October is Recreational Aviation Australia’s (RAAus) National Safety Month, a serendipitous bit of timing, given that lockdowns are easing in eastern Australia. The theme of the first of the 4 weeks of safety information is ensuring RAAus members return safely to normal flying operation.
Other safety focus areas – based on reporting data collected by the RAAus occurrence management system – will be loss of control, near misses and engine failure. As if to reinforce the point that safety pays, every week features a prize draw, entry to which involves answering easy questions based on that week’s safety information. Prizes worth more than $10,000 in total are up for grabs.
The campaign culminates with a 3-day virtual conference across the last 3 days of the month (29–31 October) focusing on presentations of current safety themes to instructors, pilots and maintainers.
The first week’s presentations, focused on safely returning to the skies after COVID-19 lockdowns, include checklists for pilots and aircraft.
The pilot’s checklist of recommendations includes refreshing your skills with a local instructor, reviewing weather and NOTAMS and emphasising the importance of not rushing your preparations and minimising distractions. A discussion of the 10 pilot post-COVID-19 checklist items can be viewed on RAAus’s week one content page. You can find other useful advice on returning to the skies after lockdown on CASA’s Fit to Fly page.
Advice for aircraft owners, operators and maintainers is thorough, and includes information on how long periods of inactivity affect piston-engine aircraft fuel. As the light components in fuel are lost, this may result in the mixture becoming lean resulting in higher temperatures, pre-ignition, detonation and piston damage. More details are on the RAAus National Safety Month week one page.