When are check flight reports required?
Part 21 aircraft
Used Part 21 aircraft being imported into the UK require an airworthiness review to be carried out and presented to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) at the time of survey. UK Regulation (EU) No.1321/2014 Part M, M.A.904 and AMC include a check flight report as part of the documentation needed to support the airworthiness review.
UK registered light sport aircraft with a Part 21 Permit to Fly will include Check Flights as part of the issue process. Consequently, for initial issue of the Permit to Fly for the first-of-type on the UK Register, or subsequent aircraft with significant differences, a Check Flight will be required.
Non-Part 21 aircraft
Used non-Part 21aircraft being imported into the UK will require a check flight as part of the national CofA / permit to fly issue in accordance with BCAR, section A, chapter A3-1 and A3-7 as applicable.
For the initial issue of a C of A or Permit to Fly to be issued to a non-Part 21 aircraft it is necessary for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to determine that the individual aircraft conforms to its type certification standard and is airworthy. To establish this, a satisfactory Check Flight is required to be completed prior to the initial issue of the C of A or Permit to Fly.
Due to the increasing number of different aircraft standards and large number of Supplemental Type Certificates appearing on both Part 21 and non-Part 21 aircraft types, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will no longer provide check flight schedules for the majority of aircraft types. Where a check flight is required, it is recommended the operator contacts the applicable Type Certificate holder to obtain the appropriate schedule.
At this time the CAA will continue to publish the following check flight schedules applicable to light aircraft:
- CFS 2 – Single piston-engine aeroplanes up to 2730 Kg MTOM
- CFS 2, Appendix 1 – Loading
- CFS 2, Appendix 2 – For pressurised / turbocharged aeroplanes
- CFS 2, Appendix 3 – For floatplanes / Seaplanes / Amphibian aeroplanes
- CFS 162 – Single piston-engine helicopters under 2730 Kg MTOM
- CFS 301 – Single / twin seat piston engine light gyroplanes
Completed Check Flight Schedules
The completed CFS (Check Flight Schedule) should be provided to the CAA Surveyor at the time of the aircraft survey, along with the recommendation for the issue of the Certificate of Airworthiness and Airworthiness Review Certificate.
The responsibility for deciding when a check flight is required falls upon the aircraft pilot-owner, maintainer or continuing airworthiness management organisation (as applicable).
The responsibility for satisfying the requirements of M.A.904 rests with the Continuing Airworthiness Maintenance Organisation (Part-CAMO or Part-CAO), to carry out airworthiness reviews and to make recommendations to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). These organisations will therefore need to arrange for the check flight to be carried out.
The information below offers further guidance:
- Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Check Flight Handbook (CAP 1038)
- BCAR Section A - Airworthiness Procedures where the CAA has Primary Responsibility for Type Approval of the Product (CAP 553)
- Civil Aircraft Airworthiness Information and Procedures, Leaflet B-60 “State Aircraft” (CAP 562)
- UK Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014 and associated Acceptable Means of Compliance Material (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM)