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Seminars focus on certification flight testing

CASA hosted two flight test seminars, on 18–19 July 2018 in Sydney and 6–7 February 2019 in Adelaide, to provide information to aviation community members on flight and safety requirements associated with the aircraft type certification process.

The seminars, part of a series which has been running for over 10 years, were conducted by Nick Coulson, Flight Test Pilot, and Mark Bathie, Principal Engineer Certification, from CASA’s Airworthiness and Engineering Branch.

When an aircraft is built, or a modification is made to an existing aircraft, the aircraft is required by the regulations to meet airworthiness standards. Part of that process is undertaking flight tests. Performance, take-off, landing, stall speeds and handling are all crucial parts of a flight test.

Depending on whether it is a modification or a new aircraft, flight testing times can vary between 50 hours and 500 hours, including both developmental and certification testing. As part of the final phase of validation, a flight type inspection is conducted with CASA staff. The inspection can involve up to 20 hours of flight testing.

The flight test seminars target CASA airworthiness engineers, flying operations inspectors and aviation community members, including engineers and pilots involved in test flying.

Each seminar provides a general review of the certification process and a description of the flight test techniques and procedures pertinent to an applicable airworthiness standard.

The safety aspects of the flight test are emphasised throughout the seminar, along with the certification regulations and process, airworthiness standards, and flight test specialisation and procedures.

The 2018–19 seminars were well attended by aviation community members and CASA staff.