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2 hours ago, john stones 1 said:

 

Our members get asked, committee then ticks or not, the box decided upon.

Is it the case that the Area Chief Examiner (ACE) tests & approves each examiner before their appointment ?

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On 05/06/2021 at 18:30, john stones 1 said:

Club committee do not re ratify our examiners, the members do at the AGM.

Now I know speaking up can be and is difficult, but no amount of workshops where we can go nod our heads and tick boxes will cure some problems, if you pass your mate out and he don't deserve it on merit, I don't believe it was done because you were not current.

Isn't this displaying a lack of confidence in the ACE's judgement ? 

Do many other clubs do this ?

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I wasn't aware of the annual ratification routine. It's a long time since I was chairman of our club so it either wasn't in place then or the secretary didn't pass on the information. I've probably attended more AGM's (and monthly meetings) than any of our membership & can't recall it ever being reported on or discussed.

Edited by PatMc
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For clarity, if a club feels the need for a new examiner, they put the name of a B certificate (6 months minimum) holder who they feel is a suitable candidate to the Area Co-ordinator who then assigns an Area Chief Examiner to test the candidate.  The candidate meets the examiner who assesses both the candidate's flying standard, normally by flying through a demonstration B test, and judgement by either a mock or real test.  They also have their general knowledge of wider aeromodelling matters assessed, particularly as they can examine at "A" level in all disciplines (B tests must have a lead examiner qualified in that discipline).

 

Each year, part of the club's renewal process with the BMFA is to ratify their examiners.  How they do it is up to them - collectively or simply a decision by the committee.  In extreme, it could also be the person who fills in the renewal paperwork but I suspect most clubs would at least rubber stamp any decision via their committee.  Whichever way, it is "the club" who are responsible for confirming the continuing competence and integrity of their examiners. 

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I must admit as an Examiner that the need to be ratified by my Club was news to me - although it would explain why (starting in 2020) my status on the Portal showed as 'lapsed' and had to be renewed.  Examiner status always used to be a qualification like your A/B/C except that unlike those, it lapsed if you allowed your BMFA membership to lapse.  From the time I was 'passed' by our ACE back in the mid-2000s until 2020, my status always appeared on my membership record as "E(FW)".  So when did this rather important change occur?  I've been active in my BMFA Area for the  last 3 or 4 years and I can't recall it ever being discussed!

(I'm one of two examiners at my Club and frankly, we are the only two who are qualified to judge whether we are any good or not!)

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9 minutes ago, Mike T said:

I must admit as an Examiner that the need to be ratified by my Club was news to me - although it would explain why (starting in 2020) my status on the Portal showed as 'lapsed' and had to be renewed.  Examiner status always used to be a qualification like your A/B/C except that unlike those, it lapsed if you allowed your BMFA membership to lapse.  From the time I was 'passed' by our ACE back in the mid-2000s until 2020, my status always appeared on my membership record as "E(FW)".  So when did this rather important change occur?  I've been active in my BMFA Area for the  last 3 or 4 years and I can't recall it ever being discussed!

(I'm one of two examiners at my Club and frankly, we are the only two who are qualified to judge whether we are any good or not!)

 

You were always a tick in a box Mike

Ratified by your club

Usually the Secretary

And since the portal, he may have missed seeing the tick box

Easily rectified by Leicester

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9 hours ago, Martin_K said:

"It is important to note that Club Examiner status is an appointment, not a qualification and is subject to annual re-ratification".

 

52 minutes ago, Mike T said:

Examiner status always used to be a qualification like your A/B/C

 

First off apologies for the double quote, but is shows there is confusion about the "Club Examiner" position, including by examiners.

 

If Club Examiner is an appointment, then that suggests there is no testing of a Club Examiner to gain this status.

 

22 hours ago, Martin Harris - Moderator said:

Area Chief Examiner to test the candidate

I thought there was an assessment process to be gone though by a candidate for this position, please correct me if I am wrong but Martins comment suggests there is an assessment.

Maybe as Mike T suggests, that Club Examiner is viewed by all as a qualification in which case the phrasing in the handbook needs amending / clarifying.

 

Personally I would like to see a better ratification / qualifying / currency system too.

I expect examiners to fly regularly and to set the standard for club fliers to emulate. Again please correct me if you think I am wrong. Notice I don't define regularly here.

Is it correct to be examined by someone who gained "Club Examiner" status many years ago, who's flying / eye sight may have deteriorated but is ratified by his committee?

 

One club I visited while trying to find a club to belong to, I saw an examiner fly a plane rather poorly which resulted in a crash. Same person then launched an electric powered glider from the pits.

I left and did not join the club, and I have never been back.

 

I am not trying to put anyone on the spot or run anyone down, I am sure the vast majority of examiners would fulfil the criteria set above easily and are extremely conscientious about their role, for which all us club fliers are very greatful.

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I'm no Optician Andy but if an Examiners up to driving to the field, I suspect he should be capable of assessing a test, given where the test takes places.

 

Like many on here and elsewhere, I've seen A, B, C flyers who make you shudder, and I've commented once or twice, not easy coz it mostly ends in a row, until yous all grasp the Nettle it ain't gonna change, you may inform the BMFA and lay it at the door of Examiners but you'll solve nowt. You will get some of us at Workshops though.

 

My flying ? It ain't what it was when I passed muster under our ACE. I got older, I fly less, mojo's not what it was. Can I still do the job ? I think so, Club does and I didn't get struck off at the Workshops I've attended.

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2 hours ago, Mike T said:

I recall the Instructor notification, certainly, from when I used to do it, but I don't ever recall (as the then 'club contact') having to ratify our examiners.

Just checked and the requirement for the annual re-ratification of examiners by their club is in the 2003 BMFA Handbook.

That is as far back as I can check, so no idea when it started.

 

Dick

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A club nominates the examiner and an Area Chief Examiner confirms their suitability and competence before their appointment is ratified.  The scheme relies on the integrity of the club to monitor the standards of their chosen examiner(s) but the A and B are not licences or legal documents - they are a measure of achievement.  It is, in my opinion, a ringing endorsement of the scheme that possession of an A is regarded as an indication of competence by the CAA.

 

John raises a good point in that there are no ongoing tests or flying "hours" requirements to maintain "current" A or B standards - at least there is a mechanism to review the examiner's suitability on a yearly basis!  Passing the tests only shows that a candidate reached A or B standard on a particular day.  There is,however, a mechanism for a club to request an independent review of an A or B test holder's capability and the certificate can be revoked if necessary.  Happily, I believe this is rarely invoked and most pilots are sufficiently aware of their own declining abilities as they age to limit their flying to models which are within their capabilities.

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17 minutes ago, charlie holdford said:

I agree unless you have the airspace to yourself, or extremely aware pilots it's impossible to practice a full B test without potential incidents...

Hmmm....

 

As a potential B or C holder, if you can't fly the manoeuvres in company of other flyers, I would question your readiness to take the test or be contemplating an imminent attempt.  The test involves flying several different manoeuvres but you are allowed/encouraged to position for each one in your own time so practicing a "schedule" is not necessary.  Your ability to fit in with other flyers is something I'd expect you to be able to demonstrate - checking airspace and informing others of your intentions is an integral part of the tests.

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Very Iffy question there John.

 

I have the misfortune to have to drive in London, how some of those people passed their test beggars belief because I am sure it is not the test I took. Most of the time I feel like I have a target on the side of my vehicle.

 

However that is not the subject of this thread which seems to have wobbled away from its original question.

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7 minutes ago, john stones 1 - Moderator said:

it's a fair question and relevant

 

Agreed, and in the same manner I believe there should be a routine check on driver standards - not a full test but a dangerous manner check.

That too falls foul because there are not enough examiners for people wanting to take tests, and the Police struggle to cope with all the work they have on their plate.

 

We have the new law regarding "lane hogging", I doubt many have been stopped for it as there are not enough officers to enforce it.

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It only good flyers were allowed to fly, then half our membership would never be allowed, ever Andy, as some never quite get it.

The lad in a wheelchair paralysed down one side, still flys OK with 1 stick. Most clubs have more than one of two builders who bring their models to be flown.

Members who chat most of the day, and a couple who see no one else at all in their life, apart from us on flying days. I can name 2.

The club would benefit from us all being expert flyers, but that won't happen.

A lot of lads get a lot of joy just having a common interest.

My guess of a 30,000 BMFA membership, at best, a third, 10000 could place a model reasonably well in the air.

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