Australia – Prepare to evacuate your unmanned aircraft

Recently we ran a story on a proposed training scheme for UAS pilots in Australia. Passenger evacuation is one of the skill sets mentioned?

At first glance it looked like a good thing, on delving a little harder there are some glaring issues.

No doubt the course was just a cut and paste from existing aviation courses. It might have been better to have started from the ground up (pun intended). What looks to have happened is somebody has spotted the potential to earn a deal of money and said lets form a committee!  Mini designer Sir Alec Issigonis was thought to have said a camel was a horse designed by committee, things being more than was needed.

In the words of Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council Limited (TLISC)

This qualification reflects the role of a Remote Pilot working in the Aviation Industry. Successful completion will require competency in units that relate to work defined as aligned at Certificate 3. This qualification has been structured to align with applicable aviation licensing and regulatory requirements.

There are errors across the 15 packages that have been signed off by a panel of experts. Just how many of the experts have UAS flight and maintenance experience?  The TLISC stakeholders listed that certainly have knowledge are:-

Aerosonde Pty Ltd

Air Robot Australia

Cyber Technology WA

Insitu Pacific

RC Aerial Images


VTOL Aerospace

If you have a look at the submission to the National Skills Standards Council you will see some interesting stuff.

They can’t be very happy with some of the units in the training program.

For 3 quick examples refer to the following units in the RPA Competencies, training package:

  • Unit AVIY3071A – Performance Criteria – Points 6.4 & 6.5 Requirement for emergency evacuation of aircraft is identified
  • Unit AVIY3072A – Completely missing from this section, batteries the predominant “Energy source” for entry-level RPAS
  • Unit AVIF3022A – Under Required Knowledge  bullet-point 7 – Relevant theory & principles of load/passenger distribution as they relate to cabin crew functions.

There are many, many more errors including references to manuals, licencing & regulatory information that simply don’t exist.

The piece that made me raise a wry smile was this part

From the outside it looks like sUAS operators in Australia ought to be standing up and asking for some common sense to prevail otherwise this course might get signed into being and become a very expensive hurdle for new operators. Or would it be a good way for established operators to shut the gate behind them?

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