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Apr 05, 2016, 10:43 AM
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Question

RC club flying off a GA airport: what is your experience


After 24 years of safe operations, our club may need to move to a different location. Scouting around for a new location, one possibility is the local
municipal airport. The Airport (single paved runway) is owned by the University (we are a college town) and lightly used, since the main university users moved years ago to a nearby commercial airport. For a number of years there has been talk that the airport will close and the area redeveloped, but so far nothing has come of it (lack of money).

I know from talking to AMA that several clubs operate out of GA airports, and I would like to ask what your experience has been. What is the best way to approach the Manager? How to allay concerns about safety? What is the best way to communicate with the tower?

Thank you
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Apr 05, 2016, 12:05 PM
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earlwb's Avatar
Go for it. Sounds like a good idea to me. Many years ago a club I was in had used a unused airfield to fly off of. It was paved so it was really nice at the time. But eventually someone bought it and wanted to develop it so we had to move. But for quite a few years it was a great flying field.

The AMA has information on their site for how to setup a club etc, insurance and all that stuff. I would go there and check it out.
Apr 05, 2016, 12:46 PM
Registered User
My club operates off a field adjacent to the local airport.

We were invited there by the airport manager after losing the old field due to noise issues when a subdivision was built next to the field.

We require the use of a spotter and have a radio on the local frequency most of the time. Never much of an issue.

A few towns over there is a jet group that makes use of the actual runway surface and they just have a standard NOTAM saying they might be flying udring specific hours. Again they use a spotter and have a radio.
Apr 05, 2016, 02:47 PM
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Captain Dunsel's Avatar
We belong to two clubs; one has it's only flying site on a small, private field whilst the other club maintains a site on a cross-runway of a NJ State Forestry Service field.

The private field is mostly ultralights and a small number of other light aircraft (Ercoupe, Cherokee, Champ, and a 172). We pit around the center of the runway, so we can see both ends of it. Our agreement is to yield to full-scale aircraft. In turn, full-scale aircraft are to make a circuit around the field, to give us time to land before they come in. So far, the only issue has been with the occasional full-scale forgetting to warn us, in which case we fly out over an open farm-field beyond the runway, until the field is clear. Since we don't fly without spotters, we're very rarely surprised.

As to the State field, it's about the same way, with the same (rare) problem with pilots not warning us (in fact, the primary problem we have is with military choppers, not State-owned aircraft, failing to give us warning to yield). Happily, we have a very good relation with the NJ State Forestry Service crew running the field.

CD
Apr 05, 2016, 06:51 PM
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Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Dunsel

As to the State field, it's about the same way, with the same (rare) problem with pilots not warning us (in fact, the primary problem we have is with military choppers, not State-owned aircraft, failing to give us warning to yield). Happily, we have a very good relation with the NJ State Forestry Service crew running the field.

CD
Lucky you. Our "landlord" is the state Forestry and they are in the process of kicking us out, though we are trying to save it...
Apr 06, 2016, 04:15 PM
Closed Account
Over the years I have flown off several local airports and military fields. The bottom line for all of them is communication and cooperation. It's important to make the other side understand that full scale flight safety is your number one priority too.


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