The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding a presentation at a recent [association] group meeting.
During the meeting, a PowerPoint presentation discussed a recent course a member had attended in Sydney, which involved the disassembly of a Lycoming IO-360 engine, and participants of the course were given advice on how to overhaul an engine. The Sydney engine course presenters, to the reporter’s knowledge, were not LAMEs or engine teardown specialists, and the reporter could not confirm if it was an organisation approved or private course.
The reporter’s concern is that a hands-on course is being presented by people without the required knowledge to teach and perform these tasks safely. This might be 'stretching-the-friendship' with the [type] rules.
Attendees of the Sydney engine course were presented with a thumb drive preloaded with various manuals including Lycoming and Superior manuals, part catalogues and overhaul manuals. This is effectively arming people with uncontrolled data for overhauling engines.
Operator's response (Operator 1)
We were made aware late last week that an engine course had recently been presented at a meeting in Sydney. We do not, at present, have any formally sanctioned courses other than one CASA accepted maintenance course. As a consequence of this fact, and since the different areas are separately incorporated bodies, this offering has not been the subject of official scrutiny in terms of the appropriateness of its content or delivery.
The technical manager is aware of this report and is in communication with the persons involved in preparing and delivering this particular course.
This matter was discussed at the national council last week. The council takes this matter seriously enough to undertake a review of all training materials which either are, or infer to be, endorsed by our organisation. The council unanimously decided that we would define which courses can be delivered to our members or the public, whenever our endorsement is either claimed or inferred. Our website has already been amended to reflect this fact. The council is currently preparing a standard against which to assess all training courses and their approved trainers prior to delivery.
Operator's response (Operator 2)
The information provided by the organisation in relation to the REPCON on the engine course appears to be appropriate given the circumstances. CASA believes that the actions agreed to be undertaken by the organisation to ensure that any particular course that may be inferred or implied to be an officially or CASA approved course is appropriate. CASA also supports the organisation’s action to formally identify and ratify official presenters.
Regardless of these actions, it would appear that there is no regulatory basis that CASA can take action on an ad-hoc or unapproved training course to persons conducting experimental aircraft building. Furthermore, it would appear that peer education and discussion undertaken presently by the organisation in this instance will have better safety outcome. CASA will liaise with the organisation to monitor the situation.