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AMA Turbine Waiver Changes

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Old 07-27-2017, 04:58 AM
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Default AMA Turbine Waiver Changes

This just came out from AMA.....

They added a turbo prop waiver and changed the check flights a bit.



At the recent July Executive Council (EC) meeting, AMA's Safety Committee asked the (EC) to approve some revisions to the current turbine program.

In addition to renaming the document, the changes involved integration for turboprop aircraft. Today, there are three turbine categories: Fixed-Wing, Rotary, and Control Line. We are introducing a fourth classification for turboprop models. This change will allow pilots wishing to obtain a turbine waiver for the sole purpose of flying a turboprop to qualify for the waiver using a turboprop aircraft.

If you are a fixed-wing turbine waiver holder, (membership card designation Turbine Fixed), you don't have to obtain a separate turboprop designation. Your current waiver status will automatically apply for turboprop operation.

An additional change to the qualification process for all waiver classifications would allow for solo flights under the direct supervision of the two experienced turbine pilots witnessing the final qualification flight. All flights have to occur on the day of the final qualification flight. This will allow for solo flights without being under the restrictions of a buddy box prior to the final waiver qualification flights.

Please take a moment and review the updated document on our website at www.modelaircraft.org/files/510-a.pdf and contact us at turbines@modelaircraft.org if you have any questions.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:47 AM
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I saw and read these changes. I chatted with Bob from JPO about it. Something that they aren't clear on about the two turbine jet pilots for final waiver qualification is IF a turbo prop pilot can be one of the witnesses to a guy taking a jet waiver qualifications. A turbine heli, control line guys can't be a witness to a turbine jet pilot qualification flights. A turbo prop guy shouldn't be allowed to either for the fact that if he isn't going for a jet waiver, he is obviously not qualified to observe a jet qualifying flight? Needs clarified.
I also don't think that a regular turbine jet guy will go through all of the details of a check flight as a CD would, because he has nothing to loose as a CD does. Just my humble opinion that needs clarified. Part of the problem is that no one wants to become a CD and go through it's requirements.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:57 AM
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I contacted AMA and although it is not clear in this new wording, a turbine CD signature is still required for the final sign off. Hopefully they will clarify this.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:59 AM
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The first time I read the change I thought it was saying you could practice without a turbine waiver and without a buddy box if 2 experienced turbine pilots were observing. Is this saying that you don't need a CD anymore for a turbine waiver? Just 2 experienced turbine waiver holders can sign off?

Woops, was explained while typing.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:19 AM
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That is how I read it........"you can fly with no buddy box as long as 2 turbine waiver holders are present". Now what exactly does present mean? Both with you while you fly or while you are at a jet event and there are plenty of folks around with waivers. Also what is the definition of "experienced turbine pilot"? Having your waiver does not make one "experienced". It means you met initial qualifications. As a CD who plans to get my turbine waiver and thus help those wishing to get theirs, the clarifications will be good.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpea01 View Post
Also what is the definition of "experienced turbine pilot"? Having your waiver does not make one "experienced". It means you met initial qualifications. As a CD who plans to get my turbine waiver and thus help those wishing to get theirs, the clarifications will be good.
Please read AMA 510.a, page 3, first paragraph.

Pilot Requirements 23. An experienced turbine pilot is defined as a pilot who has completed 20 or more turbine flights during the preceding 24 months and who has a current turbine waiver issued by AMA.

And don't agree with your interpretation of the new rule.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:31 AM
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Experienced is defined in the document
Quote:
Pilot Requirements 23. An experienced turbine pilot is defined as a pilot who has completed 20 or more turbine flights during the preceding 24 months and who has a current turbine waiver issued by AMA. For confirmation purposes, the pilot is required to keep a written log of all flights and will provide copies to AMA upon request.
Common sense says that those two pilots are present at the flight station and in communication with the pilot, not just walking around on the grounds.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
Experienced is defined in the document


Common sense says that those two pilots are present at the flight station and in communication with the pilot, not just walking around on the grounds.
Now you are going to throw common sense into the discussion? (J/K) We all know, if it isn't written well, there will be those that stretch it a mile.

That is how I would expect 2 pilots being present......both within reach of the transmitter (or at that specific pilot station and only interacting with that pilot.....i.e. no caller/spotter from a second pilot flying at the same time). As for experienced, I knew about that section....just not sure why it didn't reference it. That is how legal items are written....always referencing back to important items, especially in an update like this (I know this isn't a legal form).
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:39 AM
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All,
The document that Andy quotes from is the "Safety Regulations For Model Aircraft Powered by Gas Turbines", AMA Doc # 510A, now 510B. I suggest that everyone review these documents for currency in operating turbines.
Rgds,
Art ARRO, AMA Turbine CD-Fixed Wing.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:53 AM
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All,
Update to my previous post, the now current regulations are titled "AMA Gas Turbine Program" amended by EC on July 15, 2017. It can be found on the AMA website under AMA Doc # 510A, not 510B as previously stated. Sorry for the confusion.
Rgds,
Art ARRO, AMA Turbine CD-Fixed Wing
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:10 AM
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As stated earlier, I contacted AMA and a turbine CD signature is required for a waiver sign off. Not sure I agree with the removal of the buddy box requirement. By the time the Experienced pilot gets the transmitter and bearings, the airplane will probably be in the ground. Removal of the buddy box is the same thing that AMA did with FPV
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:49 AM
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I have found that if a person is truly competent flying a high performance EDF that the transition to turbines can be accomplished without buddy boxing especially if they don't go for some super scale fighter jet for their first turbine. (A mistake I made and thankfully rectified before it cost me an airplane)
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art ARRO View Post
All,
Update to my previous post, the now current regulations are titled "AMA Gas Turbine Program" amended by EC on July 15, 2017. It can be found on the AMA website under AMA Doc # 510A, not 510B as previously stated. Sorry for the confusion.
Rgds,
Art ARRO, AMA Turbine CD-Fixed Wing
Guys,

According to the updated AMA Doc #510A (which wasn't posted on the day that the email announcement came out), the changes to the waiver process are limited. The qualification flights still have to be witnessed by two current turbine waiver holders, one of whom must also be a Contest Director. The email from the AMA lead one to believe that this had changed to just two turbine waiver holders, but apparently that is not the case - the fixed-wing turbine waiver holder application has not changed from what it was before.

Thus the only real change in the waiver process is that the applicant can be allowed to make multiple solo flights (solo flights meaning not on a buddy box) on the day of the qualification flight in order to prepare for the final, complete qualification flight.

The other change, of course, is the addition of the turboprop waiver category. The application for that waiver has not been posted, as of right now, but I am fairly certain that for a fixed-wing waiver, both witnesses must have a fixed-wing waiver, and for a turboprop waiver, the witnesses could have a fixed-wing or turboprop waiver...

Bob Klenke
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsf86 View Post
As stated earlier, I contacted AMA and a turbine CD signature is required for a waiver sign off. Not sure I agree with the removal of the buddy box requirement. By the time the Experienced pilot gets the transmitter and bearings, the airplane will probably be in the ground. Removal of the buddy box is the same thing that AMA did with FPV
In accordance with the AMA document 510A, the applicant must still have buddy box training to the point where the experienced turbine pilot feels he/she is qualified to fly a turbine. The "solo" flights are only allowed on the day of the qualification flight for the purpose of final preparation for the final, complete qualification flight. This is similar to the process used in manned aviation - allowing some limited solo flying before the final examination.

From the AMA document 510A:
"The applicant must first have flown the turbine powered model on a buddy box with a experienced turbine pilot in control of the master transmitter. The experienced turbine pilot will assist the applicant with as many flights as necessary until satisfied that the applicant is prepared for the qualification flight after which the experienced turbine pilot will declare the applicant qualified to perform the qualification flight flying solo without buddy box assistance."

Bob Klenke
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:32 PM
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My experience with helping new turbine pilots is limited but the ones that I have helped have been capable pilots and just needed some help learning how to operate a turbine and learn to accommodate the spool time on landing. I have buddy boxed them and just sat with my finger on the switch the whole time. The only real difficult part of flying a turbine is landing. I would sit there with my finger on the switch thinking, "well if they mess up now there isn't much I could do about it."
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by why_fly_high View Post
My experience with helping new turbine pilots is limited but the ones that I have helped have been capable pilots and just needed some help learning how to operate a turbine and learn to accommodate the spool time on landing. I have buddy boxed them and just sat with my finger on the switch the whole time. The only real difficult part of flying a turbine is landing. I would sit there with my finger on the switch thinking, "well if they mess up now there isn't much I could do about it."
That's funny, I agree 100% - if you want to see how good a turbine pilot is, watch the last 30 seconds of their flight - flying jets (scale ones especially) is all about the landing!

Bob
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:52 PM
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Thanks for keeping us updated Andy.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:38 PM
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Andy, you might want to sticky this on top somewhere. Just a suggestion.

Andy
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:40 PM
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I had already thought about that, thanks Andy!
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:38 PM
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I agree, I've always been humored by buddy box requirement.
1. If they lose it while flying around at the speed even "trainer jets" travel at, the odds of recovering it are almost 0.
2. If one has invested in a turbine 99% chance they are a competent pilot. As previously mentioned the landing will be the only real learning curve.
All an instructor can pretty much do is save an un stabilized approach.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:12 AM
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Yes an no.

A couple of thoughts.
1. While to an experienced jet pilot may get a chuckle out of that, to an insurance company this may sound like a great way to mitigate their risk like a learners permit mitigates risk while driving with an experienced driver that has no hope of taking control of a car.

2. 99 percent is probably a generous estimate, I've seen plenty of people that because they could afford a turbine doesn't mean they are capable of flying one.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:39 AM
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I have been trying to figure out who benefits from this new rule allowing a turbine applicant to fly solo the day of the waiver applicant and why the AMA Safety Committee even asked the Executive Counsel for the change. The only ones that I have figure out are Distributors or Companies selling the products. Especially the TurboFoam jets that have come out this year. This way a guy that buys a jet at a show has a turbine waiver before going home. Great idea, but should training or maidens even be accomplished at events? I have seen both done at events. Not a great safety idea.

In the past ten plus years that I have been flying turbines, instructing turbines, been the main CD approving the waiver applicant or being the second observer for the waiver applicant, I see very little benefit to the normal applicant. Especially the one that truly has been on the buddy box training for the previous however many flights to become competent. And, yes, Dieselman, the instructor doesn't let the student get to the situation that the jet can't be safely saved. I do agree that on short final, sometimes not much can be done. On the normal turbine applicant the day of the waiver flight, I have rarely seen where this new rule is a benefit. Most of the time, the first flight is the waiver flight. What happens to the applicant that flies several flights not on the buddy box on the waiver flight day and then still doesn't pass the waiver flight? He has now flown without the buddy box without prior jet training and didn't pass. The buddy box idea has it's own issues too. Just because the only jet guy on a field has a waiver, doesn't mean he is a better pilot than the applicant. Most guys don't want to hand over $10K to a guy just because the rules say so. There is also the brand name of radios to have a buddy box training system. I have a new applicant that has a Futaba radio. There are no jet pilots at our field that fly Futaba. I told him for me to help, he needs to upgrade his transmitter and either buy what we have, or buy a new radio to use the old one as a buddy box. Again, I only see jet manufacturers and distributors benefitting from this new rule. I wonder if they are the ones that lobbied the AMA Safety Counsel?

99% is extremely generous on the applicant's ability prior to purchasing a jet. You must not live in a very affluent area. I have live on both side of South Florida, in Boca Raton and now Cape Coral. We have millionaires that either live here full time or retire here. Some have no business flying a jet, yet have the money to keep buying them when one is totaled. We have one Snowbird Millionaire that is 80 and has no business flying a turbine, yet, someone gave him one. After flying a jet only 50-100 feet over the parking lot last year, I wanted to have his waiver taken away. A few weeks later, He had a new Viper to maiden and came to ask me if I would do the maiden. I told him that I would only help him if he would fly the jet on the buddy box. He decided to let his builder do the maiden on the jet. The builder isn't much better and totaled the jet on the maiden flight. Well, guess what? That millionaire simply ordered another one on his phone at the field. The other guys that are flying jets may have a terminal diagnosis and keep ordering jets one after another, because they know they can't take the money with them. The real issue is the turbine pilot that has a waiver and is growing older and loosing his ability to fly a jet. Normally, you would think that finances will dictate them retiring from jets. The two examples that I have seen and currently current here in Florida doesn't follow that thinking.

The rules are to help keep us safe, but in reality, it is all about the insurance. The two examples that are true to life, this doesn't really matter. On the 80 year old, since he is a millionaire, if something bad happens, whomever got hurt is going to come after his umbrella policy and the AMA will probably not even be involved in the law suit, since they are secondary insurance. In reality, the AMA is simply taking more risk with this new rule, and the manufactures and distributors benefit.

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Old 07-31-2017, 08:56 AM
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Since when can you do maidens and waiver flights at AMA events?

Also, Jets in general and used Jets in particular aren't even that expense any more. You should see some of the hand me downs at my field. Lots of guys flying turbines, no waivers either

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Old 07-31-2017, 09:47 AM
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On the other side of the coin, there are people that often go to events to get waivers signed off because they have no local alternative. Though I know at Florida Jets they run over to another field to do maidens and check flights.
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_matt View Post
Since when can you do maidens and waiver flights at AMA events?

Also, Jets in general and used Jets in particular aren't even that expense any more. You should see some of the hand me downs at my field. Lots of guys flying turbines, no waivers either
Matt,
Is AMA required at your field, or is it one of those "open" community park type fields?
If AMA is required at your field, then you, or whomever is in charge needs to put a stop to non-waivered pilots flying turbines! Having this type of activity not only means that the AMA insurance carrier will very likely deny a claim if an accident happens (for all involved and also the landowner), but it puts the privilege of all of us to fly jets in jeopardy.

All of us, as AMA members, have a duty to insure that the AMA Safety Code is followed by all AMA members and at all AMA fields and events. To not do so is simply inviting the powers-that-be to put us under government regulation if we can't police ourselves!

Bob Klenke
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