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BMFA SUBS 2024 ????


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11 hours ago, MattyB said:

 

It's not the BMFA's fault, but affiliation to a national association is effectively mandatory for many (probably most) clubs now, as a huge number of clubs sites would not be legally flyable without an Article 16 authorisation. 

This is entirely wrong. the Article 16 authorisation applies to all individual members of the BMFA and not the club. Whether the site is legally flyable is absolutely nothing to do with whether the club is affiliated.

Edited by Andy Symons - BMFA
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3 hours ago, Peter Jenkins said:

Well Matty, looks like the BMFA are ahead of the game and that your pearls of wisdom aren't quite as shiny as you thought.  Surprising really!

 

What? I asked if there was a more concrete example of how the BMFA centre adds benefit in the eyes of regulators, and one has been provided by Andy. What exactly is wrong with that on either side, unless of course you prefer living in a communist state where any question of the authority figure/organisation pretty much banned?! I'd looked at the National Centre website and done a Google, but could find no obvious publicity coverage of such visits, or anything other than general "it makes us look good in the eyes of the regulator" type statements. 

 

1 hour ago, Andy Symons - BMFA said:

This is entirely wrong. the Article 16 authorisation applies to all individual members of the BMFA and not the club. Whether the site is legally flyable is absolutely nothing to do with whether the club is affiliated.

 

OK, fair cop, that was lazy words and incorrect. However, on a practical level I'm not sure how many members would want to sit on the committee of a club that a) used a site/sites that were only legal when flown under Article 16, and b) was not affiliated, so the committee would not be covered by indemnity cover.

Edited by MattyB
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22 minutes ago, MattyB said:

OK, fair cop, that was lazy words and incorrect. However, on a practical level I'm not sure how many members would want to sit on the committee of a club that a) used a site/sites that were only legal when flown under Article 16, and b) was not affiliated, so the committee would not be covered by indemnity cover.

Not many I suspect. I wouldn't sit on the committee of a club that wasn't affiliated, nothing to do with Article 16  though, purely because of all the extra protections, insurance s and benefits. Its a real no-brainer. Still ultimately a choice for the club though.

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Before this thread grinds to a halt or is euthanised could I make an important point.

The words we use to describe what we do, in our case model flying, can have far reaching effects that can sometimes do us all a lot of harm. For instance, there’s nothing wrong with hobbies; stamp collecting, model railways or making a model of the Houses of Parliament out of a thousand matchsticks are pastimes that give people a lot of harmless enjoyment. Making model aircraft, whether Airfix plastics or ones that fly, can be a hobby too. But what we all enjoy is model flying and that is without a shadow of a doubt a sport; it’s a man-and-machine as well as a man-versus-the-elements one, whether we fly recreationally or competitively.

Every time we fly a model, whether we’ve spent many hours building it or many pounds buying it, we’re enjoying a sport. It’s not a dirty word. It doesn’t imply cut-throat pot-hunting competition or trying to fly better than somebody else. If there is any competition then it’s you trying to make this flight just a bit better than your previous one.

Why does this matter? Most local UK Councils have a Sports and Recreation Committee, which can provide funding, facilities for local sports clubs, including model flying clubs, and permission to use sites. In the early 1970s the first steps were taken towards recognition of model flying as a sport. We soon found that two major hold-backs were the title – Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers – and the words ‘hobby’ and ‘aeromodelling’. Because of the inaccuracy of the SMAE name, a working title of The British Model Flying Association was adopted in 1988. In our presentations to government we compared model flying disciplines with other sports, - combat flying and fencing, aerobatics and figure skating, free-flight and orienteering, - and got documentary evidence from numerous overseas nations whose governments already funded model flying as a sport. Finally in 1993, over 20 years since we first started negotiations, Sports Council (now Sport England) recognition finally came, benefitting all British model flyers.

So, please, please, please can we all stop referring to ‘the hobby’ and give model flying the respect it deserves as a SPORT. 

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I’m led to believe that the difference between our field being classified as a sporting facility and as a recreational one would cost us a couple of thousand pounds a year in rates, so while there may be sporting aspects to our hobby (much of which takes place in the privacy of our workshops) I would hesitate to use the term  in official dealings.  
 

By all means promote the sporting involvement stemming from our hobby but realistically, only a small percentage of the BMFA membership actively participate in the sporting side.  While it provides both mental and physical benefits to a largely otherwise sedentary and older section of the public, there is an element of misrepresentation in describing the whole hobby as a sport - perhaps  accepting that it is the backbone of the sport of competitive model flying is more realistic. 

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1 hour ago, Andy Symons - BMFA said:

Not many I suspect. I wouldn't sit on the committee of a club that wasn't affiliated, nothing to do with Article 16  though, purely because of all the extra protections, insurance s and benefits. Its a real no-brainer. Still ultimately a choice for the club though.

Although I strongly suspect that I fly alongside 100% BMFA members, I'm part of a 'group', not a club, and as such it isn't affiliated, nor do we have a committee. I also occasionally fly from other random places like a family member's farmland. And, perhaps on a less sound footing, from deserted beaches when on hols. So I'm a BMFA Country Member, and I sort of assumed that there will be quite a lot like me? I'm really hoping that the BMFA is going to give a strong voice (and guidance) on supporting all such flying / flying sites, and not just the 'easier' interests of those members in affiliated clubs. For the very first time in all this madness I am, however, beginning to fear the worst, and like Ron I am feeling the need to examine my own conscience. 

[Yes - I know - our group should affiliate - but that's not really my call].    

This is getting ever more off the subs topic - but you won't find me bashing anyone who provides polite and well argued discussion points - it's always good to see both sides of any argument, and sensible adult discussion does make us better informed in the end. 

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8 minutes ago, john stones 1 - Moderator said:

I've read some good posts and some good replies the last few pages. I struggle when it's said "we should stop playing along and letting others set the agenda" ?

Easy said, but how do we go about that ? Where is this magic bullet 

 I'm sure a few feel strongly enough to glue themselves to Buckminster offices to demand justice, unfortunately the cost of the glue will be more than the rise so I wont be attending.

 

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38 minutes ago, john stones 1 - Moderator said:

I've read some good posts and some good replies the last few pages. I struggle when it's said "we should stop playing along and letting others set the agenda" ?

Easy said, but how do we go about that ? Where is this magic bullet ?

 

I assume you are talking about the CAA regs consultation and not BMFA fees? If that's the case there's no magic bullet, but there are two other actions we could theoretically take beyond what the national associations have done to this point (e.g. advise members on how to engage with the various consultation processes):

  1. Direct action (petitions, protests, etc.) - Probably not tenable for us; there are unlikely to be enough UAS/model flying members who would come out, and even if we did the public are unlikely to get behind it as there's nothing really it for non-model flyers.
  2. The legal route - Consult with some legal eagles, identify the points in the process where a legal challenge of UK Gov/the CAA is possible, pick a strategy and try and hold them to account for all these made up "facts" and projections in some kind of court. A challenge may come before the law is changed, or might have to wait until some poor soul is hauled over the coals for a transgression (again, the national associations would need to consult with lawyers as soon as the final proposed law was known to identify what the best strategy is likely to be). Expensive (the national associations would probably need to band together), not guaranteed to work and potentially risky for any individual being prosecuted, but probably the only way to really challenge the CAA and UK Gov if they were to ignore all our feedback and implement onerous new regulations that will significantly affect participation.

 

PS - I've seen 2 used in a work context, and it can be very effective even when it's  little guy against huge corporations and governments if done well. The problem is it needs pretty big resources plus the patience and confidence to play the long game. Unfortunately we probably don't have the former at this point, I suspect there won't be a body of members prepared to get behind such action since the majority of us fly for fun and relaxation,and will just choose to do something else if it all gets too stressful.

Edited by MattyB
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Thank you Matty.

Number ones something we've done in part, but apathy sadly lessens any impact that could've brought.

Number two, fair comment but I would think discussions have been had about legal challenges, my own view is, that would be money wasted sadly, maybe I got old and lost the will to fight but that route looks like an act of self harm, spending money we shall need for no gain.

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The boat club I am a member of  pays around £2000 in rates (

3 hours ago, Martin Dilly 1 said:

Before this thread grinds to a halt or is euthanised could I make an important point.

 

The words we use to describe what we do, in our case model flying, can have far reaching effects that can sometimes do us all a lot of harm. For instance, there’s nothing wrong with hobbies; stamp collecting, model railways or making a model of the Houses of Parliament out of a thousand matchsticks are pastimes that give people a lot of harmless enjoyment. Making model aircraft, whether Airfix plastics or ones that fly, can be a hobby too. But what we all enjoy is model flying and that is without a shadow of a doubt a sport; it’s a man-and-machine as well as a man-versus-the-elements one, whether we fly recreationally or competitively.

 

Every time we fly a model, whether we’ve spent many hours building it or many pounds buying it, we’re enjoying a sport. It’s not a dirty word. It doesn’t imply cut-throat pot-hunting competition or trying to fly better than somebody else. If there is any competition then it’s you trying to make this flight just a bit better than your previous one.

 

Why does this matter? Most local UK Councils have a Sports and Recreation Committee, which can provide funding, facilities for local sports clubs, including model flying clubs, and permission to use sites. In the early 1970s the first steps were taken towards recognition of model flying as a sport. We soon found that two major hold-backs were the title – Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers – and the words ‘hobby’ and ‘aeromodelling’. Because of the inaccuracy of the SMAE name, a working title of The British Model Flying Association was adopted in 1988. In our presentations to government we compared model flying disciplines with other sports, - combat flying and fencing, aerobatics and figure skating, free-flight and orienteering, - and got documentary evidence from numerous overseas nations whose governments already funded model flying as a sport. Finally in 1993, over 20 years since we first started negotiations, Sports Council (now Sport England) recognition finally came, benefitting all British model flyers.

 

So, please, please, please can we all stop referring to ‘the hobby’ and give model flying the respect it deserves as a SPORT. 

 

And get almost all refunded by the council as a sport)   We were a member of the council sports association but left as it did nothing for us

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1 minute ago, kc said:

Sorry you have got it wrong by referring to BMFA bashing - I am sure that getting the BMFA to suit all it's members is the way it will survive.   Needs to listen to ordinary members who are too far from Buckminster.

 

I don't need nor expect the BMFA to do everything I want, we are a diverse group and long may it continue. Did you go the EGM on Buckminster ?

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8 minutes ago, john stones 1 - Moderator said:

Thank you Matty.

Number ones something we've done in part, but apathy sadly lessens any impact that could've brought.

Number two, fair comment but I would think discussions have been had about legal challenges, my own view is, that would be money wasted sadly, maybe I got old and lost the will to fight but that route looks like an act of self harm, spending money we shall need for no gain.

 

I have it on good authority from a friend in the civil service that they design these consultation processes to be drawn out, complicated and require submission at awkward times precisely to generate those kind of feelings amongst potential respondents. That (plus the well known tactic of proposing something truly horrendous, then falling back to an alternative that is mildly less bad and branding it a "we've listened to you" concession) makes it that much easier for them to slowly erode the rights of minority groups such as ourselves over time until UK Gov has what it is looking for. 😞

Edited by MattyB
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Just now, MattyB said:

 

I have it on good authority from a friend in the civil service that they design these consultation processes to be drawn out, complicated and require submission at awkward times precisely to generate those kind of feelings amongst potential respondents. That (plus the well known tactic of proposing something truly horrendous that erodes peoples rights, then falling back to an alternative that is mildly less bad and branding it a "we've listened to you" concession) makes it that much easier fro them to slowly erode the rights of minority groups over a period of time until UK Gov has what it is looking for. 😞

 

I don't doubt it Matty.

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22 minutes ago, kc said:

Sorry you have got it wrong by referring to BMFA bashing - I am sure that getting the BMFA to suit all it's members is the way it will survive.   Needs to listen to ordinary members who are too far from Buckminster.

What are your suggestions to suit all the members?

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My 2 clubs were, and still are, unable to send representatives to BMFA AGM due to the cost involved for small clubs.   Always at expensive hotel venues too far for a day trip.   Individual members cannot vote anyway it's club reps that vote.   That's why I want BMFA to be a democratic club and  give " one member-one vote "   rather than allow local club reps  who can attend easily to decide everything.    There is no excuse nowadays for not having one member one vote.   

 

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2 minutes ago, kc said:

My 2 clubs were, and still are, unable to send representatives to BMFA AGM due to the cost involved for small clubs.   Always at expensive hotel venues too far for a day trip.   Individual members cannot vote anyway it's club reps that vote.   That's why I want BMFA to be a democratic club and  give " one member-one vote "   rather than allow local club reps  who can attend easily to decide everything.    There is no excuse nowadays for not having one member one vote.   

 

And do you think one member one vote would achieve something that suits you?

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Learner - my reply was for John Stone who enquired if I attended the BMFA AGM.     However I think it answered your question too.    If the whole membership had been asked if they wanted to spend a lot on renting Buckminster or perhaps considered  investing in something else instead like buying a field in every county then the outcome would have been democratic and one that suited the majority.      But it wasn't!

 

We now have a super field for those who live near but which is no use to many members ( the majority? ).    However having spent money on renting and not even investing  by buying land ( which was the original idea ) it's the whole membership that will need to subsidise Buckminster if it makes losses.   Allowing all members to vote would tell the BMFA whether the majority want this or not.   Not allowing all members to vote and say what they want might cause many to drop away from BMFA which could be a disaster.  

 

It's not a question of whether the BMFA suits me - it's whether the BMFA suits the majority of members.    If it doesn't they may leave.  

 

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1 hour ago, kc said:

My 2 clubs were, and still are, unable to send representatives to BMFA AGM due to the cost involved for small clubs.  

 

That's not true. There is no cost for sitting in the comfort of your own home and joining the AGM using Zoom which has been available as an option for at least the last 4 years. It was all very clearly explained in the information that was sent to all club secretaries and indeed all members by email.

Edited by Andy Symons - BMFA
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I have to admit that I was unaware of this facility but we have a member who invariably attends on our club’s behalf so maybe our secretary didn’t feel the need to highlight it.  
 

I try to stay aware of BMFA matters but I don’t think I spotted it in an email either so perhaps it could do with publicising a little more prominently?

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