THE BMFA 'A' CERTIFICATE (SILENT FLIGHT - THERMAL)

  1. The examination for the thermal 'A' Certificate may be taken on application to any Registered Club Examiner or Chief Examiner.
  2. The candidate must successfully carry out the following test.
    1. Carry out pre-flight checks as required by the BMFA Safety Codes. Particular attention should be given to airframe, tow hook, control linkages and surfaces.
    2. Check the launching equipment is laid out correctly, securely and safely with respect to the field layout. Depending on the launch method, ensure that towlines are in good condition, that the bungee is securely anchored to the ground, that winches and turnaround pulleys are secure and a master on/off switch is fitted to the winch or that, if aerotow is to be used, the tug pilot is aware of the model he will be towing and that a launch plan is agreed.
    3. Check that the launch area and landing area are clear both on the ground and in the air and, after complying with the site frequency control system, prepare the model for launch. If a helper is used to launch the model they should be fully briefed as to what is required.
    4. Clearly announce "launching" and launch the model under full control, any deviation from the expected launch path must be corrected smoothly and quickly. Complete the launch by releasing the model from the launch line cleanly and level the model into wind without stalling.
    5. Fly the model straight and level for at least 15 seconds while pilot and Examiner clear the launch area.
    6. At the Examiners call the model should be stalled into wind and recovered smoothly with minimum loss of height, heading into wind.
    7. Perform 3 consecutive 360 degree thermal turns to the right or left with minimum loss of height, ending on the same heading as the entry. The model must show no tendency to stall or enter a spiral dive.
    8. Perform 3 consecutive 360 degree thermal turns in the opposite direction to above with minimum loss of height, ending on the same heading as the entry. The model must show no tendency to stall or enter a spiral dive.
    9. Fly the model up wind to prepare the model for the landing phase. The model should be flown with no tendency to stall and with minimum loss of height.
    10. Call "landing" and fly a down wind leg, followed by a crosswind leg and final approach. The crosswind leg may be a continuous turn if preferred and it may be stretched past the centre line of the landing approach to allow control of height but the model must be flown back to the centre line for the final approach. The whole approach should be flown smoothly with no stalling and the turns should have a reasonably large radii.
    11. Land the model into wind within 20 metres of a predetermined spot.
    12. Retrieve the model from the landing area, informing other pilots that the landing area is clear. (m) Complete post-flight checks required by the BMFA Safety Codes.
    13. Repeat the above schedule twice more, giving a total of three flights.
    14. Answer at least 5 questions on safety matters from the BMFA Safety Codes.
  3. If insufficient height is achieved at launch or very bad sink is encountered that will not allow the completion of the entire test schedule the Examiner may allow an additional flight. If in the opinion of the Examiner a poor launch height is due to pilot ability the test is failed.
  4. All maneuvers must be carried out in airspace pre-determined by the Examiner and Candidate prior to the commencement of the test flights.
  5. Aerotow release height will be determined by the Examiner during the launch and should be approximately the same as a bungee, towline or winch launch.
  6. The above complete multi-flight schedule is treated as one test attempt. Two attempts per examination will be allowed in anyone day.

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1 Freeman J 70.0 90.0 70.0   90.0   4 320.00
2 Carter G 65.0   90.0 90.0 65.0   4 310.00
3 Grantham M 55.0 80.0 80.0 75.0 70.0   5 305.00
4 S Hannon   100.0   100.0 100.0   3 300.00
5 P Hayward 80.0   100.0   80.0   3 260.00
6 T Cooper 45.0 60.0 65.0 60.0 55.0   5 240.00
7 White M 90.0 65.0   65.0     3 220.00
8 H Webber 50.0     75.0 60.0   3 185.00
9 I Purcell 100.0 70.0         2 170.00
10 B Baker 60.0           1 60.00