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The CASA Briefing - July 2018
Date of publication:
25 July 2018
From acting CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Graeme Crawford
Recent debate about safety regulation and the general aviation sector has focused on the need for a sustainable and viable aviation industry. Implicit in this debate is the suggestion by some people that CASA does not support a sustainable and viable general aviation sector. I would like to assure everyone this is simply not true. There is no CASA agenda against general aviation and we regard the sector as a vital component of the national aviation community. Many of CASA’s staff are participants in general aviation, or started their careers in the sector, and have a practical understanding of the issues and challenges the sector faces. CASA can’t deliver solutions to the broader economic and social changes that are affecting parts of general aviation, but we can and will do our best to provide an appropriate safety regulatory framework that creates confidence in general aviation across the broader community. It is important that people from outside aviation have trust in the safety performance of general aviation and part of our job is to help ensure that trust is maintained.
CASA is focused on regulatory solutions that are both practical, proportionate and address aviation safety risk. We use available aviation sector information such as accident and incident data, surveillance findings and sector risk profiles to develop informed solutions. With that in mind the term ‘general aviation’ may not be granular enough as it covers a variety of aviation activities of which there are varying opinions within the aviation community regarding what is and what is not under the general aviation umbrella. Whilst this is challenging it is not unsurmountable and CASA will continue to develop regulatory solutions that consider risk appetite and safety consequences.
Finally, if there are people doubting our words about our commitment to general aviation then please look at our recent actions. Three major reforms this year to the aviation medical system are practical examples of reducing costs and impacts on the aviation community, particularly general aviation. The Basic Class 2 medical, which became available in early July 2018, is targeted at private pilots and makes getting an appropriate medical quicker, easier and cheaper. If you haven’t already please find out more about the Basic Class 2 and other medical reforms.
(Shane Carmody is on leave)
Minister requires CASA to look at costs
CASA is required to consider economic and cost impacts on individuals, businesses and the community in its regulatory approach. That was a key message delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Michael McCormack, to the general aviation summit in Wagga in July 2018. Mr McCormack said CASA was also required to take a pragmatic and proportionate approach to regulation as it applies to different aviation sectors. He said these requirements were contained in the Government’s Statement of Expectations issued to the CASA Board in March 2017. “These are not just words,” Mr McCormack said. “The statement of expectations is a legislative instrument and I expect the Board of CASA to ensure its requirements are met. I can also assure you that I will work in partnership with our aviation agencies and industry in tackling the challenges and opportunities for the general aviation sector, identified in the Government commissioned Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) study released late last year. These challenges are diverse. They range from fuel and maintenance costs, airport leases and charges; the impact of some regulatory changes and delays in CASA reviews to a lack of robust data on the general aviation sector. The study also showed that Australia is not alone in facing economic, demographic and regulatory factors affecting general aviation, with several major countries such as the UK, US and Canada also suffering declines in general aviation activity. BITRE’s recent release of the 2016 general aviation activity survey has showed some encouraging signs in terms of increased flying activity in some parts of general aviation such as aerial work, flying training and aerial mustering. But I acknowledge that there are still serious challenges facing general aviation. I will continue to listen and carefully consider the issues raised by people in the general aviation sector, and the Government and portfolio aviation agencies will respond appropriately. I am keen to hear from you on the key issues you want tackled by Government and industry that relate to general aviation operations in Australia.”
Go to Michael McCormack’s speech.
Comment now on new rotorcraft rules
A package of proposed new regulations and safety standards for the rotorcraft sector have been released for consultation. The package is made up of the proposed Parts 133 and 119 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, as well as the manual of standards for Part 133. Part 133 establishes the operating rules for rotorcraft conducting air transport operations and Part 119 covers air operator certificate requirements for air transport. The proposed changes for the first time create a specific set of operating rules for rotorcraft air transport operations. The central purpose of the new regulations is to enhance safety by improving standards in areas of known operational risk. Key changes include introducing an adaptable rotorcraft code of performance, specific mandatory simulator flight crew training requirements for certain rotorcraft, additional flight preparation and planning requirements, new fuel planning and fuel use rules, additional requirements for flights over water and medical transport requirements in line with international best practice and industry feedback. The Part 133 regulations will cover rotorcraft passenger charter, regular public transport, ambulance and cargo operations.
The proposed Part 119 introduces one set of safety requirements for all air transport operations. This removes the distinction between charter and regular public transport flights. Key changes include a requirement for all air transport operators to have an appropriately scaled training and checking system, an appropriately scaled safety management system, appropriately scaled human factors and non-technical skills training for all operational safety critical personnel and a safety manager. The way in which each operator meets these requirements will be matched to their size and complexity. In other words, CASA will not require a small, non-complex air operator to have the same systems and arrangements as a major airline or a large offshore helicopter operator. Eliminating the differences in safety standards between charter and regular public transport will open up opportunities for smaller operators in the future as they will be able to operate more types of scheduled flight services.
CASA is proposing the new Parts 133 and 119 would come into effect in 2021, along with the other new operational regulations covering aeroplane and aerial work operations. Consultation on the rotorcraft proposals is open until 21 August 2018. Aeroplane charter and regular public transport operators will be asked to comment on Part 119 and the aeroplane air transport rules in Parts 121 and 135 in a separate consultation package scheduled for mid-2018.
Get all the details on Parts 133 and 119 and have your say now.
Sport and recreation have their own regs
Australia’s first dedicated sport and recreational aviation safety regulations are now in place. The new Part 149 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations - Approved Self-Administering Aviation Organisations – was made in July 2018. Part 149 brings greater transparency, flexibility and certainty to this important aviation sector. The regulations replace a series of exemptions from the standard safety rules that have allowed individuals to operate sport and recreational aircraft. Part 149 focusses on the organisations that administer sport and recreational aviation activity and formalises diverse arrangements with these organisations that have been in place for many decades. The regulatory changes acknowledge the strong history of safe self-administration in sport and recreational aviation, as well as the popularity of the sector. They also acknowledge the high performance standards of modern sport and recreational aircraft. To operate under the new regulations sport and recreational organisations will need to apply for a Part 149 authorisation. CASA will work with organisations to develop the required documentation, which will outline how they will carry out safety-related self-administration functions. Functions covered will include flying operations, maintenance and pilot training and assessing. A manual of standards to support Part 149 is being developed and will be released for consultation during the second half of 2018.
Go to the Part 149 regulations.
Cockpit practice advice
Air operators should take an operational approach to maintaining the so-called ‘two in the cockpit’ practice. This is the advice from CASA following a review of the practice and consultation with the aviation industry. The operational approach to ‘two in the cockpit’ is in line with the position taken by the European Aviation Safety Agency. The ‘two in the cockpit’ practice was adopted as a precautionary approach in aircraft with a seating capacity of more than 50 passengers following the German Wings aircraft crash in early 2015. The review of the practice in Australia found there were unintended consequential risks, including the second person in the cockpit potentially distracting the pilot, making inadvertent contact with cockpit switches and taking cabin crew away from their safety role in the cabin. It was also found the practice complicated flight crew access to the cockpit and introduced an additional risk of flight deck incursion. The recommendation is for air operators to evaluate their own safety requirements and make an operational decision on whether to maintain ‘two in the cockpit’ in their standard operating procedures. CASA’s aviation medicine branch will continue to monitor pilot mental health and maintain a high level of awareness among pilots of mental health priorities and sources of assistance.
Spotlight on turbo clamps and couplings
Detailed new information on the best practices for maintaining turbocharged engine exhaust system clamps and couplings is now available. V-band couplings and clamps are used at the turbocharger exhaust exit to join to the tailpipe. The advice is also relevant to other piston aircraft engines that have V-band couplings and clamps in the exhaust system. The best practices guide was put together by a working group in the United States and has been published by the Federal Aviation Administration. CASA issued an airworthiness bulletin to highlight the guide. The guide covers typical installations, inspections, unsatisfactory conditions, failures and life limits. The need for the guide was driven by continued failures of V-Band clamps and couplings on turbocharged engines. In many cases the components are difficult to see during visual inspections. The guide has diagrams showing coupling and clamp failures including fractures, cupping and cracking. It provides recommended life-limits for particular types of V-Band couplings and includes useful maintenance tips and hints.
Find out about V-Band clamps and couplings.
Flight examiners win indemnity
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has given its commitment to complete a smooth and quick transition to the new Flight Examiner Rating system. This follows the announcement that CASA indemnity will be provided to all Flight Examiner Rating holders. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, announced the indemnity decision at the general aviation summit in Wagga. The new indemnity arrangements for Flight Examiner Rating holders will become effective from 1 September 2018. Approved Testing Officers will retain their current indemnity arrangements until they transition to a Flight Examiner Rating. About 800 Flight Examiner Ratings have already been issued by CASA, with about 260 Approved Testing Officers due to complete the transition by the end of August 2018. CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, welcomed the Government’s decision on indemnity for Flight Examiner Rating holders. “CASA has been working hard behind the scenes to secure this decision as we understood the importance of this insurance indemnity for people working in flying training,” Mr Carmody said. “CASA will now complete the transition to Flight Examiner Ratings quickly and smoothly to minimise any impact on flying training. CASA appreciates the vital role the flying training sector plays in the aviation industry and will provide necessary support as these changes are implemented.”
Find out more about flight examiner indemnity.
Make safety briefings a success
Professionalism, credibility and eye contact can be essential elements to delivering a successful passenger safety briefing on aircraft. Cabin crew members need to show safety leadership through body language and good public speaking techniques when making a safety briefing. They also need to show enthusiasm and to avoid hurrying briefings. This advice is contained in a new cabin safety bulletin issued by CASA on getting the most impact from cabin safety bulletins. International research continues to show passengers can incur serious injuries and death from an aircraft accident because they do not pay attention to cabin safety briefings. A National Transportation Safety Board accident report on US Airways flight 1549 that landed on the Hudson River in 2009, noted only about 10 of the 150 passengers retrieved their own life jackets after impact. The report indicated almost 70 percent of passengers did not watch any of the pre-flight safety briefing, with the most frequently cited reason for inattention being that passengers flew frequently and believed they were familiar with the equipment on the aircraft. Research has also found passengers do not take notice of briefings due to their confidence in the safety of flying, a belief that crew will take care of them and a poor delivery of briefings. Airlines can use surveys of passengers to test understanding of safety briefings.
Get more on safety briefings.
- A panel of writers and editors is being set up to provide CASA with additional communication resources. The writers and editors will help develop guidance material, advice, fact sheets, case studies and information campaigns for the aviation community. They will be skilled in communicating technical and regulatory information in plain, easy to understand language. The communicators will have experience in areas including flying, aeronautical engineering, aviation management, drones and psychology. A tender process to establish the panel is being run through the Australian Government’s AusTender system.
- CASA has published a summary of feedback to proposed updates to Part 139 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Part 139 contains the safety rules for aerodromes. A number of technical and policy issues will be resolved through working groups and reviewed by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel before the final drafting of amendments.
- A project to make amendments to the Part 66 Manual of Standards is underway. This project is to make miscellaneous amendments, editorial and/or machinery changes.
- An exemption has been extended to allow pilots to log co-pilot flight time when operating single-pilot certificated aircraft. The new exemption expires on 30 June 2021.
- Jeff Boyd finished as Chair of the CASA Board on 30 June 2018. Jeff joined CASA in July 2014 as Deputy Chair under Alan Hawke, assuming the role of Chair in July 2015.
Seminars develop pilot skills
All pilots should be looking to enhance their 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. Discussion looks 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 August 2018 seminars are being held at:
*Redcliffe and Caloundra will 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.
Seminars for engineers
Four engineering seminars are being held in August 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:
- Airlie Beach
- Victoria River Downs
Find out more and book a place at an engineering seminar.
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