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The CASA Briefing - August 2018
Date of publication:
28 August 2018
From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody
New rule making thank you - new CASA Board chair
I would like to thank everyone in the aviation community who is participating in the busy current round of new rulemaking. The broad consultation phase for key proposed parts of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations is either complete or nearing completion. Consultation on Part 91, covering the general operating rules, and Part 133, covering rotorcraft air transport, has closed. The comment period for Part 121, covering large air transport, and Part 135, covering small air transport, is open until early September 2018 and includes Part 119, which covers air operator certificates. These rule sets address important safety and operational issues that directly affect much of the commercial aviation community. The feedback we are receiving plays a vital role in ensuring the final regulations are fit for purpose, target known safety risks and do not impose unnecessary regulatory burdens. We will carefully consider all the comments before finalising the rule sets as quickly as possible. My target is to have these operational regulations made before the end of 2018 and taking effect in early 2021. The first step has also been taken in developing specific new regulations for general aviation maintenance, with these rules to be completed in 2019 and introduced later.
I would also like to acknowledge and welcome the appointment of Tony Mathews as chair of the CASA Board for a three-year term. Tony brings a wealth of aviation safety expertise to the Board. He is a former Qantas regional airline manager, Royal Flying Doctor Service manager, and a qualified airline transport pilot. He previously served as the deputy chair of the Board of Airservices Australia.
Piston engine valve warning
All piston engine aircraft operators and maintainers need to be aware of an increasing incidence of premature exhaust valve and valve guide wear. The problem is mainly being found in R22 and R44 helicopters used in mustering in northern Australia but could develop in any aircraft subject to certain operational conditions. The valve wear is due to elevated combustion temperatures which can lead to cracks or large chips forming around the edge of the valve face. The valve head can also separate from the stem, causing sudden loss of cylinder compression. In some cases, problems have emerged in less than 100 hours after inspection. A stakeholder working group has been formed to investigate the causes of the engine problems and will look at a range of issues including changes to the AVGAS grade and how this relates to operations in high air temperature environments. The working group includes representatives from Lycoming, Viva Energy and the Australian Helicopter Industry Association, maintainers and CASA. In an airworthiness bulletin on the issue CASA makes a range of recommendations about fuel supply and handling, engine cylinder cooling, instrument calibration, fuel flow, maintenance and engine condition monitoring. All instances of premature exhaust valve wear should be reported to CASA using the defect reporting system.
Get all the details on the exhaust valve issue.
New regs for general aviation maintenance
The first step has been taken to develop a set of streamlined new maintenance regulations for the general aviation sector. New maintenance regulations will minimise the regulatory burden on general aviation, keep compliance costs as low as possible, be based on the best practices of other leading aviation nations and maintain appropriate levels of safety. CASA has started development of the new general aviation maintenance regulations by asking the aviation community for views on current challenges and opportunities. Feedback has also been sought on existing regulations in the United States, New Zealand, Europe and Canada. Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said CASA was not seeking to re-invent the wheel with the new general aviation maintenance regulations. “We know there are tried and tested sets of maintenance regulations used by other leading aviation nations and we want to base our new rules on these as far as is possible,” Mr Carmody said. “These nations have a strong safety record underpinned by well-regarded safety regulations.” The proposed new regulations will cover maintenance for aircraft used in private and aerial work operations. The air transport sector, including charter and regular public transport, will not be covered by these regulations.
Find out more about the new general aviation maintenance regulations project.
Old licences no longer valid
The four-year transition period for the new flight crew licensing regulations ends on 1 September 2018. From that date old licences and authorisations will no longer be valid. However, the transition provisions are being updated to allow individuals to convert their old licences and authorisations to an equivalent Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 61 licence or Part 64 authorisation at any time. All active pilots should have already converted their old licences — issued under Part 5 of Civil Aviation Regulation 1988 — to a new Part 61 licence. This should have happened at the time of any proficiency check, flight review or other licensing activity in the last four years. Pilots who are not actively flying don’t need to convert their old licence before 1 September 2018. These pilots can complete the relevant paperwork at any time and apply to CASA to be transferred to a new Part 61 licence. Before flying they must make sure they have a valid flight review or proficiency check for the ratings they are going to use. Old aeronautical radio operator certificates and flight radiotelephone operator licences issued under the Civil Aviation Regulations cannot be used from 1 September 2018. However, the transition provisions allow holders of these certificates and licences to convert to an equivalent Part 64 authorisation up until 31 August 2025. Please note, from 1 September 2018, CASA will charge a fee of $25 to reissue a Part 61 licence and a Part 64 authorisation.
Find out more about the licensing regulations.
New smaller aeroplane air transport rules
Consultation on new smaller aeroplane air transport regulations closes on 2 September 2018. CASA is seeking comment on the proposed Part 135 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, its manual of standards and the associated Part 119 which covers air operator certificates. A key change in the new regulations will be 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. Other changes relate to minimum equipment lists, aerodrome requirements, simulator requirements, the carriage and use of oxygen, sterile cockpits and terrain awareness systems. A key driver behind the proposed changes is minimising the difference in accident rates between small aeroplane charter and regular public transport operations. The charter accident rate in smaller aircraft is eleven times higher than equivalent regular public transport. CASA is proposing to start the new regulations in March 2021, with some requirements to apply from a later date to give the aviation community more time to prepare for change. Part 135 will apply to aircraft with a maximum take of weight of 8618 kilograms and a maximum passenger seat configuration of not more than nine. It will cover current passenger charter and regular public transport, as well as cargo and aerial work ambulance functions.
Find out more about Part 135 and comment now.
Proposed larger aeroplane air transport rules
Proposed new regulations for larger aeroplane air transport operations have been released. Part 121 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations will cover regular public transport, charter, cargo and ambulance work in aeroplanes with a maximum take-off weight of more than 8618 kilograms or more than nine passenger seats. The proposed rules retain many existing requirements, while consolidating regulations into one document suite and making them more operationally focused. There are a number of new requirements to bring Australia up to date with leading international standards. Proposed changes relate to extended diversion time operations, fuel and alternate aerodrome requirements, narrow runway operations, underwater locating devices, medical equipment, inexperienced flight crew rostering and cabin crew training and checking. The new rules allow as far as possible for an outcomes-based approach to be used by air operators. The proposed Part 121 is accompanied by the proposed new Part 119, which covers air operator certificates. A key outcome of the package of new rules will be a common level of safety for current charter and regular public transport operations, with both becoming air transport operations. CASA plans for the new rules to come into effect in March 2021, although some provisions may have a later start date if air operators need more time to transition.
Get more on Part 121 and comment before 2 September 2018.
Keeping carry-on baggage safe
Advice on the management of carry-on baggage and baggage issues during emergency evacuations has been released by CASA. Evidence from aircraft accident investigations shows many passengers attempt to take carry-on baggage with them during an emergency evacuation. This can hinder evacuations, cause injury to passengers and crew members, and damage aircraft safety equipment such as evacuation slides. It is important to prevent non-compliant hand luggage from entering an aircraft and this is a key safety role of ground and cabin staff. Crew members must be comprehensively trained in all aspects of carry-on baggage compliance. Operators should regularly review data on cabin baggage acquired through their safety management system. This should be used to evaluate current risk mitigation, inform safety promotion that prevents the carriage of overweight carry-on baggage, raises awareness of trending issues and support cabin crew decision making. There are a range of strategies to be considered to mitigate the risks of passengers retrieving carry-on baggage in an emergency evacuation. These include reinforcing the requirement to leave personal items behind during all passenger briefings, incorporating clearer illustrations into safety instruction cards and using simple, clear crew commands. Cabin crew training must focus on the problem.
- The notification requirement for drones operated in the under two kilogram excluded commercial category has been changed. Notification is now required to be renewed every three years instead of every two. However, notification must be updated if the operator makes changes to their operations.
- Requirements for Part 141 and Part 142 flight training operators to have an alternative person to carry out the duties of key personnel have been removed. A new exemption recognises circumstances where it is unnecessary to have alternative personnel. This change will assist smaller flight training operators and those who provide occasional flight training.
- Changes to the Part 61 flight testing and proficiency checking system have been introduced, including prescribing check standards in a new format. The new standards provide more flexibility in the design and conduct of flight tests and proficiency checks. The Part 61 manual of standards has been amended.
- A new exemption allows flight examiners, approval holders, approved testing officers and instructors to conduct flight tests, proficiency checks and flight training from a non-control seat to a limited extent. This removes any doubt about legal validity of the practice.
- All approved testing officer delegations expire on 31 August 2018. From 1 September 2018 these functions are authorised by a flight examiner rating. Holders of this rating are indemnified by CASA up to a cap of $100 million.
Seminars for pilots teach skills
The new series of AvSafety seminars provides support for developing skills in three keys areas - communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. The focus is on operations at non-controlled aerodromes, with a practical scenario used to explain the concepts of threat and error management. Pilots work through relevant defensive flying behaviours aimed at addressing human factors challenges encountered in single pilot operations. Discussion will look at how threat and error management techniques complement the technical aspects of flying an aircraft. At each seminar 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 September 2018 seminars are being held at:
- Gold Coast*
- Jacobs Well*
- Port Augusta
- Rawnsley Park
- Sunshine Coast*
- Wilpena Pound
- William Creek
Seminars marked with an asterisk include a brief on the World Parachute Championships, being held on the Gold Coast between 4 - 14 October 2018.
Book a place at your local AvSafety seminar.
Important seminars for engineers
Two engineering seminars are being held in September 2018. These 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. They are aimed at engineers, heads of airworthiness and maintenance, other people from airworthiness organisations and training personnel. The seminars are a great professional development opportunity and allow people to talk with CASA maintenance experts and ask questions. Engineering seminars are at:
- Sunshine Coast.
Find out more and book a place at an engineering seminar.
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