Sep 2020

Action needed on safety and cost of insuring mustering choppers

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KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter is demanding a meeting with the head of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), and the Minister responsible, with fresh reports suggesting that insurances for mustering helicopters have increased by as much as 60 per cent[1].

“CASA are just a pack of useless, imbeciles. They’ve made the cost of being in the air so prohibitive for anybody to fly, but they will not do their job,” he said.

“I will be demanding a meeting with the head of CASA and the Minister.”

Mr Katter said CASA could quickly alleviate one of the key causes of helicopter accidents and the higher insurance premiums, by introducing a warning system for transmission lines.

“We had five deaths attributable to helicopter mustering in six months in north Queensland, and three of them were from hitting transmission lines,” he said.

“I myself had my own frightening experience in a chopper last year when we were inspecting the damage of the Townsville floods with one of the television crews. I was the spotter for the transmission lines because we were flying at 100 feet high. I missed spotting two of the transmission lines during heavy rain and I told the chopper pilot to land in the field.

“You can put a warning device on the helicopters that will sound an alarm when the aircraft is in the vicinity of the transmission lines. Cane harvesters already have the same technology. These devices do cost around $1,000 to $2,000 but that is minimal compared to the cost of the helicopter. If you pay $250,000 for a little Robinson helicopter then $2,000 is hardly going to worry you.”

“In my mind you would halve the amount of deaths in helicopters if you implemented a warning system like I’m suggesting.”

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au