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Non Revenue Flights

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Category: General General
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Flights which are conducted for non revenue purposes such as:


Non Revenue Flights have often been identified as attracting a greater risk of an accident or serious incident than the revenue flights which form the main business of any operator of commercial aircraft. In many respects, the causes of increased risk for this type of flight are similar to those which have been associated with a slightly wider sub group of flights - Non Standard Flights.

Related Articles

Loss of Control

Accident & Incident Reports

A selection of accidents and events which have occurred on non-revenue flights:

  • A139 / A30B, Ottawa Canada, 2014 (On 5 June 2014, an AW139 about to depart from its Ottawa home base on a positioning flight exceeded its clearance limit and began to hover taxi towards the main runway as an A300 was about to touch down on it. The TWR controller immediately instructed the helicopter to stop which it did, just clear of the runway. The A300 reached taxi speed just prior to the intersection. The Investigation attributed the error to a combination of distraction and expectancy and noted that the AW139 pilot had not checked actual or imminent runway occupancy prior to passing his clearance limit.)
  • A320, vicinity Perpignan France, 2008 (On 27 November 2008, the crew of an XL Airways A320 on an airworthiness function flight following aircraft repainting lost control of the aircraft after fail to take the action necessary to recover from a full stall which had resulted from their continued airspeed reduction during a low speed handling test when Stall Protection System (SPS) activation did nor occur at the likely airspeed because two of the three angle of attack sensors were blocked by ice formed by water ingress during preparation for the repainting. This condition rendered angle of attack protection in normal law inoperative.)
  • AS32 / B734, Aberdeen UK, 2000 (For reasons that were not established, a Super Puma helicopter being air tested and in the hover at about 30 feet agl near the active runway at Aberdeen assumed that the departure clearance given by GND was a take off clearance and moved into the hover over the opposite end of the runway at the same time as a Boeing 737 was taking off. The 737 saw the helicopter ahead and made a high speed rejected take off, stopping approximately 100 metres before reaching the position of the helicopter which had by then moved off the runway still hovering.)
  • AS3B, en-route, northern North Sea UK, 2008 (On 22 February 2008, a Eurocopter AS332 L2 Super Puma flying from an offshore oil platform to Aberdeen was struck by lightning. There was no apparent consequence and so, although this event required a landing as soon as possible, the commander decided to continue the remaining 165nm to the planned destination which was achieved uneventfully. Main rotor blade damage including some beyond repairable limits was subsequently discovered. The Investigation noted evidence indicating that this helicopter type had a relatively high propensity to sustain lightning strikes but noted that, despite the risk of damage, there was currently no adverse safety trend.)
  • AS3B, vicinity Den Helder Netherlands, 2006 (On 21 November 2006, the crew of a Bristow Eurocopter AS332 L2 making an unscheduled passenger flight from an offshore platform to Den Helder in night VMC decided to ditch their aircraft after apparent malfunction of an engine and the flight controls were perceived as rendering it unable to safely complete the flight. All 17 occupants survived but the evacuation was disorganised and both oversight of the operation by and the actions of the crew were considered to have been inappropriate in various respects. Despite extensive investigation, no technical fault which would have rendered it unflyable could be confirmed.)
  • … further results

Further Reading