What will a Quarter buy you?

07 Jan

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Times up for Pel_air MkII via Google images

What will a Quarter buy you? – AP Forum version

Not too much these days – unless it’s a quarter million. Carefully spent, in the right place, it can buy you a lot of ‘assistance’ with your small problems. Not in Australia of course – No Sir; not a chance. The best you could hope for here that ‘mate-ship’ or old favours are repaid in kind; or, perhaps an old marker is paid in full. A blatant Baksheesh attempt will land you in hot water. This all makes it difficult to investigate a ‘passing strange’ series of events, then to make it even harder, there is the entrenched culture of ‘say-nothing’. For to speak up places you at the mercy of those about whom you speak, while others shun you.


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IF you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie.
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by. – Rudyard Kipling


So for the investigator or even the curious, non partisan person with an itch to scratch, getting to the roots of as puzzle is a long, weary road. P2, myself and others became fascinated by the arrival of nine documents to the Pel-Air inquiry. Nine files in a virtual avalanche of ‘paper’ provided, by the truck load to the investigating Senate Committee. When you begin to try and unravel a puzzle, there are shed loads of ‘paper’ to wade through and it gets ‘messy’; almost impossible for a casual reader to follow. However, if you persist, go back to the beginning – several times – re-hash it all; then spend hours shouting at each other to reach a consensus, you can (eventually) emerge at the end of the journey with a fairly clear picture of events. ‘We’ started to get a handle on certain things about – HERE – when P2 touched on Safety Management Systems (SMS) which included Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS). We became particularly interested in the FRMS element and the ‘cloud’ surrounding some assessments offered. One thing the majority of the network agreed on – that the Pel-Air crew were in no condition to fly the return sectors.


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“It is the knowledge of the unendingness and of the repetitious uselessness, the do it up so it can be done again, that makes Fatigue fatigue.” –  James JonesFrom Here to Eternity


The next milestone on the journey –HERE – but before you venture into that maze – take the time to consider – THIS – before hand; it will save some head scratching when you arrive – HERE -.


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“Toughen up princesses”


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“The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.” ― Susan B. Anthony


Nearly done – in P2’s Part IV there are more breadcrumbs to be followed – but if you run out of patience or time – skip to the bottom and consider the implications from the following paragraph and the listed documents:-

P2 – “To set the scene for answering my (above) QON, here are some document links for the NINE ( 9 – anonymously provided) Senate AAI inquiry documents, which were ‘received’ by the RRAT committee Secretariat on the 10 October 2012 i.e. 12 days before the first public hearing”.

I could, I expect, sit here and spoon feed you the information, just like ATSB and CASA do for whoever is in the ministerial seat, once it has been tested for poisons and carefully seasoned by ‘the department’ to make it palatable. Nick Xenophon and his small crew aren’t lazy, nor are they gullible; they triggered events through the Pilot training inquiry – which, IMO, had a great impact on the Pel-Air inquiry, right from the beginning. Those  which have continued on and on, right up to the carefully deceptive ‘New’ report on the radical causes of the Pel-Air ditching. Pivotal items which are mentioned – in passing; just enough to say ‘we covered that’ but not enough depth to raise any eyebrows being the stand out parts of the whole confection.

The casual reader will have abandoned the breadcrumb trail ages back, eyes glazed and early Massive Interest Failure (MIF) onset leading to other more easily understood topics; which is fine by me. However; there will be some readers who really need to buckle down and do their homework – if for no other reason but self protection. For the FRMS is the very thin end of a very hefty wedge, which will be driven in hard, by the biggest hammer we can find.

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“Sometimes what you think is an end is only a beginning. And that wouldn’t do at all.” Agatha Christie, Death Comes as the End

Dick Smith and the media have picked up sticks for the beleaguered Falcon Air; “an act of sheer bastardry” they have labelled it; and, rightly so. But they have only, quite politely scratched the surface of ‘acts of sheer bastardry’, particularly in relation to the CASA office involved. It is not the only ‘office’ with a chequered history, indeed, many tales are whispered in bars and discussed on flight decks – some of the tales are the stuff of legend and used to frighten newcomers, control those affected and retain the myth that CASA can and will crucify those who dare to step out of line. Of course it depends on who you are – CASA leave the ‘big boys’ strictly alone, whilst they cosset their mates. But to balance that largesse they lay in wait to pounce on whoever they choose using extreme interpretations of ‘black letter’ law, with the full knowledge that few can take ‘em on and win a game of chance, against a stacked deck.


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Life-saving heart transplant prevented due to ‘air safety technicality’ – Alan Jones 2GB


I know, I keep banging on about reforming, not restructuring the Regulator. But until this happens and the lessons driven home, firmly, then nothing, absolutely nothing will save the industry. The problems are internal and attributable to the ‘individuals’ who protect and foster the culture of selective bastardy used to support the unsupportable. Has Barnaby got the balls to sort it out, once and for all? He is a ‘leader’ of this nation; in times of real trouble, the country looks to it’s governments leaders for solutions. Well, IMO, we are teetering on the brink of the abyss with the cavalry tied up by red tape. Barnaby has the option and the call – Hero or just another useless hack, poncing about in a ministerial suit, being led about by the foreskin until it is all too little, too late.

Arggh enough. Anyway, it is Sunday – day of rest they say. Unless you happen to be one of the ‘essential services’ on duty. While the majority are setting up to enjoy the days events, there are police, ambulance and fire services on deck, ready to go and face the horror of tragedy. They did very well for us on the Hawkesbury River last week, while the rest enjoyed NYE there were divers in the river, alone, faced with the task of recovering the bodies of those killed in the crash.  The ‘services’ have had a busy year with aviation related fatal accidents. A simple Well done and Thank you seems to be a pitiful reward for their brave, dedicated, selfless efforts. But it is heartfelt and most sincere.

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Now: Workshop therapy required, keeping up with the research is work enough, but to try and beat it into some easily digested nutshell is exhausting. Perhaps a second coffee, a cigar purloined from a dinner party (smoke it later excuse) to keep me company while I walk the dogs will knit the ravell’d sleeve of care; it usually does. Then; I can finish the Oak tool-box which will take me afternoon tea in the garden. Sounds like a plan to me.

Toot – toot…

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