The BMFA Fixed Wing 'A' Test - What you need to know and need to do.

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The BMFA Fixed Wing 'A' Test - What you need to know and need to do.

Postby uplink » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:55 pm

First off, you need to know, this test is not like a job interview.

If you fail the 'A' Test, so what - take another shot at it next week - and if needs be, yet another the week after that.

With a job interview the pressure is definitely on - without the job you could face problems meeting your mortgage - the Mercedes and Luxury Yacht may indeed have to go!

But in comparison, the Fixed Wing 'A' is a bit of fun. A bit of fun and pretty much its only serious side is safety - and a large part of that, you'll have been absorbing automatically during your training sessions.

So, relax - have fun - and if you pass, it's a bonus.

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Right, so where do you start?

Use your instructor.

No, I don't mean, get him to take the test for you. No.
Talk to him nicely. Flatter him a bit. Tell him he'd make a good examiner - that sort of stuff. Because, you will definitely benefit from some practice runs at this test - just the same as when you were back at school and they had you do those Mock Exams. Yes, sorry to remind you about those, but they were just preparing you - so you could, as it were, 'get your eye in' for what the real thing would be like.

So, when your instructor says you are ready for the test - by all means, thank him for helping get you to that stage. But I would suggest his job is not yet done. So, with that added dash of flattery, ask him if he'd go through the test a few times with you.
And make them complete test runs - don't leave any aspect out.
Start from the preflight checks in the pits, through the flightline safety etiquette - the test flight itself - the post flight checks and the safety questions.

But don't loose sight of the fact that this is a hobby - and a fun hobby. So, if the taking of your 'A' test stops being fun, you are maybe pushing yourself too hard.

Take your time - relax and if you don't succeed, there's always another day. Remember, failures do happen to us all - but they make our successes shine that much brighter.
And believe me, failures - they can happen from totally unexpected quarters.
I failed my first 'A' attempt. I hadn't checked over the plane thoroughly enough and just after takeoff the whole nose-wheel assembly just dropped off.
Now, I never ever expected to fail quite like that!


So, practice until you know you can do it - until you begin to gain a sense of confidence that, barring any 'major aerodynamic spanners in the works', you can indeed pass.
Then it's just a matter of persistence, accepting that it's quite possible in our hobby for either our plane to have some form of 'hiccup' - or for us as the pilot to be the one with the 'momentary glitchy finger'.

So, on your trim tabs - wind in a couple of clicks more down on your 'tension control' and add a couple of clicks of up on the 'I'm fully enjoying the challenge'.

Remember: A success gained too easily, fails to offer true appreciation of what has really been achieved.

And by the way - the very best of luck with that job interview.

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Don't forget, that at Goosedale, to give a broader safety coverage, an IC flyer will be asked at least one electric flight safety question and an electric flyer will be asked to demonstrate the safe starting of an IC engine (it can be a borrowed IC plane to facilitate this - such as the club's trainer).

Of course, all IMHO - other opinions may seriously vary.
Now THAT'S a thermal.

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