Safety seminar free for pilots

Two ski planes take to the air at Mt Cook, where pilots fly around mountainous terrain every day....
Two ski planes take to the air at Mt Cook, where pilots fly around mountainous terrain every day. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Flying in mountainous terrain will be discussed during the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) free AvKiwi safety seminar in Queenstown on Monday.

All pilots from Queenstown and Wanaka have been invited to attend the seminar, which will be presented to 29 groups throughout New Zealand.

Seminar presenter Carlton Campbell said at least 29 people had been killed in mountain flying accidents in the past 15 years and the AvKiwi seminar aimed to improve pilot awareness of the challenges flying in terrain could bring.

Mountain flying was a "significant danger" for pilots who "don't know what they don't know", Mr Campbell said.

"We'll be discussing real mountain flying accidents to illustrate the key challenges of flying in terrain," he said.

"Pilots will learn the importance of being able to superimpose an artificial horizon on to their surroundings, the fluid effects of air flow over terrain and how steeply rising ground in valleys will outperform most light aircraft.

"We'll also cover visual illusions, weather, turbulence and cloud," he said.

The 2010 AvKiwi seminar was part of a suite of actions the CAA had taken to improve aviation safety in mountains.

All helicopter pilots now had to learn terrain awareness as part of their training, and from mid-2011 aeroplane pilots also had to learn those skills.

A Mountain Flying safety booklet would be given to every pilot who attended an AvKiwi safety seminar this year.

The Queenstown and Wanaka seminar will be held at the St John Ambulance Centre, Frankton, from 6pm on Monday.


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