Aviation safety issues and actions

Maintenance practices

Issue number: AO-2017-078-SI-01
Who it affects: Cloncurry Air Maintenance
Issue owner: Cloncurry Air Maintenance
Transport function: Aviation: Maintenance
Background: Investigation Report AO-2017-078
Issue release date: 21 July 2020
Current issue status: Closed – Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that, improvements in Cloncurry Air Maintenance’s use of the job sheets to track the progress of maintenance should reduce their reliance on human memory for the condition of helicopters under maintenance and therefore reduce the risk of memory-related errors.

Safety issue description

Cloncurry Air Maintenance had adopted a number of practices, which included using abbreviated inspection checklists, not recording all flight control disturbances and not progressively certifying for every inspection item as the work was completed, which increased the risk of memory-related errors and the omission of tasks.

Proactive action

Action number: AO-2017-078-NSA-024
Action organisation: Cloncurry Air Maintenance
Date: 15 November 2018
Action status: Closed

Cloncurry Air Maintenance advised the ATSB that they had replaced their existing abbreviated checklists with the Robinson maintenance manual checklists for the ground run, run-up and 100-hour inspection procedures. In addition, they removed all MS-series nuts from stores and completed inspections of the cyclic controls for all the helicopters they maintained with nil defects reported.

The chief engineer briefed all maintenance staff at their toolbox meeting in April 2018 of the requirement to certify for completed tasks progressively on job sheets at the completion of the task, rather than the completion of the job. Further, in May 2018, the chief engineer briefed all maintenance staff on the requirement for the maintenance release to be issued before the 2,200‑hour check flights and therefore any subsequent flight control disturbances would require additional certification for independent inspections.

Last update 21 July 2020