The Sunday Brunch Gazette.

Dear Sandy.

Faith and trust? Big questions. It is difficult to define precisely when all 'respect' for and tolerance of CASA began; indeed it has been a gradual process developed over decades. Way back, in the beginning, we admired, respected and even liked some of the men and women at the 'departmental' coal face; the FOI and the administration crew. Every half year we would meet a respected, experienced pilot, one of us, who was also CASA examiner, to renew our instrument rating - no option. They acted as anchor, mentor and role model and could always find time for a coffee and a chat about this or that. They were practical folk and very well 'tuned in' to what was occurring on their local aerodromes. Tales were told over beers about how something a little on the risque side had been nipped in the bud. I cannot count the number of times a short conversation assisted with an operational 'problem' which needed clarity in regard to 'the Orders'. I've even had a 'problem' kicked up the line' and a resolution handed down (within 48 hours) - "can't do it that way - But, consider this as an alternative". 

Something ugly and insidious crept into CASA a few decades ago, like a malignant weed, one which gradually took over the vegetable patch and strangled the flowers. Some older wiser heads tell the story of a battle between 'operations' and 'legal' with the legal team winning the match - true of false - don't know; but there's evidence to support the tale. Having said that, there is one man in the 'legal' crew who I believe can be trusted to be as honest as possible in the circumstances; old school honesty and common sense applied - when allowed. Perhaps that is where reform could start, for it is (IMO) 'legal' that created the much of the current mess and an unassailable power base. Here again, that's only speculation on my part; but, the proposition does seem to have legs and generates a fair amount of condemnation - whether deserved or not is beyond my remit or knowledge. History and 'fact' of actions taken seem to support that notion as being the root of the current putrid atmosphere; go no further back than last week's Pascoe case; (now, that will be a story worth the telling)..

It seems to boil down to this - my solitary opinion, distrust of and disgust with the current system, combined with total disrespect for the 'management' crew don't signify in any way that matters. I have examined the dark side of CASA in action too may times and witnessed the destruction those actions caused (all in the name of 'safety'). It sickens me to see a once proud, independent industry 'bending a knee' (or bending over) to survive in the hope of escaping CASA displeasure (or agenda). If what was said in board or crew rooms ever got back to CASA, there would be Hell to pay. "Go along to get along - or else" the current sad ethos. Dictated to by FOI who you would not hire in a fit; they, supported by a legal department with a rank reputation, even amongst the legal profession - which ain't the most savoury bunch you'd ever shake hands with. It all leaves me to wonder when, or even if the lunacy will ever end.

Respect - Nah, in short - no way. My respect, trust and loyalty needs to be earned and once lost it is a difficult thing to regain, despite an innate tolerance. Spence and Biskin are (IMO) a pair of chocolate spark plugs and about as reliable. Being about as dangerous to those who oppose any and all internal reform as my kitten is to the big dog.

Toot - toot.

Dear Karon,

I totally agree, overall and in spite of a few at ‘the coal face’ who I’m informed are doing their best.

Quoting myself, “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.” it seems that my meaning wasn’t quite clear. With your indulgence I’ll ask anyone reading that passage to please put “disrespectful” strongly modified by “mildly put.”

Clumsily worded but no shade of criticism intended,


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Ref: 7 & https://reporting.airservicesaustralia.c...2020-2021/ 

Somewhere North of 19,000. 

Lets call it 20,000 for a nice round number; that  approximates the number of dollars our Electric Blue halfwit pockets, shamelessly, - every Friday pay day, for his Canberra version of the working week, without adding in the KPI bonus etc, etc...For this princely stipend it would be fair and reasonable to expect that an aviation desert like Australia would have a seamless, brilliant service to the aircraft it is supposed to serve. Australia has a very small fleet; reasonable weather most of the time, little in the way of 'difficult' terrain and not what anyone could call a 'lot' of aerodromes. Then, should you ask anyone who has flown in America, Europe or even Africa to define operating in Australian airspace, the answers may vary a little, but essentially heads are shaken and mumbled answers like 'pathetic' are offered.

“The robb'd that smiles, steals something from the thief; He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.” ― William Shakespeare, Othello

When Air Services Australia (ASA) are dragged in front of a Senate Estimates Committee to answer some awkward questions; like mid-air collisions, or near misses, or delays, or lack of service - who do you think turn up to answer those questions? One could be forgiven for expecting a bright team of airspace specialists to explain the 'problems' - alas. We get Halfwit and his tame bean-counter, yes, boys and girls - correct, its all about the money and parsimonious protection of KPI bonus. Well, that's the kindest explanation - but; carefully shaded backstage lurks the One Sky debacle. Touted to be 'the' answer to a pagans prayer - which put a fairly big dent in the 'budget' then was quietly put to death, never to be heard of again. The flip side is we still have an insignificant port like Ballina, surrounded by a few 'satellite' ports with light traffic and the possibility of another mid-air event a very real possibility to consider against the lightning fast response from ASA. (Yes Joyce, I'm joking - although not remotely funny). 


“In the end it will be necessary, if he wants to maintain a name for liberality, to burden the people extraordinarily, to be rigorous with taxes, and to do all those things that can be done to get money. This will begin to make him hated by his subjects, and little esteemed by anyone as he becomes poor; so having offended the many and rewarded the few with this liberality of his, he feels every least hardship and runs into risk at every slight danger. When he recognizes this, and wants to draw back from it, he immediately incurs the infamy of meanness.” ― Niccolo Machiavelli

Oh, there are solutions, models available world wide; ground infrastructure, control zones, fire engines and crew to man them; of course they all cost 'money'. The nation forks out a great deal of money in the name of 'air safety' - first class money for a third world system; our Atco's are first class doing a great job despite the limitations enforced and deserve much better.  Lots of stuff to make you cranky right there. But those are not the items which create the anger and frustration. There are two items of note which highlight the gaping holes in our slice of that famous cheese. To wit, the Mangalore mid-air collision and the Ballina debacle.

One a mid air collision claiming four lives; the other at risk of a repeat event; both define the abject failure of three, very expensive 'safety' authorities to perform primary design function. Preventing a repeat. There is much in the way of elegant arse covering and 'tut-tutting' but little of substance to take away from the 'official' analysis; or action to back up the rhetoric. Take a careful read through both the ASA and ATSB reports on Mangalore; neither one of them gets even close to a satisfactory response and cure for prevention, both technically flawed master works in obfuscation  and bare faced collusion between two safety agencies.

For example; both continue to define one aircraft as a 'King Air', despite the great difference between a B200 and a 'Travel Air, in speed and rate of descent. The reports avoid 'real life' analysis of what was occurring in both cockpits; pilots flying under simulated IMC conditions, command lines blurred between instructor and PF; one busy the other watching and teaching - there is a 'gap' there - who was handling the radio traffic and separation; why did the instructing PIC not call 'taking over'? Why was the time between notification and resolution of conflict so short; why didn't ATC warn of a potential close encounter etc. I could go on; (and on). But, the thing that really vexes me is the ATSB report (for wont of better description) our wee bearded Popinjay has almost declared that it was all the fault of the aircrew because they did not have TCAS (or similar); which they should have - according to him; indeed, 'tis strongly recommended. The load of bollocks provided almost manages to excuse the dreadful state Australian airspace (that not Class A) has descended into due to parsimony and lack of caring typifies the stellar mutual arse covering, while loading as much blame and expense onto the industries plate. It is a bloody disgrace; the whole thing - soup to nuts; at a cost of North of $20, 000 per week - each - just to the leaders of the outfits which white -washed Essendon, Mangalore, Ballina, Albury and other incidents; as far back as Lockhart does the daisy chain reach. But don't believe me; check out the latest 'drone' event; out of all control and flown into a window of a near by hotel - read the Popinjay's take on that repeat event; note the masterful avoidance of action being taken to prevent another out of control 'drone strike' in a built up urban area; - "amazing".

Aye, we can all bang on about the sorry state of our expensive 'safety net' till the cows roll up for afternoon tea; but until government steps in, gets a grip and makes the needed changes to 'attitude' - banging the same, tired old drum will not signify; not until we have a major event, on the scale of Mt Erebus will that drum be heard. How many more lives will it cost before we say ": We told it to Orville, we told it to Wilbur and we have told you the same thing; time and again".

But enough, there's a man's work to be done this day; my labours will not provide a tenth of $20,000 this week - but it will be honest money, worked hard for and to the satisfaction of those who will pay me. I wonder if our Halfwit or Popinjay can lay claim to the same.


Air Services Australia (ASA) is another example of the failed concept of a so called Government Business Enterprise (GBE).

This concept goes back to the Thatcher era as a clever distortion of the UK’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1979 to 1990) private enterprise strategy. With her leadership the UK government got out of certain state run businesses in the interests of efficiency and value through competition. The UK’s recognition of the advantages of free enterprise has echoes right through to the present.

The distortion in governance comes about by a put up policy in Australia, no doubt promoted by senior echelons of the Public Sector, used to be known as the Public Service (PS), that is that certain arms of government, formerly the preserves within Departments with Minister at head, become statutory authorities. The idea being that they would distance Ministers from responsibility and provide much of their budget from the industry to be regulated.

Sounds great, relieve the Minister from responsibility and de-couple the salaries from regular PS scales and be sure of plenty of revenue to be extorted from the industries regulated because these GBEs are monopolies.

Because they have no competition and pretend to be semi commercial they can pay themselves whatever they like, or can pay themselves with a straight face. Note new CASA CEO massive pay increase with no explanation forthcoming.

In the case of ASA or the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) there’s nothing to prevent bonuses such as the head of ASA is entitled to. One can imagine that by taking more fees from the aviation industry this might trigger such bonuses, but reduce or prevent industry growth against the National interest.

Two out of four corners nailed down:-

Sandy - "Sounds great, relieve the Minister from responsibility and de-couple the salaries from regular PS scales and be sure of plenty of revenue to be extorted from the industries regulated because these GBEs are monopolies. Because they have no competition and pretend to be semi commercial they can pay themselves whatever they like, or can pay themselves with a straight face. Note new CASA CEO massive pay increase with no explanation forthcoming."

Calling out the potential for two bites at the plump cherry of Fiscal embuggerance on one side are the visible, definable and potentially controllable elements in the equation. Whilst of great concern and much in need of clinical analysis; they are overshadowed by two more elements; carefully concealed and cleverly obfuscated; these should be of great concern to any responsible government, for they are directly in conflict with democratic principal, the rule of law and beyond normal the 'checks and balances' available through public scrutiny and open debate..

Significant legislation affecting compatibility with the global system is brought in without debate; laws affecting the way in which aircraft can be used and maintained are drafted, published and, without any demure from those affected are enforced. This without a 'peep' from either minister of opposition counterpart.

The Police services would love to have the unchecked powers available and be spared the need to produce and defend that 'evidence' in court. There are serious restraints placed on law enforcement; these rights are protected through the constitution and, there are some pretty fierce watchdogs out there to make sure the police 'act' within those boundaries. But not for 'aviation' it seems; why?

There exists a shed full of evidence which is blithely ignored by both sides of government. They have abandoned fundamental principals and allowed a public service to continue, unchecked to the point of a being dictatorship, beyond all control. The final insult expecting the public and industry to pay for it.

There is but one solution - the blueprint is held by New Zealand; freely available to the minister at the stroke of a pen. Why didn't you call?.


Old Redgum trees provide a perfect object lesson for Australian Aviation regulators. In those trees, the ever present termites eat out the centre of major branches from the inside, leaving the branch looking perfectly sturdy and unmarked on the surface. Then one day the branch fractures with no warning at all. Australians are cautioned against pitching their tents under these trees but every year some forget and pay the ultimate price.

The administrative equivalent  of this “hollowing out “ process is what destroyed Ansett Airlines. The termites, sorry,  bean counters, removed the administrative staff at the core of the company - the maintenance planners and gradually the heart of the aircraft engineering safety  system - the maintenance plan, decayed and fell apart because there were not enough people left to organise it. When ATSB finally looked, along with CASA, they found that the Ansett aircraft were approaching  that same rotten state as a Redgum. They were nice and shiny on the outside, but underneath the paint??

The forthcoming collapse of aviation in Australia will be very similar but a different termite is involved. Ansett was eaten alive by bean counters (accountants). General Aviation is being eaten alive by a different termite - lawyers. These well meaning folk are creating impossibly dense regulations, backed up by draconian penalties, that convert what should be solid safety practices into useless pulp. Over time, operators concentrate on satisfying the letter of the regulations but the actual safety intent is lost. This “hollowing out “ results in a safety system that is focussed on being legally compliant but in reality is totally unsafe. Like our proverbial Redgum, nothing happens for a long time, but underneath the shiny corporate exterior, the termites are eating away…… Until with no warning - “crack”.

Cases in point. Does anyone report defects and discovered safety issues to ATSB and/or CASA any more? Ever heard a “fuel Mayday” call as prescribed by CASA? Does the maintenance release tell the whole unvarnished truth? Ditto log books and maintenance records? As a matter of fact, is the plain unvarnished truth on display everywhere? I don’t think so, the penalty for candour is investigation and potentially prosecution at the whim of CASA.

Everyone is focussed on legal compliance, not safety.

Of Bollocks - real, surreal or imagined.

In a land where 'freedom' of choice is a basic tenet; a right gifted by those who founded this nation as a democracy, open to all who sought 'freedom' the the will to work and raise a family far from dictators or the ruthless rule of the minority; those  selected by state bureaucracy. My, my how things have changed

Anon - "I just noticed, today, that a qualification and condition for a company to claim the CASA ADS-B rebate, is that the company is in compliance with the Gender Equality Act."

Really? - who, in the real world gives a rat's arse whether Charlie wants to be 'known' as Charlene; or, Jill wants to be Jack? Their choice - freedom thereof - but, to use a financial incentive to force lip service compliance is a step too far. When you add in the fact that our Airspace management is in such a deep hole and the cost and responsibility for aircraft separation must be passed onto the operator and flight crew; its time for some serious investigation into where the tax payer and industry levy money is being spent. We could begin with the million dollar plus salaries being lashed out to those who have created the mess our airspace has become. All bad enough - but to force a written acceptance of the 'philosophy' created by a very small minority of the nation is despicable, shameful and completely undemocratic. (IMO).

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

You may be curious as to why our wee bearded Popinjay decided to squander ATSB resources on an 'investigation' into an illegal 'drone' operation. Ayup, one of the world's halfwits decided to fly a drone in the Darling Harbour precinct; lost control and the thing smacked into a hotel window; it made the TV news. Enter Popinjay, huffing and puffing, the full on 'safety' zealot and part time TV star wannabe. Remarkable really, when you consider the parlous state of the ATSB moral, producing half baked reports, one of which (for example) lays the entire blame on the crew for a mid air collision because they did not have ADSB.  Duckling stellar stuff; the type of clap-trap which is (no Bull) creating a very real 'distancing' between the rest of the world's best accident investigators and the Australian version and it's role as hand maiden to to an ever more useless administration. ATSB was, at one time, a well respected, effective outfit; alas, it has now descended below being the butt of the the occasional joke to almost the stage of international sympathy and head shaking; hardly mentioned by professionals in the field.

“O, wad some Power the giftie gie us

To see oursels as others see us!

Pusillanimous is a word not often used; rarely is it prefixed by inutile. But, as Granny used to say - "if the cap fits". The words were dragged out at a BRB indaba - there I was playing my hand at the dart board when some bright spark issued a general challenge - we had been discussing the CASA board, CASA leadership (I know) and the direction that dysfunctional body was heading, if any other than perdition."Go on then" - came the challenge - "two words to define CASA for a round of drinks" - game on. So long as CASA may be accurately defined by such words, nothing of value can be gained for the nation or the aviation industry - the results of past performance clearly identifying the need for a change of radical elements and a large dose of integrity. 

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Aye well; I'm still waiting on the new kitten to tell me her name;

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
     It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

Bossy little mite; much taken with the big dog who displays his dignity and forbearance on a daily basis; and, with what happens on my workbench - ever tried to chop out a 18 x 75 mm mortise with a kitten's nose or paw fishing the nubs out? Remarkable reflexes - on my part -.


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Ref: Regional regulatory harmonisation and the #PICASST (Pacific Aviation Treaty)?  & Miniscule King's (Albo Govt) priorities on Aviation?? & 

It's a long way to the top - if you want to Rock ' Roll...

Hitch - "Another good move would be to permit instructors who have ratings and endorsements to be able to teach those aspects without having to go through even more training. Right now, an instructor can have an instrument rating or an aerobatic endorsement, but no matter their skill or experience they can't teach those skills because CASA says they need to be taught to teach those skills. A pilot who has an Instructor Rating and has a CASA syllabus in their hand is likely to be very competent at teaching any skill they already have. Being barred from doing so is simply a bureaucratic roadblock that the training industry can't afford to pander to anymore."


Fair enough comment - on the results; or, rather on the effects. Where the logic of 'cause and effect' is lost in the wet dream of a fool; or, in the purblind rhetoric of a snake oil salesman; or, is a manipulated radical entry to the equation, the results reflect the error. No matter how one views or determines the base line argument; if the initial premise is flawed - the result cannot be defined as 'accurate'. The effect of Parts 61/141/142 etc. and all that it entails is now clearly apparent. A straight forward look at the 'per capita' numbers of pilots in the USA trained to a basic PPL /VFR licence under that system against the Australian version clearly demonstrates the effect of the radical cause. But, for a really big number take a look at the numbers who transition to multi engine IFR as PPL holders - advanced training which enhances the basic (for wont of better) "Safety" equation. The more 'education' experience and exposure to 'real flying' the 'safer' the pilot is - QED. The Australian system is counter intuitive; it places restriction after restriction on 'progress'. Say (for example) the basic licence is issued on a C150 - it is only natural that a pilot would want to upgrade to a 'cross country' vehicle - even a twin; the exposure to that level of training would greatly enhance 'awareness' and 'improve' operational thinking. In the USA, want to go multi/IFR -  you toddle down to the local FBO - see the office - grab an instructor and - off you go. Try that in Oz - you need to be determined, have deep pockets and almost saintly patience; (and/or a robust sense of humour)...

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“Whether it's personal foibles or a bureaucrat's ego, the stubborn defence of stupidity is unforgivable.” ― Stewart Stafford

But then, lets say our newly minted or even an old hand has a prang; what comes next? Oh yes, the 'investigation'. "Pilot continued into conditions less then VMC" - Yes; but why? 'Tis a fair question and a deep, searching one. We asked an expert for an opinion:-

(Anon expert) - "You know my feelings. It’s hypocritical when the ATSB themselves have an accident like their Pel-air report (and numerous others), that there’s no systemic review (Swiss cheese) into their own operation. That’d make interesting reading and we all know enough about that to base it on facts! Not to mention the “safety culture” of the place or in reality, “ministerial well-being culture”. In their own words, “we don’t want either agency (CASA/ATSB) to end up with egg on its face”. It went largely unnoticed that the rewrite of the Pel-Air report costs us poor taxpayers $1.74 million (it’s buried in the 2018 ANAO report on the ATSB), not to mention the grief to those involved, reputation all loss to the agency (and Australia), and importantly, any real change to improve safety!"

Well said; it begs the question - 'define any real, meaningful ATSB provided improvement/analysis to the accident rate produced in the last decade?'

Which brings us full circle back to the ubiquitous influence of CASA and MoU - who, despite being fully aware of the success of NZ and the PASO system in Pacific nations where aviation is an essential, persist with being the most non ICAO compliant western nation. About now, it seems to me that we need to maintain good relationships and deep alliances with our near neighbours. It don't make any sense to persist being the odd man out; standing alone with a unique rule set which fails to accommodate both international and domestic progress of an industry. Adopt the NZ rules, be a serious contributor to the PASO alliance and take the bloody brakes off. Australia faces not only international isolation but stands a good chance of becoming a pariah - on any analysis - crippled, moribund and so deep in the mire of its own creation, subject of derision and ridicule. IMO a legally conflicted, morally bankrupt influence, almost beyond redemption or saving. The solution is simple; follow the example of the leading aviation nations - sure their rules get growled about - but they ain't the cause of industry decimation or a laughing stock. Ask why most of the free world follows the USA model and system - not the Australian one. Then take a long hard look at the homespun cloak of political motley, the disinterest, the bipartisan rubber stamp and the blatant disavowment of all responsibility: - tragic don't cover it. 

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"The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians."― Benjamin Disraeli

I had to cut some roof rafters this week - long wide planks piled up a foot high on the bench: enter the new moggie. Near the end of my bench I keep a dustbin into which shaving get swept from the work top - Mog backs up to the end of the three metre (9ft) plank, hits the gas (think carrier take off) and launches into the bin. You could be forgiven for thinking that once would be enough - wrong - ever heard a cat giggle - three times I watched it; then I moved then lumber; - protest on going.


Situational Awareness is??

"The study found that the airspace classification remains appropriate however recommendations have been made to enhance the safety of operations within the area, through education, amending aeronautical information and opportunities to enhance situational awareness for all pilots," the report concludes."

I wonder just who is in need of 'situational awareness and education? The list could begin with the 'minuscule' working it's way down through the clowns in various offices  of 'decision' makers. Seriously, if you can stomach it, read the minuscules meaningless dribble again; perhaps someone could explain that through simple attrition our aviation 'carbon footprint' is reducing at a rapid rate - a quick look at the decline in flight hours would tell the tale. There's more noxious gas let loose in Canberra everyday than there ever was from aircraft operating and producing the revenue to support our evermore costly, expanding over-size bureaucracy and their hefty salaries. Read the statement above and estimate the cost of it to achieve SDA: a paragraph of meaningless frog-pooh, used to address a 'situation' which is live, right now, dynamic, real and still at risk of a repeat despite ATC efforts. Classic pony-pooh from those remote from any notion of real 'situational awareness.

"The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has released the final report from its investigation into the mid-air collision between two training aircraft near Mangalore, Victoria, on 19 February 2020,"

The date today is July 17, 2022. Lets see,
Feb to Dec 2020 is 10 months; Jan 21 to Dec 21 is 12 months : Jan 22 to July 22 is 7 months = 29 months. Is there a solution on the table yet? Well, there is, ATSB sighted pilot error due to lack of TCAS; then it was ATCO error; then there was to be some form of control; then there is not - it begs the question WTD are they playing at in the world of 'safety oversight'? Why are we forking out all this money for delayed, non positive dribble? The situation is live, viable and remains potentially dangerous; lots of air frames buzzing about and its too hard to stop 'em banging in to one another?- BOLLOCKS.

Lets start back at basics 101:: it is difficult to 'see' another aircraft unless you know 'where' it is, even then almost impossible in some conditions, just in a normal flight i.e. A-B journey. At an approach aid, like Mangalore VOR there is a trade off - between  instructor and student; or candidate and examiner - command prerogative. Who is responsible for what (safety case right there). To avoid a close encounter three essential elements are required - where are the other aircraft; and, what are they doing, and; who decides the avoidance strategy?? Without that information no one can make a decision and define separation during the IFR approach, overshoot and subsequent tracking. But getting to the hold under IMC simulation in that area is fraught with peril, even in perfect VMC when there is potentially lots of activity, aircraft need to be able to 'see and avoid' : without being forewarned this is almost mission impossible. With time, tracking and distance available self separation is easy, but it takes time: information in - form resolution - get information out through frequency congestion. To deal with three aircraft + you is do-able. Study the Hotham incident when Quartermain got it all wrong. The professional pilots stacked, sorted a sequence out and all landed without too much bother; half a dozen all at the same place BUT no through traffic. Mangalore is not like Hotham; TCAS does not provide conflict resolution; only awareness; open frequency (s) provides for radio congestion. Imagine a dozen disparate aircraft looking at TCAS and trying to sort out separation - meanwhile the starting up aircraft is unaware of the situation - radio mayhem; a sure fire recipe for disaster. But enough - the expensive wizards of twaddle have had 29 months to provide 'safe skies for all' and achieved sweet Fanny Adams. But, I'm so pleased the minister is driven toward a clean environment - aluminium and bodies won't pollute the planet - whichever Green Dream planet she's on. 

"The draft [OAR report] has determined that a MBA is not required, however, we continue to provide an enhanced service with a dedicated controller monitoring the CTAF and providing safety alerts as necessary," an Airservices Australia spokesperson told Australian Flying.

"From 0800-1800 local time, Airservices is providing a dedicated, sector endorsed controller to monitor the Mangalore CTAF 121.1 MHz from a stand-alone console within the Melbourne ATSC.

Well done ASA! - thank you for a sensible solution; now if operators could agree on staggered 'slot times' perhaps the anxiety levels in cockpits could be reduced so that those training could get the benefit of focused instruction to become proficient at task rather than good at ducking and weaving. It is a real 'safety' game, just a bit more serious than placing 'wet-floor' signs on the bathroom floors for people to fall over. 29 months and no resolution - Strewth; 'Nuff said, mini rant over.

Exeunt stage left; scratching wooden head; mumbling obscenities..


White Paper - Use - Flush - Forget..

"Floccinaucinihilipilification (twenty-nine letters):The estimation of something as valueless. Ironically, floccinaucinihilipilification is a pretty valueless word itself; it’s almost never used except as an example of a long word."

Aye, there's a market for long useless words (lots of) to be sold to the hapless believers in the benefits of snake oil. As requested and required, I read the minuscule's flatulent speech on 'priorities' and once again reached for the much used bucket. La' King seems to have priorities  'popular' with the Latte drinking, basket weaving set and has avoided mentioning that there is an industry of value, which should be generating revenue, employment, international trade and service to the nation, floundering and failing due to government lack of responsibility. Happy to use Albo's rubber stamp and the white paper protocol. But no matter, despite the shortages; there's plenty of 'white paper' for ministerial use. Gods know they need a lot of it, to cope with the sheer volume of verbal 'flush-able' stuff they expel. 

“[Politicians] are high-minded because they have not yet been humbled by life, nor have they experienced the force of circumstances. … They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it."

The plump, parsimonious, fiscally 'challenged' Electric Blue Halfwit continues to ignore world best aircraft separation standards. (IMO) one of the best analysis of why we have mid air collisions and pilots tearing their hair out in frustration at the increasing delays in last 150 miles of their flight, not to mention the ever present danger of an OCTA 'mid-air' pile up may only be sheeted home to 'budget'. The EBLHW never turns up for a Senate Estimates session with Senior ATCO - only his tame bean counter. Time to train up some more ATCO, remove some of the onerous 'rules' they are liable for - and maximise and use the systems we have in place. The following extract says it all.....

"In the USA ALL IFR aircraft are separated by ATC. Dick Smith has been trying to bring Australian safety standards up for at least 30 years by insisting on the same ATC separation here. The ATSB report confirms what this forum has known for some time both aircraft were visible to ATC via ADS-B tracking. Airservices have a flow chart that demonstrates the workload of providing separation is LESS than the workload of only providing traffic."


"Each task requires ATC considering the trajectory of every aircraft in the sector. To separate aircraft, the ATC makes a decision and issues an instruction. If the ATC passes traffic then the pilot may respond with his decision to change altitude or track or otherwise avoid the conflict. BUT then the ATC has to assess this change to determine if a different conflict will occur and perhaps pass further traffic. So let us stop accepting the nonsense argument that it costs more to provide separation compared to traffic information - it does not. (Courtesy the UP and 'Advance')

It all becomes even more farcical when our once serviceable ATSB 'examines' and eventually reports on 'accident' and incident. Any sensible analysis of fatal events seems to become a slick, top cover job, protecting whichever agency is most likely to be 'in-the-gun'. If you take a stroll through all the reports into fatal accidents over the last five years (or a decade if you've the patience) and extract the 'useful' information and practical recommendation to prevent a repeat performance; you will end up with a very slim list of limited value.

“I let him run on, this papier-maché Mephistopheles, and it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt, maybe.”

The condescending platitudes delivered by La' King completely fail to address in any meaningful way the dreadful state Australia's safety agencies, system and regulation have descended into and the global isolation this is producing. Once upon a time Australia could stand with the best of them, have a modicum of quiet pride and confidence; alas, no longer. Subject of jokes and sympathy for now, but if matters aeronautical devolve much further, then the 'tea and sympathy' will turn into direct action against the pariah. But no matter, no doubt the sheer volume of white paper flushed away is terribly 'Eco-friendly' and will keep the basket weavers so happy as they drop their paper cups into the recycle bin.

“Social conscience is a fashion, it changes every year.”

But, persistence can be rewarded; once the inspection of work in hand is complete, its nap time for the kitten. This is synchronised to happen when the big dog drifts off; I get some very old fashioned looks from the dog when he wakes to find the kitten curled up close to his chest. Deep growls and a bark have nor deterred; yesterday the  dog woke up, looked for the cat and bestowed a lick on the top of a small furry head curled up between front paws. Peace reigns - for the while.


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Ref: In the land of the 'fair-go'. & Former miniscule 4D Chester beats chest on CASA overregulation & Senate RRAT (finally) constituted; and the winners are?? 

A wry smile, Holmes and Part 61.

"If it’s on the market I’ll buy it—if it means another penny on the income-tax. It is conceivable that the fellow might hold it back to see what bids come from this side before he tries his luck on the other. There are only those three capable of playing so bold a game; there are Oberstein, La Rothiere, and Eduardo Lucas. I will see each of them.” - The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

'Twas the latest LMH - HERE - which generated the wry smile; although mildly phrased and drafted, it finally acknowledges that some important elements have vanished and it is essential that they be returned if we are to avoid a catastrophe (tried to make it a 'casaatrophie' - alas). Hitch has identified several of the nails which firmly hold down the lid on the GA coffin. The disaster of Part 61, forecast many years ago to become a lead weight tied to the tail of progress; Parts 141/142 et al, forecast by the entire industry to be a counter productive nightmare. The process of progressing from a humble rating to a higher grade and the onerous responsibility imposed, alongside the evidence of what can happen to those bold enough to make the transition to a senior role a serious impediment.  Hitch mentions CFI/HOFO are hard to find; well, they are not, not really, they're just hanging out around the back of the hanger, heads down trying not to be noticed until the airline job turns up. 

Even so: good on Hitch - his last paragraph is only about a decade late, relevant; but, just a little 'wrong'. For many decades now, industry has been providing 'the answers' to the 'authority' - shed loads of paper, millions of words from the type of folk Hitch laments are now 'hard to find'. Real expert advice - such as the Forsyth Report - has been work shopped to an 'opinion' and arrogantly dismissed or diluted to insignificance. The ANAO audit spun until dizzy and rejected; ICAO and FAA audit paid scant lip service. Now, it seems CASA want the industry to solve the problems that they, and they alone created. Hitch, mate - the solution is as simple as pie; it is within the execution of solution the big problem lays. Two elements required; a minister who will empower a reform DAS, one who knows how to do that which is needful and is unafraid to do it. Its a bit bloody rich suddenly expecting industry to drag CASA's chestnuts out of the fire - if CASA can't unbutton the straight jacket they created for industry, then its time they hired in some expertise and were shut of the dross. They bugger up the job and expect those embuggered to help 'em? Nah! no way, not again - I say let 'em stew in their own juices.

“That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended - civilisations are built up - excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and the cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin.”― C. S. Lewis

I ain't holding my breath waiting for any sort of meaningful change; we now have La' King in the ministerial saddle aided and abetted by Suspense; I'd bet my new socks that the very notion of real reform, sane legislation and a change of the guard at Teflon castle is a bridge too far, particularly when there are 'other' important 'groups' who's needs must be attended to. That they produce no revenue, service or employment don't signify, their needs must be assuaged first and virtue signalling rules OK.

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“History is never dead. It crawls its way into our present and shapes our future.”― J.U. Scribe, Roman Identity

Aye well, steam off, rubber gloves on. Today my (well, not mine - but I wish) the refectory table is to be French polished. It is an art form, and not a regular event as it takes time, effort and tenacity. I counter my lack of skill with much caution and extra care, although the materials used lend themselves to limited correction. One can watch and study this process, but, its not until the shellac is mixed and the pad made and the first application strokes are made that the complexity of task is realised. Usually I do the first couple of passes with fingers crossed, which ain't helpful. The big question is, can I keep the bloody kitten off the piece - her version of artistic don't suit a polished table top. No matter, the repairs are good, the 150 y.o. fine timber smooth, true and glowing, coffee still warm and the sun is shining; that's enough inspiration for any man.


The Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly.

At long last, the weary hiatus of an election is coming to an end. For weal or woe, we got Albo at the helm, a white paper and not too much to look forward to in the way of serious reform from La'King ensconced in the ministerial privy. But, on the plus side the RRAT committee band has been cobbled together, led by G. Sterle Esq. Even better is the appointment of Mat Canavan as deputy dog.. Both sensible, honourable, honest men. Somehow, I can't see either buying too much snake oil from any of the 'safety' agencies or accepting too much in the way of happy horse feathers from those they have a 'chat' with. Reform may not come from the Senate committee, not directly, but at least they will keep the game honest and maybe even score a few runs. Don't forget the committee for scrutiny of delegated legislation; a quiet but important voice. Who knows: but I'd lay odds on some progress being made, even if it just reduces the level of pony-pooh spouted at Estimates. We shall see....

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

The stultifying effects of the Spence administration in combination with soppy mothering prose seems set to continue; ad infinitum. Half a year gone by and the 'work-plan' - is being 'worked on'. Wow! Lets see; there are what, five months left of this year; take away week ends, long weekends, flexi-days, sick days, stress days, and other work that needs to be done; the time spent in 'meeting' etc, that don't leave too many days to work on a work plan. Then what with Christmas, annual leave and etc, by this time next year the grand plan may be near completion. It leaves one wondering how long will it take to draft the plan into a working model and how much longer it will take to implement the bloody thing. Its all BOLLOCKS - CASA know what needs to be done - it would take less time, cost a lot less money and would get industry back to tors in jig time - simply adopt the NZ regulations, harmonise with the real world, hire some professional help and stop pissing about. Step one - be shot of Spence, a ministerial puppet is not required. What is needed is someone who will tell the minister what must happen, how to do it; and, be gifted the power to do it. I couldn't care less how 'nice' or smart a person is; if they don't know what they are about, then they become a liability and an impediment. With Spence in combination with a labour government track record the future looks grim; we are stuck with this government, but we can change the administrator; the sooner the better IMO.

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

Not going to bang on about 'the ugly' or the cronyism, or the attendant stench to appointments being made under the new minister's tenure. Murky Mike, Hoostoblame and the Hooded Canary have all crept back into notice and prominence, feeding at the government tit. Rien va Plus - those who made the right bet may collect their Choc Frogs from the banker. No more said, quiet disgust rules - OK...

“I’m trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across—not to just depict life—or criticise it—but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me you actually experience the thing. You can’t do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. Because if it is all beautiful you can’t believe in it. Things aren’t that way.”

"Can you build me a staircase here?" asked the man; "Yus" say's I. The happy idiot set to work, lovely Tasman Oak by the mile to work with, took until morning tea to 'sort' out the right boards. Stairs are one of the most satisfying jobs; the maths, the guile and cunning needed to get it all just right, cutting the stringers, birds mouth and plumb cuts test skill and demand patience. But, Friday @1530 hrs I took 18 steps from floor to landing, not a squeak, groan or a dreaded rasp could be heard. I'd have done the job for free, just for that satisfaction - thank you Grand Papa. Aye well, the kitten seems to have made a close friend, I held my breath while she helped the big dog to eat his dinner. All quite dainty, a gentle nudge a long hard stare the he shuffled across a bit and the moggy dined at top table. But, MTF little dog was watching very closely - soon or late, there will be a 'sorting out' there; no bets taken on that result.

“If nothing worse than Ale happens to us, we are well off.”


“In time we hate that which we often fear.”

LB : "As a matter of interest, why was your employer at the time of the McHeyzer correspondence so spineless? If I’d received the email as your employer, I would have - in slightly more diplomatic language - told McHeyzer to go and get f*cked."

“Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”

There is, alas, little room left for 'diplomacy' - not when dealing with the dark side of CASA.  Will Shakespeare nailed it; the deep, abiding distrust and fear which lays just below the surface of the industry sub conscious may be tracked back to many tales which reflect  the appalling actions taken by McHeyzer and his ilk on behalf of his peers and betters. Make no mistake about it - the venom dripped down from the top desk. Mind you, in comparison to some of the whispered directives and naked threats uttered, Buckley was only lightly touched by the resident evil lurking behind the smiling face of the assassin. I defy anyone to gainsay this; or, dare call me liar. No long bow drawn here; the case histories are all available along with irrefutable evidence. There are many cases, Buckley and Pascoe just the latest in a long line. Have CASA directly interfered with employment opportunities?  You know they have. Have CASA dissuaded a potential employer from hiring someone who needed an approval to conduct the work defined? Damn right they have - and more (much more - like 'fixed sim rides' coincident with denied medical) for example). There is a litany of evil in the CASA wake; unspoken of; unchallenged; never addressed, but always there, lurking: - fear of reprisal; fear of knowing that there is nowhere to go to seek justice, common sense, retribution or restitution. It ain't the foolish legal gibberish couched within the rule books that makes aviators and their employers timorous, its the sure and certain knowledge that once your name is 'in the book' - you are beggared, buggered and royally shagged. There are many names on this roll of honour, some ghosts now; gone, but never forgotten. There will come a time when these stories are made public. Selah...

“History had shown again and again that ignoring evil because it did not affect you was a short-sighted and often a deadly mistake.”

Aye well; seems D. Chester Esq. MP has earned some deserved praise; well done that man. Quite refreshing really, the local member has taken a 'local' problem to the top table; bearded the minister and got some semblance of compromise working for his constituents. Democracy at work - just the way it is supposed to be. A modest enough act, but enough to set the wheels in motion and for common sense to prevail. Should MCO have an instrument approach? - abso - bloody - lutely; how else is the ambulance or fire fighting or Angel Flight or lonesome Charlie on Charter to get in there when the weather is not CAVOK. I suppose the question begging is what the Hell are CASA thinking; a few trees and a bit of rough apron is a big no-no; but a hulking, gross, illegal (?...) building obstructing a runway safety zones is OK, even after it has been a demonstrated 'safety risk'?  Reality in the Canberra bubble is a whimsical, mystical thing. Time for more local MP's and Councils to follow the Chester road; looking after that for which they are responsible and trusted. 

“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”

Hitch "My fear is that all of this will disappear into a huge melting pot of stuff that will eventually solidify into the new Aviation White Paper (more below on that). That would be a disaster; white papers take time and time is the only thing the industry is shorter of than engineers.

Master Hitch,  in his latest LMH _HERE_ seems to be getting a 'real' message out; that of urgency. When most folk think of GA (a rare event) they think of flight schools, long socks, flash sunglasses and tiny aircraft they would not like to travel in. Well; it ain't so; RFDS as professional and skilled as any airline; corporate jets operating world wide, charter and 'mail-plane' operations in the bush; freighters delivering the mail and toys; FIFO flights for crew change, crop dusters and firefighters etc. etc- all substantial operations; all heavily committed to 'service' demands, all with financial obligations, employment obligations, legal requirements; and, an overly burdensome suite of 'non -sense' rules with which they must: under dire threat. 'comply'. 'The Borg's' opening statement from Star Trek always comes to mind. The last 'White Paper' was about as useful as a chocolate firewall - have we really got three years to wait for the changes; those pleaded for over the last three decades? Will La'King cut to the chase? Can Spence find the paper in the Loo? - Will Albo remove his very own levy on the fuel we use (as promised): the one to bail CASA out of non compliance? - No! - didn't think so.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Item last - the voice of sanity - AMROBA - the call for 'harmonisation' must become the driving force behind the changes government know it must make. To be 'in-step' with the world's leading bodies, across the spectrum is becoming an imperative - if the Australian industry is to flourish and prosper. Standing on rock, waving the 'Fig-jam' flag and expecting anything else but derision and conflict is plain dumb. The rest of the first world 'aviation nations' are moving forward; sorting things out, engendering 'safety' through logic and experience. The first thing to do when you tread in a pile of horse pooh is to step out of it; better yet, watch where your going and avoid it.

"Accidents are remedied with difficulty, unless you quickly take the facility of thinking."

Aye well; some disputes are settled sooner rather than later; little dog decisive and a winner. I was sat having a coffee when it occurred - little dog looked askance, I nodded and I doubt the kitten will dare trespass that particular food bowl again. Now, that kitten is 'speedy' however, the little dog is truly a daughter of the Terrier clan, speed, agility and determination genetically assured. Suffice to say the kitten sat very demurely on the workbench end until dinner time; yet, tomorrow is another day.

O! if this were seen,

the happiest youth, viewing his progress through,

What perils past, what crosses to ensue,

Would shut the book, and sit him down and die.


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"If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse's feet,"

How do we know that we are slowly entering the endless mire of mediocrity? Oh, that's an easy one; the sign posts tell us it is so.

"Don't go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,

Lit up like one those big highway signs is the CASA bid for the Mediocrity Cup; leading the way into the Spence version of motherhood and duplicity. The notion that the 'resources hub' will achieve anything of intrinsic or practical value makes me smile, if not bust into laughter. Reminds me of the idiot Weeks and his his great ATO/CT woftam. Many years ago, in an attempt to 'sell in' the load of old cobblers, known as Part 61, Weeks toured the country side, flogging 'his' multi handed stropathon to his peers and betters. Assembled were about two dozen qualified, experienced Check and Training (C&T) folks, tough audience: undismayed this bouncy little bloke opened the batting by getting everyone to call out their names and their total flight hours which he wrote up on the white board and carefully totalled up - it was a big number - very big. All Senior, working pilots, from memory the median was in the 12, 000 hours a piece ( most had done more multi engine IFR the last month than Weeks had total). Then, the user of big words proceeded to lecture the assembly on his vision and system for doing that which those assembled had been doing for donkeys years. All well and good until you realise everyone knew he was a minor grade instructor, had little in the way of real world 'operational experience' and sweet Fanny Adams in the way of managing flight line C&T operations. Most stuck it out until afternoon tea, got their sticker and slunk away shaking their heads. I happily dropped my 'how to book' into a convenient dumpster on the way to the car park - it landed with about a dozen others - guilt assuaged. Now we are to have the Spence version (vision?)- another expensive waste which can be justified as 'doing something'. This window dressing, stand alone, indicates that Spence has NDI or sense of reality - and should not be in the job; once the 'work plan' and the new 'white paper' take precedence, well, - "abandon hope all ye who enter here" : indeed!

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"Them that ask no questions isn't told a lie.

Master Pilkington sums it all up succinctly - "Seems like a good idea however the single biggest cause of fatalities in GA is loss of control. I don't see why CASA shy away from this subject. I don't think that it has ever come up in an AvSafety Seminar?"

The thing that really causes heartburn is the subject matter :-

CASA - "The hub is sectioned into four critical areas: Non-controlled Aerodromes, Weather and Forecasting, Flight Planning and Controlled Aerodromes."

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Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by.

Why does CASA feel the need to elaborate on these particular elements? Each one forms part of the training syllabus for all grades of licence and should be fully examined and comprehended long before any pilot being turned loose. The subjects appear in all level of training and examination and in practical flight tests - so why is there a need to rehash the 'syllabus' which CASA impose and enforce and endlessly document? If so then the fault, if any, lays within the existing training and testing syllabus; perhaps that would be a place to start. Too much emphasis of 'tick and flick' and covering the rear sections against prosecution perhaps, rather than real training. "Passed your Met exam"? - "Oh yes" - Good enough, lets go cross country - all nice and legal now. - Bollocks......

No matter; industry has allowed, become used to and even tolerates this dreadful state of affairs to continue, unabated. No prizes for guessing who the guilty party is; just keep sucking up the Kool Aide, tick the boxes and allow Spence to earn a million a year for this latest batch of snake oil.

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Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice - shame on me.


Aint it grand K. It would be interesting just how much money has been spent on "Enquiries" and other gab fests over the past thirty years examining regulation, all ignoring the blindingly obvious.
The total I imagine would be staggering adding in the costs of producing Australia's unique miasma of over regulation plus the resultant loss of business revenue, taxes and employment.
To what end? this mythical indefinable thing called "Safety"
Is Australia any safer than the US? Statistics would suggest we are not, yet the Americans enjoy simple plain english regulations, very easy to understand and comply with, against Australia's incomprehensible gobbledygook where you are never sure if you are or not in compliance. More often than not every time you commit aviation you are in breech of something, which lends some truth to CASA's opinion that all pilots are criminals.
In the USA the vast majority of pilots are trained by independent flying instructors, no hugely expensive AOC, no fixed syllabus, just outcomes assessed by rigorous independent testing. Flying training is way way cheaper than in Australia, as is the overall cost of flying, which leads to participation, encouraging upgraded qualifications and currency, which drives improved safety outcomes and a healthy GA industry.
Blindingly Obvious??? Our reform project started out adopting US reg's, why did we opt out for European reg's? then opted out of them for home grown ones. Who made that decision within CASA and why? New Zealand went for US reg's, their GA industry is thriving, Australia went it alone, our GA industry is on its knee's. Our "Safety" outcomes? No better than any other developed nation really.

Not only, but also

Thorny - "Flying training is way way cheaper than in Australia, as is the overall cost of flying, which leads to participation, encouraging upgraded qualifications and currency, which drives improved safety outcomes and a healthy GA industry."

Spot on! - why CASA fail to grasp and actively promote this 'no- brainer' has always demanded an answer. The cost of the latest efforts and proposed 'action' from CASA would pay for a lot of 'recent' experience and upgraded qualification instead of a few very bored folk wandering off and deciding that the flying game was not worth the candle and beyond their reach, budget or interest. Familiarity and 'in-practice' are the key, as any airline will tell you.

Take the 'Weather and Forecasting' element of the Spence 'Hub' for example. It begs the question - what is so wrong with the training syllabus that CASA must mount a road show to 'educate' pilots about the topic? There should be no requirement for this additional gabfest, which will achieve very little to a limited audience. The brand new, basic VFR pilot should have the required knowledge to be able to assess the forecast conditions and make a sensible decision. The current system requires an examination pass; if the level of knowledge tested fails to assist the pilot in making a decision; or, provides enough education on how to plan an alternative route, then both syllabus and system are wrong. Tick, flick and forget is not the answer End of. 

Sorry, but the notion of a PR exercise, which will not foster or promote a better outcome, at great public expense is offensive. Why not spend the money at grass roots level, get the CFI of the flight school to present a 'Met' night - beer and BBQ to follow at the local club after a Q&A session. Hell's bells; most would do it for the cost of five Kg of sausages, buns, onions and tomato sauce.

Quote P7 Tom:- “why CASA fail to grasp and actively promote this 'no- brainer' has always demanded an answer.“

Yes there should be an answer but as we all know can’t be answered by CASA because the truth would bring down the ‘house of cards.’

And not so much as to physically reduce the need for such grandiose accommodation as is the well heated Aviation Hearse, sorry House, but reduction of need for so many highly paid employees. The whole make work program of ever changing rules, inquiries and new ‘client’ assistance centres within the CASASTROPHE would have to be cut in the interests of saving GA. The National interest would have to overcome the interest of CASA.

As is patently clear, after thirty four years of the CASA machine operating for itself outside direct Ministerial control, the independent government corporate model is not fit for purpose.

Prime Minister Albanese said (Hansard reading speech) in 2009, as he pushed the ATSB out of his Department,
the Bureau shouldn’t be subject to “politics.” Now as the PM excoriates Morrison for overturning the Westminster system he should be asked if the arms of government should all be removed from politics.

Where would the concept of Ministerial responsibility lie then? Or the responsibility of the Parliament? Why bother voting at all when all that needs to happen appoint more Ombudsman and ICACS and CASAs and an independent Treasury plus a few Generals and some admirable Admirals and let them all get on with it.

Great idea Mr. Albanese? Westminster with Bondi Beach style, they’re all good Aussies surfing whatever wave takes your fancy and no awful politics.

No matter politics is our most precious skill and the ability to achieve democratic practices that are second to none. Our form of politics should be celebrated, not to say can’t be improved, but not by throwing out the basics of the Westminster system of responsible government by fairly selected and elected representatives. That means regular Departments of Government each with a Minister. That would end the monopoly segmentation of GA such RAAUS and the GFA.

CASA must be disbanded and it’s functions administered through a Department.

#SBG 28/08/22 - Page 10 para 41.+ Speculative Ramble.

The sparse, clinical data provided in the Corners report of the horrific injuries sustained in the accident - says much more than the dry ATSB report; or even the Coroners comments about that report into the oldest trap in the book springing closed. Trapped in a valley with no way out. Limited options all the way to the trap closing; in cloud, close to the bricks at speed. Click - lights out.

NZ CAA - "The golden rule of mountain flying is to always have an escape route regardless of whether you are flying a fixed-wing aircraft or a helicopter. The aircraft must never be placed in a situation where there is insufficient room to turn back safely, or to recover from an encounter with turbulence or downdraught, or to make a successful forced landing in the event of an engine failure."

No slight intended, but this was not a feet on the dashboard, chatting 'on line' type of day.....I know: it shouldn't trouble me, but, alas it does. This taking of pictures and sending text messages during flight. I know taking the picture, tapping out a text and sending it probably has little to do with the end result; but could it be that the time spent messing about with a phone could have been better spent in deciding to take alternate action?

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Did that image create a false sense of security; pressure off, weather looks good; no worries?  Impossible to say; but, does it provide an insight to the 'mind-set' of the pilot? Despite the ATSB, CASA and Coroner all doing their best to provide informed data; the true answer to 'Why' lies within the pilots head; it is there we must go if we are to solve the VFR /CFIT /IMC equation. This is a job for your favourite 'Shrink' IMO, or it should be. I cannot find an analysis of this nature anywhere in the history of VFR pilot v IMC. There are volumes on every other factor involved except 'what was he thinking'. Which brings me back to the picture taking and sending of text messages; a bright, happy, young pilot doing that which we have all done; rolling the dice against weather and terrain, looking forward to a party and a future career. There is a side bar to this speculation - the pilot was 'qualified' for low flight operations and had held an instrument rating; both handy tools to have in the bag; but, once again, like the photograph, did they subconsciously affect the decision making process. We will never know, not now. Perhaps we should - CFIT from IMC penetration is far and away the biggest killer on record; serial killer class and despite the efforts made to reduce the carnage, the radical of Why persist has not been plumbed. We just can't sit back and blame fate, or bravado, or fool hardiness; or some form of 'itis'; not forever. Ramble over, apologies to those offended.

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On a less esoteric note, there's little of note actually happening; the bearded Popinjay is flogging ADSB to all and sundry as the answer to a pagan prayer; it may well give ATSB more graphics to play with after the event but is of limited value to any of those involved in the latest fatal accidents. P2 sums it up neatly - HERE -.

Hitch (LMH) Oz flying has provided a report on the GA leaders con - flab (snow job?) in Canberra with the new minister La'King. Hitch seems fairly upbeat about the thing; but fails to mention the 'other' outfits which were not in attendance; but as they say MTF on that. Its not a bad summary; but one line jumps off the page for shear accuracy - Choc frog  and verbatim I shall quote it:-

Hitch - "The members of the round table all agreed on one other point: the stockpile of expertise in engineering and flight crew training has reached a nadir, and it will take much more than ineffective measures and motherhood statements to recover the situation. If King was engaged and interested as people believe, there is no way she could have left the room under any other impression than that the industry was desperate to turn things around. Only what she elects to do next can tell us if the optimism she generated in Canberra last Tuesday is justified."

Not holding my breath; not so long as the Queen of Motherhood, soft soap and faerie tales is DAS; nope, not gunna do-it. Work programs, white paper, 'educational road shows' and no attempt made to rationalise the big problems at the beating heart of the moribund, hidebound, purblind outfit she believes she is in charge of and controlling. More paperwork anyone?? Sign on here.............::

Enough - big day today; been building a carpenters bench for mate from off cuts and recycled lumber for a while now (time permitting); we assembled it yesterday - most satisfactory - today we will fit his 'new' (old) vise and see how it all works. Off cuts and hardwood BBQ with Ale promised afterwards - can't wait.


“ Perhaps we should - CFIT from IMC penetration is far and away the biggest killer on record; serial killer class and despite the efforts made to reduce the carnage, the radical of Why persist has not been plumbed. We just can't sit back and blame fate, or bravado, or fool hardiness; or some form of 'itis'; not forever. Ramble over, apologies to those offended.”

I can tell you one way to get caught. The weather gradually deteriorates, just in your valley, the area forecast is fine. There is a little cloud on your track, you steer around it, then there is another, ….and another. You successfully steer around them too. All is still OK. Now the ceiling is descending, a little, there is another cloud to avoid. You can see your destination and sunlight ahead. Then that window shuts but you see clear skies in another direction, so you change course. You have been ever so slowly and gently seduced. You are now in a maze, cloud windows open and close. You have lost situational awareness. You are below safe altitude in an effort to remain VFR. I say again, you have been slowly and gently seduced. There was nothing violent or obvious about it at all.

All that now remains is for the windows to close and this tiny trap - maybe ten square miles of cloud, springs shut and you are gone.

You don’t think of asking for help because you think the authorities are your natural enemy and a mayday will trigger a potentially criminal investigation.

“Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous.

"But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect."

AG Lamplugh coined that phrase a while ago and it has robustly withstood the test of time; supported by dozens of prime examples proving the point. The stand out example is the continuously increasing list of fatal events, involving aircraft continuing operations into marginal conditions; often misidentified as 'inadvertent' which implies an 'unintentional' act. This is a misnomer in 85% of cases examined. Any discussion or examination of the last three events dismiss the notion of anything 'unintentional' occurring. It begs the question - how much blame can we lay on the altar of 'pilot error'? 'Tis a fair question and must be examined if for no other reason than to examine 'motive' or 'why' despite the body count, the rules, the advice and prior examples we continue to read reports, such as the Tasmanian event.

Three basic elements involved, the pilot, the weather and the landscape. Ancillary players the Operating company, the BoM, the CASA, the ATSB and finally (alas) the Coroner.

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

One of the blessings of holding an instrument rating is the setting of cast iron boundaries - “Minima” not Visual = TOGO/power up/ climb to safety and reassess. It is a 'cash and no bullshit' defined 'safe minimum'. Same thing as a defined LSALT – and yes, it does seem like an overkill, unless you are covered in ice, with OEI; when absolute 'safety' may be compromised, the buffer reduced but it provides a fighting chance for survival. So much for IFR in IMC. VFR into marginal conditions is a different animal – very. In fact it is a known, acknowledged killer; often misnamed – 'inadvertent' – Bollocks. No such thing – unless on an instrument approach, at night from cloud into rain; think circling at minima... (What ? Banned? Bloody right too). 

There is a mountain of 'data' relating to the Par-Avion event in SW Tasmania. The Coroner has had his say and the papers filed away in the basement. The basic lesson is the same old, battered, oft abused mantra – don't push your luck. Is this enough? No: it bloody well is not; not by a long shot it ain't....Let's begin at the beginning.

“From me you shall hear the whole truth; not, I can assure you, gentlemen, in flowery language... decked out with fine words and phrases; no, what you will hear will be a straightforward speech in the first words that occur to me, confident as I am in the justice of my cause; and I do not want any of you to expect anything different.”

The aircraft, a serviceable, reliable BN2 a.k.a. A 'Bongo'. Enter the pilot; a reasonably  'seasoned' pilot, familiar with both aircraft, the route and the terrain; just another day at the office on the way to bigger and better things. Walking beside the pilot is the ever present Murphy of dubious reputation and cunning. Item one – access the computer; grab a forecast, submit preloaded standard plan. Total time about six minutes. On to the daily inspection, fire up and launch. What is wrong with this montage? Two items scream for attention; to wit, the format of the forecast and the translation of that document into 'operational thinking'. Buried within the coded message were subtle hints that perhaps matters meteorological were not as easy as imagined; had the forecast been 'translated' correctly; the words 'orographic uplift' would come to mind and noted as a caution. I'd bet good money that our pilot answered a question of the Met exam about this and other 'stuff', probably even read about some of the very real, not mentioned risks in the forecast. Why? Well pilots are supposed to 'know' it and be able to read it into the script, through the 'shorthand' report as delivered by the BoM. 

May we label this as Pilot error 1? Perhaps this error may be farmed out to 'other' parties. IMO it is a forgivable transgression. Pilot exams are treated as 'part' of the bull-dust associated with licencing. A pass in 'Met' implies only one thing – that on the day sufficient knowledge was available to achieve a PASS. There is little incentive to add to or actively use the knowledge provided in an environment where the words “Oh, it's just some CASA stuff; do this, pass that, then file and forget. Then, the pilot is faced with the BoM forecast; codes and legal requirements, data for all but no real 'feel' for what may be over the horizon; indeed I've spoken to many who get a forecast to stay legal – but put little faith in the accuracy; BoM are bound to +/- 70% margin for error, and tend to go 'worse case' based on previous models. What the pilot wasn't given, nor could disseminate from the text provided was: the words to go with the music; for example:-

"On the night of 7 December 2018, Tasmania was under a very moist north-easterly airstream, with dew point temperatures in excess of sea surface temperature thus sea fog, coastal mist and very low cloud were expected to develop around the coastal areas of Tasmania. A surface trough moving over the south west in the morning of 8 December 2018 was expected to extend low cloud over southern Tasmania during the morning."

"Conditions on the morning of 8 December 2018 were characterised by coastal sea fog and mist, low orographic cloud developing and the passage of a mid-level cloud band with light rain and Viirga.[11]."

There is also hearsay that the forecast issued was 'unusual'. Missing the almost daily division of the island into two separate areas. There is an unconfirmed, but persistent story floating about that claims the BoM computer upgrade and a late forecaster contributed to the 'crap' forecast issued. It is noteworthy that ATSB failed, during their last minute change to a 'systemic' investigation do not mention the strange forecast, how it came into being or the possible influence it had on decision making.

No matter – off we go; into the valley of death. (Rode the 600).

So, airborne and it seems we have selected the 'right' route; the quick glance for 'tells' on the unusual forecast has produced a sense of security; a false one as it turned out. Relaxed and confident the pilot finds time to take and text photographs – and probably a 'conversation' of some sort. Crime or indicative of attitude? I wonder what a 'CASA flight ops' inspector would have made of it – had they survived? Would I dare do it during a check flight – don't reckon I would; however.... Pilot error 2? – Subjective....

And so we toddle along until the 'saddle' – well, you know the rest. The trap springs closed; cloud, bricks above and below. What to do? Well, consider two elements; one a lapsed IFR and a low level rating. Then, consider the climb rate of the empty Bongo; then consider the altitude estimates before during and after the event. The golden rules of weather and mountain flying had been abandoned; the back door was allowed to slam shut. Were there other options? I can see three which would have given a fair chance of survival. Clearly, the pilot could not see the fast approaching brickwork – in cloud perhaps? We shall never know. I count that as error three.

Well, so much for speculation and armchair analysis. I can't find it in my heart to blame the pilot; not entirely, there are traps for young players and I don't believe that there was any 'fool-hardiness' involved. Fooled by forecast, lulled by experience, with all the holes in that famous cheese neatly lining up – perhaps. But enough. There is the investigation, ATSB, CASA and the Coroner to consider.

'Well, sir,' said the captain, 'better speak plain, I believe, even at the risk of offence. I don't like this cruise; I don't like the men; and I don't like my officer. That's short and sweet.”

Where to begin is a puzzle – chicken and egg variety; not to mention 'history' and the internal battles being waged – at the expense of a fair 'no blame' analysis. No matter how supportive of the ATSB and CASA you may be; there are elements within the 'official' dealings which, not only highlight the dysfunctional and the duplicitous, but the endless quest to avoid any and all responsibility for even producing a fair, reasoned and unbiased report into a recurrent safety matter; to wit - VFR into IMC and the increasing blood bill.

P2's posts,  - analysis and -  comment on these antics, read carefully provide an insight. I know! It takes time and thought, but this is not Witter or farce-book or that other unmentionable forum. There are elements within the ATSB and Coroner reports which demand consideration. For example (and there are many) the Coroners rejection of the first ATSB effort, his anger over witness statements withheld in a previous case; the MoU in place and the way it was used; the pogrom against Par-Avion despite CASA being 'comfortable' with the operation and the standards. Then there is the naivety, clearly visible which is trying to lay blame on the 'documents' provided to pilots related to operations in South West Tasmania. I will leave the 'homework' up to the reader: but, we are offering Choc Frogs to anyone who can, without equivocation, fluff or nonsense  answer two questions:-

^ Translate the Safety Recommendation issued by ATSB to CASA to plain English with motive analysis.

 "The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority amend its acquittal process for repeat safety findings to ensure it is effective in ensuring that all previous findings of a similar nature are also appropriately assessed prior to the current and all associated safety findings being acquitted.

^^ Explain why a 'routine' investigation was upgraded to a 'systemic' investigation and yet dismally failed to meet all the requirements of either; but felt free to go after the operator and the Regional CASA office.

"Systemic investigations can involve in the field activity, and a range of ATSB and possibly external resources. They have a broad scope and involve a significant effort collecting evidence across many areas. The breadth of the investigation will often cover multiple organisations. Occurrences and sets of transport safety occurrences investigated normally involve very complex systems and processes."

There is (once gain) no clear, definitive solution or advice or reasoning provided, in this ATSB report; for a no blame outfit, they sure like to throw it about – in a sneaky way. CASA have no case to answer; bar the 'dumbing down' of flight crew who have so much 'other stuff' to contend with that the basics are often simply a matter of 'tick, flick and forget; too much gravy, not enough spuds and meat. This Coroner, like many before him has been 'frustrated'. These are not, in the main, silly people: they see a lot of the darker side of this life and carry a very real responsibility. The history of previous Coroner dealings with ATSB in another matter added to this latest effort would make a stone idol cranky. ATSB are degenerating from a laughing stock into an operational, legal and investigative pariah; time to pull up their sock methinks – or sod off and shut up. Not good enough, not for the money and power granted; nowhere near good enough. Shame on them.

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

Phew! Quite the ramble; but seriously, read P2's posts – its all there. WTD ATSB think they are about is beyond any sensible rational. Unless of course you weigh into the 'operational' v 'legal' brawl -  the Tote is open on that one for any brave enough to take a punt.

Having said all that, I've quite run out of puff; there were 'other' matters to deal with; but thirst, hunger and wet boots clamour for attention. Boots off first or raid the fridge  and grab a sausage roll on the way back to boot park. Silly question really. 

Selah... _ _ _?

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