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ATSB research reveals that accidents and incidents are not always reported to the ATSB when they should be. When something goes wrong in transport safety, it is the duty of a ‘responsible person’ (defined in the Transport Safety Investigation Regulations 2003) to report it to the ATSB. 


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What can you do?

As the national transport safety investigator, the ATSB is the Australian Government agency you should notify in the event of an accident or incident.

While we use your notification to determine whether to investigate an occurrence, looked at as a whole, notifications also give us a bigger picture of aviation safety trends and patterns.

Like a jigsaw piece in a bigger puzzle, certain notifications can often be joined together to reveal a broader, systemic safety problem. Once we've identified an accident or incident trend from your notifications, we can make tangible improvements to safety through safety advisory notices, recommendations and further safety investigations.

Besides the obvious safety benefits of reporting an occurrence, there are also legal requirements to report certain accidents and incidents to the ATSB. Even if there are no injuries or there is minimal aircraft damage, you must still let the ATSB know. Remember that the ATSB does not investigate to lay blame or apportion liability—we investigate to improve safety and prevent an accident from happening again.

You can report an accident or serious incident (an Immediately Reportable Matter — IRM) to the ATSB 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • call 1800 011 034 (you can also use this number if you need advice or clarification on reporting matters)
  • submit a written report — Submit a Mandatory Notification

More information

Find out how and what to report to the ATSB. 

ATSB research report Under reporting of aviation wirestrikes illustrates the scale of under reporting that can occur.