Rossairchief pilot Martin Scott
and pilot inductee Paul Daw were killed, along with Civil Aviation Safety
Authority officer Stephen Guerin, when a Cessna Conquest crashed shortly after
takeoff from Renmark Airport in South Australia on Tuesday.
The crash was the worst
in the state this century, and came just a few months after the Essendon crash
in Victoria in which five lives were lost.
Mr. Morgan said it was
difficult to draw a connection between the tragic crashes and the regulatory
burdens on general aviation.
But he said there was growing
concern about the demands on aviation business owners, many of whom were also
“What we’re seeing take
place is that business owners and operators of flying schools and charter
operations are spending more and more time out of the cockpit ticking boxes and
filling out forms,” Mr
“If you shift the focus from hands-on
proficiency then that will have a toll long-term on aviation safety.”
He said that was not to
suggest recent crashes were due to a lack of training or competency.
“More and more flight operations are
complaining they’re spending more time on paperwork, and it’s not just AOPA
saying that — the entire industry is saying it,” said Mr Morgan.
“It’s highly logical that pilots and
business owners, the more time they spend around aircraft the better they’re
going to be.
“It’s fair to argue the
current system is not working, it’s failing.”
EYES ON THE SKY
AvLaw International chairman
Ron Bartsch echoed Mr Morgan’s concerns about the regulatory burden on aviation
“It’s the old cost benefit analysis of
what’s a reasonably acceptable level of safety,” said Mr Bartsch.
“CASA has recognised world standards in
terms of safety and oversight but a lot of the increased measures have
adversely affected the general aviation community.”
CASA spokeswoman Amanda
Palmer said the authority worked across industry to identify and address areas
of concern, actively promote safety and educate the aviation community.
“The vast majority of pilots
and operators comply with aviation regulations,” said Ms Palmer.
“It is this attitude, combined with a
just culture approach and independent accident investigation, that ensures we
have some of the safest skies in the world.”
She described this week’s
accident at Renmark as a “tragedy”.
“We are working with the Australian
Transport Safety Bureau to provide information of relevance to their