Newmarket Model Flying Club Safety and Competence Criteria for Rotary Wing Flying
Any NMFC member wishing to fly helicopters or multi-rotors solo or unaided must hold one of the following:
NMFC is currently able to provide training and assessment for both the BMFA and NMFC Certificates. Both focus on safety and competence; the choice is determined by the type of model and the pilot's individual objectives.
BMFA Achievement Scheme Assessments
The BMFA qualifications are nationally recognised but impose some restrictions on the use of 'electronic pilot aids'. This means that they are only appropriate for pilots with suitable models and a desire to fly them without undue electronic assistance. Details can be found on the BMFA Achievement Scheme website.
The NMFC Assessment
The NMFC qualification acknowledges that some pilots simply want to fly their models using the benefits of their models' in-built capability. The assessment is intended to ensure that the pilot understands the capabilities of his model and can fly it safely at the club's flying sites.
Candidates for assessment must be able to demonstrate:
In addition, candidates must be able answer a number of questions on flight safety, operation and law from the full list of questions provided in the assessment document.
The NMFC Assessment can be carried out by any authorised examiner, authorised Instructor or NMFC authorised person.
The NMFC Rotary Wing Assessment Certificate only covers flying at NMFC sites. Pilots wishing to fly at other clubs or events must follow the rules applicable to the club /event in question.
Newmarket Model Flying Club Helicopter and Multi-rotor Assessment
This document is provided for candidates wishing to undergo an NMFC Helicopter and Multi-rotor Assessment – a prerequisite for non-certified pilots wishing to fly rotary wing models solo or unaided.
To complete the assessment successfully, the candidate must first satisfy the Assessor that he or she has a good understanding of the capabilities (and limitations) of the model they intend to use (see Section 1 below).
If the Assessor is satisfied that the candidate has a sufficient understanding to fly the model safely, he will ask the candidate to complete the flying assessment described in Section 2 and to answer a subset of the questions on flight safety, operation and law listed in Section 3.
A maximum of two attempts at the assessment may be made on any one day.
Section 1: Model Capabilities
Section 2: Flying Assessment
1. Carry out pre-flight checks as required by the BMFA Safety Codes, the CAA Drone Code and S.M.A.R.T / S.W.E.E.T.S – see page 4.
2. Take off and hover over the take-off point, with the model at approximately 10 feet, for about twenty seconds and then land.
a. Take off and hover for about five seconds, then hover the model slowly forwards for approximately five metres, stop, and hover over the ground marker for about five seconds.
a. Take off and fly slowly forward for approximately 5 metres, stop and hover over the ground marker for about five seconds.
Figure 2 – Assessment step 4
a. Take off and climb to a safe altitude.
b. Fly a left hand rectangular circuit. The model must change orientation on each leg of the circuit and be sideways on each time it passes the pilot.
c. Fly a right hand rectangular circuit.. The model must change orientation on each leg of the circuit and be sideways on each time it passes the pilot.
d. Land on the original take off point.
6. Complete post flight checks as required by the BMFA Safety Codes and CAA Drone Code. (see below).
Pre & Post Flight Checks
At the relevant points in the assessment, the Assessor will be looking for evidence that the candidate addresses issues related to the safe use of the model. These checks will depend on the type and sophistication of the model in question so candidates are required to ‘talk through’ what they are doing and answer any questions the Assessor may have.
Checks at the start of a flying session
Use the BMFA SWEETS acronym to assess local conditions and procedures, viz:
Checks before every flight
Consider the relevant issues in the BMFA SMART acronym, viz:
Checks after every flight
Section 3: Mandatory Questions
The Assessor will ask the candidate to give satisfactory answers to at least 5 of the questions listed below.
Q1 Who regulates all civil flying activities over the United Kingdom, including model aircraft?
A The Civil Aviation Authority
Q2 How are the rules and regulations for flying established in law by Parliament (statute)?
A As a series of Articles contained within in the Air Navigation Order (ANO).
Q3 What does Article 240 (previously 137) of the ANO state?
A 'A person must not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person in an aircraft.'
Q4 What does Article 241 (previously 138) of the ANO state?
A ‘A person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property.’
Q5 Who is legally responsible to ensure that a model is flown safely?
A The pilot in command.
Q6 According to CAP 658, which model aircraft are required to have an operating failsafe and what is the minimum setting?
A 1) Any aircraft >7kg
2) Any Gas Turbine powered aircraft
3) Any powered model aircraft fitted with a receiver capable of operating in failsafe mode
As a minimum, reduce the engine(s) speed to idle on loss or corruption of signal.
Q7 What does Article 94 (previously 166) of the ANO say about the responsibilities of the person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft?
A The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.
Q8 What does Article 94 (previously 166) of the ANO say about visual contact with small unmanned aircraft?
A The person in charge must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.
Q9 What does Article 94 (previously 166) of the ANO say about small unmanned aircraft above 7kg?
A The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7 kg must only fly the aircraft:
Q10 What does Article 94 (previously 166) of the ANO say about 'commercial operation' (previously referred to as aerial work) for small unmanned aircraft?
A The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly the aircraft for the purposes of aerial work except in accordance with a permission granted by the CAA.
Q11 How is a flight for the purpose of 'commercial operation' (previously referred to as aerial work) defined?
A Any flight for which ‘valuable consideration’ is given or promised in respect of the flight or the purpose of the flight. Essentially any gain you may make from the work undertaken.
Q12 How is ‘a small unmanned surveillance aircraft’ defined?
A An aircraft which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition.(this includes all camera equipped aircraft)
NOTE: The provision of data solely for the use of monitoring the model is not considered to be applicable to the meaning of ‘surveillance or data acquisition’.
Q13 What are the separation requirements of Article 95 (previously 167) - for small unmanned surveillance aircraft - when operating over or within a congested area or organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons?
A The aircraft must not fly over or within 150 metres of a congested area or organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons
Q14 What are the separation requirements of Article 95 (previously 167) - for small unmanned surveillance aircraft - in respect of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft?
A The aircraft must not fly within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.
Q15 Except during take-off and landing, what are the separation requirements of Article 95 (previously 167) - for small unmanned surveillance aircraft – excluding the person in charge of the aircraft or anyone under their control ?
A The aircraft must not fly within 50 metres of any person
Q16 Except during take-off and landing, what are the separation requirements of Article 95 (previously 167) - for small unmanned surveillance aircraft – excluding the person in charge of the aircraft or anyone under their control ?
A The aircraft must not fly within 50 metres of any person
Q17 What must be obtained before any flight within controlled airspace or an ATZ of an aircraft over 7kg?
A Obtain permission from the appropriate air traffic control unit.
Q18 CAA General Exemption E 4049 - permits FPV flight without a buddy box, but with a competent observer. (a) How must the competent observer monitor the flight and (b) What is the maximum mass of aircraft that may be flown under this exemption?
A (a) The competent observer must maintain direct unaided visual contact with the model at all times
(b) The aircraft must be below 3.5kg including batteries and fuel
Q19 Who has legal responsibility for the safety of an FPV flight a) conducted with a buddy box lead and b) conducted without a buddy box lead ?
A (a) The person in charge who must maintain direct unaided visual contact with the model at all times
(b) The person piloting the aircraft (SUA)
Q20 According to CAP 658 what are the 8 ‘Only fly if’ checks for an FPV flight of an aircraft over 3.5kg?
A • The activity is solely for 'sport and recreation' purposes;
The NMFC Helicopter and Multi-rotor Assessment is based on elements of the BMFA Helicopter and Multi-rotor Basic Proficiency Certificates, published on the BMFA Achievement Scheme Website (http://achievements.bmfa.org/).
The BMFA Certificate tests may only be carried out by BMFA authorised examiners.