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HelicopterMain Discussion › 2014 AMA Safety Code addresses spotlight flying
11-06-2013 04:00 AM  4 years agoPost 1
Dood

rrProfessor

Wescanson

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The AMA has addressed night flying in the new 2014 Safety Code, effective January 1, 2014.

The Safety Code now states,

"RC night flying requires a lighting system providing the pilot with a clear view of the model’s attitude and orientation at all times. Hand-held illumination
systems are inadequate for night flying operations."

The 2014 Safety Code can be viewed HERE

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11-06-2013 10:10 AM  4 years agoPost 2
wrongler

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Brewerton, New York

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Seems like more of a common sense issue!

Bill Whittaker

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11-06-2013 01:54 PM  4 years agoPost 3
doorman

rrProfessor

Sherwood, Arkansas

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Night Flying..

I haven't got to watch spotlight flying, but I can imagine it would be pretty easy to fly out of the light..
I did get to 3 events this season where they had light clusters like used in highway night construction. To me, this looked about the same as flying during the day time but with more bugs... and just nothing like the machines being lit up..
I know that our 2014 heli event will include night flying, but there will be no outside lighting. All helis that will be in will have their own lighting onboard... this is the RealDeal for night flying...

Flame Suit is on!!

JMHO Stan

AMA 2918-Team JR, Spin Blades, East Coast Scale Helicopter,Castle Creations

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11-06-2013 02:02 PM  4 years agoPost 4
Justin Stuart (RIP)

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Plano, Texas

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Of course spotlight night flying is dangerous. Half of the time, the helicopter is completely invisible. But that's also what makes it fun to watch--from a safe distance--which is exactly why Tony Whiteside, the king of "Redneck night flying," is going to create his own non-AMA supported event.

Avant RC
Scorpion Power Systems
Thunder Power RC
Kontronik Drives

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11-06-2013 02:12 PM  4 years agoPost 5
MikeSherman

rrVeteran

Franksville, WI

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I still don't understand why those die-hard spotlight night flyers are having a fit with the AMA's position on this type of flying.

You can still spotlight fly your heli (per AMA code) - you only need to add enough lighting on your heli to provide a clear view of orientation. What - are a few glowsticks that difficult to zip tie onto your heli? Maybe a couple of LED light strips if you want to get fancy....too much work?

Why in the hell would you risk losing sight of your heli at night because your spotter couldn't keep up or you flew beyond the intensity of the spotlight?? That's dumb and dangerous to spectators, yourself and your heli.

Spend a couple bucks in zipties and glowsticks and go spotlight flying. It's not illegal - you just need to be safe about it!

-Mike

Team QuickUK Pilot
Team Heliproz

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11-06-2013 02:51 PM  4 years agoPost 6
wrongler

rrProfessor

Brewerton, New York

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Hey Dood, Where you been?

Bill Whittaker

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11-06-2013 03:09 PM  4 years agoPost 7
VANHELI

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Omaha,Nebraska

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I enjoy watching the spotlight flying. Never felt in danger. Oh well. Thanks for the info.

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11-06-2013 07:44 PM  4 years agoPost 8
BladeScrape

rrApprentice

Warren OH. US

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I've done it before with three people holding a spot light . It worked very well . Maybe they mean it's not a good idea for the pilot to be the only one holding a spot light . Also AMA is not the law but if there is going to be a claim these are their terms . Always thinking of worst case . Safety first.

Team JR

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11-06-2013 09:30 PM  4 years agoPost 9
mattox

rrApprentice

Phoenix,AZ-usa

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MikeSherman- having to place even the minimum of lights to light up your heli and do spot light flying really takes the excitement out of it! Flying with spotlights if you haven't is different watching then it is flying.
Having flown with spotlights at events and with tony and you don't fly out of your skill level then your heli will look like it does in the day time!

I disagree with the AMA on this...

Mattox

MingDa helicopters,Scorpion US Power pack/Haiyin/Astroid designs

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11-06-2013 09:57 PM  4 years agoPost 10
MikeSherman

rrVeteran

Franksville, WI

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My only issue with spotlight flying is safety.

If your heli disappears and you don't have a couple of glowsticks on it....I don't know where it is or where its going. How can I even attempt to protect myself if there is a chance of it coming my way if I can't see it?

-Mike

Team QuickUK Pilot
Team Heliproz

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11-06-2013 09:59 PM  4 years agoPost 11
MikeSherman

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Franksville, WI

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....or is this just another "assumed risk" conversation?

-Mike

Team QuickUK Pilot
Team Heliproz

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11-06-2013 11:48 PM  4 years agoPost 12
NQNA

rrElite Veteran

USA

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Primary insurance in any claim will be your homeowners policy. AMA will be secondary..that is what I always heard. If you are outside of AMA safety code, I bet you will have no AMA coverage.

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11-07-2013 02:18 AM  4 years agoPost 13
BladeScrape

rrApprentice

Warren OH. US

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I've spot light flown with Tony . Honestly I was much more conifendant flying with three of those insanely bright spot lights than any well night machine . If you got out as far to loose it under three of those lights then you would loose it in the day time as we'll.

Team JR

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11-07-2013 05:26 AM  4 years agoPost 14
mattox

rrApprentice

Phoenix,AZ-usa

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Lol Even Tim Jones,Bert Kammerer, Andrew Merlino, Darin Reed and more can not escape 3 lights no matter how hard or fast they Flew!!!

I agree with the comment above and I as well have flown with Tony and the gang and it was some of the most fun I have ever had in the Hobby!

Mattox

MingDa helicopters,Scorpion US Power pack/Haiyin/Astroid designs

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11-07-2013 10:30 AM  4 years agoPost 15
rstacy

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Rochester, NY

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Mattox,
Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean that it didn't happen.
I have probably watched a grand total of less than 10 people fly with ground based spotlights. At least 3 of them managed to fly outside of the spotlight during the flight.
One didn't get it back and crashed.

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11-07-2013 03:30 PM  4 years agoPost 16
dela

rrApprentice

Stillwater Oklahoma

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AMA is saying that they believe spotlight flying is GENERALLY unsafe and is asking their membership not to do it. That is a very REASONABLE position, given that they have membership with a broad range of flying skills. When AMA wants to allow people of demonstrated skill to push the boundaries, they use a waiver system. Maybe some should pursue that route.

AMA is not the law, and AMA will not stop you from doing what you want to do, on property where you have permission from the owner to do it. As usual, you will bear responsibility for your actions should something go wrong.

I hope and expect that some clubs sponsoring funflys will say NO to handheld spotlight flying.

Ron D.

PS. I have personally witnessed a "flyaway" during handheld spotlight flying.

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11-08-2013 01:15 AM  4 years agoPost 17
Ace Dude

rrProfessor

USA

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Good job Dood! Thanks for spearheading this issue and making flying safer for everyone.

  

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11-08-2013 04:02 PM  4 years agoPost 18
Havoc

rrElite Veteran

Ky.

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I've seen the on-board systems fails. So that isn't inherently any safer. I've flown by spot lights and it seemed fairly easy. Especially since my eyes don't seem to like the glo-wire while flying. It does rely on the human component. But 3+ on powerful spotlights was as easy and safe as a night rig. I'm not that into night flying anyway. So it's not much of an issue for me either way. But it doesn't seem the people making the rules have that much experience with it.

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11-08-2013 04:29 PM  4 years agoPost 19
MikeSherman

rrVeteran

Franksville, WI

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I was thinking the bare minimum would be glowsticks. Only way they fail is if they fall off.

Any purpose built night fligher would benefit from multiple circuits arranged so that if one circuit were to fail, you still have enough visibility to safely navigate home.

I agree that blindly making rules doesn't benefit either side.

-Mike

Team QuickUK Pilot
Team Heliproz

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11-08-2013 04:34 PM  4 years agoPost 20
Heli_Splatter

rrElite Veteran

USA

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So if you put the spotlight on a tri-pod and still move by hand, is that conforming to the rule? I would say that more than one light would make it safer, but I have never done it, so...

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