The Sunday Brunch Gazette.

Who hired the Git?

On the surface, very impressive CV P2.

Given he seems to have shifted about like a ping pong ball at a Chinese diplomat convention, he was either brilliant at getting things sorted and was moved on to other challenges or there was a necessity for the old sideways flick before open rebellion in the ranks. Giving the finger to the senate and apparent contempt for the industry one would imagine the latter was more likely.

If he is anointed and adopts Commodes sainthood, is K going to run a book on how long he lasts before the eh tu, Brute, moment arrives?

As for the Albert Einstein lookalike, they say there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Does Fort Fumble have a belfry? If they have, there's definitely bats in it.

CAR 206 & the Mad World of Aviation Safety Legal Embuggerance - courtesy Dr A.  Shy

On the Git I would 2nd the sentiment that it was the latter, however my point with copying and pasting that section of the Git's CV was that it would appear that he has absolutely zero executive management experience. Which is experience that I would have thought was essential in order to be the 2IC of CASA??

It is also disturbing when you purview the CV of one Mike Smith who also I believe put in for the Deputy Dog position... Rolleyes

Thorny - "..As for the Albert Einstein lookalike, they say there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Does Fort Fumble have a belfry? If they have, there's definitely bats in it..."  Wink

The following 2008 Budget Estimates Hansard extract flows on (or flows back) from the 1st video off this week's SBG...


...and IMO perfectly highlights how deluded and out of touch with all reality the Einstein look-alike Dr A truly is... Dodgy

Quote:Dr Aleck—As Mr Carmody said, I think there were many things in the coroner’s findings
with which CASA would disagree. That is inevitable. I cannot imagine that there would ever
be a coronial proceeding involving CASA in which everything that was said would be
something we would embrace wholly in terms of being so. We made a number of submissions
and a number of those submissions revolved around the fact that we had great difficulty with
the approach and some of the findings and conclusions in the ATSB report, and the coronial
was preceded on the basis of the ATSB report. That was certainly within the prerogatives of
the coroner but you can understand our concern that here is a report with which we had some
substantive and methodological concerns and then we have coronial proceedings saying,
‘What we are going to do is we are going to begin by taking as a given everything that is in
this report.’

So, CASA was really left with little option but to challenge that report because that was the
basis on which the coronial inquest proceeded. I do not want to go over old ground here but
there are many lessons to be learned from it and we have taken a great deal from that.
Recognising that there are areas in which our activities could be improved is not a concession
that the conclusions of the coroner, or the conclusions of the ATSB for that matter, were
necessarily entirely correct in every respect. I think that is the position that Mr Carmody—I
do not want to speak for Mr Carmody—has been consistently maintaining. I might also say
that the gravamen of the coroner’s findings was that there is this terrible relationship between
CASA and the ATSB, and I must say that, in the time since that report was issued, we have
covered a considerable amount of ground.

I think there is some more ground yet to be covered, but I would say that relations between
the ATSB and CASA are markedly improved on a number of bases and the concerns we had
about the methodology, I think, are understood by the ATSB. I say that because—this is really
a matter for the ATSB—not so long ago the ATSB released a fairly comprehensive report on
causality and these issues in the context of accident investigations, and they actually
canvassed the notion that, where organisational deficiency models are used, there is the
possibility, or at least the perception, that there is an inclination to look for organisational
faults to the extent of not examining individual responsibility. And, in fact, they refer to some
literature produced by James Reason who was the fellow responsible for this model who
recognised the ‘look what they have done to my song’, so to speak.

Sometimes these things are carried too far. I am not suggesting for a moment that the ATSB
said, ‘Oh, yes. Everything CASA said is true. We do seek to find organisational faults.’ But, I
think the recognition is that, in a complex world of human beings acting as individuals and as
parts of organisations, you will find things that can be sheeted home, noting that the ATSB
does not sheet home blame or liability, individual factors and organisational factors. And
CASA felt, I think fairly—I do not know that the term ‘skewing the evidence’ was ever used. I
have seen the transcripts. I cannot recall seeing that expression. But, what happened was
CASA presented a case to the coroner. The coroner then made some findings and conclusions
based on CASA’s submissions and it is open to the coroner to say, ‘I take into account
everything that CASA’s counsel said and it seemed to me that what they were saying is that
the ATSB was skewing the evidence.’ Whether or not that was said, I do not think we would
agree with that conclusion. What we were trying to suggest all along was that—

Senator O’BRIEN—If I can interrupt your rather long answer.  Big Grin

Dr Aleck—Sorry.

Senator O’BRIEN—I want to interrupt because what you have just been saying goes to
the very nub of the original question that I asked, the answer that I was given and my
concerns about it. What you are now saying is not only is ATSB capable of criticising
themselves in a report, but to my estimation, they are a fairly objective organisation. That is
not to say they do not make mistakes, but they are fairly objective organisation. The coroner
categorises your dealing with their report as one of casting aspersions as to their integrity, and
when I asked for a response about that I get, ‘We do not basically think so and we do not
necessarily agree with the coroner’s report,’ as if that has been brushed aside. I am sure that
other officers of various organisations within the transport portfolio, had they looked at that,
would have taken the same view.

Dr Aleck—If they had looked at the coroner’s findings?

Senator O’BRIEN—If they had looked at Hansard of the last estimates round.

Dr Aleck—The point that was consistently made in response to that particular question
about whether CASA was attacking the integrity of the ATSB was that what we were doing
was challenging—and maybe attacking is a word that was sometimes used—the credibility or
the integrity of the report. An organisation with a high degree of integrity can produce a report
about which serious questions can be raised.

Senator O’BRIEN—What you are saying to me is the coroner was not competent enough
to write a report which said, ‘CASA did not take issue with the way ATSB were doing their
job. They just thought they had it wrong.’ The coroner’s report is very specific and spent some
time in drawing our attention to the fact that there was a pretty blistering attack on ATSB,
their integrity, whether there was a conflict of interest, the methodology, whether there was
bias, and potentially whether they were skewing evidence. That was the lead in to the whole
question and we get a brush-off at estimates, hence my revisiting it, having had a look at the
Hansard. I am keen to explore this issue if it is appropriate at the appropriate time of how the
organisations got into that position and the nature of the culture that drove it. Also, I am
disappointed that Mr Byron cannot be here for this discussion, but we may have other
remedies for that. Do you want to continue your long answer?

Dr Aleck—I am sorry for the extended response, but I would not suggest for a moment that
I was challenging the competency of the coroner, except that we will not always agree with
the findings that coroners make.

Senator O’BRIEN—How long have you been with the organisation now?

Dr Aleck—With the exception of five years that I remained an employee of the
organisation but was overseas, it has been about 13 years, I believe.

Senator O’BRIEN—CASA has been mentioned in dispatches, for want of a better term, in
a number of coronial inquiries.

Dr Aleck—A number of times.

Senator O’BRIEN—Can you, on notice, give us the details of over the last five years how
many times there have been specific references to the findings that reflect on CASA’s
performance from coroners?

Dr Aleck—As a matter of fact I can do that. We have them. We can do it on notice. We can
go back 10 years, in fact, if you like.

Senator O’BRIEN—That would be good. It may be a perception thing on my part and it
may be the way the media reports things, and it may be the fact that good stuff does not get
drawn to our attention as much as bad stuff, but every report I have heard of has been
somewhat critical and perhaps that is the role of coroners.

Dr Aleck—
It is a little bit of all those things.

Senator O’BRIEN—Presumably, those reports are the sort of things that are colouring the
way CASA looks at its ongoing performance, its roles and its functions. We do not get a nod
on the Hansard, so is that a yes?

Dr Aleck—I am just saying presumably it is and I think presumably you are correct.

Mr Carmody—I was going to say that we do look seriously at all coronial reports and all
ATSB reports, implement the recommendations where we think they are appropriate. We
publish those on our website and we endeavour within the responsibilities that we have under
section 9 of the act to do just that.

Hmm...can we pretty please bring back the former Senator O'Brien from retirement - PLEASE?? Wink  

Remember the above extract was over 10 years ago and think on about how things have changed - NOT!... Dodgy

Next this is a link - HERE - for the AQONs that were tabled for the CASA session QONs. However what perked my interest was the table provided by Dr A (ref: PG10) in response to this Senator O'Brien QON:

Quote:Senator O’Brien asked:

Senator O’BRIEN—Can you, on notice, give us the details of over the last five years
how many times there have been specific references to the findings that reflect on
CASA’s performance from coroners?

Dr Aleck—As a matter of fact I can do that. We have them. We can do it on notice.
We can go back 10 years, in fact, if you like.


Set out in the table below are references reflecting on CASA’s regulatory
performance, as these have appeared in the reported findings of coronial proceedings:
in which CASA has been involved, or of which the Legal Services Group (and its
predecessor) had otherwise become aware.

It is conceivable that coronial proceedings involving the death of persons resulting
from aircraft accidents might be conducted with no involvement of CASA
whatsoever, and without CASA necessarily having been advised that those
proceedings were in train or concluded. With those considerations in mind, the
information presented in the table below may not be exhaustive...
This table has a very familiar point of reference (i.e Coroner recommendations to CASA) because some four years later PAIN produced a similar but more comprehensive research paper - see HERE - which included some of those very same Coronial inquiries. 
Quote:The Coroner recommended that:—
? CASA consider regulating helicopter pilot training
to include night VFR;
? CASA and the industry move towards a national
system of accreditation and uniform standards for
provision of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in
? CASA investigate reclassification of EMS
helicopter operations into charter category, or create
a separate EMS category of aviation in order to
provide the benefits of increased level of regulation
and CASA oversight, than that presently available
under the aerial work category;
? CASA ensure that appropriate information be
provided to pilots on an ongoing basis regarding the
issue of special disorientation.

The Coroner supported draft regulations Parts 61 and 133
becoming final.

The above summary of the recommendations/findings from the 2003 CFIW EMS helo crash was also used by Senator Fawcett as an example of an 'open safety loop' that was still yet to be closed: ref - Scrambled dots & Angel Flight smokescreens - cont/- &

However what I find 'passing strange' is that number 5 on the PAIN 'Coronial Analysis' paper was not captured in Dr A's AQON table?

This brings, nearly 20 years after the tragic C310 Police Airwing crash at Newman, me full circle to this video segment... Dodgy   

Much MTF...P2  Tongue

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Not only captive, culpable -  but Catamite (and loving it).

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"We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking place, And we'll not fail."

Macbeth, being ‘Macbeth’ asks a question of his Mama - What if we fail? I’ve always liked Mama’s answer; it’s sheer cold blooded logic rings true. It’s a bugger when all the Mama’s boy’s in aviation worry about ‘failing’. If they don’t stop banging their gums in tea rooms and cussin’ CASA up and down - when out of earshot – they’ll have failed, not only their industry, but, more importantly -  themselves. Aviators and those who invest their lives in an aviation business are not, by nature, cowards or ‘sooks’. Quite the reverse in fact; courage and confidence have long been a given quality of the tribe. And yet, it seems to me that CASA have got them cowed, beaten into a cocked hat and scared of their own shadows. (lest they transgress or offend).

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I, for one, am not sure how much longer the aviation industry can go on ‘in denial’. Ministers live in ‘denial’ – it’s a permanent state of mind for them – well, such minds as they have. It is probably wise to ignore the current minister; and best to step around his office. Why? Well. he can’t help being fundamentally, as thick as two short planks; not retarded you understand, I’d bet he can add up his allowances quick as a wink; but even then, not wholly and totally in touch with reality. His aeronautical reality comes from the sage advice of a CASA fellah – the same one old Darren 6D’s fired; but who has, nonetheless ‘captured’ the mind of a crown minister (such as it is). To say CASA own the current village idiot, posing as minister – lock, stock and barrel is not an exaggeration. This, standing alone is disgraceful; but, it gets worse.


A bucket – full of Canary pooh.

The media – the alleged fearless media is also terrified of this CASA beast. Went to that man ‘Iggin’s book launch indaba; asked a fair few friendly faces why they didn’t write and publish ‘facts’ supported by evidence of the CASA protection racket etc. Consensus; the journalists would love to – BUT – the ‘truth’ is verboten; end of story. Even the ABC go though legal ructions to air any sort of story which reflects the demi-gods in any form of a bad light. Pathetic really, when you consider the shock and horror of the travelling, tax paying public should even a sliver of ‘the way things are’ ever become public. Freedom of the press is just another catch phrase given lip service; but has SDA credibility, not in the way of reality at least.

Can we just take a break and look at the short list of the top contenders for the ‘Embuggerance Cup’. When I set the ‘tote’ odds for any race it is my habit to take a long look at the ‘outside’ chances first – they can surprise: and, mathematically one needs to take a little care when setting long odds. If an outside shot gets home, the short odds need to cover the outgoings. So the outside chances first.

Ref: Coronial Analysis. Fatal accidents. & Closing the safety loop

Coronial Recommendations: 17.2 hands, (two fingers). Gelded, but ‘cut proud’. Out of Blind Justice by Rule of Law. This entry should be ‘odds on’ to place. Runs straight, but slow and although often confused by multiple runners ahead, mostly see’s the finish and makes it to an often disputed place. For some reason protest against that righteous place are often upheld. Not a thing can be legally done once the Stewards, with ministerial support have denied further argument. 100/1 a place; 120.1 a place after the event and 150/1 a place and win the protest.


Direct Factory Outlet; 15.3 hands. Filly. Out of Blind Stupidity by Not our Fault. New entry into the big race scene; USA backers and a slim chance to run a place. The form guide is not producing any hints as to how this Filly will fare in a long race with tough going underfoot. However, the astute punter will not need to be tempted by the odds. Whispers from track side indicate there is to be a concerted effort to ‘interfere’ (DoIT, and ATSB entry in concert with the PMC’s runner) with the speedy Filly’s straight run – the wheels are in motion. I’ll start you at 150/1 the place – 200/1 the win and 250/1 a clean start.

Ref: Senate, Forsyth and industry demands – Ignored. Why? & Oz aviation safety? - stuck in a timewarp

Reverent Review: 16.4 hands. Horse, out of Senators Musings by Ministerial Direction. There is quite a lot of ‘mystery’ surrounding this entry: lots of data held back by the Stewards. On paper, running alongside of ‘Ministerial Support’ (another mythical creature) this horse should be at short odds to street the field. Lack of recent outings has seen the animal stable bound and suffering, due to general lack of interest in seeing it race from the connections – one can only wonder why. 200/1 a non starter. If given an outing 1 will get you 120 a win, 160 the place.


Rhoades Scholar. 16 hands, Brumby out of Bush Maiden by Landed Gentry. The last outing should be the subject of a Stewards Inquiry – full Monte. The interference and illegal tactics used outraged the St Leger crowd when the Stewarts threw out the appeal on very dodgy evidence. It should be noted that track side camera’s recordings were – somehow – lost after the event. Another entry which should be a short odds; but, I’ll give 100/1 to even start and 130/1 to finish; 40/1 will get you placed and 200/1 against the Stewarts upholding any protest of ‘foul’ running.

Aviation – and the poison chalice?

Flying Angel – 15.3 hands: Mare out of Good Intentions by Stuff Happens. An entry which has been doing good work in country centre meetings. Short odds on rural tracks where the going suits and the competition is honest. How she’ll do at a big city meeting with less than honourable competition, in a race that ‘the’ competition sponsors is in the lap of the gods. All a Bookie has to work with is knowledge of the way the race is managed and the opposition. Odds on it will be a starter: I’ll offer 4/1 on a good race being run hard, straight and true. Where the bookie must be cautious is in the result; often, small legal technicalities can spoil a good result, ending a win by ‘subjective’ disqualification. 200/1 the win; 100/1 the place and 20’s (odds on) any whimsical protest being upheld.

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Buckley’s Chance. 17.0 hands. Horse, out of Brilliant Idea by Robust Logic. There is a considerable amount of opposition to this entry even getting a start. The Stewards keep holding back the entry details for further examination. Provenance, pedigree and eligibility have all passed their tests; yet they hesitate to make a ruling; leaving the connections with all the expenses and in limbo. Nothing yet has moved the Stewards to even respond to their claims that the entry is ‘absolutely’ legal. In the Pub I’ll write in the ledger 40:1 the start. Official; it’s odds on no entry accepted (5/2). If the entry is accepted, with the entire field against a clean run – 150/1 the win: 100/1 the place. 

And yet boys and girls these are real entries in a ‘devil takes all’ race to the finish. The finish being the demise of the light to medium aviation industry in Australia. The lack of both governmental and ministerial intervention in allowing the world’s worst aviation administrator becoming a ‘private’ enforcement body, with unlimited power, strict liability enforcement,  a ‘Caviller’ approach to the rule of law and; to top it off, a fixed race – and minister who is little more than a glove puppet for the lunatics, running the asylum.

In a time of war Australia has given generously to our ‘allies’. It is time, before the tape goes up for the final running of the ‘Embuggerance Cup’ for the ICAO, the FAA, the NTSB, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, to come to the aid of the party. Australian aviation is becoming increasingly dangerous; through piss poor law and inutile ‘experts’ living out their wet dreams, through ‘law’ - while an industry dies: not on it’s feet, but on it’s knees – pleading for fair play, sanity and justice.

“Anybody there?” Knock three times if it’s my Aunt Mary.

Ref: FFFR (Fort Fumble Front Row) &  APTA embuggerance update

Aye well; ‘tis but a bugger’s muddle. Time we had a qualified pair of hands at the controls. Anyone who thinks; for one blessed moment that Crawford and ‘his’ mates can run aviation in Australia needs to talk to some expert advice. Industry is borderline moribund now; flight schools are leaving in droves; foreign nationals crew our aircraft and the legend of ‘quality operation’ Australian pilots owned is fast becoming the stuff of legend. Second rate about as good as we can manage. It shames me; not to mention those who went before and forged the legend.

So children; here we are ‘at the sticking point’. Are you more afraid of CASA or loosing the house and your kids future.? Yup; ‘tis time to piss in the pot or get off it. So many chances lost to history – wannabe one of those? You all know the stories, the score: and; – you all know the victims. Evermore to wonder when a Crawford or a Carmody decides you are an easy target, on which to reinforce that ‘they’ are a regulator with a capitol R. When they run out of soft targets to justify their bastardy; where do you reckon they’ll look for more ‘miscreants’ to justify their putrid existence? Surely not you? – You have an ‘understanding’ don’t you.

Oh well; sod this for a game of soldiers. I’ll be far away by your ‘Sunday’ morning. I leave this intriguing ditty by Burns; in English.

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I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes you startle
At me, your poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal! 


They live long because everything takes forever. Ring any bells?

Luv it - P2  Tongue

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In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
  Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Not quite the prosaic vision splendid of Canberra old BG had – but by Golly, the natives sure do see it and do their dampest to make it so. Plusher, lusher and roomier the higher you ascend within the high pleasure domes, those as to which them with guile do aspire. Honest man wouldn’t be caught dead up there; too far away from ‘reality’ living in a protected bubble; far from the madding crowd, not quite the thing for mere mortals.

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Picture reference: Senator David Fawcett -

Twain was spot on – if you are toiling in a vineyard, five mile away; then you could be forgiven for thinking how wonderful it all looks, there, in the distance. The bloke up in the Ivory tower may well glance out at the honest labourer in the vineyard and; whimsically, for a second, wonder how wonderful a simple life, lived honestly must be. Both blokes are, of course, full-of-it. Human nature being what it is. & etc.  

But you can see the rub; the essence of the thing. Those ‘detached’, isolated, remote and sequestered in their Ivory tower from the mud and shit of the vineyard cannot possibly understand the need to wring the odd chicken's neck, pluck it, clean it up and cook it. No more than t’uther fellah could understand why an ala carte Spatchcock delight is returned to the kitchen for a lump in the gravy. (Quality folk have sauce by the by). So how can we possibly expect an outfit like the CASA front row to ‘associate’ with our notion of what a good meal is, let alone the burden they impose on ordinary folk? High minded, academic soothsaying may be well and good in limited, exclusive circles – much like University. A place where all manner of crap is generated – only to be regretted later in life. The only bug-bear is that the crap generated by CASA cannot be as easily discounted as immature, youthful exploration or even hypothesis; it is law, it is real and it’s a bloody nightmare.  

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“If you shut yourself up disdainfully in your ivory tower and insist that you have your own conscience and are satisfied with its approval, it is because you know that everybody is criticizing you, condemning you, or laughing at you.”  — Luigi Pirandello.

Many will not see this as being ‘significant’ – not even sure I do; however. It seems we must give one J Boyd Esq. his credit rating back. The proposals TAAAF made pre election not only have merit but are a common sense way of achieving some form of balance between Ivory tower and shit tip. Now it seems TAAAF have been consigned to ranks of the IOS; cast out of the exalted few, chosen to sit at the high table (public dining room only). The ‘reasons why’ don’t signify that much; they will be what they be. Three questions arise which are somewhat intriguing (a) how many more allies, with credibility, can CASA possibly drag in? (b) When will the very few remaining allies (not AFAP) be outnumbered, outsmarted and outgunned by the ever growing multitude howling at their doors? © What, in the seven hells would Crawford -3G’s ( Gash Git from the Goebbels) and a mental bantam weight, like Walker, possibly know; or even be qualified to judge what the aviation industry desperately needs; or, even what it is about. For ASAP read WOFTAM.  

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“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Much like the mythical Road to Mandalay; the mythical road to ‘reform’ (small r) has been; once again travelled by the few sane researchers we have left – 61 has done some clever heads in; 135, 141 and 142 have exacted a heavy toll; while the page and word count chaps have all been sent home on permanent leave: ostensibly to gather their scattered marbles. In our small way, there has been an effort made to try and make sense of the monstrous nonsense to Senators, ‘Muggles’ and the like – HERE - .P7 reckons (and he may be right) that if non aviation folk could see and understand the problems, expense, heartbreak and frustration industry has, even in just trying to ‘comply’ then perhaps the small candle of logic would be lit. We do have the matches; if some kind person could donate a candle -?. Hells bells we’d be off to the races then. Breath holding is not compulsory. (BRB: para 101.123654789).

Been a strange sort of week though– the ‘mystery’ of the changing of seats and rise to power stemming from the Glen Buckley debacle boggles some pretty agile minds. Like why good, better qualified minds are being let go and C3G’s is ascending? Can’t tell for sure who’s goosing whom, who’s paying or why but it has created some hilarious theories alongside much serious concern; given the personalities and track record of some of the main actors in the CASA pantomime. No matter – but: something is skewed and it smells very strange. We shall still endeavour to read the tea leaves, if just to see how the battle is going. MTF that’s for sure. I will set the entire field for the 24th Embuggerance Cup once I get a clear look at the opposition runners and riders – a.s.a.p. Toot - toot.

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“Every day one should at least hear one little song, read one good poem, see one fine painting and -- if at all possible -- speak a few sensible words.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. 

Aye well – I may not qualify for the “few sensible words” but; for the rest – there is a well loved voice softly singing along to a lovely melody in the seat of power (kitchen); my one ‘good’ painting greets me on my way to the stable every day; I do enjoy Coleridge and read it through (again). I doubt there’s salvation for my sins for having done so; but you can’t say I didn’t try. “Away dogs”– last run before dinner; I’d feel silly asking if they were hungry.


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References: REX set to embarrass the miniscule & Duck 149 a catalyst perhaps?  

May the fool ask a question?

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Warning - 'tis a ramble.

There are some questions to which there is no answer – for lack of certain knowledge.

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” ― Arthur C. Clarke

Then, there are questions to which the answers are debatable; depending on perspective, knowledge and intended purpose.

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Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature?” ― Marcus Aurelius

There are also answers to questions which very much depend on experience, foreknowledge of the way the world wags; and exposure to ‘life’ within an ambit.

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“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”― Mark Twain

Philosophical? Probably not; well, not too much anyway: more like a homespun whimsy of my own making. I have today chopped out by hand 18 off (x90 x 45 mm) Mortises for an equal number of cut Tenon’s – tedious, repetitive work, stuck to the workbench all morning, mind in random roam mode. Cricket is the best companion for this sort of work – alas. You see how easily your mind strays. Anyway – I ramble.

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During such periods of mind in neutral the ‘why’ Australian regulation are made in the manner they are slips into the void. The notion of regulation in some form is an acceptable logic – human nature etc. But: are ‘rules’ the right way to ensure an outcome? The Christian first XI reckoned 10 rules were sufficient to manage mankind; yet even with forgiveness and forbearance: the results have, so far, been less than spectacular – est-ce pas?

So, what does it come down to: bottom line  I wonder. I always liked the notion of “Primum non nocere”. (first do no harm). It makes sense – and it works both ways; firstly to yourself and others. It’s not a bad maxim for matters aeronautical though. A thing as simple as ensuring that there was enough fuel on the aircraft for example. Not bloody rocket science and yet accidents happen related to exactly this. Don’t hit stuff bigger, heavier and tougher than you are. Simple enough to fathom, cold logic and common sense. But at the end of every argument there is a ‘human’ element, in the form of ‘motivation’.

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Not too may would set out with the idea of running into the arse end of a thunderstorm; even less who’d deliberately set off with not enough ‘motion lotion’ in the tanks; and even less who’d deliberately set out to tackle a mountain top – let alone a tall building. Yet it happens, with sickening regularity. It begs a very big question. How have the many thousands of words drafted into ‘law’ helped to prevent these horrors?  The short answer is, they have not.

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References: Courtesy Ben Cook, via Oz Aviation & &

Ancillary law has been of great assistance in ensuring ‘best standards’ in aircraft manufacture, production, maintenance and airworthy standards. Lessons learned from accident have been invaluable, more so as those are writ in blood. These laws have developed ‘standards’ which are of great value. They have not however improved human behavior. We can force, under some form of threat, folks to ‘comply’. Yet in every day life most will chance their luck. No? – Well I beg to differ. Sign says “No Parking” and yet there is a small fortune spent on parking fines every day – despite the fact that there is a probably a sound (safety) reason for not doing so. Speed limit – who has not deliberately bust one. The laws are there and they are enforced; does the law and the penalty prevent reoccurrence? No: it simply does not.

As many more folk drive than fly aircraft, I’ll stick with the analogy. Hands up if today you shook your head at ‘some fool’ doing something stupidly dangerous on the road. Don’t be shy, it is the most entertaining part of any road trip. Some drivers take your breath away; others promote anger, cursing and horn blowing – they do – and; it’s dangerous to both parties. Does ‘the law’ prevent it – no; it does not.

I know, I’ve banged on but the point I’m trying to make is as simple and as complex as humans themselves. So, what’s best 10 simple commandments or 27,346 pages of thou shalt not?

Aye, ‘tis but a ramble; a twiddle of no significance. However, had you just tried to read and understand the motive, logic and ‘safety’ benefit of a thing like part 149 – you too would be in the workshop, chopping out mortise while trying to make sense of it all. Firstly to comprehend to ‘safety’ benefits, secondly to understand how it improves anything and; last but by no means least, what exactly is it trying to achieve. Got me beat four ways except one: in no way does it provide a safety or financial benefit to anyone. So I’m left wondering WTD have we spent the time, money and effort on? Because not only does it do harm; but does harm with malice i.e. they mean it. Why?

Well, it’s late. I know there is two thirds of an illicit cigar in the workbench drawer, time to down tools, find a match and take a stroll under the stars. Will I ask the dogs if they fancy a stroll? Yet another silly question: no doubt about it.


A long one for a Sunday read.

Apologies for the long post. I am endeavouring to trace the origins of the why's and wherefore's of how Australia ended up with the dogs breakfast of regulation we are dealing with today and how we got so out of step with the rest of the world. I felt I needed to go back to the origins to seek some insight. Still researching part 2 hopefully have it ready for next Sunday.

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A Short History of Australian Aviation Regulatory Development PART 1

On the 17th of December 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright, got it right and are credited with making the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft they designed and built themselves.  Though many others were attempting to achieve the same goal, the Wright brother’s invention of the three axis control system, enabling a pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and maintain its equilibrium, was the key to success, which remains the standard on all fixed wing aircraft to this day.

Their day job, while fiddling about with a homemade wind tunnel to devise more efficient wings and propellers, was manufacturing and flogging bicycles. Humble men from humble beginnings, their dad was a bishop, hence their nickname “the Bishop’s Boys, they had a passion for the enigma of flight.

Little did they know that their “Fiddling about” but in reality a highly structured process, would set in motion what lead to the biggest single industry in the world today. Their invention process remains exactly the same process used by NASA engineers today to solve problems. They also did not know that their invention would set in motion what has become the most heavily regulated industry in the world.

The Wright brothers worked in a vacuum of regulation; they were free to pursue their dream without bureaucratic interference or impediment, in today’s incredibly regulated world of aviation one wonders if they would ever have got off the ground.

Less than 7 years after the Wright Brothers first tentative flight, moves began to regulate Aviation in Europe. In the USA aviation went largely unregulated until 1925 but in contrast to Europe and the Commonwealth countries where aviation regulation was seen as the responsibility of the Defence Departments, US regulations were to a large part civilian in origin.

In Australia there was some talk about regulation mainly from a defence point of view, but nothing was done until the outbreak of war in 1914. The defence act was amended to give the defence department the power to require all aircraft to be registered and restricted flight over certain areas, this power however lapsed at the end of the war.

Australia’s first Commonwealth Aviation legislation was enacted in 1920. Based mainly on a British model. The Australian regulations were placed under the Defence Act, administered by the Department of Defence.  It was quite simple in appearance doing little more than mirroring matters decided at the Paris ‘International convention for the regulation of Aerial navigation’ in 1919.

As most people are aware, there was intense opposition by Australian states to any encroachment by the Commonwealth on what was considered States rights.

Up until federation in 1901 the ‘Colonies’ were essentially separate countries.

Constitutionally there were all sorts of impediments to the Commonwealth powers to legislate. After The Commonwealth Air navigation act 1920 came into force, it was expected that the States would pass complimentary legislation.

The States were however somewhat tardy only Tasmania passed and proclaimed legislation exactly as envisioned, the rest with a hodgepodge of variation to avoid any inference that might increase the Commonwealths powers.

The Commonwealth forged ahead assuming it had full power over civil aviation and formed a civil aviation Authority as a branch of the Department of defence.

Given the European experience of world war one those responsible for defence paid very close attention to civil aviation policies to ensure defence matters held precedence over civilian matters.

So began Australia’s aviation existence in a regulated aviation environment and almost immediately criticism began, mainly through editorials in the ‘Aircraft’ magazine and  from the newly forming aero clubs.

Through the twenties we saw the era of ‘those magnificent men in their flying machines’, pushing boundaries by undertaking “record breaking flights’ which spawned many of our aviation hero’s, while the Civil Aviation branch did their best to prevent them.

Through the thirties the Authority was often criticised as having a too restrictive nature. Also, as new landing grounds were established, the authorities connection with defence saw many of them taken over by the Air force with attendant restrictions on air space. Even today huge swaths of airspace in Australia, under the control of the military are restricted for civilian use.

The States were also not happy bunnies in respect to aviation development. The growth of air services was competing against State owned rail services for passengers and mail, resulting in some cases to state intervention in an endeavour to restrict air services.

By the mid thirties, unease within the aviation community and the press regarding defence controlling aviation grew. The general consensus was that the strict discipline and secrecy attached to defence matters was having a detrimental affect on aviation development. It could be said that same military ethos resides within today’s regulator.

An attempt was made in 1936 to mitigate the growing discontent by appointing a board, the head of which would report directly with the minister, still the minister for defence, so the same constraints of operating within the defence department remained.

A constitutional challenge regarding Commonwealth power to legislate aviation was made in a court case. It was agued that after passing the Air Navigation Act in 1920 the states had been expected to pass complementary Acts handing the agreed aviation regulation powers to the commonwealth. The court case was heard in NSW, which had passed no such legislation so the charges against the defendant were deemed invalid, the offence occurred in NSW.

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The case ended up in the High court, who ruled that the 1920 legislation was a valid exercise in External affairs power of the constitution but as the regulations were in conflict with the 1919 Paris convention, on which they were supposedly based and were in fact in conflict with the fundamental principles of the convention displaying a rather wide departure from its purpose, they were ruled as invalid.

The government immediately hurried to amend the Air Navigation Act and new regulations came into force in November 1936. They were limited to controlling aviation only in areas which the Commonwealth was constitutionally competent to legislate, at the same time a referendum bill was introduced for a constitutional change to refer power over control of Civil aviation to the Commonwealth.

The referendum held in 1937 failed to gain a majority thus limiting Commonwealth powers over intrastate air navigation. The States were then left with having to enact legislation and administration of their own, a rather the costly option.

A conference was called between the Commonwealth and the States and it was agreed to produce a code of uniform regulations. The Commonwealth was given the task of drafting the legislation. All existing regulations were to be consolidated into one set of regulations. The commonwealth was limited to policing international matters. The States enacted the “Uniform Air navigation Acts of 1937-38 and the legal control adopted in 1937 between the Commonwealth and the States in so far as it related to safety continued without substantial change until 1963. Notwithstanding, for several decades after, there were continued constitutional issues that affected the control of aviation.

As so often happens, about the same time, a crash of a DC2 Kyeema and public outcry triggered an enquiry that was very critical of the CAA and rather embarrassing for the government. This resulted in the establishment of the Department of Civil Aviation, (DCA) completely independent of the Department of defence.  A new portfolio was established with a minister for works and civil Aviation. This significantly raised the status of civil aviation and a new era for regulation.

It should be noted that the many staff of the CAA transferred to the new DCA and brought with them the same Authoritarian and secretive Ethos. The military remained the primary source for employees for DCA, which continued until the mid 1980ies.

The Kyeema crash enquiry also highlighted the difficulties faced by the old board in its dealings with government. The CAA needed a suitable aircraft to flight test newly installed radio navigation aids. The government policy, a holdover from colonial days limited the choice of aircraft to British only manufactured. At the time Britain produced nothing that would suit, the Americans did however.
While government stuck tenaciously to its ethos of “Empire first and foremost”, radio navigation aids continued to be installed but un-flight tested, essentially they were unusable.

The ‘Must buy British’ policy remained right into the 1960ies. Which to a certain extent left Australia a tad spoiled for choice as the USA was powering ahead with civil aviation development while Great Britain struggled to keep up.

The end of the Second World War set the stage for a rapid expansion in civil aviation. The war had spawned tremendous advances in technology and aircraft design. There was also a considerable pool of trained pilots engineers and other technicians available for peacetime aviation.

In America, domestic aviation had been largely untouched by the war, however in Great Britain their passenger services had been totally disrupted which severely impeded their development of civil aircraft. The USA emerged from the conflict as the strongest aviation power in the world.

As the war came to its conclusion the question of Freedom of the air against airspace sovereignty was a question at the forefront of allied countries minds.

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The US took the lead in 1944 by inviting delegates from 55 allied and neutral nations to meet in Chicago to discuss these issues.

That meeting was known as the Chicago Convention. Amongst agreement on five freedoms of the air from a traffic rights point of view, it also gave birth to what we know today as ICAO  ‘The International Civil Aviation Organisation’, which became an agency of the United Nations in 1947, and thereafter set the agenda for a worldwide common set of standards for all technical and operational aspects of civil Aviation with the objective of safety in the air.

ICAO in effect became the regulatory authority for most of the world’s civil aviation. Its Achilles heel however was that it lacked enforcement powers. Any signature State could opt out of any ICAO ‘standard’ requirement by notifying ICAO of differences.

It is interesting to note that Australia had a quite large presence at the Chicago conference and embarrassingly, perhaps influenced by the socialist bent of its current government, put forward that there should be international ownership and operation of International transport. This notion was overwhelmingly voted down, as it was in effect the exact opposite of the general freedoms of international flight the conference was trying to achieve.

I wonder if this was the antithesis of  our regulators ‘All the rest of the world is wrong, only we are right’ attitude?

Perhaps the most important safety functions of ICAO, in an endeavour to attempt some form of standardisation across the aviation world, was to develop practices and procedures concerning the safety, regularity and efficiency of air navigation. Known as SARPS (Standards and recommended practices) they are contained in 18 annexes to the Chicago convention.

All member states were widely consulted and encouraged to express their opinions during the development and the continuing development of the SARPS. Australia was heavily involved in this process.

SARPS contain all operational and technical aspects of aviation and provide the road map for the safe development of civil aviation. That should have lead to a standardised system of regulation across the world, where each member state could be confident in the others level of oversight and standards, where recognition of each other’s certification and licencing could improve efficiencies and regulatory cost burdens.

The irony of SARPS, given they are constructed from contributions of leading experts from around the world, in much the same way as jealousy between the Australian States and the commonwealth government lead to much confusion in regulatory matters, Sovereignty issues between countries impedes the standardisation  ICAO was meant to achieve.

Unfortunately without enforcement powers each state still went their own way to a large extent, the common theme around the world  “Our standard is much higher than anyone else” prevails, for example, the world cannot even agree on a common medical standard for pilots, which for multiple licence holders amongst the pilot fraternity, renewal each year can be a very costly exercise.

Australia is very high on the world list of differences notification to ICAO.

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Reference link for latest Australian notified differences to ICAO SARPs :

The following excerpts illustrate the ICAO philosophy behind the SARPS:

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Article 37

Adoption of international standards and procedures

Each contracting State undertakes to collaborate in securing the highest practicable degree of uniformity in regulations, standards, procedures, and organization in relation to aircraft, personnel, airways and auxiliary services in all matters in which such uniformity will facilitate and improve air navigation.

To this end the International Civil Aviation Organization shall adopt and amend from time to time, as may be necessary,
International standards and recommended practices and procedures dealing with:

a) Communications systems and air navigation aids, including ground marking;
b) Characteristics of airports and landing areas;
c) Rules of the air and air traffic control practices;
d) Licensing of operating and mechanical personnel;
e) Airworthiness of aircraft;
f) Registration and identification of aircraft;
g) Collection and information; exchange of meteorological information
h) Log books;
i) Aeronautical maps and charts;
j) Customs and immigration procedures;
k) Aircraft in distress and investigation of accidents;
and such other matters concerned with the safety, regularity, and efficiency of air navigation as may from time to time appear appropriate.

About ICAO

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).

ICAO works with the Convention’s 193 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector. These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permits more than 100,000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.

In addition to its core work resolving consensus-driven international SARPs and policies among its Member States and industry, and among many other priorities and programmes, ICAO also coordinates assistance and capacity building for States in support of numerous aviation development objectives; produces global plans to coordinate multilateral strategic progress for safety and air navigation; monitors and reports on numerous air transport sector performance metrics; and audits States’ civil aviation oversight capabilities in the areas of safety and security.

Why are Standards Necessary?

Civil aviation is a powerful force for progress in our modern global society. A healthy and growing air transport system creates and supports millions of jobs worldwide. It forms part of the economic lifeline of many countries. It is a catalyst for travel and tourism, the world's largest industry. Beyond economics, air transport enriches the social and cultural fabric of society and contributes to the attainment of peace and prosperity throughout the world.

Twenty four hours a day, 365 days of the year, an aeroplane takes off or lands every few seconds somewhere on the face of the earth. Every one of these flights is handled in the same, uniform manner, whether by air traffic control, airport authorities or pilots at the controls of their aircraft. Behind the scenes are millions of employees involved in manufacturing, maintenance and monitoring of the products and services required in the never-ending cycle of flights. In fact, modern aviation is one of the most complex systems of interaction between human beings and machines ever created.

This clock-work precision in procedures and systems is made possible by the existence of universally accepted standards known as Standards and Recommended Practices, or SARPs. SARPs cover all technical and operational aspects of international civil aviation, such as safety, personnel licensing, operation of aircraft, aerodromes, air traffic services, accident investigation and the environment. Without SARPs, our aviation system would be at best chaotic and at worst unsafe.

P2 comment: Thorny to the rescue -   Rolleyes

AP followers may have gathered by now that this week's SBG has gone MIA??? This is due to the fact that our EAL (P9 - aka Kharon) has also gone MIA???

Rumours currently running are that "K" is either sunning his ass in some Caribbean backwater, or he has ass firmly strapped to some 50 year old piston twin somewhere in the Never..Never??

Fortunately Aunty Pru has made it mandatory for all river Styx Ferry crew members to have an EPIRB chip inserted into their posteriors. Therefore it is only a matter of a satellite pass (or two) before we eventually track down our wayward MIA K -  Rolleyes

In the meantime Thorny has been doing some research on the origins of the mystique of aviation safety that is embuggering the General Aviation industry as we currently know it - Part II to follow...  Wink  

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Given Australia’s heavy involvement in most formal international conventions that examined aviation regulation from the first Paris convention in 1919 to the Chicago convention of 1944 its somewhat surprising that we drifted off on our own regarding regulation, its not as though we were totally isolated from the rest of the world.

Admittedly most of these international conventions and conferences, up until the development of ICAO SARPS, were focused more on Sovereignty issues versus freedom of flight, rather than setting common standards for regulation.

Australia was very involved with the development of the SARPS as were experts from all member states. Considering the SARPS were developed by experts from around the world with Australia contributing, we hardly embraced them.

There are literally thousands of differences notified to ICAO between Australian regulations and the recommended SARPS

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Australia at the end of WW2 was still tied to Britain’s apron strings both in terms of trade and in its legislative philosophy. Under the Westminster system “Rights” were “privileges” conferred at the discretion of the crown. This had a huge influence on the framing of Australian regulation.

The “Buy British” ethos permeating through Australia’s bureaucracy was a severe impediment for growth in the general aviation industry.

The United States was powering ahead in the development of aircraft suitable for private use as a result of pre-war government policy that encouraged growth in pilot numbers.

In Britain the focus was on commercial airline development to rebuild its civilian industry devastated by the war.

In Australia we just meandered along under legislation enacted in 1920, growth limited by the defence establishment.

Australia was not bereft of innovative ideas or inventions, but buried in red tape commercial development was almost impossible, it was left to overseas entrepreneurs to develop our ideas and realise the profits.

How the USA Civilian Industry dodged a bullet

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The Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) was a flight training program (1938–1944) sponsored by the United States government with the stated purpose of increasing the number of civilian pilots was the catalyst for general aviation development in the USA.

Growing concerns within the military regarding preparedness for a looming possibility of war triggered it, along with the knowledge that several European countries, in particular Nazi Germany and Italy were training thousands of young people to become pilots. Purportedly civilian in nature it was obvious they were nothing more than military training academies.

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The Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 authorized funding for a trial program for what would evolve into the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP). President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled the program on December 27, 1938, announcing at a White House press conference that he had signed off on a proposal to provide a needed boost to general aviation by providing pilot training to 20,000 college students a year.

The CPTP was established as a civilian program but its potential for national defence was undisguised. The program started in 1939 with the government paying for a 72-hour ground school course followed by 35 to 50 hours of flight instruction at facilities located near eleven colleges and universities. It was an unqualified success and provided a grand vision for its supporters—to greatly expand the nation's civilian pilot population by training thousands of college students to fly.

The military establishment was initially unenthusiastic about the CPTP concept, quite opposed to any program initiated and administered by civilians.

(Sound Familiar?)

After war in Europe broke out in 1939, the military value of the CPTP became obvious, even to the program's detractors. The United States started to evaluate its ability to fight an air war and the results were appalling. Pilots, instructors, and training aircraft were all in short supply.

Acknowledging the shortage of trained pilots, both the Army Air Corps and navy reluctantly waived certain “elimination” courses for CPTP graduates and allowed them to proceed directly into military pilot training.

The Army Air Corps deemed the situation to be so grave it proposed that private aviation be suspended and all pilot training (most notably the CPTP) be brought under the control of the military. The December 13, 1940, issue of American Aviation Daily carried this account of the Army's intentions:

“Preliminary plans are understood to be already drafted by the Army to ground all private flying in the United States for the duration of the national emergency.

The Army will take over all training (including CPTP).”

A salutary lesson for Australia’s general aviation associations?

The Civvies were having none of it.

Just two weeks after the American Aviation Daily article appeared, 83 companies with a vested interest in general aviation organized the National Aviation Training Association (NATA). NATA members recognized that, if left unchallenged, the Army plan would, for all practical purposes, ban private aircraft from U.S. skies.

The NATA and other aviation interests with an effective lobbying campaign in Congress blocked the army’s intentions.
Their actions not only saved the CPTP, they may have saved the entire general aviation industry in the United States.

When industry unites and says NO great things can happen!

The CPTP was revitalised and expanded its curriculum to a larger segment of the nation's colleges and universities. In May 1939 the first nine schools were selected, nine more were added in August 1940 (as the Battle of Britain was raging), 11 more in March 1941, and 15 more by October 1941—four months after the formation of the USAAF—and just two months before the United States' entry into World War II.

By the program's peak, 1,132 educational institutions and 1,460 flight schools were participating in the CPTP.

The decision to train civilian pilots also produced an unexpected, but welcome, side effect for the general aviation industry.

As it turned out, the United States faced just as large a shortage of training aircraft as it did civilian pilots. The federal Civil Aeronautics Authority (predecessor of the Federal Aviation Administration) regulations required a CPTP-participating flight school to own one aircraft for every ten students enrolled in the program.

Seizing the opportunity unexpectedly thrust upon them, several light aircraft manufacturers quickly filled the market void with CPTP-compatible aircraft.

The CPTP/WTS program was largely phased out in the summer of 1944, but not before 435,165 people, including hundreds of women and African-Americans, had been taught to fly.

The CPTP admirably achieved its primary mission, best expressed by the title of aviation historian Dominick Pisano's book,

“To Fill the Skies with Pilots.”

Australia Post WW2

The Labor government of the immediate post war era followed a policy of strict control over the rapidly expanding aviation industry.

It was perceived that the public demanded high levels of safety (determined by who?) with the result that expenditure by the Department of Civil Aviation on anything regarded as affecting operational safety had the political advantage of hardly ever being questioned by Ministers of the government or opposition members.

Sound Familiar?

Labor was politically committed to introduce legislation to nationalize the airline system, which in pursuance of this aim established the Australian National Airlines Commission which controlled a wholly government owned Trans Australian Airlines which began operations in 1946 its main competitor at the time was privately owned Australian National Airways

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When Labor was voted out of office in 1949, replaced by the new conservative government lead by Robert Menzies the privately owned airlines were struggling against the strong competition from the government owned TAA. 

In a statement Menzies said;

“We are still only at the early stages of air transport. As for the government airlines, which were designed by the Chifley government to be monopolies (and failed to be so only because of a High Court decision), we shall put them on to a true competitive basis, with no preferences either in cheap capital or dollar expenditure. Though the future of their operative staff is assured, because Australia needs them, in the form of their future management and control will be considered in the light of results and circumstance”

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Thus began Australia’s two airline policy, an era of strict regulation, strongly government controlled, in a way to achieve the government's desired goals.

It was decided that forms of regulation should be 'instituted' to give both the government owned airline and the private airline equal access to the market place through an agreement between government and the two opposing airlines.

Aviation and government have always seemed to encompass a strangely symbiotic relationship in Australia. None more so that the post World War II period between 1952 and 1987. For nearly forty years the various governments of the day unashamedly, in a decidedly paternalistic manner, manipulated the Constitution to limit access to Australia's domestic interstate aviation industry exclusively to only two domestic airlines.

Pivotal to the success of the policy was the 'collusion' of the private airline to agree to be bound by the terms of the original and then successive Airline Agreements.

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Quote:Section 92 of the Constitution of Australia, as far as is still relevant today is:

.. trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free.

On the face of it, sec 92 of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of interstate trade, would seem to prohibit economic regulation of interstate aviation. However in return for certain 'benefits' ANA (later Ansett), bound itself to the Agreements and in reality in so doing 'colluded' with the government to circumnavigate the constitutional intent of s 92. In essence this outcome was able to be achieved by the Commonwealth, with the use of the unequivocal power it held to control the importation of aircraft.

It was in the undoubted interests of TAA and ANA to agree to certain 'restraints' as a safeguard to defend their common interests against competitive challenges by outsiders.

During the period the “two Airline” policy was in force general aviation was severely limited in its ability to grow. The availability of relatively cheap GA aircraft from the USA saw growth in flying training, but the commercial side of the industry was impeded by regulations such as the iniquitous Reg 206 that limited a charter operator from operating to a location served by an airline. Airlines themselves were quick to complain if charter aircraft turned up at “their” airport too frequently. The commonwealth’s power to restrict importation of aircraft also impeded growth. GA operators quite often saw a non RPT opportunity and endeavored to develop it. Only to have their hopes dashed by being unable to import suitable aircraft, on some occasions having their idea usurped by one of the airlines.

Another classic example was the Ipec airfreight imbroglio which actually went to court  without success.

It was even a battle to get the first Learjet into the country over objections from the airlines. Even State government’s got in the act and placed restrictions on GA operations.

Regardless of these impediments there was patently a demand for air services around the countryside, especially in rural NSW. Public demand saw a relaxation of the rules and the licensing of small “commuter” airlines to service this demand.

Regulation was extended to Charter Air Operators Certificates to allow regular services, which saw the rise of “Commuter” airlines such as Masling’s and Hazelton’s serving many small towns rural communities.

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By the late 1970s cracks were beginning to appear in support for the two airlines agreement. An inquiry in 1978 favored maintaining the system, but criticism grew. The USA had deregulated its domestic airline industry. Comparisons were being made between Domestic fares in Australia compared with the US much lower fares for comparable journeys.

The duopoly in Australia prevented competition, airfares were controlled by agreement, even timetables were set, which quite often didn’t match the markets requirements but rather the airlines convenience.

Another inquiry in 1981 failed to prevent the Liberal government in power from signing a new two Airline agreement. This agreement was to last until 1990 when it was finally abolished. As the disparity between Australian fares compared with overseas grew, so did the criticism.

Labor came to power in 1983 and influenced by aviation activities overseas, called for an ‘Independent Review of economic Regulation of domestic aviation’ (The May Commission). Its report to government in 1987 was exhaustive, but did not enunciate why the two-airline policy had actually outlived its usefulness.

Instead it offered the government five options between maintaining the status quo and total deregulation. Labor chose deregulation.

Controls over importation of aircraft, fares and passenger capacity were abolished opening up the entry of new domestic operators.

The policy that followed was in stark contrast to that which had gone before. In a sense it reflected the global thinking of the Western world some 40 years on, one now very favourably disposed to the free flow of market forces with far less government regulatory involvement.

While not all in the industry were happy, the media was ecstatic proclaiming

"A new and beneficial era in civil aviation policy even before it had arrived and been tested'.

With price controls about to go and the prospect of new competition in the market place, the existing domestic airlines were anxious to improve productivity. Pilots on the other hand were anxious to protect their employment conditions. This culminated with the 1989 ‘Pilots dispute’.

From the pilots perspective the whole episode ended in disaster, the government sided with the airlines and determined not to be beaten, used some, at times, rather dubious means to ultimately crush the pilots and their union.

Deregulation, set to commence in 1990, set in train the bureaucratic nirvana of  regulatory ‘Reform’ beginning in 1988 with the passing of the Civil Aviation Act, which established the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as a Commonwealth Statutory Authority on the 1st July 1988.

The ethos of “cost recovery”, making regulation a profit center for government by allowing the regulator free reign to devise regulations for profit rather than regulation for service, along with the coming airport privatization, which in reality was a means to effectively borrow money off books against publically owned infrastructure at bargain basement prices.

The entities created had little interest in the development of aviation, rather the massive, tax free monopolistic dollars the privatization rort provided.

Thus began the slow and inexorable demise of general aviation in Australia.

Part III to follow.

P2 edit - Hmm...maybe refer to LB and these links/pics etc..etc for Part III TB... Wink 

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Pic ref links: & Is Carmody the Iron Ring's Mr Fixit? 


First - Reform the Regulator.

TB’s in depth look at how we came to the present sorry legislative state has provoked some interesting commentary. Usually, I try to summarise the comment into a nutshell to keep down the word count; however some of it, stand alone says it all very neatly. One of our senior associates penned the following missive in response to a question circulated on an E-mail loop. I think it’s worth sharing.

When we put Parts 21-35 in place, they were "better" than the FARs, i.e.: lest restrictive, with a few innovations ---- the most obvious being Limited Category, with far greater freedom than the US equivalent.

And a great success.

Sadly, a combination of CASA and AWAL have messed Limited up, with the nonsense Part 132, which takes some hundreds of pages to say what a couple of short regulations used to say. This also made a nonsense of the Experimental Exhibition/Air Racing cat. of Part 21.---- and none of it ever had anything to do with air safety.

Part 21 was the foundation for the vast expansion of AUF/RAOz, and a huge increase in amateur building, once the restrictions of the old AABA was bypassed, as was monopoly control by SAAA.

Likewise, in the original Part 21, we had provision for industry certification in the Primary Category, to what would now be called a "consensus" standard, CASA quietly "repealed" this when nobody was looking, then along came LSA --- and we "adopted " it, largely because CASA could not be held responsible for the "standards" ---- "blame" somebody else". Put another way, we were years ahead of LSA, but CASA stonewalled it, and then pulled the plug by burying the repeal in a much bigger tranche of regulations.

Don't forget CASA has also screwed up the PIFR, so it is nothing like the original we put in place (which was more flexible than the basic FAA IFR) ---- sadly troglodytes in the industry are as much to blame as CASA for this backwards step. The AOPA V-P who gets 90% of the credit for the original PIFR, A.R.(Tony) Mitchell,  must be spinning in his grave.

The NZ regulations are in may ways a better starting point than the FARs, because they are largely the FARs cleaned up, years of accumulated excrescences removed, but there are few things that we could do that are smarter than the NZ regs.

The core problem with our whole aviation suite is that it is not intended for the benefit of the aviation sector, it is, to quote a former very senior CAA/CASA lawyer, who is largely responsible for the present style of aviation law in Australia, for "The use of lawyers and judges, for the safe conviction of pilots and engineers".

Facilitating aviation was never a consideration.  Sadly, a large and influential part of the "industry" don't really support any real reform, because, like CASA , "they" "know" that industry participants ca't be trusted, and must be hog-tied had and foot by regulation ----- sadly part of the Australian way of thinking ---- the answer to all problems is more regulation.

As in: "They should do something about -----"


Perception and perspective.

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‘S a funny old world. Never really decided whether it was funny Ha-Ha or funny peculiar. Part of this stems from which ‘world’ you live in. Take the political world for example, how far is that removed from say the world of some poor bugger out on the land who has just lost 14,000 head of cattle through drought or flood; or, someone who’s home and everything has been lost in a bush fire. You could step that down and relate it to someone who’s aviation business is groaning and struggling under the regulatory burden. Inevitably – when a group of people get together to discuss a particular event or circumstance, the politicians get dragged into the mix. Everyone has an opinion and nearly always a solution – more discussion. I like to listen to these ‘chats’ sitting back a little without buying in.  The one consistent element is always the ‘perception’ folk have of the different politicians – of every stripe; and, how this is moderated by their own perspective of the world. One thing is for certain sure – ‘how’ a politician is ‘seen’ is important to re-election, image is all important.

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“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.” ― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

This got me thinking. There is an old, well proven adage related to matters aeronautical which has stood the test of time. “Give ‘em a good flight and they’ll complain the coffee was cold”. They may mention this only when the airline name crops up. “Give ‘em a bad flight and they’ll tell at least 10 people about it, every year”. Never mention at any sort of gathering that you fly aircraft; you will be regaled with all manner of ‘horror stories’ and questions. Tedious. It’s all about what is in the eye of the beholder. Which brings us to the image of the incumbent minister for transport – as seen by the aviation community. The same principal applied to his tenure would do a lot of damage to not only himself, but his party. If every man, woman and child told ten people about the truly shocking performance of this ‘minister’ in managing his portfolio, perhaps the message would get delivered to those who matter and can actually do something about bringing in a more able man, before the moribund industry draws it’s last breath.

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“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.” ― William Shakespeare, Othello

Take latest Regional Express (REX) teacup storm. A success story and an asset to regional centres; did anyone ever wonder why they have stuck with the aging SAAB aircraft when there are more modern aircraft available? Commercial reasons apart, any analysis on bringing in a ‘new’ type demonstrates a lengthy, expensive operational hole in a large budget solely due to the mass of regulatory hurdles which must be jumped; it is truly a mind boggling mountain to climb; and, it is growing every day. No wonder a crew like REX prefer to make do and mend; without even considering how long it will take to make a return on the huge sums which are required to upgrade. Regional and ‘feeder’ airlines are an essential element in a country like Oz. Once you move away from the major cities and towns, the motor vehicle and many hours of driving are your only hope of getting about the place and we kill a whole lot more on our roads than we do through aviation – a lot more – all day, every day.

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Ref: &

One could take a view that the minister is actually responsible for that carnage; actually responsible for the unbelievable difficulties in progressing, expanding and modernising aviation services. Which begs the question – if the man can’t sort out the troubles affecting ‘transport’ what chance is there he can run the nation – should the need arise?

With a stroke of a pen reform of the regulator could be happening today; with a second, industry could be up and running within a twelve month on modern regulations which would see the industry bloom, become safer and profitable almost overnight. Yet the resident village idiot prefers to sip the Kool-Aid and pretend all is just as it should be. That’s what his experts tell him; and, so long as his arse is well and truly covered, life in his little, narrow world is rosy.

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“Wake! For the Sun, who scatter'd into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heav'n,
and strikes
The Sultan's Turret with a Shaft of Light” ― Omar Khayyám, The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam

My tote board has some interesting bets placed on just how long a government minister can dance about the growing pile of embers, remnants of an industry, without setting fire to his Gucci clad feet in an attempt to keep his hands warm. Time for an accounting methinks – or yet another pointless inquiry, paid for by the people. Value for money? Not bloody likely.

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Aye well, that’s my two bob, spent as pleased me best. There are better things to occupy mind and hands than watching more of the same history being repeated; if I can ever drag the dogs away from the stove. They say dogs come from bears; hibernation a generic trait. Yet, as I swap Ugg boots for boots, there is an eye or two open, an ear twitched and after some lazy stretching – scratching and yawning – I believe we may yet venture out into the wide world.

“And in that very moment, away behind in some far corner of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed reckoning nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Along the road to perdition.
You will pass many folks all heading the same direction; many of them will be lazy, self interested politicians, on the road because they simply took the money, revelled in the glory, enjoyed the use of power and spent their allotted time doing as little as possible, especially when it came to rocking the comfortable boat.

Sandy - Parliament having rubber stamped the wholesale migration of what used to be (appropriately) civil aviation law into the criminal code with strict liability and huge penalties for even the slightest and most innocuous infringements, many of which supposed criminal acts don’t ever rate a mention in the most mature and successful GA industry, that of the USA where increasingly Australians are heading for their flying training.

Had this 'bi-partisan' approach been adopted to say road users, or some minority group there would be Hell to pay. But the golden age of CASA's 'safety' trumps all, a cast iron excuse to duck the issues. I'd bet good money that 87% of the parliament have never even seen the colossal piles of aviation law, let alone read a page. And why should they when there is no need to. Disgusting behaviour from those who have within their reach the tools to help the nation and an industry prosper.

“Assumptions are quick exits for lazy minds that like to graze out in the fields without bother.”

There is little which may be said in defence of CASA and provided the outrage is 'righteous' then I say fill your boots: BUT when that outrage is inappropriate, it becomes counterproductive. The Airvan story and the response to the CASA actions is troubling. Step the whole thing through; and, IMO not only have CASA acted reasonably, but quite correctly. The accident in Sweden caused the fleet to be grounded, CASA had no option but to support this. The last paragraph of the AD issued related to wing spar fittings is both reasoned and reasonable.

A manufacturing quality escape has resulted in wing strut fittings in the effective
serial number range to be manufactured with incorrect grain orientation. The fatigue
implications of the incorrect grain are not well understood. Therefore, CASA has
mandated a conservative factored fatigue life limit based on the known fleet data of
the affected aircraft. CASA will continue to gather data for the purposes of managing
the fleet removal of these fittings from service.

There are, believe it or not some clever folk, under pressure, investigating the accident and once they eliminate the possibility of this all being an air-frame problem, the fleet will be released to service. 

Anyway - Work beckons, kick the tyres, light the fires and earn a honest crust. Tempus fugit - so must I.

Toot - toot.

A Short History of Australian Regulatory Development Part III

Its perhaps relevant to go back and compare the US experience with Australia’s in the lead up to the second world war to provide insight into how the different attitudes to aviation development and regulation formed.

In Great Britain in the late 1930ies with war becoming a distinct possibility, planners were confident that the industrial capacity of the empire could produce enough aircraft, however at best Britain alone could produce only 22,000 pilots annually but would need an estimated 50,000 airmen each year.

To assuage this shortage of trained aircrew the British Government instituted a plan to levy aircrew from its dominions. This was called the ‘British Commonwealth Air Training Plan’, the idea being to establish a pool of recruits in the dominions from which the RAF could call on when required.

Australia accepted the plan which we called ‘The Empire Air training Scheme (EATS), 50,000 aircrew would be trained in the dominions of which Australia’s contribution would be 28,000 and would ultimately cost Australia about a hundred million pounds.

While a massive construction and recruitment program got under way, the first group of pilots were sent to Canada to commence training in November 1940.

German strategic bombing of British factories created a shortage of serviceable aircraft from Britain.  Mid 1930 an Australian aircraft industry barely existed. Most aircraft built in Australia were assembled from parts delivered from Great Britain, mostly wood and canvas constructions like the Tiger Moth.
Production amounted to less than 70 aircraft of all types.

Funds diverted from the EATS set up an entity that would eventually become the Government Aircraft Factory based at Fisherman’s Bend in Victoria. It was primarily to manufacture Beaufort’s with an initial order for 180 aircraft half for the RAAF and half for the RAF. By 1944 production was switching to the more capable Bristol Beaufighter of which 365 were built.

It’s perhaps ironic that in the mid thirties the USA was facing the same logistical problems as Great Britain. As the possibility of war loomed, its Civilian Pilot Training Program filled the void for pilot training, its civilian industries rapidly rearranged themselves to produce much of the technical development and military hardware.

At wars end these industries were perfectly placed to rapidly take advantage of wartime advances in technology and construction for the civilian market and sowed the seeds for what would become the largest industry in the world encouraged by its government and its regulator imbued with a ‘Foster and Promote’ ethos.

In contrast to the USA’s ‘Civilian Pilot Training program’ concept, EATS was entirely a military affair. EATS primary goal was to train competent pilots as quickly as possible to feed the war machine.

Its concepts, syllabi and standards proved highly effective and provided a ready-made template for incorporation into civilian pilot training regulation at war's end.

Those tried and proven regulations served very well and trained a whole generation of pilots up until the 1980ies when CASA decided to reinvent the wheel by formulating new regulations, perhaps ignoring the old saying,
“If it aint broke don’t fix it”.

The Australian Regulator came out of the second world war infected with the British inspired arrogance of the ascendancy of the military in relation to all aviation matters. With much of its personnel recruited from the military, imbued with with the military authoritarian secretive ethos and possessing very little understanding of commercial reality, investment was stifled and development hamstrung by draconian regulations and the inability to quickly adapt to rapidly advancing technology.

General Aviation saw a spurt of growth after the war quite possibly from the many pilots returning to civilian life, but became increasingly irrelevant to the political elite. Viewed as a rich mans playground, rather than a potential Industry, it was allowed to slowly wither on the vine, anything that showed potential shooed away by bureaucratic interference and political indifference.

Two sides of a coin... Rolleyes

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"Madness is a lot like gravity, all it takes is a little push." - The Joker.

(07-28-2019, 09:09 AM)Kharon Wrote:  Along the road to perdition.
You will pass many folks all heading the same direction; many of them will be lazy, self interested politicians, on the road because they simply took the money, revelled in the glory, enjoyed the use of power and spent their allotted time doing as little as possible, especially when it came to rocking the comfortable boat.

Sandy - Parliament having rubber stamped the wholesale migration of what used to be (appropriately) civil aviation law into the criminal code with strict liability and huge penalties for even the slightest and most innocuous infringements, many of which supposed criminal acts don’t ever rate a mention in the most mature and successful GA industry, that of the USA where increasingly Australians are heading for their flying training.

Had this 'bi-partisan' approach been adopted to say road users, or some minority group there would be Hell to pay. But the golden age of CASA's 'safety' trumps all, a cast iron excuse to duck the issues. I'd bet good money that 87% of the parliament have never even seen the colossal piles of aviation law, let alone read a page. And why should they when there is no need to. Disgusting behaviour from those who have within their reach the tools to help the nation and an industry prosper.

“Assumptions are quick exits for lazy minds that like to graze out in the fields without bother.” ― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

There is little which may be said in defence of CASA and provided the outrage is 'righteous' then I say fill your boots: BUT when that outrage is inappropriate, it becomes counterproductive. The Airvan story and the response to the CASA actions is troubling. Step the whole thing through; and, IMO not only have CASA acted reasonably, but quite correctly. The accident in Sweden caused the fleet to be grounded, CASA had no option but to support this. The last paragraph of the AD issued related to wing spar fittings is both reasoned and reasonable.

A manufacturing quality escape has resulted in wing strut fittings in the effective
serial number range to be manufactured with incorrect grain orientation. The fatigue
implications of the incorrect grain are not well understood. Therefore, CASA has
mandated a conservative factored fatigue life limit based on the known fleet data of
the affected aircraft. CASA will continue to gather data for the purposes of managing
the fleet removal of these fittings from service.

There are, believe it or not some clever folk, under pressure, investigating the accident and once they eliminate the possibility of this all being an air-frame problem, the fleet will be released to service. 

Anyway - Work beckons, kick the tyres, light the fires and earn a honest crust. Tempus fugit - so must I.

Toot - toot.

Hmm...knowing as I do that "K" is currently beached and sunning his arse on the fringes of civilisation (somewhere within the Bermuda triangle, with extremely limited internet coverage), gives me courage to play devil's advocate and present a little of the other side of the coin... Shy

Quote from the LMH:
(07-26-2019, 06:29 PM)Peetwo Wrote:  
Quote:A classic case emerged this week with CASA grounding all Airvan 8s after the parachuting accident in Sweden. The Swedish authorities expressed concerns that the aircraft may have broken up in the air, leading CASA to ground all GA8s for 15 days as a precaution. They lifted the ban five days later (kudos to them), but at what cost? When asked why they felt it was paramount to ground the GA8s when a recent spate of in-flight break-ups with C210s didn't draw that reaction, I was told "the difference is there is specific information available for the Cessna. At this stage there is only the general observation that the Airvan may have suffered an inflight failure." So we've grounded the aircraft type and caused economic strain based on a "general observation". Another general observation would show that in-flight break-ups are more likely to be caused by ageing fatigue, over-loading or misuse of the controls. The oldest Airvan 8 in the world has just turned 20; not old in a fleet with an average age nearing 40 and unlikely to be suffering from fatigue. Rapid elimination means that if the Swedish Airvan did break up in the air it is most likely an over-stress situation, something not likely to have an impact on every other GA8 in the world. With only one incident on the cards, what was it that made CASA think there was an issue that was an immediate threat to safety? It doesn't matter ... with safety as their priority, they may as well ground them all because the cost to the industry is of secondary concern to the regulator.


Personally I tend to agree with "K" that Fort Fumble had no option but to ground the GA-8s when the first indications were that there was a structural break up in flight. To do otherwise would be akin to a mini version of the FAA not initially grounding the Boeing 737-MAX until they were forced to by peer pressure from the rest of the world's NAA groundings of the 737-MAX. Hmm...and look where that imbroglio is heading now... Confused

Quote:The Roots of Boeing’s 737 Max Crisis: A Regulator Relaxes Its Oversight

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After the first fatal crash of the 737 Max, in October 2018, federal regulators realized they didn’t fully understand the software system that sent the plane into a nosedive. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

By Natalie Kitroeff, David Gelles and Jack Nicas

July 27, 2019

SEATTLE — In the days after the first crash of Boeing’s 737 Max, engineers at the Federal Aviation Administration came to a troubling realization: They didn’t fully understand the automated system that helped send the plane into a nose-dive, killing everyone on board.

Engineers at the agency scoured their files for information about the system designed to help avoid stalls. They didn’t find much. Regulators had never independently assessed the risks of the dangerous software known as MCAS when they approved the plane in 2017.

More than a dozen current and former employees at the F.A.A. and Boeing who spoke with The New York Times described a broken regulatory process that effectively neutered the oversight authority of the agency...
(see link for more)
"K"'s point is a valid one, why give the regulator any excuse especially when their hands were tied and they did get suspension lifted inside of five days:

Quote:GippsAero GA8 return to air

Date of publication: 

25 July 2019 The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has lifted a temporary suspension of GippsAero GA8 aircraft operations.

The temporary suspension of GA8 aircraft flights was put in place as a safety precaution following a recent fatal parachuting accident in Sweden.

Based on the limited information available immediately after the accident the sixty-three GA8 aircraft in Australia were grounded, as well as a number operating overseas. The suspension was in effect for five days.

The precautionary suspension was triggered by initial information from the investigation into the Swedish accident which showed the accident aircraft had broken up in flight.

CASA has now received further information that there is no evidence to indicate a potential unsafe condition associated with the aircraft and as such the GA8 aircraft type can be safely allowed to return to normal operations.

A CASA airworthiness engineer is currently observing the accident investigation in Sweden and this has proved to be very beneficial.

CASA will continue to monitor the investigation into the GA8 accident and will take appropriate action should any related safety issues become apparent in the future.
However with this obviously contentious grounding my observation is that with all the rhetoric and hyberbole, does this not reflect that the mistrust quotient of the regulator by industry is now even higher than it ever was even before the findings/recommendations from both the Senate PelAir Inquiry and the Rev Forsyth review? 

MTF...P2  Cool

Via the AP blog... Wink

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#SBG? Midweek on the AP forum – 7 August 2019.

by Sarcs | Aug 7, 2019 | Accidents and InquiryASAATSBCASAMinister for TransportSenate Estimates - Unplugged
Those of you waiting for this week's edition of the SBG to come out on the blog will sadly be disappointed, as due to editorial crew members being stuck in airport transit lounges etc.. we have missed our SBG editorial deadline... [Image: 1f644.svg] In the meantime however there...


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“We know what we are, but not what we may be.”

“What value do you (as in me - singular) place on the incumbent minister?” “Construe boy” was the call (bark) from a fairly hefty BRB quorum. When peers and betters phrase a question in such a manner, ‘tis better to cry off; beg time to consider. Alas; soon or late, one is obliged to respond. The options are as many as the ways to examine the question; what, in short form, do I wonder, would be a considered response. Well; the long and the short of it is what is the minister responsible doing? The answer of course is SDA. Not only SDA, but he’s a’doing exactly that which is required; avoiding all ministerial responsibility – as directed by his advisors.

‘Responsible’ – an interesting adjective.
"Adjectives are words that are used to describe or modify nouns or pronouns. For example, red, quick, happy, and obnoxious are adjectives because they can describe things—a red hat, the quick rabbit, a happy duck, an obnoxious person".

Responsible. Meaning "accountable for one's actions" is attested from 1640s; that of "reliable, trustworthy" is from 1690s. It retains the sense of "obligation" in the Latin root word. Related: Responsibly.

My own first encounter with real responsibility, of a grown up kind, was being presented with a puppy and a new brother simultaneously. Happily, I was given much guidance and support in the ‘why for’ and the ‘how to’ meet and carry the burdens imposed. For suddenly, my days of unlimited freedom carried an understanding that responsibility came at a cost. The rewards immeasurable; puppy into a stalwart companion of adventure and fun; baby into boy, a lifelong friend with whom adventure, good times and bad could always be shared – both well worth any small restriction placed by a ‘duty of care’. The sense of ‘responsibility’ carries through to adult life – one learns, growing to adulthood that the early lessons were of great value in whatever field of endeavour you played on. So much so that accepting the ‘responsibility’ for an aircraft, full of passengers holds no fears, just part and parcel of being a responsible adult, doing a job, without cold shivers. You may well wonder what the fool is rambling on about; well, its to do with the complete, chronic lack of ministerial responsibility, over decades, for matters aeronautical.

Monty Python neatly personifies the typical ministerial response to the three headed beast of ASA, ATSB and CASA. There is little humour in the reality of the challenge; but there is the small matter of ministerial responsibility, a duty of care and an oath sworn to consider:-

Individual ministerial responsibility is a constitutional convention in governments using the Westminster System that a cabinet minister bears the ultimate responsibility for the actions of their ministry or department. Individual ministerial responsibility is not the same as cabinet collective responsibility, which states members of the cabinet must approve publicly of its collective decisions or resign. This means that a motion for a vote of "no confidence" is not in order should the actions of an organ of government fail in the proper discharge of their responsibilities. Where there is ministerial responsibility, the accountable minister is expected to take the blame and ultimately resign, but the majority or coalition within parliament of which the minister is part, is not held to be answerable for that minister's failure.

This means that if waste, corruption, or any other misbehavior is found to have occurred within a ministry, the minister is responsible even if the minister had no knowledge of the actions. A minister is ultimately responsible for all actions by a ministry because, even without knowledge of an infraction by subordinates, the minister approved the hiring and continued employment of those civil servants. If misdeeds are found to have occurred in a ministry, the minister is expected to resign. It is also possible for a minister to face criminal charges for malfeasance under their watch.

The principle is considered essential, as it is seen to guarantee that an elected official is answerable for every single government decision. It is also important to motivate ministers to closely scrutinize the activities within their departments. One rule coming from this principle is that each cabinet member answers for their own ministry in parliament's question time. The reverse of ministerial responsibility is that civil servants are not supposed to take credit for the successes of their department, allowing the government to claim them.
 - - - - - - - - - EoQ.

In recent years some commentators have argued the notion of ministerial responsibility has been eroded in many Commonwealth countries. As the doctrine is a constitutional convention, there is no formal mechanism for enforcing the rule. Today ministers frequently use ignorance of misbehaviour as an argument for lack of culpability. While opposition parties rarely accept this argument, the electorate is often more accepting. In most other Commonwealth countries such cases are today hardly ever brought to trial

Mr Comrie has done an excellent job in providing his report. It is the latest revelation of incompetence and mismanagement in Senator Vanstone’s department. It reinforces, unfortunately, many of the damning findings of the Palmer report into the case of Ms Rau. Mr Palmer commented that it was difficult to see how the people responsible for such failed practices, poor decisions and regrettable outcomes could have the credibility and objectivity to bring about the fundamental change of mindset that is necessary. But Senator Vanstone ignored that finding and recommendation by Mr Palmer. Mr Howard, the Prime Minister, also ignored that recommendation. Senator Vanstone remains responsible for the department, although she accepts no responsibility for what it does.

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Inset pic reference links: &
Choppagirl (Rossair crash) - Mythical reform post #109 & Catch Up or Ketchup? 

The history of ministerial abrogation, capture and denial of responsibility for aviation has a long, inglorious history in this wide brown land; the land of a ‘fair-go’, democracy and freedom from oppression. We have, in essence, allowed a system of ministerial protection to gain not only ascendency, but untrammelled, unchallengeable power, which stand, alone, is a national disgrace. Adding injury to insult is a parliamentary bi-partisan acquiescence to this system; but it becomes truly disgraceful when both operators and public pay for this; yet air service providers dare not, cannot, nor will not voice any objection - for fear of terrible retribution.

The list of incompetence, the conga line of complainants; and, the never ending Daisy chain of evidence supporting claims of ‘Embuggerance’ - under law, policy or whimsy; as and when pleases stretches almost to infinity against the CASA. The ASA is an acknowledged basket case in desperate need of competent management. The ATSB is the laughing stock of international air accident investigators. In short minister, it is a total Ducking mess, beyond any form of control and growing worse every hour you sit on your shiny arse, dodging your responsibility to this nation and making a nonsense of the oaths you swore.

The minister has, IMO but two options; grasp the nettle and ring in meaningful changes; or, stand responsible; acknowledging a breech of trust, a gross dereliction of duty, abrogation of responsibility and resign. Make no mistake: the responsibility, no matter how good the defence is, falls on the incumbent minister for the dreadful state Australian aviation has descended into.

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'Such questions cannot be answered,' said Gandalf. 'You may be sure that it was not for any merit that others do not possess. But you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

A final insult is the convenient ‘Bi-partisan’ agreement which allowed the Chimera to grow, like Topsy, into an uncontrollable monster. It begs the question minister “are ye a man or mouse”? Time will no doubt write the epitaph.

Aye well, the weather is wild and windy today, the dogs love to chase the wind through the trees laying back ears into the headwind, in an attempt to reduce the drag – basic aerodynamics at an elemental level; but I can’t help but wonder why they don’t put ‘em up with a tail wind? Ayup; some mysteries are unfathomable.


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Round and round the garden. 

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“The government is merely a servant―merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.” ― Mark Twain

In the past, one could pull up on ramp anywhere in the world, park, find a Pub, shower and head to the bar. Quite often, there would be fellow pilots and over a few beers, yarns would be swapped, tales told and the general state of aviation would be, once again, a prime topic. Australian pilots could and quite rightly defend the national pride, the argument supported by the quality of aircrew produced. Not any longer; now the trend is to stay away from peer group discussion,  unable to withstand the sympathetic looks, head shaking and the derision. The reason is simple enough, old fashioned shame. It is a sad and terrible thing to be ashamed of your nation; yet that is the position we find our selves dragged into, despite protest, inquiry and evidence supporting the almost unbelievable state of this once proud national industry has devolved into.

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“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is. " ― Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

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References: SBG Post #95The Iron Ring & the Hooded canary

I cannot bring myself to actually read through the latest ATSB report into the Angel Flight fatal at Mt Gambier. Others will make the comment required, too many words for me. I prefer to use only two, Bullshit and Corrupt. The use of a SR is a despicable act, made disgusting when there are several serious incidents to which no SR have been issued, (long list supplied on application):  many accident reports to which the investigations have been inconclusive or, deliberately delayed until the heat is off. ATSB under Beaker was disgraceful, but under the Hi-Viz Hood it has simply become part of a PR group protecting the ministerial rump. Soon or late, someone will have to answer for this, it is only a matter of time before the 'big guns' and grown ups become aware of the dishonesty in playing at politics instead of making serious efforts to resolve, genuinely and realistically the why, the how and the cure for accident. We can only hope that the Essendon accident involves the USA agencies for an independent assessment; perhaps then some honesty may be injected before the bullshit overwhelms. We shall see....

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None of this of course will deflect the CASA juggernaut from its intended path of destruction, through the use regulation for embuggerance, as and whenever it pleases. The Glen Buckley saga is one of many; shortly to become just another one of the many, many sad cases, buried in the CASA back yard. There is some hope that the Senate Committee will mount some kind of inquiry - but, seriously, why bother? We have had a dozen of those in my lifetime - not sure I can stand to do it all again in a vainglorious attempt to bring in meaningful change.

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Dear Prime Minister,

My name is Glen Buckley. I have over 25 years’ experience in the flight training industry. I have operated in the roles of Flying Instructor, Chief Flying Instructor, Head of Operations, and most recently as the CEO of the Australian Pilot Training Alliance. Based on my experience I consider myself a Subject Matter Expert, on aviation safety, training, and compliance matters.

I have raised my concerns internally within CASA, and most recently at the CASA Board level.

As this is primarily, a matter of aviation safety I am compelled to act. My claims are substantive, I have a significant body of supporting evidence, and I stand fully accountable in law, for all my statements and actions.

In the interests of aviation safety, I call on you to immediately remove the following CASA employees from any Safety Sensitive Activities (SSA) within CASA, and that they be returned to duties, pending the results of an independent investigation.

I can only comment on their conduct as CASA personnel, and make no assertions about them personally or outside of the work environment, because I have no knowledge of these matters.

In the conduct of their CASA duties, they will come in to contact with other operators, therefore this is a matter of aviation safety generally.

Those personnel are;

• Mr Graeme Crawford in his role as CASA Group Manager- Aviation.
• Mr Craig Martin in his role as CASA Executive Manager Regulatory Services and Surveillance.
• Mr Will Nuttall in his role as CASA Certificate Team Manager-Southern Region
• Mr Brad Lacy in his role as CASA Flying Operations Inspector- Southern Region.

Those personnel have made decisions that demonstrate “unconscionable conduct” and those decisions compromise the safety of aviation. For clarity, this is an allegation of corruption within CASA.

In making those decisions and negatively impacting on the safety of aviation, I allege they have clearly, repeatedly, and demonstrably breached their obligations in accordance with;

• Their respective Position Descriptions for their respective roles within CASA.
• Obligations placed on them by CASAs own Regulatory Philosophy…philosophy
• The Ministers Statement of Expectations. I include the Statement of Expectations that was current at the time they made their decisions, and also the current Ministers Statement ofExpectations.
• Procedures outlined in CASAs own Enforcement Manual, and most particularly with regards to the Preface written by Mr Shane Carmody in his role as and the manuals obligations, with regards to Administrative Law, Procedural Fairness, and natural justice.…ent-manual

• The PGPA Act
• APS Values and Code of Conduct.

I have been through CASAs Industry Complaints Commissioner, but found the final report showed a lack of understanding of the complex nature of the complaints, as that department would generally deal with more “administrative” matters. I appreciate that I can accelerate my complaints to the Ombudsman, but as this is a matter of aviation safety, and relates to corruption within CASA, I am bringing it to your attention.
Previous correspondence to the responsible Minister has been ignored, hence I bring this to the attention of the Prime Ministers Department.

The purpose of this correspondence is to request that I present my case to you or your nominee, for further assessment.

Most respectfully

Glen Buckley

Think on, first you carefully prepare and edit a submission, dutifully send it along, patiently wait for the inquiry to begin, listen, watch and read the entire thing - then applaud then recommendations - then watch as it all turns to crap - again. Nope, not good enough. Time to bring in the heavy mob - there are questions of law here; IMO there are good grounds for prosecution of several CASA officials. Anything less than a full on Judicial inquiry is simply another waste of time, effort and money. See Pel-Air if you doubt that.

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Had dear old Barnaby not blotted his copy book, maybe something would have been done. He did state publicly that matters aeronautical were a difficult, politically dangerous area; however, he also said that if he had to deal with it - then he would - properly. Alas, we ended up with the current Muppet pretending to be a 'responsible crown minister'. We preferred Clown Miniscule, not only has he shown absolutly no interest, but seems to quite happy to be held captive by a ruthless bunch of miscreants, posing as 'advisors' or worse 'experts'.

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If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.” ― Mark Twain

The whole thing is 'beyond' bordering on lunacy and quite beyond the ken of responsible, sensible, mostly sane folks who must not only tolerate the unholy shamble, but pay for it. To add insult to injury, daring to speak out against the travesty is a one way ticket to a ride on my house boat - home to Hell's Gate in one fell swoop. 

Don't care, not today. The dogs have been bathed, groomed and advised to be on their very best behaviour; we have a birthday party to attend - a royal command from a princess no less, best behaviour requested and required. Cake and ice cream to follow, its always great fun to watch the dog's tactics - hand crafted to suit every child - they always seem to do very well at this sort of event.


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Ref: Time to 'Bell the Cat'! -  Part II &

A nation – shamed.

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“Advance Australia fair”. What a crock – two words in every three pure, unadulterated Pony Pooh.

Advance – (v) Move forwards in a purposeful way. (N) a development or improvement.

Fair - (adj) Treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination. (Adv) Without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage

Well, for the long suffering Australian aviation industry, the words ‘Advance’ and ‘Fair’ are simply not applicable. Which, stand alone should be enough to motivate our political folk to action, show some concern or even get educated; alas, there is no need for such an extravagance as ministerial concern, let alone involvement.

GV - “The Howard Government perfected the undermining of the Public Service by initially making lateral entries to protect Ministers responsibility under the Westminster system from administering their portfolios” etc.

The very least the incumbent minister (Mac_ G. G. G. G. G) could do is to remove the word ‘transport’ from his disingenuous title – for in reality it has sweet sod all to do with him. The ball is very neatly flicked to department heads, who can, with impunity, do whatever pleases.  

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AP references: Letter from Anderson & Angel Flight General Aviation Timeline of Embuggerance – Letter from Anderson

“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” ― Jonathan Swift

You have to wonder. I wonder what the international aviation community thinks of this nation when a letter, such as the missive to Glen Buckley may be despatched, with full ministerial support. I wonder how the minister would respond had he been treated in a similar manner. I wonder what, in the seven Hell’s this purblind, ignorant , thick skinned clown thinks he playing at. Then I look at those surrounding him, and wonder no more.

AP ref: Fame it is then? - For all the wrong reasons

“We have all seen these circus elephants complete with tusks, ivory in their head and thick skins, who move around the circus ring and grab the tail of the elephant ahead of them.” - John F. Kennedy

The never ending rows of responsibility circuit breakers; always someone further down the line who may be dispensed with; shouldering the shame and the blame. A whole circus of performers, from clowns to lions; all sacrificial to the alter of no ministerial responsibility. “Your safety is our first concern” – what a load of Bollocks. First, foremost and always the safety of the government is the only concern of politicians; the public come a long way down the priority list. I doubt the incumbent Ventriloquist’s dummy has even heard of Buckley in any substantive way; just a minor irritation, shooed away by whispered advice and stalwart reassurance from ‘the experts’. “Don’t worry minister – St Commode will be in on Tuesday, fitting work in between morning golf and lunch with the acolytes; he’ll write a letter and shut the whole thing down with a stroke of the pen.” “ Here, drink your morning Kool-Aid, while I brief you on the fruit harvest, you can save a Pacific island neighbour; there now, won’t that be nice, I’ve got your media coverage all lined up. TV grab - Aye, blissful ignorance is the key to wool blind happiness. Headline – “Fruit pickers to save a nation.”

There is yet another ‘scheduled’ routine ‘inquiry’ into matters aeronautical due from the RRAT senate committee - which need not concern the minister. Those to be questioned are long standing veterans of such inutile games. Choc frog on offer to the contestant who can guess , within +/-10 the number of Senate recommendations presented over the last decade. There is a gold star on offer to the contestant who can, within 10% come up with the number of those which have been righteously executed. I’ll give you a clue; the Pel-Air inquiry provided just under 100 (all up). Start there and work backwards to Staunton. Beware – it is a large number, the prize winner needs to be within the limits set.

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“He is learned in old manorial and communal rights, and he applies his knowledge sometimes in favour of the villagers of Fernworthy and sometimes against them, so that he is periodically either carried in triumph down the village street or else burned in effigy, according to his latest exploit.”

Of some interest is the RRAT committee taking a look under the skirts of our ATSB. Gods alone know what is concealed there; not sure I want to know – nonetheless, look we must. It is a perfect opportunity for the international MH 370 crowd to take a hand. Many questions there to which ATSB could provide answers. Domestically there are many parallels to work from; beginning with Lockhart River, encompassing the present day aberrations; a long list. Working backwards from the almost unbelievable Angel Flight shambles, through Essendon, the ATR, Pel-Air, Canley Vale, the Moranbah episode, Mildura, Ross Air, etc. As said, there is a long list of accident reports which, in the opinion of many (lots) simply do not pass the pub test. Of course, to me at least, the real test of any inquiry is the result; not the recommendations – but the real action taken, enforced by political will and brought to the ‘right’ conclusion. Which brings us full circle, looking at the door to the ministerial palace and the formidable defences, which guarantee that nothing remotely to do with matters aeronautical interfere with the important work of getting the ministerial head powdered and primped for the next world shaking announcement on how fruit picking can save this planet.

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Aye; it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling to know my grand children’s future is in such well advised, intelligent, capable, caring hands.

But enough of idle, pointless ramble; the stable needs a new door. I have neglected it for a while now, but, the local metal working wizard has hammered out new hinges. So, today, as the sun is shining I’ll set up the trestles and begin the work: almost 10 foot high, six feet wide, 2” thick frame, Judas door and panels to fit. So, dogs, breakfast and a second coffee to go cold on the work bench. Happy daze – you betcha.


Careful with the width of the door K.

Did not the Romans decree their standard gauge was set at the width of two horses arses?

P7 - TB - We did, most carefully consider the Roman standard measure for chariots, based on the visual gauge of two horses arse ends. However, considering the volume of horse’s arse’s we now support, and the rush to find the comfort offered by a safe haven in a warm, cosy stable combined with the temptations of a never empty trough; a modification was required. The expense justified through a ‘safety’ consideration, although accommodating inflated ego’s and large band wagons was a consideration. Easy closing essential - after the horses have bolted.

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“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” 

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― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan 

Faith – the dictionary defines this as “a complete trust or confidence in someone or something”. As a trading commodity with the incumbent minister and by extension the government, including the Senate and its committees; it is reasonable to state that the aviation industry is bereft of it. There are many good reasons for this lack of faith; all supported by history and unimpeachable evidence. This industry has, consistently, upheld its end of the ‘faith’ deal only to be constantly let down. A flurry of words, rhetoric, open ended promises and policy; even to being hoodwinked by the hoary old axiom of ‘Bi-partisan’ agreement. All Flim-Flam; a costly charade, designed to cover the orderly exit from ministerial and government responsibility.

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Trust- the dictionary defines this as “firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something”. Once again, another commodity in short supply. This industry should, indeed has, a perfect right to have ‘trust’ in its government. History begs the question – how? Three decades of betrayal, expert effort and common sense wasted while government hides behind the skirts of their anointed experts. How may we even contemplate trusting a government which, having being guided by rouges and charlatans, with an agenda, cannot be bothered to ask a simple question – “How goes it?”. Oh, some of the ministerial ilk have deigned to raise a well manicured eyebrow; some have even made blood curdling threats; alas, to no avail. We have seen Royal Commission and inquiry and serious questions raised; much sound and little fury - resulting in sweet bugger all when the noise stops. Really? Are we expected to ‘trust’ a bunch of patronising, self interested folk who can say ‘we scoured the world for the best’ and leave it at that; responsibility over. A cynical man could say they simply bought the best ‘protection racket’ and happily pay for that protection. Ergo, NO blood on ministerial hands. Stellar, absolutely bloody lootly ducking stellar. Real aviation safety has become no more than a con game, no more real than a PR exercise, protecting the real villains.

Pixie dust – for those who doubt it’s existence; or, ministerial addiction, look no further than the unbelievable Glen Buckley story. Yet there it stands, shrouded in all it’s own horror. The tale is not a simple ‘one off’. It stands as a stark reminder of many other closed businesses, all burnt at the stake of ‘safety’. Countless jobs lost, millions in revenue, dozens of lives lost – and for why? Simply because those supposedly responsible to the voting nation for ensuring ‘safety’ have allowed a monster to not only grow, but hold sway, through abrogation of government responsibility to those who travel by air.

"But a lie which is part a truth is a harder matter to fight." ― Lord Tennyson, Alfred.

There exists a long list of travesties inflicted under the guise of ‘safety’ as defined by the expert ‘advisors’ to government, all supported by clear evidence that the majority of the public are not, as yet, aware of. The only solution available is for the government, in all it’s might to take the Buckley case to heart, embrace it and realise that through believing in the expensive Pixie dust, that they have made a terrible error. Redemption is at hand should the current government choose to look hard and long into the manifold, legitimate, demonstrable claims the real aviation industry ‘experts’ have against the current, out of control autocracies, those purporting to be ‘running’ the system. Horse pooh!

Buckley; the tip of an iceberg – easily beaten into the dirt without meaningful government intervention. Angel Flight, decimated on some pretty fanciful arithmetic. Another short, pointless inquiry; short on horse power, offered as a placebo. Bollocks. The orchestra is playing; time to face the music. Governments have encouraged, paid for and allowed, in the name of self protection, a monstrous anathema to grow – in self interest. Claiming ignorance is not, so far as I am aware a legitimate excuse in law. Industry has been warning ministers for a long, long, angry, expensive while now. Will this case be the tipping point? It bloody well should be. Disgraceful and a national shame, sheeted home to an incompetent minister.

Yet ‘we’ are expected to put our faith and trust in another RRAT half briefed, part aware, rushed, short notice ‘inquiry’. Will it, once again, go the way of Forsyth and the Pel-Air? An internationally disgraceful spectacle of deceit and obfuscation? Taking the Mickey (again)? My Tote board say’s yes. My two bob’s worth clears my conscience; and, the conscience of others is, most definitely, not my concern. Purview of priests perhaps –well, those not in goal, that is.

“How pitiful is an intelligence used only to make excuses to quieten the conscience.” ― Ignazio Silone, Bread and Wine

I know, I do: and, no doubt some pencil neck, tie shunning, agenda pushing CASA hero will continue his campaign of embuggerance, through devious channels to perpetrate the myth of his own omnipotence. But, eventually the evidence will be heard by those who realise the true nature of embuggerance; and, the nation will realise the colossal fraud perpetrated on the Australian public in the name of ministerial deception: a.k.a. ‘Safety’. Reminds me, must say Goodnight to my good mates Eric and Malcolm; never far from my thoughts you guys.

Aye well, tedium rises. No matter, a new day promises. Mortises have been cut in the rails 4” (deep) x 1” (thick) ready to take the Tenon’s; but, before that, the stiles must be planed to ‘balance’. A beam of that weight must be trimmed down to an almost perfect balance point, lest the stable door ‘sag’ due to the simple math of ‘balance’. There is no formula for this – hinges can only realistically support a given amount of weight, long term, so balance is all important. Sat on my bench are three of the heavy, wide + ½ blade Stanley planes; the youngest circa 1930, razor sharp and tuned. Four hours of a short life invested to make sure the tools are fit for purpose. Good investment, by my reckoning; time well spent to ensure a difficult task is completed as well as may be (Gods willing - weather permitting). A pilot’s prayer?

Away dogs, a waxing crescent moon and a cool midnight stroll to clear the mind strongly recommended.


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Why ain’t life more like the movies?

Better still, ‘why ain’t life more like the movies?’ It is a fair, reasonable question. You see, in all our favourite movies, books, legends, poems and tall tales around the camp fire – in the end, despite the odds ‘good’ triumphs. Hollywood has made small and large fortunes selling this myth.

For it is a myth. Take your favourite ‘good wins’ tale; hell, you could always refer to the Bible, if the mood moved you; any tale you like, all same - same. Moses always comes to mind – I mean ‘as if’. Could they have crossed the Red Sea without some form of divine intervention? The man had a strike on his hands – “What? No straw? Bugger making bricks then - right lads, down tools: everybody out. You see, those who write the believed history are usually the winners.

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” ― Winston S. Churchill

Relevancy, screams the hoard. Well, I’ll tell you. There are a couple (or three) different schools of thought which believe in and, adamantly  support (vehemently) different outcomes from the Angel Flight and Buckley argy-bargee. Here on, from a Bookies perspective, history and form become important. Statistics; not of the ATSB kind, but cash and no bull-shit results become a matter of importance. Industry has not won a round of any significance against any of the ‘safety authorities’ ever. Nary a one, not ever. Life ain’t like the movies, that’s why.


“Those in power write the history, while those who suffer write the songs.” ― Frank Harte

The reason, howls the mob. Well, from a bookmakers point of view, the historical odds are against it. Look back at the results. Lockhart River, who gained most from the inquiry and report? Seaview, who gained most from the inquiry and report? Pel-Air who gained most from the inquiry and report? Three examples out of 100, all the same. Operators: Bruce Rhodes (RIP), Polar, Airtex, Barrier etc. In a movie, at the last moment the white hats would squeak through, boy and girl live happily ever after, once the gunshot wounds have healed. It is horse pooh, plain, pure and simple. 

In reality, for aviation, we have a closed circle of very highly paid ‘experts’ with an unlimited supply of things the ‘non anointed’ don’t have. Unlimited access to a minister for a start. One who simply wants ‘no bother’ which may impede his road to an easy life, without responsibility, without impact on future progress within the hierarchy.

Then, we must evaluate the ‘fear’ factor. Ministers have absolutely NDI about their new portfolio – none. To the current, incumbent ‘transport’ Muppet, it all seems to revolve about how many RAAF, luxury jet rides, tax payer funded, can be (legally) wrangled, before someone takes an accounting. This matter is a mere Bagatelle; the cost almost insignificant in comparison to running the top cover offered by the anointed - aviation ‘watch dogs’ of ministerial protection. Buckley is almost a lost cause; 25/1 against; Angel Flight 30/1 against.

“Tough odds” say the crew. Yes they are. But you see, in every movie, at the last minute, the Cavalry arrives – in one form another. The only Cavalry on site is our much loved Senate Committee, who are (as usual) hamstrung and two beats behind the band. CASA and ATSB kicked shit out of their last (Pel-Air) inquiry - and its recommendations. Made a mockery of Sen. Fawcett. Ignored the informed report of the Rev Forsyth; and, also managed, despite contrary evidence, to hoodwink another uninformed, unprepared Crown Minister that they, the Black hats, had his best interests at heart. They even sold him the Harbour Bridge, at a discount – as it would look great in Wagga Wagga.  

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"Victor Lustig managed to pull several cons in his life, but he's best known for selling the Eiffel Tower as scrap metal to unsuspecting dealers. In 1925, he noticed an article debating whether the Eiffel Tower should be repaired or sold, and decided to sell it to metal dealers himself. Using a fake government title, he met with several dealers and told them the tower had become too expensive to repair. One dealer, Andre Poisson, fell for the scheme and handed over a check. Lustig cashed it and disappeared, but Poisson was too embarrassed to report the incident to the police".

"When Lustig realized he wasn't being pursued, he went back to Paris and pulled the same con a second time. This would-be investor reported Lustig, and he fled to America. He was later arrested on different charges".

Full dress, Judicial Inquiry –soon as you like minister. Money where the governments mouths are. The Australian people are being conned; industry is being destroyed, people are paying for placebo air safety. In short, the foxes are running the Chook farm. If YOU can’t do the job, fair enough. But have the balls to say so, bugger off and let someone who can ‘do what is necessary’. 

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Minister, there a thousands of hard working, professional people waiting for you, to do what is necessary. What say you?

Aye, well, so much for political reality. Back in the real world. 'Twas easy work for two horses to raise the new door into place. The dogs sat quietly as the strain was taken; horses patient, understanding (Gods love ‘em) that this needed a modicum of finesse. It worked, first time. I will forever remember the dogs vocal ‘Cheers’ and quiet adoration for their two mates who held a considerable weight while their fumbling master, on hand a knees attempted to get the chocks in the right place, before relieving the burden they carried with dignity, forbearance and some little pride. They humble me; my love for their unbounded faith in; and, patience with my requests a life lesson.


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Wiki“also world weariness. Frederick C. Beiser defines ‘Weltschmerz’ more broadly as "a mood of weariness or sadness about life arising from the acute awareness of evil and suffering", etc.

No matter how I seek to alleviate, or shake off the feeling; the phrase “my heart is on the ground” seems to sum it up neatly. The phrase (borrowed) from a Flashman novel and stuck in my mind, only to surface as ‘appropriate’ for the time.

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Truth: now there’s a queer concept; much written of, much debated and much abused. It is rare thing; very rare indeed when an opportunity to drive home bald fact, supported by evidence of a thing the government will not; nay, DARE not acknowledge. Yes minister, it is once again to do with your very expensive, out of control aviation ‘safety agencies’. It is about now the minister clicks off, screams for his ‘advisor’ and departs the fix at a rate of knots. “HOI – cloth ears, get your sorry, dopey arse back here and take a seat”. Facts, evidence and tangible truths are about to be revealed. Best listen, for to ignore a well meant warning is political suicide. I refer the honorable member to two (2) short lines of written text;’ to wit:-

From CASA Regional Manager to New Owner of APTA:-

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Hi (new owner of APTA), I understand that Mr Buckley remains as APTA deputy HOO. This is no longer tenable with the comments that Mr Buckley is making publicly.

Ref: &

Read ‘em. Good. Now, do you understand what it is you are looking at? No: then I shall explain it. 

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“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

One of the most destructive, dangerous and damn illegal actions CASA take is summed up in those lines. It is the very first written proof positive of a sinister, undocumented, illegal game CASA have played for over a documented decade now. It goes like this; someone in CASA (hi Malcolm) takes a set against a pilot, for whatever reason. From then on, any position which attracts a ‘title’  one which requires a CASA ‘tick’ becomes a bridge too far. It has even descended to a level where even a line pilot’s job becomes a matter of some interest. Phone calls, even outright lies – in writing – are made or sent. Subtle threats are made and the unfortunate victim is rarely even appraised of the situation.  Bollocks you say?

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“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.” “it is much safer to be feared than loved because is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.”

PAIN can, tomorrow - if you like present at least 10, documented, individual cases where a CASA ‘officer’ has actively prevented gainful employment of the preferred applicant by a CASA officer (Hi Malcom). Some officers have gone to extreme lengths in this pursuit. I can hear your whimpering answer now – provide the proof. This is the sinister bit – no one would dare challenge the words of a CASA officer; lest the next audit become ‘hostile’ or the next approval be delayed.

Quote:Joel Fitzgibbon: “You completely lost it in question time today when all I was interjecting with was ‘why don’t you actually do something?’ And you lost your sh** because-”

Michael McCormack: “Well there’s no need to swear, Joel-”
Joel Fitzgibbon: “You are under pressure- are you going to let me speak? – from rural communities because you have been exposed. They are coming to realise you have done bugger all for them with respect to this drought.”


Not fact? Oh, but Sir, it is.

“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.

I note miniscule, that under parliamentary privilege, in question time; you feel free to be as aggressive and free with words and temper as pleases. Yet, in the public space, with media in attendance, you become a pussy – cat; all smiles. Hail fellow , well met. But have you got the balls to open an inquiry? In camera, in the Senate to hear the absolute truth of just what class of horse-pooh you are supporting. Wanna get cranky – try it in the real world -- just once. I dare you. Of course failure to take a look will, forever, brand you coward, inutile and simply a question time bag of wind. Australia needs to know exactly how deep in the mire our aviation industry is in. Now Sir; are ye man or mouse?

"Please confirm APTA’s intentions in relation to Mr Buckley as deputy HOO and whether Mr Buckley is authorised to speak on behalf of APTA." Thanks again Jason.  (P2 Check history)

While I’m at it – Angel Flight.

What, in the seven Hells are you thinking:- if anything? Let’s just take a moment here to consider the real facts. In my clumsy way, I will attempt to explain how and why you are being treated not only as a Dummy, but as merely another useless no-clue politician, passing through the system. In short, not only are you are being ‘conned’ by well practiced experts, you are being played as the God’s own Fool.

1) There was a fatal accident. This accident has not been investigated properly. The ATSB, catamite to CASA, has once again produced a ‘report’ which not only avoids a true investigation of the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ but completely fails to provide anything of practical or intrinsic value towards preventing a pilot doing exactly the same stupid, illegal things again. To CASA and to the long serving Canberra bubble dwellers, the accident is simply a vehicle. That vehicle is now being used to bring in highly restrictive, freedom denying legislation which may well soothe political nerves; but it is  based on flawed, manipulated data. Data manipulated to suit the fact that CASA is not only incompetent, but is happy to co-opt ATSB into assist covering up the CASA incompetency and avoidance of SRP for the CSF. The Sector Risk Profile analysis would have led to a better outcome; had it ever been done. It was not. – Why? Try loss of control and revenue for a start; try millions more wasted on piss poor regulation; try trumping the weasels who can, without any recourse, bugger up a man gaining suitable employment through fear and intimidation. All there, empirical - anytime, anyplace. Dare ya!

Fanciful you say. BOLLOCKS: it’s the straight truth. CASA don’t take many bribes; but, they are politically corrupt. No? Any court, anytime, anywhere; bring it on bitch. Nah, thought not. Pussy........

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And so, I leave my anger and sadness at the keyboard. Half an apple each for my two stalwart, quiet, honest companions, settling down to a quiet night in the stable. Soul and heart partially repaired through their trust and honesty. But; I shall leave complete repair to my two faithful allies who can sense a mood and no matter how dark that mood is; never, ever, fail to cheer and comfort me. "Away dogs"; ‘tis a full moon shining upon a Spring evening. I know the new stable door will swing open, seamlessly and close just as quietly. Why? Well I made it so, with honest toil, sweat, a modicum of skill and the help of honest friends.

Glorious evening – next best to flying in it – is the orchard escape route. Exeunt -- orchard gate; one man, two dogs – troubles far, far away. I may even smile shortly; once the disgust has passed that is.


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