THE BMFA 'B' CERTIFICATE (SilENT FLIGHT - THERMAL)

  1. The examination for the Thermal 'B' Certificate may be taken on application to a Registered Examiner. The examination may be carried out by:
    1. Two Registered Examiners (the 'lead' must be a Silent Flight Examiner).
    2. A Silent Flight Chief Examiner

  2. If your club does not have any Registered Silent Flight Examiners, you should contact your local Area Achievement Scheme Co-ordinator who will be able to help. Names and telephone numbers of Area Co-ordinators are available from the BMFA Leicester office.

  3. The candidate must successfully carry out the following test.
    1. Carry out all relevant 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. Fly the model through either a half loop or half roll to inverted, hold straight, controlled inverted flight for a minimum of five seconds and then half loop or half roll back to level flight.
    7. Fly the model on a thermal search pattern. The model is to pass over three points, agreed with the Examiner prior to the start of the flight (e.g. corners of the field).
    8. Fly the model through consecutive 360 degree thermal turns to a position a minimum of 100m BMFA Achievement Schemes I down wind of the pilot. The model should gain height if in lift or be flown with minimum loss of height if no lift is found.
    9. Fly the model a minimum of 150m up wind of the pilot with minimum loss of height.
    10. Gain speed and perform a stall turn into wind.
    11. Fly the model across wind and stall, recover with minimum loss of height, still heading across wind.
    12. Turn the model down wind and stall, recovering with minimum loss of height on the same heading down wind.
    13. 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.
    14. Land the model into wind within 10 metres of a predetermined spot.
    15. Retrieve the model from the landing area, informing other pilots that the landing area is clear.
    16. Complete post-flight checks required by the BMFA Safety Codes.

  4. The pilot must perform three flights and all sections (f) to (l) must be completed sometime during those three flights, nominating before each launch which parts will be attempted. Sections (a) to (e) and (m) to (o) apply to each individual flight.

  5. If the pilot has completed all tasks in 1 or 2 flights they must still perform the total of three flights. In this case the Examiner may ask for any of tasks (f) to (l) to be repeated in the third flight. The cumulative flight time for three flights is to be more than 12 minutes.

  6. Answer at least 8 questions on safety matters from the BMFA Safety Codes.

  7. If insufficient height is achieved at launch or very bad sink is encountered that will not allow the completion of the test schedule the Examiner may allow an additional official flight. If in the opinion of the Examiner a poor launch height is due to pilot ability the test is failed.

  8. All manoeuvres must be carried out in airspace pre- determined by the Examiner and Candidate prior to the commencement of the test flights.

  9. Aerotow release height will be determined by the Examiner and should be approximately the same as a bungee, towline or winch launch.

  10. The above complete multi-flight schedule is treated as one test attempt. Two attempts per examination will be allowed in anyone day.

Click here to return