The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has conducted an audit of Regional Express (Rex) Airlines, concluding that there are no safety issues with its aircraft.
CASA launched a formal safety investigation into regional airline Rex as a response to reports of corrosion on a propeller shaft.
There had been a complaint made by a Rex engineer to the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) that there was corrosion in one of the planes and that Rex had a poor safety culture.
A video emerged showing the propeller shaft of an VH-RXN to appear corroded but Rex’s Deputy Chairman denied it was corrosion, saying that over time an engine will “get some muck on it”.
What was involved in the Rex airline audit?
CASA investigators travelled to Wagga Wagga, where Rex’s maintenance base is situated. They engaged in a two day audit.
A CASA communications manager said that the investigators were ensuring that “the safety practices and culture within the Rex maintenance base were within a very high standard” and were looking to see if there was “any evidence that procedures [were] not being followed properly”.
Investigators closely observed hangars, the aircraft, repair work and maintenance records. They also randomly surveyed five engineers to see if they agreed with the employee who made the complaint to ALAEA. The audit was part of a broader safety assurance review, with the government authority looking at the airline’s safety management system including their error reporting rates.
Rex employees reportedly provided CASA with a comprehensive briefing on the facts relating to the aircraft that was viewed in the video.
What was the result of the Rex airline audit?
The result was CASA’s conclusion that Rex’s aircraft had no safety problems.
CASA’s interviewees reported that they were confident in reporting any maintenance errors or defects. They indicated that Rex worked by applying ‘just culture’ principles.
The authority says that they have “no current concerns about the airworthiness of [the] aircraft” featured in the video either.
You can read more about the importance of safety audits in aviation here.