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The A test

Started by Norfolk Steve, February 13, 2017, 17:53:10 pm

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Norfolk Steve

Not sure if this is the place to post this as i am not a beginner, i have been flying on & off since the 1970's , but have now joined a club & considering the compulsory A test, please don't turn this post into an anti or pro A test discussion, I would just like some advice,I don't see the flying part of the test being a problem I am more worried about pre flight checks & getting that right, I have read the BMFA handbook on that section, main thing I am not clear on ,as part of the test do I have to do a full power control check, the book says in brackets for ic model restrained on the ground, but sure for electric, I plan on taking the test with a foam Wot aircraft & don't want to chew the tailplane up on pegs in the ground, am i allowed to have someone hold the model.
To some these may seem silly questions but I would like honest opinions please as I have flown on my own for years I have bad habits ,normally getting model out plug in battery quick waggle of controls & fly before anyone turns up to say " you can't fly here"
Steve

clive_f

as long as your helper  does so in a safe manner AND only does things on your specific instruction , i.e. they don't think and act for you,  then I do not see a problem with that.

You can argue it is part of your safety regime with a foam model to prevent damage to the tail feathers etc.

Regards Clive

f3fman

You are indeed allowed a helper operating under your instructions.  :af

itsme

Quote from: f3fman on February 14, 2017, 00:16:01 am
You are indeed allowed a helper operating under your instructions.  :af
Yes indeed, but he can not do anything without you telling him, and his safety is your responsibility. ie he can not just 'give a hand'.

Norfolk Steve

Thankyou for your replies, that will take some practice, I'm not one to ask for anyones help or especially tell them what to do, but I do understand exactly what you mean, may have to find a non damaging way of restraining the model, so that i can manage on my own, will have to visit flying site while others are flying & see what they do
Steve

dickw

You can ask the examiner to hold the model for you. The following is a quotation from the BMFA's Test Standards for Examiners and Guidance for Candidates document:-

"If  there  is  no  one  else  available  then  there  is  nothing  to  stop  you  aiding  the  candidate  by holding the model for the power check, carrying it out for take off etc. but any such actions must be performed by you directly on the instructions of the candidate. You must not prompt them or carry out any actions of your own accord. Talk this over with the candidate in your pre-flight briefing."

If you have not already seen it, the full document is available here (follow the A(FW) link) and is intended for both Examiner and Candidate to read:- http://achievements.bmfa.org/the-tests

Dick
Grow old disgracefully

pooh

On a practical note, if you use pegs at the tailplane end, put some of the tubular pipe insulation over the pegs, which will reduce any possible damage to the plane. You could also use pegs either side of the fuz, in front of the wing roots, instead of at the thinner tailplane.

And getting a helper, whether another flier or the examiner, you don't need to "give orders", just quietly ask them to do what you want - they are going to be willing to help, and in my experience the examiner is on your side, they just want to see you know how to act safely.
Confucious he say "more than one aircraft in the same airspace leads to structural failure"

Norfolk Steve

Thankyou Pooh, I have not seen anyone take a test for years & have been reading lots on the internet, from reading the guidelines for examiners it sounds as if they can fail you for just about anything, but you make it sound a lot more hopeful
Steve

dickw

As Pooh said, the vast majority of examiners will be willing you to do OK and pass. So just practice and try to relax on the day (impossible I know  :))

Have you had a look at the answers to the mandatory questions and practiced with the quizzes on the website?
http://achievements.bmfa.org/mandatory-questions
http://achievements.bmfa.org/quizzes/fixed-wing-a-certificate-and-bpc-quiz

Good practice and a bit of fun as well.

Dick

Grow old disgracefully

Norfolk Steve

Thankyou Dick for the links to questions, i'm confident of being able to learn the questions ok ,in my other hobby amateur radio I passed all 3 exams with a good pass mark & was involved with teaching others.
My main worry is the preflight checks & forgetting to announce to others what i am doing, as I am used to flying on my on & haven't flown in a club environment for years.
Steve

kinverflyer

As an examiner, I prefer not to just turn up and test some. It can be quite a nervy experience for those taking their 'A'.
My approach is to in the back ground watch the candidate carry out a few pre exam flights under proper instruction. Which means the aircraft has already been proven in the air, full power control surface ground tests do not reflect what the aircraft can experience in the air.

However for the sake of the test, full power ground tests must always be carried out well away from anyone else and always make sure there is no one front or in line with the prop, get your helper to do this on the flight line well away from others with the aircraft properly restrained by your helper, not in the pits, (if the examiner stands in front of the aircraft get him to move before you start the engine).

Norfolk Steve

Thankyou for the advice, just trying to be clear of the way the examiner expects things to be done
Steve

Phil_G

February 20, 2017, 21:58:55 pm #12 Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 22:17:38 pm by Phil_G
Quote from: Norfolk Steve on February 13, 2017, 17:53:10 pm
...I am not a beginner, I have been flying on & off since the 1970's...I don't see the flying part of the test being a problem
A lot depends on the examiner, but you might be in for quite a surprise Steve.
I'd been flying R/C for 35 years, including pylon racing and aerobatic competition wins, and I didnt find passing the A test at all easy.  I'd not realised how poor my depth perception was, and generally the required precision was much higher than I expected.  I was prepared for PFC, take-off, circuits, landings just as you would on any Sunday morning - but no, the bar was set at a much higher level. 
I would suggest a bit of humility rather than overconfidence  :af
Cheers
Phil


Norfolk Steve

Thanks for your advice Phil, what I really meant was that I am not so worried about the flying as I can practice the flying part over & over until I feel I am good enough, but as I do not normally fly with other people I could easily miss out on a part of the pre flight checks that I wouldn't normally do flying on my own
Steve

kinverflyer

The pre flight most get right it is the post flight which catch most out. A good way to remember post flight is get in the habit of wiping the aircraft down after each flight that way you can give the aircraft a quick visual in the process.