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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

Flight Safety Foundation Functional Check Flight Symposium

Technical Flights - The AIRBUS view


Presented by
Captain Harry NELSON / Experimental Test Pilot
Captain Jean-Michel ROY / Test Pilot

February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

Why the concern with Technical Flights?

Recent incidents and accidents


We think we may be only seeing the tip of the iceberg
Our experience with Customer Acceptance Flights
Queries and questions from Customer Airlines

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

What we will cover today


A common sense view on Check flights

1.

Planning and preparation

Execution

2.

Crewing

Composition
Selection
Training

3.

Technical Flight Familiarisation Course

4.

Some thoughts on the way forward

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

1 Planning and Preparation


Some practical things to think about

Aircraft
Airfield
ATC and Airspace
Weather
Checklists
Check Schedules
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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

1 Planning and Preparation Check Schedules


Options include
a. A detailed check schedule for each type of check
b. A master check schedule with deletes
c. We offer an In Service Aircraft Test Manual (ISATM)

Associate warnings and limits with check to be done


Hard limits need clear DO NOT EXCEED warnings
Avoid writing a check sequence over two pages
Make them easy to handle. Not too big or detailed

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

1 Planning and Preparation Check Schedules


!Production
!Customer
!In

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Aircraft Test Manual (PATM)

Acceptance Manual (CAM)

Service Aircraft Test Manual (ISATM )

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

1 Planning and Preparation Check Schedules


!Production

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Aircraft Test Manual (PATM)

Tests on new serial a/c after production

The purpose of the PATM is to demonstrate that the aircraft:


* conforms with the type and individual certificate
to a Certificate of Airworthiness Standard
* meets its specifications,
* meets the standards of quality required for delivery

Under EASA Airbus Production Organisation Approval (POA) ,


accepted as such by the FAA and most other authorities.

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

1 Planning and Preparation Check Schedules

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Customer Acceptance Manual (CAM)

The CAM is the compilation of check procedures agreed between Airbus


and a Customer as part of the customer technical acceptance of a new
aircraft. It is used to demonstrate technical compliance with a contract

It covers both ground and flight checks but unlike the PATM
it can be carried out in any order i.e. Flight before Ground
Checks.

It should not be used as an airworthiness demonstration


There is no control over the weather
Mixing the objective of the flight can create safety issue
There is a mixed background crew

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

1 Planning and Preparation Check Schedules

In Service Aircraft Test Manual (ISATM)

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The ISATM is a manual containing the procedures for ground


and flight tests to be performed by Airbus personnel on an
in service aircraft (ex: after a working party or for an aircraft
transfer between Airbus and another party)
It must be performed in a specified order
It is offered to Customers who request help, prior to a check
flight, under letter of waiver as a PDF file, the intention being
that they create their own check schedule from it, duly
considering all the local issues.

February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

1 Execution
There are many elements to master in a check sortie.
Briefing
Pre take off
Take-off
Switching
Communication
Workload
Different flight plans
The day/night question
Cabin systems
More difficult check points
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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

1 Execution More difficult check points


Identify which check points carry more risk
Pre flight, plan how to fly them and then stick to your plan
Decide and brief break off points
If things dont look right they are probably wrong so stop
Take care with breaks in the sequence
Dont be tempted to take a look at certification test points

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

1 Execution More difficult check points


.. Remember the old ZEN wisdom of

Never test the depth of the water with both feet at the
same time

Be failure minded and always


consider your escape plan
.. Which also leads us nicely to the other Zen wisdom of
If at first you dont succeed, skydiving is not for you

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

2 Crewing - Composition

A small technical crew group

Leadership

Crew composition:

Technical Flight Engineer


Cabin specialists

Have a strict no passengers policy

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

2 Crewing Selection
KNOWLEDGE

Aircraft Theory
SKILLS
Observation
Interpretation
Analysis
Communication
Use of ALL senses
Airmanship and Teamwork
Motor skills

Role

You can never have too much knowledge


You should never stop learning
You will never know it all

APTITUDE
Approach
Attitude
Logical
Flexible
Consistent

Creative
Persistent
Variable

Asking Telling
Learning Knowing

Under confidence Right Over Confidence

Manage these paradoxes


To achieve the right balance

INTEGRITY
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EXPERIENCE
Better risk evaluation
Better Prioritisation of task
Less errors
Ive been here before
it doesnt feel right
a good nose
a healthy fear
Take care
10 = 10 or 1

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

2 Selection Summary
Egotistical X
Questionable integrity X
Indecisive X
Uninterested technically X
Takes criticism badly X
Avoids responsibility X
Impatient X
Inflexible X
Risk prone X
Loner X

Good Communicator
Technically inquisitive
Determined to get answers
Good flying ability
Admits errors and learns
Takes responsibility
Patient
Makes balanced judgments
Defaults towards Safety
Team player
Take time on people selection. It is the key to
achieving real safety in the checking process.

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight


Symposium

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

2 Crewing - Training
1. If you have good test trained personnel, use them in the
technical checking role
2. If you have experienced check or acceptance flight crew,
review their real experience and currency in the task.
Many are very good.
3. If you have neither, then you should train people or obtain
the services of trained people
There are several short introductory courses available
on the market, including the Airbus course called :

Technical Flight Familiarization (TFF) Course


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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

Purpose of the TFF course


Safety
Quality
Efficiency

270

Provide crew members with information on Knowledge, Skills and


Attitude to better contribute to :

Technical flights (post maintenance, painting, etc.)


Acceptance flights (deliveries)
Familiarization course:
Attestation not a Rating
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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

TFF course: A bridge between Aviators

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

TFF course: The instructors


An experienced team:
A Test Pilot, and
A Flight Test Engineer

Used to work/fly together


Experienced:
Development flight tests
Production flight tests
Customer flights

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

TFF course: The trainees


Technical Flight Crew is a crew of 3:
2 Pilots

Prerequisites: rated and current on Aircraft type with at least 6 month


experience
1 Technical Flight Engineer (TFE)
Prerequisites:

A third pilot, or
A Flight Engineer who has followed a familiarization course on the
type, or
A Maintenance Engineer who has successfully followed the
applicable maintenance type rating course as per Part 147 or
equivalent, or
A Flight Operations Engineer who has followed a familiarization
course on the type

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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

TFF course: The Syllabus

DAY

PHASE

GROUND
SCHOOL

GROUND
SCHOOL

FFS

FFS

FLIGHT

Phase 1

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Phase 2

Phase 3

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

TFF course: Ground school


DAY

PHASE

GROUND
SCHOOL

GROUND
SCHOOL

FFS

FFS

FLIGHT

Generic modules

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Crew concept
Weather
ATC
Technical Flight Order
Pre-flight briefing
Recording of in-flight results
Post Flight Analysis

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

TFF course: Ground school


DAY

PHASE

GROUND
SCHOOL

GROUND
SCHOOL

FFS

FFS

FLIGHT

Aircraft specific modules (from ISATM)


Ground checks
Taxi checks
In-flight checks:
Flight controls
AFS
Systems (Pressurization....)
High Speed
Low Speed
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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

TFF course: Ground school


DAY

PHASE

GROUND
SCHOOL

GROUND
SCHOOL

FFS

FFS

FLIGHT

Training Documentation:
ISATM
Course module hand-out

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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

TFF course: FFS


DAY

PHASE

GROUND
SCHOOL

GROUND
SCHOOL

FFS

FFS

FLIGHT

FFS is a great training device BUT:


Limited to reproduce flight acceleration

=> Motion ON or OFF according to checks


Some maintenance functions not simulated (AIDS..)

FFS 1 (4h): Normal system operation


Instructor pilot in RH seat (demo => practice)

FFS 2 (4h): Some system malfunctions


Both trainee pilot in pilot seat (PF then PNF)

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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

TFF course: Flight


DAY

PHASE

GROUND
SCHOOL

GROUND
SCHOOL

FFS

FFS

FLIGHT

2 hours per pilot (*2)


Instructor pilot in RH seat
Normal system operation
Use of AIDS

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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

TFF course: Locations


DAY

PHASE

GROUND
SCHOOL

GROUND
SCHOOL

FFS

FFS

FLIGHT

At Airbus Training centers

(Toulouse, Miami, Beijing, ...)


At Customer Training center
DAY

PHASE

GROUND
SCHOOL

GROUND
SCHOOL

FFS

FFS

FLIGHT

On customer aircraft at customer base


On Airbus development aircraft
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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

TFF course: Experience & Customer feedback

First course in Sept 09 on A320


6 airlines/27 crew members

already trained
In TLS and at customer base
Very positive feedback (videos)

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

TFF course: Looking forward

Course available now on all Airbus FBW aircraft


Delivered on a monthly basis

typically 2 crews (of 3) per session

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February 2011

FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

4 Possible ways to go forward


Fully evaluate, discuss and recognize the issue
Need for care with the solution

i.e Pros & cons of regulation

OPTIONS
Do nothing (a no change decision)
Publicize the issue across the industry
Regulate - If so at what level?

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FSF Functional Check Flight Symposium

February 2011

4 Possible ways to go forward


Some things to be discussed
1. Responsibilities of Authorities, Manufacturers, Airlines, and
individual Qualified Checkers
2. Qualification of Check flight courses and instructors
3. Would any qualification be type specific or generic, or can the
course have both generic and specific elements?
4. If so, what will be the validity of each?
5. Would any qualification be tied to an airline or location
6. How many checkers to qualify per fleet size?
7. Check flight currency Guidance or rules
8. Check crew composition (position and qualification)
9. Liability

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