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« on: December 22, 2009, 06:25:12 PM »
gauravag
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Guys,
We were in a tricky situation today.
I went flying, along with Amir and and another student Vibhor at our local abandoned airstrip. when we were packing up, we saw 2 airforce jeeps pull up alongside and out came an airforce flight lieutenant who asked us if we had any permissions to fly, or had taken clearance from ATC.
Since we had not, they wanted to sieze/confiscate everything, and threatened to lodge an FIR on the grounds that we voilated the airspace.
It seemed that there was a Helicopter slithering exercise that was going to take place, and because of that the officials were there. It is to note that over the last 10 years of my aeromodelling, we had not seen any activity at the abandoned airstrip hence it was a big surprise to us.

They asked us to show any IDs to prove we were Indians !! and alerted us that these airplanes can be used for evil means. The lieutanant was adamant to confiscate everything. We agreed to that and packed of everything in their jeep.

I guess when he saw that we did not resist, he called us and explained that he would let us go this time, and that airforce did not object to us flying. Just that we should notify the atc beforehand and get a permission to fly. He gave us the number of the ATC and said that a oral notice to ATC would be enough, as long as we indicated our position, altitude of flying and time.
Though initially upset, he seemed to gain some interest after looking at our models. He said he wanted to buy something for his son, and asked us the cost etc.

So, though it was a very scary experience, the outcome was not that bad. All they seemed to want was that we should inform the ATC and can fly / continue our hobby.
His point seemed to be quite logical to me.
Does anyone else here get a permission from ATC before flying ?
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2009, 07:10:43 PM »
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Looks like your choice of field is the sole issue. The fact that it was not really abandoned, seems to be the trigger.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 07:24:29 PM »
gauravag
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Looks like your choice of field is the sole issue. The fact that it was not really abandoned, seems to be the trigger.

Well thats right. But who knows when Sholavaram, or any other abandoned airstrip people use may get active ?
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 07:37:42 PM »
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If it is abandoned, then why is there an ATC Huh?
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 07:40:28 PM »
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Any idea what is considered 'Airspace' in the first place? what is stopping to declare that chucking paper gliders in air  or jumping up and down is a violation of airspace?

Pankaj
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2009, 08:50:41 PM »
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He is right in the case of Sholavaram there is proper permission form air force and they have the names contact details  of  both the officials of ARM and individual flyers there . I guess the same goes for Jakur OR Hadapsar at Pune I was told recently  in the case of an NCC camp ATC permission was  required  when flying as the field was  close to the airport .

 

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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2009, 09:38:56 PM »
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Ok. Edited out Undecided
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2009, 09:45:12 PM »
gauravag
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If it is abandoned, then why is there an ATC Huh?
There is no ATC at the abandoned field. The airforce people had come from Bamraulli airfield, which is around 40 kms away from the abandoned strip we fly. I think there was some "slithering" practice scheduled, for which helis had taken off from the Bamraulli airport.
Any idea what is considered 'Airspace' in the first place? what is stopping to declare that chucking paper gliders in air  or jumping up and down is a violation of airspace?

Pankaj
The lieutenant told me that even if we flew a balloon, at the abandoned airfield, which is still owned by air force, we would need an ATC clearance.

Still this is an extremely exaggerated attitude. Whats the point asking if they were Indians and proof of the same. And how come there were no notices pasted to alert potential flyers of the same. Obviously any flyer would be able to read a notice and avoid flying on those days!!
Unfortunately in my city there are only 3 fliers, and i gues no one really even knows about our presence . so i guess no way for them to post alerts/notices.


I understand that they want us to notify ATC, and he gave me the number too. We should be able to do that also, but i am not sure that if i call atc and tell them we are going to fly our models at the abandoned strip, they would give us clearance. I mean why would they ? why take the additional responsibility / risk ? and most likely they wouldnt know anything about the hobby/sport.


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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 09:45:51 PM »
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TG - Give them some breathing room  Roll Eyes  We live in a very security sensitive era, and these are not entirely unexpected  Head Scratching
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2009, 09:50:14 PM »
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Still this is an extremely exaggerated attitude. Whats the point asking if they were Indians and proof of the same. And how come there were no notices pasted to alert potential flyers of the same. Obviously any flyer would be able to read a notice and avoid flying on those days!!

I wish RC flying was considered that safe in India....
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2009, 10:07:53 PM »
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Btw atc is air trafic control right?
And what is slithering
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2009, 10:20:09 PM »
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Gaurav sir,
as per what i know about that place it used to be a military airport long ago
Now it is just some 2-3 criss cross and parallel  roads made of concrete
I have been there multiple times as it being a way to a famous temple and never saw and army/air force people there
it is used as a road these days and even a good place to learn driving as it is uncrowded

So why do they disturb someone after there is no restriction on others
If they really thing that is their property and fence it put notices..or otherwise this is not good.
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2009, 10:46:48 PM »
gauravag
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Gaurav sir,
as per what i know about that place it used to be a military airport long ago
Now it is just some 2-3 criss cross and parallel  roads made of concrete
I have been there multiple times as it being a way to a famous temple and never saw and army/air force people there
it is used as a road these days and even a good place to learn driving as it is uncrowded

So why do they disturb someone after there is no restriction on others
If they really thing that is their property and fence it put notices..or otherwise this is not good.

Yes ankur, you are right. its just 2 runways in a dilapidated condition with the local farmers using it for their activities.
Out of my 500 visits to this place over last 10 yrs , this was the first time i saw airforce people there.

I am not going to fly there till after Christmas, and before i do, i will call ATC . i just hope they understand aeromodelling and do not say "negative". BTW are you free these days ? come and join us to see our flying.
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2009, 11:14:45 PM »
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Sir i am not so free since my exams are in jan and march
will definately join u and amir bhaiya in april and expect to have  bought/made a plane or two till then
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2009, 11:26:21 PM »
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What i think someone must have informed them for the reason of security
I don't think he has done a gr8 job or a bad job either
for the security of the nation one can do that but since u all fly regularly then this mustn't happen
I m sure the air force people have been informed by someone or they would never rome about there
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2009, 11:37:44 PM »
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I think informing atc isn't limited around the airports since rc planes can always interfere with real world planes
so if we can we must try informing IF they DONT GIVE NEGATIVE REPLIES but help us out
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2009, 12:01:21 AM »
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I m sure the air force people have been informed by someone or they would never rome about there

It is common for a clearance check on the potential landing site prior to any aircraft activity (on non routine landing sites).  So they may have been there just for that, and would have been sort of surprised to see RC activity.   
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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2009, 12:19:26 AM »
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I faced a similar incident about 4 years ago. We used to fly in a field called the Veterinary College Field in Guwahati. One fine afternoon, the Cops swooped in on us and started asking all sorts of questions. The fracas resulted because the State Guest House was within flying/striking distance. At that point of time, the State Guest House was temporarily inhabited by the Chief Minister of Assam, whose Official Residence was being renovated. Assam being a high alert zone, the security forces must have been in a tizzy seeing this small aircraft flying so close to the sensitive area.

We have never flown on that field ever since.
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« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2009, 05:35:34 AM »
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The airforce / or even dgca authorities are well within their rights as there are strict
procedures regarding ops at abandoned airfields - btw these are usually listed
as alternates in the vfr charts.

consider yourself lucky


the simplest solution would be to post a lookout with a cellphone down the road
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2009, 09:50:12 AM »
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The airforce / or even dgca authorities are well within their rights as there are strict
procedures regarding ops at abandoned airfields - btw these are usually listed
as alternates in the vfr charts.

consider yourself lucky


the simplest solution would be to post a lookout with a cellphone down the road

With only me flying i would need to take 2 persons with me know. one as a lookout and the other to assist me. Makes things more complicated.

Hopefully this will not strangulate my hobby
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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2009, 10:03:25 AM »
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Another possible solution - brazen it out when challenged
and quote a fictitious FIR (flt inf reg) no. - hopefully they will
not crosscheck.

also the notams (notices to airmen ) for your area
should be available in the public domain - check
before you go flying on the status of the supposedly
deserted airfield - usually these are updated by the dcga
on the internet - I could be wrong though
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« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2009, 11:44:40 AM »
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He is right in the case of Sholavaram there is proper permission form air force and they have the names contact details  of  both the officials of ARM and individual flyers there . I guess the same goes for Jakur OR Hadapsar at Pune I was told recently  in the case of an NCC camp ATC permission was  required  when flying as the field was  close to the airport .
Sai

What is ARM ? What kind of permission was taken for Sholavaram ? We have a club in Allahabad too ( UP flying club - a registered society ).
If you could give me some details on the kind of permission that airforce has given, we can try to approach them here and get some details ?
This would be very helpful...
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2009, 12:01:01 PM »
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Gaurav ,
ARM is a club ( Academy Of Radio Modelers ) in Channai , most of the flyers in Sholavaram are members of ARM.
The Sholavaram Air strip is owned by Airforce , it is administered by Airforce Station Tambaram as I understand .
Hence  what you need to see is who is the Officer controlling your airstrip and approach the officer  under the banner of an organization . Individuals cannot get permission.
You would have to provide them details of memebers, contact details , photos etc .

This is my understanding but I don't have 1st hand experience.

Sai
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« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2009, 01:45:10 PM »
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That is a very positive thing that now you are identified as legitimate modelers and in touch with the very establishment that can shut you and everyone down any instant they choose.

I would suggest you be in their good books and also with other flyers there keep a good rapport to develop a positive image of this hobby !
We in Pune fly on the hadapsar gliding club so there is no such issue we are aware off  and its taken for granted as it is a Govt Club. I do know the ATC is informed and permission taken when ever the gliders are taken out of the hangar for flying. i think this concern is for places close to the airfields and nowhere near more than 400ft which is legal height aeromodels can be flown atleast in the US.
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2009, 03:14:18 PM »
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I think the FLt. Lieutenant did some scar tactics to ensure that you guys are bona-fide. When It comes to safety of our country, I would side with Lieutenant.  You guys know well R/C aircraft can easily be used for nefarious activity. What with autopilots and route navigation equipment available to make ur R/C a UAV..

What I feel that much like in the aviation industry or even in flight simmers world, we should come up with a common licence system and some education about what to do and what not to do. Organizing all the small flying clubs and flyers to follow a certain basic set of validations with the local authority, the police and /or air-traffic or army would only enhance the longevity of the hobby.

  • I believe airspace related information is important and a basic intro to general aviation information would be interesting. If there are professional pilots/ATC's among us get their advice and formulate the do/don'ts.
  • Elicit the support the rich/famous/influencial R/C flyers to support our cause. Rahul Gandhi, is an avid R/C enthusiast, so are many film personalities etc..
  • May be issue an ID card, which is common to all R/C flyers across the country.

Let's enjoy our hobby in a legitimate fashion
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