May - Aviation Industry Association of NZ

Greetings Everyone
Newsletter May 2012
In last month’s newsletter we concluded the series on industry sustainability and what NZ
Helicopter Association is doing to maximise your enjoyment of helicopter use. More
importantly we sent a very clear message last month about what you the user can do to
improve the image and therefore acceptance of helicopters because at the end of the day
we all often have to look in a mirror to see where the problems rest. Thanks for all the
feedback to last month’s articles on unprofessional behaviour and the linked topic of poor
public acceptance of helicopter use. There were absolutely no negative comments to
NZHA’s take on those particular issues – but there was resounding support for the stance
taken. This suggests to me that the helicopter community as a whole is coming of age.
And just to remind you that YOU can make a difference to public perception of helicopter
safety by:
 Stamping out unprofessional behaviour
 Telling people that it is now over 10 years since anyone lost their life whilst travelling
as a fare paying passenger in a helicopter in NZ
 Explaining to people that charter flying is arguably the least risky of all helicopter
tasks undertaken
As I write this the sad events at Lake Sumner are unfolding. That pilot was involved in
Agricultural Operations. The last time a helicopter pilot lost his life in Ag Ops was August
2002 and that is yet another statistic worthy of recall.
In this issue read about:
NZ Helicopter Community to Storm Las Vegas
Artex ELT’s
Night Vision Goggles
ZK Registered Aircraft Operating Offshore
Safety Protocols for Heli-skiing
Last Word
NZ Helicopter Community to Storm Las Vegas - Breaking News
The HAI HeliEXPO next year is in Las Vegas and that’s as close to our shores as it ever gets.
Everyone that has helicopters in their bloodstream should visit this Expo at least once in
their lifetime and to help you achieve this and keep travel costs down, NZHA is chartering an
Air NZ Boeing 777. And just so everyone knows when the Kiwis arrive, the Black Boeing has
been promised. This event is the world’s leading helicopter trade show with heaps of
interesting presentations and opportunities to expend one’s knowledge. Read all about it at In order to make the arrangements we need
to know how many of you want to take advantage of this offer. Pricing obviously will be
cheaper the more seats we can fill. The first challenge is, can we fill it with Kiwis? The
second challenge has to do with the size of the fridges at Las Vegas.
So watch this space. There will be a booking form on-line at and this will
give you options of class, excursions, packages and onward travel options (if you so choose)
One real positive with the charter is that it cuts out the stopover at LAX.
Artex ELT’s
Now if NZHA had a wooden spoon award it would have to go to the manufacturer of Artex
ELT’s. In 2007/2008 hundreds of Artex ME406 ELT’s were sold in NZ to comply with CAA
requirements. The battery pack of these units has a five year life so it is reasonable to
expect that Artex would anticipate supplying hundreds of battery packs about now. Right?
But you guessed it – stocks are low and this problem is further compounded by having to
sea freight the batteries here. So if your battery pack is due to expire in six months, our
advice is get your order in now. If it’s less get your order in anyway but don’t expect to see it
before your one expires. CAA has been made aware of the supply problem and may be able
to offer relief to the requirements. Time will tell. And what’s all this about sea freight? That
suggests they are too dangerous to ship by air........................
But wait – there’s more.
This is the same company that produced an ELT with an unreliable “G” switch that
necessitates a six monthly functionality check. Unreliable ELT!! What is the point?
Artex get your house in order.
Night Vision Goggles
Here’s one for you EMS types. When an operator uses NVG’s the aircraft they are used in
has to have a modification approval to permit NVG use. The point of this is to minimise the
risk of lights in the cockpit causing problems to the NVG equipped pilot. These Mod
Approvals have a life of two years and there have been cases of operators making changes
to the cockpit by say fitting an additional radio and then having to undergo re-testing at
renewal time to determine that the cockpit is still acceptable. This of course takes time and
in the meantime the helicopter cannot be operated under NVG. So the message is clear. If
you alter the helicopter by making a new modification check to see if that compromises the
approval given for NVG use and if it does then get the original mod re-approved in plenty of
time to avoid being stuck on the ground – or worse, flying in Braille.
ZK Registered Aircraft Operating Offshore
CAA would like to meet with industry on 18 June to discuss the transparent administrative
arrangements that will go upon their website and terms and conditions for surveillance
personnel. If you are affected by this issue and want to attend the meeting, you may
arrange attendance by contacting [email protected]
Safety Protocols for Heli-skiing
The newsletter comes to you this month with an attachment which comes from the
Helicopter Association of Canada. (HAC) Given that NZ has had its first dump of snow for the
season, it is appropriate that operators flying in the snow environment refresh their risk
controls in respect of all winter operations and not just Heli-skiing ones. We think the
Canadians have come up with some useful stuff to consider and want to share it with you.
Enjoy the read.
Last Word
Ya know the news about ELT batteries being excluded from air freight got me to wondering
just where we are headed as a country – or as the Western world for that matter. It seems
to me that nobody wants to be held responsible for anything. Every one you talk to agrees
that the PC rules have gone too far. Putting that a different way, I’ve yet to meet anyone
who supports them so the question is who is making these rules? Did common sense go out
the window when HSE came in? You see a hole dug in a footpath and it is surrounded by Hi
Viz netting, flashing lights, red cones and a sign saying footpath closed – please use other
side of the street. When I was a kid and saw a hole in the footpath I’d look at it and say, it
probably wouldn’t be too good to fall in there so I’d walk around it. Why? Because my
father taught me not to be a moron. How long before we see signs on every door saying
open before you walk through?
In helicopters we too have to comply with a number of rules – for the safety of ourselves
and others. No argument there but because the consequences of making mistakes can be so
high in all facets of aviation, we survive by not only complying with those rules but by taking
personal responsibility and carrying out thorough risk assessments before engaging in our
chosen aerial activity. Being professional is not surviving by luck but by making robust risk
assessments every time before leaving the ground and then again and again as the situation
changes in flight.
Until next month keep it safe out there and as usual, send any feedback to
[email protected] and please support our sponsors.
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