The hypocrisy of the Alexander Downer and “me too” Kevin Rudd over the Garuda pilots who flew the doomed flight GA 200 like maniacs before killing 21 people including five Australians last March has provoked a sharp response from an Australian pilot who flew for them in the 90s.
A consistent failure to instil a culture of safety has lead to Garuda killing more people than the Indonesian air force will admit to.
I have grave misgivings about Australia’s oversight of Garuda, particularly the 737s that connect Bali and Jakarta with Perth and Darwin.
The ex-expatriate Garuda pilot points out that while the EU has banned Garuda and other Indonesian carriers from using member state airspace, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority hasn’t dared to lift its little finger even though it is charged with the oversight of all foreign airline operations in Australia.
“Indonesia has made it clear that the day one of their aircraft is grounded by Australia is the day Qantas has to find a way around Indonesia on its way to Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong,” the ex-Garuda pilot said.
Other pilots endorsed his comments, saying that the flight standards of Indonesian carriers in general are so poor that a prang by one of them in Australia would not be surprising.
Of course the chances of Downer and Rudd bluntly stating the obvious, that Garuda is dangerous and ought not to be allowed to fly in this country, are nil. The righteous indignation about two dangerous and foolish pilots continues, but the obnoxious, grovelling avoidance of the real issue of ineffective aviation standards at the administrative and carrier levels goes on.
If they were genuine in their concerns they would back legal actions by the Australian victims of the crash against both Garuda and the Indonesian authorities.