Part 61 was introduced on November 1 with limited fanfare! however, we the pilots / users of the system need to understand what we are dealing with. Here I have tried to decipher what we need to know for us to remain current.
Firstly, we all have a class endorsement - namely a single engine one and the heli’s we are familiar with in this group are the Bell47, Bell 206, Guimbal G2, Hughes 269 / Schweizer 300 to name a few. The Robinson series of 22, 44 and 66 all come under the type rated category and require separate checks to fly. My understanding is that if you do your HFR ( class rating flight review ) in a Robinson 44 ( you will also need to do a proficiency check in the 22 if you want to continue flying one of these ) then you are automatically allowed to fly any of the single engine class rated heli’s if you have an endorsement in one. If you do a flight review on alternate years in say the 22 and then the 44 the other year, this may be a way to stay current. Only problem is a flight examiner is required each time - $$$$. At the time of writing I am unsure if the 66 is in or out of the class rating and is type rated as some publications from CASA say yes, others say no; my feeling is that the 66 is type rated and will have to be flown as a check with an examiner to retain this type rating!
The Part 61 changes are to bring us in line with the international system - ICAO and is like the New Zealand and US systems. At least when we are all up to speed with the new requirements we will have an international license. We all have had non compliant licenses in this country for many years and new licenses if you do not meet the instrument requirements will be appended with “NON Compliant”, a way to become compliant would be to do 10 hours of basic instrument or better still get a use out of your training and?get your NVFR ( night VFR rating ), this meets / ticks all the boxes for compliancy in the new system so if you have or get this on your license you are free to have a new un encumbered Part 61 license!
When I understand more I will post on the site, or if you would like to call me with your questions, I would be pleased to find out the answer for you.
More information can be found on the CASA web site
booklet overview of part 61 changes