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Fri, Mar 26, 2004

New Support For Aussie Flight Training

CASA Supports New Training Initiatives

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is to begin working with leaders in flying training to develop fresh initiatives to deliver the best possible flying instruction to all students, from beginners to experienced pilots refreshing or upgrading their skills. The aim will be to find more effective ways for CASA to help trainers provide the highest possible standards of instruction.

The new commitment to flying training follows an initial study by CASA of general aviation fatal accidents over a ten-year period.  The Australian Transport Safety Bureau provided the data for the study. The study found 43 percent of accidents resulted from uncontrolled flights into terrain, while 32 percent involved controlled flight into terrain. Further analysis reveals that poor flight planning; aircraft handling problems and fuel starvation and exhaustion are the main causes of these general aviation accidents in Australia. One or more of these factors contributed to nearly two thirds of the 196 fatal general aviation accidents between 1991 and 2000.

CASA's chief executive officer, Bruce Byron, says work needs to start on finding ways of addressing the causes of these accidents.

"A deficiency in flight planning was a factor in 38 per cent of these accidents, so we need to look for steps that can be taken to better equip pilots to get flight planning right," Byron said. "Aircraft handling errors were evident in 30 percent of the crashes, while fuel starvation and exhaustion was involved in 10 percent of the fatal accidents."

"These are areas where pilot training can be used as a preventative weapon and CASA needs to find better methods of helping the industry deliver the most effective information and skills. I want CASA staff to sit down with people from the flying training industry to develop a plan that will see CASA contributing more to this essential part of Australian aviation."

"A key part of CASA's job is supporting industry efforts to reach the best possible safety standards and this means looking beyond our role in compliance and enforcement.

"I want to thank the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for working with CASA on this statistical analysis of accidents and I look forward to more collaborative research in the future."

FMI: www.casa.gov.au

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