Integrated Aviation Safety/Quality Management Course

The Flight Safety Group’s Integrated Aviation Safety/Quality Management course is designed to provide aviation professionals with comprehensive training in aviation safety and quality management, together with the basics of auditing, helping them develop the skills and knowledge necessary to improve safety and enhance quality in the aviation industry.

This course is unique and the first of its kind, it is especially valuable because it encompasses all the critical aviation safety functions necessary to effectively manage the full spectrum of aviation safety responsibilities within an aviation organisation.

The Flight Safety Integrated Aviation Safety/Quality Management course is the culmination of extensive experience gathered globally, by multiple specialist aviation personnel within the Flight Safety Group over a 60-year period.

Benefits of this course:

Improved Safety Performance: Safety is a top priority in the aviation industry, and this course helps professionals understand the key concepts and practices that contribute to safe operations. The course covers topics such as hazard identification, risk assessment, safety management systems, and incident investigation, providing participants with the tools and techniques needed to improve safety performance.

Enhanced Quality Management: Quality is essential for any aviation organisation, and this course provides participants with the knowledge and skills to implement effective quality management systems. Participants will learn about quality assurance, quality control, and continuous improvement, and will gain practical experience in applying these concepts to real-world scenarios.

Audit Program Management: Learn the basics of auditing – principles, planning, objectives and program management.  Gain the skills to implement an internal audit program for an organisation.

Increased Efficiency: The integrated approach to safety and quality management provides a more efficient way of managing aviation operations. By combining these two disciplines, organisations can reduce duplication of efforts and streamline processes, leading to improved efficiency and reduced costs.

Competitive Advantage: Organisations that prioritise safety and quality have a competitive advantage in the aviation industry. By investing in the training of their employees, organisations can differentiate themselves from their competitors and demonstrate their commitment to excellence.

Professional Development: The Integrated Aviation Safety/Quality Management Course is an excellent opportunity for aviation professionals to enhance their skills and knowledge.  By completing this course, participants can demonstrate their commitment to ongoing learning and professional development, which can help them advance their careers in the aviation industry.

The Integrated Aviation Safety/Quality Management Course provides participants with the tools and knowledge needed to improve safety, enhance quality, increase efficiency, gain a competitive advantage, and take the first step towards a safer and more efficient aviation industry.

For further information please contact the Flight Safety Group at or visit

­­Accident/Incident Investigation Analysis (AIIA) Course

The Flight Safety Group and specifically Aeronautical Enterprises our training arm has provided aviation accident and incident training for over twenty years.  The Flight Safety AIIA training course was developed from an integrated aviation safety concept that developed from our organisations’ extensive background in all aspects of the aviation industry both nationally and internationally, this coupled with an Accountable Manager who has 60 years of unbroken aviation involvement in commercial, airline, military and police operations has provided the background for this effective Accident/Incident training course.

The process based on the international Standards and Recommended Practices for aircraft accident and incident Investigation (Annex 13 — Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation), includes other relevant references such as the model developed by James Reason, combined with Human Factors Classification and Analysis (HFACS) and the Human Factors Intervention Matrix (HFIX) developed by Scott Schappel and Ernest Wiegman, however, the intrinsic value of this course lies with the extensive experience of our Accountable Manager.

These courses are provided ‘face to face’ at our training venue at the Mantra Hotel, Epping in Melbourne or through our ‘Live Learning Virtual Classroom’ online capability.

This course provides an actual "hands-on" systems investigation methodology that includes Human Factors in keeping with the overview description below.

Each candidate receives a detailed quick reference ‘Investigation Protocol’ manual, some extracted details below.

Several actual high level accident investigations are used as practical examples during this course.



Course Overview:

  • Outline of Accident Investigation, reference ICAO - Annex 13, ATSB and international accident investigation organisations as appropriate 
  • James Reason’s - TRIPOD model 
  • Background, Tripod Incident Causation Model
  • Incidents/Accidents includes ‘Unsafe Acts’, Trends in Safety, Controlling the Uncontrollable
  • General Failure Types, Fallible Decisions and Root Causes
  • Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS)
  • Human Factors Intervention Matrix (HFIX)
  • Interactive Team Exercises covering actual accident scenarios

For further information please contact the Flight Safety Group on +61754482788 or



It is now globally accepted that the external aviation safety audit is a critical component of an organisation’s Quality and Safety Management responsibility. As part of the continuous improvement cycle, audits are an essential instrument to identify and implement potential improvements.

It is also common knowledge that ISO 9001:2015 is the global leader in quality control methodology that is best suited to establishing an effective Quality Management System; therefore, it stands to reason that the auditing company (the Auditor) should be ISO 9001:2015 Certified and all auditors should be external aviation auditor certified under an approved ISO 9001:2015 Certifying authority.

The Flight Safety Group has subjected this to in-depth legal review and the final report received has confirmed the validity of this approach.

The hierarchical setup within the organisation is critical - the core Key Personnel member responsible is the CEO or Accountable Manager, this applies not only to aviation but all Company structures.

A common misnomer is that the CEO/Accountable Manager is under the misguided impression that Quality and Safety can be delegated – it can be delegated, but Accountability remains with the one single individual CEO/Accountable Manager irrespective of the size of the organisation.

This is described below as an integral function of Flight Safety’s involvement in Accident Investigations and Accident Investigation Training utilising the Tripod Analysis and HFACS/HFIX (Human Factors Analysis and Classification System/Human Factors Intervention matriX) technique.

Reference ICAO Doc 9859:

Reference ICAO Doc 9859

Aviation as a highly specialised, complex, and high-risk undertaking, requires maximum oversight capability, hence the need for regular and reputable external audit processes.

Flight Safety’s twenty-five years of auditing experience coupled with fifteen years of ISO Certification and the in-depth legal review mentioned has confirmed the validity of the two-man audit team requirement.

A single auditor is usually a specialist in either Operations or Maintenance. The two-man team allows for a specialist in both areas to be appointed.

An interesting correlation to the above has been Flight Safety’s involvement in Accident Investigations and Accident Investigation Training utilising Tripod Analysis and HFACS/HFIX (Human Factors Analysis and Classification System/Human Factors Intervention matriX).

An example of this technique extracted from one of our accident investigations in South Africa describes the process. 

A relationship and parallel can now be drawn between the need for a two-man audit team, careful and complete auditing of Quality Management and Safety Management Systems, as a viable corrective/preventative measure against the possibility of an accident or serious incident.

The internationally recognised James Reason ‘Swiss Cheese’ depiction and tabular model shown below aligns with the HFACS/HFIX Accident/Incident concept described above. 

This analytical process can be applied to any accident or incident whether it is aviation, industrial or medical related and has proven to be an invaluable tool in determining causal outcomes and the necessary corrective/preventative actions required.

The misguided ‘cheaper option’ approach using a single auditor has the following distinct disadvantages:

  • The audit results identified by a single auditor can be contested and overridden by the auditee, both post audit and under legal review if there is a serious accident or incident, in this instance the preponderance of numbers favours the auditee.
  • There are two issues with cost re this (single auditor) approach –
  1. Additional days must be allocated to complete the audit process if it is to be carried out effectively.
  2. If the time is reduced for cost competitive reasons as is usually the case, then the audit will be rushed with an incomplete and questionable result.
  • During the audit process a single set of eyes can miss critical indicators re the Human Factors element of the audit process e.g., a controversial question asked can often be identified/flagged as requiring deeper investigation, by a simple questioning glance between auditee personnel. 

The approach using a two-man audit team, as described has the following distinct advantages:

  • The audit process time span is reduced as the audit flow is faster and in addition it is possible with certain elements of the audit to split the team.
  • The two-man audit team provides a higher level of legal assurance, keeping in mind that this is especially critical if it ever came to a Coroner’s Court appearance.
  • A two-man team allows more scope and time to accurately describe and document the Findings to be included and signed off at the Closing Meeting.
  • The two-man audit team allows for certain elements of the audit to be mutually analysed and assessed, ensuring a balanced result. 


In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and severe pressures and restrictions experienced travelling to site, the Flight Safety Group has developed a tried and tested Remote Audit process which fulfils the annual service provider audit requirement within general aviation.

The Flight Safety Group Remote Audit process complies with ICAO remote auditing guidelines (profile extract below) and retains a 2-man audit team that ensures compliance with ISO 9001:2015 Certification Quality Management Systems.

A caveat to this audit process is that it can only be applied to re-audits that have no known complications. First time audits, audits following major incident or accident events will require the conventional ‘Face to Face’ on-site audit process. The process is applicable to onshore service providers and also to offshore environments – specifically to high risk and inaccessible remote areas.

The revised audit scope includes opening/closing meetings, documentation review assessment, facilities inspection, remote interviews, maintenance facility examination and an aircraft inspection, all conducted remotely via video conferencing technologies of Zoom, GoToMeeting, WhatsApp, Skype, or Microsoft Teams.

Systems and records related to the audit (e.g. training records, maintenance tracking system, maintenance controls and records, compliance monitoring, SMS records including hazard reports, Internal Evaluation/Audit and Management of Change records, SPI monitoring records, etc.) must be accessible and available for demonstration to the Auditors either via electronic sharing, or via video conferencing (sharing screen or showing hard copy records).

The process includes a preliminary pre-audit questionnaire and documentation request, pre-advised remote audit planner containing meeting links for relevant responsible persons to Opening/Closing meetings, operations and maintenance facility inspections, remote interviews and an agreement on method and scheduling of documentation review.

Clients benefit from accelerated planning and completion times, and the added advantage of client participation in the audit, even if it only involves the Opening and Closing meetings.

Cost and logistical planning advantages are significant as there will be no travel or accommodation costs incurred.

Contact the Flight Safety Group at or

call 07 5448 2788 for further information.


Historically, training for Helicopter Landing Site Officers (HLSO) although a requirement documented in all Australian State Guidelines - extracted examples below, is generally disregarded, however new CASA legislation under Part 133 is now enforcing and mandating this requirement.


Apart from the legislated requirement it stands to reason from a Duty of Care perspective that untrained personnel managing helicopter operations are at a major disadvantage.


The owner/operator of an HLS is responsible for the safety status of the installation. The helicopter service provider is jointly responsible to ensure that the landing site is fit for use. 


This training requirement applies to both surface level and elevated helipads.


Increasing demand for online versions of this course, due to Border restrictions has prompted Flight Safety to develop a comprehensive online course covering all the requirements. This course can also be presented on-site at your location.


An interactive ZOOM session is offered following completion of the formal online version of the course, to crosscheck general understanding and to address any queries arising from the course. 


Register Now for the Helicopter Landing Site Officer (HLSO) online course.


Who should enrol in this course?


Any person currently working in a Helicopter Landing Site environment who may be involved with the landing and take-off of helicopters on all levels of land operations.


This certification will validate their position to control helicopter operations safely and comply with Part 133.


Discounted company/group bookings available for 4+ candidates. Please contact us at for a coupon code.

This video clearly shows the lack of training by helicopter ground support personnel (HLSO).

Pending Part 133 legislation:


NSW Government Guideline - Hospital Helicopter Landing Sites in NSW

Document Number: GL2020_014


Queensland Health Guideline - Guideline for Helicopter Landing Sites

Document Number: QH-GDL-447:2017


State Government Victoria

Planning and development guidelines. Guidelines for helicopter medical transport landing sites

The Flight Safety Group is ISO 9001:2015 certified with approval scope; External Aviation Safety Audit and Inspection, Risk Assessment, Consultancy and Training services. Helideck, Helicopter Landing Site, and Helipad – Layout Design, Friction Testing, Safety and Operational Assessment and Certification.


For more information contact:


Tel. Australia: +61 (0) 439 031 654

Tel. South Africa: +27 (0) 83 263 4439

Straight forward Helicopter Landing Officer (HLO) and Helideck Assistant (HDA) certification is no longer acceptable and any organisations providing this training in the old format are out of date.

In order to be certified as an HLO, it is necessary, as per OPITO standards, to complete the Helideck Operations Initial Training (HOIT) and the Helideck Emergency Response Team Leader (HERTL) training.

These are new requirements.

In the latest edition of the OPITO Standards, various changes have been made that have had a dramatic effect on the manner in which the various disciplines are certified.

Please see information below that provides the relevant details. Please note that all our offshore training courses are OPITO Compliant, as required by the IOGP Report 690.

The links below provide access to the OPITO - HOIT and HERTL course format requirements. The following is extracted from the relevant OPITO Competence Framework for ease of reference.

Although many Oil and Gas organisations feel that they are legally bound to provide training and certification for their crew members through OPITO registered Training Institutes only, this is actually not the case.

The International Association for Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) Report 690, (690-3 Support Operations, Point 16 - Helideck Staff Training, page 113) clearly states that the requirement is:

“Helideck staff are trained in accordance with OPITO standards or equivalent”, and "HLO and Helideck Assistants (HDA) undergo initial and recurrent training every two years in accordance with OPITO standards (or an acceptable alternative standard)."

This means that, as long as the training can be cross-checked to match the requirements of OPITO, it is accepted by IOGP.

To this end, and due to the fact that there are very limited OPITO certified helideck crew training organisations around the world, the Flight Safety Group has developed training courses that are fully OPITO compliant and rigidly follow the requirements as laid down by OPITO.

These courses are now internationally recognised and many of the leading Oil and Gas companies have their crew members trained by the Flight Safety Group on a regular basis.

The Flight Safety Group is conscious of the fact that both time and cost are of great importance to the Oil and Gas companies and have therefore designed their OPITO compliant courses to be both cost and time effective, without forfeiting any of the requirements which ensure the crew members get the maximum benefit from the training.

In addition, to facilitate the offshore training even further, the Flight Safety Group has now converted all applicable offshore training courses to the online platform.

This online HLO course fulfills the OPITO requirement but is applicable for current offshore personnel who hold or have held an HLO Certificate. In other words, personnel who currently fulfill the requirements for the practical OPITO experience requirements.

Personnel who lack the experience or require additional or refresher practical training will be required to complete a separate module - the HLO Practical Module.”

The HLO online ‘Practical Course Module’ is an effective method of fulfilling the OPITO practical requirement and is centred around the following Emergency Response Desktop Planning Procedure (ERP) process compiled by the Flight Safety Group which outlines in detail all aspects of the scope, planning and execution of an Emergency Desktop exercise.

To ensure compliance all of the following emergency response possibilities are covered:

• Crash on the helideck (with the potential for fire)

• Crash on the helideck with fire

• Emergency Landing (with no forewarning)

• Wheels-up Landing

• Evacuation by helicopter

• Man overboard

• Wrong Deck Landing

• Fuel spill during refuelling

• Rescue from overturned helicopter

• Ditching

• Engine fire during start-up

• Fire in helicopter cabin

• Obstructed or damaged helideck

• Medevac


Offshore vessels have differing ways in which they structure the order of command during emergency procedures, and which crew members are allocated to the various positions. For example, the Incident Commander may be the OIM or Captain and the Emergency Commander may be the Safety Manager.

However, the common factor to all vessels is the appointed Emergency Team, consisting of the Emergency Team Leader (usually the HLO) and the Emergency Team Members (usually the HDA’s, including fire fighters). The Emergency Team will be responsible for the front-line operations during all emergencies.

The HLO online ‘Practical Course Module’ in accordance with the above is then set up as follows:

The online internet accessed Practical Course module is completed online in the same manner as, and at no extra cost to the, Helideck Emergency Response Team Leader (HERTL) course.

The background methodology and associated material is provided covering each of the Emergency Response exercises listed above - each of these exercises is completed as a desktop exercise online by each candidate.

Once these exercises have been checked by the trainer, a Skype or Zoom meeting will be arranged between the trainer and the candidate, to discuss and provide an assessment of the outcome.

If the assessment identifies any areas of weakness this will be covered with the online assessment training as required.

The final component of the practical training is that a formal offshore Emergency Exercise must be carried out and documented and this will conclude the assessment process.

The value of this training process is that the practical exercises are carried out on the vessel applicable to the HLO or HDA and not in an onshore generic training facility that lacks similarity to the actual offshore environment.


For more information contact:

Tel. Australia: +61 (0) 439 031 654

Tel. South Africa: +27 (0) 83 263 4439


Historic and comparative trends, assessed through 25 years of global auditing, has identified an insidious trend of declining ethical standards applied by some Corporate Executive Management personnel involved in aviation operations. It has been determined that this trend is increasing, in part due to cost cutting initiatives, without due regard to the aviation safety implications.

The question has to be asked - “Why have Corporate Safety Departments been decimated when historically the aviation industry deemed it appropriate to have a larger contingent of highly experienced safety personnel?”.

The answer is simple – safety is not the priority, cost in some instances has now become the priority. This practice has led to serious incidents and fatal accidents. The Flight Safety group of Companies has been, and currently is, directly involved in assisting with some of these investigations.

After a disaster occurs, as Aviation Safety consultants, we review and question what more could be done to increase aviation safety awareness and to prevent these accidents. However, when critical aviation safety advice is overridden in order to save money, for example changing Safety Standards in order to effect cost cutting strategies, this inevitably leads to compromised safety initiatives and processes. In these instances, the initial binding Non-Disclosure Agreements and Confidentiality Contracts between Consultants and AOC’s become null and void as Duty of Care reporting takes priority.

The CEO is the accountable manager in every AOC. Audit processes have identified that, in some cases, insight into the required roles & responsibilities applicable to the CEO position is lacking or misconstrued. The CEO may deem it acceptable to delegate the aviation safety responsibilities of the organisation to a Safety Manager, or some other member of the management team, without understanding the implications of this decision and their responsibilities as CEO.

The following guidelines will assist in establishing a small but effective Safety Department:

  • The CEO (i.e. Accountable Manager) of the organisation should be an appropriate person, duly appointed in writing by the national regulatory authority.
  • The CEO/Accountable Manager should undergo the relevant training and be fully involved in all decisions involving aviation safety risk.
  • External advice should be sought from a credible Aviation Advisor, to ensure that the structure and documented processes are in place. Once mutually agreed upon, this advice should not be tampered with.
  • Training should be provided to all personnel to identify and confirm that they are aware of their responsibility for safety.
  • The external Aviation Advisor should be directly involved in any Management of Change process that involves safety critical Key Personnel.
  • An external independent process should be developed for reassessment and acceptance of personnel if there is any doubt as to their capability, as identified by an Aviation Advisor.

Corporate Management can have a positive or negative impact on establishing effective Aviation Safety Management oversight. Degrading or manipulating standards, put in place to protect organisations and their personnel, can contribute to accidents.

Accountable executives that are proactively invested in maintaining safe work standards, are the foundation of a strong aviation safety management system that will protect both the organisations personnel from harm and also the organisation from the legal ramifications following accidents and incidents.


Excerpt from ICAO, Safety Management Manual (Doc 9859) , 4th Edition, 2018

Accountable executive   The accountable executive, typically the chief executive officer, is the person who has ultimate authority over the safe operation of the organization. The accountable executive establishes and promotes the safety policy and safety objectives that instil safety as a core organizational value. They should: have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the organization, have control of resources, both financial and human, be responsible for ensuring appropriate actions are taken to address safety issues and safety risks, and they should be responsible for responding to accidents and incidents.  The accountable executive is not usually involved in the day-to-day activities of the organization or the problems faced in the workplace and should ensure there is an appropriate organizational structure to manage and operate the SMS. Safety management responsibility is often delegated to the senior management team and other key safety personnel. Although responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the SMS can be delegated, the accountable executive cannot delegate accountability for the system nor can decisions regarding safety risks be delegated. For example, the following safety accountabilities cannot be delegated:

a)    ensuring safety policies are appropriate and communicated;

b)    ensuring necessary allocation of resources (financing, personnel, training, acquisition); and

c)    setting of the acceptable safety risk limits and resourcing of necessary controls.

 Australians killed in Indonesian chopper crash

Accident overview covered by the ‘Loving Life’ YouTube channel

Ethics, Protocol & Declining Standards

Economic pressure coupled with the inevitable retrenchment of skilled personnel often impacts corporate Safety Departments. This creates challenges for reputable aviation Auditors and Consultants and extends into the offshore Helideck Inspection area of operations.

With organisations focussed on tightening budgets, implementing and maintaining a Quality Management System (QMS) to industry standards, including using third party external ISO Certified organisations to conduct safety audits and inspections, is often the first area to be affected through extended conventional audit timelines and the utilisation of unskilled and uncertified labour to conduct safety audits.

This undermines the minimum acceptable industry safety standards and can place an organisation at real risk of serious litigation should an accident/incident occur.

An industry standard audit process will always include an unbiased third-party analysis by a certified organisation with qualified personnel that have years of experience in the aviation industry. This ensures the external audit result is not at risk of being tampered with or diluted in order to comply with budgetary or internal company influences.

Shortcutting the quality process of monitoring, reporting and responding actively to implement system improvements has been directly responsible for fatal accidents. The resulting outcome can end up costing a company more than the value of the company.

It is therefore imperative that the following guidelines are observed:

  • The auditing company should be ISO 9001:2015 certified as this ensures that all documented, reporting and close-out procedures are followed.
  • The auditors should be ISO 9001:2015 certified.
  • Audit processes should be conducted with a two-man team in keeping with correct ISO 9001:2015 audit technique.
  • The auditors should have an aviation qualification and depth of experience relevant to their audit tasking.
  • The audit company should have a proven record of unbiased auditing in keeping with high ethical standards.
  • The audit process applied should be tried and tested and subjected to legal review.

The audit protocol analysis provided, indicates that there is increasing evidence that these insidious system failures developing, are associated with inexperience and cost cutting practices.


Our previous newsletter (November 2018) provided an initial overview of differences between the latest versions of CAP 437. The practical application of the requirements has now been tried and tested and the following analysis identifies some of the in-field issues, both positive and negative.

It is apparent that industry pressure continues to play a part in the development of offshore standards and procedures in both a positive and negative way.

The almost indistinguishable balance between cost and safety, from a safety management perspective, is often misidentified and is influenced by industry pressure particularly when there is a decline in the economy.


  • The progress towards more effective offshore helideck regulatory oversight is apparent in the latest documented requirements as defined by CAP 437, however in some respects this is UKCAA specific and might not be acceptable to other national regulators and could be counter-productive as identified in the Negative analysis section below.
  • Some countries have developed a national version of CAP 437 e.g. Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Argentina, with many others for example Australia, are currently either accepting CAP 437 with differences, or alternatively developing their own version of CAP 437.
  • The CAP 437 provides detailed and expanded requirements; for offshore weather interpretation training, friction testing and the management of obstacle clearance limits and helifuel procedures. These are valuable enhancements to this version
  • Lit TD/PM Circle and heliport identification 'H' marking became a CAP 437 requirement on the 1st April 2018, however there are still many non-compliant installations globally, resulting in the need for an alternative interim measure to be adopted by the affected Rig owners. Flight Safety has developed an interim tripartite Risk Assessment/Safety Case process that will withstand legal review and has a 12-month final applicable grace period for closeout

CAP 437 Negative Examples

Testing Regime for Profiled Helidecks

The following extracts from CAP 437 describe an illogical testing process that has created confusion and resistance amongst the industry. The general interpretation is that samples have to be taken from the helideck surface and sent away for testing. This is clearly impractical and counter-productive from both a cost and logistical perspective.

Also, friction testing, in only a parallel alignment with the ribs on profiled helidecks, is impractical due to common knowledge that the helideck is used for loading and offloading of heavy equipment and containers. This process damages the friction surface and therefore it follows that periodic testing is essential.

CAP 437 extract 1

Legacy Approvals

Legacy approvals or ‘Grandfather Rights’ are often the result of industry pressure and are usually justifiable if the associated risk is correctly managed and not simply ignored. Examples below:

Perimeter Safety Net

In previous versions of CAP 437, the perimeter safety net height was mandated at 250mm above the helideck height. Further analysis confirmed that this still held an unmanageable level of risk due to potential tail rotor strike, or in extreme circumstances dynamic rollover. The height was then reduced to the helideck height.

The latest version of CAP 437 has now reversed that decision and the 250mm height above helideck height has now been re-approved as a legacy consideration, but only for installations that precede an original manufacture date of the 1st January 2012. The following two extracted and highlighted excerpts identify the issue.

CAP 437 extract 2

CAP 437 extract 3

It is difficult to reconcile legacy thinking in this instance as we have two current, conflicting concepts that might not withstand the rigors of a Coroner’s Court.

In general terms there is no doubt that UKCAA CAP 437 is a very valuable document but there is still room for improvement with some of the practical applications identified.



The Flight Safety Group of companies is continuing to expand throughout Africa and into Europe with operations in Spain and the UAE, and contracts confirmed and pending in Libya and OMAN.

The acquisition of a third Findlay Irvine MicroGrip friction tester - adopted as the industry standard across the world and fully compliant with UK CAA CAP 437 - has positioned the Flight Safety Group as a global leader in delivering friction test services. This is the only CAP 437 approved friction testing machine (Reference Chapter 3, Paragraph 3.40, Page 58).

Findlay Irvine MicroGrip Friction Tester

Findlay Irvine MicroGrip Friction Tester

The two South African companies – Flight Safety Africa and Helideck Certification – Africa, conduct the majority of helideck related training on the African continent, with national training carried out in Cape Town and Pretoria, and international training conducted in many other countries including Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia etc.

A new electronic database management system has been developed - this system is web-based and will ensure that all helideck inspections, friction tests, audits and helipad design operations are effectively managed in accordance with the Flight Safety Group’s ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System.


There are significant changes with the latest version of CAP 437. We provide a detailed Gap Analysis with our Helideck Inspector Awareness Training courses, but the following identifies some of the more significant issues that need to be considered.

  • The final specification and installation arrangements for the Lit Touchdown/Positioning Marking Circle and Lit Heliport Identification ‘H’ Marking, has been finalised.
  • The requirement for floodlighting to aid the visual task of final approach, hover and landing is removed.
  • In anticipation of a comprehensive update to the heliport rescue and fire-fighting requirements in Annex 14 Volume II, Chapter 5 has been re-written to amplify new international best practices.
  • A further update of the helideck surface section is presented with the introduction of a new helideck contamination scale, waiving of full-scale testing of legacy profiled helidecks, and further refinements to best practice including an update to the Friction Survey Protocol.
  • The helideck should normally be re-tested annually. If the friction values (after scaling, where appropriate) exceed the values given in Table 3 by at least 0.1 in all required areas, then re-testing is not required for two years - this may be applied to helidecks tested up to one year prior to the date of publication of Amendment 1 to 8th Edition of CAP 437 provided that the testing and reporting protocol of Appendix G has been followed.



Flight Safety CEO, Colin Weir, recently presented at ROTORTECH 2018 on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, on the subject of Safety Managment System (SMS) failings.

A significant discovery has been made, following multiple audits and accident investigations carried out globally. Traditional Safety Management Systems structured in classic format, although compliant with regulations, often have serious, insidious failure areas relating to the Human Factor interface, where the autonomy of the system is compromised by individuals (executive management/management) and oscillating economic changes, usually involving a CEO and/or Safety Manager who are untrained or weak, a Board that dictates aviation policy, or a client that influences the integrity of cost management processes.

Either one, or all, of these factors could be in play at any one time - this latent failure potential has been identified in multiple serious incident, accident investigations and is not usually fully recognised and documented.

Safety Management Systems should be investigated for potential failure in these areas using Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) & Human Factors Intervention Matrix (HFIX) investigative techniques.



The Flight Safety Group of companies is consolidating and expanding, a reassuring development after the extended downturn in the economy over the last few years. As often happens there is sometimes a positive side to these downturn events as it introduces a natural selection process, in keeping with nature and the ‘survival of the fittest’ concept.

Flight Safety is expanding its presence in New Zealand with the registration of Flight Safety New Zealand Pty Ltd and the award of a second-long term contract in the New Zealand Oil & Gas industry.

The appointment of an experienced helideck inspector/auditor permanently based in Perth has allowed us to start regaining lost ground that has affected us due to the downturn in the economy and the complication of additional costs in flying personnel across from the East Coast.

Flight Safety has also become increasingly involved in specialist – ‘Expert Witness’ and legal consultative work with the legal fraternity throughout the country, with positive results.

The two South African companies – Flight Safety Africa and Helideck Certification – Africa, are an astounding success story, through multi-faceted training, helideck inspections and friction testing, the companies are experiencing exponential growth, and this trend is expected to increase as the previous more localised area has now expanded into the whole of Africa and the Arab States.

The South African companies are currently in the final process of Lloyds Register ISO 9001:2015 Certification, in keeping with the Australian companies.

1 JULY 2016

The Flight Safety Group has a new addition. We are proud to welcome Flight Safety Africa to our excellence in aviation safety fold.

Our sister company, Helideck Certification-Africa (HC-A) was set up in order to fulfil an overwhelming need to assist in risk assessment and risk management of the aviation industry within the African continent and, in particular the offshore oil and gas industry, to ensure compliance to national and international operational safety standards.

Helideck Certification-Africa, is positioned to offer advice and certification to both International and UK CAP 437 standards for helideck and land based facilities on the African continent. As a member of the Flight Safety Group HC-A are able to provide every aspect of advice and information required for helideck compliance and certification and to carry out full audit services for the aviation industry, including friction tests with the only authorised friction tester – the Findlay Irvine Micro GT Friction Tester.

However, the Flight Safety Group still felt that there was a gap in the aviation safety auditing of fixed wing aircraft. Flight Safety Africa will fill that gap with ISO 9001:2015 qualified Auditors that will bring a new era of safety to the African continents aviation sector.

Flight Safety Africa will have the full support and access to the Flight Safety Group of companies’ knowledge and skills base which includes Flight Safety Pty Ltd, Flight Safety Helideck Certification Pty Ltd, and Helideck Certification-Africa.

Combined the Flight Safety Group has over 20 year’s global experience providing:

  • Aviation safety audits
  • Offshore Helideck Inspections
  • Friction Tests (offshore and onshore Helipads including elevated hospital helipads) – using the only CAP 437 compliant Friction Tester, the Findlay Irvine Micro GT
  • Onshore Heliport Inspections, including elevated hospital helipads
  • Helicopter Landing Site (HLS) Inspections
  • Accident Investigations
  • Consultation
  • Specialised training including; Helideck Inspection Awareness Training (HIAT), Accident Incident Investigation Analysis Training (AIIA), Helicopter Landing Site Officer Training and Quality/Safety Management Training.

Between the Flight Safety Group members, over 2000 global audits, inspections and Friction Tests have been completed on rotary and fixed wing operations for charter/regional airlines, offshore Helidecks, Helideck Landing Sites and onshore Heliports. Flight Safety has extensive experience in military and police aviation safety oversight operations.

Current operational bases now include bases on the Sunshine Coast Queensland, Melbourne Victoria, Perth Western Australia. Flight Safety global bases include Christchurch in New Zealand, Pretoria and Cape Town in South Africa and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

All members of the Flight Safety Group are positioned to offer advice and certification to both International and UK CAP 437 standards for helideck and land based facilities and we are Lloyd’s Register ISO 9001:2015 Certified.

Utilising years of experience and qualified auditor’s and inspectors from within the Flight Safety Group, our newest addition, Flight Safety Africa can deliver a professional and competent aviation safety auditing service to the continent of Africa and surrounding countries.

Global Offshore Helideck Inspection Trends Enter A New Era

8 Dec 2016

With the growing number of helideck-equipped rigs worldwide, now in excess of 4000, Investment bank Barclays expects a 6-percent increase in spending this year. Barclays forecasts that there will be 25 percent more "deepwater" rigs (operating at ocean depths of more than 1,500 meters) by 2016.

Decentralising certification is a practical means of opening up opportunity for knowledge and skill sharing at a competitive rate. It also will increase the opportunity for isolated areas to engage quality services which will have a positive outcome on safety overall and specifically encourage the global application of internationally recognised certificates.   

The success of above-mentioned decentralisation is subject to a number of critical prerequisites, namely:

  • Certification agencies/bodies must demonstrate strict application of an internationally recognised certification standard (e.g. CAP 437).
  • Certification agencies/bodies must observe the mechanisms and processes described by an internationally recognised quality control standard (e.g. ISO 9001:2008).
  • Helideck inspection personnel must be trained by an internationally recognised and reputable institution, the curriculum of which should include both theoretical and practical components, and the qualification issued subject to practical demonstration of skill and comprehension, covering a minimum of five inspections of helidecks on varying types of offshore installation.
  • Helideck inspectors should be selected from applicants with suitable depth of experience as regards offshore helicopter operations (e.g. helicopter pilots, HLOs, etc.).
  • All helideck certification reports should be subject to the peer review of a panel consisting of at least two qualified helideck inspectors.


 +61 (0)7 5448 2788
 +61 (0) 439 031 654
 P.O. Box 676, Coolum Beach, Queensland, Australia, 4573