Production Flight Test
A special flight permit issued for production flight testing may be used by a manufacturer to meet the requirements of FAR 91.203 when operating new production aircraft, as provided in FAR 21.197.
This permit may be used with a Dealer’s Aircraft Registration Certificate, and is transferable from one aircraft to another, except for LSA, which require one special flight permit for each aircraft.
However, when deemed appropriate, the FAA Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO)/Certificate Management Office (CMO) may allow both production flight testing and customer demonstration to be entered in Block A of special airworthiness certificate (Form 8130-7). The applicable operating limitations are printed in Block B on the reverse side of the Form 8130-7.
A manufacturer producing aircraft under any of the following Subparts of FAR 21 is eligible to obtain this type of special flight permit:
- Subpart F, Production under a Type Certificate (TC) Only
- Subpart G, Production Certificates (PC)
- Subpart J, Delegation Option Authorization (DOA) Procedures
A manufacturer producing aircraft prior to issuance of the Type Certificate (TC) is also eligible for this type of special flight permit provided the following conditions are met:
- The manufacturer holds a TC and a currently effective PC for at least one other aircraft in the same category.
- The FAA official flight test program is in progress.
- A prototype aircraft of that model has been flown by the manufacturer under an experimental certificate to ensure that there are no adverse flight characteristics and that production test pilots are fully familiar with the aircraft.
- An FAA-accepted flight procedure and checklist for the aircraft involved will be used to ensure that all requirements are fulfilled.
- The aircraft is not being flown by the manufacturer for purposes other than production flight tests.
- Limitations have been established to define the test area.
A manufacturer producing Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) under FAR 21.190 is eligible to obtain these types of special flight permits within the provisions outlined for Light Sport Aircraft.
Application and Issuance
An eligible manufacturer should apply for as many special flight permits as deemed necessary for satisfactory coverage of the aircraft involved. The number of special flight permits issued to the manufacturer must be limited to actual need.
A MIDO that has issued special flight permits for this purpose will maintain accountability records that show expiration dates not exceeding 12 months from the date of issuance, and the number of permits issued to each manufacturer.
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