The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is conducting a special audit of Regional Express and its Pel-Air subsidiary following the ditching of Pel-Air IAI Westwind VH-NGA (pictured) into the sea off Norfolk Island on the evening of November 18 after the aircraft ran low on fuel while attempting to land on the island in poor weather.
“CASA’s special audit is being carried out in addition to an investigation of the accident by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The CASA audit will not pre-empt the findings of this investigation,” CASA said in a statement issued on November 23.
“Areas to be examined include fuel policies and practice, flightplanning, inflight operations during changing weather conditions, the check and training of pilots, safety management systems and the inter-relationships between Pel-Air and Regional Express.”
CASA says that it has written to Pel-Air and Rex requesting a number of documents be supplied, while it has also requested an interview with Captain Dominic James who was the pilot in command of the aircraft when it ditched.