VOLUME 3 GENERAL TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATION
CHAPTER 29 PROVING AND VALIDATION TESTS
Section 5 Proving and Validation Tests: The Demonstration Phase
3-2376 GENERAL. This section contains information on the demonstration phase
of proving and validation tests. In this phase, the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) will observe and evaluate an applicant during the conduct of proving and
validation tests, which include tabletop exercises and proving or validation
flights. For the purposes of this section, the term “applicant” applies to an
applicant for initial certification, an existing operator applying for additional
certification, or an existing operator who requires validation testing for Special
Areas of Operation (SAO). Information in this section applies to both proving
and validation tests except where otherwise noted. When used in this section,
the terms Certification Project Team (CPT), Certification Team Leader (CTL),
and certification project manager (CPM) apply to a team of FAA inspectors conducting
certification and noncertification activities that require proving or validation testing.
3-2377 ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE RELATED TO EXTENDED OPERATIONS (ETOPS). The principles
of this section relate to all proving tests. Additional guidance that is specific to ETOPS proving and validation tests is located in
Volume 4, Chapter 6, Section 2.
3-2378 DOCUMENTATION. Document the conduct and outcome of proving and validation
testing via the appropriate reporting mechanism (e.g., Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) and Safety Assurance System (SAS), as applicable).
3-2379 TABLETOP EXERCISES.
A. Purpose. All Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts
91 subpart K (part
must satisfactorily complete tabletop exercises before conducting proving or validation flights.
The FAA will conduct tabletop exercises to determine if the applicant’s systems
and personnel perform at a level that justifies conducting proving or validation
test flights. Tabletop exercises should not simply be a ground-based duplication
of the planned proving or validation flight exercise. Additional information on tabletop exercises specific to validation testing is described in
Volume 3, Chapter 29, Section 8.
B. Tabletop Protocol.
tabletop exercises for part
the CPM and the CTL are responsible for the quality of the administration of tabletop exercises.
tabletop exercises involving part
the CPM is responsible for the quality and administration of tabletop exercises.
CPM is responsible for scheduling the tabletop exercise. The applicant is responsible for the attendance of all personnel who will participate in the tabletop scenarios.
exercises are required for part
ownership program managers conducting part
In addition, these exercises may be required as validation testing for a part
of Authorization (LOA) B036 or B054 application. Aviation safety inspectors (ASI) should see
Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 4 for guidance on LOAs B036 and B054.
NOTE: During tabletop exercises for an applicant seeking initial ETOPS
authorization, subject matter experts (SME) from the Office of Safety Standards
(OSS), Air Transportation Division (AFS-200) and Aircraft Maintenance Division
(AFS-300) will normally lead or direct scenarios. The OSS will coordinate and
work closely with the responsible Flight Standards office prior to and during
tabletop exercises. The OSS will request the responsible Flight Standards office
to develop scenarios based on the responsible Flight Standards office’s specific knowledge of the operator.
3-2380 DEVELOPING A TEST PLAN. When developing a test plan for tabletop
exercises, proving, or validation test flights, consider the following elements:
A. Scenarios Should Involve Operations, Airworthiness, Cabin Safety, Dispatch,
and Ground Station Issues. Scenarios should present issues that apply to the following.
1) Aircraft Airworthiness and Maintenance personnel;
2) Flight operations and flight operations personnel, including pilots, dispatchers, and flight attendants (F/A);
3) Ground and station operations, including personnel responsible for aircraft and passenger handling; and
4) The applicant’s manual procedures, approved programs, and operations specifications (OpSpecs) authorizations.
B. Scenarios Should Be Assigned to the Appropriate Personnel. The CPM
will utilize the CPT members based on their areas of expertise and assign them appropriately during the scenarios.
C. Scenarios Should Be Realistic. The use of realistic scenarios will
ensure that the applicant is able to respond appropriately by using the policies and procedures outlined in the applicant’s manual system.
D. Minimum Number of Scenarios.
Tests. For proving tests involving part
the CPT members will develop a minimum of 20 scenarios. The CPT will base the
scenarios on their knowledge of the applicant’s systems gained during the manual
review. Out of the 20 scenarios, the CPM will select a minimum of 15 scenarios
to use in the overall exercise which includes the tabletop exercise and the
proving or validation test flights. At least 10 of the scenarios should be conducted
during proving flights. The CPT should plan at least 5 backup scenarios in case
additional demonstration by the applicant is required. The CPT will document
the results of each scenario on the Proving/Validation Test Scenario Worksheet (Figure 3-111F).
Tests. For proving tests involving part
the number of scenarios is at the discretion of the CPM but should not be less than five scenarios.
3) All Validation Tests. The number of scenarios for validation testing
is at the discretion of the CPT based on the nature and complexity of the validation.
3-2381 PROVING/VALIDATION FLIGHT INSPECTION TEAM. Proving/validation flights (representative en route)
should closely simulate the operations the applicant proposes to conduct. The
onboard team of FAA inspectors must include a qualified Operations inspector
who directly observes the flightcrew and in-flight events and reports those
observations. For initial ETOPS validation flights, an operations inspector
from AFS-200 will be included and will occupy a cockpit jump seat at that inspector’s
discretion. For those operations that include Class II navigation (NAV)
or SAO airspace, a specialist in the Flight Operations Group (AFS-410) of the Flight Technologies and Procedures Division (AFS-400)
be on board for those legs where Class II NAV or SAO operations are conducted.
The majority of proving/validation flights should also be observed en route
by Maintenance and Avionics inspectors on board the aircraft. In addition to
the en route activities, Operations and Airworthiness inspectors must also evaluate
flight initiation, servicing and unscheduled maintenance, and flight termination
activities. A dispatch-qualified inspector (see subparagraph 3-2381C)
should be positioned in the dispatch center, flight-following facility, or Operations Control Center (OCC) (as applicable) for part
During the conduct of representative flights, other inspectors should observe the applicant’s activities at appropriate ground facilities, such as Maintenance
Control Centers (MCC), load control centers, and station facilities.
NOTE: If traveling outside the United States, the CPM is responsible
for ensuring that all FAA personnel involved have the required authorizations (e.g., passport or country visa).
A. Qualified Operations Inspector.
1) Proving Flights. A qualified Operations inspector is an inspector who, in order of preference, is:
a) Aircraft type-rated and current,
b) Aircraft type-rated and not current, or
c) An Aviation Safety InspectorOperations (ASI-OP), type-rated in an aircraft
within the same group (Group I or II) being used in the proving or validation flight and in possession of a “Best Qualified” LOA (see subparagraph 3-2381B).
2) Validation Flights. A qualified Operations inspector is an inspector who, in order of preference, is:
a) Aircraft type-rated and current,
b) Aircraft type-rated and not current,
c) Aircraft group qualified, or
NOTE: For ETOPS validation flights, an ASI-OP from AFS-200 is not required to be aircraft type-rated.
d) An ASI in possession of a “Best Qualified” LOA (see subparagraph 3-2381B).
NOTE: For validation testing (in addition to AFS-200 or AFS-400 specialists
conducting an ETOPS or international validation test), specialists must be familiar
with the testing being conducted. For SAO/oceanic and remote continental navigation
validation flights when proving is not conducted simultaneously, the Flight
Operations Group (AFS-410) specialist is considered the qualified Operations
inspector. For ETOPS validation flights, the qualified Operations inspector
(with the exception of AFS-200 or AFS-400 specialists conducting an ETOPS or
international validation test) should be type-rated (not necessarily current)
in the specific aircraft, or type-rated in another multiengine ETOPS-approved aircraft; and be thoroughly familiar with the ETOPS requirements. See
Volume 4, Chapter 6, Section 2 for
more details regarding ETOPS validation flights.
B. Locating a Qualified Operations Inspector if None Are Available at the
Responsible Flight Standards Office. If a qualified Operations inspector
is not available within the responsible Flight Standards office, the office
will request assistance in locating a qualified Operations inspector from the
Flight Standards Inspector Resource Program (FSIRP) (for additional information, see
Volume 1, Chapter 3, Section 5). The
Flight Activity and Crew Tracking System (FACTS) database can be a useful tool in locating such inspectors. If the FSIRP
determines that the FAA does not have any qualified Operations inspectors who
are type-rated and current; or type-rated and non-current, then the FSIRP may
issue a “Best Qualified” LOA for an Operations inspector current on a similar
type aircraft within the same group, and valid for a period of time sufficient to complete the applicant’s proving or validation test.
C. Dispatch Qualified Inspector for Part
1) Proving/Validation Flights. A dispatch-qualified inspector is an inspector who, in order of preference is:
a) An Aviation Safety InspectorAircraft Dispatch (ASI-AD) assigned to the
responsible Flight Standards office with oversight responsibility of the applicant,
and who is familiar with the applicant’s aircraft dispatcher training program and dispatch procedures; or
b) An ASI-AD located near the applicant’s dispatch, flight-following, or OCC; or
c) An ASI-AD from the Safety Analysis and Promotion Division (AFS-900); or
d) An ASI-AD from AFS-200.
NOTE: For initial ETOPS validations, an ASI-AD from AFS-200 will be
present in the dispatch center or flight following facility. For additional ETOPS authorizations, ASI-AD participation will be determined by AFS-200.
NOTE: The responsible Flight Standards office must follow the order
of preference. If an individual named in a) is not available, then go to b). If the individual named in b) is not available, then go to c), etc.
2) Proving Flights for Part
Air Carrier Certification. An ASI-AD from AFS-900 should be part of the CPT for proving flights involving
initial air carrier certification. CPT participation by an AFS-900 ASI-AD should
be in addition to participation by an ASI-AD assigned to the responsible Flight Standards office.
D. Focal Points for En Route Scenarios. For all en route scenarios conducted
during proving/validation flights, a qualified Operations inspector must be
on board the aircraft and must be the focal point for scenarios involving the
aircraft and flightcrew. For passenger-carrying operations, a cabin safety
inspector (CSI) must be the focal point for all in-flight scenarios involving
F/As and situations in the aircraft cabin. For flights that do not involve en
route scenarios, a qualified Operations inspector does not need to be on board
the aircraft, provided the flightcrew is type-rated, current, and has completed all training requirements, as applicable for the type of operation.
E. Operations With a Single Flight Deck Observer’s Seat. For unique
situations in which an applicant must conduct proving or validation flights
in an aircraft with only one flight deck observer seat and no passenger seats
(e.g., cargo-configured aircraft), a qualified Operations inspector must conduct
all in-flight scenarios. The Principal Operations Inspector (POI) should thoroughly
review the applicant’s proving or validation test plan to ensure that all FAA
disciplines have the opportunity to conduct sufficient testing. Other forms
of testing can be accomplished by tabletop demonstrations and pre- or postflight scenarios.
F. Familiarity With Applicant’s Manuals. All FAA participants conducting
the proving or validation test must review the applicant’s manuals as appropriate,
along with the proving/validation test plan in order to familiarize themselves
with the applicant’s procedure and the proving/validation test scenarios. It
is desirable to have the POI included as part of the in-flight proving/validation
test team, but on space-limited flights where the POI is not the qualified Operations
inspector, the qualified Operations inspector should have seating priority in order to facilitate the in-flight scenarios.
G. Airworthiness Inspectors (Maintenance and Avionics) Should Observe Operations
From the Flight Deck, When Possible. In addition to having qualified Operations
inspectors initiate and observe the en route scenarios from the flight deck,
Airworthiness ASIs (Maintenance and Avionics) assigned to the CPT should have
an opportunity to observe normal flight deck operations from the flight deck
observer’s seat when possible. This should not require additional proving/validation
flight segments. Airworthiness ASIs could conduct flight deck observations during
flights where no scenarios are being conducted or where scenarios do not require
a qualified Operations inspector to observe from the flight deck. When a Maintenance
or Avionics inspector is occupying a flight deck observer’s seat, the CPT may not conduct en route scenarios that involve the flightcrew or flight deck.
3-2382 PROVING/VALIDATION FLIGHT PROTOCOL.
A. FAA Protocol. During the conduct of proving/validation flights, FAA
personnel are considered passengers, unless they present an FAA Form 110A, Aviation
Safety Inspector’s Credential, and provide instructions related to the proving/validation test.
B. Inspectors Occupying the Flight Deck Observer’s Seat. An ASI who
occupies the flight deck observer’s seat is always in inspector status and is
not considered a passenger. During the conduct of the proving/validation tests,
the ASI on the flight deck should observe the applicant’s normal and routine
preflight activities such as completion of checklists, crew briefings, and crew
interaction with the applicant’s maintenance, dispatch or other operational
control personnel. The ASI on the flight deck should also monitor carry-on baggage
procedures, and cabin preflight activity whenever possible, provided it does not interfere with monitoring the activity on the flight deck.
C. CPM and CTL Coordination. The CPM or CTL will carry the flight schedule,
crewmember names and scenario worksheets, and will coordinate with the inspectors
on board. If the CPM and CTL are not on board on a particular day, the CPM must designate another inspector to serve as the FAA team lead.
D. Multiple Scenarios Are Allowed. The CPT may conduct more than one
scenario for each flight leg of proving/validation tests. The CPT may conduct
multiple scenarios simultaneously, provided each simultaneous scenario is isolated
to a specific duty position (e.g., pilot, F/A, dispatcher, or mechanic).
The CPM must ensure that the applicant is not over-encumbered by multiple
scenarios. The CPM must ensure that the applicant is not encumbered with so
many simulated scenarios that a proper evaluation of its proposed routine operation is inhibited.
E. Hands Off.
1) ASIs may not touch or operate any emergency equipment. The only exception
is the testing and cleaning of the oxygen masks located on the flight deck.
2) ASIs may not position engine controls or switches.
F. Simulated Emergencies May Not Involve the Actual Positioning of Engine
Controls or Switches or the Deactivation of Instruments or Equipment. When
initiating scenarios that include a simulated emergency (engine shutdown, rapid
decompression, etc.), ASIs may not require or ask the applicant to actually
manipulate or position engine controls or switches for the purposes of demonstrating
the applicant’s ability to handle an emergency. For example, when simulating
an engine shutdown, do not require the flightcrew to position engine throttles
to simulate loss of engine power. Instead, advise the flightcrew to begin reacting
as if they were initiating an engine shutdown, or as if the engine had shut
down on its own, depending on the scenario. Simulated emergencies may never involve the actual deactivation of aircraft instruments or equipment.
G. Communication With Air Traffic Control (ATC). When initiating scenarios
that involve the actual diversion of a flight, the ASI initiating the scenario
must clearly instruct the flightcrew to inform ATC that the flight is diverting
due to the needs of the company. This requirement is necessary to ensure that
the workload of the affected ATC facilities is not negatively impacted by the
perception of an actual emergency situation. For diversions conducted in oceanic
or international airspace, it may be necessary for the CPT to coordinate the
diversion with the ATC facility ahead of time. This coordination should include
providing ATC with an explanation that the diversion is due to an FAA simulation
and that it does not involve an actual emergency. The CPM and the CPT will evaluate
the need to precoordinate with ATC on a case-by-case basis. It is important
to note that if the diversion is planned to occur in oceanic airspace, the flightcrew
must obtain an ATC clearance prior to exiting the track and performing the contingency
procedure. ASIs must be aware that communication between the flightcrew and
ATC in oceanic airspace is accomplished indirectly through a radio service operator.
Therefore, it may take time to obtain the ATC clearance necessary to conduct
the scenario. The CPM will ensure that the inspector either occupying the flight
deck observer’s seat or observing at applicant’s dispatch or operational control
facilities will precoordinate as needed with ATC. ATC may not be able to safely
accommodate all request for other than emergency circumstances. The CPM should have a contingency to accommodate this outcome.
H. Initiating the Scenario. The CPT should communicate with each other
discreetly prior to initiating scenarios, and during conduct. The CPT may initiate a scenario using any of the following methods.
1) An ASI may initiate a scenario by giving verbal instructions.
2) An ASI may initiate a scenario by handing a note to a crewmember explaining the emergency scenario.
3) For scenarios in the aircraft cabin, an ASI may initiate a scenario by simple role-playing such as appearing to be intoxicated.
I. Preplan the End of the Scenario. If possible, the CPT should plan
ahead of time how and when to end the scenario. The CPT should delegate one inspector to end each scenario.
J. Terminate All Scenarios in the Event of an Actual Emergency. In the
event of an actual emergency, the CPT and/or ASI conducting the scenario will immediately terminate the scenario.
K. Use of Actual Aircraft Logbook Is Permitted. It is permissible to
use the actual aircraft logbook to record scenarios. Record the items entered
in the logbook as an FAA scenario to differentiate between scenarios and real
logbook entries. The applicant may also choose to use a separate logbook for
scenarios. When using a separate logbook, the applicant must ensure that aircraft flight-hours and genuine malfunctions are recorded in the actual aircraft logbook.
L. Successful Completion Required. The applicant must successfully complete all scenarios presented by the test team.
M. Unsatisfactory Performance. If the applicant’s performance during
any scenario is unsatisfactory, the CPT will present another scenario that requires
the applicant to demonstrate similar abilities. Under the SAS oversight system,
conduct another scenario from the same SAS element. If the applicant’s performance
continues to be unsatisfactory, the CPT will confer and decide whether or not
the proving/validation test needs to be suspended and rescheduled until such time as the applicant is better prepared to demonstrate their performance.
N. Document the Results of Each Scenario. Document the results of each
scenario using the Proving/Validation Test Scenario Worksheet (see Figure 3-111F).
O. Completed Worksheet. The CPT will give the completed Proving/Validation Test Scenario Worksheet to the CPM for the Certification Report.
3-2383 PREMEETING WITH THE APPLICANT. The CPM should discuss the following items with the applicant:
A. Proving/Validation Tests Schedule. The CPM should discuss the proving/validation
flight schedule with the applicant. This includes the schedules for tabletop
exercises and proving/validation flights. The CPM/CPT should use discretion
when determining proving/validation test schedules and should plan tests within an 8-hour workday, including briefings, whenever possible.
B. Briefing and Debriefing. Describe the preflight and postflight briefing
processes to the applicant. In particular, explain that there will be a debriefing
at the conclusion of each day unless major problems require it sooner. Advise
the applicant that it must resolve all major discrepancies before the proving/validation test resumes the following day.
C. The Purpose of the Proving/Validation Tests. Explain the purpose
of the proving/validation tests to the applicant. This should include explaining
the regulatory requirements for proving tests and FAA policy related to proving and validation tests.
D. How the FAA Will Measure the Results of Each Scenario. Explain to
the applicant that the FAA will measure the results of each scenario as either
satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Explain that additional demonstration by the applicant may be required when scenario results are unsatisfactory.
E. Explain FAA Proving and Validation Test Protocols. Explain to the
applicant, the FAA’s protocols for proving/validation tests, including those
applicable to tabletop exercises and proving/validation flights. Emphasize the
protocols related to simulated emergencies and ATC communication and coordination.
Make it clear to the applicant that when communicating with ATC, it must be
made clear to ATC that the diversion is for company reasons and is not due to an abnormal or emergency situation.
F. FAA Initiation of Scenarios. Explain how CPT will initiate scenarios (e.g., verbally, via note, or via role-play in the aircraft cabin).
G. Applicant Protocols. Inform the applicant of the following expectations regarding the applicant’s protocols.
1) The applicant should treat FAA personnel as passengers, unless the
FAA inspector on board the aircraft presents their FAA credential (FAA Form
110A) and provides proving/validation test instructions. An FAA inspector occupying the flight deck observer’s seat is always in inspector status.
2) During the conduct of the proving/validation tests, the applicant’s
personnel should follow the appropriate company policies and procedures.
3) Unless advised otherwise by the FAA, the applicant’s personnel involved
in a scenario should use normal communication and coordination between the cabin, flight deck, dispatch, maintenance control, etc.
4) Applicant personnel who have been called upon to perform functions
during a scenario should not inform other personnel that there is a scenario in progress.
5) Applicant personnel may not enlist the services of any person not assigned to be on official duty during the conduct of a scenario.
6) The applicant will provide the CPT with a list of its personnel participating in the proving/validation tests.
H. Credit Towards the Minimum Required Number of Flight Hours. Explain
the FAA’s criteria and process for crediting flight hours depending on the successful completion of proving/validation test flight segments.
I. The FAA Will Discontinue Scenarios in the Event of an Actual Emergency.
Explain to the applicant that the FAA will discontinue all scenarios in the
event of an actual emergency and that the applicant will follow its emergency procedures and checklists as appropriate.
J. Use of the Actual Aircraft Logbook. The CPM should encourage the
applicant to use the actual aircraft logbook during proving/validation tests.
This allows the applicant to accurately log the aircraft flight time and any
actual maintenance discrepancies that could occur. Advise the applicant that
simulated maintenance discrepancies must be entered into the logbook in a manner
that identifies them as simulated and differentiates them from real discrepancies
entered into the logbook. Advise the applicant that they may choose to use a
separate log for scenarios, but must ensure that the actual company logbook has a record of actual flight hours and malfunctions.
K. Delay, Suspension, or Termination of Proving/Validation Tests. Provide
the applicant with the circumstances under which the CPT will delay, suspend, or terminate the proving/validation test.
L. Location of FAA Inspectors. Advise the applicant where the various
CPT members will be located during the proving/validation tests (e.g., aircraft, dispatch center, maintenance control, or station facilities).
3-2384 DETERMINING APPLICANT COMPETENCY.
A. Test the Effectiveness of the Applicant. The CPT will evaluate the
applicant’s competency throughout the proving/validation test process. Through the conduct of the test scenarios, the CPT must evaluate the following.
1) The Effectiveness of the Applicant’s:
• Policies and procedures,
• Airport and station facilities, and
• Training programs.
2) The Effectiveness of the Following Applicant Personnel:
• Cabin crew,
• Aircraft dispatchers,
• Other operational control personnel,
• Maintenance personnel, and
• Station personnel.
3) Flightcrew. The test team evaluates the competency and ability of
the flightcrew throughout the en route segment. Examples of areas to inspect and evaluate are:
• Flightcrew qualification;
• Aircraft performance (including flight characteristics);
• Airplane Flight Manual (AFM)/Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) limitations;
• Aircraft normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures;
• Aircraft systems and equipment;
• Airport data (including knowledge of required runway lengths,
field elevation, facilities, and gates or parking areas);
• Flight management and cruise control;
• Company manuals and procedures;
• Crew discipline, situational awareness, and crew management;
• Crew vigilance and collision avoidance procedures;
• Knowledge of en route structure, long-range navigation procedures
(if applicable), and unique en route and Area of Operation requirements;
• Knowledge of minimum equipment list (MEL) and Configuration Deviation
List (CDL) procedures;
• Knowledge of, and competency in, departure and arrival procedures;
• Air/ground communications with the company and also with ATC;
• Check airman/check pilot performance and effectiveness;
• Adequacy of airman training program as demonstrated by the flightcrew;
• Cabin crew and passenger briefings;
• Knowledge of security requirements and procedures;
• Crew Resource Management (CRM); and
• Communication and coordination with station personnel.
4) Cabin Crew. The test team evaluates the cabin crew’s competency and
ability during the en route segment. Examples of areas to inspect and evaluate are:
• Competency in all normal procedures associated with their assigned positions;
• Knowledge of emergency procedures (including evacuation, fire-fighting,
pressurization problems, passenger illness or injury, baggage in the cabin, and exit seating);
• Knowledge of applicable manual procedures pertaining to duties
• Knowledge of procedures to follow when a crewmember is incapacitated;
• Knowledge of verbal and nonverbal communication procedures between
the cabin and flight deck (such as the number of chimes indicating imminent takeoff or landing);
• Training program effectiveness; and
• Flight deck coordination (including crew and passenger briefings,
communication and coordination with station personnel, CRM, and knowledge of security requirements and procedures).
5) Airport/Station Facilities. The test team determines whether the
airports and the applicant’s station facilities are adequate to support the specific aircraft and type of operation proposed by evaluating, at a minimum:
• Runways and taxiways;
• Runway and taxiway lighting;
• Approach lighting;
• Navigational Aids (NAVAID);
• Gate, ramp, and loading area conditions (such as markings, congestion, and lighting);
• Station operations manuals, maintenance manuals, and facilities;
• Ground crew qualifications and training (if applicable);
• Passenger enplaning and deplaning procedures;
• Baggage and cargo loading;
• Aircraft fueling and servicing; and
• Gate arrival and departure procedures and equipment.
6) Dispatch and Other Operational Control Personnel. The CPT will evaluate
dispatch and operational control personnel at the dispatch center, flight-following facility, or OCC. The team will evaluate the following:
• Flight planning;
• Dispatch, flight release, and flight locating procedures;
• Airport and route information collection and dissemination;
• Driftdown and diversionary procedures;
• Weather information collection and dissemination;
• Dispatch and flight control personnel competency;
• Communications capability within the company, with the aircraft,
and with other agencies;
• Load control (e.g., the accuracy of the passenger count and the
ability to convey Weight and Balance (W&B) changes to and from the aircraft before takeoff);
• Flightcrew duty and rest time;
• High minimums captains;
• Maintenance control (procedures and records);
• Flightcrew briefings;
• Air Transportation Supervisor (ATS) (part
only) competency check for initial check dispatcher (as applicable); and
• Initial check dispatcher (part
only) competency check on initial cadre dispatchers (as applicable).
NOTE: The utilization of a dispatch-qualified inspector ASI-AD is required for part
7) Company Procedures, Programs, and Interfaces. Examples of company procedures, programs, and interfaces to inspect and evaluate are:
• Aircraft operations operational control;
• Ground operations and maintenance personnel;
• Fueling facilities and equipment;
• Security (public protection and restricted articles);
• Adequacy of training programs;
• MEL and CDL procedures;
• Procedures for accomplishing unscheduled and scheduled maintenance;
• Hazardous materials (HAZMAT);
• Ability to conduct operations at unscheduled stops or alternate airports;
• Adverse weather requiring coordination between dispatcher/flight
follower, pilot, and F/As;
• Carry-on baggage; and
• Exit row seating.
3-2385 CONDUCT OF OTHER FLIGHTS. Other flights, such as training, positioning,
or ferry flights, may be counted toward proving/validation flight hours. FAA
observation of these flights allows inspection of the applicant’s training, maintenance, and other programs.
NOTE: All training flights that are to be credited toward the proving/validation
test requirements must be observed by a qualified Operations inspector.
A. Pilot Training. Flights during which the applicant trains its initial
cadre check airmen, instructors, and line crewmembers may be counted as proving/validation
test hours only when the CPT is able to complete all of the en route scenarios
during the overall course of the proving/validation testing, without including
the training flights. ASIs will act only as observers during flights that include
pilot training. It is not appropriate to conduct scenarios, which could disrupt the training or delay the flight.
B. F/A Training. F/A training may be conducted onboard proving/validation flights under the following conditions:
1) When proving/validation flight scenarios do not involve the cabin or F/As, or
2) When activity on the flight deck (training or scenarios) does not require involvement or coordination with the cabin crew.
C. Aircraft Dispatcher/Flight Follower/Director of Operations (DO) Designated
Personnel Training. The applicant may conduct training of aircraft dispatchers,
flight followers or other operational control personnel designated by the DO,
while the applicant is conducting proving, validation, training, positioning,
or ferry flights. The operator may conduct this training in the dispatch center, flight-following facility or other OCC, during the conduct of the flights.
3-2386 COMPLETION OF THE PROVING/VALIDATION TESTS. The CPT may conclude the proving/validation tests in one of the following ways:
A. Completion as Planned. The applicant completes all proving/validation
tabletop exercises and flights according to schedule without significant change.
B. Early Completion. In some cases, the CPT may be able to allow proving
or validation tests to conclude sooner than planned when all test objectives
have been met, and the applicant has demonstrated a repeated ability to conduct
line operations in compliance with regulations and safe operating practices.
The CPT may only allow early completion of proving/validation tests in accordance with the requirements of subparagraphs 3-2386B1)3).
1) Proving Tests.
121.163, and part
allow the Administrator to reduce the number proving test hours. Early completion
of proving tests is only allowable within the provisions of these regulations, and the Flight Hour Reduction Guide contained in
Volume 3, Chapter 29, Section 7, Table 3-108.
b) Before authorizing an early completion of the proving test, the team lead must review
Volume 3, Chapter 29, Section 7, Table
3-108 and take into account any flight hour reductions granted as part of the initial proving test
plan. The team lead must then consider the total number of hours reduced and
determine whether or not a deviation to proving test requirements will be required.
The team lead must also follow the coordination requirements contained in
Volume 3, Chapter 29, Section 7, Table
3-109, Coordination Requirement and Approval Authority for Proving Flight Deviations.
2) Validation Tests. There are no regulatory requirements for a minimum
number of hours of validation testing. The number of required hours is at the
discretion of the CPT and validation testing is complete when all test objectives have been met.
3) Document Decision. The team must document the decision to conclude
proving/validation testing earlier than planned via the appropriate reporting mechanism, based on the applicable oversight system.
C. Test Extension. The CPT may extend the tests beyond the point of
scheduled termination. This CPT will take this action when the applicant has
not completely demonstrated the ability to conduct operations in compliance
with regulations and safe operating practices, but shows the potential to do so in a reasonable number of hours.
D. Unsuccessful Performance May Be Counted. Proving/validation test
segments that are not completed successfully may be counted toward the required
total proving/validation test hours, when all test objectives have been met.
E. Terminating Proving/Validation Test Due to Unacceptable Performance.
The CPT may terminate testing when it is apparent that the applicant is not
capable of correcting deficiencies. When the CPT decides to terminate proving/validation
tests due to extensive deficiencies, the CPT will accomplish the following:
1) The CPM will immediately inform the office manager of the CPT’s reasons
for terminating the testing. The CPM must obtain concurrence from the office
manager before concluding testing. The office manager must inform the division manager of the occurrence and the subsequent decision.
2) The CPM may inform the applicant informally of the FAA’s decision
to conclude the proving/validation testing. The CTL will notify the applicant
in writing of the decision to conclude proving/validation testing. The letter
to the applicant must include the reasons why the FAA is concluding the testing,
and list deficient areas, along with corrective actions that must be taken before
further proving/validation testing may continue. The letter should also specify
that the applicant must develop a new proving/validation test plan and submit
it to the FAA before the FAA will resume further testing. See Figure 3-112, Sample Letter to Applicant Terminating Proving/Validation Test.
Figure 3-111F. Proving/Validation Test Scenario Worksheet
Proving/Validation Test Scenario Worksheet
Block Time (UTC):
Figure 3-112. Sample Letter to Applicant Terminating Proving/Validation Test
[Name of Applicant’s Representative]
[Name of Applicant, e.g., ABC Airlines]
Dear [Applicant’s Representative]:
This letter is to inform you that, effective March 12, 2014, ABC Airlines’ [Insert
“proving” or “validation”] test demonstration flights with the B737 aircraft
are hereby terminated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) due to deficiencies
that prevent ABC Airlines from achieving the standards as specified in Title
14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part [insert part and section reference, e.g.,
Specifically, ABC failed to demonstrate compliance in the following three areas:
to Operate in Accordance With Authorized Weather Minimums. On March 10, 2014, ABC Flight 123 continued to its destination while
the weather forecast indicated that the weather at the alternate airport would
be below ABC’s alternate minimums at the time aircraft would arrive at the alternate airport
to Operate With the Required Number of Crewmembers. On March 11, 2014, ABC attempted to operate ABC Flight 345 without the required complement of flight attendants (F/A) (§
to Perform Required Maintenance. On March 12, 2014, ABC was unable to perform basic required maintenance and servicing of ABC Flight
456 due to difficulties with its contracted maintenance agency (§
The FAA has determined that, in view of the above discrepancies, the continuation
of [insert “proving” or “validation”] tests is unwarranted and would serve
no useful purpose. Before ABC may commence any additional [insert “proving”
or “validation”] tests for FAA consideration and evaluation, ABC must accomplish the following:
Airlines must make the appropriate corrections to ensure the deficiencies cited above will not occur again. Any corrections must be satisfactory to the FAA.
Airlines must submit a new [insert “proving” or “validation”] test plan and proposed schedule.
[Certification Team Leader (CTL) signature]
RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-2387 through 3-2395.