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Old May 17, 2010, 07:26 AM
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I_Love_My_ABC's Avatar
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Australian Park Pilot Program

The Question: What is the main problem here in Australia with respect to flying your parkflyer grade models at a local park...

The Answer: If you lose control and hit someone, or something the hospital and or damage bills could cost you your house!!

Wouldnít it be great if you could have the best of both worlds and be able to have the convenience of flying just around the corner at your local park with the added benefit and the peace of mind of being insured when you fly.

Many RC pilots live too far away from an MAAA registered flying field and or club, and some just donít like the regimented structure of belonging to a registered club, or the politics involved with membership to certain clubs. It seems to me that there are a hell of a lot of RC pilots out there who fly parkflyers, and thereís a hell of a lot of local parks out there too!! Why canít the Australian RC model regulation bodies get together and come up with a lower level membership scheme to fit in with arguably the biggest and fastest growing area of our hobby, the parkflyer pilots??

Iíve been doing a bit of research into the USAís AMA Park Pilot Program. This entity provides a membership category that addresses many of the areas Iíve outlined here and itís available to anybody, itís cheap and thereís absolutely no reason why such a scheme couldnít work here in Australia.

What is it all about??



Here's what you get...



All the relevant information about the AMAís Park Pilot Scheme can be found hereÖ

http://www.theparkpilot.org/

I'm not saying that this program is perfect, but it does at least attempt to address the issue of where these pilots can fly their aircraft safely, cheaply and without the fear of being un-insured (Not if, but...) when an accident happens. The PPP caters for models up to 2 pounds and capable of airspeeds below 60Mph. That certainly covers a hell of a lot of parkflyer grade models. Unfortunately here in Australia your only real option is to join a registered club and pay the full membership fee regardless of what type of models you fly.

To me the option of having a cheaper insurance category, more applicable to the type of model that is suited to flying in a local park seem to be a no-brainer... I'm very interested to see what many of you RC pilots think about that and I look forward to your replies.
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Old May 17, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Lake Macquarie, Aust.
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It would be great........now to convince the councils to actually let you use the fields regardless.


btw, 500K isn't all that much nowdays. I fly my plane into a moving semitrailer, he rolls into someones two story house and the whole lot burns down.

I agree it's prob better than what we have now when flying in a park, but still, under insured is really not much better than no insurance.
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Old May 17, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Joined Apr 2004
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Casey city council insist that permit holders have at least 2 million$ insurance ,if and when they have permits.
But if reason was used some would not mind some restriction on size type of power and weight be used in suburban parks,it would be a different situation in country areas ie not a built up area.

an instance that comes to mind is the 80gram electric i have been flying today,what would that hurt ? pollution free why not a sliding scale of insurance based on power weight?
Parkflyers actually have quite a bit of support from the larger club members but i would not expect much from the VMAA or MAAA. wich is a shame as that is where the majority of their future members are going to come from.
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Old May 17, 2010, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouch View Post
It would be great........now to convince the councils to actually let you use the fields regardless.


btw, 500K isn't all that much nowdays. I fly my plane into a moving semitrailer, he rolls into someones two story house and the whole lot burns down.

I agree it's prob better than what we have now when flying in a park, but still, under insured is really not much better than no insurance.
I agree, but I guess the AMA's PPP has strict limitations on model weight and speed to try to minimise the risk of causing a lot of damage. Just say you caused $750 000.00 worth of damage, the first $500 000.00 is wiped out and you'll at least have a chance of staying out of jail!!

Like I said, the AMA's PPP is not perfect, and personally I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for a higher insurance premium, but there are a lot of guys out there on limited budgets who are currently flying without any insurance right now. At least they should have the option the be able to fly with some kind of insurance premium in a local park. The sheer volume of this type of model being sold is reason enough I would have thought for the regulating bodies to address this issue.

At the moment there are no options other than joining a registered club and flying at a registered field...
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Old May 17, 2010, 08:06 AM
by ZIPPER
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East Kurrajong Sydney Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olmod View Post
an instance that comes to mind is the 80gram electric i have been flying today,what would that hurt ? pollution free why not a sliding scale of insurance based on power weight?
What if that 80gram plane hit a motor bike rider doing going past? it would probably scare crap out of him and then he would loose control of the bike and run into a school bus full of orphans coming the other way. It could happen because this is a nanna state.
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Old May 17, 2010, 08:07 AM
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Wagga Wagga. Australia
Joined Apr 2004
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While it would cover quite a few flyers and seems like a good idea, personally I would be more interested in a more broarder policy that covers other planes as well eg. slope, and allows a non club member to be covered to fly where he is allowed to eg sand dunes etc

Not sure if something like this is achievable though.

my 1c

Barry
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Old May 17, 2010, 08:16 AM
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Perth, Australia
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I would definitely be interested in something like this. The main reason I fly at the park is that I never know when I will have a chance to fly and don't have the time to commit to a club. It has been a concern of mine having no insurance which is why I try to fly when no one is around but as we all know people will find you and walk straight into to your flight path any chance they get
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Old May 17, 2010, 08:33 AM
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I like the idea of a sliding scale Olmod...
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Old May 17, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Having said what I said earlier I would still join for sure if I knew it covered me fully at my local park.

Quote:
The main reason I fly at the park is that I never know when I will have a chance to fly and don't have the time to commit to a club
At the moment, I pay 150 bucks a year to join my club, and even if I only fly 10 times in the year, that only works out to 15 bucks a day, can't do much for 15 bucks a day and be covered. As it is I have probably flown no more than once a month this year at the club, still only 12 odd bucks a day over a year.

btw, I have to drive 40 minutes to the club, so it's not like it's around the corner, I reckon I spend more on fuel getting to the field than my club fees cost me.
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Old May 17, 2010, 08:55 AM
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Perth, Western Australia
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Looks like a great idea to me.

I've got MAAA membership as well but always hear mixed opinions wether I'm covered for anything when I fly electrics at the local park.
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Old May 17, 2010, 09:00 AM
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I am pretty sure your maaa is useless when not at an approved field, but there are a few who categorically state their home insurance will cover them as long as the park does not have any "no fly" signs. I don't know if anyone has actually tried to make a claim though
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Old May 17, 2010, 09:10 AM
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I think the beauty of this concept is that it has a different approach to the standard membership as it insures the pilot to fly in areas that are not designated and affiliated flying fields. From what I understand you register your local field with the governing body, I assume you need the council's approval as well, and away you go. I would say that a program like this would be in the council's best interests as it's taking the liability away from them and moving it to the private sector. Wether or not this is acheivable or not here in Australia remains to be seen, but I think it definately requires further discussion and some investigation from the contolling bodies covering RC flight in Australia. The AMA's PPP is a great example of a framework that could work here, it would most likely require some modification, but I honestly believe that the writing is on the wall and something needs to be done to address this issue.
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Old May 17, 2010, 09:49 AM
jbc
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Australia, SA, Adelaide
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I think this is a good idea, will keep an eye on this thread I'd happily pay $29.95 per year to get $500,000 cover for flying in my local park. This IS Oz and not the US and it would be EXTREMELY rare(not impossible)I think to hear of these mutli million dollar lawsuits like they get over there in the US. I agree $500,000 isn't heeeeeeeeaps but it's definitely a start. You could even have an option to pay say $49.95 per year and get $1million and more etc for higher cover. At the moment there's nothing in place so anything is better than nothing.
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Old May 17, 2010, 09:51 AM
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Australia, QLD, Cooloola Cove
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouch View Post
I am pretty sure your maaa is useless when not at an approved field, but there are a few who categorically state their home insurance will cover them as long as the park does not have any "no fly" signs. I don't know if anyone has actually tried to make a claim though
I raised this issue about insurance coverage with the MAAQ state secretary and I was told that as long as you have permission to fly wherever you are flying your MAAA club insurance is valid.

My 2c worth
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Old May 17, 2010, 09:58 AM
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warrnambool vic australia
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thats all fine but some of us only fly gliders at slopes , i have maa membership and now you tell us the some clubs only cover for local feild !!!!???? insurance companys and ### lawers. over it most times only gonna hit a damn magpie or seagull , need some sence in this

sorry dave was typing whilst you posted
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