Scottish Aeromodellers Association

Safety Achievement Scheme

The SAA operates a Safety Achievement Scheme that is designed to enable new pilots to learn the basics required for solo flying, and for existing pilots to achieve higher levels of flying skill.

There are five skill levels available covering seven flying disciplines. There is also an Examiner level available for experienced pilots wishing to become an Examiner.

These show the skill levels and flying disciplines covered. You can read full details about each of the skill levels, and the requirements needed to achieve them in the Achievement Scheme document.

    Safety Skill Level

  • Hover
  • Bronze
  • Bronze +
  • Silver
  • Gold

    Flying Disciplines

  • Fixed Wing Power
  • Helicopter
  • Control Line
  • Slope
  • Thermal
  • Electric Thermal
  • Multi-rotor

Safety Guidance

Along with providing the Safety Achievement scheme, the SAA also lays out Safety Guidelines that all pilots and clubs should adhere to whenever they are flying model aircraft in any discipline.

The SAA follows the Article 16 Safety guidance issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

You can read the full Article 16 Guidance in the SAA Members Handbook.

CAA Registration

All pilots of models or drones above 250g in weight must be registered with the CAA Drone and Model Aircraft Code.

You can read more about the code, the requirements that must be followed, and how to register at

Incident Reporting

If all pilots adhere to safety guidelines, then occurrences of incidents should be minimal. However, the nature of model flying, means that occasionally incidents do occur.

Any incident where the safety of the aircraft, operator, other airspace users or members of the public is compromised, or reduced to a level whereby potential for harm or damage is likely to occur (or has only been prevented through luck), should be considered a reportable incident

The purpose of the Occurrence Reporting system is not to apportion blame, but to learn from occurrences and to facilitate improvements in aviation safety and prevent recurrence.

When an incident does happen, then the SAA Occurrence Reporting should be used to report the incident.

Forms to be used for reporting incidents can be found at the following links - Incident Form - PDF - Incident Form - Word doc

Over 400ft Authorisations

SAA members who wish to fly aircraft, with a take-off mass of less than 7.5kg, at a height above 400ft, may now do so once the respective NOTAM has been approved and in place.

Members in clubs wishing to fly models greater than 7.5Kg but below 25kg, must ask the club to apply for their flying field to be surveyed by the SAA for approval.

The forms to apply for permits are linked below, along with guidance for completing them.