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In accordance with Section 19CB(2)* of the Air Navigation Act 1920, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will not be attending the accident site of the fatal crash of the Hughes 300 helicopter, VH-THM, rather an office investigation will be carried out.

The rationale for this decision is as follows:

  • The Bureau's main focus is on the safety of fare-paying passengers.
  • Bureau resources are currently heavily committed to a number of high-profile occurrences involving fare-paying passengers including QF1, Whyalla Airlines flight 904 and the recent Beechcraft King Air, and the systemic investigation into fuel contamination.
  • The circumstances of this occurrence do not suggest that there will be any new safety lessons to be gained from a full ATSB investigation.

*Director's power to investigate accidents etc

19CB.(1) The Director may investigate:

(a) the circumstances surrounding any accident, serious incident or incident that occurs involving or affecting an aircraft in Australian territory; and

(b) any safety deficiency involving or affecting an aircraft that arises in Australian territory; and

(c) the circumstances surrounding any accident, serious incident or incident involving or affecting an Australian aircraft outside Australian territory; and

(d) any safety deficiency that arises involving or affecting an Australian aircraft outside Australian territory.

(2) Subsection (1) does not impose on the Director any duty to investigate a particular accident, serious incident, incident or safety deficiency.

(3) The Director is not subject to any liability whatever for failing to investigate a particular accident, serious incident, incident or safety deficiency.

Media contact: Peter Saint B: (02) 6274 6590, M: (0408) 497 016
 
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Last update 01 April 2011