RWMAA Top 10 safety rules for building and flying helis

RWMAA Top 10 safety rules for building and flying helis

PostAuthor: gash » Mon May 20, 2013 1:37 pm

RWMAA Top 10 safety rules for building and flying helis

Many have asked for some guidelines for safety for helis so the RWMAA drafted a set of
rules to help protect the heli community.

Hope these rules save you from a few stitches or worse.

The Thing About Spinning Blades …

Lawn mowers are dangerous.
Brush Hogs are dangerous.
Rotary Wing Model Aircraft are dangerous.
- All can be used safely if you understand the risks and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Heavier Blades Hit Harder

A lawnmower can cut grass and weeds.
A brush hog can cut weeds and small trees.
The more mass a blade has, the more damage it can do.
Large helicopters with heavier blades can potentially do more damage than smaller helicopters.
- But … even a small 250 size helicopter can kill or do permanent harm to pilots and bystanders

The Buck Stops with the Pilot …

You can blame the manufacturer.
You can blame the dog owner.
You can blame the dumb kid.
You can blame the TV reporter.
-If your helicopter hurts anyone or anything, it is most likely your fault.
-And … you are the one that will most likely get hurt.

Know the Risks

Use common sense and follow these basic safety rules as outlined on the following pages:
- Top 10 Safety Rules for Building
- Top 10 Safety Rules for Flying

Top 10 Safety Rules for Building

Always isolate (e.g. with heatshrink or tape) each LiPo wire while soldering on the other one to avoid a short circuit.
Verify your transmitter is on, the right model is selected, and throttle-hold is on prior to powering up the aircraft. Make sure the throttle is a position that gives zero or slightly negative pitch to your blades.
Program your ESC to “Soft Start” to give yourself time to react should the throttle be accidentally turned on.
Leave your motor wires detached while setting up the cyclic servos, gyro and tail servo. Remove main blades when first powering up your motor.
Verify correct movement of all controls.
Get help from an experienced pilot if you are not sure how.
Avoid tying your aircraft down for powered testing.
Use braid, rubber, or something similar to protect wiring from shorting against the frame.
Never connect your LiPo to the frame without using a current limiting resistor or equivalent.
Use high quality parts and best practice component placement to assure interference free operation.
Use transmitters/receivers designed to minimize interference.
Isolate high current noisy components (Main Battery, ESC, and motor) from low current parts (Antenna, Battery, gyro, gyro controller, and receiver).
Always use threadlock on all metal to metal screws and CA on metal to plastic screws.
Never hold your aircraft with your hands while spun up (e.g. while tracking).

Top 10 Safety Rules for Flying

Verify your transmitter is on, the right model is selected, and throttle-hold is on prior to powering up the aircraft.
Always range check your transmitter and receiver after new builds and crashes.
Always perform a preflight inspection of the entire helicopter and perform regular maintenance.
Always keep at least 20 feet from any spun up aircraft (30 feet for a Turbine).
This precludes flying indoors unless in a huge area.
This precludes crawling under your aircraft to remove power.
This precludes launching or touching a flying aircraft.
Always fly within your knowledge level by learning new moves on a simulator.
Never fly alone and always have a spotter.
Always know where all bystanders and animals are and never fly within 65 feet of anywhere you think they could end up (land if necessary).
Never fly over roads, near power lines, over your head, behind you or over water unless you have floats.
Know how to kill your engine (Throttle Hold on electric, choke on a Gasser, pulled fuel line on a Nitro).
Always have access to a first aid kit, a phone, and a CO2 fire extinguisher for Turbines.


RC Aircraft are potentially dangerous and must be treated with proper respect
The risks can be minimized by using common sense and following basic safety rules
- However, this rule set not exhaustive and is not intended to be. Use your best judgment always.

Good luck and fly safely!
"he who dies with the most toys still dies"


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