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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 575

Mr Morris asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 22 May 1 980:

(   1 ) Will he widen the terms of reference of the inquiry into the fatal crash of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft at Sydney

Airport, New South Wales, on 21 February 1980 so as to enable the inquiry to examine and report on the advisability of all third level twin engined aircraft being crewed by two licensed pilots.

(2)   Will the inquiry examine and report on the adequacy of the regulations pertaining to the certification of aircraft used in third level and commuter operations.

(3)   Do operating manuals approved by his Department for third level airline and commuter operations include graphs which can be used to establish maximum take-off weights applicable to the prevailing atmospheric conditions; if not, what information can he provide on this subject.

(4)   In what manner does his Department ensure compliance of third level airline and commuter aircraft with (a) the regulations governing aircraft and engine maintenance and (b) approved operating procedures when in operation.

Mr Hunt -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The Air Safety Investigation Branch of my Department is conducting a full investigation into the circumstances of the accident. This will be a detailed investigation, with the aim of establishing the cause and contributing factors of the accident, and it will cover all aspects of possible relevance.

(2)   My Department has under consideration a proposal that two pilots be required for operating commuter aircraft having a passenger seat configuration of 1 0 seats or more. This and other proposals, including certification criteria for aircraft used in commuter operations, resulted from a review undertaken by my Department over recent months. The proposals have been placed before interested industry organisations for consideration and comment before development of legislation.

(3)   A Flight Manual for each aircraft used in third level airline and commuter operations, including graphs of take off performance of the aircraft, is approved by my Department. The pilot-in-command is required to establish a maximum take off weight applicable to the runway being used and the prevailing atmospheric conditions in accordance with the approved graphs in the Flight Manual.

(4)   Surveillance and inspectional functions carried out by my Department are performed by Examiners of Airmen, Airways Surveyors and Airworthiness Surveyors. Surveillance and inspectional activities are undertaken at the operator's main base and throughout his network. These activities are aimed at ascertaining the effectiveness of the operator's procedures and practices in meeting maintenance and operational safety standards.

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