Aviation safety issues and actions

Insufficient organisational risk controls implemented by Angel Flight Australia

Issue number: AO-2017-069-SI-02
Who it affects: All passengers on community service flights conducted by Angel Flight Australia
Issue owner: Angel Flight Australia
Operation affected: Aviation: General aviation
Background: Investigation Report AO-2017-069
Date: 13 August 2019

Safety issue description

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.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Action number: AO-2017-069-NSA-017
Date: 13 August 2019
Action status: Closed

Safety action taken: CASA has promoted its updated human factors education package to the industry broadly, including to the community service flight sector, and refers to it on the community service flight landing page on its website. CASA intends to release targeted guidance information to further assist the community service flight sector in the coming months.

Current issue status: Safety action pending
Last update 13 August 2019