PANDAS Field Opening 12.00pm Wednesday 20th May 2020

Updated Wednesday 20th May 2020

Dear PANDAS Members,

Wakefield council have now amended their rules / guidelines about the use of their public parks, including Pontefract Park. This now means as a club, we can open the PANDAS flying site next week, to enable members to fly.

However, there are strict rules / guidelines that we must follow. The club flies under the umbrella of a licence issued by the council.

The committee have canvassed PANDAS members to get an idea as to how many members would want to fly, if we did open the field. We have looked at various options, including a booking system, where members must book a specific time and date to go down and fly.

The overriding factor is, that the field must not be a place where members go down for a chat and to socialise, even if they maintain social distancing. The maximum number of people who are not from the same household, that could be near to each other (minimum 2 metres, more is better) is two. Any more than that,  could be seen as a gathering, which is illegal under the emergency coronavirus legislation. Both the club and members could be liable for prosecution. It could also lead to the revoking of the council licence and loss of the field for ever. A visit to the field in the current situation, must be seen, as a visit to fly only and not a social get together.

The committee have therefore decided to open the field from 12.00pm on Wednesday 20th May 2020.

This is subject to the below rules / guidelines being strictly adhered (details below). Any failure to follow theses rules / guidelines could lead to the field being closed indefinitely.

Due to the numbers of members who have indicated they would be intending to fly, we have decided not to utilise a formal slot booking system at this time. This could be introduced in the future, if this initial method does not work.

You are there just to fly, not to socialise and are be limited to 2 people on the flight line, 2 in pits and the rest in or near their cars in the car park area or elsewhere in the park (well away from the flying area – at least 50 metres), maintaining social distancing at all times.

This system means members must self-manage the flying, with flying limited to 15 minutes slots. You just keep rotating with the numbers there (pits, fly, car, pits, fly, car and so on). When you have had enough you go home.

We are trying to keep things simple but legal and asking members to show some common sense and consideration for everyone. If the numbers wanting to fly are increasing, just have a few flights and then go home. The committee will continue to monitor the situation and if this system does not work, we will have to look at a more formal slot time booking system.

We have set up a calendar (link below) and it is asked that members use this, to indicate when they are intending to go to the field with their estimated arrival and departure time. This will allow other members to instantly view the calendar and see who could be going to the field and at what time. Please only show times and dates up to 10 days in advance. The calendar link is below. You need to know the password to enter a date and time slot. If you use the calendar in month display mode, just click on the date you want to fly and it will bring up a another page with the times, pick a time and it will bring up another box to enter the password, your name (in the title box), followed by your estimated arrival and departure times.

PANDAS Field Visit Calendar

This password has being circulated by email, to all members with an email address. If you have forgotten the password or not received an email, please contact me (details below).

If you make a mistake (wrong date or time), you cannot edit or delete the entry yourself. If something needs changing, use the ‘Field Visit Form’ for the correct details and show in the comments box, the entry that needs changing or deleting.

The following club rules / guidelines are in place, for members who do decide to visit the field to fly:

  1. Maintain social distancing at all times (minimum 2 metres, 3 metres is better) whilst at the field or car park area.
  2. Cars parked at a minimum 3 metres apart.
  3. Limit of 2 people in the pits at any one time.
  4. Limit of 2 people on the flight line at any one time.
  5. Remain in your vehicle or near to it, if not in the pits or on the flight line, to ensure that we do not form ‘A Gathering’.
  6. Place the flags out as normal, from  the cabin or tube and stand 3 metres apart on the flight line (use the painted markers as a guide).
  7. Keep the club cabins and toilet closed (apart from getting the flags out).
  8. Comply with any new changes to government legislation & guidelines if they are introduced.
  9. Nitrile/Vinyl gloves to be worn or hand sanitiser used immediately before and immediately after opening/unlocking and closing/locking access gates and padlocks
  10. Nitrile/Vinyl gloves to be worn or hand sanitiser used immediately before and immediately after using any club site maintenance equipment.
  11. No sharing of model flying equipment and aircraft (apart from by those sharing a household).
  12. Hand sanitiser should be considered an essential item in every model aircraft flyer’s flight box.
  13. Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or who shares a household with any individual displaying symptoms, must not fly and should stay

The current virus situation can change on a day to day basis and it is important we follow any changes. It is imperative that members always stick to the rules and guidelines . Any breaches could lead to disciplinary action and a potential loss of the field. 

As I have said before, members will have to make their own decision based on their own health/welfare/family situation. It is not worth risking your own life or anyone else’s to effectively fly a model aircraft.


We are currently looking at how we could in the future, cater for members who are learning to fly or for members who can fly, but do not hold a BMFA ‘A ‘certificate and require supervision.

The use of any wired buddy system is unlikely to work (cables too short) and we cannot use the old method of grabbing the transmitter.

An update will follow shortly once we have looked at the options (if any).

If anyone has any questions or is not sure what to do, please give me  a call or email me.

Martin Lynn,
PANDAS Chairman.
Mobile: 07802 725 231


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2 Responses

  1. Really good news the flying field is opening.
    Inspecting the field 17th May 2020 it was clear the area leveled and seeded is extremely dry and I expect it will take a few months before it can be used.

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