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Some 65 years ago, Test Pilot Schools were founded by the lead aviation nations because so many expensive prototype airplanes and personnel were lost because of the lack of adequate engineering and flight-test knowledge gained by (airline) pilots prior to and during regular flight training.
Pilots and engineers who graduated from one of the Test Pilot Schools, for which the entry level is usually an MSc degree in engineering, know there definitely is a difference in knowledge and experience to be able to talk knowledgeable about performance and flying qualities of aircraft and execute flight tests and aircraft evaluations in a safe and responsible way.  They also learned to read and interpret recorded flight data, which are also used during accident investigations.

USAF Test Pilot School

US Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, CA. Provides two one-year long courses per year to graduate as experimental test pilot or flight test engineer for fixed wing aircraft. Students (MSc or BSc with entry exam) undergo some 540 hours of academics, 50 hours of labs, 21 scored academic tests, nine graded reports, comprehensive oral exams and about 130 hours of flying in 20+ different types of aircraft.
Cost for training for an Experimental Test Pilot is approximately US$ 1,000,000 and for a Flight Test Engineer US$ 350,000, both excluding salary and expenses.

US Naval Test Pilot School

USNTPS, Patuxent River, MD, offers courses for experimental test pilots and flight test engineers for fixed wing and for rotary wing aircraft (helicopters).  The curriculum is similar to that of the USAFTPS.

Empire Test Pilots' School


Training provided is similar to training by USNTPS.
ETPS is located in Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, UK.

L'Ecole du Personnel Navigant d'Essais et de Reception (EPNER)

French Test Pilot School, located at Istres. Training provided is similar to training by the other Test Pilot Schools.

National Test Pilot School

Civil Test Pilot School, Mojave, CA, USA. - Home of the FAASTeam

FAASafety Team

"As the educational outreach arm of the FAA, the FAASTeam is committed to serving the General Aviation community, and making our skies even safer."

European Aviation Safety Agency

EASA, Europe

Federal Aviation Authorities


Civil Aviation Authority


Luftfahrt Bundes Amt

LBA, Germany

International Civil Aviation Organization


National Business Aviation Association


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