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CASA Briefing February 2007


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February 2007


The CASA Briefing


Your monthly CASA update


rom CEO Bruce Byron



Legislation to create the new Office of Airspace Regulation within CASA is currently before the Federal Parliament. In September last year the Government announced a package of airspace changes, which included setting up the new Office. Airspace classification and designation functions will be transferred from Airservices Australia to CASA. Underpinning these new arrangements will be a National Airspace Plan, which will set out the structure and operations of airspace, government policy and expectations for future reforms. When the Government announced these initiatives it made it clear they would allow the effective continuation of its airspace reform program.


CASA is working to have the Office of Airspace Regulation operational by the middle of this year, subject to the legislation passing through Parliament. An implementation plan for the Office has been developed and recruitment for key positions has started. On January 31, I told a Senate committee hearing into the airspace legislation that the airspace regulatory functions sit well with all of CASA s other functions. I told the committee:


"The Office of Airspace Regulation will continue to provide routine designation and administration of airspace and will establish a review program for existing airspace designation and services to make sure they continue to be appropriate. Larger airspace changes will be carried out in line with the policy statement the government has announced it will deliver on airspace reform. I am confident CASA can bring a fresh and highly professional approach to airspace regulation, with a focus on risk management and safety outcomes."


New maintenance training standards


A large step forward was taken in maintenance training and licensing this month with the release of new European-based standards. This means the large aircraft maintenance industry now has the option of moving to world-class training and licensing standards, ahead of the full overhaul of maintenance regulations, which is due by the end of this year. CASA expects a number of maintenance training organisations to move quickly to be accredited under the standards. At this stage the new standards do not replace the existing maintenance personnel training and licensing regime, rather they operate in parallel.


The new standards have been introduced by way of a Civil Aviation Order CAO 100.66. The Order allows maintenance personnel to obtain licences and ratings based on the European Aviation Safety Agency categories A, B1 and B2, and aircraft ratings. The main beneficiaries of the new licence structure are large organisations operating regular public transport. General aviation operations have significantly different requirements that may not met by the new Order and there is no requirement for them to move to the EASA-style licences. CASA is in the process of setting up a joint CASA/industry team to specifically address the maintenance training and licensing requirements of the general aviation and aerial work sectors.


Full details of CAO 100.66


Have your say on GA aircraft corrosion


All owners and operators of general aviation aircraft are being asked to comment on a CASA discussion paper focussing on one aspect of aging aircraft. The discussion paper looks at the potential for corrosion within the stainless steel terminals of control cables fitted to general aviation aircraft. The terminals connect control cables that operate flight and engine controls and undercarriages, making them safety critical. CASA s Service Difficulty Report database has evidence of two cases of cracking in the terminals and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has received one report of an in-flight failure.


Stainless steel terminals can be installed on any control cables and are not limited to any manufacturer. In the discussion paper CASA says the problem poses a high risk to operators of all general aviation aircraft aged 15 years or more with control cables constructed of SAE-AISI 303Se stainless steel . This could cover up to one third of the general aviation fleet around 10,000 aircraft. Cracking reported to date has occurred on the inside of terminal fittings, without significant external indications.


CASA is putting forward four options for industry consideration. Find out more and have your say.


Night vision goggle trial


A trial of night vision goggle equipment in civilian helicopter operations is set to begin in March. The 12 month trial will test proposed night vision goggle standards for eventual incorporation into the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Private helicopter operators may not use night vision goggles until the trial is completed and evaluated and holders of air operators certificates must submit an application to CASA and obtain approval. The small number of existing approved night vision goggle operators can take part in the trial without further approval.


For safety reasons the trial will be limited to specialised operations such as emergency medical services, search and rescue, marine pilot transfer, police and aerial fire fighting. CASA is setting up a working group with industry, which will include the Helicopter Association of Australia, to evaluate the trial. A Civil Aviation Order CAO 82.6 is being developed to set out night vision goggle standards and operational requirements.


Find out full details and apply to join the trial.


Pilots look and listen!


Two recent Victorian aircraft accidents are a stark reminder to all pilots to make an extra effort to be aware of what's going on around them, especially in busy airfield environments. CASA field safety adviser, Tim Penny, says there are a number of things pilots can do to help reduce the possibility of a collision, in the air or on the ground.


These include:


  • Maintaining a good lookout - remember non-radio equipped aircraft may be operating at or near a CTAF
  • Maintaining a good listen out - ensure the radio volume and squelch are correctly set and check and re-check you have the correct frequency
  • Improve situational awareness for other airspace users by using descriptive language where appropriate
  • Be aware that in calm or light wind conditions more than one runway may be in use
  • Use as many exterior lights as practicable - especially during bad weather or in difficult seeing conditions
  • Don t let yourself be distracted by checklists when either taxying or airborne.


AOC and COA searching gets easier


Finding official details about air operators and maintenance organisations has just become a whole lot easier. CASA has upgraded its web site search capabilities for both air operators and certificate of approval holders. For AOC holders you can now search by name, type of operations, state and aircraft types. This all helps to narrow down the operators you are looking for. For maintenance and manufacturing organisations you can search by name, type of operations and state.


For air operator searches go to: http://www.casa.gov.au/casadata/aoc/index.htm


For certificate of approval searches go to: http://www.casa.gov.au/casadata/coa/index.htm


Alcohol and drug testing


Work is progressing on the development of the proposal for alcohol and other drugs testing in the aviation industry. The Federal Government announced last year that civil aviation regulations will be developed to facilitate a range of testing, to be implemented by industry, with a reporting requirement to CASA. Mandatory alcohol and other drugs testing will be required for flight crew, cabin crew, air traffic controllers, ground refuellers, baggage handlers, security screeners and people with airside access at aerodromes.


CASA will issue a notice of proposed rule making setting out the testing and reporting regime in detail. A CASA/industry project team is to be formed work on the notice of proposed rule making, with a range of representatives from large and small aviation organisations. Consultation is also being carried out through the Standards Consultative Committee.


Full details of the project.


GA engine conferences: register now!


Places are filling up quickly at three special CASA conferences focussing on general aviation propulsion systems. The Avtech 2007 conferences are attracting a wide range of general aviation people, including maintainers, aircraft operators and manufacturers. There will be presentations by Lycoming Engines, TCM, Aero Shell, Embraer and SMA Diesel France. Topics to be covered include new engine designs, new oils and fuels, alcohol powered aircraft, diesel engines and continuing airworthiness of two of the most popular engine makes in Australia - Lycoming and Continental. Qantas are also providing a presentation on non-destructive testing technologies.


Details of the three Avtech 2007 conferences are:


PerthMonday 12 March at the Royal Aero ClubBrisbaneWednesday 14 March at the Brookwater Golf ClubSydneyThursday 15 March at the St George Rowing Club.


The conferences are free but it is important that everyone who wants to attend registers with CASA. To register send your details to Obaid Soomro at: [email protected]


More time to comment on proposed rules


Aviation people now have longer to have their say on proposed new rules for the sport and recreational sector. The comment period for two notices of proposed rule making has been extended until the end of April. Consultation is underway on proposed parts 103 and 105 of the Civil Aviation Regulations covering sport and recreational operations and parachuting operations from aircraft. The extra time for comment will mean people will also be able to consider another related notice of proposed rule making that is due to be published soon. This will cover the proposed part 149 recreational aviation organisations.


Find out more: sport and recreational operations.


Parachuting from aircraft.


Cessna wing skin warning


Owners and operators of Cessna 441 aircraft are being warned to look for underside wing skin creases. CASA has received a report of a wing skin crease in a Conquest and advice from Cessna is that creases suggest the wing may have been subject to excessive downward bending loads, perhaps through heavy landings. The deformation may eventually lead to cracks in the skin and any delay in repairs may result in the need for extensive future repairs. If creases are found it is recommended that further inspections be carried out and damage be repaired in line with manufacturer s advice. CASA also asks owners and operators to report wing skin creases using the Service Difficulty Report system.


Read the Airworthiness Bulletin.


CASA at the Avalon Airshow


CASA is looking forward to seeing all aviation people who visit the Avalon airshow next month. If you're at the Australian International Airshow 2007 from 20 to 25 March please drop by CASA's large display stand and talk to our people about safety and safety regulation issues. You'll meet CASA experts on licensing, aircraft registration, manufacturing and technology and sports aviation. As well, some of CASA's new field safety advisors will be offering practical advice on operational issues. Lots of safety education and information materials will also be available.



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