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Democracy; a strange, almost alien concept – as currently applied to the aviation industry anyway. A huge, important multi billion dollar industry the participants of which, apart from being able to vote in the general elections, has little say in the government’s ‘management’ of it. There certainly is no meaningful input regarding ‘regulations’; history clearly shows that despite the best efforts of the many, the minority prevail. Often it is said that the ‘rule’ as proposed and agreed returns to become ‘law’ somewhat different to the original, particularly in ‘spirit and intent’.  In charge of all this ‘management’ is the boss of CASA.
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As there are only a few short days to go until a milestone in the DAS ‘selection’ process passes by, a process in which industry has no input, no power of reversal and no right to appeal. It may be worth considering the dreadful past decade. It has, truly, been a horrendous period. A time of almost despair which began with the Byron departure, supplanted by the brute McConvict, only to end ignominiously with the abject failure of ‘whatsisname’. Ten long years of no improvement, a decade of fatuous, expensive, no value law; all supported by some of the worst creatures to ever crawl out from beneath the slime of the Sleepy Hollow swamps. I have no fear of this statement ever being seriously challenged; the evidence is overwhelming. One need go no further back than Pel-Air to see the sanctified manipulation of system. Before the Board and the minister ‘sign off’ on the next appointee; perhaps they could find a little time to consider the past decade and contemplate just who is really running the Australian aviation authority. It ain’t the minister, certainly not board and the DAS could not possibly get away with the past shambles and aberrations without ‘deep’ internal support.  Perhaps a ten minute break may be found and the article, penned by Paul Phelan published in Pro Aviation could be contemplated;  with this as an an introduction – 25 year disgrace. Modern, pertinent history which is doomed to repeat, unless there is a concerted effort to reform the regulator. The appointment of a new DAS is not the end of government responsibility, but the beginning. The minister could demonstrate a commitment to ‘real change’ by withdrawing the effeminate ‘Expectations’ statement and replacing it with a more ‘robust’ Directive. Don’t ask ‘em. Tell ‘em, you blasted Muppet.
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Mini rant over; although there is still plenty of steam in the boiler for matters which should be of great concern to the minister and his ‘safety’ agencies. The encroachment of buildings into active airspace for one. PAIN has connections with PANS-OPS specialists; folk who design airspace and approaches, not to mention consulting, with those who matter, on obstacle clearance, impingement, safety zones and such. Three separate groups; three singular responses to the Essendon impingement – I shall paraphrase: “how the hell did they get away with that”. That is ‘the’ question, ain’t it. Perhaps our DoIT can answer it; we shall see.

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While the boiler is still warm; the hi-viz ‘touchy-feely’ ATSB is delighted to have Thor Thormodsson (TT from now on; not typing that again) here to play in their mucky sandpit. Perhaps he’ll find some time away from training to practice a little digging. We can supply a bucket and spade, to assist, should it be required.  P2 has done us proud and provided a little map to assist the treasure hunt; and no, all those little ‘X’ are not tokens of affection – ‘X’ marks the spot. The digging exercise may assist with the training regime. Lots of old bones buried in the ATSB sandpit.  [Aside] why bother fluffing up the ATSB article with that marathon guff? Who gives a monkeys. Heigh Ho.

Speaking of P2; he does have a pawky sense of humour; taking great delight in finding ‘images’ guaranteed to make one reach for the ever present bucket. I should know better, but, quite sanguine and innocent I open the latest post on the great big ‘Pie in the Sky’ scam and am confronted by the visage of the hapless Halfwit. (a Gotcha from P2).

Quickly scroll past that and find an article from that man ‘Iggins which starts to take the lid off this very expensive scam ASA have been perpetrating. The ANAO audits and results have been very carefully conducted (constructed as briefed in ToR) to avoid the more awkward aspects of the ‘One-Sky, One pot’ debacle, which neatly avoids serious embarrassment for government and ASA board. But someone has to carry the can. The elephant’s tail is not a good match for a donkey’s ass end, however, if it comes in ‘electric blue’ I believe we can, anywhere anytime, find a suit-able, match fit candidate.

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The endless ducking for cover from the ‘drone wars’ is still hovering around the windows of parliament. The ministerial response has, so far, been to produce a picture of an empty Pizza box on twitter – WTD? Meanwhile, like Topsy the drone hazard just grows. No one seems to know quite what to do about it, but it is amusing to watch the scampering about of those who should know as they head for cover (under the empty pizza box?)

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Source: GE Aviation, modified by ATSB

On the plus side of the ledger we do have, courtesy of GE, some positive information on the Rex Saab missing propeller. They may have discovered a potential cause, which makes sound engineering sense. This is ‘investigation’ as it should be; swift, decisive, informed and a safety related outcome toward a positive fix. Now how good is that?

There is quite a neat summary – HERE – which, for a stranger visiting Aunt Pru may help to explain why Australian aviation is in a mess and cannot seem to find a way out. Sleepy Hollow has that effect on those who venture in too deep without leaving a breadcrumb trail. Even for those with foresight to leave their breadcrumbs escape is ‘problematic’; the scavengers who haunt the dells and swamps will devour those crumbs. No minister has ever escaped the clutches of this fell place; they are escorted out, eventually, slightly dazed and bemused once they have been used to suit purpose.

Well, I need a haircut, the dogs need a bath and the elephant yard is in a hell of a mess; best crack on. Hold it – is that the smell fresh coffee and blueberry muffins baking wafting on the morning breeze? It is; and, seeing as the dogs have noted the ‘washing kit’ and buggered off; I may even get a whole muffin to myself. Aye – Heaven can wait…

Toot toot.