During the course of its activities since its launch in June 2017, the General Aviation Safety Campaign (GASC) has identified several contributors to fatal accidents. Loss Of Control – Inflight (LOC-I) occupies the top spot on the list of killers to be addressed. Further, the GASC also identified that most of LOC-I accidents happen during the arrival phase of the flight, from the base-to-final turn, and along the final, down to the landing itself. These findings match perfectly the findings of the equivalent American work carried out over the last twenty years.
The GASC activities have led to the creation of nine Working Groups addressing various issues of interest. One of these WG was dedicated to the topic of Stabilized Approaches. TCCA was also looking into this issue in parallel with the GASC. The end result is that Stabilized Approaches have been incorporated in the new Flight Test Guides to be effective 1 March 2019, for RPP, PPL, CPL and Multi-engine flight tests. IFR flight tests already have their own criteria.
This note will not discuss these Flight Test Guides in detail. It will be limited to reporting that the Test Guide will require the individual being tested to identify and state, at a specific point in the approach, say 200 feet AGL for instance, whether or not the approach is stabilized, in accordance with the standards defined in the Test Guide. If the pilot judges the approach to be stabilized, the pilot will continue to a landing. If, on the other hand, the pilot judges that the approach is not stabilized, in accordance with the same standards defined in the Test Guide, the pilot will be expected to initiate a Missed Approach, or overshoot, at that point.
The new Flight Test Guides should be available on the TCCA website by 1 March 2019. TCCA and COPA recognize that these new Flight Test Guides are becoming applicable in very short notice and jointly expect that instructors will be in a position to react quickly and prepare their trainees accordingly as this Stabilized Approach concept was quite likely already part of the training provided. It is now becoming an official part of the flight test.