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Lockhart River May 7, 2005....9 years ago

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Lockhart River May 7, 2005....9 years ago

Old 29th Apr 2014, 11:35
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Lockhart River May 7, 2005....9 years ago

The ninth anniversary of the Transair crash at Lockhart River at 11:44 am, May 7 2005, is almost upon us. Now is a fine time to remember those who were killed, and the grief that their families still relive today. I post this for one reason and one reason only, and that is to let the families, friends, colleagues and associates of those killed in that accident know that those deaths, injustices, and the pain that troubles and haunts those whose lives go on are not for one moment forgotten.
I have attached below some links to the accidents history. There may be some of our more junior pilots out there who may not be familiar with the accident. For others this may serve as a timely reminder or be an event worth pondering over when we sit back and look at the state of our industry.

Coroners report;

ATSB report;
Investigation: 200501977 - Collision with Terrain - Fairchild Metro 23 aircraft, VH-TFU 11km NW Lockhart River Aerodrome, 7 May 2005

Senate report;

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Old 29th Apr 2014, 11:48
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Lockhart River May 7, 2005....9 years ago

Well done - and a glowing reminder of all those unnecessary deaths in such miserable circumstances.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 12:04
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Perhaps a glowing reminder of the corrupt, incompetent, pack of a....holes
who people the halls of our so called regulator. One can only dream one day the chickens will come home to roost.
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Old 3rd May 2014, 10:01
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The most frustrating thing for me is the recommendations by the ATSB over the RNAV GNSS approach chart design and presentation issues. CASA has done very little with these recommendations apart from now depicting significant topographic terrain on these charts (which has always been an ICAO requirement which they chose to ignore mind you)

We are still left with a unique method of waypoint coding that is not used anywhere else in the world which can be clearly linked to SA issues. You just have to ask why does CASA keep its head in the sand?
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Old 7th May 2014, 02:54
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Up-into-the-air: 5 X 5 with your recent postings...

With so much unaccountability from our so called GURU's in the politically correct Dept. for so bloody long, hurting / costing us so much: we just have to think that a privatised regulator is the way to go ???

Gee, if it was a pvt business: It'd be in court / sued / jailed very long ago !

How long do we have to put up with a ICAO self failing Dept. pls
DutyofCare is offline  
Old 7th May 2014, 03:55
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The research into this avoidable accident, showed that ASA updated the approach when the time for any litigation had passed.
Yes that happened, but that wasn't why it was updated.
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Old 7th May 2014, 07:12
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In late 2008 there was an amendment to PANS-OPS RNAV design criteria (amendment 13 I think) The amendment, amongst other things, reduced the width of the protection area for RNAV approaches. The reduction in width meant that certain obstacles that had been controlling for the design, could now be excluded all together or have a reduced obstacle clearance value applied. This allowed the approach to be re-aligned and further optimised. The opportunity was therefore taken to try and improve the approach where this option had not been previously available.

You will note the procedure was amended in Nov 2009, only 12 months after the ICAO amendment. Noting the normal time to get a new procedure published, this must have been one of the first approaches they looked at improving after the amendment became effective.

The ATSB had the approach independently verified and flight validated. It was correctly designed and depicted according to the rules of the day. There was nothing wrong with the approach


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Old 7th May 2014, 12:15
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Cynical - YES
and Wrong - YES.
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Old 7th May 2014, 21:08
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Thanks Alpha – was it Creampuff who said; when faced with a choice between conspiracy and cock-up; choose Cock-up. Mind you, if Australia had not been in such an indecent 'rush' (2005) to be numero uno in the GNSS stakes, etc. etc....
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Old 8th May 2014, 11:14
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Great replies

I too remember that terrible day, but moreso I remember about 1 year previously when I was on my first trip to CNS in about 10 years in a B717. Looking over to the GA side, I saw Aerotropics had a metro.

Having played the CASA roulette many years prior to get RPT approval for a twin turboprop, I thought that a local operator had stepped up to the mark, had written multi-crew procedures, operations manual etc. as I had and I knew that CASA would have "put them through the ringer" in order to encertain the safest option.

It was explained to me by a most respected senior FOI that:

"If you charter an aircraft, it is your decision, you shop around and get what fits your requirements and budget. When you buy an airline ticket you are a blind consumer and expect us (CASA) to offer you the same regulatory protection as exists on Ansett or Qantas."

When we operated RPT to the Cape and the Straits, we were required to notify CASA if we could not supply a Class 1 maintenance category RPT aircraft for 1 week or more, and that caused our AOC to be questioned severely. For Aerotropics to have operated a charter-category aircraft for over a year, with no multi-crew procedures and to have been allowed to do that simply buggers my mind.

As a final thought, the first conclusion from the coroner was that CASA was not implicated or negligent in any way. It never would have been allowed 10 years prior. Erosion of standards, or just criminal negligence? (Maybe even systemic bureaucratic corruption up to the highest levels?)

Sleep in peace victims - I fear there are more to come.

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Old 8th May 2014, 21:55
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Ned and others, if you haven't seen it, there was a thread on the GA pages related to a Phelan article, published on ProAviation. I found the piece disturbing on many levels; Shane Urquhart, father of victim Sally has decided to abandon his nine year campaign to break the iron ring surrounding the Lockhart tragedy. No doubt we will all forget as time goes by, probably sooner than we aught. Brother – Sarcs – has posted some reading which may interest. It was indeed a sad day, for many reasons.
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Old 8th May 2014, 22:35
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"Sleep in peace victims - I fear there are more to come."

not so negative Ned . .. . . . . even though the entrails
point to some ill portents . . . let us try to be
a little less chicken little

not wanting to rehash the detail of this awful prang, except
to wonder, entirely rhetorically, to what degree the PIC
might be said to have allowed, subconsciously possibly,
his own idea of safety margins, matched to his competency,
to be eroded.

we strive to be safe . . . to never lose sight of the main game
...... to know the book . . . (even if the rules are poorly framed and implemented) . . .. but there is always the possibility that
an unforeseen trap is there to ensnare and disconbobulate.

(TE 901 . . Mount Erebus . .. . Captain Jim Collins . . .. . .
for some fits this hypothesis perfectly.)


one popular ARIA (always remembered instructors' advice) went -

"absence of body can be preferable to presence of mind"

which fits pretty well if you decide you'd rather not risk it at all

The presence of mind and the skill
of Captain Hal Rowell in his MMA F28
one night at Fitzroy Crossing in 1971
has gone down in the annals
of supreme airmanship.


Last edited by Fantome; 8th May 2014 at 22:47.
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Old 11th May 2014, 02:31
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Interesting story that! Illustrates quite well the battle between the bean counters and the operators.
Sadly enough, he got nothing but criticism from the company for proceeding to Derby, even though the forecast was clear, and he was very hurt for many years afterwards by their attitude. The big wheels from Ansett in the East came swarming in to smarten up this “little hick airline”, but no matter what anyone could say, Harold had done a magnificent job in utterly impossible circumstances.
How bl**dy typical. Seems some things don’t change.
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Old 11th Nov 2014, 11:17
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Why was Ian Harvey appointed as "Counsel Assisting the Coroner" in the Lockhart River inquest.
One should break down all the work that Harvey has done 'on behalf' of CASA over the years and calculate his earnings. Some nice trimmings indeed. He must be some kind of 'freak of law', a doyon of counsel, a super skilled legal eagle with capabilities that propel him into the mystique of aviation law!
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Old 14th Nov 2014, 12:46
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Gentlemen, I do not hold any brief for CASA and their neglect of proper procedure and accountability was severely lacking in this case. However, they did not cause the crash.

They were not flying the aircraft on that day.

They were not doing an approach for which only one of the crew were certified.

They were not conducting the approach in a totally cowboy manner with excessive airspeed and dropping below the minimum sector altitude.

Had CASA performed as required in this case it would have undoubtedly saved a plane load of innocent people from being killed but also would have caused many here to rant and rave about how they had unfairly dealt with a good bloke who had given many a start in aviation. A man who removed himself from the gene pool by similar idiot behaviour at the controls of an aircraft and unfortunately took others including a very well respected PRuNer with him, Think of the postings in relation to Airtex if you want an example of what happens when a cowboy gets dealt with by CASA.

You can argue until your blue in the face about the design of the GPS approach but if it had been flown as designed with an appropriately endorsed multi-crew with the pilot monitoring calling out the sector altitudes the crash would not have happened. It was a cowboy who killed those people and company's who operate in that fashion should be the target of our anger.
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Old 14th Nov 2014, 23:31
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The "buck stops" where?

Without wishing to seem too "Islamic" about this, if everybody had stayed in bed, someone was late, or an engine had failed to start on time, the crash maybe wouldn't have occurred either. If that will, then it be done.

CAsA prosecuted Transair, not Aero Tropics despite the fact that the aircraft had Aero Tropics written down the side, the tickets were Aero Tropics and the flying public believed it was an Aero Tropics flight. This can't be likened to a code share and is a blatant disregard. CAsA were aware, I'm advised, of at least one previous incident in the weeks prior, yet nothing appears to have been done that could have played a role in preventing what eventuated.

Phelan once said, who's watching the watchdog?

CAsA do have blood on their hands I'm afraid. They failed in their duty of care to the public. They failed in their duty to the crew. They were either asleep on the job, or were too busy watching a protected tree, they failed to see the unprotected forest.
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Old 14th Nov 2014, 23:56
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Plovett, that is a well articulated response. The only flaw in your comment is that I think you feel most people are blaming CASA entirely for the accident. Perhaps I am misreading you? But I certainly don't blame CASA entirely for this accident. However they did play a hand in it, they were found to be a causal factor, and they did walk away cap in hand from the coroners court and went home to drink a nice scotch and plan the following weekends activities like nothing had happened, while Shane and others went home to visit their loved ones graves knowing full well justice had not been served.
Plovett, there is also the behind the scenes 'stuff' that most wouldn't be aware of which includes corruption, incompetence, laziness, 'cosy friendships' and other assorted items. Those in the know will know exactly who and what I am referring to. Plovett I think you will find that there are some people out there who don't necessarily want to see full blame shifted from Transair to CASA, rather they want to see the correct apportion of blame spread around to where it rightfully belongs, and to see those people, including CASA, brought to justice. Then again maybe justice, true justice, is something that will always lay in the laps of the gods, to be metered out in large doses when the time is right? If so then I look forward to the day when those who lied, concealed and deceived in this accident coverup and diversion reap the whirlwind of their actions.

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Old 15th Nov 2014, 01:27
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It appears Frank, you have no idea about such commercial arrangements and where the operational responsibilities lie. Give it up.

"I'm coming and Hells coming with me"? You having an Abbott shirtfront moment there 377?
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Old 15th Nov 2014, 03:08
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Do you think the passengers who had an Aero Tropics ticket, purchased at an Aero Tropics Travel Agent, who boarded an Aero tropics aeroplane, on an Aero Tropics Regular Public Transport flight, gave any thought to any fine print or commercial arrangements or operational responsibility, be it with Aeroflot, Transair or simply believed the name on the ticket was the operator? I would wager they all expected the regulatory authority to be up to the task of providing all assurances that they would arrive as safely as they would with Qantas.

I prefaced my post with a question. Perhaps you would oblige by telling us how any commercial arrangements have let CAsA off the hook.

Last edited by Frank Arouet; 15th Nov 2014 at 03:10. Reason: Looking left, I didn't see the black iron bar coming.
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Old 15th Nov 2014, 03:18
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Not an "Aero-Tropics" aeroplane Frank, a Trans-Air aeroplane. The fine print is what matters. If you fly on a Qantas branded 717 you will see the same fine print.

Lambast CASA if you wish, but lets not confuse the issue with ill informed rubbish.
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