Want to see the warning signs that air safety regulation in Australia is slipping into dangerous territory? Then visit the active investigations page of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau here.
This volume of persistent and troubling incidents is without precedent in Australia. It cannot be explained by growth alone.
It might be explained by smug indifference to safety regulation in this country, and the apparent unwillingness or incapacity of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to recognise a serious trend and take immediate action to actively audit carriers for full compliance with the safety rules and their obligations under their Air Operator Certificates.
Here is a chronological selection.
13 July: National Jet (Qantaslink) 717 suffers engine failure after taking off from Mt Newman.
14 July: Polynesian Blue 737 ends up in grass at Sydney Airport after pilots note a failure to respond to controls and abandon takeoff at low speed.
21 July: Jetstar A320 makes two missed approaches in fog to Melbourne, then diverts to Avalon, after coming to within 20 feet of ground with undercarriage incorrectly lowered at one stage and claims a major control system failure occurred but is initially allowed to investigate the incident internally.
22 July: Jetstar A330-200 (widebody) makes emergency landing at Bali en route from Bangkok to Melbourne after one of its two engines is shut down.
7 August: National Jet BAe 146 experiences fuel emergency in two tanks while in holding pattern over Western Australia.
11 August: Qantas 737 from Perth lands at Sydney with far less fuel in wings than expected. Investigation looking for reasons why fuel in central tank not accessed as fully as would have been usual.
13 August: Virgin Blue 737 flight from Brisbane to Hamilton Island shuts down one of two engines because of fuel issue and makes emergency landing at Rockhampton.
27 August: Small private plane doing pilot training at Townsville airport touches down behind and then overtakes and climbs over tail of Virgin Blue 737 that had just landed in front of it.
29 August: Commuter propjet has encounter with wake turbulence of larger jet on leaving Adelaide airport. Was it too close and why?
6 September: REX turboprop flight from Sydney to Albury turns back after fumes in cockpit force pilots to don oxygen masks.
In each of these incidents the ATSB will issue one or more preliminary or interim reports before making a final report.