Jump to content
Nigel Godber-Ford

Qualifications

Recommended Posts

Harry Peberdy

Well guys this has certainly got folk talking and some interesting opinions I have been flying for sixty one years now and flowen most types of plane but not jets yet got that one for my bucket list I love  gliding so I came along to buckminster for the nationals to see f5j I meet a lot of very frendly and helpful people so must so I came back on the following day for another helping and got asked to time learnt a lot plus meet Neil from Flightec and two weeks later ordered a new glider from him soon to arrive in the uk I have a pal  he also has a new glider coming he also has flowen for years but has no certification but flys planes over 7k anyway and like you say the test for gliders is not very taxing I am looking forward to next season and the warm atmosphere I felt from the pilots and picking up some tips

regards to all

Harry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kikapu

Irrespective of the competition side of things, I'd recommend that you (NG-F) go for the Fixed Wing 'A' licence purely because most clubs ask for new members to take this test (rather than the glider equivalent) before they are allowed to fly unaccompanied.  If you're an experienced pilot it should take you about 15 minutes to do the flying part of the test (and probably a year to prepare for the 'theory' section ;)).
I don't know, but I wonder what the authorities will demand of us when the new drone regulations are introduced?
I concur with the others - just contact the Comp Director in advance and you'll be welcomed with open arms.  It was just a few years ago that I turned up to a Bartlett's event with my ST Blaze and rose (without trace) to mid-table mediocrity.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pete beadle

Hi all

I would imagine, with their total disregard of the difference(s) between R/C model gliders and drones it WILL be the BMFA "A" test - I can't wait to see them apply "dead stick landings" and "overshoots" to both drones and unpowered gliders......:cry:

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
satinet
37 minutes ago, Kikapu said:

Irrespective of the competition side of things, I'd recommend that you (NG-F) go for the Fixed Wing 'A' licence purely because most clubs ask for new members to take this test (rather than the glider equivalent) before they are allowed to fly unaccompanied.  If you're an experienced pilot it should take you about 15 minutes to do the flying part of the test (and probably a year to prepare for the 'theory' section ;)).
I don't know, but I wonder what the authorities will demand of us when the new drone regulations are introduced?
I concur with the others - just contact the Comp Director in advance and you'll be welcomed with open arms.  It was just a few years ago that I turned up to a Bartlett's event with my ST Blaze and rose (without trace) to mid-table mediocrity.  

Not sure about that. Slope clubs likely won't.

I don't own any power models.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve J
59 minutes ago, Kikapu said:

I wonder what the authorities will demand of us when the new drone regulations are introduced?

I wouldn't be surprised if you end up needing to be a member of the BMFA, LMA or SAA with an 'A' (or equivalent) in order to fly above 400ft. Notification of flights using something like Drone Assist is also a possibility.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
satinet

Maybe but i think a perfunctory online course is more likely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gary B

It's always worth reading the BARCS Members Handbook before too much confusion sets in.

The handbook can be found in the members area (Home > BARCS > Members area).

I am the current editor and was responsible for inserting the recent update which included an overhaul of BARCS ELG rules and a minor amendment to Open class reflights.

The current version of the handbook contains these words in the ELG section: Competitors should hold a minimum of an A Certificate and have BMFA Insurance.

I questioned this but the clause was kept, it is the only mention of qualification in the handbook that I know of. What I would say is that the wording is should not must.

F5J is an international class covered by the FAI Sporting Code.

I don't believe that pilot qualifications are mentioned. There is also the BMFA silent flight rulebook.

I checked there under general rules/eligibility and all that is asked for is proof of insurance.  I also checked under eSoaring rules (which is very similar to ELG/F5J) and there is no mention of qualifications that I can see.

On a personal level as a competition flyer  I would like to think that any newcomer would have a reasonable level of competence and a high level of safety awareness. Some might argue that poor airmanship/aggressive flying by very experienced pilots could be a bigger problem.

Competition directors have the final word but I don't ever remember anyone not being allowed to fly or even being spoken to about poor flying apart from blanket PA announcements.

Please come along, time keep for me and I will tell you all about it, should take about 10 minutes (or maybe five!).

 Cheers

    Gary

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pete beadle

Hi Gary

Thank you for doing this very comprehensive research on all our behalves

Having read all of this though, and to sum up then -  in my opinion - NO paper qualifications are required to enter model gliding competitions in the UK, but local clubs who run these competitions MAY have to apply safety rules unique to the venue, and the club. The potential competitor MUST be insured, and provide proof of that fact before competing, but must also be aware that individual contest organisers MAY ALSO require checkable proof of other  qualifications, before accepting the applicant's entry to their specific competition........

Does that seem to cover it, do you think ? Your feedback would be appreciated, of course

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EssexBOF

Interesting debate. I do not think it unreasonable if you are not aware of a flyer's competence to fly, that some proof of that ability is asked for.If you want a test drive in a car, think you will find they require sight of you driving license.

Some sites have hazards in close proximity, that may cause the site to be put into problems as to its use, if there were to be a problem where it could be proved that the person involved is not up to an acceptable standard, so as to minimize any threat to the sites use. An A in either Fixed Wing or SF, would be fine for me.

There was no SF A cert in the mid 90's when it was first brought in, so as there were no Examiners, they the BMFA, just appointed the existing Power Examiners to test for the SF and later Electric A. There must have been a high % of examiners at that time who had not flown a glider or electric model, who took persons for a test in those disciplines .

There are countless flyers I am sure flying in fields slopes etc who are not even in the BMFA, who have no qualifications, but they are unlikely to enter competitions.

When I ran Bartletts events if i had no knowledge of the ability of the flyer, I would ask for proof of an A cert in either Fixed Wing or Glider/Electric

Take off is Optional, landings are MANDATORY:)

BARCS 230

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pete Burgess

I have been following this debate with interest. In particular the difference between power models and gliders. At many power clubs they often require a A Cert to allow a pilot to fly solo. At most BMFA events/comps a B Cert is required. So why do power usually require a certificate and gliders do not? There seems to be an inconsistence. 

The real question, in these ever more regulated (EASA ?) and litigious days, is safety and being seen to do something about it. In the event of serious injury or worse, death caused by a glider when the 'powers that be' compare the requirements for power flyers to gliders where would glider flyers stand?

I have a power FW(B) and a glider SF(A) certificates and participate in F3F and never has there been any question of certification requirements (Mind you, if a pilot cannot handle a F3F glider it soon become apparent and steps taken.)

Just some thoughts

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve J

@Pete Burgess It is looking like two of the lines that are going to be drawing in the coming regulatory changes will be at 400ft and 80 joules* energy transfer. Crossing these lines will require some combination of registration, training and testing. An F3F glider is going to cross the 80J line (as do all my I/C models), I suspect that an F5J glider may not.

Steve

*80 J is apparently the energy required to fracture a skull.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oipigface
1 hour ago, Pete Burgess said:

So why do power usually require a certificate and gliders do not? There seems to be an inconsistence.

I think, Pete, it is probably because the relevant rules have not been revised since the advent of moulded models. The increases in energy retention enabled by this technology turned gliders from light, floaty things that rarely exceeded 30mph into 100mph+ rocket machines well capable of causing damage.

1 hour ago, Pete Burgess said:

I ...  participate in F3F and never has there been any question of certification requirements (Mind you, if a pilot cannot handle a F3F glider it soon become apparent and steps taken.)

We have, though, had discussions about possible 'mentoring' schemes similar to what a previous contributor to this thread calls 'chaperoning'. No formal requirements have been introduced as yet, but my own opinion is that anyone new to F3F should be accompanied when it comes their turn to fly. F3F rules allow for a 'helper' to be present up until the plane enters the course, and after it has left, so no rule changes are necessary for this.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eamon

I too have been watching this post.  As a newcomer to F5J I have a some observations.

Firstly, I was suprised when I wasn't asked for proof of competency at my first comp, but was extremely grateful for the assistance and encouragement given throughout every comp I attended last year. I would encourage anyone considering competing to come along and give it a go, but I do not have an issue should proof of ability be required.

Even with all of the assistance and support, it is an extremely intimidating process, your first time and as such I always took the end position on the flight line, as I was nervous as to how I would manage, during a crowded landing scenario.  As experience grows your confidence does too, but this takes time and in the scenario I describe, there is no way to test this until you compete.

When you consider the size of the models we fly, the cost and the dangers at some sites, I do not see the requirement to demonstrate competency as an over complicated matter.  If not in possession of an A cert, maybe a test flight to demonstrate control could be considered, if there is a real concern.

I know by joining BMFA, we have insurance cover, but I am not clear on what the liability cover looks like, if it is subsequently considered that the pilot of an offending model is not suitably qualified? Do we know if the insurance is blanket, of if there is an expectation of competency in the use of the model? I suspect it will be the latter. If so how do you demonstrate that, other than by producing your qualification to fly?

There must be a reason why most, if not all, clubs require an individual to have an A certificate before flying solo.  Is it too much to consider this for competitions?   at my local club, there are members who do not have the A cert, but this is because they have been flying from before the requirement was created.  All new members have to pass the A test before they can fly unaccompanied.

In closing, as a newcomer to this discipline, I did not view the need for an A cert to be one which would have put me off, in fact I was suprised when I wasnt asked to show mine.  The issue that would put most off, is the cost of the models :-)

What encouraged me was the support and friendship of all those at the competitions and this is to be championed.

I am very grateful to everyone who helped me last year and I look forward to putting on them again in 2018.  Happy flying.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pete beadle

Hi Buster

As you say, you are coming to this problem for the first time. and I'm sure a LOT of things you were expected to do were puzzling to you.

I'll bet you were also surprised by the fact that the people competing against were happy to share their knowledge and help you too, after all, knowledge IS power isn't it......?

There are always two sides to the things that surprise you when you encounter them initially, and the other side in this case is the simple fact that the chaps you were competing with probably HAD proved their competence at competition again and again, and HAD also been in the position you were in now, so they knew that the skills checked in the BMFA "A" test were NOT the ones you were having to prove your competence at, in competitions - the BMFA test is completely useless as a check of what you need to know to compete against your peers - they know this, and they don't see the point of having to pass a test that has little relevance to what you intend to be doing once you've passed that test.....

So, please do as you are doing now and ASK about the  things that surprise you, it's the classic similarity to asking why the King has no clothes on.....if you point it out, and ask why happens, you WILL, hopefully, be told the reason for it.......:thumbsup:.

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oipigface
3 hours ago, Buster46 said:

There must be a reason why most, if not all, clubs require an individual to have an A certificate before flying solo

I think it's probably because.it was a good idea 20 or 30 years ago, and nobody has thought through the issues since.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eamon
1 hour ago, oipigface said:

I think it's probably because.it was a good idea 20 or 30 years ago, and nobody has thought through the issues since.

From my experience locally, it may also be because some individuals believe they can fly, but have difficulty demonstrating basic control of a model, which in reality is all the A test examines.  That and basic model safety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pete beadle
1 hour ago, oipigface said:

think it's probably because.it was a good idea 20 or 30 years ago, and nobody has thought through the issues since.

I think it's more like that it's because that's what the BMFA recommends

My first power club had a rule that you couldn't fly solo until you passed the BMFA "A" test, it seemed sensible to me at the time, so I complied - and passed

Trouble is, there are an awful lot of flyers out there that don't join clubs, don't accept training from an instructor, and don't see the point of  insuring their planes either. They are the ones that won't accept online training, won't register their planes and WILL have the accidents

Regards

Pete

BARCS 1702

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gary B

Going off topic a bit but I believe that requirement is related to the safety of operating an IC engine, a good part of the FW A badge test is engine operating safety based on my experience of it.

I think some power clubs also have a no lone flyer policy regardless of qualifications so that there is a safety man available,  I read somewhere that this safety man could drive someone to hospital with severe finger injuries caused by a propeller.  Seems quite logical to me. 

There is the same risk (often not appreciated) with an electric glider and its folding prop which is a relatively new thing. I practise fly on my own but am happier when my buddy is at the field.

On BMFA insurance I believe it pays out whatever the circumstances/qualifications, models flying into member's cars continues to be the top claim reason to my knowledge. There may be some confusion on B badge requirements, I believe they are needed for public display flying but not for competitions. The FAI license is also not a qualification as such, you pass some money over then you can fly international competitions for five years, there may be some background vetting but my application was very straightforward.

I've promised to look at adding some guidance to the individual discipline pages on this site with links to rule books etc which might help but I'm aware of a problem called 'instruction creep' which is when things start to feel excessively controlling or 'nanny state'.

We are very keen to promote training days which would be ideal for beginners or curious pilots from other disciplines, when they are advertised please don't ignore the opportunity.

Another thought for 'concerned' pilots is to contact the competition director, their details are usually posted on here or on the entry form and can be contacted via private message, e-mail or telephone. They will put you at ease and most likely team you up with very understanding and patient pilots.

F5J is a little bit tricky in this regard because we swap helpers nearly every flight at some comps but there are usually non-competitors willing to help. It can be quite frenetic as there is not much time between flying slots for chatting (four minutes is typical).

Sorry for hogging the page but I'm concerned that a problem might be being made out of what appears to be a non-problem (in my eyes at least).

   Cheers and Happy New Year

           Gary

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
f3fman
1 hour ago, oipigface said:

I think it's probably because.it was a good idea 20 or 30 years ago, and nobody has thought through the issues since.

I don't see why the issues would be any different now to then wrt flying at a club site ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.