Pilots working for the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have now flown the Leonardo Helicopters AW609 tiltrotor, matching their counterparts from the US regulator.

It is the first time EASA employees have piloted the tiltrotor, says Leonardo Helicopters.

AW609 EASA-c-Leonardo Helicoptersjpg

Source: Leonardo Helicopters

Familiarisation flights took place on 16 and 17 March in Italy

Taking place at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Cascina Costa, Italy on 16-17 March, the familiarisation activities are a crucial step on the road to European certification for the platform.

Crews from the Federal Aviation Administration – the lead certification agency — wrapped up their pre-type inspection authorisation flight tests on 22 February.

Earlier this month, Leonardo Helicopters said it expected to receive US validation for the AW609 next year.

AW609 crews-c-Leonardo Helicopters

Source: Leonardo Helicopters

EASA crews had not previously piloted the tiltrotor