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Notice given 14 June 2007

3243  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Has CASA investigated the discrepancies between Transair’s Flight Proficiency Line Check Form and the supervisory pilot’s logbook, the pilot in command’s logbook and company rosters in relation to a purported proficiency check flight on 26 July 2004.

(2)  Given that the ATSB’s final report on the crash lists other similar discrepancies, can details be provided of any investigation in relation to these issues and any subsequent action that has arisen.

3244  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Given that Transair pilots have expressed concerns to the chief pilot about regulatory breaches relating to en-route area navigation (global navigation satellite system) approaches to Bamaga airstrip and the pilot in command’s compliance with procedures: (a) were these expressions required to be reported to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA); and (b) were they reported to CASA.

(2) (a) Is CASA investigating the issue raised in paragraph (1); and (b) has action been taken subsequent to any reported concerns.

3245  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) first authorise Transair to conduct Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations between Cairns and Bamaga on 5 October 2001.

(2) Did Transair operate an RPT service between Cairns and Bamaga without authorisation between 17 September and 4 October 2001.

(3) (a) On what date did CASA become aware that Transair operated the service without authorisation; and (b) subsequently, what action, if any, did CASA take against Transair.

3246  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) first authorise Transair to conduct Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations to Lockhart River on 5 October 2004.

 

 (2) Did Transair operate the service without authorisation between 28 August and 1 October 2004.

(3) Was the commencement of this unauthorised RPT service reported in the Cairns Post on 20 August 2004.

(4) (a) On what date did CASA become aware that Transair operated the service without authorisation; and (b) subsequently, what action, if any, did CASA take against Transair.

3247  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Is it the case that after September 2003 Transair pilots received a CD-ROM version of the company’s operations manual and not a paper version.

(2) Is it the case that the CD-ROM version of the operations manual was not useable and, as a result, some Transair pilots were not familiar with its contents.

(3) Is it the case that, when a new version of the manual was issued on CD-ROM, Transair did not indicate to its pilots which sections had changed.

(4) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) advise Transair to change the format of its operations manual from paper to CD-ROM; if so, on what date and in what form did CASA advise Transair to do so; if not, how does the Minister explain the chief pilot’s claim that the change was driven by feedback from CASA.

(5) (a) Is it the case that Transair was required to keep an up-to-date paper copy of its operations manual in the pilot’s briefing room at its Cairns base; and (b) did Transair comply with this requirement; if not: (i) on what date did CASA become aware that Transair had not complied, and (ii) what action, if any, did CASA take against Transair for non-compliance.

(6) (a) Was CASA required to approve the new operations manual; and (b) did CASA approve the new operation manual; if so, when.

3248  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Is it the case that Transair’s operations manual did not contain information about the concept of a stabilised approach, including stabilised approach criteria.

(2) Is the inclusion of stabilised approach criteria in operations manuals desirable.

(3) (a) Does the ATSB’s final report on the crash state that some Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) inspectors believed it was important to have stabilised approach criteria in operations manuals; and (b) is this consistent with the written answer to estimates question on notice CASA 22, provided subsequent to the 2006 additional estimates hearings of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee.

 

 (4) Did CASA discuss, with Transair, the absence of stabilised approach criteria from its operations manual; if so, can details be provided of these discussions.

(5) (a) Is it the case that Transair’s operations manual did not include any information on en-route navigation (global navigation satellite system) approaches; and (b) was CASA aware that this was the case; if so, was any action undertaken to include such information.

(6) Can details be provided of any action taken by CASA to ensure that the revised CD-ROM version of the manual was suitable and met regulatory requirements.

3249  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Did Transair’s operations manual state that the number of Transair check pilots would be ascertained by the conduct of a task analysis by the chief pilot.

(2) Did the chief pilot undertake a task analysis; if not: (a) on what date did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) become aware that the task analysis had not been undertaken; and (b) what action, if any, did CASA take in response.

3250  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) flight crew licensing database erroneously record that the Transair chief pilot’s check pilot approval had expired or been cancelled in November 1997.

(2) Did the error remain undetected until March 2007; if so, why.

(3) What systems are in place to ensure information recorded in CASA’s flight crew licensing database is accurate.

3251  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Was the chief pilot of Transair issued a delegation under Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) 5.19 with a condition, from May 1994 to April 2003, requiring him to hold a grade one flight instructor (aeroplane) rating.

(2) How many flight tests for the renewal of an instrument rating did the chief pilot conduct between May 1994 and April 2003.

(3) Did the chief pilot hold a grade one flight instructor (aeroplane) rating: (a) when he was issued the delegation; and (b) at any time between May 1994 and April 2003.

(4) When and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority become aware that the chief pilot did not hold a grade one flight instructor (aeroplane) rating.

(5) Why was the delegation removed in April 2003.

 

 3252  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Did Transair’s operations manual state that the deputy chief pilot was the only supervisory pilot for Transair’s Metroliner fleet; and (b) were pilots other than the deputy chief pilot approved by the chief pilot to act as supervisory pilots.

(2) When and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) become aware that pilots other than the deputy chief pilot had been approved as supervisory pilots.

(3) Does CASA’s Air Operator Certification Manual state that supervisory pilots should have training in the principles and methods of instruction; and (b) did all Transair supervisory pilots have this training.

(4) Was the pilot in command of VH-TFU approved as a supervisory pilot; if so, did the pilot in command have any previous training or supervisory experience.

3253  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Is it the case that there is no regulatory requirement in Australia for flight crew undertaking a type rating on a multi-crew aircraft to be trained in procedures for crew incapacitation and crew coordination, including allocation of pilot tasks, crew coordination and use of checklists.

(2) Is it the case that this training is required under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 1 ( Personnel Licensing , 8th ed), but that Australia has notified ICAO of a difference with respect to paragraph 2.1.5.2a of this standard; if so, why.

3254  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005 and, specifically, to the claim on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority website that Australia is moving to harmonise with requirements in the Standards and Recommended Practices laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO): (a) can a schedule be provided of all current differences notified to ICAO, including the reason for the difference and the date of notification; and (b) can details be provided of progress made towards harmonising Australian requirements with ICAO standards.

3255  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Did the chief pilot of Transair follow, on all occasions, the training syllabus detailed in Transair’s operations manual; if not, when and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) become aware that the training syllabus was not always observed.

 

 (2) Is it the case that, despite the statement in Annex 4 of Part D2 of Transair’s operations manual that initial training on a company turbine aircraft would consist of a 4 day ground school on the aircraft, its operating systems and the company operations manual, some Transair pilots who underwent ground school training with the Transair chief pilot were not given any formal classroom training.

(3) Is it the case that some of the Transair pilots who received no formal classroom training had no previous turbine aircraft endorsements or multi-crew experience; if so, when and how did CASA become aware this was the case.

(4) Did the pilot in command and the co-pilot of VH-TFU complete the Transair Metroliner ground school; if so: (a) when; and (b) did both receive formal classroom training.

(5) What steps is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) required to take to ensure that ground schools and other forms on pilot training are adequate.

(6) What steps did CASA take to ensure that Transair’s pilot training was adequate

3256  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Is it the case that no special design feature endorsement for the pressurisation system was entered into the logbooks of the pilot in command and co-pilot of VH-TFU, when they were issued with their Metroliner endorsements.

(2) Did the pilot in command and the co-pilot of VH-TFU receive training on the pressurisation system during their endorsement training for the Metroliner aircraft; if so, when.

(3) (a) When and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority become aware that no special design feature endorsement for the pressurisation system was entered into the logbooks of the pilot in command and co-pilot of VH-TFU; and (b) subsequently, what action did it take.

3257  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Did Transair’s operations manual state that, before being cleared to line, company pilots in command and co-pilots were required to undertake a proficiency check over at least two sectors with a check pilot.

(2) Is it the case that neither the pilot in command nor the co-pilot of VH-TFU were not cleared to line by a check pilot; if so: (a) when and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority become aware that the pilot in command and co-pilot were not cleared to line by a check pilot; and (b) what action, if any, did it take.

(3) Are the statements in the ATSB’s final report on the crash in relation to paragraphs (1) and (2) consistent with the answer to estimate’s question on notice CASA 38, provided subsequent to the 2006 additional estimates hearings of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee.

 

 3258  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Did Transair’s operations manual state that all personnel associated with flight operations would ‘as soon as practicable’ undergo instruction on the company, its operations manual, its dangerous goods manual, and its safety program.

(2) Did the operations manual also state: (a) that company pilots, within six months of joining the company, would be required to undertake additional training, including ‘GPS under the IFR’, prior to being cleared to line and human factors management training; and (b) that company pilots would be required to undertake a recurrent human factors management course.

(3) Is it the case that the pilot in command of VH-TFU had not completed either the human factors management induction course or the recurrent human factors management course mandated by the company’s operations manual; if so, for each course: (a) when and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) become aware that the pilot in command had not completed the courses; and (b) subsequently, what action, if any, did CASA take.

(4) Is it the case that the co-pilot of VH-TFU had not completed the human factors management induction course mandated by the company’s operations manual; if so: (a) when and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) become aware that the co-pilot had not completed the human factors management induction course; and (b) subsequently, what action, if any, did CASA take.

(5) Did the chief pilot of Transair advise the ATSB that he stopped human factors management training in August 2002; if so, when and how did CASA become aware that Transair pilots were no longer undergoing the induction and recurrent human factors management training mandated in the company’s operations manual.

(6) Did CASA have any discussions with the chief pilot as to whether the requirements referred to in paragraph (2) should remain in the operations manual.

3259  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Is it the case that paragraph 13.3.4 of Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 40.2.1 states that the holder of an instrument rating must only use the types of navigation aids or procedures endorsed in the holder’s personal log book when exercising the authority given by the rating.

(2) Does the CAO require both crew on a multi-crew aircraft to be endorsed on a particular instrument approach in order to conduct that instrument approach.

(3) Did Transair provide en-route navigation (global navigation sattelite system) (RNAV (GNSS)) endorsement training for its pilots.

 

 (4) (a) Did all Transair pilots based in Cairns have an RNAV (GNSS) approach endorsement; and (b) was it necessary or desirable for Transair’s Cairns-based pilots to hold an endorsement.

(5) Is it the case that the only available instrument approach for Bamaga was an RNAV (GNSS) approach.

(6) Did any Transair pilots conduct RNAV (GNSS) approaches without endorsement.

(7) What steps, if any, did CASA take to ascertain whether the relevant Transair pilots had endorsements.

3260  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Does Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) 218 require that, before a pilot is qualified to act as pilot in command of an aircraft engaged in a Regular Public Transport (RPT) service on a particular route, the pilot shall have been certified as competent for the particular route by a pilot who is qualified for the route.

(2) Was the pilot in command of the VH-TFU route checked for the Cairns-Bamaga-Lockhart-Cairns RPT service; if not: (a) when and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) become aware that the pilot in command was not route checked; and (b) did this constitute a breach of CAR 218.

(3) Were all pilots in command of Transair aircraft engaged in RPT services route checked; if not: (a) when and how did CASA become aware that Transair pilots were not route checked; if not, why not; and (b) what action did CASA take to enforce compliance with CAR 218.

3261  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005, did competency and proficiency checks of Transair pilots meet the requirements of Civil Aviation Regulation 217(2) and Civil Aviation Order 40.1.5; if not: (a) when and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority become aware that the checks did not meet the required regulatory standards; and (b) subsequently, what action did it take.

3262  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Is it the case that, in 2004, Transair’s contractor check pilot conducted line flights with pilots from Transair’s Big Sky Express operation based in Inverell, New South Wales and, in September 2004, advised the chief pilot that: (a) the service was not up to regular public transport standard; (b) pilots in command were not consistently following standard operating procedures; and (c) pilots had ‘a bare bones endorsement’, received ‘no follow up training’ and that their systems knowledge was ‘poor’.

 

 (2) Is it the case that on 13 January 2004 the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) announced that it had ‘given the official go-ahead’ for Big Sky Express operations following ‘a close review of the operation by CASA’s technical experts and a trial flight on the new [Gunnedah-Inverell-Sydney] route’.

(3) (a) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) make a statement on 13 January 2004 that CASA’s review of Transair’s proposed New South Wales operations ‘was completed in less than seven weeks, a period which included the Christmas-New Year holiday break’; (b) did the length of the assessment period compromise the standard of the review; if not, how can the findings by the company’s contractor check pilot 8 months after the commencement of operations be explained.

(4) Did CASA make a statement on 13 January 2004 that ‘the Big Sky Express operation meets the appropriate safety standards and CASA will continue to monitor the service to make sure safety is maintained’.

(5) (a) How did CASA monitor Transair’s Big Sky Express operation to ensure safety was maintained; and (b) did the monitoring reveal that any of the statements made by Transair’s contractor check pilot in paragraph (1) were correct.

(6) Can a schedule be provided that details all identified regulatory breaches by Transair’s Big Sky Express operation and CASA’s response to those identified regulatory breaches.

(7) Is the Minister satisfied with the quality of CASA’s oversight of Transair’s Big Sky Express operation.

3263  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Is it the case that aviation safety regulations do not require Air Operator’s Certificate holders to establish and maintain a safety management system.

(2) Can the Minister outline the progress of the implementation of proposed Civil Aviation Safety Rule Part 119 which would mandate the establishment and maintenance of safety management, accident prevention and flight safety systems.

3264  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) inspect minutes of the Transair safety management committee of meetings held before the crash; if so, when.

(2) Did CASA inspect minutes of the Transair safety management committee of meetings held after the crash; if so, when.

3265  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005 and, specifically, to each of the 24 reports from line pilots received by Transair management between 8 May 2002 and 7 May 2005 that were required to be reported to the ATSB: (a) when and how did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) become aware of each report; and (b) subsequently, what action did it take.

3266  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Is it the case that Transair’s Aviation Safety Manual did not provide for a risk assessment to be conducted either for changes to existing operations or for the introduction of new operations.

(2) Is it the case that there was no risk assessment for the introduction of Regular Public Transport services into Lockhart River.

(3) Were risk assessments conducted of all routes for Big Sky Express operations in New South Wales; if so, when.

(4) Did Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) audits assess the adequacy of the Transair safety program, including the Transair Aviation Safety Manual.

(5) (a) In 2001, did an audit find that the Transair Aviation Safety Manual was in draft form; (b) in 2002, did an audit find that the manual was still in draft form; and (c) subsequently, what steps, if any, did CASA take to ensure Transair had a satisfactory safety manual.

3267  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) (a) For each Transair application for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) or variation to an AOC, were all assessment procedures contained in the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Air Operator Certification Manual followed; (b) specifically, did CASA evaluate the Transair Operations Manual each time its AOC was varied; and (c) what other documents required by legislation were examined.

(2) Did CASA also inspect: (a) the operator’s organisational structure and staffing, and the proposed operations, facilities, aircraft and aerodromes, including the conduct of proving flights; and (b) the certification of various personnel and the approval of the training and checking organisation.

(3) Can details be provided of each case of inspection referred to in paragraph (2), including the date of each inspection, the make-up of the inspection team, the location of each inspection, the documents inspected, and the personnel examined.

(4) Can a copy be provided of all completed checklists placed on Transair’s certification file.

3268  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) (a) When have Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Regulatory Oversight System checks of Transair been conducted; and (b) for each of these checks: (i) what elements of the system were examined, and (ii) what was the result of the check.

 

 (2) (a) Can copies be provided of the formal report of all Transair audits, including the index of findings, and the actions to be taken by the operator; (b) have all actions been undertaken; and (c) what steps has CASA taken to ensure that they were.

(3) Why were no special audits or spot checks conducted on Transair between 20 December 1999 and the date of the crash.

(4) Is it normal for airlines of the size, scope and expansion pattern of Transair to not undergo special audits or spot checks for a period of 5 years.

(5) Over a 5 year period, on how many occasions would a similar airline normally undergo: (a) spot checks; and (b) special audits.

3269  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005 and, specifically given that in September 2004 a former Transair pilot made a series of serious safety allegations against Transair to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) the chief pilot of Transair was interviewed and informed that a follow-up investigation to collect documentary evidence was to be conducted:

(1) Why did CASA not seek documentary evidence on the day the chief pilot was interviewed.

(2) Why did CASA wait for 5 weeks after the interview to seek documentary evidence.

(3) Can the preliminary answers given by the chief pilot be provided.

(4) Can details be provided of the ‘higher priority of other matters in this office’.

(5) What evidence supports the statement by the CASA inspector that ‘the person who made the allegations appeared to have problems and had a chip on his shoulder’.

3270  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005, why did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority amend its surveillance procedures in 2005 to reduce the number of scheduled airline operator surveillance from two audits to one audit per year.

3271  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005 and in relation to the granting of permission from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to TransAir to operate Regular Public Transport flights on the Cairns-Bamaga-Lockhart River-Cairns route:

(1) On what dates was the application lodged; and (b) on what date was the applicant granted.

(2) In relation to the amount of time that has elapsed between the submission of a like application to CASA and its grant, over the past 5 years, what is the: (a) average time that has elapsed; and (b) what is the longest time that has elapsed.

 

 3272  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Does the Minister agree with the statement that ‘given the significance of the problems within Transair, and the amount of interaction the Civil Aviation Safety Authority had with the operator, it is reasonable to conclude that some of these problems should have been detected by CASA’.

(2) Does the Minister agree that Transair’s application, in 1999, for approval to conduct Regular Public Transport cargo operations should have been subject to a full evaluation process consistent with CASA’s Air Operator’s Certificate Manual and that proving flights and port inspections should have been completed.

(3) (a) Does the Minister agree that there should have been explicit monitoring of Transair’s implementation of agreed improvements following the first systems-based audit of the airline in December 1999; and (b) why did CASA apparently not complete the activities it proposed to do, such as ensuring that Transair submitted weekly progress reports and conducting a special audit within 90 days.

(4) Why were three of the seven CASA audits of Transair conducted after September 2001 were undertaken by only one inspector rather than multi-disciplinary teams, as recommended under the systems-based audit approach.

3273  Senator McLucas: 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-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005:

(1) Can details be provided of the employment record of Mr Rob Collins at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), including the date and location of his employment, the position he was first employed in, any subsequent positions he has held and where he was located, the date of the cessation of his employment and the reasons for the cessation.

(2) (a) Did Mr Collins cease employment with CASA in 2006; (b) was he subsequently appointed CASA’s acting Industry Complaints Commissioner; if so, can details be provided of that appointment, including the date of the appointment and its cessation, the process under which it was made, and its terms and conditions.

3274  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to a flight operated by AeroTropics between Bamaga and Cairns on Tuesday, 18 July 2006:

(1) Is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) investigating claims made by a passenger on the flight that it was being conducted in an unsafe manner; if so: (a) at what stage is the investigation at; (b) who has been contacted or has made statements in the course of the investigation; and (c) what documents or other material have been collected.

 

 (2) (a) Was a written complaint about the conduct of the flight made to CASA later in July 2006 and again in September, October and November 2006; and (b) is it the case that CASA did not take a statement from the complainant until February 2007; if so, why was there this delay.

(3) Is it the case that CASA did not take any action on this complaint until a person in the aviation industry from whom the passenger sought assistance intervened on the passenger’s behalf; if so, why.

(4) When did the official investigation begin.

(5) Can the following details of the incident be confirmed:

(a) that the aircraft, a Cessna Caravan 208, burst a tyre on landing at Bamaga;

(b) that the flight was scheduled to depart at 11.15 am but did not take off until 7.45 pm and landed in Cairns at approximately 10 pm;

(c) that the maximum distance between emergency landing points for this aircraft is 84 miles;

(d) that emergency landing points during night operations must have lights; and

(e) that no night emergency landing point exists within the aircraft’s maximum distance between Bamaga and Cairns.

(6) (a) Where did the aircraft come to rest on the Bamaga airstrip; (b) where did it park; and (c) was the Bamaga airstrip closed on that day; if so, what was the cause of the closure.

(7) Was a Notice to Airmen issued, or was the closure imposed by some other measure; if so: (a) can details be provided of this measure; and (b) is it the case that aircraft were diverted away from Bamaga airstrip that day.

(8) Is it the case that an aircraft carrying a jack and spare tyre for the original aircraft landed during the day; if so, can details be provided of that landing.

(9) Was there any official dispensation, authority or permission required to enable aircraft to take off and land at Bamaga airstrip on the day.

(10) (a) Have details of the Cessna Caravan landing been provided to CASA; if so: (a) on which runway did it land; (b) from which direction did it approach the airstrip; (c) at what point in the landing did the tyre burst; and (d) was any other damage sustained by the aircraft.

(11) Were there any passengers on board the Cessna Caravan; if so, how many.

(12) What were the weather conditions on the day.

(13) Has CASA been able to ascertain whether the landing was conducted in compliance with the company’s operations manual and aviation regulations.

(14) (a) Was the incident reportable; if so, what type of reportable matter was it; and (b) was the incident reported to CASA; if so, by whom and when; if not, why not.

(15) How many passengers were on the flight when it took off for Cairns.

(16) Was special dispensation required for the flight; if so, can details be provided.

(17) Were emergency landing points available within the 84 mile parameter of the Cessna Caravan; if so, can details be provided of the landing points; if not, how far away was the closest emergency landing point.

(18) Was the return flight to Cairns flown by the same pilot; if so, were flying/rest regulations adhered to.

 

 3275  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-TFU at Lockhart River in May 2005: (a) is the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) aware that some trainee pilots employed by Lessbrook Pty Ltd, trading as Transair, make payments of approximately $10 000 to achieve sufficient hours on Metroliner aircraft to qualify for endorsement for that aircraft type; (b) has the ATO taken any steps to affirm that tax due on these payments has been paid; and (c) has the ATO taken any steps to ascertain to which person or entity these payments were made.