AUGUST 14 2019 – 8:00AM
Angel Flight slams the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s ‘damning’ investigation
FATAL CRASH: The wreckage of an Angel Flight plane that crashed at Mount Gambier in July 2017. Picture: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
A charity that flies sick children from regional areas to the city for crucial medical treatment has hit back at claims it has a fatal accident rate seven times higher than other private flights.
The report comes from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is investigating the safety of Angel Flight compared to other private flying operations, after a second fatal accident in the past decade.
The ATSB investigation came after a pilot and two passengers were killed when an Angel Flight service crashed at Mt Gambier in South Australia in June 2017.
Businessman Grant Gilbert, 78, was flying the SOCATA TB-10 Tobago to take 16-year-old Emily Redding to Adelaide for medical treatment, accompanied by her mother Tracy.
The investigation found Mr Gilbert, who had less than three years’ experience, took off in heavy fog despite not being qualified to fly in cloud using the plane’s instruments.
Shortly after, he likely lost visual cues and became spatially disorientated. The plane crashed within 70 seconds.
The same day, two Rex airline flights into Mt Gambier were delayed by poor weather.
Another plane running an Angel Flight mission crashed in similar circumstances near Nhill in Victoria in 2011, also killing all three people on board.
Angel Flight has more than 3000 volunteer pilots on its books and organises about 1600 flights a year.
A spokesperson for the charity said it engaged two senior expert statisticians and an analyst, all of whom concluded that the rate was not significantly different than other private airlines.
“The ATSB also chose to compare only the passenger-carrying sectors of flights coordinated by the charity,” they said.
“It disregarded the flights … where the aircraft flew from home base to the city collection points, the return trips back to base, and the positioning flights to collect passengers from their own home towns.
“It did, however, include those flights when reporting ‘occurrences’ against the charity flights.”
The statement added that the ATSB had not adopted its own protocols of counting flight hours for general aviation accidents – instead, it counted only flight numbers.
“To disregard both the actual flight numbers and the flight hours, compounds the errors and unreliability of the findings to an extraordinary degree,” the spokesperson said.
Angel Flight expressed frustration it was not acknowledged that all volunteers are CASA-licensed, CASA-trained, and CASA-tested at least every two years.
The charity also shut down the recommendation that it should book people on airlines for travel, claiming it did not factor in cost, flight schedules in regional areas and the strain on families.
It added, it uses airline flights where practicable and necessary, and will continue to utilise these services.
The ATSB report stated Angel Flight pilots were more likely to make operational errors when compared to other private operations.
“This investigation has shown that those conducted for Angel Flight are actually less safe than other private operations, let alone charter and scheduled airline flying,” Commissioner Hood said.
The ATSB reported stated that it considered flight hours as a normaliser, however, were assessed as more limited in answering the safety objectives.
John Smith, captain of flying at Wagga City Aero Club, questioned the report, labelling the data as “rubbish”.
Mr Smith has been a pilot for 45 years, volunteering on and off with Angel Flight.
“It’s very damming and very irresponsible of a department with that much power,” he said.
“It would be a real shame if Angel Flight has to close down because of this discrimination.
“It’s discriminatory against country people because city people have all the medical services at their fingertips.”
Mr Smith added that commercial operations would benefit from the charity operator being shut down.
Via ABC Radio SA and AOPA Oz:
ABC RADIO: ATSB FINAL REPORT AO-2017-069
August 14, 2019 By Benjamin Morgan
AOPA Australia Executive Director Benjamin Morgan speaks with ABC Radio South Australia’s Selina Green.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia Executive Director, Benjamin Morgan, today spoke with ABC Radio South Australia’s Selina Green, discussing the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report into the tragic fatal accident involving TB-10 Tobago VH-YTM in 2017.
You can listen to the complete ABC Radio South Australia interview between Presenter Selina Green, and;
Mr Greg Good, ATSB Chief Commissioner
Senator Rex Patrick, Senator for South Australia
Mr Benjamin Morgan, Executive Director AOPA Australia
Inset pic reference links: https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-a…st10542201 &
Now borrowing a line from this “K” post – Old fashioned washing machines.:
“..This what the GlenB (fill in the blank: Angel Flight..Rossair etc..etc) story is becoming – a tangled mess. IMO; it’s about time our first class Senate crew had questions to ask which demand direct answers – there are just a few…”
Quite frankly it is way overdue that our elected representatives in the parliament, in particular the Senate committee responsible for oversight and scrutiny of this ‘tangled mess’, started actually doing their jobs and boring it up both the totally disengaged Minister and the aviation safety bureaucracy which supposedly he is responsible for…
So to kick off the ‘Bell the Cat’ campaign I refer to a recent Sandy in reply comment to a Senator Fawcett shared Facebook post… :
August 13 at 6:32 PM ·
Consultation is now open on the European Union’s request list of Geographical Indications as negotiations continue for the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement since July this year.
Currently, many of our agricultural exports can only be traded in small quantities, and some industrial products face tariff barriers.
An FTA with the EU has the potential to open up a market of 500 million people and a GDP of $25.1 trillion, underpinning the Government’s commitment to ensuring open trade, a key part of the plan to keep our economy strong. It will advance our election commitment to ensure that around 90% of Australia’s trade is covered by FTAs by 2022.
More information about the AUS-EU FTA is available here: [url=https://bit.ly/2KK54pA?fbclid=IwAR3Sp3Y7VhFW-dX_X82_c2eXMuZSpTtE66Z6YgcPGWh6V08DnactaDuIKbI]https://bit.ly/2KK54pA
And Sandy in reply –
…Laudable effort Senator, too bad we don’t have free trade internally. Your animal CASA has strangled the life out of General Aviation. Qualified instructors aren’t allowed to instruct without near impossible and super expensive permissions. We’ve lost hundreds of flying schools and maintenance organisations and CASA has persuaded you, the Parliament, to migrate, inappropriately and counterproductively, practically all the rules into the criminal code with strict liability. Not good enough, time for change and don’t talk jobs and growth to us before making some fundamental changes to the administration of aviation. Ripe for reform and just enough left of GA to achieve growth. The independent Commonwealth corporate model of governance has failed at great cost. For pity’s sake do something…
Plus: Sandy Reith And to illustrate flying school Oz, $thousands, negotiations months or years and maybe achieve it.
USA. AIM book $14.95 start immediately.
Next a glenb letter to ScoMo…
Dear Prime Minister,
My name is Glen Buckley. I have over 25 years’ experience in the flight training industry. I have operated in the roles of Flying Instructor, Chief Flying Instructor, Head of Operations, and most recently as the CEO of the Australian Pilot Training Alliance. Based on my experience I consider myself a Subject Matter Expert, on aviation safety, training, and compliance matters.
I have raised my concerns internally within CASA, and most recently at the CASA Board level.
As this is primarily, a matter of aviation safety I am compelled to act. My claims are substantive, I have a significant body of supporting evidence, and I stand fully accountable in law, for all my statements and actions.
In the interests of aviation safety, I call on you to immediately remove the following CASA employees from any Safety Sensitive Activities (SSA) within CASA, and that they be returned to duties, pending the results of an independent investigation.
I can only comment on their conduct as CASA personnel, and make no assertions about them personally or outside of the work environment, because I have no knowledge of these matters.
In the conduct of their CASA duties, they will come in to contact with other operators, therefore this is a matter of aviation safety generally.
Those personnel are;
• Mr Graeme Crawford in his role as CASA Group Manager- Aviation.
• Mr Craig Martin in his role as CASA Executive Manager Regulatory Services and Surveillance.
• Mr Will Nuttall in his role as CASA Certificate Team Manager-Southern Region
• Mr Brad Lacy in his role as CASA Flying Operations Inspector- Southern Region.
Those personnel have made decisions that demonstrate “unconscionable conduct” and those decisions compromise the safety of aviation. For clarity, this is an allegation of corruption within CASA.
In making those decisions and negatively impacting on the safety of aviation, I allege they have clearly, repeatedly, and demonstrably breached their obligations in accordance with;
• Their respective Position Descriptions for their respective roles within CASA.
• Obligations placed on them by CASAs own Regulatory Philosophy
• The Ministers Statement of Expectations. I include the Statement of Expectations that was current at the time they made their decisions, and also the current Ministers Statement of Expectations. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2019L00977
• Procedures outlined in CASAs own Enforcement Manual, and most particularly with regards to the Preface written by Mr Shane Carmody in his role as and the manuals obligations, with regards to Administrative Law, Procedural Fairness, and natural justice.
• The PGPA Act https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2013A00123
• APS Values and Code of Conduct. https://www.apsc.gov.au/5-aps-code-conduct
I have been through CASAs Industry Complaints Commissioner, but found the final report showed a lack of understanding of the complex nature of the complaints, as that department would generally deal with more “administrative” matters. I appreciate that I can accelerate my complaints to the Ombudsman, but as this is a matter of aviation safety, and relates to corruption within CASA, I am bringing it to your attention.
Previous correspondence to the responsible Minister has been ignored, hence I bring this to the attention of the Prime Ministers Department.
The purpose of this correspondence is to request that I present my case to you or your nominee, for further assessment.
The conduct of the named personnel, compromises aviation safety, brings harm to the integrity of CASA, and most importantly damages confidence in the public administration of CASAs duties.
As the nature of these claims is substantive, I make myself fully available to meet with an appropriate person and supply evidence in support of my claims.