‘Plummeting at 11 metres a second’: Report reveals details of Air Asia Perth to Bali flight

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An AirAsia Perth to Bali flight that suddenly lost cabin pressure and plummeted 20,000 feet – terrifying passengers – was dropping at a rate of 11 metres a second, a preliminary investigation by Australia’s transport safety watchdog has found.

Flight QZ535 departed Perth for the popular Indonesian tourist destination at 11.20am on October 15, but was forced to turn back 30 minutes after take-off with 146 passengers and six crew members on board.

The aircraft plunged from 32,000 feet to 10,000 feet, with dramatic footage captured by passengers showing crew members instructing passengers to “get down, get down” as oxygen masks drop and they were ordered to adopt the brace position.

A preliminary report, released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau on Wednesday, showed the flight crew noticed a pressurisation system fault “appear and then disappear” when they first began their ascent.

Around 20 minutes later another caution was activated relating to the opening of the pressurisation system safety valves.

The crew attempted to switch the controls to manually close the valves and stop the cabin’s pressurisation rate from climbing, but before the pilots could complete their checklist, the caution had again disappeared.

Three minutes later, however – 30 minutes into the flight – another more serious warning appeared – an altitude warning – which automatically requires crew members to commence an emergency descent.

The warning triggers when the cabin altitude is about 9,550 feet and the aircraft is above 10,000 feet.

The plane dropped at a rate of eleven metres a second.

“The flight crew informed the cabin crew manager that they were going to conduct an emergency descent, donned their emergency oxygen masks and started the descent,” the ATSB report read.

“Shortly after, the cabin crew manager reported to the flight crew that the emergency oxygen masks in the cabin were not deployed and the flight crew then manually deployed them.

Passengers at the time told reporters they thought they were going to die.

“The cabin crew reported that they secured the cabin and instructed the passengers in accordance with their emergency descent procedures.”

Airport traffic controllers at first had difficulty understanding the flight crew through their oxygen masks, but an emergency landing at Perth Airport was eventually arranged.

No one was injured in the incident and the aircraft suffered no damage.

It was determined during post-flight maintenance tests that the cabin pressure controller was faulty.

Passengers at the time told reporters they thought they were going to die.

“I actually picked up my phone and sent a text message to my family, just hoping that they would get it,” Perth woman Leah told Nine News Perth.

“We were all pretty much saying goodbye to each other. It was really upsetting.

“The masks fell down and everybody started panicking. Nobody told us what was going on.”

The ATSB has reviewed the aircraft data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, interviewed flight and cabin crew and reviewed the aircraft’s pressurisation system.

No safety issues have been identified to date.

Further investigations will examine aircraft maintenance records, inspection results, training records and cabin safety documentation and procedures.

A final report is expected to be published by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau in May 2018.



Source  :  WA Today

Perth man charged with murder after six-month-old baby girl dies in hospital

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NOVEMBER 10 2017 – 7:26AM

Hannah Barry

A 35-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a baby girl in Brookdale.

Police received information regarding an injured child at a residence in Chiltern Avenue just before 8pm on Thursday evening.

St John Ambulance and WA Police found the baby inside the home, and quickly provided emergency first aid.

The six-month-old was rushed to hospital but later passed away as a result of her injuries.

The case was handed to Homicide Detectives and the home was cordoned off while police investigated.

 A neighbour told the ABC a couple in their 30s lived at the property.

“I mean that is really sad … I wouldn’t think something like that would happen around here and they were very quiet people they never really heard anything from them,” she said.

New report reveals Perth’s most congested roads

JANUARY 6 2017 – 7:35AM

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The RAC has warned Western Australia could soon have the most congested roads in the country after a new national traffic report revealed Perth’s slowest roads.

The Congestion and Reliability Review by the country’s peak roads and traffic agency, AustRoads, revealed two of the city’s major highways, Reid and Tonkin, along with Orrong Road, were the most delayed roads in the metropolitan area, with traffic moving 32 per cent slower than it should.  Perth's most congested road has been revealed as Reid Highway.

Reid Highway, along the north-eastern corridor, topped the list with traffic moving at an average pace of 53.2 kilometres per hour, despite generally being a 90 kilometre an hour zone.

The report listed the top ten most delayed roads in Australia as being in Sydney (7) and Melbourne (3), but RAC general manager corporate affairs Will Golsby warned Perth was forecast to have four roads topping that list by 2031.

The predicted roads, featured in a separate report by Infrastructure Australia, are the Mitchell Freeway, Tonkin Highway, Graham Farmer Freeway / Orrong Road / Welshpool Road corridor, and Marmion Avenue / West Coast Highway corridor.

“Congestion continues to take time out of our everyday lives now, and it is forecast to get worse,” Mr Golsby said.

“The warning signs are all there that without action, Perth is forecast to have seven of the 10 most congested roads nationally by 2031, including the top four.

“Austroads identifies Tonkin Highway as Perth’s second most delayed road, and Infrastructure Australia predict Tonkin Highway will soon be the second most congested road in the country.

“Similarly, Austroads identifies Orrong Road as the third worst road in Perth; and Infrastructure Australia predict this will soon be the third-most congested corridor in the country.”

The title of the Perth’s slowest main road goes to Shepperton Road which recorded an average speed of 31.2 kilometres an hour, closely followed by Stirling Highway at 33 kilometres per hour and Karrinyup Road at 37.9 kilometres an hour.

On the flipside, Perth’s most free-flowing roads were Brookton Highway (86.4km/h), Kwinana Freeway (84.2km/h), Toodyay Road (82.2km/h) and Mitchell Freeway (76.2km/h) – although the Mitchell Freeway was ranked the worst to travel on during afternoon peak hour.
To measure congestion levels, the Austroads report compared the average travel times motorists face on urban roads in Perth with travel times during free-flowing conditions – a measure defined as “travel time delay”.


It used data from Google Maps over an 11-week period between September and November 2015, noting Google’s traffic data is the most commonly used by Australian road users.

“The review has unashamedly taken a customer-centric view of congestion with measures that are most relevant to their lives and journeys,” AustRoads said.

The review excluded roads that are shorter than five kilometres long, so its results would not be skewed by small local streets.

Despite RAC predicting Perth’s roads would be among the most congested in the country in 15 years, the city’s current congestion delays pales in comparison to Sydney and Melbourne.

Burke Road in Melbourne received the unenviable title of most congested road in Australia, with an average delay of more than 79 per cent what the distance should take without traffic.

Sydney’s Centenary Drive was Australia’s second most clogged road, with a delay of 77.4 per cent, while Melbourne’s famous Punt Road came in third nationally with a delay of 71.1 per cent.

AustRoads said its report was intended to provide planners with a greater understanding of traffic issues in their city and pointers to how they might be fixed.

“This report provides a baseline for how our road networks perform today, and practical frameworks to help road agencies to improve that performance in future,” it said.

The state government’s Perth Transport Plan includes plans to make Tonkin, Reid and Roe Highways freeway standard to create a “ring around the central region and provide connections to the north, east and south”.

Additional lanes and interchange upgrades have also been touted for the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways.

WA Labor announced on Thursday, if elected, it would redirect $125 million from the Roe 8 project into improving congestion in Perth’s northern suburbs, focusing on major upgrades to Wanneroo Road.

The office of the transport minister and planning shadow minister have been contacted for comment.

Perth’s ten most delayed roads

Reid Highway: Average speed 53.2km/h, Travel time delay 32.9%

Tonkin Highway: 59.1km/h, Travel time delay 32.7%

Orrong Road: 40.6km/h, Travel time delay 32.3%

Canning Highway: 38.1km/h, Travel time delay 27.9%

Karrinyup Road: 37.9km/h, Travel time delay 27%

Shepparton Road: 31.2km/h, Travel time delay 26.5%

South Street: 41.6km/h, Travel time delay 25%

Mitchell Freeway: 76.2km/h, Travel time delay 24.1%

Morley Drive: 38.3km/h, Travel time delay 23.7%

Stirling Highway: 33km/h, Travel time delay 23.4%


Source : WA Today

Christmas Day forecast uncertain as weather systems play havoc with predictions

DECEMBER 17 2016 – 11:42AM

Adrian Beattie

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Forecasters are having a hard time predicting the weather for Christmas Day in Perth this year.

The Bureau of Meteorology said its projections were being thrown into disarray by various weather systems in the north of the state, which are proving difficult to analyse.

BoM forecaster Max Strack said the bureau was unsure how the systems would impact Perth and the rest of the state in the days leading up to December 25.

“There is quite a bit of uncertainty at the moment,” she said.

“The weather systems in the north are giving us a divergence of information in terms of how they are going to impact on Christmas Day.”

Traditionally, forecasters are reluctant to predict the weather more than seven days in advance.

Currently they have officially forecast as far as Christmas Eve, which is likely to have a top of 32 degrees.

“But even that is based on divergent readings,” Ms Strack said.

Perth will start next week with cooler temperatures before some seriously-hot weather hits.

Wednesday is predicted to hit us hardest, with a sweltering top of 39.

Perth 7-day forecast:

Sunday: 16, 25 – sunny
Monday: 13, 28 – sunny
Tuesday: 15, 34 – sunny
Wednesday: 20, 39 – very hot and sunny
Thursday: 22, 34 – mostly sunny
Friday: 18, 32 – sunny
Christmas Eve: 32


Source : WA Today

Pesky Perth supermoon to steal the limelight from meteor shower

DECEMBER 13 2016 – 6:02PM

Brendan Foster

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A meteor shower expected to burst across Perth skies on Tuesday night would normally provide stargazers with a spectacular celestial show.

But that pesky supermoon is back to steal the limelight.

The Geminids meteor shower can be seen on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, with 120 meteors lighting up our skies per hour, if the heavens remain clear.

But the peak of the meteor show coincides with the third supermoon of 2016.

Last month, the biggest and brightest moon since 1948 hit Perth, sending astronomy nerds into an astronomical frenzy.

The Perth Observatory’s Matt Woods said the brightest meteors would be hidden by the return of the supermoon.

“Usually when we don’t have a moon in the sky you get 100 to 120 meteors an hour but we will get a reduced amount of about 30 to 40, which is still pretty good for most meteor showers,” he told Radio 6PR.

“Because of the light pollution that comes off the moon, you probably won’t be able to see some of the fainter ones.

Mr Woods said the best part of the meteor shower is you don’t have to get up at some “god awful” hour to view the show.

The supermoon is back to steal the limelight.

He even offered up a few handy spots to check out the shooting stars.

“It’s best to find a dark area at a local park, the beaches…maybe even Mundaring Weir is great,” he said.

“We had one last year, which unfortunately started above our heads but exploded behind the trees so everything just lit up

“What is happening is the earth is moving through the tale of an asteroid and pretends to be a bit of a comet and it has a bit of a tail and it produces jets.

“It’s a bit like driving through a rain storm and you get hit by rain on the windscreen.”

Astronomical Society of Victoria vice-president Perry Vlahos told Fairfax Media the meteor shower would probably peak early Wednesday morning and could even extend into Thursday morning.

“This year, because of the moon, it’s [the meteor shower is] not going to be as spectacular as other years. It’s a little bit like natural light pollution,” he said.

“I wouldn’t bother going out into the country or anything like that to get away from the city lights. With the full moon, it’s going to be the same everywhere, whether you observe from the suburbs or in the country.”

Source : WA Today

WA Premier kicks off construction of Perth Airport rail line

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has officially fired the starting pistol on construction of a rail link between Perth Airport and the CBD.

The 8.5km line, which stretches from the city to Terminals 1 and 2 at Perth Airport and then onwards to Forresfield in the city’s east, was expected to be completed in 2020 at a cost of $1.96 billion.

The Premier turned the first ceremonial sod at Forresfield station on Thursday.

The WA government said drilling for the mostly underground rail line was expected to start in mid-2017, when two tunnel boring machines were expected to arrive from Germany.

In the meantime, the construction of the entry points to the rail tunnels was due to begin before the end of the year.

The line featured three new stations – one above ground at Forresfield at the end of the line, while Belmont and Perth Airport T1/T2 were underground.

The deepest tunnel point under the Swan River was 26 metres, the WA government said, while the average depth under the airport apron and runways was be 15 metres.

“The link will not only benefit people living in the new rail corridor, but will serve airport passengers and tourists alike and will leave a great first impression for visitors to Perth,” Premier Barnett said in a statement.

An illustration of where the new station will be situated at Perth Airport. (WA Government/Twitter)

Perth Airport’s Terminals 1 and 2, on the eastern side of the airfield, handles all international flights, as well as Virgin Australia, Alliance, Tigerair Australia and Regional Express domestic flights.

Meanwhile, Qantas and Jetstar’s domestic flights operate out of Terminals 3 and 4 on the western side of the airfield.

Perth Airport has said previously it hoped to eventually have all flights operating from the eastern side of the airfield some time in the next decade.


Australian Aviation

WA Police powerless to act on ‘untouchable’ gang of vandals as young as four

SEPTEMBER 28 2016 – 3:56PM

Sheridan New

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Vandals as young as four-years-old are believed to have repeatedly damaged a Catholic Church’s stained-glass windows in the Wheatbelt town of Corrigin, and police are powerless to act.

WA Police confirmed a gang of 10 – all aged between four and eight – had been seen in the church grounds last weekend and were also responsible for the vandalism of a nearby public park.

St Theresa’s Church in Corrigin has been attacked by a group of vandals as young as four.
St Theresa’s Church in Corrigin has been attacked by a group of vandals as young as four. Photo: Gordon Stuart

But under WA law, children under the age of 10 are not deemed criminally responsible for their actions and cannot be charged.

“Corrigin Police were made aware of damage to some windows at the St Therese Catholic Church over the weekend… Police examined the scene and it appeared the windows had been broken by small rocks that had been thrown at the church,” Sgt. Troy Coumbe said.

Corrigin resident and church-goer Neil Bowron said he and his wife Nancy discovered the broken windows, the third such attack on the church, and alerted the police

He claims there has been two more instances of vandalism since.

“There’s not much you can do. You can’t put them in jail, you can’t charge them. The kids know that,” Mr Bowron said.

Mr Bowron repaired the window himself. “Hopefully that’s the end of it,” he said.

Sgt. Coumbe said police had been working with the family of the children, as well as the Corrigin Shire and Corrigin District High School to warn children about the consequences of anti-social behaviour.

“Overall, Corrigin enjoys a low crime rate with little reports of such petty behaviour thanks to the Corrigin community who take pride in their town,” Sgt. Coumbe said.


Source : WA Today

Western Australia cricket legend Justin Langer awarded honorary doctorate

SEPTEMBER 25 2016 – 9:05AM 

David Allan-Petale

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He’s known as a gritty left-handed opening batsman who never took a backward step and stroked more than 7,000 runs in 105 Test matches for Australia.

But now West Australian cricketer and Perth Scorchers coach Justin Langer AM can add another title to his name – Doctor of the University Honoris Causa: Latin meaning “for the sake of the honour.”

Justin Langer has been awarded an honourary doctorate from Edith Cowan University.
Justin Langer has been awarded an honourary doctorate from Edith Cowan University. Photo: Twitter/@EdithCowanUni

Langer was awarded the honorary doctorate by Perth’s Edith Cowan University at its annual graduation ceremony in recognition of his “extraordinary sporting prowess and as a man of great integrity and humility.”

The 45-year-old cut his cricketing teeth on the fast decks at the WACA playing for WA, and the ground’s CEO Christina Matthews said the award is further recognition of his hard work.

“This gesture is further affirmation of what we already know here at the WACA: Justin is a very special person and WA cricket considers itself fortunate to have him supporting our community and leading our elite men’s teams.

“The honorary doctorate was awarded to Justin for the values he lives by, as well as his ability to convey those values to those around him and those attributes are keys to his personality that we see every day.”

Langer filled in as coach of the Australian one day cricket side for a series in the Caribbean earlier this year, and is widely considered to be in the frame as an eventual replacement for Darren Lehmann – especially if the Scorchers continue their record of qualifying for every Big Bash finals series.


Source : WA Today

Licence gone in one hit…bad way to start the long weekend

Rachel Wong

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There’s a million other ways to better kickstart your long weekend than losing your license and copping a $1000 fine.

A 51 year-old man was caught speeding in Perth’s northern suburbs on Friday at 83km/h in a 40km/h zone, more than double the speed limit.

Double demerits are in force this long weekend in WA.
Double demerits are in force this long weekend in WA. Photo: WA Police

The driver was slapped with seven demerit points – doubled instantly to 14 – suspending his license in one hit and rolling over onto any subsequent licence he might hold.

In NSW drivers have 14 demerit points to use but in WA they only have 12.

The man was driving a Toyota Rav4, and was caught on Hester Avenue and Wanneroo Road in Ridgewood.

Double demerit points started at midnight on Friday and will end at 11.59pm on Monday.

Police can impound the cars of drivers who exceed the speed limit by more than 45km/h.


Source : WA Today