Aviation safety issues and actions

Operator’s training and assessing procedures for marine pilot transfer operations in degraded visual cueing environments

Issue number: AO-2018-022-SI-005
Issue owner: Heli-Aust Whitsundays Pty Limited
Transport function: Aviation: Air transport
Background: Investigation Report AO-2018-022
Issue release date: 16 June 2022
Current issue status: Closed – Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the proactive safety action taken by the operator appropriately addresses this issue.

Safety issue description

The operator's training and assessing procedures for marine pilot transfer operations did not provide assurance that pilot under supervision experience, helicopter instrumentation, and instructor capability were suitable for line training at night in a degraded visual cueing environment.

Proactive action

Action number: AO-2018-022-PSA-04
Action organisation: Heli-Aust Whitsundays Pty Limited
Action status: Closed

The operator advised that, since the time of the accident, it had proactively made changes to its training and checking procedures. Those changes include:

  • additional instructors employed for the training and checking function.
  • instructor/trainer/check pilots are required to complete a standardisation check from the left (non-command seat) and are checked from the left seat during completion of their recurrent base checks on type.
  • graduated process for inducting newly recruited pilots for each of the operator’s bases, to qualify initially for day operations and complete a period of day consolidation before being transitioned to night operations.
  • training pathways have been defined and are dependent on the skills and qualifications held by the training pilot.
Last update 16 June 2022