Alternatives to screens allowed for IR initial flight tests

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today informed Approved Training Organisations (ATO) that fitted screens used in cockpits during instrument flight tests are no longer the sole method that may be used to restrict a pilot’s vision.

The change of policy will only affect flight tests for the initial issue of an Instrument Rating (IR), as the use of such screens is not mandatory for IR revalidations, or the initial issue or revalidation of an IMC Rating. It aligns the UK’s approach with that of the majority of worldwide states in which the use of a range of alternative view-limiting devices is acceptable.

The head of training at an ATO will now be able to determine the most appropriate method to comply with the requirement to ensure the applicant controls the aircraft solely by reference to instruments during training and test flights.

The CAA said that an examiner conducting a test flight must be satisfied that whatever method is being used ensures the applicant controls the aircraft solely by reference to instruments.

Full details of the change are contained in an Information Notice published today at www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=5647