AMANA DISASTER CAUSE UNDISCOVERED BUT TWO IRREGULARITIES FOUND
The Special Court of Inquiry into the crash of the A.N.A. Skymaster Amana in West Australia last June was unable to find any cause for the disaster.
The Court, however, revealed two irregularities: Firstly, an air navigation order requiring the draining of weatherheads of the fuel tanks to release water had not been obeyed; and secondly, the aircraft carried 8,545 feet of film, almost three times as much as the amount permitted to be carried.
This was disclosed in the
House of Representatives yester- day by the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr. Anthony) when he tabled the report and finding of the Court of Inquiry.
Mr. Anthony said the court did not consider that the irregu- larities disclosed by its investi- gations played any part in the
cause of the crash.
The aircraft crashed with a loss of 29 lives 14 minutes after taking off from Guildford aero
drome, Perth, on June 26,1950. The court, presided over by Mr. Justice Simpson, found that
the Amana crashed after a sud- den loss of height and after its engines had failed.
The judge said the evidence did not justify him finding the cause of either happening.
An examination of the engine proved there was some corrosion
in parts of number one engine fuel system, and considerable corrosion in parts of number four engine fuel system.
The judge said he was not satisfied that this corrosion was to be attributed to water being in the petrol of the aircraft. There was no water in the petrol except in the undrainable section of number one and number four main tanks when Amana re- fuelled at Guildford.
"Providing there is sufficient petrol available in the tanks, which was so in this instance, it is extremely difficult to explain a simultaneous loss of power in a four-engined aircraft," said Mr. Justice Simpson.
The court made three recom- mendations:
Firstly, oil companies who sup- ply petrol for aircraft should be required to test each compart- ment of their tank waggons at least after each refill of the wag- gon by using a transparent glass
Secondly, the relevant air navi- gation order be amended to re quire that the checks of the fuel from the weatherheads be made in transparent or glass con tainers. The present order leaves it to the operating company to satisfy itself whether water is
present after having drained the
Thirdly, that the Department of Civil Aviation consider requir- ing all pilots to be periodically tested on each type of aircraft they regularly fly.
Debate on the report was ad- journed.