Club Rules

General introduction for new members

The Australian Freestyle Flyers Inc is a dedicated Radio Controlled helicopter club with the aim of promoting a safe and enjoyable environment for people of all ages to participate in our exciting and challenging hobby. Our club actively promotes the new comer by supporting them with training and a personalised teacher to help them progress.
 
Many of our members are sponsored pilots who compete nationally and internationally with all styles of flying from Sport Aerobatics to Scale, F3C and freestyle 3D (F3N) represented. The club has a very good "team culture" which promotes each other to grow through the hobby with the support of seasoned flyers with a National and Masters pedigree.
 
Regular working bee’s to maintain the field, inter-club fun-fly’s, BBQ’s, competitions, fundraisers, dinners, and other social events are all part of the clubs friendly environment. The club is made up by the sum of its members, what we put in is what we will all get out.
 
The club is registered with the VMAA and MAAA and membership includes the insurance organized by these bodies. The formal communication channel for the club is via the Australian R/C Helicopters Online web site (Archeli) www.archeli.com.au. Basic membership to the site is free, to access the Freestyle Flyers club room, please send a Personal Message to “Thunder Fighter” (Dennis Beilby) on Archeli requesting access after registering on the site.

 
Safety

Radio Controlled Helicopters are inherently dangerous and can be life-threatening if due care and safety procedures are not followed.
 
Safe operation should be paramount in all activities connected with the club. Injuries from burns and minor cuts through to grievous injuries to body and limbs are all possible.

Please exercise all possible care when operating your model, including while setting up in the pit area and starting/connecting your model.
 
Please seek the guidance of one of our experienced members or instructors if you are in doubt at any time.
 
Safety issues or unsafe behaviors are to be addressed immediately, if any incident occurs that results in a near miss or an injury it must be reported to the committee.

 
Basic rules

1. Club members and visitors must abide by all relevant CASA and MAAA rules


2. No flying over the pits or carpark area under any circumstances


3. All Helicopters are to be kept a minimum of 30 meters (horizontally) from the pit and carpark area when in flight


4. Pilots and Spotters are to remain at least 9 Meters from the helicopter (at the flight line) during fight, takeoff and landing


5. Helicopters are to takeoff and land from the provided flightline pads, unless in an emergency autorotation situation


6. Any person perceived to be flying while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be grounded and face the possibility of being expelled from the club


7. Visitors (both MAAA members and non-Members) who are planning to fly a helicopter are to be signed in by a Freestyle Flyers club member and agree to the club rules before flying or approaching the flight lines


8. Strictly no flying over an area where a helicopter is being retrieved or where people are in the designated flying area


9. Spectators are not permitted outside of the pit and carpark area and not allowed within 30 meters of the flightlines


10. A Spotter is required to accompany the pilot and warn the pilot of any safety or general issues while flying. Pilots must avoid flying near other flightlines when they are in use. It is recommended that Pilots do not fly alone at the field


11. No flying over the access road when a car or pedestrians are proceeding along it


12. No flying before 10am Sunday to 6pm small Electric models excluded. Weekdays non restricted


13. The club is a 2.4 GigaHertz only club, no other Radio Control transmitting equipment is to be used at this field


14. Keep the flying site clean and tidy, cigarettes are to be disposed of in the provided sand buckets and rubbish in the bins provided. Last to leave takes rubbish home.


15. No flying on days designated as Total Fire Ban days for the Hallam shire area


16. A Fire extinguisher is to be in the pit area when flying


17. Cars to be parked in the nominated car park only and shall not park with the back to the pitts. This area to be kept clear at all times


18. Take your rubbish home. There is no excuse


19. Shut gate behind you upon entry and remember” lock to lock” when leaving.

 
Other rules

1. All members are responsible for safety, if you see any unsafe behavior please address it with the people concerned immediately


2. New members must have their models inspected by one of the nominated club inspectors/teacher for airworthiness and demonstrate competence in controlling the model to the nominated trainer before being allowed to fly without the guidance of one of the nominated club teachers


3. Please treat all visitors, spectators and other members with courtesy, any conflicts should be aired and resolved as quickly as possible, if issues are not able to be amicably resolved please bring the matter to the attention of the clubs committee


4. When entering and leaving the field we need to drive slowly on the Dirt road so we do not stir up too much dust

 

 

Certification

Although not required by club rules, we encourage our members to achieve their bronze/silver and gold wings
The links below describe the manoeuvres required to achieve certification

Bronze/Silver Wings

Gold Wings 

Helicopter FAQ

 

Where did it all begin?


Helicopters are fascinating machines. In the full size world, it wasn't until well after fixed winged flight had been mastered that Igor Sikorski in the late 1930's unlocked the secrets of controllable helicopter flight.Even though model aircraft have been around as long as their Full size counterparts, viable model helicopters remained elusive. For a whole lot of complex technical reasons, copying the full size just did not work! It wasn't until the late 1960's that, due to the persistent and laborious efforts of Dieter Schluter that a model helicopter first flew and was capable of controllable flight. The secret, in part, was the addition of a fly bar to the rotor head. This is the extra bar and 'paddles' that are located 90° to the main rotor blades.

 

What sizes do model helicopters come in


Generally, model helicopters come in either 30 or 60 size. This refers to the capacity of the engine and reflects the size of the model. A 30-size helicopter has an engine capacity of .30 cubic inches or 5cc. Has a rotor diameter of approximately 1.2 metres and weighs about 2.5kg. A 60-size model has a rotor diameter of about 1.4m and weighs about 5.5kg. The engine being .60 cubic inches or 10cc in capacity.

 

What types of Models are there?


Undoubtedly, the most impressive helicopter is the Scale model. As this implies it is one that has been modelled on the Full size equivalent. These look their best when flown like the Full size, although some models are capable of aerobatics.Mostly people start out with 'Pod and Boom' (open structure type helicopters). The advantage of these is that the mechanics are accessible for easy maintenance and are much easier to repair in the event of a mishap Some 'Pod and Boom' models in the hands of skilled pilots, have the potential to perform spectacular aerobatics.

What type of engine powers the models?


The capacity as mentioned above is usually 30 or 60 size Similar to fixed winged models, the majority of model helicopters are powered by two stroke glow plug motors. However model helicopter engines are slightly different to the model aeroplane equivalent, in that the cylinder head has a larger heat sink or cooling fins and modified carburettor to give accurate throttle control at 50% power, the setting at which most flying is performed.Typical engines are 32SXH (30 size) and 60SXH (60 size). The 'H' indicates it is designed for helicopter use. The engines usually have a ball raced crankshaft and piston ring (this is not common with aeroplane engines). The power developed is about 1.2 horsepower for the 30 size and 2.2 horsepower for the 60 size at about 17,000 rpm.

What fuel is used in model helicopter engines?


The most common fuel for glow plug helicopter engines is a mixture of methanol, nitromethane and oil. Modern fuels tend to use a synthetic oil component, which produces cleaner burning. The ratio of each ingredient varies depending on the performance required and it is usually the nitromethane component that is adjusted. A common maximum mix would be 70% methanol. 15% oil and 15% nitro. The other nitro ratios commercially available are 5%, 10% and 30%.

 

What type of Radio is required?


It is possible to use a standard aeroplane 4-channel radio but this is not recommended. Ideally, 5 servos are required. A servo being the geared electric motor and crank that directly controls a particular function of the helicopter. The five servos control the 1.Throttle, 2.Tail Rotor (rudder), 3. Collective (controls the pitch of the main rotor or rate of climb), 4.Fore/aft Cyclic of the main rotor and 5.left/ right cyclic of main rotor (the last two functions initiate and control forward and sideways movement when hovering as well as climb and roll in forward flight).Most modem computer radios are reasonably priced and can store the set up for various models as well as fixed wing by disabling the special helicopter functions.The range of model aircraft radios is about 1000 metres or one kilometre. This may not seem far, but the real limit is one of visibility. When a model helicopter is 300 metres away it is already beginning to look like a fly buzzing around and if you can't see it properly you can't fly it properly!

What is a Gyro?


Gyros or gyroscopes are used to stabilise the tail of a model helicopter. Without a gyro the tail tends to swing violently from side to side and is easily effected by wind gusts. As the name suggests a gyro consists of a fast spinning flywheel which senses any movement of the helicopter. There are now also available electronic gyros that have no moving parts. Also available is a Gyro with a heading lock setting for 3d aerobatics to keep the tail heading constant even whilst flying backwards.

How long does a tank of fuel last?


The length of time a model helicopter can fly is limited by the size of the fuel tank and the capacity of the engine. The time varies from about 12 minutes to about 20 minutes. This is usually quite long enough due to the concentration level required when flying.

Is it hard to fly a Model Helicopter?


The answer is definitely NO, provided you choose the right kit you get some help and do the right ground work. The time to learn varies depending on ones abilities, but typical times are about two months (assuming you practice once a week). The first step is to learn to hover, as this is an important part of controlling the model when landing and taking off. The next step is to begin to do figure eights and gain confidence in controlling the helicopter when it is flying towards you. There are various aids to minimise the risk to the helicopter when learning. These include Trainer Under-carts that allow hard landings and minimise the likelihood of the helicopter flipping over from a wrong control input by the pilot. There are also excellent Computer Simulators available that allows you to practice when the weather's too wet to go to the field and also eliminates any fear of damaging the helicopter if you want to try something daring.

Can Helicopters glide?


Just like the full size, in the unlikely event an engine quits or if the pilot may wish to intentionally 'glide' the helicopter this is easily achieved. The manoeuvre involves applying negative Pitch to the main rotor (this causes the rotor to maintain rotation as the helicopter descends). Then when the helicopter is a couple of metres above the ground, positive pitch is gradually applied. The energy stored in the spinning rotor is used to slow the descent and allow a gentle touch down. It is as simple as that, well almost, this manoeuvre does take some time to master.

Where can I fly a Helicopter?


Model helicopters are not toys and are potentially dangerous if flown carelessly. The temptation to fly in the backyard or local park (which is a breach of local council by laws) should be avoided at all costs. Loss of control due to pilot error or people or animals approaching out of curiosity can very quickly develop into a very dangerous situation.It is strongly recommended that you join a club. In this way you can learn from others and fly in complete safety without any distractions.

How much do they cost?


Depending on the kit, engine and radio the initial cost can vary enormously. Generally, to get started a good second hand package can be had for under a $1,000. New packages can be purchased from under $2,000.

Where can I buy a Model Helicopter?


If you are starting out it is recommended you buy from a reputable hobby shop or dealer. Buying second hand privately you risk being disappointed, as you will not know for sure if the radio or helicopter are in good order or obsolete. Once you have gained experience, you will know what to look for and check out, if you wish to purchase a second hand helicopter. Australian modelling magazines (available at most newsagents) list State by State hobby shops and contact numbers near the back cover. These magazines have a section devoted to model helicopters and usually model shops that sell model helicopters have advertisements near by.

Membership Application

Click on the link below to redirect you to the Freestyle Flyers Tidyclub site

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