Following maintenance activities in some of its significant systems, 9H-TQZ was put to test by Commander Mirpuri. The Functional Check Flight lasted 1 hour in the skies over Beja, with most of the tests done between 10000’ and 20000’.
Commander Mirpuri was supported by Captain Antonios Efthymiou. Engineers Pedro Gomes and João Leonardo took specific notes of power plants performance and made observations of the wings, pylons and engines as the aircraft was maneuvered to the extremes of its flight envelope. This is all normal for this type of flights and allows us to ensure the subsystems and back-up systems do their job properly when the main systems are dropped off-line.
One of the most impressive part of these checks is to fly at very slow speeds, on the edge of a stall, which on this day, at a weight of 148 tons, was a very slow 100 Knots. After all tests were completed the airplane was given a clean bill of health and dispatched to commercial operation.
Airplanes are complex pieces of engineering, and are subject to continuous compliance of approved maintenance programs, so they are attended frequently by our engineers. Functional Check Flights are only required under very specific circumstances, as some confidence checks can only be performed in flight by specially trained crews in a non-revenue flight.