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The CASA Briefing - April 2019
Date of publication:
26 April 2019
CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody comments:
Key steps are being taken in the ongoing transformation of CASA’s service delivery. Work has been underway for some time on making significant improvements in service delivery, with the focus on streamlining processes, moving them online and having a single-entry point to engage with CASA online - myCASA. The aviation community should have confidence that we are striving to make dealing with CASA less complex. We must have simpler processes and faster turnaround times to make it easier to deal with CASA. Of course, there are important benefits for CASA too in making service delivery improvements like less paperwork, less double handling, data being in one place and having time more to focus on complex cases.
This month there were several achievements in the work to deliver better regulatory services. The chief pilots of remotely piloted aircraft training organisations can now lodge remote pilot licence applications online and remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificates without changes can be renewed online. This means drone training organisations no longer need to scan paper forms and send them to CASA, instead managing the remote pilot licence process through CASA’s online portal. Once these services are operating smoothly we plan to expand our online capabilities to cover other services. You should recall that the application process for aviation reference numbers has been available online since last year, significantly speeding up the issuing process. Similarly, aviation medical applications have been online for some time.
Update on Part 135
Work to finalise the manual of standards to support the new Part 135 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations is making good progress. Part 135 sets out the rules covering smaller aeroplanes used in air transport operations and comes into effect in March 2021. The new regulations were made in December 2018. The manual of standards will cover a range of issues including the rules related to document carriage, flights to remote islands, fuel carriage, aeroplane performance, equipment carriage and crew training and checking. It will be finalised in 2019. CASA is also developing explanatory and guidance material to assist the aviation community transition to and comply with the new regulations, including sample manuals for operators. This material will be provided well in advance of the March 2021 commencement date for Part 135. The new regulations introduce common rules for all air transport operations – doing away with the current distinction between charter and regular public transport. There are safety enhancements such as crew training and checking requirements, human factors training and safety management systems. The implementation of new requirements will be scaled to fit the size and complexity of operations to keep the regulatory burden to a minimum.
Keep up-to-date with Part 135 and other operational developments by subscribing to the flight operations mailing list.
Risk profile for maintenance of charter operations
CASA is developing a safety risk profile for the maintenance of charter operations. To assist in the development of the risk profile a survey of relevant maintenance organisations will be conducted in May 2019 and CASA is encouraging participation. The survey will collect valuable data to accurately inform risk analysis and should only take 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Sector risk profiles are an important tool in understanding the safety challenges and issues for different segments of the aviation community. They present a picture of the current key safety risks facing a sector and assist in developing a deeper understanding of the effects of these risks. The profiles look at how the level of risks can be reduced and managed by the participants in each sector and CASA, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of risk treatments through a set of safety performance indicators. CASA is also reviewing previous safety risk profiles for aerial mustering and aerodromes, with updated reports to be issued later in 2019.
R22 maintenance warning
The investigation into a fatal Robinson R22 crash has led to the issue of an important safety notice. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau issued the notice in relation to the replacement of self-locking nuts on Robinson helicopters. Although the issue has not yet been identified as a contributing factor in the R22 crash near Cloncurry in 2017, it was highlighted by post-crash evidence. A standard maintenance practice of re-using self-locking nuts on Robinson helicopters may inadvertently result in a failure to install corrosion resistant nuts on critical fasteners. The investigation of the Cloncurry crash found a missing fastener in the helicopter’s flight control system. The fastener attached the cyclic bell crank to the push-pull rod. The bolt was found but the nut was missing and heat damage on the end of the bell crank with the missing nut was different to elsewhere. This indicated the bolt was not in-situ at the time of the post-impact fire. The ATSB concluded the nut came off due to hydrogen embrittlement. In the course of interviewing personnel employed by the maintenance organisation of the crashed helicopter, the ATSB noted a low level of awareness of the need to replace nuts when critical fasteners were reassembled.
Read the ATSB safety advisory notice.
Change to parallel runway standards
CASA is proposing an amendment to the safety standards covering parallel runway operations. These standards are contained in the Part 172 manual of standards. Part 172 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations provides the regulatory framework for air traffic service providers, including standards for air traffic facilities, safety management and the provision of air traffic services. The Australian standards for parallel runway operations are based on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards originally introduced in 1995 and only allow the use of an instrument landing system for final approach guidance during parallel runway operations. Air traffic control is required to manually vector all arriving aircraft onto final approach. In 2018 ICAO updated its standards for parallel runway operations to allow for the use of a number of other systems including approach procedures with vertical guidance. CASA is proposing to adopt the new ICAO standards for use in Australia. The new standards will initially apply to Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport and in the future Brisbane or other aerodromes with parallel runway operations.
Find out more about the parallel runway proposals.
Cabin safety – training and minimum equipment
Cabin safety bulletins about crew training facilities and devices and minimum equipment lists have been released. The cabin crew training bulletin covers issues such as classroom facilities, instructional aids, training device types, firefighting and water survival and touch drills. When using training devices operators should have a documented procedure to ensure they are representative of aircraft types, particularly in relation to door operating forces. Components should be representative of those found on an aircraft. These can include dials, handles, switches and restraint brackets and the force required for their operation. A simulated firefighting exercise should be conducted in a confined area to simulate cabin fire. This should include aircraft furnishings, such as seating, galley units, lavatories, panels, overhead bins and waste bins. The cabin safety minimum equipment list bulletin explains how CASA evaluates a minimum equipment list, as well as providing information on warning signs, placarding and training.
Drone detection action
CASA has been using drone detection surveillance equipment at major events at various locations to monitor drone operations and support enforcement of the safety rules. In recent weeks drone surveillance was undertaken at events in Canberra and the Gold Coast. A number of drones were detected potentially operating in breach of the regulations and enforcement action is being pursued where appropriate. CASA is also using the equipment for surveillance at major aerodromes and around Sydney Harbour, a known drone hot spot. The data collected about drone operations will be used to inform education and information strategies, which is important in the lead up to the introduction of mandatory drone registration and accreditation in the second half of 2019. The portable surveillance equipment detects drones inflight and provides the location on the ground of the controller. CASA continues to issue penalties where there is evidence of drone safety regulation breaches, with recent penalties in excess of $1000. A man was recently convicted in the Victorian Magistrates court of three drone offences - commercial operations without holding a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate and for two instances of operating over a populous area at a height from which the drone would not have been able to safely clear the area in the event of a component failure. Fines and costs totalled more than $1500.
- Pilots need to be aware from 23 May 2019 there will be a difference in air traffic control radio transmissions. The change will see transmissions of flight levels that include whole hundred numbers made with the word “hundred”, rather than “zero zero”. For example, an instruction to “climb to flight level two zero zero” will become “climb to flight level two hundred”. Other flight level assignments, headings, wind direction and speed, and runway identifiers will continue to be transmitted by pronouncing each digit separately.
- The instrument setting conditions on the flight crew licences of pilots conducting community service flights has been amended to allow helicopters to operate these flights. This follows feedback from the aviation community. This extension will allow a greater number of pilots to volunteer their aircraft, time and skills to the community service flights sector. Find out more about community service flight conditions.
- Pilots can refresh their knowledge of radio procedures in non-controlled airspace by reading the ‘Be heard, be seen, be safe’ booklet. A PDF can be downloaded from the CASA website. Or a hard copy can be ordered from the CASA online store.
- Minor updates have been made to the advisory publication on pilot maintenance. This includes updates about who can carry out a schedule 8 maintenance and clarified information about inspections and checks.
- CASA is running a survey to find out views on the flight planning kit. The kit is designed to assist low-hour VFR pilots with good flight planning habits. It contains a handbook outlining eight stages of a flight, a flight planning notepad, personal minimums card, time in your tanks card, non-controlled airport procedures, be heard be seen be safe booklet, and a number of Bureau of Meteorology cards. Have your say on the kit.
- New drone technical requirements have been released in the just released manual of standards for Part 101 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. The new requirements mainly apply to commercial and professional drone pilots and operators. Several of new requirements apply immediately while the rest do not take effect until 2020. Changes taking effect now relate to on-going approval of extended visual line of sight operations and ensuring there is a buffer between drones and any controlled airspace.
Safety seminars for pilots
Pilots in 14 regional locations around Australia are invited to attend an AvSafety seminar in May 2019. The seminars will help pilots develop skills in three key areas – communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. A practical scenario will be used to explain the concepts of threat and error management. Pilots will work through relevant defensive flying behaviours aimed at addressing human factors challenges encountered in single pilot operations. Pilots will be given special cards with key information on communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. The cards can be kept in a new AvSafety resource folder to build a library of critical safety information. Cards and folders are only available to people who attend AvSafety seminars.
In May 2019 seminars are being held at:
- Alice Springs
- Port Pirie
Don’t miss out by booking a pilot seminar now.
Five engineering seminars
CASA is holding five engineering safety seminars in May 2019. The seminars will cover a range of topics including leadership and mentoring for aviation maintenance engineers, specialist maintenance certification, Flight Safety Australia maintenance articles and a regulation review update. Engineers, heads of airworthiness and maintenance, other people from airworthiness organisations and maintenance training personnel will all benefit from attending the seminars. These are great professional development opportunities, allowing people to talk with CASA maintenance experts and ask questions.
Engineering seminars in May 2019 are being held at:
- Alice Springs
- Gold Coast
Book a place now at an engineering seminar.
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