Aaron Shaw, the CEO of Sydney Seaplanes has released an official statement this morning as the company returns to operations after their recent tragedy.
The following statement was released directly from Aaron Shaw through Sydney Seaplane’s Facebook page on Monday 15 January, 2018.
This morning we have resumed scenic flight services following the tragic accident on New Year’s Eve involving one of our aircraft.
There is never a perfect time to recommence flying after an incident of this nature, however getting back in the air is a necessary step given the range of people, tourism and hospitality businesses in Sydney that rely on our services. It’s also what our late colleague Gareth Morgan, a passionate Seaplane pilot for all of his adult life, would have wanted.
Sydney Seaplanes has always exceeded the highest maintenance standards and employed highly skilled pilots. Until the recent tragedy, we had an unblemished record of 70,000 flights since commencing operations in 2006.
“Sydney Seaplanes is an excellent operation with some of the most experienced pilots in the world,” said Kevin Bowe, Vice President of the Seaplane Pilots Association Australia. “The company has always exceeded best practice industry standards. The Company is a crucial pillar of the seaplane community in Australia.”
Given our long and successful flying history, Sydney Seaplanes is confident there are no systemic failings in the De Havilland Beaver DHC-2 aircraft, the type that crashed on New Year’s Eve. However, we will not be flying our remaining in De Havilland Beaver DHC-2 aircraft in advance of the release of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s Preliminary Factual Report, which is expected within a month.
Flight services will therefore commence with our Cessna C-208 Caravan aircraft, both turbine powered 2008 models. These aircraft are serviced and maintained by Australia’s Cessna certified maintenance facility Hawker Pacific at Bankstown airport, who ensure the aircraft’s airworthiness and high standards of maintenance. All flights will be manned by two pilots for an interim period.
Safety has and always will be our absolute priority and we continue to abide by relevant aviation safety guidelines. Our decision to increase pilot numbers exceeds any safety regulations and will give our customers additional peace of mind to allow them to concentrate on enjoying their flights around Sydney’s beautiful harbour.
The resumption of Sydney Seaplanes services will allow bookings to return to normal at our partner restaurants, including the Cottage Point Inn, Jonah’s at Whale Beach and the Berowra Waters Inn. These world class restaurants are made easily accessible to customers by Sydney Seaplanes flights.
“We have been working closely with Sydney Seaplanes for 12 years. Sydney Seaplanes brings in a significant percentage of our clientele each year, particularly during the summer months. It’s a partnership we value immensely,” said Shane Oleson owner of Cottage Point Inn.
Sydney Seaplanes will continue to support the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and other authorities as they investigate the incident and prepare their report.