Author: Harrogate Model Flying Club

Adrian Hornby – Obituary

Adrian Hornby, who sadly passed away aged 57 on 7 June following a cycling accident, had been Chairman of Harrogate Model Flying Club for many years.

Adrian and Mick

Adrian, who worked for an American software company, was a stalwart supporter of our club and through his drive and intellect contributed massively to the Club on many different levels. His agenda was always aimed at the best outcome for the club but despite his sharp and unswerving focus he was sympathetic and compassionate to the quieter members who he felt needed that support. For a number of years, he had offered to retire from the Chair on account of the demands of his professional activities which included frequent business travel to the USA and India which meant that sometimes he was unable to attend meetings. Typically, to make up for this he would turn up for a committee meeting prompt at 7pm having arrived back at Leeds Bradford airport several hours before. On these occasions he was fully versed with the issues under discussion, nonchalantly remarking that he had plenty of time to consider them on the flight.

Adrian was a gifted model pilot, talented instructor and BMFA examiner. He flew fixed-wing and helicopters, usually to the extreme of their envelope. Whilst he was known to mutter an adage such as “if you don’t have the odd mishap, you’re not fully developing your capabilities”, he was also a steadfast believer in safety and damage limitation. To this end, he was renowned for listing the annual number of incidents and reasons for their occurrence at the AGM though it was always numerical rather than personal; he never sought to embarrass other flyers. He was also a gifted presenter of complex topics to Club meetings such as LiPo charging, handling and safety delivered in great detail but in understandable terms. His contribution to our Club was immense and his character, drive and wit is irreplaceable.

Away from aeromodelling, he played bridge, underwater hockey at GB Masters level, cycled for fitness and was a talented cook. 

He is survived by Lynne and his twin sons Alex and Rory to whom we convey our deepest sympathy for a passing that sadly came far too soon.

Richard Taylor

Secretary – HMFC


Club safety talk March 10th 2020

Andy presented a talk on some of the lesser thought about safety aspects of flying which covered much of the safety in and around the pits. The talk was entitled Step Back Assessment. The notes below reflect the aspects covered.

Feel free to comment below.

Step Back Assessment

  • Look, Think, Analyse, Change, Reflect, Improve

Stop and Think

  • Preparing to start and fly a model aircraft

Observe the activity area and surroundings

  • Other people are also preparing model aircraft, some big, some small, some different
  • Where is the wind?
  • What is the ground like (flat, bumpy, grass, concrete)?

Think through the steps that you will be taking

  • Fuel the model
  • Prime the engine
  • Attach glow lead
  • Flick the propeller
  • Tune the engine
  • Carry out to the take-off position

Identify what else is happening in the area

  • A large petrol model is being prepared
  • Group of people in the vicinity
  • Other engines in the pits are running

Identify any hazards

  • Spilt fuel
  • Oil on model and hands
  • Loose objects in the pits
  • Lipo safety / Lipo strinkes
  • Sharp prop, hard compression
  • No spinner used, snagging with the prop nut
  • Engine flooded
  • Throttle set too high
  • Reaching over the prop arc to get to the TX
  • Glow clip / Glow drive falling into the propeller
  • Propeller bouncing back and kicking hand / fingers
  • Engine starts with excessive RPM, model lurches forward until restraint takes the slack
  • Will the restraint hold the model?
  • Moving out of the pits with the engine running

Identify methods of controlling these hazards

  • Look at the pits layout, how do you improve safety?
  • Model restraint, use of a helper
  • TX throttle warning alarm

Satisfy yourself that the hazards are controlled before starting the activity


At all times, if it is not right, stop and change

Ask a buddy to assess your pit layout and activities

Learn from every time you go flying

Look at how others pit, look at the layouts, the equipment

Learn from each other, share the good and the bad experiences, DISCUSS

When you are ready to start the engine, STOP, spend 30 seconds taking a second look

After every flying session, ask yourself the question “how could I improve the process, how can I make it safer?”


Fantastic Start to a Bank Holiday Weekend

Fantastic start to a Bank Holiday weekend and with the weather forecast being for blue skies, low winds and the highest recorded temperatures for a bank holiday weekend in recorded history so i was expecting crowded flight lines, loads of people out and a packed parking area.

This turned out not to be the case, there was a steady breeze blowing up the dirty runway all day so we were all parked on the main runway so no over crowding! The breeze made it comfortable and the clear skies ensured that you got sunburnt (at least i did!!).
I was somewhat shocked that there weren’t more members out, it was really just the usual culprits! flight lines were therefore not busy and there was lots of flying.
Not much more to say really, below are some snaps from the day.

Adrian seems to prefer flying his heli’s this way up for some reason! Guess it saves buying a lawnmower!!!

A Busy Day on the Flightline…

A busy day on the flightline, despite a troublesome wind from the south east.

It turned out to be something of a jet meeting with Richard Taylor having a successful maiden flight with the A10 Warthog

and Richard Bowler bringing a whole car load of jets, including a Grumman Panther fitted with a Wren 80 turbine.

Sadly the wind prevented a test flight, limiting him to taxi runs.

Ah well…..something to look forward to next time.


Finally a nice day in April…

The Weather forecast all week has been changing from sunny to torrential rain to gales and then back to 20 degrees with sun so who knew what we were going to get on Saturday!

Well as it happened we got most of the above (well not the rain anyway).

For such a nice day there wasn’t the size of turnout that you would expect, the morning started off overcast and dull with a thick cloud layer which meant that it was on the cold side but it wasn’t too windy.

As the day progressed it didn’t lighten up and the promised sunshine looked like it was never going to arrive, but after lunch the sun broke through and the wind dropped to next to nothing and i managed to run through a few batteries with my 4mtr span Hyper Ava.

Inky had a maiden flight with the above plane, this picture really doesn’t do justice to how PINK it actually looks (which was a good thing as the cloud made visibility a bit of an issue). Plane proved to be a bit twitchy at first but this turned out to be a setup issue which was easily resolved, notice the amount of up elevator!

Richard flew his EDF Hunter and brought his turbine plane along for some taxi testing but due to time restrictions we didn’t get chance to do this, all in all it was a great if quieter than normal saturday!

March Madness or Cabin Fever More like…..

Well the Beast from the East has gone and the Pest from the West only lasted a couple of days and finally we have had a day that was perfect for flying.

The wind was light not blowing more than 5 mph all day and it wasn’t too cold, these great conditions managed to flush out a good number of members and a few interesting models

As April is just around the corner and we have historically always seen a spike in “incidents” in April it had been decided that today the theme of the day was to get someone else to look over your model before you fly to check that everything was ok.

Danny and Joel brought along a new plane and Frank obliged by giving it a once over before its maiden flight, don’t know too much about this plane apart from the fact that if looked great in the air! Hopefully Danny will pen us a couple of lines about it for the next issue of Propwash? what about it Danny???

Steve got some air time in with his new plane and Richard flew his ducted fan plane too (sorry didn’t manage to get a snap of that).

I unfortunately had to shoot off so couldn’t get any pictures of the afternoon session but as the weather brightened up I am sure that fun was had by all!

Saturday February 17th

Just a few photos for the website.
Saturday started very gloomy with light rain, Once on the airfield however the rain stopped and the wind was light and quite a few members turned up and by 1.00 the sun was peeping through.

Ian had his “new” (30 years in the build ! ) aerobatic model for a test flight but was thwarted by a broken throttle arm.
Richard had his EDF L39 Albatross with a new fan/motor combo which demonstrated a stunning climb rate.
I had excavated my old EDF Supermarine Attacker from the recesses of the shed and fitted new lipo packs… I had forgotten what a fun model it is.
Steve Rickwood has now put his starting problems behind him, the DLE 55 was really on song and the model really performing well.


Didn’t think January Flying was like this!

Didn’t think it was possible to have a turnout like this in January!! Especially as it was still cold and there was still some snow on the ground.

Turned up at 10am at the gate to find Just Mick and Ian there, but soon were were joined by a few more and by the time we signed in we had a modest group and one potential new member who had been invited along for a demo flight.

The trusty club Demo Model was assembled, fuelled and tested and Matt had a couple of flights on the buddy lead with Mick, hopefully didn’t scare him off and he will be back!

After the first hour more members started to turn up and in the end we seemed to have more people on site than we do on some summer days, it was really good to see and i managed to hand out a lot of the BMFA renewals and membership cards to all those present.

Really great start to the flying year (although strictly speaking there has been flying days before this!!) check out more of the pictures from the day on the 2018 photos.

Club Night was Build Night

Well its always a sign of winter when we get to the club build competition night and this months club meeting was that night.

After the formal club meeting was over it was over to Phil to set the challenge for the eveing.

This year’s competition was to build a flying model out of two pieces of supplied balsa, the model then had to fly the length of the room and hit the chair, the winner would be the person who it the chair the most times…..REMEMBER THAT, HIT THE CHAIR THE MOST TIMES!!!!!

We were given a limited time to fabricate and trim our aircraft, then the flying began, and to be honest it was a lot harder than most people had realised.
There were many interesting designs some flew good some not so good, Geoff’s plane which would only fly successfully if it was aimed at Mick, Chris’s plane that flew better after each crash (what was that all about) and Bobs dart that flew straight but always stopped an inch away from the chair no matter how hard it was thrown.

After two rounds there were only a couple of planes that had managed to hit the chair.

But then I managed to get my glider into trim and managed three hits in close succession to take the lead and as far as I was aware the prise for the evening being one hit ahead of my nearest competitor.

Thats when a last minute change to the competition format occurred and it turned into a sudden death single attempt fly off.
needless to say on this attempt I missed the chair and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory!!! Nice on Phil!

That aside it was a cracking night as usual.

Nice November Day and so many ….

Nice November Day and so many…..
Nice November day and we had a great turnout at Dishforth, potential new members coming along for look see and a test flight, a maiden flight and I actually managed to get some time on the sticks!

Mick did a superb job with the club model giving a couple of potential new members a demo flight, many thanks to Richard for looking after and bringing along the model.

imparting some skills.
Photographic proof that Adrian was actually in the country!
Had to add this picture in as it’s had me in stitches, Might have to use it in a caption contest….guys the plane is right in front to you!!!!!!