ATSB doesn’t list Qantas tail strike, lists Virgin incident
A Qantas jet has a scary takeoff, kissing runway with tail, ATSB does nothing. A Virgin Australia jet has scary landing at Gold Coast, acquaplanes down runway, ATSB investigates. Huh!
In an election year it’s quite clear no-one in government or opposition really gives a damn about questionable standards in air safety investigations in this country.
And this is not about the we-are-safe piffle that comes out of both sides, which is part of the not-giving-a-damn ritual.
It is about the ATSB failing to list a tail strike by a Qantas 767 departing Brisbane airport on 31 January, but notifying an inquiry into a Virgin Australia wind shear and acquaplaning incident on landing at the Gold Coast airport in atrocious weather on 28 January.
Both incidents are referenced with more detail on the Aviation Herald site under its entries for 1 February.
In the Virgin Australia incident the pilot regained control of the 737 after it slid briefly out of control down the runway. In the Qantas incident the detail in the Aviation Herald report suggests this was a minor, non damaging incident handled correctly by the airline.
Which while reassuring is beside the point. When any airliner makes contact with the runway with its tail during take off, that is, metal touches tarmac at significant velocity, it’s charter requires it to statistically record and notify of the incident, because statistics, patterns, and associations of various elements of flight is a key part of its role in support of air safety in Australia.
It says so in its own material.
For an organisation whose integrity and trustworthiness is up for attention by a Senate Committee inquiry into its allegedly dishonest, deceitful and inappropriate final report into the Pel-Air crash of an air ambulance near Norfolk Island in 2009 leaving out a scary takeoff incident by one Australian airline while investigating a scary landing by another isn’t right.
The short odds would be on the ATSB also investigating the Qantas incident, and blaming administrative lag for not listing it, which in itself, is unacceptable.