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Wednesday, 27 May 1987
Page: 3465

(Question No. 5099)


Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 19 February 1987:

(1) What accidents and incidents have involved departmental aircraft in the last 10 years.

(2) What has been the cost of repairing departmental aircraft involved in these accidents.

(3) What is the percentage breakdown of the causes of these accidents.


Mr Peter Morris —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Bureau of Air Safety Investigation computer records show that in the last 10 years Departmental aircraft have been involved in four accidents:

30 August 1978

Swearingen 26 AT Mount Hagen PNG

Nose landing gear collapsed on landing roll

11 June 1979

Beech 36 Latrobe Valley Victoria

Engine failure on cruise followed by wheels-up landing.

5 September 1983

Gulfstream 695A, Launceston, Tasmania

Nose landing gear malfunction on landing roll.

2 November 1986

Gulfstream 695B, Mangalore, Victoria

Crew failed to extend landing gear prior to landing.

An incident is defined by Air Navigation Regulation 270 as follows:

`. . . an occurrence, other than an accident, associated with the operation of the aircraft that affects or could affect the safety of the operation of the aircraft'

This is a very wide definition. It includes such events as: communication difficulties, bird strikes, hazardous cargo, fuel spillage and airworthiness occurrences eg faulty switches etc.

In the years 1977-86, a total of 271 incidents involving departmental aircraft have been recorded in Australian operations. The department has no record of Papua New Guinea incidents since 1975.

(2) The cost of repairing departmental aircraft involved in the above accidents was $255,200.

(3) The breakdown of causes of these accidents is as follows:

in one accident (Gulfstream 695A in September 1983) the factors were not determined;

in two accidents aircraft components were factors

Swearingen 26AT August 1978 nose wheel tyre failure

Beech 36 June 1979 engine failure

in two accidents (Beech 36 in June 1979 and Gulfstream 695B in November 1986) pilot factors were present.