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CASA Briefing Newsletter - December 2018

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From CEO and Director of Aviation Safety, Shane Carmody

As we rapidly approach the end of 2018, looking back over the year in aviation shows it’s been busy and productive. CASA has made improvements in aviation medicals, Part 149 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations was made in July, we continued to refine our new consultation mechanisms and we finalised transition to the new flying training regulations. Pleasingly, there was an increase in the aviation community’s level of satisfaction with CASA’s performance, which was reflected in the results of our biennial stakeholder survey.

 

It is important to acknowledge these achievements could not have been reached without the assistance of the aviation community. I would like to thank you all for your dedication, contribution and hard work in maintaining aviation safety.

 

By far our most significant achievement in 2018 was the recent making of the six new operational Parts of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. This was a journey that commenced in 1999 at the direction of the government of the day and has seen numerous priority, direction and policy changes since that time. Achieving this milestone was no small task and it required a lot of hard work and commitment from many people in CASA and the aviation community. I thank everyone who contributed to these rule sets. It is testament to our new consultative processes that we were able to ensure feedback from subject matter experts and people across aviation was received, carefully considered and incorporated as required in a timely and professional manner.

 

Next year won’t just be focused on working towards transition to the new flight operations regulations. We have a lot on our radar such as consulting and making the last three new regulatory Parts, transition to Part 149, remotely piloted aircraft registration, progressing change to general aviation maintenance rules, contributing to a number of key international commitments and wrapping up some long-standing matters like fatigue. The last three new regulatory Parts cover sport and recreation operations, sport and recreational parachuting and manned free balloons.

 

I wish everyone in Australian aviation a very happy Christmas and a successful and safe New Year.

 

Shane Carmody


Latest news

New operational regulations made

The new flight operations Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Parts - covering the general operating and flight rules, air transport certification and governance, air transport operations for aeroplanes and rotorcraft and aerial work - were formally made in December 2018. The aerial work Part addresses the specialised operational requirements for aeroplanes and rotorcraft in this sector. These new Parts take effect from 25 March 2021. Comprehensive support and guidance material will be provided by CASA well before this date to ensure a smooth transition. The rules consolidate current safety requirements, reflect best international practices and address important safety issues.

 

One of the main aims of the reforms is to reduce the safety differences between charter and regular public transport operations, with requirements scaled to fit the size and complexity of operations. This means smaller air operators will not be required to adopt the same safety practices in the same way as the major airlines. The next step for CASA is to work with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel on the effective transitional and consequential arrangements for the new regulations and to deliver comprehensive support resources for the aviation community well before the regulations commence. There will be a suite of guidance material and sample manuals, as well as a plain English guide to the general operating and flight rules in Part 91. CASA has given a commitment to make the implementation of these new rules as straight forward as possible.

 

Find more details on Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Parts 91, 119, 121, 133,135 and 138.

Flight Safety Australia annual out now

The fourth annual printed edition of CASA’s Flight Safety Australia magazine is out now. The 2018 Flight Safety Australia Collectors' Edition is a bumper collection of more than 50 stories published in the online magazine during the year. This 144-page publication is packed with credible, informative and comprehensive aviation safety news and is great reading for everyone involved in Australian aviation. It includes feature articles, contributor and general articles, as well as a close-call section written by pilots who share their experiences in the name of safety. Featured topics include effective safety techniques, virtual reality, the Piper Alpha oil platform disaster and accident investigations using drones. Other topics covered include the hazards of wake turbulence, human performance and limitations, and the limitations of visual scanning.

 

Order your copy now.

GA maintenance regs open for comment

Details of the proposed new general aviation maintenance regulations have been released for comment. CASA is proposing to adopt the United States Federal Aviation Regulations Part 43 with as few changes as possible. Amendments will only be made to ensure compatibility with Australian legal terms, to clarify the US rules, for formatting reasons or to incorporate any policy differences that have been consulted with the general aviation community. The proposals will not introduce a new aircraft maintenance engineer licence. There are five key aspects to the new rules - maintenance organisation approvals, a new individual authorisation, phasing out Civil Aviation Regulation 30 approvals, annual or progressive aircraft inspections and options for current maintenance organisations. No maintenance organisation approval will be required for carrying out maintenance of general aviation aircraft, engines or components, other than propellers and instruments. This will apply to all aircraft not engaged in air transport operations. A licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (LAME) will be able to certify, carry out or supervise maintenance of aircraft, engines, components and systems within the scope of their licence. LAMEs will not be required to obtain type ratings to certify maintenance on type rated aircraft under the proposed regulations. Annual or progressive inspections will form an essential component in the management of airworthiness of an aircraft. The annual/progressive inspection will be carried out or supervised by an individual authorisation holder who will determine that the aircraft remains in conformity with its approved type design. Aircraft operating in flying training or aerial work will also be required to undergo 100-hour inspections. Large aeroplanes (above 5700kg) or multi-engine turbine powered aeroplanes will be required to use a manufacturers inspection program or a program approved by CASA.

 

Find out more about the proposed general aviation maintenance regulations and have your say before 13 January 2019.

Give feedback on frequency advice

Feedback is being sought on draft changes to guidance material for pilots on operations in the vicinity of non-controlled aerodromes. This follows CASA’s review of the appropriate radio frequency to use at or near non-controlled aerodromes. A Civil Aviation Advisory Publication is being updated to clarify guidance on radio use, which supports the continued use of common traffic advisory frequency procedures. Pilots in the vicinity of an aerodrome published on aeronautical charts should listen and broadcast as necessary on the common traffic advisory frequency. When aerodromes are located within a broadcast area pilots should listen and broadcast as necessary on the broadcast area frequency. In all other cases, it is recommended pilots listen and broadcast as necessary on the area VHF, noting a pilot has the discretion to use the most appropriate frequency to ensure safe operations. This may be MULTICOM 126.7 MHz. To ensure mutual traffic awareness, it is recommended that pilots using an alternative frequency also monitor area VHF. CASA will be providing additional information on the radio frequency issue before changes are made to the aeronautical information publication at the end of February 2019.

 

Comment before 16 January 2019 on the non-controlled aerodrome advisory.

Melbourne VFR route change

Pilots who operate in the Melbourne region should be aware of recent changes to a visual flight rules route. The change affects the Melbourne Port Philip Bay route. Class C airspace has been lowered from 2500 feet to 2000 feet under the approach and departure path for Runway 34 at Melbourne Tullamarine airport to accommodate a category 1 ground-based augmentation system landing system approach. This has required a change for visual flight rules pilots flying the coastal route between the Laverton BOM Tower and Carrum. Between Point Ormond and the Laverton BOM tower pilots should fly eastbound at 1500 feet and westbound at 2000 feet. Between Point Ormond and Carrum pilots should fly southbound at 1500 feet and northbound at 2500 feet. The changes took place on 28 November 2018. Recently issued charts will not be updated until May 2019, which means pilots must check NOTAMs and the AIP supplement before every flight. The airspace arrangements that came into effect on 28 November 2018 for the Melbourne Port Philip Bay route are a modification of earlier changes made to accommodate the lower Class C airspace. The new arrangements were agreed after consultation with the local aviation community, including the regional airspace and procedures advisory committee.

 

Get more information on the Melbourne VFR change.

Mustering helicopter engine issues

Intensive multi-agency work is underway to analyse and address engine performance issues affecting some helicopters operating in northern Australia. Premature exhaust valve and valve guide wear has been found in a number of R22 and R44 helicopters used predominately in mustering in northern Australia. In some cases, problems have emerged in less than 100 hours after inspection. CASA has been working with other government agencies and a diverse industry working group to identify the likely cause of the issue. The group is looking at a range of contributing factors including the way the helicopters are operated, fuel, carburetor set up and failure modes. This is a complex issue that requires usable data to assess possible causes and to date no definitive cause has been identified. With the assistance of the engine manufacturer Lycoming and helicopter operators seven engine monitoring devices are being fitted to mustering helicopters operated in northern Australia. The data collected by the devices will quickly provide detailed information on engine performance trends to allow a more comprehensive analysis of the issue. Based on the information currently available R22 and R44 helicopters remain safe to operate, providing they are flown within their operating limitations. This includes lowering peak combustion temperatures.

 

CASA has also issued an airworthiness bulletin on R22 and R44 engine intake valve and valve seat distress. This is caused by an intake valve deposit build-up which is likely occurring during extended ground operations in elevated ambient temperatures. A failure to observe adverse indications or unusual engine behaviour may result in an induction backfire, engine power loss and airframe yaw. In a severe event this could lead to several uncontrolled power and yaw reactions. CASA has made a number of recommendations to address this issue.

 

Read the R22/R44 engine intake valve bulletin.

Improving community service flight safety

A package of proposed new requirements to strengthen the safety of community service flights has been released for comment. CASA is proposing the new requirements to support pilots who conduct community service flights and to enhance public confidence in the services. The proposed requirements relate to pilot flight time experience, licensing and medicals, night operations and maintenance. In many cases pilots currently conducting community service flights will already meet the proposed requirements. However, CASA believes it is appropriate to formally set out these requirements as pilots carry out community service flights without the organisational structure and support provided by an air operator’s certificate. In particular, the requirements will mitigate potential operational pressures on community service flight pilots. These pressures are normally not found in ordinary private flights and can increase the likelihood of an incident. CASA has been working collaboratively with community service flight organisations to support the safety of operations.

 

Have your say now on proposed community service flight requirements.

Christmas shutdown

The festive season is here and that means CASA will be closed for regular business between Christmas and New Year. CASA offices will shut from 25 December 2018 to 1 January 2019 inclusive. All services will resume on Wednesday 2 January 2019. Anyone needing CASA services or support over the holiday period should contact CASA now. Applications for services lodged at the last minute are unlikely to be processed before the holiday shutdown. CASA will have staff on call for urgent aviation safety matters over the Christmas-New Year period. Anyone needing CASA for an urgent aviation safety matter during the holiday shutdown should call 131 757 and follow the prompts.

In brief

  • Consultation is open on revised proposed new fatigue management rules. An instrument is proposed to be made in 2019 that will apply to air operator's certificate holders, Part 141 certificate holders and some flight crew licence holders. Comment on the proposed fatigue changes by 10 February 2019.
  • A new printed edition of the very popular Visual Flight Rules Guide is now available. The guide features plenty of diagrams, charts and maps to support easy-to-read information on all visual flight rules operations. Get your copy now.
  • Changes have been made to the way CASA processes notifications about fireworks displays. These will now be managed centrally, rather than through CASA’s regional offices. To notify CASA of a fireworks display, please email fireworks@casa.gov.au. Find out more about the process of notifying CASA and applying for approval to conduct fireworks displays.
  • Candidates applying for a recreational pilot licence are being reminded they must pass either the recreational pilot licence (aeroplane) or recreational pilot licence (helicopter) exam. After 30 June 2019, CASA records must show a pass in these exams for a recreational pilot licence application to be processed. Passes for the old basic aeronautical knowledge exams do not satisfy the requirements for the issue of a recreational pilot licence.
  • An avsafety seminar for pilots is being held in Esperance on Friday 18 January 2019 at 18:30 at the Esperance Aero Club. The seminar will provide the latest information on communications, situational awareness and threat and error management. Book a place at the Esperance seminar now.

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