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The decision for PAIN to protest the Ministerial decision allowing the ATSB to re examine the Pel Air ditching was not made lightly. The associates unanimously agreed that the prospect of litigation being heard and ruled on, before the new ‘investigation’ even began in earnest and a definitive ’cause’ established which could impinge of the courts decision was risible. The decision handed down may only rely (in part) when deciding liability on the original grossly flawed ATSB report. No one wants to be liable, certainly not CASA, not the company, not the pilots, not the government; so who then? One of the associates summed up the  problems and concerns very succinctly:-

..If I was a shareholder of Rex then I would be asking why Rex was not suing CASA for CASA’s deficiencies which contributed to the crash. Given 3rd parties have cited CASA deficiencies and contribution to the crash, why on earth should the company of which I own a share carry all the financial loss?

..And if I was a shareholder of the Rex underwriters, I would be asking exactly the same question. Why should my company pay all the damages when it was insuring only one of the responsible parties.

To whom will the insurance companies turn for recompense? Perhaps the manufacturers of the life support equipment? It could be argued that until the life raft vanished (sunk) and the life vests partially failed, Karen, apart from being ‘shocked’, was hale, healthy and fit enough to support her patient for 90 long, cold minutes in open sea.  Fit enough to physically support and mentally comfort the distressed patient, her physical injuries and mental distress all stem from that heroic effort.

..GEOFF THOMPSON: Lawyers representing Pel-Air and its insurers say there is no connection. They argue that Karen’s PTSD stems from her experience of the crash itself and not from her physical suffering.

Other items, not mentioned, but of interest are the loss of the life raft, (who’s to blame) and the failure of the life vests (who’s to blame) and the associated equipment failure (lights and whistles). Who approved the 20.11 procedures (training, evacuation and ditching procedures) ? who was responsible for that approval? and who was the ultimately responsible CP, who simply accepted that “all” was well.

These are just a sample of the questions raised within the association; all demand answers, many would, (or should) have an affect the court decision and the outflow from that ruling.

The notion that the ATSB can ‘re investigate’ the accident after a hearing and that they can be totally relied on to provide ‘investigative probity’ and an acceptable report, after it has been clearly demonstrated that the first report was fatally flawed, is a non sense.

..KERRY O’BRIEN: So there’s the letter of the law and there’s conscience. Somewhere between the two is Karen Casey.

Judgement in her case for compensation will be delivered sometime this year. Pel-Air declined to be interviewed or answer written questions, telling Four Corners that it is “legally bound not to discuss any aspect of the incident pending the final resolution of the court case.”

FWIW – the submission to the Senate is – HERE -. Spam and virus free from Aunty Pru.