Australian VTOL news

General stuff that gets thrown about when Helicopter Pilots shoot the Breeze.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby godfather007 » Sun May 17 2020, 02:33

I need a holiday..
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Tue Jun 2 2020, 02:33

Belated Happy 40th Anniversary – R22!

Robinson's R22 officially turns 40-years old in March. In celebration, the company displayed at 2020 HAI HeliExpo convention in Atlanta, R22 serial number 4797 painted in the same scheme and colours as serial number 0001. While the exterior will pay tribute to the R22’s origins, the interior will showcase modern avionics including

Australians should note R22 SN 0001 crashed in Australia many decades ago – so we share an unfortunate family history?

History: In the early ‘70s when Frank Robinson decided to ignore the advice of colleagues, quit his secure engineering job at Hughes, and start Robinson Helicopter Company in his Palos Verdes home. He was determined to design and build a small, affordable, personal-type helicopter. After a couple of years, his start-up company moved to a tin hangar at the nearby Torrance Airport where a prototype named the R22 was built. In August of 1975, Frank flew the 2-place, piston powered R22 for the first time. Four years of testing and analysis followed.

On 16 Mar 1979, the FAA Type Certificate was issued, and later that year the first production R22 was delivered.

The R22's simple design, simple maintenance schedule, and $40,000 price tag resonated with operators. At the start of 1980, Robinson had accumulated a backlog of 592 orders. With 592 non-refundable deposits in the bank, Robinson set up production and started producing one R22 per week. Fast forward ten years to 1989, ,1000 R22s were in service. Two short years later, 1991, 2,000 R22s were in service.
With helicopter ownership no longer out of reach, the face of general aviation had changed. The R22 had captured 80% of the piston powered helicopter market, demand was at an all-time high, and Robinson’s production was up to eight R22s per week.

From certification to present day, the R22 has undergone many design improvements; increasing the maximum gross weight from 1,300 lb to 1,360 lb, adding a longer range (240 miles to 287 miles) auxiliary fuel system, and replacing the original Lycoming O-320 engine with the more powerful O-360 engine.

Robinson’s simple design has stood the test of time, evidenced by the remarkable number of R22s operating with 20,000 plus hours. Long-time Robinson dealer Neil Jones of Quantum Helicopters (Chandler, Arizona) has what he calls the “R22 20,000 Hour Club."

Neil’s fleet of 18 Robinson helicopters includes three R22s with over 20,000 hours each that are used almost exclusively for flight training, each logging 1,000 hours per year on average.

Used R22s and, of course, big brother R44 have cut into the R22's market but the demand is still there (production averages approximately 40 aircraft per year). When asked if there are plans to suspend production, President Kurt Robinson says, “Absolutely not, as long as the market exists, we will support that market."

Aside from a more handsome interior, better avionics (including glass avionics), and numerous design improvements, today’s R22 is still the simple, reliable helicopter that was introduced 40 years ago on 16 March 1979.

Updated production numbers @ May 2020:

R22: 4,830
R44 Raven I: 2,620
R44 Raven II: 4,420
R66: 1,000

A total of 12,870
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Tue Jun 2 2020, 04:08

Alphabet's drone delivery service Wing has made 'thousands' of deliveries in Australia. Wing is a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet and launched in Canberra in 2019.
Many people have been using the service over the past few months as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Wing found the use of its service has risen 500% between February and April, in Australia.

“We saw the number of deliveries double from February to March, then again from March to April, including thousands of deliveries in Australia,” said Maria Catanzariti Wing Communications Lead.
Wing has delivery sites in Canberra, Logan, Queensland, Virginia in the USA, and Helsinki in Finland. And has received around 350% increase month on month in sign-ups to its service around the world.

In Australia, Wing delivers items from 24 businesses – 16 in Canberra and 8 in Logan. These include retailers such as Wokitup! Kickstart Expresso and Sushi Hub.
In Canberra it works across the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston, Harrison, and Franklin in the Gungahlin community. While in South East Queensland, it operates across the suburbs of Crestmead and Marsden in Logan.

Some of the most popular items delivered by drone include coffee, fresh bread, and household groceries like milk, eggs, and toilet paper – as well as hot roast chickens and sushi.

How does it work? Deliveries are made via the Wing app. Once you place an order, a drone picks up the package at Wing’s delivery facility then – at its flight altitude – it heads to its destination. Once it gets to the destination, the drone slows down, hovers, and drops to seven meters above the ground. It then lowers the package to the ground by a tether and releases it in the selected delivery area – usually a front yard or back yard. The drone does not land and there is no need for you to unclip it or help with the delivery. When it is done, it just goes back to its cruise height and returns to Wing’s site.

The drones have a wingspan of 1 metre, weigh roughly 4.8 kg and can carry packages of around 1.5 kg. They can reach speeds of up to 113 km/h (60 knots) and their fastest delivery time to date has been 2 mins and 47 seconds.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby godfather007 » Tue Jun 2 2020, 06:43

How many issues have they had?
All sounds very Rosie and glamorous.
Surly they haven’t ran a 100% success rate.
I could be wrong.. I’m old.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby Jabberwocky » Tue Jun 2 2020, 06:55

Suburbs of Canberra that have underground powerlines.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby godfather007 » Tue Jun 2 2020, 11:40

Yes Jabb, indeed.
ACT. A byproduct of a competition to design the ultimate City. underground services and a hole/place for politicians to crap on and play with our country’s future whilst grabbing the ultimate bludge job.
Full of PS’S working from home ATM. And some genuine folk having a go. (I would be interested to see how the service declines when the f([]c|<!ng [h|na flu moves on. I’m sure the demand for drone deliveries will drop when people can go down stairs to the local shop for a coffee when they have to go back to their offices.
I’m interested in the dirty side that the PR Machine won’t mention in the media releases.
Too many variables IMO...
I fly lots of low level and the last thing I want to see in front of me is a flying coffee, loaf of bread, roast chicken, raw fish, a$$ paper or some 1.5kg load attached to a drone set to deliver an over priced load to a lazy idiot that may never make the drop as The drone and my machine connect and what’s left of me gets placed in a box.
If Ca$a pass this $hit, they have so many questions to answer for in regards to GA and the pain they have forced on our industry. CA$A, working for safer skies my a$$.
Last edited by godfather007 on Tue Jun 2 2020, 19:53, edited 2 times in total.
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Jabberwocky
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby Jabberwocky » Tue Jun 2 2020, 12:32

In a not-too-distant past life, I used to survey the powerlines around Canberra. It was truly a unique setup down there in some parts but they’re still there. Anyhoo, we lost the contract by not performing and telling a few porkies on what we would deliver. A drone company won it promising the world. They were a solid operator, who performed great work - proper BVLOS setup.

A year later the contract was given back to us. The deliverables were worse than ours and of the 6 (possibly 8 ) drones they used down there, about half of them either crashed or went missing*.

* shot down by local land holders.

True story.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Sat Jun 6 2020, 19:06

The Titanic has finally hit the iceberg!

The Australian helicopter industry has been generally locked down with the COVID disaster; and CASA, in good faith, have asked for a review of two substantial legislative packages; Firstly, the Part 6 MOS aerial work operations, recently closed a week ago; secondly, another layer of legislation now being offered above all existing legislation known as the CATS regulatory suite; issued for comment on 2 Jun with replies by 30 June 2020.

The obvious problem is that industry is generally locked down with enormous COVID restrictions, and many companies are probably in hibernation with staff stood down. In particular, the largest group of operators are in the rural mustering industry and they are presently approaching the peak of the mustering season.

This means their staff are deployed in extremely remote areas away from base and of course unable to respond to the request for comments in a matter of weeks. Foe example, the MOS runs to 132 pages, according to media sources. The CATS is an overview or concept, but extremely complicated - an understatement!

So what is the answer? Perhaps we should turn to the various associations, including those involved in both flying operations and aircraft maintenance. Some are currently accepted by the regulator as advisers, and perhaps they could be asked to jointly work through the issues

I respectfully ask that meaningful comments are passed on this thread, so that we do not end up having an argument such as where the "deckchairs should be placed on the deck of the Titanic."

Best of luck, with this project; you advice is needed, I am a poor swimmer and the life boats are full!!

Your help is needed, any ideas?
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Sun Jun 7 2020, 01:27

By way of explanation for previous post.

Background: Bladeslapper readers should note the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is replacing the older Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) with the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR). Many of the new regulations are supported by relevant standards are published in a Manual of Standards (MOS) document.

Problem:
Specific transitional rules are required to change from the existing rules to the new rules governing flight operations commencing in December 2021. These transitional rules are formally referred to as the consequential, application, transitional and savings or ‘CATS’ regulations.

An industry observer’s comment:

CASA have released another consultation, even before Part 138 MOS consultation had closed! We need to look closely at details of this one, as it includes another layer called CATS regulations!

Here is why CASA believe we need it:

The effective implementation of the Flight Operations CASR Parts, both from an operational perspective and a legal perspective, requires the making of CATS regulations.

In general terms, CATS regulations would address:

- What current CARs need to be repealed, because their provisions are replaced by the new CASRs and MOSs or because they are no longer needed for other reasons.

- What remaining CARs need to be amended, because the terminology and the definitions they rely on, or other regulatory provisions that they cross-refer to, will no longer be current.

- What current CASRs need to be amended, because the terminology and definitions they rely on, or other regulatory provisions they cross-refer to will no longer be current.

- What actions taken and will which authorisations, approvals, exemptions, and other instruments made under the CARs need to be “saved” i.e. continued in effect for a period of time.

- What transitional provisions are required otherwise to enable the orderly and effective transmission of aircraft operators from the flight operation of requirements contained in the CARs and CAOs to the requirements of the new Flight Operations CASR parts.

Hope this clarifies the situation of concern with the Australian Regulatory Reform process, which continues to ask for industry feedback with too short deadlines. Unfortunately, the ongoing and well-meant process is being hampered by the coronavirus restrictions which has effectively shut down many smaller companies many of whom have entered hibernation or worse still ceased trading. That is one of the reasons of concern, apart for the need for so many changes in the interest of safety.

For the above reason, individuals and companies are encouraged to submit feedback by due date to the published CASA website facility; even if your statement would simply say, “unable to comment due to short timeframe and restrictions imposed by COVID-19 restrictions.”
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Mon Jun 15 2020, 08:20

The COVID-19 pandemic is coming under control in Australia and New Zealand.

Due to enormous efforts by the leaders in both countries and the mobilisation of enormous medical support we have finally reached a turning point which can be best described as moving towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Both nations have really tried hard to control and manage the coronavirus, and thankfully, due to the tremendous efforts by our emergency services workers we have arrived at the end of the tunnel and can now move out and cautiously start the recover recovery phase.

But how do we do start the recovery actions?

It is extremely hard to plan a recovery strategy when we do not have access to all the facts about our current to situation. In this post, I can report I have looked at comments from a number of people who have produced reports or commenced new business activities. Maybe we can learn from their experiences in overcoming the current global pandemic.

Thanks to CASA for a review of Australia’s current situation and industry feedback. The Special Feature by Robert Wilson, from CASA’s flagship Aviation Safety Magazine titled, ‘An ill wind: COVID-19 and Aviation’ has a detailed and in-depth report on the overall aviation industry. As we focus on helicopters and drones, we must accept of the aviation industry is related in many ways, so bad news in one area usually affects those in another. At present tourism, state borders and government regulatory reform issues are matters of intense interest. Thank you, Robert.

Full copy available from robsrich (at) bigpond (.) com. Just ask. Good stuff both RW and and FW.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Wed Jun 17 2020, 10:56

Good news for flying schools and students in 2020.

In April 2019, Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack announced from January 2020, the amount those studying aviation can borrow under the vocational education and training (VET) student loans scheme will be increased from $104,440 to $150,000. An industry review in 2018 had shown the previous loan limit was not enough to provide aeroplane student pilots with all the licences and ratings required. It was recommended the increased limit would allow more students to obtain the Flight Instructor Rating as well as either the Agriculture Rating for students wanting to stay in general aviation or the Multi Crew Cooperation course for those wanting to continue to the airlines.

At present, the helicopter industry is seeking advice on how this new funding will apply helicopter students. Due to the more expensive flying rates, a VFR single engine commercial license will probably cost around $95,000. Advanced training for IFR and multiengine helicopter training is very expensive. Further, the situation is further complicated by the fact only a few flying schools can provide the advanced training. This situation is being reviewed by several government agencies, such as TAFE Queensland. More soon.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Sun Jul 5 2020, 06:19

IT’S OPEN SEASON

Great escape tourism will surges as Qld borders opens on 10 July 2020

Queensland is set for a tourism boom; following news the border will open on 10 Jul ’20, sparking an extraordinary surge in holiday bookings. Online searches for holidays are up 70% since the announcement. Cairns has the most enquiries for flights.

Our readers would have noted over the last three months we have focused on the relationship between the tourist industry and the Australian general aviation industry. In brief, various tourist agencies have published reports which have shown an enormous amount of money is spent by Australians on overseas recreational travel.

Now that international travel will be disrupted for at least 3 to 5 years, Australian tourists will be restricted to enjoying their holidays within Australia. Tourist agencies suggest this will be a boost for the regional airlines and of course other tourist activities involving general aviation.

During the current winter months, Queensland traditionally hosts enormous numbers of interstate visitors from colder regions of Australia. At present, the Queensland helicopter industry currently leads the other states as shown by the CASA Aircraft Register. Queensland has 763 helicopters, next is New South Wales with 534, Victoria is third with 331; Western Australia follows with 290, Northern Territory - 190; South Australia – 79; Tasmania - 50 and ACT – 11.

Let us hope the numbers will increase over the next year or so, as suggested by tourist agencies!
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Fri Jul 10 2020, 16:48

CEO of Australia’s aviation regulator announces his retirement

Source Australian Flying Magazine – 8 July 2020.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) CEO and Director of Aviation Safety (DAS) Shane Carmody will leave the regulator at the end of 2020. CASA Chairman Tony Mathews confirmed on 8 July 2020, that Carmody would retire four years after he was appointed to the role. "The Board is very pleased with what Mr Carmody has achieved during his time as CEO/DAS, particularly the resolution of CASA’s long-standing Regulatory Reform Program and much improved stakeholder confidence in CASA as a safety regulator," Mathews said. "This Board is confident that CASA is on a firm footing for the future. "To allow time for a replacement to be found, Mr Carmody will remain as CEO/DAS until the end of the year."

Carmody was appointed to the role as Acting DAS in October 2016 after the sudden departure of Mark Skidmore. He was confirmed in the role permanently in June the following year. Carmody is a career public servant and has had a long career in public service including in defence security intelligence, veterans’ affairs and a three-year stint as CASA Deputy DAS to Bruce Byron in 2006-9. During his time as DAS, Carmody oversaw the end of the epic aviation safety regulation reform program, the implementation of the Basic Class 2 medical and the establishment of the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP).
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby hand in pants » Sun Jul 12 2020, 23:24

Does the board of caa REALLY think the industry has "much improved stakeholder confidence in CASA as a safety regulator"???

I'm calling bull$hit on that one.
Hand in Pants, I'm thinking, my god, that IS huge!!!!!!!!
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Mon Jul 13 2020, 01:26

CASA has two new Board Members – Source CASA website.

Ms Elizabeth Hallett GAICD – Appointed 1 July 2020

Elizabeth is an experienced non-executive director and chair of audit & risk committees in regulated sectors, including the financial services and infrastructure sectors. She is a non-executive director on the boards of Sunsuper, a large public offer superannuation fund, NPP Australia Limited (which is responsible for the New Payments Platform), and NSW Land Registry Services. Elizabeth is a reappointed member of the Australian Takeovers Panel and sits on the Advisory Committee of the John Sample Group. Elizabeth was formerly a corporate partner with an international law firm for 22 years, where she held global and national leadership roles. Elizabeth brings legal and regulatory, corporate governance, risk management and strategy development skills and experience to the board. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, and is a Graduate of the AICD Company Directors’ Course.

Ms Marilyn Andre – Appointed 1 July 2020

Marilyn has an aviation career spanning over 25 years. Her career in aviation included flying the BA Jetstream 41, Airbus A319/A340 and Boeing 747 and expanded into holding governance, leadership and education positions associated with the industry. Marilyn has held senior leadership and advisory positions with a range of aviation entities including Boeing Training and Professional Services Australia, Boeing Australia Holdings, the Australian Air Force Cadets National Council and Women in Aviation (Australia). In addition to extensive operational and governance experience, Marilyn has consulted for several Australian flight training providers on aviation syllabi. She has a particular interest in the possible integration of virtual and augmented reality to enhance flight training outcomes. Marilyn is a sessional lecturer with the School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith Aviation at Griffith University in Queensland and is finalising a doctorate with the Australian Graduate School of Leadership at Torrens University.

Published CASA Board contact is via CASA Board Secretariat: colin.mclachlan@casa.gov.au'

PS: Maybe we should look to engage with incoming new DAS/CEO and the CASA Board; maybe through associations such as the AHIA, AMBOBA, AAUF, AAAA to mention a few. Also, CAA NZ has undergone a setback with the resignation of their CEO due political turbulence and industry interaction seems slowed. The HAI is a model of making the best of adversity and working more as a team; rather than being supercharged lemmings wearing blindfolds as they rush to the nearest cliff.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Sat Jul 25 2020, 04:09

Update on free news service

Australian based VTOL e-news Asia-Pacific is now Rotorcraft Asia-Pacific.

Editor has stated the COVID-19 lockdown meant there was time to examine where the drone and helicopter folks were heading after life became normal once again (sort of). The Singapore airshow reports indicated we were deeply involved within south-east Asia, which includes India, China, Japan and around 50 other nations including Australia and New Zealand.

The reports indicated there were around 6200 helicopters in the region; but Australia and New Zealand had around 3200 helicopters. Or a little over 50% in where half of the world population now lives.

Just prior to the close down, editor reported an increasing number of inquiries about Australia's ability to help some of these emerging nations with the introduction of their helicopter industry driven in part by the increasing middle-class developing with around 440 billion people.

For example, India which had been slow moving in the helicopter world, was now embarking on an expansion program which appears to have overcome a lot of the traditional bureaucracy. It is believe they have around about 400 helicopters.

China's growth is rocketing along close to 20% per annum in a good year. Their fleet size has just passed that of Australia at 2300 helicopters and will soon pass 3000 in the new year?

Rotorcraft Asia-Pacific has a readership approaching 5,000; and recently was approached by Indian and South African media outlets to provide more information on business opportunities in our immediate region. So the masthead had to be simplified to reflect better the drone and helicopter opportunities.

PM. If you need a free subscription or maybe have some news that you would like published in the Asia-Pacific region. Publication is run by volunteers and costs are covered by sponsors who advertise from time to time.

Bladeslappers who are not happy with what is happening in Asia-Pacific are advised that if we don't open some doors, China, Russia and European OEMs have already established factories, operational companies and embryo flying schools. Let's roll up our sleeves and give it a go!

PM for more feedback.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby hand in pants » Mon Jul 27 2020, 02:45

"Editor has stated the COVID-19 lockdown".

It should be noted that Australia have NEVER been in "lock down", not once, not even close.
I know I'm being picky but lock down is a whole other thing than the half-arsed restrictions we have been having in an off and on again fashion.
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Mon Jul 27 2020, 21:50

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority seeks new CEO/DAS

Just a heads up, due closing date approaching on Sunday 23 August 2020.

The CEO/DAS, duties include the need to represent and advocate Australia’s civil aviation safety program in a complex, dynamic, and politically sensitive environment. New CEO must provide clear policy direction, lead transformational change, manage risks, and strengthen relationships with the aviation community, government, and the Australian public.

Access to the information pack is shown on the CASA website.

The outgoing CEO/DAS has stated he has completed the regulatory reform process which will become effective over the next few years. Unfortunately, the helicopter industry probably had to make more changes than their aeroplane cousins within the general aviation industry.

To his credit, CASA provided enormous support during the recent catastrophic bushfires; and then the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which also required a large number of concessions, permissions, and extensions of many a workforce licences and permits, etc.

The incoming CEO/DAS will have an enormous task to relook at lessons learnt during the bushfire season, and drastic changes required within the aviation industry during the worsening pandemic. Now severe financial hardships are being experienced within the airline community, and to a lesser extent in the general aviation helicopter industry. However, both segments are really struggling.

The rotorcraft industry will have to be prepared to step forward and help the no doubt stressed regulator when we push hard to establish a vast number of UAS operations and other autonomous vehicles operating within Australian cities. Integration of the UAM within the controlled airway system will be an enormous effort by both the owners and operators of the new technology and the government regulators who have to make enormous changes in the way our skies may look in the future.

We are living in an age of rapid change; Darwin would be not aware that his theory of evolutional has gone into the hypersonic mode!

As Prime Minister Scott Morrison tells us from time to time, we are all in this together, he is demanding red tape be slashed; and this includes our industry which needs to try and make the best of our unknown future opportunities when they arise. But we must be able to help ourselves and help others who have the responsibility of regulating safety and hopefully the sustainability factor.

What do you think? (Be positive).
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby hand in pants » Tue Jul 28 2020, 00:13

"But we must be able to help ourselves and help others who have the responsibility of regulating safety and hopefully the sustainability factor."

I'm no fan of caa head office or anybody who lurks near there.

I agree we must help ourselves but helping those that have the responsibility of regulating safety when they have no practical idea of what safety actually is, is not easy when they make rule changes that effect us badly, rules that you can't decipher, can't understand, are spread all over the place in no sensible order and when you finally get all of the information you can't put it into practice because it probably too expensive or just unworkable.
These shiney arses who have little or no experience in aviation, particularly in general aviation are just sucking on the government tit and nothing else. I mean, even a dummy like me would at least give a couple of operators the new rules and say "find the bugs in this for me, you've got 12 months", then work on the rule/rules with them again until they are right to go.

If done properly rule changes, if they are actually needed can be a lot easier than what they have been. Simply changing the rule and making it mandatory then shoving it on industry with little consultation or time to digest the mass of information doesn't work as we have seen. All it has done is alienate the authority from the industry. And it's not getting any better, or at least from where I sit.

I know my comment isn't completely positive it's difficult with the clowns in Canberra at the moment.
Hand in Pants, I'm thinking, my god, that IS huge!!!!!!!!
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Re: Australian VTOL news

Postby rickshaw » Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:00

HIP. Good ideas - but how do we give the regulators feedback? Do you watch out for new items on CASA's Consolation Hub and reply if asked.
Do you have an association you can join to help them push their barrow on your behalf.
Or maybe keep in touch with you flying school instructors and class mates?
Sometime schools have an opportunity to chat with their FOI/ATO.
Mates become bosses at times and may have a friendly FOI to lodge an informal concern.

Two wrongs do not make a right

Just asking ...

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