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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 72

Question No. 17

Mr Cadman asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 3 May 1983:

(1) Since the introduction of procedures on biennial flight reviews, how many pilots have failed to report for a biennial review.

(2) What is the average number of test flights that have been taken by pilots undertaking this check.

(3) How many complaints have been received by his Department concerning unnecessary testings and inconvenience caused to aircraft owners.

(4) Has action been taken by his Department to de-license pilots who have not taken their review; if so, what are the details.

Mr Beazley — The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Biennial flight reviews are not conducted by the Department but by Grade One flying instructors and approved pilots from within the industry. These persons are required to certify in a pilot's log book that he has satisfactorily passed the flight review but they are not required to report this information to my Department. Thus the information needed to answer the question is not in the possession of the Department nor is it readily ascertainable.

(2) These are not test flights but rather educational refreshers. Undoubtedly, a satisfactory standard is reached by most pilots in one refresher period but its length will depend upon the time needed by each individual to reach a satisfactory standard. In some cases a second period may be necessary but the average, overall, would be close to one period.

(3) Since the introduction of the review requirements in September 1982 the Department has received only isolated complaints and then, primarily, from pilots who live in remote areas.

(4) No. It has always been clearly stated by the Department that the review is quite unconnected with the holding of a pilot licence. Failure to complete the review by the required date simply results in a loss of the 'command' privilege, not a loss of licence. To date, formal action has been taken against only one pilot arising from a failure to complete a review at the proper time. The investigation of an incident in which he was involved revealed that he was improperly undertaking a 'command' role and his licence was suspended until he had passed an appropriate test.