The Sunday Brunch Gazette.

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A lay down misère?

Quote:Misere or misère (French for "destitution"; equivalent terms in other languages include bettel, contrabola, devole, null, pobre) is a bid in various card games, and the player who bids misere undertakes to win no tricks or as few as possible, usually at no trump, in the round to be played. This does not allow sufficient variety to constitute a game in its own right, but it is the basis of such trick-avoidance games as Hearts, and provides an optional contract for most games involving an auction.

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The cards are on the table, freshly dealt for a winner take all hand. Much at stake, not the least of which is the credibility of a Minister and the competence of a government to manage ‘matters aeronautical’.  The Queensland (Qld) State police have brought an array of charges against a pilot which they intend to prosecute. That case and the trial while important are but the tip of a very ugly iceberg, which reflects the badly on the performance Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) {same - same FAA}. For many years now, particularly over the last decade there has been growing concern about the conduct of the operations conducted by this quasi autonomous government agency. Despite numerous ‘inquiries’ and much supporting data, nothing, not even a ministerial directive for reform has had any impact or produced tangible change – except that the ‘weak’ areas have been bolstered and reinforced to prevent further examination.  In an almost hilarious statement, the minister has asked CASA to investigate and report on its own actions in relation to the police case.  I will leave the result of that ‘investigation’ to your imagination.

There is a good case here for ‘real’ changes to be made into the investigation of aviation accidents to allow  the police aviation wings to be primary investigator. Every single accident or incident involves CASA in a potential ‘conflict of interest’ argument; particularly with ‘commercial’ aviation. CASA ‘accepts’ or approves the company operation, from paperwork to flight testing; CASA audit the companies; CASA prosecute where required. The rules are structured so that no matter what happened; or, why, CASA is in no way responsible – for anything; despite ‘approving’ the entire operation.

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The police have no such conflict; they are trained investigators and are very much aware of the ‘rules of evidence’ for shaping and bringing criminal charges. CASA are not. The state police are very much independent of the Federal transport minister; CASA are not. If CASA look bad then the minister is likely to be tarred with the same brush. Anyway FWIW, the whole black comedy has hit the media; for PAIN, this means extra work, but you; should just sit back and watch the tale unravel.  The minister has figuratively ‘nearly lost his head’ to keep it at least one must roll. The Houseboat tote is open for business.

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It’s been a mixed bag for the MH 370 saga this last week, hard core interest in a life or death struggle against the stone walls of government disinterest.  The hard part of the battle is rekindling wide public interest in an almost buried story; a difficult task when there is so much more going on in the world, which directly affects daily life. It would be brilliant if funding could be sourced to revisit the ‘investigation’ data and define a high probability search area. For myself, I hope that the ‘criminal’ land based investigation into who, why, what and how of this strange tale gets some real legs, horsepower and results. The answers IMO are on the ground, not ‘somewhere’ in the vast SIO.

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Last, but by no means least our sincere, heartfelt condolences are humbly offered to the family and friends of Peter Lynch and Endah Cakrawati, who perished in Perth’s Swan river during an air display on Australia day. We can only hope that the investigation will provide some answers which may help prevent this type of accident from ever occurring again.

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince;

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ”

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Where to begin?

Most folk have an ‘attic’ – or something similar, the garage, the cupboard under the stairs, the back room, the infamous third draw, which, every once in while need to be rummaged through to find a lost or wanted item. Then, once every so often, a steely determination descends to ‘sort it out’; put things in boxes, throw away the rusted, broken, unwanted stuff, repack, stack it all up and generally clean up. Never quite got to the end of the task myself – but, I ramble. Been a strange sort of week, we seem to be at the stage where we have emptied out the boxes and there is a great pile of ‘stuff’ which needs to be squared away, sorted and dealt with. Where to begin?

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Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

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Image courtesy of SMH article: Two MPs run up $200,000 tab on private flights to work in Canberra

All well and good; but for some, the beginning will be the growing concern over the outrageous allowances and perks our parliamentarians are gifted by the impoverished tax payer; which leads us to questions for the minister for transport to answer – all legal of course; but, even so.

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This alone had the minister running for cover, screaming for his ‘advisors’ and making statements. Just as that was heating up, the erstwhile Queensland (Qld) police dropped quite a large bombshell into the ministers tea party.

They have arrested and charged a man with some 340 odd offences – all ‘related’ to aviation; but it is unclear if the charges are related to the aviation rules and Act, or Qld criminal codes. In a way it was a blessing and distracted attention away from the ‘other’ business making the news: whether it will turn into a curse is yet to be seen; but all the alarms at CASA are ringing. It will be interesting to watch this story as it matures; particularly if you have a sense of irony. As things stand, it is shaping up to be an all in legal brawl between the Qld Bobbies and CASA, with the latter being forced into providing most of the defence – to protect their own nether regions.

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The Houseboat ‘tote’ is showing strong support for the ‘operational’ charges to be dismissed, the thinking is that CASA will provide assistance to the accused defence – up to the point where ‘they’ are out of the do-do; but defence against the related criminal charges is not their problem. There is much support for other theories; some valid. I shall try to unscramble these and evaluate; Aye, no rest for the Ferryman.

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Once you have managed to untangle the ministers mess, there is the repairing of the CASA defences to consider. Carmody continues in a smooth, seamless way to smother the outrage, mend the dykes and make it at least look like something is happening. It ain’t, in fact the Board is becoming increasingly frustrated with the ‘closed ranks’ and mutual arse covering. Carmody is doing exactly as requested and required – cover the ministerial arse, repair what bridges he may and generally do a top flight ‘public servant’ smooth over.  There is even a rumour, that Carmody started a rumour about a top flight, top secret 'task force' (yuk) investigating adopting the FAA rules to ease the tensions below. Whether the Senate standing committee’s or, the cross bench will swallow it all, whole, without blinking, is yet to be seen. Estimates are not too far away, we shall know more then. 

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Dick Smith has made an appearance in the news; HERE – the story, taken at face value is something-nothing; with the real message being buried under a pile of emotive hot air.  We managed to look under that tale of ‘derring-do’ and discovered one or two very interesting ‘real’ problems which, once again, define the absolute shambles the ASA is in. What a pickle.

Aye, as I sit here, second coffee cooling nicely I look at the ‘Tote’ boards; I must start to set the odds as the favourites gain or loose support; I will, in due course: but - the workshop door is open, I can smell the freshly delivered timber (Tas Oak) waiting there for me, there’s a bench plane and a couple of chisels which need some attention – well, perhaps, just for a while, I may take my coffee in there and sit a spell – anyway, that lumber needs to be sorted and stacked.

Whistles up dogs, picks up coffee and ambles off to the stables.

Toot toot.

The mills of the gods.

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In English it appeared in George Herbert's Jacula Prudentum (1640) as “God's mill grinds slow but sure.”

Not likely to attract much in the way of ‘international’ attention, but for the Australian aviation industry an important announcement has, once again, rolled the dice for the future. The position of CEO – CASA is to be advertised. Without delving into a long story or detailed explanation, it is difficult to describe the ‘power’ and ‘influence’ the position carries. The results of what most believe to have been a series of ‘wrong’ choices are reflected by the lack of regulatory and management change for better; or reform of attitude, methodology and execution of duty. Paul Cleary, writing in ‘The Australian’ broke the news and the RAAA chief executive Mike Higgins, calmly, succinctly and professionally reflected the majority view point.

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  • Mike Higgins, new CEO of RAAA
Quote:“His breadth of experience will serve RAAA members well in many areas, but it will be particularly valuable as we work with the government and the regulator to solve the huge problems caused by recently introduced legislation and participate in the development of new regulations”


Without a serious intent to reform the regulator, to strip away the layers of ref-tape; or, to finalise the endless chain of flawed regulation and to decriminalise those regulations; the ‘new’ appointment is of no consequence. We may hope for the best, but must be prepared to accept the worst.  

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ATSB are taking a very low profile on the MH 370 story line, seemingly determined to forget it ever happened. We have all been wondering just what, if anything, ICAO make of the ‘non compliance’ stance Australia seems determined to pursue. Many wonder why, with so many differences Australia even bothers to belong to the ICAO, the lacklustre performance of the ATSB certainly high lights the ‘attitude’; in particular toward Annexe 13, salt water and black box recovery.

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The shade of Pel-Air now joined in ignominy by the ghosts of MH 370.

Not that it’s all rosy in the Air Services garden either; there are some serious people asking awkward questions about ASA the management methodology and the financial situation.

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It will, IMO, be an interesting Senate estimates session – once the answers to the questions have been gathered and analysed. Meanwhile, the ATCO’s do the best they can and the system stumbles along blindly, hoping no one notices the shambles hidden under the brand new cloak.

Been more of a wait and see week as parliament grinds back into gear. The holiday season not enlivened by the announcement of new, exciting start up aviation ventures or new aircraft arrivals; which to me at least, speaks volumes. But the who, in the current atmosphere would invest in aviation – apart from the developers, desperate to buy our ‘glow in the dark’ airports; save a fortune on street lighting. Aye, there’s always a little ray of sunshine, somewhere.

Toot toot.

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Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,

We ain’t certain just how he does it; but Chester keeps right on doing it, very well; i.e. annoying the living beejasus out of aviation and political heavy weights. Maybe it’s the gross insults to intelligence; perhaps it’s the trotting out of shop worn second hand goods; it may even be that that the platitudes used to sooth this long suffering industry don’t translate too well. Ye gods; there have been, over the years some inept, incompetent, piss poor, puggled, purblind, deaf, dumb, blind, out of touch ‘ministers’, there really have.

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DDDDD-miniscule of NFI – “The Civil Aviation Safety Authority last month announced a review of the rules, which it is due to report by September. This is the second time that CASA has delayed the introduction of the rules...”

"..BOLLOCKS – Darren; - Mate, 30 years and 400 (that’s four hundred) MILLION dollars have been pissed up against the Tamworth aero club wall waiting on REFORM..."

But, FCOL, can this man even tie his boot laces without ‘expert’ advice, ‘assistance’ and a selfie. Too damned dopey to understand a simple fact-  that it was his ‘experts’ which landed us all, him included, into this dreadful, expensive, unholy mess. Yet the solution is blindingly simple.  Give aviation a judicial inquiry, a junior minister and a DAS both of whom actually understand and care about the well being of the industry. Fawcett and Smith for an example. Problems solved in about a half year; then, DDDD can go to the polls with a feather in his cap, instead of a picture of Barmybaby (taken by the ‘selfie king’) pissing it all up a wall. End of political comments summary. Matters aeronautical demand attention.

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Airservices Australia suffered a net loss of more than 700 staff due to recent cost-cutting

There is a feeling that the Senate estimates committee is ‘limbering up’.  Only a distant drum beat and they ain’t saying too much. But, there is much for them to consider and examine.  The complete shambles Air Services has degenerated into is a big enough subject, even without the departmental ‘trimmings’, spin and snake oil. Dragging that Cleary in to offset a legitimate, well researched ABC report was, many reckon, a very bad mistake. The minister needs to actually engage with real ASA troops and the Senators: maybe then the very real, sick, sad, sorry state of that service will finally be understood. Best be sharp though; the Senators and the ANAO are all over the unspeakable truths. Halfwit knows the tales and Whostoblame will meet him at the bus stop – provided Halfawit ever gets there in one piece that is.

Then, just for fun; a little light entertainment, we have the hapless ATSB desperately trying to re-draft, the rewrite of the third Pel-Air script. Tricky report to manage; particularly as a ‘parallel’ informal (so far) investigation has been running, with special attention paid to CASA. There are many who are awaiting the release of this report; you see, boys and girls, the terms of reference generated by non other than Sangston create a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma for the golden haired Walker. His challenge, to stick to the ToR, not drop anyone ‘init’, especially CASA and himself; then produce a document which cannot, dare not, go anywhere near the truth of the original CASA/ATSB confection.

Then (22/10/12):

Now (17/10/16):

There is another small problem to solve – the world and it’s wife know, absolutely what went really went on behind the scenes. That makes it another ticking bomb for DDDD Chester – minister for transport, to attempt to defuse; by taking advice from them as built it. That is if ever the ATSB grow a set and publish the wretched thing. Sample - was the Westwind ‘suitable’ for ditching?  Is this a serious line of inquiry? Is this relevant to the causal chain? If it is then there are more questions to be asked of the ATSB than there ever was of the ‘certificate holders’; who were, genuinely ‘amused’ at the presumptive ignorance.  How much time and money did that little distracting nonsense cost and why?

Which leaves only the ‘regulator’ and it’s reformed rules to discuss. Hitch reckons there’s big money on Carmody keeping the job.  A mandarins mandarin, smoothly, efficiently hosing the crap off the walls and the blood off the floor; making it all smell nice for the minister to visit. While dropping what, $300,000 a year? – Well, he ain’t a top weight on my tote. Sticking with Carmody is all well and good for the ‘minister’; but, for those with a memory, armed with facts, supported by history, who have waited and suffered through three decades of ‘no change’ it is not likely to be such a happy, quiet, satisfactory result. Then, there is great uncertainty about the efficacy of the CASA board, given that when the ‘chair’ was an ‘operator’ he was a total Casasexual. There is grave concern regarding the’ influence’ of the DAS and his catamites on the board. Then there is the almost total dismissal of the ICC in preference to ‘other business’ to consider. The ICC only gets four chances a year to speak to the board – guess, for a choc frog, how many appearances the ICC has made this past 12 month. Grave concern is often expressed as to the effectiveness of the ICC, given the constraints on his activities; ruthlessly enforced by both senior management and the board (in that order). Then, there is a great deal of suspicion and cynicism regarding the ‘born again’ theory of ‘consultative’ and ‘advisory groups; which begs the question – why do we pay CASA experts wages to do a job; then have to go and ‘advise’, consult and do the job ourselves? The answer is simplicity itself – the ‘experts’ have not got a blind clue – not even about running the flying school that spawned them.

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CASA starts Search for New Director
17 Feb 2017

Aye; not a good week for the minister and worse to come – well; it could get lot worse if even half the plans ‘laid’ – hatch. We shall see.

My apologies for ‘dry-toast’ gazette, but I can find little inspiration, not much comfort and barely a smile to incite the ‘sensaumour’ bump. This industry was in a world of hurt before Chester, but now, with all hopes for ministerial leadership, reform and regulatory sanity dashed into the pit of ‘departmental advice’ we must hope that a decent man is appointed to the CASA leadership role (or roll over). That, at very least will keep the minister from becoming a further international embarrassment to us all.

That’s it - Toot – toot.

The mirror crack'd from side to side;

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One has to wonder how much longer Australian politicians are going to remain in a state of aeronautical denial; surely, by now, even the dimmest of wits must have realised that there are serious problems. Personally, I have trouble believing that ICAO does not see the manifestations. There have now been two fatal accidents within a very short space of time; there is a long queue of serious ‘incidents’, all potentially fatal, for which no conclusive final reports have been published. There is a pile of official ‘reports’ on the end of my desk which, quite frankly, are only of any value to me as scrap paper.

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I would, very much, like to understand how the results of an extensive Senate inquiry into the ditching of a patient transfer flight can be effectively swept under the carpet. The causal chain leading to that event, standing alone, reflects the seriousness of the Australian situation. The revelations of the Senate inquiry with regard to the issuing and monitoring of the operational approvals beggar belief. The evidence produced during that inquiry related to the ‘management’ of the incident report, by both the ATSB and the CASA was stunning. The response to the Senate inquiry from the ‘safety agencies’ is, to this day, almost unbelievable.

One could, with some certainty, say that the official response has proven that disbelief. The final nail in the ‘investigation’ coffin is that the very agencies at the heart of the ‘scandal’ have been left to investigate their own actions. The latest fatal accident, once again, brings focus back to all ‘safety agencies’ and government; involving every element, from dubious land deals to simulator fidelity, all leading up to yet another flawed, inutile report and flat denial. A classic tale for those who have an interest in the aftermath of an accident; once the flowers have wilted and the legal eagles step up to the plate.

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TY to Rod S for tweeting me the above DAS Job advertisement - [Image: wink.gif]

Lost in the traffic this week the search for a new CEO for the CASA organisation has officially begun; mind you, after the last four disastrous specimens, the latest search to find a ‘suitable’ candidate has very little to offer in the way of hope. Yet the lessons are crystal clear; four perfect examples of what is not needed, should, provide the clues to what is. Aye; but then CASA will be far to busy covering their end of the latest fatal and digging escape tunnels. Watch and see, where the trowel lays it the thickest, that’s where the answers to what they fear being exposed will lay.

Quote:Aunty Pru Poll Q/ Would you trust the Muppet in the electric blue suit?  Dodgy

I note our village idiot has taken to writing his own ‘press’; is there nothing this man can’t do? I don’t believe he actually got the messages from the estimates committee; not really. It’s not as though the Senators were overly subtle about it – “friendless” – “world of hurt” – etc.  Audit, inquiry, expose, massive job cuts, buggered up system, the ‘one-sky big pie’ under serious scrutiny, ADSB not fully operational, no ATCO trained to really use it; more delays. There is a rather a long list of matters which could occupy our match fit Halfwit’s time; but I am certain that writing vomitus dribble for ‘the media’ is not on that list. What a star.

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Well, its Senate Estimates again, Feb 27. The aviation related sessions, for our American friends are a ‘must see’. Any relative, friend or advocate of the four US citizens who died a terrible death this week need to understand exactly what and who they are dealing with; estimates provide an instant ‘snapshot’. Aunt Pru will faithfully, as always, provide the parts of interest. There is much to consider, particularly if any form of litigation is being considered.

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I’m going to leave it here: to be honest, this latest, second fatal crash has me oscillating between fury and despair. There is much to consider and much more information required, if we are to get to the roots of this accident and help prevent another tragedy being swept neatly under carpet.

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The condolences to the families concerned will be of little comfort; but they are most sincerely offered by the AP crew.

Toot toot.

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Insurance, for Garden Gnomes.

Ring ring: Ring ring – Click.

“Good morning; welcome to Grabbit, Duckout and Leggit Insurance, my name is Connie, how may I help you?.

“Good morning Connie; Mrs Whiner here, I’m looking to have my garden gnome collection insured.

Connie: “Oh we can do that for you Madam, as well as the garden, the fences, swings and sandpit at a very reasonable rate. Just a few details and I’ll get you a very competitive quote. Now, to begin, where do you live?

Mrs. W: Number 13, Runway St, Airport Suburb.

Connie: Oh: (short pause) Hmm, just looking at Google Earth here to locate your property, seems you back onto what used to be the end of the long runway; which was shortened to allow a council supported development.

Mrs. W: Yes, that’s the one, we got a terrific deal on the place and we were assured by the developer that if we purchased the cyclone fence it would prevent aircraft hitting the house, which means that the back garden may get a little ruffled in a one in a million over run. But I worry for my collection of beautiful gnomes.

Connie: Well, we can actually write a policy to cover that eventuality; but it is going to be very expensive, you may need to take a second mortgage to cover the premium. Let me explain; lets say the impossible happens and an aircraft does plough into your garden, we will of course compensate you for the value of the used gnomes; but to recover that money, we need to be able to sue someone. The developer can’t be touched and they are a very tough nut to crack, so we leave them alone. None of the government aviation safety agencies can be held responsible for the accident, that has been demonstrated many times.  Anyway, by the time we get them into a court, we’ll all be pushing up Daisy’s. But we must be able to see a way to recover the compensation paid to you.

Mrs. W: Oh, I see: but I must protect my award winning gnome collection, what can we do?

Connie: Well our only option is to sue the property owner for being stupid enough to buy a property in a very high risk area, who expects a cyclone fence to stop five ton of aircraft, two ton of jet fuel doing 200 KpH as it hits the garden fence. You’d have more chance of coverage for a place on the edge of a war zone. Now bugger off and stop wasting my time. Click – Burrrrr.

The twiddle above is not too far fetched. Anyone who watched the last Senate Estimates will completely understand. Four government departments, Infrastructure, ASA, DoIT and CASA all wriggled and squirmed to prove, categorically that the ‘buck’ does not stop in their department. (ATSB a no show, but that's their real role). There is no concern for the safety of the public who live, shop, work and play in areas which have encroached on existing airport safety buffers. There is no concern for the safety of the aircraft and passengers who are being forced to operate with less than optimum safety buffers. The whole situation is a lottery and someone has to win the grand prize. A fireball departure and a ride to the morgue.  

For those concerned about living to close to an active aerodrome the following video clip outs may give you an indication of just who is taking care of your lives, property and public safety. Make of them what you will.

There is a glimmer of hope; only a whisper based on a supposition, gleaned from intuition. There is a ‘feeling’ that the very competent, bipartisan, well informed Senators on the Estimates committee know the answers to the questions they ask and have had just about enough of the ‘aviation safety agencies’ antics and need very little more to trigger a serious ‘inquiry’. Only whimsy at the moment, perhaps the long awaited Pel-Air report will be 'the' final straw.

Who knows, apart from the gods and they know full well that something has to be done before the smoke and flames bring everlasting shame, to those who sat and prevaricated. What say you minister? Remember legal responsibility may not be a factor in your ambit; but who will the public start looking at when another aircraft explodes in a crowded building. The DDDD shopping experience in glorious technicolour.

That’s it – second coffee outdoors, in fresh air, as far from the computer as I can get.

Toot toot.

‘’Tis a muddle,’

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‘’Tis a muddle,’ said Stephen, shaking his head as he moved to the door. ‘’Tis a’ a muddle!’

Salt in the alphabet soup? "..Meanwhile, Australian and New Zealand airlines have joined forces to set up a new aviation industry group to lobby government on taxes, fees and access to infrastructure. Qantas, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Tigerair Australia and Regional Express are all backing the Airlines for Australia and New Zealand group..."

Mostly, the ‘big boys’ quietly just get on with doing business, happy to do their negotiating privately and independently. Access to government and agencies is almost automatic, which is how it should be, considering the huge part major airlines play in the economy. So it is ‘interesting’ to see a group effort emerging.

“The airlines are unhappy with the "under investment and over recovery at key airports", says Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon.”

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A heavyweight bout; featuring the vested interests of airport owners v the airlines which use the facilities. A strange battle, be like watching Siamese twins, joined at the hip, slugging it out to see who gets the Choc frog. The sale of Australia’s airports has not proven to be a huge success, across the board. The windfall money, long since spent, has left both the infrastructure and users with many headaches, one those being contamination of ground and water, another that of ‘encroachment’ by development into safety sensitive areas not included in the mandatory Pans-Ops obstacle clear areas.

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The human shredder (vineyard) at Essendon Fields.

The last Senate Estimates (SE) was ‘interesting’ as the responsibility ball was passed around at high speed to the tune of a fatal crash at Melbourne’s Essendon airport. I would like to think that the ‘heavies’ would lend some weight to the ‘over development’ argument although it does not impact directly on their operations – yet.

Speaking Choc frog awards; Hitch of Oz Flying and Sandy both get a prize for their illuminating takes on the Avalon Air show. Apart from the show itself, one of the best things to come out of Avalon was the TAAAF scorecard of the Forsyth review (ASRR) delivered firmly and squarely into the ministerial hand.

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The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF) is a collective of aviation bodies working together to present industry views to Canberra under the guidance of chair Greg Russell. (composite image Steve Hitchen)

TAAAF are a highly respected, professional outfit offering a sane aviation policy for the future and solutions to many of the deep seated, chronic ailments of the long suffering industry – across the board. We can only hope that the minister can see the value in the gift offered and act to ‘foster and promote’ aviation business. Kudos to the TAAAF team for putting industry needs ahead of self interest and promotion; well done, one and all.

The match fit Air Services team, led by Halfwit took a further step down the credibility ladder as things turn from bad to worse. Desperation tactics culminating in an article by ‘Cleary’ published in the ‘Australian’. There will be little need for the SE committee to wield a very large axe, when the time comes to put an end to this embarrassing saga. The edifice is crumbling from within, imploding, as the rats struggle to find a safe bolt hole to escape the piper. Even the mighty Mrdak will have trouble keeping a lid on this debacle; if the ANAO don’t blow the lid off, the big sky pie will, if the SE don’t get ‘em first. Marked for a watching brief.

The ATSB continue to limp along, wondering where to hide the long overdue reports not only Pel_Air MkII but those into several other serious events which demanded swift, positive analysis. Two serious fatal crashes within a very short period of time demand answers, for despite what the likes of the idiot GT are spruiking to a hapless media, there is a need for real answers to these accidents and other serious incidents which all point to many holes in that famous cheese lining up. ATSB cannot for much longer hide behind reclassification and the three card Monte trick. The refusal to release information on the MH370 search is a mighty heavy straw for the ATSB camel to carry.

This leads us to the CASA oversight of the departments, such as it is. The cocoon of ‘caretaker’ mode has reduced the volume somewhat, while they make busy with serious issues like deciding which radio frequency may be used. Acting caretaker, Carmody got a small taste at the SE recently, Mrdak galloping in to the rescue, Carmody off the hook. One small fish escapes, but the Senators are nothing if not patient. Now both they and industry must await the arrival of the ‘new boy’. It would be a grand thing if the new DAS could land on a clear strip, the grass freshly mowed. Perhaps the CASA board can clear the path and give the incumbent a clean sheet to start with. There are some white hats in CASA who will assist, provided they have not all resigned and left in disgust. Hitch sums it up very neatly.

No wonder the minister has gone into ‘Ostrich’ mode; what a mess to wake up to every morning; the ever present threat of a major accident with nothing in the way support from his ‘safety’ agencies. Perhaps he should carefully read and try to understand the TAAAF documents; in helping them he helps himself. Backing the advice of establishment runners he is on a hiding to nothing.

That’s it – I’m done. Far too much going on to capture in short form; anyway, I have work to do so best crack on, before the RRAT committee get busy. (Or domestic tyranny strikes).

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SBG weekend mag... Shy


(03-11-2017, 07:58 PM)kharon Wrote:  ...But when the new minister arrives at the carefully preserved ‘mystique’ of aviation; all bets are off.  An ignorant, surrounded by some of the worst snake oil purveyors ever known to mankind. With no other option or help, the hapless minister must, perforce, accept the word of his anointed experts.

Imagine trying to face down a hostile Senate committee, or an infuriated industry, both supported by mountains of evidence which say your key advisors are taking the Mickey. To a man like Fawcett the game would be child’s play and soon over; but, to man like Chester? Well, you can work that one out on track record to date; even a lightweight tackle like the AOPA effort confuses and confounds, a serious push from the real industry heavies would completely unman him.

Aye well; if current speculation is proven sound, then it will be a close race to the bottom for the current incumbent - driven deep by either politics or investigations. Old Niccollo Machievelli understood the conundrum very well indeed.

“For this can be said of men in general: that they are ungrateful, fickle, hypocrites and dissemblers, avoiders of dangers, greedy for gain; and while you benefit them, they are entirely yours, offering you their blood, their goods, their life, their children,...when need is far away, but when you actually become needy, they turn away.”

Fare thee well ‘minister’.  – Hoi: Malcolm, can we have a real one next time? Perhaps ol’ Barmybaby will get smart and turn Fawcett loose; just for a while, to restore peace, sanity and ensure governmental survival. The clock is remorselessly ticking and the next fatal accident/disaster will be owned by the government which failed to act in a positive manner. Safe bet; you bet. I couldn’t possibly lay odds for a no brainer.  

Toot Toot – here endeth the Saturday night ramble....

As a kind of footnote, or if you like a late copy to the SBG, some extra reading material from QLD's Sundy edition of the Courier Mail, which very much relates to the above quote from the ale-addled P9 Saturdy evening ramble... Wink  

Quote:Aviation firms grounded amid skyrocketing costs and regulations
Michael Wray, The Sunday Mail (Qld)
March 12, 2017 1:00am

QUEENSLAND’S general aviation industry is being throttled under skyrocketing costs and ballooning regulations, with half of the flying schools at the region’s largest hub going out of business in the past two years.

Operators claim costs are increasing and regulators such as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority have swamped them with so much paperwork their administrative burden has increased tenfold without making flying any safer.

New CASA licensing regulations introduced in 2014 ran to more than 1200 pages yet were full of problems and have had to be constantly ­revised since then, leaving even the regulators unable to answer queries about what the rules mean.

[Image: e6d9ce004bb6cb51a8e04bec97c8aaa8?width=650]At Brisbane’s Archerfield Airport half of the flying schools have closed in the past two years, including the Royal Queensland Aero Club, the oldest flying club in the southern hemisphere. Pic: Jamie Hanson

Pilots have told The Sunday Mail requirements on medical checks, licensing, safety equipment and other administration are the most onerous in world aviation, but they have not demonstrably improved safety.

The Royal Queensland Aero Club, which was the oldest aero club in the southern hemisphere and counted aviation legends Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Bert Hinkler as members, folded in March last year, taking out southeast Queensland’s largest operator.

Three other flying schools have closed recently and the general airport activity has dropped dramatically since the industry’s glory days in the 1980s, with flying schools running heavily reduced fleets due to the lack of pilots walking through the door.

[Image: 0a89f1a7cbbca3ea6666e53dab638c9c?width=650]The flying schools still operating at Archerfield Airport think it's only a matter of time before they have to close down. Picture: Jamie Hanson

With general aviation struggling, there are fears that there won’t be enough locally trained pilots for the larger airlines, which would be forced to look overseas for pilots.

A CASA spokesman said the regulator was in constant communication with the general aviation industry, which includes virtually all flying activity below the commercial airlines, and recently set up a joint industry taskforce to address key issues to improve the new licensing regulations.

“CASA agrees the new regulations were not fully ­acceptable when introduced and has apologised for that,” he said. “Yes, we are always working to ease regulatory burden where possible and the taskforce’s work is an ­example of that.”

Dick Smith, a former CASA chairman and record-setting private pilot, said there was “not the slightest hint” that authorities in charge of the industry “had any idea what they are doing”.

“If you are in the general aviation industry, do everything you can to sell out, get out now because it’s really bad what’s happening,” he said. “The new regulations are more and more expensive and you will become completely destroyed.”

Some of the major industry complaints include:
● Skyrocketing landing costs;
● More costly maintenance as businesses fold;
● Invasive medical checks;
● A security card that has to be renewed every two years rather than be linked to a pilot licence;
● Unnecessary airport fences;
● Duplication of civil and military air traffic control costing hundreds of millions of dollars;
● Overzealous enforcement;
● Flight and duty time restrictions to be implemented by May 2018.

[Image: 1b17aa2980245966266b67de03572f17?width=650]Airplanes at Archerfield Airport in Brisbane.

Andrew Nacsa, who was head of operations for the RQAC’s training arm, Airline Academy, said rising cost and regulations in the general aviation industry meant fewer people were interested in flying, ultimately driving the business in to the ground and forcing it to close its hangars and the 20 planes it was operating.

“If general aviation stops then so does the whole industry,” he said.

Australia’s regional carriers are also struggling with 17 airlines folding in the past 13 years.

Mr Smith said regulators seemed to consider that ­policing the skies would be easier if only commercial planes were flying but it would take the “total collapse” of general aviation ­before the public noticed.

“When people find that they can’t get a rescue helicopter because there’s no maintenance people and they can’t get an aerial ambulance because there’s no maintenance people, then they’ll start to write to their minister and ask what’s happened,” he said.

A CASA spokesman denied commercial airlines were favoured and said authorities “allocated very significant resources to supporting the general aviation sector each year”.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester has commissioned a study into the state of the general aviation industry, and has said it will include a review of private pilot medical requirements.

The review is due to be completed by June 30.

* * * * * * * * *
[Image: 224b3d9562f0e21832644bee24a90332?width=650]Southern Skies Aviation owner Brian Westin. Picture: Jamie Hanson


PILOT Brian Westin says his office high above Brisbane’s Archerfield Airport is the best in the world.

A pilot for 45 years, the freedom he feels in the sky and the satisfaction he gets from passing his skills on to budding young pilots have not diminished.

But lately he has dreaded returning to his office on the ground, where a mountain of never-ending paperwork and bills awaits.

The situation has become so bad after a raft of new regulations from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority that Mr Westin said the only thing keeping him flying was his passion for the industry.

“It’s getting to the point now where most of the operators I’ve known over the years are saying that it’s not worth it any more,” he said.

In the past two years, the number of operators at Archerfield has halved, with just four flight schools left. Two of those have been there for decades and are only hanging on because of their love for the industry.

“People are just walking away,” Mr Westin said. “I’ve been at Archerfield for 27 years and I’ve seen the demise of the industry, the amount of machinery operating here has halved in that time.”

The owner of Southern Skies Aviation has trained hundreds of pilots, including senior captains at some of the world’s major airlines, and could not see that flying was being made safer with the new regulations.

“It’s great to make regulations but we still have to make the system work,” he said.

“It makes them feel all warm and fuzzy that they make you tick all the boxes but is it really achieving the effect that they say it should?

“I don’t think so.”

With so many operators dropping out of the industry and few budding pilots walking through the door because of the cost of getting a licence, Mr Westin said he feared for the future of the industry.

“The airlines are Australia’s umbilical cord to the world and we are the ones who supply them with pilots,” he said.

“If you don’t have general aviation you can’t get pilots for the top echelon.”

MTF...P2  Tongue

Ps Have you noticed that the Ferryman does some of his best rambling when under the influence Rolleyes  - just saying... Wink

“Because your question searches for deep meaning, etc.

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The IOS have awarded DDDD another couple of D’s in acknowledgement of his work in matters aeronautical. Ducking, diving, deceitful, duplicitous being a sample of suggestions made: but ‘Duck-Up’ won the votes. Sandy set the tone:-

Sandy “Maybe he really is leaving, I read somewhere on another thread that he's looking to upgrade the Gippsland rail line because it's one of the most unreliable lines. If one had the time to look up the facts....
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Darren trying to allocate some money in there soon?  Guess where the Minister's seat is located. Going to be a funny one, giving Daniels and the Vic Labor boys a giggle because as anyone knows the State controls the railways. Sophisticated politics Darren, what a wizard.

But the responses to important matters raised by industry have been dismal. We can only hope that things change after the budget and the reshuffle. Industry simply cannot go on pouring millions into a seriously flawed, failing system then being asked to provide the solutions; then having those expert solutions ignored. It is a farcical situation.  

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Aviation experts are worried that even lightweight drones pose a risk to aircraft. (ABC TV)

Speaking of Drones; the potential for rapid growth and revenue generation is proceeding at a pace. There is no doubt the drones are here and here to stay. It is, cosmetically at least, reassuring that our inestimable RRAT Senate committee is taking a long look at the matter. No doubt the Senators will get it right and hand down their considered recommendations. The concern must be what will happen after that; will those recommendations become more ‘opinionated shelf-ware’? It’s happened so many times before that I wonder at the fortitude and tenacity of the Senators that they keep trying.

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Lost causes seem to be in vogue this week. Australia’s obligations under the Chicago convention being another ‘classic’ of the genre. AMROBA’s  Ken Cannane (legend) puts a hat on the extraordinary pickle aircraft maintenance system has landed in. There is a way out and Ken is standing at the exit pointing the way at the top of his lungs – to deaf ears and blind eyes. Get well soon mate, even the gods know how badly we need you on deck. Thorny posted a choc frog response to the P2 sally; much to consider.

The national broadcaster, ‘the ABC’ presented through the ‘7:30 Report’ an excellent short look at the dreadful state of the Australian TSB.

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Well, the ATSB donned their Hi-viz vests and vanished from the fray, declining to answer any and all questions; electing instead to have a snivel on their very own ‘Correcting the Record’ show. The sibilant, mewling makes the stomach churn; but doughty P2 always manages (with the aid of a bucket) to pick up whispered half truths, lisped to the unsuspecting public. We used to get much better service than this; now we get much less for much more public money. Time this crew were sorted out; ‘out’ being the operative word.

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CASA had a stellar week at the Avalon show; spent a serious amount of money on their ‘plastic’ castle (which the shrinks could have fun with); pissed off those who paid their rent to sell coffee by dishing the stuff out for free; significantly reduced the number of aircraft flying in through the threat of ‘ramp check’ and then topped it all off by watching,  while doing and saying nothing about the approach procedures and the shocking state of the runway provided. An aircraft or two were damaged on that strip; but no matter, CASA got their ramp check quota. Bravo Carmody, stellar. Despite this – HITCH – (courtesy of Australian Flying) managed to enjoy himself and provide a potted version of the important GAAG progress, such as it is.

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The success of the ‘Wellcamp’ aerodrome project has inspired the entrepreneurs. Now, airports are a very ‘sensitive’ subject in Australia; everything from graft to corruption; gouging to tax avoidance; toxic waste to greed and, buildings approved ridiculously close to the operational areas of active airports. Nothing to do with ATSB or CASA the Senate was told; go figure. P2 has, in a truly massive post, attempted to lay it all out. Proof positive that the truth is always much stranger than fiction.

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Can’tberra is in budget frenzy mode so I’m not expecting too much in the way of positive response to the massive problems the minister should be dealing with.  Matters aeronautical will be in a holding pattern for a while now; until the ‘new’ DAS (silly title) is sworn in and perhaps, after the budget, a new minister. Oh, how we need both. Then again, I was taught to be careful what I wished for.

That’s a wrap. “Yes dear; I’ll fix the bloody fence; yes, the gate too and bath the dog, and clean up the workshop; I’ll attend to the mess my study directly”.

Toot - Roll on Beer o’clock - toot.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

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Bad news travels a lot faster than good, but have you noticed how ‘change’ for the better seems to take forever to arrive. Good news for aviation is a rare and precious commodity, change is even scarcer and hard won. It may take a while to penetrate and translate into excellent news which ‘industry’ fully appreciates but it’s there. The final story - HERE – is the last sentence in a long chapter, in a tale of stalled legislation, frustration and ‘good sense’ being ignored. Finally, almost at the flick of a switch, jobs, growth, potential earnings are increased. The inestimable Ken Cannane shining a light into the dark corners had a lot to do with this; but he had some help – in the shape of a modest, quietly spoken man; Sen. David Fawcett, aided and abetted by the remarkable RRAT committee. Any serious student of matters aeronautical will understand just how remarkable the story is.

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Via Australian Aviation - Airwork Helicopters chief executive Myles Tomkins and the CASA approved advanced composite Bell 206 tail rotor blades. (Airwork Helicopters) 

P2 - AMROBA, other industry advocate groups and many stakeholders should be applauded for their tenacious efforts in pushing for this reform to the US BASA agreement. There should also be a show of gratitude for Senator Fawcett, in support of the Joint Standing Committee for Treaties, for his efforts in bringing attention and understanding to the many historical issues/problems and roadblocks previously involved in the complex treaty process."

Quote:KC - "...Many thanks should be given to Mr Myles Tomkins, CEO of Airwork Helicopters, Caboolture, Qld who’s STC was used as the trial STC during negotiations with the FAA. Some product certification processes not done by CASA had to be processed by the FAA to obtain FAA approval..." 

Hear, hear. A debt of some magnitude is owed; Aunty Pru can only make a down payment in a sincere, long, loud cheer and thank you all.
It is worth noting the difference a competent, knowledgeable, honest, interested statesman can make. The stark contrast between that and the ‘other’ breed easily discerned by simple comparison.  P2 turns on the light which assists the innocents to see the differences, naturally Daren 6D is first into the glare.
P2 - "Bet he didn't have a clue about this historical good news development before yesterday, yet there he is trying to take some credit - despicable really:"
Ken Cannane sets a terrific example for those who can see the benefit of change and how to go about making change happen. No hysterics, no showmanship just the application of common sense, undeniable logic and expertise offered by all of our serious ‘alphabet soup’ advocates; except one. AOPA seem to be hell bent on self destruction with the white ants in the foundations helping. Bear with me while I try to explain.
ASIC cards (air-side ID) have been a vexed question for a long, long while. Australian Flying magazine and Steve Hitchen (aka LMH) have brought the much delayed Senate report on aviation security to the fore – again. John Hillard, writing in Ozflying puts the case rather well, backed up by ‘Hitch’.

[Image:]You keep-a knocking, but you can't come in: those without an ASIC have to stay behind the security fence at Bathurst, NSW. (Steve Hitchen)

Quote:– by John Hillard

"Security is the last refuge of a desperate bureaucrat." – credited to Sir Humphrey Appleby, Yes Minister, BBC TV.

Many serious players have made submission to this Senate inquiry all singing, more or less, from the same hymn sheet – all except AOPA: (I can’t find it anyway, maybe they did). Point I’m struggling to make is that the ASIC is a real live issue; and, a totally expensive, pointless, ineffective mess. The American system is streets ahead, but then the USA has respect for citizen’s rights and a clear understanding of ‘security’; I digress. The ASIC debate is a worthy cause and the removal of the requirement would be one item (of many) which would be of value to the members and the kudos of any serious aviation group and well worth making the effort for.  Supporting the Archerfied  effort is. The hysterical announcement that AOPA will conduct an independent ‘inquiry’ into the recent fatal King-air crash in Melbourne is not. Apart from the idea being ‘fanciful’ it is risible and embarrassing for many reasons; loss of any credibility within industry being one of several. Cannane works quietly, patiently and effectively for his members and the aviation community; the results achieved speak for themselves. Results are what matter – kudos and credibility the prize. Hells bells, any fool can grab a headline, GT for an example. Enough.

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Wingnut & miniscule 6D 'shooting the breeze' selfie - via  Aunty Pru  Wink

There is another item which merits some serious attention. The minister Daren 6D has signed a ‘legislative instrument’; the ‘Statement of Expectation’ (SoE) for the CASA. This is item #1 on the agenda for the BRB Easter indaba. It is, believe it or not, actually important this time. Much depends on who the new DAS )silly title( is and how it is to be ‘read’; interpreted if you like. You know how at interviews the ‘question’ of your expectations is often asked; well, if you were considering taking the job, what would you require of the government, in terms of ‘clout’? Clearly, you cannot do the job without it. But ‘how’ to do the job, what is the job and to what end result are serious matters. Read the SoE through McConvicts eyes; then use Carmodoy’s; or, even try the flash git's, (whatshisname) rose tinted ones. Three men, three different ways to ‘read’ the SoE. Aye, we still have a little while to wait for that result, but Easter and the budget and the mooted ‘re-shuffle’ games all have to be played out first. Aviation, as per, at the end of the long queue.
I’ve rattled on long enough, but it has been a week of contrasts. Maybe I’ll find a quiet, shady spot on the river bank and just sit for while. Thought to action, whistles up dogs, exeunt stage left.  Toot toot.

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"A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent".

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It’s no good, sorry too much; I have to get this off my chest; so one topic only today. There are some good posts this week over a range of subjects; but the Essendon accident is so very important it demands attention. I ain’t certain the trick cyclists would agree, however as they hardly ever seen to agree with each other there seems little point in worrying about their opinions. The reason I mention it is there is talk that discussing the Essendon accident may ‘upset’ the relations and friends left behind. This has not been so, in my experience; in fact I have noted quite the reverse. ‘We’ at Aunty Pru believe that the whole truth, or as near as we can get to that goal is owed to those left behind to mourn.

Despite the ATSB commissioners utilising the ‘Beyond All Reason’ model for providing ‘the report’, the investigators will be looking for the elusive links in the causal chain. This information is, rightly, not available for public scrutiny, the AAI will present their conclusions to the commissioners who will release the final report.  The ‘technical’ conclusions concerned with the ‘aircraft’, pilot and operations will take a while to sift; there are however some areas which may be examined, those for which ‘facts’ and conclusions may be tested.

For example; the Essendon aircraft finished its journey, on fire after colliding with a building’s roof top.  For many years now the gradual encroachment of buildings onto airport land has been a vexed matter, subject to various appeals in tribunals and courts. All cases notable for a lack of success. The transcripts, in primus, are ‘interesting’. The arguments of the ‘users’ and rent payers have never been brought to court motivated by ‘profit’ but by safety. Every case is a safety case, related to preventing aircraft colliding with buildings. Remember, despite the spin, the aerodrome was there first, the businesses operating aircraft are responsible, under law, for the safety of those operations. As the buffer zones are eroded to maintain that safety level, operators are forced to reduce ‘payload’ and accept an unnecessary increase in operational risk; neither desirable. One glance at the Archerfield aerodrome overhead view tells the tale. It was inevitable that sooner or later a series of circumstances would combine and there would be an accident involving the public, a building and an ailing aircraft. QED.

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How this situation has been allowed to develop is a reflection on the way Australian aviation has been ‘managed’ by the government safety agencies charged with the safety the public. One could be forgiven for assuming that the CASA, touted as the ‘watch-dog’ would be treating the encroachment of development into airspace with the same vigour they pursue the minutia of operations; producing an ever increasing rule set and restrictions. Not so; according to the incumbent DAS. I draw your attention to the very latest from the Senate Estimates committee questioning.  There are video segments – HERE which are definitive comment.

Clearly no one wants to responsible for the unholy mess, but what you have above is merely the tip of the iceberg. Since the airports were sold off there have been some breath taking ‘soft’ manipulations and mind bending ‘interpretation’ of the ‘rules’, which, coincidentally suit developers. Muffled hearing, selective blindness and ‘stay out of it’ hints have become the accepted norm. Clearly demonstrated in the Senate committee hearing. The quote of the year comes from the Senator for NSW and, IMO, he is the type of man who likes to find answers to the questions asked, in hard, solid, realistic, testable answers.


Quote:In regards to Bankstown Airport

a) The Bankstown Airport was leased by the Commonwealth to Bankstown Airport Limited in 1998. The lease agreement contains the following provision:

"Clause 9.1

Subject to clause 9.2 the Lessee must keep and maintain the Airport Site including the Structures in good and substantial repair at all times during the Term (fair wear and tear excepted) and at the expiration or earlier determination of the term, vacate and yield up the Airport Site and the Structures in that state of repair and condition and in accordance with the Lessee's Covenants. The Lessee accepts the full and sole responsibility for the condition, operation, repair, replacement, maintenance and management of the Airport Site including the Structures during the Term."

Despite the clarity and unambiguity of this clause, the following breaches have been allowed to occur;
i. The original 1942 "Heritage" listed building located on Airport Avenue has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. This was the USAF/RAAF Headquarters building in WW2 and after the war it became Headquarters of the RAAF National Service.
ii. The original Male and Female toilet block are in a state of disrepair and have inoperative toilets and can only be described as disgusting. These are the Public Toilets for the major Secondary Airport in New South Wales and as such are a poor advertisement.

What action does the Department plan to take in relation to this clear breach of the lease agreement that the Commonwealth is a signatory to?

b) I now draw your attention to Clause 9.2 of the lease agreement.

"9.2 Maintenance of runways and pavements

The Lessee must maintain the runways, taxiways, pavements and all parts of the airport essential for the safe access by air transport to a standard at the commencement of the Lease."

This condition has clearly been violated with the use of runway 18/36 being discontinued and asbestos-contaminated landfill placed over it.

What authorisation, if any, was given for this condition of the lease to be so clearly disregarded? Please provide documentation.

c) Are you aware that leases to aviation tenants are only being offered on a three year lease basis, containing a relocation clause?

d) Do you accept that this denies a business security of tenure, and prevents them from being able to invest and carry on their business properly?

e) Are you aware that Bankstown Airport Limited has been purchased by First State Superannuation?

f) Are you aware that First State Superannuation has appointed Altis Property Partners to manage Bankstown Airport Limited?


There is a lot of reading associated with the aerodrome quandary and the Essendon accident which must be done. Our aerodromes are becoming dangerous places; an aircraft needs air space to operate in, when something goes wrong it needs more space again, not DFO’s full of the public. We have been incredibly lucky thus far, it is, IMO, time to take a long hard look at what is really happening to our safety standards. I will leave this here with a short read and a question for your consideration.

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Did CASA improve ‘real’ safety by approving a reduced ‘Effective Operational Length’ (EOL) of a runway to allow a building within the precincts of the existing, prescribed safety margins; or simply abrogate their responsibility to the operator?

There are other subjects of interest on offer this week; but non as important as this one. If the loss of life in the accident is wasted and the potential for further loss, had that building been crowded, does not provoke the government to act sensibly and step in, then nothing ever will, to their everlasting shame.

Selah. Solitude, wood shavings and a second coffee required.

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

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(P2 comment: Before "K" says "gotcha P2", these words of wisdom were originally attributed to Confucius ) 

A candle in the window. The climb itself had been arduous, even without the weather being foul; the descent difficult and dangerous and the weather ferocious; such is the lot of a mountain climber. At last, in darkness a place was reached from which a walk to a hut could begin. Wet, cold and tired the dim light of a lantern could be seen in a window; it cheered a little until the truth was realised. There was still a steep valley to navigate and long dark walk in the rain to complete with treacherous footing to confound tired legs. This is where the CASA ‘reform’ process is; miles to go, in the dark with only a dim lamp to guide it over inhospitable terrain.  

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What a terrific effort by RAAA to reach a place where a discourse is even possible, the tantalising glow of the small lamp in a far off window. Serious students will appreciate just how difficult it has been to achieve this and will know that the game is far from over; there’s  still a long difficult march to complete, even with the most excellent Rev. Forsyth leading his flock. The end of a long difficult climb is no place to begin a battle against the denizens of Sleepy Hollow; but it must be fought.

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There’s hope, that most excellent of men, the Rev. Forsyth is padded up and heading for the crease to partner the doughty Davis; which should put a new shine on the RAAA innings. We wish him bon chance in the high stakes test match. AMROBA and TAAAF have made a great start to the match, and there are a couple of first class players  yet to bat; before the tail end gets to play, let's hope we don't need them..

The new ‘tools’ such as a ‘flexible’ SoE , a new DASaster and a Board with some backbone will assist greatly – provided the SoE is used correctly (as intended) the new DAS is a reform man who knows how to do the job and the Board has not been restrained, restricted or frustrated. That will sort out the top end, the cake eaters; but what of the bottom dwellers? Those who swan about making personal opinion and philosophy ‘law’ through manuals which must be to their liking before ‘acceptance’ is gifted; or, approval is given; or, take a dislike to someone and make their live a hell. I note the FAA have begun to address the problem of ‘subjective interpretation’ - HERE -  food for thought indeed.

[Image: faa-far-regulatory-consistency-communica...=775%2C349]Posted By: Joe Del Balzo March 30, 2017

The cake eaters will make great efforts to be seen to strive for ‘harmony’; but out on the coal face, over a coffee, the bullies will still be subtly intimidating their victims; or, having a quiet ‘chat’ with their favourites to ensure ‘their’ version of law is the one applied.  

Rumour morphs into fact as the mythical ICAO audit looms over the horizon. Providing ‘Evidence’ is a strange notion, in my experience, checking the ‘evidence’ is part of any audit process.  If for example ICAO make a recommendation to change the light bulbs every half year, then the ‘evidence’ could be furnished through the paper trail. Seems ICAO are not interested in the paper trail but want to examine each light bulb, to make sure it was changed. You can understand the reasons why; P2 “I note the following ICAO finding, recommendation and comment from Appendix 1-8-05:” CASA got a shed load of money to implement the last ICAO audit many findings; the money sure as hell got ‘used’, but as for complying with the ICAO recommendation, better ask the relatives of the King Air passengers what they think of the ‘improvements’ CASA made.

Shocked witnesses describe Essendon plane crash

Melbourne experiences its worst aviation disaster in 30 years after a light plane plummeted into the Essendon DFO shopping centre.

Further evidence of the CASA operating system may be seen as the battle lines for the ‘responsibility and liability’ wars are drawn. The agencies and departments are always quick off the mark in the rump covering stakes, with CASA leading the charge. Don’t forget, not for a moment, that it was CASA and the ATSB which brought you the Pel-Air disgrace; apart from some minor changes at the top, nothing underneath has changed.

[Image: 1491220316543.jpg] Firefighters at the scene of the plane crash at the Essendon DFO.  Photo: Jason South

Absolutely nothing; the same venal thinking will apply to Essendon unless the interested parties get together; and, like ICAO – demand to see every single scrap of ‘evidence’ related to this accident and have it independently analysed and tested to a court quality ‘evidence’ standard. Be warned, there is no level too low for the official side of this to stoop to; plenty of evidence to support that theory.    

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Matters aeronautical are approaching an ‘interesting’ junction. We have seen, several times now, matters reaching a critical mass; but little of practical use or ornament has ever emerged, despite the hundreds of millions thrown at ‘the problem’ in hope of a quick fix. A true ‘fix’ is painful and bloody, the longer it takes to affect a real cure; the longer the recuperation period. Will the King Air accident, the ICAO audit, the ASA audit, the Senate estimates committee efforts all combine to be the watershed? They should – but who knows. We shall watch with interest.

Toot toot.

And a word from the Murky Mandarin... Dodgy

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IOS comment: "BOLLOCKS!" Dodgy

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Democracy; a strange, almost alien concept – as currently applied to the aviation industry anyway. A huge, important multi billion dollar industry the participants of which, apart from being able to vote in the general elections, has little say in the government’s ‘management’ of it. There certainly is no meaningful input regarding ‘regulations’; history clearly shows that despite the best efforts of the many, the minority prevail. Often it is said that the ‘rule’ as proposed and agreed returns to become ‘law’ somewhat different to the original, particularly in ‘spirit and intent’.  In charge of all this ‘management’ is the boss of CASA.

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As there are only a few short days to go until a milestone in the DAS ‘selection’ process passes by, a process in which industry has no input, no power of reversal and no right to appeal. It may be worth considering the dreadful past decade. It has, truly, been a horrendous period. A time of almost despair which began with the Byron departure, supplanted by the brute McConvict, only to end ignominiously with the abject failure of ‘whatsisname’. Ten long years of no improvement, a decade of fatuous, expensive, no value law; all supported by some of the worst creatures to ever crawl out from beneath the slime of the Sleepy Hollow swamps. I have no fear of this statement ever being seriously challenged; the evidence is overwhelming. One need go no further back than Pel-Air to see the sanctified manipulation of system. Before the Board and the minister ‘sign off’ on the next appointee; perhaps they could find a little time to consider the past decade and contemplate just who is really running the Australian aviation authority. It ain’t the minister, certainly not board and the DAS could not possibly get away with the past shambles and aberrations without ‘deep’ internal support.  Perhaps a ten minute break may be found and the article, penned by Paul Phelan published in Pro Aviation could be contemplated; with this as an an introduction - 25 year disgrace.  Modern, pertinent history which is doomed to repeat, unless there is a concerted effort to reform the regulator. The appointment of a new DAS is not the end of government responsibility, but the beginning. The minister could demonstrate a commitment to ‘real change’ by withdrawing the effeminate ‘Expectations’ statement and replacing it with a more ‘robust’ Directive. Don’t ask ‘em. Tell ‘em, you blasted Muppet.

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Mini rant over; although there is still plenty of steam in the boiler for matters which should be of great concern to the minister and his ‘safety’ agencies. The encroachment of buildings into active airspace for one. PAIN has connections with PANS-OPS specialists; folk who design airspace and approaches, not to mention consulting, with those who matter, on obstacle clearance, impingement, safety zones and such. Three separate groups; three singular responses to the Essendon impingement – I shall paraphrase: “how the hell did they get away with that”. That is ‘the’ question, ain’t it. Perhaps our DoIT can answer it; we shall see.  

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

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

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

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

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Source: GE Aviation, modified by ATSB

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

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

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

Toot toot.

Purblind, Wool blind or just not looking?

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It is high time ‘Aerodromes’ and their operators stopped apologising for their existence. In fact, its time for airports to start pushing back. We have huge docks along our waterfronts; all parked on highly desirable development potentials; they are noisy, dirty and dangerous places – yet do they have a constant barrage of ‘developer attacks’, building shopping malls around the perimeter; course they don’t. Do the docks have to contend with a stream of whining householders who bought ‘cheap’ and are trying to get them shut down – NO, they don’t. Railway stations and the tracks through suburbs – do they have to face down developers or the endless whining of ‘ban noise’ groups; No they bloody well don’t. But ‘airports’ do, perhaps it’s the wide open green fields that drive developers into a feeding frenzy, who would know. What is patently obvious is the potential for an airport to generate income has not been fully realised; particularly from those bases ‘close’ to the city.

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The London docks airport for example; compare it to Sydney’s Bankstown (BK) airport. One flourishing, employing hundreds and generating some serious income. The other a mouldering pile of toxic waste and crumbling buildings, the South side a waste land. With comparatively little money spent, the airport could be developed into a crackerjack commuter /executive jet port and maintenance base. Why not close down Kingsford Smith and relocate the whole mess at Badgerys’s Creek and develop BK as the ‘city hub’?

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That notion makes sense to a lot of people; huge noise reduction over electorates; massive benefit to road users; savings off the chart for pollution; waterfront properties and a huge area to develop close to town. Mouth watering stuff – at least Wagners and some councils are seeing ‘the light’.  

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Or; why don’t the developers buy the ducking golf course next door to BK which employs what, 50 at the most and does little to assist ‘the economy’ - build their blasted shopping malls and DFO’s there – out of harms way and let the airport generate real income, jobs and business. Airports are ‘essential’ infrastructure, like docks and train stations. If the government insist on selling them off, then let it be responsibly; only to those who want to develop the airport and the aviation industry; not more DFO’s. Enough –.


The 2 'box sets' which made this morning's #roadtrip possible

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I note our illustrious minister Darren 6D stars again on the ‘reads’ count; topping the Senate Estimates and airports by a considerable margin. Not that it will trouble him, not so long as Cheezels and ‘the Boss’ are still freely available – at tax payer expense, so the hours between opening mouth to change feet can be filled in between manicures. Everything that can possibly be wrong with politicians in one neat, well groomed package. How can the likes of Barry - Braces – O’Sullivan who bother with tedious little issues like 'drones'; or David Fawcett fussing about dangerous airports; or, Burston trying to sort out the underhanded parting up of airport infrastructure possibly compare.

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Mind you 6D has some influence; he managed to get the Hi-Viz – oh, so delighted Hood to speak up on the MH370 shambles. I notice that man ‘Iggins was quick to pick up the clanger and use it to ‘foster and promote’ the integrity and expertise of the ATSB. Nary a word on the Pel-Air rewrite of the rewrite yet though. Although how, in the seven hells, two government departments, charges with ‘air-safety’ can get away with seriously ‘interfering’ with an investigation and audit still has me beaten hollow. Someone needs to be in jail over this event, actually several someone’s. But no; it’s all very low key and subtle shifting of positions for ‘distance’ and plausible deniability. We will be left wondering about the credibility of every report ATSB and CASA make now; can’t wait to see what they do with Essendon. Top marks for top cover and denial of any or all responsibility: again. No matter we will always have Darren 6D to rely on – who needs statesmen with guts and integrity caring about the country and its people.

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With your indulgence: a short ramble: prompted by the latest spill over of anger on an American carrier. From about the age of seven, a young “K” was a regular ‘commuter’ – boarding school – home – back again. One of two uncles often ‘in command’ and flight deck rides in the Britannia or Viscount were more usual than not. The thrill of arriving at the airport, checking in, waiting for the boarding call were eagerly anticipated, then the stroll out up the stairs, sitting down and strapping in were all part of the fun. The passengers always seemed polite, well turned out, the cabin crew immaculate, helpful and cheerful. Over the years, I have come to a point where I’d rather not travel by air, if I can avoid it. Not flying it – not going; if I can avoid it, much like the supermarket or dentist. There are, I expect, many reasons for things being the way they are; but for me, the saving of a few dollars on the ticket cost is not worth the trouble, aggravation and discomfort. – Must be old age creeping in, but if I get hit with one more backpack, or trodden on by someone trying to stuff a huge ‘bag’ into an overhead locker – or; another child swings on the back of my seat; or; the bloke in front insists on full recline; or; the lady in the middle really needs two seats and unlimited access to the dunny; or, the chap with the broadsheet newspaper can’t fold it in half…..well, I just don’t know. The joys of air travel.

Aye well; not today. Second coffee in the garden, lovely day – then; we shall see.

Toot toot.

P7 addendum - I note “K” fails to mention the VC 10; or the ‘brown paper bags’ full of sweeties which were gleefully hoarded in various tuck boxes (which he made) for the duration. I still keep my best planes and chisels in the last (a thing of great beauty, in Oak, Cherry and Cedar). Shhhhhh..

I also really like the pictorial ‘translation’ P2 does on the SBG; “K” can be a little obtuse, but the indefatigable P2 picture story always brings it home. Well done boys...;

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#SBG 30/04/17

Quote:“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn how to fly while remaining an egg.  We are like eggs at present.  And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.  We must be hatched or go bad.” – C.S. Lewis

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Both the response and resistance to ‘change’ is a fascinating area of not only individual behaviour, but of ‘groups’. Change is dynamic and the ‘knock-on’ effects can range between fantastic to horrendous, with many shades in between. Big changes, which affect life as we know it attract the whole spectrum of response; the changes to a woman’s role in the world is a classic. That has been a remarkable major change and to try and reverse that change would be even more remarkable; anyone who thought the resistance to women’s votes and right to education, work etc. was fierce would be surprised at the resistance to any reversion attempt in today’s world. It has proven, despite the resistance, to be a hugely beneficial, righteous move. Once again, particularly in the aviation industry, we are encountering serious resistance to necessary change. Industry is demanding that change; government agencies are resisting those demands, politicians swayed to serve the bureaucrats. This despite the fact that the government is, in theory at least, supposed to be there to ‘serve’ the people. I am not speaking here of the wishes of the land rights for gay whales crowd; but of sensible, sane involved people with their lives and money invested in an industry which is being restrained by an entrenched resistance to any and all change.

Some changes require this natural resistance, the increasing ‘drone’ population for example.

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It is wise to get ahead of the potential problems early in the game and get the solutions right. The discussion is in the safe hands of the Senate RRAT committee, who have to deal with not only the core issues, but the reluctance of the ‘safety agencies’ to even accept responsibility or develop plans to manage and control the potential dangers.

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Australia’s aging air traffic systems are due for replacement and once again ‘change’ is required. Other nations manage to simply get on with it, Canada for example has managed change very well, other nations are embracing technology and seeking to improve their systems.

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Quote:Mr Mrdak - "..The Functional and Efficiency Review did look at international examples of where governments have placed their air traffic control provider—air services provider—in different governance structures, particularly the United Kingdom and Canada, where they have been placed in either part-private ownership or a not-for-profit government body. They were models that were looked at in the scope. The Functional and Efficiency Review recommended that we consider further options for the future of Airservices Australia.."

Australia has burned some AU $74 million getting to position where it has been decided that the system which was ‘new’ several years ago, cannot now be afforded. It that weren’t bad enough, there is a potential scandal being investigated which will require government intervention to remove it from the public gaze if it ever becomes fact.

Insulted or consulted? There are two topics on which industry has been asked to ‘comment’, submissions have been called for related to pilot medical standards; and, a minor, but important matter of a common radio frequency. Despite the American FAA medical landmark changes, once again reluctance to change rears its ugly head, AVMED, the department which manages this area remains unmoved. Some of the tales told, particularly those relating to specialist medical advice being overruled by the ‘complex case’ panel are the stuff of legend. Go figure; you get seriously ill, go through the treatment and come out with, as far as the legally responsible specialist treating you is concerned, fit, well and good to go. Then the ‘panel’ decide to ignore reams of supporting evidence of this and decline to revalidate your medical. You can drive a 40 ton rig filled with petrol around the city; but cannot fly an aircraft. Now CASA have called for ‘submissions’ to the discussion and those are being ‘considered’. There are some first class submissions in that pile all worthy. But, how may industry rely on that ‘consideration’ being unbiased?

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The ‘consultation’ related to a simple ruling on a common radio frequency demonstrates exactly what will happen. Someone at CASA HQ goofed; the premeditated decision being published before the ‘discussion’ and ‘consultation’ process concluded. Now there is much scampering about to undo the damage to CASA credibility; too little, too late and, there never was much credibility to start with.

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I note one positive, which has the potential to overcome the resistance to change: IATA are calling for a better ‘reporting’ system of air accident and incident. Insurers need to be able to identify risk patterns in air operations; a trend in Mongolia may slip by unnoticed, but, if the same ‘trend’ is developing in Nigeria, Alaska and Fiji then that risk must be mitigated. ICAO have a data base which serves this function, but if the data ‘in’ is camouflaged or ‘tweeked’ the data ‘out’ is of little value. This reflects the ATSB approach to classification and ‘reporting’ of which many experts in the field are highly, if quietly, critical.

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There is one, solitary ICAO presence currently sniffing about the ATSB lampposts, however, according to Hood, the man is more interested in swimming and training than the quality, probity and strength of the ATSB reports. We shall see.

P2 and Mike Chillit have revisited what is considered by many to be a crucial stage in the MH 370 saga. The point where AMSA (Australia’s maritime search experts) were unceremoniously dumped and Australia’s ATSB (transport accident investigators) were shoved front and centre. This led to the change from an ICAO annex 12 footing, to an Annexe 13 basis. This effectively precluded ‘criminal’ investigations being perused. Many 370 researchers question this ‘switch’ particularly as the then ATSB ‘head’ was under a rather dark cloud, emanating from the Senate inquiry into the ditching of a light jet off the coast of Norfolk Island. Anyway, FWIW, the video is worth watching for body language and listening to for the ‘wording’. Remarkable retrospective – IMO.

Much to consider in the ‘now’, best do it before the future becomes ‘now’. The appointment of the new DAS is immanent, not that it will make much difference; the top weight and popular choice in the DASaster cup has been scratched by the stewards, insulted and offended by petty officials who have no appetite for anything but a neatly run, nicely rigged race – in the bookies favour. Disgraceful? You bet, changes are unacceptable to the status quo; but you knew that…

Best I toddle off now, couple of us are going to try and put a numbers cost of the Pel-Air debacle. It’s a challenge, starting from the moment the aircraft ditched to the last instruction issued by the Supreme court. It all started in the pub; P63 wondered at the ‘legal’ cost of lawyers and court; P17 reckoned the ‘authorities’ wages bill alone would outstrip that, P7 reckoned the Senate inquiry bill would top the lot. Rather than wrangle over it a clinical, forensic investigation was decided on. We begin today, the FOI requests alone will make for interesting discussion. I glance out of my study window at the workshop, the dogs patiently waiting at the door; alas, not this fine morning, I will see you after lunch (GW-WP).

Toot toot.

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Mike Mrdak is a master of ‘the game of fires’. Over the years we have all watched as spot fires are snuffed out and even the odd serious fire extinguished without too much strain on the nerve and sinew. Looking over the map of his kingdom I have to wonder, can he now prevent the many spot fires surrounding Sleepy Hollow joining up and becoming a major bush fire; fanned by the winds of outrage.

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It may be my sense of smell is faulty, but sniffing the wind I get a feeling that disparate elements of the aviation industry are slowly, but surely, uniting and beginning to sing from the same hymn sheet. It is unclear just yet, who is the choirmaster, who is conducting the orchestra and who is writing the musical score. But as you stroll past the cathedral of reform, the band is tuning up, the voices limbering and the seats are being rearranged. Before any major production is started, there must be a ‘top layer’ of organisation in place to arrange that which is necessary.

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I believe we may look to the Senate Estimates RRAT standing committee to fill this essential role. Setting the stage is a tedious, time consuming task. Generating the ‘right’ questions, waiting for the answers, sifting through those responses and then trying to affect a result requires tenacity, guile and some courage. To draw the disaffected elements together, keep them on song during the start up is no easy task. But I get the feeling that this is being managed.

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Senator David Fawcett 
Sen. Fawcett (legend) as far back as 2013 began the task, far sighted enough to foresee the mess and long enough in the role to watch his own worst fears realised.

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Senator Nick Xenophon
Nick Xenophon an able running mate, Sterle a driving force, lately O’Sullivan throwing his not inconsiderable skills and intelligence behind the ‘push’.

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Senator Glenn Sterle

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Senator Barry O'Sullivan

There are others equally commendable, and some we have yet to see. Burston from NSW for one, same ilk and formidable.

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Senator Brian Burston

Now I know it’s tedious, but the questions on notice (QoN) and the responses actually matter, IMO, the ‘Q’ show the way the RRAT is heading, the answers define the escape routes.  PreludeOverture.

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That leaves the choir and orchestra to unite and coordinate, no easy task. But it seems someone is managing to knit the whole thing together. AOPA seem to have gotten their bearings, shooting at targets they understand and doing a good job of it; I note Spencer Ferrier has written an opinion piece which is worth reading. This dovetails nicely with the sterling work Ken Cannane (legend) and AMROBA are publishing. It seems that the other ‘Alphabet-Soup-groups’ are singing along, if not in tune or exactly in time, then at least on the same page. An undertone, from the ‘big end of town’ at the Basso Profundo level would see the harmony complete. 

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One of the major calls for reform is to remove the ‘Strict Liability’ element from the regulations along with the use of the criminal code. There have been many calls for the removal of this anathema; all of which have fallen on deaf ears. It is a major complaint and it affects everyone from the hanger cat to Alan Joyce; mark you CASA don’t try it on very often with the big boys, preferring to throw rocks at the cat and call it a result for safety.

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Airports and the safety of the general public is another fire which needs to be extinguished before the out of control bush fire becomes a blazing inferno. MM and his crew are only patting down the edges and piddling around the perimeter, deeming it more important to protect their own steaks and sausages, rather than admit it was their cozy BBQ fire which started the blaze, hoping the smouldering pile at Badgery’s Creek will distract.

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At least those at the fire front will be well fed; the out of sight, out of mind, debacle of the drone wars continues. CASA have NFI what to do about the quantity and potential applications. They drafted a couple of lightweight regulations and thought ‘job done’. Not so; CASA are so far behind the game as to be not be even considered as playing. Typical; if one wanted to fully understand the massive shout for reform of the regulator; the total cock-up surrounding ‘Drones’ is ‘the’ quintessential example. Ducking hopeless (and we pay ‘em to be so).

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Our Hi Viz Safety Board continues to be just another banjo player in the orchestra pit, out of tune, out of time, but of little real significance.

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‘The man from ICAO is visiting, but no one seriously believes he can cure the weak technique or improve the timing. ATSB are not even sure which bloody tune they are supposed to be playing. Is it the ‘Beyond Reason March’, the ‘Toothless Tiger Rag’ or; the mighty ‘Hi Viz Rhapsody’. No matter, no one’s really listening.

A week of ‘big reads’ and much to consider; whether or not anything of either intrinsic or practical value will emerge from under the mountain of words is yet to be seen. Much depends on the orchestra and choir working together. When they do, it can be magnificent;

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic joins again
What convention strictly divides;*
All people become brothers,*
Where your gentle wing abides.

Aye well; the elephants patiently await their bath. Don't know how they get so scruffy, just hanging about in ministerial offices; but they do. Best crack on, a delivery of top grade American Oak awaits to become a desk for a budding student of stuff I can't fathom. Such is life and life is such.

Toot - toot.


Of Mice and Men.

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“To plainness honor’s bound when majesty falls to folly.”

You have to wonder; does 6D_Darren get his advice from Dr. Phil or Judge Judy?  It is a reasonable question when you consider the ever worsening state of aviation affairs and his resolute determination to avoid responsibility to the travelling public. One thing is for certain sure, he ain’t listening to the right folk. Prince Niccolò could, had he been allowed passed the guardians of the gate, provided some sage counsel, which, if listened to, may just have helped.

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“An inexperienced prince who takes counsel from more than one advisor will get conflicting advice, and will not know how to reconcile it. Each of his advisors will think of his own interests, and the prince will not know how to control them or to see through their ruses. And all advisors are like this, because men will always prove unfaithful to you unless they are kept honest by necessity.”

[Image: drones.jpg]References Committee inquiry into remotely piloted aircraft systems visit to Dalby, Queensland

Solutions to the ‘problems’ being deflected and ignored by the transport minister are freely available. It is a fact that the very best advice has been provided, at government expense, from no less a source than the Senate in Parliament. Some 30 odd invaluable recommendations were provided by a bipartisan, outraged, well briefed Senate committee. A further 27 (+/-) were provided within a report ordered by the last minister through the Forsyth review.

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When you add in the free, expert advice provided through the AAAA, AOPA, AMROBA, RAAA, TAAAF etc, you realise that there is a veritable pile of priceless advice available to make the minister into star – not a Muppet. Its well past the time for the minister to start saying “make it happen”. You must either question the motivation of those who are obstructing change; or, question the ministerial disinterest. Perhaps a little less time devoted to usurping Barmybaby’s throne and more spent seeing to ‘public safety’ would even assist in the power struggle. A reality check would help; but not so much as contemplating ‘why’ his internal advice is wrong. He probably needs to have a coffee with John Sharp; just to set himself straight on the games the fat cats play, with hapless ministerial mice.

For example; what about the recommendations made, not only by the ASSR, but by the Senate investigative committee on the Pel-Air scandal?

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CASA elected and publically stated that the ASSR (aka the Forsyth report) was merely ‘an opinion’ and dismissed it out of hand – barring some cheap window dressing and lip service. However the Senators recommendation’s have not; not since day one, been mentioned let alone acknowledged; forget ‘actioned’. I have no idea the cost of the Pel-Air inquiry; but it would be a fairly large number; wasted. The inquiry of no more value to the public than 6D-Darren’s happy snap of Barmybaby having a wee wee.  You have to ask, just how are such men to be worked on; a Senate inquiry followed by a ministerial report – 60 serious demands for change, made several years ago – all dismissed. It seriously beggars belief, but nevertheless, ‘tis true.  I note both Australian Flying’s ‘Hitch’ and AMROBA’s Ken Cannane (legend) have dragged up the ugly, unsavoury truth regarding the ‘recommendations’ and are asking the same questions– when is the mythical reform of CASA and ATSB going to begin?

Take ‘drone’ controls – the CASA crew did a very quick, cheap and nasty rule set based on the restricted scope studies of a ‘student’ who was doing a thesis 'related' to  the subject. This done, the rule drafted to suit; CASA knocked off, making sure non of the mud (or blood) splashed would stick. Now, they must catch up with the grown up nations who’s employees actually earn their money.

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Our stalwart Senators are on the job though – good sense may yet prevail, it may, gods willing, even penetrate the dark area’s between the ministers manicured ears. Preferably before there is a serious accident. We shall see how long the ministerial luck holds out. Does the minister realise we are watching, in real time – in the ‘now’ – a classic example of a exactly what the industry and the Senate is concerned about; CASA incompetence, abrogation, denial and ineptitude, shamelessly demanding more money to continue in the same vein, despite loud, long, desperate calls for reform. What’s next, a fat cat, cake eating bureaucrat to make sure there are no ripples on the ministerial duck pond and a tame board to see off the foxes? We must hope not, lest the CASA vision splendid of an aviation desert become reality. They have made a good start and with ministerial support, the project will continue; at a much better pace than Badgerey’s Creek will ever attain.

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The oft delighted ATSB boss,  Hi-viz Hood has been silent this week. No doubt visiting Beaker’s Mum, to have her read his tea leafs “Oh, please, can the leafs tell me what to do about the ATR incident?”

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Beaker sitting by the stove breaks wind, his Mum looks at him with affection –“the oracle has spoken; with the wind comes the change, the stench of foul, rotten things is wafted away to the kitchen of another; be patient, delay and in time all things come to pass away, out of sight, out of mind: that’ll be five dollars thank you”. Hoody, thus inspired and delighted trots off and buys a new pot of hair gel, to share with the minister – lavender flavoured (all the rage)……Laurence J. Peter sure got this one right – "Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and "managers rise to the level of their incompetence". You can stop now Hoody; destination reached.

He’s a canny blighter is our P2. He knows full well I am over the rambling and wrangling surrounding the MH 370 saga; the endless bickering and hypothesis; the Mick Gilberts and other ‘experts’ who wouldn’t know anymore about ‘what happened’ than the stable cat.

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However, cunningly concealed in a post I find this -

Q. Recently a fellow MH370 tweeper asked me if I had a copy of a debris modelling map, picture, or perhaps a graphical video (mentioned by Foley above) that showed how it was that the ATSB believed that debris would wash up on the west coast of Sumatra. To this date I am yet to find even a mud map drawn on the back of a beer coaster. Therefore this is just a general plea to any MH370 followers that may have a copy, of what at this stage remains a fictitious model - .

Q/ "..a drift model was applied by one organisation to the wide search area defined in the report..."  - Who was that 'one' organisation?

Q/ I wonder what happened to the AMSA initiated drift modelling working group? Was it officially disbanded at the end of the AMSA controlled surface search? If so why?

These questions all take us back, once again, to the ‘parting of the ways’; where the excellent, ocean search specialist AMSA was dumped and the unprepossessing visage of the Muppet Dolan was foisted into the public gaze. The old question – why was the search allowed to be continued when clearly, a criminal act had occurred is raised? Dolan, infamous for ICAO annexe legerdemain and the great Pel-Air scandal was ‘suddenly’ the ‘go to man’. Uncovering that small part of the mystery may not find the aircraft or even solve the puzzle – but by Golly; it makes you think. P2 attack on the curiosity bump complete.

That children, is more than enough from me. I have a cunning plan – raid kitchen, abscond with purloined goodies and second coffee, escape to the stable, enjoy a quiet moment (yes, yes, share goodies with dogs); then I must address ‘the monster’. It sits quietly under a dust sheet, the carcass of an Oak desk, it has legs and a top but, alas, no drawers as yet. These I must start to make, today. Four drawers, identical in size, all must fit exactly and even a small error can create havoc. 24, three pin dovetail joints, eight housed tenons, 12 channels for the draw bottoms. All square, all straight, all exact fitting, all by hand – not a machine in sight. I have high expectations of the colourful language department today; and, look forward to creating some inventive invective as the day wears on. Aye all to play for – but, the dogs are on the alert – the kitchen is all mine.

Toot toot.


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#SBG 21/05/17

I wonder if Shakespeare’s Gertrude would say as much of the Hi-Viz Hood? He has so completely and faithfully slipped into the Dolan mould, effortlessly aping the Uriah Heep of air accident investigation so seamlessly, it feels as though Dolan never left.

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“Gertrude*1 says that Player Queen affirms so much as to lose credibility. Her vows are too elaborate, too artful, too insistent”. Rings true don’t it?

There was, in the beginning a modicum of sympathy for Hood when he began signing the outlandish Chambers edicts and acceding to the outrageous demands of McComick during the rape of Airtex. Various ‘connected’ folk swore he was a good chap, doing the best he could for those across the gun barrel; not so, as it turned out. The next star role was with the Pel-Air scandal; where time and FOI returns have shown, quite unequivocally Hood was a ‘willing accomplice’ at least until the writing on the wall became clear and Farq-u-Hardson had to do ‘the signing’. Hood has been back pedalling ever since, trying to retrieve some credibility. Yet with duplicity proven, hock deep in the Pel-Air mire, the same is now the #1 man in charge of the people who must write the second Pel-Air report, of which he will play an influential, major role in it's approval (not right). Does he have a perceived conflict of interest? No he does not; there is no ‘perceived’ about the massive elephant in the room. The minister who signed off on this appointment needs to be unceremoniously fired as a prelude to the Hood resignation.

How can a honest politician support such a conflict and allow the same man to run the outfit which should be questioning the part played in deceiving the ATSB and the Parliament?  How dare Hood deny a legitimate FOI request from a DIP. The puling responses on the 370 episode, published on the risible ‘correcting the record’ blog will not hide the facts. Second the motion for the Hood resignation; just for being unqualified and crap at the job , if for naught else. Aye, enough –I refer you to the lengthy, but worthwhile P2 summary.

One of the more famous lagoons, deep within in the Sleepy Hollow morass is the ASA holiday money hideaway, the Slush-fund Wallow.

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There, under golden beach umbrellas, the unspeakable come to recline on golden sands, soaking up the golden sunshine while quietly smirking at each other; sharing ‘in’ jokes with the ‘match fit’.

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"How BIG??"    "Are they really that big? " asks O'Sullivan - "Oh yes"  the answer (taken on notice)..

Smugly contemptuous of those who are galley slaves and underpaid minions. No one swims in Slush-fund Wallow; for ‘the secrets’ are kept deep within those murky waters, protected by all manner of terrifying beasts. Even the ASA top dogs dare not swim in those waters; for the creatures kept there are on loan from a much higher order of pleasure seekers. Those highly favoured may paddle along the edges, but no further in than knee deep. The protectors of secrets are ferocious and ruthless in their tasks. Not only do they protect Pandora’s box, but the goose which lays those golden eggs: and, ‘other’ unsavoury things. Things which must not be seen in the honest light of day.

Not too much else of note: CASA continue to stumble along, trying to out drone the drones without actually doing anything. There is a little flicker of light shining under the ASRR reform ‘coffin’ but that may be a mirage; a  phantom light reflected from the highly polished mirrors being prepared for the great smoke and mirrors show heralding the announcement of a new CASA boss. A new title is recommended, that and an amendment to the Enforcement manual to reflect the signature of the latest incumbent. Just so we know who, exactly, is authorising legal embuggerance – this go around.  

Been a funny week; disjointed and piecemeal with some strange publicized articles emerging from left field. Hard to know if it is all part of a consolidated campaign or random ‘wind’, time will tell the tale. Of course Estimates is scheduled for next week, the program curiously intriguing.

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Never know, not for sure, what Estimates will shine a light on; if they can ever find the light switch. They’ve not had much luck with that so far.

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That’s it, except to heartily endorse the BRB ‘thank you and well done’ to the ABC for their efforts and follow up on the important tale of Karen Casey (legend) and the Norfolk Island ditching. Bravo 4 Corners, thank you ABC reporters, editors and producers.

Toot toot.

Notes *1. – “By "protest," Gertrude doesn't mean "object" or "deny"—these meanings postdate Hamlet. The principal meaning of "protest" in Shakespeare's day was "vow" or "declare solemnly," a meaning preserved in our use of "protestation." When we smugly declare that "the lady doth protest too much," we almost always mean that the lady objects so much as to lose credibility. Gertrude says that Player Queen affirms so much as to lose credibility. Her vows are too elaborate, too artful, too insistent.”


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* 3 Good to see our resident graffiti artist has not lost his touch


Of tongues, tied, forked and of sinister aspect.

"For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, who art as black as hell, as dark as night."

What caused this consternation, this seemingly endless wrangle between industry and ‘regulator’, with the Senators in the middle trying to make sense of it all? I am certain we all have things we’d rather be doing than raking through the in’s, outs and wherefores of the dreadful mess the management and administration of aviation has become.  

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Glossolalia or speaking in tongues, according to linguists, is the fluid vocalizing of speech-like syllables that lack any readily comprehended meaning, in some cases as part of religious practice in which it is believed to be a divine language unknown to the speaker.

Mini ramble: In my own, small, rudimentary way I try to understand why it so; most assiduously. Regrettably, I have a pragmatic, straightforward mind well suited to practical tasks; to me a joint is ‘square’ or it ain’t; am I visual and may land or I ain’t therefore plan B – no hesitation. Never seem to have the luxury of prevarication or ‘quibbling’ ; except in the pub, where one has the luxury of time and no consequence. There, a flight of fancy may be supported or ridiculed; easily forgotten with no rancour, damage or public cost the next day. This is not the case with our ‘agencies’. Senate Estimates is not the pub; or the think tank or some theme park for the witless. It is, I’m led to believe the highest court in the land. But Estimates is not a lawyers playground; no place to be tinkering with fine definition, or positioning for appeal, or depending on some esoteric notion which cannot be either proven or the converse. I realise I’m rambling, but serious questions and significant public money are involved in the process, the consequences – long term, have proven to have dire results. Why then, after all the time and money involved are we no better off – certainly poorer – than when we started.

I have watched every second of the last Hansard video recordings and diligently ploughed through the written version; my initial reaction – WTF is going on and more importantly why?

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Lookit – the AMSA breeze in, answer questions in a straightforward manner, admit the errors, show the corrections and just get on with doing what they paid to do. No inquires; no peer reports, no ministerial investigations, no outraged industry, no questionable reports, no audits, etc. They simply provide a function of government which works. Yes, there will be the disgruntled, the disenchanted and the odd aberration; they cannot possibly be all things to all men. Yet they seem to manage their end of the deal with panache, common sense, decency, probity, responsibly and without too much public fuss. So why is it ASA, ATSB and CASA are permanently ‘in the gun’?

Reference: Shame or fame for Chester? #273

P2 has, once again, done us proud, all the ‘vision’ if not that splendid, has been provided, supported by Hansard. There is a lot – a serious lot – of ‘stuff’ to wade through; all important. The BRB cried off ‘tuther evening – need another indaba – when the information has been given the time it requires; it does need some time to consider. It all depends of course on your point of view, bias, prejudice and credibility tolerance quotient.

So with your indulgence, even without it, this Sunday Brunch Gazette will pass the parcel back to the reader. The links below will take you to the video recordings of the last Estimates to make of them what you will. IMO the Senators have decided enough is enough and intend to get matters aeronautical sorted – once and for all. They may yet do it. I say, if this Senate crew can’t hammer out the truth and lay the foundations for the future; then it cannot be done; not in my life time, at least.

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Not to worry though, the ASA monkey in the dreadful suit has been told 'go away', the organ grinders are now invited to explain; the Senators growing tired of the monkey’s antics. The acting boss – CASA – allowed his rabid beast off the leash for a few moments, terrifying the children providing a heaven sent excuse to be rid of it – forever. The ATSB troops are making a monkey of their newly appointed organ grinder, determined to be shot of their antic role.

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All there, the grand circus. Handing over.


Aside - The desk of a budding genius is complete, finished and polished. There are a few ‘internal’ errors which a little ‘artistic’ sleight of hand and deft chisel work have I fudged to deceive the eye of a close (expert – P7) observer. I am not ashamed of those small deceptions; they add to the charm. Much rather have not made ‘em; however, the end product is most satisfactory and will outlast not only myself, but the budding genius and her children. I enjoyed the making of it, but not half so much as the smiles it will produce. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes that is reward enough, for a reasonable man.

Of Rhetoric, rectitude and reform.

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“Rhetoric, it seems, is a producer of persuasion for belief, not for instruction in the matter of right and wrong … And so the rhetorician's business is not to instruct a law court or a public meeting in matters of right and wrong, but only to make them believe.”

Have you ever noticed just how bloody good we are at rhetoric in Australia. Not only is it a widely practiced art-form; it seems to be a prerequisite skill for any government job. It has many colloquial names; ‘credible deniability’ for one; ‘spin’ another. I prefer the tried and tested Anglo Saxon – Bollocks. Golly our politicians and bureaucrats are good at it; world class. Never before has so much been said, by so many, signifying nothing.  This of course is expected of the politicians, who’s sole interest is playing the game and getting re-elected. If you can stomach it, listen to parliament; question time is an easy one. There is little spoken of which is of any practical or intrinsic value to ‘the nation’. Most of it is for the benefit of ‘party’ and position, none of which leaves the average bloke any wiser or wealthier.


Aviation in Australia is in a hell of a state; apart from a handful of statesmen in the Senate; those who have, through direct contact with industry, come to realise what a ducking mess it all is, there is, in reality, no one out side the industry who gives a fundamental flying duck about it. I note the Kiwi’s (bless ‘em) have not only a thriving aviation industry but have managed to support, develop and complete a space launch program.

Australia has been talking about this for years and years. Do we get a space program; nope, but we got ‘drones’ and Part 61.  

Is this a topic for debate in parliament – No it is not.

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Airvan 10 - This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and persistent dreaming on behalf of the entire GippsAero team, and it's a credit to the skills and ingenuity of Australia's aviation workforce. I flew this aeroplane several weeks ago, and I can tell you it is a remarkable machine that is the ideal utility for just about every operation you can think of. Much more about that is in the July-August print issue of (Hitch) - Australian Flying.

Was there a minister and press crew to make a headline of the Airvan 10 certification? No, there was not. GA must be congratulated, despite the serious number of hoops jumped through; they have managed to get it done. Not even a line on page three, let alone a grant and government assistance to develop and market the aircraft. Disgraceful.

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Yet we can easily find 2.5 millions to teach public servants the noble art of ducking Senate questions at Estimates.  I reckon that amount spent in Gippsland would have helped boost our exports.

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Even the very airports aviation needs to do business are no longer threatened; they are under a full on invasion. Not only is this invasion approved by government agencies; but the real danger to the public is being treated to a wonderful choral version of ‘not our responsibility’, the minister not only conducting, but leading the choir in a rousing chorus of “Ain’t we grand’. Pathetic.

The rot does start at the top though – the search for MH 370 has been a Tony Abbott drum since day #1.

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Abbott has been consistent and I believe honest in his support for finding the aircraft and establishing the cause of the tragedy. The increased need for ‘rhetoric’ and to be seen as doing something has reached the point where the PM (Turnbull) has actually had to have his minions find him something to say. I doubt he even knows or cares about the real need to find this aircraft; but he claims to mention the release of data with his Malaysian cohorts at every opportunity.

Higgens - The Prime Minister’s revelation that he has repeatedly raised the issue with his Malaysian counterpart also follows renewed activism among relatives of the Australian, Chinese and other victims¬ who disappeared with the plane when it went down more than three years ago. 'The Australian'.

Mr Turnbull said he had ¬made representations in the interest of the families of the six Australians on board, with his spokesman saying “the Prime Minister raises this issue with his Malaysian counterpart every time they speak”.

Now this is classed as Bollocks; there is a very real ‘red face’ for Australia in this fiasco; the ATSB refusal to released data adding further to the speculation of a cover up on a grand scale. Australia lost all credibility the moment AMSA were dumped and Dolan took the reigns. Now the Hi-Viz Hood must earn his corn and continue the crooked party line. Refusal to release 'data' under FOI now has Prime Minister support - WHY?

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Yet, despite the abysmal disinterest of the government and it’s agencies, the industry keeps on keeping on. Take the AAAA as an example; under the leadership of Phil Hurst, the Aerial Application crowd have gone from strength to strength; gaining relative independence from the toils of ‘the regulator’ and using collective expertise, they are showing other industry bodies the way to get things done. It is a fine example of how industry experience and expertise help guide the hapless regulator to making sensible decisions. Highlight of the week for me. Bravo AAAA, well done Phil and the crew.

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I could, I suppose, rattle on about the Barmy-Baby performance; or, the lack of any from Darren-6D; or the endless merry go round of regulatory reform; or, the new version of lip service to the Forsyth report. The AP boards have many interesting takes from this past week; the shuffling of feet, the ducking, the weaving, the pony-pooh and the distancing from association with any major topic – like the blessed ‘drones’. But enough: I shall leave there and leave it to the reader to make what they will of the Hi-Viz Hood poncing about in his ‘safety gear’ at yet another fatal crash site.

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Apart from providing the BRB a great deal of ribald commentary – can anyone explain why – without delving deep into physiological anomalies? Perhaps the ‘courage bracelet around his Willy is too tight – we’ll never know.

There’s a line by Milton which Darren 6D could ask one of his ‘aides’ to translate into small words; not that it would make a skerrick of difference; but, at least I tried.

“But wherefore thou alone? Wherefore with thee Came not all hell broke loose?”

Aye well; best clean up around here before all hell does break loose (domestic tyranny); then I shall take dogs and eagle out to play. I am seriously impressed at how quickly they have developed an understanding of each other; not a ‘bond’ as yet, so much as acceptance and understanding. I watch in wonder the bird at work and play; airborne. Man has a considerable amount of work to do to build a drone to match her grace as she effortlessly executes a canceleer. I am in awe.


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