Originally presented on Tuesday 15th December 2020 to the RAeS Boscombe Down Branch
Over the last 10 years, there have been at least 22 flight test related accidents globally, of which 11 were fatal and 29 lives were lost. While statistics are hard to come by, it seems that the ‘flight test accident rate’ is flat at best. Standing still doesn’t feel like a credible option – so what can be done to improve?
In this personal view, Nick Lay BEng MSc FRAeS (QinetiQ Engineering Director, Air & Space and RAeS Boscombe Down Branch President) looks at the root causes of some recent flight test accidents and draws out the technical, organisational and cultural lessons they offer. He also takes a look at some of the initiatives aimed at improving safety in what is still a truly hazardous activity.