Article 16 and Handbook

Article 16 Authorisation

In January 2023, the LMA’s Article 16 operating authorisation issued by the CAA was raised to issue 5.1 and can be read & downloaded here

This issue of the authorisation has two new features –

  • Flight testing of over 25kg model aircraft can be carried out over 400ft
  • Slow passes of jet turbine powered and over 25kg model aircraft can be carried out at reduced separation distances at model flying displays under an LMA permission

The CAA-issued Article 16 authorisation is the mechanism that authorises the activities of the LMA-

  • Members flying model aircraft throughout the UK
  • Model aircraft flying displays involving LMA members
  • Flying model aircraft over 7.5Kg over 400ft at specific flying sites
  • Over 25kg Scheme
  • Registering members with the CAA for Operator & Flyer ID’s

LMA Members’ Handbook

The LMA Handbook 1 January 2023 issue can be downloaded here.

This issue includes new content on-

  • Flight testing over 25kg model aircraft over 400ft
  • Carrying out slow passes of jet turbine powered and over 25kg model aircraft at reduced separation distances at a model flying display under an LMA permission

The Handbook gives the rules and procedures of the LMA

Flying at a Display – Pilot Currency

It is a requirement that before flying in a display, you are current in your practical flying competence, the requirement being-

Any model aircraft pilot operating a ‘large model aircraft’, or a jet turbine powered model aircraft of any mass, for the purpose of a ‘model aircraft flying display’, must be able to demonstrate sufficient currency of pilot competence, by having flown as a minimum, three complete display routines, within the preceding 90 days of the ‘model aircraft flying display’, one of which must have been flown within the preceding 30 days, on an aircraft which is reasonably representative of the aircraft to be flown within the display event.

Although the formal requirement only applies to remote pilots of over 25kg and /or gas turbine powered aircraft, it is reasonable to expect that everyone flying any model aircraft at a display has at least this level of currency.

As very few people have a fixed ‘display routine’ to practice, flights of similar length and similar type of flying as you would expect to do at the display will be sufficient. If you fly in a team, you don’t have to do your ‘currency’ flights with the team, but if flying a close formation or ‘synchronised’ display, you should be current in that type of flying.

You know how your ‘display’ aircraft fly and handle (e.g. fast and twitchy or slow and ponderous) so it is up to you to be able to justify if needed how the aircraft you carry out practice flights are ‘reasonably representative’. If you fly multiple aircraft in a display, you will need to be able to justify how you are current on each aircraft you fly.

At a display it is likely that you will need to self-declare you are current, but as there are no mandatory logbooks for flying model aircraft, it will be up to you to be able to prove if necessary (to the Judge if things go really badly) that you have actually met the minimum currency requirements. You could of course lie, and nobody would know, but it may not go quite as well in your defence.

The most important thing is to have flown outside on a real aeroplane, not a simulator.

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