If you have some good ideas or anything you would like to share with your fellow modellers please submit them to the Chairman by e-mail and they will find their way onto this new page. To get things started I have posted one on aircraft storage. Something close to all our hearts. Why not have a look? All feedback welcome.





As a member of PANDAS your committee are interested in capturing your views on a number of issues important to the club.


  1. We would like to purchase a used mower spending no more than £5000 from our funds on the asset and trading in the current Little Snapper mower. With around £6000 in total available this should be enough to get a good quality used 3 cylinder fold away mower, similar to what is used to maintain a golf fairway. With a 6 foot cut it will take around an hour to cut the airstrip and pits area instead of the current 3 hours. You may be wondering why we didn’t purchase this type of mower instead of the Snapper. The honest answer is we are cutting a lot more grass now than ever before. The airstrip has been increased in size to 110m x 40m and we also have to keep short areas for rotary wing and control line flying as well as car/caravan parking on event days.
  2. We would like to begin a programme of strip levelling and improvement. This will entail weeding and feeding the airstrip and dressing the depressions with a mixture of sand, soil and grass seed until they are level. This will take a number of years but a gradual approach means we will not lose the use of the strip at any time. This is unlikely to require a great deal of money at any one time, more a drip feed throughout the year to keep on top of things.
  3. The pot holes on the access road do need attention. I think if we set aside £1000 this year for materials we can make some lasting improvements. If you can help in any way in this area, either with sourcing materials, plant equipment or just plain and simple labour that would be of great help.
  4. If we are to accommodate a larger mower we will have less room in the current container. We already have permission from Wakefield Council to install a second cabin next to the existing one. What we have in mind is a welfare cabin, similar to ones used on building sites, vandal proof but able provide heat, shelter and kitchen facilities as well as some storage. We already have a generator and some solar power at our disposal. We have not begun much research as yet but need to know if it is worth pursuing.


Please consider all of the above, all are within our grasp and can be delivered provided the majority of us approve. Please take the time also to respond either to me or the Club Secretary Geoff Quinn detailing what you are for or against A.S.A.P. so we can action this at the next General meeting in March.



Peter O’Keeffe



on behalf of the committee



On Wednesday 7/2/18 it was just hard enough due to the frost to cut the grass on most of the airstrip and all of the pits. Although there is still standing water in the usual places at least half of the strip is dry and cut short. White lines have also been placed to mark the seating area, pits, start line and flight line. You will see an additional dotted line about one metre behind the start line. This area should be kept clear to allow those on the start line room to restrain their models and post flight check them. It takes around 3 hours to cut the strip and pits areas with our current mower. If you are unlucky enough to turn up wanting to fly you may have quite a wait until the strip is prepared. With this in mind the committee are considering purchasing a larger mower and trading in the little Snapper. A 6 foot cutter would do the job in an hour and also cut much closer. The machines we are considering are all used but of the type for maintaining golf courses – triple cylinder mowers, ride on with fold away cutters so they will fit in the cabin. You will all be contacted very soon by e-mail or other means detailing what we want to spend on the asset so that your views can be captured. If there is sufficient support we will put the matter to the next general meeting to make progress as soon as possible. If you are reading this and want to make your views known to me now please e-mail me (Chairman) using the contacts page on this site. I look forward hearing from you. If you have any issues at all with how things are running at the club I would like to know. Our intention this year is to give you the best flying site in the region to enjoy year round. There is work to be done still on the access road and also levelling areas of the strip. We will appeal for help as and when required so please watch this space. It’s your club, the more you put into it the more you will get out of it so please help when asked.

October 26th 2017We have been asked to announce the passing of Tim Shaw so that any PANDAS members who knew him could pay their respects if they wish. Tim often flew gliders at the Tinkers slope, Huddersfield.

Tim’s funeral will be held Wednesday 8th November at 12.30pm at Huddersfield Crematorium, 74 Fixby Rd, Huddersfield HD2 2JF.

Problem finding web site ? 

October 19th 2017

You have managed to open up the web site somehow, but the problem was if you typed in the original address as ‘’.This was linked to the new site which is ‘’, but now the old site has expired, it no longer links. Sorry for any trouble caused.


Dangerous Occurrence Sunday 8th October 2017

Many witnessed on Sunday 8th October a Non Club Member flying a small possibly 180 sized multi rotor aircraft at low level and at high speed at the edge of the football fields 100 plus yards from our two flight lines and very close to members of the public.  It is this type of irresponsible flying that could cause serious damage to our flying club’s reputation if his aircraft was to hit someone and therefore as Chairman I approached the individual who was flying with FPV Goggles without a spotter.  When he removed his goggles I recognized the man who I had notified of his illegal flying a few weeks before and with his apology at the time I believed he would not return knowing he was in the wrong and agreed to not report the matter to the authorities.  Therefore I again politely and professionally explained sections of the Air Navigation Order that he was contravening and explained that as these are ratified by an Act of Parliament he could be faced with criminal prosecution.  I requested his name which he refused to provide and understanding from our previous discussion he was a BMFA member. I asked him for his BMFA membership number and again he refused to provide this also.  So I took his photo. My intention was to follow him to his vehicle and record his vehicle registration number, but when I came back a few mins later he had packed up and left the area.  Due to the serious nature of this Dangerous Occurrence, as Chairman I had no option than to write to Wakefield Council’s Estates Manager for Parks providing him with sufficient legal information both from the ANO and BMFA Handbook 2017 along with his photograph.  In addition as I suspect this person is a BMFA member, a copy letter has been sent to Andy Simons.  Also as a CAA Certified UAV pilot I am required to report any such matters pertaining to Remotely Piloted Aircraft to the local Police and so a copy letter has also been sent to Pontefract Police.  It is not appropriate to post his photo on any social media site however our committee do have this so they can help police the situation and I will update members when I receive a reply from Wakefield Council, BMFA or the Police.  I would however ask that all members report anything similar to any committee member as soon as it is noticed so that we have more evidence of these dangerous occurrences that threaten our club.

Adrian Appleyard

 5 October 2017
Personal letter from Adrian Appleyard

I announced at the AGM in November 2016 that I would run as elected Chairman for 1 full year and have honoured that commitment. At the club meeting Tuesday 4th October I made an announcement and explanation as to why I do not wish to stand for re-election as club Chairman at the AGM in November 2017 and thought it to be professional to share this with everyone who was not at the club meeting.

My decision has not come lightly because I continue and always have been committed and interested in all types of model flying since I was 6 years old, joining PANDAS around 1975 when I was about 19 years old. I believe I have, as with previous times as Chairman, contributed towards making PANDAS stronger and sustainable and more so now as we all try to understand, appreciate, recognise and accept the fast changing world of model flying with advances in technology.

My decision came in the afternoon of Tuesday 3rd October after reading my 10-point action plan I produced in June 2016 when I was co-opted on to the previous committee. This 10-point action plan I made out as personal goals that I felt the club as a whole needed if I was to be in a position on any future committee. So when I sat down and truthfully answered the 10 points I was pleased to say to myself I believed that I accomplished the majority of points which gave me a feeling of value and these are the points:

Point 1 which was to “Research and clarify information” and with the new licence to fly which we have never had before now in a draft form I feel I have accomplished this point.

Point 2 was to “Strengthen positive helpful information and replace that which is unhelpful and potentially damaging” and I feel with the changes to the club rules, constitution and web site management, I have accomplished this well.

Point 3 was to “Promote recruitment” and I believe I have accomplished this to a degree. Point 4 was to “Improve Training” and feel this is operating well with many members now flying different model types.

Point 5 was to “Review health and safety procedures” and with the introduction of the new risk assessment recently valued by Wakefield Council and reporting of accidents. I have met my target point.

Point 6 was to “Promote all aircraft disciplines” and with flying fixed wing and multi rotor aircraft I have done this. However, my helicopter flying has not been as much as I would have liked.

Point 7 was to “Celebrate Success” through reward and recognition and I have certainly achieved this by always saying thank you where exceptional help was provided, to event organisers and pilots who achieve flying tests.

Point 8 was to “Turn negativity into positivity” and had to say to myself that this is one point that I have not reached as well as I wanted.

Point 9 was to “Look to the future and not the past” and with the testing of the BPC’s this year I feel I have accomplished this point reasonably well, but whether this continues is up to the voters in November.

And finally point 10 which says “To have fun and enjoy your hobby” and it is this last point that I feel I have let myself down. This is not to say I have not enjoyed myself whilst flying, but it is about the constant hassle a chairman has to deal with which consumes an enormous amount of time and energy and with working full time and helping my son with his UAV Aerial business. I just don’t have the time on a weekend to be down at the park and for this I feel guilty in letting my committee colleagues and members down.

Those of you who received the personal letter from me at the club meeting supporting BPC’s will read that when I wrote this a week or so ago. I stated that if elected for a 2nd term of office I would initiate further safety controls to ensure pilots fly to their BMFA certification and aircraft type and so my decision to stand down was as I have said triggered by reading my 10-point action plan on the 3rd Oct.

I can only hope now PANDAS continue to promote, protect, organise and encourage model flying within the UK and embrace changes in model flying that time will not hold back.


It is with sadness that we announce the passing of yet another club member.

Barry Horncastle (aged 80) passed away on Saturday 2nd September 2017. Barry was a member of PANDAS for many years but was probably known better by our older and longer serving members.
Barry was a member of other local clubs including Brighouse and Dewsbury, he usually came to Pontefract when he wanted to try out a new model which tended to be the vintage type.

His funeral is to be held, on Wednesday 20th September 2017 (1.15pm), at Dewsbury Moor Crematorium.

22nd August 2017

Advance warning of 2018 race days

Straight from the horses mouth (pun intended) – gives you a chance to organise your events/competitions early.

April  3, 23

May  2, 25

June  11, 24

July  2, 10, 20, 29

August  8, 19

September  20, 27

October  8, 22


17th August 2017

John Bunting. RIP


Sadly John Bunting passed away on Thursday 17th August 2017.

John will be missed by many for his enthusiasm towards aeromodelling and his exceptional piloting skills. He was a member of PANDAS for many years and served on the committee as membership secretary.

In recent times he built some vintage scale models with exceptional detail and latterly taught himself how to sew in order to re-upholster his classic Rolls Royce, this he achieved to concours standard.

Rest in peace John and our condolences to his wife and family.

Funeral Arrangements:-

Wednesday 6th September at 2pm Wilson Street Methodist Church Featherstone WF7 5BH and at 3pm at Pontefract crematorium. Family flowers only please but donations can be made to Cancer Research.

3rd August 2017


on 3rd SEPTEMBER 2017

The next BMFA Examiners Workshop is on the 3rd September and is being held at the Huddersfield Club. If any Pontefract examiners or instructors who haven’t already attended one of these workshops, or any trainees thinking of taking a test who would like to know what standards are required (you can also take your test on the day if you wish), then further information can be found on the BMFA Achievement Scheme Website.


BMFA Northern Area Examiners & Instructors workshop.

25 July 2017

Dewsbury Fly-In

The Dewsbury & District Model Aero Club (DDMAC), is 51 years old this year. The club was formed in September 1966.

We are holding a club open day and informal Fly-In to celebrate this anniversary and would like to extend an invitation to your club members, to join us for the day.

The event will be held on Sunday 17th September 2017, at the DDMAC Flying Field (details below), commencing at 11.00am and concluding around 5.00pm.

I would be grateful if you could circulate this email to your club members.

The event will be run on a safe but informal basis with some fun flying events for people to try. We are hoping to have our carrier deck landing platform ready for the day. Come along and see if you can land and take off from the carrier deck.

We do have a limit of no models over 7kg, to be flown down at our field. We do not allow turbines and have a noise limit of no models over 82db measured at 7 metres.

We have a separate section on our club forum (link below) giving full details of the event.

Any updates will be placed on the club forum, including nearer the time, confirmation the event is going ahead, or cancellation details, should we have to postpone the event, due to any adverse weather conditions. Full details of the fun fly events and timings will follow nearer the day.

DDMAC 2017 Anniversary Fun Fly Forum Link:

DDMAC Flying Field Location Link:

DDMAC Main Website Link:


If you require any more details, please feel free to contact me (details below).


Martin Lynn,
DDMAC Membership Secretary.

17th  May 2017

The Passing of Mac



It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Don McWalter on Tuesday 16th May.
Mac as he was affectionately know has been a member of PANDAS for over 20 years, nearly always seen in the company of Terry Lee.
Mac was an exceptional model engineer and will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace Mac, and our condolences to Ellen and his family.




14th April 2017

One large hole and 4.5 tonnes later it looked like this.


Repairs have now started on the air strip to fill in some of the large water logged holes that have appeared over the last few years. The holes are being filled in with soil and re seeded.

Our flying site, as some people will know used to be a tip and it was capped off with clay and soil, over the years the area has settled which has left our airstrip uneven, the work that we are now carrying out will not rectify this and the best that we hope to achieve is to get rid of the holes and not the uneven surface.



5th April 2017



Congratulations to Jim Brown our new fixed wing examiner. Jim passed his BMFA examiner certificate on Wednesday 5th April 2017. The club now has 7 fixed wing examiners.





5th February 2017



‘A’  Certificate (Daniel Mortimer)
Daniel passed his ‘A’ certificate today. Well done young man!



22nd January 2017





New B Cert
Congratulations to Peter O’Keeffe for passing his Fixed Wing B Cert on Saturday 21st Jan 2017.