Angel Flight had insufficient controls in place, and provided inadequate guidance to pilots to address the additional operational risks associated with community service flights.
Safety action taken: As a result of this occurrence, Angel Flight Australia advised the ATSB it initiated the following safety actions:
- Developing on an online introductory course for pilots for community service flying.
- Received permission to provide access to all registered pilots to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association US to access the Public Benefit Flying: Balancing Safety and Compassion course. This course is a required pre-requisite to pilot volunteering for Angel Flight.
- Planning a mentoring program, consisting of two flights to reinforce the culture and provide familiarity with Angel Flight Australia expectations.
- Sharing all Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) safety seminar schedules with pilots on the Angel Flight Australia register, and requesting feedback on attendance and content.
- Requiring physical copies of pilot log books every 90 days
- Engaged a volunteer to write a safety management system (SMS).
- Updated documentation to remove reference to ‘missions’.
ATSB comment: The ATSB acknowledges that Angel Flight has facilitated access to the US AOPA community service flight pilot course as a pre-requisite for volunteering, while an Australian course is being developed. The ATSB also acknowledges the on-going development of a planned mentoring program and development of a safety management system. As this work has not yet been completed or implemented, there has been limited change to the organisational controls in place. Accordingly, the ATSB will continue to monitor the ongoing development of controls and guidance.