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View Full Version : Virgin Australia 737-800 lost by air traffic control for 30 minutes


DrPhil
4th Oct 2012, 12:59
Any of our Brisbane ATC friends care to explain what is going on here?

From Plane Talking;
Virgin Australia 737-800 lost by air traffic control for 30 minutes | Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/04/virgin-australia-737-800-lost-by-air-traffic-control-for-30-minutes/)

Air traffic control ‘inhibits’ a Virgin Australia 737-800 into being an invisible projectile for 30 minutes along the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane corridor last Friday morning in one of the most unprofessional and dangerous lapses yet in the sorry record of Airservices Australia.

Last Friday morning a Virgin Australia 737-800 with 168 seats left Sydney for Brisbane.
Somewhere near Newcastle or perhaps a but further up the track, after the controller responsible for its departure from Sydney had handed over the flight to the officer responsible for most of its cruise north toward Brisbane, the flight was ‘lost.’
Its trace on the air traffic control screens was ‘inhibited’ as the ATSB puts it in its incident notification.
The action that was taken to render this jet airliner an invisible projectile was deliberate, in that it involves a considered and concise physical action, and horrifically unprofessional, and there are hints that an attempt may have been made to prevent the enormity of the event being properly reported, although it has been reported, and an investigation has begun.
It flew at high speed and high altitude through the busiest airspace in Australian skies, between Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane, without anyone in air traffic control, or any of the many jets of varying sizes that would have been under control in the space it was using, having any knowledge of its presence.
The first anyone knew that there was an invisible passenger jet flying toward Brisbane was when a Virgin Australia pilot called traffic control at a point where he or she would have normally expected to hear from the ATC system prior to entering the airspace nearer its destination.
The seriousness of this extraordinary situation isn’t conveyed by the summary posted this afternoon by the ATSB (http://atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2012/aair/ao-2012-132.aspx) in notifying that the investigation had been initiated.It was reported that the aircraft’s details were inadvertently inhibited in the Air Traffic Management system for approximately 30 minutes.
There was a loss of separation assurance.
The investigation is continuing.
There is a long and seldom generally reported history of dangerous and incompetent actions by AirServices Australia.
Its record in recent years is indefensibly sub-standard. But this incident represents a new low.
Let’s put it at its simplest.
Airservices is failing to deliver the fundamentals of a safe and secure air traffic control system.
This incident is the clearest of evidence that its standards are totally untrustworthy, and that no airline, foreign or domestic, can truthfully have any confidence that their passengers, their investments, and their brands, are safe in Australian air traffic controlled skies.
We have deteriorated to the level of being a dangerous embarrassment when a 737-800 can fly for half an hour through one of the 10 busiest air routes on the planet without any other aircraft, or the ATC system, having the faintest inkling that it is there, doing something like 850 kilometres an hour, through airspace which includes A380s and 777s as well as a host of airliners of lesser size, any one of which can be destroyed by the inability of a developed country to provide a professional and well managed air traffic control system.
No doubt the usual fawning excuses will be made. But the facts involved in this particular incident ought to be of the gravest of concern to air travellers and the airlines and our political leaders.

mikethepomme
5th Oct 2012, 00:44
Any track can be inhibited quite easily, and its done often for good reasons. There are a number of states tracks can have for different controller in the system we use. In this case it should have been jurisdiction (green) and it was inhibited (black). For example, a VFR track leaving CTA. We can still see they are around and pass traffic if required, but don't need to be part of our regular scan, they are inhibited and turn black to us instead of green. If we hand off aircraft to another unit that doesn't talk directly to our system (military approach, non taaats towers, across the fir) we inhibit them once we don't need to know about them anymore.

As far as being noticed once the jet was inhibited, with high level sectors only controlling class A airspace, I am only speculating, but would assuming black tracks are very rarely if ever in the scan of any controller. There just wouldn't... or shouldn't be a situation where a black track would be in your airspace by accident (VFR's tooling around at 30,000ft etc) where as a sector controlling ground up would still be looking at black tracks as lower level VFR around and need to get traffic passed around or clearances given etc.

This is just background on why tracks might be inhibited and why they wouldn't be noticed after they have been. As to how this particular track became inhibited, I'll wait for the report like everyone else I don't know anything about this incident, it could be human error, it could be an undiscovered issue with the system we use, but that is why investigations happen to make sure it doesn't happen again. While its an undesirable situation, for Mr Sandilands to generalise Australian ATC as unsafe and label ASA incompetent is unfair in my opinion.

Lookleft
5th Oct 2012, 01:08
Lets not forget that Mr Sandilands is also a journalist so the story has to have an element of shock horror panic built into it. I'm sure Mr Sandilands is fully aware of the function and purpose of TCAS so another aircraft would have been notified of the stealth Virgin if a collision was imminent.


doing something like 850 kilometres an hour, through airspace which includes A380s and 777s

Why mention specifically 380 and 777 if you didn't want to spice up the story?

neville_nobody
5th Oct 2012, 01:39
I'm sure Mr Sandilands is fully aware of the function and purpose of TCAS so another aircraft would have been notified of the stealth Virgin if a collision was imminent

That is not the point. TCAS is a option of last resort not some standby ATC system.

neville_nobody
5th Oct 2012, 01:43
I'm sure he is, just as he probably more than aware of the TCAS problem leading to the loss of the GOL 737. Belts and braces.


That wasn't a TCAS problem that was a situation where the Transponder wasn't on

Lookleft
5th Oct 2012, 01:46
I'm not suggesting that there isn't a problem with the ATC system and it is not a serious incident, my objection is to the sensationalist reporting that Mr Sandilands engaged in. He was suggesting that there was basically this unguided missile hurtling around the skies and it was a matter of luck that it didn't hit anything. And Brian if you want to follow me around Prune and make snide remarks about my views well and good but you only make yourself look like the idiot.

Baileys
5th Oct 2012, 02:10
There is no avoiding the fact that if the track was 'inhibited' and therefore 'black' as you say, and it was in that state for 30 minutes on a busy airway, then that is bad form by the individual controllers and therefore ASA as a company - regardless of the reason. You don't operate as an ATC with the attitude of 'don't worry TCAS will catch it' as we all know - sometimes TCAS don't work. I would call it luck that there was no loss of separation/airprox event.

To suggest that a controller would not be scanning for 'black tracks' is ludicrous. Everyone knows you always scan for everything all the time. ATC 101 would have taught you that. (if the track was filtered out from the display - well that is a different issue).

mikethepomme
5th Oct 2012, 03:26
Baileys, I wasn't suggesting no-one scans black tracks. I said I would understand people controlling high level class a airspace only, if they didn't. Short of posting errors and inhibited tracks, the only black tracks you would have are filtered or no mode c. And you can safety assume vfr aren't going to be in class a, so you would probably just ignore anything black after a while. This is only an assumption, different if you are controlling lower levels, and my possible explanation for other controllers missing it, as it flew through sectors.

Baileys
5th Oct 2012, 03:48
MTP - ok got it. But are you suggesting that a visible track that was black which had a visible black label attached to it (with callsign, mode C, CFL, GS, whatever, etc.) flew through several ATC sectors in BN centre and presumably several different controllers then without being seen by them on their screens. It was right there on the screen in black (creamy coloured background I assume still) but simply wasn't noticed??

If that is what happened there is something seriously wrong with the controllers concerned and I guess that reflects on the corporate ASA and associated training etc. I've been around a while at a few different places and seen some incredible "things" but I still find that one hard to believe in an Australian ATC environment - there must be more to it than that or things really have gone down hill like the rumour mill keeps reminding me.

Sarcs
5th Oct 2012, 05:21
Well here's a bit more shock, horror, panic from that 'shock jock' aviation journalist....
“ATC officer was ‘counselled at console’ and kept on duty after losing Virgin Australia jet according to informed sources.

The air traffic controller who ‘inhibited’ the flight path trace of a Virgin Australia 737-800 (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/04/virgin-australia-737-800-lost-by-air-traffic-control-for-30-minutes/) rendering it unknown and undetected by the air navigation system and other airlines on the busy Sydney-Brisbane route last Friday 28 September was ‘counselled at the console’ by Airservices management and allowed to continue to separate dozens of high capacity airliners after what some sources have described as the most dangerous ATC incident in this country.

This is an appalling revelation by any test.

Keeping the controller in question on duty after such an incident is contrary to Airservices own safety policy, and indicates that the disarray in the air navigation services is so dire that it exposes the airliners of foreign carriers using Australian airspace to risks that intolerable in their own airspace and excluded under the terms of their own air safety regulations.

It is also alleged that a determined effort was made by Airservices management to ‘inhibit’ the proper reporting of the incident to the safety investigator, the ATSB, which announced yesterday that an inquiry had begun.

According to additional information received by Plane Talking following publication of yesterday’s report (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/04/virgin-australia-737-800-lost-by-air-traffic-control-for-30-minutes/), the continuation of a relatively inexperienced controller in a position of responsibility after sending a passenger jet through some of the busiest air space in the world in a manner that rendered it effectively beneath the notice of the ATC system lead to protests by other controllers.

There was an exchange between management and controllers, and further disagreements over efforts to minimise or keep away from a full level inquiry the failure of process that caused the track of the Virgin Australia flight to be ‘inhibited’ to black against a grey background on ATC consoles.

One of the Airservices officers who contacted Plane Talking said that the inhibiting of an aircraft’s track happens to every flight in the system, but usually automatically after the flight has landed at its destination.

He said it could be done inadvertently by an officer who might be busy, tired and distracted, with a simple keyboard entry.

In the Virgin Australia incident the jet was near Williamtown (Newcastle) at a time when a military flight descending to the air force base, would have had its flight path trace manually inhibited.

The Virgin Australia 737-800 wasn’t detected by air traffic controllers until it its pilots, unaware that they were not being actively monitored by the system, announced their impending arrival at the point where they would normally receive further instructions for their descent to Brisbane airport.

Senator Xenophon has issued a statement drawing attention to wider issues and urging CASA, the air safety regulator, to step up its oversight of Airservices.”

See here for Senator X's response:
Claims that controller who lost Virgin jet allowed to stay at post Xenophon statement (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/05/claims-that-controller-who-lost-virgin-jet-allowed-to-stay-at-post/xenophon-statement-2/)

Old Ben also got a reply from ASA:Airservices says Virgin Australia jet wasn't invisible | Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/05/airservices-says-virgin-australia-jet-wasnt-invisible/)
Guess the old saying..."the squeaky wheel gets the grease.." is very true (sometimes), although it probably helps when your blog gets over a quarter of a million hits a week!

rotorblades
5th Oct 2012, 07:54
High level controllers don't always scan for black tracks as regularly as low level controllers, not helped by training & books saying black tracks are 'not concerned' tracks.

alphacentauri
5th Oct 2012, 08:21
If I was GM Learning Academy and EGM ATC (or whoever is ecting...hehe), I would be more than mildly concerned. A about the incident, but B because it looks like a cover up.

With a senate enquiry around the corner, this might be one to watch.



Posted from Pprune.org App for Android

Sarcs
5th Oct 2012, 20:38
This event is starting to get mainstream coverage, heard St Nick on PM last night..
Probe launched after flight vanishes from radar - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-05/probe-launched-after-flight-vanishes-from-radar/4298466)

AV Herald article and more from PT:Incident: Virgin Australia B738 near Brisbane on Sep 28th 2012, disappeared from radar (http://avherald.com/h?article=456f3f9c&opt=0)

Lost flight of Virgin Australia jet illustrated | Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/06/lost-flight-of-virgin-australia-jet-in-a-graphic-for-slow-learners/)

TWOTBAGS
5th Oct 2012, 20:40
The most accurate part is this..

Let’s put it at its simplest.
Airservices is failing to deliver the fundamentals of a safe and secure air traffic control system.

Now before anyone pulls a knife, this IS NOT a dig at the guys and girls behind the screens and in the towers than do their best at pushing tin.

There are fundamental problems with ATC in Australia imposed by massive shortfalls in runway and airspace capacity but more importantly by people who have lost the direction of AIRSERVICES.... its in the name FFS.

The administrative burden has become so intense that things never get done, we have been waiting over 9 months for an answer from AsA ...... and still no result.

The front of house staff are hamstrung by policy and procedure that many people are struggling to understand, the delivery of service is actually hamstrung by the "perceived" multiple layers of safety.

Airport capacity is beyond a joke at 4 of the nations capitols now... "at the time when demand exists" and even outside those times.

Enroute separation can be tightened..... but whats the point when you cant flow them to land anywhere.

Terminal control is suffering from a major loss of experience. In Brisbane for example there appears to be a major difference between and "A" team and a "B" team and this is highly evident by the actual flow at busy periods

[although this is compounded by people that seem to take an in-ordinate amount of time to line up behind.....:mad:]

Finally there is no one that is prepared to take responsibility for signing off policy. The whole interaction between the runways @ BNE and the Mr Cirrus incident, for quite some time choked BNE until someone bit the bullet..... and ops increased again. Now the brain surgeons have shut it down again for a pipeline.....:confused:

A fundamental return to delivering a service is what is needed, not an all singing all dancing corporate office and fancy nancy computer modelling tools that dont mean jack when procedural process only allows a reduced flow.

Dont get me started on the administrative side, suffice to say if it was a commercially operated business.... it would be out of business by now:ugh:

Sunfish
5th Oct 2012, 22:11
Lookleft:

I'm not suggesting that there isn't a problem with the ATC system and it is not a serious incident, my objection is to the sensationalist reporting that Mr Sandilands engaged in. He was suggesting that there was basically this unguided missile hurtling around the skies and it was a matter of luck that it didn't hit anything. And Brian if you want to follow me around Prune and make snide remarks about my views well and good but you only make yourself look like the idiot.

Actually, by definition, if the aircraft wasn't being controlled by a controller, it WAS a matter of luck that it didn't hit something or at least trigger a TCAS RA.

What I think you really mean is that you think there was a very low probability of such events occurring - that is wrong too.

You need to understand that navigation systems today are extremely accurate and pilots are trained to fly precise courses. What that means is that if Two aircraft are tracking to the same set of waypoints in opposite directions, or one is overtaking another, and happen to reach the same altitude, they WILL collide, as happened in Brazil.

....Which is why I always offset my track from waypoints aka "wandering all over the sky":E

Kharon
5th Oct 2012, 22:38
Got put on hold this morning, waiting for an AsA manager response to a couple of questions. The music was a welcome change to the usual bilge. Something to do with screwing the pooch perhaps. :D


Now where, oh where did I put it?

Here to Help
5th Oct 2012, 23:13
Some background information:

There are two methods to inhibit an aircraft's track.
1. Open the flight plan window for the aircraft, press the inhibit button in that window, or

2. Select the aircraft's symbol on the screen, press (effectively) Shift-F6.

The results are instantaneous. There are no on screen prompts such as "Confirm Inhibit (callsign)?" (as there are for cancelling an aircraft's flight plan, or removing the flight progress strip).

The aircraft label and symbol will turn black (the "Not Concerned" display state colour), the "cleared flight level"in the label (used as a highlight prompt for the receiving sector) will disappear.

The only feedback the controller has that the aircraft has been inhibited is that the label goes from green to black, which entails watching the selected track change as you are pressing the right buttons on the screen or keyboard. Expectation bias can play a great role here.

The next sector to manage the aircraft, if watching at that exact moment, will see a blue label, with highlighed cleared flight level, go to black with no highlight. The approaching aircraft label will not flash orange on handover, approaching the airspace boundary, and there will not be a system prompt for a frequency transfer.

The ATC's Short Term Conflict Alert still works between inhibited tracks and other controlled tracks.

"Black tracks" (also know as "unconcerned" or "background tracks" in the ATC system, TAAATS) are to assist the controller differentiate between the traffic under (or about to be under) their jurisdiction (green, blue or orange coloured) and other traffic beneath or above the airspace that are being managed by another controller, or VFR aircraft in Class G or E airspace not receiving a service (black).

With no further system prompts the presence of the inhibited aircraft is dependent upon the controllers' scan. The system is biased toward assisting the controller ignore unconcerned aircraft by making their labels black, and if it is airspace that is not normally subjected to unconcerned tracks (eg high level enroute) then that bias is reinforced. There are additional tools to enable differentiation between concerned and unconcerned traffic, such as altitude-based filters, which enable display of an aircraft's symbol (the circle) but not the label (callsign, level etc). This is to minimise "screen clutter".

(As an aside, Australian enroute controllers do not have planner controllers available as a second pair of eyes in normal operations.)

This video is an interesting exercise relevant to the scanning for black tracks issue. How well did you do?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo

It is linked to as part of the refresher training CBT module for Scanning.

Cheers

Lookleft
5th Oct 2012, 23:30
Sunfish


Actually, by definition, if the aircraft wasn't being controlled by a
controller, it WAS a matter of luck that it didn't hit something or at least
trigger a TCAS RA.


By definition an aircraft is controlled by the flight crew ATC provide instruction and are meant to monitor the progress of the flight. If they give an instruction that is not suitable to the flight crew then the flight crew will ask for an alternative that is suitable. TCAS is a part of the defense layers that make up modern air traffic systems. Its not the primary defense but it is a defense mechanism. Another defense system is lateral separation of the airways to and from Brisbane. The final defense layer is the flight crew who in this instance was the defense layer responsible for resolving the issue. So to say luck was involved suggests that the other layers of defense are insignificant. TCAS has saved the day on quite a few occasions recently in Australian airspace but as I have stated previously


I'm not suggesting that there isn't a problem with the ATC system and it is
not a serious incident, my objection is to the sensationalist reporting that Mr Sandilands engaged in.


If he was going to report the incident objectively he would have included some reference to TCAS and not included



doing something like 850 kilometres an hour, through airspace which includes A380s and 777s as well as a host of airliners of lesser size, any one of which can be destroyed by the inability of a developed country to provide a professional and well managed air traffic control system.


I would expect something less emotional from a journo (yes the same occupation that has generated much scathing comment on this forum) that at least has a blog dedicated to aviation matters.

Sarcs
5th Oct 2012, 23:59
Fair crack LL the guy needs to earn a crust and his crust is dependant on the number of hits his blog generates and part of that is out-scooping the mainstream media, which in this case he has done very well.

Besides the section you quote..." doing something like 850 kilometres an hour, through airspace which includes A380s and 777s as well as a host of airliners of lesser size, any one of which can be destroyed by the inability of a developed country to provide a professional and well managed air traffic control system"... is a very tame example given today's 24/7 media coverage and the fact it was a developing story.

BS does go onto clarify the TCAS thing further on in his blog...

TCAS is not intended to be a substitute for professional air traffic separation. TCAS is itself inhibited in some situations, and sometimes, it isn’t switched on when it should be.

For Airservices to claim that equipment installed on airliners such as the Virgin Australia 737-800 is part of a safety net to save itself from grossly incompetent management is to be blunt, shocking and nonsensical.
It is also contrary to international practice and our obligations to the safety of foreign airliners as well as our own.

VH-Cheer Up
6th Oct 2012, 00:26
If he was going to report the incident objectively he would have included some reference to TCAS and not included

Quote:

doing something like 850 kilometres an hour, through airspace which includes A380s and 777s as well as a host of airliners of lesser size, any one of which can be destroyed by the inability of a developed country to provide a professional and well managed air traffic control system.
I would expect something less emotional from a journo (yes the same occupation that has generated much scathing comment on this forum) that at least has a blog dedicated to aviation matters.

I'm pretty sure this is all about optimisation of copy for the web. The reference to A380s and 777s was probably included to provide greater presence on search engines.

And if I am wrong, then it's all about sensationalism, because everyone who reads the tabloid press knows A380s and 777s carry 800 passengers each, which would cause a lot media coverage if the appropriate noise abatement procedures were not properly observed.

chuboy
6th Oct 2012, 06:24
I would expect something less emotional from a journo (yes the same occupation that has generated much scathing comment on this forum) that at least has a blog dedicated to aviation matters.

I wasn't surprised until he threw a curve ball and didn't remind us, yet again, that Qantas doesn't have any A380s or 777s in its fleet. :E

Lookleft
6th Oct 2012, 07:44
Sarcs that seems reasonable for the style of reporting and I will acknowledge that BS puts a lot more relevant aviation news than mainstream. The comment about including A380 and 777 also explains why he would include them in the original article. The bit about TCAS you posted is also a lot more factual than emotional. I agree entirely with him that for Airservices to say "well there's always TCAS" suggests their management, like a lot of senior aviation managment, do not have the first idea what their job entails and who their responsibilities are to.

Mazquarie321
6th Oct 2012, 08:26
Whoop de doop about the language in the report, more of concern is what actually happened. Many at would remember the Ansett 737 that went stealth from south of Brisbane down towards Melbourne. The aircraft switched its transponder off. Some of those ATCs are no longer with us. This is the opposite with the switch off on the ATC side and the original method of dealing with it was to counsel the controller at the console and let him/her keep on going? Seriously? Not the first time either. I recall a turbo prop in the teens of thousands turning up at top of descent into Tamworth having flown from 30 Sydney no talking to anyone or couple on any screens. That chap is no longer talking to planes either. I am not asking for the ATC's job here but am mouth agape at the type of manager/management that decided it was no big deal.

Chief galah
6th Oct 2012, 08:32
Wouldn't that little black track be moving fairly swiftly in relation to other tracks?
Wouldn't there be a curiosity factor as to what inhibited track was doing probably about 500 knots?

glekichi
6th Oct 2012, 10:47
Its not the news, its an opinion blog.

He always seems to take one side of a story and sensationalise it with a real axe-to-grind negativity: Embarrassing when he is arguing for your case, and frustrating when he is arguing against it.

That said, its the closest thing to an aviation news source we've got here in Australia.

Roger Standby
6th Oct 2012, 11:51
One wonders if there were enough staff to remove the controller from the console after the incident?

Kharon
6th Oct 2012, 20:58
Senate Estimates 23/5/12. (http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/estimate/ac4cc409-1146-463a-8fcb-70fbd6afc70a/toc_pdf/Rural%20and%20Regional%20Affairs%20and%20Transport%20Legisla tion%20Committee_2012_05_23_1098.pdf;fileType=application%2F pdf#search=%22committees/estimate/ac4cc409-1146-463a-8fcb-70fbd6afc70a/0000%22)

Pages 38 – 42 (PDF) - Air Services Australia: Simply serves to confirm all fears that despite the rhetoric, a clerical empire has been built and will be 'sacked' as needed to produce 'efficiencies' when required; simply unload a thousand or so 'clerks' and shine. Yes Minister, we can shed 400 jobs next year and still maintain our efficiency. Refer Clark page 41 (PDF).

MQ321 # 25 - I am not asking for the ATC's job here but am mouth agape at the type of manager/management that decided it was no big deal.
RS # 28 - One wonders if there were enough staff to remove the controller from the console after the incident?

Agree Ben has to earn a crust in a difficult, competitive cyber world and he is the best/ only one we have for news.

gobbledock
6th Oct 2012, 22:56
Nice video, try watching the one titled ' CASA Inspector In The Room' or 'Elephant In The Room'!!

Safety last.

Prince Niccolo M
7th Oct 2012, 08:34
and Roger Standby said:

One wonders if there were enough staff to remove the controller from the console after the incident? :D :D :D

the alternatives (trivialising the event, protecting a mate, avoid notice of a failure to supervise, protecting the good name of As...no, I can't bring myself to contemplate that!) don't bear thinking about! :=

joe_bloggs
11th Oct 2012, 22:34
Ben Sandilands- Plane Talking update.

A screen grab of an amended incident notification in Australia’s air traffic control system shows that it lied about losing a Virgin Australia flight between two capital cities.

Airservices 'lost Virgin jet' screen grab unmasks its lies | Plane Talking (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/12/airservices-lost-virgin-jet-screen-grab-unmasks-its-lies/)

Baileys
11th Oct 2012, 23:33
Ouch - good source.

Sarcs
12th Oct 2012, 03:33
Andy vs Ben: Who won? You be the judge...
Airservices Media
Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/12/airservices-lost-virgin-jet-screen-grab-unmasks-its-lies/#comment-13837)
The article by Ben Sandilands ‘Airservices ‘lost Virgin jet’ screen grab unmasks its lie’ is simply wrong.

Any suggestion that there is a ‘cover up’ by Airservices is completely false.

The incident that occurred on 28 September was immediately reported in our incident reporting system by line management. A review of the incident by our internal safety management team commenced that day, which is a normal part of our processes. The classification was updated on 2 October with the incident reported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

The ATSB opened their investigation on 4 October. Mr Sandilands posted his initial blog following the ATSB’s public notification of their investigation.
The aircraft was never ‘lost’ to Airservices air traffic controllers. It continued to be displayed on all air traffic control displays managing the airspace and was not in the vicinity of any other aircraft.

Airservices first priority will always be the safety of the travelling public.
Australia’s enviable aviation safety record is dependent on transparent safety reporting through a ‘Just Culture’ policy which encourages staff to openly and honestly report information without concern that it will be used to their detriment.

Sensationalist and inaccurate reporting prior to an independent investigation occurring threatens our strong reporting culture.:{

Andrew Clark
A/Chief Executive Officer

Ben Sandilands
Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink (http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/12/airservices-lost-virgin-jet-screen-grab-unmasks-its-lies/#comment-13838)

Andrew,

You seem incapable of reading your own incident notification, which on amendment said that Airservices was unaware of the situation until the aircraft alerted the system to its approach to Brisbane.

You also seem incapable of understanding the words that “appropriate assessment of known traffic for potential conflicts … did not occur.”
The facts are that your organisation cannot be trusted to safely separate aircraft, and cannot be trusted to tell the truth.:ugh:



Top shot Ben KTBH, although save a few of those grenades for Fort Fumble!:ok:

VH-Cheer Up
12th Oct 2012, 03:57
So a Mach 0.8 blip bleeps its way down the East Coast but nobody notices?

What if it had been a despotic cruise missile or drone on its way to Brisbane, Sydney or heaven forbid, Canberra?

Does the ADF have any separate monitoring of the airspace and are there any links with Airservices information systems?

Chief galah
12th Oct 2012, 05:08
CCTV BN Centre (http://youtu.be/MeI154gaWL4)

Nautilus Blue
12th Oct 2012, 07:13
What if it had been a despotic cruise missile or drone on its way to Brisbane, Sydney or heaven forbid, Canberra?

You do know the difference between primary radar and SSR, and the coverage areas of either in Australia don't you?

Sarcs
12th Oct 2012, 08:34
quick wins sums up the Clark response to Ben's blog quite nicely I would say. Plus he/she seems to know what they're talking about!:ok:
[/URL]quick wins
Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm | [URL="http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2012/10/12/airservices-lost-virgin-jet-screen-grab-unmasks-its-lies/#comment-13841"]Permalink (http://en.gravatar.com/site/signup/)
“The article by Ben Sandilands ‘Airservices ‘lost Virgin jet’ screen grab unmasks its lie’ is simply wrong.”

Not the entire article Mr Clark – to what specifically do you refer?

“Any suggestion that there is a ‘cover up’ by Airservices is completely false.”

What do you call attempting to under report the event Mr Clark? Covering up? Or something else?

“The incident that occurred on 28 September was immediately reported in our incident reporting system by line management.”

The report was issued in it’s original form, despite apparent protestations from controllers who witnessed it. It is reported that those who insisted on proper reporting have subsequently been ‘counselled’ – so much for your Just Culture you later speak of.

Why do you think Senator Xenophon has been asking for clarification of the workings of Just Culture in Senate Estimates?

Your staff simply don’t trust they will be treated fairly. It is probably the same reason your line manager did not choose to correctly report the higher incident level in the first place. Where does the intimidation start Mr Clark? And where do think it will end?

“The aircraft was never ‘lost’ to Airservices air traffic controllers. It continued to be displayed on all air traffic control displays managing the airspace and was not in the vicinity of any other aircraft.” – Mr Clark, you are an accountant. You are not an Air Traffic Controller. You do not have ATC operational knowledge to make that claim. Whoever told you to say that needs to be held to account – but we will presume they are a PR specialist, not an ATC specialist. The fact that this aircraft did not come in to conflict with another was pure luck. We are running out of pure luck Mr Clark.

“Airservices first priority will always be the safety of the travelling public.” – How very reassuring.

“Australia’s enviable aviation safety record is dependent on transparent safety reporting through a ‘Just Culture’ policy which encourages staff to openly and honestly report information without concern that it will be used to their detriment.”

Yes it should be, but the punitive actions within the ATC group against individuals who repeatedly point out the crumbling under resources system are there for all to see. Everyone knows they are an overt warning to shut up or face the consequences. Such is the Just Culture you boast of Mr Clark.

Pavement
12th Oct 2012, 22:20
To be fair, and it has been pointed out, Mr Clark is not an ATC. It is probable that this is the advice he has been given. AsA has some major cultural issues and a strong statement has been made by the selection of the new CEO. I just hope she can challenge some of the ingrained attitudes of the senior managers. Good luck Maam, trust no-one.

Jack Ranga
13th Oct 2012, 04:05
The aircraft was never ‘lost’ to Airservices air traffic controllers. It continued to be displayed on all air traffic control displays managing the airspace and was not in the vicinity of any other aircraft.

Weasel words, The track may have been displayed on a console and may also be described as............not lost. It could also justifiably be described as........lost. They rely on weasel dick words and the complexity of what's being described to bullshit their way out of a very serious incident.

And for christsake: 'it was not in the vicinity of any other aircraft' that makes it alright does it? It's typical of the bullshit political culture that has developed in 'hate castle'

And: 'it continued to be displayed on all air traffic control displays' mmmm, everything's ok then?

To be fair, and it has been pointed out, Mr Clark is not an ATC. But he's the acting CEO, he doesn't know what he is talking about but he is the acting CEO? His comments prove that he has no idea how serious this incident is. To describe it away as 'oh well, it was displayed on a console and it didn't hit anyone' as acceptable, baffles? Accountants/Finance people should NEVER, EVER be CEO's in safety critical organisations.

Sarcs
13th Oct 2012, 05:50
It's typical of the bullshit political culture that has developed in 'hate castle'


'Hate castle' would that be the recently refurbed building talked about in this Senator X question:
Rural & Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
Budget Estimates May 2012
Infrastructure and Transport
Question no.: 74
Program: n/a
Division/Agency: (AA) Airservices Australia
Topic: Alan Woods Building Refurbishment
Proof Hansard Page/s: 38 (23/05/12)
Senator XENOPHON asked:

Senator XENOPHON: I will roll it into one. I am happy for this to be taken on notice. As I understand it, the St Hilliers construction arm went into voluntary administration recently, but ASIC searches could have indicated problems with that contractor for some time. Did you conduct due diligence of the liquidity of St Hilliers at the time you signed up with them?

Mr Clark: It is certainly normal practice for us to conduct due diligence on any tenderer that we are dealing with. In relation to St Hilliers, Senator, I will certainly have to take that on notice.

Answer:

Airservices completed a financial and legal risk assessment of St Hilliers which determined that the risks were tolerable and as good or better than the other tenders for the Alan Woods Building project.


It would appear JR that the 'bean counter' A/CEO can't even apply basic risk assessment protocols into a field that he is intimately more qualified in.

Although the 'BC' A/CEO is not adverse to thumbing his nose at Senator X:


Rural & Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
Budget Estimates May 2012
Infrastructure and Transport
Question no.: 71
Program: n/a
Division/Agency: (AA) Airservices Australia
Topic: CEO Spouse Travel
Proof Hansard Page/s: 36 (23/05/12)
Senator XENOPHON asked:

Senator XENOPHON: On notice, can you please provide details of how much Mr Russell's spouse cost taxpayers?

Mr Clark: Yes. Of course.

Answer:

Airservices Australia receives no Government appropriation.

No he may not be a good risk assessor but he sure has the makings of a good snout in trough 'crat', also evidenced here where his "spin" answer in no way addresses the question:
Rural & Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
Budget Estimates May 2012
Infrastructure and Transport
Question no.: 72
Program: n/a
Division/Agency: (AA) Airservices Australia
Topic: Staff Numbers
Proof Hansard Page/s: 37 (23/05/12)
Senator XENOPHON asked:

Senator XENOPHON: In 2010-11, the figures I have are that the expenditure is $772.6 million, with staff numbers of 3,886, an increase of 29.7 per cent and 890 extra staff members. Of that 29 per cent increase, what increase was there in air traffic controllers in that time?

Mr Clark: The number of air traffic controllers has increased slightly over that period of time. I can certainly provide more detail on notice.

Senator XENOPHON: Not by 29 per cent, though.

Mr Clark: No. Not by 29 per cent.

Senator XENOPHON: I suggest to you maybe only two or three per cent?

Mr Clark: Well, I would certainly have to take that on notice in terms of the sheer number.

But the increase in staff within Airservices Australia has been predominantly around new functions, such as the environment function. Airservices Australia is also now delivering some $200 million worth of capex around Australia both regionally and within capital cities.

That has caused us to increase quite significantly the number of project staff. We have also commenced a range of new services, both aviation risk and firefighting and air traffic control, in at least three locations in recent times.
Answer:

The number of air traffic controllers including trainees increased from 2006-07 to 2010-11 by 9.5%.


Jack I can see why you guys dub it 'Hate Castle' when you have numbnuts like this Captaining the ship.:yuk::yuk:

ps JR your posts sound oh so similar to 'quick wins', or is it just that there are several like-minded people chucking rocks on the roof of 'Hate Castle'?:ok: