ATSB updates information about ‘lost’ Virgin Australia 737
The ATSB update on the incident on 28 September in which AirServices Australia lost its awareness of a Virgin Australian 737 for most of its flight between Sydney and Brisbane is a detailed reminder that the air traffic controller is a danger to the safety of flight in our skies until it fixes some significant deficiencies in the competencies of its controllers and its management.
This was an incident in which the original notification of the incident to the ATSB was amended to tell the truth to the ATSB after an initial attempt to portray it as a procedural error.
It also lead to AirServices Australia issuing statement that lied about the nature and seriousness of the incident, and continuing to lie about it even when Plane Talking published the amended incident notification (below).
This link ends with a guide to the reporting of the incident and the untruthful description of it provided by AirServices Australia in a chronological sequence.
In its attempt to discredit the Plane Talking report AirServices Australia this is what the Acting Chief Executive Officer of AirServices Australia, Andrew Clark, said, in the second of two untruthful statements made to this publication.
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.
The lost status of the flight is however confirmed in this section of this morning’s ATSB update.
The 737’s flight data record had been inhibited on the controllers’ displays for a total of 27 minutes, which was equivalent to a flight distance of about 222 NM (411 km). During this period, none of the controllers involved were aware of the aircraft’s presence in their respective airspace. There was a loss of separation assurance. The ATSB has examined the recorded radar data and found no separation conflicts in the affected airspace during that time.
The issues that have arisen from this incident, and many other examples of dangerous and incompetent behavior by the air traffic controller are of acute concern. Australia has an ATC provider with a proven inability to safely and professionally separate airliners, and a management that lies.
This is totally unacceptable, and puts Australian and foreign airliners in our skies at risk.