We have had a few requests from R/C club safety officers about how they can best accommodate turbine models at their club fields.

The following guidelines are the result of our many years of experience in this arena and are offered to help promote the safe and considerate operation of turbine powered model aircraft along with conventional R/C models.

Common Sense
Jet Flying

Guidelines for safe operations
at R/C club fields

by Bob Violett (3/20/02)

Turbine powered R/C models are different from conventional piston powered models in that they are faster and the incidence of fire upon crash is higher if the engine is running upon impact.

Field Equipment
A CO2 or Halon fire extinguisher should be close at hand for every engine start up. Should it be necessary, apply the extinguishing agent into the model's inlet for a fully enclosed system, or directly to the engine if it is a fully exposed installation.

Water fire extinguishers are the most effective for grass or brush fires. It is best to have (2) of the type described below and the physical capability to get them to a crash site. Upon the first sign of smoke, use a cell phone to dial 911 to get the local fire department alerted, then proceed to the crash site and apply the water to the downwind perimeter of the fire. Do not waste the water on the burning kerosene concentration area until the perimeter is controlled.

Strong wind and dry conditions demand fast action in controlling a fire.

Start Up area
It is best to start a turbine model with the engine inlet pointed into the wind (if more than 5mph). The area behind the model should be clear for about 25ft. If this is not practical, a blast deflector should be utilized. Spectators should not be in the turbine wheel's plane of rotation for a distance of at least 25ft.

Range check the radio and frequency control
A pilot of a turbine powered jet should be seriously concerned about the proper operation of the radio control system. Thorough and frequent range checks, as recommended by the radio manufacturer, should be performed.

Special attention should be given to the R/C club field frequency control system by both the turbine pilot and the other pilots at the field during turbine operations.

The Turbine Powered Model Aircraft
Turbine powered model aircraft should be assembled to, and maintained at a high level of air worthiness. Special attention must be paid to the airframe's structural integrity and the hinging and linkages affecting the control surfaces. Jet models should not be operated above the demonstrated red line speed (VNE) of that particular airframe. (Consult the airframe manufacturer for the VNE.)

Pilot Experience
A pilot operating a turbine powered model for the first time should have an experienced turbine pilot assist for the first 5-10 flights. The experienced pilot should inspect the model for safety of operation and counsel the new jet pilot on how to keep the speed down to 120mph or less. The use of the "Pilot Link" or "Buddy Box" system is very helpful for the first few flights. The use of an electronic speed control device is also suggested for pilots who do not have recent experience with high speed model aircraft. The most significant difference in flying a turbine model is throttle management.

High speed passes should be kept at a safe distance (a minimum of 100ft.) outward from the pilot/helper stations..

Turbine pilots should know and observe any field boundary or altitude limitations applicable to his R/C club flying field.

A pilot operating a turbine powered model should have in his posession a current AMA license and a current AMA Turbine Waiver and observe the pertinent AMA regulations.

#1 Emergency Procedure
Should the model or pilot experience a control problem, he and or his helper/spotter should activate the engine shut down switch immediately, before the model crashes.

Traffic Pattern
When there are multiple airplanes in the air, it is best to fly consistent race track patterns so as to avoid head-on conflicts. The pattern shall be left or right as dictated by the wind direction.

Contact Us
All graphics, photos, and text Copyright 2010 BVM, Inc.
Use of graphics or photos without written permission from BVM is strictly prohibited.