FAQ n.19133

What are critical phases of flight?

Answer

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, Annex I Definitions

Annex I (Definitions) of the Regulation (EU) 965/2012 on Air Operations contains definitions for critical phases of flight for aeroplane and helicopters:

“'Critical phases of flight' in the case of aeroplanes means the take-off run, the take-off flight path, the final approach, the missed approach, the landing, including the landing roll, and any other phases of flight as determined by the pilot-in-command or commander.

'Critical phases of flight' in the case of helicopters means taxiing, hovering, take-off, final approach, missed approach, the landing and any other phases of flight as determined by the pilot-in-command or commander.”

As one can see from these definitions, for helicopters taxiing is defined as a critical phase of flight, while for aeroplanes it is not. Rules for activities considered acceptable during critical phases of flight are provided in the Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations - in Annex III (Part ORO), Annex IV (Part CAT), Annex VI (Part NCC), Annex VII (Part NCO) and Annex VIII (Part SPO). Basically, these Implementing Rules require crew members during critical phases of flight:

  • to be seated at his/her assigned station; and
  • not to perform any activities other than those required for the safe operation of the aircraft.
Last updated: 
14/02/2014

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