Experimental flight test planning

Flight test specialists plan and conduct experimental flight tests to prove certification compliance.

Experimental flight test specialists

Flight test specialists are:

  • test pilots or flight test engineers (usually graduates of a year long course)
  • qualified engineers or pilots with extensive experience in design and certification.

We appoint flight analysts under CASR 21.M who may be able to plan, conduct and report on experimental flight tests.

We publish a list of airworthiness delegates. The list includes information on how to become a flight analyst.

Experimental flight test authorisations

Type rating training is normally not available for:

  • new aircraft
  • aircraft that have been significantly modified

until certification is completed (establishing type rating training is part of the certification process).

Where test pilots do not hold a relevant type rating, they may request an approval to conduct experimental flight test under CASR 61.140.

Experimental flight test documentation

We require various documentation to conduct flight test operations. Applicants will need to plan how they will:

  • conduct flight tests
  • address the risks of data gathering

before we issue an experimental certificate.

We will also conduct a conformity inspection, which includes flight test instrumentation used to gather the flight test data.

Flight test documents

Certification program plan (CASA approved)

The certification program plan establishes the basis of certification. It contains the full list of certification requirements and the proposed means and method of compliance for each applicable regulation (analysis, ground test, flight test etc.).

Reference:

Experimental certificate (CASA instrument)

The experimental certificate is an airworthiness document that enables flight testing of new type designs and modifications to existing type designs.

It manages risks to persons in the air and on the ground with respect to flight test operation.

We base the approval on a certification Flight Test Plan with embedded risk management. Applicants may also choose to submit a risk management plan in the form of a program letter.

Reference:

Certification Flight Test plan (CASA approved)

The certification test plan contains detailed instructions to meet the certification requirements for the ground test and flight test activities to prove compliance.

It provides traceability of ground and flight tests which demonstrates compliance to applicable certification requirements.

Reference:

Test cards

Test cards break the certification test plan verification requirements into single activity, manageable iterations to conduct tests and record data.

The aim is to ensure you collect data accurately and repeatably with appropriate risk management.

Reference:

Flight test instrument calibration and correction report (CASA approved)

We will certify the calibration of the recording of the flight test instrumentation used for data gathering.

Reference:

Engineering Conformity Verification Report (CASA instrument)

Applicants must submit an aircraft configuration conformity verification report. We will inspect the aircraft prior to ground or flight tests to verify the aircraft configuration.

Reference:

Flight test advice

Professional flight test advice is available through:

Last updated:
21 Mar 2022
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