The CAA says new requirements for pilots flying Robinson helicopters will help prevent accidents.
Graeme Harris, The Director of Civil Aviation (CAA) has determined that additional safety awareness training will be required for pilots flying Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters.
In response to a Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) recommendation we reviewed the status of the training that pilots flying Robinson helicopters in New Zealand were receiving. He said.
This identified the need to take action to improve the level and consistency of training delivered by the aviation industry.
Mr Harris stated The CAA does not take these decisions lightly and prior to introducing the new requirements, we consulted with the aviation sector.
80% of the feedback we received from the industry was supportive of the CAA’s intentions.
Central to the changes is the need to increase the level of training for pilots flying Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters in New Zealand. One of the main changes will see the minimum solo flight hours needed in a Robinson R22 or R44 helicopter double from 10 hours to 20 hours.
These changes see New Zealand align with requirements already in place in the United States, where the Robinson Helicopter Company designs and manufactures these aircraft. He said.
Whilst the training requirements will be mandatory we have given operators time to implement them. This recognises that while there is need to address the issues the CAA review identified as soon as possible, the practical reality is that it will take time for the new training to be implemented and delivered. The new requirements will be mandatory from 1 July 2016 for new pilots and
progressively across the industry after that, although we are pleased to note many operators have already begun to implement them. Mr Harris said.
Additional information: All Robinson R22 and R44 pilots will be required to undergo Robinson safety awareness training, in line with new CAA requirements. Key elements of the training include:
- A new syllabus of R22/R44 Ground and in flight training is prescribed.
- It will be completed by CAA certified 119 and 141 organisations or operators who have an approved Robinson safety course approved.
- It will be delivered by a suitably approved and qualified A or B cat instructors
- A General Aviation examiner with Robinson safety awareness privileges must approve the A and B cat instructors delivering the awareness training
- The training will be required when new pilots are type-rated.
- Ongoing training will be required every 24 months
- The pre solo dual requirements on the R22 and R44 have been lifted to 20 hours.
- CAA recognises the existing Robinson factory safety course
Here is a link to the relevant information: http://www.caa.govt.nz/pilots/robinson_helicopter_safety.html
What does this mean to pilots?
- From 1 July 2016 student pilots will be required to comply with new conditions.
- From 1 July 2016 instructors giving Robinson safety awareness training will do so in accordance with the new conditions.
- Pilots engaged on Hire and reward operations are given until 31 Dec 2016 to complete a CAA approved Robinson safety awareness course or Robinson factory safety course.
- Pilots engaged on private operations are given until 30 Jun 2017 to complete a CAA approved Robinson safety awareness course or Robinson factory safety course.
- Thereafter Pilots are required to complete a CAA-approved Robinson safety awareness course or Robinson factory safety course every 24 months.
- From 1 July 2016 existing type-rated R22 pilots whose normal 24 month safety awareness training falls due will be required to complete a CAA approved Robinson safety awareness course or Robinson factory safety course in accordance with the new conditions.
- From 1 July 2016 any Pilot completing a new type-rating on the R22 or R44 will be required to comply with new conditions
- An Advisory Circular under preparation by the CAA will ensure that the requirements are transparent to pilots and that all training is consistently delivered.
- A suitable amendment to the R22 and R44 flight manual that will be effective 1 July 2016 is being prepared by the CAA.
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