Russia's Interstate Aviation Committee, MAK, has recommended a series of new measures to tighten control of general aviation as part of a report on the crash of a single-engined, Robinson R44 helicopter on 2 January that left the pilot with burns and destroyed the aircraft.

Among recommendations from MAK specialists is that Russian aviation authorities organise training for light aviation enthusiasts for flying in winter conditions and that the need for a unified centre for raising training standards for light aviation flyers be assessed. This, in particular, is designed to guarantee that private pilots are aware of the need to comply with regulatory requirements for operating new general aviation aircraft.

In addition, aviation personnel who use foreign-manufactured aircraft, which have flight and technical documentation in English, should have their English knowledge tested when they are granted their licences and renew them, to check they have sufficient knowledge.

Robinson R44
  © Robinson

MAK is also recommending a rule making it mandatory to use GPS receivers in all general aviation aircraft not fitted with some form of aircraft external control systems.

The MAK crash report blamed lack of preparation by the pilot, who did not possess the necessary authorisation documents for flight, and had used the aircraft for a fishing trip. The piston-engined aircraft belonged to a local electrical company.

The reason for the accident was a lack of professional preparation for flight during the autumn-winter period. The machine hit the ice on the surface of a lake as a result of a lack of situational awareness by the pilot during take-off in conditions of severe snowfall and blizzard, causing a lack of a horizon and orientation features.

In addition, the fuel used in the R44 had not been cleared for use in the aircraft, and the pilots training did not include flying in winter conditions such as falling snow.

MAK's recommendations come as Russia prepares to begin operating new, more liberalised flight rules for GA and business users in November.

Source: Flight International