Aviation safety issues and actions

Instructor induction process

Issue number: AO-2009-032-SI-01
Who it affects: The helicopter operator
Issue owner: Helicopter Flight Centre (Australia)
Transport function: Aviation: Air transport
Background: Investigation Report AO-2009-032
Issue release date: 28 July 2010
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

Process introduced by the operator

Safety issue description

The helicopter operator's induction checklist did not include the notation of instructors’ ratings and validity periods.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2009-032-NSA-020
Date: 28 July 2010
Action status: Closed

The helicopter operator's induction process checklist did not include the instructors ratings and validity periods, and did not highlight that the instructors rating had expired. Action taken by helicopter operator.

As a result of this occurrence, the operator has advised of the adoption in itsmanuals of a:

  • formal checklist requiring certification by either the Chief Flying Instructor or an approved Base Manager for each pilot inducted into the operator’s system.
  • time-limited validity period, which will trigger a revalidation process on procedures as well as an interim check flight. ATSB assessment of response/action The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by the operator adequately addresses the safety issue.

Safety Advisory Notice

Action number: AO-2009-032-SAN-019
Action organisation: All Pilots
Date: 28 July 2010
Action status: Closed

Action taken by the ATSB
Unless operators actively track the qualifications, endorsements, ratings and recency of their staff, there is the risk that pilots and instructors may operate aircraft with invalid qualifications and not be at the specified competency standard required for the task. Pilots, including those who have gained their Australian ratings as part of the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997, need to be aware of the different requirements regarding rating renewals in Australia. A valid rating is an important measure of competency.

Operators need to be able to assure themselves that pilots' qualifications are valid, and their competence confirmed when allocating tasks. On that basis, the ATSB issues the following Safety Advisory Notice.

Safety Advisory Notice
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau suggests that operators and pilots should consider the safety implications of this safety issue and take action where considered appropriate.

Last update 21 February 2014