Section 1. General
All persons who are engaged as pilots of manned aerospace vehicles in the practice of experimental or developmental flight testing, production flight testing, or in other flying which contributes to the advancement of flight testing techniques, aeronautical development and pilot safety shall be eligible for consideration for membership in the Society. Consideration in grading is given to professional education and experience, publications, record of aeronautical achievements, and contributions to scientific knowledge.
Section 2. Grades
The membership of the Society shall be divided into six grades, namely: (1) Honorary Fellow, (2) Fellow, (3) Associate Fellow, (4) Member, (5) Associate Member, and (6) Corporate Member. This group may hereinafter be referred to as “members” or “the membership.”
Section 3. Honorary Fellow
An Honorary Fellow shall have achieved particular distinction in the aerospace field and shall have engaged as an experimental test pilot at some time during his career.
Nomination of an eligible candidate for Honorary Fellow may be volunteered in writing to the Fellows Coordinating Committee by any member of the Society. Such a nomination shall be accompanied by appropriate information and documentation that will enable the chairman of the Coordinating Committee to verify the candidate’s history and eligibility for the distinction of Honorary Fellow prior to the annual meeting of the committee.
Selection of a candidate to the grade of Honorary Fellow shall be by three-fourths or more affirmative votes of those Fellows present at the annual meeting of the Fellows Coordinating Committee. Selection(s) of Nominee(s) shall be presented to the Board of Directors for final approval.
Section 4. Fellow
A Fellow shall have been an Associate Fellow for one year or more and shall have attained a position of distinction in the field of experimental flight testing. Fellows shall be proposed and elected by active Fellows of good standing in the Society. Voting shall be by secret ballot and shall require a minimum affirmative vote of three-fourths of those executed ballots returned for election.
A meeting of the Fellows shall be held annually no later than the month of June to propose new Fellows and to select a committee for coordinating the election of new Fellows. Fellows who are unable to attend this meeting may submit proposals for the upgrading of Associate Fellows via the Chairman of the Coordinating Committee.
The Coordinating Committee shall prepare background resumes for all nominees and separate secret ballots. These resumes and ballots shall be distributed to the active Fellows in good standing prior to August first and the ballots are to be completed and returned to the Coordinating Committee not later than August thirty-first.
The Coordinating Committee shall communicate the results of this election to the President of the Society not later than September tenth of the current year.
The Coordinating Committee shall also be responsible for calling the subsequent annual meeting of the Fellows.
Section 5. Associate Fellow
An Associate Fellow shall have been closely associated with experimental flight testing for a period of not less than ten years, of which not less than five years shall have been as an experimental test pilot. He shall have been a member of the Society for not less than five years during which period he shall have held the grade of Member for not less than two years.
Applicants for this grade shall file an application for upgrading with the Membership Committee which shall reference five members of the Society in good standing, of whom three or more shall be Fellows or Associate Fellows. The Secretary shall solicit letters of recommendation from each reference listed. Unless four favorable replies are received within 60 days, the application shall be treated as unsuccessful.
The Membership Committee shall determine upon receipt of the application and four favorable letters of recommendation whether the applicant possesses the full experience and membership requirements for advancement to Associate Fellow.
Upon verification that the applicant does meet all the criteria for upgrading, including the four favorable letters of recommendation, the Membership Committee will notify the Member that he is upgraded to the grade of Associate Fellow.
Unsuccessful applicants may reapply for advancement in grade to Associate Fellow after a lapse of one year from the date of said notification.
Section 6. Member
Members shall be pilots in one of the following categories:
1. Pilots who are actively engaged and have been so engaged as pilots in the cockpit for not less than one year in experimental or developmental flight testing of manned aerospace vehicles, their engines, or associated components.
2. Pilots who, while engaged as a crew member in an experimental or developmental manned space vehicle program, have responsibility for control of the vehicle trajectory during a flight which achieves an altitude of at least 50 miles.
3. The Membership Committee and the Board of Directors may recognize prospective members who, for reasons beyond their control such as physical disability, flight test accident, etc., do not apply while they are actively engaged in test flying.
Section 7. Associate Member
Associate Members shall be pilots in one of the following categories:
1. Pilots or copilots who are actively engaged in experimental or developmental flight testing as pilots in the cockpit of manned aerospace vehicles, their engines or associated components, with not less than six months’ experience; or
2. Pilots who are actively engaged in production flight testing with not less than two years’ experience; or
3. Pilots who are actively engaged in flying engineering evaluations, performance flights and related tests, with not less than one year of experience; or
4. Pilots actively engaged in astronaut training for not less than 12 months in an experimental or developmental space program and have completed an SETP accredited course of test pilot training.
5. The Membership Committee and the Board of Directors may recognize prospective members who, for reasons beyond their control such as physical disability, flight test accident, etc., do not apply while they are actively engaged in test flying.
6. Pilots who are graduates of an SETP recognized test pilot school and have completed the manned test pilot course. If none of the other categories (paragraphs 1 through 4 above) of the requirements are met by the applicant, then under this paragraph the applicant may be granted provisional Associate Member status for a period of up to three years after graduation. If, during the three year period, the provisional member does not satisfactorily complete the full requirements under one of the above paragraphs (1 through 4), the provisional membership will be terminated.
Qualifying experience shall be pro-rated for applicants having a background in both categories two and three of this section.
Graduates of a recognized test pilot training course may be credited with up to six months’ experience toward the experience requirements of categories two and three of this section.
Experience as a pilot of chase aircraft, missile control aircraft, or other test support aircraft shall not be considered as qualifying experience unless special factors justify designation of such chase, control, or support flights as experimental or developmental in nature on their own merit. Endurance testing and maintenance testing shall not be considered as qualifying experience.
Section 8. Corporate Member
See Article IV
Section 9. Eligibility for Fellow or Associate Fellow
Only Members shall be eligible for the title of Associate Fellow or Fellow.
Section 10. Eligibility for Office
Only Members, Associate Fellows and Fellows of the Society, in good standing, are eligible for the position of a Technical Adviser, Section Representative or Officer of the Society.
Section 11. Voting Rights
All members in good standing, except Corporate Members, shall be entitled to one vote at business meetings. Proxies authorizing a voting member to vote for an absent member shall be signed by such absent member and submitted to the Secretary in advance of the meeting. Corporate Members, Associate Members, and Honorary Fellows are not entitled to a vote on governmental matters, defined as election of officers and amendments to the Constitution of the Society.
Section 12. Application for Membership
Application for membership in the Society must be in writing. All applicants shall state and agree that, if elected to membership, they will be bound by and obey the Constitution, rules and regulations of the Society, and shall also agree that, if for any cause their membership in the Society shall terminate, their rights, title and interest in or to the Society shall cease, subject to the provisions contained in Article V thereof. No member may assign his membership or right arising therefrom except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of the Society.
Section 13. Election to Membership
The Membership Committee shall determine the eligibility of applicants for membership in the Society in accordance with established requirements. Eligibility shall be verified by contacting references supplied by the applicant and other members of the Society if such action is indicated. The applicant may thereafter be elected to membership in the Society by affirmative vote of the Membership Committee operating under rules approved by the Board of Directors of the Society.
Section 14. Certificate of Membership
The Membership Committee shall furnish each member a Certificate of Membership in the Society, which Certificate shall be in such form as the Board of Directors may from time to time determine and which Certificate shall indicate plainly on the face thereof the grade and date of membership held by the member.
Section 15. Obligation of Membership
The Constitution and any amendments thereto made hereafter shall be deemed a contract between the Society and its members for the benefit of each and all, and shall be observed and adhered to by each member; and each member of the Society, by virtue of his or its membership, covenants and agrees with the Society, and with each and every member thereof, that he or it will observe and adhere to and be bound by the same.
Section 16. Liable Court Proceedings
No member shall be liable for any minimum contributions in any court proceedings.