Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


Right-Seater For a Lear Test Pilot

January 24, 1991

My company provided its pilots for pilot service to another local company that owned a Lear 35-B. For some reason I don't recall, the airplane needed to have a stall strip replaced. We deadheaded the airplane to the Lear factory in Wichita during a RON on a passenger trip, where the strip was replaced overnight. Because such a repair can have a significant adverse effect on flight characteristics, to be returned to service required a test flight to be performed by a Lear factory test pilot. As the captain on the interrupted trip, I was elected to fly the right seat on the test flight and to function as the Lear test pilot's first officer.

The next morning, the Lear test pilot turned out to be a real old-school type. In the sense of: "I don't need no dang copilot. You just sit there and run the radios." Yup, he ran the gear and flaps. Pretty funny. Checklists were totally ignored, though I tried. But he wrung that airplane through a series of maneuvers, including full stalls flaps up and down, accelerated stalls, etc. that anybody else would only dare to do in the simulator. He really didn't need me to be his dang copilot. Because it wouldn't come as any surprise to learn that Bill Lear himself had signed off on this old-school old guy's Lear rating.

But actually ... it was one heck of a lot of fun!! And the airplane got returned to service. And then we resumed the rest of the passenger trip. Using normal and professional CRM.



References for Non-Pilots: