Thursday, December 17, 2009

Aviation White Paper

From the Aviation White Paper:
“To maintain and improve the safety of Australia’s aviation industry the Government will: …........;
>> finalise the suites of CASA’s regulations on licensing and flight operations by the end of 2010“
It has been a long while since I've looked at the draft Parts 61 and 91 so just as a start have a look at where I was 6 years ago:

GENERAL
This page is an update on the status of the new Australian aviation regulations with particular reference to aerobatics.
The big event recently was the CASA FLOT2003 Conference held in Sydney in March, 2003.
First of all, some advice for those providing comments to CASA -
Read all the related documents before making your comment. Make your comments concise and to the point. The new regulations are structured differently - don't comment on just one aspect without taking the time to understand the framework and all related sections. If you like something - say so - otherwise just a handful of adverse comments can end up in it being changed to something that you don't like.

AEROBATICS
I won't go into all the background information here. I've made my views and actions known on the internet for many years - search the Ozaeros Yahoo Group for more information. The relevant regulations are Parts 61 & 91 - you must read both together as they are inter-related. All the CASA information is at http://www.casa.gov.au/avreg/newrules/casr/index.htm
I, amongst others, put in a lot of effort towards the proposed new rules and Advisory Circular for aerobatics - the intent was to facilitate administration of aerobatics. It recognised that certain people in industry and certain members of the Australian Aerobatic Club (AAC) had the requisite skills and attitude such that administrative oversight by CASA could be streamlined.
The text below outlines the situation going into the CASA FLOT2003.
PART 61 FLIGHT CREW LICENSING Subpart P - Flight Activity & Maintenance Authorisations
"1.1.2 The following flight activity authorisations are specified in this Subpart -
d) Aerobatics
e) Aerobatics below 3000 ft AGL
f) Aerobatics below 1500 ft AGL
g) Formation aerobatics
h) Upright spin - specified type of aeroplane"
PART 91 GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES
91.075 Aerobatic Flight
"(3) The pilot in command of an aircraft must not perform aerobatic manoeuvres in the following circum stances without CASA's approval:
(a) below 3 000 feet AGL;
(b) in the vicinity of a public gathering or at an air display;
(c) at night."
The prior draft had 1500 feet as the minimum altitude "without CASA's approval". i.e. per the draft Part 61 above the initial endorsement would be to 3,000 ft. Down to 1500 ft was a separate endorsement (or authorisation, the new term) i.e. does not require CASA approval - built it does require authorisation from .... but .... "many" of those who commented on the Part 91 NPRM either did not read the associated material (the Advisory Circular and the Part 61 proposal) or wanted to torpedo the whole proposal for aerobatics and put administration of aerobatics back thirty years. Let's have a look at those comments.
Comment 22
"I am no medical expert however I don't understand how unconsciousness is a risk with negative G......... A former member of the Club; Dr Hilton Selvey has written to you regarding his experience and research in relation to general fitness and anti G straining techniques. We have not attached DR Selvey's comment to our own however we do respect his professional opinion and his experience in this field. Although we are not in a position to give an opinion in relation to medical and physiological effects of G on a pilot our experience with current pilots flying in Australia and the world for that matter is in definite conflict ...
Spin endorsement Paragraph 12 indicates that a spin endorsement is a legal prerequisite for aerobatic training. Further appendix 1 states that a pilot must not fly as pilot in command during spinning or aerobatic flight until he or she has been certified for spinning and aerobatic manoeuvres. This appears to be a new rule and has created much confusion within the club. I personally do not have a separate spin endorsement in my logbook and appendix 1 seems to imply that this is now mandatory..... This concludes the input from myself and the AAC at this point. Once again I would like to state our wholehearted support for this initiative...."
CASA Response "Reply pertains to the AC."
Comment 24 (at FLOT2003 a CASA officer stated that the AAC was one such response below!)
"Many respondents indicated that the minimum height for aerobatics should be initially set at 3000 feet and not 1500 feet as proposed in the regulation.
CASA Response "CASA agrees."
Disposition "Revised drafting instructions submitted to raise the height back to 3000 feet, as is the current requirement."
Comment 187 Guidelines for Aerobatics - Ref AC 91-077
"Many of my comments on earlier drafts have been incorporated. Some outstanding issues:
1. References the text in para 8 refers to data from NASA but there's no NASA reference listed. Kermode is quoted in para 12.2 but not listed.
4.1 utility category may be certified for limited acrobatic manoeuvres the utility category refers to design load factors and design airspeed there being no requirement to certify any acrobatic manoeuvres.
4.8 a pilot new to aerobatics should have a check up with an Aviation Medical Examiner prior to acrobatic training? Why? What do AMEs know on this subject?
9.1.9 effects of +0 can be counteracted by pulling the head down between the shoulders? I have never tried this in an aeroplane. In the safety of my own home I have attempted this but was unable to achieve that condition.
10.3 refers to G loadings between normal, utility and acrobatic categories. Consider a note that design airspeeds vary significantly too.
10.8 refers to limits, including maximum flick manoeuvre IAS. FAR 23 only refers to recommended entry speeds and that's what is typically in the AFM or POH. It is rare to have a maximum flick manoeuvres LAS it is usually a range of recommended entry speeds or just a single recommended entry speed. I certainly agree it should be treated as a limit....
Appendix 1. When this was drafted, two to three years ago, Appendix 1 was considered to be interim. Now that CASR 91 is being delayed while the other regulations are developed were at the point where Appendix 1 needs to be removed from this AC and issued as a separate AC as it relates to CASR 61 the draft itself identifies this intention on the very last page......e
Transition - I note the intent for an appropriate transition phase. Consideration needs to be given to transition to the new endorsements in terms of minimum heights. Existing aerobatic endorsements should remain valid for aerobatics above 3000 ft. Many of the low level acrobatic approvals have no expiry date. Will these remain valid?"
CASA Response
"(1) Referencing is reasonable given that this is an AC and not an academic paper.
(2) Definition of utility category points to the flight manual for definition of the aerobatic manoeuvres, which are permitted.
(3) A Designated Aeronautical Medical Examiner is trained to make a medical assessment of a pilot according the type of flying they may be undertaking and may be aware of factors that a General Practitioner may miss.
(4) Entry IAS is covered by the statement 'maximum flick manoeuvre IAS'.
(5) Appendix to be deleted and incorporated into Part 61."
Disposition "Change to AC carried out in line with the CASA response above."

Pilkington's Views on Regulations Related to Aerobatics
Well, the intent here is to limit my views to those new regulations which apply to aerobatics however they will stretch to some related issues. Let's start with that incredible Comment #24.
Comment 24
"Many respondents indicated that the minimum height for aerobatics should be initially set at 3000 feet and not 1500 feet as proposed in the regulation.
CASA Response "CASA agrees."
As the 2002 version of draft 91.075 did not propose that the minimum height for aerobatics be initially set at anything other than 3000 ft I'm surprised at this comment. The 2002 draft 91.075 simply stated that aerobatics below 1500 ft required CASA approval.
The draft AC 91.075(0) has been available for review in its current form since September, 2001. Appendix 1, Para 3.3 is quite clear on the subject of initial approvals for aerobatics:
"Pilots may be certified as safe to conduct all the primary aerobatic manoeuvres above a minimum height of 1500 feet, but must not be cleared for aerobatic manoeuvres below their individual spin recovery certification. A minimum height of 3000 feet is recommended for most initial approvals."
Para 2.3 also refers to limitations for inexperienced pilots. The AC also outlines requirements for aerobatic flight instructors, training and the provision of an Operations Manual which would detail the conduct of aerobatic training. This is the mechanism by which CASA would control the process for training and issue of approvals for aerobatics down to 3000 ft; and down to 1500 ft.
The significance of the height in 91.075 relates to CASA approval - it sets the level at which CASA itself must issue the approval to perform aerobatics as distinct from an authorization from a authorised flight instructor (or other person). The 2002 draft 91.075 proposed 1500 feet as the limit below which CASA would directly issue approvals to perform aerobatics. Approval to conduct aerobatics at all requires an authorization and I refer to the draft for Part 61. An authorization to conduct aerobatics below 3000 ft (down to 1500 ft) is a separate authorization from that for aerobatics (above 3000 ft). This information on the intent of authorisations related to aerobatics has been publicly available since March 2002.
This proposal was widely discussed between CASA and industry some years ago. I am disappointed that CASA has lost that corporate knowledge of the development of the proposal. I am surprised that those who commented did not (apparently) adequately read the Advisory Circular nor the Part 61 Discussion Paper which clearly confirmed that the initial minimum height for aerobatic authorizations remains 3000 ft.

On the subject of physiological effects which was the subject of Comment #22 and #187. I recommend consideration of this work from the USN: http://www.nomi.med.navy.mil/NAMI/GTIP.PPT It provides a useful update to the material of the draft AC (which was derived from FAA AC - 61-67) - consider the comments there which support the views of Dr Hilton Selvey over the older work reflected in the draft AC 91.075(0).
From discussion with Dr David Newman late last year - he would be willing to act as a consultant to CASA on these issues. For those who don't know Dr Newman: MB, BS, DAvMed, PhD, MRAeS and Director- Aerospace Physiology Laboratory, RMIT. He is also on the Committee of the Aviation Medical Society of Australia and New Zealand. http://www.amsanz.org/Australia/home.html
Also, despite CASA comments in the SOR, I find nothing regarding the effects of G in the DAME's Handbook at http://www.casa.gov.au/manuals/htm/dame/dame.htm

PART 61 FLIGHT CREW LICENSING Subpart P - Flight Activity & Maintenance Authorisations
"1.1.2 The following flight activity authorisations are specified in this Subpart -
d) Aerobatics
e) Aerobatics below 3000 ft AGL
f) Aerobatics below 1500 ft AGL
g) Formation aerobatics
h) Upright spin - specified type of aeroplane"
I generally support the above - the following notes are more specific on each line item.
In particular, I agree with d), e) and f). This provides a consistent and reasonable process for authorisation of aerobatics throughout the three regimes - above 3000 ft, down to 1500 ft and below 1500 ft. I note that NZ has implemented similar regulations and these should be reviewed for consideration to assist in drafting Part 61 here. http://www.caa.govt.nz/ Their 91.701 relates to our 91.075 but goes further in spelling out the same three regimes - above 3000 ft, 3000 to 1500 ft and below 1500 ft. Their Part 61, Subpart L relates to aerobatics and has similar provisions to that of the draft AC 91.075(0) Appendix 1.
I note that Appendix 1 of draft AC 91.075(0) is to be removed from that AC and be incorporated in Part 61. I support that Appendix 1 in general however it requires substantial improvement as follows. My comments assume that it is retained as an Advisory Circular.
- refer to paras 3.1 and 3.3. For operations below 3000 ft, the authorisation should combine aerobatics and spinning. Part 61 draft does not provide for separate spin authorisations below 3000 ft. Apart from being the current situation, the rationale is that any spinning conducted below 3000 is either quite limited, being part of a competition sequence, or highly specialised, being part of a display, so the overall competence of conducting that operation with provision for identification and correction of departures from the planned sequence is the important issue.
- para 3.4. Using 150 kts as the boundary of a performance range is inappropriate - in fact, using airspeed as the sole parameter is inappropriate. Classification of types into conventional GA types, warbirds and jets would be more appropriate.
- sections 4 and 5 were drafted to reflect current practice and need to be edited to conform to the draft Part 61 terminology
- para 4.5 consequently must be altered to delete the CASA action, except where an authorised person is not available
- para 4.5 - I recommend that aerobatic approvals down to 1500 ft be permanent and that lower levels be renewable every two years. i.e. ongoing competence at the 1500 ft level is relatively easy to maintain or regain - note that the draft approval letter specifies the currency requirements.
- Annex A, the form of the test. The application form requires editing to conform to the draft Part 61 terminology. That form specifies a log book endorsement of 10 manoeuvres contrary to para 2.7 of Appendix 1. The flight test should comprise the applicants normal sequence plus demonstration of recovery from a vertical climb, before a tail-slide, rather than the list of manoeuvres currently provided. Para 3.3 must be amended to reflect that change. Note that para 4.5 provides for any restrictions appropriate from consideration of the scope of the test. For approvals down to 1500 ft I recommend a guideline that the Australian Aerobatic Club's Sportsman Competition Sequence (current or recent) be the test sequence.
On the subject of transition to the new regulations, I recommend that existing aerobatic approvals should be carried over to the new system with the same height limitations. I note however, that any permanent low level approvals should have a termination date consistent with the renewal period defined in that draft AC 91.075(0) Appendix 1. Pilots who have significant experience at formation aerobatics until now should be granted a formation aerobatic authorization based on providing evidence of that experience to CASA.
For the author of Comment # 22 who does not have a spin endorsement - it needs to be done - the existing requirement for a spin endorsement separate from an aerobatic endorsement has been around for a very long time. The recent addition of a separate inverted spin endorsement has been around for about ten years.
http://www.casa.gov.au/download/orders/cao40/4000.pdf gives details of the spin and aerobatic endorsements - note that a spin endorsement is a prerequisite to an aerobatic endorsement.
On the subject of the upright spin authorization, paragraph h), there is some merit in limiting the authorization to specific types. This is currently the case for instructor training authorizations but is a new requirement for pilot authorizations. The current upright spin endorsement is not limited to any particular type. We must first consider the case for its introduction. I am unaware of any safety issue related to specific types. Certainly, there is a variety of different spin and recovery characteristics however different aircraft types have many other features which can equally be considered as safety issues. The issue of different spin characteristics should be addressed by the following actions:
1. improved education on spinning by an Advisory Circular
2. a limitation on any spin authorisation if the training is conducted on a type which cannot fully demonstrate a "standard" spin eg the Airtourer
The relevant USA Advisory Circular is AC 61-67C Stall and Spin Awareness Training http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular/AC61-67C.pdf
I envisage an Australian AC having different scope than the USA AC as the purpose is different - being more specific to spin training, excluding the stall awareness information and including information on various spin and recovery characteristics which may be encountered.
Finally, CASA omitted the authorisation required for inverted spinning.

Part 61 Subpart L proposes significant changes to instructor ratings, which I support. Again, to fully understand the proposal it is essential to read the draft Part 141 on Flight Training. To refer to the example that was quoted at a Workshop at the FLOT2003 conference: a 20,000 hour experienced pilot would add a lot of value to the training environment - he/she would need to add competencies in instruction plus appropriate standardisation requirements - but there's no reason why he/she should be regarded as an inexperienced instructor. The current system of instructor does not recognise, in fact discriminates against, the ideal learning situation of experienced operational pilots returning to become instructors.
Specifically, the typical profile of instructors often excludes specialist skills such as advanced, or low level aerobatics, which is sometimes best serviced by sport pilots having the appropriate skills, attitude and competence in that specialist area combined with instructional and assessment skills.
I note the proposal presented at the FLOT2003 Conference by Roger Weeks, CFI of the RACWA. He proposed the retention of the existing grades and the introduction of a fourth grade for specialist instructors. That does nothing to remove the discrimination against that nominal 20,000 operational pilot returning to the training environment. This proposal also offers requirements for flight training authorisations which are relevant so let's consider them here, along with the CASA proposal. I have a concern with a specification of number of hours, spinning for example - its not like night flying where its either night or its not. Is it actual hours of performing spins or simply hours of flying with the sole intent of performing spins? The performance of the aircraft has a big effect on the outcome with the latter definition. We need to consider that an hour on a flight with the sole intention of spinning in a low performance aeroplane achieves very much less than an hour in a higher performance aeroplane.
Weeks proposes that tail-wheel training would require a minimum of 5 hours PIC on tail-wheels (after the basic tail-wheel authorisation) plus 2 hours of instructor flight training. CASA proposes 20 hours PIC with nil additional instructor training. I'd combine the two requirements - 20 hours PIC plus 2 hours of instructor training. Tail-wheel operations requires a new set of habits - my insurance company told me that one of the significant factors in tail-wheel accidents was inexperienced instructors.
Weeks proposes that training for aerobatics above 3000 ft would require a minimum of 5 hours PIC in aerobatic flying (beyond the basic aerobatic authorisation) plus 2 hours of instructor flight training. CASA proposes 20 hours PIC in aerobatics plus 5 hours specific instructor training. Refer the draft Appendix 1 to AC 91.075(0) which does not have the 5 hours instructor training. I support Weeks proposal in this case.
Spinning training would require the basic spinning authorisation plus 2 hours of instructor flight training in spinning. CASA proposes 5 hours of spinning plus 3 hours of specific instructor training. I support the Weeks proposal - along with the training authorisation being type specific.
For training in aerobatics below 3000 ft and down to 1500 ft, CASA proposes that the instructor simply hold the relevant authorisation. i.e. as per the current requirement. I support this.
For training in aerobatics below 1500 ft, CASA proposes that the instructor simply hold the relevant authorisation. i.e. as per the current requirement. I recommend specific instructor training - ground training only to develop advanced knowledge of the relevant subjects and assessment of pilot attitude.

OTHER REGULATIONS
If I was involved full-time in the flying side of the industry I'd be taking a close look at all of the new regulations presented at the CASA FLOT2003 Conference. For example:
91.150 Parking or stopping of aircraft
"(2) The person responsible for parking an aircraft must ensure that it is secured so as to ensure ..."
Looks OK doesn't it - but it was a lot different in the previous draft!
91.335 Documents to be carried
As an instructor I can take a student on an aerobatic training flight to the eastern boundary of the Moorabbin training area with the usual aircraft and pilot documentation on board only BUT if I do a similar flight myself as a private operation I must take a swag of maps (its within 20 nm of the edge of the VTC so I need the VNC as well) plus the complete ERSA.
At the FLOT2003 conference our group recommended that much of this be deleted from the regulation and incorporated in an Advisory Circular.
91.580 Aircraft equipment and instrument visibility and accessibility
"(1) The operator of an aircraft must ensure that navigation instruments that are required for use by its pilots are arranged soa s to permit the pilot to see the indications readily from ..."
Given the wide range of opinions between pilots does CASA provide a certificate of compliance against this regulation when the navigation instruments are fitted? If installation is approved per Reg 35 or TC or STC - does that provide evidence that this requirement is met?
91.585 Aircraft lighting requirements
"(1) The operator and the pilot in command of an aircraft on a flight in poor light conditions ... must ensure that the aircraft is fitted with, and display, lighting equipment as follows:
(a) lighting to illuminate instruments and equipment essential to safe operation ...
(b) cockpit lighting for general illumination of equipment, and for study of checklists and flight documents;
(c) cabin lighting sufficient for all passengers to find harness connections ...
(d) navigation lights;
(e) an anti-collision light;
(f) at least 1 landing light;
(h) a fully-functional electric .. torch ..."
91.590 Anti-collision and navigation lights
"(1) The pilot in command of an aircraft fitted with red anti-collision lights must ensure that the lights are displayed before its engine is, or engines are, started ....
(4) It is a defence ... that ... the safety of aircraft was not affected ....
(6) An offence against subregulation (1), (2) or (3) is an offence of strict liability."
The subject of "strict liability" was a controversial subject at the FLOT2003 conference and there's sure to be plenty of comment elsewhere. Enough to say here that its not a defence that the anti-collision lights are unserviceable (referring to 91.590) - if they are fitted then there's a penalty of 25 units if they are not turned on and working. Referring to 91.585 - if you don't have all that equipment then you must not fly in "poor light conditions" - quite a reasonable airmanship philosophy but as a regulation I'd like to see "poor light" defined (can't be a single definition as the requirement covers visibility both internal and external to the aeroplane) - does this mean that an aeroplane certified for day VFR cannot fly in some day VFR conditions? Perhaps all of this would be better in an Advisory Circular.

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