Proposal to improve training and assessment for aerial mustering endorsements (CD 2217FS)

Closed 16 Dec 2022

Opened 1 Dec 2022

Feedback updated 23 Jan 2023

We asked

We sought industry feedback between 1 and 16 December 2022 on the proposal to establish a tailored system for training, assessment, grant and exercise of aerial mustering endorsements.

Previously, industry had told us that the flight training and testing scheme for aerial mustering endorsements was not working as efficiently as intended. In many respects, the intended approach to flight training has not materialised for mustering pilots. This is believed to be one of the reasons for the limited availability of suitably qualified flight instructors, examiners and flight training operators to conduct training and assessment for aerial mustering endorsements and consequently impacts on the availability of suitably qualified pilots to conduct mustering operations.

We proposed changing the rules to establish a tailored alternate system for training, assessment, grant and exercise of aerial mustering endorsements.

Note: The existing Part 61 and Part 141 flight training scheme remains available for training, assessment, grant and exercise of aerial mustering endorsements.

The proposal addressed:

  • entry criteria and prerequisites for new pilots seeking an aerial mustering endorsement
  • training and assessment requirements for the grant of aerial mustering endorsements
  • supervision requirements following completion of training, assessment and grant of endorsement
  • maintenance of competency following grant of endorsement
  • entry criteria and prerequisites for persons conducting training and flight tests for aerial mustering endorsements for Part 138 operators
  • maintenance of competency for persons conducting training and flight tests for aerial mustering endorsements
  • requirements for Part 138 operators who elect to conduct the training and facilitate the assessment and grant of aerial mustering endorsements.

About this consultation

We received 22 responses, the majority from flight instructors and flight examiners, pilots, flight training operators and Part 138 operators.

You said

The consultation survey asked respondents “Do you have any comments about the proposed instrument?”. Nineteen of the 22 responses provided feedback on this question. Four responses were clearly in support of the proposed instrument. Twelve responses implied support for the objectives of the policy, while either suggesting changes to the technical detail of the instrument, making comment on the mustering sector generally, or posing questions on the operation of the instrument.

Common themes from the free text responses included opinions that the new rules will:

  • maintain or improve aviation safety by allowing training to be conducted by reputable trainers with practical experience in mustering operations
  • promote the transfer of knowledge from experienced mustering pilots who do not want to become flight instructor rating holders to trainee pilots.

Three responses did not support the proposed instrument. These free text responses included comment that the instrument:

  • could create more obstacles for new pilots starting their career rather than helping the future of general aviation
  • should require trainee pilots to hold at least a commercial pilot licence, and the training and assessment should be conducted by persons holding the flight instructor rating and flight examiner rating.

Summary of feedback

Common themes, issues and suggestions raised in responses included:

Focus on safety culture

Two respondents emphasised the importance of the mustering sector—and the pilots and operators operating in that sector—adopting and maintaining a safe flying culture.

One of these respondents indicated:

  • the mustering industry is becoming increasingly safety aware, and a strong safety culture should be the foundation of the proposed instrument
  • a strong safety culture has positive outcomes for operators, pilots and animal welfare and will lead to a greater industry overall.

Conversely, another respondent commented:

"Some of the most unsavoury habits that exist in the helicopter industry exist within the mustering community."

They also noted:

  • it should not be assumed that all HOOs of Part 138 operators will ensure that training be conducted in the correct manner. Instead, the HOO of Part 138 operator that would like to conduct training under the instrument should be assessed and granted the privilege by a CASA delegate initially to ensure the candidate has a suitable knowledge, flying ability in demonstrating best practise in standard and adverse conditions, and most importantly, to check their attitude.
  • CASA should properly control the people allowed to deliver the training, assessment and grant for the endorsement to ensure that pilots with adequate skill, theoretical knowledge and aptitude can become trainers.

We recognise and emphasise the importance of pilots and operators conducting mustering adopting and maintaining a strong safety culture. The proposal is intended to emphasise operational responsibility and to build on safety requirements such as safety systems and operational manuals required under Part 138 of CASR. Part 138 operators who intend to conduct training and facilitate the assessment and grant of endorsements will need to develop a training syllabus and have it approved by CASA. CASA needs to be satisfied that the operator can safely and adequately deliver the training and that the operator has suitable staff to conduct the training.

Specific technical requirements

Eight responses made comment or reference to the specific technical requirements proposed in the instrument (for example, the prerequisites for trainee pilots). These responses made quite varying suggestions, including:

Prerequisites for trainee pilots

  • the proposed prerequisites for trainee pilots are suitable
  • the proposed prerequisite for a trainee pilot to have 100 hours PIC experience is excessive, and 50 hours would be more suitable
  • trainee pilots for the aeroplane mustering endorsement should be required to have a minimum of 300 hours pilot of an aircraft with 200 hours of pilot in command and a low-level rating
  • trainee pilot must have CPL.

Training and assessment

  • the proposed initial training requirement for trainee pilots is too high. A minimum of ten hours of dual flight training for the initial aerial mustering endorsement would be sufficient, and any further training should be as required for any particular trainee, or on-the-job.
  • training course should comprise a minimum of 10 hours mustering training with a minimum of 6 hours dual flight and 4 hours under supervision
  • the assessment for the aerial mustering endorsement should be assessed as an endorsement added to the low level rating and not conducted as a flight test for the endorsement.

Recurrent checks

  • the proposed recurrent checks for trainee pilots are suitable
  • the proposed recurrent checks for trainee pilots are suitable for pilots with less than 1,000 hours experience in mustering operations, and the annual recency requirement should be increased to 100 hours. In addition, these pilots should not be permitted to carry additional crew during mustering operations
  • the proposed recurrent checks for trainee pilots are excessive for pilots with more than 1,000 hours mustering experience. The biennial flight review and annual recency requirement of 50 hours would be adequate.

Trainer requirements

  • the proposed trainer requirements are excessive for aeroplane pilots who wish to become trainers, and the Part 141 pathway would remain the only practical avenue to train for aeroplane mustering
  • if allowing an instructor with a low-level rating training endorsement to also conduct the training in the pathway, that instructor should also have a mustering endorsement and be a Grade 1 training endorsement holder
  • trainer pilot for the aeroplane mustering endorsement should be required to have at least 2 years operational experience conducting mustering operations and a minimum of 1000 hours fixed wing mustering experience
  • trainer pilot must have full instructor rating
  • person conducting the assessment must have flight examiner rating.

Questions posed by respondents regarding how the instrument will work.

Three respondents also asked questions regarding how the instrument will work. These questions (edited for length and consistency) and CASA's responses are at Table 1.

Table 1: Respondent questions and CASA responses

Question

CASA response

Can Part 141 operators that currently provide training for aerial mustering endorsements still provide that training once the instrument is in effect?

 

Yes. The proposed instrument is an alternative pathway to gain an aerial mustering endorsement. Part 141 operators who conduct training for aerial mustering endorsements can continue to deliver that training as usual.

Is it intended that a pilot who receives an endorsement under this instrument could immediately conduct unsupervised aerial mustering operations under Part 138? Or will the requirements in the Part 138 MOS section 17.02 continue to apply?

The Part 138 MOS outlines operational standards for Part 138 operations, including mustering. Within the Part 138 MOS there are additional requirements concerning pilots conducting unsupervised mustering operations beyond the scope of the proposal. It is intended that a trainee pilot would still be subject to the requirements in the Part 138 MOS at the completion of training conducted under the proposal. This means that trainee pilots may be required to gain additional experience, as they would if they were to gain an aerial mustering endorsement through the existing Part 61 pathway.

However, we will consider whether amendments to the Part 138 MOS are required.

Will a flight test be required for the grant of an aerial mustering endorsement through the proposed instrument?

Yes. The training culminates in a flight test, however this will be conducted by the trainer appointed by the Part 138 operator that has conducted the mustering training.

Further consideration of the flight test requirement would be included in the review and subsequent amendment to the regulations. The proposed flight test requirement is to keep this interim solution as streamlined with the current rules as possible and to minimise the differences from a licensing administration perspective.

We did

Considering the highly variable suggestions mentioned above, we intend to proceed with the proposed requirements. We will review how the instrument is operating once it is in effect by continuing to engage with the mustering sector, and we will complete a policy review before making any changes to CASR to incorporate the effect of the proposed instrument.

Next steps

The consultation indicated support for the proposed instrument and the proposed alternative pathway for the training, assessment and grant of aerial mustering endorsements. Minor changes will likely be made to improve the clarity of the instrument. However, any changes will not impact the intended effect of the instrument or the underpinning policy.

The instrument will be in place by the end of January 2023.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

We are seeking feedback on an instrument that will establish a tailored system for training, assessment, grant and exercise of aerial mustering endorsements.

You told us practical barriers to the efficient conduct of flight training and entry control assessment for aerial mustering endorsements have emerged since the flight crew licensing rules commenced in 2014.

The proposed instrument seeks to overcome these barriers by addressing:

  • entry criteria and prerequisites for new pilots seeking an aerial mustering endorsement
  • training and assessment requirements for the grant of aerial mustering endorsements
  • supervision requirements following completion of training, assessment, and grant of endorsement
  • maintenance of competency following grant of endorsement
  • entry criteria and prerequisites for persons conducting training for aerial mustering endorsements for Part 138 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1988 (CASR) operators
  • maintenance of competency for persons conducting training for aerial mustering endorsements
  • requirements for Part 138 of CASR operators who elect to conduct the training and facilitate the assessment and grant of aerial mustering endorsements.

The instrument will be in place by the end of December 2022.

We are also working to address other specialised pilot endorsements including sling operations, winch and rappelling operations and firefighting endorsements. We intend to publicly consult on these endorsements early in 2023.

Opportunity to comment

Your feedback will help us make sure the final instrument is clear and will work as intended.

Please submit your comments using the survey link on this page.

If you are unable to provide feedback via the survey link, please email regulatoryconsultation@casa.gov.au for advice.

Documents for review

Documents related to this consultation are attached in the ‘related’ section at the bottom of the page. These are:

  • Summary of proposed change on CD 2217FS – this document is the summary of the proposals in the draft instrument
  • Consultation Draft - CASA xx/22 - Flight Training and Flight Tests for Grant of Aerial Mustering Endorsements (Approvals and Directions) 2022 391 KB (PDF document) – this document is the draft instrument
  • Explanation document - this document provides an explanation of the intent and effect of each provision in the draft instrument

What happens next

At the end of the response period, we will:

  • review all comments received
  • make responses publicly available on the consultation hub (unless you request your submission remain confidential)
  • publish a Summary of Consultation which summarises the feedback received and outlines any intended changes and next steps.

Feedback that improves the proposed instrument will be incorporated into the final instrument.

In due course, we will amend the flight crew licensing rules (Part 61 of CASR) to incorporate the provisions of the final instrument.

Audiences

  • Flight instructor and flight examiner
  • Pilots
  • Part 142 operator
  • Part 141 operator
  • Aerial work operator (Part 138)

Interests

  • Licensing
  • Flight training
  • Training and checking systems