Pilots Asked To Tell All About Safety Concerns

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Australian officials are asking two former pilots of Trans Air to go on record about their alleged safety concerns about the airline in the wake of a crash that killed 15 people on May 7. The Australian Transport Safety Board says the pilots are only willing to give off-the-record statements but those are worthless to investigators probing the crash. All aboard the Metroliner died when it crashed into a hillside while on approach in bad weather at an airport in Lockhart River. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is also interested in talking to the former pilots. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, authorities there are looking at possible links between a Metroliner crash there and several Airworthiness Directives issued by its Civil Aviation Authority. The Metro apparently caught fire in the air before crashing in Taranaki last Tuesday. The ADs covered wiring inside fuel tanks and potential wheel-well fires that could occur shortly after takeoff. Transport Accident Investigation Commission investigator John Goddard told National Radio there had "certainly been a fire" and that it didn't start in the cargo hold of the courier aircraft. Earlier reports suggest the landing gear were extended at the time of the crash.