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Vale Ian Paull

The Australian Helicopter Industry Association is saddened to hear of the passing of Ian Paull in Townville following a lengthy illness.

Ian was a colourful character with a distinguished career over more than 5 decades in predominantly rotor wing aviation but also fixed wing holding ATPLH and CPLA licences.

He commenced in Army Aviation and in the civilian world was SFOI at CASA prior to joining Westpac Helicopter Rescue and subsequent stints include: CFI at Airwork Aviation, Chief Pilot at Curry Kenny Aviation, Chopperline and safety and compliance roles at Australian Helicopters and Babcock/Offshore Services Australasia. In addition, Ian ran his own consultancy Aviation Solutions (Qld) and conducted flight tests as a CASA Approved Test Office.

Ian was a very strong member of the Helicopter Association Australia over 25 years and worked tirelessly as a director and committee chair during this often challenging period to pursue the best interests of members and the industry. He was awarded HAA Life Membership for this selfless contribution and industry leadership.

AHIA on behalf of our board and members acknowledge the outstanding achievements and contribution of Ian over his career and extend our thoughts and condolences to his wife Annette, family and friends. He will not be forgotten.


Serving the industry and the community.

To promote the Australian helicopter industry by working with governments, regulatory authorities and the community to ensure it is a safe, efficient and viable industry readily able to adapt to the continuing needs of the our customers by the pursuit of global industry best practice.


Welcome to the Australian Helicopter Industry Association website. We are part of a vibrant industry capable of conducting a wide range of tasks which until recently could only be conducted using a helicopter. The history of helicopter operations in Australia commenced with military helicopters in 1947 and was followed by the introduction of civil helicopters in 1956. These early aircraft were capable of operating under the Visual Flight Rules and generally by day. Since then we have witnessed the continued development and expansion of the industry to the present day. While there is still a large number of single engine helicopters operating today, the number and complexity of other helicopter types has increased. This has resulted in a wider range of tasks being undertaken, in many cases enabling 24 hour operations, in a variety of weather conditions, over ever increasing distances.

The earlier helicopter types may have had some limitations but the experience gained during the early years was a good foundation for the expansion which followed. The quality of Australian helicopter operators was well known and helicopters operated by Australian companies have completed contracts in India, Korea, Thailand, Solomon Islands, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, to name a few locations.

The pilots, maintenance crews and support staff were required to man the new helicopters. This has resulted in the development of a pilot and maintenance engineer training sector which not only graduates Australian students but also has a creditable demand from overseas students and organisations. Due to the international nature of the industry, Australian pilots or Australian trained pilots can be found throughout the world. It is likely that this training demand will continue for some time.

The Association will continue to work with all parties involved in the helicopter industry to strengthen our operational and training capabilities to meet the needs of the industry. This commitment will include working with the relevant regulators to present a set of regulations which encourage safe, efficient, neighbourly and cost effective operations.

Thank you for joining us on the journey.

Flight Training and Flight Testing for Aerial Mustering Endorsements.

The AHIA is pleased to confirm that CASA will release an Aerial Mustering Approval Instrument in coming days following considerable collaboration and consultation with the Association and it’s Board members and in particular John Armstrong, Myles Tompkins and Ray Cronin.

This important instrument paves the way for improved access and quality around the provision of aerial mustering training and flight testing  which should reflect improved safety outcomes whilst increasing industry support for our pastoral enterprises.

AHIA President Ray Cronin welcomes the release of the instrument: "this is a positive start to the new year with another important milestone for AHIA following strong collaboration with our Regulator, CASA. The strengthening of respect between the Association and CASA is encouraging and I’m grateful to CASA for their efforts to assist industry and improve safety outcomes while enabling improvement in the provision of mustering endorsements in a practical and workable framework".

Dear  Industry Member,

In mid-2018 several members raised significant concerns with the AHIA board about the high failure rate of cylinders and valves in Robinson R22’s and Raven 1’s in the Northern regions of Australia.

At the time CASA had convened a group called the Northern fuel stake holders group to discuss the issues raised by industry, the AHIA CEO attended the last of the groups meetings and reported to the board that the outcomes were non effective and the issues were serious and had the potential for affecting the ongoing safe operations of the piston engine fleet in Northern Australia.  At the time the AHIA board agreed that the issue should be elevated to a very high priority of the associations tasks and formulated an independent panel of experts to investigate the cause of the engine durability issues. The scope for the expert panel was to investigate every aspect and component of the engines operation including the environmental aspects and all consumables use in the engines operation.

The voluntary work carried out by the panel has provided excellent findings and recommendations for the major stake holders in the operation and supply chain associated with these engine types.  The research has also highlighted the detailed operational data for operators of these aircraft to see how these engines perform internally in various ambient conditions and with variations to oil and fuel grades.

I would like to congratulate the panel for their excellent work and tenacity and determination to find the root cause of the excessive failure rates of the engine cylinders.  The report will provide solid evidence for owners and operators to make changes to their practises where possible to ensure their operations remain safe and viable.

Thank you for your continued support of the association, it allows us to carry out this important work to ensure a safe and healthy industry.

Ray Cronin
President AHIA