The Sunday Brunch Gazette.

What is a Bookie to do?

"a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma" -

The quote attributed to Churchill in 1939, and (topically) still worth a thought today; the whole thing went like this:-

It is from a line used by Winston Churchill to describe the intentions and interests of Russia in 1939: "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest."

No: not rambling, just trying to plumb the depths of a long, interesting BRB indaba. It is always going to be a long discussion when a group attempts to work out, exactly, what various signs, hints and statements mean - in terms of a reform of the Navigation Act, regulations and the regulator. Bit buggered for rhyme and reason when it comes to the antics of CASA; however when the current Senate 'inquiry' and Estimates weighs into the scrum, and 'mysterious 'things' occur in the back rooms and, to put a hat on it, the ever reliable 'Secretariat' seems to drop the ball - well, you have a righteous 'dog's breakfast' of a puzzle to work out. But that is where we all finished up (with my wooden head spinning).

“Nothing whets the intelligence more than a passionate suspicion, nothing develops all the faculties of an immature mind more than a trail running away into the dark.”

There were several topics on the agenda: - questions really - and, as the Bookie, I have to try and set the odds on the right answers emerging into clear daylight. For instance:- why was Spence appointed? Was she appointed as the PM&C's puppet of choice? Many support that notion and in a way their arguments make sense. Consider the McDolittle last little parcel of words; in the face of an election and 'question time'. Albo would have a field day if Spence was 'retired' to spend more time writing greetings cards or basket weaving; so that is out of the question - politically. Or, was the appointment made to provide valid reason to dismantle CASA and start again; plenty of support for that notion, clearly evidenced through three Senate committee sit downs. Something has to give - Spence cannot continue, not as she is - ridiculous situation - so; who gets let go? Politically, two choices and no options: it is either the PM&C stalking horse (tiger bait Spence) or the tigers of the back rooms and halls of Aviation House. There seems to be be only two options - unless the opposition win government; then children, all bets are off and Choc Frogs will be refunded....

“There is a distinct difference between "suspense" and "surprise," and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I'll explain what I mean.

The 'things' I cannot seem to come to terms with continue to trouble - for instance - why was the supplementary submission from Angel Flight denied publication - why was the CASA missive not delivered (as she claims) into the small, hot hand of McDolittle? The whole thing, including the 'public viewing' of these events taking shape is borderline nuts - almost bizarre. One could be forgiven for imaging a couple of 'scenarios' which fit the known facts. The top draw mandarins have devised a way to (what was the McDolittle word?) - Ah! 'disband' CASA, for it is well beyond the pale; or, if Spence is the ultimate right royal political stuff up appointment she seems to be; can the government withstand the questions the Albo crew will ask?

“Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.

All too much for my Tote board; but something is very much 'out of whack' - many have been there - an engine just don't sound right; nothing on the clocks - but - it's off - just a beat - but troubling. Neither I, nor my comrades (in exile) can make anything of it - well, nothing that makes sense at least.

While I'm on the Angel Flight page - it's time to take a wee keek at a crowd known as 'Little Wings'. They have been the recipients of some not inconsiderable largess recently and a 'contract'. Reported to have 'schedules' to keep using some 'piston' aircraft to haul doctors and the like around the place; replacing small jet services. Only rumour you understand - but, past experience dictates that those being hauled about the countryside (at great expense) will soon tire of the noise and discomfort (operational and personal) between a Cessna Mustang and a Beech Baron flown by a child. As said; hearsay reports only to work with; but enough to be worth watching as the tale unfolds. - We shall see how it all pans out.

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

Aye well; 'tis late and 0500 looms to the East. Much to think on - no doubt, as always, time will tell the tale, so I may leave my ruminations and twiddles here with at least a clear conscience. Nearly got scratched today - the 'moggie' has decided that under my workbench is the 'new' home of choice - not happy when I reached under to find the screw collection box - not too happy at all. Managed to rescue the box, but uncertain as to how I'll put it back. Poor dogs; the seemingly endless rain has dampened their spirit somehow; a frolic in the rain is one thing - this endless downpour and 100% humidity with high 20c temperatures will test the good nature of all - man or beast. Big dog even chased his favourite hen out of the stable today - rare and sinister event IMO. There remains many questions demanding answers. My true thought for the day_

“This thing, what is it in itself, in its own constitution? What is its substance and material?


“Oh, I am fortune's fool!”

Wiki - "Luck is the phenomenon and belief that defines the experience of notably positive, negative, or improbable events."

I'd reckon most have had their share of what may be called 'Luck' - good and bad. There's only a gossamer veil and a few seconds between something 'good' or 'bad'; happenstance, or fate if you prefer - that split second between a close call at an intersection which separates a nasty prang from a close call. It was the PM (ScoMo) who prompted this aside. Got to feel a bit sorry for the bloke; takes a holiday and the country goes up in flames; just gets to grips with that and the Epidemic we had to have lobs in; just getting to grips with that and the East coast is under water; fair dinkum - that's a rough trot for anyone. Bad enough, but when you add in the biased media and the effect that can have on 'opinion' rather than 'the facts' it can be very damaging to someone who is simply doing the best they can as well as they know how. Which brings us to matters aeronautical and the way in which 'accident' is analysed and reported on.

“Facts are threatening to those invested in fraud.”

After any sort of 'event' the system (in simple terms) begins with an ATSB investigation; the filthy MoU creeps out of the woodwork and the CASA get to join in, sooner or later. Eventually (very eventually) the ATSB investigation is produced,  supposedly providing a detailed analysis of the how and why the event occurred alongside 'recommendations' or 'advice' to prevent a repeat performance. Unless it's a major event, like MH 370, the public interest stops after the 30 second mention on their news channel and soon forgotten. Ask the bloke next door about the Qantas/Virgin stuff up at Mildura - from blank look to subject change takes about five seconds. So, who does pay attention to the accident reports and follow up actions? Industry? Nah, not much these days, by the time a report is actually published and the quality of the report has been examined, the impact is about as powerful as a Gnat's fart. That leaves us with lawyers, coroners, judges and like who will take great care when reading both ATSB and CASA reports and actions; blame and compensation the name of the game., for them - off the hook for ATSB and CASA the objective, and top cover for the incumbent politician. Cynical don't come close to defining the way the 'reporting' system is blatantly manipulated toward this sole end.

“We are oft to blame in this, -

'tis too much proved, - that with devotion's visage,

and pios action we do sugar o'er

the devil himself.”

If you take off the 'operational' hat and imagine what a half way decent lawyer can do with some of the deceptive wording in the reports. You can see a pattern in both the ATSB and CASA 'wording'; the spin and subtle shifting of onus and responsibility, which, stand alone is horrific; but then analyse the 'actions'; or, more to the point, the lack of worthwhile remedial offering. Then consider the increasing level of 'discontinued' investigation along side of 'no explanation' provided. Individually, these don't stand out and scream for attention - but, present a raft of them and suddenly; the disgraceful system is dragged into the daylight. P2 has provided a 'sample' of our research - HERE - worth a coffee long read through and a moments thought; if only to see how the tax payer is being deceived into believing Australia has robust 'safety' oversight - we have no such thing.

As the Bruce Rhodes - Middle Beach 'fatal' is probably the least technical, we have used it to bring forward some of the howlers and the manipulation of system to present the difference between that which the lawyers can and will use and the complete lack of value to 'safety' to similar operations - down to the risible CASA recommended method for 'safe' operations of this type - all Bollocks. Hell's bells, they still can't say why a simple piston engine failed when it did. Risible, then add in the discontinued - like why a tail plane on a public transport was 'disconnected', damaged and still flew a further 15 sectors.

“Cunning grows in deceit at seeing itself discovered, and tries to deceive with truth itself.”

Sorry, I know, banging on again; but IMO it is a serious matter when the 'words' used in an accident report can and do influence the only people who must present, in court,  an argument for their side. Words matter in a court room; it is only proper that the 'facts' and 'just the facts Ma'am' are delivered along with unbiased, untwisted advice from what are laughingly described as 'safety agencies'.

“You would be amazed at how similar arrogance and confidence look at first glance.

Aye well; today will be dedicated, along with much 'colourful language' to the restoration of eight rust blocks, those which were fully functioning antique bench planes, until the bloody rain found a way into the back of their cupboard. One could call it bad luck - someone has driven a long screw through the wall at some point - behind the existing down pipe; water, not much, but enough found its way through, humidity and lack of fresh air did the rest. So, for me its rubber gloves, vinegar and salt, a mile of Emery paper and hours of tedium. Just bad luck or was it carelessness. Does it matter?


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Ref: #SBG pre-editorial: McDolittle’s GA inquiry & Mick Mack bushwhacks SOE? & &

"Whereof what's past is prologue; what to come,
In yours and my discharge."

Hitch - "Regardless of who wins, the inquiry will lapse when parliament is prorogued and will have to be re-referred to the senate."

Spot on Hitch - this has been of concern to many. One may track and watch the entire  circus from the beginning, the whole two and a bit years of it through the 20/20 thread. The gradual reduction of enthusiasm and impetus clearly signposted as the inquiry dragged on and on. After all the time, effort and money invested the only positive to emerge is some small concession to CSF operations. Most believe that those concessions were won by Pagani and her crew rather than McDoolittle's dainty soft shoe shuffle. Sure, the inquiry shone a light on the Angel Flight imbroglio, but AF did the heavy lifting - cost 'em $400,000 in legal fees, with no such help as a $700,000 donation gifted to little wings. But AF, despite the toils imposed still led the charge during the floods. Flexibility and willingness allowed AF to fly in not only badly needed supplies, but hope to some people who must have thought the end of the world was rapidly approaching. Bravo Marj, well done AF and Cheer's to all who got their socks wet trying to help.

Watch out here comes Jonathon - Rolleyes

"Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.” - Nancy Astor

I suppose the real question could be 'does the 20/20 gab-fest matter'? History is littered with 'inquiry' and the 20/20 inquiry had available all of the 30 year history and evidence and submissions to fall back onto; still valid for the most part. In nearly every submission to past inquiry the underpinning tenet has been a plea to reform and 'professionalise' the governing body and make them responsible for their actions. It has been and remains to this very day the basis of all complaint - the need to amend the Act. So long as CASA are legally vulnerable, they will continue to protect their nethermost parts- human nature ain't it. If, as many believe the Act is the root of all evil, then the Act must be rejigged. That may not solve all of the problems, but I reckon it would go a long way down the road to real reform. But, I ramble. Has the McDolittle inquiry game been worth the candle? I, for one don't think so. Is the McDolittle inquiry likely to effect serious reform? Not a cat in Hell's chance - IMO.

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“Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.” ― Edmund Burke

Aye well, all that aside we must consider how those preparing submissions are viewed by the opposition. Some of the presentations to the 20/20 inquiry have been first class, delivered their 'message' in clear terms and earned at least a grudging respect. But what of those who's message has been left wide open to ridicule, despite the good work done - like AOPA. There are 24 minutes of my life I'll never get a refund on and they have left AOPA exposed to easy dismissal as amateurs. Instead of powerful images of the rape of Bankstown airport which should dismay a Senate committee - we got 24 minutes of the Morgan shirt front, shorts and boots. Seven y.o. kids therse days can point the camera at the subject, make a video and have it on 'you-tube' in 10 minutes flat; they've even got enough mental capacity to check and edit the video before slapping it up on their platform of choice. For Morgan to muff one video might be careless; but to repeat the mistake and 'publish it' - well. 'Nuff said on credibility and image.

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“To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

There is a queue at the door and; for once, it's not raining, lots of muddy puddles to romp through; best find my boots and join in the fun.


Of Pixies - at the bottom of the garden?

Warning - a ramble follows ; your 'click' or indulgence - as pleases.

Many writers, both great and small have tried to explain Pixies; of course the problem is no one has seen the blessed things (much as I would like it to be so). 'Fantasy' and the 'fantastic' have long been a favourite of mankind, magic, smoke, mirrors, Lady's of lakes and etc. The eternal problem is - of course, empirical evidence - or proof beyond 'reasonable doubt'. My problem began at the grand old age of seven (ish). Matron was a Kipling fan; and we 'first years' were equally 'enamoured' - Just So stories, Jungle Book etc, the list runs on. Now then, personally, I always enjoyed Kipling's writings (yeah I know, a problem of being educated) until I discovered Conan Doyle. By nine years of age, Sherlock became my tarnished hero. Now I do digress. The reason I discarded Kipling was a simple enough question; and after all these many years of diligent inquiry from scholars and students, the answer to the one, simple question has never been answered. To wit - "Who was Pook?" As in - Puck of Pook's Hill - Puck we know; the children involved in Puck's magic, we know; but Puck worked his charms on Pook's hill and who he/she was remains, to this day, a never identified person in an unsolved mystery.

“After all, I believe that legends and myths are largely made of 'truth', and indeed present aspects of it that can only be received in this mode; and long ago certain truths and modes of this kind were discovered and must always reappear.”

So. children what does this have to do with matters aeronautical? Sweet sod all is correct; except: there exists a cleverly scripted 'faerie story' surrounding the 'myth' of 'safety'. A mystery, a puzzle a conundrum even. Short version - WTD is going on behind the veil? T'is but a reasonable question M'Lud; in light of the available 'facts'. Let us begin (finally, with apology).

The Indian, offended, replied: ‘My brother, it seems your friends have not done you justice in your education; they have not well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You saw that we, who understand and practise those rules, believed all your stories; why do you refuse to believe ours?”

Is it the regular practice of the CASA board to go out of it's way to meet with a body like the Essendon Fields Airport crew? Even stranger, whilst denying Buckley any chance of a 'sit-down' to then meet with the likes of ABAA (no submission to inquiry) or AFTIA  with little in the way of 'solution, bar genteelly requesting money? No conflict of interest there - not like the disgraced, ministerial backed SOAR (wif pichoores and eferifink). Passing strange I'd call the whole pantomime. But, then again, we could be barking up the wrong tree. The Joyce SoE demanded 'open' minutes of bored meetings - but, perhaps they have always done this. Travelled at public expense, stayed in hotels at public expense and always had 'deep and meaningful' meetings like those touted. But, arguably, anyone who believes that Biskin is not a carefully selected puppet can buy a bridge to never-never land from me; tomorrow. Cash and no questions asked.

“Our love had begun in folly, and ended in madness!”

Then we must turn our attention to the bewildered, bemused, now besmirched Spence. Clearly clueless; and, must now be considered the 'cat's paw' of - who? Clearly out of her depth - just to sit still and allow Monohan to expose his shear ignorance at a Senate session, without interrupting the fatuous ramble depicting neither operational or technical expertise. WTD? It raises questions, which really must be answered. Speculation abounds. Is Spence the PM&C/ Ministerial/ glove puppet being directed - slightly behind the main game? There is no way known that Spence could be the DAS of an outfit like CASA - not standing alone. One reason is the complete lack of technical knowledge, this combined with any sort of notion that 'she' has a top class crew of experts to assist makes a mockery of industry expertise and professional assistance. Sitting duck, glove puppet; or cat's paw? Makes no differ. Tick a box; but please, don't tick the 'qualified' for role box. - Non sequitur, null, void and frankly - pointless.

“…some bits of Dickens-books with which latter I am long familiar and long enamored for the restful falseness of their sentiment and the pungent appetizing charm of their villains.”

Item next, Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation. This committee is worth watching; and reading. Albeit slowly, but with accuracy the worms in Aleck's woodwork are being examined. There is not too much fanfare or grandstanding with this committee's report and recommendations; all their responses and requests bear the hallmark of real, considered 'jurisprudence'. Unsung and quietly, intelligently working away, they are forcing CASA legislation (some of it) back to within the bounds of 'the rule of law'. A things which has been sorely missed since CASA were allowed free reign under bipartisan hand washing. Joyce is the minister. Well, he is; and, which ever way it's glossed over, now is the man ultimately responsible; no matter how much top (or bottom) cover is provided.

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”

Item last. Is it time to save the tax payer a small fortune? We could, without missing one single 'safety' advisory' rely entirely on the American NTSB for 'safety' advice. The latest pathetic (laughable) effort produced by our ATSB, related to a not so 'near' miss between a light aircraft and a passenger carrying heavy has become the subject of international ridicule. For starters it is pointless; secondly it fails, utterly, to provide any solution and lastly it obfuscates the real problems aircrew face in the area; it is a risible report which took two and a quarter years to provide no solution, no resolution or even a plausible explanation of 'how' and why the incident ever occurred; as in the radical reasons. ASA are in all manner of financial strife; operational strife and management strife, Time to start a sensible airspace reform program. based or the gold standard - before one day the crew in two aircraft make the mathematical improbability of a mid air collision a reality - what's that? Oh, it's already happened; that gives us another 40 years of breathing space to pay for 'One Sky'. Bollocks Minister; plain and simple, the alleged kick backs would have paid for a significant upgrade, perhaps spared four pilots for a few more years. 

Pheew! - well!  I did warn you - incoming ramble.

Why ain't life more like the movies eh? Quips P7. Standard response - why ain't life like the movies? We both stand looking at a 60 odd metres of rain soaked, kiln dried (expensive) timber, delivered without benefit of a tarpaulin (shouted at the driver - a bit). Not a serious matter, it will dry and I can make the designed table - if a little later than requested. The sky has cleared a little; and, as I reckon we are in the dark of the moon; (due 7:51 AM) I may persuade the dogs to partake in a Pixie/ Faerie hunt in the dripping orchard - away now, seek. Of course, being sane, reasonable creatures they will dismiss my request for 'seek' - they ain't as easily fooled or distracted by the obtuse whims of human wishful thinking. No matter - non of it: 'c'ept it as a fine evening.


Sorry Sandy - the formatting on your post got scrambled somehow.(Don't ask; I've no idea) - Faithfully reproduced below. 

Sandy - "Going back to K’s Ben Morgan critique:-

“For Morgan to muff one video might be careless; but to repeat the mistake and 'publish it' - well. 'Nuff said on credibility and image”

Ben might not be Cecil B DeMille but the put down forgets that without Ben Morgan there’d have been no Tamworth or Wagga Summit and not much left of AOPA.

There’s no other overarching pilots and owners organisation and Ben’s dedication and hard work is very positive for the future of GA.

'K' - Aye, but: - from 'our' perspective although Morgan may be seen as a good unit, the 'opposition' can, will and do grab any small glitch, amplify it and slide it in as part of the 'discredit the amateurs' campaign. In short - why give away a free kick. Not personal - just business...Toot toot..

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Ref: Estimates in pictures & Link: Hansard

One ring to bind them all.

Abstruse?  Perhaps..But for the fellahin attending the last BRB indaba there is a notion being kicked about which, although theoretical and reliant on some gossamer thin threads, is garnering some serious support. Lots of 'dots and dashes' many whispers and a large helping of careful observation/ research / conversation have gone into formulating 'the notion' but it has withstood the pub test. There are four cornerstones which appear to be fairly solid.

The first began with a question, the answer to which has only recently emerged from shadow. "Why would anyone pick Spence as the DAS?" It is a reasonable question from a technical/operational standpoint. But, from an 'administrative' angle, if there was an appetite for real reform of the system, then Spence is the right man. Why? Well, here a leap of faith is required; but, if the 'establishment' and the DPM have decided that significant change must happen, then one of the 'establishment' must hold the top job. Why? - Well, to weed out the problems within an outfit - like CASA - the thing needed is someone who can and will follow the spirit and intent of say a raft of Senate inquiry recommendations to the letter. Mission impossible without heavy duty backing; DPM approval and clear written directive.

Enter the tool kit: the McDonald 20/20 inquiry in the tool box. This inquiry was as firmly established on the well trodden path to doom, plodding along behind others of the same kind, to nowhere. Then B. Joyce Esq stepped up to bat, and things began to change. The Ministerial directive a.k.a. the SoE was drafted and delivered. In the hands of previous DAS, this missive was routinely filed and ignored. Spence however was delivered a weapon number one. As a DAS who will act as requested and required by the Minister; 'enforcement' of that SoE requires 'change' within the organisation. One document which provides for the use of one sentence "like it it or lump it"- one choice, no options.. Corners 1 and 2.

A short glance backward provides additional support to speculation; the McDolittle inquiry was almost moribund; some even suggest that the present 150 page report was almost prepared - then Joyce steps up to bat - and the 20/20 inquiry is suddenly attracting new submissions. There is some very un parliamentary haste (Sterle miffed) and the report is dropped with a thud on the DAS desk. Weapon two delivered; the same codicil attached in the sub text (like it or leave) this is going to happen. This in the hands of a DAS who will implement, not obfuscate the printed words of that report has the floor. Suddenly, its Piss or get off the pot time in Sleepy Hollow. Corners 3 and 4.

Aye, its whimsical enough; but add the rejection of aerodrome 'master plans' and the sensitivity of 'big' investors to political edicts, the speed with which capital funding can be withdrawn; and you have to at least consider that major changes could, possibly, be in the wind. That's that, for what its worth; time will tell the tale and I can settle the bets. Is there real hope; or, is it just the wishful thinking of a dying industry? Handing over.....

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"Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,

One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie." ― J.R.R. Tolkien

I keep wanting to open up a discussion on the mid air collision at Mangalore; now that the ATSB have finally released their report. But, it must keep for while, until the brethren have had time to (calmly and quietly) study and consider the findings. The report itself has created some heat; the trivial words of the Pick me Popinjay adding fuel to the flames. This totally preventable tragedy exposes so may of the naked flaws within the entire system of 'safety management' that it should, stand alone, generate a serious inquiry at the highest levels. So many things 'wrong' demand close scrutiny of the entire safety network, soup to nuts, flight training included. Enough said for now; but much more to follow is a racing certainty.

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“Must I at length the Sword of Justice draw?

Oh curst Effects of necessary Law!

How ill my Fear they by my Mercy scan,

Beware the Fury of a Patient Man.” ― John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel

This bloody awful weather has had one slim silver lining; stuck indoors I've had time to sort out my rusted bench planes. The circa 1910 Stanley 4½ copped the worst of it; two days in 'the bath' (salt and vinegar) and a solid eight hours of cleaning up brought it back to almost brand new; inspired, I even invested in some paint. Not a task of choice but the results were heart warming. The best bit was a billet of oak in the vise; and, after a small adjustment, the first shaving was exactly what it should have been; faultless performance of design function, 112 years after it was made. Brilliant. (Below not mine - but same - same).

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Right - Back on your heads;

'Tis an old, old joke (P7's Papa's vintage); seems a fellah dies, and, as usual ended up in the Underworld. The keeper of the gate gave him the guided tour of the seven options and asked him to select one - for eternity. Well; in one cavern, he'd seen blokes sitting on rock ledges, smoking and talking - the smell was appalling, but; compared to the rest, it seemed to be the best option - "I'll take this one" says he. Happily settled on his own rock, cigarettes and matches, he settled down to do his time. Just got a smoke lit when a bell rang and a Daemon with a whip appeared - "Right you lot - back on your heads". Tada!!

"That he is mad, 'tis true; 'tis true 'tis pity; And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure; But farewell it, for I will use no art."

And so, we once again enter into twilight as the election bandwagons steam through the villages. All manner of distractions and amazement to baffle and beguile the peasant populace; dancing elephants fresh from the rooms they were trapped in; snake-oil salesmen fresh from party training, the odd dancing donkey and a few brass bands lead the procession from the halls of governance. All primed with the latest 'logic' of how to win over the poor sods trapped in Hell, sat on rocks, having a quiet smoke. So much for the populace to endure - and the eternal question hangs in the air, unspoken. Basically - 'tis a simple enough question, I did OK under the last lot - will I do better under a new lot, or not? At the end of the shift, when all said and done, the average Joe Family just want a quiet life and to be able to do their best for the kids - a no brainer really. But what of the 'exotic' trades - those akin to aircraft plying the night sky with a load of freight or two hundred souls on board. Aye, the little end of aviation, right through to the big end of town - what does an election mean to those who employ them? Engineers, bag snatchers, cleaning crew, ramp crew, cabin attendants, ATCO's, Wannabe's and old hands, private owners, those who fly for fun and recreation,- the whole gamut and spectrum of the aviation, taxable revenue producing - 'industry'?

Well, in the precursor to this can aviation hold that which it has gained through hard work, persistence and countless pages of 'submission' to endless inquiry? Now comes the 'dark' times - a caretaker government - so nothing solid ratified - three month hiatus.  A new government - a six month waiting period to deal with, if an opposition is elected; and even then, there are no 'cast iron' guarantees that the 20 and 30 year old issues can be resolved. As it stands, we have (had) a DPM who, like Barkis, is willin'

Barkis is persistent in his courtship of Clara Peggotty, Copperfield's childhood nurse, and is known for the hopeful often-repeated phrase “Barkis is willin'.”

Aye, and there's the rub. Politicly - Joyce has a good each way bet, can't loose. For if the 'opposition' attempt to gainsay or dilute the changes he has scripted, then, under a 'bit part-insane' system he has 'em by the nuts. But: is that enough for the industry well being? Sure, it's a great hammer - but, can it drive the nail?

There are many things (matters aeronautical) which demand prompt. if not immediate rectification; now, not only in the lap of the Gods but in the hands of our elected leaders. There are some 'surface' questions which, IMO, demand answers - yes; unlikely I realise, but even so: and, for the record:-

1) Why, when our 'airspace' is in such a mess does the 'Electric Blue Halfwit' only ever bring his 'bean counter' to estimates? Is ASA so dedicated to KPI that they will risk lives against parsimony? I cite Ballina and Mangalore as case in point.

2) Why does it take ATSB at least two years to produce a meaningless, pointless report on both fatal and could have been accidents. The current 'head' of the ATSB is little more than a 'Pick-Me Popinjay' leading the hapless ATSB into even more meaningless, non productive rhetoric, without substance,resolution or even a hint at 'safety' advice?

3) Why (Oh why) is the CASA allowed to stray so far from world best, gold standard regulation, ICAO compliance and burn through 30 odd millions of tax payer money to produce what is, in effect, a third world, non ICAO compliant, non aligned pile of total Bollocks, - known world wide as the CASR.

No idea what the fine is for not voting - don't give a bugger about it. Probably will not until one politician actually does something about the bloody awful mess their very own, very safe  'bipartisan' bullshit ends and someone actually takes on - politically - the notion that Australian aviation is in the pits of Hell - and bloody well  do something about it. ASA, ATSB and CASA cost the taxpayer almost more to run than the total taxable revenue (bar Qantas) of all other aviation ventures produce. Go figure - Do the numbers - I have - and; it's BOLLOCKS. Let's have it fixed - NOW - don't care who does it.

“By dread things I am compelled. I know that. I see the trap closing. I know what I am. But while life is in me I will not stop this violence. No. Oh my friends who is there to comfort me? Who understands? Leave me be, let me go, do not soothe me. This is a knot no one can untie. There will be no rest, there is no retrieval. No number exists for griefs like these.”

Selah -


Todays policy is tomorrows broken promise.

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Ref: Update 08/04/17: For & on behalf of Sandy & Money and influence 

"It is not certain that everything is uncertain". 

Cockpit or flight deck, on the water or on the road - or, in almost any circumstance one can imagine, the worst and IMO the most dangerous situation is the one where 'uncertainty' rules. That is where we find the aviation industry today, lost on the uncertain sea of political fortunes. Aye, 'tis time for chanting the pagans prayer in the hope that someone, somehow sets about making the changes demanded by the revenue producing, voting, essential industry that is aviation. The uncertainty for future of the industry, even to the 'big guns' needs to be removed as a matter of urgency. The game has dragged on for thirty years, each decade has seen the industry pushed closer and closer to the precipice of no return.

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“Wisdom consists of knowing how to distinguish the nature of trouble, and in choosing the lesser evil.” ― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

What is certain? Well, unless government steps up to the crease and drives through the essential changes to the 'law' which governs, then diminishing returns on investment will eventually, but with certainty, kill off an industry which should be flourishing - fact. Aircraft are not inexpensive, the cost of maintenance, training and staff not inconsiderable, the cost of borrowing, insurance etc all present enough uncertainty, without the dire, ever present threat of precarious administrative action being manufactured. What is needed is a Minister to stand up and say, in no uncertain terms, that the situation will be remedied, starting today, ending this day next year. It can be done, indeed it must be done; it can be done, but will it be done? That is the question, ain't it?

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“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. ” ― Niccolò Machiavelli

Of course, the wretched 'election' provides even more uncertainty; gods forbid we get saddled with another 'Albo' and his cheap 'white paper', bipartinsane obfuscation and purblind determination to decimate what remains of the wreckage left behind from his last time at the helm. Make no mistake; we shall see a lot more horror stories, like the Buckley saga unfold unless the excesses of the CASA are stopped cold; the spineless ATSB grow a set; and, the ASA are removed from the tit of profit. I know, all has been said before - however, there it stands , a monument to failed governance and weak kneed politicians.

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“It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult.” ― Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Uncertainty, tinged with hope has however struggled into daylight, as a spin off from the 20/20 Senate Inquiry. Seems we are to have yet another AOPA funded gabfest - in a hanger - May 1. Promises of 'sledge hammers' and 'nut-crackers' on the menu. Hitch frames it up nicely - HERE -

"Sledgehammers are used to force things, and in the governmental-bureaucratic arrangement surrounding aviation, the ability of the senate to force change is extremely limited because all power is enshrined in the Director of Aviation Safety and the minister. On the other side of the balance sheet, Patrick has proven in estimates that he prepares well for what he's doing and it would be foolhardy to believe that he's likely go off half-cocked, which makes his Mayday address even more intriguing. Is the irresistible force about to meet the immovable object? It will be worth being at AOPA Australia's headquarters on 1 May to find out. (My edits). 

Item second last - We all watched the Sky examination of the MH 370 mystery; one of the 'stand out' interviews was with Foley, a calm, sensible modest man who, despite his frustration remains constant in his dedication to solving this particular puzzle. Credible  and plain spoken, nothing like our new mate  the 'Pick-Me-Popinjay' - all hat and no cattle as my Americans friends say. Now forced to back-pedal as Geo science Australia  reviews the search data and politely discounts yet another theory, albeit a good one. Seems to me that the PMP should have at least taken a look at the cards, before opening the betting; or, to put it another way - not shot himself in the arse on TV. Seriously folks, how can the ATSB have a shred of credibility left. Bringing back Foley and establishing some semblance of integrity would be a restorative of faith.

Items last. I'm still smiling about a section from Pete Credlin (Sky News) the other day. Most sensibly she called in the Bookie's to discuss the betting on the election - HERE - . Smart, amusing move, setting the odds is an art form, part science, part wind sniffing and part gained intelligence. Anyway - the segment is well worth the short time taken to watch.

Not that it is of any particular import, but my old Moggie passed away last evening. I shall miss her; doing 20 knots across the stable floor in pursuit of an unfortunate rodent, parked on the work bench watching a saw blade at work, practising typing on my unguarded keyboard, etc. The dogs knew before I did, the howls at the moment of passing sent the signal. How often do we discount the intelligence and insight of our animals - they knew the signs, long before I, to my shame, did.


Of Glen_B and Suggestion Five.

There is much within the Buckley saga with which empathy can be found, a significant much and yet it seems Glen has not learned to read the tea leaves of historical fact, nor gleaned, from hard won, hands on experience 'the way things work'. A new post - HERE - on the UP clear evidence of how very easy it is to stumble onto one of the many trapdoors hidden within 'the system'. Suggestion 5, if it ever came to pass, would be fully supported by, while causing much happiness and 'Hi-Fives' all around from the denizens of Sleepy Hollow. The ever stalwart 'Sunfish' reply - HERE - gently explains how the mystique of that valley subtly operates. - 

“If ever I should wish for a retreat whither I might steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this little valley.”

'The Act' has been a large bone of contention for many decades; many agree that it must be amended - but how should it be amended? From whom will suggestions to that modification be accepted? Not AOPA - that is a certainty; (20/1 the place - 40's a win) on my Tote; just based on a participation score against the active committees and against the 'advice' on offer from other sources. For an easy to follow reference on performance and penetration into the 'right' circles, check AMROBA's score card - Evens the win - 4's the place) on my Tote - to get at least some significant changes brought in line. No gabfests, no tedious video, no endless rambles: just common sense, backed by supported 'evidence' of obvious advantage, a deep working knowledge of the law, the system; and, importantly, of that which is necessary to persuade government offices that 'the change' is righteous. IMO - AOPA do not need, nor warrant a grant - not as it stands, not without clear definition and direction providing unsullied, focused aims. Defining why the Act must be changed, what in the Act must be changed and provide potential solutions and motivation to those who can actually make it happen. Consider - P2's homework - HERE-.

“The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet it is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: Small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.”

I suppose the tedious 'election' must be mentioned; it is getting ugly out there in the political arena, mind you with almost every 'reporter' delivering an 'opinion' rather than just a report and allowing intelligent folk to form their own opinion distracts from that democratic right - alas. I much prefer 'fact' and history, aviation's true dilemma began last time 'Albo' was in command; gives me cold shivers to even contemplate another 'white' paper; that is as much comment as the current circus deserves. Yuk/Yawn.....

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

Aye well, 'twill all be over soon and we can all look forward to another six month of the waiting game; while everybody finds their seat - like waiting for the passengers to get settled in and stop shuffling about - damn tedious but alas, necessary for all that..No matter, we shall have a BRB and darts tomorrow night; some returning from their drive to Bankstown to watch Sen. Patrick demonstrate his magic nut-cracker trick - can't wait for the troops to line up at the bar; and, bonus. P7's ribs have healed well enough for darts - we may even beat the dreaded Canadians - we shall see.

Her endeth the fools ramble; except to say that the evening before last, with bated breath I watched a new kitten casualty stroll over to the big dog's favourite spot, gently pat his right paw (about the same size as the kitten) and, in an act of shear audacity - curl up beside it and go to sleep. The look on the dog's face is one I shall never, not ever, forget - priceless; the lick bestowed was benign - but the glint in the amber eyes - well; I've seen that before too. No doubt this will be a competition worth the watching. Time to retrieve my errant boot - the orchard gate awaits.

Selah -

Like a hell broth boil and bubble....

I wonder if the witches and wizards squatting around the CASA cauldron have any notion of just how dangerous the brew they have simmering is. It is to the credit of the Australian aviation industry's patience, tolerance and fortitude that there has not been some form of revolution, to express revulsion. 

Eye of newt and toe of frog; supplied by the well heeled, well fed 'Board' travelling at great expense to our capitol cities, deigning to meet with the unwashed and unshriven hoi polloi of the industry, struggling to make ends meet. The result of that expense enough to make you vomit (copiously). The 'Board' even published their smug, well fed, self satisfied report of their all expenses paid junket. 

Biskin - "It provided an opportunity for industry to discuss their issues with the Board members in person and mingle with their peers, the CASA Executive team and CASA staff from the Adelaide Office.

Its worth considering the venue and environment of that 'meet and greet' and, the coy use of the word 'peers' -  in context. In fact the whole pantomime smacks of those awful events in America - you know the ones, buy a plate of overpriced plastic chicken dinner, meet the hopeful candidate who is only interested in your vote and donation and can't get out of the door fast enough.

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog" - the first ingredients of the stuff in the Kool-Aide fountain.

Further along in the Board's confection we find other ingredients waiting to join the mix: -

Biskin -"The organisational matters centre around CASA’s corporate governance, financial position, status of major projects, cyber security issues and general health of the CASA workforce. Consistent with its focus on the well being of CASA staff and the culture of the organisation, the Board established a sub-committee to focus on CASA’s People and Culture matters. "

"Wool of bat, and tongue of dog"

Into the cauldron they go. No concern whatsoever for the mental and physical state of those who must, on a daily basis, work and live within the toxic environment created by those who have the support of a massive machine beyond any form of control or accountability. An organisation which can ignore, obfuscate and dismiss Senate,ministerial, departmental and industry recommendations for serious, far reaching change. Change which will allow the industry to achieve full potential.

"Adders fork, and blind worms sting,"

Biskin - "Publication of our GA Workplan is an important milestone. The workplan outlines the support program for our GA community and includes timeframes for implementation and the actions that CASA is taking to address some long-standing issues in the GA sector. The Board will actively monitor CASA’s progress to meet its deliverables against the proposed timeline".

For thirty long doleful years have industry been trying through review, inquiry, etc to beat some semblance of technical and operational sense into the mile thick CASA skull - alas. Look beyond the smoke and mirrors; look to the rhetoric, platitudes, broken promises and the current regulations: read 'em and weep. An impenetrable wall of words has been built to protect the 'well being' of CASA, carried on a compliant industry back.

"Lizards leg, and howlet's wing" -

Important additions; they add a tinge of colour to a bleak regulatory landscape:- after three decades of regulatory embuggerance - at a rate of change only CASA can master we get the 'carrot' - Aye, BOHICA children; the new generation will be so used to the current straitjacket that any easing of the straps will be seen as a gift from the almighty.

Biskin -"The regulatory pipeline of new priorities and changes to the regulatory framework following the release of the Flight Operations Regulations in December 2021". 

"For a charm of powerful trouble"

Biskin "Significant investment is being made to develop internal systems that better support industry’s engagement with CASA. Investment in this capability will automate many of the currently manual processes and workflows and will deliver end to end communications between CASA and industry via the on-line portal, removing the need for email. Increased online capability will enable industry to access more self-service processes, reducing current wait times for CASA’s data entry requirements."

Therein; the eternal, world wide scream of frustration - one that may be heard umpteen times a day - "I want to speak to a person" - Hell's bells, its hard enough now talking a complex matter over with CASA - gods alone know how we'll get on wth a rigid system, managed by computers, programmed by those who will eschew a straight answer and avoid for a long as possible - signing off on anything..

Aye - "Like a hell-broth boil and bubble." Indeed.

Yet the solution is so simple - hire a reform DAS with a simple brief - sort it out and bring in the FAR's - make it happen. No need for a Board on the gravy train or talking computer driven decision makers. Just hire some professional help and get on with the reforms we all know must - if Australian owned and based aviation is to survive - happen. Now - now, fast type..

Tempus fugit and tempers too if I don't crack on- DT waits for no man...


It's over mate.

There are no detectable signs of change.

The work plan is bullshit. Just read the Avmed bit for the flavor and smell.

I will wager that the bill for "Digital workplace transformation" is North of $60 million and I haven't yet heard the magic words "Business process re - engineering" yet. That will be good for at least another 30 mil. That is followed by "human resources evaluation, training and redeployment" for another 20 mil. A mob like Accenture, IBM, etc will financially skin CASA alive, embed themselves within the organisation and prevent any meaningful reform of the regulations.

Their plan:

(a) Detect and eliminate competent people within CASA - they will identify themselves by querying obvious automation stupidities and suggesting useful changes. The consultants either hire them themselves or get them fired. That way any opposition to consulting money making is removed.

(b) Gain complete control of CASA's IT strategy and agenda because, these days, your IT strategy constrains your business strategy. Boardroom smoke and mirrors presentations are great for this. If CASA doesnt yet have a CIO, it will have one soon. This is to keep the consulting assignments flowing. The desired end result is a client (CASA) totally dependent on the consultant.

© Having lobotomised CASA, no reforms will be possible without spending $$$$$$ on computer consultants because the software won't support change without redesign. Even the simplest things will cost big money, for example a plastic credit card style licence. You can forget about the adopting the FAR's, they will tell you with a straight face that the software won't support it.

Perhaps we could do what Saudi Arabia did. They realised setting up their own regulator would cost a fortune so they subcontracted the whole thing to the FAA. Smart move, saved them a poultice and everything works very well.

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Ref: &'s historical culpability on destroying an industry?

Downunder - the Land of Wonder.

After 30 years of 'dream time' we all got so board it was decided to switch to 'wonder-time' - just for a change like....

And; there's much on which to wonder: the small items - like can the non airline sector survive another year of 'legal' uncertainty? As matters stand the law which governs matters aeronautical can be manipulated to support any and all claims by the regulator that a 'thing' is 'unsafe'. Anything which takes their fancy can, in a heartbeat, will be turned into a mountain of 'evidence' supporting the safety case, backed by unlimited public money. Problem is, every time CASA is tasked with providing a 'safety case' - or analysis of a reduced ( or increased) safety margin - they cannot. So complex, contradictory and confounded is the tangle of open to 'opinion' legislation that industry is never sure just who is Martha, whom is Arthur and when it is their turn to use the privy. "I wonder if this is legal" thinks the operator - (quick check of the rules) - "no matter, I'll leave up to the pilot and then my ass is covered". And so the liability is removed from government, the 'authority', the operator and everyone, except for the mutt designated PIC. The 'mutt' is then hauled onto the coals - charged under strict liability, cannot mount any defence, gains a criminal record and perpetual unemployment. "Next" calls the operator as CASA toddle off with another scalp on their 'safety' belt to negotiate, in the name of 'safety' an even larger chunk of change to perpetuate the myth of aviation safety. Great work - if you can get it; and, you can - with the right government.

“In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.” ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Ah -ah - what then is the 'right' government? Well, it can be any of the parties - they're all so ducking bipartisan don'tcha know. United in avoiding any and all responsibility or accountability for the complete buggers muddle the failed system of 'government business enterprise' has created. Happy to just throw more public money and look away, blithely ignoring and ignorant of a potential revenue generating industry going down the tubes at a fast clip.

“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule.”― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Then, we may all wonder at why thousands of words, contained in hundreds documents provided to the almost annual 'Inquiry' - at great public expense - into the complete shambles aviation has been unwillingly dragged into by the Government sponsored (not controlled) GBE which calls itself 'expert' (and world class). But, alas, there is little to wonder at - government of every stripe is quite content to stay well out of any accountability and simply approve the next outrageous (egregious) budget and not become embroiled. Great work - if you can get it; and, you can - with the right agency covering your arse.

“In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong.” ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Now we need to wonder even more - what will Albo do, should the public be silly enough to grant him the leadership of this nation - another useless soft white paper of abrogation; another never ending levy on fuel - to support the excuses made after another failed ICAO/FAA audit; more power and money to a Board we never needed or wanted; even more distance from the Westminster system of democratic balance; or, will we have the Greens pulling the strings and see all non solar powered aviation doomed to the graveyards of history.

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“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” ― George Orwell, 1984

But, when all said and done; the greatest wonder of all is how this industry has managed to keep going - despite the hindrance of unaccountable ministers, an overbearing incompetent authority, a rule set designed for nothing but safe conviction and maximum budget, despite almost being bowled out by a very poor showing in audit by international experts, having created the most risible, unusable, incomprehensible rule set on the face of the planet. That is the great wonder; closely followed into second place by WTD is the government and it's mandarins drinking.

Tales of embuggerance

Ref: Bring back Senator Fawcett & 

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” ― George Orwell, 1984

For example; Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) by pilots operating under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) has been and continues to be one of the highest fatality count accidents - it has been happening despite all regulation and 'advice'. Yet CASA bear no responsibility, nor have they instigated any form of preventative measure, education, initiative or alternative to reduce the accident rate, as the body count rises. They bear no responsibility - yet half a million spent on Buckley; as much again pursuing Angel Flight; back flip on CVD pilots etc; all seem to convince the responsible minister that 'all is well'. Well, it ain't - not by a long chalk it ain't. We wonder when reality in aviation safety is going to get a look in. We do, quite seriously wonder where its all headed. To Hell in a hand cart seems to be the right response.

But then, there are still some small wonders left to gladden - visitors today - I was in the stable, finishing the layout for a job - (beautiful Tassie Black-wood) when their eldest 'lad' appeared at the end of the workbench - he watched quietly as I lay in the dovetail markings (48 of) with knife and template - "how will you make those?" he asked. I explained the process (briefly) then, after a moment's thought - "could you show me how please". So, I hunted up some scrap and explained the way the template worked and how we measure up the joints. Nary a word during my short discourse - then - "can I try to do them - please?" The 'please' prevented a curt reply; and so we began; but not the easy way. The saw needed a touch up; two chisels needed a new edge; these must come first. I filed the first two inches of the saw teeth to show him 'how' - he finished the remaining eight inches - faultlessly. I sharpened the first chisel (old school style) he damn near got the second almost perfect. And so we began - I cut the first end of four boards - he cut the rest; the first 'ordinary' the last spot on. I showed him how to 'chop' out the tails and pins - he did the rest. He took home a small dovetail box, lid and hinges 75% of it all his own work. The smile and thank you was enough recompense for time spent - but the "Wow, that beats the internet any day" blew my socks off - there is hope yet if that 'lad' is representative of his generation: Hell the kitten didn't even scratch him.


Of talking Bollocks and testiculation.

Bollocks is, of course, the international language of government sponsored sheltered workshops; it is such an easy language to learn that the inmates quickly learn to use lots of acronyms to cover their activities. This also come in handy when (if) those who pay for the care and feeding of the inmates ask awkward questions about where the money went to and who benefited. You see, the 'cost' of providing a 'safe environment' for the inmates increases every year; yet the number of baskets weaved and finger paintings done decreases - 'tis a problem which those managing the inmates must answer - occasionally.

Testiculation is a developed skill - the art of talking Bollocks while, much like a magician, using hand gestures, smoke, mirror (and often a good sort) to distract. The true masters of the art of testiculation have adapted the language into a system which can (and is ) extensively used when a written report is required. Should this missive ever be taken into a court, audit or inquiry - the true genius of Testicualting in print is revealed. For example; 

4.12 There is minimal detail reported to the Board on the NSSP. The NSSP report does not provide information to the Board on AHPIs overdue, despite the AHPI being a key indicator used to assess risk (see paragraph 3.6 for further detail). The Board requested in April 2021 that NSSP reporting should be more granular. As at January 2022, surveillance reporting to the Board is not more granular and there is no reporting on overdue AHPI’s.

The Bollocks is "the minimal detail provided" - but the ANAO - was prepared to meet Bollocks with a Testiculated response. The ANAO's findings reflect the masterful art of those challenged to define WTD is going on within the sheltered workshop - BUT; the management of that workshop are also past masters of the art - the Spence reply to the ANAO a delightful, creative confection, providing an elegant mix of bullshit; bollocks, testiculation and to make sure of a blue ribbon - a large sprinkle of faerie dust is added to top it off. Aye; just like watching two grand masters of Chess working the board - and about as entertaining.

These grand games between the titans of bollocks and the masters of testiculation may be jolly good fun for those involved and certainly puts a plenitude of food on the table for them - but what of the peasantry? Those outside the walls, slogging through the mud, blood and shit to deliver that plenitude; those who actually provide the funds for these elegant games. They are fully entitled to ask at least two questions and demand answers:-

Q1 - How much (all up) did this audit cost - from inception to published result. Every man hour from the request being made to delivery?

Q2. How, exactly, in round numbers, has this little charade benefited the aviation industry and when will the results of that benefit become tangible and visible?

When you contemplate the incredible sums invested by the public in Senate Inquiry, Independent inquiry, audit, rule making and salary spent on aviation 'administration' over the decades, you will arrive at an almost unbelievable sum: and yet it is true. When you translate that amount back to 'benefit' for industry and the travelling public you can only arrive at one conclusion - billions pissed up the wall - million dollar salaries for those within the system - a once thriving industry on its knees.

Someone (anyone) please tell me; how, in any world can that be right or even justified. Please DO NOT say 'improved safety' - the 'facts' are against that load of BOLLOCKS!~


#SBG 29/05/22: Ignoble Embuggerance - exposed.

One of the long standing, subjects of much furious debate questions is 'when' did CASA begin to be a less than honourable organisation? In short, when was the first major act of embuggerance committed and by whom? There is much support for the Lockhart River proposal; Seaview another prime candidate amongst several other entrants. Some even happy to back the Rod Lovell case as being the beginning of the more open, less subtle acts of bastardisation. However, it is almost unanimous that the blatant misuse of power became rampant during the McCormick era. Many believe that the tendency for 'government' ministers to look the other way - all in the name of 'safety' - tacitly supported the notion that CASA was always right and proper, no matter how outlandish the 'evidence' or how it had been 'manipulated'. There is a long list of people, operations and 'fact' to support the argument of an out of control, amoral if not corrupted regulator exists.  Not corrupt in the way of accepting bribes - but in the moral, ethical and common sense way. So lost in 'self righteousness' that recovery without internal reform is a practical impossibility, having gotten away with it for decades now. The 'facts' and evidence - all there - all it needs is for government to take a long hard look and a careful listen to the industry case against.

“Though this knave came something saucily into this world before he was sent for, yet was his mother Fair; there was good sport at his making, and the Whoreson must be acknowledged.”

One case has finally been made public and it should be a shocker to those unfamiliar with such matters. It is not a 'one off' - not by a long shot it ain't; but it has been patiently and properly conducted by a man who has not buckled. No praise is high enough for Andy Pascoe. AP had one long conversation with Andy - it was agreed that we stay out of it until the 'case' was heard, it has been a long hard road for Pascoe and the result should ring alarum bells in the deep cavern of government, where the true power lays. Before you open the link to his story book read Marjorie Pagani's carefully phrased hint to a Senate committee - (which was ignored by the by).

"I mentioned briefly a matter before the Campbelltown Local Court in New South Wales currently, between CASA and an aviator. Again, I can give more details of that, and I urge you senators to order a transcript of this—as you would know, transcripts are quite expensive. In that matter, which is in substance relating to charges against CASA that they fabricated information and they engaged in bribery and other serious matters against this person, they have been objecting to providing subpoenaed material in that case for three years, such that, in July of this year, the judge said—the [inaudible] clearly, from the transcript, are very angry—'Is it going to be necessary for me to subpoena the CEO of CASA, issue a summons for her arrest to bring her before this court to explain why you will not provide this information?' CASA's only explanation, through legal, was to the effect that it was all a bit slow because of [inaudible]."

The Pascoe tale of tenacity, integrity and courage may be found - HERE - . While it is not an unusual story in the history of Australian aviation - it is a stand alone - unique in that it was taken 'all the way' without fear or favour. Bravo that man.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

This case leaves but one question for the minister and mandarins to answer - when are the complaints of the industry against the regulator going to heard and acted on? This one case is not going to follow Lockhart River, Seaview, Pel Air or any of the other major inquiries down the rabbit hole of ministerial indulgence and arse covering. Real action, in real time, real reform based on real case histories. Start at the top - a reform DAS; a legal counsel and some expertise and common sense within the ranks; and please, reduce the bull-shit level while you have the tools out - we are drowning in it.

There were other topics for today - small items like the 'audit' and the 'audit response' ; AOPA backing CASA's latest load of bollocks; the cost of running CASA versus the demonstrable results of 'improved' safety; the Brisbane airport cluster duck and ASA incompetence (and greed) - but those are old friends and will keep for another time. Oh; and if you think Buckley got a raw deal - read the Pascoe saga and get behind both men; they may be the vanguard of real reform - if Angel Flight don't beat 'em to it. Now - now would be a good time.


I’ve deleted this post because it’s conclusion is too awful.

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But, Is the game worth the candle?

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We seem to spend a great deal (extraordinary amounts) in the hope of getting the real stuff - and yet we are left without anything of 'substance' for that investment. When you reckon up the total hours flown per annum against the total cost of running  CASA - and operators meeting demanded 'compliance' - you arrive at some truly staggering numbers. When you reckon up the total cost, from both parties in the latest battle in the Parramatta court and determine exactly the 'safety' benefits gained, you end up with a dismal result. It has cost an obscene amount of money to achieve nothing in the way of a genuine reduction in accident rates. In fact, the only 'real' safety result (MTF) is one that should have been 'self corrected' or picked up by the student pre flight; or, trapped by the AOC holder;or, stopped cold by the local FOI. It has been alleged that 'the practice' went on for a long time and it was a 'dangerous' practice. But, IMO the really 'dangerous' thing is the disparity noted between various CASA reactions. For example; I've read through one long, drawn out part of a case CASA were trying to make, relating to an 16 Kg over weight based on a three degree temperature variable - and prosecute for a conviction against all fact, figures and logic - they lost. Yet an almost daily occurrence of blatant disregard for 'the rules' was allowed to continue - under the 'mates rates' rule set for a very long time, the only penalty imposed was a smack on the wrist, rather than compliance with the letter of the law and a conviction. This seems to have been almost a side bar to the CASA case presented; yet when the facts emerge, will there be some big questions for CASA to answer? We shall watch carefully and see. One wonders what the junior, or the unqualified would have learned from that stellar example?

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“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” ― Mark Twain

That the rule set is a crock is widely accepted and acknowledged; what is not analysed is the cost against the accident rate and 'how' this peculiar rule set has improved 'safety'. Seems that all the legislation is geared to be effective 'after' the fact - in the laying of blame while being totally divorced from prevention and even then subjectively used, as suits. For example; the ATR with the busted tail. A classic case for James Reason; pilot training - legal, but clearly deficient; pre and post flight 'inspection' legal, but clearly deficient; pilot 'walk around' inspection - legal, but clearly deficient. Oh, the rules make it all too easy to prosecute after the fact - however, of what benefit were those ruled to the core value of genuine 'safety culture' or common sense? That incident could have been bloody serious, burning bodies strewn across the landscape - and what has the money spent on our self acclaimed gold plated regulator done to prevent a reoccurrence? Aye, @#$%^&& - that thar be the right answer.

“Well, what do they all amount to, these kings and captains and bishops and lawyers and such like? They just leave you in the ditch to bleed to death; and the next thing is, you meet them down there, for all the airs they give themselves.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Saint Joan

In any 'cost-benefit' analysis you can manage, the cost of the administration (as per the convention) posing as regulator/ ultimate doyens of 'safety' the numbers just do not stack up. When you add in the cost of the ATSB, AAT, court and associated claptrap - against the accident rates over three decades - there is only one logical, mathematical conclusion you can reach. It costs a huge amount of tax payer money to support the mystique of aviation safety for sweet sod all return on the investment. So, where does the responsibility for 'real' safety begin and end? With whom and how is it to be achieved?

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Quote:Anderson • 4 years ago

CASA serves only the interests of CASA.

First and foremost – self-perpetuation.

Closely followed by reaching its claws into the pocket of every GA participant to extract the maximum bounty to fund said self-perpetuation.

It long ago became an unwieldy beast that shed even any sort of pretence it might actually serve the aviation community that funds it through the regular extortionate gouging, both direct and indirect.

CASA certainly does “make no apologies” – never has, never will (if past behaviour is any guide)…

Why then does it expect anyone with a brain and even the slightest modicum of historical fact into aviation in Australia to believe anything the self declared non-apologist has to say on any topic?

It has been proven time and time again to be untrustworthy on almost every level (secret collusion to influence ATSB investigations and doctor accident reports – anyone, anyone…?).

An organisation that simply lacks credibility within the real aviation community (ie, not the segment that benefits from the largesse, corporate favours and behind the scenes political shenanigans) cannot be taken at face value.

Bureaucratic regulation for all is the panacea for everything.

By now it is clear the regulatory behemoth seeks to destroy GA and everything associated with it, to not only bite the hand that feeds it but to chomp, mangle and swallow to the GA armpit and beyond.

Whatever any new purported “safety measures” might be from CASA for the community service flight sector, it will be a rocky transition to yet more rules that will do nothing to protect anyone.

The only new protection needed is for the selfless humanitarians in the community service flight sector (and GA generally) from the CASA bureaucrats.

The “safety measures” will come with some new fee or charge associated – nominal at first of course so as not to create too much resistance – and given some fashionable newspeak name to allay any unease, which will of course be
simultaneously denounced as “misplaced concerns” when the CASA PR machine swings into action.

We all know by now where “nominal” fees end up down the track – the next CASA cash cow.

Remember this all well folks, for what will be sold out of both sides of the CASA mouth in the months and years ahead will be nothing but a wolf in the guise of a sheep. Harmless at first, only to reveal a savage bite when it’s far too late to fully comprehend what really occurred.

Given the behaviour of CASA over the past years, one really does need to wonder whether they are a completely delusional bunch (given the continued expectation we will blindly accept anything they broadcast), but more importantly whether there is indeed a hidden agenda to completely rout GA – to destroy it so completely that nothing remains but empty crown land, devoid of the now GA aerodromes and ripe for redevelopment – which will all be a sheer coincidence of course.

This latest little trojan horse from CASA is undoubtedly but the next distraction to interfere where none is needed and to spew forth but more needless regulation. This time it will be aimed squarely at those who provide a tremendous
service and benefit to the community.

A type of actual service that CASA would not recognise if it were placed directly in front of its bloated waistline.

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Ramble Warning - (Click off here). Seems I have acquired an 'apprentice'. The unannounced arrival sparked my ramble. There is a point - so, with your indulgence, I shall explain. Early Wednesday morning the dogs got up, tails wagging, a tap on the stable door, enter the young fellah with a smallish box under arm. This was placed with reverence on the workbench; he'd bought a 'plane' at the market (30 y.o. #4 Stanley) for less than the cost of a new blade.  "Can we fix it up?" he asked. This placed a great responsibility on me; the short answer was no, but you can. However, once fixed and lethally sharp, it would be used. So, four serious questions to consider; how to keep him safe (you can get hurt using these things), how to use it properly and achieve the desired outcome, how to maintain the thing, when not to use it (design function etc.). It took all day - disassembly, part name and function; salt and vinegar bath for all bar wooden bits; cleaning up for re-assembly, 'fettling' the sole and frog the logic applicable to 'setting it up' etc. We were left at last with just the cutting iron; dull, tarnished, out of true, out of square and badly dinged. Long yarn short - we worked through the process - without blood being spilled or patience lost - result first class. Of course young shaver wanted to try it out; no way. I gave him one of mine to use first - set fine - gave him the basics and an off cut (cranky grain) after about 10 minutes he was taking reasonable shavings. Then we tried his - instant disaster. Then I showed him how to set it up for 'the job'.- Through practice, experience and a little education his smile was worth he time trouble and effort invested. The responsibility for safety and performance handed over after the lesson. That is where safety/ operational training begins and ends - in any field of endeavour - there are no written laws governing over and above long established 'best practice' gained through experience, education and common sense which will prevent excursion. There is only a right way and a wrong way to do things and no amount of legislation can change basic human nature; some will always do it the 'right way' other who will not. The point - the responsibility for training was mine, to instil the how, why and wherefore of the operation and the risks associated; the rest is up to him; understanding and respect for what he uses, self respect in performing the task and the responsibility for what he does with the tools at hand.

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“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Xun Kuang


2017 and all that..

We are now halfway through AD 2022; on the first day of this month our million bucks a year CASA Director produced another touchy-feely blurb, designed to tell us that all was well; and, (importantly) CASA were in the process of 'getting real'. You can read this fatuous, sugar coated pony-pooh - HERE -

Spence - "We’re as keen as you are to identify and resolve any issues with the way the regulations work in practice. We can only do that if you work with us and let us know about anything that seems like an unintended consequence." - (Bucket required). 

Duck 'Keen' - insert desperate. For three decades - industry has been loudly, actively, consistently sending in carefully made 'submission' to the many inquiries, which, in essence, tried to point out the many ways which CASA were producing the absolute mess the aviation industry is trapped in today. Thousands of man hours wasted achieving absolutely nothing of practical or intrinsic value. Take a look at any aerodrome you care/ dare to visit - you can wait all day at somewhere like Bankstown to see the number of aircraft  movements you used to see before breakfast seven days a week; it is a graveyard now. CASA has had a lot to do with this situation - perhaps Spence could begin by acknowledging the blame and do something toward recovery. But no - we get twaddle - twaddle which makes it perfectly clear that CASA is still firmly on track for perdition - read this one line to get the whole story:-

Spence - Our aim was to simplify and clarify the requirements to reduce the regulatory burden and costs on aerodromes while at the same time improving safety.

The word 'was' - gives the game away. Platitudes, tea and sympathy while an industry implodes, the building on aerodrome land continues. but both the Essendon and Mangalore fatal accidents remain unshriven, unanswered and unresolved. If our dynamic duo of Biskin and Spence were anywhere near 'fair-dinkum' both of those events would have had resolution in the affirmative i.e. fixed. There are another 30 odd serious and perhaps as many again borderline 'potential' events which have a history of 'close calls' unresolved. Time CASA stopped being in 'denial' and acknowledged the dreadful mess they have landed a once flourishing industry in.

“I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.”

For those (like Spence and Biskin) who have not grasped the nettle and taken a long hard look at exactly what CASA is - in reality - consider this list; Pel-Air; Essendon, Mangalore, Angel Flight, Buckley and Andy Pascoe (to name but a few of many) there is the reality Spence et al refuse to acknowledge. Aye, a reality fix is in order, no doubt about it. Alternatively, if the blood and guts of that reality is too gruesome for their delicate taste; just grab half a dozen operations manuals and plough through them to see what a dreadful cock-up CASA have created. Perhaps its time to get some dainty, little greedy hands dirty and deal with the beast. I believe the last time anyone said "let them eat cake' created a small domestic upset; in France wasn't it? 

“Everything was perfectly healthy and normal here in Denial Land.”

While I'm 'at it' perhaps the time has arrived to sort out Airservices. I cribbed the following quote from the UP - it is a complex matter - however, the post once again clearly  defines the fundamental flaws inherent within the current system.

GF - "The point of this thread is that ICAO provides rules and procedures that member nations have signed up to, they include the airspace categorisation. The Minister is allowing CASA and Airservices to ignore those rules and procedures and invent a hybrid which may or may not work. (I am also pretty sure the Minister would not understand the nuances) Airservices claims to have written a safety case around SFIS, but has refused to release the document. CASA OAR wrote a report about Mangalore which apparently decided SFIS would not work. I say apparently because the report was removed from the CASA web site almost as soon as it was posted. No doubt at the behest of Airservices. The very essence of a safety case is that it should be public (not to mention how a publicly owned government agency is allowed to have secrets!). So my only conclusion has to be that it contains conclusions that SFIS created either a Class A (unacceptable) or Class B (can only be accepted by a General Manager) risk that is being withheld from the flying public".

Lastly we must find some sympathy for the ATSB; and, we did. From the NTSB - when we ask our contacts in the USA to take a look at a report - (pick one) they simply shake their heads and look glum; except when they bust out laughing.

“I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it."

Yet the highly paid Spence and her motley top drawer crew firmly believe that you can actually fool all the people, all of the time.

Spence - "The Part 139 changes are an example of the ongoing program of reform CASA is undertaking to deal with issues industry has raised with us while we also refine the structure of the organisation itself". 


“Exposing an illusion is not the same as revealing a truth”

Aye well; sat here I can see on the workbench a very old refectory table; French walnut mostly; it has survived a couple of centuries of use - and disuse; repair and restore the order. As I do the work I shall wonder of the men who made it, the times they lived and the tools they used; and the tales this old table could tell. Can I coax it to tell it's secrets: sure bet I'll try.


Good job K, correctly put the reality though somewhat disrespectful.

Into words mildly put the thoughts of thousands of aviators. Thank you for your tireless efforts.

Perhaps one day some perceptive individual with power will have the courage to cause change to the betterment of Australia’s much blighted General Aviation industry.

Recently watched Barnaby Joyce, having just forcefully proposed the case for nuclear power plants, answer why did you not have this as your policy in government?

Answer, because the polls did not favour nuclear power.

This demonstrates the paucity of courage of conviction and a lack of willpower on the part of of Barnaby Joyce. Pity.

Politics, the most difficult and most important skill set that determines the condition of humanity. But can one judge Barnaby Joyce as a failure as a politician? He, like most MPs are trying to think ahead and of course they can’t do much to make momentous change if not in power. Fine judgments all the time and how would we on the sidelines actually perform?

How many critics go to political meetings?

It’s a hard life when one goes to the realities of human nature.

But any voice crying for freedom, free enterprise, justice and commonsense, sensible and practical government with rational and workable regulation is to be applauded and supported. General Aviation might yet be recognised for the great benefits it will confer to Australia if it is unshackled from the stifling depredations of an out of control independent Commonwealth corporate that has become totally divorced from reality.

Time for Parliament to realise that experimenting away from the Westminster system is fraught with unexpected consequences. In this case removing, or at least distancing, the Minister from direct responsibility by creating the independent regulator has been an unmitigated disaster. Accountability is a cornerstone of the democratic means of government.

Now it’s clear that an unelected corporate can not regulate in the National interest.

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