In 2014 ASRA, wrote to the Hon Warren Truss MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. CASA sits in Minister’s Truss’s portfolio. ASRA raised in its letter to Minister Truss was the cost of conducting accident investigations. The Minister’s response is direct in stating that, “ aircraft accident investigation matters are not a function undertaken by or requested by CASA”.
This statement, while strictly accurate, is at odds with the CASA Deed that ASRA must sign each year. In this document one of our mandatory compliance functions is to:
“examine the results of incident and accident investigations to ensure that standards have been complied with”.
Another mandatory compliance function is for ASRA to:
“provide quarterly statistical reporting in relation to the numbers of ASRA members, aircraft, accidents, incidents, defects and fatalities.”
Given that the ATSB does not investigate gyroplane accidents and CASA is not interested in supporting ASRA’s investigations, the cost of investigating gyro accidents will continue to be a major financial burden on ASRA.
The ASRA committee has discussed this issue and has reconfirmed its commitment to investigate accidents where preliminary examination would suggest that a thorough investigation would contribute to the safety of ASRA members. However in future, ASRA will be less likely to investigate accidents involving non-members or where preliminary examination would indicate that pilot error was the cause.
ASRA will also seek cost recovery via a prior agreement before becoming involved in investigations at the request of local police or the ATSB.