I’ve been looking at the rules for drone flying and from what I’m seeing you can only gain better flying regulations for yourself if you pay for it! It doesn’t even involve a practical test, just some multiple choice questions that aren’t much different from the Operate ID test.
Currently flying a Mavic Air 2 and the article 16 rules are much better for this weight class of drone. But why should the rules be any different just because you paid a clubs fee (not exactly cheap either when you’re not flying for commercial use, which is of course subjective). Surely the rules should be the rules for everyone, not just better rules for those who have a larger wallet?
FPV UK membership is £19.99 per annum and apart from Article 16 also gives £5million public liability cover - personally I think that’s a bargain.
Main difference is the limited locations you can fly and that you should perform a risk assessment. Some won’t give a toss about RA others will be diligent. Only time that will make a difference is when something goes wrong and the authorities are involved
The price of joining FPVUK and gaining Article 16 is much better value than what the BMFA are offering and the public liability insurance is a fantastic addition at that price and greatly appreciated. They’ve done a great job with their consultations with the CAA! And yes I will be joining.
But I think my point has been missed slightly. We are still paying a fee to fly with a different set of rules than those that don’t pay. It’s not a test/exam/practical flying competency test, just money given over. It’s like me paying the police for a year of driving at 90mph while anyone that doesn’t pay can only do 70 still
I agree it’s a bargain and kudos to FPV-UK for the hard work they have done to put in place something which makes hobby flying that bit easier.
(I have recently joined FPV-UK after seeing recommendations on here as I am starting to play with some drones which are not in the DJI stable, just for the fun of flying them at moment, great for when I’m fun-flying).
£20 a year for a hobby where the equipment costs hundreds to thousands of pounds is hardly breaking the bank. I’ve always been of the opinion that if you can afford aircraft of a weight class where an A16 OA would be useful to have then you can afford a £20 annual club/association fee. Such a fee is in line or even much less than similar association fees for other hobbies. Many, many hobbies have club or association membership fees associated with them to participate on a certain level, so it really isn’t an anomaly.
As for why the rules are different:
an operational safety case has been presented to the CAA on behalf of members as to why it’s safe for these types of operations to take place
the CAA has assurance that you’re insured for these operations by virtue of your membership
your membership comes with the requirement of familiarising yourself with the handbook to know how to safely operate under their rules
people flying under an A16 OA have, by virtue of their memberships etc., more of a vested interest in preserving the future of hobbyist drone and model flying than someone who just got a mini 2 on a whim