RA-Aus ‘amnesty’

RAAus letterIt may seem at first that flying without a current RA-Aus membership or a current bi-annual flight review (BFR), or without the correct endorsements or in an unregistered aircraft, are not serious safety issues. However, research into accidents with RA-Aus registered aircraft has shown that non-compliance in one or more of these key areas is a significant causal factor in many serious and fatal accidents.

It is thought that fear of reprisal may be one factor in stopping lapsed RA-Aus pilots/members/aircraft owners from rejoining the organisation. To help overcome this, RA-Aus, supported by CASA and other aviation bodies, has agreed an ‘amnesty’ period for ‘non-compliant’ pilots/members/aircraft owners to rejoin RA-Aus without punitive action being taken. Part of this process will include completion of any missing compliance items like BFRs and aircraft registration.

The amnesty will run for a 3-month period, from 01 December 2015 to 29 February 2016. This is a one-off opportunity for anyone affected to get back onside and at the same improve not only their own safety but everyone else’s too.

You may not be personally affected but I really urge you to talk with anyone you feel who may be and ask them to re-join the organisation.

To help in this, here’s a link to a letter from RA-Aus which gives more information for lapsed members: Dear Lapsed Member Letter

And here is a link to the RA-Aus website member application page, which can be completed and submitted online: Membership Reactivation Application

One thought on “RA-Aus ‘amnesty’

  1. On the face of it, this seems like a good idea. I believe, though, that there is a devil in the detail of the language that hides something significant.

    We all learned at school that correlation is not causation. No sensible person believes that they suddenly become more dangerous the day after their RA-Aus membership expires. But….there is a correlation – why ? Perhaps it could be that someone who is careless about renewals is also careless about other aspects of their aircraft and flying ? Maybe. Or is a manifestation of that particular attitude one sees among the pilot community from time to time in actions, forum posts etc. A charitable person would describe it as robust independence, self reliance, freedom of spirit. A less charitable person would call it sheer bloody minded selfishness.

    Personally I think one of the central joys of recreational aviation is understanding and managing risk in order to have experiences which enrich our lives. Long may we have the freedom to exercise our own judgement and, in my opinion, the current level of oversight is minimal and of very little hindrance to that. But we do not operate in isolation – we have a social contract both with our fellow pilots and the wider community. If we refuse to do even the most basic things to contribute to that everybody suffers.

    I know of at least one recent accident which resulted from a experienced pilot and one in a position to influence others breaking some of the most basic rules we learn when starting out. When I began in RA I thought that there might be a higher accident rate than GA due to the diversity of aircraft types, some being homebuilts etc. Now I have the impression that’s not the case – risk factors like that are possibly balanced out by a higher level of basic flying skills and more engagement in the hobby. Instead, a lot of people are coming unstuck in exactly those ways pilots have always come unstuck – fuel management, unnecessary low level manoeuvring, pressing on into weather, getting hurried and missing the obvious signs of something amiss etc. In fact, we can read accident reports from the airline world and see exactly the same factors at work as we see in the RA world.

    Beauracracy, paper work, yes they are a pain and we should vigorously resist attempts to introduce new things which do not help. But good airmanship sometimes means accepting that what seems a good idea at the time probably isn’t and that staying engaged with the peer community is a good way to maintain perspective.

    End of polemic 🙂

    Happy Flying,
    AM

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