The Australian National Competency Standards for Private and
Commercial Pilots, which became effective on 1 July 1999
incorporate a standard which defines the English language
requirements for private and commercial pilots operating
The text used in this response is taken directly from the published
standards, and Unit 2, 'Operate Radio' is attached to this
response, for your reference..
The description of the task to be performed states that the
equipment must be operated in normal and emergency
Knowledge and skills to operate and manage radiotelephone and
intercom equipment under normal and emergency flight
The Performance Criteria, which represents the standard that must
be achieved, clearly states that English language must be used and
"all messages are rected to appropriately."
" Transmission and receipt of R/T messages is carried out using
English language in accordance with procedures and phraseology
detailed in the FROL syllabus and Aeronautical Information
Publications (AIP), and emergency and urgency transmissions and
procedures are made in accordance with Enroute Supplement Australia
(ERS(A) current edition) and AIP and all messages are reacted to
In the Range of Variables, in Consistency of Performance, is the
'"Lack of proficiency in spoken English is never a cause of
At Critical Aspects of Evidence, proficiency in English is again
"Assessment must confirm a level of oral and written English
language communication skills sufficient to support safe flight
In the Underpinning Knowledge, further guidance is given:
"English language to a standard which enables requests and
instructions to be understood by ATS and other stations and ensures
compliance with received instructions."
Finally, in the Context of Assessment, guidance on assessment of a
persons English competency is supplied:
"Assessment must confirm, by simulation or actual conditions, the
consistent ability to convey and receive information by R/T, using
standard English radiotelephone phraseology during normal and
emergency flight, and to respond appropriately."
I acknowledge that the accident referred to, occurred before the
standards became effective, but now, flying schools have a standard
which can be applied to ensure the English competency of all
The Bureau replied on 25 January 2001 as follows:
Thank you for your response to Air Safety Recommendation R20000096
dated 4 January 2001 that outlined the Australian National
Competency Standards for radiocommunication proficiency of Private
and Commercial Pilots.
The Bureau has classified the response as OPEN.
The Bureau accepts that the assessment for the issue of
radiotelephone operator certificate of proficiency for private and
commercial pilots is adequate but in the context of the report,
Recommendation R20000096 was directed at the competency of
radiocommunication by glider pilots.
Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) rules require glider pilots
using other than GFA allocated frequencies to posses either a
Radiotelephone Operator's licence or a GFA Radiotelephone Operator
Authorisation. Applicants are assessed by GFA approved instructors
who themselves must hold either a GFA authorisation or a
Radiotelephone Operator's licence. Authorisation is notified by
Although GFA publication "Basic Gliding Knowledge" makes reference
to the Radiotelephone Operator Authorisation being an equivalent
standard to the Radiotelephone Operator's licence, CAO Part 95.4
"Exemption from provisions of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 -
Gliders, Powered Sailplanes and Power-assisted Sailplanes",
subsection 3A "Licence not required" paragraph 3A.2 states, in
part, "a person must hold a flight radiotelephone operator licence
if he or she makes airborne radio transmissions.
There appears to be a disparity between the requirements of Civil
Aviation Orders and the GFA published requirements for a
radiocommunication authorisation of glider pilots. Could you please
i) that the competency and standards for radiocommunication
required of glider pilots, for use on other than glider allocated
frequencies, are the same as that for private and commercially
licensed pilots, and
ii) if this is the case, the process by which the regulator ensures
that the standards are met and complied with.