Angel Flight did not consider the safety benefits of commercial passenger flights when suitable flights were available.
Response to safety issue from Angel Flight: Angel Flight consider it inappropriate for [the ATSB] to criticise the charity for not abandoning the model for which it was constituted. Angel Flight only consider the use of regular passenger transport in two circumstances: if a private pilot is unavailable or cancels at short notice and flights are available, or if the flights are capital city to capital city. They are not, and are not required to be, considered other than as a back-up and for long distance compassionate flights.
ATSB comment: The ATSB acknowledges that Angel Flight uses commercial passenger transport for some flights it organises. This ATSB investigation showed that commercial passenger flight options are available for a considerable percentage of the private flights organised by Angel Flight. As a charity established to transport people without the means to medical appointments, the ATSB considers that Angel Flight could and should include the fact that commercial passenger flights have a lower safety risk to passengers than private operations as a factor when it is organising flights.
The ATSB is issuing the following recommendation.