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CASA takes action from 717 hard landing

written by WOFA | May 14, 2010

A repaired VH-NXE takes off from Darwin. (Andy McWatters)
A repaired VH-NXE takes off from Darwin. (Andy McWatters)

CASA is taking action to resolve uncertainty over the responsibilities of operators and third party pilot training providers as a result of the ATSB investigation into a hard landing experienced by a National Jet operated QantasLink Boeing 717 at Darwin Airport in February 2008.

In the findings of the ATSB’s final report, which was released on May 15, the Bureau noted that the issue of responsibility was a minor safety issue. “There was no clear division of responsibilities between the aircraft operator and the third party training provider in regard to ensuring the standards of flight training met all of the operator’s requirements, which had the potential to reduce training effectiveness,” read the report.

The final report also noted that CASA has taken action on the issue through prioritising the implementation of Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 142, which has been progressed to the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing. The new CASR will place responsibility for flight training standards on the operator, rather than the provider of training.

“As aircraft operators increase their use of third party training providers, it is increasingly important that CASR Part 142 be introduced as a priority,” the ATSB report, which noted CASR 142 had first been covered by a notice of proposed rulemaking in July 2003, said.

Boeing 717 VH-NXE, which was operating a QantasLink flight from Cairns and Nhulunbuy, sustained major damage – such that the ATSB characterised the occurrence as an “accident” – after a hard landing at Darwin Airport on February 7 2008. The subsequent ATSB investigation identified a number of relevant safety factors, including the flightcrew’s actions and control inputs, the aircraft operator’s stabilised approach criteria and operational documentation, and the visual cues associated with runway 11/29 at Darwin Airport.

“The aircraft’s rate of descent below 400ft above aerodrome level exceeded the operator’s stabilised approach criteria; however, because the pilot in command considered the exceedance to be momentary, a missed approach was not conducted,” the ATSB report found.

The full ATSB report can be downloaded here.


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