New Member Information

If you’re thinking about joining us this is the page you’re looking for: what you need to know as a new member.

A copy of the Printer Friendly Version of this webpage is part of what you’ll receive when obtaining a Nassau County flying permit. You’ll also receive a copy of Stillwell Park Flying Rules 2016. You should read through both documents before making the decision to obtain a Nassau County flying permit and join LISF.

The Types of Planes We Fly

In order to provide for clarity about the planes this club is permitted to fly at Stillwell Field the following guidelines have been created, in cooperation with the Nassau County officials, who have granted LISF permission to use the Stillwell facility.

Unpowered Sailplanes and Gliders

All unpowered/unmanned gliders and sailplanes are welcome at the field. Acceptable launch methods include hand thrown, up-start, hi-start, bungee, electric winch or aerotow behind a club approved tow plane.

Electric Powered Self-Launching Sailplanes and Gliders – alternate launch method

LISF defines electric powered gliders and sailplanes as planes that are marketed as gliders/sailplanes, member designed models of similar design, or models that are replicas of full scale gliders/sailplanes. Launch motors must be electric power systems that conform to the guidelines below. Electrified Old Timers will be considered gliders under the club rules.

Electric Glider Power Restrictions are defined by wing span.

Less than 36 inches, motor pack not to exceed 8.4V

36 to less than 78 inches – Motor packs not to exceed 12 volts nominal

78 inches to less than 100 inches – Motor packs not to exceed 14.8 volts nominal

100 inches to less than 120 inches Motor packs not to exceed 16.8 volts nominal

120 inches to 140 inches, motor packs not to exceed 19.2 volts nominal

Greater than 140 inches – motor pack not to exceed 21.6 volts

Electronic Speed Controllers: Planes must be equipped with a safe start type speed controller where the motor does not start until throttle has been set to zero power first.

Propellers: All electric sailplanes/gliders should use folding props.

Old Timers must use folding props where possible.

Glider-Like Electric Planes

The club has received permission to fly small electric planes that are not specifically designated as gliders/sailplanes but which have glider like flight characteristics and slow to moderate flying speed. The club views these as starter or trainer planes that will enable new members to quickly learn to fly in preparation for learning thermal soaring. These planes on the approved list are all high wing or top wing planes with light wing loading. See the list of planes provided. Planes that are not on the list but which may be appropriate for our field may be submitted to LISF officials for consideration.

Pylon racers, pattern planes, warbirds and large electric power planes with wingspans over 60 inches are not permitted at the field. Certain planes may exceed these guidelines as part of the tow plane program.

It is also important to note that aerobatics are not considered compatible with the glider nature of the club. While an occasional loop or roll is OK when performed well above the tree line and well away from the flight line, this should be the exception and not the primary mode of flying. Pilots who wish to pursue aerobatic flying as a primary interest are encouraged to seek out one of the many clubs in the area that teach and encourage aerobatic flying.

Electric Plane Power Restrictions

Less than 36 inches wing span – motor pack not to exceed 8.4 V nominal

( 7 NiMh or NiCd Cells or 2 Lipoly or Li Ion cells)

36 to 60 inches wing span – motor packs not to exceed 11.1 volts nominal

( 9 NiMh or NiCd Cells or 3 Lipoly or Li Ion cells)

Planes with wingspans up to 60 inches can be submitted for qualification for flight at our field. Typically planes will need to have wing loading of less than 10 oz/sq. ft in order to pass the glide test, however fuselage design, propeller type, landing gear and other characteristics will have a significant effect. See the separate document, LISF Approved Electric Planes, for more details.

Sound – Quiet!

We are the Long Island Silent Flyers, so naturally our planes should be quiet. In order to preserve our use of the field our planes should not draw attention due to noise. We would prefer our neighbors not realize we are flying, except to see a quiet plane in the air.

As all powered planes are electric, the motors produce very little noise. Most of the noise comes from the propeller. Small, high speed props often produce loud, high pitched sounds which would not be desirable at our field. A plane should be perceived as quiet at a distance of 300 feet in order to be in harmony with our field and to avoid annoying the neighbors.

Speed – Slow to Moderate

The following applies to all powered aircraft, whether e-gliders or electric planes.

What do we mean by slow to moderate speed planes? We do not have radar guns at the field but it is recommend that planes be flown at no more than 45 mph or less than 66 feet per second when flying above tree height.

When flying at or below tree height, about 50 feet, planes should be flown at no more than 20 mph, or about 30 feet per second. This will foster a comfortable flying environment that is compatible with all types of flying.

Note that planes can be propped and powered for excellent climbs and excellent flying performance without having to make them fast. By favoring wider span, shallower pitched props, pilots can have excellent flying planes with strong climbs that will work well at our field.

All of the approved planes on our approved list can be flown very comfortably in this speed range, and all should be able to glide freely for low speed flying even with the motor off. This is what we mean by glider-like flying character.

Field Procedures

Restricted Areas

The tree line on the west side of Stillwell field is the lateral western limit for flying. The purpose of this is to allow the entire wooded area between the flying field and sports fields to be a no-fly safety-zone. It is perfectly permissible to fly in the northwestern and southwestern corners of the western side of the field since these areas are above wooded areas and not the sports fields.

Launching and Landing – All Planes

Prior to launching or landing, the pilot should call out their intention to launch or land in order to alert other pilots of their intention. While there is no restriction against ROG take-offs, there are no paved or regularly groomed grass runways at the field, so hand launching is the most common launch method. In cooperation with Nassau County, grass runways are cut for aerotowing on an as needed basis.

All planes will launch from a common launching area for their class, which will be designated each day, according to wind direction and field conditions. This will usually be defined by the deployment of launching winches, hi-starts or the appropriate runway on the occasion of aerotowing. See the diagram provided.

Landing will occur in the designated landing area of the day, which will be located in an appropriate fashion based on the location of the launch area of the day.

Non-powered gliders/sailplanes have the right of way over all other planes. E-powered planes that are in glide state will be considered unpowered gliders but will still defer to planes that do not have motors.

Any pilot declaring a landing emergency will be given every possible clearance to affect a safe landing.

LISF Field Definition

This is the field layout that is established when there is a winch or hi-start at the field. The set up of the winch or hi-start will have priority and will define the flight line and the field direction. All other flyers must move, if necessary to conform to this layout.

1. Winch line should be put out parallel to wind direction with the attempt to equally divide the cut field.

2. Either side or the winch line will be designated as the Glider/Electric flying area.

3. The opposite side will be left for HLG/DLG flying only. This only applies when HLG/DLG gliders are present.

4. All Winch or electric planes should launch adjacent to the winch line. No launching is to be done over the HLG section while someone is flying in that section. If anyone is flying adjacent to the winch/launch area, they are to wait to launch until the pilot clears the launch area sufficiently to ensure a safe launch.

5. Both winch launched gliders and electric pilots should congregate within the glider/electric side to form a Flight line. Neither type should be flying from the HLG section.

6. All pilots should avoid flying over the winch area as this can create conflicts during launching.

Flyovers of the HLG/DLG section are limited to no less than 200ft, to help avoid conflicts with launching in the HLG area.

Channel Control

As LISF is not permitted to establish permanent structures for transmitter impound and frequency board, a high level of cooperation among the members is required. The following procedures will govern frequency control according to situation, listed in priority order.

When a frequency control board is present, all flyers must post a pin showing the pilot’s name and the channel they are using. They must also confirm, by the board, whether their channel is clear.

Pilots flying on 2.4 GHz must likewise post a pin with their name and marked 2.4 GHz so that other pilots will know what they are flying.

All transmitters should have the channel in use displayed via visible marker on the radio.

If no frequency board is present, each member is responsible to check with all other members at the field to insure their channel frequency is clear prior to turning on their transmitter.

If two or more members are on the same channel, the individuals must work out a channel sharing scheme to insure safe channel use.

Any member failing to follow these procedures who causes another pilot’s plane to crash will be held responsible for the repair or replacement of the plane, at the discretion of the plane’s owner. If replaced, the damaged plane will become the property of offending pilot, after the replacement has been made flight worthy.

Field Access

Club members are issued a key to the gate at the field. Unless otherwise directed by a club officer, the safety officer, or the contest director of an event each member is responsible to see that the gate is kept locked. Field keys may not be given to non-members for any reason.

Common Sense and Courtesy

Flight procedures that promote safety at the field, and the overall enjoyment of club flying, are based largely upon the voluntary adherence to these guidelines, and the application of common sense and courtesy. Think before you act, keeping safety as the top priority. Be considerate of other pilots and our field will be a safe place to share the fun and fellowship of club flying.

Welcome to the Long Island Silent Flyers.