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A New Approach For A Safe Flight Test Methodology For Offshore Cat A Procedures

Alessandro Brusa Zappellini – LHs Flight Test Engineer, Leonardo Helicopters Flight Test Operations, Cascina Costa di Samarate, Italy
Bernardino Paggi – LHs Flight Test Methodologies (Civil), Leonardo Helicopters Flight Test Operations, Cascina Costa di Samarate, Italy


Cat A takeoff and landing testing is usually a medium-high risk activity that can be mitigated if developed over and for unobstructed areas such runways or clear helipads but can become a high risk if developed for demanding operations such oilrig helidecks or elevated helipads.

Unique operational scenario and ambient conditions associated with regulation requirements do not allow extensive use of simulation without proving the real case over an actual deck environment. This envinrorment does not facilitate the accomplishment of the required testing and would produce an unacceptable level of inaccuracy in the data gathering.

‘Shaping the future of flight testing’ means to develop, validate and standardize a family of procedures reducing the risk correlated to the testing itself, guarantee representativeness of the testing and reduce the number of flight hours needed to define the techniques and gain the data required for the certification, with clear advantages in terms of costs and time.

The present paper summarizes all the steps of this process, achieved during years of experience in engine failure testing (HV, cat B and Cat A Take-Offs and Landing), detailing the most recently introduced simulated elevated Helideck for the Offshore Cat A procedure:

  • Developing of safe and representative AEO training mode systems
  • Definition of optimized and standardized procedure easily accessible to the ‘average pilot’
  • Initial activity fully monitored in terms of flight loads
  • Conservative build-up approach
  • Detailed data analysis and extrapolation of the results of each flight
  • Use of the performance simulator, to be more ‘AWARE’ of the aircraft limits
  • Definition of special tools, like the simulated helideck
Thu, 2017-09-14