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Flying Field Etiquette

Flying Field Etiquette

As we officially start the summer flying season, your club’s flightline (and everyone’s nerves!) may really start to heat up. What are the top flying-field etiquette tips you wish your fellow RC fliers already knew? Here’s a start … and don’t hold back!

Don’t touch OPP (other people’s planes) without permission.

Follow the club’s noise/time regulations.

Always return the tools you borrow (or bring your own!).

Clean up after yourself.

Please announce when you’re taking off, landing, etc.

Be patient, especially to newcomers at the field who have a million questions.



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  1. These are good,,,,,but a big one,,, fly the pattern when other people are flying and do you 3D the other side of the runway when others are flying also.

  2. Don’t smell like a still, or use foul language like you just turned 13. And maybe take a shower once or twice a month.

    Too many jerks at clubs, that’s why I dropped my memberships and would never take my teen for a visit.

    1. I think you NAILED it with “Too many jerks at clubs”. That’s why I fly alone, where I go.

  3. Don’t use foul language! I no longer take my 8 year old with me to the field for this very reason. We want young people to get into the hobby, right?

  4. Dont have any problems at our club fields. I still like to fly alone. I try to get my flying in early. That way when other people show up Im wrapping up. I’ll stay after Im done to watch other guys fly for a while.

  5. DON’T fly your heli 5 ft in front of the flightline while others are flying!

  6. I don’t know where you have flown or visited, but “all members” of the 3 clubs I fly with ALWAYS INSIST ON “NO DRINKING OR FOWL LANGUAGE”. That type of behavior is NOT CONDONED. They will be asked to move on down the road!

    1. Downright stupid to be drinking and flying

  7. I belong to two clubs and these issues have never presented themselves! It is as much a social event as a flying event for the most part. We do as much talking as flying in other words. I would like to add some thoughts to the rules such as: When you arrive check out the direction of take-offs and circling. It helps if everybody is going the same basic direction. next adhere to time limits, with busy clubs there can be lots of fliers and everyone should get a chance at the field. I try not to fly if there are already five or six planes in the air. Lastly have fun and engage the hobby, it is not a business report due in two hours!

  8. Moved from a small town with a really friendly club to a big city with a not so friendly club, kinda cliquish in fact. Normally, tho only members I’m able to strike up conversations with are fellow newbies to the club and they express the same sentiment as me. So, whenever I do find the time for a few flights, I fly alone (even tho there’s quite a few regulars there).

  9. Don’t harass the noobs. There is always some guy with an overpowered warbird (like a Dago Red) and they will buzz the poor noob’s trainer. Of course they are not going to hit him (most of the time that is) but the poor guy doesn’t know that and scare them into crashing. Or you get the grouches. Ask them how to do something and they tell you trial and error (that’s the way I learned dadgummit)and then if you mess it up, they are Johnny on the spot with their (often unwanted) critiques. This is not as much of a problem as it used to be since 2.4 Ghz but you will get some guy who decided that the person who is flying on “their” frequency has been up long enough and they pull the pin and make a half hearted attempt in the pits asking who does this belong to (instead of asking the guys on the flight line). They turn on their radio and that is when things get interesting… and of course they deny it was them that did it. The guys who bring their dogs or very young kids and don’t watch them. I have seen a few dogs relieve themselves on someone nice airplane. Or the kids manhandle someone’s stuff thinking they toy’s that are up for grabs. Can’t get mad at the kids, it is the parents fault for not watching them (same for the dog). I one time saw a guys dog steal someone lunch. Then you have the railbirds (the guys leaning on the fence that NEVER fly but are experts (just ask them). They offer up all kinds of advice to the noob’s (and it mostly results in a crash) and of course it is the noob’s fault because they did not do it just right.

    1. Well I thought my club was a unique place when it came to the Riff Raff, (one small family group), that was responsible for all of the above, but not so as it appears this type of unwanted behavior is found in other clubs as well. I ended up on the clubs committee and enforced a code of conduct at the club in an attempt to stop this type of unwanted behavior. Eventually the Riff Raff got tired of not getting their way and moved on, so happy. But it was a trying few years for only 2 members out of a club of 40 willing to put themselves out there. What can I say, if I had to do it again I would draw up a mandatory code of conduct memorandum as part of every members application. Over the top, maybe, but the Riff Raff just don’t care and all they do is spoil it for those that do. Kick their sorry butts to the curb.

    2. You got most of it Robert.. Only thing I would add is the ”special crowd” that think they own the place and rule with an iron fist,, on anyone who isn’t with the ”in” crowd. Driving out the ‘noobs’ for sure…. Just met some new folks who have already had some dealings with some of those types, and immediately mentioned how the main slob let them know how he felt. They volunteered how he made them feel that if they didn’t fly planes like his, they weren’t welcome. They try to avoid flying when he and the others of his ‘crowd’ are there. Those folks are killing the hobby…

      1. We call them the “millionaires club” they have big trailers full of giant scale 3D planes and take over the entire flight line and if you don’t like it tough. Us old farts who aren’t into the 3D stuff fly during the week.

  10. Not much to complain about at other flying fields I visit as a guest on rare occasions, but I sure wished I could send a message to the people that think they can come into posted property when us members are not present and start throwing beer bottles on the field and in the parking lot, and even smashing them on the pavilion floor. Young fliers often like to kick off their shoes and go barefoot, ouch. Property is well posted against trespassing. We welcome spectators when when the gate is open and especially welcome guests to fly. They even drive around the gate and spin up the field a couple times a year, generally in the spring when the field is wet. This has been happening at the Thousand Island R/C Club near Limerick, NY off of RT180 on Ransom Road. They will be arrested if caught on the property when the gate is closed. If anyone traveling by our club field sees anyone on the property when the gate is closed please, please get their license number and/or names and call the State Police. Thank you. 🙂

  11. ^ Talk about grouchy, know it all, jerks ^

  12. Yes I will not take my grandson to the north side field in Brisbane due to the language that came out of the so call no it alls and had to explain to an 8 year old what they were sayings. We’re is now the south side club are great all seem to go out of there way to help the grandson all the time and most of all he is always asking when we are going flying.
    If you have interested junior you might have some very good senior later on

  13. I don’t know where the previous commenters live, but at my club in NJ, none of this goes on. Aside from the occasional salty language (which has become ubiquitous in this day and age) we have a bunch of helpful,friendly and fun loving fliers.

  14. WOW…. never heard/seen all these negative comments happening @ the fields I fly @… San Diego and Omaha… I have always meet the best people people at these clubs. I have observed from time time one that disregards AMA and Club rules (as in life in general) best to point these out to the field marshals and let them handle it… As far as Experience Flier buzzing newbies on purpose, unlikely… I fly 50cc and larger WW I and 3D, while may take a lot of runway space, it is rare that a NEWBIE will fly when Im u as they want to watch and even rarer that i would take off while a Newbie is flying…. Many times a Newbie has entered my flying space by not flying the pattern but as with others we will accommodate them… Ive been in the hobby since 1970… met the greatest peeps… look @ your style, temperament and attitude b4 you become so negative to negate an entire club due to actions of a couple as you may be one of the couple

  15. Flying alone can be unwise. I witnessed one finger go into a prop but we were there to get him to the hospital. Another member was flying a big plane alone and had an accident that wouldn’t happen again in 100 years. He lost two fingers and had to drive himself to the hospital. Had he passed out, what would have happened?

  16. Don’t set up camp on the “prep” benches near the flight line! I love the guys who move their gear in & stay there all day, flying or not.

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