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The CASA Briefing - June 2019
Date of publication:
26 June 2019
CEO and Director of Aviation Safety
Effective and meaningful consultation is central to the way CASA operates. We are a safety regulator that seeks the views of the aviation community on important issues, as well as safety and regulatory changes. There are a range of mechanisms used to collect, manage and analyse feedback, including the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel. This Panel provides me with informed and objective high-level advice on current, emerging and potential issues and the way CASA performs its functions. It is the primary advisory body through which CASA directs its engagement with the aviation community and seeks input on current and future regulatory and associated policy approaches. The membership of the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel is made up of representatives of the aviation community and two people from CASA. Professor Pat Murray, of the University of Southern Queensland, is the independent Chair of the Panel.
The Panel has been operating successfully for two years, providing advice on developing and reviewing many regulations and policies. These include drone registration, fatigue rules, dangerous goods requirements, airworthiness regulations and the six flight operations regulations. I have now made changes to the composition of the Panel to refresh the expertise of the membership, align it with current areas of focus and stagger the engagement date of members to ensure continuity of the Panel. Three people attended their final meeting on 20 June 2019 – Rob Sharp of Virgin Australia, Caroline Wilkie of the Australian Airports Association and Greg Russell of the TAAAF. All three have been integral in the success of the Panel by providing me with high level and objective advice from their many years of valuable experience in the aviation industry. I thank them for their service. Three new members have joined the Panel, bringing a wealth of experience in flight training, helicopter operations and unmanned aircraft. The new members are - Adrianne Fleming – a founder of Tristar Aviation in Moorabbin which provides flight training and charter services; Captain Ray Cronin, founder and managing director of Kestrel Aviation and current president of the Australian Helicopter Industry Association; and Dr Reece Clothier, president of the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems and Global Airspace Integration senior manager Boeing NeXt.
Three current members of the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel continue to serve - John Gissing, Jim Davis and Michael Monck – as well as CASA’s two representatives, Graeme Crawford and Rob Walker. Pat Murray remains chair. I am sure the refreshed Panel will continue its good work, delivering constructive and practical advice as we further improve Australia’s aviation safety system.
Other CASA announcements
Incipient spin warning
CASA has issued a reminder that aircraft used for training, flight reviews and testing purposes must be certified for the manoeuvres being performed. Conducting an incipient spin in an aeroplane that is not approved for spinning compromises the certified safety margins for the airframe and the ability to recover from the manoeuvre. The reminder comes after the release of the final report of an Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation into a 2017 accident involving an instructor and student conducting a training flight in a Diamond Aircraft Industries DA40, from Archerfield Airport, in Queensland. The aircraft entered a developed spin during manoeuvres consistent with advanced stall recovery training, which likely included intentional incipient spins. The spin continued until the aircraft collided with terrain. The instructor and student were fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has issued a safety message about incipient spin. “Although the reasons for the accident could not be fully established, the investigation identified varying interpretations of an ‘incipient spin’,” the safety message says. “Operators and pilots should clarify with manufacturers the extent to which the early stages of a spin are permissible and ensure that aircraft are always operated in accordance with limitations. Furthermore, operators should have procedures, and instructors should take all steps, to ensure that they maintain the necessary skills to avoid unintentional spins and recover from both incipient and developed spins.” CASA is developing further guidance material about conducting incipient spins and advanced stalls, as well as how to meet the flight training and testing standards in the Part 61 manual of standards.
Ask CASA questions regarding the guidance material in development by email: email@example.com
New study good news for pilot health
A new study has found Australian commercial pilots appear not to be at a higher risk of developing invasive melanoma. The findings from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute research were based on the medical records of 20,000 pilots. They are a significant change from decades of older research in the northern hemisphere, which showed much higher risks of melanoma in European and North American pilots. QIMR Berghofer researcher and lead author, Associate Professor Catherine Olsen, said this study looked at de-identified medical records from 2011 to 2016 held by CASA. “This is the first study to examine melanoma incidence in Australian registered commercial pilots,” Associate Professor Olsen said. “Australian pilots didn’t have more melanomas on the head, neck or arms, which would have been expected if sun exposure in the cockpit was a driving factor.” Earlier studies were based on evidence from pilots operating in the northern hemisphere, mostly collected from the1940s up to the early 2000s. Associate Professor Olsen said the new Australian study findings were important to allay concerns about melanoma risk that have been worrying many in the aviation industry. “Today’s pilots work in different conditions and may have different lifestyles. In the 1950s pilots may have had longer layovers, often in sunny locations, and they likely had much higher recreational sun exposure, but now current practices don’t really allow that, they fly more often. Conditions in airliners have also changed. Levels of short-wave solar ultraviolet radiation, the kind associated with melanoma, are mostly extremely low on today’s airliner flight decks.”
Urban aerial ride sharing challenge
CASA is gearing up to tackle a new challenge – the safety regulation of urban aerial ride sharing. Uber has announced Melbourne will be the first location outside the United States for aerial ride sharing trials in new electrically powered, vertical take-off aircraft. Test flights are due to start in the United States from 2020 and there are plans for commercial operations to commence from 2023. Uber says the aircraft will be much quieter than similarly sized helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, with every rotor having its own electric motor. Uber is in partnership with a number of experienced aircraft manufacturers to develop the new aircraft, including a subsidiary of Boeing, Pipistrel, Embraer and Bell. The aircraft will operate between hubs in the city, to be known as ‘skyports’. Uber's regional manager for Australia and New Zealand, Jodie Auster, said Melbourne was selected after an 18-month process because of its population, climate and economic viability. "Melbourne's congestion levels are on par with New York," she said. "This and the fact that the population is expected to double to more than eight million people by 2050 made Melbourne a viable test city." CASA has held a number of meetings with Uber to set out the relevant safety and regulatory requirements. CASA has a strong track record in working with innovative aviation technology, having in 2019 created a world-first by approving a commercial drone delivery system in Canberra.
New safety support for drones
CASA is taking action to provide even better support for the safe operation of drones. A new drone information platform is being set up as the foundation of a fresh approach to safety for unmanned operations. The digital platform will create opportunities for innovation in the delivery of drone safety information, including the creation of apps to better meet the diverse needs of drone flyers. The new platform will be open to app developers so they can build safety focused tools for recreational and commercial drone flyers. It provides access to standardised safety information and communication tools for app developers who meet CASA’s approval requirements. In the future the new platform will integrate with CASA’s proposed drone registration system and will streamline the process for licensed operators to request access to airspace near controlled aerodromes. This is a further step towards the safe and efficient integration of drones into the Australian airspace system. CASA’s branch head Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Luke Gumley, says the rapid growth in the drone sector had created a need for more tailored and innovative safety information solutions. “Drone flyers need clear and consistent information about where they can operate their drones,” Luke says. “The first new app is expected to be approved for connection to the platform in early July 2019. We will regularly update a list on our web site of the apps approved to use the platform.” There have been about 250,000 downloads of the current Can I Fly There? App, which has been available for two years. This app will not continue to be supported by CASA.
Tips for getting SARTIME right
CASA has published tips for managing search and rescue times. This is because in 2018, over 30 per cent of inadvertent search and rescue incidents were caused by a failure to cancel SARTIMEs and a failure to report arrivals. Tips include:
- amend SARTIME during a flight if you think your arrival might be delayed
- if you change aircraft, or have cancelled or replanned a flight at the last moment, check if your SARTIME is still active
- a good way to remember to cancel your SARTIME is to set a reminder on your mobile phone - set the reminder to alert you five minutes before your SARTIME is set to expire
- another way to remember to cancel your SARTIME/SARWATCH is to add it to your post-flight checks
- if there is no phone reception at your destination cancel your SARTIME on high frequency radio on arrival. If your aircraft is not equipped with a high frequency radio you may contact sector and request them to cancel your SARTIME. This may need to be done in the air as VHF coverage may be limited on the ground.
- The new Part 139 regulations covering aerodromes and associated revised Manual of Standards will commence on 22 August 2020. The new manual of standards will be available in mid-2019. There will be a transition period of up to two years for registered aerodromes. Certified aerodromes are expected to largely be compliant with the new manual of standards. CASA has a new mailbox to answer any questions about transition and timings for aerodromes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Operators and maintainers of Robinson R22, R44 and R66 aircraft should look at a new airworthiness bulletin AWB 67-005 Issue 2 - Robinson Helicopter Flight Controls - Independent Inspections (pdf 101.28 KB) covering the replacement of hardware such as nuts and duplicate inspections during maintenance on the primary flight controls.
- New information is available for operators and maintainers of de Havilland Moth aircraft. This covers maintenance, servicing, inspections, repairs or modifications using a de Havilland technical news sheet. CASA is also encouraging Moth operators and maintainers to report defects and findings using the CASA defect reporting system so technical information can be updated. The information is in the airworthiness bulletin AWB 51-009 Issue 1 - De Havilland Moth - Inspection of Wooden Structures (pdf 164.8 KB).
- A review of the current airspace arrangements at Port Hedland has found they are fit for purpose. Feedback from stakeholders identified issues with several flight paths and some radio communications. Recommendations have been made to address both issues.
- It’s time to provide feedback on the airspace around Broome and Karratha aerodromes. A review is looking at airspace architecture, air routes and safety incidents. CASA is seeking feedback on safety, efficiency and potential improvements to the current airspace. Comment before 12 July 2019.
New seminars for pilots
A fresh series of Avsafety seminars for pilots starts from July 2019. New topics to be covered during the seminars are preflight planning, aeronautical decision making and checklists. The pilot pre-flight personal minimums tool known as PAVE will be discussed. PAVE stands for: Pilot, Aircraft, Environment and External Pressures. These are all areas to carefully review before taking off. Several case studies will be examined that involved issues including weather, fuel, weight and balance and airspace infringements. The importance of in-flight decision making will be covered, including some of the traps in decision making. A decision-making model will be looked at known as PILOT. This stands for Pool the facts, Identify the problem, Look for solutions, Operate, Take Stock. Participants will discuss a case study involving fuel management from the point of view of in-flight decision making. The section on checklists will cover their history, importance and how to use them. Several safety occurrences will be reviewed where the correct use of a checklist may have stopped the incident or accident occurring.
In July 2019 Avsafety seminars will be held at:
- Maitland – Yorke Peninsula
- Sunshine Coast
Book a place at a pilot safety seminar now.
CASA is holding an engineering safety seminar at Albury on Wednesday 10 July 2019. The seminar 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 seminar. This is a great professional development opportunity, allowing people to talk with CASA maintenance experts and ask questions.
Book a place now at an engineering seminar.
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