maybe some on this group can help. We have now gotten many noise complaints
at our field. The Town threatens to shut us down. We do not fly any really
big aircraft. Many .40 size, a good amount of .60 size and a couple of .90
size. All are mufflered. Some in our club want to make .40 the limit.
What does this group suggest??
1. Start looking for a new field further away from homes. :o(
2. Find out which neighbors are complaining and try to reorganize
the flight path away from that area.
3. Research the noise codes and see if you can prove that you
are in compliance.
4. Do noise tests on the ground and keep planes from flying that
flunk the test (contact AMA for guidelines on what works).
5. Some clubs have gone all four-stroke because even though the
decibel readings may be identical, the perceived noisiness generally
is much lower.
6. Pray that the unhappy neighbors move away.
Not speaking for the group, but just MHO. I would suggest as the
first step that you find out what the town has on the books (in
ordinances) regarding community standards re limits on sound
emissions. If there are are objective limits specified, it's
relatively easy to get noise complaints dismissed as being without
merit. By objective I mean limits are specified in physical,
measurable terms as to allowed level, usually expressed as XX dBA,
often with modifiers such as a reduction of X dBA during evening hours
and Y dBA during nightime hours, and frequently with different levels
allowed depending on the zoning. If so, higher levels are often
allowed in commercial and industrial zones than in low-density
residential zones where quiet is considered an important factor in
If there are no limits in the ordinances, or subjective criteria such
as prohibitions against "loud and unusual noises" or some such are
specified, the issue is harder to deal with. Then you'll have to try
convince whomever stands in judgement that the complaint is without
merit, while having to rely on statistics showing what people in
general, but not people in your specif locale, are willing to
tolerate and that complainant is supersensitve compared to the norm.
These data are available and are the basis for recommended noise
abatement ordinances by agencies charged with measures of
environmental quality, including HUD and ANSI, and ISO at the
international level. The sound level limit most often cited as the
fuzzy threshold between acceptable and unacceptable for most people
most of the time is 55 dBA, time averaged over a period of one hour.
This is at the receptor's location of course, so you need subtract the
loss in the transmission path from what you measure at the source to
arrive at the level heard by your complainants. It's an easy
calculation, but before getting into that, complete step one and come
back with the gist of what the town ordinaces say about it, else I and
anyone else that attempts to help you deal with the situation will
just be wasting keystrokes.
The thought of being forced to fly only electric really makes my blood
You have two choices.
1/ give up hobby
2/ Emigrate immediately to Australia and live in a country town with
hectares of open land with no neighbours nearby.
Aussie RC Enthusiast and Rugby Fanatic.
Thank heavens the USA hasn't discovered and packaged Rugby.
In news: email@example.com,
Emigration to Australia would be delightful, but generally hopeless for the
average US citizen, especially a retired couple with stable, life-long
Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not
so great) words of knowledge:
As someone else suggested, see what your town specifies for noise
levels, and set YOUR noise levels AT OR BELOW the town levels. If the
town does not have noise levels, use the AMA guide lines for noise.
Once you know the noise levels, get a DB meter AND USE IT. If ANY plane
exceeds those noise limits, IT DOESN'T FLY - NO EXCEPTIONS. If you are
at or below the town noise limits (or the AMA noise limits if there are
no town limits), you will have a much better chance of getting noise
Another thing you may want to consider - If the complaints are coming
from a particular direction, plant a row/screen of fast growing trees
(Lombardy Poplar Hybrids grow about 18" - 24" a year ). This will help
block the sound AND the view of the field. Often, if they can not see
the planes, the problem goes away or is greatly reduced. Also, if the
complaint(s) are from a particular direction, insure the pilots do not
fly in that direction.
You can also try some community relations. Have an "open house" with a
half dozen trainers on buddy boxes and some free eats available. Let
the people try their hand at flying. The free eats usually will get the
people there. Once they are there, the club members can "apply their
charm" to help calm the people's concerns.
Just some ideas before having to do something radical (close the field,
go electric only, etc. )
First, find out if the town has a noise ordinance and what dB rating they
will allow. Then ask them to send out an inspector with a dB meter to
measure the sound. Typically, noise ordinances require that the noise be
measured at the property line of the person(s) complaining. If you are
within the allowable dB's during the test, take your case to the City
Council and clearly state your case that you are well within the noise
limits (which you probably are) and that you not be harassed any more. Make
a case that you are a wholesome activity that includes youth and that you
would like to continue to operate. Be proactive in doing this but be VERY
Our club has been through this too. Those complaining are either just plain
miserable people or jealous that you're having too much fun and they are
I'm in Georgia. There are still clubs within driving range that aren't
restricted (YET!). I've lost two fields over the last few years. At this
point, I'll be happy if things don't get any worse....
PCPhill (Who needs to win the lottery and buy a farm somewhere in the
middle of nowhere)
--- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2005 10:51 PM
Subject: Re: Noise pollution /reduction
I would also make noise comparisons (from the complaint point) of your
planes and other things like lawn mowers and trimmers, etc. Then say
if you want to curtail our flying because of noise, you must also
curtail mowing grass, etc. It sometimes helps to put our airplane
noise in a comparative context.
Mr. Mojo wrote:
"Ed Cregger" wrote in
message news:sJ38e.1491$ firstname.lastname@example.org...
Sadly Ed is correct.
Too often I've heard of race tracks, model flying
fields, MX tracks and such being closed because
STUPID, SELFISH MORONS without a lick of sense
move out to the area where most of these
facilities are and THEN instead of being a good
neighbor and realizing that they weren't there
first. Instead to go crying to "Someone in
Authority" I can't stand these people...I find
most are also the kind of person who expect
everything to be given to them. I am so glad that
I don't give in to my urge to follow an old
tradition of mankind and burn down the houses of
people like that.