Flight testing possesses a certain level of risk inherent in the nature of the work. Whether the test program consists of the evaluation of a new prototype or determining the performance of a new piece of avionics equipment, flight test safety can be viewed as a means of minimizing this inherent risk. Orville Wright was once quoted as saying "Carelessness and overconfidence are usually more dangerous than deliberately accepted risk". Included here are some of the aerospace industry's "Recommended Practices and Checklists" for reducing risk and increasing flight test safety.
No attempt is made to endorse or in any way emphasize a particular "Recommended Practice or Checklist" as the only way to deal with flight test. What is presented here is the culmination of past experience, and what seems to be the best methodology today. New programs with new problems may require new testing and new methods, and will surely result in new lessons learned. Enclosed herein is a place to start and stimulus for thought.