Opinion 07/2013

Flight Testing

Opinion of the European Aviation Safety Agency amending Commission Regulation (EU) No 748/2012 of 3 August 2012 laying down implementing rules for the airworthiness and environmental certification of aircraft and related products, parts and appliances, as well as for the certification of design and production organisations.

This Opinion addresses flight test safety improvement issues with the specific objective to focus on defining and harmonising the flight test crew qualifications and achieve a smooth transition to the introduced requirements. This opinion proposes the introduction of a flight test operations manual defining the organisation’s policies and procedures in relation to flight test.

Additionally, Part 21 is proposed to be amended to include a new Appendix XII applicable for CS-23 aircraft with a MTOM above 2 000 kg, and all CS-25, CS-27 and CS-29 aircraft. This appendix focuses on the following topics:

  1. Definition of flight tests.
  2. Flight test categories.
  3. Qualification of pilots for flight testing categories 3 and 4.
  4. Definition and qualification for lead flight test engineer.

The entry into force proposes grandfather rules as well as transitional measures to support further potential work on the topic of licensing for lead flight test engineer (LFTE). A separate A-NPA gathers additional data and information and will open the discussion on the creation of a licensing scheme for what is defined as an LFTE.

This Opinion will be followed by a Decision introducing AMCs and GMs to Part 21 to provide further guidance on the subjects addressed within this document.