New Guidance Document Added Under the Recommended Practices Tab

Fellow flight test professionals, on behalf of your Flight Test Safety Committee (FTSC), I wanted to direct your attention to a new guidance document added to the FTSC web site under the Recommended Practices tab (

This guidance document details recommended practices related to the use of recorders during flight test and was prompted by a NTSB Recommendation following the fatal Bell 525 flight test mishap of July 2016. This guidance accommodates the spectrum of flight test operations and the advantages of recorders to enhance flight test safety and execution (underpinned as a test data capture requirement, not just accident/incident causation tools).  The FTSC highly encourages the adoption of the recommended practices within test organization and/or program SOPs and policies.  We welcome any feedback on this guidance at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In your service,

Tom Huff
Flight Test Safety Committee

New Flight Test Safety Committee Chairman Announced

At the conclusion of the Flight Test Safety Workshop in May, Mr. Jerry Whites announced that after five years of service, he would be stepping down as Committee Chairman. Whites will remain on the Committee and has "passed the stick" onto Mr. Tom Huff.

FTSC Jerry Tom 2017

(L-R) Jerry Whites and New FTSC Chairman Tom Huff

Checklists to Enhance Safety Article

Please click here to read an article by our recent 2017 Flight Test Safety Workshop Tutorial presenters, William Higgins and Daniel Boorman.

Or you may download the full detailed article here.


Flight Test Safety Committee Podcast Channel – New March Episode!

Flight Test Safety Committee Podcast Channel - EP28 - Comments, Cudas, and Crossing the Ocean

In our January podcast I asked for feedback on the pros and cons of simulator mission rehearsals and operationalizing lessons learned. This month I will share some listener feedback along with another real world example of putting flight test skills to practical use. 

Criteria for the Tony LeVier Flight Test Safety Award.

Listen Now!

Available on iTunes, Spotify, Podbean, Google Play, and Amazon Music: FTSCChannel

Flight Test Safety Committee Podcast Channel – New April Episode!

Flight Test Safety Committee Podcast Channel - EP29 - Bell V-280 Lessons Learned

This month we talk with Mat McMenemy and Don Grove from Bell about Lessons Learned on the Bell V-280 program and in our look back in history we talk about Neil's Cross Country Flight.

Matt McMenemy is the Verification Manager for Bell on the V-280 / Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program. 

Don Grove is the Military Chief Pilot for Bell and lead test pilot on the V-280 Valor program.

Bell V-280 Links 
V-280 Valor website:

Following Historic Development and Flight Test Program Bell V-280 Valor Focuses on FLRAA Competition 

Listen Now!

Available on iTunes, Spotify, Podbean, Google Play, and Amazon Music: FTSCChannel

High Altitude Testing

Many, if not most, FAA Part 25 (Transport) aircraft want to get certified for high altitude airport operations. These operations put challenges on the aircraft in various ways that need to be tested and certified. This includes mainly pressurization systems and engine operations (starting and thermal issues). The FAA allows for 3000’ extrapolation of flight test data. The highest commercial airport is approximately 14,500’ so testing is desired at 11,500 or above. A commonly used major airport test location is at La Paz, Bolivia (13,325’). Testing at high altitudes presents some unique safety issues, mainly physiological, that I will discuss below.

FTSC's response to NTSB's report

In 2012 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published its final report on the Gulfstream G-650 accident.   The Flight Test Safety Committee (FTSC) was requested to respond to the NTSB’s recommendations from that report.  Here is the response from the FTSC.