Response to loss of control and collision with terrain event
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is reminding pilots of the importance of pre-flight planning, interpreting weather forecasts and monitoring for deteriorating weather.
This reminder follows the release of a report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) today into a tragic accident in which a helicopter entered cloud and collided with terrain over Mount Disappointment on 31 March 2022 while attempting to conduct a U-turn out of poor weather.
CASA Chief Executive Officer and Director of Aviation Safety Pip Spence said that it was important to look at what went wrong, and what could be learnt to prevent similar accidents occurring in the future.
‘All pilots will encounter bad weather at some stage in their flying careers,’ Ms Spence says.
‘Thorough pre-flight planning and understanding of weather forecasts and meteorological conditions help pilots determine if the weather is acceptable for a visual flight rules flight.
‘However, it is also important that pilots are able to recognise deterioration in the weather to make an early and safe decision to turn back while in clear conditions – this action will avoid flying into conditions for which they are not trained and equipped.
‘We encourage pilots to refresh their skills using the tools and resources available on CASA’s pilot safety hub.’
Several new ‘explainer’ videos were released late last year to help pilots understand weather forecasts and improve their weather-related decision-making.
New resources to help pilots with their pre-flight planning, including resources specifically aimed at helicopter pilots, will be released over the coming months.
The ATSB report also recommends that CASA take safety action to further address the risk to commercial helicopter operations from inadvertent IMC events.
CASA is considering this recommendation in the context of this and other recent ATSB report involving inadvertent instrument meteorological condition events.
Pre-flight planning is the current focus of CASA’s pilot safety education campaign (Your safety is in your hands) and will run from January to March 2024.
The previous quarter saw a focus on the important topic of weather and forecasting. Safety and occurrence data from the ATSB is used to inform the campaign topics and safety messages.
Media contact: CASA Media 1 300 773 806 email@example.com
11 January 2024 MR0124