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Notice given 14 June 2007

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.