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Paul Williams12/02/2011 09:50:19
386 forum posts
81 photos

Our club committee has decided to update the club rules and we had a meeting to discuss the matter last week. One proposal is a blanket ban on models in the category of 7kg-20kg unless the operator has a B licence.

I disagree with this my opinion is the risk of having an accident flying this type of craft is less than flying smaller planes. I base this on the fact that the planes are much more expensive so the pilots are less complacent, the regulations governing them are more stringent regards fail safes and servos ect. The planes are easier to see so the pilots less likely to become disorientated and personally I give a great deal more respect to a 22” prop then small ic engines.

The other issue I have is with the B test being suitable. The test is principally the same as an A where safety and pit control is the subject, only the flying schedule is different and far more aerobatic than the planes would be expected to perform. I would not consider doing a three turn flat spin exiting in the same direction with my corsair.

You could do a lot of serious damage with a 60-120 IC model the type we witness hitting the deck on a regular basis why pick on some thing with a good safety record?

I would like to canvass other peoples opinions on this matter maybe I am bias because I love to fly these models and feel aggrieved that I now have to do a test to do so.

Eck12/02/2011 10:01:32
660 forum posts
124 photos
If this is only a proposal at the moment, Paul, surely you have the chance to canvass your clubmates to ensure it is voted down?
Ultymate12/02/2011 10:20:40
1703 forum posts
62 photos
We have operated that rule at our club for a good many years now and it works well as far as I'm concerned. I would not like to see someone who has just passed an "A" being able to go out and splash £3000 on a 40% model and come flying at our field thank you. As for the "B"test no one would expect you to do it with a scale warbird and the model does not have to be large or for that matter belong to you. The "B" is primarily aimed at getting the pilot to demonstrate his flying abilities and surely basic aerobatics is part of this. The pits and safety aspect is surely the same whatever the size of the model (or should be). The aeros expected in the test are pretty rudimentry and will surely demonstrate the pilots abilities not only to fly the manoeuvres but to get out of tricky situations as well. Remember also that a "B" qualifies you in the eyes of the BMFA to fly at shows or public demos so has to prove a fair degree of proficiency.
We had objectors at our club initially saying "I've been flying such and such for years why should I now have to be tested" but I would urge you to take the wider view and see it as a challenge and another string to your bow, once you've got it under your belt. Once the dust has settled you'll find it far better for the club.

Edited By Ultymate on 12/02/2011 10:22:37

colin watson12/02/2011 10:30:18
192 forum posts
35 photos
i think that is a very sensible solution as someone flying such large models have acheived a compency level to suit i.e B cert as they would require this to fly at a public demo. as an A is only a very basic level a 7kg model upwards is a very big model my 26cc yak is only 5.5 - 6kg sounds like a good club with forward thinking to stop new comers buying 50cc models as a second model as they have seen some on the flight line
stu knowles12/02/2011 10:33:29
616 forum posts
53 photos
I would make two comments.
One, Take the B test. It is easy and once gained the issue doesn't arise anymore.You will feel a sense of achievement I guarantee it, no matter how long you have been flying.
Two. The B test has nothing whatsoever to do with safe flying. People to have a B can and do fly like a hooligan. The B shows that they can fly reasonably well if they choose to. Some however choose not to.
The rule that your club should impose is that ALL models will be flown with due regard for the safety of others. Adopt the rule and enforce it by a verbal warning, a written warning should there be a repeat example of rank bad flying, followed by an invitation to close the gate on their way out if there were to be a third incident. There should always be a right of appeal to the Club Committee. Better if warnings were not given out on the say so of one person only.
The disciplinary system shouldn't penalise and out of character mistake, a one off incident, but should drop on persistent offenders who just don't get safe flying.
Thats it. One size fits all from first model to giant and takes in everything in between.
2p supplied for what its worth.
stu k
ps Take the test this year
pps, Just to show that its about piloting skill, not buying some aerobat to make it easy, take it with any old four channel hack, even a trainer type if you can find one that will spin and bunt. Success will be all the sweeter.
Martin Harris12/02/2011 12:00:45
9594 forum posts
258 photos
I can't argue that passing a test necessarily makes you a safe flyer but what it does do is give you some quantifiable evidence that, should the worst happen and you find yourself in court defending your decision to fly on a particular occasion, you can consider yourself capable of flying a larger model. Before the howls of protest, I will re-iterate that the possession of a B (or any other) certificate does not make you a safe (or even guarantee you are a good) flyer but it is an accepted national qualification that would carry some weight.
From your club's point of view, they are allowing you to operate a model which requires the pilot to reasonably satisfy himself that he is competent to undertake a flight and I can imagine a situation where the club/committee could also be called to account for their accepting your fitness to fly.
As others have said, it does provide a buffer between someone with more money than experience passing the A on a trainer and going out and buying a large model before amassing some more skill and experience. Yes, large models can be much easier to fly in many respects than small ones but the consequences of things going wrong are potentially much more serious and there's a great deal of energy stored.
It could be argued that smaller but very fast models have the potential to do serious damage but that's a different case and would need to be thought about differently.
There's nothing terribly difficult about the B test and any competent flyer should be able to get through it with a little practice so I'd echo Ulty and Stu's advice to encourage anyone considering flying larger models to go for it, club rule or not! As far as I'm concerned it's a sensible rule and one which our club has adopted for many years without complaint from the members.
Please don't let this thread go down the tests making safe pilots or not road - it's been done to death on other threads and is not really relevant here.
Ultymate12/02/2011 12:11:46
1703 forum posts
62 photos
The thing that makes a safe pilot is hopefully "What's holding his ears apart" get your "B" Paul you won't regret it. It's my honest belief that if you can't pass a BMFA "B" test you should not be flying models over 7Kg.
Tom Wright 212/02/2011 13:18:26
3908 forum posts
297 photos
Sounds a bit alarming to hear 60/120 models regularly go in,why is that then?
Paul Williams12/02/2011 16:55:48
386 forum posts
81 photos
Ok point taken, I am venting off at a situation where I have never been responable for any near misses and the club seems to be penalising myself and ignoring others who have. I will do the B test this year if only to wave it in their faces.
Thanks for your feedback.
r6dan12/02/2011 17:04:12
1110 forum posts
46 photos
TBH I don`t like being told I have to have a bit of paper to do something or abide by silly club rules.....peg board and 2.4 anyone? when I am more than capable of doing something with out having a bit of paper to say I am, I have been a climber for 25 years and have had to do a course to show people how to climb, where I was more experienced than the guy running it but thats the way it goes. Rules are rules and a lot of the time its their way or the highway!
I better do my A cert for the webbit fly in thing.......(just so people can see I can fly)

Edited By r6dan on 12/02/2011 17:05:15

Peter Beeney12/02/2011 17:06:08
1594 forum posts
59 photos

I reckon this sort of discussion has been going on in one form or another since model flying began; and it’s probably never managed to resolve itself, it’s in a permanent endless loop for ever.

What I would say about the B test, at least regarding the model, is this. If you read the handbook and the examiners guidance notes carefully I think you’ll find it’s a fairly flexible arrangement. For a start, the 3 turn spin is not a flat spin, indeed, it’s anything but, and it can be a simple spiral dive (not necessarily of three turns) if your model won’t spin. Also in the case of the bunt, or outside loop, for scale aircraft this can be a split S or reversal. I don’t really consider the B to be that aerobatic either, the only tiny modicum of inverted flying is in the 4 consecutive rolls! And at a real stretch, you might just be able to say that at one point in the loop and bunt the model is upside down.

With the greatest respect, and and to be brutally honest, if I were taking a B examination and I said my model was incapable of doing the B, even despite the above relaxation's, then I would have to expect to fail. After all, I might be able to say my model is incapable at test time, but then later take it to a show and then perform these very same simple manoeuvres with impunity. That would have some suspect implications. But it’s certainly a possibility! Also if I were doubting the integrity of my model for a flying test then that must also throw open the question concerning the integrity of the model at the strip, too. Safety is everywhere! Suppose my large model inadvertently dropped into a spin, and, because I hadn’t practised the recovery it crashed. Usually that’s in a safe area, but no guarantees. Incidentally, I quite agree with your statement generally, and particularly regarding the decision, in our mob this would definitely be a membership vote, not just the committee.

One of the best flying displays by a full size individual aeroplane I ever saw was a Corsair, at a Warbirds bash. A long time ago, but I can still see the perfect 8 point rolls, up and down the runway, lower than you’d be tempted with a model!

One of the great misgivings I’ve always had with the PAS (Power Achievement Scheme) is the lack of a common standard. Anything from just cash changing hands to an immaculate aerobatic schedule. In fact the BMFA almost admits this, here is a paragraph verbatim from the 1994 (latest I’ve got) General Guidance Notes for Examiners.

“ Some Examiners have the attitude that the flying tests in the PAS are “aerobatics” and must be flown as a strict schedule with no deviations, very much like an FAI Aerobatics competition schedule. This is ABSOLUTELY WRONG.

In fact the flying tests in both the A and B certificates are to allow the candidate to demonstrate to you their ability to be in full and safe control of their model at all times during a flight in which they must fly a set of simple, specified manoeuvres competently and with reasonable accuracy.”

I’m not an examiner, or even a B pilot. As I’m unlikely to want to perform at shows I think there is little need; and like you I would certainly not be entirely happy about being told what I can and can’t do by a small group of people, some of whose flying and safety abilities themselves may be slightly questionable. Fortunately, for me this is unlikely to happen. I hear a number of stories about rules and regs in other clubs, this PC stuff seems to have a habit of coming down the line to encompass everyone. I also have a long running dispute with the BMFA, regarding qualifications for instructors, which will never be resolved, so I’m not best enamoured with them anyway.

As always, this is just my view, and will undoubtedly differ from others. That’s Life! But I would consider there is little justification for such a ban. I would also consider that a warbird should be able to do the B, if there were any limitations any examiner that’s anywhere up to snuff would instantly recognise this and make the necessary allowances. I like flying these types, they are sometimes a bit underpowered for my liking but even so I consider they would zip round a B ok.

Hope you resolve it all satisfactorily.

ken anderson.12/02/2011 17:24:30
8791 forum posts
814 photos
modern life is ruled by rules.......the ones normally associated with flying toy aircraft.....are driven by safety.....and unfortunatley belonging to the BMFA and clubs who are part of it means sticking to for flippent remark's about bit's of paper etc......i would say to anyone concerned...who doesn't want to partake...dont bother joining a/our the past 'some' people who i have encountered ...who dont like/want to stick by club/bmfa rule's aren't worth the trouble or their paltry £10.00 they contribute to our club....
ken anderson...blyth valley radio model club/examiner........prob one of the best clubs in the bmfa. ne....1

Edited By ken anderson. on 12/02/2011 17:40:31

Craig Carr12/02/2011 17:33:00
736 forum posts
519 photos
Each club to their own. Personally I can see some logic to the proposal to be honest. Obtaining your BMFA certs gives the Committee/Club a certain confidence about the pilots ability.
Lets not forget these models carry a lot more weight and can cause a lot of carnage in the wrong hands.
I can see why the club has gone down this route because unfortunately there are those flyers with little experience who think they are better than they are. The committee will be viewing the cert as a means to help prevent novice flyers having a go at models out of their skill range and putting the club site at risk.
Many clubs (such as mine) are within a recreation ground that we share with other users and as a responsible club we have a duty of care to all who use the rec ground.
Therefore rules are there to help protect everyone. I believe the rules at my club are minimum basic common sense but safety orienteted.
Back to the OP - Flyers should also be aware that if their club/flying site is within an Air Traffic Control zone it is illiegal to fly models over 7kg without ATC permission in accordance with the Air Navigation Order.. 

Edited By Craig Carr on 12/02/2011 17:54:53

i12fly12/02/2011 17:47:47
651 forum posts
22 photos
Just a quick point, but the BMFA requirements have changed recently for the 'B' test, you must provide a model that can perform the outside loop and 3 turn spin. The split S and spiral are no longer acceptable.
stu knowles12/02/2011 17:55:22
616 forum posts
53 photos
I almost hestitate to add anything more to this thread, the topic has been well aired many times. However ........
The BMFA do not promote the Achievement scheme as anything else but just that, a personal Achievement Scheme for individual pilots. I personally don't think for one moment that if a guy flew like a nerd, a club or committee who be able to avoid any liability that there may (or may not be) by saying we insist on a minimum A or B. If there have been poor flying standards they must be addressed for what they are.
If a person opts to fly in the company of others, then for the good health and well being of all there must be rules. I strongly support that but also say with equal conviction, only the minimum of carefully targeted rules are desirable.
The club must enforce some standards and discipline but for me, compulsion to do an A or B is slightly off target
andy watson12/02/2011 18:03:25
1942 forum posts
20 photos
Sorry, but I disagree here.
I have an A, which I agree is a good benchmark for basic safe flying. The B adds a "style" of flying that is simply irrelevant to me and the type of flying I do. If I choose to build something big and detailed (and therefore heavy) that I then want to fly in large leisurely circles how does being able to do a spin help me? I certainly don't want to spend weeks practising for it.
I accept the B for public displays requirement, as I have no option (and might say it's a reasonable precaution for the larger crowds rather than a club field in the middle of nowhere), so if I want my planes to fly at shows I take my tame B pilot along with me!
The stupid thing is there is probably already a club rule that covers it- something to the effect that the pilot must fly in a safe manner. The other real issue here is that it will affect some people retrospectively- they might have bought the plane under the old rules, but are then unable to fly it. Hardly very fair for a "club".
ken anderson.12/02/2011 18:04:46
8791 forum posts
814 photos
well said stated by others this topic has done the rounds on a regular basis........quoting above" the club must enforce some standards and disciplne" say's most of it......
ken anderson ne...1.
John Privett12/02/2011 18:15:50
6104 forum posts
243 photos
Posted by Craig Carr on 12/02/2011 17:33:00:
Many clubs (such as mine) are within a recreation ground that we share with other users and as a responsible club we have a duty of care to all who use the rec ground.
Mine too, indeed where our club fly the byelaws do not permit us to fly anything over 7kg at all. Not even with a B or a C test or anything. Perhaps the OP should be grateful he has the opportunity to fly his over-7kg model, even if it may in future involve the minor inconvenience of taking a B test.

Martin Harris12/02/2011 18:18:36
9594 forum posts
258 photos
I think it's a matter for the club to decide to go along whatever path fits its circumstances.
And what is a club? It's a collection of people who get together with common aims and usually agree to let a number of the members get together to organise the day to day running.
Some of these people feel the need to guide the club along what seem to be a sensible path out of a sense of wanting the club to prosper, some might be press ganged into joining the committee by others unwilling or unable to help out and yes, I'm sure many clubs who have committee members who just want to be known as the The Honorary Secretary or Safety Officer out of a sense of self importance.
But whose fault is it if the committee isn't made up of the first type?
My club's committee are empowered to make rules as it sees fit but they are always ratified and discussed as necessary at the next AGM. Should the committee impose a rule which a sizeable minority of members think unreasonable, they may call an EGM to challenge and debate the matter. I'd imagine your club would have a similar arrangement so it's really up to you to challenge the ruling if you feel strongly.
nasa_steve12/02/2011 18:25:05
457 forum posts
21 photos
4 articles
I'm a club examiner and the latest paperwork i have to hand states the following
For aircraft (scale aircraft specifically) which for reasons of structural strength or control limitations cannot perform an outside loop, a Split S or Reversal (from level flight, half roll to inverted, hold, then pull through half loop to recover in level flight) may be accepted by the examiner
so the previous statement is incorrect i'm afraid
i do agree with the clubs stance in that B cert holders on 7kg upwards its a good idea and its really not that difficult to achieve

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