THE BMFA 'B' CERTIFICATE (SilENT FLIGHT - THERMAL)
- The examination for the Thermal 'B' Certificate
may be taken on application to a Registered
Examiner. The examination may be carried out by:
- Two Registered Examiners (the 'lead' must be a
Silent Flight Examiner).
- A Silent Flight Chief Examiner
- 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
- The candidate must successfully carry out the
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Fly the model straight and level for at least 15
seconds while pilot and Examiner clear the launch
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Fly the model a minimum of 150m up wind of
the pilot with minimum loss of height.
- Gain speed and perform a stall turn into wind.
- Fly the model across wind and stall, recover
with minimum loss of height, still heading across
- Turn the model down wind and stall, recovering
with minimum loss of height on the same heading
- 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.
- Land the model into wind within 10 metres of a
- Retrieve the model from the landing area,
informing other pilots that the landing area is clear.
- Complete post-flight checks required by the
BMFA Safety Codes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Answer at least 8 questions on safety matters from
the BMFA Safety Codes.
- 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.
- All manoeuvres must be carried out in airspace pre-
determined by the Examiner and Candidate prior to
the commencement of the test flights.
- Aerotow release height will be determined by the
Examiner and should be approximately the same as
a bungee, towline or winch launch.
- 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