Specialised checks keep pilots in the sky

16 Jan 2012

Don’t be alarmed if you see low flying planes this month because chances are its Airservices Flight Inspection Service (FIS) checking the navigational aids used by pilots daily.

Airservices, the provider of air traffic management services throughout Australia, is responsible for conducting regular flight calibration inspections on approximately 500 navigational aids nationwide.

The inspections will see two specially equipped twin-engine Beechcraft King Airs make several approaches to an airfield to ensure the navigational equipment is operating accurately.

Using three-dimensional laser measuring equipment and GPS technology, information from the navigational aid is relayed to aircraft and interpreted by specialist aircrew. The data is then analysed by Airservices maintenance engineers to ensure each aid is operating accurately.

The navigational equipment is crucial to the safe and efficient operation of aircraft at major and regional airports, aerodromes and airstrips.

Based in Brisbane, the service will carry out inspections on navigational equipment including terminal area radars, distance measuring equipment, non-directional beacons and instrument landing systems this month at:

  • NSW – Wagga Wagga (18-19 January); Broken Hill (20 January)
  • SA – Tailem Bend (20 January); Leigh Creek and Woomera (25 January)
  • Qld – Mt Isa (21 January)
  • WA – Forrest, Parkerville and Caversham (26 January); Pearce (26 and 28-29 January); Ballidu, Mt Magnet and Meekathara (30 January).

Note: There may be delays to the schedule if poor weather or other factors prevent the safety checks from going ahead. Recent grounding by CASA of some Beechcraft aircraft does not apply to the King Air model.