October 01, 2010

Lessons Learned from SETP Symposium

I received this summary of list of lessons learned from someone who attended the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Symposium recently held in Anaheim California.

  • If a test point is not required, reconsider the risk involved - it may be unnecessary risk
  • Simulated testing is good but it's not everything
  • Build safety down days & exercises into your schedule
  • Don't trust modeling or databases when you CAN do your own surveying
  • Risk is not defined in test cards, processes
  • Stress the system early
  • Education & experience make a flight test professional
  • Control your own data
  • Perform vigorous checks for code errors
  • Work toward objectives but be aware of new paths as they open (don't tunnel vision)
  • Lack of proper documentation increases troubleshooting requirements (expect longer learning curves when there is a lack of documentation)
  • Don't believe all tribal lore as face value - trust but verify!
  • Buildup is essential
  • Data collection - always record if practical!!!
  • Operations are only as good as procedures/limitations
  • Challenge if it doesn't make sense - published manuals can be wrong
  • Weight & Balance reports are often taken for granted
  • Test worst hazards in the final configuration
  • Safety systems must be robust
  • Take time to critically reevaluate the plan when unexpected results occur
  • Bring engineers and flight testers in early-on in design & test development planning
  • Can you fly without it? Safety vs. Efficiency
  • Pick a horse (proven method/process) and ride it
  • Don't get hornswoggled by the nerds
  • Beware of being too far out of the box
  • Better, Faster, Cheaper" - pick two

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