BVLOS Flight Test Council

To join or find out more, please contact the Co-Chairs of the council: 
Chris "Filter" Baughman (
Colin Fischer (

Note: Membership in SFTE is not a requirement for joining

BVLOS Flight Test Council


Under the Society of Flight Test Engineers (SFTE) auspices, the BVLOS Flight Test Council is a forum for testers of remotely piloted and autonomous aircraft operating beyond visual line of sight. The council’s

  • Mission is to promote flight test safety, efficiency, and knowledge for BVLOS aircraft development, qualification, and certification.
  • Scope encompasses all aircraft types, sizes, performance capabilities, and autonomy configurations - from direct remote piloting though fleet-managed deterministic autonomous operations. 
  • Spirit is to advance knowledge through reciprocal contribution of non-proprietary information. 
  • Means is openly collaborating and sharing all council discussions, papers, and best practices across three mutually beneficial areas:  
  1. Safety
  • General FT planning and execution to reduce risk to the lowest practical levels.
  • Detailed hazards and mitigations specific to flight testing under BVLOS conditions.
  • FT considerations for new-paradigm safety assessments and failure probability calculations.

  1. Rulemaking/Standards
  • Serve as a resource where flight testers have pertinent knowledge that might influence separate rulemaking bodies.
  • Share lessons toward increasing flight approvals in different types of airspace.
  • Propose harmonized and safer means of compliance.
  • Translate Flight test best practices into operational best practices.

  1. Efficiency
  • Review common resources such as test facilities, ranges, and training
  • Flight test equipment design/interface standards (e.g. instrumentation, flight termination systems)
  • Data analysis and presentation methods
  • Common failure mode demonstrations
  • Promulgate military and civil test techniques specific to BVLOS testing.

Operationally, this all-volunteer council will:

  • Encourage but not require membership in SFTE or any specific organization. 
  • Encourage members to present and publish formal technical papers through SFTE or their chosen organization and disseminate links to those papers.
  • Promote various digital, virtual, or in-person collaboration forums for discussions.
  • Promote collegiate and technical talent networking. 
  • Manage a repository and links for best practice guidelines, published and unpublished papers, internal discussions, and other content germane to BVLOS flight testing.