An Indonesia AirAsia plane that fatally crashed into the Java Sea was flying for a year with a mechanical fault, and countless Aussies were flying unawares, a new report has found.
According to the investigation by the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent, the Airbus A320 that crashed in December 2014 killing all 162 people on board had carried thousands of Australian passengers on 78 trips between Perth and Bali in the 12 months leading up to the tragedy.
Perth-based aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas said carriers like Qantas would never a fly a plane with a similar defect.
“I believe there's evidence around that some airlines that fly to Australia don't meet international standards and they should be banned,” he said.
“It's simply not good enough that you've got aeroplanes flying around with potentially catastrophic faults with them.”
The report also raised serious questions marks about the role of Indonesia's aviation regulator, including allegations of corruption, as well as pilot training. In fact, the original accident investigation found it was the flight crew's reaction to a warning alarm about the faulty rudder limiter, and not the fault itself, which was to blame for the tragedy.
Just after the AirAsia accident, the Australian Transport Workers Union called for all Indonesian AirAsia flights to be suspended, and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) increased its spot checks of Indonesia planes.
However, CASA continues to allow Indonesian airlines, including Garuda Indonesia, Indonesian AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia X to fly to Australia.
“We have made our own assessments of the airline, of the Indonesian safety system and we believe that they are meeting the required international operational standards,” CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said.
All Indonesian operated airlines are banned from flying into the United States, while Europe has a ban on most carriers, with the exception of Garuda.
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