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Is the aviation industry well served by it’s regulator and investigator in Australia

Is the aviation industry well served by it’s regulator and investigator?? in Australia.

The current review by David Forsyth [ASRR] certainly does not support this view and raises 37 recommendations as to how [and why] things should be fixed.

This is a long term direction for aviation.

The interference being run directly by the Department [Mike MrDak], CASA and ATSB, as shown by the “Minister’s (Government response) is deplorable.

The direction for the PelAir inquiry to be “re-done”, as sought by the Senate Inquiry and in particular, Senators Fawcett and Xenophon is finally upon us and the industry must ensure that the process is not again de-railed.

TOR – Canadian review

The narrowing of the Terms of Reference for the Canadian TSB review, demonstrates that instead of taking, what was first for Australia, and instead should have gone back to when in fact CASA and the ATSB got together to interfere with due process.

There have been serious rumours for a long period, but this was a golden opportunity for the cupboard contents to be fully examined.

What investigations are suspect?

Benalla – 2004, with the Coroners inquiry published in 2011

Lockhart River – 2005

Hemple – 2008

PelAir – 2009

Who had the influence here in narrowing the TOR’s?? MrDak?, McCormick ?, Dolan?

This was despite the calls being made continually since the release of the report [ AO-2009-072 – Ditching – Israel Aircraft Westwind 1124A aircraft, VH-NGA, 5 km SW of Norfolk Island Airport, 18 November 2009 (Norfolk Island)] for the voice/ data recorder and a proper look at who hid the Chamber’s report from the ATSB [or were both CASA and ATSB involved?] and a full Senate report, which exposed the murky dealings of CASA and ATSB in with-holding evidence into the investigation.

The Canadian review makes interesting reading.

In short, the ATSB head – Dolan and the then CASA head – McCormick, were not believed by the Senators. This is a serious matter, as Dolan has an earlier history [along with MrDak in the secondary airports affairs], which has been questioned in a number of fora.

Recent data shows that there are serious and as yet un-answered questions about old investigations by the ATSB and how CASA does it’s “business”.

Mr. Skidmore has some serious work to do to weed-out the under performers in CASA and allow proper discussion to occur, particularly when individuals take the matter to “Aviation House” in Canberra.

Further, the under lying indicators, such as pilot numbers continue to defy gravity.


Independent review of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s investigation methodologies and processes

1 December 2014

Mr. Martin Dolan
Chief Commissioner
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
62 Northbourne Avenue
Canberra ACT 2601

Dear Mr. Dolan,

I am pleased to provide you with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s (TSB) report on the independent objective peer review of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation process and methodology.

The review was conducted in accordance with the agreed upon terms of reference as specified in our July 2013 Memorandum of Understanding. This report constitutes the complete and final deliverable.

I thank you for the trust and confidence that the ATSB has placed in the TSB by asking us to conduct this review. We were pleased to be of assistance and to share our expertise. We also appreciated the opportunity to learn from the ATSB.


Original signed by Kathleen Fox
Kathleen Fox


Xenophon comments:

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, has called for a major shake-up of Australia’s air accident investigation system after an independent review found systemic problems with the botched investigation of the Pel-Air ditching off Norfolk Island in 2009.

Senator Xenophon called for the removal of head of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Martin Dolan, and the establishment of an Inspector-General of Aviation to provide much-needed oversight of the ATSB and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

The Transport Safety Board of Canada (TSB) conducted an independent review of the ATSB’s investigation of three serious incidents and its report was released yesterday. It found that the ATSB’s investigation of the Pel-Air crash “did not address key issues in the way that the Australian aviation industry and members of the public expected”.

Today Transport Minister Warren Truss called on the ATSB to re-open the Pel-Air investigation because of the serious flaws identified by the TSB.

“The Canadian report and the Minister’s statements are further testament to the ATSB’s incompetence. The Minister is right to call for a re-opening of the investigation, but he’s wrong to ask the ATSB to do it. It needs to be done independently,” said Nick.

The TSB report found:

  • The ATSB was unaware of Pel-Air’s systemic fuel and fatigue management problems that contributed to the crash because “insufficient data were collected”
  • The ATSB investigation led to an organisational focus on “risk level labels” rather than factors that “contribute to advancing safety”
  • Evidence of insufficient oversight by CASA of Pel-Air flight planning and monitoring practices

    The TSB report says: “A misunderstanding early in the investigation regarding the responsibilities of CASA and the ATSB was never resolved”.

    The TSB report supported the findings of the Senate inquiry instigated by Senator Xenophon by the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee. The Committee, in its 176-page report last year, found that CASA had withheld from the ATSB evidence of its failure to oversee Pel-Air. The Committee found that evidence from the Martin Nolan, head of the ATSB, was “questionable”.

    Senator Xenophon said the Government was yet to act on the findings of the Senate report, and criticised the Aviation Safety Regulation Review report, launched last November and completed in June, as “a missed opportunity for reform”.


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