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The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has released its 2010-11 Annual Report.

'The report summarises a year of major activity and accomplishment for the ATSB, 'said the ATSB's Chief Commissioner, Martin Dolan. 'It also highlights a number of areas of continuing concern for transport safety.'

In its review of transport safety trends, the report highlights:

  • a number of events involving 'see-and-avoid' procedures in the vicinity of smaller airports
  • continuing issues with the training, checking and supervision of pilots
  • the recurrence of known problems in general aviation, including collisions with powerlines, poor fuel management; and pilots flying visually into instrument conditions
  • a pattern of problems, including a fatality, in the safe management of work on rail tracks
  • the continuing risk to life of unsafe working practices in the maritime sector.

'These are potentially worrying trends', said Mr Dolan. 'We will continue to monitor them through our investigations and continue to bring them to industry's attention through our safety communication and education activities.'

During 2010-11, the ATSB completed 133 accident and incident investigations and commenced over 140 new investigations. Many of these attracted national and international interest, including the investigation into the uncontained engine failure on an Airbus A380 aircraft over Batam Island, Indonesia on 4 November 2010. The investigation identified fatigue cracking within a pipe feeding oil into engine bearing structures. As a result, prompt action was able to be undertaken to enable aircraft equipped with this engine type to resume safe flight.

Other investigations identified safety issues with the protection of Boeing 747-438 aircraft systems from liquids, waterproofing in AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters, potentially unreliable airspeed indications in Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft, the supervision of agricultural pilots, training and supervision of charter pilots, potentially hazardous helicopter winching procedures, turbulence caused by buildings at airports, airspace design and management and problems with the management by air traffic control of compromised separation of aircraft.

Significant surface transport investigations completed in 2010-11 include the 2010 grounding of the Chinese registered bulk carrier Shen Neng1; an investigation into the loss overboard of containers from the Pacific Adventurer , off Cape Moreton in 2009; and the grounding of the Atlantic Blue, which has led to a safety review of Australian coastal pilotage.

The ATSB Annual Report for 2010-2011 is available on the ATSB website at www.atsb.gov.au

Media contact: 1800 020 616
 
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Last update 22 December 2011