Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is considering requiring operators of single-engined helicopters to install tamper-resistant time recording devices to address the problem of under-reporting of actual hours flown. The move follows a number of helicopter accidents in the country, including three involving main rotor failure on Robinson R22s, in which under-reporting was a factor. To date, only New Zealand has issued a mandate for time-in-service recorders (TSR), requiring all general aviation aircraft involved in agricultural work in New Zealand to be equipped.

CASA says there is evidence that some operators are not recording aircraft hours accurately, resulting in life-limited equipment being used beyond their safe work life. The authority says concern has been expressed about inaccuracies in recording hours flown and supports mandating recording devices.

The proposal affects 650 helicopters in Australia. Five manufacturers are developing lightweight equipment, says CASA. These include Flight Technologies and ETS Instruments of New Zealand and Australian companies Kinetic Technologies International Australia and Electric Force Measurement, with costs ranging from A$400 ($305) a month to lease to A$1,500 to purchase. A modification kit could cost up to A$5,000.


Source: Flight International