A Flight Manual is a manual, associated with the Certificate of Airworthiness, containing limitations within which the aircraft is to be considered airworthy, and instructions and information necessary to the flight crew members for the safe operation of the aircraft. (ICAO Annex 6)
An aeroplane flight manual (AFM) is a document produced by the aircraft manufacturer containing detailed information on the operation of the aircraft. The AFM details the recommended aircraft operating technique for normal, abnormal and emergency operation together with the Aircraft Performance that should be achieved when the aircraft is operated in accordance with these procedures.
The AFM is a vital part of the aircraft inventory and must be carried on all flights unless the National Airworthiness Authority (National Aviation Authority (NAA)) of the aircraft operator has formally accepted that the Operations Manual of the aircraft operator replicates all relevant AFM information for an aircraft. The AFM is specific to each aircraft and reflects the precise equipment and modification state of that aircraft. In practice, National Aviation Authority (NAA) dispensation not to carry the AFM on board an aircraft is commonly obtained by commercial aircraft operators.
Prompt Amendment of the AFM is an important function of an aircraft operator's flight operations department and must be carefully controlled. The control process must also ensure that any documents dependent upon AFM content such as the Operations Manual, flight deck copies of the Emergency and Abnormal Checklist and/or Quick Reference Handbook (QRH)) and crew training materials are also updated following the publication of any amendment.