It was the dogs that knew first; they always do – we were ambling home in that quiet time between beer o’ clock and dinner, a quick, happy bark; and, off they went. Unconcerned and slightly distracted, I followed along at a more sedate pace until I found them at the new park bench, on which, comfortably ensconced was P7_TOM (The Old Man), his feet on a medium sized ‘Esky’. The dogs were already settled so it was safe to assume he had come to talk. Wrong. “Talk to me” says he; perceptive old sod knows me well; I did indeed need a sounding board. He’d brought Guinness and a proper glass, poured one out for me, we sat in silence and watched the small miracle of the bubbles creating the head; lovely. “Patience, persistence and performance” we drank a silent toast; then, “say it in one word” he muttered. That made it my turn, I knew he’d say no more until I coughed up the lump I was choking on. The one word challenge is no easy puzzle – given the options available. A lot of words ran through my wooden head – disappointed, disgusted, dismayed, disheartened, confused, confounded, furious; etc. It took a moment to decide that no one word could cover my disbelief of what I was actually witnessing; nor my contempt for those committing the acts; and, my stunned amazement that the Australian public not only tolerate it – but pay billions to let it all happen.
The silence lasted through until the second Guinness had settled. The dogs heard the ‘dinner time’ whistle, looked askance, got the nod and headed off to eat. “Disconnection” says I. “That’ll do for a start” say’s TOM, “now construe, a for instance, in a nutshell”.
Ref: 29 November 2014 http://www.reducedmobility.eu/2014112854…lying.html
The Essendon debacle and the Angel Flight thing. The notion of holistic ‘safety’ and the best interests of the public and industry. CASA have spent a good deal of time (and by extension money) on the current Angel Flight How de Do. Ostensibly, related to their great concern for the safety of those folk who need transport to medical treatment. A real safety case which needs not only the minister’s support, but the Chair of the CASA board must be dragged out of whichever cat-house or opium den he was hiding in to support this great quest for public safety. The perpetrators of the great potential for disaster being Australian qualified Private Pilots; who are reimbursed their fuel costs by the charity. This all related to a debateable ’legal’ technicality in the very rules which CASA wrote. CASA have a remarkable number of operational ‘dispensations’ and ‘exemptions’ out there; some as old as industry itself. So, if the ‘technical’ illegality of AF pilots being reimbursed their fuel costs cannot be resolved; then CASA must either sort the rules out (mission impossible) or; issue an exemption until they finally do; or, perhaps find a way to fund the flights, through charter operators. That, or kill off one of the most useful charities in Australia. The espoused ‘public safety’ case is a gross nonsense: as risible, twisted and perverted as the mind which dreamed it up five years ago. There is barely a ‘real safety case’ to be discussed.
Ref: ABC News 22 February 2017 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-22/p…ss/8290906
Ref: SMH 16 Jan 2019 https://www.smh.com.au/business/companie…50re4.html
Essendon and the DFO is a horse of an entirely different colour. You don’t hear or see the minister or the CASA chairman out there on the hustings beating their chests and denouncing a ducking great big concrete and steel monstrosity built into the operational safety width of an active runway. That DFO could, potentially hold a couple of thousand innocent, unaware people, shopping and working. There is an ever present threat that ‘something’ could go horribly wrong, during a take off; duri.htmlng a missed approach; or, during a landing. World wide there have been many horrific tales of aircraft and buildings meeting, with the inevitable results. Many nations – even the Italians – have taken steps to minimise the risk. Not our CASA though. They simply pull the string attached to the ATSB top dog’s collar and whistle up yet another ‘Pilot error’ charge; done and dusted; game over. Now let’s move on to really important matters like the technical ‘illegality’ of Angel Fight.
And ‘we’ pay for this? Politicians all run away, the tax paying public meekly accepts the faery tales, industry shut’s up – as usual, a’feared of the ‘enforcers’ and the ATSB cowers in the gilded cage. What a brave, brilliant future CASA and our elected officials have crafted for Australia aviation safety. The stellar thinking, the impeccable logic, he visionary foresight toward ultimate safety, the breath taking elegance of the rules supporting the mystique of aviation safety.
“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. ― John Steinbeck, Cannery Row.
I glance up as the twilight deepens, for I’d been addressing my now empty glass; there sits TOM – a quiet smile playing about the eyes. “Feel better now?” expressed by a raise of the eyebrows. “Yes” say’s I reaching into the Esky to liberate some more of the Alfred Guinness fine offering; “yes, indeed I do”. No thanks required, although how he knew to turn up exactly when he did, with exactly the right ‘thinking’ fluid, I’ll never know. Cheers Pop.
“If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”