Basingstoke Model Aircraft Club
Our Club Profile
Basingstoke Model Aero Club (BMAC) aims to promote interest in model aircraft and provides facilities for radio-controlled model flying for recreational use. We were founded in 1959 and moved to our current site in 1995. Our flying field is six miles west of Basingstoke near to the village of Deane, and is surrounded by the beautiful Hampshire countryside.
Members fly many types of models including fixed-wing, helicopters and multirotor (drones). Fixed wing includes a variety of sport and scale and encompasses IC, electric and EDF. Gliders compete with the many Red Kites that circle over the field and FPV is becoming more popular.
Our flying field has a large east west grass runway, a pit area with four preparation tables, and hard standing for the car park. The sun is always behind the flyers, so no squinting into the glare looking for your pride and joy. In addition, we have a barbeque and seating area and free sausage and burger baps are offered to members on Sundays!
In addition to the main runway, we have a practice area for flying micro planes, and hover practice for helicopters and drones. Our major recent development has been the acquisition of additional land to create a drone area which will allow quad FPV racing. The land was cleared, grassed, rolled ……and Covid struck. So hopefully 2021 will see the launch of this asset and expand the interest and participation in radio-controlled flying. In all that we do we keep in mind our impact on our landlord, the farmer, and the local community.
Membership is thriving, currently at 87 with a cap set at 100. We have some very talented flyers (efforts are often posted on our website and YouTube). We offer instruction to new flyers including the use of a buddy box and have our own examiners who can cover BMFA A and B certificates for fixed wing, helicopter and drone.
In addition to flying at the field the club offers evening Club Meets held at the Basingstoke Cricket Club. These meetings enable members to get together over a drink to discuss all things radio-controlled flying. Each meeting has a theme often lead by a guest presenter. Past meetings have covered topics such as flying simulators, aircraft design and aerodynamics, and electric set-up for a model build. Our annual calendar includes a number of events such as an electric flying day with invites to other clubs, a warbird day, a fun day with competitions and occasional auctions. All provide a barbecue as well as prizes. In support of local community events club members provide demonstrations at local country fairs and shows. To further enjoy the friendship between members and chewing of the cud we also organise curry nights. For the all-year round flyers we provide indoor flying sessions at our local sports centre.
To aid club communication the committee distribute minutes of Committee meetings, we have a Facebook page (which includes a Members Only area) which provides information about the club, chat room and a link to our website, bmac.bmfa.org, which provides access to all documentation as well as forms and contact details for joining the Club.
Our WhatsApp group helps trainees and Instructors check who is flying that day and a further WhatsApp group provides a forum for general chat and classified ads.
The last year has affected us all, whether it is COVID or Article16, and we have had to adapt to comply with the resulting rules and guidance. The future is looking better and so we feel we are now moving into sun lit uplands – at the field it’s still behind us!