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.