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No Fail Test......

Old 12-13-2020, 04:39 AM
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Retiredat38
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Default No Fail Test......

One of the threads here someone mentioned a No-Fail test being developed by (I assume) the AMA. Why?

What are the details behind this test?
Is the FAA behind it?
It's purpose?
Who does it pertain to? i.e. AMA only or everyone?
etc.

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Old 12-13-2020, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Retiredat38 View Post
One of the threads here someone mentioned a No-Fail test being developed by (I assume) the AMA. Why?

What are the details behind this test?
Is the FAA behind it?
It's purpose?
Who does it pertain to? i.e. AMA only or everyone?
etc.
Nope , not in ANY way associated with the AMA , the upcoming FAA test is of the FAA's doing alone . It pertains to anyone who wants to remotely pilot a model aircraft above "Air Hogz" size , AMA member or not , and it's purpose is to attempt to scare off the yahoo "johnny come lately" flyer who's more into today's cool new fad toy VS being someone with a REAL interest in RC model aviation . Of course , being a "no fail" test makes it about as useless as equipping a turtle with disc brakes in weeding out people with no business holding a TX , but who knows , it may be a start in that direction .

"No fail" tests are every bit as bad as the "every participant gets a trophy" ethos SO popular today , gawd forbid we hurt someone's delicate feelings by telling them their effort fell short and they LOST !

Now , aren't ya glad ya asked ? ......

Last edited by init4fun; 12-13-2020 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:38 AM
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A couple possibilities here, first it IMO is another clue that the FAA is not interested in handicapping the traditional hobby. 2. Although it is a no fail, the correct information does get to the end user. It is a viable teaching tool. Some of the mandatory compliance training I had to do as an employee of L3 and Aerojet Rocketdyne was done in this format. 3. It adds another layer to accountability. If somone creates an incident while operating outside the rules they can't claim ignorance. They took and passed the test, they knew what they were doing.
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Old 12-13-2020, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie View Post
...... It adds another layer to accountability. If someone creates an incident while operating outside the rules they can't claim ignorance. They took and passed the test, they knew what they were doing.

A bit more so than any other point in your post , I 101% agree with this !

If someone flies outside of the rules and are caught there will be no "wiggle room" , thereby establishing willful guilt from the get go .
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Old 12-13-2020, 06:03 PM
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And, while I agree with the last two posts, I still don't like a no fail test. Then again, the only no fail test I deal with at work is on how to wear and use a respirator. Every other written test REQUIRES a score of 80% or higher to pass. Granted, I work in commercial aviation and failing to do a job correctly can cost 300+ lives in the event of a crash(that's assuming a wide body or very long narrow like the 757) but, when you really look at it, other than sitting in an actual seat on the aircraft, how much is different when flying an R/C when it comes to knowing the rules and everything else the FAA is looking at requiring to fly any aircraft? Technically, we are still looking at having to get in touch with ATC before flying, have to comply with restrictions published by the FAA and, if the FAA gets its way, having transponders on our planes. That said, a no fail test isn't a good idea unless you're just looking at making sure everyone that flies an R/C knows there are rules. I think it would be much better to have a requirement of a 70%, which would equate to a "C" grade in pretty much all schools in the country
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Old 12-13-2020, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
And, while I agree with the last two posts, I still don't like a no fail test. Then again, the only no fail test I deal with at work is on how to wear and use a respirator. Every other written test REQUIRES a score of 80% or higher to pass. Granted, I work in commercial aviation and failing to do a job correctly can cost 300+ lives in the event of a crash(that's assuming a wide body or very long narrow like the 757) but, when you really look at it, other than sitting in an actual seat on the aircraft, how much is different when flying an R/C when it comes to knowing the rules and everything else the FAA is looking at requiring to fly any aircraft? Technically, we are still looking at having to get in touch with ATC before flying, have to comply with restrictions published by the FAA and, if the FAA gets its way, having transponders on our planes. That said, a no fail test isn't a good idea unless you're just looking at making sure everyone that flies an R/C knows there are rules. I think it would be much better to have a requirement of a 70%, which would equate to a "C" grade in pretty much all schools in the country
Every 121 or 135 operator I’ve ever worked for has the 80% rule. However the FAA has only had a 70% minimum passing grade, as memory serves. The last time I took an FAA written test was my ATP, which was back in 1992. Things may have changed.

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Old 12-14-2020, 03:47 AM
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Ah, not an AMA action. Maybe the poster of that info should have clarified that considering his position within the AMA. It appeared he was speaking of something the AMA was doing.

Now, considering what the FAA puts full size aircrews and mechanics through, and considering the main reasons given for these new rules are Air Safety and National Security. I find it hard to believe the FAA is willingly going this route with the testing. Especially since one can definitely fail the companion test for part 107.

I suspect the FAA is doing this simply because they are required by the law to establish some form of testing, they admittedly lack the man power to implement all this according to the time table and time for the test is running out. So the test format is IMHO mainly to meet a congressional mandated deadline. Which means it could change in the not so distant future. Just my opinion mind you.

And I agree with the Participation Trophy analogy. A teaching aid? Yes. But don't make such a thing the means of certification. It becomes a tragedy waiting to happen.

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Old 12-14-2020, 04:20 AM
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Exactly, Congress mandated the FAA implement an aeronautical knowledge test for recreational operators, this is the end result.
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Old 12-14-2020, 04:46 AM
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For all those who think powerful interests want to see model aviation go away / be severely limited, contemplate this:

A combination of testing, which removes the "I didnt' know" excuse, and FRIAs could make CBOs VERY interested in compliance with FARs at CBO sites. For what a better stick to hand FAA to remove a FRIA or a CBO designation than complaints and pattern of behavior?
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Old 12-14-2020, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by R_Strowe View Post
Every 121 or 135 operator I’ve ever worked for has the 80% rule. However the FAA has only had a 70% minimum passing grade, as memory serves. The last time I took an FAA written test was my ATP, which was back in 1992. Things may have changed.

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Where I work, the FAA mandated certification tests all require an 80% or higher to pass but what you have to remember is that we build and test fly and nothing more. I stated that 70% might work since that's what is required in school to pass a test. As I said, I don't like "no fail" tests any more than I like participation trophies since they really mean nothing to anyone.
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Old 12-14-2020, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Where I work, the FAA mandated certification tests all require an 80% or higher to pass but what you have to remember is that we build and test fly and nothing more. I stated that 70% might work since that's what is required in school to pass a test. As I said, I don't like "no fail" tests any more than I like participation trophies since they really mean nothing to anyone.
Yeah, generally I agree with you. However, at least at the airline level, the FAA has decided that learning the material is more important than regurgitating the right answers (with no understanding of the material). So if you take a test and get say, a 70%, you continue to retake the test. And although the subjects covered do not change, the questions do (up to a point). Again, with the idea that knowledge is better than rote memorization (ques#1001/A, ques#1002/C, ques#1003/B, etc). This has been working quite well in the airline world, and has shown to improve both knowledge and understanding of the requisite material wiyh airline crews, and is a part of every AQP system.

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Old 12-14-2020, 03:23 PM
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Funny you would mention questions that change(to a point anyway) since that is something some of us at work have been asking for. I have memorized some of the more common tests and, as I see it, if I can do so others can too
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Old 12-14-2020, 04:38 PM
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Yep. All of the FAA written test are drawn from a bank of questions. The ATP is a 100 question multiple choice test, and the questions are drawn from a bank of 1,000. I know of many who memorized the entire bank.

We did have some enterprising young Greek students, who came up with a unique solution. They were allowed to bring a Greek-English dictionary into the test. They would correlate the page numbers to the question bank numbers, and place a dot (1 in each page corner) for the correct answer (A-1 dot, B-2 dots, etc). Needless to say, when the school reported this to the FAA (too many perfect scores), those students were stripped of their certificates and had to start over. Most gave up.

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Old 12-15-2020, 05:11 AM
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Yea, in the Microsoft certification hayday "study guides" were sold that had mostly word for word the questions.

The guide would say "you're setting up a secure VPN between the New York and Boston office" where the actual test would say "between San Francisco and Los Angeles..." but would otherwise be word for word.

The AMA worked hard so that this would satisfy the law and have the least impact on our members.
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
Yea, in the Microsoft certification hayday "study guides" were sold that had mostly word for word the questions.

The guide would say "you're setting up a secure VPN between the New York and Boston office" where the actual test would say "between San Francisco and Los Angeles..." but would otherwise be word for word.

The AMA worked hard so that this would satisfy the law and have the least impact on our members.
So the AMA DID play a part in this no-fail test?
Pray tell, what part did they play?
Did they push for it to be a no-fail?

Reason is, such a test is a joke and will be regarded as such by the membership. Since there is no possibility of it impacting ones ability to fly RC (recreationaly) and one really doesn't need to know anything to pass the test. Eventually that's exactly what we will have, a bunch of RC Pilots who don't know anything.
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Retiredat38 View Post
So the AMA DID play a part in this no-fail test?
Pray tell, what part did they play?
Did they push for it to be a no-fail?

Reason is, such a test is a joke and will be regarded as such by the membership. Since there is no possibility of it impacting ones ability to fly RC (recreationaly) and one really doesn't need to know anything to pass the test. Eventually that's exactly what we will have, a bunch of RC Pilots who don't know anything.
The AMA helped formulate the question bank, but at the end of the day it is the FAA that has final say on the question content, test structure, minimum passing grade, etc. Even if the AMA receives authority from the FAA to give the test, they are only administrators of the test, and are bound by FAA policies (unless the FAA grants them some form of ‘training center’ certification, which would require the AMA to write a full training curriculum and have it approved by the FAA)

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Old 12-15-2020, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Retiredat38 View Post
So the AMA DID play a part in this no-fail test?
Pray tell, what part did they play?
Did they push for it to be a no-fail?

Reason is, such a test is a joke and will be regarded as such by the membership. Since there is no possibility of it impacting ones ability to fly RC (recreationaly) and one really doesn't need to know anything to pass the test. Eventually that's exactly what we will have, a bunch of RC Pilots who don't know anything.
It's required by federal law, or will be soon.
So we wanted to do whatever we could to make the impact to our members minimal.
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Old 12-15-2020, 10:54 AM
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It's not about scaring off anybody or discouraging the hobby.
Like most certification tests, its serves as proof that you've seen the right way to do something at least once. Like when you got your driver's license, you proved that you knew how to fully stop at a stop sign, signal before turning, and obey the speed limit. Then when an officer gives you a ticket for those things or you cause an accident, "nobody ever told me" is not a valid defense.
So going forward, when some goober causes a commercial plane to have to be rerouted or violates someone's privacy or injures someone, there will be no excuses. And if a drone pilot is bothering someone and the police are called, they have a concrete thing to check for. No certification=you broke the law.
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Old 12-15-2020, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
So we wanted to do whatever we could to make the impact to our members minimal.
Translation: AMA didn't want to lose any membership $$ due to not being able to pass said test....

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Old 12-16-2020, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
It's required by federal law, or will be soon.
So we wanted to do whatever we could to make the impact to our members minimal.
I look forward to the question about the altitude limit in class G airspace ...

For all those AMA acolytes that think FAA is gunning for the hobby, you do realize that question on the test hands every property owner adjacent to FRIAs the tool they need to get it shut down? Nothing better than complaints about regular and repeated violation of law.

And AMA better start caring a lot about compliance by its members, for if FAA sees patterns of non-compliance linked to AMA activities, what better reason than to deny or pull their CBO status? Lose that CBO status and they have nothing once FRIAs go into effect.
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Old 12-16-2020, 04:21 AM
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We wanted to minimize the burden on our members that have been operating safely without a test for 100 years
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Old 12-16-2020, 05:05 AM
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Andy, your last post was missing something. Let me fix it for you:
We wanted to minimize the burden on our members that have been SUPPOSEDLY operating safely without a test for 100 years
Just because the AMA says it is so doesn't make it so. Kind of like the election, just because the Democratic Party and most of the mainstream media sources say nothing was "improper" in the vote counting and tabulating machines doesn't make it so. At least there is evidence with the election being tampered with that was not reported by most of the media sources, not so with the AMA claims
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Old 12-16-2020, 05:17 AM
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You're aware of a pattern of problems with full scale aircraft caused by models?

Please, do tell.
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Old 12-16-2020, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
I look forward to the question about the altitude limit in class G airspace ...

For all those AMA acolytes that think FAA is gunning for the hobby, you do realize that question on the test hands every property owner adjacent to FRIAs the tool they need to get it shut down? Nothing better than complaints about regular and repeated violation of law.

And AMA better start caring a lot about compliance by its members, for if FAA sees patterns of non-compliance linked to AMA activities, what better reason than to deny or pull their CBO status? Lose that CBO status and they have nothing once FRIAs go into effect.


I'm wondering just how that would work. An adjacent property owner observes members of a club operating in the same manner as they always have been, how are they to know that anything has changed? Somone has already commented on how many club members are unaware of the contents of the NRPM how would an adjacent property owner know that we are now limited to 400'? I agree that flying beyond club property would be an issue but the reality is that happens less frequently then you would like people to think. Yes I know you will quote the example of that one club in PA and think that is representative of all clubs, we have already had that discussion many times. Even if complaints are made, the FAA has already stated that they won't react to complaints alone. Even if they did, they would hand it off to the local law the same as they did with that LAX jet pack sighting. How is that working out? 3 months and not a peep. I would consider that a much more serious event then somone flying over 400' in a FRIA. Then of course there are city councils that have already stated they WILL NOT criminalize model airplanes when a couple clubs that I know of have been proactive and contacted their city administrators to ask their intentions with the new FAA over reach. Not to mention that the FINAL RULE hasn't been published yet.
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Old 12-16-2020, 05:43 AM
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Not one involving full sized aircraft(unless you count the drone that hit a Blackhawk helicopter, the drones that interfered with firefighting aircraft over California) but there is a video that shows an R/C jet being operated OUTSIDE of the AMA's own safety rules as well as posted rules at a flying site in Florida. The AMA powers that be has tried to minimize it but it did happen, that is not in dispute. That said, the inclusion of the word SUPPOSEDLY is warranted
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