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S3C5 - MAINTENANCE TEST FLIGHTS AND AIR TESTS
Table of Contents
1. Maintenance Test flights (MTFs) and Air Tests are conducted to ensure that the overall performance of aircraft or aeronautical equipment operate to defined standards. MTFs and Air Tests may be conducted at a set periodicity or to confirm the airworthiness of an aircraft following specific maintenance activities, or replacement of aeronautical product when correct operation cannot be confirmed on the ground.
2. This chapter prescribes the Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) responsibilities and procedures to be followed when performing MTFs and Air Tests.
3. Where aircrew are available to an AMO, the CO is responsible for the appointment and authorisation of qualified aircrew to carry out post maintenance test flights of aircraft on strength or allotted to their AMO, in accordance with AAP 8000.010 — Defence Operational Airwothiness Manual or ABR 5150 — RAN Aviation Instructions as applicable.
Systems Program Office
4. Sponsor Systems Program Offices (SPO) are responsible for the regular review, approval and monitoring of Flight Test Schedules (FTS).
Non-ADF Approved Maintenance Organisation
5. Defence aircraft, which require a flight test after routine maintenance, modification or repair by a non-ADF AMO, shall be test flown in accordance with the requirements of the contract or Standing Offer. Responsibilities for the provision and authorisation of qualified aircrew to a contractor AMO are as follows:
MAINTENANCE TEST FLIGHTS
6. An MTF is carried out by an authorised MTP to verify the performance and serviceability of an aircraft or aircraft system. They must be carried out:
7. FTS waiver procedures for aircraft on transfer may only be approved by the responsible SPO.
8. An aircraft is not considered serviceable until the MTF has been carried out and the results of the Flight Test Report (FTR) have been actioned by the SMM or delegate.
Maintenance Test Flight Crew
9. An MTF must only be carried out by an MTP, qualified and authorised in accordance with applicable service instructions.
10. The SMM or delegate must brief the test flight crew on the requirements of the MTF.
Flight Test Schedule
11. FTS instructions for MTFs specific to an aircraft type are contained in the appropriate FTS, normally promulgated as an AAP–6–15 topic. The SMM or delegate must nominate those tests listed in the FTS that are not required, by ruling through the subject test and initialling the line.
Flight Test Report
12. The FTR is locally reproduced from the FTS and is used to record the results of an MTF. It is the responsibility of the authorised aircrew to complete the FTR and submit the results upon completion of the MTF.
13. The Aircraft must be configured to ensure the results obtained during the MTF will be valid. If required, All Up Weight (AUW) and Centre of Gravity (C of G) position prior to the MTF must be recorded.
Maintenance Test Flight for Flight Safety Critical Systems
14. For a flight safety critical system the test flight must be completed on the first flight following the maintenance activity. The aircraft cannot be cleared for normal operations until the test flight has been certified as being carried out serviceable.
Maintenance Test Flight for Non Flight Safety Critical Systems
15. Where the test flight for a non flight safety critical system cannot be conducted, and the system can be safely left inoperative as specifically permitted by SPO approved documentation (with or without limitations), the test flight for that system may be deferred.
16. The system for which the test is deferred must be made inoperative. A second unserviceability must therefore be raised stating how the system was made inoperative. This unserviceability must also be transferred to the Carried Forward Unserviceabilities (CFU) section.
17. In this case the CFU process is an engineering decision, not an administrative process, MMs cannot certify this process.
Maintenance Test Flight Recording Requirements
18. The recording process requires an entry be placed in the recording and certification system which states a MTF is required. However, to allow the aircraft to be released for flight, this entry must be deferred and transferred to the CFU section. For an MTF this is not a standard CFU process; therefore, the transfer to the CFU section is only an administrative action, not an engineering decision, therefore there is no requirement to raise a CFU Authorisation Form. In this case the SMM may delegate a Maintenance Manager (MM) to certify the transfer of the MTF to the CFU section.
19. Documentation must be completed in accordance with Section 4 Chapter 2—Recording and Certification of Aircraft and Aeronautical Product Maintenance. Entries must be placed into the recording and certification system stating, as applicable:
20. Once the aircraft has been prepared for the MTF, the responsible MM must perform a maintenance release of aircraft in accordance with Section 4 Chapter 2.
Maintenance Test Flight Completion
21. On completion of the MTF the following actions must be carried out:
Recording Maintenance Test Flight Data
22. To ensure all operational and technical airworthiness aspects are considered, both the MTP and SMM or delegate must review, discuss and certify the FTR on completion of the MTF. MTF crews must complete the FTR by:
23. The aircraft is not to be cleared for normal operations until all the MTF functional checks listed in the FTS or FTR have been completed to the satisfaction of the MTP and SMM or delegate.
24. An Air Test may be used for maintenance validation, investigative/diagnostic processes or in-flight monitoring of a system, sub-system or aeronautical product, which cannot be fully functionally tested on the ground. The Air Test must be specified by the SMM or delegate where a maintenance activity requires a function to be tested under flight conditions. The AMO must ensure a list of common Air Tests events are promulgated in local instructions. An Air Test is limited to a function that does not affect aircraft flying characteristics or performance.
25. Unless the aircraft captain determines the Air Test has an adverse effect on the planned mission, it should be carried out during the next scheduled flight.
Air Test Crew
26. An Air Test does not have to be carried out by an MTP.
27. The SMM or delegate must brief the air test crew on the requirements of the Air Test.
28. The Aircraft must be configured to ensure the results obtained during the Air Test will be valid.
Air Test Recording Requirements
29. The recording process requires an entry be placed in the recording and certification system which states a Air Test is required. However, to allow the aircraft to be released for flight, this entry must be deferred and transferred to the CFU section. For an Air Test this is not a standard CFU process; therefore, the transfer to the CFU section is only an administrative action, not an engineering decision, therefore there is no requirement to raise a CFU Authorisation Form. In this case the SMM may delegate a Maintenance Manager (MM) to certify the transfer of the MTF to the CFU section.
30. Documentation must be completed in accordance with Section 4 Chapter 2. Entries must be placed into the recording and certification system stating, as applicable:
Air Test Completion
31. On completion of the Air Test the following actions must be carried out:
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