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Thursday, 21 August 1980
Page: 672

Mr Holding asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 22 April 1980:

(   1 ) Will any other form of inquiry follow the internal investigation by his Department's Air Safety Investigation Branch into the circumstances of the fatal crash of a Beechcraft Super King Air aircraft at the Sydney Airport on Thursday, 21 February 1 980; if so, what will be the terms of the inquiry.

(2)   Will provision be made to ensure all interested parties are able to participate in the inquiry; if so, what provisions will be made.

(3)   Will all interested parties have access to relevant documentation; if so, how extensive will access be.

(4)   Are surveillance officers employed by the Air Transport Group of his Department; if so, (a) how many are employed, (b) where are they based, (c) how many are based at each location, (d) what are their specific areas of responsibility and (e) does his Department keep records arising from the monitoring activities of these officers.

(5)   Which aircraft types engaged in commuter and/or third level type operations are required to be flown by a pilot holding a 1st class instrument rating.

(6)   Is the rating referred to in Part (5) identical with that held by the pilot-in-command of an airline aircraft.

(7)   Are all aircraft used in third level airline and commuter operations crewed by 2 licensed pilots; if not, why not.

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

(1)   The Air Navigation Regulations empower me to appoint a Board of Accident Inquiry whenever I consider it desirable to do so in the public interest. The Regulations envisage that I will consider the need to exercise that discretion after I have available to me the results of an investigation carried out by the Air Safety Investigation Branch pursuant to Division 4 of Part XVI of the Air Navigation Regulations.

(2)   and (3) In the event that a Board of Accident Inquiry is appointed, the Air Navigation Regulations provide that the terms of inquiry will encompass the causes of the accident and any other related matters as are referred to it by myself. The Regulations also provide for only the Chairman of a Board of Accident Inquiry to have discretion as to the persons who may be granted leave to appear before the Board and the publication of the whole or a specified part of the evidence.

(4)   Examiners of Airmen and Airworthiness Surveyors are employed at each Region of my Department to ensure that operational and airworthiness safety standards are being maintained. Part of their time is spent on active surveillance duties with the operators. Appropriate records are maintained by the Department.

These officers are located as at 7 May 1980 as shown in the table below:



(5)   All airline and commuter aircraft, irrespective of type, which are operated under instrument flight rules (IFR), must be operated by a pilot holding the appropriate command instrument rating i.e.

(a)   for aircraft having a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) not exceeding 5,700 kg - a Class One instrument rating; and

(b)   for aircraft having a MTOW exceeding 5,700 kg and such other aircraft as the Secretary may specify from time to time- a 1st Class instrument rating.

(6)   The instrument ratings referred to above are identical in all respects except that:

(a)   the Class One instrument rating does not confer upon the holder, the privilege of operating under IFR, aircraft having a MTOW exceeding 5,700 kg; and

(b)   there are some technical differences in the engine failure on take-off sequences of the respective flight proficiency tests.

(7)   Aircraft engaged on such operations whether operating under an airline or charter licence, are required to carry at least the minimum crew specified by the flight manual: the minimum being determined as being appropriate for the particular type during the certification process.

Generally, propeller-driven aircraft having a MTOW not exceeding 5,700 kg are certificated for operation by only one pilot except that for IFR operations, a serviceable auto pilot must be fitted, or two pilots are required.


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