Extent of insurance cover.

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Dobo
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by Dobo » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:36 pm

In terms of the opening statement, as long as the radio equipment used is ICASA approved - there is no insurance related distinction between using 35 Mhz or 2.4 Ghz equipment. 35 Mhz & the other documented frequencies that are approved by ICASA for RC Model Flying are all covered by insurance and also as long as the equipment is ICASA type approved.
I assume that the reason this equipment has ICASA approval, is to ensure the safe operation of the equipment, and to ensure that it complies with the local 2.4 gig regulations. As I understand "Type Approval", if a Futaba 8FG is certified by ICASA to meet the local requirements, then all models of this radio, with the same specs, should do so. If I buy one from the States, and it matches the specs of the locally sold units, how can this unit not be acceptable to both ICASA and our insurance company? The insurance company operates independently from ICASA, and should be concerned with potential risk. If your radio does not meet the local spec's, and is inferior, then I would agree that they may resist paying out in the event of an accident. I can assure you that my Futaba Radio bought in the States, or an imported JR for that matter, is far less likely to cause an accident than a number of other cheaper locally available products.

I do have confirmation from Futaba, that the radios sold in the States meet the same output requirements as we have in South Africa. France seems to be the only anomaly, where only 10 mw is allowed. In fact, the Futaba 8FG has a “FRANCE” setting in the menu. The concern for SAMAA must be that, if we as modelers do not enjoy insurance cover, by virtue of us importing our own radios, then there may be a fair proportion of your members that have no benefit in renewing their SAMAA membership. I would think that this would be of grave concern to SAMAA, to ensure the maintenance of its membership levels, and associated revenue. Based on this, I believe that SAMAA should be posing the case a little differently to our insurers.
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by LionelBrink » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:11 am

I assume that the reason this equipment has ICASA approval, is to ensure the safe operation of the equipment, and to ensure that it complies with the local 2.4 gig regulations. As I understand "Type Approval", if a Futaba 8FG is certified by ICASA to meet the local requirements, then all models of this radio, with the same specs, should do so. If I buy one from the States, and it matches the specs of the locally sold units, how can this unit not be acceptable to both ICASA and our insurance company? The insurance company operates independently from ICASA, and should be concerned with potential risk. If your radio does not meet the local spec's, and is inferior, then I would agree that they may resist paying out in the event of an accident. I can assure you that my Futaba Radio bought in the States, or an imported JR for that matter, is far less likely to cause an accident than a number of other cheaper locally available products.

I do have confirmation from Futaba, that the radios sold in the States meet the same output requirements as we have in South Africa. France seems to be the only anomaly, where only 10 mw is allowed. In fact, the Futaba 8FG has a “FRANCE” setting in the menu. The concern for SAMAA must be that, if we as modelers do not enjoy insurance cover, by virtue of us importing our own radios, then there may be a fair proportion of your members that have no benefit in renewing their SAMAA membership. I would think that this would be of grave concern to SAMAA, to ensure the maintenance of its membership levels, and associated revenue. Based on this, I believe that SAMAA should be posing the case a little differently to our insurers.
Hi "Dobo"

You may be preaching to the converted on this topic, but as this is an existing ICASA requirement (i.e. type approval is certified to a specific importer), and SAMAA's requests to date to amend this channel protectionism policy have fallen on deaf ears, I am unsure what more can be done? Perhaps SAMAA should approach its legal counsel to take ICASA to court regarding this - I will raise this as a suggestion at the next SMC meeting scheduled for 9 Sep.

In terms of threatening to revoke membership; it is very easy to find fault with SAMAA, but considering the cost of the annual membership fee in relation to the hobby, I'd suggest that we are conveniently overlooking the fact that SAMAA remains responsible for RC in SA airspace, that RC flying can realistically only take place at sites registered via SAMAA, that the insurance cover provided is exceptional in terms of its cost/cover, that most - if not all - regulatory bodies will only deal with group representatives, that changes are continually occuring in the regulatory framework & technologies with SAMAA making every attempt to ensure that its members remain compliant whilst the minimum number of changes are imposed on the individual. Instead, why not become more involved in SAMAA, by way of volunteering your time or skills, or even providing constructive suggestions?

Regards
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by Dobo » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:02 pm

Hi Lionel

Sorry, My intention with my post was certainly not intended to suggest any form of threat to revoke my membership. It was merely to express some concern that SAMAA may lose some membership. I have been modelling for many years, and understand the value of a organisation such as SAMAA. However, I know that many modellers see just the insurance componant. Possibly because some clubs have made SAMAA membership compulsary, to avoid arranging their own club insurance. SAMAA fees are included in the club fees, and are managed and paid by the club. If a large portion of the members find themselves in a position where they are not insured, they may put pressure on the comittee to find alternate insurance cover. It would then be difficult for the club to enforce SAMAA membership.

Sorry if I gave the wrong impression in my mail, but I was trying to highlight a very real possibility, for SAMAA going forward.

The next point. I have not actually seen any radio with an ICASA sticker, despite most being purchased locally. What should be done??
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by LionelBrink » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:36 am

Dobo wrote:Hi Lionel

...
The next point. I have not actually seen any radio with an ICASA sticker, despite most being purchased locally. What should be done??
Hi,

Every LHS that sells Tx's is supposed to provide a ICASA certified sticker. So if your Tx does not have a sticker, you need to go back to the shop to claim yours. If the shop does not have stickers in stock, or has any other excuse, please contact us regarding this matter as it will be escalated to the necessary authorities.

Regards,
Lionel

PS. I'll chat to Vic about keeping clubs more informed of the changing regulations & requirements re proficiencies, insurance, ICASA, etc.
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by bloogyct » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:53 am

I would like to also pick up on this ICASA certification thing - as it appears that even if the equipment you import matches in every aspect what is supposedly certified here, it will NOT be covered, as the certification seems to be awarded to the IMPORTER - NOT the actual equipment!!!! To me this smacks of profiteering and protecting business interests - nothing more! You could say that the initial importer had to spend the $ to get the stuff certified in the first place, so should then not have to carry the cost of others jumping in - but as far as I am concerned - TOUGH - that is the cost of doing business!! Sorry I really fail to understand this arrangement!??? Either ICASA is counting on gaining revenue from EVERY tom dick and harry that wants to import the stuff - or there is some arrangement with the initial importers to protect their turf - both which I can believe!!

Anyone else got any thoughts on this??

Regards

Sandy
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by Dobo » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:04 pm

Bloogyct, I agree with you.

The reality is that although we live in SA, we are part of a global market. We no longer just purchase goods from shops within a 10Km radius of where we live, but with the growth of the internet, we purchase worldwide. This is the trend, and it is growing, and it is not going to go away. Those who have not embraced this trend, will eventually fail. However, there are pockets of people/business, who are being artificially shielded from these changes, often by obsolete bureaucratic systems and red tape. In this case, although ICASA has a mandate to regulate this equipment, they may not have adapted their policies or methods, to incorporate the new trends. To my mind, the insurance should be totally separate, where insurance cover should be based on risk. Our Modelling fraternity is small, and it would be a real challenge for SAMAA to take on ICASA in this regard. The reality is that many modellers will be flying without insurance cover. This could affect all modellers, in the event of an incident. However, considering banning equipment not purchased locally, could also be prove hazardous and extremely controversial.
A solution will have to be found to accommodate all.
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by clivem » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:03 pm

bloogyct wrote:I would like to also pick up on this ICASA certification thing - as it appears that even if the equipment you import matches in every aspect what is supposedly certified here, it will NOT be covered, as the certification seems to be awarded to the IMPORTER - NOT the actual equipment!!!! To me this smacks of profiteering and protecting business interests - nothing more! You could say that the initial importer had to spend the $ to get the stuff certified in the first place, so should then not have to carry the cost of others jumping in - but as far as I am concerned - TOUGH - that is the cost of doing business!! Sorry I really fail to understand this arrangement!??? Either ICASA is counting on gaining revenue from EVERY tom dick and harry that wants to import the stuff - or there is some arrangement with the initial importers to protect their turf - both which I can believe!!

Anyone else got any thoughts on this??

Regards

Sandy
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by LionelBrink » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:46 am

Hi guys,

The SAMAA has been actively pursuing the matter of 2.4 Ghz transmission with ICASA. As discussed, this was raised at the SAMAA Management Committee meeting last night & whilst an official respojnse is being prepared on the SAMAA site, I can say that the last SAMAA Newsletter (July/August 2010) describes most of the background on page 28.

As soon as the statement is released (around mid September), I will ensure this list is updated!

Regards,
Lionel
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by Club of One » Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:46 am

All the contributions submitted about this possibly controversial matter have made for very enlightening and interesting reading.
A question I have is simple : Has anyone tested the system and what was the outcome?
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by Andre vd Merwe » Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:12 pm

I agree fully with you Arthur and as chairman of a club this has become a major problem in trying to come up with answers to answer club members eg what about the transmitters that have been bought on junk mail etc etc. Time has come for rules and regulations to be made clear and to be simplified so that the People in charge of clubs do not have to face the reality of members leaving clubs and flying on non regersted airfields for the simple reason of not having to deal with a chairman or safety officer trying his best to enforce SAMAA rules that realy does not make any sense .None of the transmitters used at our REGERSTED SAMAA FLYING SITE have ICASE stickers on them. Tell me were can stickers be found for an old JR2610 bought on avcom 7 years ago.It is easy to be asked by SAAMAA to recruite new members, to fly safe, to be embasadors for the sport but it is not that easy to get around all the red tape that envolves this request.We are Proud to Be and belong to SAMAA but :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:
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Certification ado

Unread post by TrevorK » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:19 pm

I’ve just stumbled on this blog site and I wish that I had done so earlier.
My gripe, as reflected here in part, is that we are able to purchase sets which are more than capable to fly our planes, on occasion I venture even more reliable than those that are approved by the sticker, and within the RF output limits set by ICASA, for under R1000. If I fly with such an “unapproved set” at a local park outside the control of SAMAA I run the risk of hurting one of the children who gather around (way too close for my comfort). I therefore joined a club and in order to do so, I was obliged to join SAMAA , but my radio set is frowned upon at the club because of the SAMAA regulations. So, I have to return to the park where conditions are not favourable for flying, not to mention the distress it brings to the little old ladies in the neighbourhood! In my opinion, the painfully complicated and expensive business of companies having to get their sets registered for a sticker makes no sense in today’s global shopping store, and then there’s the question of selective dealerships enjoying favour as stated by Bloogyct above.
No doubt there is a lot of junk out there and in the interests of safety or perhaps only to assert some kind of authoritative presence, SAMAA or ICASA could be stating instead, which sets shouldn’t be used rather than which ones may be used.
I recently had email exchange with one SAMAA official on this matter, who made a most outlandish statement which I’ll quote: “Approval labels must also be stuck onto the sets and boxes. ICASA are capable of confiscating non approved equipment. I believe this was done in Capetown. They could also put a complete ban on the use 2.4GHz for flying if they wanted to.”
Of course, I thought this sort of reaction was totally ludicrous, and made my reaction quite clear to him, and asked him to tell the rest of the gang there who make the rules what I think of it. I received a reply from one of the committee members last Wednesday Sept 8 who refuted the banning claim thankfully, and told me that I’d receive an official response soon. I’m still waiting… I don’t know what to expect, but fear that it may be a typically irrational reply.
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Re: Certification ado

Unread post by tanglefoot » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:33 pm

Hi Trevor, Welcome to Avcom.

The intention of the Ask Samaa forum is to Ask Samaa :!: Lionel is doing his utmost to communicate our concerns to SAMAA as well as communicate the current state of affairs of SAMAA to us. Be kind, be courteous. He is not the bad guy. I made an undertaking to keep my ranting and raving to the model aircraft forum. Join me there :lol:
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by TrevorK » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:15 pm

I went looking at the model aircraft forum but couldn’t find anything relating to this topic there. I have no beef with Lionel, Tanglefoot. My comments weren’t directed at any one person in particular. But it can’t be denied that I have very little respect for SAMAA and if that came through a little strongly whilst making my point, well, hey, man, jeezzz....
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Re: Extent of insurance cover.

Unread post by Dobo » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:48 am

We, in SA, certainly have a unique situation. Equipment purchased from our local dealers is very expensive, and one purchased, we enjoy little or no support.
This has become plainly clear for me recently. I have a Spektrum 6250 receiver. It is specifically designed for use with Carbon Fiber aircraft. There has been a blanket recall on the product by Horizon Hobbies, and, in a bulletin, have urged people to stop using them immediately. A search in Google produced the same bulletin from the UK and Australian Importers, who have supplied a return and replacement process. In this country - Nothing. In fact, this receiver is still for sale on the importers website. Now, how would our SAMAA insurance respond to a claim when goods that have been recalled due to a technical defect have been used? I sent a message via our local importers website, 5 days ago, and have had no response.
Our local agents for Futaba and JK supply no product info or bulletins on their websites. (Futaba doesn’t even have a web site, and JR / Spectrum is a retail site) You therefore keep up to date on either the UK or American importer websites. On contacting Futaba in American, you receive a response that your email address is from outside of the USA, and you should contact your local agent - Sorry Mate, you won't get any help in SA. Fortunately, I was able to send another email stating that I have purchased my radio in the USA, and then I received the help, and response, I needed.

Now this, to me, is crucial in our Local vs overseas purchase decision. In most cased, the local importers also don't honor the warranties prescribed by the manufacturer. So, if I need support, I have to look overseas for it, however, I am expected to support the local importer, and pay a lot more. In this latest case, no action by the importers, could possibly lead to an accident, possibly harming someone. TrevorK is correct in his view that the ICASA need to re-look at their processes to suite the new Global market shopping trend. I also indicated the same thing.

So how do we put pressure on our local importers to provide, at least, the minimum support required???? SAMAA?????
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Re: Certification ado

Unread post by LionelBrink » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:01 pm

Dear Trevor,

Firstly thank you for calling SAMAA a group of "uncapable fools" - your choice of words initially caused me to hesitate in my response to you. However, in an effort to continue with maintaining open communications with people who are interested in RC, I will simply point out a few of the untruths in your inflamatory remarks:

1. I C A S A , the Independant Communications Authority of South Africa, are responsible for the control & allocation of radio frequencies in SA. They have documented legislation which requires importers to obtain Type Approval on transmission equipment to ensure that it complies with local specifications (also defined by ICASA). ICASA is a government body & have authority vested in them to control radio frequencies through Government Gazetted regulations. Unfortunately ICASA do not view toy airplanes as much of a priority & as such communications with them & there forever changing internal structures, are time consuming & somewhat challenging.

2. S A M A A, the South African Model Aircraft Association, are tasked with representing & controlling aeromodelling in SA. This authority is vested in the SAMAA by the CAA, who are ultimately responsible for airspace control, also under Gazetted legislation. SAMAA are comprised of volunteers who give up their time to assist individuals, specifically like yourself who call us collectively "incapable fools". However, since we do wish to continue enjoying RC flying in SA, we believe that complying with the CAA & ICASA's regulations is a necessary requirement & as such we will continue to advise our members as such, most of whom we believe feel the same way, or are at least willing to provide constructive suggestions instead of outright bile. As noted in the intial page of this discussion forum, the SAMAA volunteers cannot spend all day waiting to immediately respond to your "comments" & can only afford to occasionally visit these forums. We make every attempt to provide a proper response within a reasonable time for people who are not online 24 x 7 & do have job responsibilities. SAMAA have been tasked also with representing aeromodellers to the ICASA - a fact that led to the exclusive use of 35 Mhz in SA - which factually disputes your claim of "incapable".

3. The independent Dealers provide equipment to SA modellers through registered retail & import channels, exclusive distribution agreements & various other legally binding contracts. These commercial concerns are run by individuals who for the most comply with legislation imposed by ICASA, SARS, etc. They are currently required by ICASA to provide ICASA "type approved" stickers on al Tx sets for which the distributor has certification. I have been assured by the Registered Dealer representative that most dealers do already comply with this, but those that do not should be taken to task. By purchasing a set with the ICASA sticker, you are recieving the peace of mind that the set is 100% compliant with local legislation. Now the purchase/importation of RC equipment does falls somewhat outside responsibilities, but SAMAA will continue to provide guidance to members wrt ICASA legislation - you are free to disagree with this legislation, but it may be more "capable" of addressing your disagreement to the source.

4. Respect is indeed something that must be earned. SAMAA have been the first to admit that their service delivery record has been poor, and particularly communications to members have been somewhat lacking. However, every effort has been made to improve (& we will continue to improve) services delivery & comunications with the continued assistance of members that are willing to contribute. What you have conveniently ommitted, is that respect is also two way street : comments such as "incapable fools" leave me with no doubt as to the nature of individual I am dealing with and serves little to motivate anyone in communicating any further on this forum.

Good day.
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