Julian Moxon/ISTRES

Embraer is sending 20 test pilots to French and British flight test training establishments to provide for the rapid growth in aircraft test requirements as the Brazilian manufacturer develops its product range.

The move comes as five European flight test training establishments discuss forming an alliance to develop common standards of flight test training. The aim is to co-ordinate national activities as Europe advances towards a common certification authority which will require common aircraft certification flight testing.

The LiFTT (leaders in flight test training) group will comprise the UK's Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) and Cranfield College of Aeronautics; France's Epner and L'Institut Aéronautique et Spatiale; and the Netherlands' TUDelft. While there are no plans for a merger, Epner's deputy director Jacques Dumoulin says the five "need to gather their forces together and take on a European dimension". The move is intended to lead to better technical liaison between test pilot schools and "would provide a powerful forum for advances in flight test training techniques".

Embraer's requirement has provided a welcome boost for the initiative. Initially the Brazilian manufacturer asked the ETPS for help, but the UK establishment did not have the capacity to train all 20 test pilots within the two-year specified period. ETPS contacted Epner and the two agreed to share the workload. "It's the first time European centres have co-ordinated their flight test training," says Dumoulin. Extra modules, such as human factors and navigation systems training, are to be contributed by TUDelft and Cranfield.

The first batch of five Brazilian test pilots and flight test engineers completed the five month training programme in July. The final batch will qualify in February 2002.

Source: Flight International