A leading aviation and accident lawyer says the damning findings by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) regarding the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) are a significant moment in Australian aviation and may lead to compensation for the family of the person killed in the tragedy.

Director of Carter Capner Law and former national president of the Australian Lawyers Alliance Peter Carter, who is also a pilot, said this should sound alarm bells for CASA.

“CASA was censured for failing to identify and assess the risks associated with the potentially dangerous operation, and its removal of standard safety conditions for the particular operation.

“Neither should it have allowed the continued operation of piston engine helicopters like the one piloted by the Robinson for human sling operations ‘without adequate mitigations’”, he said.

While Mr Carter welcomed the ATSB comment that CASA had reviewed its procedures, he predicted the possibility of more drama for the safety authority when the ATSB releases its report into the Sea World chopper disaster.

“The same questions might be asked of the Sea World crash. Was this an accident waiting to happen like it appears was the case at King River?”

He said while general aviation was safe overall, the number of recent incidents across Australia showed that we can never take safety for granted.

“There are clearly operations on the fringes of general aviation that require more attention, and CASA must look at these.”

“Its very important that CASA be right on top of safety for operations conducted at the margins of general aviation so the public doesn’t lose confidence in general aviation as a whole.”

23 November 2023

Media contact

Barbara Gorogh

CRC Public Relations

E: barbara[@]crcpr.com.au