The Australian LightWing SPEED

The Australian LightWing SPEED
2 and 4 Seater Ultralight SPORT Aircraft

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Controlled Airspace in Australia


The following is communications between myself and Mr McCormick CASA CEO regarding the issue of CTA (Controlled airspace) endorsement for RAAus pilots.

I believe this should apply conditionally, I point out that I am not totally familiar with all the issues involved.

I am in favor of this for a number of reasons but Mr McCormic is not in favor at this time. His reasons are safety related and no doubt influenced by recent mid-air collisions both here and in the USA so I assume his theory is less aircraft flying = less possible collisions which explains his maximum of 6 aircraft in the circuit rule.

BUT also…….. he says that since announcing the decision to put the RAAus CTA on hold, he had two to one correspondence (20 to 10) supporting his negative decision so please, if you agree with me that it's a good idea to gain a CTA approval, send an email in support to
I believe its hard to argue against RAAus pilots increasing their skill levels if they want to ??
Mr McCormicks reply was short and too the point, he took the time to attend RAAus meetings in Sept 09 so he is obviously interested in our organization but his negative decision to put off the RAAus CTA, is regrettable in my opinion. I do not write this on behalf of anyone but myself.

ALSO, there are probably some political overtones in the whole CTA argument where CASA is under pressure to keep things safe and therfore conservative, so a letter or email to your local PM would not go astray, saying that ....."hay, there are 10,000 of us RAAus members now, we have come a long way, there are now more RAAus schools than GA schools and more RAAus pilots than GA, only a few will want or even ever use CTA but just like lesser skill road users are allowed to use community facilities like ROADS !! why shouldnt we use our tax payer funded airfields provided, the laws are revised, RAAus training is put in place, we have the necessary skills, aircraft, medical requirements are met and we do not compromise the safety of others.

The Letters.

1st letter =

Dear Mr McCormick

Firstly, I agree that we did not expect to fly in CTA back in the 1970's but we where not allowed to fly over roads then either. If RAAus members remained restricted to flying 1 seat aircraft powered by lawn mower engines then we would not have close to 10,000 members today. When we began manufacturing aircraft in Ballina in 1984, we where not allowed to operate at the Ballina airfield, as a result of this, the then AUF organized for skill levels to increase, Radio, regulatory skills, flight skills etc and we where then permitted to use this airport then an MBZ, now a CTAFR, we do so alongside RPT's. With a further increase in skill levels, the transition to CTA use, as I see it is the same again. I fail to see the logic of a safety authority arguing against the increase in skill levels of RAAus members as would be required for a CTA endorsement.

Second: History shows there will always be critics of increases in RAAus aircraft quality and use but I hope this would have little influence on your decision making as I am not suggesting you make a CTA endorsement compulsory.
Third: There are 3 CTA's in Australia where approvals have been given to flying schools to permit RAAus members and aircraft to operate in their CTA's, (nowhere else) I do not believe that the safety record of these CTA's has been compromised as a result of this.
Howard Hughes
CEO LightWing.

2nd letter=
Dear Mr McCormick

From your initial response, it is my opinion that your concern about RAAus pilots entering CTA is unfounded.
This opinion is based on the existing issue of these endorsements to date and my past experience in this area.
If a broard RAAus CTA option was introduced I believe that, based on the schools in Tasmania and NSW that have been issuing RAAus CTA endorsements for some time, there would be no more than a few hundred additional issued per year and as in the past, they would be issued to the highest standards.
Note : RAAus CTA manual produced by Ex CASA staff Steve Tizzard.
part of the group that will line up for the endorsement will be the ones that will purchase high end aircraft such as mine (this is based on actual potential orders) and as such, putting off this introduction at a time of extreme economic pain is unfortunate.
Others that would seek a CTA will do this as a step towards a PPL, others will do this to simply increase their level of skill, there will me many and varied reasons, as there has been no downside in the past, I believe that there will be none in the future.
In Tasmania, the RAAus CTA applies to Class D airspace.
I urge you to give this matter additional consideration, jobs here depend on it.
Howard Hughes

Please feel free to comment.

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