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Notice given 23 November 2006

2821  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001:

(1) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) conduct a review of the engine condition monitoring programs of other operators in Queensland following the fatal crash; if so:

(a) when did the review commence;

(b) how was the review conducted;

(c) when did the review conclude;

(d) how were operators selected for review;

(e) how many operators were reviewed; and

(f) how many operators were found to be failing to comply with relevant requirements.

(2) Has CASA conducted a national review of compliance with engine condition monitoring requirements:

(a) if so:

(i) when did the review commence,

(ii) how was the review conducted,

(iii) when did the review conclude,

(iv) how were operators selected for review,

(v) by state/territory, how many operators were reviewed, and

(vi) by state/territory, how many operators were found to be failing to comply with relevant requirements; and

(b) if not, why not.

 

 2822  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001: Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) audit of the operator’s maintenance organisation in August 2001 identify problems with the operator’s maintenance resources; if so: (a) what problems did it identify; and (b) what action did CASA take; if no action was taken, why not.

2823  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001:

(1) Following the resignation of the operator’s full-time maintenance controller in August 2001, did the operator’s chief engineer fill that role with the approval of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

(2) Was the chief engineer’s initial appointment as maintenance controller approved by CASA on 3 August 2001, based on a telephone interview with a CASA inspector.

(3) Was the further appointment of the chief engineer as maintenance controller approved by CASA on 17 August 2001.

(4) Were CASA’s approvals made in the absence of formal guidelines on the criteria, qualifications or competencies that should be considered when evaluating the suitability of a person to act in a managerial role for a maintenance organisation.

2824  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001:

(1) Was the operator’s fleet of aircraft maintained by external maintenance organisations until the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approved a change in maintenance arrangements in early 2001.

(2) How did CASA satisfy itself that the operator was capable of conducting maintenance on its own aircraft when it issued the operator with a certificate of approval valid to September 2001.

(3) Is it the case that CASA took no action when the certificate of approval expired in September 2001 because it had been mistakenly annotated in the CASA database as being valid for 12 months.

(4) Was the certificate of approval renewed on 21 November 2001 on the basis of a telephone conversation with the operator; if so, why was the certificate of approval renewed on the basis of a telephone conversation.

2825  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001:

(1) Were the aircraft’s engines operating on a life extension to 5 000 hours time between overhaul (TBO) in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Airworthiness Directive AD/ENG/5 Amendment 7.

 

 (2) Is it a requirement of the Airworthiness Directive that, if the engines were operating to a 5 000 hour TBO, they had to be subject to an engine condition trend monitoring (ECTM) program.

(3) Prior to the fatal crash, was CASA aware that the operator’s maintenance controller had not completed ECTM training and was not qualified to conduct ECTM functions.

(4) Was CASA aware that the operator had entered into an arrangement to have ECTM data analysed by the engine manufacturer’s field representative but failed: (a) to ensure this arrangement was documented by the operator; and (b) to establish whether the ECTM data was being submitted for analysis on a regular basis.

(5) Is it the case that in the 4 months prior to the fatal crash, ECTM data was not recorded or submitted for analysis in accordance with the engine manufacturer’s requirements and AD/ENG/5.

(6) Is the Minister aware that the ATSB supplementary report published in August 2006 found that ECTM data indicated that a potentially significant problem had been developing in the left engine in the months preceding the fatal crash and ‘was both real and indicative of a trend significant enough to warrant a proactive response to identify and rectify a developing problem in the engine’.

(7) Why did CASA surveillance fail to detect problems with the operator’s ECTM program prior to the fatal crash of VH-LQH.