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EAA Flight Test Manual First of Its Kind
New manual available in September
By Leah Comins
July 22, 2018 - EAA will debut its first-ever flight-test manual for experimental pilots in September 2018. The manual will be briefly introduced at the “Flight Test Like a Pro” forum today at 2:30 p.m. at Forum Pavilion 11.
The number of amateur-built experimental aircraft being flown has grown exponentially since the early years of the homebuilding industry. Though flight testing is a key factor in the success and safety of amateur-built aircraft, by helping to familiarize the pilot with a new plane, there is currently no comprehensive guide for flight testing experimental aircraft.
The EAA Flight Test Manual is prepared in partnership with EAA’s Homebuilt Aircraft Council and provides professional guidance for conducting the flight testing of new amateur-built planes.
The manual’s best practices include important steps to take before the first flight, such as documenting maintenance work, the status of the aircraft’s equipment, fuel tests, and weight-and-balance characteristics.
The EAA Flight Test Manual is also accompanied by 18 flight-test cards that cover testing of the first taxi, takeoff and landing, climb speeds, stalling characteristics, and everything in between.
Following the guide will result in the performance numbers needed for safe flight and to include in your pilot’s operating handbook. The manual provides tips, tricks, and reminders, all to help ensure that homebuilders’ aircraft are ready for years of adventure. The EAA Flight Test Manual will be available for purchase in September through EAA.
The “Flight Test Like a Pro” forum will be led by veteran flight test pilots Charlie Precourt, former NASA astronaut who currently chairs EAA’s Safety Committee; Terry Lutz, former Air Force test pilot and current flight test safety consultant to Airbus; and Chris Glaeser, also a former Air Force test pilot.
The forum will discuss the safe flight testing of amateur-built aircraft, making it an ideal place to preview the manual.
“This manual will have a real impact on helping pilots complete a clear-cut and thorough flight test of their new aircraft,” Charlie said. “Its guidelines are designed to increase pilot preparedness and test the abilities of the aircraft to assure its safe and optimal performance.”