From the Director of Aviation Safety
The final three sections of the manual of standards for Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 61 have been published. This means the aviation industry now has the complete set of detailed information which supports the new package of pilot licensing regulations that take effect from 1 September 2014. The latest sections of the Part 61 manual of standards to be released cover flight tests, pilot proficiency checks and flight reviews. Sections covering pilot knowledge and competency standards, performance criteria, theory examination standards and competency assessment were published in May 2014. The manual of standards is a reference document which contains the aeronautical knowledge and practical standards for all licences, ratings and endorsements under Part 61. It replaces the day visual flight rules syllabus for aeroplane and helicopter pilot licences. The knowledge standards and skill competencies are set out in the manual of standards so that the minimum required training and testing standards are achieved throughout the flying training industry. Flying training organisations and instructors will use the manual of standards to develop and conduct flying training courses and to carry out flight tests, proficiency checks, flight reviews and competency assessments. CASA will use the manual to approve and monitor training courses.
To make it easy to understand the new pilot licensing regulations CASA is compiling a set of information sheets on the key aspects of Part 61. There are now 17 information sheets on the CASA web site, covering everything from learning to fly to flight reviews. Each class of licence is covered by a fact sheet, as well as medicals, ratings, proficiency checks, the manual of standards and authorisations for taxiing aircraft. There are guides to type-rated aeroplanes and helicopters which list the aircraft that have type-ratings. I encourage everyone to read the information sheets that are relevant to their flying and please do not hesitate to ask questions or provide feedback to myself or the Part 61 team.
Go to the Part 61 manual of standards.
Find the Part 61 information sheets.
John F McCormick
Last chance to comment on safety regulation review report
The public comment period on the report of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review is about to close. Federal Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss said the report was open for public comment until 30 June 2014, with the Government commencing consideration of the report without delay. Mr Truss said in developing the response to the report the Government will be looking to ensure the safety regulatory system is as good as it can be to support aviation into the future. “The review makes 37 recommendations for the Government to consider which collectively would represent the biggest reform in aviation regulation in decades,” Mr Truss told Parliament. “We will be looking to ensure clear strategic direction and coordination, to support contemporary approaches consistent with global best practice, and to foster effective industry engagement, in particular in regulatory development. Consistent with the Government's broader agenda in deregulation, we will be looking for ways to reduce regulatory costs on the industry without reducing safety. The Government will also take account of the recommendations as we approach a number of important appointments in the aviation agencies. This includes the appointment of two extra members to the CASA board to bolster the aviation experience, in line with a Coalition election commitment. I also expect that the CASA board will give full regard to the report in its current process for selection of the next Director of Aviation Safety.”
Mr Truss said the report confirms Australia has an excellent safety record and an advanced aviation regulatory system. Recommendations in relation to CASA cover issues such as the relationship between the regulator and operators, mechanisms for a more collaborative approach to regulatory oversight and the culture and skills required in CASA. There are also recommendations about the finalisation of the regulatory reform program and guidance on principles for developing future regulatory change proposals. The report suggests ways to improve the approach to regulatory reform and to reduce the volume and improve the clarity of aviation safety regulations.
Read the Aviation Safety Regulation Review report.
Advice clears the way for wider use of electronic devices
CASA has facilitated the wider use of personal electronic devices on aircraft by providing air operators with detailed advice on airworthiness issues, operational procedures and crew training. By following the advice air operators may be able to allow personal electronic devices to be used during all phases of flight, not just cruise. In an airworthiness bulletin CASA addresses both the electromagnetic immunity of aircraft and cabin safety. Extensive advice is provided on how to assess the tolerance of aircraft types to electromagnetic interference, including a series of check lists. Cabin safety issues relate to the stowing or securing of personal electronic devices. Large devices such as lap top computers must be stowed in overhead lockers or other approved positions when seat belts are required to be worn. This is so they do not cause a hazard during turbulence or an emergency. Electronic devices weighing one kilogram or less, such as smart phones and tablets, can be secured when the seat belt sign is on by being placed in an aircraft seat pocket, in a clothing pocket or being held in the hands. CASA recommends passengers be encouraged to secure smaller devices such as smart phones in a pocket and says they should not be left unsecured on an empty seat. A study was conducted to verify there is appropriate protection during turbulence or emergencies by securing devices with a one kilogram maximum mass rather than having them stowed. Air operators will need an approval from CASA to be able to allow devices of one kilogram or less to be secured instead of stowed.
Register now to have your say on CASA
Everyone in Australian aviation is being urged to take part in new safety communication research being conducted by CASA. The research project will inform and improve safety promotion communication activities. The project is being conducted by independent research consultancy, Colmar Brunton. To take part in the research CASA needs aviation people to register their interest now. People from the general and commercial aviation sectors, pilots, operators, sport aviation, aerial agriculture, aerodrome operators, licensed aircraft maintenance engineers, maintenance organisations, cabin crew, remotely piloted aircraft and flying schools are all encouraged to register to take part in the research. CASA is looking for feedback and ideas on a range of topics. These include how many people are using CASA’s safety information products, is the information helpful and how could it be improved. Questions will be asked about how people would like to receive safety information in the future and topics for more coverage. The first phase of the research, due to commence in July, will involve a series of focus group discussions and interviews, with participants chosen from people who register. An online survey open to everyone who registers will then be conducted later in 2014.
Register now to have your say on CASA’s safety promotion communication.
Stop your piston engine corroding
New advice has been released on preventing and treating corrosion on the external surfaces of piston engines and engine mounted components. Piston engines are sensitive to corrosion and ageing issues and if these factors are not properly monitored and controlled they can significantly impact on operations and airworthiness. Aircraft owners and operators are responsible for identifying conditions leading to corrosion and for taking appropriate actions and precautions. Where corrosion prevention maintenance is not carried out it can take a lot of work and expense to repair accumulated damage. Significant surface corrosion and pitting can under normal engine vibration stresses result in fatigue cracking. A new airworthiness bulletin sets out some of the key issues, including paints and protective coatings, engine cylinders and studs and engine accessories and hardware. Pitted surfaces on cylinder assemblies can cause the failure of components and external surfaces must be thoroughly inspected to be kept free of surface corrosion. Any corrosion must be removed and treated according to the engine manufacturer’s instructions. Cylinders with heavy corrosion or pitting should be replaced.
Get more information on piston engine corrosion in the airworthiness bulletin.
Making it easier to understand safety management system requirements
A new project has been set up to make it easier for aviation people and organisations to understand and follow the requirements for safety management systems. CASA is streamlining the guidance material provided on the development and implementation of safety management systems. Currently there are six sets of guidance materials for developing a safety management system, covering regular public transport operators, aerodromes, communication and radio navigation services, air traffic services, maintenance organisations and micro maintenance organisations. Because these documents were developed over time there are differences which reflect changing international standards. Some are not consistent with current advice from the International Civil Aviation Organization for the phased implementation of safety management systems. CASA will create a single advisory circular on safety management systems covering all organisations required to have one. This advisory circular will have appendices for specific or additional requirements that go beyond the standard safety management system framework. The new guidance material is not intended to significantly change the way current safety management systems are operating, instead focusing on providing consistent advice on developing and maintain a safety management system. The new advisory circular will be consistent with guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Find out more about the safety management system project.
Updated advice on helicopter landing sites
Updated guidance material on helicopter landing sites has been published by CASA. A new Civil Aviation Advisory Publication moves Australia’s standards on helicopter landing sites closer to the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. The new guidance material will also assist helicopter operators in the transition to future operational parts of the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. While some higher standards are introduced in the new advisory CASA does not expect operators of helicopter landing sites to upgrade existing facilities immediately as operational limitations and other risk mitigations may be in place to ensure safe operations. CASA is encouraging the adoption of the standards when building new landing sites or redeveloping existing ones. Except in emergencies helicopter landing sites can only be used in helicopter visual meteorological conditions under visual flight rules. Sites near a city or town may be subject to relevant environmental legislation due to noise and local council rules and regulations may also apply. Passengers and crew carried to and from landing sites should be briefed on any hazards and safety procedures. It is recommended operators carry out a thorough risk and hazard assessment for proposed operations.
Solution to amateur built aircraft problem
A solution is being developed to a recently recognised problem for people building amateur aircraft. The problem emerged when it was made clear amateur aircraft builders needed to obtain weight and balance data for their aircraft from a weight control officer. With only a small number of people holding an aircraft weight control authority from CASA this had the potential to add costs and time to completing amateur built aircraft. The weight and balance data is required before aircraft builders can apply for a special certificate of airworthiness. In the past amateur aircraft builders have weighed their own aircraft and calculated the empty weight centre of gravity as part of the building process. However, the Civil Aviation Order relating to the weight control of aircraft does apply to amateur built aircraft, which means under the current rules they need to use the services of a weight control officer, many of whom are not available for this type of work. The Sport Aircraft Association of Australia advised CASA that with about 60 amateur built experimental aircraft certificates issued each year a solution to the problem was needed. It estimated the issue could add up to $4000 to the cost of completing an amateur built aircraft. CASA has set up a project to change the rules to allow amateur built aircraft to use alternative weighing processes and procedures controlled by the Sport Aircraft Association of Australia.
Find out more about the amateur built weight project
Getting safety products and forms is easier
CASA’s online store has been revamped. The online store is easy to use and offers quick access to a wide range of safety education products, as well as medical and airworthiness forms. The airworthiness forms include aircraft logs books, maintenance certification logs, component history cards and the maintenance release booklet. Safety publications include DVDs and CD-ROMs, booklets, toolkits, posters, brochures, maps and checklists. DVDs include oxygen first, operations at non-controlled aerodromes, ageing aircraft and weather to fly. There are five tool kits – covering safety behaviours for pilots and engineers, global navigation satellite system training, flight planning and safety management systems. Brochures are available on ramp checks, aircraft icing and helicopter safety. There is no charge for printed safety publications, DVDs and CD-ROMs, although a delivery fee of $15 applies to each order. Some safety products can be downloaded for free, including the Archerfield, Sydney, Moorabbin, Parafield and Jandakot visual pilot guides. Fees are charged for forms.
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Flight Safety Australia now has new web pages: www.casa.gov.au/fsa
If you believe aviation safety is at risk, call the CASA safety hotline. Ring 1800 074 737.
If your aircraft has a serious or major defect make sure you report it to CASA. Forms and information are on the CASA web site.
Find out how CASA's safety advisors provide safety education, training and advice to the aviation industry.
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Looking to contact CASA's Industry Complaints Commissioner? Find out how here.
If you have a question or request about licensing or aircraft registration remember you can email the CASA Licensing and Registration Centre:
Do you know the easiest way to find the CASA office closest to you? Simply go to our national map and click on your region. Use this link.
There's a special number for contacting CASA's Office of Airspace Regulation outside of normal business hours. For urgent airspace requests call: 02 6217 1177.
CASA has a wide range of challenging and interesting jobs. Find out about the latest employment opportunities at CASA.
CASA's self service portal is an on-line tool that makes doing business with CASA easier. Find the portal here.
There's a special page on CASA's web site to help international operators flying in Australia. Find out everything about international operations.
Need to keep up-to-date with what's happening with the regulation of flying schools? Then keep an eye on CASA's web site flying training pages.
CASA's ever popular Flight Safety Australia magazine is online. View the current edition and back issues here.
Interested in sport aviation? Want to find out how sport aviation is regulated. CASA's web site is a good source of more information. Find out more on the sport aviation pages.