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Damage to models


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This seems to be the best topic to use. If not could the mods please  move to the most appropriate topic.

 

We have recently  had an expensive model damaged on our site. I have to state now I wasn't present and have only seen photos of the incident and heard second hand versions of both sides.

 

The owner of the model placed his wings on the ground near, not by his car and another member drove into the parking area and apparently didn't see them and drove over them while parking.. Neither is accepting responsibility and things have become quite heated  with lawyers and police being threatened.

 

How would other clubs deal with this as we don't feel it anything to do with the club directly, but obviously we need to be peacemakers. Parking and unloading have not caused any problems in the very many years we have been onsite.

 

I have always assumed that in incidents like this an offer to repair/replace is usually made but this incident may involve a fair amount of money.

 

John

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I suspect all the heat and bluster is a result of embarrassment on both sides and neither wanting to back down. I can sort of relate as i reversed my car into my friends stuff a number of years ago. He blamed me for it and i blamed him as he left all his stuff in the car turning area on the field and it was invisible to me from inside the car as it was below my line of sight out the back. As it was there was no damage so we just got on with our lives but it could have been more hassle than it was. 

 

Anyway, i would call the BMFA for advice as our insurance should cover the situation. It will probably require the driver to admit responsibility, but other than loosing face it will have no other impact on him at all. If he wont, the club might have to make the case for him by giving details of where it all occurred and how. Unless of course the wings were left in the middle of the road in a position where the driver could not see them at all in which case its the owner might be deemed at fault. 

 

No idea! best call the BMFA 

 

 

 

 

 

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They have been in contact with the BMFA who advice going to car insurer. Not sure if the car insurer has been contacted yet. BMFA member to member insurance  seem more for personal injury from what

I have heard.

 

Both unfortunately have prickly natures so may drag on for some time.

 

John

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If they have such "prickly natures" then it might be argued that both of them don't have the right temperament for model flying. 

The atmosphere will be strained whenever either of them is at the field, and intolerable if both are on site at the same time.

 

Get them together and give them 20 minutes to sort out their differences. 

If they can't find an amicable solution, expel them both out of the club. 

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It doesn't really sound like this is anything to do with the club. This sounds like two rather immature individuals who are too egotistical to come to terms. 

The club's main interest should be ensuring that this private issue doesn't sour the atmosphere for others. If that can't happen and their continued membership is likely to be detrimental to the club, then they have to leave. 

Would be a lot easier if they just estimate costs for repair and split the bill 50/50 as both were probably at fault. But perhaps that's too much like common sense for these boys. 

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5 hours ago, John Tee said:

They have been in contact with the BMFA who advice going to car insurer. Not sure if the car insurer has been contacted yet. BMFA member to member insurance  seem more for personal injury from what

I have heard.

 

Both unfortunately have prickly natures so may drag on for some time.

 

John

 

Some years ago Mr Tidey of Laser fame had an incident at a show where he hit his engine kill after landing but the engine didnt stop. The model was aided by the wind and marched forward chomping the tail off a 1/4 spitfire. This damage was covered under the insurance and from what was discussed when the bmfa gave a talk about it at my club i would expect this to be covered as well. If not fair enough. 

 

 

As for your club members. I do not know what to suggest. I think throwing them out might be a bit extreme, but it might be a last resort i suppose. That or pistols at dawn. 

 

Frankly though, i think Matt's 50/50 suggestion is the most sensible thing to do and in future folk should learn to not leave their stuff lying around, and look where they are going!

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Jon - Laser Engines said:

 

Some years ago Mr Tidey of Laser fame had an incident at a show where he hit his engine kill after landing but the engine didnt stop. The model was aided by the wind and marched forward chomping the tail off a 1/4 spitfire. This damage was covered under the insurance and from what was discussed when the bmfa gave a talk about it at my club i would expect this to be covered as well. If not fair enough. 

 

 

 

Slightly different, here it was a modellers model that did the damage and the BMFA insurance covers us when we are aeromodelling, but the case being discussed is a members car doing the damage. 

 

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That's true Frank, but i was under the impression from the talk my club had was that anything model flying related is covered by our bmfa insurance. If you have a car crash on the way to the field that is covered as its a modelling related activity. 

 

But, insurance is a complicated minefield so i am not completely sure. 

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A letter along the lines. Gents your arguement is causing concern and making members feel uncomfortable.

We would ask you to resolve the matter in a 50/50 split. We are giving you 14 days to agree and a further 14 days to implement. Should you decide not to agree to the above we expect resignations failing which your membership will be terminated at the end of the 14 day agree period  commencing from date of (e mail/letter)

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I do not know the back history of these two but as i mentioned before i think throwing them out must really be held as a last resort. For some reason clubs default to this idea of throwing people out immediately when there is a problem of any kind.   

 

If these two hate each other but its not impacting anyone else just leave them to it. If it is really destabilising the whole club, which i have to think is unlikely as i would assume the other members just roll their eyes with boredom, then i assume there is a constitutional procedure within the club which needs to be followed. If it was anything like my old club you got written warnings, then a short suspension, then a longer one, and then if you still didnt get it you were out. You cant just throw them out immediately for what is at face value a first offence and will likely blow over in time anyway. 

 

There will always be disagreements but the threat of dismissing a member should be reserved for the most serious of situations. 

 

 

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Hmm, I've done that too. About 20 years ago I was in the car, motor running ready to leave and leaning out of the window chatting to someone, as I did that a chap came up and deposited his model in front of my car where it was invisible, completely obscured by my bonnet. I think he assumed I would reverse but I went forward. I noticed guys waving as I was moving and waved back, then noticed they seemed a bit frantic so stopped. The Flair Magnatilla in question was a write off and I felt awful but the chap conceded that he shouldn't have left it there. He admitted he didn't like flying it but I gave him a model I had recently decommissioned and he appreciated the gesture. Recently, at my other club, someone reversed over an Arrow's EDF Hawk. 

 

All you can do is laugh and move on. Folks just need to appreciate that these things just happen from time to time. Perhaps in your case John each party has things going on in their lives that aren't helping their temperament? 

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I am no expert on legal matters or insurance, but from previous (work related) experience of damage claims the following seems the route to follow if it can’t be sorted amicably.

The person with the damaged wings submits a written claim to the car driver detailing the damage and costs.

The car driver submits the claim to his insurers (car and/or BMFA) and asks them to sort it out. As part of that process the insurers will enquire if any other insurance is involved, so which ever insurer you chose to start with the other might become involved. There will then be extensive negotiations between the two insurers and claimant.

Best settle amicably if possible!

Dick

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1 hour ago, Zflyer said:

A letter along the lines. Gents your arguement is causing concern and making members feel uncomfortable.

We would ask you to resolve the matter in a 50/50 split. We are giving you 14 days to agree and a further 14 days to implement. Should you decide not to agree to the above we expect resignations failing which your membership will be terminated at the end of the 14 day agree period  commencing from date of (e mail/letter)

This is an issue between the individuals, not a problem "owned" by the club.  They should be informed of the advice from the BMFA then be left to sort it out themselves.

 

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I presume this incident took place on private land. This can be a issue for car insurers.

I doubt the BMFA insurance covers it as the damage was not caused by a model flying related incident.

I have to agree with PatMc. They have had advice and should take it. 

 

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If the club has a written statement about leaving items unattended in the area where cars are likely to drive, then it's a mix of carelessness on the part of the broken model guy and lack of attention by the driver. I'd say (with my chairman hat on) if you're leaving kit around the parking area then it's 90% your own fault. The flight line and pits exist for a reason! I don't trust other drivers on the roads, I definitely don't trust drivers to pay attention in an area they know well with lots of potential distractions. 

 

They're both at fault and if they can't be grown ups I'd give them one warning and if they continue to cause problems I'd boot them. I've done it and it works: pour encourage les autres. 

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15 minutes ago, Lima Hotel Foxtrot said:

They're both at fault and if they can't be grown ups I'd give them one warning and if they continue to cause problems I'd boot them. I've done it and it works: pour encourage les autres. 

That assumes the incident is covered by existing club rules.  If it isn't what authority do you have to "boot them out" ? 

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30 minutes ago, PatMc said:

That assumes the incident is covered by existing club rules.  If it isn't what authority do you have to "boot them out" ? 

 

If the behaviour of one or more members is, or is likely to cause disharmony, or maybe make other members less inclined to attend etc, then I think the chairman can realistically propose termination as being contrary to the interests of the club. Membership of any club or organisation isn't a right and is always subject to acting within an agreed or tacitly accepted code of behaviour. 

 

I agree that this is an issue between individuals but one that seems likely to extend beyond that hence the OP posting here). 

 

I have left clubs before because of the internal politics, arguing and side taking that sometimes seem to happen. Nobody wants to go flying on tenterhooks in case "person x" turns up. 

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4 hours ago, Dickw said:

I am no expert on legal matters or insurance, but from previous (work related) experience of damage claims the following seems the route to follow if it can’t be sorted amicably.

The person with the damaged wings submits a written claim to the car driver detailing the damage and costs.

The car driver submits the claim to his insurers (car and/or BMFA) and asks them to sort it out. As part of that process the insurers will enquire if any other insurance is involved, so which ever insurer you chose to start with the other might become involved. There will then be extensive negotiations between the two insurers and claimant.

 

3 hours ago, Simon Chaddock said:

I presume this incident took place on private land. This can be a issue for car insurers.

I doubt the BMFA insurance covers it as the damage was not caused by a model flying related incident.

I have to agree with PatMc. They have had advice and should take it. 

 

All true, but I am sure the car driver is thinking about his excess payment for this and the premium next year if he claims. If I were him and I thought I had some degree of responsibility I'd just pay 50% out of pocket and move on, that is almost certainly going to be the best option unless it's a very, very expensive model. If I thought it was the other blokes fault for placing it in an area members can legitimately park but hidden from view, I'd probably refuse to pay as well - who places expensive models in car park spaces anyway?! The club should just stay neutral, tell the parties to sort it out amicably, and if not apply their constitution as written to discipline/suspend/eject the relevant members once due process has been followed.

 

PS - Any threats of police or legal interventions are completely empty IMO; the former won't be remotely interested and the latter will cost far too much to be viable.

Edited by MattyB
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2 hours ago, PatMc said:

That assumes the incident is covered by existing club rules.  If it isn't what authority do you have to "boot them out" ? 

Club rules. I try to keep a light touch in applying them, but when it comes to members threatening each other or putting the club's existence in jeopardy I come down like Zeus thunderbolt. 

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