Category: 2020

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?”