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A couple of time-sensitive issues have arisen, requiring input from our operator-members.  Todd Tkach, the Chair of the Air Taxi Committee and HAC would like to hold a teleconference of operators on April 1 – at 1pm EDST. The two issues, follow:

Cockpit Resource Management AC

CRM AC 700-042 has caused considerable angst in our industry. The AC is fraught with ambiguously-worded and problematic requirements. As you know, HAC has prevailed upon Transport Canada to delay the implementation of the AC until September 30 2019 however, that doesn’t resolve the many problems with its terms that have been brought to HAC’s attention. We would like to schedule a telecon of operators (see, below) so that everyone can articulate their concerns, so that they can be consolidated and brought to Transport Canada’s attention, sooner-rather-than-later. Hopefully, Transport Canada will agree to revise the AC before it comes in to force, to reflect more reasonable terms.

Mitigating our Shortage of Pilots              

As you may know, HAC has been in discussions with the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and most recently with CIFFC, to discuss mechanisms to safely accelerate the transition of low-time pilots to fire-fighting operations. Set out below is the proposal that is currently under discussion.  It is apparent that some provinces will apply different policy with respect to the type of operations that the low-time pilot will be able to engage in – for example, one province has indicated that they may allow operations with the Fire Boss on board, or may allow the low-time pilot to engage in drip-torch flying, as an exception to item a., below.  Furthermore, the list does not include a discussion of how much supervised flying should take place, before the low-time pilot is eligible to operate the aircraft without supervision. It has also been suggested that a low-time pilot (whether or not they meet any competency or experience requirements), should be permitted to sit in the front of any Medium helicopter, at any time when Provincial personnel do not require the seat, for operational reasons. Before we continue discussions with CIFFC, HAC would like to receive feedback from operators on the proposal under discussion – but particularly from members of the HAC Air Taxi Committee. We welcome any suggested revisions to the current proposal, below:

Supervised Experience on Fires for New Pilots

  1. A formal request must be made to the Provincial Aircraft Coordinator.  The operator must describe the low time pilot’s experience (including hours PIC) and the competencies they intend to work on.  Approval for low time pilots will be on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Provincial Aircraft Coordinator and the Forest Area managing the wildfire. The second low time pilot would not be permitted to fly with any Provincial Government Staff onboard the helicopter.  It would be expected the pilot would gain experience water bucketing, internal/eternal equipment moves, infrared scanning and any other mission where Government staff are not on board the helicopter. [*In some Provinces, there may be some variation on the authorized functions of the second pilot.  The second pilot must satisfied the standards set out in the HAC Pilot Competencies for Helicopter Wildfire Operations, as applicable to the type of operation and geographic area of the operation, or the applicable Provincial minimum experience requirements.] 

  2. The second low time pilot would be at no cost to the Government.  Daily fee, travel, meals and accommodations would be the responsibility of the Operator.  In remote base camps when space allows, meals and accommodations may be provided by the Provincial Government. 

  3. Integrating the second low time pilot into operations must cause as little disruption as possible.

The dial-in for the teleconference is 1-866-512-0904 pass code 9270910# at 1300 EDST on April 1Both, the CRM AC and the Supervised Experience for New Pilots issues will be discussed at that time. We invite you to make your views known on these issues. Please ensure that you, or your delegate, dial-in at the pre-arranged time and date.