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Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201500018
Date reported 30 March 2015
Concern title The lack of training given to new pilots before they begin flying routes with passengers
Concern summary

The concern related to the lack of check and training provided to pilots who are new to the company, before they begin taking passenger revenue flights.

Industry / Operation affected Aviation: Air transport
Concern subject type Aviation: Flight crew

Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding the level of training which is provided to new pilots who commence employment with the operator or their subsidiary.

The reporter advised that new pilots who have commenced employment with this operator are only required to fly circuits before being approved to line to take passengers on IFR flights with no check pilot. These pilots do not receive line or emergency training before they take passengers on their first flight.

Reporter comment:

The reporter advised that this is not simply an operational issue, as management and the directors of the company are aware of the lack of check and training provided to new pilots.

Operator's response (Operator 1)

We acknowledge your report and can confirm that all pilots undergo 20.11 checks which involves checking and demonstration of emergency procedures in both theoretical and practical scenarios. In addition all pilots’ undergo line checks before being approved to fly VFR or IFR charter flights.

Our company chief pilot has flown with each pilot before being approved to fly.

The ATSB questioned whether aircraft emergency procedures (engine failures, engine fires etc) were covered during the approval process.

The company advised that the following checks were done and confirmed that no emergency procedures were practiced in the air as the company insurances do not cover this training, however these are covered within pilot’s instrument renewals on an annual basis:

1) 20.11 Test (required by CASA)

a. Theory

i.  Aircraft components and equipment

b. Practical

ii.  Aircraft equipment

iii.  Safety equipment

2) Aircraft familiarity

a. Walk around

b. Circuits (take-off and landings)

c. Line check (implemented by the company) including familiarity of aerodromes, townships and approaches that we operate into regularly

3) Chieftain PA-31-350 Questionnaire (implemented by the company)

a. Theory test

b. Discussion and follow up on errors with Chief Pilot reviewing the Pilot operating handbook (POH) which includes emergency procedures

i.  In flight emergencies and fires

ii.  Engine failures

iii.  All other operational requirements in conjunction with the POH which is also carried on board all aircraft.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA has reviewed the REPCON and the concerns raised with the operator. Currently the operator has ceased operating under one of the Air Operator Certificates (AOC) while essential personnel are assessed through CASA’s oversighting requirements. Appropriate action has been taken to ensure the operator meets regulatory requirements in relation to pilot induction training prior to recommencement of operations under their AOC.

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Last update 08 July 2015