Notice of Final Rule Making
- Mandatory Flight Simulator Training – Amendments to Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs) 40.1.0, 40.3.0 and 82.0
In July 2009, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released a Transport Safety Report on a serious incident involving an Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia aircraft, registered VH XUE, which occurred at Jundee Airstrip, Western Australia on 26 June 20071. The serious incident involved a mishandled go-around caused by the flight crew's failure to recognise the loss of power of one of the aircraft's two engines.
The Report identified that "there was no regulatory requirement for simulator training in Australia". A formal ATSB safety recommendation (AO-2007-017-SR-084) was made to CASA recommending that CASA address this safety issue.
In September 2009, CASA initiated a project to review its regulations and investigate the need to mandate the use of simulators for certain flight crew training requirements in the air transport sector and other sectors where this may be considered appropriate.
The first phase of this project involved the canvassing of options in a DP that would introduce a requirement for certain operators to conduct simulator training. This consultation, which was conducted between December 2009 and February 2010, raised two main points of interest:
- Most respondents were of the view that all training and checking exercises that were of a high-risk nature should not be conducted in an actual aircraft, while some respondents suggested that all training and checking, regardless of whether it is high-risk or not, should be undertaken in a flight simulator.
- It was evident that a graduated approach, depending on the aircraft's size, and giving due consideration to the availability of flight simulators, would be the preferred way of dealing with this issue.
The issue of simulator training again came to a head following an aircraft accident which occurred on 22 March 2010 at Darwin Aerodrome, Northern Territory where an Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia, registered VH-ANB, crashed shortly after take off on a training flight. Both pilots on board were killed in the accident.
The ATSB Report2 into this accident revealed that the flight involved a simulated engine failure after take-off. This particular exercise, however, was conducted in a way which simulated a simultaneous engine failure and propeller autofeather failure—a considerably more challenging exercise—which is not recommended or approved by CASA. It is not known whether the check pilot (the pilot-in-command (PIC) of the aircraft) initiated this type of exercise deliberately or inadvertently. Notably, it emerged that the PIC "was selected as a simulator instructor as part of the operator's transition to simulator training for its EMB-120 crews. During simulator training in February 2010 for the renewal of his command instrument rating, the PIC demonstrated proficiency in handling engine failures on takeoff."
On 27 October 2010, CASA published NPRM 1007OS for comment, which contained proposed rules for a graduated approach to mandate the use of flight simulators and FTDs for non-normal aircraft exercises.
The NPRM put forward four key change proposals:
- For aeroplanes and helicopters certificated to carry 20 or more passengers, or with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of greater than 8,618 kg, and where an appropriately qualified flight simulator or FTD is available in Australia or overseas, any non-normal exercise must not be performed in the actual aircraft.
- For multi-engine aeroplanes and helicopters certificated to carry between 10 and 19 passengers, and where an appropriately qualified flight simulator or FTD is available in Australia, any non-normal exercise must not be performed in the actual aircraft.
- Define 'non-normal exercise' as an aircraft operation for flight crew training, checking or testing, which involves a simulated system failure of a kind that affects, or would be likely to affect, the flying performance or handling characteristics of the aircraft beyond the parameters of normal operation.
- Provide appropriate relief where a flight simulator or FTD is only commissioned at short notice.
Comments to NPRM 1007OS closed on 21 January 2011, after which CASA reviewed all responses, revised the proposal, undertook regulatory impact assessments, undertook further consultation with respondents to the NPRM and developed the final rule.
1 ATSB Report AO-2007-017
2 ATSB Report AO-2010-019
Contact: Nick Strange, Project Leader
NPRM published: 21 May 2012
- NFRM 1007OS - Preamble
- Annex A - Consolidated Summary of Comments / Responses received, CASA’s Response and Disposition Actions to NPRM 1007OS.
Annex B — Legislative Changes –
Amendments to Civil Aviation Orders –
CAOs 40.1.0, 40.3.0 and 82.0
Annex C — Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) –
Mandatory Flight Simulator Training.