Australia removes flight crew licensing requirements for R22 and R44

Australia removes flight crew licensing requirements for R22 and R44

28-Jan-2015 Source: CASA

We repost in full the following advice from Australian regulator CASA

Changes have been made to the flight crew licensing requirements for R22 and R44 helicopters, to make it easier for pilots operating these aircraft.

New legislative instruments were registered on 5 January, with the following changes now in effect.

  • The R22 and R44 are now covered by the single-engine helicopter class rating and are no longer type-rated helicopters.
  • Before flying a R22 or R44 for the first time, pilots must complete initial type-specific training and a flight review in that type.
  • To continue operating R22 or R44 helicopters, pilots must have completed a single-engine helicopter class rating flight review that was conducted in either an R22 or R44 within the previous 24 months.
  • There are no R22 or R44 flight tests, therefore there are no R22 or R44 flight examiner endorsements.
  • There are no R22 or R44 type rating training endorsements for instructors.
  • Pilots can complete the single-engine helicopter class rating flight test in an R22 or R44.
  • Completing a proficiency check or operational rating flight review in an R22 or R44 satisfies the R22/R44 flight review requirement.

The training and flight review requirements for the R22 and R44 helicopters are closely aligned to the Special Federal Aviation Regulation 73 provisions, which address identified operational concerns.

Under Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 61, special aircraft training and testing requirements such as these are managed under the type rating system, which is why the R22 and R44 were prescribed as type-rated single-engine helicopters.

Having reconsidered the situation and listened to feedback from industry, CASA determined that that requirements associated with type ratings were considered too onerous for these helicopters, which is why they have been relaxed.

The conclusion was that type-specific training endorsements and flight examiner endorsements – as well as the type-specific flight test – could be adequately managed by including the R22 and R44 in the single-engine helicopter class rating, with the additional requirements included in the change.

The change achieves an equivalent outcome whereby pilots still require type-specific training and a check of competency before flying a type for the first time, yet with reduced administration, cost and complexity.

Satisfying the 24 month flight review requirement

The 24 month flight review requirement that applies to pilots operating R22 and R44 helicopter is satisfied as follows.

  • For pilots who hold a Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) Part 5 R22 or R44 type endorsement – a helicopter flight review conducted prior to 1 September 2014 satisfies that R22/R44 flight review requirement until that old flight review ceases to be valid. Example: Margaret holds a CAR Part 5 R22 type endorsement and she completed a helicopter flight review in April 2013. Margaret can continue operating R22s until April 2015 (note this applies to pilots who have transitioned to Part 61 and hold a Part 61 licence).
  • Pilots who hold a CASR Part 61 licence and obtained an R22 or R44 type rating after 1 September 2014 and before 5 January 2015 may continue operating that type for 24 months after the rating was granted. If a pilot obtained both ratings, they may continue operating for 24 months after the second rating was obtained. This is because the flight test for the rating satisfies the flight review requirement. After that, a pilot needs to complete an R22 or R44 flight review. A pilot authorised to operate both types only needs to complete one flight review. This can be in an R22 or R44.

While there is no requirement for Part 141 operators to have an R22 or R44 type rating training course, they still need to have a training course that covers type specific theory and practical elements for pilots that need initial type specific training and a flight review.

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