NCO.SPEC.MCF.100 Levels of maintenance check flights

Regulation (EU) 2019/1384

Before conducting a maintenance check flight, the operator shall determine the applicable level of the maintenance check flight as follows:

(a) a “Level A” maintenance check flight for a flight where the use of abnormal or emergency procedures, as defined in the aircraft flight manual, is expected, or where a flight is required to prove the functioning of a backup system or other safety devices;

(b) a “Level B” maintenance check flight for any maintenance check flight other than a “Level A” maintenance check flight.

NCO.SPEC.MCF.105 Operational limitations

Regulation (EU) 2019/1387

(a) By way of derogation from point NCO.GEN.105(a)(4) of this Annex, a maintenance check flight may be conducted with an aircraft that has been released to service with incomplete maintenance in accordance with points M.A.801(f) of Annex I (Part-M), 145.A.50(e) of Annex II (Part-145) or ML.A.801(f) of Annex Vb (Part-ML) to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014.

(b) By way of derogation from point NCO.IDE.A.105 or NCO.IDE.H.105, the pilot-in-command may conduct a flight with inoperative or missing items of equipment or functions required for the flight if those inoperative or missing items of equipment or functions have been identified in the checklist referred to in point NCO.SPEC.MCF.110.

NCO.SPEC.MCF.110 Checklist and safety briefing

Regulation (EU) 2019/1384

(a) The checklist referred to in point NCO.SPEC.105 shall be updated as needed before each maintenance check flight and shall consider the operating procedures that are planned to be followed during the particular maintenance check flight.

(b) Notwithstanding point NCO.SPEC.125(b), a safety briefing of the task specialist shall be required before each maintenance check flight.


Specific preparation for a maintenance check flight (MCF) is essential. In addition to the standard considerations before a typical flight (weather, aircraft weight and balance, pre-flight inspection, checklists, etc.), the pilot should:

(a)  inform ATC of the particular MCF;

(b) if needed, agree on the appropriate airspace;

(c) understand the airworthiness status of the aircraft;

(d) assess the complexity of the flight; and

(e) develop appropriate strategies to mitigate potential risks.

The operator planning to conduct an MCF should develop checklists for the in-flight assessment of the unreliable systems, considering relevant abnormal and emergency procedures. When developing the checklists, the operator should consider the applicable documentation available from the type certificate holder or other valid documentation.

The pilot-in-command should only allow on board the persons needed for the purpose of the flight and brief the crew and task specialist on abnormal and emergency procedures relevant for the MCF.

NCO.SPEC.MCF.120 Flight crew requirements

Regulation (EU) 2019/1384

When selecting a flight crew member for a maintenance check flight, the operator shall consider the aircraft complexity and the level of the maintenance check flight as defined in point NCO.SPEC.MCF.100.


The operator may select a flight instructor to act as pilot-in-command for a ‘Level A’ MCF on other than complex motor-powered aircraft.

NCO.SPEC.MCF.125 Crew composition and persons on board

Regulation (EU) 2019/1384

(a) The pilot-in-command shall identify the need for additional crew members or task specialists, or both, before each intended maintenance check flight, taking into consideration the expected flight crew member or task specialist workload and the risk assessment.

(b) The pilot-in-command shall not allow persons on board other than those required under point (a) during a “Level A” maintenance check flight.


The task specialist should be trained as necessary in crew coordination procedures as well as emergency procedures and be appropriately equipped.

NCO.SPEC.MCF.130 Simulated abnormal or emergency procedures in flight

Regulation (EU) 2019/1387

By way of derogation from point NCO.SPEC.145, a pilot-in-command may simulate situations that require the application of abnormal or emergency procedures with a task specialist on board if the simulation is required to meet the intention of the flight and if it has been identified in the check list referred to in point NCO.SPEC.MCF.110 or in operating procedures.

NCO.SPEC.MCF.140 Systems and equipment

Regulation (EU) 2019/1384

When a maintenance check flight is intended to check the proper functioning of a system or equipment, that system or equipment shall be identified as potentially unreliable, and appropriate mitigation measures shall be agreed prior to the flight in order to minimise risks to flight safety.