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Amateur-Built Aircraft & Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook

Amateur-Built Aircraft & Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook

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Published by sandglasspatrol

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Published by: sandglasspatrol on Dec 23, 2009
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U.S. Departmentof Transportation
Federal AviationAdministration
AdvisoryCircular
1
Initiated by:AFS-340
DATE:
5/24/95
AC NO:
90-89A
AMATEUR-BUILT AIRCRAFT AND ULTRALIGHTFLIGHT TESTING HANDBOOK
 
U.S. Departmentof Transportation
Federal AviationAdministration
AdvisoryCircular
i
Subject:
AMATEUR-BUILT AIRCRAFT
Date:
5/24/95
AC No:
90-89A& ULTRALIGHT FLIGHT
Initiated by:
AFS-340
Change:
TESTING HANDBOOK
1.PURPOSE.
This advisory circular (AC) setsforth suggestions and safety related recommenda-tions to assist amateur and ultralight builders indeveloping individualized aircraft flight test plans.
2.CANCELLATION.
AC 90-89, Amateur-Built Aircraft Flight Testing Handbook, datedSeptember 18, 1989, is cancelled.
3.RELATED READING MATERIAL.
A listof selected reading material on amateur-built/ ultralight flight testing and first flight experiencemay be found in appendix 3.
4.BACKGROUND.
 a.The Federal Aviation Administration(FAA),
the Experimental Aircraft Association(EAA), and the United States Ultralight Association(USUA) are concerned and committed to improvingthe safety record of amateur-built and ultralight air-craft.
 b.The FAA Administrator, T. Allen McArtor,
and EAA President, Paul H. Poberezny, signed aMemorandum of Agreement on August 1, 1988,which addressed the need for educational and safetyprograms to assist amateur-builders in test flyingtheir aircraft. In accordance with that agreement, thisAC provides guidelines for flight testing amateur-built aircraft.
 c.As part of the FAA’s
continuing efforts toimprove the safety record of all types of general avia-tion aircraft, this AC has been revised to includeflight testing recommendations for canard-type andultralight aircraft.
5.DEFINITIONS.
The following terms aredefined for use in this AC.
 a.Amateur-built aircraft
means an aircraftissued an Experimental Airworthiness Certificateunder the provisions of Federal Aviation Regulations(FAR)
§
21.191 (g).
 b.The term ultralight means
a vehicle thatmeets the requirements of FAR
§
103.1.
 c.The term ultralight in this AC also means
a two-place training vehicle of 496 pounds or less,operating under an EAA or USUA exemption toFAR Part 103.
 d.For the purpose of this AC,
both an ama-teur-built aircraft and a ultralight vehicle will bereferred to as an ‘‘aircraft.’’
6.DISCUSSION.
 a.This AC’s purpose is the following:
(1)To make amateur-built/ultralight air-craft pilots aware that test flying an aircraft is a criti-cal undertaking, which should be approached withthorough planning, skill, and common sense.(2)To provide recommendations andsuggestions that can be combined with other sourceson test flying (e.g., the aircraft plan/kit manufactur-er’s flight testing instructions, other flight testingdata). This will assist the amateur/ultralight ownerto develop a detailed flight test plan, tailored for theiraircraft and resources.
 
iiAC 90-89A5/24/95
 b.The flight test plan
is the heart of all profes-sional flight testing. The plan should account forevery hour spent in the flight test phase and shouldbe adhered to with the same respect for the unknownthat all successful test pilots share. The time allottedfor each phase of a personalized flight test plan mayvary, and each phase may have more events orchecks than suggested in this AC. The goals, how-ever, should be the same.
 c.The two goals for
an amateur builder/ ultralight owner should be as follows:(1)At the end of the aircraft’s flight testphase, the aircraft will have been adequately testedand found airworthy and safe to operate within itsestablished operational envelope.(2)Incorporation of the flight test oper-ational and performance data into the aircraft’s flightmanual so the pilot can reference the data prior toeach flight.
7.REQUEST FOR INFORMATION.
 a.This AC is designed 
as a reference docu-ment to assist in preparing a flight test plan for anamateur-built or ultralight aircraft.(1)The suggestions and recommendationsin chapters 1 through 6 are for conventionally-designed aircraft with an air-cooled, 4-cycle, recip-rocating engine that develops less than 200 horse-power with a fixed pitch propeller.(2)Chapter 7 deals with flight testing rec-ommendations for canard aircraft.(3)Chapters 8 through 10 address flighttesting considerations for ultralight vehicles underFAR Part 103 and two-seat ultralight trainingvehicles of less than 496 pounds empty weightoperating under an exemption to FAR Part 103.
 b.Because of the large number
of existingamateur-built/ultralight aircraft designs and newdesigns being introduced each year, the FAA encour-ages public participation in updating this document.Send comments, suggestions, or information aboutthis AC to the following address:U.S. Department of TransportationFederal Aviation AdministrationFlight Standards Service (AFS-340)800 Independence Ave, SW.Washington, DC 20591
 c.Suggestions also may be sent
to AFS-340by FAX (202) 267-5115.
 d.After a review,
appropriate comments,suggestions, and information may be included in thenext revision of this AC.
8.TO OBTAIN COPIES OF THIS AC.
OrderAC 90-89A from:U.S. Department of TransportationProperty Use and StorageSection, M-45.3Washington, DC 20590.William J. WhiteDeputy Director, Flight Standards Service

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