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February 2018
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Changes to MOP056 - Range & Fail Safe Checks

Reminder to all Members.


Recently the MAAA Executive have been dealing with three incidents. Two being ‘fly aways’ resulting in models impacting in public areas and becoming the subject of complaints to CASA. The third was operating from a full size airfield and resulted in the destruction of the very expensive model ($30,000).


Based on reports received from the three incidents they were all subject to some form of loss or ‘reversed’ radio signals. At their last meeting the MAAA Executive reviewed the requirements in MOP056 Safe Flying Code and agreed to the changes shown below. While ‘fly aways’ can occur to any type of model and have done so in the past, it is agreed that taking the steps outlined in MOP056 with regard to range and fails safe checking of RC controlled models , the risk can be reduced.

In the destruction of the expensive model, while it cannot be proven 100% due to the model being totally destroyed by fire, there were sufficient knowledgeable modellers on the scene to evaluate and draw a fairly comprehensive conclusion from the events that took place. Any modeller utilising a ‘powerbox’ distribution system within their model are urged to check the ‘fail safe’ while the model is running and being restrained. Simply turning off the Transmitter will check this. Powerboxes need to be set up with the particular brand of Radio equipment being used, we all know there are differences, especially with the throttle set up, between certain brands of equipment. In the case concerned it would seem that when transmission was either reduced or lost and with the engine running, the failsafe activated, however the throttle was reversed through the powerbox in fail safe mode.


1)    I will ensure the correct model is selected and have completed a successful radio equipment ground range and fail safe check each day prior to the first flight of any model.


2)    I will perform my initial turn after takeoff away from the pit and spectator areas.


3)    I will not knowingly operate an R/C system within 4 kilometres of a pre-existing model club flying site unless in accordance with the MAAA Manual of Procedures. 


Norm Thompson

Vmaa Secretary

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