SAFETY – Flying Field

You may not be familiar with SWEETS and SMART, but they play an important part in our flying field safety. The guide below describes a philosophy that we should all adopt at the field and reading this will help to make you a safer and more aware pilot.


When you arrive at the flying field and before you start flying, we recommend that you take a few moments to consider the surroundings and the flights you will be making.

Think S.W.E.E.T.S
W Wind
E Eventualities
E Emergencies
T Transmitter Control
S Site Rules

Where is the sun in relation to where you will be flying? Will it affect your flight patterns? What actions will you take if you accidentally fly ‘through’ the sun? Should you be wearing sunglasses? Remember that low sun in winter can be a particular problem.

Consider the wind strength and direction. How will this affect your flights? Will you have to modify your normal take-off and, especially, your landing patterns? From your local knowledge, will there be any turbulence with ‘this’ wind direction and strength and how bad might it be?

What will you do if you hear or see a full size aircraft or helicopter flying at low level near the field? What if the landing area is suddenly obstructed when you are on finals to land? What will you do if a nearby footpath or bridle path suddenly has walkers or horses on it?

You may have an engine cut at any part of a flight so consider where your dead-stick landings might be safely made and which ground areas you should definitely avoid. How will you warn other field users if you have an emergency?

Transmitter Control
Is the site pegboard in operation? If not, why not? Where has the pegboard been placed? Are you familiar with the system and understand how it works? (Only applicable to 35Mhz radio)

Site Rules
Are there any specific site rules you should be aware of? Most importantly, where are the no-fly zones or dead airspace areas on the site?


Just before you prepare to fly, DOUBLE CHECK that all transmitter trims, rate and mix switches are in their correct positions, the transmitter battery is charged and that you have the correct model selected. If you are using 35Mhz radio equipment, ensure that your antenna is fully extended.

Be S.M.A.R.T with your transmitter.

S Switch on
M Model selected is correct / Meter in the Green
A Aerial secure / extended
R Rate switches all in correct positions
T Transmitter voltage good and Trims all in correct positions

This article is made available by the BMFA and is contained in the BMFA handbook, but for up to date information you are encouraged to visit the BMFA website. See link – BMFA Website (British Model Flying Association)