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Tecnam P2002JF – VLA Equipped With Hand Controls For Disabled Pilots Achieves Easa Certification

This achievement of EASA approval is the result of over 18 months of ergonomic studies, test pilot’s review, specialist component design, collaboration with Italian CAA (ENAC) and EASA and the input from many involved with the disabled pilots community.

The version of the Tecnam P2002JF is the first worldwide CS-VLA certified aircraft factory built with disabled hand controls. It is also the first time that the issue of official certification documents contain explicit reference to disabled pilots.


“This milestone project is truly the best of engineering and the best of human spirit – giving the freedom of flight to all. It signifies an exciting new era of accessible aviation for disabled people, providing low-cost flying opportunities for a wide range of disabilities. My sincere thanks to the Tecnam team. One simple PDF. One whole generation of disability awareness, social change, knowledge and engineering expertise!”

Mike Miller-Smith Aerobility

The challenges of achieving certification were a result of;

  • Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s CEO authorizing the investment required to achieve this significant aviation milestone, not on the potential of sales but Tecnam’s commitment to ensuring that ‘everyone’ has the ability to enjoy the joy and freedom of flying.
  • 150 detailed files were produced by Tecnam’s Research and Development team to design and certify this special version of the P2002JF.
  • Issue of an EASA Certification Review Item (CRI) in order to offer a solid background to all the National Authorities in judging disabled pilot’s as “able to fly” – The CRI title is “Additional control for disabled pilots”;
  • 22 flight test hours conducted by Tecnam Chief Test Pilot Marco Locatelli, in order to explore every single aspect of the “unusual” controls arrangement – the Bedford Workload Scale has been used to evaluate the suggested training and transition on the aircraft, and in order to scientifically evaluate the workload;
  • More than 30 spin tests performed in order to evaluate all the possible instinctive reactions and the aircrafts consequent behavior;
  • Two of the world’s leading disabled pilots, Tim Ellison (former Royal Air Force Harrier pilot) and Alessandro Paleri (Italian ULM pilot and co-founder of the first worldwide aerobatic team of disabled pilots) performed cabin, provision to step-inside, flight evaluations and emergency escape tests. Their contribution in particular cannot be under estimated.
  • Close collaboration with Italian CAA (ENAC) specialists Francesco di Capua and Vito Foti which gave many constructive suggestions on how Tecnam’s initial designs might be improved.
  • The advice and support of Captain Tim Orchard, Tecnam’s dealer for the UK & Ireland and former Concorde pilot, who was the projects main sponsor and driving force. It was Captain Orchard who worked with Aerobility on the spectacular Tecnam P2006T Twin flight over the 2012 London Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.