Test cards

A set of test cards is normally produced for each test flight. These cards serve two purposes: firstly they act as an aide-memoire of the tests to be conducted and limitations that apply, and secondly they provide a means of recording manual data to back up flight test instrumentation data. It would be hard to overemphasize the importance of having carefully produced test cards. Each card defines the test being made with the conditions required and has sufficient space to record data if required. The limits for that particular test are written clearly together with any reminders. On each card the planned start and finish time for the test are included with the expected fuel state. It is often helpful to colour code the cards to indicate the priority of tests, which allows easy airborne re-planning in the event that the flight falls behind time. When producing the cards it is best to sit in the cockpit and note the most efficient order to gather information from the aircraft or test instruments. Once the cards have been made the crew again sit in the aircraft and go through a sortie rehearsal to ensure that the cards are satisfactory.