Hemel Hempstead Model Flying Club
Membership - Club Constitution - effective from 8th Dec 2020
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD MODEL FLYING CLUB CONSTITUTION
Words of masculine gender should be taken to include the feminine gender unless the context indicates otherwise.
1. The club shall be called Hemel Hempstead Model Flying Club (HHMFC) and will be affiliated to the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) until voted otherwise by a majority vote of those present at a General Meeting.
2. The clubs principal aim shall be the promotion of safe and responsible model aircraft construction and flying. Promoting the construction and flying of fixed wing, single and multi-rotor models.
3. Alterations to this constitution can only be made at an Annual General Meeting or at a General Meeting called for that purpose. Any Proposed alterations must be submitted to the secretary in writing at least 14 days prior to the meeting.
4. The financial year shall commence at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Member’s subscriptions for the following year shall only be accepted on or after the AGM.
5. A “member” means any class of membership. Classes of membership shall consist of Junior, Senior, Family and Life.
6. Membership runs from the 1st of January each year and lasts for a 12 calendar month period.
7. The Committee has the right to refuse membership to new applicants.
8. New members will be required to serve an initial probationary period of 6 months and may have their membership terminated at the discretion of the Committee for unsatisfactory conduct.
9. New members’ subscriptions shall be dependent on membership class, plus the joining fee as decided at the Annual General Meeting.
10. Subscriptions are due by 1st January each year. Any member, who has not paid the subscriptions for the ensuing year by this date, in whole or in part, will not be permitted to fly until they have done so. BMFA membership must be in place before flying.
11. Members who have allowed their membership to lapse for less than 1 month will not normally be asked to re-apply for membership or pay the joining fee, but will be required to pay a full 12 months subscription. Reduced subscriptions for new members will be applied at the discretion of the Committee. The Committee reserves the right to ask for a formal membership application if it so wishes.
12. Members who have not renewed their membership by 31st January will be deemed to have left the club and a renewal after this period will be treated as a new membership application.
13. All members must be members of the British Model Flying Association and must be able to provide evidence of such on request. The only exception to this is for those members who play no active part in the club whatsoever; i.e. social members only.
14. A member may be made a life member for extensive services to the club. Life members can only be created by a majority vote of club members at a general meeting. A life member must hold BMFA membership if they continue to be an active member.
15. All members, without exception, must comply with all club rules. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action by the Club which may lead to dismissal.
16. Members may invite guest fliers to the site on arrangement with the Committee but they must be BMFA insured and the club member must assume total responsibility for the actions and safety of the guest. Guests must fly under the supervision of a competent pilot if their ability requires it, and such arrangements must be made in advance of the visit. In such situations the competent pilot takes full responsibility for the flight.
17. A Junior Member is defined as being less than 18 years of age.
18. A responsible adult is defined as a senior member or parent/guardian who has the experience commensurate with the type and degree of supervision required.
19. Junior members must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. The level of supervision is to be commensurate with the junior member’s age, maturity, capabilities and levels of experience.
20. Junior members under the age of 14 years shall not start an engine or carry a model with the engine running unless they are supervised by a responsible adult.
21. No junior member under the age of 14 years shall fly a model aircraft unless supervised by a responsible adult or the junior member holds the minimum of a BMFA Achievement Scheme “A” certificate and has been authorised to do so by the Club Committee.
22. No senior member is to be expected to assume responsibility for a junior member unless he has been specifically requested to do so by the junior member’s parent/guardian. If required to do so, he is to assume complete and total responsibility for the junior member whilst he is in their charge.
23. Notwithstanding the requirements of Paragraph 22, should a member discover a junior member is unsupervised he must assume responsibility for the junior member’s safety in the first instance. The situation should then be rectified as soon as possible by seeking out the junior member’s parent/guardian/nominated supervisor. Any instance of such an occurrence is to be reported to the Committee as soon as possible.
24. Whilst supervising junior members, senior members should be aware of the requirements of The Children Act (1989) and avoid placing themselves in a position that could be open to misinterpretation or question. A leaflet giving advice is available from the Club Secretary.
RULES, DISCIPLINE AND SAFETY
25. Additions and amendments to the Field Safety Rules and Regulations can be made by the Committee at any point. Any additions and amendments to Field Safety Rules and Regulations agreed and implemented by the Committee must be reported to the membership within 7 days after the date the addition or amendment was agreed.
26. Any additions and/or amendments to the Field Safety Rules and Regulations will be reviewed annually, and will be considered binding for 12 months, excepting where urgent action is required.
27. Any complaint concerning any member must be made in writing and signed by the complainant(s). The written complaint must then be forwarded to the Secretary so that the matter can be addressed at the next Committee meeting.
28. Where an allegation of misconduct is made against a member, the member may be suspended from all club activities while an investigation is carried out.
29. The Committee may impose a suspension from club activities including attendance at the club flying site, not exceeding 90 days, upon any member in the event of misconduct. Any suspension must be accompanied by a verbal and/or written warning as deemed appropriate in accordance with Article 30.
30. The Committee may consider removal of membership where conduct on the field or elsewhere is considered to be prejudicial to the club. Dismissal will be in accordance with the following procedure in order to comply with the laws of natural justice:
a. The member is to be given a verbal warning by an authorised Committee Member in which the member is made aware of his misdemeanour and what he is reasonably required to do to make amends.
b. If the member does not respond, he is to be given a written warning by an authorised Committee Member to advise him of his misdemeanour and what he is reasonably required to do to make amends.
c. If he still fails to respond, the Committee should invite him in writing to meet with them at a previously agreed date and time to discuss the situation, advising they are considering withdrawal of his membership.
d. If he still fails to respond to reasoning or fails to attend without reasonable cause, the Committee can advise him in writing that his membership is withdrawn, stating the reasons why this decision was reached.
e. When the member is advised of withdrawal of his membership, he must be given the right of appeal. If he opts to appeal, this will be to the Club membership at an EGM which the Committee would call on his behalf at a previously agreed date and time. The motion to uphold the membership withdrawal or reverse it must be in accordance with the voting procedures set out in the Club Constitution.
31. In the event of gross misconduct, immediate dismissal without warnings may be considered but the member must still be accorded his rights to present his case to the Committee and be given a right of appeal in accordance with sub-paragraphs c, d and e above.
32. In the event of dismissal the Committee will arrange for the member’s current membership fee (excluding BMFA subscription) to be reimbursed in full.
33. The Committee, Officers and Instructors will be responsible for the running of the flying field at all times. Appointment to the position of Instructor or Examiner can only be made by a Committee decision.
34. All flying members must attain the minimum standards of flying required by law and comply fully with all Articles set out in this Constitution.
35. Any member whose flying standards drop below the minimum requirement solo standard will be required to join a UK recognised training scheme until the desired standards of flying are met.
COMMITTEE STRUCTURE AND APPOINTMENTS
36. The Committee of the Club shall comprise of not less than 5 members.
37. The Officers of the committee shall be, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Safety Officer.
38. One senior club member should be appointed annually as the clubs’ BMFA Delegate who should represent the club at all relevant meetings.
39. Any Committee member or member who is involved in any organisational position within the Club must hold membership of the British Model Flying Association.
40. Committee officers and members shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting from written nominations received no later than 14 days prior to the meeting, to serve for a period of one year. The Committee will be elected by majority vote from members present. All fully paid up members and life members are eligible to vote.
41. A club member must have held a minimum of 3 consecutive year’s membership with the HHMFC to be eligible for nomination for a position on the Committee.
42. Should a committee position become vacant, the Committee may, by a majority vote, co-opt a replacement who will then serve until the following Annual General Meeting.
COMMITTEE ORGANISATION AND POWERS
43. Members elected to office will have full voting rights at all meetings. In the event of a tie the Chairman will have a casting vote in addition to his initial standing vote.
44. The Committee are authorised to carry out negotiations and make decisions in the interest of the club or on behalf of the membership where necessary without consulting the members.
45. The Secretary must be informed of any negotiations proposed by club members that affect the Club as a whole and copies of any written correspondence must be submitted to him for record purposes.
46. The Secretary will receive an annual honorarium to cover out of pocket expenses not covered under the normal conditions of withdrawal from club funds, the amount of which will be decided at the Annual General Meeting. He may also present a quarterly claim towards telephone costs for consideration by the Committee.
47. No member of the Committee or Officer of the club may be a Committee Member or Officer of another model flying club.
48. Any Committee Member or Officer wishing to resign must do so in writing.
49. Any member of the Committee who is absent from three consecutive Committee meetings without reasonable cause will automatically forfeit his seat on the Committee.
50. The Committee may pay accounts and incur any normal liabilities on behalf of the club.
VOTING AND CONDUCT OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS
51. 5 days notice shall be given in writing, or via social media.
52. All committee meetings will be agenda’d and minuted. Minutes of committee meetings will be made available to members on request to the secretary.
53. A quorum of any Committee meeting shall consist of a majority of Committee Members.
54. All proposals must be seconded and voted upon. A majority vote of those present is required to carry any proposal.
55. Voting will normally be by a show of hands, however a secret ballot must be taken should any committee member request that this be done. Proxy and postal votes will not be permitted.
56. An audio recording of committee meetings may be taken by the secretary only for the sole purpose of producing accurate minutes. The audio recording must be deleted once the written minutes are approved.
VOTING AND CONDUCT OF GENERAL MEETINGS
57. All general meetings will be agenda’d and minuted. Any other business will only be accepted at general meetings if the Secretary is given at least 14 days notice in writing of the item to be discussed.
58. A quorum of any general meeting is to be at least one quarter of the membership.
59. All proposals must be seconded and voted upon. A majority vote of those present is required to carry any proposal including proposals to alter this constitution.
60. Voting will normally be by a show of hands, however a secret ballot must be taken should any member request that this be done. Proxy and postal votes will not be permitted.
61. Amendments to proposals must be voted upon first.
62. An audio recording of general meetings may be taken by the secretary only for the sole purpose of producing accurate minutes. The audio recording must be deleted once the written minutes are approved.
63. Non club members may attend Club meetings as observers as invited guests of a club by applying to the Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting. Any non Club member may be asked to leave the meeting subject to approval from the Committee.
64. The Committee, through the Chairman, has the power to ask a person to leave any meeting in the event of that person disrupting the meeting.
65. Patrons of the club have no voting rights but are free to attend all club meetings.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS
66. A date for the Annual General Meeting will be decided each year by the Committee. At least 28 days notice of the meeting will be given in writing, or by the Club website, or by social media, to all Club members.
67. Annual subscriptions and the joining fee will be decided at the Annual General Meeting.
68. A competent individual (non-committee member) shall be elected by the Committee to carry out an independent examination of the accounts before the Annual General Meeting to verify that the balance sheet is correct and fairly represents the expenditure and receipts of the club, its assets and its liabilities.
EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS
69. The Secretary will convene an Extraordinary Committee Meeting within 14 days on request from any Officer of the Committee, stating the business to be discussed.
70. The Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the club by a resolution of the Committee stating the business to be brought before the meeting, of which 28 days notice has been given to all members in writing, or by the Club website, or by social media, stating the business to be discussed.
71. The Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the club on receipt of a request in writing signed by not less than 5 members of the club, stating the business to be brought before the meeting. The meeting must be called within 42 days of receipt of the request and 28 days notice must be given to all members in writing, or by the Club website, or by social media, to all Club members stating the business to be discussed.
72. When a request for a meeting is made in accordance with Article 60 and it is not called within 28 days, the requisitioners may themselves convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Club by giving 28 days notice in writing, or by the Club website, or by social media, to all members, duly setting out the purpose for which the meeting was called. Any resolutions passed at such a meeting shall have the same force and effect as if they were passed at a meeting convened by the Committee.
INSURANCE AND INDEMNITY
73. No club activities may take place without Civil and Employers Liability Insurance cover.
74. The club will indemnify all committee officers and committee members if they incur any liability on behalf of the club.
75. In the event of a Committee Member being awarded damages or costs in the course of proceedings taken by him in his representative capacity, such damages or costs will belong to the Club and not the Committee Member personally and upon receipt that Committee Member will pay them to the Club Treasurer.
76. When there is a joint meeting between Hemel Hempstead Model Flying Club and another club, the participating club must be able to provide evidence of adequate insurance cover well in advance of the event.
DISSOLUTION OF THE CLUB
77. Should it be considered necessary or desirable to dissolve the Club, the Committee will call an Extraordinary General Meeting. Should a quorum fail to appear, the meeting will be adjourned and a further EGM must be called within 14 days. The second meeting will proceed even if a quorum is not present and the motion will then be carried by a simple majority vote.
78. On dissolution and after the sale of assets, settlement of all outstanding debts will be made prior to any refund of subscriptions for the remaining part of the year is made to all paid up members; the funds remaining will be distributed in equal shares to the Club’s charities.
79. If the final accounts are less than required to refund the subscriptions to the members, the total money remaining will be donated to the Club’s nominated charities. All members will receive a final statement of accounts.
80. The current nominated Club charities are:-
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust
These are the charities referred to in the Club’s Constitution Article 78 and Article 79.
1. A PERSON MUST NOT RECKLESSLY OR NEGLIGENTLY CAUSE OR PERMIT AN AIRCRAFT TO ENDANGER ANY PERSON OR PROPERTY” and “A PERSON MUST NOT RECKLESSLY OR NEGLIGENTLY ACT IN A MANNER LIKELY TO ENDANGER AN AIRCRAFT OR ANY PERSON IN AN AIRCRAFT.”
2. All members must observe field discipline and comply with the Air Navigation Order, all relevant BMFA safety codes as contained within the BMFA Members’ Handbook and Civil Aviation publication (CAP) 658.
3. No Gas Turbines, Turbo Props, Pulse Jets, engines over 160cc (or the equivalent electric Kw motor) are allowed at club sites for either ground testing or flight.
4. Models with engines between 49cc and 161cc may be flown but only with express permission from the committee. The member may only fly models with engines of this capacity when written permission from the committee has been received. Anyone found not complying with these instructions will be immediately dismissed from the club, without exception. All engines must be fitted with an effective muffler.
5. Weight limits, building procedures and relevant certification allowed by CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) regulations must be followed, including all failsafe guidelines.
6. Members must ensure that they comply with the DofE Noise Code for the Minimisation of Noise from Model Aircraft. “Add on” silencers and “quiet” propellers should be fitted unless the model emits below 82 decibels at 7 metres without them. Notwithstanding if in the opinion of the Committee a model is excessively noisy in the air, then it is to be grounded until rectified.
7. A failsafe must be employed on models operated from the Club sites where included as an integral option within a receiver. The failsafe must set the throttle to tick-over, not hold, for models powered by an internal combustion engine, and stopped in the case of electric powered models, regardless of the other control operations governed by the failsafe. Failsafe are to be checked prior to flight by switching the transmitter off whilst the model is restrained. An instructor or member of the committee may request, at any time, a demonstration that the throttle failsafe is set.
8. All models are subject to random safety spot checks which will be carried out by an instructor or a member of the Committee. If, in his opinion, a model is unsafe to fly or does not conform to Club rules, it will be grounded until rectified.
9. All flying is to be done in the designated areas only. Over-flying of the “No Fly Zones”, as displayed at each flying site, is not permitted. Copies showing the “No Fly Zones” can be supplied, on requested, by the Secretary.
10. No more than 3 aircraft powered by an internal combustion engine shall be airborne at any one time. There is no limit on electric powered models.
11. The frequency allocation system used for ALL frequencies other than 2.4 GHz is PEG ON. Members must supply their own peg/s clearly marked with the frequency number and members’ name. NEVER switch on any transmitter until your peg is on the board. On completion of a flight switch off the transmitter and remove your peg from the board. Only the following frequencies are permitted.
SHENLEY: - The only frequencies permitted are: 81 – 90 on 35MGz and 2.4GHz.
PUTTENHAM: - All frequencies on 35MHZ and 2.4GHz.
12. All 35MHz transmitter aerials must remain retracted unless the model is being flown. The flight is defined from the point of release to when the engine is stopped or the model is restrained.
13. Before switching on, the pilot must ensure that he is operating on the frequency he believes he is on.
14. Appropriate use should be made of all available pit areas, and under no circumstances should engines be set up in the immediate vicinity of the pilots who are flying at that time. Where practical, models should face outward from the pit area.
15. Before starting an engine the model must be suitably restrained either by a tether or by an assistant.
16. Under no circumstances must an engine be run unless all persons are behind the line of the propeller with the exception of the person starting the engine. When carrying out power checks all persons including the pilot are to be behind the line of the propeller.
17. Models having their engines run in on the ground must not be left unattended whilst the engine is running.
18. DO NOT TAXI any MODEL towards ANY MEMBER, ANYWHERE ON SITE.
19. Any person wishing to enter or cross the runway area must seek clearance from any pilots flying at the time before doing so.
20. Should an aircraft go out of control, the first priority must be the safety of persons with the second being avoidance of damage to property. A warning is to be shouted by the pilot which is to be taken up by other members.
21. Great care must be taken retrieving models from crops. If possible only one person makes the search.
22. On matters of field safety needing an immediate decision, the responsibility lies with instructors or a member of the committee in that order. Any instructions must be accepted without dissent.
23. Any pilot not holding their solo qualification for the type of aircraft they are flying must not fly without the supervision of an instructor, Committee member or senior member. The supervising member accepts all responsibility for the flight.
24. Due consideration must be given at all times to trainee or novice pilots in the circuit. In the event that the pleasure or concentration of a pilot is affected by the flying style of another, precedence will be given to the pilot who was airborne first. Intimidating flying of any sort is not permitted.
25. All spectators must remain in the pits area whilst flying is in progress.
26. All vehicles must be parked in the designated area only.
27. Mobile telephones must not be taken onto the flight line.
28. Children must be closely supervised at all times and must not be allowed to run around the pit area or runways.
29. No dogs are permitted at the flying field unless kept on a lead or tethered.
30. There are no rubbish removal contracts in operation at either club site; therefore every member is responsible for leaving the site with everything they arrive with; including but not exhaustively cans, food wrappers or rubbish.
31. Field gates and containers must be closed and LOCKED by the last member leaving the site. All Bowman’s gates at Shenley MUST be kept locked at all times, where possible.
32. Any incident involving a third party or another member must be reported to the Committee without delay.