Basic Jet Turbine (BT)

The Model
The candidate for the ‘Wing’s Basic Jet Turbine Test (BT) will need to fly a gas turbine powered model that is capable of flying the aerobatic manoeuvres required, but that does not necessarily mean either a scale or competition aerobatic model. In fact the test can be performed with any sport/trainer jet models.

Another important point to remember is that the candidate is not expected to build or necessarily own the model they use. There is no reason why a flyer who does not own a suitable model could not borrow one from a friend or club mate by arrangement.

The use of an autopilot is not allowed during the test. If any such system is fitted to the model it must be disabled during the test and you should check that this has been done.

The use of an aircraft stabilisation gyro is acceptable and permitted.

Crossing Distance
The distance out from the pilot is important. Any crossing manoeuvres during any one flight should be performed at a consistent distance out from the pilot and this should be between 30 and 80 metres, depending on the size of the model being used to take the test, and you should establish this with the candidate prior to the test.

The Basic Test (BT)
The pilot must stand in the designated pilot area for the entirety of the flying part of the test.

(a) Carry out pre-flight checks as required by the MFNZ Safety Codes, including failsafe
10 operation. The examiner should discuss the following points with the pilot during the pre- flight process.
Understanding of frequency control measures for all approved frequencies.

Describe the functions of a flight line observer and the pilot's interaction with them.

Check model integrity, control surfaces, wing and tail mounting and exhaust ducting if fitted.

Check of control surface direction when operating transmitter for correct sense/throws/mixers. Carry out range check and describe purpose/ function of fail safe. Student to perform a complete and thorough safety check of model including installed systems. Student to describe purpose and importance of centre of gravity indicating position on aircraft. Student to discuss and describe flight dis-orientation and corrective actions.
Student to discuss and explain the protocols of flying etiquette.

Check and display batteries are charged, describe understanding of charging/cycling/testing same.

Describe starting precautions with turbine models including safety procedures for helpers.

Describe safety procedures for controlling bystanders.

(b) Start-up and Taxi to the take-off position

Carry out fueling process display understanding and purpose of fuel tap, check for any leaks.

Describe the operation and application of a CO2 fire extinguisher if needed during start or fire. Ensure model facing into wind and exhaust efflux not affecting other fliers, onlookers or property.

Fit and monitor hand data terminal during start cycle, awareness of high exhaust temps etc.

Carry out high power checks ensuring engine parameters within limits.

Demonstrate Fail Safe function is set (engine to idle then shut down or straight shut down).

The model must be physically restrained during start-up and until it reaches the taxi point, the use of wheel brakes alone is not sufficient.

The model must taxi out from the taxi point to the take–off position. Taxying out of the pits is an instant fail. Prior to taxiing out the pilot should inform other pilots flying that the model is going out onto the active area.

(c) Take-Off and join the circuit in whichever direction is appropriate for the conditions.
Just prior to take-off the pilot should describe the procedure they will follow in the event of Flame-out on takeoff or during flight.

Take off must be performed with the model a safe distance from the pits area and on a line which does not take the model towards the pits, other people or any other danger area.

The pilot must stand in the pilot’s area during the take off. If the pilot has to stand out on the strip behind the model when it starts its run then he is not ready to take this test.

Take off should be straight with the model not being pulled off the ground too soon. Abandoning the take-off for genuine reasons should not be penalised. It's far better that the candidate shows that they are thinking about what they are doing rather than trying to continue with a deteriorating situation. If a take-off is aborted in a safe manner you should immediately reassure the candidate that they will not be penalised for taking correct actions, even though these may conflict with what the test requires.

Climb out should be at a steady angle and straight until operational height is reached when the model will turn into circuit, level out and maintain constant circuit height.

The type of circuit can be either racetrack or rectangular this pattern should be maintained for the duration of the flight unless a certain maneuver calls for otherwise.

(d) Level Flight
On completion of the circuit, the model will be flying into wind past the front of the pilot and just beyond the far edge of the take off area. Model must pass parallel to the far side of the runway maintaining constant speed, height and heading.

This first pass in front of the pilot is extremely important as it sets the standard height and line for the rest of the test and this standard height and line will be referred to in these notes.

(e) Procedure Turn
The model approaches upwind at standard height and line in straight and level flight on a line parallel with the pilot. As the model draws level with the pilot it commences a 90° turn away from the pilot. The model maintains this track momentarily before commencing a 270° turn in the opposite direction, completing the manoeuvre on the reciprocal heading at the original height and on the original approach line.
Ensure manoeuvre does not move downwind.

(f) Figure Eight
Fly a "figure of eight" course with the cross-over in front of the pilot, height to be constant. The examiner will expect this manoeuvre to be flown accurately, but allowing for any adverse wind conditions.

The model approaches up wind straight and level , turns performed are of approximately equal radius, constant speed and height maintained. Cross over point should be directly in front of pilot with exit at same height and heading as entry.

This manoeuvre should not move downwind.

(g) One roll
From straight and level flight down wind, maintain entry and exit at constant height and heading. the model rolls at a constant rate through one complete rotation resuming straight and level flight on exit. Minimum duration 2 seconds.

(h) One loop
Run in height and line should be standard and into wind the manoeuvre should be performed exactly in front of the examiner. A perfect loop is not required, but the entry and exit height and line should be very close to the standard.

Watch for appropriate throttle management during the manoeuvre and prompt the pilot if necessary.

(i) Stall
Angle of attack is increased at low power until the model stalls, the nose drops and speed is increased until level flight resumes. Discuss appropriate height for recovery as model is set up.

This (above) manoeuvre may be omitted at the examiners discretion dependent on model type.

(j) Fly Inverted straight and level flight for a minimum of 3 seconds with a half roll to inverted and from inverted.

Run-in line should be standard, and the manoeuvre should be performed with the centre of the inverted portion positioned exactly in front of the pilot.
After the 3 second run the model should be half rolled to upright before any climb-out. The entry and exit rolls may be in either direction.

Throughout the duration of the manoeuvre, the heading and height of the model should not deviate substantially although minor deviations are acceptable.

Note that this manoeuvre is NOT a slow roll.

(k) Fly a landing circuit and approach and overshoot at 15 foot altitude. Note that this manoeuvre is an aborted landing, not a low pass.

Watch out for the downwind leg not being flown parallel to the upwind leg and the turns being flown either too tight or too wide.

The throttle should be reduced as appropriate for the approach and consideration should be given to the fact that many gas turbine powered models may require the throttle to be retarded significantly earlier in the landing pattern, when compared to other forms of propulsion.

Once established on final approach, on line and descending, the throttle may be adjusted to achieve the desired descent rate. The aim of all this is to have the model at a speed, position and rate of descent which will guarantee an accurate touchdown on the landing area. Only when this is QUITE CLEAR and the model is at approx 20 feet altitude should the throttle be opened and the model climbed straight ahead at constant climb angle back up to circuit height.

The pilot should call this manoeuvre out loudly as an OVERSHOOT.

(l) Perform a landing circuit appropriate to the site and conditions wheels to touch within 30 metres of a pre-designated point..

The pilot should call LANDING when on downwind for final.

Model approaches straight and level, maintaining height and heading in turn to downwind leg and maintaining constant rate of descent and heading into base leg and onto final.

Model enters final lined up with runway centreline maintaining heading and descent.

Model is gently flared to a touchdown point within 30 metres of pilot centre line with minimum bounce and maintains heading parallel to runway while rolling to a stop, the model should decelerate and turn off the runway in a controlled manner.

It should be appreciated that for many gas turbine powered aircraft the throttle may have to be reduced early in the landing pattern. Once established on final approach, on line and descending, the throttle may be adjusted to achieve the desired touch down point.

(m) Taxi back, stop and shutdown engine

The model should taxi in from the landing area, stopping at the taxi point a safe distance from the pits and other pilots etc. and the engine shut down, ready for recovery.

(n) Complete post flight checks as required by the MFNZ Safety Codes.

The post flight checks are set out clearly in the MFNZ Members Manual but the Examiner should watch particularly that the ‘Rx off, Tx off (unless the equipment manufacturer specifies otherwise), frequency system cleared’ sequence is followed correctly.

This is also a good time for the examiner to discuss any areas of concern with the pilot and make suggestions for improvement if required.

The Questions (Basic)
The candidate must answer correctly a minimum of five of the Mandatory Questions (Annex I, questions 1-15; attached to this document) on safety matters, based on the MFNZ Safety Code for general flying and local flying rules.

The candidate must also answer correctly a minimum of eight questions from the General and Specific Discipline Questions (Annex I, questions 16-29 and 93-101; attached to this document) on safety matters, based on the MFNZ Safety Code for general flying and local flying rules.

It is suggested that the ‘questions’ are asked before the flying test.

Prior to the ‘flying test’ the examiner should also ask a minimum of three ‘Local site/club Rules’.

Such questions should query the maximum altitude models can fly over the flying site as well as the boundaries of the site together with site ‘etiquette’ and pilot safety.

Remember, the Proficiency scheme is a test of both flying ability and knowledge. It doesn’t matter how well the candidate can fly, if they cannot answer the safety questions they should not pass.

As an examiner however, you should prepare yourself thoroughly for any testing that you do and you may wish to sort out your own personal and private list of sensible questions. Don't forget that you can use any local rules which you know and which the candidate should be aware of. Remember that the majority questions you ask are to be BASED on the MFNZ Safety Code; you are not expected to ask them 'parrot fashion' and the candidate is not expected to answer that way either.

This opens up the possibility of asking a candidate if they can think of reasons behind specific rules. For instance, why is the club frequency control system operated as it is and what might go wrong? Why operating transmitters should not be taken out when retrieving models from an active flying area? Or why should models not be taxied in or out of the pits area?

PDF downloads of the above

Examiners Checklist - click to view/download PDF

Also see