DGCA points contemporary tips on cross-country coaching flights

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18

To address operational constraints and enhance the safety aspects, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued fresh guidelines on the conduct of cross-country flights by training institutes for the issue of private or commercial pilot license.

The civil regulator has directed flying training organisations to incorporate the new guidelines in their training syllabus within three months and get the revised operating procedures approved from it.

Under the Indian Aircraft Rules, it is mandatory for trainee pilots to undertake cross-country flights by day and night and pass the required tests. The minimum number of hours of cross-country flying and distance prescribed for obtaining a private pilot’s license, commercial pilot’s license or an airline transport pilot’s license are different.

Flight planning, route assessment, in-flight procedures, communication, navigation, emergencies and contingencies and identification of a landing site by the training organisations and the role of flying instructors have been dealt with in the guidelines received by the flying training organisations this month.

On the safety risk assessment for intended routes, it has been directed that the risk assessment methodology should aim at estimating for a specific route and the likelihood of having fatalities due to emergency landing caused by an engine failure.

The feasibility of operation will be established while ensuring that the routes and cruising altitudes are selected so as to have a landing site within the aircraft’s gliding range.

Whenever a landing site is not within gliding range, one or more ‘risk periods’ may be used for operations over water, hostile environment or congested areas.

It also has to be ensured that except for the take-off and landing phase, a risk period is so planned that there is a possibility to glide to a non-congested area and the total duration of the risk period shall not exceed 15 minutes per flight.

Risk assessment aims at estimating the likelihood of failing to achieve a safe landing in case of engine failure. This  consists  of  creating  a  risk  profile  for  a  specific  route,  including departure, en route and arrival airfield and runway.

When assessing the risk for each segment, height of the aircraft at which engine failure occurs, the position relative to the departure or destination airfield or to an emergency landing site en route, and the likely ambient conditions such as cloud cover, visibility, wind and light would be taken into account along with other standard flight procedures.

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