Amnesia can now be again added to the failings of integrity and safety focus in ATSB reports on the repeated release today of its study titled Starved and Exhausted: Fuel Management Aviation Accidents.
It leaves out the fuel management related crash investigation of the century, the one in which a Pel-Air flight was ditched near Norfolk Island in 2009.
But the notification of the study by the ATSB using Twitter is even stranger. It’s recycling the study it published according to the fly sheet in March 2013 and the web page the link to the download takes you was last edited in April 2014.
Among the illustrations in the study is the top of page photo of the retrieval of a Piper Cherokee Six that ditched while conducting inter-island charters between Mackay and the Whitsundays in April 2008.
So strange. If the ATSB can haul an entire Cherokee out of the Whitsunday waters, what really stopped it being sufficiently curious about the ditching the Pel-Air Westwind corporate jet from the water close to Norfolk Island to recover its flight data recorder?
What didn’t the ATSB want to know? Now, in 2015, we know that the ATSB and CASA variously withheld or dismissed serious findings about safety deficiencies in Pel-Air’s operations, owned by the generous Labor and Coalition political donor REX, who lavished completely unrelated and out of character gifts of money to both sides of politics in the same year that a discredited ATSB report into the crash was released.
The optics aren’t good. The ATSB re-releases a report that leaves out the most important fuel management accident in its history at the same time as it is trying to get away with conducting a new review of that Pel-Air rash report it insists is fault free.
This is pathetic.