News

Operating at Metro Ds

The principles of operating within Class D airspace are the same at both Metropolitan Class D (Metro D) and Regional Class D aerodromes. Pilots must establish two-way communications with the tower and receive clearance...

Changes to drone safety app

CASA is changing the way we provide information about where you can legally operate your drone in Australia. CASA will retire its Can I fly there? drone safety app in the coming weeks and...

Engine stops, passengers jump

The incident has the makings of a grim hangar joke; an aircraft engine stops because of fuel starvation but, hey, all the passengers have parachutes, which they promptly use. But fuel management, threat and...

CASA will consider Uber Air proposal on merit

Melbourne commuters could be travelling in a pilotless flying taxi by 2023, and CASA is working with the organisation involved in this ambitious project. Yesterday technology and transport company Uber named Melbourne as the...
video

Beware of the rocket in the wreckage

Aircraft parachutes are a life-saving innovation in general aviation, but as spectacular video footage from a recent safety investigation shows, they are also a potential hazard for first responders to an aircraft crash. The Australian...

Aileron reversal led to horror ride

An aileron rigging error led to the extraordinary and frightening flight by an Embraer ERJ 190 over Portugal last November, Portugal’s Aviation Accidents Prevention and Investigation Department has said in a preliminary report. The...

The Roger Connellan Award

Applications opened on 1 June for the annual 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...
video

Decide to survive—the art of decision making

An old aviation saying states, ‘Superior pilots use their superior judgement to avoid situations that would require the use of their superior skills.’ Decisions … we’re faced with choices every day—what to eat, what to...

Inadvertent dual control inputs led to undetected damage

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has issued safety recommendations to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and aircraft manufacturer ATR seeking improved aircraft system design for inadvertent dual control inputs by pilots after an...

Spin deaths prompt certification warning

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has warned of the danger of conducting incipient spin training in aircraft not approved for intentional spins, after its investigation into the deaths of an instructor and student...
video

Bucket head: the importance of situational awareness

As thriller novelist, Barry Eisler, once said, ‘The difference between being a victim and a survivor is often a low level of situational awareness.’ This is even more true in aviation than in Eisler’s...

Study finds good news on pilot melanoma risk

Telling pilots and others involved in aviation about particular risks they face is Flight Safety Australia’s job, so it’s nice to be able to say, for a change, that some risks are not as...

Hawker’s heroic failure went as planned

It’s exactly 100 years since an Australian aviation pioneer almost achieved the everlasting fame of a world first. Instead, he and his navigator responded coolly and calmly to an inflight emergency and lived to...
video

Spaceport opening for business

The age of space tourism is a little closer with rocket plane operator Virgin Galactic’s announcement that it will shift its base to a spaceport in the New Mexico desert. Virgin Galactic will move staff...
video

Teamwork

As Babe Ruth, the US baseball player once said, ‘The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if...
video

Drone delivers human kidney for transplant

There’s a new entry on the growing list of things drones do: live organ transfers. Last month a drone delivered a human kidney for transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The project, jointly developed...

Two out of three ain’t good

The story of how an Australian-registered Boeing 757 lost two of its three hydraulic systems highlights how seemingly minor maintenance decisions can have major consequences in aviation. On 5 February last year, the aircraft, a...
video

Communication—it’s what we do all the time

As George Bernard Shaw once said, ‘The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’ We all think communication is easy—after all, it’s what we do all the time. But...

Practice leads to a successful forced landing

Recent practice of emergency procedures helped a pilot conduct a successful forced landing, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found. On 14 May 2018, a Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 Airvan departed Bellburn airstrip in Western Australia...

An embarrassed silence, but crew walk away from landing

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has published yet another accident report on a tediously durable topic: fuel exhaustion. The accident involved a Cessna 172 on a fire-spotting flight which landed in scrub about...
video

Satellite launcher makes first flight

Just before midnight on Saturday (AEST) the broadest aircraft ever, in wingspan, took off and made a successful test flight. The 117.4 m (385 foot) wingspan Stratolaunch took off from the Mojave Air and Spaceport...

Have your say on the Flight Planning kit

Designed to assist low-hour VFR pilots with good flight planning habits, the Flight Planning kit consists of a handbook outlining eight stages of a flight, a flight planning notepad, personal minimums card, time in...

Surprise greeting turned into soggy mess

An embarrassing and potentially dangerous incident (its official classification) in Dubai is a reminder that aviation safety extends to when the aircraft is on the ground. On 20 September 2018 at 10:38 local time, a...
video

Real-time tracking trial begins over the North Atlantic

A new era of aviation safety and efficiency started this month when, for the first time, air traffic controllers can track the position of aircraft anywhere in the world. On 2 April a real-time tracking...

Lack of wet season experience killed pilots

Inexperience with the distinctive and dangerous weather of Australia’s Top End led to an in-flight break-up that killed two pilots, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has found. The ATSB yesterday published its final report...
video

Human performance: look after yourself and live

Clint Eastwood said it best in the film Dirty Harry: ‘A man’s got to know his limitations.’ A pilot certainly has to know their limitations. The job of flying can be demanding. Whether it’s dealing...

Blocked drains led to disregarded warning

An Airbus crew ignored a stall warning after an instrumentation incident, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found. Water in its pitot tubes had caused the autothrust and autopilot to disconnect, along with multiple...
video

Safety Culture – It’s how we do things around here

Every organisation has a safety culture, but some are better than others. It is the beliefs, attitudes, norms and values of people in that organisation and can be summed up as ‘it’s the way...

Want to work for NASA?

Have you ever dreamed about working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in some ground-breaking aeronautical human-factors research? Didn’t think you’d have the stomach for it? Not fit enough? Well think again. NASA...

Safety advisory notice for Robinsons

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has issued a safety advisory notice relating to fasteners on Robinson helicopters. The ATSB advises all maintenance personnel for Robinson helicopters to ensure that D210-series corrosion-resistant nuts are used...

No red flag on deactivated engine thrust reversers

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is reminding aircraft maintenance operators of the importance of carrying out functional checks after maintenance. The lesson comes from the case of an Airbus A320 that was involved...

Flight to Germany takes the high road … to Scotland

An airliner flew to Scotland instead of Germany yesterday after the wrong flight plan was filed.  British Airways flight BA3271, operated from London City airport by German sub-contractor WDL Aviation, initially landed in the Scottish...

Fatal crash report emphasises flight planning

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is reminding pilots of the importance of thorough pre-flight planning to avoid the possibility of flying into bad weather after an accident in near Ballina, NSW in 2017. On...
video

Rolls-Royce tests hybrid power system

The evocative start-up howl of the Rolls-Royce M250 gas turbine will be part of the future of aviation, even if the aircraft it powers are utterly unlike anything flying now. Rolls-Royce is testing an...
video

Bird strikes on the rise

Bird strikes are on the rise across Australia according to a report released yesterday by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. Between 2008 and 2017, there were 16,626 confirmed bird strikes with 2017 having the highest...

Impact-activated transmitter saved pilot

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is reminding pilots of the importance of carrying an impact-activated emergency locater transmitter (ELT) following the crash of a Robinson R44 in Queensland in 2016. The potential lifesaving...

Lights, Camera, Action!

Kreisha Ballantyne looks at the 9th annual Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.  In the very same week Sydney’s second airport was named after Nancy Bird Walton, pilots around the world are celebrating Women of...

Partial power loss causes Tiger Moth collision

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is reminding pilots that they should consider options and actions in the event of a partial power loss prior to taking off after a Tiger Moth was involved...
video

Be heard, be seen, be safe

Non-controlled aerodromes in non-controlled airspace, known as ‘Class G airspace’, can experience a high volume of traffic with a wide variety of aircraft operating in and around them, and this can present challenges for...

Meet the experts: RPAS

Drones are already delivering your burritos, baked goods, coffee and toothbrushes, so we’re expecting the Avalon 2019 DroneZone to be flying high out of the stratosphere (although, of course you should never actually fly...

Tomorrow’s drones taking off into ‘cloud’

Remotely piloted aircraft of the future would fly in the cloud, experts told the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems Exploring an Unmanned Future conference this week. However, they were not talking about VMC, but...
video

Avalon Airshow 2019 takes off

The Australian International Airshow and Defence Exposition, also known as the Avalon Airshow, kicks off today with trade days on 26–28 February then public visitor days on 1–3 March. Avalon is the most significant aviation...
Our Aviation safety advisor team, left to right: Iain White, Brad Johnson, terry Horsam, Tim Penney, Prue Zamora, Michael White, Craig Peterson and Peter Ball.

Meet the experts: Aviation safety advisors

Avalon 2019 starts tomorrow #avgeeks and we’re bringing you a range of experts to help answer all your aviation-related questions. Our aviation safety advisors (ASAs) will be working the stand on both trade and public...

Bump goes the beacon: dealing with false ELT alerts

There’s a stiff crosswind as you land firmly but safely at a country airstrip. You park and shut down unaware that the aircraft’s Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) has activated. Now imagine these two scenarios: Scenario...

Grim reminder from ground accident

The death of a worker at John Wayne Airport near Los Angeles, in the US, is a sombre reminder that aviation safety is about more than plane crashes. The worker was killed when a tyre...
video

Sunrise nearing on electric aircraft

The dawn of electric general aviation may have edged a little closer this month with the test flight of a production-spec electric general aviation aircraft. On 8 February the aircraft completed its first official...

Grim anniversary from the CFIT era

The anniversary of a largely forgotten airline crash is worth remembering, mainly because this type of crash is much less frequent today. Yesterday was the 34th anniversary of the destruction of Iberia Airlines flight 610...

Improving Australia’s Aviation Meteorological Services

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is undertaking some important work to improve weather forecasting for the aviation industry. A detailed analysis of BOM's operational arrangements was completed in 2015 at the request of the aviation...

CASA brings in community service flight standards

CASA has set new minimum standards for pilots operating community service flights. The standards also identify the kinds of aircraft that can be used, and set out appropriate maintenance and operating requirements. Community service flights...
video

Reinventing the black box

Aviation is set to become even safer thanks to real-time data transmission from black box flight recorders. In the 1960s, the black box—an Australian invention—became mandated on all commercial aircraft. It consists of two parts—the...

Boeing 747 loaded for future flight

Tomorrow, 9 February, is the 50th anniversary of the Boeing 747’s first flight. It’s a significant anniversary that sums up history and progress in aviation. The original wide-body airliner is one of the two definitive...

FlySafe 2019 forum set to improve aviation safety

In a concerted effort to maintain Australia’s world-leading safety record, Australia’s three government aviation agencies are hosting the inaugural FlySafe 2019 Aviation Safety Forum at the Australian International Airshow at the end of this...

Helmet saved pilot’s head

An agricultural pilot has escaped serious injury thanks to his decision to wear a helmet in the cockpit. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is using his fortunate example to remind pilots carrying out aerial...
video

Structural directive applied to aircraft that broke up in flight

An aircraft that crashed after an apparent mid-air break-up is the subject of an airworthiness directive (AD) requiring 50-hourly inspections of its main spar cap. About 1.50 pm on Sunday afternoon US west coast time...
video

Deviance, drift and disaster: the Columbia breakup

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia’s disaster. On 1 February 2003, Columbia disintegrated upon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere killing all seven crew members only minutes before it was scheduled to land...

Wasted runway contributed to overrun

The case of a Cessna 207 that overran an outback runway by one metre reinforces one of aviation’s oldest proverbs: nothing is more useless than runway behind you. The aircraft on a scenic flight...

Drone registration consultation opens – have your say

Consultation is now open on CASA’s proposed new registration and accreditation scheme for drones. We are introducing a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) registration and RPA operator accreditation requirement as a way of monitoring the safe...

E-cigarette battery causes baggage hold fire

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has warned against the dangers of lithium-ion batteries after a fire in a baggage compartment resulted in an emergency landing in Calgary last year. On 14 June, a WestJest Boeing...

Close encounter highlights see-and-avoid limitations

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is reminding pilots of the limitations of the see-and-avoid principle after two Cessnas were involved in a near collision south-west of Darwin Airport in 2017. On 6 December, a...
video

Stratolaunch high-speed taxi test

Airborne launching of rockets into space has taken a giant leap forward with Stratolaunch having its first high-speed taxi test. Stratolaunch, the aerospace venture created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, says its twin-fuselage, six-engine aircraft...

Ultra-light wings aim to reduce fuel burn

Designed to be more aerodynamic and fuel efficient, Boeing has unveiled an ultra-light wing that they hope will reduce fuel burn by 60 per cent. Called the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW), this new concept was...
video

NASA gives the thumbs up to the Dream Chaser space plane

Sending supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) is something that has to happen on a regular basis so that the crew can carry out their work while orbiting Earth. As most missions last...

One of the safest years ever

Despite several high-profile accidents, the year 2018 was one of the safest years ever for commercial aviation, according to analyses by independent consultants. For 2018, the Aviation Safety Network (ASN) recorded 15 fatal accidents involving...

CASA Christmas shutdown

CASA offices will be closed during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Normal CASA services will NOT be available from Tuesday 25 December until Tuesday 1 January 2019. All services will resume from Wednesday...

Top ten least wanted goods for 2018

For the fourth year running, lithium batteries, found in smartphones and tablets, have been named as the most problematic item carried by passengers in Australian skies in 2018. Lithium batteries are used to charge...
video

Time to check your distress beacons

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has a holiday-season favour to ask of you: check that your distress beacon is registered, and your details are up-to-date. Distress beacons, whether the aviation specific emergency location transmitter...

2018 Collectors’ Edition now out!

Every year our feature stories in Flight Safety Australia explore a range of diverse topics that affect aviation safety. We’ve collected these stories in a bumper 144-page Flight Safety Australia 2018 Collectors’ Edition, available...

Electric copter in emergency service trial

The helicopter emergency medical service arm of Germany’s national motoring association will study using a manned Volocopter electric multicopter for air rescue and emergency service flights. The project by ADAC Air Rescue (ADAC Luftrettung) will...

Aviation and people with disabilities

Today is International Day of People with a Disability. Today, and every other day, air travel as a mainstream form of transport, has to accommodate travellers’ disabilities. Since 2013, the Aviation Access Forum (AAF) has...

Investigator calls for take-off acceleration monitoring

The British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has called for a simple data-driven system to detect if aircraft are accelerating normally on take-off, following its investigation into a serious incident involving a Boeing 737. In...

Important information: Melbourne Port Philip Bay VFR route

After concerns raised by industry, airspace changes that came into effect on 8 November for the Melbourne Port Philip Bay VFR route have been modified. Class C airspace remains lowered from 2500 feet to 2000...

Boeing reveals drone network plans

Boeing is teaming up with an artificial intelligence software developer SparkCognition to produce and develop a sense-and-avoid traffic management system to integrate drones and manned aircraft. The joint venture is called SkyGrid, described by...

Research shines a light on structural testing

Future aircraft structural inspections may become as simple as shining a sophisticated ‘torch’ at the wing, based on research being done in the US. Staff at Rice University, in Texas, have developed a way...

New Visual Flight Rules Guide in print

A new printed edition of CASA’s Visual Flight Rules Guide (VFRG) is now available. The updated VFRG Version 6.0 will help pilots keep up-to-date with critical aviation safety information. The new version replaces the...
video

Kazakh jet’s wild ride

Details are emerging of an extraordinary and frightening flight by an Embraer ERJ 190 over Portugal last week. The single aisle 97-seat airliner encountered flight control difficulties soon after take-off at 1331, local time...
video

UberAir trials about to take off

Forget the new freeways, roads, high-speed rail links and bus corridors that are currently being built in our major capital cities. Ride-share company Uber thinks it hold the key to freeing up our clogged...

‘Soft’ skills the key to future safety

Aviation training needs to eliminate the distinction between technical and non-technical (so-called ‘soft’) skills if safety is to improve, the country’s leading aviation psychology conference heard this week. Speaking to the PACDEFF CRM and Aviation...

Night goggle limitation warning to pilots

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has issued a warning to pilots on the limitations of night vision imaging systems and goggles following the release of a report into an incident involving a Eurocopter...

DJI drone safety bulletin

CASA has issued a safety bulletin with a difference. It’s for drones. The bulletin, RPAS-SB-18/01 Issue 1, applies to DJI drones fitted with TB50 and TB55 batteries, including all DJI Matrice 200 series drones and...

Better briefing would have helped in balloon emergency landing

Eleven passengers were injured on 8 February this year when a hot air balloon, operated by Go Wild Ballooning, was forced to make an emergency landing in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. A report published by...

Melbourne VFR lane procedures

  Information in this story has been superseded. It remains here only in the interests of openness. If you fly VFR around Port Phillip Bay, you need to know about airspace changes that come into effect...

Online focus on wet season safety

Aviation in northern Australia is a tale of two  seasons; the dry  season, in which conditions are relatively straightforward, and the wet season, which adds a distinct set of operational challenges. A seminar on wet season...

Europe looks at flying taxi standard

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) this week opened public consultation on proposed airworthiness standards for certification of small vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. EASA says this is the first step in a regulatory...
video

Billionaire changed face of aviation

As a child, Paul Allen knew the names of the Mercury Seven astronauts by heart in the way other children memorised sport stars. As a youth, he realised that his short sight would never...
video

‘Walk in my shoes’ for Airport Safety Week

Airport Safety Week kicks off next Monday and runs until Friday 19 October. The safety campaign is specially aimed at employees and contractors working at airports and is a collaboration between the Australian Airports...

Investigator praises crew in propeller separation

An undetected fatigue crack led to the separation of the right propeller from a Saab 340B over southwestern Sydney in March last year, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has found. The ATSB’s final report,...
video

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...

Beans mean safety gains for FIFO operator

A little humour, and the promise of free jelly beans have helped an Australian air carrier reduce its burden of overweight cabin baggage and slash the number of lithium batteries carried on board. CASA recently...

Challenge sums up years of drone history and growth

To see how far unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, have come in the past 12 years look no further than Dalby, on the Queensland Darling Downs. The UAV Challenge has taken place at various locations...
video

Fuel mayday at Sydney Airport

A United Airlines Boeing 787 carrying 180 passengers and 14 crew has landed safely at Sydney Airport after declaring a mayday. The plane was low on fuel and the pilot issued the mayday alert, so...
video

NTSB concludes runway near miss investigation

THE US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded its investigation into a literal near miss that could have been the worst aviation disaster ever, when an Air Canada A320 lined up to land...

Tiny sensors have huge implications

Researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, US, have developed a way to place nano-scale piezoelectric sensors, directly onto carbon fibres. The zinc-oxide nanowire sensors generate an electrical charge in response to different levels of...

Cordless power tool sparks fatal hangar fire

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned that some cordless electric tools can be hazardous in an aviation environment. An FAA presentation describes a hanger accident in which a man using a brush-type cordless drill...
video

ATSB finds trim setting led to Essendon crash

A misset rudder trim was behind the crash of a B200 King Air in Essendon in February 2017, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found. The charter flight crashed shortly after take-off into a shopping...

CASA will act to encourage VFR ADS-B

What’s not to like about ADS-B, except the cost? The automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast technology integrates satellite navigation information with transponder information so that an aircraft can make other traffic and ATC aware...

Researchers cut down hairy old myth

Let’s not beat about the bush: scientists have shown it is possible to resemble a character from the medieval soap opera Game of Thrones and still be a safe airline transport pilot. Researchers from Simon...

CASA online store September special

This month, the price of safety is not much more than two large cups of coffee. CASA’s online store is offering our Communication, Navigation, Surveillance, Air Traffic Management (CNS-ATM) resource kit for just $9.95 delivered...
video

Think tank develops thought control cockpit

The US military laboratory that gave the world the computer mouse, GPS, and computer networking, has developed a way for pilots to control aircraft by thought. A researcher from the US Defence Advanced Research Projects...

Have your say in the direction of Flight Safety Australia

Since 2012, Flight Safety Australia has been delivered electronically via the magazine app for tablets, the flightsafetyaustralia.com website and on social media channels. While many readers have welcomed the new format, many others have pointed...
video

Wrong runway landings

In the last two years, 596 aircraft in the US have landed on the wrong runway—that’s one every second day. At a recent summit in the US, the FAA have warned about these types of...

Software learns in quest for batteries

Lithium batteries can have serious safety consequences if they're not carried correctly when you're flying. They are packed with energy which under the wrong circumstances, such as impact or crushing, can emerge as a...

Boeing drone to fuel navy jets

The US Navy has picked Boeing to supply unmanned tanker aircraft. The navy last week awarded a $US805 million ($A1.1 billion) development contract for four MQ-25A aircraft to be completed by August 2024. The...

Flight Safety Australia phone and tablet app

At the beginning of this year we launched a new Flight Safety Australia app for Apple and Android phones and tablets. The app was published monthly with all the latest FSA content. However, from readers’...
video

Wing with a bent for efficiency

NASA has demonstrated a prototype wing that folds in flight by using shape memory alloy (SMA). Engineers used a 135 kg folding wing section from a NASA F/A-18 and replaced its electric motor folding actuator...
video

Glider sets stratospheric record

A five-and-a-half-hour flight over the Patagonian mountains of southern Argentina by the Airbus Perlan II has broken its own altitude record by more than 10,000 feet. US website AVweb reports that last weekend, Airbus’ Perlan...

Single-pilot passenger planes could soon be a reality

Aircraft maker Boeing is actively working on technology that would remove the need for two pilots in the cockpits of its passenger jets. Currently, European aviation rules state that passenger planes with more than 20...

CASA hits the small screen

CASA has been exploring new ways to encourage public feedback on draft regulations—by hitting the small screen. With the release of five draft flight operations regulations for public consultation, CASA embarked on a series of...
video

Keep your drone away from bushfires

A drone flown over a Northern Rivers bushfire on Saturday caused the NSW Rural Fire Service to ground all firefighting aircraft in the area. Flying your drone over or near a bushfire could put people,...

Test your aviation knowledge

How well do you know aviation and aviation safety? Test your knowledge with the CASA quizzes which are posted online every second week. We cover VFR, IFR, maintenance, drones, helicopters and cabin safety, so...

Paper rockets count down to big dreams

Playing with toy rockets is not a usual CASA activity, but when it’s before the Governor-General, and a chance to inspire young people about aerospace, we answer the call. CASA took part in the...
video

FAA looks to industry for help with ‘flying car’ rules

The US Federal Aviation Administration has invited industry to help update rules covering small passenger-carrying flying vehicles, according to a report from the Washington Examiner. FAA spokesman Les Dorr told the publication, ‘the FAA has...
video

Drones on the range in wild bird round-up

Engineers at Caltech, the California Institute of Technology, have developed software they say enables drones to herd birds, potentially reducing the risk of birdstrike near airports. Principal investigator on the drone herding project, Soon-Jo Chung,...

Pre-flight distraction contributed to fuel exhaustion accident, ATSB finds

A report into the crash of a helicopter undertaking powerline inspections in South Australia in July 2016 underlines the importance of cross-checking fuel quantities before flight. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has found that...
video

A commercial jet going beyond the speed of sound

Remember the Concorde that could zip between New York and London in a neck-breaking three hours thirty minutes? Well ever since its retirement in 2003 aircraft manufacturers have been looking for the next inspiration...

Flight Safety Australia August edition out now

‘Dealing with inclement weather while flying light airplanes is one of the most interesting things that a pilot can do. If not done correctly it can be lethal but done correctly it is fascinating...

Engine alert for mustering helicopters

A rise in engine problems in piston engine helicopters has triggered CASA’s most recent Airworthiness Bulletin. AWB 85-024, issued yesterday, applies to all spark ignition aircraft piston engines, but most directly applies to Lycoming O-320,...

All escape alive from Mexican jet crash

From a flight operations point of view, this week’s crash of an Aeromexico Embraer 190 is an obvious case of something going wrong; from a cabin safety point of view it is a case...

New luggage scanners could reduce airport delays

The need for passengers to routinely remove laptops and liquids from hand luggage for screening at selected US airports should become a thing of the past with the introduction of 3D computed tomography (CT)...
video

Brave woman who flew for freedom

A glimpse of aviation and World War II history disappeared over the horizon of living memory last week with the death of Mary Ellis. She was one of 168 women who flew in the...

Countdown for NASA’s return to crewed space missions

NASA is getting back into human spaceflight. The US space agency will name the astronauts assigned to the first flight tests and missions of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon next Friday 3...
video

Eyes in the engine

The idea of being able to see inside and repair a complex machine was explored in the 1966 Academy Award-winning sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage. The film portrayed a submarine and its crew shrunk to...

Unpacking the issue of carry-on baggage

CASA is taking on the vexing problem of carry-on baggage in aircraft cabins, and its effects on safety. Cabin Safety Bulletin No. 8, published this month, discusses the potential effects of carry-on baggage as a...

Electric truck builder takes to the air

Every week seems to bring another proposal for new types of aircraft, many of them merging the technology of drones into new forms of passenger carrying aircraft. The latest effort is a hybrid design,...
video

A salute to French aviation

Tomorrow is Bastille Day, the national day of France, and it’s timely to remember the contribution which the French have made to aviation. It began with the Montgolfier Brothers, paper manufacturers in south-eastern France, who...

Forum takes a ground-up view of safety

Ground handling, an essential but often overlooked area of aviation safety, took centre stage at the Ground Operations Safety Advisory Forum (GO-SAFE) held at CASA’s Melbourne office on 10–11 July. The event, convened by CASA...
""

Research offers hope of de-ice age for planes

Icing is great for cakes but not for aircraft. In flight, ice can seriously compromise the effectiveness of control surfaces, propellers and other equipment, and increase fuel consumption because of additional drag. On the ground,...
""

Medical certificates now easier for many private pilots

The new basic Class 2 medical certificate, which can be issued after a visit to a local medical practitioner, commences this month and will significantly simplifying medical clearances for large numbers of recreational pilots...
video

US rulemaker argues airline seat size not its responsibility

A US airline flyers lobby group is considering an appeal against a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decision that the FAA is not responsible for legislating on seat sizes, according to a Washington Post report. The...

Bargain bundle for down under ‘Christmas’

Flight Safety Australia has an offer that will make those long winter evenings much more entertaining. You could call it Christmas in July. We’re offering our 2017 Collectors’ Edition and the Close Calls Sport...

Bracing advice from CASA

The brace position, although a fundamental of airline cabin safety, is the subject of some remarkably silly folklore, to do with kissing one’s posterior goodbye, and other fatuities. Let’s hope CASA’s latest guidance lays...

NASA tests quiet approach

NASA is investigating ways to reduce the most complained about aspect of aircraft—noise. Last month, NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, US, tested technology to reduce airframe noise, (which it describes as noise produced...
video

Locked overhead bins could complicate emergency evacuations

Passengers on commercial aircraft are instructed to leave personal items behind in the event of an emergency evacuation—and for good reasons. Apart from the risk of delaying evacuation, where seconds can be the difference between...

Eyes on industry to keep helicopters on track

International helicopter safety association HeliOffshore is consulting with operators and training organisations about how to apply the results of its eye-tracking research. The London-based organisation says that the research, developed by its member operators working...

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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,...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
Picture of Westpac Little Ripper

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...
video

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...
abstract graphic of spatial disorientation

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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,...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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,...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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...
video

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,’...
video

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...
video

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...