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Fatal Accident Rate of Angel Flights Seven Times Higher than Other Private Flights

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21 minutes ago, Old Koreelah said:

For those doubting the need for AF, consider the lack of public-transport alternatives. Even for people only three hundred km from the capital, services may be hostile to their needs. For decades I've complained to NSW State Rail that their timetables seem to be designed for the convenience of their city-based staff, rather than their regional clients. To attend a 20minute doctor's appointment in Sydney has cost me three days off work and two night's accomodation in the city.

We actually had rail lines and regular train services to some amazing places around Australia. The old Victorian routes look like birdwire, but country people abandoned the trains using cars which could get to the cities faster and provide a way of getting around the city when they arrived and the non-city systems had to be shut down on cost grounds, leaving the situation you're talking about. a multi-action approach is being taken in the medical field and I was involved in solving a problem for one family in the South East last year, so I got to know quite a bit about the traumas of people living in places like your area caused by the tyranny of distance. While moves are taking place, the cost is phenominal, so it's going to take decades rather than years, but in the meantime the people movers still have the same responsibilities as everyone else.

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 I don't believe that the number of hours, especially as low as 400 guarantees much except it's better than 200 etc  but it's not really a sure and reliable determinant.  As I said in a previous post a PIF Rating  and recency would be a more valid criteria. Then we have  the decisions as to in what circumstances the flight should operate. The only way to assess the conditions is to be there, at the actual place and time and KNOW what limits should apply and then do we stick to them or or GO anyhow because we are aiding someone in need.? .  You cannot conduct flights in VFR conditions and be sure of going  somewhere at a specific time. You are weather dependant. People continue to die by going IFR (into IMC) when not trained or in a suitable aircraft. That problem has been with us for a long time and probably will continue to be so, whether by poor planning or deliberately pressing on or being "Caught Out" which is really an excuse for not turning back (in time) nearly always. Airlines regularly disappear into cloud at 400 ft and come out of it to land with a similar minima. They are trained and checked to that standard and if the minimums don't exist they land at an alternate. Nev

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A quick back of the envelope calculation indicates there is nothing wrong with Angel Flight at all.

 

BITRE data from 2015 shows total VH relevant private flying time (not training, parachuting, mustering etc.) is about 289,000 hrs pa.

 

ATSB data quotes “2006-2010 72 vfr into imc incidents - 7 fatal” I’m assuming here that we aren’t talking professional pilots having these accidents.

 

So if we said about 1 fatal private vfr  into imc per 150,000 hrs is that far wrong?

 

Now look at Angel Flight - 46,000 flights over ten years, 2 fatal. Assuming 5 hours per AF mission that’s 230,000 hrs - for 2 fatals. That is not significantly different from the general private community in statistical poisson  distribution terms.

Edited by walrus
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You can look at stats and say it's ok compared with so and so but that's not enough, and can't be, for those left behind. Each Occurrence has to be judged in it's own right. Preventable BAD practice must be addressed wherever it happens. There's no great disagreement with the deficiencies  evidenced. I've suggested a few possible areas to tighten up on. I never use the term Drongos  or such as It's not helpful. People don't deliberately run risks intending to kill people but their decisions may be skewed by a perceived need to do the "extra"  to help someone out. I've done it myself so I know but I got away with it. Doesn't make it right  because it involved other people. Nev

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8 minutes ago, walrus said:

A quick back of the envelope calculation indicates there is nothing wrong with Angel Flight at all.

 

BITRE data from 2015 shows total VH relevant private flying time (not training, parachuting, mustering etc.) is about 289,000 hrs pa.

 

ATSB data quotes “2006-2010 72 vfr into imc incidents - 7 fatal” I’m assuming here that we aren’t talking professional pilots having these accidents.

 

So if we said about 1 fatal private vfr  into imc per 150,000 hrs is that far wrong?

 

Now look at Angel Flight - 46,000 flights over ten years, 2 fatal. Assuming 5 hours per AF mission that’s 230,000 hrs - for 2 fatals. That is not significantly different from the general private community in statistical poisson  distribution terms.

Well you've looked at overall statistics whereas, as I've mentioned a couple of times the ATSB report is based on MISSIONS.

It's a pity Recflying can't fix an incorrect thread heading which has created so much confusion.

Five people were killed on the two missions.

These operations are not general PPL operations, but have unique differences, need to be assessed differently, and need a specific solution.

It doesn't surprise me that ATSB did what they did and said what they said.

 

 

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1 hour ago, turboplanner said:

Well you've looked at overall statistics whereas, as I've mentioned a couple of times the ATSB report is based on MISSIONS.

It's a pity Recflying can't fix an incorrect thread heading which has created so much confusion.

Five people were killed on the two missions.

These operations are not general PPL operations, but have unique differences, need to be assessed differently, and need a specific solution.

It doesn't surprise me that ATSB did what they did and said what they said.

 

 

OK - what is the specific solution?

 

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17 minutes ago, Ironpot said:

OK - what is the specific solution?

 

1.  No more Angel Flights by PPL.

2.  Minimum Pilot standard for flights: CPL with current IMC rating and evidence of recency

3.  Donor provides a free aircraft and fuel as they do now+ aircraft must be rated for IFR

4.  Angel Flight/Government subsidy to pay CPL.

 

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12 minutes ago, turboplanner said:

1.  No more Angel Flights by PPL.

2.  Minimum Pilot standard for flights: CPL with current IMC rating and evidence of recency

3.  Donor provides a free aircraft and fuel as they do now+ aircraft must be rated for IFR

4.  Angel Flight/Government subsidy to pay CPL.

 

1. Is a bit harsh, a PPL with a current instrument rating would be ok with me. To get an instrument rating takes skill, dedication, time and money.

Old mate 78 (Mount Gambier) did 10 or 15 hours training  for a night rating but failed to get the rating.   

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10 hours ago, Thruster88 said:

1. Is a bit harsh, a PPL with a current instrument rating would be ok with me. To get an instrument rating takes skill, dedication, time and money.

Old mate 78 (Mount Gambier) did 10 or 15 hours training  for a night rating but failed to get the rating.   

I weakened there for a minute, but I decided against doing business by light aircraft after realising that after spending the money on an IMC rating, the cost for recency training, and the time involved each year, so that I could be sure I was safe in IMC outweighed the benefit of time saved flying, and I developed electronic communications which I accept are not feasible here. The operations here are effectively Commercial without a fee, and Commercial Pilot Licence has the modules which prepare a pilot for the pressures and decision making, so if it was up to me, I'd stick to CPL for this operation. In the combination I outlined, the cost of subsidy to pay a CPL is not a huge increase.

 

Edited by turboplanner

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1 hour ago, turboplanner said:

Commercial without a fee

And that is exactly where the line is.

If you set a precedent with that, there's no telling how many things you will destroy in this country.

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28 minutes ago, M61A1 said:

And that is exactly where the line is.

If you set a precedent with that, there's no telling how many things you will destroy in this country.

That's not the deciding factor; killing people is.

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Turb's suggestion would mean about $2000 extra per flight. Even if  the taxpayer paid this, getting  all the bureaucratic stuff to happen would add another $1000 costs.

More likely would be a big scaling-down of activity, which would lead to a lot more deaths on the road and from the medical issues.

The only way to make the high-cost solution  work is to assume that a person is 100 times more dead from a plane crash than from a road crash or a disease.

This is exactly how our system works, and the legal system also chooses to ignore the far greater death toll from causes where the blame cannot so easily be placed somewhere.

As a society,  are we really too stupid to understand the concept of "least worst", or "harm minimization"?

 

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24 minutes ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

Turb's suggestion would mean about $2000 extra per flight. Even if  the taxpayer paid this, getting  all the bureaucratic stuff to happen would add another $1000 costs.

More likely would be a big scaling-down of activity, which would lead to a lot more deaths on the road and from the medical issues.

The only way to make the high-cost solution  work is to assume that a person is 100 times more dead from a plane crash than from a road crash or a disease.

This is exactly how our system works, and the legal system also chooses to ignore the far greater death toll from causes where the blame cannot so easily be placed somewhere.

As a society,  are we really too stupid to understand the concept of "least worst", or "harm minimization"?

 

You and I are clearly talking about a different pay rate for CPLs than they are claiming and if the donor books the pilot the admin cost is zero.

Fortunately the outcome of ATSB findings is not going to be decided by a social media site so we don't have to decide the fine detail.

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33 minutes ago, turboplanner said:

Fortunately the outcome of ATSB findings is not going to be decided by a social media site so we don't have to decide the fine detail

While I agree that "trial by social media" is unacceptable, tighter regulation by the ATSB and CASA will most likely kill it off all together, after which, they can tell everyone how effective their new legislation was.

In reality, all they will have done is move the problem somewhere else at great cost to the public.

1 hour ago, turboplanner said:

That's not the deciding factor; killing people is.

If society really worked that way there would be many other things to tighten regs on first. The reality is that they are just trying to be seen to have done something (which might as well be "trial by social media") and screw anyone else that might actually rely on the organisation.

We passed the point of diminishing return in our safety regs some years ago. 

 

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15 minutes ago, M61A1 said:

In reality, all they will have done is move the problem somewhere else at great cost to the public.

Which is why ATSB didn't do what this thread headline is falsely accusing, but reported a specific problem in a specific sector.

And ATSB doesn't have to be "seen to have done something"

 

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It's all part of the process Turbo, the end result will be the same. The public will lose a service so that someone , somewhere is less likely to be sued. That's all it comes down to.

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15 hours ago, turboplanner said:

1.  No more Angel Flights by PPL.

2.  Minimum Pilot standard for flights: CPL with current IMC rating and evidence of recency

3.  Donor provides a free aircraft and fuel as they do now+ aircraft must be rated for IFR

4.  Angel Flight/Government subsidy to pay CPL.

 

Ah I see where you’re going now - why not add

5. All flights to be conducted in twin turbine aircraft

That should see it off!

 

Mate , you need to get into the real world more often  .... it’s all about costs out there. Start by looking at cost/ benefit and you may understand the new CASA guide.

 

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30 minutes ago, Ironpot said:

Mate , you need to get into the real world more often  .... it’s all about costs out there. Start by looking at cost/ benefit and you may understand the new CASA guide.

 

The two Angel Flight matters are FAR from over. Bugger cheap solutions, two families have been decimated!

Sit back for a while and you'll see what the real world is and how much matters about "cost/benefit"!

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The Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport (RRAT) has confirmed it will conduct an inquiry into the recent Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation report on a fatal crash at Mount Gambier.

The pilot was on a VFR Angel Flight mission to Adelaide in June 2017 when the Socata Tobago he was flying crashed trying to depart Mount Gambier in weather that was below visual conditions. The pilot and two passengers were killed.

The ATSB focused on pressures they believe apply to Angel Flight missions and the report made recommendations about the management of Angel Flight, but didn't make any recommendations relating to the actions of the pilot on the day.

A spokesperson for the RRAT has indicated that its primary intention is to "explore the ATSB’s recent report on the 2017 Mount Gambier accident, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s proposed regulation on community service flights, and the potential impact of that regulation on Angel Flight and similar organisations."

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick, who sits on the RRAT committee, has been a vocal critic of the ATSB investigation report since it was released, saying it was "hard to take the report seriously" and accusing the ATSB of using "lies, damned lies and statistics" and "subjective analysis" to show that Angel Flight missions are unsafe.

A public session has been scheduled for Wednesday 4 September in at the Portside Centre in Sydney.

 

I fail to see how this will help angel flight. Another round of publicity about the dangers of flying in small aircraft, maybe VFR pilots won't be required to meet demand.   

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46 minutes ago, Thruster88 said:

The Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport (RRAT) has confirmed it will conduct an inquiry into the recent Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation report on a fatal crash at Mount Gambier.

The pilot was on a VFR Angel Flight mission to Adelaide in June 2017 when the Socata Tobago he was flying crashed trying to depart Mount Gambier in weather that was below visual conditions. The pilot and two passengers were killed.

The ATSB focused on pressures they believe apply to Angel Flight missions and the report made recommendations about the management of Angel Flight, but didn't make any recommendations relating to the actions of the pilot on the day.

A spokesperson for the RRAT has indicated that its primary intention is to "explore the ATSB’s recent report on the 2017 Mount Gambier accident, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s proposed regulation on community service flights, and the potential impact of that regulation on Angel Flight and similar organisations."

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick, who sits on the RRAT committee, has been a vocal critic of the ATSB investigation report since it was released, saying it was "hard to take the report seriously" and accusing the ATSB of using "lies, damned lies and statistics" and "subjective analysis" to show that Angel Flight missions are unsafe.

A public session has been scheduled for Wednesday 4 September in at the Portside Centre in Sydney.

 

I fail to see how this will help angel flight. Another round of publicity about the dangers of flying in small aircraft, maybe VFR pilots won't be required to meet demand.   

Agree; it opens it up to discussing, in layman's terms the decision making process of both the Nhill and Mount Gambier fatal crashed, and has the potential to drop some bombshells on the gentle people of the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport andf direct all people currently holding PPLs, and possibly lead to Currency training rerquirements which would eliminate a substantial number who have no relationship with AF.

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On 15/08/2019 at 12:03 PM, Jaba-who said:

As someone who deals in stats (and trying to see through dodgy ones frequently), on a daily basis I too am pretty cynical about this announcement. 

 

How does two crashes in 10 years get morphed into any useable statistic. It’s just noise in the background from a statistical point of view. 

This is clearly CASA just grabbing at dodgy figures and throwing them out in the media to hopefully blind everyone to their knee jerk reaction. 

 

Sounds like like the  jabiru engine fiasco all over again. 

True about the stat massage but remember, this was the ATSB and not CASA that produced the report. CASA are responding. As the safety regulator it's no surprise they would go to the "safest extreme" regardless of how effective it is or addressing the real safety issue. From their culture and viewpoint they are doing their job. Practicality and economics isn't their problem. (And don't bother talking to the Minister without a band of TV cameras behind you).

 

One question I can't get an answer to, but my learned RF colleagues would know.....  Does Angle Flight have an opps manual that pilots are tested on?

 

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Sounds like some are pushing for another class of CHTR, no need it already exists just too expensive for a lot of people.

CPL, IFR (presume multi engine for NGT and IFR) all good to armchair experts BUT it already exists with the added cost of the extra conditions.

One can accept it as a cheaper alternative in some cases or just reject it.  Legislating it into the non viable area is the same as banning it.

There are already “some” commercial ops doing paid medical/rescue services.  Angle Flight has been an additional service for certain conditions, as I understand it organised private flights with fuel refunded, but naturally can be legislated out of existence.

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Currency is NOT training. 35 days since carrying out an  (xyz) checked confirmed by reference to the log book which is supposed to be an accurate record. No different in principle to passenger carrying (once you have the endorsement) being dependent on a number of landings in the last so and so days. under RAAus rules..

        Training for a qualification is a different matter and just what training level is appropriate is THE issue. You can get a private IFR on whatever aids you want to but I can't see why you wouldn't want them to be  with certified/approved TSO'd. instrumentation and electrical system capacity

   Having a CPL is irrelevent IF the needs can be accomplished with a private licence. ie It's NOT essential as it's a not for profit venture . Regular checking at prescribed intervals would be part of any requirements similar to things like a BFR. You are not renewed if you don't meet the standard. Like any other thing in aviation.

    AF shouldn't be singled out for special treatment  either in dispensations  if they allow a KNOWN unsafe situation to exist or extra requirements. beyond that of a normal commercial operation unless it applies to all commercial operations as well.

    The statistical reference is on shaky grounds , but that doesn't mean there's no known weakness  in the operational parameters. These could be  appropriately alleged even without an accident at all just by analysis and comparison with known proven flight procedures operating in other sections of aviation. You don't have to wait till an accident happens  to know what you are doing is unsafe. There's enough accumulated experience to know certain things must be done a certain way.

  Say I said walking through the arc of the propeller with the engine running is highly dangerous. Someone might say I've done it 3 times and nothing happened to me  and as long as you walk fast it's OK and no one has been injured that way at my local aerodrome in the time it's been operating, so it can't be an issue and the stats prove it .  We haven't even had a course addressing it. Well it should be [email protected]@dy obvious to any THINKING person. I would suggest. I know of one person who sucessfully did it (Unknowingly and unintentionally) and he fainted and fell to the ground when he realised how close he'd been to death. Nev

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On 24/08/2019 at 5:29 PM, facthunter said:

There's enough accumulated experience to know certain things must be done a certain way.

 

That's true Nev, but there's a cohort of the human race who believe they are exempt from the use of common sense, or any sense for that matter!  Never is this more evident than with pilots, where there is an over abundance of hubris.

 

In respect of competency checks: just how frequent is enough. I've flown with charter companies which required 3 monthly line checks with the CP, or a C&T pilot, and that didn't eliminate the CPLs and ATPLs making some stupid decisions.  It seems that competency checks, (a la CASR 61.385), will not eliminate over confidence, and spur-of-the-moment risky operational decision making.

 

Frankly, I can't see this ending well for AF, regardless of how many friends there are in the Senate. 

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Looks like more people will be making long road trips, with lots of night driving. 

 

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