News

Hybrid drive for urban VTOL concept

American helicopter maker Bell and French aviation systems conglomerate Safran have announced they will cooperate to develop ‘innovative hybrid electric power system solutions to support Bell's vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft concept’. Bell showed...

New fuel rules on the way

CASA has changed fuel rules to make them safer, and in some cases simpler. The new rules take effect on 8 November, although many pilots and operators are already using them as standard operating...
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Windowless cabin: Emirates high flyers cop it suite

Emirates Airlines has introduced a first-class suite with virtual windows—a move which the airline says could pave the way for windowless aircraft. In the first-class suite of the airline’s newest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, passengers don’t...
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Smithy’s flight remembered

Tomorrow marks the 90th anniversary of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith’s first trans-Pacific flight from California to Brisbane in the Fokker Trimotor Southern Cross. Kingsford Smith, along with crew members Australian Charles Ulm and American navigation...

Airlines warned against complacency after record safety run

Airlines need to guard against complacency following last year’s record for aviation safety, International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, told an IATA conference in Sydney this week. Last year...

Airline explores net benefits for wayward PEDS

Air Canada has launched a project to counter the problem of portable electronic devices (PEDS) being lost, and potentially crushed, in its business class seats. Many airlines tell passengers not to try to retrieve devices...

Airbus says new helicopter offers upset recovery at touch of a button

Airbus’ H160 twin turbo helicopter, designed to carry up to 12 passengers, offers safety features such as auto recovery from inverted flight, according to a report in US online publication Wired. The manufacturer recently demonstrated...
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Remembering Air France flight 447

Nine years today, the aviation world was shocked when Air France flight 447, on a scheduled flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean killing all 228 passengers and crew...

Lack of lubrication caused Canadian gear landing emergency

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has found that inadequate training of maintenance personnel contributed to a nose gear landing incident in July 2016. The incident involved an Air Georgian Beechcraft 1900D turboprop on approach...

Don’t push it, land it

CASA, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) have joined together to promote a safety message for helicopter pilots: Don't push it, land it. We want to encourage all...

The Roger Connellan Award

Applications open on 1 June for the Roger Connellan Award, which supports aviation development in Outback Australia. The award is open to professional and non-professional pilots who have completed their initial CASA-recognised licensing such as...

Airborne experiment reads pilot minds

The prospect of an aircraft that reads its pilots’ thoughts is a little closer after a French/American research team measured the brain activity of pilots in real-time using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Their results...
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Rules apply when you fly—CASA’s new drone safety animation

Drones provide hours of flying fun but understanding the safety rules is essential before taking off. With drones more popular than ever, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is encouraging first-time users—especially children—to understand that...
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First officer escapes with minor injuries after windscreen fails in flight

The first officer of a Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319 escaped with scratches and a sprained wrist on Monday morning after being ‘partially blown out’ of the aircraft when its windscreen burst at about 32,000...
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Historic biofuel flight

A FedEx Boeing 777 freighter has created history by flying from Seattle to Memphis and back on 100 per cent biofuel. Made with a blend of animal fats and plant oil, the fuel is...

High-flying aircraft to run on sunshine for a year

Defence and aviation giant BAE Systems is developing an unmanned aircraft that can fly for up to a year. BAE Systems has signed an agreement with the aircraft’s original developer, Prismatic, to collaborate on the...

Budget funding for SBAS

This week’s Federal Budget includes nearly $161 million to develop an Australian satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS), capable of providing many GNSS-equipped aircraft with the ability to make precision approaches. The funding is in addition to...

Airborne pilgrimage honours first flying doctor

Today marks the start of a nine-day antique air pilgrimage to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Twenty-five aircraft will take off from Dubbo and fly to Moree, Roma,...

Flight Safety Australia May edition out now

Aviation is on the verge of an unprecedented boom in aircraft numbers, Flight Safety Australia’s lead story for May says. Most of these billion aircraft will, however, be drones. Drone specialist contributor Craig Newlyn...

Aviation human factors expert remembered

One of Australia’s foremost experts on aviation safety, Dr Rob Lee AO, died on 27 April, following a brave battle with cancer. He was an academic psychologist who applied the insights of the profession...

New species revives wasp warning

A newly discovered wasp species has prompted CASA to update and reissue an alert on the danger wasp nests pose to aircraft. Airworthiness Bulletin 02-052 of May 2018 highlights the keyhole wasp, native to Central...

Poles apart: airport has to rename runway

The normally separate worlds of geology and aviation intersected last week when Cork airport in Ireland changed the designation of its main runway. Variation in the earth’s magnetic field (known as magnetic declination) meant that...
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Aloha 243: the accident that showed the danger of ageing aircraft

Thirty years ago tomorrow (April 28) the aviation world was rudely introduced to the problem of ageing transport aircraft, when the fuselage roof blew off Aloha Airlines flight 243. Flight 243 departed Hilo, on the...

NTSB forum highlights loss of control

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) focused this week on one of general aviation’s perennial problems—loss of control in flight. The NTSB convened a round table of industry and government experts to discuss the...

NTSB finds fatigue failure led to trainer crash

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has identified metal fatigue as a factor in the in-flight structural failure that led to the crash of a Piper PA-28R-201 Arrow on 4 April that killed...

Airbag kit aims to be low-cost lifesaver

A generic retro-fit airbag is being developed for general aviation aircraft by the US manufacturer that supplies them as standard equipment in new aircraft. Airbags made by AmSafe have been standard equipment on Cessna piston...
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Glider specialist to build urban electric copter

The 18-rotor Volocopter electric rotorcraft is going into production. German glider maker DG Flugzeugbau has announced an order to manufacture ‘a large number of Volocopters’ from Volocopter GmbH. DG will build the Volocopter 2X in...

Report highlights automation hazards

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has warned pilots about the importance of understanding how autopilots and avionics work, after issuing a report into a fatal crash that killed a student pilot on a cross...

Digital tools add data to maintenance formula

Using data to identify trends and increase reliability and safety, has been the prominent theme in aircraft maintenance at the recent MRO Americas conference held in Florida. Engine maker Rolls-Royce used the event to announce...
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NASA uses dummies for maximum impact

The high-wing light aircraft on a test rig performs a hard landing, rolls onto its nose, crumples and overturns. The necks of the two ‘occupants’ flex and twist; were they human, they would probably...

IATA launches animal welfare assurance program

A new global certification program by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) aims at ensuring the safety and welfare of the millions of live animals carried by air each year. The standards have been developed...

Safety by the letter

A recent operational change by Emirates Airline is a textbook example of the analysis and attention to detail that go into managing airline transport safety. Emirates recently introduced of alpha-numeric air traffic control (ATC) call...

Low slow jet wins aviation trophy

Cirrus’s SF50 Vision Jet has won the 2017 Collier trophy. The long-running aviation prize was awarded to the US manufacturer for developing the world’s first single engine personal jet. The Vision Jet, at one time...

NASA orders supersonic test aircraft

Civil supersonic flight could be making a quiet comeback. NASA yesterday awarded a contract for the design, building and testing of a supersonic aircraft that reduces a sonic boom to a gentle thump. The $A320...

Have your say at Part 91 webinar

CASA is about to hit the small screen—not TV—but the next best thing, a live webinar. Public consultation has opened on new draft Part 91 regulations relating to general operating and flight rules which will form...

Dutch call for take-off warning systems

The Dutch Safety Board has called for the swift development of independent systems which warn pilots when their aircraft has insufficient take-off performance. The board analysed serious incidents involving incorrect thrust settings in Boeing 737-800...

Avoiding flu while you fly

New research from the US appears to contradict the view that aircraft are hotbeds for the spread of infectious diseases such as influenza – but where you sit can be important. The study suggests the...

Manufacturer announces electric aircraft plan

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is the latest aircraft manufacturer to announce an electric aircraft program. The state owned manufacturer of military, civil and unmanned aircraft and defence systems yesterday announced plans to focus on 'green energy...

Racers, start your (electric) engines

One hundred years after the first aircraft flew from the United Kingdom to Australia another ‘great air race’ will aim to repeat the excitement of the original 1919 event, using electrically powered aircraft. On 10...
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First the good news; now the not-so-good

Last year, 2017, was the safest year for commercial aviation, with no fatal crashes in jet engine passenger aircraft anywhere in the world, so why has 2018 started off so badly? In the first...

Party for Boeing’s once-unlikely record breaker

Boeing has rolled out the 10,000th 737, a result that would have seemed unlikely for the first decade of the type’s 51-year life. The milestone aircraft came from Boeing’s Renton, Washington factory on Tuesday, where...

Spark of a good idea

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have proposed a radical method of avoiding lightning strikes on aircraft: put an electrical charge into the airframe. According to MIT, about 90 per cent of lightning strikes...
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Key safety number is thousands of years

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently issued its safety analysis of air travel in 2017. After crunching the numbers, it came up with the figure of 6033. That’s the number of years you...

Boost for jet biofuels

By 2025, more than a billion passengers could have flown on aircraft powered by sustainable fuel, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In a statement marking the recent 10th anniversary of the first...

Batteries in the hot seat again

If you are an observant occasional air traveller, you have probably noticed a new cabin safety briefing warning along the lines of ‘if you lose your mobile phone don’t move your seat’. What’s that...

February Flight Safety Australia ready for download

Flight Safety Australia’s February edition is now available for download on Apple and Android devices. At your leisure you can read the main feature stories, accident round-ups, close calls and you can try your hand...
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Night aerial firefighting trials begin in Victoria

Emergency Management Victoria has begun trials of night time aerial firefighting using night-vision technology. The trial, approved by CASA, involves two aircraft based at Ballarat Airport. One will undertake daytime reconnaissance and provide oversight at...

Test your drone knowledge

Do you fly a drone for fun? Do you know the rules so you can fly safely? Test your knowledge with the new CASA drone quiz. Drones, helicopters and cabin safety are the latest...

Sticky Kiwi robot making aircraft inspection safer

A New Zealand-designed ‘upside down’ robot, originally built to inspect the inside of milk tanks, may be about to take the aircraft inspection industry by storm. Invert Robotics, an offshoot of the University of Canterbury,...
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Video shows safety side of dynamic drone industry

If you want to make your living out of flying drones, or just want a summary and overview of a dynamic new sector of aviation, CASA’s latest video is a must-see. But we can’t take...

Flight Safety Australia back on track

We’re glad to say Flight Safety Australia’s app has been fixed and now works with tablets and smartphones using Apple and Android software. Again, we apologise for the delay in this happening, even though...

Unalerted see and avoid—it’s not a good look

Seeing is believing, or so the saying goes. But is it enough to just see? Your VFR flight is in class G airspace. It’s likely that there’s other traffic out there, and you have a...
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Digital engine concept gets smart

Rolls-Royce is going into the intelligence business. The engine maker revealed its Intelligent Engine vision at the Singapore air show last week. Rolls-Royce says an intelligent engine will be ‘connected, contextually aware and comprehending,’ which...

Latest crash report tells dry old story of fuel starvation

The latest Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report describes one of the most long-standing crash causes in aviation: fuel starvation. The crash happened in September last year to a low-hours pilot taking a local flight...

IATA and Singapore crunch numbers for safety

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will establish a Global Safety Predictive Analytics Research Centre (SPARC) in Singapore. The centre will use predictive analytics to identify potential...

Commonwealth Games temporary restrictions: what you need to know

The Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast from 4–15 April 2018. More than 6600 athletes and team officials from 70 nations and territories will be in Queensland for the 11 day...

Freight order keeps classic Boeing going

Obituaries, including ours, for the Boeing 747 may have been premature: Cargo operator UPS Airlines placed an order last week for fourteen 747-8F freight versions of the pioneering wide body airliner. The deal is in...

Urgent airworthiness directive for Cherokees, Warriors

An urgent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness directive affects about 850 Piper Pa-28 Cherokee and Warrior aircraft in Australia. The directive, AD 2018-02-05, relates to reports of some PA-28 aircraft having improperly labelled fuel selector...
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Investigator seeks lessons from chaotic near disaster

US National Transportation Safety Board Chairman, Robert Sumwalt, has issued some blunt advice to airline passengers: do as the cabin crew says. The NTSB chairman was commenting about on an ongoing investigation into an uncontrolled...

New rules for over-the-counter pain medication

From today, pain relief and cough and cold medicines containing codeine are only available with a doctor’s prescription. If you’re a pilot, engineer, air traffic controller or in any other safety sensitive aviation position, you...

Safety sponsorships on offer

CASA is offering sponsorships to organisations that actively promote aviation safety. Applications for round two of the Safety Promotion Sponsorship Program open on 5 February 2018 and close on 2 March 2018. The sponsorship program targets...

We regret to announce a delay

By about now we had hoped to show you the new Flight Safety Australia app. We had hoped it would be ready to view the stories of January 2018, and of November–December 2017. But it...

The Los Gatos Canyon crash: a tragedy of errors immortalised in song

Seventy years ago, on 28 January 1948, a DC-3 caught fire and crashed in rough terrain in Southern California, killing all 32 aboard. The flight was taking 28 Mexican farm workers whose work permits...
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Software makers team up for runway-safety package

Airbus and avionics maker Honeywell have collaborated to offer their separately developed landing aids as a packaged deal. Customers are now able to order Honeywell’s SmartLanding and the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) developed by...

MH370 mystery spurs development of new location technology

As the search for MH370 resumes in the Indian Ocean, US company DarkWater Acoustics has patented an underwater locator beacon (ULB), or ‘adaptive pinger’, which it says could greatly increase the chances of finding...

That sinking feeling—owning a flood-affected aeroplane

Engineer Roger Alder discusses water damage and aircraft maintenance systems Light aircraft are increasingly becoming engulfed in flood waters during catastrophic storms such as Cyclone Debbie in Queensland and Hurricane Harvey and now Irma in...
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Drone rescue a world first

A drone rescued two swimmers from a NSW beach yesterday in a mission believed to be the first of its type. Lifeguards from Surf Life Saving NSW were at Lennox Head, on the state’s north...

Test your aviation knowledge

How well do you know aviation and aviation safety? Test your knowledge with the CASA weekly quizzes. We cover VFR, IFR, maintenance, drones, helicopters and cabin safety, so there is something for everyone in...
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Don’t let your luggage take you for a ride

Several airlines have this week joined Qantas, Virgin Australia and other carriers in banning so-called smart luggage with non-removable lithium batteries. Smart luggage with batteries removed can still be carried, subject to normal checked and...

Bureau reports improved safety results

2016 was the safest year in Australian aviation, measured by numbers of deaths, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said yesterday. The ATSB issued its annual Aviation Occurrence Statistics report yesterday, covering the years 2007...

Electric aircraft takes off

On 2 January, a small, modest little aeroplane flew two circuits at Jandakot Airport, in Perth—and made Australian aviation history. The Pipistrel Alpha Electro became the first factory-built (as opposed to experimental) electric aircraft to fly...

Flight Safety Australia 2017 Collector’s Edition out now!

The third annual printed edition of Flight Safety Australia is available now. The 2017 Flight Safety Australia Collectors’ Edition is a bumper collection of more than 50 stories that were published in the online magazine...
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Don’t believe your ears

Spatial disorientation continues to kill. Your only defence is to know it for what it is. What would a God who meant us to fly have given us? A set of wings would be nice,...

Aviation world was lucky in 2017, analyst warns

Last year was the safest in the history of commercial aviation, according to analyses by independent consultants. For 2017, the Aviation Safety Network (ASN) recorded 10 fatal accidents involving large (more than 14 seats) air...

Plane English awards

The aviation industry, with its unique jargon, has performed well in the Plain English Foundation’s 2017 Worst Word of the Year awards. Coming in behind the overall winner, alternative facts, was involuntary de-boarding, made famous...
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Professional performance delivers the goods

Flight Safety Australia has a present for our readers, which as well as being an aviation-enthusiast’s delight, also carries a positive safety message. This northern autumn, Air-Clips.com flew with a Lufthansa Cargo crew from Frankfurt,...

Boeing to test refuelling drone

Boeing will demonstrate an unmanned aircraft capable of refuelling carrier-based US Navy jets, according to an announcement from the company. The US Navy has been running a competition for development of an unmanned aircraft capable...
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Ho, ho, ho, careful with that drone

It’s that time of year again, when drones can be found under Christmas trees and a generation of new pilots takes its first multirotor solo as soon as they’ve got the battery connected. (They are...

Unruly passenger incidents increasing

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for more effective enforcement action against unruly passengers in the face of a growing number of serious incidents. A recent report from IATA records an overall decline...
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Christmas lights can be an aviation safety hazard

Christmas laser lights designed to project festive patterns onto the side of houses can pose a hazard to aviation, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA says that for the past several...
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Travelling safely with batteries

Batteries are used to charge most of our portable electronic devices and pose a unique hazard when flying as they are capable of causing a fire if not transported correctly. This happened in 2014 in...
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The future according to NASA

Aviation is about to enter the most exciting time since the introduction of the jet age, a NASA executive told Oxford University this week. Associate Administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, Jaiwon Shin, was...

Armed but not dangerous: prize-winning drone set to save millions

Drones are very useful devices for dull, dirty or dangerous tasks, but one thing they could not do was match the human ability to inspect by touch—until now. A drone fitted with a sensitive...

Get set for long-haul lab to London

As Qantas prepares to launch its newest route from Perth to London in March next year in the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, researchers are planning a clinical trial to measure how long-haul flying can affect...
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Sweet videos with a serious cabin safety core

CASA’s latest cabin safety campaign adds a sweet flavour to an important series of safety messages. Bean Safe is an animated video, starring jelly beans as airline travellers. It’s being launched today to coincide with...

New Cessna sticks to simple formula

Cessna has announced a new aircraft; an unpressurised turbine twin suitable for passenger and cargo operations. Parent company Textron Aviation announced the Cessna 408 SkyCourier this week with an order of 50 for the new...

Rolls-Royce announces electric aircraft engine project

Airbus, Siemens and Rolls-Royce are developing a two megawatt electric aircraft engine in a turboelectric hybrid aircraft. The 2750 hp (2 MW, 2000 kW) electric drive, will be roughly equivalent in power to the Pratt...

App promises smarter clearances

Fumbling with a pencil and paper to write down IFR clearances in a general aviation cockpit could eventually become a thing of the past, if a US-developed smartphone and tablet application goes into production Aviation...
South African Airways flight 295

South African tragedy a dangerous goods reminder

Thirty years ago, today, South African Airways flight 295, a 747-200 Combi from Taipei to Johannesburg via Mauritius, crashed into the Indian Ocean off Mauritius after a cargo fire. All 159 on board, including...

Halon: here’s what you need to know

Australia’s Fire Protection Industry Board wants aircraft maintainers to know the requirements for working on halon fire suppression equipment. Halon was the fire extinguishing gas that seemed too good to be true. It was almost...

Syllabus to change after CASA listens to helicopter industry voices

CASA has opened the door to trainee helicopter pilots in Australia being able to gain their licences after a 105 hour course, instead of 150 hours, and without having to learn basic instrument flying...

Museum highlights department’s fleet

An exhibition opening tomorrow at Melbourne’s Airways Museum remembers a time when Australia’s aviation regulator was also an aviation operator. Airways Museum spokesman Phil Vabre said, ‘The Department of Civil Aviation, its predecessors and successors,...
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Film shows drama of Las Vegas engine explosion

The US National Transportation Safety Board has issued a video of the fire that forced the evacuation of a British Airways Boeing 777 in Las Vegas on 8 September 2015. BA flight 2276 was at...

Government officials hack airliner

A team of government, industry and academic officials has demonstrated remote hacking of a commercial aircraft, a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official has revealed. Robert Hickey, aviation program manager in the department’s cyber...

Flashback Friday: Remembering a remarkable ditching

On Saturday a brief ceremony near New York City will honour two of the 31 people involved in an extraordinary aviation survival story. Flight engineer Frank Garcia and flight attendant Mary Ellen Daniels were crew...

Air taxi firm secures $90 million flag fall

Electric aircraft maker Lilium has announced a $US90 million investment that it says will allow them to have autonomous electric flying vehicles in operation by 2025. ‘The investment will be used for the development of...

Flight Safety Australia November–December 2017 out now!

Flight Safety Australia asks an awkward question for the lead story of the November–December 2017 edition: can an aircraft be hacked? The answer from aviation experts is a reassuring ’no’, but computer security experts...

Wooden giant’s only flight remembered

Yesterday was a minor but fascinating aviation anniversary—70 years since the first, and only, flight of the Hughes H-4 Hercules, the largest aircraft by wingspan ever to have flown. The aircraft was commissioned during World...

Brief weight for flying Finns

Finnair has been asking passengers to step on scales at Helsinki Airport so that it can better estimate its aircraft weight loadings and how they vary by season. The BBC reports that the airline is...
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Belly down: the anniversary of LOT Polish Airlines Flight 16

Today’s sixth anniversary of the wheels-up landing by a Boeing 767 at Warsaw Chopin Airport is a reminder that when dealing with an emergency, it’s possible to overlook simple but undocumented solutions. In the Warsaw...
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Cargo drone makes maiden flight in China

An unmanned single-engine cargo plane has made its maiden flight in the northwest Chinese province of Shaanxi. According to a report from the Chinese newsagency Xinhua, the AT200, China’s heaviest unmanned aerial vehicle, can land...

Do your own weather—with the bureau’s approval

The Bureau of Meteorology is keen to see more aviation organisations use their own automatic weather stations (AWS). Currently, three organisations hold authorisation to provide meteorological reporting services at 23 locations. However, the bureau...

Calling out for close calls

Every pilot has had at least one flight that has taught them a lasting lesson about flying. That’s a close call—a hard-won lesson too valuable to keep to yourself. Flight Safety Australia wants to hear...

Leaking hose fitting starved pilot of oxygen

A pilot who died while flying his turbocharged Mooney M20 to an aviation safety conference in 2015 became hypoxic because of a leaking oxygen hose fitting, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has...

Locust hazard recedes for summer

The good news for general and recreational aviation pilots in regional Australia this summer is that large swarms of locusts are unlikely. Under perfect conditions Australian plague locusts can form swarms of up to 50...

Have you herd? Tongue lashing follows forced landing on udder side of the Tasman

New Zealand cattle farmer Bryn Whyman was understandably concerned for the safety of his livestock when a light aircraft with only one pilot on board made an emergency landing in one of his fields...
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New drone rules

CASA has published stronger and clearer safety rules for drones. The new rules will better protect people and aircraft from drones and have been developed in response to community concerns about drone safety and the...

Coming soon from a printer: a better engine

Aircraft engine manufacturer GE Aviation says that its new advanced turboprop (ATP) engine will have 12 components produced on a 3D printer, replacing 855 conventionally-made parts. A report in Aviation Week says that the engine...

Heavy duty: Airliner’s 94,000 km week

Interesting figures from a travel website highlight the relentless duty cycle of modern commercial aircraft. Website traveller.com.au used a flight-following app to track the weekly journeys of single-aisle and wide-body airliners around the world, and...
Fokker F27

When dead reckoning became deadly: remembering the Andes air disaster

Today marks the 45th anniversary of an extraordinary survival story: the crash of Uruguayan Air Force flight 571 in the South American Andes. The Fairchild FH-227D (a version of the Fokker F27 Friendship) was on...
CASA airworthiness inspectors

CASA puts out jobs call

CASA is looking for people to become flying operations, airworthiness and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) inspectors, along with a range of other regulatory positions in our offices around Australia. This is our first ‘group...

Forecast: change in the air coming next month

Less than one month from today the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) will introduce its new graphical area (GAF) and grid point wind and temperature (GPWT) forecasts. The bureau says the new forecast formats aim to...

Lend us your expertise

If you have expert aviation knowledge and would be willing to sit on Technical Working Groups for the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) CASA wants to hear from you. CASA has established a register of...

Boeing to test clear air turbulence warning system

Boeing and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will next year test laser technology which could give airline pilots up to a minute’s warning of otherwise undetectable clear air turbulence or windshear. According to a...

Air Force and airlines could team up in pilot training

The US Air Force and regional airlines are discussing developing a joint national training academy to help address the country's pilot shortage. FlightGlobal reports the academy would provide advanced simulator training to help pilots meet...

Transatlantic collaboration sparks plans for zero emission flight

European airline easyJet has published plans for battery-powered aircraft to fly all its short-haul routes. It is collaborating with US electric aircraft manufacturer Wright Electric, which has already demonstrated its first, two-seat electric plane,...
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Sky taxi takes off

Marty McFly and Emmett Brown, eat your heart out. The world’s first autonomous flying taxi has made its maiden flight in Dubai. The electric two-seat craft, made by German firm Volocopter, will be used for...

Wrong number led to take-off trauma

A Boeing 737-800 struck a 35cm high runway marker at Belfast International (Aldergrove) Airport, in Northern Ireland, after the wrong temperature was entered into a flight management computer. The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) found the aircraft...

A sweeter biofuel for aviation

A new strain of oil-producing sugarcane could be used to produce a more environmentally friendly and cheaper aviation biofuel, according to recently-published US research. And if the entire Australian sugarcane crop was replaced with the...
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Baggage handlers have an eye on the future

Baggage handlers at Changi airport are to use augmented reality (AR) glasses for faster, safer and more reliable loading of aircraft. About 600 ramp staff will get the smart glasses, which provide information such as...
Flight Safety Australia is changing frequency

FSA readers’ survey

In August 2017, we surveyed readers of Flight Safety Australia (FSA) magazine about their preferences for delivery and frequency of FSA, which since 2012, has been delivered electronically, via an app for tablets, and...
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Vintage helicopter video: a model of thoroughness

Kick back with a 1950s US Army training film on how to fly a Sikorsky H-19. What better way to spend 25 minutes on a spring Friday afternoon?  The radial engine beast was a mainstay...
© Joby Aviation | Joby_S2

Flight Safety Australia September–October 2017 out now!

For September–October 2017 Flight Safety Australia asks whether electric aircraft are a fad or the future of aviation. The Australian and international experts we spoke to agree electric propulsion in some form is definitely...

US alert is fuel for thought

Fuel management is a universal issue in general aviation, making a recently published US report relevant to pilots everywhere, including Australia. Poor fuel management leads to an average of 50 general aviation accidents a year...

Passenger makes safety call

A sharp-eyed passenger at a window seat has alerted an airline crew to a potentially dangerous problem on the aircraft's wing. The Aviation Herald reports an AirAsia Airbus A320, flying from Bangkok, Thailand to Phnom...

Airbus prepares to test tilt-rotor taxi

Airbus will begin testing its Vahana personal electric aircraft in November, according to reports in technology publications. Vahana is a tilt wing electric air vehicle developed by Airbus’s Silicon Valley subsidiary A3 (pronounced A cubed)....

Important bulletin for Lycoming engines

CASA is keen to ensure all operators of aircraft with Lycoming engines are aware of Airworthiness Bulletin 85-020 Issue 3 – 14, of August 2017. It refers to a problem which can cause the...

Lithium battery in hot seat blaze

Lufthansa is the latest  carrier to encounter a 21st century aviation hazard: a lithium battery fire in the passenger cabin. Lufthansa flight LH-440, an Airbus A380 from Frankfurt in Germany to Houston, USA, was at...
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Cold war bomber chases the moon

A legendary Cold War bomber is NASA’s 'secret weapon' for studying today's US solar eclipse. The US space agency will use two of its WB-57 Canberra aircraft to intercept the 110km wide shadow of...

Budget carrier calls time on airport drinkers

Europe’s largest airline, Irish budget carrier Ryanair has called on UK airports to enforce a two-drink limit, after a TV current affairs investigation suggested arrests of drunken passengers had risen by 50 per cent in a...

Drone safety discussion paper released

The future of drone regulation in Australia is the topic of a discussion paper released today by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). The paper is part of CASA’s drone safety review. It seeks comment...

Tethered drone to hover over Presidential swing

A tethered drone will watch over US President Donald Trump, when he goes golfing this month. A press release from the US Department of Homeland Security describes the drone as a tethered small unmanned aircraft...

Flight missed taxiway touchdown by 59 feet

Details have emerged about the incident last month at San Francisco airport where an A320 airliner nearly landed on a taxiway that was occupied by four other airliners. The US National Transportation Safety Board’s interim...

Wire strike expert visits Australia

Winter in Australia means the annual visit of wire strike avoidance expert Bob Feerst. The US-based founder of Utilities Aviation Specialists has been coming down under with his message of wire avoidance tips and...

Fuel exhaustion brought down Cold War pilot

It’s 40 years exactly since the death of a minor, but celebrated, cast member in the drama of the Cold War. Gary Powers survived being shot down from 70,000 feet over the Soviet Union,...

Recorder points to reasons for general aviation crash

A built-in flight data recorder is expected to give answers about the cause of a general aviation crash in the US in May. An amphibious light sport Icon A5 struck terrain while manoeuvering near Lake...

More pilots needed: Boeing

Boeing has lifted its forecast for the demand for pilots over the coming 20 years. The aircraft maker’s 2017 Pilot and Technician Outlook, predicts 637,000 new commercial airline pilots will be needed between 2017 and 2036,...

Suspected ‘drone’ was bad luck for bat

The ‘drone strike’ widely reported to have taken place at Parafield airport, near Adelaide, has turned out to be a bat strike. DNA analysis by the Australian museum found ‘several smear-type marks’ on the aeroplane’s...
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Drone deliveries happening in Canberra district

Google is beginning testing its drone delivery system near Canberra. Project Wing, a drone unit of Alphabet, the holding company of Google, has set up a test at Fernleigh Park, a semi-rural residential development south of...
Multiple versions of Flight Safety Australia

Have your say on the new look of FSA

Flight Safety Australia is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA’s) flagship aviation safety magazine. It offers credible, informative and comprehensive content on all key aviation safety issues. Since 2012, Flight Safety Australia has been...

Spatial disorientation implicated in fatal 2016 crash

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released its investigation into the crash of a Piper PA-28 Cherokee that killed four people in January 2016. The aircraft took off from Moorabbin, in Melbourne, and the...

Flight Safety Australia July–August 2017

The lead story of Flight Safety Australia’s July–August edition looks at how artificial intelligence could influence aviation. The machine-learning technology that gives computers subtle skills comparable with, and in some cases greater than, those...

NASA quietly confident of taming sonic boom

NASA says it has achieved a significant milestone in its effort to develop quieter supersonic passenger jet travel over land. The US government agency has completed the preliminary design review of its Quiet Supersonic...

Wake turbulence advice well timed

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued guidance on en route wake turbulence but says the safety information bulletin is not a direct reaction to the near disastrous encounter between an Airbus A380...

For luck’s sake: coins tossed in engine delay flight

A passenger flight in China was delayed for nearly six hours after an elderly woman threw coins into its jet engine for good luck. The woman, named by China’s Xinhua news agency as an 80-year-old...

Airbus to develop pop-out flight recorders

Airbus has announced it will develop new fixed and deployable flight recorders for its airliners. Airline crashes such as Air France 447, which crashed in the mid-Atlantic ocean and was not found for several years,...

Electric copter joins Dubai flying taxi tests

German electric aircraft maker Volocopter has signed an agreement with the government of Dubai to test fly autonomous air taxis in the emirate by the end of this year, the company announced at the...

Future-proofing the flight deck

GE Aviation Systems has announced an ‘Open Flight Deck’ project, aimed at breaking down barriers to the introduction of new aviation technologies. The company is the lead participant in the project, which has received funding...
Microdrone md4-200 Powerline inspection.

Watch this U-space: EU launches drone airspace plan

The European Union has revealed plans for a new type of airspace. 'U-space', is a plan for low-level airspace to enable the safe and widespread use of drones and small manned aircraft. Developed by the...

Europe’s air safety record on show

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued its annual safety review. Last year, 2016, was the safest year on record for passenger and scheduled cargo aviation in Europe. Only two deaths were recorded, the...
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Ground handling training comes in from the cold (or heat)

Ground handling has entered the realm of virtual reality, (VR), with the launch of training software developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Ramp VR is a training package that uses software and a...
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Cabin safety app for safer fliers

Pre-flight safety video too boring? Cabin demonstration too low tech? Seat-back safety card so twentieth century? The University of Udine’s Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab has the perfect app for you. The lab has developed Air...
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Drones on the way for heart attack first aid

Medical researchers are finding drones carrying defibrillators could be the best hope for heart attack victims. A Swedish study published in the most recent Journal of the American Medical Association found drones arrived at the...

Boeing mentions dropping the pilot

Boeing has raised the possibility of pilotless commercial aircraft, in a briefing ahead of the Paris Air Show. Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice-president of product development, Mike Sinnett, told Geekwire there would be increasing demand for...

Carmody appointed director for five-year term

Shane Carmody has been appointed as CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety. The chairman of the CASA board, Jeff Boyd, announced the five-year appointment today. Mr Carmody has been acting in the role since October 2016 and...

Giant Roc rolls out

The world’s largest aircraft by wingspan left its construction hangar this week in California’s Mojave Desert. The Stratolaunch is a twin-fuselage aircraft using recycled parts from two Boeing 747-400s that has been designed to lift...

CASA launches drone safety app

Just want to fly your drone without endangering anyone or breaking any laws? CASA now has an app to help you. The app instantly shows drone operators where they can and can't fly. It’s a map-based...

Hybrid airship completes test flight

The world’s largest aircraft has returned to the sky with a successful test flight, after it crashed last year. Airlander 10 completed a three-hour test flight overnight, Australian time, which achieved its objectives of landing...

Flight Safety Australia May–June 2017 out now!

Flight Safety Australia analyses an ugly phrase in its May–June 2017 lead story. The myths of pilot error looks at several of the many reasons why that neat-sounding two word explanation, so beloved of...

Climate change bringing turbulence in its wake: study

Clear air turbulence will become more common because of climate change, a recently published study says. ‘The climate is changing—not just where we live at ground level, but also where we fly at 30,000–40,000 feet,’...
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X-Plane completes testing

A small prototype of a 24 electric-motor aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) has completed flight testing in the United States. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) tested the sub-scale version as...

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...