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EASA ‘Prototype’ Commission Regulation on Unmanned Aircraft Operations

by Eric Li-Koo

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have noticed the headlines about EASA’s intentions to regulate the use of drones, and the subsequent petitions, video responses and open letters that warn us of the consequences of inaction, which have ranged from “end of the road for our sport/hobby” to “death of the UK and European drone industry”!

The BFPVRA has been liaising with the BMFA on this, who has in turn been working with the CAA and EAS since before the prototype regulations were proposed in August. We suggested that we put out an official announcement to clarify what the prototype rules mean to us as modellers, what has been done to address our concerns (especially around the contentious Article 15) and what the official recommendation to our members should be.

In summary:

  • Dave Phipps (BMFA Chief Executive) has been working on this for the past year and is continuing to do so, but if you want to contribute then please email UASPrototypeRule@easa.europa.eu directly with your concerns.
  • Writing to MPs and MEPs is somewhat premature at this stage (unless they sit on the TRAN committee, and those who do have already got the message). Likewise with the various petitions.
  • Raising awareness of the issue is important, but please stay civil and avoid inflammatory language as we want to be taken seriously!

It’s almost time to crown the 2016 British Champion!

by Eric Li-Koo

The weekend is rapidly approaching and although the spectre of the British weather is still looming, we are hopeful that we will have enough pockets of dry daylight to put on a good event for you all. The sponsors for the event have now been finalised and we are pleased to announce that they are:

SILVER SPONSOR
Fossils Stuffhttp://www.fossilsstuff.com/

BRONZE SPONSORS
Dronezonehttp://www.popham-airfield.co.uk/
Gensacehttp://www.gensace.com/

PRIZE SPONSOR
Gemfanhttp://www.gemfanhobby.com/En

VENDORS
i-Dronehttp://www.i-drone.co.uk/
MAKEITBUILDIThttp://makeitbuildit.co.uk/
RadioChttp://www.radioc.co.uk/

We wholeheartedly thank all of our generous sponsors for supporting this prestigious event, and we look forward to seeing you all at Ragley Hall this weekend.

Lastly, all pilots should now have received their pilot packs. Please do read this thoroughly and let us know if you have any further questions. Any answers to commonly asked questions will be posted here for the benefit of everybody: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zFxdi06HFmomXB-827HZedhJX4j1JvkCERRiWTdN6M8

What exactly does the association do?

by Eric Li-Koo

We are rapidly nearing the end of the racing season, with British Championships just around the corner and some of our country’s top pilots preparing to show off their skills to their international counterparts at Euros and Worlds, so we thought it would be a good idea to update everybody on what we do and where your membership fees go.

Everything we do contributes towards the objectives that are enshrined in our constitution, and we strive to uphold the principles as written in our mission statement, but we are often asked for a more in-depth description of what we do, so here goes:

British Championship eligibility.

by Richard Rowland

To be eligible to participate in the British Championship on Oct 1st and 2nd 2016, you must be a BFPVRA member and have attended at least one of the Championship qualifying events.

 

The top 60 pilots based on their best qualifying scores will be invited to participate primarily, and priority given to the next in line if any can not attend.

 

Thank you.

BFPVRA British Championships 2016 – Dates & Location

by Thomas Greer

The BFPVRA is pleased to announce we have secured a venue and dates to hold the British Championships 2016.

The event will run on the 1st/2nd October 2016, and will be held as part of Helifest UK, at Ragley Hall. Full details can be found on the Event Page.

Eligibility criteria will be announced in the coming days, but for now, save the date!

New Committee Members

by Thomas Greer

We are pleased to announce the addition of four supporting committee members;

  • Richard, richard@bfpvra.org – ‘I am joining to help the hobby progress and help with the league table’
  • Warren, warrenj@bfpvra.org – ‘I am joining to help improve the sports growth in the UK. We have some of the world’s best pilots and should support their growth, and support new pilots to come into the sport’
  • Andrew, andrew@bfpvra.org – ‘I am joining to support the community and help the great atmosphere grow with everything else’
  • Craig, craig@bfpvra.org – ‘I am joining to help the UK pilots be the best they can be, from novice to pro. Being part of the BFPVRA I can help unify the UK FPV pilots and make sure that they will always the strongest and fastest FPV pilots in the world.’

These supporting committee members will be working alongside our core committee council. Rather than the clear roles of the core council, the supporting members will be more flexible; able to volunteer time and fill in where required. This will help us engage with clubs, members, authorities and the world at large to a higher standard than could be expected from the volunteered spare time of the four council members alone.

 

The Queens Cup

by Richard Rowland

After a bumpy starts and a few technical difficulties along the way, the Queens Cup is over and we have a champion.

The prestige of this event brought 52 pilots to Popham airfield to compete for a chance to have their name on one of the oldest sporting trophies in the UK. Some veterans of racing and a lot of new faces too, all came together for one of the best events of 2016.

With so many new faces, getting started was a bit slow. Getting everyone used to what they need to do and getting the equipment working in a race environment is no small feat. The guys from Rotor-Racing and the helping BFPVRA members did a exceptional job as always and we managed to get 2 practice rounds and 5 qualifying rounds in on day 1.

Day 2 consisted of another qualifying round and then everyone was seeded into their final positions based on their best 3 of the 6 rounds held. The top 24 pilots would go on to a knockout stage of racing to compete for the Queens cup, while the remaining 28 pilots each had their own final to compete for a medal and bragging rights over their fellow pilots.

After an exhausting 2 days with lots of racing, we got down to a single grand final of 6 pilots: Gary Kent, Matthew Evans, Leo Whitfield, James Bowles, Richard Whelan and Philip Trifunovic . A thrilling battle of the best pilots on the day was had, and Gary Kent came out victorious and was crowned The Queens Cup Champion.

A huge thank you goes out to Popham Airfield for hosting the event. The entire Rotor-Racing team along with FPVLeague.co.uk for everything they did to help run race control, and Niall coming in and giving up his free time to supply us with his great commentary. The BMFA (Andy Symons and all his team) for all their help and support. The Royal Aero Club for awarding us the privilege of the Queens Cup Trophy. Fossil Stuff for their help on the day and with track equipment. The BFPVRA committee for everything at the scene and behind the scenes. And of course to all the pilots for attending the event and being part of the greatest sporting community there is.

Queen’s Cup frequency scheme

by Eric Li-Koo
For any competitors who have been asking what frequency scheme and power output they will need for Queen’s Cup, we will be running Raceband at 25mW MAXIMUM.
Equipment will be checked during registration on the day.
The full set of construction rules will be in the Pilot Pack, which will be published after registration closes on Friday.