Despite some reports to the contrary, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will accept RTCA/DO-160 commercial aircraft equipment test reports from accredited and non-accredited labs.
Accreditation is a 3rd party assessment of a laboratory’s quality systems, processes, and documentation. Accreditation assures a minimum level of competence, but it does not guarantee competence to properly perform particular tests and to provide bullet-proof documentation.
More important than accreditation is experience. Does a lab have skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable engineers and technical writers? Does a lab have experience testing similar equipment to the same standards?
Here are 4 key items to keep in mind:
- Understand what your customer and regulatory agencies require. For example, FAA may require witnessing by an approved DER or DAR.
- Develop a solid test plan and follow it closely.
- Witness testing. No one knows better than you how the EUT is operated, wired, and configured.
- Make sure everything is documented meticulously: photos and descriptions of setups, test equipment (including calibration information), and test results.
Register for an upcoming free webinar on RS105 EMP Immunity Testing.