Nuts or a cigar, Minister?

28 Jan

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A lay down misère?

Misere or misère (French for “destitution”; equivalent terms in other languages include bettel, contrabola, devole, null, pobre) is a bid in various card games, and the player who bids misere undertakes to win no tricks or as few as possible, usually at no trump, in the round to be played. This does not allow sufficient variety to constitute a game in its own right, but it is the basis of such trick-avoidance games as Hearts, and provides an optional contract for most games involving an auction.

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The cards are on the table, freshly dealt for a winner take all hand. Much at stake, not the least of which is the credibility of a Minister and the competence of a government to manage ‘matters aeronautical’.  The Queensland (Qld) State police have brought an array of charges against a pilot which they intend to prosecute. That case and the trial while important are but the tip of a very ugly iceberg, which reflects the badly on the performance Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) {same – same FAA}. For many years now, particularly over the last decade there has been growing concern about the conduct of the operations conducted by this quasi autonomous government agency. Despite numerous ‘inquiries’ and much supporting data, nothing, not even a ministerial directive for reform has had any impact or produced tangible change – except that the ‘weak’ areas have been bolstered and reinforced to prevent further examination.  In an almost hilarious statement, the minister has asked CASA to investigate and report on its own actions in relation to the police case.  I will leave the result of that ‘investigation’ to your imagination.

There is a good case here for ‘real’ changes to be made into the investigation of aviation accidents to allow  the police aviation wings to be primary investigator. Every single accident or incident involves CASA in a potential ‘conflict of interest’ argument; particularly with ‘commercial’ aviation. CASA ‘accepts’ or approves the company operation, from paperwork to flight testing; CASA audit the companies; CASA prosecute where required. The rules are structured so that no matter what happened; or, why, CASA is in no way responsible – for anything; despite ‘approving’ the entire operation.

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The police have no such conflict; they are trained investigators and are very much aware of the ‘rules of evidence’ for shaping and bringing criminal charges. CASA are not. The state police are very much independent of the Federal transport minister; CASA are not. If CASA look bad then the minister is likely to be tarred with the same brush. Anyway FWIW, the whole black comedy has hit the media; for PAIN, this means extra work, but you; should just sit back and watch the tale unravel.  The minister has figuratively ‘nearly lost his head’ to keep it at least one must roll. The Houseboat tote is open for business.

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It’s been a mixed bag for the MH 370 saga this last week, hard core interest in a life or death struggle against the stone walls of government disinterest.  The hard part of the battle is rekindling wide public interest in an almost buried story; a difficult task when there is so much more going on in the world, which directly affects daily life. It would be brilliant if funding could be sourced to revisit the ‘investigation’ data and define a high probability search area. For myself, I hope that the ‘criminal’ land based investigation into who, why, what and how of this strange tale gets some real legs, horsepower and results. The answers IMO are on the ground, not ‘somewhere’ in the vast SIO.

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Last, but by no means least our sincere, heartfelt condolences are humbly offered to the family and friends of Peter Lynch and Endah Cakrawati, who perished in Perth’s Swan river during an air display on Australia day. We can only hope that the investigation will provide some answers which may help prevent this type of accident from ever occurring again.

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince;

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ”

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