Aviation body restates safety tips after incidents on hinterland strips

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has reissued a notice to aircraft operators in accordance with the standards and recommended practices of the Convention on International Civil Aviationwhen landing on hinterland airstrips.

This notice was recirculated as a precautionary measure.

“It was something that had to be done because we are very concerned. Recently several aircraft have encountered gusty winds and windshear conditions that have resulted in damage to these aircraft,” Robeson Benn, Minister of Public Works said in a GCAA release today.

As per standard operation practice, pilots were reminded in the release of the need to follow the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) procedurally when operating.

“Each aircraft has its own peculiar reaction in response to crosswinds, but generally a good crosswind landing begins with a good approach. This is taught to pilots and every opportunity must be taken to (reinforce) this,” GCAA’s Director-General Zulficar Mohamed emphasized in the notice.

Noting that the landing phase is very demanding, operators were advised to have their pilots follow the approved procedures in order to maintain proper approach and landing. If these parameters are not achieved, a go-around or diversion is necessary.

The option of the Go-around manoeuvre, an aborted landing of an aircraft on final approach,was highlighted in the bulletin.

“This procedure should be a habit in everyday …VFR flying, so that a predetermined go-around plan is always fresh in the mind during the approach and can be executed at any time the approach is in doubt. Most importantly, in situations where meteorological conditions or terrain features would permit an approach but preclude a safe go-around, then that approach requires extra consideration and perhaps should not be attempted.

“Every pilot already knows that proper planning, making wise decisions, situational awareness, adherence to SOPs and having an alternate plan of action are all characteristics of good airmanship, which are essential for a safe flight.”

“It is important that pilots know not only the aircraft crosswind limits, but also their own personal limit and to recognize when these limits will be exceeded. The best option is to divert to another airstrip. Very often the limiting factor is related more to the pilot than the aircraft. It is therefore important to reiterate that the pilot must know his/her limits and operate within them,” Mohamed said in the notice.

Operators were also cautioned to ensure that young pilots are taught the necessary skills to operate safely into the hinterland airstrips. Pilots, the notice said, must be given the opportunity to practise and develop these skills, and “must be comfortable operating into borderline aerodromes before they are required to operate into the aerodromes as pilot-in-command by their respective companies”, the notice said.



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