Logo transparentAirtourer Co-operative Ltd.

The “Complete” Flight Manual


When is a Flight Manual not a Flight Manual.

Answer: When it doesn’t have all the extra bits that CASA require.

This article was originally published in the Airtourer Association Newsletter in 2004 after CASA changed the flight manual system. The intent was to advise Airtourer owners of the new system and the construction of the complete Flight Manual package.

In 2009 CASA made further changes including removal of the requirement for the Flight Manual Approval page. This article has been updated to reflect the current CASA requirements. (Note: CAAP54-1 and the information on the CASA website at Home>Operations>Aircraft owners>Aircraft Flight Manuals, have yet to be updated still have incorrect references to the CASA Approval Page.)

Fundamental to this article is the fact that the flight manual, as required by CASA to be carried in the aircraft, is a composite document that the Certificate of Registration (CofR) holder is responsible for maintaining.

Basic Flight Manual. (Basic FM).

This is the Flight Manual document produced by the Type Certificate holder for a particular type and model of aircraft. It is approved by the aviation authority that issued the Type Certificate and is not specific for an individual aircraft. Rather, the individual aircraft are linked to a particular Basic AFM via the Type Certificate Data Sheet which lists both aircraft serial numbers and the relevant Flight Manual part number.

Table 1 lists the Flight Manuals applicable to the Airtourer series of aircraft. .

 Table 1.- Basic Flight Manual Details.

Aircraft Type


Basic Flight Manual




Document No.



Airtourer 100




Airtourer 115





AIR 2788



Airtourer 150

AIR 2790



Airtourer Super 150

AIR 2791




AIR 2792




AIR 2789



The basic manual applicable to a particular aircraft is the manual when it was first manufactured. This is a very important principal and differs from the old flight manual system.

The Basic FM is a living and controlled document. This means it can change but those changes can only be made by the Type Certificate holder, in this case the Airtourer Co-operative, and must be approved by CASA for the Victa aircraft, or the NZ CAA for AESL aircraft. Any changes must be recorded in the General Amendment Record Sheet on page (ii) as well as the CASA Amendment Record Sheet, (more on this later).

CASA Approved Flight Manual. (CASA AFM).

This is the document that CASA requires you to carry in your aircraft. The nucleus of the CASA AFM is the Basic FM. Additional components are Supplements to cover any changes to the aircraft since manufacture and the CASA Amendment Record Sheet.

CASA Amendment Record Page.

CASA needs to keep track of the components of the CASA AFM for each individual aircraft. This is done with the CASA issued Amendment Record Sheet, (CASA form 602), which can be downloaded from the CASA website under the Manuals and Forms menu, then entering 602 in the form number field.

Enter the details of the basic flight manual and relevant supplements in the CASA Amendment Record Sheet, (not the General Amendment Record Sheet), and send a copy to CASA. An example of the initial entry for an AESL Super 150 would be “Incorporation of CAA Approved Flight Manual and Pilots Operating Handbook. AIR 2791 Amendment 0.”

Every time the CASA AFM changes, the CASA Amendment Record Sheet must be copied and sent to CASA.

Examples of changes could be incorporation of a Supplement (see below) or an amendment to the Basic FM. For example, if the climb speed changed in the Basic FM the Co-operative would issue a Flight Manual Amendment which would include a replacement page to be inserted into the Basic FM. The General Amendment Record sheet on page (ii) would be updated to reflect the new amendment status. Now CASA needs to know that your CASA AFM is up to date so the CASA Amendment Record Sheet would be updated with “Amendment 1 to AIR 2791 dated 14 Aug 11”, and a copy sent to CASA.


Supplements are additional pages that change information in the Basic FM to reflect the actual aircraft or for particular operations. They generally are similar to the Basic FM with the same chapter structure and it’s own amendment record. Some of you may already have Supplements for the Civil Mk1 Flight Manual however CASA’s Lyn Nicholson advised that these can not be used with the new Basic FM as the structure is different. Not surprisingly other CASA Offices have advised differently.

The most commonly required Supplement for the Airtourer type is for larger engines. The most logical change would be to substitute the Basic FM for the larger engine model. This was common under the old system but is not allowed under ICAO guidelines and CASA has a policy of following ICAO.

For example, Jane and Andy Morris are upgrading their Airtourer 100, DDZ, with a 160 HP engine. DDZ will still have the Basic FM for the Victa 100 and a Supplement that says, ignore the 100 information and use the 160 data in the Supplement. Since a large number of aircraft are affected the Co-operative has available Supplements for 150 and 160 conversions.

Supplements come in two forms, those issued by the aircraft manufacturer and others approved locally by CASA. Section 9 of the Basic FM states that “Only supplements which are produced by the manufacturer, and listed in para 9.2 below, apply to this individual aircraft.” This can be misleading as someone other than the manufacturer may write, (and CASA approve), a supplement. However, as only the manufacturer may amend the Basic FM, and that amendment will apply to all aircraft of that model, then there must be an additional method to incorporate a Supplement for an individual aircraft. Future revisions of the basic AFMs may include supplements for larger engines fitted under AESL SB 006.

Locally produced Supplements are inserted after the Basic FM and an entry is made in the CASA AFM Amendment Record Sheet.

Let’s consider an example of a Victa 100 that has been upgraded to 160 HP with a 3 bladed propeller and Alan Wood’s auxiliary fuel tank. The CASA AFM will be made up of the following:

  1. CASA Amendment Record Sheet (with entries for incorporation of the Basic FM, plus it’s amendments, and entries for each of the Supplements).

  2. Basic Flight Manual. (EA-AT100/34-1).

  3. Supplement for 160 HP Engine.

  4. Supplement for 3 bladed prop.

  5. Supplement for Auxiliary Fuel Tank.

Additional Pages.

The Civil Mk 1 manual contained a page giving the individual aircraft basic weight and index information. This is the starting point for calculation of the weight and CG in Section 6 of the Basic FM. This page no longer forms part of the CASA AFM but the CofR holder has the responsibility to ensure that the pilot is aware of the need to use this data. Therefore it would be prudent to copy the page from the old Civil Mk1 Manual and insert it in the same binder as the CASA AFM. Other documents that could be included are the Certificate of Registration and Certificate of Airworthiness.

The AFM in Practise.

Consider the responsibility of a pilot of a modified aircraft in determining which is the correct data and procedures. They must use the unmodified Basic FM data except where that is changed by any of the Supplements. This system has serious human factors flaws in that the certain information may be included in a number of places but only one will be relevant. Great care must be taken to ensure the correct information is used. Feedback from owners suggests that some instructors conducting BFRs are not knowledgeable about AFMs and are applying the incorrect limitations. When this concern was raised with CASA they simply advised that it didn't seem to be a problem in the US.

One member told CASA that he intended to staple tighter the pages of the Basic FM with superseded data, you can imagine the reply. Another suggestion offered was the inclusion of a disclaimer page advising that the Basic FM was included at CASA’s insistence, was dangerous and care was required to ensure correct data was used.


The Certificate of Registration holder is responsible for the correct construction and maintenance of the CASA AFM. The following has been copied from the CASA website and describes how the AFM is to be maintained.

After changing over to the new system, the registration holder is expected to :

  1. Subscribe to the maker's AFM amendment service. (Being a current member of the Airtourer Co-operative satisfies this requirement.)
  2. Ensure any other changes to the AFM information are received, such as CASA Airworthiness Directives (ADs) and changes to AFM supplements.
  3. Ensure that, if an operator, registered operator, maintainer or pilot is contracted to maintain an AFM on behalf of the registration holder, then that person is notified promptly of all changes to the AFM information.


At every change of the AFM information, the registration holder must ensure:

  1. The change is made and recorded in the amendment record sheet.
  2. CASA is informed, in writing, of the change being incorporated, so the particular aircraft file can be updated. This is to be done by sending a copy of the updated amendment record sheet to the relevant local CASA office within 48 hours of the aircraft flying for the first time after the AFM change is made.
  3. An operator, registered operator, maintainer or pilot contracted to maintain an AFM for a registration holder must follow these steps at each AFM change

 This page gives an example of a completed Amendment Record Sheet. It shows the original incorporation of the basic flight manual when the system changed, subsequent modification with a larger engine and MT Propeller and finally the latest Temporary Revision to the basic flight manual. Copies of this sheet should have been sent to CASA on three separate occasions. 


The CASA AFM must consist of the CASA Amendment Record Sheet and the Basic Flight Manual as a minimum. If your aircraft has been modified then Supplements may be required. Whenever any change is made to the CASA AFM then the CASA Amendment Record Sheet must be updated and a copy sent to CASA.

The Certificate of Registration holder is responsible for ensuring that the complete Flight Manual is correct.