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Image from JDA article: Aviation Safety: No News Is Good News
Or as noted British author, Richard Llewellyn put it in his book, How Green was my Valley,
“Bad news has good legs.” – Journalists find it hard to write about good news; nothing sells newspapers like a gruesome murder or corrupt politician. It is even more taxing to write about the absence of bad news

Well, it’s been quite a fortnight and matters aeronautical have perforce, taken a back seat. P7_TOM has just had his hydraulic system overhauled which took priority. Why is it always so; you hang about the place for days on end, then off you go to work; that is the day the dog gets sick, or the washing machine reveals it’s true nature; or, the usually reliable car decides to quit in the middle of the harbour bridge; or, a storm takes the roof off of the place. Not, mind you that I could have done anything of practical worth; P7 was on his Pat Malone and won through, with flying colours, without my assistance. Bravo; (however)-

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I’ve put up a bit of a ramble on the whole thing – there are I believe some lessons to be learned from the episode – a lay point of view, thus far, but I intend to get busy on the subject of aviation medicals (CASA style). At face value I’m not certain that the approach is not more punitive than ‘preventative’. The whole thing skewed toward some legal/medical box ticking, rather than honest concern for well being. Perhaps my impressions are wrong – but I shall use the PAIN resources to reach a satisfactory answer – MTF – you bet. End of….

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P2 and Mr. PB have done a whiz bang job on the airport travesty. No matter which road you take you arrive at the disgraceful shambles, complete with smoking holes and crispy critters.  No one seems to want the responsibility of ensuring that operational airports and runways are ‘safe’; the ‘letter’ in this post sums up the entire situation. Buildings placed in harms way, shopping centres potentially crowded with bargain hunting Mum’s and kids all innocently waiting for the unthinkable – 5 ton of machinery at 200 KpH slamming in through a window, a ton or two of jet fuel sprayed about the place – a spark and catastrophe.

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And what does Australian Aviation’s greatest Disaster do ?– SFA s what. The thick, dark curtains of protection are drawn, the word weasels get to work and the whole machinery of obfuscation, denial and duck shoving winds up to race speed. Things like ‘transitional surfaces’ are a black art – technical and complex. The ICAO put such requirements in place to ensure there is a margin of safety and ‘operational’ flexibility, the requirements are by nature complex, however, there is a responsibility on government agencies to ensure that those safety buffers are in place. There are independent specialists who deal with such matters; the BRB have voted, overwhelmingly, that the government must, as a matter of integrity, call in an independent team of specialists to analyse the airspace in and around our airport ground structures. Anything short of this will be seen as dereliction of duty. People and aircraft are at risk – simply so that some developer may squeeze a few more rentable square meters of floor space onto an airport lot; or, they can build something equally useless to humanity – another DFO. Darren 6D needs to get off his arse and do something – or, piss off and let someone who will deal with the problems; from CASA to Developer, do the thing right. A bloody disgrace.

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Photo via the Canberra Times article: ATSB revises mid-air drone incident forecast to stable, despite fears of it doubling 

Tuesday 29 inst. Will see the ‘Drone wars’ take centre stage again. There is a good line up for the senators to discuss the state of play with. I find it remarkable that our much vaunted ‘safety agencies’ are playing catch up to the Senators lead. The ‘agencies’ have had years to examine and respond to the challenges an increasing ‘drone’ population present; to determine a balance between what is useful, sensible and safe and that which needs be controlled; and, how to do it. But they all stand flat footed while the Senate entry simply streets ‘em, with knowledge and vision.

It is just another indication that it is high time we had the lid off this festering can of expensive, inutile can of  supposed ’safety’ experts and brought in  some practical men of good will, to the job the Senators are having to do for the existing crew of pretenders and wanna-be’s, masquerading as ‘the experts’. There’s only one thing they have become expert in; and it ain’t good management of matters aeronautical.

You know, I keep going back to this Pie in the Sky wet dream ASA have been feeding off for years. Seriously, when you go back over the whole ASA saga – back to the Russell days, through that dreadful period when ol’ Stabbed in the Dark ruled, through to the current day Halfwit; you have to wonder at your own credulity. I mean we all swallowed it; bones and feathers, hoping that under Senate fire some sense would be made of it all and the errors made would be corrected. We wanted it to be simply ineptitude and bad management; fixable. Then we have the Board dragged into frame – any hope of it all being a dreadful, albeit expensive mistake are abandoned.

Defence slithers out of the back door, untouched, the bored Board wash their Lilly white hands of it; the tax payer gets the bill and once again the Senators are left grappling a nebulous, cunning adversary. Like trying to pin a fart to the wall – but, there’s hope. Folk like Sir Gallacher are not that easily fooled or mislead and; you just get the feeling that the Senators won’t be backing off any time soon. Well done those statesmen who actually give a monkeys..  We will be watching on Tuesday.

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Otherwise it’s been a fairly lacklustre week – the idiot alphabet soup groups continue to demonstrate how easily the private, flying for fun set can be brought into disarray, divided and conquered by a rapacious CASA desperate to prevent a united voice crying ‘Enough’. Time there was some maturity and leadership on display; enough said. I will leave it there and ask the ‘soup groups’ to consider the words of Mike Mrdak – very, very carefully. Then realise just what reform of aviation is up against and more importantly – exactly who you are up against.

“Electoral cycles are very short, the focus of government tends to be very short,” Mrdak said. “We are the continuity and the people who have to understand what the future needs are to provide that long-term advice to government … often governments don’t want to hear our view.

“A view is not an opinion. I have lots of opinions — not worth much — but my agency has a view on the right outcome for the future. It’s informed by evidence, informed by good long-term research, and it’s all about what is the right outcome for the challenges facing the country.” – Reference: M&M: Listen up minions

If those words don’t scare you – they should.

That is definitely enough from me. It is my intention to take a second coffee out to the stables and pull up a stool close to TOM’s bench and sit quietly, as I did as child, watching the strong calloused hands meld pieces of wood into things of great beauty and value; we may chat about ‘the op’ we may not. Either which way, it is enough for me this day.


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