Meet the experts – aviation safety advisors


Avalon 2023 starts next week and we're bringing you a range of experts to help answer all your aviation-related questions.

Avalon airshow biplane flying over runway with contrail

The airshow is one of the largest, most comprehensive aviation events in the southern hemisphere. Every year the event brings together aviation and aerospace professionals, key defence personnel, aviation enthusiasts and members of the public.

Our aviation safety advisors (ASAs) will be working the stand on both trade and public days. The team works in close contact with those in the aviation industry to provide safety advice and deliver safety education and training.

'The atmosphere of Avalon – with all the hardware and the noise – makes it really exciting not just for us, but for everyone else at the event as well,' says Michael White, aviation safety advisor team leader.

'It's a really great occasion for my team to meet and talk to the broader spectrum of the aviation industry.

'Usually, each safety advisor travels through their own geographic region, meeting with people either one on one or through organised events. So, the opportunity for all of us to be in the one place and not just meet industry but be available for them throughout the entire event to ask us questions is invaluable.

'We'll have heaps of safety promotion material to give out including our updated safety management kits, plain English guides, career guides and key personnel guides.

'This is also a chance for anyone who's just started out in aviation or is interested in an aviation career to come and speak to us as well – collectively we've probably got 250 years of varied experience between us so we might be able to provide some guidance for you.

'Avalon also gives us the opportunity to collaborate with other agencies such as the Bureau of Meteorology, Airservices Australia and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

'We'll also host 2 aviation safety seminars on the industry days. Terry Horsam will speak on proactive techniques and tips to maximise your safety margins in a complex environment, while Brad Johnson will discuss a pilot's guide to understanding and using an aircraft maintenance release.

'And Tim Penney and myself are also available at Lethbridge Aerodrome over the Avalon public weekend to provide safety advice, education and procedures for any operators figuring out how to fly into the airshow.

Join us from 28 February at our brand-new stand in Hall 1 - 1G21 and meet our ASAs in person.

Meet our ASAs

Kirstie Winter

Kirstie grew up in an aviation family and began learning to fly at 16 years of age. Kirstie has over 25 years of experience in aviation, including work with the United Nations in air operations roles in Africa.

She has held multiple Air Traffic Control and training endorsements in approach, tower and supervisory roles at various locations across Australia. Kirstie has been working with CASA for the last 4 years, engaging with industry to deliver safety education and training programs.

Tim Penney

Tim has been involved in the aviation industry in both a professional and private capacity for more than 30 years. After learning to fly, he completed an instructor rating at Moorabbin airport in Victoria and worked there as a flying and theory instructor.

Prior to joining CASA, Tim worked for 5 years as the air safety representative for Embraer Aircraft in Australia, the South Pacific, South East Asia and India. He had safety oversight and accident investigation responsibilities on behalf of Embraer for all turboprop and jet customers in this region. Tim holds, or has held at various times throughout his career, a commercial pilot licence for both fixed and rotary wing, a multi-engine command instrument rating and instructor rating.

Terry Horsam

Terry has over 30 years' experience as a pilot. His commercial flying career includes scenic flying in New Zealand, multi-engine IFR flight instruction and charter operations throughout Australia.

He currently holds an air transport pilot licence and instrument rating and has over 20 years' experience as a regional airline pilot. Additionally, he's been responsible for establishing and delivering non-technical skills training programs for flight crew and safety critical staff including threat and error management and crew resource management.

Craig Peterson

Craig's interest in aviation began as a child, collecting every aircraft magazine or picture he could get hold of. At the first opportunity, he got on board.

He joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at 19 years old and trained as a pilot. He flew various aircraft types and operations including helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft and the PC9 trainer. Craig holds an aeroplane air transport pilot licence and instructor rating as well as a helicopter commercial pilot licence.

Michael White

Michael trained and qualified for an Australian commercial pilot licence at Archerfield Aerodrome Brisbane in 1981. After a number of years flying in general aviation, Michael started air traffic control training in the RAAF. He served at the Amberley Air Force Base Queensland and Darwin International Airport, providing aerodrome and approach RADAR control services, training and supervisory duties.

Michael's career highlights include establishing national competency standards for air traffic control training in Australia and developing an International Civil Aviation Organization standard training package for international use in incident investigation.

Peter Ball

On leaving school, Peter entered into an aircraft maintenance apprenticeship in Darwin, initially training in avionics before moving to mechanical.

He was granted an aircraft maintenance engineers licence in 1987 and was fortunate to gain multiple endorsements in airframe and engine categories, starting with light general aviation types, then progressing to light and heavy turboprops through to the BAe-146 and B717. Most of his engineering career involved supervisory roles coordinating with flight crews and flight operations staff.

Bradley Johnson

Brad started his career as an apprentice with Aerospace Technologies of Australia (ASTA), at Avalon near Geelong in Victoria. After completing his apprenticeship, Brad progressed his career, both as a contractor, and in various permanent roles throughout Australia and internationally, including Asia, the Middle East and New Zealand.

Brad has been fortunate enough to work on a wide variety of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, including major projects such as airline fleet refurbishments, freighter conversions, heavy maintenance, line maintenance and vintage aircraft restoration, ultimately specialising in large transport aircraft. Trade qualified in both structures and mechanical, Brad holds a CASA aircraft maintenance engineers' B1 licence with ratings on Boeing 747, 737, Airbus A319, 320, 321 and Embraer E170, E190.

Rob Whittle

Rob grew up with aviation in his blood – his father was a RAAF instrument fitter and then an air traffic controller with Airservices Australia. Robs' aviation career started in 1995 when he learnt to fly while working in oil analysis.

Rob later joined Flight West Airlines, followed by the Queensland Police Service (QPS). After 15 years serving the people of Queensland, Rob was successful in becoming the RPAS Chief Pilot for the QPS, as well as for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES). For 3 years Rob ran and grew the RPAS operations through QPS and QFES while also assisting other intra and interstate agencies, with a heavy emphasis on safety and continual aviation education to enhance understanding of the aviation environment.

More information

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