EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — The Experimental Aircraft Association has released its new Flight Test Manual, which brings the processes and procedures of professional flight testing to the amateur-built aircraft community.
The 47-page manual is a comprehensive program for amateur-built aircraft flight testing, according to EAA officials.
It includes outlines for each essential test point, as well as a booklet of 19 test cards that can be carried in the aircraft for quick reference and data collection while in flight. Those test cards are similar to those used by professional civilian and military test pilots, EAA officials note.
“This manual is the result of many years of work by EAA, our volunteer Homebuilt Aircraft Council, and the EAA board of directors’ safety committee,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “It builds on other recent EAA projects to improve flight test safety, such as the Additional Pilot Program approved by the FAA. In addition, this manual is part of EAA’s comprehensive effort to meet and exceed the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendations for enhancing amateur-built aircraft safety, especially in the initial hours of flight testing.”
The EAA Flight Test Manual provides the guidance and data collection process to bring simplicity to a flight testing program, EAA officials say. It allows pilots to have a full understanding of an aircraft’s performance, characteristics, and limitations.
It is also designed to be a handy reference that accompanies the aircraft for future flights.
The manual is one segment of EAA’s work with the FAA to create a new, alternative Phase I flight testing program using a requirements-based foundation. That could bring a significantly reduced flight-test hour requirement in exchange of successful completion of the step-by-step flight testing program, EAA officials say.
“The accident rate for amateur-built aircraft is at a historic low, but we are relentless in seeking continuing improvement through education,” Elliott said. “EAA has been a leader in this area for more than 60 years and continues to develop new resources that benefit recreational aviation.”
The manual is available online for $17.95 for EAA members and $22.95 for nonmembers.