The Advanced Test (AT)

General
The ‘Basic’ Qualification (BT) must be obtained first. The Advanced Test (Gas Turbine) has been designed to give a pilot who has already attained a Basic Certificate an opportunity to take a further test to show more advanced skills.

The Model

The candidate for the Advanced Test 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 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 the examiner 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 the examiner should establish this with the candidate prior to the test.

Caller/Spotter/Observer

The candidate is allowed to have a caller/spotter/observer standing with him during the flight. The caller’s only duty is to remind the pilot of the manoeuvre to be flown next or to alert the pilot to any safety issues, for example an approaching full size aircraft. No prompting of the pilot during manoeuvres is allowed and the caller may not discuss any matters with either the candidate or the Examiner during the flight. Failure to abide by this will mean that the candidate fails the test.

The rules allow two attempts at the test in a day. If the candidate fails the first of these the examiner must consider their performance in deciding what to do next. Many failures are generally good pilots and the failure could be a borderline case.

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 operation
The pre-flight checks are laid out clearly in the MFNZ Members Manual. The candidate should also go through the pre-flying session checks, also laid out in the MFNZ Members Manual. Ask the candidate to go through their checks as if the test flight was their first flight of the day and also ask for a demonstration of the fail safe.

Points to look for are that the candidate has a steady and regular ground routine, especially immediately prior to and during engine start-up. Nothing less than a competent performance is acceptable, the candidate must be fully in control of what they are doing when preparing their aircraft for flight.

A neat, uncluttered and safe ground layout is essential and is to be expected from ATJ candidates.

(b) Risk Assessment and Pre-Start
Demonstrate an awareness of a risk assessment process for the flying site. Identify and prioritise the key risks and mitigation measures required.

Describe the flame out procedure for the model on this site for the following three senarios: @35 feet altitude climbing after take off, @100 feet altitude heading upwind over the centre of the strip, and @100 feet altitude heading upwind at the upwind end of the strip.

Demonstrate knowledge of decision points re flaps undercarriage etc.

Demonstrate a satisfactory safety and pre flight check of the model including: Check of correct model on Transmitter; voltage on Transmitter in safe range; Check of control surface direction and mixers operating correctly;

Check security of control surfaces, turbine, tailpipe and fuel system.

Describe the radio and gear installation of the model to demonstrate adequacy for purpose.

Confirm flight and ECU batteries charged and operating in safe range Perform range check and demonstrate awareness of attitude, direction on radio signal.

Describe fail safe functions operating in the model.

Describe risks and procedure for failed starts with a kerosene ignition engine. Describe procedure for dealing with hot start/fire including briefing to any helpers.

(c) Start-up and Pre-Flight
Prior to starting, the candidate and the examiner should agree the location of Pit and Start- Up areas, as well as the Taxi and Take-off points, which must be consistent with the site operations and safety requirements.

Demonstrate safe starting procedure for the engine/s , model position, helper/s.

Demonstrate fail safe functions ….turn TX off with model held by helper, engine must drop to idle revs or shut down or combination of both depending on the engine.

Flight controls recommended to set to neutral or hold (justify reasoning).

(d) Flight Test

The Advanced certificate Flight test should show the pilot is able to place the model at a desired height, speed and position. Accordingly the flight maneouvres should be carried out and judged against objective criteria, in this case the FAI judges guide for the F4C scale flying schedule. Each maneouvre should be able to be scored a five to pass. After the trim pass is completed the flight maneouvres must be completed in the order nominated, one maneouvre per pass. Pilot can choose to fly procedure turns or turnaround style positioning maneuvres.

(e) Take-Off and Position.

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 the model is then turned into a racetrack style circuit and levelled out and constant circuit height maintained.

Free pass downwind for trimming, model sets up for flight schedule.

(f) Level Flight

The model will fly 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.

(g) Slow Roll

The manoeuvre should be flown at standard height and line with the model flying downwind. The centre point of the roll should occur as the model passes in front of the pilot. The roll should be of at least three seconds duration and the application of both elevator and rudder control at the appropriate times should be obvious to the examiners.

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

(h) One Loop

The model flys into wind with standard run in height and line and the manoeuvre should be performed exactly in front of the pilot. A perfect loop is not required, but the exit height and line should be very close to the original.

Skewing out is a sign that the model has not been trimmed correctly or that the wings were not level at the start of the manoeuvre. The pilot should not get into this situation to start with, but if they do then they must be able to compensate.

Watch for appropriate throttle management during the manoeuvre and penalise the pilot if they fly the manoeuvre at a constant high throttle setting.

The Candidate should perform 4 manoeuvres from the following list (i-r) alternatively downwind and upwind starting with the first manoeuvre performed downwind.

(i) Reversal
The model should run in on the standard line in straight and level flight at a height sufficient to ensure completion of the manoeuvre at a height of not less than 50 feet.

As the model passes the position of the pilot the model performs a half roll and when inverted performs half of a circular inside loop and resumes straight and level flight on the standard height and line, in a direction opposite to that of the entry.

Skewing out of the loop is a sign that the model has not been trimmed correctly or that the wings were not level at the start of the half loop. The pilot should not get into this situation to start with but if they do then they must be able to compensate.

In order to avoid the potential for overstressing of the airframe, appropriate use of the throttle and energy management are important for this manoeuvre. The manoeuvre should be flown smoothly, with the throttle retarded early and only opened as appropriate to resume normal flight.

(j) Immelman Turn

The model should run in on the standard line in straight and level flight. The model then pulls up into the first half of a circular loop and when inverted, performs a half roll before resuming straight and level flight on the opposite track.

Skewing out in the half loop is a sign that the model has not been trimmed correctly or that the wings were not level at the start of the manoeuvre. The pilot should not get into this situation to start with, but if they do then they must be able to compensate.

The exit path should be the reciprocal of that at entry.

(k) Two rolls in the same direction

These should be performed from standard height and line and must be continuous rolls with no hesitation between them. The model should be half way through the two rolls when it passes in front of the pilot although the examiner may allow a little leeway here.

There should be no serious loss of height or direction during the manoeuvre although slight barrelling of the rolls is permissible. The speed of the rolls should be such that the pilot has to make noticeable elevator inputs to maintain the models height.

'Twinkle rolls' that are so fast that no visible elevator input is required are NOT acceptable.

(l) Two rolls in opposite directions

These should be performed from standard height and line and must be continuous rolls with no hesitation between them. The model should be half way through the two rolls when it passes in front of the pilot although the examiner may allow a little leeway here.

There should be no serious loss of height or direction during the manoeuvre although slight barrelling of the rolls is permissible. The speed of the rolls should be such that the pilot has to make noticeable elevator inputs to maintain the models height.

'Twinkle rolls' that are so fast that no visible elevator input is required are NOT acceptable.

(m) Four point roll

The manoeuvre should be flown at standard height and line. The model should be rolled 900 and should stop momentarily before rolling a further 900 in the same direction to the inverted. The inverted centre point of the roll should occur as the model passes in front of the examiners although you may allow a little leeway here.

The model is then rolled a further 900 in the same direction and the roll again stopped momentarily before rolling through a further 900 to the upright. The manoeuvre should be at least three seconds duration and the application of both elevator and rudder control at the appropriate times should be obvious to the examiners.

Throughout the duration of the roll, the heading and height of the model should not deviate substantially, although minor deviations are acceptable. A scale model may require a slight nose up altitude when initiating the manoeuvre.

(n) Cuban Eight
The model should run in on the standard line in straight and level flight at a height between approximately 50 and 100 feet. After passing the position of the examiners the model pulls up into a circular inside loop and completes approximately 2/3 of the loop until it is inverted 45o nose down. The model is then half roll to upright directly in front of the examiners position. The model then commences another inside loop until it is once again orientated 45o nose down inverted. The model is then half rolled to the upright and recovered to the original entry height and line.

Skewing out is a sign that the model has not been trimmed correctly or that the wings were not level at the start of the manoeuvre. The pilot should not get into this situation to start with but if they do then they must be able to compensate.

Appropriate use of the throttle should be made during the manoeuvre and the recovery to straight and level flight should be on the same height, line and direction as the original entry.

(o) Half Cuban
Model pulls up into a circular inside loop until 45 degrees nose down. The 45 degree inverted flight is held until when in front of the pilot, the model rolls upright on the same heading until entry height is achieved when the manoeuvre exits at the entry height and on a reciprocal heading.

(p) Half Reverse Cuban
Start with the 45 degree climb and half roll then downward loop to finish level with entry height.

(q) Three Turn Spin
From straight and level flight, the model decelerates into a stall and commences the spin through three turns and recovers to level flight on the same track as the initial flight direction. During descent the model may drift with the wind.

(r) Inverted Pass
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. If the initial run-in is upright the model must be half rolled to the inverted before the 3 second run commences.

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.

(s) Derry Turn
The model should approach on the standard line in straight and level flight. As the model approaches the pilot’s position it commences a steep banked turn (approximately 45° angle of bank) so it is flying directly away from the pilot, i.e. 90° to the original direction.

When centred in front of the pilot the model then makes a 3/4 roll in the same direction as the entry to the turn, i.e. if the initial turn was to the right, then the roll should also be to the right. In other words the model effectively rolls from upright in a right hand bank through the inverted to upright in a left hand bank. The model is then immediately transitioned into a 90° left hand turn and completes the manoeuvre when it flying in the same direction as at the start, but displaced further away.

On completion of the choice of 4; (i-k) manoeuvres the Candidate should perform the following compulsory manoeuvres.

(t) Circuit and overshoot
Commences with into wind pass with gear extended to check gear status. The downwind leg should be flown parallel to the upwind leg turns being flown not too tight or wide.

Descent shouldn’t start before downwind leg with base leg exiting to final lined up with the runway, rate of descent and heading remain constant.
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.

At about 20 feet altitude the pilot calls overshoot and climbs away on a constant heading and climb rate to rejoin the circuit.
Only when this is QUITE CLEAR and the model is at approximately 20 feet should the throttle be opened and the model climbed straight ahead back up to circuit height. Watch out for correct throttle control.

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

(u) Landing
This may be a rectangular circuit with four turns or ‘racetrack’ with two. The examiner will 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. Which ever circuit is flown, the throttle should be reduced at an appropriate point to achieve the desired decent rate and to establish the model on the desired path towards the landing area.

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.

The pilot should call LANDING when on final. Visual checks of the active area are still very important and must be seen to be done even at this stage of the landing.

If the candidate opens the throttle and climbs away then they should have a very good reason, such as people on the runway. Any reasons offered by the candidate for an unscheduled overshoot cannot include not being lined up correctly or anything similar. However, a forced overshoot for good reasons should not be penalised and a new approach and landing should be allowed.

Touchdown should be smooth with minimal or no bounce and within the designated 25 metre landing zone and the model should decelerate and turn off the runway in a controlled manner.

Ground loops and heavy or nose over landings are not acceptable at this level.

(v) 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.

If the model does not taxi in then the Examiners should take this into account when assessing the candidate’s flight as a pilot at this level should be capable of controlling his aircraft in all active phases of the flight. If the candidate has performed an excellent flight then not taxiing in might not weigh too heavily but it might well affect the decision if the Candidate’s flight was average but passable. In borderline cases, it might be appropriate to ask the candidate to repeat the take- off/landing manoeuvres so that safe taxiing out and in may be demonstrated.

(w) 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 procedure is followed (unless the equipment manufacturer specifies otherwise).

The test must be completed in one flight. Exceptionally, at a pre-determined point in the flight, an intermediate landing may be permitted for the sole purpose of re- fuelling. This landing may only be made with the prior consent of the Examiner. The pre-determined point may be either after a specific manoeuvre or at a specific time of flight, whichever is requested by the candidate and agreed by the Examiner.

The candidate may be offered a chance to correct a maneouvre or landing deficiencies at the examiner’s option in the event of unfavorable external events during the flight or weather conditions…ie excessive crosswind or gusty wind conditions.

Full pre and post flight checks are not normally required during an intermediate landing and take off unless the model suffered a hard landing. However, the candidate should give the model at least a quick visual examination whilst on the ground.

The Questions (Advanced)
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?


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