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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 49


Senator BISHOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister for Air whether a total of 13 Mirage aircraft have been lost, including four this year, plus another severely damaged. Have a considerable number of these losses been caused by or related to engine malfunction? Further, as a result of these losses, is it a fact that the Royal Australian Air Force has carried out certain re-evaluations of the replacement of the Mirage with a single engine aircraft? When is the Minister likely to report to the Senate on these matters including the recent accidents to Mirage aircraft?


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The honourable senator's question has covered a very wide field, but I will endeavour to answer as much of it as I can. It is a fact that since 1964 there have been 13 crashes of Mirage aircraft. It is a fact also that in recent months there have been 4 crashes, 2 of which are still the subjects of courts of inquiry and thus I cannot yet give the reasons for them. One accident was caused by a compressor blowing up, but so far as the accident investigation section of the Department of Air can ascertain at present this was not related to the other accidents. However, technicians of the Department of Supply and of my own Department are conducting a study to determine whether an inter-relationship can be established or to find some other clue to the cause of these accidents. An air staff requirement has been put out for replacement of the Mirage, but although a number of proposals have been submitted a final decision has not been made and will not be made in the very near future.







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