pack!

Most electric set-ups include a BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuit) so the Receiver and Servos all work off the LiPo powering the motor. If that fails completely you are really stuffed as you won’t have any control at all! Anything larger than a foamy park flyer really ought to have a separate flight pack for the Receiver and servos so if the worst ever happened you’ll still be able to land under control. Fitting a separate battery means you need to cut the red wire from the speed controller; if you are not sure about this, ask someone!

3 NO FLY AREAS I recently had a rather embarrassing crash due to dis-orientation. In mitigation all I can say is that it was an autogyro, so a bit of a strange shape, but nevertheless I really should have been more careful! Now what surprised me was that I thought it came down relatively close in the next field over by the Scouts, but I was a bit horrified to find it no more than 25 metres from the boundary, and I guess 100 metres from their actual field! The moral is, distances can be deceptive in the air! Keep well clear of the Scouts’ field.