Value of mountain-flying skills stressed

Training standards development officer Carlton Campbell and safety education team leader Rose...
Training standards development officer Carlton Campbell and safety education team leader Rose Wood, both from the Civil Aviation Authority, say Queenstown is the perfect location to start their seminar tour on the subject of mountain flying. Photo by Henrietta Kjaer.
"Mountain-flying training might just save your life. The bottom line is that your passengers rely on you for their comfort and safety."

This was the message for the about 80 pilots who gathered in Queenstown for the first in a series of 29 free seminars on mountain flying, presented by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

CAA training standards development officer Carlton Campbell told the pilots while training in mountain flying was already a requirement for obtaining a helicopter licence, it would also be a compulsory requirement for pilots of fixed-wing planes from next year.

"Those pilots who had taken their flight training around Queenstown will inevitably have gotten training in mountain flying. But this is an important set of skills which requires a lot of practical training as well. I recommend that even those who already have a licence ask for specific mountain-flying training to continually upgrade their skills," he said.

He told the pilots of the useful skill of being able to visualise the horizon in a landscape where the horizon was obscured but stressed that mastering this skill would take at least five hours of practice.

The pilots were told the CAA estimated 29 people had been killed in mountain-flying accidents over the past 15 years, and examples from actual accidents were used to show the potential dangers involved in mountain flying and highlight ways to read the conditions and mitigate the risks involved.



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