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Safety Action


Action by the helicopter operator

Within a few weeks of the accident, the helicopter operator informed the Bureau that it had taken the following actions:

"1. Amended Section A.7 of the company operations manual to include the following:

  • If weather deteriorates to below published VFR, pilots are to have an alternate route or landing route.
  • In Controlled Airspace or Control Zones, pilots are to request special VFR from ATC
  • Outside Controlled Airspace, pilots may operate to Special VFR Minima.
  • If enroute weather conditions deteriorate to cloud base of 500 feet agl or less, and or visibility of 800 metres or less, the pilot should proceed via the alternate route or to the alternate landing area.
  • Advise ATC and base of intentions.
  1. Engaged a consultant to facilitate the establishment of a comprehensive safety management system within the company."

Discussion with the operator on 9 March 2000 indicated that as a result of legal advice, implementation of the safety management system had been suspended until the accident report and Coronial processes had been completed.


As a result of this occurrence, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (formerly BASI) made the following recommendation.


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (formerly BASI) recommends that the Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) unit and Cairns Port Authority examine the adequacy of the current launch facilities for the ARFF rescue boat against the benefits which might accrue from a launch ramp on or adjacent to the airport.

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