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Old 19th Nov 2014, 04:03
  #2395 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 2,053
Closing the Noose.

Whoa, that's quite a wish list to pin on the chimney at Christmas time, in the hope that Santa has the 'necessary' in cargo hold A. And that, is just the 'big kids' list, those that work in Scrooges factory in Can'tberra. There is still the 'littl'uns' list to consider, those that slave away in the Coroners sweat shops.

I intend to hazard a Choc frog here and perhaps steal some of the brother Sarcs thunder (if I get lucky). When Sarcs starts a story line with Part 1, you can bet your boots, parts 2 and possibly 3 are in the pipeline. David Fawcett provided the worthy duo of Heffernan and Stearle with the finer, more subtle points related matters aeronautical; they were already 'onto it', through estimates questions. But with Fawcett included, the blunt instrument became a lethal weapon and so the Senate committee, we know and admire came into full promise. Back in the day, Fawcett was rightfully curious about 'closing the loop'. When a recommendation is made was it accepted and what happened to close the loop; and, if the recommendation was rejected, what then? Time scales were also mentioned. You need a chronology to accurately track what happened through the Senate; but, there were some plain and fancy moves made to obfuscate the QON answers to 'curly' questions, CASA, ATSB and Mrdak all in mix. Fascinating. I reckon Sarcs has nutted it out and is about to join some of the outstanding, embarrassing dots.

It all began, IMO one day when Fawcett. Esq. asked about 'closing the loop' on a fatal helicopter accident. This one:-

Report - R20050002.

Issue date 14 March 2005.


Recommendation R20050002

As a result of the investigation, safety recommendations were issued to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority recommending: a review of the night VFR requirements, an assessment of the benefits of additional flight equipment for helicopters operating under night VFR and a review of the operator classification and/or minimum safety standards for helicopter Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations.

ATSB Safety Recommendation.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority review it's operators classification and/or it's minimum safety standards required for helicopter Emergency Medical Services operations. This review should consider increasing:-
1) the minimum pilot qualifications, experience and recency requirements,
2) operational procedures and (3) minimum equipment for conduct of such operations at night.

Coroner Hennessy.

(12). That CASA consider regulating for the initial training of a helicopter pilot to include night VFR training.

(13). That CASA and the industry move towards a national system of accreditation and uniform standards for provision of EMS services in Australia.

(14). That CASA investigate reclassification of EMS helicopter operations into charter category, or create a separate EMS category of aviation in order to provide the benefits of increased level of regulation and CASA oversight, than that presently available under the aerial work category.

(15). That CASA ensure that appropriate information be provided to pilots on an ongoing basis regarding the issue of spatial disorientation.

(16). The Coroner supports CASR draft regulations point 61 and 133 becoming final.
(17). That beacons, both visual and radio, be placed on prominent and appropriate high points along routes commonly utilised by aero-medical retrieval teams, including Cape Hillsborough.

(18). The Coroner supports the ATSB recommendations 20030213,and promulgation of information to pilots; 20040052,

o assessment of safety benefits of requiring a standby altitude indicator with independent power source in single pilot night VFR; 20040053,
o assessment of safety benefits of requiring an autopilot or stabilisation augmentation system in single pilot VFR; and R20050002,
o review operator classification and minimum safety standards for helicopter EMS operations.

CASA response.

Date Issued: 29 August 2005
CASA has reviewed its previous advice in relation to this matter [provided with the directly involved parties comments to draft occurrence report 200304282] and I am advised that the Authority has no additional comment to provide in response to recommendation R20050002. However, it should be noted that resources to review this action will be allocated in accordance with CASA's reviewed priorities. For your information, a copy of CASA's initial advice is recorded below. CASA advice

CASA will:
* Review the requirements for helicopter EMS operations to include consideration for two pilots, or a stability augmentation and/or autopilot system;
* Review the special operational and environmental circumstances of helicopter EMS services, particularly with regard to pilot qualifications, training and recency including instrument flight competency; and

* Review the pilot recency requirements for helicopter EMS operations to ensure that operator check and training processes are focused on the EMS environment.
CASA 10 October 2007.

The following updates the actions previously advised in response to the recommendation:
The proposed review of EMS operation crewing and aircraft equipment requirements will take place as part of the re-instated project to finalise Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 133. As you may be aware, the regulatory review aspects of CASR Part 133 have, under instruction from the CASA CEO [deleted], been on hold for some time. However I can now advise that this project is scheduled to recommence in October 2007, and that this subject matter will be incorporated in the consideration of CASR 1998 Part 133.T.3.

CASA has been considering these issues (particularly the special operational and environmental circumstances associated with EMS operations) for some time now as part of the review processes for the introduction of Night Vision Goggles (NVG) into Australian helicopter night operations. As a result of this review we have incorporated helicopter EMS operations as a Permitted NVG Operation in the new NVG Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 82.

This CAO (which is now in effect) empowers appropriately equipped, trained and approved EMS AOC holders to use NVG on their night EMS primary and secondary response taskings. Both CASA and the industry consider this to be a major safety initiative and we will be monitoring its effect over the next twelve months by way of a formal research process.

EMS pilot qualifications, training and recency requirements will be included in the CASR Part 133 project consultation and review processes, however I can also advise the (as part of its normal surveillance processes) CASA will continue to review these matters in current operations as well.

Additionally I can advise that pilot qualification, training and recency requirements were also reviewed by both CASA and the industry as part of the consultation processes associated with the previously mentioned NVG implementation project, and that the industry subject matter experts at these meetings included several representatives from AOC holders who conduct EMS operations in both VFR and IFR situations at diverse operational locations.

Comment - April 2012.
CASR 133 is still not available for use. It is our opinion that essentially, the potential for the accident scenario to reoccur has not been eliminated.
The analysis above is self explanatory, but I'll leave it up to you to work out the rest. More to follow Oh, you bet...

Toot toot.
Kharon is offline