May 29, 2014 - EAA submitted comments this week to a proposed revision to FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 90-89, the Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook. While the initially proposed changes are very minor and were developed with the help of EAA, this was a good opportunity to examine the entire document and suggest updates that bring the AC in-line with current best practices and reference current technology.
EAA was instrumental in the original drafting of the AC, and the organization’s comments to the recent revision are part of its continued stewardship of the document, which lays out recommended practices for flight testing amateur built and ultralight aircraft.
The suggested changes include new, better detailed guidance on fuel flow testing prior to the first flight, the use of GPS data to confirm the accuracy of pitot-static derived airspeed readings, stall testing, and more. The comments were written with the help of the EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council and some of the world’s leading flight-test experts on the EAA board of directors Safety Committee.
“These changes will help keep this already comprehensive document relevant for the next generation of homebuilts and ultralights,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “In submitting these comments we are continuing our involvement with this AC, which has helped ensure safe and effective flight-testing for more than 25 years.”