21.1     Definitions
An ACCIDENT is where a person suffers a fatal or serious injury as a result of contact with any part of any model including parts that have become detached from the model.

A SERIOUS INCIDENT means an incident involving circumstances indicating that an accident nearly occurred.

An INCIDENT is an occurrence that has the potential for an accident or serious incident to occur.

21.2     General
First of all, you should bear in mind that any reportable incident might well trigger a CAA inquiry, run by the Air Accident Investigation Board (AAIB).

The possibility of a future inquiry will usually depend on the severity or potential severity of the incident and your actions regarding collection of evidence, etc. should be with this in mind.

A fatal accident is certain to result in such an inquiry.

Almost all these inquiries are conducted for the AAIB by the BMFA so there is an assurance that an experienced modeller will be involved and not someone who is unfamiliar with model operations.

21.3     General Flying
In the event of an accident involving a model aircraft which causes injury to a third party, the pilot must inform their own National Association as soon as is reasonably practicable.

Whilst not being required to report accidents (defined as involving fatal or serious injury) directly to the CAA, any serious incident may well trigger an AAIB inquiry.

With this in mind, those present on the flying field will have to decide very quickly on their course of action.

In the case of a fatal incident there is no doubt that the first course of action will be to alert the emergency services, e.g. ambulance and police.

The model, radio equipment and any other items involved should not be moved or even touched, if that is possible. If any transmitters operating during the incident are switched off later this should be noted.

All other transmitters, the pegboard and the pits area should be left untouched until full details have been recorded.

Photographs of the area will be extremely useful and, if a camera is not available, mobile phone pictures will do; as many as possible.

Names and addresses should be taken of all those present and no one should be allowed to leave the field until a police presence has been established.

If there are no Committee members on the field then, at some point, Committee officers must be contacted. This should obviously be done as soon as possible but Club members on the field should not wait for a Committee presence to take care of the steps outlined above, many of which need to be done quickly.

For any incident that has not resulted in a fatality but is still serious, a police presence will probably not be required and the level of evidence collection may be reduced but you should always remember that an inquiry might be held into the incident.

Plenty of photographs of the scene, possibly impounding the model and radio equipment, names and addresses of witnesses and notes taken at the time will all be extremely helpful if you consider that you may be involved in an inquiry.  It will also help in any insurance related queries that might arise.

21.4     Contact Details
The respective Associations are to maintain a list of contacts who are authorised to act on behalf of their Association on notification of an accident or serious incident occurring.

Accident reporting to the CAA (Out of Office Hours) is on 07808 900329

21.5     Public Events (Displays or Competitions)
These events have more stringent requirements details of which are in the Display Organisers Handbook downloadable from the BMFA web site or direct from the Leicester Office.

Do not be complacent about this matter.  Any incident, serious or potentially serious, that occurs in front of the public will almost certainly be reported to the press, probably before the dust has settled, and the press will almost certainly contact either the CAA or the BMFA for comment.

Consider the consequences of a telephone call from the press to the CAA on a Monday morning asking for details of the ‘model aeroplane crash’ that turns out to be a serious one and neither the CAA nor the BMFA has any knowledge of it!


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