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CASA Briefing Newsletter - February 2012


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February 2012


From the Director of Aviation Safety


John McCormick



For some years people across the aviation industry have been calling on CASA to provide greater consistency in decision making and standardisation in the way we deal with individuals and organisations. Over recent years I believe CASA has made important progress in addressing these issues. For a start, we recognised the problem and committed ourselves to finding solutions. A lot of work has already been undertaken to improve the delivery of regulatory services, with the creation of a service centre and the standardisation of processes and procedures. I know further improvements can be made in regulatory service delivery and I can assure everyone we are working to do even better. In more recent times we have turned our attention to improving the way CASA conducts safety surveillance of the aviation industry. Surveillance is one of CASA's obligations, both under the Civil Aviation Act and Australia's State Safety program. I believe it is imperative that CASA adopts a standardised approach to surveillance planning and the conduct of surveillance across both air transport and general aviation operations.


To achieve this CASA is now introducing a new organisational structure in all of our regional offices. This new way of operating is known as the certificate management team approach. It will be put in place in our six regional offices – North Queensland, Eastern, Sydney, Southern, Central and Western. The certificate management team approach creates multi-disciplinary teams in each office made up of flying operations, airworthiness and aerodromes inspectors, as well as safety systems specialists. In some offices there are also cabin safety and ground operations inspectors. Each team has a group of air operator's certificates and certificate of approval holders to oversight. This new way of working better manages resources and ensures surveillance tasks are prioritised. It moves CASA closer towards risk-based surveillance and minimises the old fashioned divide within CASA between air transport and general aviation. There will be nationally standardised planning processes behind the new approach and an enhanced support network for decision making. I am confident the changes will deliver more consistent decision making, which will be of direct benefit to the aviation industry.


Best regards


John F McCormick


Making regulatory breaches clearer


The purpose of one of CASA's key regulatory tools is being made clearer. Currently, CASA issues a notice known as a Request for Corrective Action where it believes there may be a breach of the regulations. These can be issued to air operators, aerodrome operators, maintenance organisations or other holders of permissions from CASA. From 16 April 2012, the name of this regulatory tool will be changed to Non-Compliance Notice. The new name more accurately reflects the purpose of the notice - to tell someone they or their organisation may not be compliant with the regulations and they need to take action to correct the situation. According to Terry Farquharson, CASA's deputy Director of Aviation Safety, the change will make it very clear that anyone being issued a Non Compliance Notice must treat it as a high priority. "With the current Request for Corrective Action, it almost sounds like people have a choice about whether or not they comply with the notice, as requests are normally something one may decline. CASA wants to make sure everyone realises these notices mean that CASA believes there may be a breach of the regulations and there is a need to take corrective action as a priority. These are critical safety matters and they are critical to regulatory compliance. What is important to remember is that this is a name change only. It does not affect the way that CASA's surveillance activities and audits are conducted, and it doesn't change what the notices were always intended to be." Non-Compliance Notices will advise recipients to take appropriate action to bring them back into compliance, examine the underlying reasons why the identified breach occurred and take appropriate steps to rectify those underlying deficiencies.


You can email for more information on Non-Compliance Notices to [email protected].


Tell us your maintenance training needs


People across the aviation maintenance industry are being asked to tell CASA about their training needs. CASA is planning a series of new training courses on the maintenance regulations and is looking at other maintenance related training. A short survey has been posted to the CASA web site to gather vital information from people in the maintenance sector on these training proposals. CASA is urging everyone involved in maintenance to have their say before the end of March 2012. The proposed training courses on the new maintenance regulations will be aimed at people working in maintenance organisations that maintain regular public transport aircraft or components, as well as people working in the continuing airworthiness management areas in regular public transport air operators. The new rules require key personnel working in these areas to have the right knowledge, skills and experience. Both managers and employees need to understand their obligations under the regulations and organisations must demonstrate compliance.


The survey asks if people want training on the new maintenance regulations, details about the organisation they work for and their location. CASA is also seeking information on the numbers of people who might take part in training and which areas of the regulations they are most interested in. This will help in the planning and scheduling of the proposed training. The survey also asks about other maintenance related training people might like to receive from CASA. People can nominate topics or choose from a list which includes ageing aircraft structure, safety management systems, accountable manager courses, maintenance reliability programs and airworthiness directives.


Find the survey and fill out the form now.


Change to payments for pilot medicals


A change is being made to the payment process for pilot medical certificates. As of Monday 19 March 2012, CASA will no longer accept payments over the telephone for medicals. Instead, pilots will need to complete a payment slip, which will be attached to the medical application form. The documentation can then be lodged by email, fax or mail. Payment can be made by credit card or cheque. The new system ensures greater accuracy as the payment is directly linked to the medical certificate application form. Designated aviation medical examiners will give pilots the payment slip, along with the application form. Medicals have been the last regulatory service payment that CASA has accepted over the telephone, so the change brings these payments into line with all others.


The payment slip will need to be sent to one of these addresses:


Fax 02 6217 1640, email [email protected] or mail Aviation Medicine, CASA, GPO Box 1544, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


Piston engine overhaul requirements in spotlight


Issues relating to piston engine airworthiness are under review. CASA has set up a project to look at the engineering assumptions and conditions that allow piston engines to run beyond a manufacturers recommended overhaul period. This is done by following the requirements set out in an airworthiness directive - Piston Engine Continuing Airworthiness Requirements. An assessment by CASA of the latest amendment of the airworthiness directive shows some of the original engineering assumptions on which the directive is based are no longer valid. A number of these engineering assumptions date back to the 1940s. The assessment was carried out in the light of 20 years of data from service difficulty reports, as well as an Australian Transport Safety Bureau report on aircraft engine failures. There have been 11 amendments made to the airworthiness directive since it was first published to clarify CASA's policy on piston engine flight and calendar time between overhauls. The project reviewing these issues will ensure new requirements clearly set out CASA’s position on piston engine overhauls. It will also look at where these requirements should be located as it is no longer appropriate to set them out in an airworthiness directive. A better location for the requirements may be in the manual of standards for Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Part 90. These are the rules covering additional airworthiness requirements.


Find out more about the piston engine overhaul project.


Pilots - time to get to a safety seminar


The 2012 program of AvSafety seminars for pilots is underway. Already 50 seminars have been scheduled for the first half of the year, with ten being held in March. Seminars in March will take place in regional towns and cities in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. Registration for the popular and valuable seminars is now a simple and quick process done on the CASA web site. Online booking makes it easier for the aero and flying clubs that host most seminars. In 2012 the seminars will mainly focus on two key topics - human factors in aviation and aviation resources on the internet. The human factors presentation and discussion explains how an understanding of human performance is important to the safety of all aspects of aviation operations. It is based on CASA's publication Safety Behaviours - Human Factors for Pilots. This publication is specially designed for general aviation pilots and looks at areas such as fatigue, stress, alcohol and other drugs, decision making and airmanship. The presentation shows how to apply the knowledge of human factors in a practical way to everyday flying. During the presentation on aviation resources on the internet, there will be a focus on where to find the official information pilots need. A step through of web sites including CASA, Airservices Australia, Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Transport Safety Bureau will be undertaken. Detailed explanations will be provided on how to find training materials, information, advice and regulations, as well as how to lodge reports and forms.


Find your nearest AvSafety seminar and book now.


Action to stop control cable corrosion dangers


Action to deal with the problems caused by corrosion in flight control cable terminals is being stepped up. CASA has established a project to legislate for the replacement of control cables that use certain stainless steel terminals. An amendment is proposed to the manual of standards for Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 90. This Part sets out the additional airworthiness requirements for aircraft, supplementing design and type certification standards. It is proposed that control cables using terminals made from SAE-AISI 303 Se stainless steel be replaced before reaching 15 years calendar time. This is necessary as CASA has received a number of service difficulty reports from aircraft operators about control cable terminal corrosion. Terminals can be close to failing with no visible corrosion evident, meaning visual inspections are not adequate. A failure of flight control cable terminals can result in the loss of an aircraft in some circumstances. CASA has already issued an airworthiness bulletin urging aircraft operators and maintainers to replace the cable terminals before 15 years of age. This will be superseded by the requirements proposed in the Part 90 manual of standards.


Find out more about the stainless steel cable terminal project.


Read the current airworthiness bulletin.


Cessna nose wheel forks may be at risk


Operators and maintainers of Cessna 100 and 200 series aeroplanes have been warned of the continuing risk of fatigue cracking in nose wheel forks. In some cases this can lead to the failure of the nose wheel fork. CASA has issued the warning in a new airworthiness bulletin. The problem with nose wheel fork cracking in Cessna 150 through to 210 models was identified in the early 1970s. Cessna has addressed the issue since then by producing improved fork designs, however, reports of cracks and failures persist. CASA is using the new airworthiness bulletin to draw attention to advice first published in 1971, which is still relevant, about the issue. That advice said most of the cracks are very small and "tight". Where nose wheel forks have failed the cracks have been present for some time. Most cracks start in the lower machined area which accommodates the attachment bolt and they progress fore and aft. There have been isolated cases of cracks running vertically from the bolt hole. A Cessna service letter (63-31) agrees with this advice and contains useful inspection information. While the service letter is only applicable to certain early part number forks, the information can also be used to detect cracks in later design nose wheel forks. CASA recommends Cessna 100 and 200 series operators and maintainers consider the airworthiness bulletin when planning maintenance inspections.


Read the full Cessna 100 and 200 series airworthiness bulletin.


Sunshine Coast is now OnTrack


The on-line help available to general aviation pilots operating in and around controlled airspace has been expanded. CASA's interactive on-line tool - known as OnTrack – now covers the Sunshine Coast aerodrome. This means OnTrack is available for ten class D aerodromes. The other locations covered are Archerfield, Bankstown, Camden, Cairns, Cambridge, Jandakot, Launceston, Moorabbin and Parafield. OnTrack includes explanations of class D procedures, demonstrations on how to avoid airspace infringements and multimedia displays on how to fly the inbound and outbound tracks at the aerodromes. For the Sunshine Coast six inbound tracks and two outbound tracks are displayed. The displays feature photographs of key points along the tracks to make it easy for pilots to recognise their position by landmarks and geographic features. OnTrack is a practical tool for flight preparation and must be used in conjunction with thorough route planning and the checking of ERSA, NOTAMs and the weather. More locations will soon be covered by OnTrack, with Darwin and Alice Springs to be released soon.


Visit OnTrack now and check out information on ten class D aerodromes.


You can also provide valuable feedback to improve OnTrack.


New advice on hazardous material handling


New advice is now available to aerodrome operators on the handling of hazardous materials. The advice from CASA covers explosives, flammable liquids and solids, corrosive liquids, compressed gases and magnetised or radioactive materials. In an advisory circular there is information on the rules covering hazardous materials, what needs to be included in the aerodrome manual, procedures for handling hazardous materials and the rating of explosives. Whether an aerodrome accepts aircraft laden with hazardous materials is a matter for the aerodrome operator to determine. Where they are accepted it is recommended aerodrome operators provide an isolated parking position for aircraft needing to load or unload hazardous materials. The aerodrome manual should include information on any special procedures for aircraft carrying hazardous materials, detail the maximum quantity permitted on the aerodrome and set out the times aircraft with hazardous materials may or may not be able to use the aerodrome. The advisory circular says the aerodrome operator has a responsibility to ensure appropriate procedures are in place to protect other aerodrome users in the event of an accident, detonation, spill or exposure.


Read the hazardous materials aerodrome advisory.


Call for more traffic coverage in WA airspace


A review of the airspace covering south-west Western Australia has found a desire amongst airspace users for increased air traffic surveillance. The review was carried out by CASA's Office of Airspace Regulation as part of its ongoing program of airspace studies. The airspace examined is known as the regional services (south west) group, which covers 170,000 square nautical miles and includes aerodromes such as Albany, Bunbury, Busselton, Geraldton and Golden Grove. It does not include airspace within 36 nautical miles of Perth aerodrome. The airspace is made up of classes A, C, E and G, with control area steps in the area of Perth. Aircraft surveillance is carried out using radar and automatic dependant surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B). One issue identified by the review was the increase in air traffic to remote mining areas where there is no radar coverage. The review says efficient aircraft surveillance in these areas will depend on the fitting of ADS-B OUT equipment to aircraft. CASA has published a notice of proposed rule making on the mandatory carriage of ADS-B equipment by instrument flight rules capable aircraft which includes a specific requirement for this region. The proposal would cover instrument flight rules aircraft operating in controlled airspace within 500 nautical miles to the north and east of Perth, starting from 2016.


Read the south west group airspace review.


Air operator's survey now underway


The latest air operator certificate holder safety questionnaire is now underway. For the past four years air operators have been surveyed to ensure CASA holds accurate and up-to-date operational information on the aviation industry. The survey being conducted in 2012 includes all operators who hold an air operator’s certificate. CASA anticipates the survey should take air operators who have maintained ongoing data of their activities approximately 30 minutes to complete, although this will depend on the size of the company and the complexity of the operations conducted. The questionnaire asks for information about operations between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2011. Information is also required on each aircraft operated under the air operator's certificate, including hours flown, number of landings, passengers carried by operation type. Information is also sought on staff numbers and safety management practices for each air operator.


An email and letter has been sent to all air operators with a link to the questionnaire. Operators have until Thursday 1 March 2012 to complete the survey. If air operators have not yet received this information from CASA about the survey they are asked to contact Julie Codyre on 131 757, extension 1841, or email [email protected].



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Intersting read on LSA aircraft http://casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/main/rules/1998casr/021/021c42.pdf


6.8 Manufacturing kit built LSA


6.8.1 An LSA kit is not required to follow the 51 percent rule as required for other


experimental kit aircraft. However, before a kit built LSA can be accepted for an


experimental certificate, the manufacturer will need to produce a production aircraft issued


with a Special Certificate of Airworthiness in the LSA category of the same make and


model. (Refer to CASR 21.191(j)(iii)).


Note: To indicate that the aircraft is kit built, the model number may have a


different prefix or suffix to the production aircraft model number.


6.8.2 A kit built LSA is manufactured to the same applicable LSA standards as the


production aircraft of the same make and model except the standards relating to production


testing are not required. Instead of complying with the production aircraft test standards, the


manufacturer needs to identify the assembly instructions for the aircraft meeting the


applicable LSA standard for kit assembly.


6.8.3 For the kit built aircraft to be eligible for an experimental certificate, satisfactory


evidence needs to be presented to show that the aircraft was manufactured and assembled to


the applicable LSA standards. Therefore, the manufacturer will need to provide to the owner


of the aircraft a Statement of Compliance indicating that the aircraft kit complies with the


applicable LSA standards for a kit aircraft. (Note that the standard for production testing is


not required). The manufacturer will also need to provide information that shows a Special


Certificate of Airworthiness has been issued for a production aircraft of the same make and


model. The manufacturer will also need to provide aircraft assembly instructions, operating


instructions, aircraft maintenance and inspection procedures and an aircraft flight training




6.8.4 The manufacturer is not responsible for the assembly and acceptance testing of a kit


built aircraft. This responsibility lies with the owner.



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