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Clarification on Height Limitations For Model Aircraft

Many of you have asked regarding the Height Limitations when flying model aircraft, the following is an extract form the main BMFA Website.

“BMFA NOTE: The BMFA, Large Model Association, Scottish Aeromodellers Association and First Person View UK have a ‘Permission’ from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which permits their members operating ‘conventionally piloted’ model aircraft (not including multi-rotors) of less than 7Kg to fly higher than 400ft.  The Associations also have a separate ‘Exemption’ from the CAA which permits their members operating ‘conventionally piloted’ model aircraft (not including multi-rotors) of less than 3.5Kg to fly up to 1000ft when flown using First Person View with a ‘competent observer’.  For further details of the Permission and Exemption, please visit or email  Model aircraft weighing more than 7Kg (and multi-rotors) may only operate above 400ft under the terms of an ‘exemption’ from the ANO obtained directly from the CAA.”

Flying at Ashdown Forest or Long Man sites

Up to now the South East Area has funded the licences for two flying sites, Ashdown Forest and Long Man, with assistance from clubs and the competitions that run at these sites.

As of 2020 if you Fly on Ashdown Forest but do not compete in the Free Flight Competitions, or fly at the Long Man site and you are not a member of East Sussex Soaring Association or Slope Soaring Sussex, you will need to purchase a ‘Permit to fly’ for each flying site. The Permit will costs £10 per annum per site and can be purchased from the Area website at under the “Area Flying Sites Tab” “Purchase Ashdown Forest/Long Man Permit”

Once you have entered your personal details and selected which site you plan to fly at (you will need to purchase a permit for each location), submit your Credit or Debit card details and you will then receive a confirmation email with your Permit details, which you will need to have available if you get asked for it by Rangers on the Forest or by East Sussex Soaring Association members at Long Man. Please note the Card Payment System is the same as the BMFA GoMembership uses and NO card information is collected or kept by the BMFA.

Stuart Willis, South East Area Chairman/Area Delegate