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The CASA Briefing - July 2020
Date of publication:
28 July 2020
From Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody
Earlier this month I announced my time with CASA will draw to a close at the end of 2020. It has been a privilege to lead CASA and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me personally, as well as our organisation, over what will be more than four years. I have really appreciated the many personal approaches throughout my time as Director of Aviation Safety, and the willingness of the aviation community to work collaboratively with CASA to achieve the best possible safety and regulatory outcomes. It is my view that CASA is in a strong position and is well equipped to meet the challenges of the future. An executive search is underway to find the best candidates to take CASA forward.
Between now and the end of 2020 I intend to keep pushing ahead with a comprehensive range of initiatives. These include:
- Managing our business and assisting the aviation community through the COVID-19 recovery
- Finalisation of the consequential, application, transitional and savings regulations
- Finalisation of the manuals of standards for the flight operations regulations
- Implementation of commercial drone registration due to commence in September 2020
- Completion of a review into issues around the passenger seat limit for air transport in smaller aeroplanes
- Further transition of self-administering organisations into Part 149, and
- Continuing our business transformation and digitisation initiatives, including the release of electronic access to flight crew licence and remote pilot licence details and some licence applications via the myCASA portal. We will also be releasing the first iOS compatible electronic licence view for remote licences next month and for flight crew licences holders later this year.
We will continue to closely monitor the impacts caused by COVID-19 and are doing our utmost to be flexible in our regulatory approach during this challenging time. Some of our initial exemptions from March this year are approaching their end date and it is important to make sure they do not just lapse without further consideration. While many parts of the aviation industry have continued to operate during the COVID crisis, I am conscious of people and organisations who have been heavily impacted. We particularly want to be able to support those who will need to come back from an extended period of time without operating. If you are still experiencing difficulties, please contact your CASA regional office for support.
Below are two mock ups of digital licences CASA is developing.
Green light for low cost ADS-B
A greater range of Automatic Dependant Surveillance-Broadcast equipment will now be available for visual flight rules aircraft. A Civil Aviation Order has been amended to widen the range of ADS-B technology that can be approved for visual flight rules operations. This will make it possible for more affordable equipment to be voluntarily fitted. CASA has published detailed advice for aircraft owners and pilots on the voluntary fitting and use of ADS-B in visual flight rules aircraft. The technical standards for ADS-B OUT now include a range of equipment options primarily aimed at visual flight rules aircraft, including transponder-based systems and self-contained systems called Electronic Conspicuity devices and integrated Traffic Awareness Beacon Systems. The standards also allow technically capable, but non-TSO ADS-B OUT equipment, to be installed in a range of sport aviation, experimental and certain other aircraft. The changes follow consultation on proposals to expand standards to permit the use of lower cost ADS-B equipment to enhance visual flight rules situational awareness to improve flight safety. One hundred and thirteen responses to the proposals were received and as a result CASA made a number of changes to the final standards.
Read the low cost ADS-B advisory circular.
Find out more about the ADS-B consultation feedback.
Read general information about aircraft surveillance.
Carbon monoxide danger
Warnings have been issued about the dangers of carbon monoxide poising in piston engine aircraft. Both CASA and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau have released notices highlighting the risks of exhaust gas leaks and openings in engine firewalls. The warnings follow the collision with water of a DHC-2 Beaver floatplane at Jerusalem Bay, on the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney, on 31 December 2017. The pilot and five passengers lost their lives in the accident. Medical toxicology testing as part of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s ongoing investigation of the accident found the pilot and two of the passengers had elevated levels of carbon monoxide. On the basis of medical advice the Bureau considers the levels of carbon monoxide were likely to have adversely affected the pilot’s ability to control the aircraft. The Beaver aircraft had pre‑existing cracking of the engine exhaust collector-ring and a breach in the firewall from missing bolts used to secure magneto access panels in the firewall under the instrument panel in the cabin. A CASA airworthiness bulletin recommends a thorough inspection of exhaust systems and system replacement before the point of failure. Modifications to firewalls and access panels must be sealed and heating ducts and valves must function correctly. Small electronic carbon monoxide detectors should be carried in aircraft, with reliance on only visual indicator placards that change colour not considered optimal.
Read the carbon monoxide airworthiness bulletin.
Safety bureau R44 vibration warning
Robinson R44 helicopter pilots who experience unusual vibrations through the tail rotor pedals are being urged to land as soon as possible. The advice from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau follows a fatal accident involving an R44 helicopter at Broome in Western Australia on 4 July 2020. CASA is monitoring the investigation and will take appropriate action if required. “Based on CCTV footage and examination of the wreckage, ATSB investigators have been able to determine that the helicopter’s tail rotor gearbox, tail rotor and tail assembly separated from the helicopter soon after take-off,” said Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Greg Hood. Following the in-flight separation of the tail, the helicopter then fell to the ground, out of control. ATSB investigators have interviewed a pilot who flew the accident aircraft on 2 July 2020 and reported feeling unusual vibrations through the tail rotor pedals. The pilot of the accident flight also conducted a short flight in the helicopter and confirmed the unusual vibrations. Maintenance personnel subsequently conducted a dynamic tail rotor balance on the day before the accident. “At this stage the reasons for the in-flight breakup, and the significance of the reported vibrations through the tail rotor pedals, are not known, and the ATSB will provide further advice when relevant information is available,” Mr Hood said. “While the investigation is on-going, the ATSB urges any R44 pilot that experiences unusual vibrations through the tail rotor pedals to land as soon as possible.”
Find out more about the R44 accident investigation.
Inspections to stop Piper wing failure
Owners, operators and maintainers of a range of Piper PA-28 and PA-32 aeroplanes need to be aware of recommended actions to prevent a wing spar failure. In December 2018, a wing separated from a Piper PA-28R-201 operated at a US flight school due to fatigue cracking of the left wing lower main spar cap. Two pilots were killed in the accident. The right wing from the wreckage showed similar cracks in the lower spar attachment outer bolts. A further 16 aircraft from four other flight schools in the US were inspected and one was found to be cracked in the same location. Other failures have occurred in the past on similar models and in a similar location. These areas of the wing are not easily inspected during existing routine maintenance. Piper have released a service bulletin for inspections for cracking in the wing lower spar cap outer two bolts on each wing using an eddy current. In an airworthiness bulletin CASA says aircraft with more than 5000 hours time in service should have the inspection at the next maintenance opportunity, but not greater than 100 hours time in service.
More online services coming soon
Additional services will be added to the myCASA portal in early August 2020. New functions range from a simple licence reprint through to an online application to be a pilot. The myCASA changes are all part of CASA’s program to make online services better and more comprehensive. New services include:
- Aeronautical Radio Operators Certificates
- aviation English language proficiency assessment and validation
- General English language proficiency assessment and validation
- Flight crew and pilot licence applications
- Fireworks display notifications
- Flight review notifications and licence reprints.
This initiative will transfer about 15,000 regulatory service transactions a year from a paper process to online. Individuals will also be able to access the library of their data held by CASA, such as their contact details, licences, ratings and endorsements. Currently CASA offers a range of online service such as applications for aviation reference numbers, online learning, aircraft ownership transfer for individuals, remote pilot licence applications and contact detail updates. To make the latest upgrades CASA’s systems will be unavailable from 7 pm on Friday 31 July 2020 until 7 pm on Sunday 2 August. The outage will affect the self-service portal, flight test management system, myCASA and AviationWorx.
Go to the myCASA portal.
Part 121 standards consultation open
Have your say now on the second tranche of the proposed manual of standards for Part 121 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. To make consultation on the Part 121 manual of standards easier CASA has divided the process into three tranches. The second tranche includes standards relating to aircraft performance, flight crew and cabin crew training and checking and emergency evacuation demonstrations and procedural requirements. Consultation on the first tranche of Part 121 closed in 16 July 2020, and the third tranche which has five chapters will open shortly. Part 121 applies to all operators conducting Australian air transport operations using larger aeroplanes. Part 121 was made into law in December 2018 as part of the new flight operations suite of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and takes effect from 2 December 2021. The manual of standards will not be made into law until after feedback from all three tranches of consultation has been analysed and any necessary changes have been made.
Comment before 3 August 2020 on the second tranche of the Part 121 manual of standards.
COVID-19 support continues
CASA continues to provide support to the aviation community during the COVID-19 crisis. A 12-month extension has been put in place for people training to be an aircraft maintenance engineer. The exemption gives relief from the normal Part 66 timeframe requirements covering the practical aspects of aircraft maintenance engineer training and exams. There is now more time for people who are part way through their training and examinations to complete their qualifications. The exemption applies from 22 March 2020 until 22 March 2021. CASA has a package of COVID-19 relief measures for aircraft operators, pilots, aerodromes, maintenance organisations, air traffic controllers and remote aircraft pilots. For pilots there are general exemptions and extensions for number of licencing authorisations including medical certificates, flight reviews and proficiency checks.
Keep up to date with the COVID-19 relief measures.
New CASA Board members
Two new appointments have been made to the CASA Board. Ms Elizabeth Hallett and Ms Marilyn Andre have been appointed for three-year terms. They replace Ms Anita Taylor and Ms Cheryl Cartwright, whose terms have been completed. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the appointments ensure CASA will continue to deliver the high standard of aviation safety that the Government, travelling public and broader community expect. “Ms Andre has a strong aviation background with more than 20 years of senior leadership experience across various sectors of the industry and is actively involved in encouraging, mentoring and promoting women as the future leaders of aviation,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. “Ms Hallett has an extensive background in legal, regulatory and corporate governance, risk management and strategy development which will be so valuable to the CASA Board. I look forward to continuing to work closely with CASA to ensure Australia maintains our enviable position as a world leader in air safety and continues a safety regime that meets worldwide best-practice standards.” Mr McCormack acknowledged and thanked Ms Cartwright and Ms Taylor for valuable contributions to the CASA Board.
- There have been a number of infringements of controlled airspace since the Sunshine Coast aerodrome runway 13/31 opened on 14 June 2020. Changes to control area steps means pilots transiting the visual flight rules lane to the west of the Bruce Highway must now stay below 1500 feet. Failure to do this is bringing general aviation aircraft into close proximity to turboprop and jet aircraft landing at the Sunshine Coast from the north on the new runway 31. Find out about correct procedures now.
- Two new members will join CASA’s primary consultative group - the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel. Mark Awad, chief executive officer, Australian Warbirds Association, and Malcolm Sharp, managing director, Sharp Airlines, bring a wealth of experience from recreational and regional aviation. They replace Jim Davis and Michael Monck who were inaugural members of the Panel. Professor Patrick Murray will continue as the chair of the Panel for another year.
- More than 113,000 Australians have taken CASA’s drone safety quiz and learned more about the drone rules as a result of a national drone safety education campaign. The ‘Know Your Drone’ campaign ran on a range of online media during the first half of 2020.
- Don’t delay, subscribe today to Flight Safety Australia magazine. A recent survey found 94% of readers have learnt useful information on aviation safety. And 85% said it influenced them to become safer in their role. Choose a subscription plan to suit you - $39 per year (save over 10 per cent) or $11 per quarter. Hurry - subscribe by 4 August in time to get the Spring edition.
- Transitional arrangements for new aerodrome regulations, which come into effect on 13 August 2020, have been released. Feedback from consultation has been incorporated and the transition period has been extended by a further three months for existing certified and registered aerodromes.
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