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The CASA Briefing - September 2017
Date of publication:
26 September 2017
From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody
On 4 September 2017 we took another a key step in re-setting the way CASA consults and engages with the aviation community. That was the date of the first meeting of the new Aviation Safety Advisory Panel, which has been set up to provide me with informed and objective high-level advice on current, emerging and potential issues and the way CASA performs its functions. The meeting was chaired by Professor Pat Murray and there was enthusiastic participation by all Panel members. The Panel agreed progress needs to be made quickly on a range of long-standing issues and that CASA should strive to develop the remaining new regulations by the end of 2018. Members also agreed action needs to be taken to streamline and recast consultation mechanisms.
The membership of the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel is drawn from representative groups including The Australian Aviation Associations Forum, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia, Recreational Aviation Australia and the Australian Airports Association, as well as the two largest airlines. This means the Panel delivers views and expert advice from a wide spectrum of Australian aviation and can focus on the ‘big picture’ issues from a policy perspective rather than individual or sector based interests. At the first meeting the Panel agreed that its work will be supported by technical working groups to be established as required from a pool of interested and suitably qualified people. These working groups, which will look at specific issues, will be tasked and guided by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel to ensure alignment with agreed strategies and priorities. CASA will shortly be calling for expressions of interest from members of the aviation community interested in being involved in the technical working groups and other activities to support aviation safety.
Issues identified by the Panel for resolution as quickly as possible include pilot medical certification standards, radio frequency use in low level uncontrolled airspace, validation of the principles underpinning the development of the new flying operations suite of regulations, future policy directions to safely support growth in drones and concluding the outstanding actions from the aviation safety regulation review. I am very pleased there was common ground on the need to progress and close off these issues as they all have a high priority and must not be allowed to drag on. The Panel reviewed CASA’s guiding principles for the development and implementation of new safety regulations and, while agreeing they are sound, asked for them to be refreshed. This refresh will focus on a stronger emphasis on risk analysis, simplicity and clarity in the principles supporting the exercise of discretion, the 'uniqueness’ of the Australian aviation environment being seen as an exception rather than the default and timeliness.
You can find out more about the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel and read the minutes of the first meeting.
Your views are in on low level frequencies
The results of consultation on radio frequency use in low level uncontrolled airspace have been released. An analysis of the responses to a CASA discussion paper shows a majority support using the MULTICOM frequency 126.7 at low levels in Class G airspace. Nearly 500 people provided online and written submissions to the discussion paper, which canvassed views on using the MULTICOM or designated Area VHF frequencies. Supporters of MULTICOM said this frequency has better coverage, high levels of established use and is straightforward to use as it is uniform in all regions. Submissions also emphasised a desire to separate air traffic control services from pilot broadcasts to reduce the risk of over-transmission. While there was majority support for the MULTICOM a number of submissions provided detailed arguments for using Area frequencies. Supporters of Area frequency use pointed to the safety and situational awareness benefits of access to air traffic control services. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority expressed support for Area frequency use due to its advantages for search and rescue, hazard alert broadcasts and information to pilots such as notification of airspace restrictions. A number of respondents also highlighted the importance of a uniform, robust approach to safety education that reinforces pilot responsibility and awareness. CASA will make a policy decision on the low level frequency use issue before the end of 2017. There will be additional consultation and a comprehensive education program for pilots following the decision.
Read the consultation report and submissions.
Comment now on aerodrome rule proposals
An important consultation exercise is underway as part of updating and improving the regulations covering aerodromes. CASA is seeking responses on 11 specific proposals to make changes to Part 139 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and the associated manual of standards. The aim is to make the aerodrome safety requirements more streamlined, flexible and practical. CASA will also seek to reduce regulatory costs and burdens wherever possible. The current aerodrome regulations were made in 2003 and changes in technology, international standards and best practices mean an update is timely. One of the key proposed changes is simplifying the aerodrome certification system. Aerodrome certification would only be required where a terminal instrument flight procedure is provided at an aerodrome or an aerodrome operator chose to seek certification. The category of registered aerodromes would be abolished. This clearer and simpler system would bring a range of benefits to aerodrome operations, including reducing emergency preparedness costs for many aerodromes. Other proposed changes are developing more outcome based standards, introducing a graduated structure for certification requirements, changing requirements for technical inspections and introducing the position of an accountable manager for aerodrome operators. There is a proposed transition phase for the changes of one year for current certified aerodromes and two years for registered aerodromes. Transition would start one year after the amended rules were made.
Read the detailed aerodrome rule change proposals and comment by 8 December 2017.
Guidance on salvaged parts
Guidance on the steps to follow when fitting removed or salvaged parts to an aircraft have been released. The Civil Aviation Regulations allow components that have been removed or salvaged from an aircraft to be fitted to another aircraft as long as no maintenance needs to be carried out on the components. The components must not be damaged and they must comply with the manufacturer’s specifications. In an airworthiness bulletin CASA sets out five steps that should be followed when dealing with removed or salvaged parts. The continuing airworthiness records of the source aircraft should be examined to establish the condition of the component, the component should be removed in a controlled environment, a general visual inspection of the component should be done to detect any damage, the component should be carefully stored and records should be created to establish the traceability of the component. Only qualified personnel approved to replace the component should be used to carry out the removal. A person planning to fit a removed or salvaged component to an aircraft must have the agreement of the registered operator of that aircraft.
Find out more in the removed or salvaged parts airworthiness bulletin.
Lycoming engine warning
A range of Lycoming engines fitted to fixed wing aircraft and helicopters are at risk of premature connecting rod bush wear. The issue has caused five uncontained engine failures worldwide, with one reported in Australia. Two groups of Lycoming engines are affected – all engines new, factory rebuilt or factory overhauled in 2011 and engines repaired or overhauled using suspected non-conforming bushing identified in a Lycoming service bulletin. In an airworthiness bulletin CASA makes a number of strong recommendations to address the issues with both groups of engines. A US Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive requires inspections and corrective actions in relation to the second group of engines, which may have non-conforming bushing. These bushes are subject to progressive destruction causing fatigue cracking between adjoining components under normal engine operational loads. This can ultimately lead to fatigue failure of the piston pin end of the connecting rod, with associated damage to the crankcase, crankshaft, camshaft, cylinders and pistons. The CASA airworthiness bulletin says it is crucial any adverse indications or unusual behaviour during operation of an applicable engine yet to have the actions of the airworthiness directive performed are thoroughly investigated prior to further flight. Engine oil and oil filter inspections are effective in detecting problems with the first group of engines. CASA is asking for all Lycoming connecting rod little end bushing defects to be reported using the Defect Reporting Service.
Get full details in the Lycoming engine airworthiness bulletin.
Have your say on tests and checks
Proposals to simplify and streamline the flight testing and proficiency checking systems are now open for comment. The aim of the proposed changes is to make flight test and proficiency check standards easier to understand and apply. Changes are proposed to be made to the manual of standards for Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, which covers flight crew licensing. They involve flight test standards for Part 61 licences, ratings and endorsements and proficiency check standards for Part 61 ratings. Examiners have found the current format of the material to be inflexible, with aircraft equipment, operational practices or locations leading to difficulties in applying the standards. CASA has also found instances where several test and check items were addressing a common activity or manoeuvre, but used different terms. The purpose of the proposed amendments is to regularise the flight test and proficiency check standards across the testing and checking system so that common items are used in the manual of standards, flight test forms, the online flight test management system and the flight examiner handbook.
Comment on the proposed changes before 3 October 2017.
Aircraft flight test seminar in Perth
Aviation people in Western Australia who need to learn about aircraft flight testing should book a place in a special seminar now. CASA is holding an aircraft certification and flight testing seminar in November 2017 in Perth. The seminar explains the flight requirements associated with the aircraft type certification process. An overview is provided of the certification process, as well as a description of the flight test techniques and procedures pertinent to an applicable airworthiness standard. Safety during certification test flying is emphasised. Pilots, engineers and aviation managers involved in aircraft certification will all find the seminar useful and interesting. The information is particularly valuable to anyone involved in amateur aircraft building. The seminar is free but places are limited, so bookings are essential.
Book a place for the Perth aircraft flight testing seminar now.
Find out more about aircraft flight testing and evaluation.
Pilot safety seminars on now
CASA is holding safety seminars for pilots at eleven locations in October 2017. Avsafety seminars are at:
- Broken Hill
Pilots taking part in the seminars will look at previous accidents and incidents to learn lessons for the future. In focus will be pilot decision making, flying within your limits and hazards on arrival. Case studies of accidents and incidents covering each phase of flight will be set out, with a mix of fixed wing and helicopter events to be examined. CASA's safety advisers will ensure the seminars are interactive and open, with pilots encouraged to talk about their own experiences and offer their own lessons.
Book your place at an AvSafety seminar for pilots now.
Seminars for engineers
Five engineering safety seminars are being held in October 2017. Seminars will be held at:
- Airlie Beach
The seminars are aimed at people in airworthiness roles such as engineers, the head of aircraft airworthiness and maintenance, continuing airworthiness management, air operators and training organisations. Topics to be covered will include the maintenance responsibilities of the registered operator, registration holder, responsible manager, aircraft owner and licensed aircraft maintenance engineer; defect reporting; tool control; and the maintenance licence examples. CASA aims to support the professional development of people in safety critical roles by providing access to the latest best practice, information and resources. Importantly the seminars will also provide the opportunity to ask questions and raise issues with CASA.
Book your place at an engineering seminar.
- Deadline for responses to a discussion paper on remotely piloted aircraft regulation has been extended until 29 September 2017.
- Instrument to extend the implementation period for the new fatigue rules by six months has been made.
- A new version published of advisory circular 21-17 – Export airworthiness approvals. This provides guidance on applying for an export airworthiness approval for Class I, Class II or Class III products.
- Deadline for comments on proposed amendments to maintenance release instructions and general provisions of Civil Aviation Order 100.5 is 29 September 2017.
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