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.
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. Bill
| 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.
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. :)
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 site.
Even so, the club opted to relocate when another chunk of county land became available.
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,
Present 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.
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. Joe L.
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 events, at
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 above.
Cheers, Fred McClellan 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? :-) Joe L.