I was wondering what other clubs have for noise regulations, if any.
We have been operating at our field for 3 years with no noise
regulations, and no complaints from neighbors. We were recently
blindsided by a disgruntled neighbor who has taken steps to shut us
down for, among other things, excessive noise. Needless to say, we
need to quickly come up with a noise regulation.
| We were recently blindsided by a disgruntled neighbor who has taken
| steps to shut us down for, among other things, excessive noise.
What steps? What else is he after y'all for?
How close is he to the field? Do people actually fly over his
property or anything like that? (if the answer is yes, of course that
needs to stop.)
| Needless to say, we need to quickly come up with a noise regulation.
I don't have any good answers for this. You can probably find lots of
examples on google ...
The only noise regulation our club has is that all engines must have
an effective muffler. Oh, and we can't fly past the treeline between
us and the apartments -- not really a noise regulation, but it still
keeps the noise down. Other than that, there's no hard and fast
rules, but so far they haven't been needed. The newsletter has a
section every month where they talk about ways to keep noise down, and
so far that's been sifficient.
Good luck ...
Ed. y'know I have had nothing but amused stares flying everything
electric round my house except the pusher 'jets' where the prop is near
the tail of the model. Those SCREAM. The geared stuff is just a little
whine from the box and maybe a whirring from the prop - but typical
props are 7-10" at 5krpm, so its not a case of thrashing noise - just a
gentle purr. If you stick to geared stuff and pick a quiet box - I like
the MPjets for that reason - they don't even look up....
I would check with the local regulations for the area where your field is
located so you know where you legally stand. As far as dealing with the
neighbor, first step would be to attempt to talk to them to see if something
could be worked out.
The city here allowed R.C. flying at one of the local parks, if the person
had a muffler and proof of insurance. That worked out fine until some people
flew giant scale planes, sometimes with no mufflers over one of the business
owners (string puller) house. They were warned by the local PD, but still
insisted on flying way out over the houses in question. The string puller
went to the city and the city simply made flying anything that didn't have
an electric motor illegal at that park. Everyone looses, espically our club
because the yahoos who were the biggest offenders now wanted to fly at our
field.(We simply turned our old PITA secretary treasurer loose on them, they
either shaped up or were gone, but that's another story)
Good luck, try to co-operate with the neighbor as much as possible but you
guys might want to start scouting for another place to fly.
| Ed. y'know I have had nothing but amused stares flying everything
Hmm, I get more than amused stares. I feel like the pied piper -- it
draws people out of the woodwork, mostly kids. So far, the attention
has been 100% positive -- people saying it's `neat', asking how much
it costs, did I make it myself, kids asking if they can fly (`no', but
I guess I need to bring a buddy box with some sometime so I can say
It's kinda fun. :)
(Of course, it's to be expected too. The park near my house has a
pool, filled with kids. I don't fly over the pool, but they can
certainly see the plane and hear it if they listen.)
| electric round my house except the pusher 'jets' where the prop is near
| the tail of the model. Those SCREAM.
My Zagi clone with an Astroflight 020 on it makes a good deal of noise
at full throttle (it's at something like 16k RPM.) Still, it's a lot
quieter than a glow plane.
| The geared stuff is just a little whine from the box and maybe a
| whirring from the prop - but typical props are 7-10" at 5krpm, so
| its not a case of thrashing noise - just a gentle purr. If you stick
| to geared stuff and pick a quiet box - I like the MPjets for that
Yup. When I fly my `Tubby Cubby', you can hear the gear box more than
| they don't even look up....
Yes they do.
Try and fly an ornithopter in peace and quiet. For every two hours of
flying you have to calculate 2 hours of explaining to people how it works.
And if it's not the people, it's the cars hitting the brakes trying to
figure out what kind of giant blue bird it is they see. And trust me don't
go flying an ornithopter during duck hunting season. :)
It took me more time to walk back to my car and answer everybody's questions
along the way about the electric 'Rare Bear' on Thursday than I spent flying
All part of the fun!
> Try and fly an ornithopter in peace and quiet. For every two hours of
> flying you have to calculate 2 hours of explaining to people how it works.
> And if it's not the people, it's the cars hitting the brakes trying to
> figure out what kind of giant blue bird it is they see. And trust me don't
> go flying an ornithopter during duck hunting season. :)
> Normen Strobel
> > > >
> > | Ed. y'know I have had nothing but amused stares flying everything > >
> > Hmm, I get more than amused stares. I feel like the pied piper -- it
> > draws people out of the woodwork, mostly kids. So far, the attention
> > has been 100% positive -- people saying it's `neat', asking how much
> > it costs, did I make it myself, kids asking if they can fly (`no', but
> > I guess I need to bring a buddy box with some sometime so I can say > > `yes'.)
> > It's kinda fun. :)
> > (Of course, it's to be expected too. The park near my house has a
> > pool, filled with kids. I don't fly over the pool, but they can
> > certainly see the plane and hear it if they listen.)
> > | electric round my house except the pusher 'jets' where the prop is near
> > | the tail of the model. Those SCREAM.
> > My Zagi clone with an Astroflight 020 on it makes a good deal of noise
> > at full throttle (it's at something like 16k RPM.) Still, it's a lot
> > quieter than a glow plane.
> > | The geared stuff is just a little whine from the box and maybe a
> > | whirring from the prop - but typical props are 7-10" at 5krpm, so
> > | its not a case of thrashing noise - just a gentle purr. If you stick
> > | to geared stuff and pick a quiet box - I like the MPjets for that > > | reason
> > Yup. When I fly my `Tubby Cubby', you can hear the gear box more than
> > anything else.
> > | they don't even look up....
> > Yes they do.
> > --
> > Doug McLaren, email@example.com
> > Don't you feel more like you do today than you did yesterday?
While it may start the anti-AMA crowd howling, there are suggested
sound limits in the membership handbook.
One of the clubs I hold membership in won a frivolous noise complaint
issue almost a decade ago because the club maintained a log at the
flying site of members present. Everyone made sure to log in and out.
The noise complaint was from a 'neighbor' half a mile down the road.
The complaint was filed on a day when no one had been at the flying
Even so, the club opted to relocate when another chunk of county land
Now, 'starter mansions' are popping up all over the area, and noise is
once again at the forefront of the club's collective mind.
That club is Cobb County Radio Controllers,
sound limit is 98 dB.
Of the other two clubs, one is situated between a State prison and
several trucking terminals so WGASA on the noise, and the other club
is well and truly in a rural area and the nearest neighbors are a mile
or so away, so again no big deal.
Couple of things to be aware of . . .
If your municipality/county/whatever does not presently have 'noise
regulations' it will be up to the complainant to document that the
noise he is complaining about is indeed excessive by _some_ standard
or other; subjective complaints about 'excessive' anything are very
difficult to prove.
So . . . the first question to be asked is "How loud is it ?".
No numbers, no data, no complaint. "Excessive" requires
quantification in most political jurisdictions, i.e. so many dB at
such-and-such distance, etc.
Does this neighbor have any factual data to support his complaint, or
is the complaint largely subjective ?
Odds are better than even that said neighbor has a yard, and yard
equipment. Buy a decent sound meter, preferably the recording
variety, and document how much noise _he_ makes when mowing his lawn.
The trick is, lawn mowers are usually run for an hour or so, not 10 or
15 minutes like models. That alone can be a deciding factor - whether
the duration of the noise (if any is even detectable) may be so brief
as to be a 'non-entity'.
Lastly, document the detected sound levels >at his property line<
coming from the models.
"I can hear those models" is not the same as "excessive".
You can 'win' one of two ways : he makes more noise than the club, or
the club doesn't in fact make noise in excess of whatever standards
may be in effect in your area >at the property line
To start with, you can pick up a decent db meter at your local Radio Shack.
Something around $100 last I knew. Get one and then use it.
Second, for starters you can use the AMA guidelines for noise (they should
also have a bunch of material on noise that may prove helpful). Don't
recall the specific AMA limits but you can find them on the web site. Make
the club aware of the guidlines and do not allow any engine/plane to run
that does not meet these limits. Then use your new db meter and start
measuring EVERYTHING at the field. Also there is probably a max noise limit
for residential areas set by your county (or someone). Find out what it is!
Then get to this guys property line (if you can do it without hastle) and do
some measuring there. While flying is going on and while it isn't. Make
sure the flying covers all ranges of noise from the quietest single plane to
the noisiest bunch of gassers the club has. While your at it, find out how
much noise the traffic makes passing his house and how much his lawn mower
makes. May as well see what kind of company you're in. This effort will
give you some ammunition to defend yourselves with.
Then, find out about this guy. When did he move in so you know how long
you've been "pestering him". When did he first complain? Who has he
compained to? How often and how many times? Why haven't these authorities
let the club know? And can they prove it in writing?
Above all be nice and courtious to the guy. Tell him you were unaware of
his annoyance and you'd like to work something out to everyones
satisfaction. You didn't know you were bothering anyone but, once you found
out you immediatly adopted and enforced noise regulations. Offer to teach
him to fly! If for no other reason than to indroduce him to it.
Again, be nice to the guy. And good luck!
I know it has been pointed out to go the AMA website to find out what the noise
regulations are but darn if I can find the specific page it's located on. Can
somebody please post that info here? I did a search under noise regulations
and get everything but the specifics.
There are no absolute limits except where specified in the competition
regulations. As such, these limits are only applicable to the
specific sanctioned competition.
One reference is in the AMA Membership Manual, in the section
pertaining to Leader Clubs and sound, at
Another reference is in the competition regulations for pattern
AMA has never established a fixed figure for noise abatement. Such
extant limits as may exist are referenced to a specific activity or
program. There is no general noise limit regulation except as noted
the dash plumber at mindspring dot com
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll contact AMA on Monday.
Some people asked about the local regulations concerning noise. The
local regulations are not specific, and only say that people may not
make noise that may be anoying or disturbing to neighbors. The
closest anyone would fly to his property would be a quarter of a mile
away, but some people may think this is enough to be anoying.
What with flying fields being lost every year because of noise problems, you
would think that the noise regulations/recommendations would be right at your
fingertips on their site. I'd be willing to bet that unless you're in an all
electric or glider club you'd be hard pressed to make that 90dB at 9 feet spec
for Gold Leader status. Our club's been monotoring engines on a random basis
and very few of the engines we looked at can make this limit, even those that
have not had baffles removed from mufflers. My conclusion is that the AMA is
looking the other way on this issue; it's their dirty little secret because of
the industries' push for larger airplanes and engines. I guess our club may
have to settle for the brass or silver status, unless of course we lie about
the noise. Now that doesn't happen, does it? :-)