Monday, September 24, 2007

Low Flying Privilages

There has been a lot talk around lately about us losing low flying privileges under Part 103 and 149. In these instances it is best to go straight to the top. In this case I wrote to Mick Poole our operations Manager. Mick's reply to my query follows.

“Hi John,

The new part 103 and 149 are actually a lot better for us then people think. Yes if you read the new 103 and its content on low flying it appears that we will not be able to have the freedoms that we do now in some respects. But, what part 103 and 149 do is empowering our operations manual. In our new ops manual (as per the board web site for those who would like to read it) actually has the new endorsement on Low flying. This has been on the drawing boards for quite a while. As you know we have been able to fly low with the land owner’s permission etc, but what we have not provided in the past is the training for low level flying. As you would be well aware there are a lot of things that are out to get you when you go low flying, power lines, wind shear, mechanical turbulence, depth perception and it goes on and on. We have been working on the low level endorsement to at least give the people who want to and are low flying, some of the necessary skills and knowledge that will maybe save their life one day.

Believe me, we by no means want to take anything away from our members, what we want to be able to do is give them more. Part 103 and 149 will go a long way in enabling us to do this. More importantly the new operations manual is with CASA at present as you know. The new endorsements that we are introducing with this, (are)controlled airspace, in flight adjustable propeller, retractable, etc etc. These and other endorsements are being introduced primarily for the safety of our members. As our aeroplanes become more and more complicated and faster, we need to be able to, and in fact need to be seen, to be providing the necessary training to go with them.

I want to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that we have, or are, providing all the necessary tools for our Schools, instructors and most importantly our members. These tools enabling them to be able to continue to fly with the freedoms we have today well into the foreseeable future, but also to make it as safe as possible to maintain these freedoms.

Mick Poole