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2008 highlights in RA-Aus

Guest OzChris

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Guest OzChris

Source: RA-Aus


2008 highlights The year was very rewarding in terms of our primary goal — safe flying. There was only one fatal accident in an RA-Aus registered aircraft during the year — unfortunately both occupants died. There were no accidents where long-term injuries were sustained. Since the AUF/RA-Aus was established in 1983 there has been one other year (1996) where only one fatal accident occurred. Ordinary membership at 31 December 2008 was 8440. So, considering the 145% increase in membership since 1996, 2008 was our safest flying year ever. The average annual number of fatal accidents for the five year period 2004–2008 is 4.5 — about the same as the 1999–2003 period.


Past history shows that 87% of RA-Aus accidents involve or are directly attributed to critical decisional errors or human factor [HF] related events. Elimination of such events might be regarded as the last frontier to be conquered in the quest for fatality-free operations. HF training of the instructor population commenced in 2007 and by end 2008 over 70% of instructors had completed a human factors related course.


HF training was added to our Pilot Certificate training syllabus with the introduction of a revised Operations Manual. Consequently, from August 2008 all new pilots study HF in their training; all existing Pilot Certificate holders must complete an HF course or an examination by August 2010.


During the year 312 new registrations and re-registrations were added to the register, with a number of older aircraft dropping out, bringing the total to 2805 at December 31.


Aircraft register at end 2008 StateFull






suspensionTotal Qld 704 23 26 753 NSW


+ ACT 706 26 16 744 Vic 624 20 17 661 Tas 79 1 2 82 SA 263 6 5 274 WA 224 10 2 236 NT 50 0 5 55 Total 2650 82 73 2805


Note: provisional registration applies to completed home-builts which have not yet flown the 40 hours required for full registration. The 90-day suspension category applies to aircraft where the annual fee is up to 90 days overdue; after the 90 days grace period the registration entry is cancelled.


The ratio of voting members to registered aircraft has hovered around 2.5:1 for some years but at the end of 2008 it has drifted up to 3:1. The average annual hours flown (in RA-Aus aircraft), currently reported by our Pilot Certificate holders, has reduced a little to 32 hours; perhaps indicating that the average RA-Aus aircraft flies about 100 hours per year.


Membership at December 31 is 8440, up 8% from the 7800 at December 31 2007. The distribution of membership is:


Queensland — 2139 (25%)


New South Wales and the ACT — 2291 (27%)


Victoria — 2093 (25%)


South Australia — 927 (11%)


Western Australia — 523 (6%)


Tasmania — 278 (3%)


Northern Territory — 119 (1.5%)


Members currently overseas — 58 (0.5%)


The number of RA-Aus approved flight training facilities increased by 9% during 2008, totalling 139 at December 31. That total excludes about 15 satellite FTFs currently operating under the control of a parent FTF.


The continuing non-promulgation of CASR Parts 103 and 149 remains a major disappointment. To curtail some of the effects RA-Aus has requested changes to the old exemption CAOs — 95.55, 95.32 and 95.10 for the introduction of:


• Entry to controlled airspace (but CASA now requiring Class 2 medicals)


• Flight over water to come in line with GA requirements (not for powered 'chutes)


• Flight above 5000 feet approved in line with GA


• Entry to active restricted areas


It is expected that these changes should eventuate early 2009.


Another significant event was the inclusion of $250k of pilot liability for passenger cover in the Members Liability insurance policy.


Read the benchmark events in the development of Recreational Aviation Australia.

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