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The CASA Briefing - October 2018
Date of publication:
25 October 2018
From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody
Survey finds satisfaction with CASA improving
We have just released the results of our second survey to evaluate the health of CASA's relationship with the aviation community. I am pleased to advise that aviation community satisfaction with the performance of CASA has risen markedly since the 2015 survey. This is the result of a lot of hard work right across our organisation, led by a clear focus from management on getting results that benefit everyone in aviation. The 2018 survey has given CASA an overall satisfaction rating of 6.2 out of 10, up from 4.2 in the same survey conducted in 2015. This means a total of 53 per cent of people taking part in the survey said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their relationship with CASA. Satisfaction with CASA's service delivery has risen to a rating of 6.2 compared to 3.8 in the previous survey, satisfaction with audits and compliance is up to 6.3 from 4.8 and satisfaction with development of regulations is up to 5.5 from 3. All key ratings have risen in the 2018 survey, including ease of complying with regulations which is now rated at 5.9 and CASA seeking to promote safety best practice which is rated at 6.7.
The survey, conducted by research organisation Colmar Brunton, canvassed the views of more than 1100 aviation industry participants. Respondents gave the highest ratings to CASA for respecting confidentiality, having safety as its primary focus and sharing information and knowledge willingly. High ratings were also given for CASA having competent and capable staff and being efficient in dealings with people. Clearly this survey shows CASA has come a long way in a relatively short time, but I recognise there is most certainly still much room for improvement. The survey found there is more work to be done to make regulations simpler, clearer and more practical and to deliver even more effective consultation. There continues to be a strong message that CASA must do more to be consistent in applying regulations. Across all stakeholder groups there is a desire for us to work with the aviation community to facilitate safe outcomes, rather than telling people how safety is to be achieved. I can assure everyone that we are listening to these concerns and will continue to work to make effective improvements. Future surveys will be conducted to make sure we are realistically measuring our performance and have benchmarks we can strive to exceed. I would like to thank everyone in aviation who took part in the survey.
You can read the full report of the survey findings.
Action on low level frequency use
A range of actions are being taken to help pilots better manage frequency use at low levels in class G airspace. This follows extensive consultation with the aviation community on the appropriate VHF frequencies to use in the vicinity of aerodromes in class G. After exploring options for change and considering all feedback, CASA believes the safest and simplest system is the one currently in place. There are three elements to this system. The first relates to non-controlled aerodromes which are published on aeronautical charts. In the vicinity of these aerodromes pilots should use the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) as published. This can be a discrete frequency or 126.7 MHz. The vicinity of the aerodrome is 10 nautical miles and at a height where operations could conflict with other traffic. The second element relates to broadcast areas, where pilots should use the dedicated broadcast area CTAF. The third element is all other non-controlled airspace, where pilots should be on the area VHF frequency.
CASA will be encouraging the operators of uncharted aerodromes to arrange for details of their aerodromes to be added to the aeronautical charts. CASA will also work with Airservices Australia to increase the number of aerodromes displayed on the visual aeronautical charts by adding all aerodromes that currently have an International Civil Aviation Organization four-letter identifier. In addition, CASA will use Regional Airspace and Procedures Advisory Committees to identify busy aerodromes currently using 126.7MHz and ascertain whether a discrete frequency would be appropriate. CASA will develop and deliver a safety education campaign on recommended radio frequencies for non-controlled airspace and new guidance for efficient and effective radio calls. The aim will be to make sure the procedures are easy to follow, and pilots are correctly following the advice for safe operations. The Aeronautical Information Publication and a Civil Aviation Advisory Publication will be changed to consolidate and clarify the policy on frequency use in low level class G airspace.
Get more information on low level frequencies on CASA's consultation hub.
GA maintenance regs to be based on US model
New general aviation maintenance regulations will be modelled on those in place in the United States. The decision to use the US model follows public consultation on options for the development of specific general aviation maintenance regulations. CASA issued a discussion paper on the issue in August 2018. There were 89 responses from aviation representative organisations, maintenance and training organisations, recreational flying and charter operators, maintenance engineers, pilots and private aircraft owners. All responses identified issues with the existing regulations and indicated support for change to a simpler and more understandable set of rules. Sixty-three responses indicated support for adopting a set of rules from another jurisdiction, with 78 per cent supporting the US and 11 per cent New Zealand. A technical working group established by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel has reviewed the consultation feedback and agreed with adopting the US model. This is seen as having the potential to deliver the best outcomes in cost savings to the aviation community, while at the same time ensuring an appropriate level of safety is achieved. More information on the proposal to base the new general aviation maintenance regulations on the US model will be released soon, with an opportunity to provide further feedback.
Read the results of the consultation on general aviation maintenance regulations.
New fuel rules about to start
New fuel rules come into effect on 8 November 2018. Pilots must comply with the new fuel rules from that date unless they fly for an organisation that holds an air operator's certificate or a flying training organisation with a Part 141 certificate. Part 141 certificate holders deliver non-integrated, single pilot licence and rating training. Existing air operator and Part 141 certificate holders have until 28 February 2019 to comply with the new rules. This extra time recognises that many operators were only recently required to amend their expositions or operations manuals to transition to new training regulations. The new fuel requirements will now require a review of current fuel policies and a potential update to operations manuals. The changes to the fuel rules will enhance aviation safety, remove uncertainty between rules and guidance material and better reflect industry views and international standards for fuel requirements. Key changes include re-introducing a fixed fuel reserve requirement, reducing reserve requirements for day visual flight rules operations in small piston or turboprop aeroplanes and requiring pilots to conduct in-flight fuel management with regular fuel quantity checks. Under the new rules a declaration of 'Mayday Fuel' needs to be broadcast if required. 'Mayday Fuel' is not aimed at setting conditions to take regulatory action against pilots or operators and a declaration does not automatically mean emergency services will be mobilised.
Find out more about the new fuel rules.
New approach to airworthiness directives
CASA has changed its approach to notifying the aviation community about important airworthiness directives. This new approach gives a clearer indication of the urgency of airworthiness directives. CASA will now only classify airworthiness directives as urgent if they have been designated as emergency airworthiness directives by the national aviation authority that has issued the directive. Where the issuing authority does not have an emergency classification CASA will use compliance time to determine if the directive is urgent. An urgent classification will be given to directives with compliance of less than 25 hours' time in service, or 25 flight cycles, or 30 calendar days. Where possible CASA will still send urgent airworthiness directives to the operators of affected aircraft, engines or aeronautical products. For direct communication to be successful it is critical that registered aircraft operators keep their contact details in the CASA aircraft registration system up to date. It is also strongly recommended that aircraft operators subscribe to the certification and airworthiness list in the CASA email notification service. This ensures an email will be received each time CASA publishes an urgent airworthiness directive.
Subscribe now to CASA information emails.
Send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cordless drill warning
There has been a warning about the use of cordless electric tools during aircraft maintenance. This follows a US Federal Aviation Administration report of a fatal hanger accident involving a brush-type cordless drill. An explosion and fire erupted when an aircraft maintainer loosened a fuel panel on a Cessna 414 from which the fuel had not been drained. It was not clear whether the explosion and fire occurred when fuel began to escape, or when the maintainer attempted to replace the panel screws. An FAA presentation says: "We can only speculate that maybe he was distracted and attempted to remove the fuel panel by mistake; all the underwing panels look the same on this aircraft and the fuel panels are not placarded." Brush-type electric motors make and break electrical connections mechanically, which can produce sparks and electrical 'noise'. The FAA stresses the need to use brushless tools certified as suitable for use in hazardous environments such as aviation. Brushless motors use electronic rather than mechanical switching, and thus avoid the risk of sparking.
Aim for the best cabin crew training
Detailed guidance on the best way to manage and deliver training and checking for cabin crew has been published. A new cabin safety bulletin provides information on the selection of cabin crew training and checking personnel, the responsibilities of training managers, training program development and outsourcing training and checking. Air operators are required to provide a training and checking organisation to ensure the competency of operating crews. Each operator must appoint their chief pilot or a training and checking manager as a person who has responsibility for the management of the training and checking organisation. Additionally, there must be a sufficient number of suitably qualified and experienced training and checking personnel to ensure that all training programs, examinations and proficiency checks can be undertaken satisfactorily. Depending on the category of operations, additional personnel may be sourced from an external organisation or be required to be in the full-time employment of the operator. Operators should document the process for managing external training and checking.
Melanie wins first memorial scholarship
Aspiring South Australian flight instructor Melanie Cummins has been awarded the inaugural Stephen Guerin scholarship. CASA established the scholarship to honour the memory of flying operations inspector Stephen Guerin, who lost his life in an aircraft accident near Renmark in May 2017. He was observing a check flight being conducted by an air operator as part of routine safety work undertaken by CASA. Two other pilots lost their lives in the accident. The $15,000 a year scholarship is offered to current and prospective professional pilots in South Australia. Melanie Cummins has been flying for 16 years and is currently working for Australian Aerial Services. In her application for the scholarship she said her goal was always to become an instructor and the financial support will be used to further her flying skills with an additional rating and endorsement. Melanie is active in the Port Lincoln Flying Club, assisting with safety related events and education. CASA's CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody, said Melanie's proactive attitude to aviation safety made her a stand out candidate for the scholarship. "Melanie's approach to aviation reflects that of Stephen Guerin - passionate about flying and keen to give back to the community."
Find out more about the Stephen Guerin scholarship.
The latest round in CASA's sponsorship program is open until 16 November 2018. CASA is looking to support organisations raising awareness of aviation safety in line with CASA's safety promotion activities and priorities.
- An airworthiness bulletin has been issued warning search and rescue and emergency medical services about potential dangers with rescue equipment. Certain winch hook and personnel carrying device systems can inadvertently release people during rescues, particularly during retrievals from water.
- Comment on the proposed manual of standards for the regulations covering remotely piloted aircraft systems before 18 November 2018. The standards cover a range of issues including training, extended visual line of sight operations, recordkeeping and notification requirements and operations in controlled airspace.
- A summary of feedback to consultation on minor changes to the Part 66 manual of standards has been published on CASA's consultation hub. CASA will proceed with the amendments, with some variations. Part 66 covers maintenance personnel licensing.
November pilot safety seminars
CASA's latest AvSafety seminars focus on developing pilot skills in three key areas - communication, situational awareness and threat and error management. A practical scenario is 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. 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 November 2018 seminars are being held at:
- Mt Gambier
- Murray Bridge.
Book a place at your local AvSafety seminar.
November seminars for engineers
CASA's engineering safety seminars 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. The seminars are aimed at engineers, heads of airworthiness and maintenance, other people from airworthiness organisations and maintenance training personnel. The seminars are a great professional development opportunity and allow people to talk with CASA maintenance experts and ask questions. Engineering seminars in November 2018 are at:
- Horn Island
Find out more and book a place at an engineering seminar.
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