CONSTITUTION

Words of masculine gender should be taken to include the feminine gender unless the context indicates otherwise.
GENERAL
1. The Association shall be called Wellingborough Old Grammarians Model Flying Associationand will be affiliated to the British Model Flying Association.

2. The Association’s principal aim shall be the promotion of safe and responsible model aircraft flying.

3. Alterations to this constitution can only be made at an Annual General Meeting or at a General Meeting called for that purpose. Any Proposed alterations must be submitted to the secretary in writing at least 14 days prior to the meeting.

MEMBERS
4. A “member” means any class of membership.

5. The Committee reviews and has the right to refuse membership to new applicants.

6. New members will be required to serve an initial probationary period of 6 months. During this time they will not be eligible to serve on the Committee and may have their membership terminated at the discretion of the Committee for unsatisfactory conduct.

7. New members’ subscriptions shall be dependent on membership class, plus the joining fee as decided at the Annual General Meeting.

8. Subscriptions are due by 1st January each year. Any member, who has not paid the subscriptions for the ensuing year by this date, in whole or in part, will not be permitted to fly until they have done so. BMFA membership must be in place before flying.

9. Reduced subscriptions for new members will apply from September when they will be halved. The Committee reserves the right to ask for a formal membership application if it so wishes.

11. All members must be members of the British Model Flying Association and must be able to provide evidence of such on request. The only exception to this is for those members who play no active part in the Association whatsoever; i.e. social members only.

12. A member may be made a life member for extensive services to the Association. Life members can only be created by a majority ballot of Association members at a general meeting.

13. All members, without exception, must comply with all Association rules. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action by the Association which may lead to dismissal.

14. All members who are eligible must be members of the Wellingborough Old Grammarians Association and that they agree to be bound by the Constitution and Rules of the Wellingborough Old Grammarians Association, the Wellingborough Old Grammarians Model Flying Association and all byelaws made there under. If there is conflict between the constitutions, then the more restrictive rule takes precedence.

15. Members may invite guest fliers to the site on arrangement with the Committee but they must be BMFA insured and the Association member must assume total responsibility for the actions and safety of the guest.Guests must hold a minimum of an ‘A’ certificate or fly under the supervision of instructors if their ability requires it, and as such arrangements must be made in advance of the visit.

RULES, DISCIPLINE AND SAFETY

16. Additions and amendments to field safety rules and regulations can only be made by proposals at a General Meeting. All field safety rules and regulations will be reviewed annually, and will be considered binding for 12 months, excepting where urgent action is required. This action must then be ratified by the members at the next general meeting.

17. Any complaint concerning any member must be made in writing and signed by the complainant(s). The written complaint must then be forwarded to the Secretary so that the matter can be addressed at the next Committee meeting.
18. Where an allegation of misconduct is made against a member, the member may be suspended from all Association activities while an investigation is carried out.

19. The Committee may impose a suspension from Association activities including attendance at the Association flying site, not exceeding 14 days upon any member in the event of misconduct. Any suspension must be accompanied by a verbal and/or written warning as deemed appropriate in accordance with Article 20.

20. The Committee may consider removal of membership where conduct on the field or elsewhere is considered to be prejudicial to the Association. Dismissal will be in accordance with the following procedure in order to comply with the laws of natural justice:

a. The member is to be given a verbal warning by an authorised Committee Member in which the member is made aware of his misdemeanour and what he is reasonably required to do to make amends.
b. If the member does not respond, he is to be given a written warning by an authorised Committee Member to advise him of his misdemeanour and what he is reasonably required to do to make amends.
c. If he still fails to respond, the Committee should invite him in writing to meet with them at a previously agreed date and time to discuss the situation, advising they are considering withdrawal of his membership.
d. If he still fails to respond to reasoning or fails to attend without reasonable cause, the Committee can advise him in writing that his membership is withdrawn, stating the reasons why this decision was reached.
e. When the member is advised of withdrawal of his membership, he must be given the right of appeal. If he opts to appeal, this will be to the Association membership at an EGM which the Committee would call on his behalf at a previously agreed date and time. The motion to uphold the membership withdrawal or reverse it must be in accordance with the voting procedures set out in the Association Constitution.
In the event of gross misconduct, immediate dismissal without warnings may be considered but the member must still be accorded his rights to present his case to the Committee and be given a right of appeal in accordance with sub-paragraphs c, d and e above.
In the event of dismissal the Committee will arrange for the member’s current membership fee (excluding BMFA subscription) to be reimbursed in full.

FLYING
21. The Committee, Officers and Instructors, will be responsible for the running of the flying field at all times. Appointment to the position of Instructor or Examiner can only be made by a Committee decision.

22. All flying members must attain the minimum standards of flying required under the BMFAAchievement Scheme before receiving the BMFA ‘A’ Certificate and before being permitted to fly indirectly supervised.

23. Any member whose flying standards drop below the minimum requirement solo standard will be required to be reassessed until the desired standards of flying are met.

COMMITTEE STRUCTURE AND APPOINTMENTS

24 The Committee of the Association shall comprise of not more than 6members, but no less than 3 members.

25 The Officers of the committee shall be, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Safety Officer and 2 ordinary members.

26. One senior Association member should be appointed annually as the Associations’ BMFA Delegate who should represent the Association at all relevant meetings.

27. Any Committee member or member who is involved in any organisational position within the Association, must hold membership of the British Model Flying Association.

28. Committee officers and members shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting from written nominations received no later than 14 days prior to the meeting, to serve for a period of one year. The Committee will be elected by majority vote by show of hands from members present. All fully paid up members and life members are eligible to vote.

29. Should a committee position become vacant, the Committee may, by a majority vote, co-opt a replacement who will then serve until the following Annual General Meeting.

COMMITTEE ORGANISATION AND POWERS
30. Members elected to office will have full voting rights at all meetings. In the event of a tie the Chairman will have a casting vote in addition to his initial standing vote.

31. The Committee are authorised to carry out negotiations and make decisions in the interest of the Association or on behalf of the membership where necessary without consulting the members. Approval from the membership at an ordinary meeting must be sought for expenditure greater than £500.00

32. The Secretary must be informed of any negotiations proposed by Association members which affect the Association as a whole and copies of any written correspondence must be submitted to him for record purposes.

33. Any Committee Member or Officer wishing to resign must do so in writing.

34. Any member of the Committee who is absent from three consecutive Committee meetings without reasonable cause will automatically forfeit his seat on the Committee.

35. The Committee may pay accounts and incur any normal liabilities on behalf of the Association.

VOTING AND CONDUCT OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS
36. All committee meetings will be agenda’d and minuted. Minutes of committee meetings will be made available to members on request to the secretary.

37. A quorum of any Committee meeting shall consist of a majority of Committee Members.

38. All proposals must be seconded and voted upon. A majority vote of those present is required to carry any proposal.

39. Voting will normally be by a show of hands, however a secret ballot must be taken should any committee member request that this be done. Proxy and postal votes will not be permitted.

40. An audio recording of committee meetings may be taken by the secretary only, for the sole purpose of producing accurate minutes. The audio recording must be deleted once the written minutes are approved.

41. Non committee members may attend committee meetings as observers by applying to the Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting. Any non Committee Member may be asked to leave the meeting subject to approval from the Committee.

VOTING AND CONDUCT OF GENERAL MEETINGS
42. All general meetings will be agenda’d and minuted. Any other business will only be accepted at general meetings if the Secretary is given at least 14 days notice in writing of the item to be discussed.

43. A general meeting is to be at least one third of the membership to be deemed valid.

44. All proposals must be seconded and voted upon. A majority vote of those present is required to carry any proposal including proposals to alter this constitution.

45. Voting will normally be by a show of hands, however a secret ballot must be taken should any member request that this be done. Proxy and postal votes will not be permitted.

46. Amendments to proposals must be voted upon first.

47. An audio recording of general meetings may be taken by the secretary only, for the sole purpose of producing accurate minutes. The audio recording must be deleted once the written minutes are approved.

48. Non Association members may attend Association meetings as observers as invited guests of a Association by applying to the Secretary at least 14 days before the meeting. Any non Association member may be asked to leave the meeting subject to approval from the Committee.

49. The Committee, through the Chairman has the power to ask a person to leave any meeting in the event of that person disrupting the meeting.

50. Patrons of the Association have no voting rights but are free to attend all Association meetings.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS
51. A date for the Annual General Meeting will be decided each year by the Committee. At least 28 days notice of the meeting will be given in writing to all Association members.

52. Annual subscriptions and the joining fee will be decided at the Annual General Meeting.

53. A competent individual (non-committee member) shall be elected by the Committee to carry out an independent examination of the accounts before the Annual General Meeting to verify that the balance sheet is correct and fairly represents the expenditure and receipts of the Association, its assets and its liabilities.

EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGS
54. The Secretary will convene an Extraordinary Committee Meeting within 14 days on request from any officer of the Committee, stating the business to be discussed.

55. The Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association by a resolution of the Committee stating the business to be brought before the meeting, of which 28 days notice has been given to all members in writing stating the business to be discussed.

56. The Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association on receipt of a request in writing signed by no less than a third of themembers of the Association, stating the business to be brought before the meeting.

The meeting must be called within 28 days of request and 28 days notice must be given to all members in writing stating the business to be discussed.

57. When a request for a meeting is made in accordance with Article 55 and it is not called within 28 days, the requisitioners may themselves convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association by giving 28 days notice in writing to all members, duly setting out the purpose for which the meeting was called. Any resolutions passed at such a meeting shall have the same force and effect as if they were passed at a meeting convened by the Committee.

INSURANCE AND INDEMNITY
58. The Association will hold both Civil and Employers Liability Insurance, provided through affiliation to the BMFA.

59. The Association will indemnify all committee officers and committee members if they incur any liability on behalf of the Association.

60. In the event of a Committee Member being awarded damages or costs in the course of proceedings taken by him in his representative capacity, such damages or costs will belong to the Association and not the Committee Member personally and upon receipt that Committee Member will pay them to the Association Treasurer.

61. When there is a joint meeting between Old Grammarians Model Flying Associationand another Association, the participating Association must be able to provide evidence of adequate insurance cover well in advance of the event.

DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION
62. Should it be considered necessary or desirable to dissolve the Association, the Committee will call an Extraordinary General Meeting. Should a quorum fail to appear, the meeting will be adjourned and a further EGM must be called within 14 days. The second meeting will proceed even if a quorum is not present and the motion will then be carried by a simple majority vote.

63. On dissolution and after the sale of assets, settlement of all outstanding debts and the refund of subscriptions for the remaining part of the year to the paid up members; the funds remaining will be distributed in equal shares to the Association’s charities. (See the Associations’ Charity Guidelines).

64. If the final accounts are less than required to refund the subscriptions to the members, the total money remaining will be donated to the Association’s nominated charity. All members will receive a final statement of accounts.

CHARITY GUIDELINES
1. The aim of these notes is to provide guidance to the Committee of the Association when considering making donations to charity.

2. The Association’s charity guidelines are as follows :-

3. The Association should, wherever possible, support local charity events when asked. i.e. school summer fairs, firework displays, etc. whenever it is practicable to provide a relevant display of what we do. Whether or not money changes hands largely depends on the circumstances around which the event is based. These conditions should be finalised well before the day of such an event.

4. Only money raised at these events should be made available to donate to worthy causes. No money will be diverted from members’ subscriptions.

5. In the event of the Association being approached to donate money to a local worthy cause, the Committee will make a decision on the amount to be donated. The maximum sum available in this case will be £100.00.

6. In the event that the Association is approached for sponsorship of a member or their close associate who is involved in a charity event, the Committee will make a decision on the amount to be donated. The maximum sum available for sponsorship in this case will be £100.00.

7. The Association reserves the right to periodically donate funds to charities. The amounts and gaining charities must be agreed by majority vote at a general meeting.

8. The current nominated Association charities are :-

These are the charities referred to in the Association’s Constitution Article 63.10

Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Service

FIELD / SAFETY RULES
1. All members must observe field discipline and comply with the Air Navigation Order, all relevant BMFA safety codes as contained within the BMFA Members’ Handbook and Civil Aviation publication (CAP) 658.

2. On matters of field safety needing an immediate decision, the responsibility lies with instructors or a member of the committee in that order. Any instructions must be accepted without dissent. However, should a member believe the instructions to be wrong, then he should bring this to the attention of the Committee through Article 15 of the Constitution.

3. Any pilot not holding their solo qualification for the type of aircraft they are flying must not fly without the supervision of an instructor or their specially appointed deputy if the instructors are absent from the field. If no instructors are present at the site, any member holding the BMFA ‘B’ Certificate may act as an appointed deputy until an instructor arrives.

3a. All Association members must have and clearly display their latest Association membership card before commencing to fly. This should be visible by any observer without having to ask the pilot.

4. Due consideration must be given at all times to trainee or novice pilots in the circuit. In the event that the pleasure or concentration of a pilot is affected by the flying style of another, precedence will be given to the pilot who was airborne first. Intimidating flying of any sort is not permitted.

5. No more than 4 IC powered aircraft shall be airborne at any one time.

6. All flying is to be done in the designated areas only. Over-flying of the Old Grammarians buildings and car parks is not permitted at any time.

7. All pilots must observe the established flight line and stand in the designated area whilst flying. Any variation to suit daily conditions may be made by the Association’s safety officers. Any spectators must remain in the spectators’ area whilst flying is in progress.

8. Any person wishing to enter or cross the runway area must seek clearance from any pilots flying at the time before doing so.

9. All vehicles must be parked in the designated area only.

10. 35 MHz frequency numbers must be called out before the transmitter in question is switched on. The pilot must ensure that he is operating on the frequency he believes he is on and must display the appropriate frequency pennant on his transmitter.

11. All 35MHz transmitter aerials must remain retracted unless the model is being flown. The flight is defined from the point of release to when the engine is stopped or the model is restrained.

12. Transmitters should not be taken away from the flight line when retrieving an aircraft, unless to do so would aid retrieval of the model. In this instance the matter should be brought to the attention of the safety officers so that this may be carried out without the risk of over-flying the transmitter.

13. Should an aircraft go out of control, the first priority must be the safety of persons with the second being avoidance of damage to property. A warning is to be shouted by the pilot which is to be taken up by other members.

14. Before starting an engine the model must be suitably restrained either by a tether, by using one of the Associations starter benches or by an assistant.

15. In the interest of safety, assistance should be sought when running up engines and taking models to the runway for take-off. All helpers must have BMFA membership.

16. Appropriate use should be made of all available pit area, and under no circumstances should engines be set up in the immediate vicinity of the pilots who are flying at that time. Where practical, models should face outward from the pit area.

17. Under no circumstances must an engine be run unless all persons are behind the line of the propeller with the exception of the person starting the engine. When carrying out power checks all persons including the pilot are to be behind the line of the propeller.

18. Models having their engines run in on the ground must not be left unattended whilst the engine is running.

19. All models are subject to random safety spot checks which will be carried out by an instructor. If in his opinion a model is unsafe to fly or does not conform to Association rules, it will be grounded until rectified.

20. Members must ensure that they comply with the D of E Noise Code for the Minimisation of Noise from Model Aircraft. “Add on” silencers and “quiet” propellers should be fitted unless the model emits below 82 decibels at 7 metres without them. Notwithstanding if in the opinion of the Committee a model is excessively noisy in the air, then it is to be grounded until rectified.

21. All operational failsafes in use on powered models operated from our Association site must set the throttle to tick-over, not hold, (stopped in the case of electric power) regardless of the other control operations governed by the failsafe. Failsafes are to be checked prior to flight by switching the transmitter off whilst the model is restrained.

22. No person shall attempt to retrieve a model from any land adjacent to the flying site without prior consultation with the appointed safety officers for the day, to ensure that the situation is properly assessed and minimal disruption caused. If it is considered by the safety officers that the landowner’s permission should be sought before retrieving the model, it will be the owner of the model and one of the safety officers who must approach them for permission.

23. Mobile telephones must not be used on or near the flight line.

24. No smoking is permitted in the vicinity of inflammable fuels and materials.

25. Children must be closely supervised at all times and must not be allowed to run around the pit area or runways.

26. No dogs are permitted at the flying field unless kept on a lead or tethered.

27. Any incident involving a third party or another member must be reported to the Committee.

28. Members to observe the following flying times for IC powered models and high pitched Electric Models;

Mon-Friday  10.00am – 5pm (except Wednesday which is “Until dusk”)
Sat & Bank Holidays   10.00am – 5.00pm
Sundays  10.00am – 3.00pm

Small and/or quiet electric powered models are not restricted by the above times.
GUIDE ON CARING FOR JUNIOR MEMBERS

1. A Junior Member is defined as being under 18 years of age.

2. A responsible adult is defined as a senior member or parent/guardian who has the experience commensurate with the type and degree of supervision required.

3. Junior members must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. The level of supervision is to be commensurate with the junior member’s age, maturity, capabilities and levels of experience.

4. Junior members under the age of 14 years shall not start an engine or carry a model with the engine running unless they are supervised by a responsible adult.

5. No junior member under the age of 14 years shall fly a model aircraft unless supervised by a responsible adult or the junior member holds the minimum of a BMFA Achievement Scheme “A” certificate and has been authorised to do so by the Association Committee.

6. No senior member is to be expected to assume responsibility for a junior member unless he/she has been specifically requested to do so by the junior member’s parent/guardian. If required to do so, he/she is to assume complete and total responsibility for the junior member whilst he/she is in their charge.

7. Notwithstanding the requirements of Paragraph 6, should a member discover a junior member is unsupervised he/she must assume responsibility for the junior member’s safety in the first instance. The situation should then be rectified as soon as possible by seeking out the junior member’s parent/guardian/nominated supervisor. Any instance of such an occurrence is to be reported to the Committee as soon as possible.

8. Whilst supervising junior members, senior members should be aware of the requirements of The Children Act (1989) and avoid placing themselves in a position that could be open to misinterpretation or question. A leaflet giving advice is available from the BMFA Leicester Office or from the Association Secretary.
Appendix 1
Disciplinary Procedure guidance
Minor faults or shortcomings in behaviour should normally be dealt with informally by a committee member with a view to reaching agreement on the improvement required. Informal warnings should not form part of the formal disciplinary procedure and the formal procedure would not be followed before an informal warning is given. If, however, the problem persists or if the matter is more serious, action under the formal disciplinary procedure outlined in the constitution should normally be taken.
The disciplinary procedure is intended to provide a formal framework to deal with the situation where an individual’s conduct falls below acceptable standards and to ensure fair and consistent treatment of all members in such circumstances. The procedure outlined is a good practice guide on how Associations should deal with disciplinary issues.
Invitation to a meeting
The committee should set out in writing to the member, the alleged conduct or other circumstances which have led them to contemplate formal action or dismissal and the member should be invited to a meeting to discuss the matter.
Disciplinary meeting
The meeting should take place before any action is taken (other than suspension, in the event of alleged gross misconduct or police investigation, to enable a full investigation to take place).
The meeting should not take place until
(i) the member has been informed of the basis for the grounds given in the original notice of formal action or dismissal and
(ii) the member has had a reasonable opportunity to consider their response to such information.
At the meeting the committee should explain the complaint against the member concerned and go through the evidence that has been gathered.
The member must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting.
After the meeting the member should be informed in writing of the committee’s decision and their right of appeal against such decision to the members at a general meeting if they are not satisfied with it.
Appeal
If the member wishes to appeal they should inform the secretary in writing within the time frame stated in the decision notice.
The member should set out specific reasons for the appeal.
The Secretary should call an Extraordinary General meeting of the Association to hear the appeal
The member must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting.
The appeal general meeting may take place after the disciplinary action or dismissal takes effect.
After the appeal general meeting the member must be informed of the general meetings final decision.
At any meeting under the disciplinary procedure the member concerned should be given the right to be accompanied by another Association member to act in a supporting capacity but such companion may not usually answer questions on behalf of the member subject to the procedure.
The member concerned also has the right to call witnesses or ask questions of any witnesses called by the committee

General principles for the operation of the disciplinary and dismissal procedure
• formal disciplinary action should not normally be taken until the matter has been investigated
• where an allegation of misconduct is made against a member, the member may be suspended from all Association activities while an investigation is carried out
• the member should be informed that suspension is a neutral act, that it is not a disciplinary penalty and does not imply guilt
• the member should be advised of the allegations against them and have an opportunity to state their case before any formal disciplinary decision is made
• the member should be provided, where appropriate, with written copies of evidence and relevant witness statements in advance of a disciplinary meeting
• at every stage of the formal disciplinary procedure, the member will have a right to be accompanied at any disciplinary meeting by another Association member
• a member should not be dismissed for a first breach of the rules, except in the case of gross misconduct, when the penalty will normally be immediate dismissal
• the member concerned will have the right to appeal against any formal disciplinary penalty
• although the disciplinary penalties which may be imposed under this procedure will normally be imposed in the order set out in the constitution, the procedure may be commenced at any stage if the seriousness of the members alleged misconduct justifies this

Disciplinary sanctions
As part of any disciplinary procedure, where the committee considers it appropriate to do so, they may impose a disciplinary sanction, which is a penalty. These will generally take the form of some type of warning.
Verbal warning notice
If conduct does not meet acceptable standards, a member may be given a formal verbal warning. This should set out the conduct problem, confirmation of improvement required and time scale for improvement to be made, together with the assistance to be provided to meet the objectives. A record of the verbal warning will be kept but the warning will be disregarded after usually a six month period (the time frame is dependent on the Committee’s decision) provided conduct has been satisfactory.
Written warning
If the offence is more serious or if there is insufficient improvement after a verbal warning or if a further broadly similar offence occurs whilst a verbal warning remains in force, a written warning may be given. This will set out the nature of the conduct problem and confirmation of improvement required and time scale for improvement to be made, together with the assistance provided to meet the objectives. The warning should also inform the member that should your conduct fail to improve or you commit any further disciplinary offence over the next twelve months, (the time frame is dependent on the Committee) then you will be issued with a final written warning. The written warning will be kept on file, and the member should be informed after what time period it will be disregarded providing their conduct, attendance or performance has been satisfactory.
Final written warning
If there is still insufficient improvement after a verbal and/or written warning has been issued or if the misconduct is sufficiently serious to warrant only one written warning, a final written warning will be given. This will provide details of the complaint, the improvement required and the timescale for the improvement. It will also warn that a failure to improve or any further disciplinary offences over the next period referred by your employer may lead to dismissal or some other action short of dismissal. The final written warning will be kept on file and the member should be informed when the warning will be disregarded provided your conduct, attendance or performance has been satisfactory. Dismissal or other sanction If there is still further misconduct or a failure to improve conduct the final stage in the procedure may be dismissal.
Examples of misconduct
Examples of misconduct which may lead to disciplinary action being taken include, but are not limited to:
• failure to comply with field safety rules
• breach of Association policies and practices
Examples of gross misconduct
The Association may consider some types of misconduct to be so serious that a disciplinary warning would be an insufficient penalty. Such offences are known as offences of gross misconduct.
Where the offence is one of gross misconduct the normal penalty will be dismissal without a prior warning being issued (summary dismissal).
Dismissal for gross misconduct will not normally occur until a disciplinary meeting has taken place.
Matters which may justify summary dismissal include, but are not limited to:
• dishonesty, theft and fraud from the Association or its members
• deception, for example making untrue statements in membership applications or falsifying expenses incurred on behalf of the Association, etc.
• vandalism or sabotage of Association equipment and property
• fighting, or seriously disruptive behaviour or offensive or abusive language
• serious misuse of computer, email and internet systems, including posting to Association websites or emailing pornographic, offensive or obscene emails to members
• misuse of Association financial or other confidential Association information
• acts of bullying, harassment or discrimination
• model flying under the influence of drinks, illegal drugs or other intoxicants
• misconduct which may bring the Association into disrepute
• serious breaches of the Associations policies, procedures and safety rules
• deliberate or serious damage to the Associations/landowners property or causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence

• any criminal offence carried out at the Association site or during Association meetings/events where such offence impacts or may impact upon the Association.