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Incident and Crash Contingency Planning, Post Crash Safety, Recording, and Management of Crash Site

Although every step should be taken to ensure safe and uneventful tests, it remains the case that all forms of flight can result in unplanned aircraft behavior. This can vary from brief losses in control due to radio link failures right through to crashes and the total destruction of the aircraft. It is therefore good practice to have suitable contingency plans in place along with procedures for dealing with crashes should they occur. If a sensible series of test flights have been mapped out and good safety procedures are in place, even when a major crash happens it should not lead to any injuries to people on the ground or damage to third-party

Typical pre-flight checklist

Figure 20.2 Typical pre-flight checklist.

structures or equipment. The whole purpose of the first few flight tests is to flush out any unexpected behavior or weakness in the aircraft in a setting that will not lead to a major incident.

If, however, a crash does occur, a known crash procedure should be invoked. Provided a thorough test program is being followed, it is most likely that such an event will lead to the aircraft impacting the ground within the perimeter of the test site and well away from those conducting the test. It is the essential that precautions are taken to deal with any hot or hazardous materials at the crash site. These will most likely be engine-, fuel-, and battery-related. Suitable fire extinguishers should be readily available and the test team knowledgeable in their use. Provided the team members are sure that there is only a very low

Typical flight procedures checklist

Figure 20.3 Typical flight procedures checklist.

risk of fire, attempts should be made to disconnect and isolate such items from the rest of the crash site. Photographic records should also be taken. When the team members are sure that there are no remaining hazards and all has been recorded, the debris should be gathered up and the area thoroughly cleaned. Lastly, all incidents should be written up and the relevant aviation authority contacted if the aircraft is being flown under an authority-issued permit or exemption.

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Figure 20.3 (Continued)

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Figure 20.3 (Continued)

 
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