Special safety audit after Norfolk ditching

(CASA statement)

A special audit of two air operators is being carried out by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority following the ocean ditching of a Westwind jet near Norfolk Island last week.

CASA is auditing elements of the operator of the aircraft, Pel-Air Aviation, as well as Regional Express Pty Ltd. Pel-Air is a member of the Regional Express group.

The special audit will look at a range of areas that may relate to the ditching of VH-NGA on Wednesday 18 November 2009.

CASA’s special audit is being carried out in addition to an investigation of the accident by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The CASA audit will not pre-empt the findings of this investigation.

Areas to be examined include fuel policies and practice, flight planning, in-flight operations during changing weather conditions, the check and training of pilots, safety management systems and the inter-relationships between Pel-Air and Regional Express.

CASA has already written to the companies requiring a range of relevant documentation to be supplied.

A request has also been made to interview the pilots of the aircraft that ditched.

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