Field and Flight Rules.


Flight path restrictions

The Club’s rules adopted July 28, 2012 and agreed upon between the Greater Pittsburgh Aero Radio Control Society and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources are reprinted below for your review and consideration.

  1. The Field Marshall and/or the Safety Officer designated by the Greater Pittsburgh Aero Radio Control Society (ARCS) shall control all activities at the model airport and shall appoint such members of the society, as he/she may deem necessary for model airport control.
  2. In the absence of any designated officer, it shall be the responsibility of any adult member of the ARCS, who is present, to see that all rules and regulations are adhered to.
  3. Visiting or guest pilots are expected to make themselves aware of the Rules and practices of the model airport.
  4. Model Aircraft flown at this field must use only radio-control frequencies allowed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Only individuals properly licensed by the FCC are authorized to operate on the Amateur Band (6 meter) frequencies.
  5. The use of the transmitter impounds rack and channel control pin (clothes pin with the pilots AMA license) for 72 MHz radios is mandatory. No transmitter may be removed for use from the rack without first placing the pilot’s pin on the channel number space. The use of that radio channel remains solely with that pilot until they return their transmitter to the rack and removes their control pin. The pilot must place their pin at the end of the line waiting pilot’s pins. It is the responsibility of all pilots using each frequency to police their ranks as to position for flying sequence. Be Sure to Switch off Your Transmitter before returning it to the impound rack.
  6. Pilots, upon arrival at the field shall place their 72 MHz transmitter(s) on the impound rack immediately. No Radio Controlled (R/C) models shall be flown unless the pilot’s AMA registration is current.
  7. Each turn of the channel for flying or testing is limited to twenty (20) minutes.
  8. Long engine running and breaking in is to be performed in the designated test area behind the pavilion shelter. No engines are to be started in the pavilion shelter.
  9. No flying or running of combustion engines before 10:00 A.M. Electric powered models are permitted to fly after Sun-up. The Model field closes at sunset. It is the responsibility of the last member leaving the field to lock the gate no matter what time it is. Even when the field is open, the combination lock should be locked on the open gate arm to prevent theft of the lock.
  10. Mufflers are required on all engines over .10 cubic inches. Any exceptions are to be approved by the Field Safety Officer or club officers.
  11. All pilots must fly from pilot boxes behind the safety fence. (Special circumstances to be approved by the field Safety Officer or club officers). Pilots shall not fly their models over the restricted area marked on the ARCS Field Map. This area includes the behind the flight line, setup area, parking area, spectator area, and the control line circle. Flying which endangers members, guests, public spectators, and property will not be tolerated.
  12. All Low Level Flying must be performed on the north side of the centerline of the East/West Runway. The Exception being low-level helicopter hovering and small electric foam model aircraft 3D hovering. This may be done on the south end of the North/South Runway and grass overrun area. All takeoff and landing aircraft have full use of the runways. Pilots must call out their intention to land and takeoff so the low flyers can move out of their way.
  13. A pilot is permitted one guest, in addition to a mechanic or helper, to accompany him/her into the setup area or to the flight line. Guests are not permitted to sit or stand the safety fence at any time. The safety of an accompanying guest is the responsibility of the pilot involved. The Field Marshall or Safety Officer may restrict certain privileges in the interest of safety. Children under the age of six (6) years old are only allowed in the setup area or in the flight area as a pilot or while under flight instructions.
  14. Taxiway procedures: Out-bound models may be started in the setup area, but must be restrained or carried to the engine shutoff line on the taxiway. In-bound models may be taxied to the engine shutoff line on the taxiway, at which point the engines(s) must be shut off. Pilots must use caution at all times in moving models from place to place. When starting models avoid having the prop wash or jet blast directed at any people or equipment in the setup area or spectator area.
  15. Flying using the assistance of a camera or First Person View (FPV) must be only in accordance with the procedures outlined in AMA Document #550. The operational range of the model is limited to the pilot in command’s visual line of sight as defined in the Official AMA National Model Aircraft Safety Code. Flying First Person View (FPV) aircraft beyond visual line of sight is strictly prohibited at the Greater Pittsburgh ARCS field.
  16. All society members, guests, and visitors are expected to maintain the premises in a neat and orderly condition. If, in the Field Marshall’s or Safety Officer’s judgment, the field is unsafe or needs cleaned up, he/she may suspend all flying activity until the field is put in a safe and orderly condition.
  17. Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited at the K. Leroy Irvis Radio Control Model Airport flying field.

Flight path restrictions

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources has set the following rules regarding the operations of radio controlled aircraft within the boundries of the Hillman State Park.

The only approved area where radio controlled aircraft is permitted to operate is on the established runways at the Model Airplane Field (also known as the K. Leroy Irvis Radio Control Model Airport) in Hillman State Park. The Hillman State Park Model Airplane Field is operated and maintained by the Greater Pittsburgh Aero Radio Control Society model airplane club.(flying site organization)

Members of the GPARCS flying club are required to maintain current AMA membership.

Any non-member of the GPARCS flying club must preregister with the park office and maintain and display a current Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) membership in order to utilize the facility. The park office located at Raccoon Creek State Park during the hours of 8a.m. to 4p.m Monday through Friday.

  1. Fly below 400 feet and remain clear of surrounding obstacles
  2. Be kept within unobstructed visual line of sight of the operator at all times
  3. The operator must use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the aircraft.
  4. People other than the operator may not be used in lieu of the operator for maintaining visual line of sight.
  5. Remain card clear of, give way to, and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations.
  6. Not fly within 5 miles of an airport.
  7. Not be operated over or near any person not directly involved in the operation.
  8. Not weigh more than 55 lbs. including any payload or fuel.
  9. Not be operated carelessly or recklessly.
  10. Not disturb or harass wildlife.
  11. Not interfere with search and rescue, law enforcement, or other emergency operations.
  12. Not operate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  13. Daylight only operation – official sunrise to sunset, local time.
  14. Maximum airspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
  15. No person may act as an operator for more than one UAS at one time.
  16. Requires preflight inspection of the UAS by the operator.
  17. Not produce a noise/sound reading of 90 decibels or greater at a distance of nine feet from the UAS.
  18. Operators must have sufficient liability insurance (a minimum of $500,000) or proof of membership in an organization such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) which includes the required insurance coverage with membership.
  19. Observe and adhere to any additional regulations or rules that are posted or published by the flying site organization. (GPARCS).