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Merged: Senate Inquiry

Old 12th Mar 2014, 01:39
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Day 294 and counting…

It has been 1577 days since the ditching of VH-NGA; 546 days since Senator X first moved..

“…Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (11:55): I move:
That the following matters be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 November 2012:
(a) the findings of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau into the ditching of VH-NGA Westwind II, operated by Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd, in the ocean near Norfolk Island airport on 18 November 2009;
(b) the nature of, and protocols involved in, communications between agencies and directly interested parties in an aviation accident investigation and the reporting process;
(c) the mechanisms in place to ensure recommendations from aviation accident investigations are implemented in a timely manner; and
(d) any related matters.

Question agreed to….”
...and 294 days (& counting) that we have waited for two successive governments to respond to…“a damning, a damning report into the Aviation Transport Safety Bureau's investigation of Pel-Air flight VH-NGA off Norfolk Island in 2009…”

Now finally, it would appear that, the tabling of the government response is imminent (within next fortnight), so in the last days of miniscule anxiety (or not) I thought some flashback moments may help to fill in the time…

The Senate Estimates on the 29 May ’13 (besides the battle of the two Big Macks) was a significant event. It began with the Heff setting the serious non-partisan concern of the RRAT committee…“Bugger it—the questions and the answers are the questions and the answers”:
Besides the numerous references (throughout the day) by the Senators for an urgent government response to the PelAir report; the start of the NX CAO 48.1 DM journey (post#548) and the battle of the two Big Macks, there was also some other (no less) significant moments that may have passed scrutiny from the IOS..

First there was Nick’s further inquisition on the now infamous Chambers Report:
In which Senator Xenophon’s QONs were answered like this:

Senator XENOPHON: I have got two more questions. What prompted you to focus on the Bankstown office?

Mr McCormick: I will take this on notice, but from memory there were over 77 certificates being managed from a very small office. In other words, an enormous amount of surveillance was being done at Bankstown.

As advised during the hearing, the CASA Bankstown Office was managing a large number of certificates at the time and they were also the office responsible for the oversight of Pel-Air.

Senator XENOPHON: My understanding is that there was not a covering note or any associated note with the report, but I would like to know whether there was one.

Mr McCormick: To my knowledge there was not, but we will take it on notice.

CASA provided a copy of a covering Minute to the Director of Aviation Safety (advising that the “Chambers Report” was attached) to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport during the Aviation Accident Investigations Inquiry, which is available on the Inquiry website. CASA was not able to find any other covering or associated notes to this report in its records.
Q/ Will the DAS (soon to be retired) ever escape the all pervading stench of “Wodger’s Weport”??

At the tailend of the FF inquisition there was a scene that encompassed Senators Heff & Edwards that we also may have missed in amongst all of the other shenanigans of the day…
Comment 1: Heff’s concerns, in regards to the RFS firebombing ops, is quite disturbing in light of the Dromader firebombing tragedy on the 24 October 2013. Wonder if there were any minutes taken of that meeting??

Comment 2: Senator ("Mea culpa after mea culpa) Edward’s question, on reflection, in regards to the Monarch ATSB investigation findings is interesting..
Perhaps a case of 21 years of FF/Dept/Govt obfuscation, procrastination and mea culpa after mea culpa?? . Wonder if it was wise for Kingcrat to draw attention to the fact that he has apparently been a silent witness, in the shadows, for that 21 years??

All in all it would seem that after the 29 May ’13 Estimates hearing there was a lot of behind closed doors meeting going on, oh to be a fly on the wall…

Dear miniscule…TICK..TOCK !
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Old 15th Mar 2014, 01:05
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Devil Wodgers Weport we-visited!

Again to while away the time until the miniscule's response (and for IOS amusement {upon reflection}..), a golden moment and a significant turning point in the PelAir inquiry.....please enjoy..

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Old 17th Mar 2014, 09:30
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I might have missed it but on the recommendation of the Senate Enqiry two simple questions.

Have the recorders been raised yet?? It is still possible they can provide some useful answers. Or is it in someone interests for this not to be so. I was, at around that time, in the throes of spending well over $600k to make an aircraft compliant. It did not make the aircraft any safer, just provided the obvious opportunity to learn if it did go upside down.
So why bother if you are not going to raise them.

And, shortly after the accident was there a vessel capable of doing so nearby and if so why was it not tasked to do so and who ordered it not to. I have seen the underwater video and from my limited knowledge of things underwater It seemed hardly challenging.
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 09:41
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I'm pretty sure it is still a no.

there were offers to help raise them I seem to recall

Sure the senators report covers this.

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Old 17th Mar 2014, 20:21
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At Senate Estimates last week Mr Dolan reiterated ATSB's earlier decision not to retrieve the OBR devices.

ATSB has no interest in the content. It might confirm that the timing of and errors in the weather information transmitted to NGA misled the crew.

Why someone else hasn't already retrieved them is beyond me. If I'd been the PIC, I would have had them out a long time ago (after consulting with the insurance company).
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Old 17th Mar 2014, 22:24
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The recorders are at 50m. THe wreck has been dived on by the local professionals. It is just outside the sport diving limit (42m) but easily withing any professionals range using decompression technique and maybe heliox mixture.

It should have been an afternoons work to retrieve them. One can only conclude that the ATSB deliberately did NOT want their contents revealed because it would have given the lie to the story and subsequent fitting up of Dominic James.

If the wreck has not broken up, they are probably intact and readable, assuming they are solid state devices. A private expedition could get them, but my guess would be that ATSB would attempt a legal move to sieze them and suppress the contents if they were retrieved.

I've dived on "Blackjack", a B17, in New Guinea and its still intact at 42m after all this time.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 01:40
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official obdurance is all the more reason to privately retrieve them and ask the FAA to do the decoding.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 03:29
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Beaker lifelines and the ‘man at the back of the room’??

The question has been put, numerous times, on why it is that Beaker has repeatedly refused (including just recently in Senate Estimates & QONs) to grab the lifelines thrown by the Senators, the revelation of the Chambers report and FRMS SAR was one such lifeline:

Senator Fawcett’s QONs were answered like this:
1. ATSB Response:
The ATSB has reviewed the Chambers Report to see whether it contained evidence that might support substantive changes to the report of the investigation into the Norfolk Island ditching. In this context, it should be noted that the ATSB had already, as part of its investigation, assessed the content of CASA’s special audit of Pel-Air and had regard to that audit in finalising its report.

It should also be noted that the primary (but not sole) purpose of an ATSB investigation is to establish the factors that contributed to an accident, and that the Chambers Report does not contain any new evidence that organisational factors were likely to have contributed to the accident.

In the view of the ATSB, there is insufficient additional material within the Chambers Report to support changes to the existing findings of the ATSB report or to require new findings. As regards the accident flight, the Chambers Report reflected what was separately reported (and available to the ATSB) in the reports of CASA’s accident investigation and of its special audit of Pel-Air.

The Chambers Report could have been an indicator to the ATSB of potentially relevant organisational issues within Pel-Air and CASA. The report’s availability to the ATSB investigation would likely have led to a review of the scope of the investigation to determine whether there needed to be further examination of possible organisational factors in the accident.

That said, it is unlikely that the Chambers report would have led to substantive re-scoping of the investigation, since the CASA accident investigation report already indicated the existence of organisational deficiencies and the ATSB safety factor identification processes include the consideration of organisational factors as part of the scope of an investigation.

The ATSB does not consider that lack of access to the Chambers Report was a constraint or limitation to the ATSB investigation and its assessment of factors contributing to the accident.

The ATSB has also reviewed the CASA fatigue audit. The ATSB notes that it provides more detailed information and evidence to support the FRMS findings listed in CASA’s Special Audit (which were briefly summarised in the CASA Accident Investigation Report). The CASA FRMS audit identified several important safety issues associated with Pel Air’s FRMS. However, the audit report does not provide any new information that would assist with determining the level of fatigue associated with the accident flight, and the main themes of the report do not appear to be associated with the circumstances of the occurrence.

As the ATSB has previously advised the Committee, any judgement about whether to include, within the scope of a safety investigation, matters that are not contributory to the occurrence involves considering a range of factors. In this case, the ATSB was aware that CASA was conducting a review of the operator’s FRMS. Accordingly, the ATSB judged that the safety enhancement value of considering this non-contributory issue in its investigation was limited.
Beaker maintaining his obstinate stand on the PelAir investigation, besides decimating the reputation of the ATsB, is akin to committing public servant suicide.
Senator X take on Beaker’s position…NX media release 19 June 2013 and in his 04 March adjournment speech, where he said..“ I do not understand how Mr Dolan's position in the ATSB is tenable”.

So what is it that is so terribly damning in all these shenanigans that would cause an essentially rational (muppet) like Beaker to commit harakiri?? Could it be that someone has got leverage on Beaker; or maybe Beaker is just a loyal bureaucrat prepared to fall on his own sword for his miniscule; or maybe he just believes he is right and the rest of us are wrong??? Either way when he goes the rest of the bureau commissioners must also go because they are obviously complicit in the Beaker hardline view on the PelAir report…

Rumour has it that the AFP investigation is still very much active so maybe, for the benefit of the AFP investigators, we should re-examine the key moment where Beaker apparently did a complete 180 back in February 2010, mentioned here by Senator Heffernan..:

Link for ATSB email:Internal ATSB email regarding the ATSB and CASA's approach to the Pel-Air investigation (dated 9 February 2010), received 10 October 2012;(PDF 1093KB)

As mentioned in the last couple of posts, there is also the outstanding issue of the unrecovered CVR/FDR…

Sunny: "...One can only conclude that the ATSB deliberately did NOT want their contents revealed because it would have given the lie to the story and subsequent fitting up of Dominic James..."

And from Nick’s adjournment speech:

The committee also raised concerns about the ATSB's decision not to retrieve flight data recorders from the ditched plane despite the ATSB's responsibilities under the International Civil Aviation Organization's annexe 13 ruling. The committee was so concerned with Mr Dolan's comments on this front that it stated in its report:

Mr Dolan's evidence in this regard is questionable and has seriously eroded his standing as a witness before the committee.

This is an incredibly strong statement in regard to a senior public servant. I do not understand how Mr Dolan's position in the ATSB is tenable. And yet, neither the previous government nor the current government has formally responded to the committee's report—but I understand it is coming shortly.
It should be remembered that the ATSB decision not to retrieve the CVR/FDR was not always the case, well at least up until the release of the Aviation Occurrence Investigation AO-2009-072 Preliminary report :
The ATSB has interviewed a number of witnesses and people who were associated with the occurrence, and is assessing the feasibility of recovering the aircraft Cockpit Voice and Flight Data recorders from the seabed.

The investigation is continuing and will include further examination and analysis of the:
•meteorological information and its effect on the decision making and actions of the crew during the flight
•fuel planning relevant to the flight
•operational requirements that were relevant to the conduct of the flight
•crew resource management
•aeromedical flight classification and dispatch.

The remainder of the investigation is likely to take some months. However, should any critical safety issues emerge that require urgent attention, the ATSB will immediately bring such issues to the attention of the relevant authorities who are best placed to take prompt action to address those issues.

Hmm it would appear that from January through to August 2010 was where it all went south for Beaker (& the ATsB), if I was the AFP investigator (IIC) I’d be asking some serious questions about that point in time..(hint?)

Dear Miniscule, 6 more sitting days to go TICK TOCK!

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Old 18th Mar 2014, 07:28
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Terms of Reference - ATSB Brief to TSB of Canada

Question sarcs - What were the TOR issued to TSB of Canada and why have these not been made public.

That the victims have not been interviewed probably gives the answer to this question!!

Love to be "The Man at the Back of the Room" with beaker!! and get the answer.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 12:03
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Incomprehensible. That they were not recovered when we all know there was little or no technical difficulty and relatively low cost.

CAO 20.18 Sect 6 Is very specific about carriage of recorders including maintenance and so on. I have written the cheques and even cancelled flights to remain compliant,

So if it is a legal REQUIREMENT, and in this particular case there is no relief for unserviceability on dispatch, neither were they recorded as an MEL item, what possible justification can there be for their not being recovered.

It is a significant cost of operation for the operator, for the ATSB or CASA to suggest they don't have the budget nor justification for their recovery is not just incomprehensible its just plain old fashioned bullshit.

And it smells even worse. To high heaven in fact.

In the scheme of things I might have even been moved to fund the recovery if I had been made aware.

I am remain open to be educated on this matter.
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Old 18th Mar 2014, 13:04
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Question sarcs - What were the TOR issued to TSB of Canada and why have these not been made public.

Canadian safety investigators to review and compare ATSB processes
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) will conduct an independent external review of the ATSB’s investigation processes and publish the results. The review was announced today by TSB Chair, Wendy A. Tadros and ATSB Chief Commissioner, Martin Dolan.
The review, to begin with an initial visit by the TSB team this month, will provide an independent and objective assessment of the ATSB’s investigation methodology and processes.
The review team will benchmark TSB investigation methodologies with the ATSB’s and compare them with international standards. The review will also examine how ATSB methodologies and processes have been applied to ATSB investigations and compare them with TSB approaches.
Mr Dolan said the review is a new step in the ATSB’s continuing close cooperation with other international investigation agencies. It will provide both organisations with a significant learning opportunity.
“I invited the TSB to conduct the review because we are always looking to improve our investigation systems and approaches,” Mr Dolan said. “I’m grateful that our Canadian colleagues have agreed”.
“The review will identify best practices from both organisations that we can adopt to improve how we investigate accidents and occurrences and improve transport safety.
“The TSB is well placed to conduct this review as they have a similar legislative framework to the ATSB and a long-standing commitment to systemic investigation to improve safety.”
It is anticipated that the TSB will produce a final report early in the northern spring of 2014. The report will be published by the TSB and available on the TSB website.
Any questions about the TSB review should be directed to the ATSB on 1800 020 616.
Looking at methodologies and processes. NOT a specific accident like Pel Air. But I bet they claim more than the limited TOR allowed.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 07:26
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Government Response to AAI report

Only made a quick scan....basically put, the miniscule has squibbed on overruling Beaker on both reopening the investigation & retrieving the CVR/FDR...

Here is the link for what appears to be a typical Laborial wet lettuce response..: Government Response

Senator X - "Not happy Jan!"

Ps CAA (CAsA Board) amendment bill has been tabled in the Senate! Tick Tock..

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Old 20th Mar 2014, 21:12
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Nick vs miniscule media release

Government soft on Pel-Air findings - 20th March 2014

The Commonwealth Government has let down the travelling public by failing to fully implement the findings of a highly critical Senate inquiry into aviation safety, Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, said today.

The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee’s report into aviation accident investigations (the Pel-Air Report) found serious failures on the part of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regarding the investigation of the ditching of Pel-Air VH-NGA off Norfolk Island in 2009.

“There are very serious matters raised in this report, including how effectively aviation operators are regulated,” Nick said. “CASA and the ATSB seem more interested in protecting themselves than protecting the Australian public.”

Senator Xenophon said the Government had failed to look at the bigger picture in the report, which shows serious systemic failures in both the ATSB and CASA.

“For the most part, the Government seems to accept that the current processes and systems are enough to make sure the ATSB and CASA are working properly,” Nick said. “But the evidence in this report clearly shows that’s not happening.”

“The Government shouldn’t take assurances from the ATSB or CASA at face value.”

Senator Xenophon said he hoped the Aviation Safety Regulation Review, established by Transport Minister Warren Truss, would back up the findings of the committee. The ATSB’s investigative processes, including its report into the Pel-Air ditching, are also being reviewed by the Canadian Transport Safety Board (TSB). However, Senator Xenophon fears the TSB review could be a whitewash because of its limited terms of reference.

“I hope the committee’s report has opened the door for serious change,” Nick said. “I believe the independent review will vindicate its findings, and I hope the Government will have the courage to act on them.”
miniscule wet lettuce MR.. :
Media Statement
20 March 2014

Response to Airline Accident Investigations Report
TODAY Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss announced the Australian Government’s response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee’s Report into Aviation Accident Investigations.

Mr Truss welcomed the Committee’s report as an important contribution to further improving Australia’s aviation safety framework and commended the Committee on its careful deliberations.

"The Government has agreed to 20 of the 26 recommendations in the report, with a further four of the recommendations being matters for consideration by the independent safety agencies concerned," Mr Truss said.

"Key recommendations that the Government has agreed to include improvements to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) investigative and reporting policies and procedures, and the establishment of better and more transparent information sharing and governance arrangements between the ATSB and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

"A number of initiatives have already been implemented to address many of the recommendations in the report.

"In November last year we established an independent Aviation Safety Regulation Review, which is expected to bring forward a number of options for the Government’s consideration on further improvements to Australia’s aviation safety regulation framework.

"The Review, being undertaken by a panel of leading international aviation safety experts, is also examining options for reducing the cost of regulation on industry."

The Aviation Safety Regulation Review Panel is expected to deliver its report to the Government by the end of May 2014.

Mr Truss said since receiving the Senate Committee’s report, an independent peer review of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau had also commenced which is examining the Bureau’s methodologies and processes, concerns about which were raised in the Committee’s report.

The peer review of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is being carried out by the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, which is also expected to finalise its report in May 2014.

Mr Truss added that the government has also recently introduced legislative amendments to strengthen the CASA Board by providing for an additional two members.

"These amendments will allow the Government to increase the level of aviation experience on the Board and allow an expanded Board to oversee CASA’s new strategic direction, which the Government will issue to CASA after it has considered the Aviation Safety Regulation Review Panel’s report," he said.

A copy of the Australian Government’s full response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee’s Report into Aviation Accident Investigations is available online at:
Hansard link for NX & DF on the Govt Response tabling HERE

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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:30
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PelAir response

A summary of the response is at:

Summary of PelAir Government response

The summary above details the extent to which casa and atsb are just using the process of "Government Reply", which is really just the Departments [via Mrdak] directing traffic.

Nothing new here creamie, but the IOS are onto them, as is Senator Xenophon and the Committee.

There is a real need now for the Aviation Committee [ASRR] to hold the line against casa and atsb and get the change that the aviation community really requires.

Assistance to the Aviation Industry

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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 00:17
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Battlelines drawn!

I agree with UITA's sentiments that the Govt response is typewritten bureaucratic spin authored by the Kingcrat i.e. the fix is well and truly in place.. The miniscule's complicity in the signing off of this spin and bulldust, is a typical Laborial soft c#cked approach to potentially politically embarrassing unknowns.... I'd be interested to see if the Truss bandaid response was pretty much the same as the Albo draft response..??

However there is a number of positives in this reply as 77% of the recommendations were actually agreed to in principle and weren't white washed like the last inquiry by the Great White Elephant Paper...

It's unfortunate that the two most critical recommendations (reopening the investigation & retrieving CVR/FDR) were dismissed, however we all knew that this miniscule would, from past form, always back the ATsBeaker opinion on this...

So to the Govt response..

To begin with here is a basic summary from Australian Flying, with comments from DJ included:
Minister Responds to Senate Inquiry Recommendations 21 Mar 2014

The Federal Government has responded to the recommendations made by the Senate inquiry into the Pel-Air Norfolk island ditching investigation.

In a statement released by Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Warren Truss yesterday, the government said it accepted 20 of the 26 recommendations made by the Senate.

“The Government has agreed to 20 of the 26 recommendations in the report, with a further four of the recommendations being matters for consideration by the independent safety agencies concerned,” Truss said.

“Key recommendations that the Government has agreed to include improvements to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's (ATSB) investigative and reporting policies and procedures, and the establishment of better and more transparent information sharing and governance arrangements between the ATSB and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

“A number of initiatives have already been implemented to address many of the recommendations in the report."

However, the government has rejected calls to recover the flight data recorders and to re-open the ATSB investigation, two key aims of holding the Senate inquiry in the first place.

According to the response, recovering the data recorders would be costly and reveal no data that was not available through other sources, and whether or not the investigation should be re-opened was left up to the ATSB.

Dominic James, the pilot fingered by the ATSB report as being responsible for the November 2009 ditching, says the government's response falls short of what is required to make significant change.

"I am concerned this response doesn't go far enough," he told Australian Flying. "My aim was that the truth behind how the ATSB report was compiled be found, and I believe the Senate inquiry did that. Questions over the conduct of CASA and the ATSB have been answered.

"But finding answers and making concrete changes aren't the same thing.
"There are some positives, but the fundamental recommendations have been let go, chiefly the one that called for the ATSB report to be rewritten.
"The government should have embraced all the recommendations. This was a landmark Senate inquiry in terms of its scope and the expertise, and I think the government should have listened more."

For James, who has long maintained the stance that the ATSB report overlooks the significance of deficiencies at Pel-Air, Truss' response yesterday is not the end of his campaign.

"I'm going to keep pushing until the ATSB report is rewritten. How can you have a reports that says Pel-Air was compliant when they were in fact responsible for regulatory breaches.

"You can't have one government document [the ATSB report] saying one thing and another [a CASA audit of Pel-Air] saying the opposite. How did Pel-Air escape any meaningful action being taken against them?"

Truss's statement and the full government response to the RRAT recommendations are available from the Department of Infrastructre and Transport website.
Okay and the Govt response to recommendation 1:
Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the ATSB retrieve VH-NGA flight data recorders without further delay.


The Government notes this recommendation.

However advice from our independent aviation safety agencies, the ATSB and CASA, does not support retrieval of the recorders.

The ATSB has given detailed consideration to the Committee’s recommendation.

The ATSB has reached its position on the basis that:

  • the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) covered communication between the crew for the last two hours of the flight which is after the critical instances and decision points of the flight i.e. receipt and assimilation of the various weather updates and decisions on flight planning and fuel management; and
  • the flight data recorder (FDR) only recorded five basic parameters and would provide limited benefit to the understanding of the accident.
Therefore with respect to the ditching of aircraft VH-NGA, the ATSB advises that data to be obtained from the CVR and FDR would offer little information directly relevant to the key safety issues in the investigation not already available from other sources.

The ATSB has also advised that any information obtained would not likely lead to any commensurately significant safety learning or improvement to transport safety. Retrieval of the recorders would also not represent a proper use of limited public resources, consistent with the provisions of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999, with which the Chief Commissioner is obliged to comply. It is considered unlikely to lead to a better understanding of any significant lessons learned for the aviation industry.

The current international position, which is what applies to the Committee’s recommendation, is that the relevant International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annexe 13 provides that effective use shall be made of flight recorders in accident or incident investigations.

Determining effective use involves weighing up the likely safety benefits to be derived from the information obtained, alongside the cost of the recovery action and having regard to where a crash site is difficult to access.

The Government is however cognisant of the Committee’s concerns over the carrying out of the investigation and therefore supports the current Canadian Transportation Safety Board peer review of the ATSB investigation methodologies and processes having regard to Australia’s obligations under ICAO Annex 13. The peer review report is scheduled to be completed by May 2014
Given recent (and past) comments on here about the logistics of recovery of the CVR/FDR, make this response an absolute joke and a shocking slap in the face to the intellect of all IOS members plus 'the man at the back of the room!'

It is a pointless exercise (& vomitous in parts) to rehash all of the Govt response to the recommendations but one constant theme throughout the response is that the ATsB & FF are..."independent statutory authorities".. That would certainly be true with FF (dictatorial, unaccountable, Judge Jury Executioner & trough dwellers might be more appropriate..), however one thing the PelAir inquiry more than adequately highlighted is that the ATsB claim of independence, under Beaker, is a laughable myth... The ATsB is no more than a hand puppet for both the Dept & FF to play around with...

Senator X:..."What is vitally important about the recommendations from this report is that they do not stand alone. They were made in the context of evidence that showed a serious and systemic lack of rigour from both the ATSB and CASA. Any responses from the government that claim that existing policy or procedure addresses the committee's concerns cannot be accepted, because this report clearly shows that existing policies and procedures do not work. Instead, the flight crew of VH-NGA were made scapegoats for regulatory failures...

...This report also called into question the relationship between the ATSB and CASA, and whether the intention of the memorandum of understanding between them is being met. The purpose of CASA is to ensure Australia's aviation safety regulations are being met and are serving their purpose. Therefore, if an incident investigated by the ATSB reveals a gap in that oversight, it is the ATSB's duty to report it..."

And the TSBC review..well let us again refer to Senator Nick on that one..

"....I note that the government has already established its review into aviation safety, and that the ATSB has already invited the Canadian transport safety board to consider its investigative and reporting processes in relation to the Pel-Air incident and other matters. But I do have serious concerns about the Canadian process. Those concerns are not about the integrity of the Canadian transport safety board, but about the fact that it seems that their terms of reference are so circumscribed. They have yet to interview or obtain information from the Senate committee, from the pilot involved in that incident or from experts who gave evidence to that committee..."

So the battlelines are well and truly drawn, again best summed up by Senator Nick:
The government should take a similar approach to considering this report. Sadly, it has not. In what environment is the ATSB and CASA operating? What are their cultures like? Are they likely to enforce the systems and procedures already in place, or do changes need to happen? This report gives us the answer to many of those questions. The next question is whether the government will take them into account and act appropriately. I seek leave to complete my remarks later.
More to follow..
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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 00:52
  #1796 (permalink)  
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The increase in the size of the CASA Board is the only action the Laborials will take in response to all this. Anyone who believes otherwise is deluded.

A few people will wait for, and greet with credulous enthusiasm, the ASSR Panel Report. But the outcome will be the same as all the other Reports.

I see in another thread some people doing their level best to insult the intelligence and alienate one of the incoming non-major party aligned Senators.

And pilots and the little end of aviation industry in Australia wonder why they remain the playthings of the powerful.
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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 08:41
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***** taurorum animas conturbit


You are 1,000% correct regarding the Government's ridiculous response about the refusal by ATSB management to recover the recorders.

I cannot believe Truss and Co have been so fkucing rock-hard STUPID that they to accepted the reasons provided by Dolan and Co. to justify the ATSB's failure to recover the recorders.

Look carefully at the timeframes - the decision NOT to recover the recorders was made at an early stage of the investigation as far as I can understand, so how come, at that EARLY stage, was the ATSB so confident that the recorders wouldn't reveal data that wasn't available from other sources.

It's totally implausible to think that was seriously entertained by Dolan and Co.

I can think of some REALLY, REALLY important data that might have been revealed from the CVR - and it concerns information that wasn't really covered properly by the investigation - THE ROLE OF THE CO-PILOT.

Also, it would have revealed what was discussed by the crew regarding the decision to ditch, and in particular, what instructions were provided to the occupants.

The Minister's response to Recommendation 1 defies belief, and provides a stark indication that the Minister, like his predecessor, really doesn't have a clue what it's all about, and that he seems to believe, like the idiot running the ATSB, that bulsh1t baffles brains.

There is NO hope while this nonsense continues.

Creampuff's right, time to lobby the marginals.

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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 09:42
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There are many more questions that could be answered by the recorders.

Particularly the CVR. What's to lose. Hmmmm?

It actually begs the question. Are we to base investigation results on basically uncoroborated evidence and "views"!
It wouldn't be the first time that "evidence" offered on recollection was not supported by other facts. The only way that can become incontrovertible is why CVRs are installed in the first place.

I for one wont rest until they are!

And, otherwise what's the point in mandating them?
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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 10:00
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These days the ATSB merely jumps to a convenient conclusion and doesn't bother pursuing anything that might cast doubt on that conclusion. Here's what the AAAA submission to the ASRR Panel says on this issue:
AAAA expressed strong concerns to ATSB management with previous attempts during investigations to attempt to mould evidence to fit a theory, rather than objectively analysing and presenting the evidence available.
That the Laborials are prepared to acquiesce in the ATSB's refusal to retrieve NGA's OBRs is a very sad indictment on the weakness of the fabric of government in Australia.
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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 12:35
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casa is out of touch with the Aviation Industry

The following, from a speech in Parliament in 31 October 2006 by Senator McLucas:

Shadow Minister for Transport Kerry O’Brien and Queensland Labor Senator Jan McLucas have renewed Labor’s demand for a full Senate inquiry into the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Today’s call was prompted by the latest revelation of how much CASA knew about the unsafe practices of Transair prior to the tragic accident in July 2005 at Lockhart River. This accident cost 15 lives and was the worst air crash in Australia for nearly 40 years.

“Under intense questioning last night in Senate Estimates, CASA revealed that they were aware of a history of non-compliance with the Civil Aviation Act and Regulations by Transair as far back as 2001.

“Today, as part of the Estimates Committee process, Senator O’Brien has done what CASA has failed to do and that is to table details of CASA’s own findings where Transair has failed to comply with safety standards,” said Senator McLucas.
Goes further to the "fabric of government" and the failure to get proper management by casa and atsb and the lengthy time that this has been out of control.
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