News

Into the abyss & back

It is 86 years since Australia’s first major airline disaster and we look back on a story from Macarthur Job in 2006 where he examines the disappearance of the Southern Cloud. From Flight Safety Australia...

Assault and battery—headphone explosion prompts passenger warning

An airline passenger’s ordeal has revealed yet another way that lithium batteries can be a hazard to air transport. The young woman was wearing a pair of battery-powered headphones while she was sleeping when about...

Pilot scholarships on offer

2017 Scholarship Program The Honourable Company of Air Pilots is a Livery Company of the City of London, established since 1929 to further the profession and interests of Air Pilots. The Australian Region, together with our...

Flight Safety Australia March–April 2017 out now!

Flight Safety Australia hits the road for March–April 2017 with an in-depth comparison of motorcycling and private aviation. As the most dangerous form of transport, motorcycling may seem an unlikely source of safety practice,...

Lifesavers graduate with drone wings

The first lifesaver drone pilots have graduated from a special purpose training school. The Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaving Unmanned Aerial Training School is part of a project for drones to be used to patrol Australian...
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New drone has built-in ADS-B

Drone manufacturer DJI has announced its latest model will have a built-in automatic dependant surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) receiver. Due to be released over the coming months, the Matrice 200 (M200) series is marketed on adaptability...

CASA seeks input on frequency question

What is the most appropriate radio frequency to use at low level in Class G airspace? CASA wants your input on this question—whether you are an airline pilot, general aviation or recreational flyer. A consultation...

Portable power pack sparks emergency landing

An Airbus A320 was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger’s portable power pack caught fire inside an overhead locker while it was charging a smartphone. Flying from Harbin, China, the Spring Airlines...

Drones on show at Avalon

For the first time in the event’s history, the Avalon Airshow will have its very own Drone Showcase area dedicated to the remotely piloted aircraft industry. The showcase will run over the three public days...

US state mulls lead fuel ban

The US state of Oregon is debating whether to ban leaded aviation fuel. The state’s transportation policy committee held a public hearing this week on a bill to ‘Prohibit selling, dispensing or using aviation fuel...

Fatal misunderstanding brought down Flying Tiger

Sunday 19 February marks the anniversary of a crash that serves as a grim lesson in the importance of clear communication in aviation. On 19 February 1989, a Boeing 747 operated by Flying Tiger Line...
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Dubai first off rank with drone taxis

Your next holiday could be an adventure from the moment your taxi arrives—or lands—at your front door. The head of Dubai's Road and Transport Authority said unpiloted passenger-carrying flying taxis would start taking people across...

Phone use lands Chinese fliers in jail

Using your phone on an aircraft is disapproved of everywhere, but in China it can get you jail time. Chinese government site China.org reported three different passengers were arrested between 5 January and 6 February...

Birdstrike rate on the rise

There are about five birdstrikes every day involving Australian aircraft, a report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found. This equates to about 760 kg of flying animal flesh being struck by aircraft...

FAA investigating smartphone fire on flight to Hawaii

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a smartphone fire on board a Delta Airlines flight to Hawaii after a passenger accidently crushed his phone. Officials said the male passenger was travelling from Fukuoka to Honolulu...

Bad data sends drone into the blue

Incorrect data entry caused a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) to fly out to sea never to return during a test flight in September, Australia's crash investigator has found. The Pulse Aerospace Vapor 55 RPA, more...
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‘Flight Safety Australia’ January–February 2017 out now!

As the biennial Australian International Airshow approaches Flight Safety Australia’s January-February 2017 edition looks at how airshows manage risk. It’s a story of complexity, thorough planning and ongoing cooperation between CASA and the aviation...
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Friday flashback: stall warning, 1940s style

Stall spin crashes have been killers for as long as aeroplanes have flown, as this vintage video shows. This US navy video from 1945 Quit stalling or spin in! was an attempt by the navy...

Amazon drone takes on slings, arrows and hackers

Internet retail giant Amazon has revealed more of its drone plans in a patent application uncovered shortly before Christmas by technology website Motherboard. The application describes anti-jamming technology for the proposed Amazon drone fleet. Motherboard reports...
multiple flight contrails

Safety in 2016: accidents dwarfed by traffic numbers

Last year was among the safest in the history of air transport. The Aviation Safety Network tallied 325 deaths in 19 air transport accidents. This is in the context of 3.7 billion airline passengers...

How slow can that baby go?

It's been 52 years since the first flight of the Lockheed SR-71 'Blackbird'. Taking off for the first time on 22 December 1964, the SR-71 went on to become one of the most celebrated...

Phone link plan for drone control

Mobile phone network company Vodafone wants to develop a low altitude, air traffic control system for drones. The telecom company met regulators from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to discuss the proposal, according...

Plan for a safer new year with ADS-B

Making your aviation plans for the new year? Don’t forget to include your preparations for the automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) equipment mandate on 2 February 2017. From 2 February 2017, most aircraft will need to...
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Supersonic blast from the past

Thanks to the magic of YouTube anyone with a computer, tablet or smartphone and a few minutes to spare can take a look at aviation’s future as imagined in 1967. That future, as portrayed in...

Prime marketing delivers a vision of the future

You know it’s nearly Christmas when Amazon release a video about drone delivery. One of the world’s leading online retailers has made its first commercial delivery with an autonomous drone. Amazon last week completed a...

Airline to charge for overhead locker

Stuffing your cabin bag into the overhead locker is one of the free pleasures of air travel, but perhaps not for much longer. US carrier United Airlines has announced plans to charge for use of...

Extra special electric record

Aerobatic pilot and aircraft designer, Walter Extra, has set a new world record for time to climb in an electric aeroplane. The electrically powered Extra 330LE, climbed to 3000 metres, or 9842 feet, in...

Flight Safety Australia 2016 Collector’s Edition out now!

The second hard-copy annual edition of CASA’s respected and award-winning Flight Safety Australia online magazine is now available. Coming in at 168 pages and just under one kilo on high-quality paper stock, the 2016 Collectors’...

Lost your phone? Don’t move your seat! Lost smartphones named ‘least wanted’ for 2016

Lost and damaged smartphones have been named as the most problematic passenger item in Australian skies for 2016. The ‘least wanted’ dangerous goods list, released annually by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), highlights the...

CASA Christmas shutdown

CASA offices will be closed during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Normal CASA services will NOT be available from: Friday 23 December 2016 (Close of business) until Tuesday 3 January 2017. Plan ahead and act now if...

Vintage biplane loses propeller mid-flight

A pilot and his passenger are lucky to be alive after their 1942 de Havilland biplane lost its propeller during an aerobatic joy flight in Queensland. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released its final...
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Drones threatening the lives of emergency personnel

CASA reminds drone owners to keep their aircraft away from bushfires, after receiving reports of a recreational drone flying near water bombing operations at a fire in Western Sydney last Friday. It’s the second time...

‘Flight Safety Australia’ November-December 2016 out now!

In our final issue for 2016, Flight Safety Australia looks west, to see how offshore and fly-in-fly-out operations in mineral-rich Western Australia are handling the end of the minerals boom. The pressures of the...

Dark Shadows—pilots risk mid-air collision with military drone

‘The frustrating part was that I really should have known better. I thought I was a safe pilot.’ Those were the words of a 2000-hour civilian seaplane pilot who flew straight through restricted military airspace...

Air Horse One—flying to the Melbourne Cup

With just one Australian-bred horse racing in today’s Melbourne Cup, international travel has become a prerequisite to the race that stops a nation. We look back on an article from November 2003 examining the specialist...
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Aussie couple win balloon grand prix

A husband and wife duo from Australia will go into the World Hot Air Balloon Championships full of confidence after winning the Japanese Grand Prix over the weekend. Matthew and Nicola Scaife claimed victory, despite...

Up, up and away: Uber predicts personal aviation boom

Ride-sharing firm, Uber, has predicted a boom in personal aircraft, but not as they exist today. Instead, it sees optionally piloted electric aeroplane/helicopter hybrids as the future of general aviation. The firm, known for its...
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Bob Hoover 1922-2016

Bob Hoover, described by aviation pioneer, Jimmy Doolittle, as ‘the greatest stick and rudder pilot who ever lived’, died yesterday of natural causes, aged 94. Hoover’s prodigious piloting talent saw him fly aerobatics in a...
Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 flyying through a cloudy sky

Weigh in policy scales new heights

Weighing passengers is commonplace in helicopter sightseeing and low capacity charter, but is it ever justified in airlines? Hawaiian Airlines will continue its practice of weighing passengers on the Honolulu to Pago Pago flight after...
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Bright future in focus

With talk of climate change, fuel shortages and ageing aircraft, it’s easy, and perhaps understandable, to feel pessimistic about what lies in store for aviation. This short video should cheer you up. Although it...
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Final countdown to the 2 February 2017 ADS-B mandate

There are just four months to go to ensure all aircraft operating under instrument flight rules (IFR) are fitted with ADS-B transmitting equipment by the 2 February 2017 mandate. Automatic dependent surveillance broadcast, or ADS-B,...
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New drone rules take off

New drone rules come into effect from today, after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) reduced the requirements for low-risk commercial operations. From today, those owning a drone weighing less that two kilograms can operate...

Bureau of Meteorology changing aviation products

On 10 November 2016, the Bureau of Meteorology will change some of its aviation products to better comply, where practical, with the standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This includes low...
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Silver screen, silver tongues

Cinematic mythmaking is not funny when it detracts from safety Aviation and the movies were two transformative technologies of the 20th century. Yet they have long had an awkward, unproductive relationship. The evidence for this...
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Investigators say ‘Sully’ movie gets it wrong

Crash investigators with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are frustrated at having been cast as Hollywood villains in the film Sully, which opened this week. ‘From what I hear, this is somewhere between...

Emirates flight made go-around attempt

The Emirates flight that crashed at Dubai airport last month attempted a go-around after a late touchdown, the preliminary investigation has found. All passengers and crew survived after evacuating the Boeing 777, but a firefighter...
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Flight Safety Australia September-October 2016

Our September-October headline story looks at a vexed question. Does aviation’s uncritical embrace of the concept of situational awareness overuse a valid concept? Safety thinkers are now starting to see situational awareness as a...

Starfighters are go for micro satellite launch

The legendary – and legendarily dangerous – Lockheed Starfighter might play a role in low-cost satellite launch, with reports of a plan to use it for launching miniature satellites. The F-104 Starfighter was a Cold...

Recognition for Macarthur Job

Aviation safety expert and Flight Safety Australia contributor, Macarthur Job, has been accepted for induction into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame. Job, who died in 2014, aged 88, was the editor of Aviation Safety...

Tanker duty for US Navy drone

The US Navy will use its first drone as an aerial refueling tanker. ‘The primary mission of the MQ-25 will be a range extension aerial refueling platform (tanker),’ chief of naval operations, Admiral John Richardson...
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Flashback Friday: steam gauges and a dose of the wrong stuff

A 30-year-old BBC television documentary now on YouTube is a fascinating primer on human factors, crew resource management, ergonomics and automation. ‘The wrong stuff,’ from the BBC’s long-running Horizon program examines the state of air transport...

Airbus, and now air taxi

Airbus is developing a self-piloting flying taxi, or ‘an autonomous flying vehicle platform for individual passenger and cargo transport’. Flight tests of the prototype, which is not yet built, are planned at the end of...

Recharge your battery knowledge

The growing demand for lithium batteries and their impact on aviation safety will be one of the many talking points at a conference in Perth next month. The conference will see experts sharing their technical...

Video shows bags delaying evacuation

Passenger video from yesterday’s accident to an Emirates Boeing 777 at Dubai shows something anyone with interest and commitment to aviation safety would rather not see: some passengers reaching for their luggage in an...

Drones taking off for National Science Week

Remotely Piloted Aircraft, commonly referred to as 'drones', are set to take centre stage at schools around the country with National Science Week commencing Monday. Flying drones are a lot of fun and great for...

On a wing and a flare

Experimental solar-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse 2, has completed the first round-the-world solar flight. The historic flight saw the aircraft fly over 40,000km without fuel, before touching down in Abu Dhabi at around 10am AEST. 'We have...

Flypast remembers great Scot

Britain’s Royal Navy remembered its most celebrated pilot, Eric Brown, this week with a display of more than 50 aircraft, including flypasts by a Hawker Hurricane, de Havilland Vampire, MiG 15, Avro Lancaster, and...

Hose sensors will check jet pilots’ breathing

In a development sure to have eventual application in civil aviation, the US Military is looking closely at hypoxia detection systems. Cobham Mission Systems, a US-based division of the British aviation conglomerate Cobham, is developing...

Drone’s eye view speeds aircraft inspection

A drone flying near a passenger jet is usually cause for strong concern, but hovering a remotely piloted aircraft next to an airliner could become a new safety technique. Airbus, one of the world's largest...

Boeing harnesses potential of Glass

Remember Google Glass? The nerdy combination of spectacles, phone, and computer had its moment in the sun two years ago before being withdrawn from public beta testing. But it is still available for industrial...
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Flying the plan: young glider pilot makes cool recovery

This demonstration of a cool head on young shoulders comes from Demetris Gregoriou, an aspiring 18-year-old private pilot from Cyprus. His action camera video posted on his YouTube Channel shows the low-time pilot’s textbook reaction...

Celebratory balloons alarm Indonesian pilots

It has been balloon season in Indonesia, to the concern of the country’s airlines. During Idul Fitri celebrations, which mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, some revelers released hot air balloons...
image: © Leonardo Patrizi | istockphoto

Flight Safety Australia July-August 2016

For July-August 2016, Flight Safety Australia stays on the ground, taking a look at how railways manage safety, particularly on high-speed lines. While trains and aircraft may appear to be very different, both are...

High society with a proud history

Happy birthday to the Royal Aeronautical Society, which turned 150 on 27 June. As anyone with even a passing interest in aviation history would note, that anniversary makes it 37 years older than the first aeroplane. Some sort of...

Invisible menace in winter skies

Winter has come, and with it a seasonal and insidious menace, worse than anything portrayed in the TV drama Game of Thrones. You can’t see or smell it, and as it progressively poisons you, you...

Suicide crash mars Europe’s perfect airline record

The European Aviation Safety Agency, (EASA) has issued its annual safety review for 2015, a year which would have been fatality-free in European air transport, were it not for the actions of the first...
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Fuzzy logic outflanks fighter expert

The pilotless fighter jet of the future could be a step closer, after a recent successful experiment by the US Air Force and the University of Cincinnati. The experiment pitted a retired Air Force air...

Planet gears implicated in Norway helicopter crash

The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board (AIBN) has issued another preliminary report into the helicopter crash on 29 April that killed 13 people. The crash happened after the main rotor head and mast detached from an...

Flight Safety Australia looking for team leader

Flight Safety Australia is looking for a new editorial team leader to coordinate content production across a number of communication channels including the Flight Safety Australia magazine app, the online news site, flighsafetyaustralia.com, as...

Canyon collision led to changes

On this day, 60 years ago, two airliners collided over the Grand Canyon, in the southwest US. It was a significant accident, not just because it was the deadliest air crash in the world...
Artist's depiction of Stratolaunch carrier at apogee

Giant aircraft offers a shortcut to space

File this one under ‘interesting’. Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, is building the world’s largest aircraft as a platform from which to launch space rockets. The Stratolaunch aircraft being built by Scaled Composites in California for...

CASA apologises for medical certificate delays

CASA has apologised to pilots and air traffic controllers who may be experiencing delays in obtaining an aviation medical certificate. The majority of aviation medical certificate applications are still being processed within the 28...

Highway to the drone zone

Remotely piloted aircraft are set to take centre stage at the 2016 Technology & Gadget Expo in Melbourne this weekend. For the first time, the event will have its very own 'Drone Zone' with a...

Cessna SIDs extension has strict conditions

CASA is extending the compliance date for Cessna supplemental inspection documents (SIDs) compliance to 30 June 2018. The exemption applies to Cessna 100 series aircraft (including the Cessna 150, 152, 172, and 182) that...

$350,000 down the drain

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a US$350,000 penalty against leading online retailer Amazon after the company illegally shipped corrosive drain cleaner. The FAA is alleging that Amazon presented a one-gallon container of 'Amazing!...

Drones swarming at Vivid

A swarm of flickering drones illuminated the skies over Sydney Harbour last night as part of the city's Vivid festival. The hundred-strong swarm was part of a display performed by technology company Intel, with the...

Well done that passenger

An Airbus A320 of Russian airline Aeroflot was diverted to the nearest airport last week after an alert passenger noticed a fuel leak. The flight, from Moscow to Hannover, in Germany, ended up at Kaliningrad,...
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Reusable rocket hits the spot

Commercial spaceflight company SpaceX has made its third successful recovery of a booster rocket and shown the world how it’s done, with a spectacular point-of-view video. In the ‘space race’ of the 1960s and 70s...

Sonic net too noisy for airport birds

A new way of using noise to deter birds could drive down their numbers around airports by more than 80 per cent. A study published in the academic journal Ecological Applications describes a new way...

Educational seminar for new RPA operators

The Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS), in association with CivSec Australia, will be hosting a free conference and educational seminar at CIVSEC 2016. The event will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre...

Airbus prints motorbike from dust

You would normally associate Airbus with A380s and other large passenger carrying jetliners. But in a sign of where advancing 3D printing technology could take aviation in the future, Airbus, through its German subsidiary APWorks,...

Drone goes above and beyond

A Brisbane-based company will fly its remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to inspect and monitor natural gas infrastructure in southwest Queensland. Insitu Pacific recently announced that the Queensland Gas Company...

Leaking luggage forces flight turn-back

Bleach in an overhead locker caused a regional airliner in New Zealand to abandon its scheduled flight and return to the airport. The ATR-72, operated by Mount Cook Airline, was flying from Wellington to Christchurch...
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Flashback Friday: who needs heroes?

This week has two aviation anniversaries with a common theme. Today is the 89th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight from New York to Paris; and this week also marks 30 years since the...

US regulator tests drone detector

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is testing a drone detection system at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. This month the FAA tested the effectiveness of a Federal Bureau of Investigation...

Fatal dive prompted first crash investigation

Aircraft accident investigation began on this day in 1912 when a Flanders F.3 monoplane crashed at Brooklands, near London, in England. Its pilot, Edward Victor Beauchamp Fisher, and his American passenger, Victor Mason were...
The offshore helicopter for transporting people to an oil rig

Flight Safety Australia May-June 2016

Flight Safety Australia’s May-June issue examines an underappreciated but pervasive threat facing offshore helicopter aviation: wildlife strike. The lead story reports on how the massive offshore structures being built to service the gas fields...

Knowledge is power at lithium battery conference

The rapidly growing use of lithium batteries and the safety risks they present will be discussed at a conference in Sydney this month. The conference will see battery experts from numerous industries, including aviation, mining...

Eagle tissue found on crashed Cessna

Birdstrike is believed to have been involved in the crash of a Cessna 172 in Alaska last month that killed four people including the pilot, a former US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator. The...
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Last chance to register for SMS workshops: Alice Springs, Cairns & Rockhampton

Want to learn how to make safety management systems (SMS) work for your organisation? Following recent successful workshops in NSW and Tasmania, CASA’s SMS team now head to Alice Springs, Cairns and Rockhampton next week. ‘These workshops are...
© Airbus Helicopters

Urgent airworthiness directive for H225 helicopter

CASA has automatically adopted the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) latest emergency airworthiness directive relating to the Airbus Helicopters H2225 (formerly Eurocopter EC225), of the type that crashed in Norway last week. Emergency Airworthiness Directive...

Operators limit helicopter flights after in-flight rotor separation

Australian operators of the Airbus Helicopters H225 (formerly Eurocopter EC225) have voluntarily agreed to ground the type for commercial operations after Friday’s crash off the coast of Norway, which killed all 13 on board....

Faulty repairs led to fiery consequences

Incorrect repairs to an engine led to an in-flight fire over Perth two years ago. In April 2014, an AVRO 146-RJ100 operated by Cobham Aviation Services, flying out of Perth with 92 passengers on board,...

Ongoing lessons from story of pioneer’s death

Few Australians would recognise the name Bessie Coleman. Tomorrow marks 90 years since this inspiring pilot's untimely death. The crash of her Curtiss JN-4 biplane, nine decades on is a cautionary tale still relevant in the age...

Explosive decompression of Flight 243

Today marks 28 years since the explosive decompression of Aloha Airlines Flight 243 over Hawaii. Flight 243 departed Hilo in the early afternoon of April 28, 1988, carrying six crew and 89 passengers bound for...

Rolls-Royce and Microsoft put engines on the internet

Rolls-Royce and Microsoft are joining forces in a move that will add jet engines to the ‘internet of things’. Rolls-Royce will integrate Microsoft Azure IoT Suite and Cortana Intelligence Suite into its service solutions for...
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Global solar flight back on track

Solar Impulse 2, an experimental solar-powered aircraft attempting to fly around the world, landed in California over the weekend marking a milestone in its historic journey. After departing Hawaii two-and-a-half days earlier, Solar Impulse 2...

Minister bags drone report

The ‘drone’ reported to have collided with a British Airways A320 near Heathrow Airport on April 16 may have been a plastic bag. British transport minister Robert Goodwill told the British Daily Telegraph reports of...
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A different world: Australian aviation in 1966

Travel back to 1966 with this video from the National Film and Sound Archive. Aircraft at Work, a production from the Commonwealth Film Unit begins by paying appropriate tribute to Australia’s aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave,...

Eye damage unlikely from laser pointer attacks

Laser pointers do not cause long-term eye damage to pilots, a recent editorial published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology (BJO) says. The editorial notes that more powerful hand-held lasers have proliferated in recent years....

Biofuel choice widens

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved a new renewable jet fuel, bringing the number of approved aviation biofuels to five. The newest fuel ‘alcohol to jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) is derived from...
British Airways Airbus A320 aircraft

Drone collision reported at Heathrow

A jet airliner and a drone reportedly collided near Heathrow Airport, in London, at the weekend. There were no injuries, and after inspection the airliner was cleared to fly its next scheduled sector. The alleged...

Giant flying boat to visit air show

FSA.com readers who regularly get to the US have even more reason than usual to visit the annual Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, in Wisconsin. The world’s largest flying boat, the Martin Mars, will be there for the first time. It will be based at...

Crack alert for popular Piper

Wing cracking in the popular Piper PA-28 Warrior II and III, Archer II and III and Arrow III is the subject of a airworthiness directive republished by CASA. CASA has published US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)...
Airbus A350 XWB

Metals giant to make 3D-printed Airbus parts

3D printing continues to advance towards being a mainstream aviation construction technique with the announcement that metals giant Alcoa is to supply Airbus with 3D-printed parts. Alcoa, which has only been in the 3D printing...

Brave flight attendant won highest award

Today is the anniversary of a largely forgotten crash, but a story worth telling about the only cabin crewmember—and the only woman in peacetime—to be awarded the George Cross, Britain’s highest civilian medal for...

CASA to cut drone red tape

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will lessen the requirements for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) after amendments to Part 101—the rules governing unmanned flight—were approved. Taking effect from 29 September 2016 commercial operators flying RPAs...

CASA issues 500th unmanned operators certificate

CASA has issued the 500th unmanned operators certificate (UOC), marking a milestone for commercial drone operations in Australia. Australia was the first country in the world to regulate remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) when first operational regulations...

Power networks available to pilots

A New South Wales energy company has released maps of its electrical network to help pilots avoid collisions with power lines. Essential Energy is reminding pilots, including drone operators, to pre-plan their flights and identify...

New medical records system is now live

Pilots and air traffic controllers now apply for medical certificates online through CASA’s new medical records system, MRS. Pilots and air traffic controllers will receive an email reminding them when their next medical is due....
SS2 flies supersonic for the first time Photo: Virgin Galactic

Safety standards out of this world

The UN agency responsible for aviation safety has called for international standards for the safe integration of space transportation. The President of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, called for member...

Final stops for Flight Plan 2030: Melbourne & Sydney

If you’re involved in aviation in Melbourne or Sydney, CASA encourages you to assist us directly in the development of our plan for the future of aviation safety regulation—Flight Plan 2030. After the success of...

On this day: Tasmanian DC-3 disaster

One of Australia’s worst aircraft crashes happened on this day 70 years ago. On Sunday 10 March 1946 an Australian National Airways Douglas DC-3 (registration mark VH-AET) crashed into the sea less than two minutes...

Spitfire anniversary

Tomorrow is the 80th birthday of the Supermarine Spitfire, which flew for the first time on March 5 1936. The Spitfire captured the public imagination like few aircraft before or since in the 113-year history...

QF32 and the black swan

Flight Safety Australia looks back at one of its most popular articles, where Qantas pilot Richard de Crespigny’s account of the QF32 engine failure offers some useful insights that apply to all aircraft and pilots. They...
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Phantom drone avoids obstacles

One of the world’s largest drone manufacturers has added sense-and-avoid technology to the latest version of its most popular model. Chinese company DJI launched the Phantom 4 yesterday, with a spate of YouTube videos detailing...

Engine explosion jet returns to skies

Airliner take-offs happen several times every second of every day somewhere throughout the world, but this one is worth reporting. The British Airways Boeing 777 that caught fire at Las Vegas International Airport in...
CASA Safety Management System resource kit

Book now for SMS regional workshops

Following the success of our one-day safety management systems (SMS) for aviation workshops in metropolitan cities last year, we are running regional SMS workshops for small, non-complex organisations across Australia from April to June. This...

Lithium battery ban announced

Rechargeable lithium ion batteries will no longer be permitted as cargo on passenger carrying aircraft from 1 April, following a decision by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Single use lithium metal batteries have...

Book now—ALAANZ conference 2016

Registrations are now open for the 35th Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (ALAANZ) Conference—held in Canberra on 4-6 May 2016. This year’s conference theme is ‘Aviation and Government’ and aims to...

Conference to focus on lithium batteries

Lithium batteries and the safety risk to aircraft will be a hot topic of discussion at the 2nd Dangerous Goods Conference in Perth next month. Held at the Novotel Langley Hotel the two-day event includes...

Final landing for flying Scotsman

Test pilot Eric Brown, who flew an unprecedented and in all probability never to be repeated 487 aircraft types, has died, aged 97. Born into a prosperous family in Edinburgh in 1919, Brown’s first aviation...

Drone crash at Australian War Memorial under investigation

A recreational drone crashed at the Australian War Memorial during the last post ceremony on Friday afternoon. The drone hit the ground just metres from the Memorial’s director and former defence minister Brendan Nelson, who...

Lasers in the spotlight

In a week where a transatlantic flight was forced to return to Heathrow due to a blinding green light filling the cockpit, laser incidents were named as the second most prevalent cause of pilot...

Drone operator tasered

A man was tasered by a park ranger for resisting arrest after flying his drone over a national park in Hawaii. A federal judge last week upheld the ranger’s use of the taser, finding the man...

New Medical Records System coming in March

It’s time to get ready for the introduction of the new Medical Records System (MRS). From 21 March 2016, all aviation medicals will be completed online by pilots and air traffic controllers (ATCs). Pilots and ATCs...

Grim reminder of dangers of fatigue

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the Colgan Air crash, in Buffalo, New York state, which killed 50 people. The accident serves as a grim reminder of the dangers of fatigue. According to the US National...

Maintaining separation in the unmanned era

An Austrian company has joined forces with the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) to test a new system designed for maintaining separation between manned and unmanned aircraft. A Schiebel Camcopter S-100 was fitted with the NLRs...

Rotary rocket could be low cost stairway to heavens

The technology of ancient Greece is the inspiration behind a new type of low-cost rocket engine that could revolutionise high-speed flight. US engineer John Bossard has developed a rotary rocket that combines two components from...

Rogue drone hits car in Melbourne

A drone crashed into traffic on Wednesday afternoon in Melbourne’s southeast after the operator apparently lost control. As reported on Ten Eyewitness News, Piero Mercandel was driving home from work when the out-of-control drone struck...
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NASA publishes 360 degree ‘Greased Lightning’ video

NASA has released a new video showing the onboard view from ‘Greased Lightning’—a 10-engine tilt-wing electric drone. Filmed in 360 degrees the video shows the GL-10 in all stages of flight, showing the aircraft’s ability...

Perth firm takes a crack at airframe health market

An Australian company is working with Boeing and America’s Delta Airlines to develop a vacuum-based structural health monitoring system. Delta has received approval for an in-flight commercial test program of comparative vacuum monitoring technology (CVM),...

Good news for bad weather landings

Operators will be able to fly to lower minimums under new rules to be introduced by CASA. New ‘special authorisation’ low visibility categories of operations will allow aircraft to land safely in poor weather...

New feature improves online service for pilots

CASA has updated its self service portal, enabling pilots to see their licences, endorsements and ratings at any time. The new feature in CASA self service means pilots, maintenance licence holders and air traffic controllers...

178 seconds to live—VFR into IMC

Flights operating under visual flight rules (VFR) flying into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) remains a prominent safety issue, with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau recording 111 occurrences over the last 10 years, investigating 18 serious incidents...

Carburettor icing led to fatal crash

Australia’s crash investigator has reminded pilots about the dangers of carburettor icing after releasing its final report of a fatal crash in 2014. The pilot and passenger died when their amateur-built Van’s Aircraft RV-6 suffered...

Stearman solo success

A female aviation-adventurer has flown a 1942 biplane from the United Kingdom to Australia to help inspire the next generation of pilots. Tracey Curtis-Taylor landed her Boeing Stearman, the Spirit of Artemis, in Sydney on...

Airline safety improves behind the headlines

It’s official: commercial air travel has never been safer. Despite two high-profile airliner crashes, 2015 was the safest year ever regarding accident numbers and the fifth safest in numbers of people killed. Human action...
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Disco Parrot set to glitter in the sky

Parrot has released footage of its latest drone prototype, a fixed-wing design called the Disco. The French electronics and drone manufacturer is marketing the Disco as ‘the first ready-to-fly fixed-wing drone’, with built-in technology so...

Drone scare shuts down Heathrow

A runway at Heathrow Airport was closed for several minutes on Saturday due to a recreational drone flying nearby. A passenger on the British Airways flight tweeted the delay was ‘due to a “likely Christmas...

Seeking the safe way back to the runway

Problems with alcohol and other substances is not necessarily the end of your aviation career, and CASA is continually looking for ways to assist users in recovery to safely return to the sky. The...

Cessna deadline extended

Cessna aircraft that faced an airworthiness deadline of 31 December 2015 now have another three months to get inspections done. CASA has provided an extension to the deadline for the completion of Cessna Supplemental Inspection...
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New drone owners told to put safety first

As drones are once again expected to be a popular gift this Christmas, hundreds, if not thousands of new drone pilots will take to the skies for the first time. To help educate these new...

US Study finds drone encounters on the rise

How dangerous are drones to manned aircraft? A study by researchers at Bard College, in New York State, US, has found the reported incidents have increased rapidly over the past two years. The researchers found...

Lithium batteries retain ‘Least Wanted’ title

Australia’s aviation safety regulator has named lithium batteries as the ‘Least Wanted’ dangerous good for the second consecutive year. The list, released annually by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), reflects the top ten most...

Christmas comes early: Flight Safety Australia 2015 Collector’s Edition

CASA’s respected and award-winning Flight Safety Australia online magazine is now available as a hard-copy annual. Coming in at 168 pages and just under one kilo on high-quality paper stock, the 2015 Collectors’ Edition is...
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Safety, 1950s style

This YouTube find from 1955 might be quaint – we no longer talk about ‘the man and the machine,’ – but its lessons are still true in 2015 - for those who can handle...
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Aviation community survey closes 18 December

How do you rate CASA’s performance? What do you think of the relationship between CASA and the aviation community? CASA wants your answers to these questions and feedback on your experiences in: applying for and renewing...

Electric multi-rotor helicopter completes test

German technology start-up e-volo GmbH has made the first outdoor test flight of its Volocopter VC200 electric helicopter. Last week’s flight was tethered, and piloted from the ground, with 120 kg of ballast (simulating a...

Hoverboards on fire this Christmas

It’s the present you might want to re-think about having under your Christmas tree—or in your checked luggage—as you fly away on holidays. Self-balancing scooters, commonly referred to as hoverboards, are being touted as this...

Investigation finds several factors behind AirAsia crash

Maintenance, pilot response to loss of automation and cockpit communication have emerged as factors responsible for the crash of an AirAsia Airbus A320 last year. AirAsia flight QZ8501 was en route from Surabaya to Singapore...

All female flight makes history at Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines has set a precedent in the aviation world after an all-women flight crew and cabin staff flew from Addis Ababa to Bangkok on 19 November. And it wasn’t just in the air. Female...

More time for fatigue rule transition

In consultation with industry, CASA has set a new timeline for transitioning safely and smoothly to the new CAO 48.1 which came into effect on 30 April 2013. As a result, the latest date...

Rogue LA drone operator sentenced

A man who flew his drone too close to a police helicopter over Los Angeles has been sentenced to three years probation. Martin Sheldon, 57, pleaded no contest to obstructing a police officer after an...

Warbirds set to fly high tonight

Warbirds Downunder 2015 is kicking off tonight with an inaugural Friday evening airshow and CASA is on hand to answer all of your aviation enquiries. There will be plenty of aerial action to see with most...
Flight plan 2030

Next stops for Flight Plan 2030: Brisbane & Alice Springs

If you’re involved in aviation in Brisbane or Alice Springs, CASA encourages you to assist us directly in the development of our plan for the future of aviation safety regulation—Flight Plan 2030. After the success...

Space-based ADS-B a step closer

A deal reached at a United Nations agency meeting last week will open the way for satellite tracking of commercial jetliners. The agreement, which was reached at the Radiocommunication Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, allows...

Fashion sense meets safety sensibility

British low-cost carrier easyJet is wearing safety on its sleeve—literally. The airline has revealed cabin crew uniforms with wearable technology including LED panels showing flight details. Cabin crew uniforms will be fitted with LEDs on...

Demystifying departure reports

Departure reports are designed to enable pilots to concisely provide details of their initial tracking/altitude information to air traffic control (ATC) and other pilots. This information provides: position and level information that ATC may use...

Printed engine parts take flight

Rolls-Royce has used 3D printing to create the latest version of the massive Trent turbofan engine. The Trent XWB97 took to the air for the first time last week on the wing of an...
Christmas shutdown advert

CASA shutdown

CASA offices will be closed during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Normal CASA services will NOT be available from: 25 December 2015 until 4 January 2016. Plan ahead and act now if you’ll need CASA services during...

AWPA scholarships on offer

Women interested in a career in aviation are encouraged to apply for a number of scholarships and awards on offer from the Australian Women Pilots' Association (AWPA). AWPA is a national representative body of women...
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Nostalgia trip—all aboard the Electra express

Thanks to Conniptions886, a YouTube member with a bent for Australian nostalgia, we have a glimpse of air travel in the early 1960s. This documentary, produced by Brisbane's BTQ-7, shows preparations for a flight from...
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Vulcan farewells the heavens

A glorious spectacle is gone from the skies of Britain, with the retirement of the charity-funded warbird Vulcan XH558, which made its last flight on October 28. In eight years of display flying, the Cold...

Flight crew remembered after 41 years

A small ceremony will take place near New York City this weekend (7 November) to remember a crash that in several ways pointed to modern disasters involving automation in air transport. On 1 December 1974,...

Tiltrotor crash kills test crew

Overshadowed by the Russian Metrojet crash in Egypt was the loss of an AgustaWestland AW609 tiltrotor prototype that crashed in Italy last Friday, October 30, killing both pilots. The crash happened in northern Italy, near...

Flight Safety Australia November-December 2015 out now

Flight Safety Australia leads its November-December 2015 edition with a down-to-earth look at airport safety. Airports are not just a place for aircraft to land and take off. They have to manage hazards—wildlife, refuelling,...

CASA online services available

Access to CASA Self Service and other online services are now available after the successful system upgrade. The upgraded CASA Self Service provides: a more intuitive interface for the new registration page users the ability to view...
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Self-assembling molecules inhibit fuel fires

Researchers in the US have created a safer jet fuel—less likely to catch fire in a crash than conventional jet fuel—but which burns just as well in engines. Chemists from the California Institute of technology,...
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Boeing develops lightweight ‘bone structure’

It’s 99.9 per cent hollow and claims to be 100 times lighter than Styrofoam, so could microlattice be the future for aeronautical design? Boeing has released a video showing off the weight and strength on...

Flight Plan 2030 heading to Launceston

If you’re involved in aviation in Launceston, CASA encourages you to assist us directly in the development of our plan for the future of aviation safety regulation—Flight Plan 2030. After the successes of our forums...

CASA online services outage notification

CASA Self Service is scheduled to be unavailable from 8pm AEDT Friday 30 October 2015 until 8pm AEDT Saturday 31 October 2015 due to a planned system upgrade. A number of improvements will be available...

Warbirds Downunder Air Show 2015

There will be plenty of aerial action at Warbirds Downunder 2015, with most of the Temora Aviation Museum's aircraft collection taking to the skies, along with many visiting aircraft. The show has expanded this year...

Women targeted for new pilots at easyJet

British budget airline easyJet has launched a new initiative to increase its proportion of female new entrant pilots. It’s part of the airline’s new strategy to encourage the development of female pilots at all ranks...
CASA at AAA Conference, Hobart 2015

Safety aired at airports conference

The safety role of airports, and everyone who works on them was a prominent theme at the Australian Airports Association conference in Hobart last week. Growth, and its challenges, quickly emerged as a theme of...
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The future of fighting bushfires?

A Lockheed Martin unmanned helicopter has demonstrated its bushfire fighting abilities in front of United States federal officials this week in Idaho. The K-MAX is capable of aerial fire suppression 24/7, and offers hotspot detection....

China launches general aviation centre

China's leading aircraft maker has begun work on an industrial and operations centre dedicated to general aviation. The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) this week held a ceremonial for a complex planned to occupy...

Mental Health Month – value your mind

After 150 people were killed in March on Germanwings Flight 9525, it was inconceivable to think co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed the Airbus A320 into the French Alps. When it was revealed that Lubitz was...

‘Anti-drone’ technology all the buzz

The debate around how to safeguard against rogue drone operators has entered a new phase, with companies developing ‘anti-drone’ weapons to neutralise the threat mid-air. The latest effort comes from Liteye Systems, which has developed...

‘Droneport’ to be built in Africa

The first ever ‘droneport’ is planning to be built in Rwanda to help support routes flown by cargo drones capable of distributing critical medical supplies. In a presentation last month, UK architecture firm Foster +...
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NASA fuses reality for pilot training

Ever landed an aircraft at 5000 ft? Well thanks to NASA, now you can. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has demonstrated a new technique for training pilots that combines both real world flying...
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Glider aims for altitude record

A glider built to fly into the stratosphere made its first flight recently. The Perlan 2 is built fly to 90,000 feet to conduct scientific experiments into giant mountain waves that help create the ozone...

Keep your drone away from bushfires

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is warning drone owners to keep away from bushfire-affected areas this summer. The call comes as the aviation safety regulator launches a social media campaign reminding the public never...

CASA to offer aviation research grants

CASA is calling on institutions and individuals active in formal research related to improving Australia’s aviation safety to apply for grant funding. The research grant program is designed to support research activities that promote Australia’s...
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AMSA mobilises beacon registration

Do you own an emergency locator beacon? You now have fewer reasons not to have it registered! The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has launched an improved online beacon registration system giving beacon owners...
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ATC notes—ADS-B benefits for general aviation

Australia’s adoption of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, for air traffic surveillance across our continent outside of conventional radar coverage offers a range of benefits to commercial and general aviation pilots flying using instrument flight...
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Flexi legs a new angle on helicopter landing gear

Helicopters and slopes do not go well together. Blade strike is one unpleasant possibility and ground resonance—where the rotor develops severe vibration—is another hazard. The US military’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, (DARPA) recently gave...

CASA launches ‘Have your say’ online engagement forum

CASA is listening to the aviation community. CASA has renewed its focus on listening to and considering the views of the aviation community when it makes changes that might affect that community. As part of...

Have your say on regulatory change

CASA wants to hear views from everyone involved in aviation on the implementation of key new suites of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. New regulations are coming in areas such as flight rules, air transport operations,...

Pilot boom expected in Asia-Pacific

The world’s largest aircraft manufacturer is predicting the Asia-Pacific will need almost half a million new pilots and technicians by 2034. In its market outlook for 2015, Boeing estimates the region will require 226,000 new...

British court convicts drone hobbyist

A British drone hobbyist has been taken to court and fined more than $5000 for flying a drone over football crowds. Nigel Wilson, 42, of Bingham, near Nottingham, pleaded guilty this week in Westminster Magistrates’...
Flight plan 2030

Flight Plan 2030 comes to North Western Australia

If you’re involved in aviation in Broome, Kununurra or surrounding regions, CASA encourages you to get involved directly in the development of our plan for the future of aviation safety regulation— Flight Plan 2030. After...

Goodbye Goodyear Blimp

The Goodyear Blimp has been the face of lighter-than-air aircraft, with the first flying in 1925, during the golden age of airships. Since the 1940s it has been the world’s most high profile lighter...

You can’t take it with you

In a concerning trend, airline passengers are continuing to value their luggage over their own personal safety and that of their fellow travellers. In the wake of British Airways Flight 2276’s catastrophic engine failure in Las...

Tablet magnets lure aircraft off course

Do you fly with an electronic flight bag? A recent incident in the US is a warning to pilots about the potential for magnets in tablet computers to interfere with flight instruments. Reported via the National...

Bogged down: discarded toy takes terrible revenge  

A Lufthansa flight from Bangkok to Frankfurt flight had to divert to Turkey after a child’s toy flushed down the lavatory blocked six of the nine toilets on board. The Aviation Herald reported ‘the landing...

Thor to hammer Australian fires

Two types of air traffic signal spring in Australia: dive-bombing magpies and firefighting aircraft arriving from the northern hemisphere. One of the first was Coulson Aviation’s L100 Hercules, affectionately known as ‘Thor’, which begins its...

Stuck in the mud — unsealed airstrips

The pilot of a Cessna 182 was lucky to walk away with only minor injuries after the aircraft flipped after a hard landing on an unsealed airstrip. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued its...

Smartphone fire causes emergency landing

A flight from Seoul to London was forced to make an emergency landing in Russia after a passenger’s smartphone caught fire. According to Aviation Herald the crew of the British Airways Boeing 787-800 declared an...

Swinburne to hold leadership summit

Save the date! Swinburne Aviation Leadership Summit 10–12 November 2015 After a proud 18-year history as a key event on the Australian aviation industry calendar, Swinburne University of Technology’s annual aviation conference makes an exciting change...
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Men in Black: Safety Defenders

It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it. This is the adage some airlines are embracing when it comes to getting their passengers to pay attention to pre-flight safety briefings. In their latest effort,...
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Out-N-Back rewind – Episode 6

Out-N-Back—a mini-series following a VFR flight around the southern parts of Australia—is back due to popular demand, with the sequel Out-N-Back 2 filming later this year around the country’s north-east. In our final episode of...

Out-N-Back 2: Meet the presenter

Meet Pete Wells: television presenter, adventurer and your new Out-N-Back 2 host. In 2015, you can follow Wells and the rest of the CASA crew in the filming of our visual flight rules (VFR)...

E-cigarette melts handbag

A recent incident involving an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, highlights the potential risk for the device to self-ignite, as a passenger in the United States discovered. As reported by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB),...
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Out-N-Back rewind – Episode 5

Out-N-Back—a mini-series following a VFR flight around the southern parts of Australia—is back due to popular demand, with the sequel Out-N-Back 2 filming later this year around the country’s north-east. In the penultimate episode of...
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NASA crashes 172s to improve ELTs

A Cessna 172 has been dropped from 100ft to test the crashworthiness of emergency locator transmitters. The crash test, performed at NASA’s Landing and Impact Research Facility, was the second time in just a few...
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Out-N-Back rewind—Episode 4

Out-N-Back—a mini-series following a VFR flight around the southern parts of Australia—is back due to popular demand, with the sequel Out-N-Back 2 filming later this year around the country’s north-east. We are now over halfway...

Airport Safety Week 2015

Airports around Australia and New Zealand will be participating in a unique industry initiative to promote safety at airports during Airport Safety Week 2015. Established last year in partnership between the Australian Airports Association (AAA) and the New Zealand...
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Out-N-Back rewind—Episode 3

Out-N-Back—a mini-series following a VFR flight around the southern parts of Australia—is back due to popular demand, with the sequel, Out-N-Back 2, filming later this year around the country’s north-east. Looking back at Out-n-Back 1,...

Drone near miss over Poland

A commercial airliner narrowly missed hitting a drone at 2500 feet while coming into land at Warsaw International Airport in Poland. The Lufthansa Embraer ERJ-195 was flying from Munich, Germany, and was on final approach...

RAeS looking for new members

The Australian division of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) is searching for new members to help with the continual advancement of the aerospace industry. The society is an international institution aimed at delivering ongoing professional...

Aviation safety sponsorship on offer

CASA’s Safety Promotion branch is offering sponsorship to organisations that promote aviation safety in Australia. The initiative is designed to help organisations and businesses in Australia to help actively promote the wide-ranging safety challenges facing...
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Out-N-Back rewind—Episode 2

Out-N-Back—a mini-series following a VFR flight around the southern parts of Australia—is back due to popular demand, with the sequel, Out-N-Back 2, filming later this year around the country’s north-east. Looking back at series one,...

New look AvMed info on CASA website

Confused about the aviation medical certification process? CASA’s new-look online aviation medicine (AvMed) information will assist you in streamlining these procedures. Pilots, air traffic controllers and medical examiners can now access information relevant to them...

Winging it—taxiing in the dark

How’s your situational awareness? Loss of situational awareness led the crew of a British Airways Boeing 747-400 to hit a building while taxiing to take-off, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has found. The incident,...

Out-N-Back returns for series two

Out-N-Back—a mini-series following a VFR flight around Australia—is back due to popular demand, with the sequel, Out-N-Back 2, filming later this year. The original Out-N-Back followed a VFR flight through southern parts of Australia and...

Unmanned GA aircraft takes-off

A company in the United States has successfully flown a general aviation aircraft via remote control, marking the first time a large fixed-wing aircraft has flown from a FAA-designated test site. Aurora Flight Sciences flew...

CASA to deliver ‘Lessons for Life’ safety seminars

CASA’s Aviation Safety Advisors will be delivering a new series of seminars aimed at helping attendees make better decisions in the air and on the ground before flight. The seminars, commencing this evening near Parafield,...

CASA online services now available

CASA’s corporate IT system has been upgraded and online services are available again. CASA apologises for the inconvenience caused by the unavailability of the systems and appreciates your patience while the queued requests are now...

Have your say at CASA’s industry forum—2015 to 2030

What aviation safety issues do you face today, and how can we meet the challenges facing the industry over the next five, 10 & 15 years? Join the Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore and...

CASA marks 20 years as regulator

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is celebrating 20 years since its formation on 6 July 1995 as Australia’s aviation safety regulator. The organisation was established when the air safety functions of the former Civil...

July–August ‘Flight Safety Australia’ out now

For July–August Flight Safety Australia looks at military aviation and how air forces, armies and navies have revolutionised their safety culture and slashed accident rates over the past 30 years. We investigate how they...

Amazon in hot water over battery breach

The British Civil Aviation Authority is taking a major online retailer in the United Kingdom to court for breaching dangerous goods safety regulations. Amazon.co.uk is facing 11 charges relating to the miscarriage of dangerous goods...

CASA corporate system upgrade and outage notification

A number of CASA’s online systems will be unavailable from the close of business on Tuesday 30 June 2015 for up to five business days. It is anticipated that online services will restart from...

Drone grounds US fire bombers

The northern hemisphere summer has produced an unfortunate aviation first – the first time a firefighting aircraft has been formally grounded by a drone. Two fixed-wing aircraft fighting an 8000 ha fire in the San...
Young male pilot in cockpit

Safeskies 2015—training for change

‘Training for Change’ is this year’s Safeskies Australia conference theme for the 2015 event in Canberra this September. The Safeskies Conference—held biennially since 1993—identified many ongoing changes across the technical, commercial, organisational, environmental and economic dimensions...

ATSB calls on GA pilots to improve safety

Australia’s transport safety investigator has called on general aviation pilots to make smarter decisions in the air and before flight. The alert from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) came after the fatality rate of...

Investigator calls for global fuel tank action

Australia’s transport safety investigator has called on US and European regulators to make bladder-type fuel tanks compulsory on Robinson R44 helicopters to help prevent post-impact fires. The call came as the ATSB issued its final...

Pilot scholarships on offer

Have you ever wanted your commercial pilot’s licence but couldn’t afford it? Well you could be one step closer as six scholarships are now on offer in Australia to help assist pilots progress towards...

In a spin—Antarctic chopper crash

Deteriorating weather conditions, spatial disorientation and the pilot’s failure to monitor the instruments led to an Aerospatiale AS350B2 helicopter crash in Antarctica in 2013. In its report released on Monday, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau...
CASA Safety Management System resource kit

Book now for Hobart SMS workshop

After a successful tour across the mainland, CASA is running a one-day SMS (safety management systems) for aviation workshop in Hobart on Thursday 25 June. This is a fantastic opportunity for small, non-complex organisations who...

CASA expands interactive self service

CASA is releasing 16 online forms for flight crew licences covering aeroplanes, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. If submitted via the new CASA Self Service you will be able to track the progress of your...
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Safety videos butt out e-cigarettes

Two new passenger safety videos have addressed the issue of electronic cigarettes, telling passengers not to use them during flight. The videos, produced by Air New Zealand and Delta Airlines, use different techniques to communicate...
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Printed engine revs up 3D technology

General Electric has printed a mini jet engine and tested it at 33,000rpm. Engineers at GE said that the goal of the project was to build an engine made almost entirely out of 3D-printed parts....
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Flying car saved by parachute

A test flight of an experimental flying car came crashing to a halt when the pilot deployed the aircraft’s ballistic parachute system at 900 feet. Similar to the above video, the ‘AeroMobil 3.0’ was being...

Power play: don’t let your drone fall flat

‘Fuel in the tanks is limited; gravity is forever.’ This long-standing proverb still applies to even the most modern forms of aviation, and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) are no exception. But what might be obvious to...

Ten rotors take tilt at efficiency goal

Is this electric 10-engined remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) a glimpse into aviation’s future? Researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Centre in the United States have successfully conducted the first transition flight of a battery-powered RPA prototype...

May-June ‘Flight Safety Australia’ out now

For May-June 2015 Flight Safety Australia looks at human-machine interface: how human beings work with machines, and how the two can better work together. ‘HMI covers automation, and other aspects of system design such...

Close scrapes: gear-up embarrassments that could have been nasty

Wheels-up landings continue to make headlines in safety bulletins as pilots continue to discover the limits of human performance the hard way. The latest investigation bulletin released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) lists...
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Australia’s civil aviation in 1950

How’s this for flashback Friday? As part of researching a story on the evolution of air traffic control featuring in the upcoming May/June edition of the Flight Safety Australia, we came across this historic video...

Learn to fly in one week?

Can a person off the street learn to fly in a week? An experiment at this year’s Sun ‘n’ Fun aviation convention in Florida, US, is seeking the answer. Three people— a motorcycle engineer, an advertising...

Hudson river pilot defends human skill

The pilot who landed on the Hudson River, in New York, after a birdstrike disabled both engines in 2009 has spoken out in favour of keeping humans in airline cockpits. The Germanwings tragedy in the...

Cold comfort

As winter comes round again, Flight Safety Australia, looks back at an article from 2011 that still rings true—if you have cold, stay on the ground. ‘It’s just a cold, I’ll be fine’ are words no pilot...
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New dramas highlight safety management

As part of the recently published of the Safety management systems for aviation: a practical guide 2nd edition (SMS toolkit), CASA has released two video dramas depicting the everyday operations of a typical but fictitious...

Hypoxia strikes over Queensland

It’s often said in aviation, that safety is about getting the little things right. This modest saying was borne out last year, when a routine aerial survey flight over Queensland turned hypoxic when a...

China preparing for general aviation take-off

China appears to be planning for a general aviation boom, with major investments in airport and aircraft construction. A senior official in the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration, Li Jiaxiang, last month flagged the possibility of...

If in doubt, ASK ATC!

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is encouraging all pilots unsure of their position when they’re flying to contact air traffic control (ATC) services. The call from the ATSB comes as a pilot was seriously...

At what price? Low cost carriers and safety

Flight Safety Australia looks back on an article from our November/December 2013 edition of the magazine to revisit how budget airlines handle safety and what impact their bottom-dollar approach might have...   All air travel has become cheaper in...

Safeskies ‘training for change’

'Training for Change’ is this year’s Safeskies Australia conference theme for their 2015 event, scheduled for this September. The Safeskies Conference—held biennially since 1993—identified many ongoing changes across the technical, commercial, organisational, environmental and economic...
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‘Xsighting’ landing captured on video

A new foreign object detection (FOD) system has captured the emergency landing of a Beechcraft Queen Air after the nose wheel failed to lock down. The landing occurred at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport last...
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Lost your phone? Don’t move your seat!

A new passenger safety video released by Air France addresses the issue of cabin fires, telling passengers not to recline their seat if they lose their phone. The warning, shown at 3:20, comes after a...

Flight Safety Australia at Avalon

The Avalon Airshow—the most significant aviation event in the southern hemisphere has (sadly) come and gone for another two years with almost 170,000 people through the gates over six days. Spectator numbers again increased...
CASA Safety Management System resource kit

Book now for SMS workshops

To coincide with the fully revised second edition of the safety management system resource kit, CASA is running one-day safety management systems for aviation workshops in most major capital cities during April and May. This...

Keep drones away from historic flight

CASA is urging drone owners in Illawarra to keep clear of the regional airport on Sunday as a Qantas 747 makes it historic last flight on Sunday 8 March. After almost 25 years of service,...

Are you up for the ‘Fly it Forward’ challenge?

To celebrate Women of Aviation Worldwide Week (WOAWW) and 100 years of female pilots in combat, Fly It Forward pilots from four continents will give free introductory flights to females during the upcoming 6th annual Fly...

Pilot licensing fees—have your say

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has opened a public consultation period for changes to pilot licensing fees. A draft of the cost recovery statement was prepared to address the changes to the flight crew...

ICAO gives UAE record score

Where in the world is the safest place to fly? The result might surprise you. Last week the United Arab Emirates achieved the highest score ever recorded in an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety...

ICAO–IAWA aviation scholarships on offer

There are only a few days left to apply for the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) and the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) Aviation Scholarship for a professional woman in aviation. With the objective of...

Help yourself at new CASA self service

CASA has launched a new online self-service the new system will allow engineers, air traffic controllers and ground handling personnel to view their details. On 23rd March maintenance personnel licence (MPL) holders will be...

See you at Avalon

It’s on again. The who’s who of aviation in Australia will converge on Avalon, in Victoria, tomorrow for three days of exhibitions and networking as part of the Australian International Airshow. The industry expo, which...

CASA grounds R44s after NZ crash

CASA has issued an emergency airworthiness directive grounding Robinson R44 helicopters over fears the main rotor blades may break off in flight. CASA took the action after advice from investigators examining a fatal crash in...
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‘Epic crashes’ show reason for drone rules

YouTube may seem the unlikeliest of safety resources, but after a few views on the video sharing website one message becomes clear. There are some things it’s better to watch than attempt. In this spirit,...

Aviation university offers free course

In a rare case of something in aviation being free of charge, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is offering an online course in accident investigation. Embry-Riddle, founded in 1926, is the world’s only university exclusively devoted to...

Another laser loser

A Queensland man will face court today after allegedly shining a laser pointer at a police helicopter over the weekend. The crew of PolAir2 were conducting airborne patrols in the Inala area when they were...

Warbirds over Washington

The sound of World War II-era piston-engines will ring out of the sky above Washington DC, as, one of the most largest formations of WWII aircraft ever assembled, flies over the US capital on...
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Cirrus parachutes into Pacific

The US Coastguard captured this video footage back in January, when the pilot of the Cirrus SR22 ditched his aircraft 253 miles northeast of Maui, Hawaii after running out of fuel. On 25 January, at 12:30pm,...
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Shifting cargo brought down 747

The crash of a Boeing 747 cargo aircraft in Afghanistan ‘most likely’ occurred after a military vehicle it was carrying broke free from restraints, unbalancing the aircraft beyond recovery. The latest information made public last...

Ash cloud pilot to share his story

Aviation enthusiasts will be a able to hear a first hand account of one of the most celebrated flights in civil aviation when retired British Airways pilot Eric Moody speaks in Sydney at a...

Selfie linked to Cessna crash

Distraction from taking self-portraits with a mobile phone (commonly known as ‘selfies’), most likely led to an accident that killed two people the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), has found. The Cessna 150 crashed...

ICAO recommends 15-minute aircraft tracking standard

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has formally recommended adopting a new 15-minute standard for aircraft tracking to prevent the reoccurrence of lost commercial jetliners, like the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370. Recommended at a...

Bureau releases TAF Review final report

The Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) has reviewed its provision of aerodrome forecasts (TAFs) in Australia. The TAF Review final report and implementation plan were presented to, and agreed by, industry representatives at an...

Drone rule breaker fined $850

Another recreational drone user has been issued with a $850 fine after flying the aircraft over populated areas in Townsville last year. In a short statement released by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the...

‘World-class’ AW139 training sim coming to Brisbane

Australia’s first AgustaWestland 139 civil helicopter training centre is due to open in Brisbane next year, providing a world-class training facility for Australian operators of the modern twin-engine helicopter. The AW139 has taken on...

NASA studies the power of one

NASA is studying what some pilots will undoubtedly regard as the ultimate heresy in aviation—the single-pilot airline flight deck. NASA and avionics maker Rockwell Collins are collaborating on research into concepts and technology for crew...

ASASI calls for papers

The Australian and New Zealand Societies of Air Safety Investigators are seeking papers for presentation at the 2015 Regional Air Safety Seminar. Held in Auckland from the 5-7 June, the annual event has previously covered...

Aviation ‘Uberification’ sees FAA challenged

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is being taken to court over a decision to shut down an ‘Uber-styled’ flight sharing service after the regulator deemed the site to be a conduit for illegal air...
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Safety video focuses on wire strikes

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released a new safety video highlighting the ever-present dangers of wire strikes to agricultural pilots. In conjunction with the Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia (AAAA), the video encourages...

ICAO pushes for aircraft tracking standard

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will propose for commercial aircraft to report their position every 15 minutes in order to avoid a repeat of the disappearance of MH370. An ICAO spokesperson said that the...

2014: Safest year ever

With just 21 fatal accidents, 2014 was, by one measure, the safest year in aviation history, despite the high profile accidents of Malaysia Airlines flights 370 and 17. Data correlated by the Aviation Safety Network...
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Regulation change designed for success

CASA is enabling a new era for the aviation industry in Australia by introducing approved design organisations (ADO). Under this new system of approval, design organisations will be able to: independently give advice for minor...

All I want for Christmas is…a drone!

You’ve unwrapped your gifts from under the Christmas tree and you got just what you wanted—a shiny, new Drone. Unmanned aircraft (aka ‘drones’) are one of the hot ticket items for Christmas this year with...

SIDS program finds dangerous defects

Cessna owners are getting a safety dividend from the SIDS (supplemental inspection documents) inspections that are now mandatory on propeller-driven Cessna aircraft. CASA has received more than two dozen reports of serious problems discovered...

Crackers make dangerous goods naughty list

Airlines are reminding passengers to leave miscellaneous party explosives at home as they fly around Australia over Christmas. Party poppers, sparklers and ‘make your own’ Christmas cracker kits are all on Santa’s naughty list—strictly forbidden...

Door jam alert for Super Pumas

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an airworthiness directive for the Airbus Helicopters Super Puma helicopter after a scheduled check revealed corrosion damage in the emergency door jettison system. Both models of Super...

Report dissects Dreamliner battery nightmare

Poor battery design and shoddy manufacturing standards from a sub-contractor along with a lack of oversight has been blamed for a fire aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its...

Cyber terrorism and drones emerging as aviation threats

One of the world’s largest insurers has identified six major emerging risks for the aviation industry, with cyber terrorism and drones making the list. Released by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty the Global Aviation and...
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Time-lapse of A380 overhaul

Ever wondered what it takes to keep an Airbus A380 in the skies? This incredible footage released by Emirates last week was filmed over 55 days and shows the entire 3C-Check process carried out by...

ZEUS detects deadly cloud

Thirty-two years after volcanic ash nearly brought down a British Airways 747; a new device is being fitted to another BA747 to give scientists a clearer picture of the crippling smog. Aptly named ZEUS—after the...

Big bang avoided

A collision between a refuelling tanker and a student pilot has forced Jandakot Airport in Western Australia to revise its aircraft-taxiing plan. The incident occurred in June this year, when the pilot taxied back to...

Bird scarer is no average Joe

Joe the Black Labrador has joined a growing list of deterrents used by airports to help reduce bird strikes. As reported on ABC’s Catalyst program last week, Gold Coast Airport has been using Joe—Australia’s first...
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CASA shutdown

CASA offices will be closed during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Normal CASA services will NOT be available from: 24 December 2014 (Closing Midday – urgent enquiries only from 9am-12pm) until 2 January 2015. Plan...

BoM call for aviation feedback

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is conducting a survey to determine customer satisfaction with its aviation products and services. BoM provides aviation weather services such as aerodrome weather reports (METAR and SPECI), trend forecasts (TTF)...

Drone captures whale blow

Researchers at Griffith University are using remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) to film the breathing patterns of humpback whales to help understand the frequency of respiratory infections in the mammals. The RPA, often referred to as...

Reports illuminate laser stupidity

As Wallabies goal kicker Bernard Foley lined up for an attempt at goal in Buenos Aires a few weeks ago, the last thing he would have expected from the hostile Argentinian crowd was a...

CASA names ‘Least Wanted’ for 2014

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has launched its inaugural ‘Least Wanted’ dangerous goods list for 2014, with lithium batteries topping the list. The list reflects the top ten dangerous goods passengers carry and present the...

E-cigarette sparks fiery debate

As the popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) rises there is much debate as to the safety of these devices. In August, an e-cigarette ignited a fire inside the cargo hold of a JetBlue passenger aircraft...

CASA calling for your views on safety communication

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority needs your help improving how its Safety Promotion branch communicates safety-critical messages. The branch, which has produced resources like OnTrack, Human Factors for Engineers, Can I pack that? – Dangerous Goods App and other valuable...

Plan for black boxes to eject into the blue

Seven months after the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flights 370, Airbus has announced it's nearly ready to equip revolutionary black boxes that eject from aircraft in the event of a crash. The move comes as...

Come home Connie

The Qantas Founders Aviation Museum has secured a Super Constellation to add to its collection, but before it can go on display it needs to make the long and arduous journey from the Philippines. The...

Lithium battery fire sparks Mayday

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released its report into a lithium battery fire that ignited in the cargo hold of a Boeing 737 moments before passengers boarded a flight from Melbourne to...