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Jetstar Incidents:

Jetstar chief pilot’s office ‘raided’ by CASA

June 16, 2012 By Leave a Comment

Jetstar chief pilot’s office ‘raided’ by CASAA week ago Plane Talking was given an eyewitness account of what a casual observer might have called a raid on office of the Jetstar chief pilot in Melbourne …

Read more at Crikey (blog). This blog has been removed.

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Jetstar pilots stood down after NZ incident

Date –
Michael West

Michael West

The Age – Business columnist

Jetstar is under investigation by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and two pilots have been stood down following an incident in New Zealand earlier this month.

The incident has been described by a Qantas insider as a “further concern” about pilot training at the discount carrier although both CASA and Jetstar are playing it down.

A Jetstar spokesman confirmed that an aircraft’s “flaps” may have been in the wrong position on the Sydney to Christchurch flight on June 3. The position of the flaps on an aircraft’s wings is critical to landing procedures.

“A Jetstar A320 aircraft landed safely in Auckland after diverting from Christchurch due to poor weather,” the spokesman told BusinessDay. “The aircraft did go around at Christchurch before landing in Auckland. A go-around due to inclement weather is a common safety procedure.

“The crew reported a flap position issue during the go around and the event has been assessed internally. We take anything that happens in the cockpit very seriously, we are assessing the issue and our initial findings show that the fundamental safety of the flight was never at risk.”

Sources told BusinessDay the “a missed approach was made” when the plane was landing at Christchurch.

“This is not the first time this has happened in Jetstar. It occured in Melbourne some years ago and they nearly crashed. CASA has interviewed the chief pilot of Jetstar in relation to the incident.”

A spokesman for CASA said that the reporting of the incident following “normal regulatory practice”.

“Jetstar has reported a recent landing incident to CASA, and CASA is reviewing Jetstar’s investigation into the event. On the completion of its review, CASA will ensure that any appropriate safety actions are taken,” said the spokesman.

The matter will be further unwelcome news for Jetstar’s parent Qantas, whose shares hit all-time lows recently in the wake of a large downgrade in its profits.

It follows reports six months ago of a Jetstar Airbus A320 losing altitude during a “botched landing” at Melbourne airport, as pilots fumbled with wrong flap settings.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators had discovered “a sequence of mistakes on a July 28 evening flight from Newcastle to Melbourne left the pilot flying the plane – a cadet recruit with just 300 hours Airbus flying experience – overwhelmed. The captain sitting next to him was so busy trying to recover the situation that his capacity was also compromised,” according to the report in this publication.

“On landing approach the plane was variously descending too fast, the flaps weren’t extended properly and an altitude alert went unheard by both pilots” said the report which raised concerns of the Australian and International Pilots Association brought before a Senate inquiry last year about the risk of fast-tracking inexperienced pilots to airline cockpits.

Jetstar defended its training methods. “’Any pilot who sits behind the controls of a Jetstar aircraft has the skills and qualifications to be there,” said a spokeswoman.

“Go-arounds [aborted landings] are not uncommon and are a part of our systems of checks and balances for safe operations.”

mwest@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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Posted on vocasupport.com | Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jetstar refutes accounts of NZ and head office incidents

Ben Sandilands | Jun 17, 2012 3:44PM | EMAIL | PRINT

Jetstar has refuted the reporting of an incident involving one of it jets which made a missed approach to Christchurch airport earlier this month and about an incident in its Melbourne head office which it says didn’t happen.

Plane Talking referred to the claimed Melbourne incident and also linked to a report concerning it in a different publication in an article on Saturday morning, and when Jetstar said it challenged the information and would reply in writing as to its particular concerns it was agreed that the article published here would be withdrawn ahead of that statement, which is published in full below.

The Jetstar statement doesn’t deal with ongoing concerns the writer has with a number of other incidents involving the airline which have been raised in ATSB reports and before Senate committees, but as a matter of fairness, and no doubt further argument those are matters for another day, and not in relation to a story in which key elements were wrong, as they were in the article which had been linked to in the Aviation Advertiser.

In a statement a CASA spokesman said:

Consistent with normal regulatory practice, Jetstar has reported a recent landing incident to CASA, and CASA is reviewing Jetstar’s investigation into the event.

On the completion of its review, CASA will ensure that any appropriate safety actions are taken.

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Jetstar in another safety flap

Posted by: in Aviation Advertiser|Posted date: June 15, 2012 | comment : 1

Seems like Jetstar is again in a spot of bother over cockpit management in unexpected situations.

A Jetstar Airbus A320 on a flight from Sydney to Christchurch on Sunday June 3 encountered inclement weather, commenced an instrument approach there, and initiated a “go-around,” which is normal procedure at the published minimum approach height if visibility does not  allow a visual approach.

Following  the go-around, the aircraft diverted to Auckland where it landed safely.

Events during the go-around however were of concern. At this point, the pilot in command called for “go-around flaps,” which is a standard call in an Airbus in a go-around situation, and the pilot not flying (or “support pilot,” depending on which school you went to) will normally move the flap selector from “flaps full” to “flaps 3″, however in this case the co-pilot selected the flaps to the “flaps one” position.

This action means the leading edge flaps are the only lift devices that remain extended, and they come back to an intermediate position, while the other flaps retract fully, leaving the wing configured in a less than optimum lift condition for a maximum performance climb. An automatic Airbus protection system then takes over and among other things applies full power if the power levers aren’t already in that position.

The automatic protections activate various visual and aural signals to warn the crew there’s something wrong, and sometimes there’s a tense period during which the crew evaluates the warnings, sorts them out and acts on them. In more serious situations, the process has been known to leave the crew without enough clues to solve the situation, depending on their training levels, which explains tragedies such as Air France Flight 447 when an Airbus A330 plunged 37,000 feet into the Atlantic in a fully stalled state, which would have been perfectly recoverable had the crew had proper situational awareness.

AviationAdvertiser understands that Jetstar has already conducted an internal investigation, but The ATSB says it hasn’t been made aware of the event, and the New Zealand transport accident investigation commission (possibly after calling ATSB) says: “The commission has just been made aware of the alleged incident and has yet to decide if it will investigate. Once a decision has been made we will let you know.”

A Jetstar statement says: “The crew reported a flap position issue during the go around and the event has been assessed internally. We take anything that happens in the cockpit very seriously, we are assessing the issue and our initial findings show that the fundamental safety of the flight was never at risk.”

We understand that the crew was stood down during the investigation, and has now again been stood down “subject to operational control,” a term Jetstar apparently uses which seems to mean “subject of further investigation.”

The event is likely to rekindle interest in ongoing crewing problems related to rapid airline growth, which have variously affected Jetstar, Tiger and Virgin (in alphabetical order for fairness only).

To varying degrees, all three airlines have in the past partly overcome these problems by hiring already type-experienced captains, but as that source begins to dry up, Jetstar has been luring experienced first officers from the Qantas pilot ranks with the reward of an Airbus command (captaincy). Their sourcing of first officers has traditionally been from general aviation or under “cadetship” schemes where the recruits pay for their own type ratings (conversions) which are usually delivered by third-party training provider training centres. Industry has been increasingly critical of this process because of what it sees as inadequate regulatory oversight of the training and assessment that pilots undergo before they are deemed ready for airline flying.

NOTE: This article was updated on Saturday June 16 on the basis of new information provided by Jetstar, and AviationAdvertiser regrets inaccuracies in the original article.

Comments (1)

  • Sandy Reith

    The incident as described sounds more like the work of forgetful amateurs than that of well paid professionals. The lack of ‘real life ‘ experienced pilots with a depth of general aviation experience will become more and more evident. Over the last few years the shut down and demise of hundreds of general aviation operators will bring about a fatal loss of fundamental flying skill throughout the airline industry.

    The direct reason for this parlous state of affairs has been the complete lack of government control over an increasingly out of control and wasteful Civil Aviation Authority.

    The Civil Aviation Unsafety Authority continues its relentless assault on general aviation to the detriment of all Australians.

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Something else that the ATSB, CASA and Qantas have not told the Senate Inquiry _ Plane Talking

Jetstar pilots stood down after NZ incident

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From pprune.org:

18th Jun 2012, 16:58   #27 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 782
Quote:
Take a look at the 2012 senate inquiry and you will see that ex casa staff are now running jet stars safety systems group. Questioning did raise concerns re possible conflict of interest at the time.

In Geoff Klouth’s submission he was fairly scathing of Jet* incident investigation system and he also gave a fairly concise description of how it all worked, see here from his submission:

Quote:
GeoffKlouth: Whilst I am not familiar with the Tiger Airways incident I was working in the Jetstar Safety department when the Jetstar incident occurred although I was on leave during August 2007. The incident was reported by the pilots to Jetstar Safety and it was

subsequently reported to the ATSB. The data recorded by the aircraft during the incident was stored on a Quick Access Recorder which had to be removed from the aircraft and the data sent to Qantas. Qantas processed all Jetstar QAR information as Jetstar do not have the resources to conduct this process.

Qantas informed Jetstar in August that the QAR data indicated that a Ground Proximity Warning had occurred. Jetstar Flight Operations Management then requested further information and commenced an internal investigation although at this stage the investigation focused on incorrect use of the TOGA function and the June 2007 incident was one of three incidents. The other two incidents involved a missed handled go-around in Avalon and a long landing in Adelaide.

I do not believe that there was a deliberate attempt by Jetstar to conceal information from the ATSB but that there were no protocols that required the ATSB to be informed of subsequent information.

When I returned from leave in September I was tasked with preparing a report that only focused on the June 2007 incident. The Fleet Investigator who had been preparing the report on the three incidents briefed me on what had been done and then he went on four weeks leave.

It was during this time that the incident was reported in the media and the ATSB decided to investigate the incident. It was then accorded significant priority in Jetstar. While I was trying to put together an investigation using my ATSB experience I was diverted from the task when I was advised that the Captain involved in the incident had been contacted by persons claiming to be from the ATSB and were seeking further information regarding the event. This resulted in me having to contact Qantas Security and the ATSB to try and discover who was responsible for the call. The ATSB referred the matter to the AFP but
they decided that it was not worth the resources required to pursue the matter.

My position as a Fleet Investigator was a part-time position and I was also required to fulfil my duties as a First Officer. Significantly I was still subject to the Duty Time limitations that governed how many hours in a 14 day period that a pilot could work. At the end of October I reached 100 hours duty in 14 days so I was taken off one day of flying duty.

I submitted a draft report of the June 2007 incident in November. I stopped performing the duties as a Fleet Investigator in January as I was preparing for a promotion to Captain.

The main limitation in my attempt to conduct the investigation was the lack of resources in the Safety Department. The investigation should have been conducted by an investigator who was able to devote themself full-time to the task. Part time investigators should be limited to minor investigations. As a part-time investigator I was not provided with a computer and had to provide my own and I was not even allocated a desk and had to take whatever desk was available when I was in the office. An airline safety department should be audited possibly by CASA to ensure that sufficient resources are provided based on the size of the airline. My understanding is that the Jetstar Safety Department is still the same size as it was in June 2007 and the Fleet Investigators are still rostered on a part-time basis.

So have there been any changes to the system since the inquiry, if so is it a better system?? I thought at the time of the inquiry that his submission and subsequent evidence given was very good and relevant and also very brave, so is GK still flying for Jet*?

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