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Maintenance flight check?

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Maintenance flight check?

Old 6th Jul 2022, 21:05
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 61
Posts: 5,235
Maintenance flight check?

Hello UK owners/maintainers,

If I recall correctly, the UK CAA has a requirement for airplanes to have a biennial flight check, including a performance climb, and other checks for handling and condition? Is there a written standard for this? A checksheet/check card? I was having a discussion with Transport Canada today, and this came up. If there is a formal UK CAA reference, it would help me to have a link/copy.

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Old 6th Jul 2022, 22:01
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Join Date: Apr 1999
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UK CAA has a requirement for airplanes to have a biennial flight check,
This used to be the case and formed one of the most interesting and enjoyable* phases of my career. Pretty sure the requirement was dropped when we joined EASA but an real expert will be along shortly...

*Sorry - meant to say "nearly died !! "
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Old 6th Jul 2022, 22:46
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Aberdeen
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Pre EASA for light aircraft we used to do them 3 yearly at the Star Annual (CofA renewal). ‘‘Twas the climb performance that was usually the problem, with old/incorrect weight schedules and knackered propellers the favourites. Some aircraft, particularly those with pre 1976 non GAMA style POHs/handbooks/manuals, have CAA flight manual supplements with amended climb performance because of the difficulty of making the aeroplanes perform to book. Eg : https://cwsprduksumbraco.blob.core.w...UP_2_ISS_1.pdf

Now it pretty much only required for imports and occasionally to validate (non) performance changes with some modifications, we sometimes do them electively after major repairs/rebuilds.

CAA check flight handbook : https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33...38%20JAN17.pdf
Check flight schedule for simple singles : https://www.caa.co.uk/media/43ajy4y5...stribution.pdf
CAA check flight page : https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-ind...Check-flights/
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Old 7th Jul 2022, 10:44
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 61
Posts: 5,235
Thanks GCF, that's exactly what I needed. In reading through quickly, the schedule for routine C of A maintenance check flights seems fuzzy, but generally in years one and three (so every two years)?
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Old 7th Jul 2022, 12:01
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Aberdeen
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In pre EASA days it was every 3 years to coincide with the “star” annual and formed part of the CofA renewal. In those times the CofA wasn’t non expiring like it is now and only had a 3 year validity.

There is no longer a requirement for routine flight testing.
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Old 7th Jul 2022, 19:10
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moray,Scotland,U.K.
Posts: 1,701
The UK LAA requires an annual Permit Renewal airtest, including a VNE dive. The form is carefully checked - I did the VNE at wrong speed, 2 knots too slow, and it was spotted. Link to LAA site:

I could email a copy of the form which is not available online.
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Old 7th Jul 2022, 19:49
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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As explained a Certificate of Airworthiness was issued for three years. A condition was that an inspection was completed every 12 months known as an Annual. Also a simpler routine inspection every 6 months or 50 hours which ever came first. The difference of the Annual from the Certificate of Airworthiness was primarily: does the aircraft fly in accordance with the aircraft POH/Manual? This meant that if the aeroplane was approved for intentional spins then it was to be spun in accordance with its design criteria both left and right. It was also required to dive at the POH/manual VNE but not to exceed maximum RPM and also engine/propeller shudder free, aileron oscillation was a main concern to observe. The were many other checks with regard to turbo charging and constant speed propellers.

The performance was assessed with a 5 minute climb reducing the scheduled IAS speed by 1 knot per thousand feet.. This was to start from 2000ft AGL or higher to avoid turbulence. The height gain was recorded every 30 seconds and at each full minute the OAT was also noted. From this data you produced a graph indicating the altitude at each half minute. You then would find a mean altitude (not an average) and the mean temperature. From this you interpolated the mean ft per minute achieved at a mean temperature. This had to correspond to the POH/Manual. you were allowed, from memory, minus 30 ft per minute plus I think 50 ft per minute to the manual figures.

There's more to add but that was the basis.
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