July is traditionally the coldest month of the year for Brisbane and this year proved to be a little different. In fact, it has been quite some years since thermometers in and around Brisbane households have dropped so much that nearby townships, like Stanthorpe (YSPE), had mornings where the city was covered in heavy frost, creating an absolutely stunning winter scenery for a fly-over.
Despite the cold though, many FACitizens braved early morning starts and managed to keep their individual training goals as closely on-track as it was possible. An added challenge to the cold during the month was of course the “ATC staff shortage” Archerfield Tower experienced. Two weekends and multiple weekdays of “no circuit operation”, along with the continuous ongoing disturbance and runway/taxiway closures caused by the redevelopment work here on the airfield, it is only fair to say July was a month full of challenges for all here at Flylink Aviation College.
This month we inducted four new FACitizens to our College, proudly expanding the diversity of our College even further. Richard Chen, although not “recent”, is a CASA CPL(A) and MEA IR holder who also has extensive experience with aircraft designs, maintenance, and avionics engineering. Hamza Macci, a CASA RPL(A) holder who trained up north in Mareeba (YMBA), is now here with us working towards his CASA PPL(A) using our beloved DA20. Glendon David, a CASA PPL(A) holder who completed his previous training down south in Bankstown (YSBK), is now endorsed in our DA20 and will first of all focus on building his solo hours up. Glendon’s ultimate goal is to utilise our DA40 for his MPPC Design Feature Endorsement and his CASA CPL(A). Finally, Harrison Midgley, who finally decided to “give formal flight training a go”, partnered up with us, and our wonderful DA20. On behalf of you all, it is my pleasure to formally welcome them all once again.
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In addition to celebrating the inductions of new FACitzens, plenty of champagnes must also be popped to celebrate individual achievements recorded throughout the month of July. Enrique Baldovino passing his CASA RPLA theoretical exam; Ian Song passing his CASA CPLA Flight Test; Davison Barrientos passing his CASA MEA Class Rating (with RU Endorsement) using our signature DA42; First Area Solo for both Peter Xue and Enrique; First Solo for Jabreel Aboloukme; and DA20 Maiden Flight for Hamza, Glendon and Harrison. With great pride, I would like to highlight the fact that Ian’s and Davison’s individual success for their respective Flight Test (conducted by external CASA Flight Examiners) also meant that Flylink is able to maintain its “100% First Attempt Passing Rate” for all of our “top-end training”, ie. CASA CPL, MEA Class Rating, IR and FIR. Our proud record now dates back to 2017, our foundation year!
Despite the busy teaching/learning environment throughout July, somehow many of us still had the hunger to learn even more! I was proudly joined by both Flight Instructors, Farhiz Soni and Robert Collins, Trainee Instructor Jared Jones and a number of FACitizens including Kristy, Ian, Enrique and Richard at the CASA AvSafety Seminar on the night of the 12th of July at Comfort Inn, Nathan.
Hosted by CASA, the seminar had speakers from Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Royal Australia Air Force (RAAF), Airservices Australia and of course, CASA. The main focus of the night was “Pushing the Envelop” – Human Factors and Pilot Limitations, presented by CASA. Flylink was proud to be recognised by CASA as the local training organisation with the most representatives in attendance on the night. I cannot recommend these free valuable educational seminars enough and hope the amount of FACitizens in attendance will only increase from here on.
Whilst on the topic of human factors, where Pilot Error is of huge interest to us all, I would like to share with you a few pilot-error-induced incidents that occurred during the month. We share this information with you with an educational mindset. It is not to embarrass or shame anyone involved. We believe understanding error(s) is one of the best counter-measures we can equip FACitizens with to combat error(s).
The wingtip and the wingtip light compartment of DA40 VH-EUU were damaged as a crew member rushed to pull the aircraft out of the hangar alone. Do not rush. If you need to rush, reconsider if there is actually enough time for you or the mission to go ahead safely. Also, for the safety of all and the safety of the aircraft, please be reminded that it is mandatory to have at least two people handling the DA40s in and out of the hangar. Fortunately, no one was hurt during this incident.
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A Rejected Take-off (RTO) was demanded by an instructor in the DA20 VH-XTN during one of many take-offs the aircraft conducted throughout the month. A crew got complacent with the simplicity of the single-engine aircraft and rushed both the pre-flight inspection check and pre-flight inspection checklist. Coupled with the huge desire to “get up and fly”, the crew, despite calling “airspeed alive” during the take-off roll, did not actually see the airspeed was, in fact “, not alive”. Always respect the machine no matter how simple it is and/or how highly qualified you are. Be extra cautious when you are out of recency and/or not familiar with the machine you are about to operate (CASR 61.385). Follow SOPs with high discipline and maintain an ongoing scan for threats and errors to enhance your situational awareness and decision-making skills. Remember that SOPs are your safety net – bypassing them can put you under the safe minima. Fortunately, no one was hurt during this incident.
Excessive (and incorrect) use of brake during a full stop landing saw DA40 VH-END’s left tyre suffer a puncture before it managed to slow down enough and taxi off the runway. RWY28L had to be closed due to “disabled aircraft” as a result, and the Ground Crew of AAC and the Chief Engineer of FMA had to be called out to assist on a Saturday, outside normal business hours. Whilst we appreciate no one enjoys a long taxi back to base (not even the instructors), applying excessive (and incorrect) brake will only make the time (and the associated invoice) even longer – as demonstrated in this incident. Fortunately, no one was hurt during this incident.
On the administrative side of things, we are still seeing the Flight Authorisation Sheet not being signed at the end of the day. Please, always check the Flight Authorisation Sheet before you sign off from duty for the day, please. Please also check NOTAM thoroughly before each and every flight, as redevelopment work continues to heat up here at Archerfield into August.
Today we enter a new month for 2022. August will be an exciting one here at Flylink. Immediately ahead of us is Flylink’s second Open Day of the year (6th of August), a Flight Instructor Rating GIII Training Endorsement Full-Time Course starting (8th of August), the roll-out of an upgraded, face-lifted company website for Flylink, and the second promotional video casting Kristy, Alex, Ian and Farhiz. Personally, as the CEO and HoO of Flylink, I am also looking forward to seeing a few important individual goals being achieved by individual FACitizens, and of course, each and every one of you will land as safe as you were when you took our beloved Diamonds into the beautiful August sky.
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