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A Galah event….

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Cue Gabby – in three, two, one – you’re live.

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“Welcome, welcome, one and all to the hallowed turf of the Parliament playing field. Today’s event is a classic, the Senate Snooze Club (SSC) v the Sleepy Hollow Gambles (SHG).  It has been a close run thing at the bookies, the odds slightly favouring the highly manoeuvrable SHG forward pack, famed for their ability to switch attack into defence and deceive the referee. They have on occasion been penalised for ‘dodgy’ running, shepherding and doing unspeakable things during the ruck and maul. Their opposition however has a formidable forward pack, slow, but with momentum gained a worthy opponent; their back row has some very fast, clever players, who, with an adequate supply of ball, can be lethal. All to play for today – the ‘Drone Cup’ is up for grabs, provided they can catch it – post match. It will be flying over the game today, taking those famous aerial shots and generally being a bloody nuisance to one and all, however, it does belong to a ‘member’ and privilege does have its rightful place.”

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“It seems the SSC have won the toss and will be first out of the changing rooms, dancing and shuffling along to their theme tune – It’s the biggest Aspidistra in the world. Rumour has it that at the SSC hooker – Galloping Gallacher – picked the tune as ‘It’s the biggest faery story in the world’ was locked down to the Thales group advertising campaign. AAAnnnnnddd here they come! at a very sedate, calm, deliberate pace, no rush, no dash, just the steady tread of their boots as they plod out to centre field.  The opposition prance and dance out behind in their hi-viz, electric blue, spandex kit, looking ‘match fit’ and full of something – perhaps not running – but they do smell queer.”

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“Tension builds, the ref blows time on; and, they’re off. The SSC seem to having their share of ball as the opening moves are played and: Oh! Hold it – OMG the SHG prop forward ‘ Wingnut’ has knocked the ball on– it will be a scrum. Props Glenn Stern and Barry O’Braces pick up Galloping Gallacher and get the pack settled for the ‘engage’ – all good – ball delivered and the SSC with a mighty shove claw the ball back for the 5/8 – it’s away to the backs – heading for the winger, no wait, the full back -Xenophon – intercepts a wayward pass and breaks clear. He beats one, two of the SHG backs as the forwards fall back in defence  – but Oh no! he has run into his own prop forward O’Braces, fallen over and spilled the ball forward. He managed to gain 40 yards of valuable territory for his team but can they take advantage of it, that is the big question now. Well folks, that passage of play brings us up to the half time whistle. Time to hear from our sponsors.”


Many would say Xenophon buggered it up on Friday – but they would be incorrect. The matter is now public, on Hansard and that cannot be changed. Another important matter, which cannot be changed is that Carmody has stated publicly, on the record that he is waiting for the Pel-Air report etc. P2 has (once again) done a whizz-bang job, starting on the basic research and will, as time ticks by, unfold the whole sorry story. I warn you, it may appear dry as sticks to some.

Just think about that comment for a second..

Now although the intent by the DAS is to indicate that he will (unlike Malcolm Campbell) be not making any references or revealing any part of the DRAFT report (as per the conditions of section 26 of the TSI Act); he does appear to be indicating that he will be referencing the ATSB Final Report to inform his decision making process on DJ’s request for the conditions on his ATPL be dropped…

Does this indicate that the DAS is contemplating breaching the spirit and intent of section 12AA of the TSI Act?

But the research does show some deeply hidden, dark areas associated with the treatment James is still receiving, as part of the distraction play, to take the focus off the CASA part in the Pel-Air matter. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the ATSB ‘second’ version report is slanted toward citing James as the sole perpetrator of the Norfolk ditching incident.  Whether this is true or not is nugatory, in fact, James and his part is insignificant, immaterial and a distraction.

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But to put an end to the Carmody/ James argument consider this. At the time James accepted the conditions imposed (on legal advice – not mine) he had little option and it was the only way forward. Since then he has passed, at no less an August institution than Flight Safety a type rating, instrument rating and Command proficiency check. He is now asking, quite reasonably and politely for CASA to accept those qualifications as the evidence they demand of ‘competency’. They flatly refuse. Now they want a ‘CASA’ expert to oversight the same check.

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This is a pure case of embuggerance and a double insult to Flight Safety. The notion that only a CASA nominated inspector may judge the James performance is risible; furthermore if FS say ‘Pass’ and the FOI says ‘Fail’ what then? If and it is a big IF the proposed CASA FOI was a ever a professional pilot with real experience, ever operated as Captain, multi crew, international operations or even as a charter pilot in ‘class’ turbine then maybe he could argue against the FS ‘Pass’. Problem is, the proposed man is not any of these things; is he CEO Carmody.

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Nope. James is simply the distraction, shifting focus away from the real story. Carmody dare not, indeed cannot undo the arbitrary restrictions placed on James; nor can he shred the evidence trail of some very shaky paper work doings to support the unseemly restoration to service of Pel-Air. Pel-Air remains untouched and unadmonished under the high speed, slippery edicts and decisions made by Chambers, supported by McCormack, approved by Hood, executed by Campbell, Worthington and others. The paper trail and supporting research all point to a major question? What the hell was CASA playing at? One could also ask why? Or; conversely one could speculate why a Virgin and Qantas crew got away with a slightly more dangerous, similar incident at Mildura, Scot free? The really bold questioner may even ask why is Hood running the ATSB? Well Nick Xenophon took the run, made the yards and got a small part of this ‘on the record’. Thanks Nick – brave run, done strong, we will miss you and wish you well.

The almost stunned looks on faces of both committee and the CASA front rows when Nick stepped up was priceless. For me, the absolute pinnacle of delight was the Aleck catchall bollocks – (paraphrased) “it matters not that the document was unsigned; the intent was there”. Try telling that to the tax man – “my intent to pay is clear – here is the cheque; it is unsigned, but that’s OK – ain’t it?”  Oh, I’d love to get so lucky that the tax man believed it; I surely would. If you could stomach it (or even with our bucket handy), select, at random, any half dozen ‘estimates’ rambles from Aleck and listen to ‘em. Spin, back-flips, contradictions by the wagon load; I can find six where he has completely contradicted his own waffle without even rolling my sleeves up and looking hard. Yet there he sits, whispering the sweet words they love to hear, into the CEO ear.

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‘Drones’ took the lions share of time available, particularly the case of the one nation fellah who operated his drone over the parliamentary football paddock. Of itself, it was an interesting passage of play; but, if you watch the video you will see several interesting by plays from the CASA front row. You will also see Aleck cornered, cleverly mired in his own pony-pooh. The Senate front row have his measure now and have weighed the double speak much relied on; even in a simple matter like a drone offence. No matter, the committee now have the ‘investigation’ file in the hands of a real investigator. This could turn out to be fun, as the ring of power is destroyed.

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There is one passage which screams for attention, the part where Carmody declares that they have ‘beefed up’ the drone rules. He makes no mention of how CASA will enforce or even apprehend, let alone prosecute offenders. This is not the star turn though – CASA have approved drone operations within the visual circling area of aerodromes. At 5.5 kms and 400 feet, drones may operate within an airspace where, under instrument flight rules, aircraft conducting one of the most difficult manoeuvres will be operating, in poor visibility during bad weather. Ducking brilliant, top marks CASA. Who the hell dreams up this crap and who approves it?

But what of the ASA session? There is only one part worth watching – at the very end, Gallacher spells out the Senate position on ‘One sky pie’ the for Halfwit – ‘it’s the biggest fairy story ever told’. Or as Grand Mamma would say:-

I will leave watching the Hansard up to you. Bit pushed for time this week – significant Estimates happening on Friday messes up my Sunday and it takes time to digest the video. P2 has captured much of the Hansard video and over the next few day we will extricate some of the highlights. But well played the Senate front row.

Now I’m off to the stable workshop, check list – dogs, coffee, video player – checked. Now I can watch and listen all day while I do something useful; there’s a saw to be doctored, three planes in need of sharpening and a dozen chisels needing a tune up. If it would rain, my day would be complete.

Toot – toot.

P2 – On that note – just for a laugh, courtesy of “V” [Image: biggrin.gif]