SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate understanding of the principles of flight 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
120041  Demonstrate understanding of the principles of flight 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Air Defence 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security Safety in Society 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be utilised by learners who will be required to work in an environment in which the principles of flight needs to be understood:
  • Demonstrate understanding of subsonic aerodynamics
  • Describe transonic and supersonic aerodynamics
  • Demonstrate understanding of aeroplane stability
  • Demonstrate understanding of aeroplane controls
  • Demonstrate understanding of the mechanics of flight

    This unit standard will contribute to the full development of the learner within the context of commercial aviation. Learners who have achieved this unit standard will increase their opportunities for professional development and employability within the aviation industry. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Mathematics at NQF Level 4
  • Physical Science at NQF Level 4 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    The terms "aircraft" and "aeroplane" are used as synonyms where appropriate.
  • This unit standard may also be applicable to piloting of small aeroplanes used in civil and/or military air transportation.
  • Principles of flight in this unit standard refers to subsonic, transonic and supersonic flight. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate understanding of subsonic aerodynamics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The behaviour of gases and subsonic airflow is explained in terms of physical laws. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Laws include but are not limited to:
  • Newton's laws
  • Equation of continuity
  • Bernoulli's equation
  • Ideal gas law
  • Relationship between indicated airspeed (IAS), calibrated airspeed (CAS), equivalent airspeed (EAS) and true airspeed (TAS)
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The airflow around an aeroplane in flight is described in terms of physical laws. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The aerodynamic forces and moments acting on an aeroplane in flight are described in terms of physical laws. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The elements of an aerofoil and typical aeroplane wings are described in terms of physical laws. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The phenomena associated with stalling of a wing are analysed in the context of low-speed handling of aeroplanes in terms of physical laws. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The term low-speed handling includes but is not limited to entry and recovery.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Spinning of an aeroplane is analysed in terms of aerodynamics and aeroplane handling. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The term handling includes but is not limited to entry, steady-state and recovery.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Lift and drag augmentation devices are described in terms of construction and principles of operation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    Special circumstances that impact on lift and drag are identified and explained in relation to aeroplane performance. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Special circumstances include but are not limited to:
  • Ice accumulation
  • Ground effect
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe transonic and supersonic aerodynamics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Transonic and supersonic flight is described in terms of the behaviour of gases. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Gas behaviour include but is not limited to:
  • Compressibility
  • Sonic speed definition
  • Heating
  • Shock stall and Mach buffer
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The formation and movement of shockwaves is described in relation to influence on flight performance and flight envelope limitations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The term shockwaves refers to:
  • Normal and oblique shockwaves
  • Mcrit
  • Methods for avoiding Mcrit excedence
  • Airflow modification
  • Aerofoil design
  • Wing design (sweep)
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate understanding of aeroplane stability. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The conditions for stability in level flight are described in terms of equilibrium of forces and moments. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Methods for achieving equilibrium are identified and described in terms of aircraft controllability. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The term methods include but are not limited to:
  • Aeroplane design
  • Aeroplane loading
  • Flight controls
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Stability and instability modes of an aeroplane are described in terms of influencing characteristics. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Stability and instability includes but is not limited to:
  • Static and dynamic stability
  • Longitudinal, lateral and directional stability
  • Speed stability
  • Oscillatory instability
  • Coupling between modes
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Aeroplane stability is described in terms of influencing factors. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Influencing factors include but are not limited to:
  • Aircraft design
  • Loading
  • Altitude
  • Flight envelope
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The relationship between stability and control is discussed in context of the intended role and operation of an aeroplane. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate understanding of aeroplane controls. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The principles of aerodynamic controls are described in terms of their application to aeroplanes. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Aerodynamic controls include but are not limited to:
  • Primary and secondary control
  • Primary and secondary effects
  • Control in pitch, yaw and roll
  • Devices to reduce control forces
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Aerodynamic, maneuvering and gust loads are described in the context of flight envelope limits. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Propellers are described in terms of their power absorption design features and the moments and couples due to propeller operation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The effects of power plant failure on control are described in order to be able to maintain control over the aeroplane. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the mechanics of flight. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The conditions for steady flight are analysed in terms of the forces and moments acting on an aeroplane. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Accelerated flight is analysed in terms of the forces and moments acting on an aeroplane. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Accelerated flight includes but is not limited to:
  • Turning flight
  • Take-off acceleration
  • Landing deceleration
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Methods of optimising flights are described in terms of flight objectives. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The term optimising flights include but are not limited to:
  • Maximum range cruise
  • Maximum endurance cruise
  • Steepest angle of climb
  • Maximum rate of climb
  • Maximum range glide
  • Maximum endurance glide
  • Economically optimal flight paths
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The asymmetric thrust condition is analysed in terms of the consequent moments and forces. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Emergency descent is described in terms of the influence of moments and forces. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA in accordance with the current ETQA regulations.

    Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.

    Other ETQA's who have a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA would be responsible for moderation of learner achievements of learners who meet the requirements of this qualification. 

    UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Subsonic aerodynamics:
  • Laws of aerodynamics
  • Laws of rigid-body mechanics
  • Physics of gases and the atmosphere
  • Aerodynamic principles
  • Stall and lift augmentation
  • Methods for controlling lift/drag ratio
  • Special circumstances that impact on lift and drag

    Transonic and supersonic aerodynamics:
  • Laws and definitions
  • Normal shockwaves
  • Methods for avoiding Mcrit excedence
  • Oblique shockwaves

    Stability:
  • Condition of equilibrium in stable horizontal flight
  • Methods for achieving balance
  • Longitudinal stability
  • Static directional stability
  • Static lateral stability
  • Dynamic lateral/directional stability

    Aeroplane controls:
  • Aerodynamic methods used to control aeroplanes
  • Methods used to control aeroplane pitch, yaw and roll
  • Methods for reducing control forces
  • Aerodynamic, manoeuvring and gust limitations
  • Purpose of propellers
  • Power absorption design features
  • Moments and couples due to propeller operation
  • The effects of engine/power plant failure

    Flight mechanics:
  • Forces acting on an aeroplane during the different phases of flight
  • Moments and forces that influence asymmetric thrust
  • Moments and forces that influence emergency descent 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    The learner is able to identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made by:
  • Understanding the principles associated with the stalling of aerodynamic surfaces and how factors contributing to aeroplane stall are to be managed.
  • Understanding the special circumstances that impact on the lift and drag of aeroplanes and how to manage aeroplane performance when these circumstances arise.
  • Understanding Mcrit excedence and how to manage aeroplane performance when Mcrit excedence occurs.
  • Understanding aerodynamic control surfaces and how factors affecting aeroplane stability are to be managed. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively by:
  • Keeping abreast of technological advancements in the sphere of flight. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others by:
  • Correctly interpreting graphs and tables included in aeroplane flight manuals thereby ensuring aeroplane operations are carried out within design parameters. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation by:
  • Understanding how the principles of flight are to be applied in the context of flight safety.
  • Understanding how the principles of flight are to be applied to minimise the adverse effects of flight on the environment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Abbreviations:

    IAS: Indicated Air Speed
    CAS: Calibrated Air Speed
    EAS: Equivalent Air Speed
    TAS: True Air Speed 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Fundamental  63309   National Certificate: Defensive Mission Control  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 
    Fundamental  49950   National Certificate: Navigation  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2015-06-30  TETA 
    Fundamental  58023   National Diploma: Aircraft Piloting  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2016-12-31  TETA 
    Fundamental  49853   National Diploma: Defensive Mission Control  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Registered" 
    2008-09-17  Was SAS SETA until Last Date for Achievement 
    Fundamental  59256   National Diploma: Flight Dispatch  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2016-12-31  TETA 
    Elective  49852   National Diploma: Applied Military Intelligence  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 
    Elective  50500   National Diploma: Electronic Warfare  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Westline Aviation Pty Ltd 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.