From acting CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody
I would like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to respond to two important consultation documents released by CASA in recent months. A total of 160 submissions were made in response to the medical certification standards discussion paper, while 494 people responded to the discussion paper on frequency use at low levels in class G airspace. The comprehensive medical discussion paper set out a range of medical certification issues and options. Options ranged from continuing existing medical requirements to developing a new medical certificate for the sport and recreational sectors. The class G frequency paper put forward two options for radio broadcasts in the vicinity of aerodromes in class G airspace that are not marked on aeronautical charts. They were to use the appropriate area frequency or the MULTICOM frequency 126.7. Both these issues have attracted vigorous debate within groups in the aviation community for some time and CASA recognised the need to formally canvass the views of everyone who wanted to have their say. I believe the solid response to the papers has shown CASA took the right approach in undertaking formal consultation.
We have now published 70 responses to the medical certification paper on the CASA web site. These were responses where the person or organisation agreed to their submissions being published. Most of the leading aviation organisations submitted a response, including the Aerial Application Association of Australia, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Australian Airline Pilots Association, Recreational Aviation Australia and the Sports Aircraft Association of Australia. I also thank the many individuals who wrote their own submissions. CASA will now engage an independent party to develop a report on the medical certification submissions so we can clearly understand the views that have been presented on the various options. This will equip CASA to make decisions on potential changes to the medical certification system. A similar report will be created on the submissions to the class G frequency paper to facilitate timely decision making on the relevant issues. I can assure everyone that CASA is committed to finalising positions on both medical standards and the class G frequency as quickly as is possible, while not rushing into inappropriate decisions. Your comments and views are at the core of our decision making process.
Read the medical certification submissions.
Defect reporting is vital
The aviation community is being reminded of the importance of reporting aircraft defects to CASA. The new defect reporting service is easier to use and makes reported data more accessible to the aviation community. Aircraft operators, maintainers and manufacturers must submit a report for each malfunction, failure or defect that occurs under the relevant reportable categories. In addition, any defect which has endangered or may endanger the safe operation of an aircraft must be reported. The information on defects is carefully assessed by CASA to provide information that can be used to make sound regulatory decisions and to provide important advice to aircraft operators and maintainers. The defect reporting service allows users to share industry experience and assist in the early identification of potential issues. While some failures in aircraft parts are random, the probability of failure can often be estimated based on previous failure data. Historical failure analysis can be of value in determining inspection intervals and failure modes, particularly for components maintained on condition.
Find out more about defect reporting in an airworthiness bulletin.
New way to keep cables safe
CASA will soon be seeking comment on the details of a new approach to keeping primary flight control cable assemblies safe. The new approach will offer an inspection regime instead of the mandatory replacement of all affected flight control assemblies at 15 years’ time in service. This will provide relief from the cost and time needed to replace all affected flight control assemblies. An airworthiness directive issued in early 2015 - AD/GENERAL/87 Primary Flight Control Cable Assembly Retirement – put in place the mandatory replacement regime. The directive covered primary flight control cable assemblies with terminals constructed of SAE-AISI 303 Se or SAE-AISI 304 stainless steel with a total time in service of 15 years or more. The requirements of this airworthiness directive take effect from 1 January 2018. As the airworthiness directive currently stands this means flight control cable assemblies on affected aircraft that have already reached or exceeded 15 years’ time in service must be replaced before 1 January 2018. However, CASA will soon be issuing a proposed airworthiness directive which will put forward amendments to the current airworthiness directive, AD/GENERAL/87. The aviation community will be asked to comment on the proposed amendments before CASA finalises the new control cable assembly airworthiness requirements. CASA has now agreed that inspections - if performed in a particular and thorough manner - can satisfactorily address the risks of cracking and failure of control cable assemblies. The repeating inspection regime will require detailed inspection for evidence of corrosion and fraying, which if found, will require cable replacement.
New app to keep drones safe
A new smartphone app has been released to make flying drones safer. The app clearly shows crucial drone no-fly zones and drone fly with caution zones for drones operated in the under two kilogram commercial category. This information can also be used as guide for recreational drone flyers and certified remotely piloted aircraft operators. The app uses a drone flyers location to display no-fly zones around major airports, the flight paths of smaller airports and helicopter landing areas. Users will also see restricted and military airspace where drones must not be flown. The drone no-fly zones are shaded in red on the map. Orange shading is used to show fly with caution zones around areas where aircraft are known to operate at low altitudes. It is the first time an official app has been released in Australia to help drone flyers stay safe and abide by the safety regulations. Information is also shown for uncontrolled aerodromes and aircraft landing areas, with written advice about what to do when flying a drone in those locations. The app has been produced with specialist drone software company Drone Complier and will be available in Android, iOS and web-based HTML5.
Get the “Can I fly there?” drone app now.
Watch before you fly the outback
Winter is a great time to go flying in outback and remote areas of Australia. Before pilots take off for less populated areas they should take time to watch Out-n-Back Two. This is a spectacular aviation safety video mini-series for visual flight rules and recreational pilots. The ten part series covers a 3350 nautical mile trip from western NSW, through outback Queensland to Cape York, down the Queensland coast and back across country to Bathurst. The journey delivers a hands-on explanation of nearly 30 safety topics critical to all stages of flight. These include knowing your aircraft, weight and balance, fuel management, remote flying, fatigue management, radio calls, ageing aircraft, bird strikes, remotely piloted aircraft, emergency procedures and electronic flight bags. The safety information is delivered during interviews with local aviation people with expertise in each topic. The ten online videos feature stunning footage taken from cameras mounted on a Cessna 172 flown by chief flying instructor Catherine Fitzsimons.
Watch Out-n-Back series two now.
Jabiru wing bolts must be replaced
A requirement to replace wing attachment bolts on Jabiru aircraft has been issued. CASA has published an airworthiness directive calling for replacement of the quarter inch wing attachment bolts before or on reaching 2000 hours’ time-in-service. The replacement is to be done in accordance with a service bulletin issued by the manufacturer Jabiru. The service bulletin says all Jabiru aircraft feature strut braced wings with the root of each wing attached to the fuselage through two bolted joints loaded in shear. At manufacture these joints are secured using AN4 bolts. The service bulletin adds: “Examination of several airframes which have reached 5000 hours’ time-in-service revealed one only original AN4 bolt that was not in acceptable condition. The bolt was never replaced during the 5000 hour period. As a precautionary measure a 2000 hour life is now imposed on all AN4 wing attachment bolts, both the front and back.” CASA’s airworthiness directive says aircraft which have already reached 2000 hours’ time-in-service, must have bolts replaced before the next 100-hour or annual maintenance inspection, whichever occurs first. The airworthiness directive took effect on 22 May 2017.
More details in the CASA airworthiness directive.
Read the Jabiru service bulletin.
Remote pilot licence changes
Changes to the training requirements for remote pilot licences take effect from 1 June 2017. From this date all practical training to obtain a remote pilot licence must be done through an organisation holding a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate with a training approval. There are currently 36 organisations approved to provide practical remotely piloted aircraft training. The change means practical training can no longer be done through remote aircraft manufacturers or their agents unless they have a certificate and training approval. CASA has made the change to ensure all practical training is conducted by organisations that have an approved syllabus, qualified instructors, suitable facilities and appropriate record keeping. Practical training is carried out in the category of remotely piloted aircraft to be operated – fixed wing, helicopter or multirotor. Most people will complete their practical training on a remotely piloted aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of less than 7 kg and are limited to that weight class. People completing their practical remotely piloted aircraft training are required to have a minimum of five hours flight time logged on their aircraft type. Along with the practical training applicants must complete aviation theory training. This can be done in combination with the practical training provided by approved organisations, forming a complete remote pilot licence training package. It can also be completed by passing a CASA ground theory examination. CASA will continue to recognise practical training courses completed before 1 June 2017 conducted by drone manufacturers or their agents.
Get more information about remote pilot licences.
Seminars for pilots on now
CASA is holding eight safety seminars for pilots around the nation during June 2017. Lessons for life seminars are scheduled at Horsham, Bunbury, Bankstown, Cessnock, Horn Island, Scone, Gold Coast and Archerfield. Seven of these seminars will focus on fuel management and handling partial power loss in a single engine aircraft. One of the seminars – Bunbury – will include a refresher on weather forecasts and a summary of accident/incident statistics over recent years. Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation reports nominate fuel management and partial power loss as the cause of a high number of accidents. Lessons will be learnt from past accidents, with everyone asked to consider how the accident could have been avoided. Other issues may be discussed such as electronic flight bags, regulatory changes, correct procedures to follow at non-controlled aerodromes and the requirements for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast. All the seminars provide an important opportunity for pilots to give feedback and suggestions to CASA.
Book your place for an AvSafety Seminar now.
Aviation ‘whatdunit’ takes mystery out of new regs
Air operators and pilots in Darwin have the chance to take part in a real life aviation whodunit in early June 2017. CASA is holding a crash scene investigation workshop to learn lessons from a Piper Chieftain accident and to apply those lessons to the need for key regulatory changes. The CSI workshop will be looking at how safety can be improved by more appropriate regulations for charter and small regular public transport operations. To understand the need for change participants will look in detail at the factors behind the Chieftain accident, which happened in poor weather conditions. A team of CASA specialists - with expertise in accident investigations, air traffic control and psychology - will be joined by an expert from the Bureau of Meteorology. The panel will work through the accident and then invite people taking part in the workshop to make linkages with more effective safety management through best practice regulations. Those attending will have a greater appreciation of the logic behind proposed changes to Parts 135 and 119 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, as well as how to be prepared for the changes. Part 135 will cover air transport operations in small aeroplanes and will set a common level of safety for what are currently classified as charter and regular public transport operations. The Darwin CSI workshop is free, will be held on Saturday 3 June 2017 from 10:00 to 15:30, with a light lunch provided.
Book your place at the Darwin CSI workshop now.