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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6728


Mr Tuckey asked the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, in writing, on 11 May 2010:

In respect of the fatal crash of an Embraer 120 Brasilia twin engine turboprop aircraft in Darwin on 22 March 2010 during a dangerous manoeuvre requiring an enforced engine failure: (a) what has necessitated the need for an annual mandatory test of this manoeuvre; (b) could flight simulator facilities be used to practise and test such dangerous manoeuvres; and (c) is it a fact that when a designated flight simulator operator is on annual leave the facility has to be closed because of insufficient staffing.


Mr Albanese (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(a)   The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has advised that civil aviation safety regulations require a number of actions from operators in order to ensure flight crew retain and periodically demonstrate ongoing competency and proficiency. In particular, Civil Aviation Orders require the holder of an air transport pilot licence shall not act as pilot in command of an aeroplane in regular public transport operations unless he or she has satisfactorily completed, in that type of aeroplane within the preceding 15 months, a flight proficiency test including proficiency in emergency manoeuvres including a simulated failure of one engine. This emergency manoeuvre is one of the most critical competencies needed to ensure the safety of aeroplane operations.

(b)   Yes.

(c)   Civil Aviation Regulation 217 requires operators of regular public transport services, operators of any aircraft which exceeds 5,700 kilograms in maximum take-off weight and any other operators specified by CASA, to provide a training and checking organisation so as to ensure that operator’s crews maintain and periodically demonstrate competency. The staffing of flight simulator equipment is a matter for individual operators to manage.