Inquiries Fail To
CANBERRA, Thursday. - Expert in- quiries had not shown what caused the A.N.A. airliner Amana to crash, the Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr. H. L. Anthony, said to-day.
The plane crashed on the night of June 26, 1950, l8 minutes after leaving Guildford Air- port, Perth. The crew of five and 24 passengers died.
Mr. Anthony told the House of Representatives that a Court of Inquiry presided over by Mr. Justice Simpson had investigated the crash, making two reports.
Mr. Justice Simpson had re- ported that for no discover- able reasons the Amana had suddenly lost height and all its four engines had failed.
He had said he was satisfied that there was no structural failure in the aircraft.
His finding had continued: "An examination of the engines proved there was some corrosion in parts of No. 1 engine fuel system and considerable corrosion in parts of No. 4 engine fuel system.
"I am not satisfied that this corrosion or any of it is to
be attributed to there being water in the petrol
"I am satisfied that there was no water in the petrol when the Amana left Sydney on the morning of June 26 and that no water was in the petrol when the Amana was refuelled at Melbourne, Ade laide, and Guildford '
Mr Anthony said there was enough petrol in the tanks
and therefore it was extreme ly difficult to explain a simultaneous loss of power in all four engines
The Court had investigated thoroughly the possibility that water had contaminated the petrol.
The Court, after completing its sitting and making a first report, had obtained permis sion to reopen the inquiry.
Its second series of sittings had only confirmed its opinion that the engines' loss of power was not caused by water in the petrol
Mr Anthony said the Court had made three recommenda
. That oil companies sup plying petrol to planes should be required to test every com partment of their tanker waggons after each refilling to detect any water present.
The Government had brought this to the attention of the companies, Mr An thony said.
. That the air navigation
order providing for the drain ing of weatherheads in air craft fuel systems at each air port to make a test for water should be amended to provide that the weatherheads should be drained into transparent containers in which the presence of water could be more easily detected.
[Weatherheads are small taps used for testing for water in the fuel]
Mr Anthony said that the Government would amend the order accordingly.
. That the Civil Aviation Department should reconsider the order providing that pilots in their six monthly tests should be tested in flying a plane with one of its engines
The tests usually on two engined planes, should be on the type of plane the pilot was regularly flying.
Mr Anthony said that the department believed tests should still be done on two engined planes which were harder to fly with one engine cut out than four engined planes with one engine cut
The House adjourned a motion that the inquiry re ports be printed.