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Check flying system change

Check flying system change

Ahead of the implementation of the changes to the BMAA check flying system we are trying to give owners as much notice and information as possible so that they are aware of the new system and can prepare themselves for the new procedures. Please read the details below. More detailed information will be available at the beginning of March 2016.

BMAA Check Flying System Changes – What it means to BMAA members

As you will no doubt be aware by now the BMAA Council agreed to review the requirements and process for conducting the annual aircraft check flight as part of the revalidation process for the Permit to Fly for aircraft overseen by the BMAA. This includes microlights and VLA aircraft within the fleet.

The result of the review is several significant changes from the current system that will start from the beginning of April 2016. No this is not an April Fools prank but a real change. It is vital that all owners are aware of the new procedures and prepare themselves for the change. Please read on.

Who can conduct a check flight?

There will be no BMAA authorised Check Pilots after March 2016 so there will be no option to use a BMAA Check Pilot.

The owner can nominate any pilot who is qualified by their pilot’s licence to fly the aircraft to conduct the check flight. This can be the owner themselves or any other pilot that the owner authorises.

By the beginning of March 2016 the BMAA will produce guidance on what is required, how to fly the sequence and how to record the results for pilots carrying out check flights. The guidance will be published on the BMAA web site. Owners should ensure that the pilot fully understands this guidance and is competent to carry out the check flight.

When can the check flight be carried out?

If the Certificate of Validity is current: The check flight report will be accepted as valid by the BMAA if the flight has been carried out no more than 60 days before or after the successful inspection that forms part of the application for revalidation of the Permit to Fly. The ability to conduct the flight up to 60 days before the inspection is a significant change to the process.

If the check flight has been carried out before the inspection and the inspector subsequently discovers a fault that needs rectification, or that the aircraft has undergone modification or repair since the check flight, then the inspector can require that a second check flight be flown to complete the airworthiness review.

If the Certificate of Validity has expired: The check flight must only be carried out after a successful inspection has been completed and the inspector has signed a Permit Flight Release Certificate. The Permit Flight Release Certificate will only be valid for a period of 60 days. If the check flight is not carried out within this time then a further inspection will be required.

What other changes should I be aware of?

Passengers. The BMAA has not permitted passengers to be carried on a check flight unless specifically and individually authorised as a Flight Test Observer. Under the new system there is no requirement to carry an observer but the pilot may choose to take a passenger as an observer to assist with the documentation and lookout without referral to the BMAA.

Insurance. Under new system the BMAA will not be providing insurance cover for the check flight. It is up to the owner to ensure that the flight is insured for the mandatory third party requirements and if an observer is carried that mandatory passenger cover is also in place.

If the flight is to be flown after the previous Certificate of Validity has expired, that is under a Permit Flight Release Certificate, the aircraft owner will have to confirm with their insurance provider that cover is in place.

Geoff Weighell

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