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Accidents and incidents

Introduction AIP ENR 1.14

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is an independent Commonwealth Government statutory agency. The Bureau is managed by a Commission and is entirely separate from the transport regulators, policy makers and service providers.

The ATSB is established by the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 (TSI Act) and conducts its investigations in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The TSI Act provides guidance for the investigation of all civil aviation occurrences within Australian Territory and for all occurrences involving civil registered Australian aircraft outside Australian Territory.


Australian Transport Safety Bureau, PO Box 967, Civic Square ACT 2608

T:1800 020 616 E:

Reporting to the ATSB

The items which a pilot must report are listed as either immediately reportable matters (IRM) or routinely reportable matters (RRM). A pilot is not required to report to the ATSB if they have reasonable grounds to believe another responsible person (e.g. ATC, aircraft or aerodrome Operator, LAME) has reported the occurrence.

Mandatory reporting – immediately reportable matters (IRM)

IRMs are accidents and serious incidents that affect the safety of aircraft. These include matters involving death, serious injury or destruction or damage to the aircraft or to other property caused by the aircraft. IRMs must be reported to a nominated official by a responsible person as soon as reasonably practical. Immediate reporting of IRMs is required under the TSI Act so that investigators can act quickly to preserve valuable evidence in order to determine the critical factors underlying serious occurrences.

An example of an IRM may include:

  • a death or serious injury to a person caused by contact with an aircraft, aircraft component or jet blast
  • an aircraft is believed missing
  • an aircraft is suffering damage, or reasonable grounds exist for believing so
  • a breakdown of separation standards (vertical, lateral or longitudinal) in CTA.

Mandatory reporting – routinely reportable matters (RRM)

RRMs are occurrences that have, or could have, affected safety, but the outcome was not serious. RRMs would involve non-serious injuries, minor aircraft damage or structural failure that does not significantly affect structural integrity, performance or flight characteristics and does not require major repair or replacement of affected components. Under the TSI Act, a  responsible person must report RRMs within 72 hours of becoming aware of them.

An example of a RRM may include (AIP ENR 1.14):

  • an injury, other than a serious injury, to a person on board the aircraft
  • a flight crew member becoming incapacitated while operating the aircraft
  • an airprox
  • an occurrence that results in difficulty controlling the aircraft, including any of the following:
    • an aircraft system failure
    • a weather phenomenon
    • operation outside the aircraft’s approved flight envelope
  • fuel exhaustion (for Air Transport operations this event is an IRM)
  • the aircraft’s supply of useable fuel becoming so low (whether or not as a result of fuel starvation) that the safety of the aircraft is compromised (for Air Transport operations this event is an IRM if an emergency has been declared).
  • a collision with an animal, or a bird, on a certified aerodrome.

Mandatory reporting – contacting and submitting a report to the ATSB for immediately reportable matters (IRMs)

IRMs require immediate (as soon as practical) reporting by telephone and then a follow-up written report within 72 hours, preferably using the air safety incident report (ASIR) format.

RRMs only require a written report to be submitted within 72 hours.


Australian Transport Safety Bureau

PO Box 967 Civic Square ACT 2608

Incident reporting hotline T: 1800 011 034

To submit an online form:

What to include in the report

These are outlined under AIP ENR 1.14, or go to

The minimum information required for a written report includes:

  • aircraft make, model and registration
  • names of the owner and operator
  • full name of the pilot in command
  • date and time of the accident
  • last point of departure, point of intended landing and nature of the flight
  • location of the accident
  • number of persons on board and numbers and names of the injured
  • nature and cause of the accident, as far as it is known
  • description of damage to the aircraft
  • description of the accident site’s terrain and its accessibility.

Voluntary reporting – aviation confidential reporting scheme (REPCON)

REPCON is a reporting system that allows people to submit reports to the ATSB in confidence. Maintaining individual confidentiality is the primary element of REPCON so as to, for example, alleviate the risk of any retribution. Any person who has an aviation safety concern, whether involved in the aviation industry or a member of the travelling public, may submit a REPCON report.

The items that are not reportable under the mandatory reportable scheme (e.g. IRMs and RRMs) but still exhibit evidence that gives reason for aviation safety related concerns should be reported with REPCON.

Examples of what should be reported with REPCON include:

  • an incident or circumstance that affects, or has the potential to affect, aircraft operations safety
  • a procedure, practice or condition that a reasonable person would consider endangers, or, if not corrected, would endanger, the safety of air navigation or aircraft operations, such as
    • in relation to aircraft operators, airport operators or ATC service providers
    • poor training, behaviour, attitudes
    • insufficient qualifications or experience of employees
  • scheduling or rostering that contributes to the fatigue of employees and/or
  • bypassing safety procedures because of operational or commercial pressures
    • inadequate airport facilities for safe operations
    • unsafe passenger, baggage or cargo management
    • inadequate traffic or weather information.

REPCON reporting

If you have any concerns, please contact REPCON confidential reporting:

T:1800 020 505.

Or submit an online form

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