• CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody at Avalon in 2017. (Steve Hitchen)
    CASA CEO and Director of Aviation Safety Shane Carmody at Avalon in 2017. (Steve Hitchen)

Civil Aviation Safety Authority CEO Shane Carmody has linked an attitude towards the regulator with serious accidents and incidents.

Speaking at the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) convention on the Gold Coast this week, Carmody stated that his research showed that people who criticise CASA were often involved in accidents.

Unconstrained by the conventions prevent the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) from blaming pilots, Carmody said that be believed poor pilot attitude and self-interest was a common factor in some aviation tragedies..

"Some of my own research is starting to indicate to me that it is often those who work hardest at pushing back against the regulator, are often the same ones who end up having serious accidents or incidents in flight," he said.

" ... It seems to me that they can’t see past their own narrow self interests to realise the overall importance of safety and safety regulation. When you look at some recent tragic accidents, as I do, I think my concerns are well founded.

"We have had pilots who were constantly trying to get around the rules to suit themselves. They criticise CASA (and others) at every turn and they end up killing themselves and others. I could (but I won’t) cite in detail several tragic examples in the last two years or so involving pilots with a history of poor judgement, a history of ignoring regulation or skirting around it, a history of Facebook bluster or criticism of the regulator ... thinking they can operate above the rules, that they know better or they are bullet proof.

"My colleagues in the Australian Transport Safety Bureau won’t and can’t call out pilot error, it’s not their role. But that restriction doesn’t bind me. My real point is that attitude is important. I’d ask you as industry experts to very closely scrutinise some of these very high quality ATSB reports and ask yourself some key questions:

  • why did/would [the] pilot knowingly fly into IMC
  • why was the pilot flying after last light
  • why did the pilot have passengers on board when they shouldn’t have
  • why was the pilot engaged in manoeuvres in aircraft that they weren't licenced, skilled or qualified to undertake?

"It isn’t simple oversight ladies and gentlemen. It isn’t forgetfulness either. It's attitude."

Carmody went on to say that he didn't believe CASA was perfect and that they were trying make their processes more efficient in order to help the industry uderstand their regulatory obligations.

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