|Hubs||Bankstown Airport, Sydney, NSW|
Bankstown, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Avtex Air Services Pty Ltd, trading as Airtex Aviation, was an Australian aircraft charter company with its head office at Bankstown Airport, Sydney. Formed in 1982, the company operates passenger air charter services, airfreight, as well as air search and rescue services.
On 20 July 2010 the Civil Aviation Safety Authority suspended the operator certificates of Avtex and its sister company Skymaster Air Services, which run the orgaisaton's piston engines operation, after a crash on an Airtex aircraft in Canley Vale in western Sydney which caused two deaths. A number of other serious incidents in the time prior to the accident had been taken in consideration for this decision. Further enquiries found that "pilot bullying, deliberate rule breaking and corner cutting were amongst the unsafe practices". After the matter has run its course by February 2011, Avtex and Skymaster were left without further recourse against the suspension of their air operator's certificates and had to cease operations.
As of December 2009, the Airtex fleet consists of:
- 1 Cessna 340
- 2 Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III
- 10 Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain
- 3 Piper PA-31P-350 Mojave
- 1 Piper PA-31 Navajo
- 2 Ted Smith Aerostar 600
- 1 Ted Smith Aerostar 601P
Incidents and accidents
- On 25 June 2001, an Airtex Aviation Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante aircraft with nine people on board transmitted a mayday call on its approach to the airport in the town of Cootamundra, New South Wales. The pilot reported smoke in the cabin and an engine and gear failure, followed by instructing the passengers to adopt the "brace position". The aircraft touched down and skidded 400 metres (437 yards) with its right engine in flames. All passengers survived the crash.
- On 9 April 2008, at 23:30, an Airtex Aviation Fairchild Metro III aircraft took off from Sydney Airport in Sydney, bound for Brisbane with a consignment of air freight. Shortly after takeoff, ten nautical miles (18.5 km / 11.5 miles) southeast of the airport, the aircraft turned contrary to instructions from air traffic control, initially to the right when the controller had instructed a left turn. The pilot responded that he was experiencing "minor technical problems". The aircraft disappeared from radar at a height of 4,000 ft (1,219 metres). Local fishermen reported seeing the aircraft burst into flames before plunging into the ocean. The wreckage was located on the seabed nine kilometres south-east of Bundeena.
- On 15 June 2010, an Airtex Aviation Piper PA-31 Mojave plane clipped power lines and crashed in Canley Vale in Sydney's south-west shortly after take-off from Bankstown Airport. The pilot and flight nurse were killed.
- CASA website link to Airtex Aviation Air Operator Certificate. Retrieved: 5 December 2008.[dead link]
- "Location Map". Airtex Aviation. Retrieved on 26 June 2010.
- "Airtex Aviation website". Airtex Aviation. 10 April 2008. Archived from the original on 10 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Two Sydney based air operators suspended, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, 24 July 2010.
- Ben Sandilands: Tribunal publishes indictment of general aviation operator, crikey.com, 9 February 2011.
- Australian civil aircraft register search, using "Avtex" as the search parameter. Search conducted 24 December 2009.
- "VH-OZG Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Ramachandran, Arjun (10 April 2008). "Sydney plane found". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-04-10.[dead link]
- Robinson, Georgina (15 June 2010). "'We have to put it down on the road' pilot tells control seconds before fatal crash". smh.com.au. Retrieved 15 June 2010.