The Sunday Brunch Gazette.

Admiration and Condemnation.

And, able to understand both arguments is both blessing and curse. The parlous state of Australian aviation governance is clearly apparent; there is not one element of the official system which is performing anywhere near best practice or at even an internationally acceptable level of compliance or competence. There are even some solid 'legal' arguments which define clear breaches of internationally binding agreements. When you add it all up, it is a very ugly situation, across all elements and disciplines of the 'official' system. Truly deserving of universal industry condemnation and distrust. But, you have to, even if grudgingly, admire the genius of the seamless, stainless top cover system which affords full protection and an endless supply of dollars to ensure the 'system' remains unaffected by any and all events, logic or investigation. Yup, it is an unassailable bastion, completely immune and impervious to any and all assaults. Top marks..

Now some may say that is a bit of a long bow to draw; but just consider the last seven days. Air traffic control (ATC) have staffing problems and some fairly substantial parts of the airways system have been left without traffic separation; loading all responsibility for separation onto the flight crew. Now, just suppose there was a meeting of two aircraft during the descent to approach phase; big bang, bodies everywhere etc. Who would be charged with 'investigating'? The ATSB is the right answer; and, eventually, many years from now, dimmed from memory, their carefully worded report would be published. A masterwork which exonerates everyone but the flight crew. The art form within that report is that essentially, the flight crew failed to self separate, neat, legal, cut and dried. The report will go on to mildly explain that the ASA was technically 'legal' and had published the paper work required to explain where 'full service' would not be available. This would allow CASA to declare that this was within the scope of the licence they issue to ASA and all would be well. The minister at the time may, (probably not) vaguely remember the event; but being happily distanced from the 'independent' agencies and having no real responsibility for, but taking the increased money for being 'the' minister for transport. Seamless, legal and unimpeachable. Man; you just got to admire the breathtaking audacity; the shameless abrogation and the elegant, artful dodging, the Teflon dome of protection for everyone concerned; bar the industry which must rub along as best it can. Stellar; abso - duckling - lootlely fantastic and all at the tax payer expense. Bravo........

"Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.”

For a classic study of how the system works – if you can stand it – take a few days to wade through the report from the ATSB into the event at Essendon (Vic) which considers the legal status of the building into which a King Air ploughed; killing all. It is a 146 page epistle, which has taken since Feb, 2017 to be presented. While there can be little doubt that the building has a dubious 'legal' right to be there; the real report, the one that matters, is nowhere mentioned. Why the aircraft crashed at all has never been fully examined or explained; not to the satisfaction of industry experts. There is an accepted fiction that the pilot had full rudder trim dialled in – hard to find an experienced KA driver who would not pick up that error at about 20 knots. Something is very wrong with the Hood 'opinion' – made into 'fact' of the how and the why. That however will be lost in the great debate of the not black letter illegal. The questionable 'safety' wisdom of parking a building so close to a protected area of the flight path unchallenged. 'Nuff said.

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”

Aye well, so much for my twiddles – but I'll leave the reader a you tube video and ask but one question, where has the spirit, intent and enthusiasm found at the beginning of serious aviation gone?


Karon underscores the dismal state of the ATSB and its colossal effort to obscure the realities of the wrong allowance of the shopping centre built on Essendon Airport.

One picture, worth 1000 words?

There's nothing quite like it; that 'feeling' one gets from a 'job well done'. Neat, tidy ILS (hand flown {sssshhh}) painting the mains onto the runway, flying the nose wheel on and slipping back to reverse, exit the runway in good order. Brilliant. Same - same when a 'piece' comes off the workbench; sit down with a coffee and nod a silent thanks to the tools which created it. Satisfaction: knowing that you have done a good job, always makes the first Ale taste great. Probably old fashioned of me to see it that way; but it was the way I was taught to do things - everything – as well as I could; as I was taught; and, to seek help when I could not. When I look at the outside world now, I wonder where that all disappeared to, particularly in the political world. IMO it is quite reasonable to expect a 'minister' to at least try to seek a remedy for a clearly apparent 'problem' – particularly one which affects many people – directly or indirectly – especially when there is an increased risk, even a small one to public safety and a more certain one to the economy. Which brings me (finally) to the current incumbent 'minuscule of transport'. I believe we actually have one – so where is it and whats it doing about the unbelievable, tangled mess Australian aviation is trapped in?

“He had learned that close-held secrets could often be cracked by going all the way to the top and there making himself unbearably unpleasant. He knew that such twisting of the tiger's tail was dangerous, for he understood the psychopathology of great power.”

The right answer is 'not much'. Minuscule King is now not only lacking – but missing. The photograph reveals the total lack of animation or interest our minister for transport has - in a very serious problem. The slumped seating position and passive hands betray a complete disinterest in the view screen in front. It is an ATC screen showing a 'sector' – maybe even one where there is uncertainty, possible 'black holes' in the separation distances between aircraft; where ATC is not available, where flights are delayed or even cancelled. Yet there it sits, passive, showing us only her turned away back – which is about what we have come to expect from Albo's ex bag man, promoted to an elevated level of silent obedience.

“If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity.”

Yet, silent does our minister remain; not even a hint of interest, let alone a statement saying that 'your government is working toward a solution' or some similar line of pony-pooh..You know the sort of thing – assuring the punters that their safety is 'our' prime concern/priority – which is total Bollocks, etc. etc..... At least when Chester and McCormack stepped up to bat, they were at least 'visible' and active; ineffective to be sure, but they were at least 'engaged' and even listened. No tangible results from that listening alas; but, in their defence we at least knew they were alive; not moribund. They would have at least addressed the public and industry concerns and offered the best reassuring platitudes available.

AP statistics reflect their engagement. La' King bats at 1995 'reads' on our boards, in the same time period Chester drew about (ish) some 60,000 – McCormack about the same. At least they had enough interest and integrity to face the crowd and listen to opinion and options. Seems the industry is as disinterested in King as she is in the industry; despite a couple (or maybe three) potential major crises in the 'safety' consortium. If, for example dumb luck runs out, and there is a major collision event in 'controlled' airspace it will bring down a government. So please, don't just sit there, flaccid, inert and flatulent; watching the screen– not comprehending and disinterested; pretending it will never happens; do something.....!!!!

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But enough; matters aeronautical are so far removed from the ministerial offices as to be of little to no consequence, no matter what happens; perhaps that is where the major change needs to occur – fat chance – right.

“A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility. The story should never be made up of improbable incidents; there should be nothing of the sort in it.”

Aye well; ramble over – but speaking of 'pictures' I was sent one this morning which I shall keep forever. Picture a soft green lawn with a venerable Cape Chestnut tree; two dogs laying in the winter sunshine; a cat parked on a saw horse; and a man in a hat with a mug of coffee, having a smoke, sat on a completed chair, contemplating the almost finished garden table, made to to match. Shavings and wood chips dot the area; tools spread on a makeshift 'bench'; then imagine the undiluted, simple pleasures of a job well done, in good company, in sunshine with a coffee and a smoke. Ayup Colour me happy.



Smuggled out of the dark recesses of Sleepy Hollow, the BRB acquired a new training video, provided by the DoIT to train up officials confronted by any unpleasant, shape shifting apparition popping out of the woodwork. By muttering the incantation and waving a wand the unpleasantness can be readily converted to something amusing. Of course the 'fix' is only temporary; but at least it allows for a hasty, if ungainly temporary escape from dealing with the Bogarts emerging from the aviation industry.

The 'training' is all well and good for those at the coal face; but for the ministerial minions, something a little more permanent is required. The arcane art of 'writing' out the incantation, carefully camouflaged to induce tedium and disinterest is always a winner. Part of the deception is the use of the word 'Expectation'. There are many definitions of the word provided in dictionaries; all pretty much say the same thing:-

“A person's expectations are strong beliefs which they have about the proper way someone should behave or something should happen.” 

One of my favourite reads is the Dickens classic, 'Great Expectations'. The story is intriguing; but the real message is how little those 'expectations' have to do with the brutal realities of life and fate. Our incumbent minister is required to produce a 'Statement of Expectations' (SoE)– a wish list if you will; the latest epistle a slightly altered repetition of the last incumbent's wishful thinking and 'advice'. In theory those 'expectations' should be met, they are, after all, what the minister expects the administrative body to accomplish. These 'expectations' are carefully worded to convince the nation that the minister is on the job and in control, the changes expected to be beneficial to the nation and the industry. Reality is a long march away from the spirit and intent of the SoE. There's a Choc Frog in it for the first person who can cite a question asked in an Estimates session asking 'how' any one of the ministerial 'expectations' has been met - fully and completely, without one porky-pie being uttered.

“All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pretences did I cheat myself.

One of the most common public expectations is that their safety is the highest priority when it comes to air travel. – Ask any one of the millions who travel by air any day of the week if they feel 'safe' in the terminal or airport surrounds. You may get a strange look for asking a seriously silly question “of course we are”. That would be a perfectly  accurate answer in 99.99999% cases, world wide. Across the planet the gold standard ICAO rules and the 'California code' are diligently applied to the spaces which separate buildings (like terminals, shopping precincts and motels ) from aircraft landing and taking off on the runways. Everywhere and almost anywhere you care to travel; the promulgated Public Safety Zone (PSZ) rules apply – except in Melbourne Vic, where the unthinkable happened. Ayup, an aircraft ploughed into a shopping complex. As luck would have it the place was almost empty; but – 10 foot lower and an hour later; the carnage would have been significant. Countless hours and dollars have been expended examining and investigating this 'almost' disaster. The ATSB have finally produced their report – which is work of art by the way – HERE. But no one, not as yet, has asked the big question. Why, in all the world is Essendon the only non ICAO compliant major city airport not only tolerated, but supported by the ATSB investigation? Technically, if you 'do the numbers' the ICAO percentage chances of  buildings being in collision with an aircraft are remote, in the extreme. However, in the Essendon case that remote risk factor has been reduced by a significant margin. How the insurance gurus will view that anomaly is yet to be determined. Across the globe ICAO compliance is the golden rule – except at Essendon. Almost as remarkable as mountain of arse covering paperwork; manufactured at public expense, to defend the indefeasible...  ..

"A CASA spokesperson said the agency “remains satisfied” the DFO did not breach the runway clearance area, and “that the development was safe and compliant when it was approved and remains safe and compliant”.

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible.

Item last from the 'remarkable' pile is the complete lack of public and major carrier interest in the sad state of our air traffic control system (the remnants thereof). Nary a ministerial 'peep' or questions being asked in 'the house'; no action plan from ASA – except text messages telling controllers to lift their game etc.

ATCO wrote - “Read an email on my break from an executive essentially saying we are slacking and it is the fault of the operational ATC that the staffing and airspace crisis is the way it is.”

I don't truly know where the 'crisis' level mark is painted on the ministerial walls; but I do know that a jolly, rear view photograph of the ministerial rump, parked at an ATC consul will not fix the appalling mess consecutive ministerial types and their advisers have allowed to develop through abrogating any and all responsibility to the various 'agencies'. As a ministerial protection racket, it works just fine; but the operational reality fix cannot be too far away; the writing is on the wall.

“the words of the prophet are written on the subway walls” Etc...

Aye well, the smells of coffee, bacon and eggs on the stove has been noted by all; the hint from big dog subtle – the Mog is already en-route; best crack on while the going is good.


Three or four heartbeats.

Apart from the bare fact that there has been a collision between two light aircraft at Caboolture (Qld) claiming two lives, there's little in the way of factual analysis as yet, but at least the ATSB have condescended to investigate this 'mid-air' event. It is the third fatal mid-air within the last 12 month. Perhaps, had they investigated the first event (even Mangalore properly) and provided a timely report – well, you know the rest, but I digress. The 'thing' which always creeps into any thinking about an event is the time difference; those three of four heartbeats between having a story to tell at the bar later and a coffin. Had the Jab pilot dropped his pencil and picked it up the time/space continuum would have been altered by those few seconds and it may have never happened. You just never know; not for certain, do you.. I am left wondering when the ASA management will realise just how quickly a mid air event can occur, despite all good intentions and artificial practice; and, just how fragile colliding aircraft are. A sad day for Caboolture: sincere condolences to all. 

“What God wills, will happen; thou canst not hurry it, thou canst not alter it; therefore wait, and be patient” (Twain).

Another 'grim' item which demands close attention is the collision between the Essendon DFO and a B200 aircraft. Now that the ATSB have released their 'opinion' piece it is now time for an open, independent inquiry – of the heavy duty type; before the opposition legal team tear the flimsy, current fiction apart? There are enough gaping holes in the 'official' knitting to render their position nugatory; possibly risible. Some of the pony-pooh dressed up and highly polished will not withstand a serious challenge; the flimsy top cover provided will disappear like smoke on the breeze when confronted. Not for Aunt Pru to give the minister advice; but, FWIW – getting a long way in front of the game and being seen to be taking corrective action may just save some red faces in international circles.   

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” (Lincoln).

Aye well; the only puzzle left to ponder is the air traffic control situation. The notion of a 'toxic culture' has been bruited about and whispered of in pubs, even openly mentioned in public. The subject got a fairly extensive mention in a Senate committee hearing not too far back in time. There exists a serious shortage of ATCO – fact. There was a large number of ATCO who took 'early retirement' / redundancy – fact. So why, given the need for experienced folk at the consuls, have those who departed the fix not been wooed to return to the fold? ATCOs like pilots are there for love of the game; so how hard could it be to persuade some of them to return, even on a short term contract until the new chums fill the gaps. How deep and damaging is the toxic layer within the EBH's ASA? How much fiscal damage has the pie-in-the-sky bollocks really done? More questions for the minister to ask?- Nah – the right to remain silent and throw the rest under the first bus comes with the job.

“When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.”

But enough; there is Spring sunshine streaming through the windows and open doors; the dust of winter and sawdust and errant shavings all highlighted and stirred by the breeze. Technically the broom should be located and diligently applied. I did say 'should' – the short lived wrestle with conscience is over. The fishing rod weaves it's own magic, a flask of fresh coffee, a swag of illicit sausage rolls – away dogs, the dirty widows and dusty floor will, no doubt, still be there tomorrow.


Of Skeletons and closets.....

Should your curiosity be piqued, then muster some courage, find a candle and venture down into the deep dark vaults beneath the capitol. To the place where documents are carefully placed and allowed to moulder and fade into the distant memory of past promises made, passing into muddled legend. 

 But over all things brooding slept

The quiet sense of something lost.

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There are several worthy of the time taken to consider; the Chicago Convention for one. A binding agreement, made in good faith with the very best of intentions at its core; all happily manipulated to a fare-thee-well with the tacit, twice removed approval of successive governments, happy to be rid of any and all direct responsibility. Another large pile comes from the august aviation pinnacle body, ICAO. Spirit, intent and obligations all reside within that mouldering pile; yet treated with same disrespect, disdain and blatant manipulation to suit purpose. But, these things are now more matters for history than resurrection: Alas...There is however a more modern document gracing those shelves; another that began it's life full of promise, hope and good intentions; this too is being mauled in the same suffocating damp, stagnant, turgid atmosphere; I refer of course to the SSP.

Freely available _ HERE_. “Australia's fifth edition of its Aviation State Safety Program (SSP) and the inaugural National Aviation Safety Plan (NASP), have been finalised following stakeholder consultation.”

The indefatigable P2 (legend) has for a long while now monitored the 'use', application and results of the SSP tenets and principals in relation to 'real life' events. One could expect that a high profile, important, expensive 'program' – with some real teeth – would be well supported and active; alas. Take for example the sterling (gold star) work done by Aus ALPA in one narrow, but essential to 'safety' area of air operations; - HERE – and again – HERE - . Serious commentary, completed by professionals based against a wide range of 'experience', exposure and current operational knowledge. Then (for a Choc frog) find the SSP response and actions either promised or delivered. Anyway; it is P2's hobby horse, and there is much MTF. Suffice to say that once again; good advice is consigned to the basement; the expense and spin remains, once again, unchecked; and, not only does the nation pay for this glossy top cover – but has little of intrinsic or practical value to show for the investment (once again)....

Well,” said Pooh, “we keep looking for Home and not finding it, so I thought that if we looked for this Pit, we’d be sure not to find it, which would be a Good Thing, because then we might find something that we weren’t looking for, which might be just what we were looking for, really.

The BRB crew are watching to see if Master Hitch can make a hat trick Choc frog, having just achieved his second in a row with his last LMH offering. The opening line, in a nutshell, clearly defines the incumbent government's lack of interest in the aviation industry, the folk who work within it, the revenue it generates or even that it is, in a country this size, an essential machine which must be serviced and maintained properly. Spare a moment to read through the latest LMH. Choc frog 2. 

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.”

Enter (stage right) the 'normalised deviance' – this character is presented by our very own Air Services – the supposed peerless, efficient, seamless provider of a system of air traffic efficiency, which is supposed to be as safe as any on the planet. All bollocks of course; the only 'safety risk' being promoted is one that protects 'the service'. ATCO under pressure; aircrew under pressure; air schedules under pressure; operating costs significantly affected; passengers highly pissed off. – why? Well that is a question for the powers that be to answer. The matter which is of great concern is that not only is the deviance being 'used' it is becoming accepted as 'the norm'. Take the time to watch the following video; then decide if it is time to stop ducking around with the 'situation' and get it sorted out. Toute de suite – the tooter the sweeter. Disgraceful in a first world country....

Item last – HERE – Two separate aircrew; two discontinuity events; same approach into Cairns. In this day and age – why does this quasi 'dive and drive' approach still exist? I worked out (roughly) the cost involved to redesign the approach to a seamless, constant etc.  (+/-) slope. The design of the plate, the changes to the charts; the publication and distribution; the cost of amending aircraft data base; associated paperwork, and man hours involved. It is a significant amount of money. It seems as though ATSB, hand in glove with ASA have decided that 'data entry' errors by two professional flight crews created the elevated risk level.

”These occurrences highlight the risks associated with data entry errors that result in incomplete or incorrect information being entered in flight management systems,” said ATSB Director Transport Safety Stuart Macleod. -

Bollocks !; and a cheap shot. Two 'step downs' in one approach – WTD? The approach is flawed; out of date with modern best practice and remains a potential trap for any crew unfamiliar or in 'trouble' on a dark and stormy.

Aye well; that's me done. Missed last Sunday – stayed home nursing four broken ribs and a 16 stitch head ache. I do intend to have a word or two with the fellah who erected the scaffold. Apt word for that occasion; I enjoyed the fall; but, I regret, the landing was not one of my best efforts. Got the animals confused though; the Mog cannot work out why, suddenly, my chest is not a good place to park on a cold night, (seems cats can actually fly quite well): dog however seems not to mind my slow progress around the usual haunts. No matter; the good news (the best) is that medication has ceased and I am allowed (theoretically) two Ales this evening – can't wait for sunset – curse this daylight saving and Ben Franklin.


A morning at home....

(Ramble warning):-

Not quite able to lift 'eavy fings' just yet; and, with a couple of days past being a perfect for staying in and warm, I lit the stove and dragged my bench stool across to the blackboard. It is an old thing, carefully restored, used to sketch out a design and jot down 'cutting lists' for a project, complete with an old fashioned board rubber and chalk (an old favourite friend).

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The notion to start a 'mud-map'  began after a discussion with P2 related to the Aviation State Safety Program (SSP); the National Aviation Safety Plan (NASP) and and similar bodies, those which are part of the safety network. So a 'flow chart' showing the named bodies which have a seat at the table and those who don't, but contribute; in short, data in. Logic dictates that with input there must be tangible output, with 'visible' results and outcomes which address the lodged concerns. This is the design function of any Safety Management System (SMS). So, I set to work; and worked, scratched my head, then worked some more; then made coffee then started all over again. New diagram, working only with input from 'acknowledged' bodies, such as Aus ALPA. Between computer and blackboard, I spent 10 hours on the notion, left it all behind overnight and began again yesterday, same deal. Same result – substantive input v no tangible improvement. I did a rough cost/benefit analysis on one (singular) item; soup to nuts; from initial identification of an 'alleged' hazard to the actual final outcome, from the 'official' arbiter made into practical, tangible remediation. Short answer – millions in :: zero out. It is probably about time the travelling public were made aware and treated with the respect they deserve; for it is they who pay and pay dearly for the soothing fantasy, that in which they are persuaded to believe they are, in fact, as safe as government would have them believe.

“I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

That quote refers to 'the Red Queen' in Carroll's fantasy Alice through the Looking Glass; not to be confused with the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland; which is a title the BRB have bestowed on our expert finger painter, note writer and doily maker currently running the CASA shambles. Today we need to consider the Red Queen:-

Her name is Iracebeth of Crims. The Red Queen is also referred to as The Bloody Big Head and The Bloody Red Queen. She is also married to the knave of hearts,

In one way, a modicum of sympathy may be reserved for our 'transport ' minister. Surrounded by the DoIT, advised by ASA, ATSB and the CASA; what hope of control, or change, even if (big one) backed by experience and knowledge has the token minister got? Serious question.  Provided a name may be scrawled on any piece of white or green paper, casually dropped into the 'in-box' – theoretically, there is no need for any semblance of understanding; or, even a loose grip on the stark realities. The distance and protection afforded by 'the system' – between 'the minister' and two aircraft colliding at Sydney or; a jet wrapped around a mountain top in Cairns; or an aircraft smacking into a close in building on take off, just don't enter into the reality of life in the bubble. But it does for the aircrew and the hapless passengers exposed to these potential 'high body count' situations. I doubt these risks hardly rate a mention in the 'Chairman's' lounge; but they do exist, in real life, in real time; ignored on a daily basis.

“The fairies, as their custom, clapped their hands with delight over their cleverness, and they were so madly in love with the little house that they could not bear to think they had finished it.”

Aye well, enough said; that we are deep into a mathematical probability of a serious event; or, that part an industry is being slowly crushed and forced out of existence;or, that somehow more complex regulation and responsibility shedding will light the way to the future is a question to which time will respond. The question minister may be 'taken on notice'; however, sooner or later, there will be reckoning. Let us hope that fire and carnage are not the precursor to the demand for that reckoning.

That's it – Spring sunshine and a breeze, not to mention my boots being dropped (subtle like) under the bench all seem to point toward a stroll – best crack on before the mob get restless.


Of Senators and garden paths.

This is to be quite a complicated piece if knitting, a tricky pattern; I shall probably make a fearful hash of it, but IMO it is worth the effort. So, with your indulgence I'll crack on.

From the reading material – HERE – buried within the story we find the following :-

“The CASA documents detail that the helicopters involved in these events were part of a “small satellite operation” – operating under several Air Operator’s Certificates – which took tourists on joy flights in connection with a fixed-wing operation at Horizontal Falls, about 270 km northeast of Broome.”

“The complaints sparked a noncompliance investigation into Helibrook, the aviation business of Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright, because Mr Thomas’s choppers were operating under his air operator’s certificate.”

“Aircraft registration records show that helicopters involved belonged to Thomas’s company Avanova, which operated five helicopters for private, business and commercial purposes for his tourism ventures.”

Now, before we get too sidetracked by the performers centre stage; take quick look at the Glen Buckley character patiently waiting stage left; then read through the paragraphs above again and see if you can define the diverging lines of argument; strict compliance application;and, the remarkable 'double standards' – those almost, but not quite visible, hovering in the wings. They are there, just neatly tucked behind a thin curtain; waiting their moment, centre stage. 

Aye, Senators bamboozled (again) by the 'human interest' and the misleading sleight of the Spence hand (legerdemain and opportunity). - Journalists too, all,  it seems, have missed this very important element....Lost in the maze, hampered by smoke and blinded by the mirrors. Then, we must add in a small dollop of 'ministerial defence' – once Smith tried to get to the business end of his 'inquiry'.

Sterle -”I am keen if you want to keep going, although it has nothing to do with the budget. I know how flexible we have been in this committee. “

Which is a bit rich coming from Sterle who seems to have obligingly rolled over in favour of 'the party' ignoring the fact that this is a WA matter - and his previous fierce, time consuming forays against the entire aviation management conglomerate when in opposition. But I digress. “To the point fool” howls the mob. Well M'lud, in short, I would be questioning the great variance clearly apparent in the way CASA sanction some operations and others are crucified; the 'legality' of the operation which claimed a young life and the history of how that operation came into being, and how, given the track record, it was allowed to continue. Buckley driven into the dirt like a tent peg – this operation allowed to progress to a fatality? Sen. Smith could do with some real ammunition for his next encounter. Properly briefed, he could have shot the boots off the ever elusive, evasive, untouchable CASA monolith. Why take a pocket knife to a gunfight? End of ramble...

“The archer is the true weapon; the bow is just a long piece of wood.

I note our minister has had the temerity to take a feather duster instead of a sledge hammer to the developers of the remnants of the once busy secondary aerodrome, Archerfield Qld Much like Oliver, the plaintive call for 'more' is only window dressing; the onslaught and decimation of airfields continues apace; even Canberra is being weighed and measured for 'more' development. This despite the huge sums extorted from the RAAF which the tax payer funds, to operate from an aerodrome the tax payer owns, to fund more encroachment on the safety boundaries imposed by international law. The ministerial virtue signalling is about as much use as the magnificent cock-up the department of Each Way Betts and the Duck Up Faeries managed last week.

The things which intrigue are: that they could even begin to believe that the photograph of a simulated 'drive' could go anywhere near solving the serious problems of the road: and that they couldn't just add the caption “What's wrong with this photograph? That would have at least made some impact – reinforcing the belief that provided you have your seat belt on, you are immortal and can do whatever pleases you best once on the road. Gods alone know what that embarrassment cost not only in money; but in credibility. You had one job..It begs the question; if a small, simple task like that turns into a complete debacle, what the Hell sort of buggers muddle are you making of the very big, very serious ones? ....

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Aye well, there are probably a lot of 'other' matters which could stand a long hard look at, not least of which is the current 'normalized deviance' our EB Halfwit has imposed on airline crew and ATC. The thread on Pprune – HERE - should be galvanising our 'concerned' minister into action – even if just to lean on EW Betts to 'do something'. It must be difficult enough for the operating pilots and ATC to work out 'what's what' – the general public will never, not in a million, sort it out. So when will this patchwork of potential disaster be rectified?

There is no such thing as luck; there is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe.

But enough; it is a lovely morning, my coffee mug is empty and there is a small furry animal on the bench batting my hands away from the key board; besides, I have been sent a photograph with a request to make similar for a knockout Grandchild. Right then, lets go, sooner I get back sooner I can begin to oblige a royal command...

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Taking the Mickey – a how to.

A time honoured exercise is taking the Mickey Bliss – it comes in many forms; from the good natured ragging of a friend or colleague, through to a deliberate act of sheer bastardy. Provided it is done socially, in good spirit, little harm results; BUT, what about it being done on an industrial scale, to the nation, what then?.... What about a government not only taking the Mickey Bliss, treating the hoi-polloi as idiots, ripping the populace off and skipping away to live, unimpeachable, off the proceeds to boot?. The media have been howling (well Meow-ing) about airfares and competition etc. The aviation industry (bar Big Q) is getting hammered out of existence by complex 'safety' regulation, development of and paying for the use of Commonwealth land; subjected to a collapsing air traffic control system; being provided with carefully worded reports into accident and governed by an Authority which (to say the least) leaves a lot to be desired. Decades of protest; millions spent, hundreds of thousands words written to 'inquiry' – long history - all for nought.

“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.”

“Why doesn't the government do something” is a call as old as mankind. The answer of course is simple – they don't have to. Ministers sit at the apex of a well constructed 'safety' system; when they say the Australian aviation is 'safe' it does not mean that the travelling public is made safe by government. That 'safety' is provided by the air carrier. What it really means is that no matter what, the minister and the government are immune, distanced and protected by multiple circuit breakers. Here is a classic example:-

Albo: “Well, it’s not up to me. It’s up to the Transport Minister, who’s made the decision,”

You would think the bus was headed for La'King – wrong;

“Decisions on air traffic rights between Australia and other nations do not usually go to cabinet. But Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Trade Minister Don Farrell, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong were all unable to confirm by deadline on Tuesday that they were consulted over the decision taken by Ms King.”

'Pop' – there goes the first circuit breaker.

“Ms King’s office instead said that she “consults with relevant colleagues on all matters, as appropriate”, but did not identify which colleagues she kept informed about the Qatar decision.”

'Pop' there go breakers two and three; and, the bus rolls by without getting anywhere near to those waiting at the stop. Responsibility spread like peanut butter over multiple slices. Should that not silence the pesky questions; then,standing behind the 'leader' is a veritable army of 'useful idiots' who can shuffle the blame down the line until someone catches the bullet.

“If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.”

This protection racket is not just limited to the political elite though; no Sir. Take the Essendon fatal accident involving a Be20 and a bloody big building close in to the runway. Even the most ardent defender of departmental decisions should have the grace to blush after reading through the entire case. All – HERE-. But, at the end of the research and the 'investigations' – there is one short sentence which encapsulates how the 'cut-out' system works; how a building was approved and how, believe it or not, the building was just an innocent bystander. All bollocks, work backwards from this small, flawless gem:-

“Apart from my view that I consider the position expressed by CASA’s ‘Regulatory Guidance’ staff to be dubious as a matter of statutory interpretation, I wrote to the CEO/DAS about CASR 11.140 because I’m mindful of reports that CASA told the ATSB, in the course of the latter’s investigation of the evolution of the OLS at Essendon, that written confirmation given to the operators of Essendon by a CASA officer as to the interpretation of the applicable rules was wrong and had no legal validity.”

There's more – P2 has mapped it all out – HERE – and again HERE.

"The advice in CASA’s letter of 2 October 2003 was not supported by an official legal instrument. As such, it was subsequently assessed by the Legal Services Division as having no legal validity."

“A separate assessment from the Aerodromes team has also concluded that the advice provided from [the officer] was incomplete and incorrect as it only referenced the Obstacle Limitation Surface based on published information and not the required standard for the actual strip”

There are many colloquial expressions which adequately sum up the farce; the blatant 'top cover', which clearly defines how the 'system' is wholly focused on self protection; the industry and the mugs sitting behind the cabin entrance being totally convinced to keep stumping up the many millions it all costs. Who do you reckon will repay the two billion interest free gift Qantas got while trying to reclaim the money they paid, in good faith, for a ticket on a 'cancelled' flight? Ayup, it won't be anyone else but the tax payer. Aye, it is an industrial scale Piss Take. Shame on the whole lot.

Well, that's my opinion anyway (about the only thing not taxed these days) FWIW. Best to get it off my chest before I take on the major task of 'puppy sitting'. DT fell in love with a 'bitsa' – weighs in at about a kilo, not much bigger than my boot at the moment, seems like a cheery sort, half smart too. Worked out big dog was a pushover, sleeping between his paws and that a degree of caution and diplomacy was required to deal with the cat. Anyway; seems I get to be the 'No' daemon, but food and biscuits come from the kitchen, along with 'Oh, ain't he cute' etc. No matter, the stable is a lot more fun – seems strange though to have to leash a dog – for the while at least, until he learns a little more.


But: where to begin?

Ever get a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas? Always the last thing explored, often kept back for a cold, rainy day. Take the cellophane wrapper off, tip it all out and start the hunt for the corners – then 'where' to begin? Your clues (of course) come from the picture on the box; imagine trying to solve it without a clear picture to reference. Yet that, boys and girls is exactly where we are in 'aviation' world. No target, no finite picture and NDI of what its all supposed to look like at the end – none. What is a humble story teller to do with the disconnected bits and pieces? Eh – what? All very well for Alice and the King – for a simple one off tale, his advice was probably quite sage:-

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

Part 08 of the 'Green paper' for example;  HERE – there is no beginning and certainly no end to the continued 'make work' of endless 'tweaking' and re-working the unique, not quite ICAO compliant rules. Ever flexible and manipulatable, permanently shifting position and nuance. A feast for top flight legal eagles; if there was ever a case to mount; alas, no one can afford to take on the whole shebang and consecutive governments have been quite content to avoid entanglement with the 'myth' of 'safety - through complex regulation. They love it... Any amount of money and power happily allocated to perpetuate the 'mystique', credible deniability and self protection – hat trick for ministers; hopeless task for aviation. Nice work – if you can get it.

“Them as can do has to do for them as can't. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

Item next may be a little previous and possibly a step too far – however. “PAIN' (full crew) aka the BRB have followed every step as carefully as may be of the Andy Pascoe, Shannon Baker and (of course) the Buckley matter. Before these matters, we have tracked for a few years the Lockhart, Rhodes, Angel Flight and many other (there's lots of) 'cases' which are of 'passing interest'. There is little point in reiteration or even commenting on resultant changes, where they matter. Butson (Polar Aviation) is one of several who have blown a cool million to establish a simple fact; CASA can and will do exactly as pleases and fully expect to walk way a winner. Senators, the good Reverent Forsyth, even as far back as Lockhart River fatal 1 have tried to break through the walls of Teflon coated concrete surrounding the regulator and associated agencies to see 'integrity, 'justice' and the 'rule of law' prevail. We have not, as yet seen the end of the Pascoe case – but soon (Nov – written submissions). Been wrong before (1956) – BUT when it is all revealed, no matter the verdict; there will be a case for not only the minister to answer, but the entire spectrum of aviation governance. The only missing piece is the final verdict; after that, the 'facts' may be examined and it will (or bloody well should ) shame whoever is in government to take firm, positive corrective action – disgraceful don't even get close to the CASA antics so far. There is a great need for an 'inquiry' into the way CASA conduct their 'core' business'. A serious one and a positive, publicly visible action enforcing the corrections which are essential to credibility and the ability of the organisation to perform design function.  I rest my case M'lud – with more (lots of) to follow – a.s.a.p.

”It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

Meanwhile; back in the control tower, there are dedicated men and women doing what they physically and mentally can to keep the aircraft used by travelling (tax paying, voting) public from bumping into each other. Yet the media and the ministerial knickers are all in a knot and bunched up because Qatar want to operate 20 extra flights. Minister; the infrastructure which separates these aircraft is in tatters. Bereft of qualified staff, financially and operationally buggered. Up to its collective rear end in failed - (not stalled or deferred) big dollars projects, in poor maintenance, piss poor management, bad work environments, and a shortage of essential infrastructure – all governed by a megalomaniac and his bean counting off-side partner. There exists a very real, major failure within an essential safety system, held together with spit, spin, bull-shit and the dedication of a fine bunch of Australians, who actually care.. Forget Qantas and Qatar – get weaving before  the unthinkable happens – Qatar collide with Qantas over a waypoint one night. What price rhetoric and spin then? It will bring down a government - . Sort it out; or, sod off and get in someone who can – please (with 'respect'). (P2, where's that flaming bucket).

“A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”

Aye well; no doubt the green waffle will lead to the great white paper event; just in time for an election; all duties performed as per the (black letter) book; zero responsibility and no change – except for more built out commonwealth aerodromes; more charges; more complex regulation which allows Embuggerance; all to play for. The industry awaits the ministerial wisdom with bated breath, and the other boot landing of course. Oh happy days; I just can't wait....

“Crimes determined to take place engender all they need: victims, circumstances, pretexts, opportunities.”

Item last – 'the Voice'. Not given to politics – or politicians; but Sen. Price say's it all very neatly. My 'take' was provided by Monty Python – a long time ago. Verbatim I will quote it..

Funny old world though (that's peculiar – not ha ha). A neighbour rang up early this week; he is a 'hobby' carpenter, makes bits and pieces and has 'internet' guidance and projects from experts. All well and good, except his 'dovetail' joints never seem to work out properly. “Could I assist?” he asked; “No bother” Say's I. “Good – can a bring a mate or two?” - “OK” Say's I. And so, Thursday night four fellahin arrive, bringing their dovetail boxes with. Four out of every ten 'joints' correct – the rest left a little to be desired. They all had much newer tools and 'aids' than I, in fact I could not begin to justify the cost of one blokes #4 smoothing plane (it was a cracker). Took about twenty minutes to sort out their troubles, well, that and a set square. On every board, where the billet was not 'fair and square' the joints were 'untidy'. The boards to be joined must (absolutely) must be flat, square, parallel and even thickness; even then, almost microscopic distortions can create havoc. My 1910 (4½) smooth plane took about five minutes to 'true' up each board. I showed 'em how to cut 'square' and Bingo – beers all around. Basics beat bull - shit any day. No point; just a lesson for me not to seek a complicated solution to a simple problem. Different, sad and poignant 'away' call tonight for the dogs. Little dog died and the new 'pup' must be on a leash (lest he hurts himself) the cat has taken a propriety interest in his well being; and, I suppose I will adapt to the loss; the big dog seems to understand and has taken to staying a lot closer to me than is his usual wont. So here I sit – Ale, cat, big dog and a bloody annoying puppy trying to tear my socks off. Life eh?


And, at the very bottom of the barrel :-

“They were changeful in speech, for they had great love of words, and sought ever to find names more fit for all things that they knew or imagined.”

For a classic example listen – HERE -.

The select Committee is looking into the appalling 'cock-up' Air Services executives have made of the air traffic control and associated crewing system. They had a 'sit-down' this week to see what, if anything, can be done to sort it out. “Good idea” says the BRB – so; as per usual, we 'played' the sound track through – twice. Top marks awarded to Mr. Peter McGaune (Executive Secretary) of Civil Air; calm, measured, deliberate, full bottle on 'fact' and unbiased, no appraisal of the 'mess', all without any overt 'political' or 'Union' axes to grind connotations. Bravo that man; just the facts and a clear picture presented to the Committee. Nicely done Sir!. (Choc Frog following).

“I've now realised for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.”

That Wilde quote sprung to mind the moment Sheldon begins his little pilgrimage into politically weaponising the situation (Jeers, Boo's and Howls of outrage followed the 'listening). How low can this type of politician stoop to score a meaningless point or two? Does he imagine, for one minute that those stuck in terminals, or delayed for more than 30 minutes give a rats fart about his nasty, grubbing about for cheap shots at an expired government. The last government's mess still exists, except the mess is on his watch now. You would think he'd be seeking ways to cure the malaise; not score by using cheap, pointless, unhelpful, gutter snipe tactics. Air Services is a basket case; how about fixing it as a the service of the nation; a 'fixing' that he is paid well for and elected by people who travel to do so. Did he do that? No, he did not. He tried to lay blame back on 'the opposition' in such a weasel way, even tried (unsubtly) to put words into Mc Qaune's mouth. That produced a collective howl, a call for a re-play (and the houseboat bucket). But Mc Qaune's too downy a bird to fall for that and turned him off nicely. Politically weaponising safety? How low can a politician go....Q. Tow rag? - A. Unanimous...

“Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity.”

Of course, we all must look to the minister for solutions (when it gets back from a well paid, well deserved, self gifted leave). Perhaps the sojourn will have provided some clarity of vision; the hours spent navel gazing defining the many unattended, serious, very, very real 'problems' the aviation industry faces; now landed firmly into her lap. She would do well to avoid the pointless, cynical, beneath contempt advice on point scoring Sheldon will whisper. There is much better advice available than that dross; there are big problems, unattended, across the spectrum non of which are of benefit to the Australian travelling public.

“The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death.”

'Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party”  - Any party; don't care which or who sorts out this mess; just so long as one of 'em gets off it's arse, takes the gloves off and does a honest day or two of work – in aid of this country. I am not Robinson Crusoe in this quest; not by a long shot I ain't. – from humble bag snatchers to top line aviation industry heavies, you can hear the same sad song. Time to get real, aviation is not a political football; it is an essential industry, vital to and reflecting the well being of this nation.

“It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.”

Which only leaves me the problem of tying my boot laces with a puppy having at them; managed to get one done up; then, quick as a wink, while tying the other; the pup has undone the first. Ah, the advantage of having thumbs nullified. Almost forgotten how much fun pups are – he's a 'good-un' though.....


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October; long weekend to celebrate Labour day in NSW; a time to remember what a great country we live in, or, it used to be. Not so much these days though, seems both a fair and a reasonable comment. I find it quite problematic to balance the 'state' (mess) this nation has drifted down into, reflected in the abject disappointment and outraged fury encountered when thoughts turn to matters aeronautical.

“It is a world of disappointment: often to the hopes we most cherish, and hopes that do our nature the greatest honour.”

As one small element of the trust placed in the hands of the Senate and Parliament meets the fire and brimstone of public outrage; one has to wonder if, perhaps, the spotlight will continue to be shone into some other dark, cobweb clouded corners of the aviation world. Sen. McKenzie (legend) joins the ranks of respected, honest, clear minded 'statesmen', like D. Fawcett (MIA) Heffernan, and a longish list of others who did actually move some small mountains in an attempt to peel back the layer of detritus smothering what should be a thriving, world leading industry – Alas....

“For some, life may be a playground to undermine the brainwaves of others or simply a vainglorious game with an armoury of theatrics, illustrating only bleak self-deception, haughty narcissism and dim deficiency in empathy.”

We have seen plenty of that during 'the inquiry' and much more to boot. The soft, wide focus of the feeble candle light barely reaching the far corners of the room; so it is with Senate 'inquiry' – as witnessed by Hansard and history, many times over. That stand alone is, or should be, cause for concern; however, when the purblind and the biased and the simple minded 'one agenda' crew use 'an inquiry' to foster and promote their own 'world view' and (more to the point) try to drag in 'other' matters best kept for their 'platform' for re-election – one has to wonder about their motives and morals. Platitude and policy designed to render them more 'appealing' to their voting stock; pandering to those who will turn out to vote 'em back in, by parroting the voters 'feelings' and espousing any 'crack-pot' new notion? This, for some, since the cave has been an easy road to the parliamentary land of milk and honey, easy money, soft landings and little in the way accountability..

“The more Plato thinks of it, the more astounded he is at the folly of leaving to mob caprice and gullibility the selection of political officials – not to speak of leaving it to those shady and wealth-serving strategists who pull the oligarchic wires behind the democratic stage.”

And, Plato was no man's fool – I wonder what he'd have made of, Oh, say the wittering of Sen. White? The 'Chesty Bond' look alike competition winner asking questions sure to gain many 'good shot' Oooh's and many supportive 'Ahh's – from the 'that's telling 'em' cohort. Bollocks; this is serious inquiry which affects this nation, deeply. Not some pathway to self aggrandisement; or currying favour with a minority group. More people travel than vote for this waste of public money – and yet, there it sits. Smug, arrogant, agenda driven – does it give a monkey's about Mums and Dads who work all year; scrimp, save and do overtime, so the kids can go to Disney Land – on a Qantas clapped out – at an exorbitant price. No – try being in 'the pit' at LA – at 0100. With two tired kids, nowhere to sit, herded together for over an hour until the busses eventually arrive to begin the 15 minute ride to the aircraft; only three busses for 400 passengers (first class already seated, fed and fast asleep). Where's the
humanity in that; and what has that got to do with minority agenda pushing. Disgusting..

“Plato complains that whereas in simpler matters – like shoe-making – we think only a specially-trained person will serve our purpose, in politics we presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state.”

I sincerely applaud McKenzie's efforts; Bravo; & etc... The echo's of that sound and fury will signify for nought in the executive 'suite' dunny. Not unless the whole opposition and any right minded, popularly appointed members get serious. Want it fixed? Dead simple – employ the Hon. John Shape (have to resign from??) – give him some clout and stand back; watch the magical changes – after he sorts out a backbone of some description for the public service.

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretence of taking care of them.”

Aye well, my scribbles of even less import than that of some crusading political hack; probably no better than some of the journalistic twaddle being swilled about the place. This inquiry is (or should be), believe it or not, a potential watershed for both industry and nation. Let us hope it does not get smothered aborning by the creatures which created the inquiry. There is a slim chance for major reform within this inquiry; for the benefit of this nation and the aviation industry.

“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.

To begin at the end; I thought for a while about expanding on the current Senate inquiry, but not for too long. Past result Senate history of recommended 'changes' fails to stack up against any meaningful reform achieved. This, despite the efforts of many Senate committee inquiries. The slow, clearly discernible, albeit gradual demise of the aviation industry is clearly reflected in the latest Senate 'go-around'. Its not just that Qantas have been fully 'utilising' the system made available to them; that's part of doing business; holding off competition, maximising 'influence' and generally taking every advantage on offer is the stuff of airline survival (all of 'em). All's fair – on a level playing field – with an unbiased referee. But that ain't the case, is it? Full government protection for a 'national' carrier is one thing; the nation has a stake in the well being of that airline. But, Qantas despite the smoke and mirrors are not a 'national' airline; they may be a sentimental favourite of past generations, and an icon; but, their claim to be a protected species and expect all preferences to be directed in their favour is a furphy. If they cannot compete with Virgin or Qatar on an equal footing then the government (for the people by the people) need to even up the odds in favour of the travelling, voting, tax paying passengers. That is what we pay the government (handsomely) to do..But then:-

“If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.”

For those interested only; the pup is now 12 weeks old; due for shots and a potential star. Took him and a 1936 Stanley to a job; fit and hang the four 'big' doors I'd made into some old door frames. Not easily done; but we managed. Big dog found a spot and parked up; not so 'the pup'. No Sir; every shaving off the plane was examined and considered. Funny thing though (food for thought). The plane blade hit a big, bad knot and 'shifted' due to F= MA (skewed shaving). - That shaving out of probably 100 + was the only one 'woofed' at, picked up, and brought to my attention. We had a smoke while I sorted out the plane and in complete harmony hung the door, whistled up the big dog and toddled off home for an Ale: together. Yep; you had to be there; but Wow!! 


But first - A tribute:-

Humbly offered. to those who respond to horrific events; particularly events which involve death, fire and children. Only once, and never again if there be another option, would I want to be a 'first response' to such an event as the latest aircraft fatal. It is thing which stays with you a long, long time. Fire, Ambulance, Police then the ATSB, men and women who go unsung must deal with what is probably among the difficult of experiences any human could encounter. No praise is high enough for these folk; those who daily must deal with fire, carnage and tragedy before going home and trying to live in a 'normal' life. Then the 'investigators' who do not have the adrenaline or operational 'urgency' to save life; but must carefully, methodically and accurately deal with the aftermath.  Bravo and thank you seems inadequate; but it is heart felt and well warranted, earned and deserved. Thank you..... 

There are two sides to this coin; three young lives lost in an appalling manner; stuff that we see in the movies slammed into stark reality. It shames me that the best we can offer is heart felt condolences and offer support when invited; but what else is there? I've no idea and cannot even imagine how to reconcile the loss of three Grandchildren; hell on earth seems appropriate. Sincere condolences cannot patch the tear; but, nevertheless, sincerely offered. End of; but this event is a bad one....

“My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart concealing it will break.”

Aye well; there are 'other' matters to be dealt with; from the sublime to the ridiculous (and probably back again). The 'Mad-Hatter's' approach to aviation medicals for example and Poop Spence's well spun dissertation. A masterpiece of CASA home baked confectionery: read it  through – if you can tolerate it. Not many can. The Spence 'blurbs' are (thankfully) almost universally discarded, without reading by those who actually 'see' the clear writing on the wall. Those like Manderson, who started off really well – even the AOPA resident windbag thought she would get back to taws and sort the buggers muddle of pilot medical certificates out (until he was unnecessarily rude to her – personal like). The USA, the UK and many others have managed to sort 'matters medical' into some realistic format. It's no wonder rumours abound that a clever, experienced, sensible, qualified, hand picked, potential reformer type personality, like Manderson, may have given notice that she has had enough; and who could blame her? Now – now, would be good time for a small select panel to convene and take the latest Spence 'piffle' apart and espouse a modicum of logic into the endless crusade Avmad have protracted into a lucrative; useless earner. No good allowing a mental giant like Morgan and his small, rag-tag  cohort of AOPA 'wannabe's' to keep banging on; they have been excluded from any meaningful future dialogue. Time to bring in some professionals who can, without filibuster or commercial interest,  just simply get the medical jig saw back into compliance and alignment with world best, gold standard, aviation administration. Seriously; why not simply follow the world's best administrations; USA/UK – why all this palaver??? - It's Bollocks: they know it, we know it; so why the bull-shine al'a Spence???? Pay attention – it's all there...

“Everything anyone says when they have an agenda is bullshit, and bullshit isn’t necessarily false, but it’s never really the truth either. So when someone’s bullshitting, you need to pay a little more attention.”

There is, as they say, more. Much more if you follow the Senate inquiry into the unholy brangle of Qatar v a captive, thick, slick, disinterested government. McKenzie and Co. have done well so far, very well, despite the agenda driven self protection  and the machinations of a government which seems to be hell-bent on some ideological train ride to ruining one of the very, very best things I love about this country. I can work all day with people from all over the world. Learn a Nepalese recipe from his mother; drink home made wine with an Italian; even pick up a few words of Chinese or Malaysian, or Arabic, or Greek, or Albanian while knocking in nails. Wonderful folk, hard working, mostly honest, living here and doing their best. That is what Australia should be most proud of; a true, free, multi cultural heritage; and a 'fair go' for all. That, it seems to me is being trashed. The simple fact that an elected minister of transport, for this nation, will not front a Senate inquiry to answer honestly a direct question about why a legitimate carrier cannot be granted an additional 28 services – stinks. It demeans this great country, shames the government and it could be construed; or, even parlayed into all manner of – well, whatever fills in your gaps.

“I never did, or countenanced, in public life, a single act inconsistent with the strictest good faith; having never believed there was one code of morality for a public, and another for a private man.”

Here endeth my rambling; the fool is confounded; too many angles and far too much in the way of 'lies, damn lies and statistics' to consider. For some fool reason, I keep hoping that Sen. Mackenzie is able to (finally) get the lid off the can of worms Australian aviation has descended into; Qantas is the tip of a large iceberg; the aviation industry is in some pretty deep waters – without much of a paddle. Any assistance would be gratefully received; particularly in the control of industry governance – such as it is. The Goose which lays golden eggs exists; it simply can't get settled enough to set about doing it.  But then, enough...........

Oh, Yuk! My Ale is both flat and warm now; the delegation at the stable door means business, so no chance a quick new one. No matter; big dog seems to have taught the pup to wait for the 'away' word; however, not so much luck with tail biting or sock theft – such is life..The orchard awaits, blooming now in the warmer weather. How come trees can 'know' such things? We shall amble out and investigate, perhaps to discover that secret. OK; off ya go – Away – the mog in the lead, as usual. Can cats actually manage hypnosis? Aye well -


Nevertheless and Even So....

P2._ “This 'systemic' investigation did have a prelim report that took 7 months to produce and the final report that has taken 4 years, 2 months and 7 days to complete.”

Popinjay - “Nevertheless, the controllers maintained sight of both aircraft throughout the sequence and the risk of a collision was low.”

I fail, completely and utterly, to understand 'how' the ATCO maintaining 'sight' of both aircraft prevented a serious 'bang' and aircraft parts, mixed with body parts landing in densely populated areas. There are other puzzles within the 'language' of the eventually published report, (and the Popinjay's mindless repeating of same); “minor event” for example.  Lets not examine the piss poor grammar, or even the ATSB's own guidelines on reporting 'style'. Instead, lets do the maths; F= MA for a start, of two accelerating transport class aircraft; it is a serious amount of potential energy. Then consider, in metres per second' the time to zero separation. Then; bear in mind that any turn or altitude deviation could have resulted in 'contact' with one of the many other aircraft within the 'zone'. Yet; after four years all we get is Popinjay spouting guff on a subject he has no qualification in, or training for.

“In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”

Seriously - The unqualified ATSB 'head' fronting the media justifying an ASA report that states 'low risk of collision', looks to flight crew errors as an excuse and may just be slightly a biased Hood confection at its roots. It would be interesting to visit 'all' the reports, and work out how ASA have plugged up the holes in their slice of that famous Reason cheese. Perhaps it is time to listen to those who actually know a little about ATC, accident investigation and the shambles Halfwit has created. - Fairless Mr Approach – to mention but a couple of the many qualified voices. Maybe while McKenzie has the tools out, a look at the expense and the clearly apparent failure, despite the rhetoric and pony-pooh spoon fed to Estimates of the air traffic services provided to this nation, which funds it all. (That would be 'the public' by the way)...

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.”

Sen. McKenzie & Co. have done a fine job with the Qantas debacle and have a fair chance (4/1) of getting some changes made. It would be (methinks) a good thing if the challenge of sorting out the overburden imposed by the aviation regulatory agencies was addressed by that committee. The system is in dire need of overhaul and 'streamlining'. This would mean 'government' taking some responsibility for the outrageous costs; the blatant non compliance with world best 'gold standard' and restricting the development of airports to the design function intended. Yes; it is a big job, however, the longer the imbroglio is allowed to continue, the worse its going to get. IMO it is a 'perfect storm' in a political sense, the current minuscule has NDI and even less interest in matters aeronautical, but if a wheel comes off, while Nero fiddles and Rome burns; well. The squeaky wheel is already beginning to create an 'irritation' in the public ears. But you must pause for thought when those employed within the 'safety' system get so hacked off, they go on strike – for their safety concerns. Consider the amount of provocation required to force their hand. These folks 'downing tools' and walking off 'the job' speaks long and loud of the deep concerns the industry has about how far into the morass aviation in this country has strayed. This is as clear a warning as any government is likely to get. Industry has been warning for decades – and ignored for that same period. The clock is ticking, time for some grown up intervention and attention from the government. The press have provided the 'sotto voce' version, the troops have acted with good conscience; time for powers that be to take a hand. The “Handing over” call has a correct response on a flight deck - .

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

Aye well, it is a glorious spring day; far too good to squander sat at my bench; workshop is tidy enough, my list of DT generated tasks is cleared, so I may just call this day my own and do whatever pleases me best. Mind you the 'pup' learned a hard lesson about doing what pleases; the Mog has been very tolerant so far, even condescending to play 'chase' – they take turns – but the line was very firmly drawn a day or two ago; 'pup caught Mog – by the tail – Wow, what a spanking; lesson learned. DT is being remarkably tolerant of 'puppy – puddles' although just how long that may last is one of life's mysteries; no doubt we shall see in time..

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”


Nevertheless and Even So....

P2._ “This 'systemic' investigation did have a prelim report that took 7 months to produce and the final report that has taken 4 years, 2 months and 7 days to complete.”

Popinjay - “Nevertheless, the controllers maintained sight of both aircraft throughout the sequence and the risk of a collision was low.”

I fail, completely and utterly, to understand 'how' the ATCO maintaining 'sight' of both aircraft prevented a serious 'bang' and aircraft parts, mixed with body parts landing in densely populated areas. There are other puzzles within the 'language' of the eventually published report, (and the Popinjay's mindless repeating of same); “minor event” for example.  Lets not examine the piss poor grammar, or even the ATSB's own guidelines on reporting 'style'. Instead, lets do the maths; F= MA for a start, of two accelerating transport class aircraft; it is a serious amount of potential energy. Then consider, in metres per second' the time to zero separation. Then; bear in mind that any turn or altitude deviation could have resulted in 'contact' with one of the many other aircraft within the 'zone'. Yet; after four years all we get is Popinjay spouting guff on a subject he has no qualification in, or training for.

“In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.”

Seriously - The unqualified ATSB 'head' fronting the media justifying an ASA report that states 'low risk of collision', looks to flight crew errors as an excuse and may just be slightly a biased Hood confection at its roots. It would be interesting to visit 'all' the reports, and work out how ASA have plugged up the holes in their slice of that famous Reason cheese. Perhaps it is time to listen to those who actually know a little about ATC, accident investigation and the shambles Halfwit has created. - Fairless Mr Approach – to mention but a couple of the many qualified voices. Maybe while McKenzie has the tools out, a look at the expense and the clearly apparent failure, despite the rhetoric and pony-pooh spoon fed to Estimates of the air traffic services provided to this nation, which funds it all. (That would be 'the public' by the way)...

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.”

Sen. McKenzie & Co. have done a fine job with the Qantas debacle and have a fair chance (4/1) of getting some changes made. It would be (methinks) a good thing if the challenge of sorting out the overburden imposed by the aviation regulatory agencies was addressed by that committee. The system is in dire need of overhaul and 'streamlining'. This would mean 'government' taking some responsibility for the outrageous costs; the blatant non compliance with world best 'gold standard' and restricting the development of airports to the design function intended. Yes; it is a big job, however, the longer the imbroglio is allowed to continue, the worse its going to get. IMO it is a 'perfect storm' in a political sense, the current minuscule has NDI and even less interest in matters aeronautical, but if a wheel comes off, while Nero fiddles and Rome burns; well. The squeaky wheel is already beginning to create an 'irritation' in the public ears. But you must pause for thought when those employed within the 'safety' system get so hacked off, they go on strike – for their safety concerns. Consider the amount of provocation required to force their hand. These folks 'downing tools' and walking off 'the job' speaks long and loud of the deep concerns the industry has about how far into the morass aviation in this country has strayed. This is as clear a warning as any government is likely to get. Industry has been warning for decades – and ignored for that same period. The clock is ticking, time for some grown up intervention and attention from the government. The press have provided the 'sotto voce' version, the troops have acted with good conscience; time for powers that be to take a hand. The “Handing over” call has a correct response on a flight deck - .

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

Aye well, it is a glorious spring day; far too good to squander sat at my bench; workshop is tidy enough, my list of DT generated tasks is cleared, so I may just call this day my own and do whatever pleases me best. Mind you the 'pup' learned a hard lesson about doing what pleases; the Mog has been very tolerant so far, even condescending to play 'chase' – they take turns – but the line was very firmly drawn a day or two ago; 'pup caught Mog – by the tail – Wow, what a spanking; lesson learned. DT is being remarkably tolerant of 'puppy – puddles' although just how long that may last is one of life's mysteries; no doubt we shall see in time..

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”


Of Window dressing and artifice.

“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.”

For many, watching Senate Estimates ranks alongside watching the most boring spectator sports. However, no matter how boring (or pointless) the sport or activity, in the end, there is always a result; a conclusion if you will, which, IMO is the purpose of any exercise. There is a scheduled 'Estimates' session on next week; starts tomorrow.  So what is it all about and does it matter to the aviation industry? It should,

“Screw your courage to the sticking place.”

However, any casual examination of 'result' or 'conclusion' or even demanded reform reached on behalf of the aviation community; from aerodromes to drones only ever provides a nugatory, often borderline negative reaction. Rarely, if ever, a positive 'action' even from dedicated 'inquiry'.

“Estimates of government expenditure are referred to Senate committees as part of the annual budget cycle. This opportunity to examine the operations of government plays a key role in the parliamentary scrutiny of the executive.”

Take a moment to read the program listed for the three most important departments (Quangos in reality) governing 'matters aeronautical' in this wide, brown land. Pathetic ain't it.

Air Services Australia (ASA). A basket case; broke, clueless, disintegrating standards and providing a patchwork of service of make do and take no responsibility whatsoever. They make their appearance at 1930 hrs (local). The Senate panel has been 'at it' since 0900, now weary, probably distracted by previous interests, wanting a stiff drink, a shower, and dinner. No way; now Halfwit will probably make some opening remarks; after the 'introductions etc. So there goes 10 minutes of the 30 for nought. Then the long winded, agenda driven question will take up another couple; that will be taken on notice, which leaves little time for anyone else to get a look in. – So when you work out the cost per minute x by 30 for a net gain to the actual improvement afforded to national air traffic system; you come up yards lost and no advantage.

At 2000-hrs – the stellar crew from CASA take centre stage- for their 30 minutes of intense 'executive scrutiny'. But where to begin? How do you, in a thirty minute Q&A even begin to sort out this homespun tangle of deranged experiment? The world's best have managed to at least achieve cohesion, through logic, experience and 'expert' assistance, in conjunction with industry expert opinion. And yet, the best our Senate can manage is a thirty minute 'how-de doo'. Save the money or get real; while we still have some semblance of an 'industry'.

Last, and by every means 'least' the peerless ATSB appear at 22:15; for their very own session of 'executive scrutiny'. Bed time for working folks. I say that if Sen. McKenzie spent an hour on the telephone with the 'international leaders' in accident investigation, asking their opinion of the ATSB; the roof would be off the building. Is thirty short minutes at 22:15 likely to resolve anything that signifies. 

[Image: D05ZtSnWoAAfBWZ.jpg]

This 'tick a box' farce of Estimates needs to end; either get it done right or stop (for pities sake) pretending it matters and save the dollars. Donate it to a really worthwhile cause; like Land rights for Gay whales.......

But, for the quintessential example of how purblind and easily pleased government is; take a look at the latest spin from Essendon Fields – HERE – they are planting 11.000, very virtuous ornamental fruit trees and installed 'fairy light' to claim that they are the eco friendly doyens of aviation to the applause of the minister. The ugly, illegal, dangerous building camped within a safety zone just don't seem to signify in light of the reduced carbon foot print. But hey. If ever you need a nine dollar note changed into three's; they'll do that for you at Essendon (for a small fee)..

Aye; it is a muddle, insignificant in the greater world; but, if the minor, quickly fixed problems at home cannot be expediently and properly rectified; what chance of the big ones being sorted out? Time will tell I expect; breath holding is not recommended.

No matter; we are off to take a look at some timber slabs which have been drying for a couple of years; some of it 'exotic' some of it rare. Brought down in a storm but carefully stored, slabbed and attended. Can't wait to see it; hopefully there will be some 'furniture' quality lengths to preserve as something worth keeping.


There's trouble; at the mill.

Well, nearly; 'the Mill' being the BRB indaba. P7 began in the now time honoured way - “Time, gentlemen please” - usually darts are laid to rest; and the crew ambles over to their preferred table, and, they usually settle in, a little noisy, jokes get finished and final words of a conversation are uttered, but, in reasonable order. Not so last evening; quiet, serious, and; an under laying vibration of a confrontation brewing. “Right then”, says P7 “where do we want to start”? Smart call that; there has been, this week, a fairly hefty agenda, what with Estimates and all. But, in primus it was ATSB with ASA running a close second, third across the line was CASA. The also ran straggled home as best they could. But it was Rex and the latest 'paradox' produced by ATSB's very own Popinjay et al which created a -well – lets call it a robust discussion.

“Two paradoxes are better than one, they may even suggest a solution.”

The questions raised are clear enough – any professional reading the ATSB publication would have several questions, which, in all fairness, do indeed deserve some sort of response. P2 has kindly provided the 'report' – HERE – and from an ATSB 'operational' standpoint it raises some legitimate concerns. For example; why was it escalated from a 'short' investigation to a 'defined' investigation, without, at very least, acknowledging some 'fundamental' clearly visible issues? 

“Defined investigations look at transport safety accidents and incidents of a more complex nature than short investigations, and seek to identify systematic safety issues that reveal underlying causes of an occurrence.”

And this, boys and girls is where the longest wrangle the BRB has ever had began. There were some serious questions asked by folks who do know of what they speak about the necessity of this investigation element being invoked. With your indulgence I shall try to explain the implications, the pro's and the blatant cons.

“We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”

The 'need' for the upgrade of inquiry was discussed, in detail; non could see the reasoning behind that; given the 'report' as it stands; on topics discussed: makes no sense. – Then, an artful interlocutor framed an argument which carried some weight and was given some serious consideration. It went something like this:-

“Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”

Several copies from various sources of the SAAB 340 check list were provided; various operators and etc. A fair spread of 'operational' checklists. Once these were handed out, the speaker asked one question - “how many here always, no matter the weather, take a walk around the ship pre departure: 78% always; 12% unless its snowing, blowing or pissing down (subject FO reliability); 10% rarely. Next question, who among this gathering has worked (at one time or another) with a system where there is a 'requirement' for the pins and bungs to accounted for, and even be shown to the Skipper and stowed - pre departure; 90%. OK; so now how many here have tested, as part of a pre take off check list, the 'Nuts and Knees' check to ensure that all control surfaces are performing design function in the required manner? 100%.

“I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.”

You can see where this was all heading; Ayup, it all landed on my lap; the Rex 'Operations Manual' is not available, nor is their checklist. However, there are many examples of 'check lists' available; so a quick dig around provided a couple of 'anomalies' across the range; and, some 'iron-clad' requirements. Such as 'Controls – Checked' – during taxi or before take off. Then, there is the mystery of the 'Gust lock' every check list calls for it to be on pre shut down; and, it is a 'significant' system. Every list I looked at calls for on before shut down, but not mentioned as 'OFF' before 'start' – however, being entirely ignorant of the type; enough said.

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”

It all begs questions; have ATSB failed, dismally, (yet again) to answer correctly? But worse, in the opinion of many, they have failed to identify the simple fact that the crew dropped a rather large bollock. The FO clearly buggered up the pre flight; the Skipper failed to ensure that pins and bungs were 'away' and who did the pre take off 'controls full and free' checks? One hole there; but ATSB have dug themselves yet another hole; in the wrong yard. Had this been left alone as a 'short' investigation, there is no doubt (non at all) that the REX SMS/ CTS/ HOTAC/ HR/ CP and etc, would have it sorted out before morning tea. But, for ATSB to ramp it up to a 'Detailed' they really needed to get the basics sorted out and have the guts to call it as it is, for what it was.

Mitchell and his little band of 'happy clappers' and spin merchants need to go and let the professionals within recover the credibility ATSB once had. There is a long list now of botched, stuffed up, half baked investigations; first Beaker, then Hood started the real rot: and now the Popinjay continues the farce. – The 'real' tin kickers must be as heart sick of the Kool Aide fountain clutch by now as we all are. ATSB - an expensive and absolutely essential element of safety for the travelling public, flight crew and the incumbent minister. This international embarrassment must stop; and soon, before the ATSB becomes redundant, borderline useless to industry as it stands now. Check out the video from Estimates – HERE -; dismissed, with in-house lawyer assistance -  in less than three minutes. 

That's it; the opinions of my peers, betters and research stated as well as I can manage it.

The mog and the pup have just shot through here doing about thirty knots; Mog finally had enough has taken to a high cupboard; if I could speak 'cat-tongue' the request would be simple; but I get it. Problem with pups is wearing 'em out; short nap and its full throttle again; there is a large collection of 'stuff' on the workshop floor; an old boot; a wrecked 'UG' boot, various 'squeaky' things, a collection of 'off cuts' and assorted shavings. I try to clean up; I do, but it seems the workshop brush is a hated enemy of pup world; Oh and my boot laces have offended – regularly trimmed; clearly an OHS matter. Right then; who wants a walk? Silly question really – Away then! Oh, big dog just jumped the orchard fence; graceful, powerful and elegant; cat went through it; pup left with no option but to bark at it – payback; in the animal kingdom. Long may it reign...


Myths, legends and classics.

The Hyrda of Lerna for example; even poor old Heracles needed some serious assistance to rid the 'poor folk' of the beast which plagued them. The Hyrda is (by legend) reputed to have somewhere between seven and nine heads; poisonous breath and; should one of its heads get chopped off; two more would emerge. Hell of a job though. The two legendary hero's worked together; Heracles 'chopping' his young nephew (Iolaus) cauterising to prevent the regrowth. Now then the monsters haunt was a swamp; to wit, the marshes, near Lerna (according to legend). The whole tale is, in all probability, symbolic legend, a fanciful legend born of the cover up for some bent tax collector being clobbered for double dipping one time too many.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

Remind you of anything current? It should. Only problem is – no Heracles (nor beautiful assistant) to do the deed and slay the beast? Well, not today at least – however.

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”

Avoiding as far as possible the filthy business of 'politics' and those embroiled; perhaps it is time to examine the particular 'swamp' in which our very own Hydra lurks. That bubble we call Canberra, a seething morass of dangerous departments; all with nine heads, each capable of regenerating another two. Rapacious, powerful and lethal to any who dare challenge it.  Albo (SHDH) is no Heracles; not by a long shot he ain't; but does have another seven or eight heads to rely on -  ministers. Two bob a dozen; buy one, get one free. You only need watch P2's most excellent 'You Tube'–channel _ HERE _ to see how the Hydra operates; or plod through some of the outrageous ASA, ATSB and CASA recent advertorials to realise that 'the beast' is on a rampage. No matter the subject; deflection of core issues, obfuscation of the underpinning 'facts'; smoke screens direct from the 'yin-yang' pleasantly scented to please those who enjoy the stench of rancid Frog pooh. Even though, in the eyes of their international peers and betters they appear bizarre. All this despite the outrage of an industry which has 'safety' as a crucial business element being beholden to all the 'services' provided for that safety and pays dearly for it. Grab a bucket and watch/ read through ASA latest sleight of hand, designed to pass all responsibility for air – to air separation onto the flight crew; the 'bait' is a subsidy (45%)  to install their latest 'get out of goal card' fallacy. Pathetic; but the Hydra fully supports removing as much 'government' responsibility for the unholy mess as possible – at tax payer expense , of course. I can hear it now. Headline -  “ two aircraft collide and plough into a school”  Response “Oh, well, what can we do; we even subsidised the latest technology to prevent these events”. BOLLOCKS;;;;WAS THERE ANY TRAFFIC CONTROL IN THE AREA? “Oh no, they have to do that themselves; that's why we paid for the gear, dont'cha know”

“A member of Parliament to Disraeli: 'Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.'

That depends, Sir,' said Disraeli, 'whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

Aye well, it is not all doom, gloom and monsters lurking in swamps. There is a 'shadow Minister' who bats for the other team and she is a brilliant breath of fresh air.. Regrettably not in power – as yet – for that we must hope (and make votive offerings to your favourite pagan gods). The book (Tote) is open for early punters; three events:-

First out the door Plate  - (short odds on the obvious).
Under the Bus Cup – (early betting favours a wide field of serious contenders).
Cover Up Trophy – (wide open field at the moment; odds may vary towards race day).

Anyway; I will update the odds as we approach the 'great down tools' and settle 'em in the new year; should be interesting. Odds to follow (gods willing, weather permitting)..........

That's it; the roof from Hell is complete; had an Ale or three with the other five gentlemen involved; all flogged and travel weary now. It was a monster. No matter, time now to catch up with the things which really matter; like recovering my boot laces and trying to pick up matching socks from the workshop floor; there's a lot of 'em, mixed with boots, squeaky toys and various other sundry bits a pieces. But now: Ale, smoke and a long, long, quiet walk in the balmy evening air; the rest can wait.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”


Ineptitude, Insouciance and perhaps...

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance, were it not for making living, which is rather a nouciance.

“Begin at the beginning”, the King said (very gravely). All well and good for the King; he did not have to 'begin' at the beginning' did he? But the BRB did; and, I must add, it was quite a session. The 'problem' – for a humble scribe, was to define, exactly, where it it all did begin. The subject was casually raised by one of the fellahin; “Yeah but what about the fatal in WA and Ministers King's ABC interview? “Howzat for the purblind leading the ignorant?”.  Well, nothing else would do but 'that' interview was played to all; and, that's about when the roof was raised about four inches. The ATSB report, the Spence comments; the ATSB's softly – softly; and, the CASA board joy flight into the world of adventure flying. Go figure, FOI not allowed to sit in the cockpit (safety concerns) but; when the 'board' is offered a free flight (with water) over the remote regions of swamp and crocodile breeding grounds; nothing else would do but a 'free-be' flight at about $350 an hour or so was acceptable, with 'board members' inboard? WTD - BOLLOCKS!   

But now I digress; begin at the beginning. Fair warning, there is a lot of reading and listening to do. In the beginning an aircraft with a clearly identified 'problem' was undergoing 'checks' – furry muff. There was a 'strange' vibration  a 'rattling' of spoons in a critical element; so the guru's were called in to listen, look, hear and 'test'. So far so good; critical component vibration noted, engineers in attendance; pilot to do the honours – just another day in the helicopter world. Alas; the 'BANG' preceded the ambulance, required to take away two dead. WHY??? This should never, not ever, happen. There was an identified 'problem' there were professionals on site to analyse and rectify a critical preventative maintenance 'problem' and as it eventuated, a young life taking critical element. All routine properly (i.e - by the book) attended to and actioned 'correctly'. But no; ambulance and bodies to be removed were the results of that laissez-faire.

“Crimes determined to take place engender all they need: victims, circumstances, pretexts, opportunities.”

Probably:- The best place to start is (probably) with minuscule Dickey King's ABC interview related to the matter. Now, I dare say that the 'interviewer' is a truly lovely lady; bright, switched on etc – but dumb as a hammer and clearly under researched; in short NDI about what she was dealing with. However, in fairness, neither did the minuscule.

“There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man's needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means.”

For example:-

DK: “Well, what I will say is that it’s really important that we have an independent Civil Aviation Safety Agency that focuses on safety, and the ATSB, whilst they did not find any findings against CASA, what I’ve asked CASA to do is to look at this incident, make sure that there is any other lessons that they would learn from that, and if there’s anything further they need to do, that they need to do so.”

BRB - “Findings - what - “against” CASA? King doesn't seem to understand, let alone know; how the system works.  - ATSB is a Bureau, not an Authority. This was a ‘Defined’ investigation; therefore, regulatory aspects would be completely 'out-of-scope'. There is a very relevant question begging - as to why this wasn't a ‘Systemic’ investigation from the get-go: considering the past accidents involving Robinson and operations in the Northern Regions under CASA 'surveillance'.

Idiot interviwer (II) - Nadia Mitsopoulus : Who are 12 year old Amber’s parents?” &etc....

DK: Unimaginable, unimaginable, and I’ve got a 15‑year‑old, I think all of us can just imagine, you know, what we would feel in those circumstances, and have put them in touch with the head of CASA, Pip Spence, they’ve been talking to her and they’re in touch fairly regularly.

BRB - The very last thing any grieving family needs is a bureaucrat, a stranger (with an an arse to protect and skin in the game), that they don’t know - “regularly” consoling them. There are specific strategies, based on much past, professional experience and training, regarding dealing with the accident victims next-of-kin, particularly when a child is involved. Spence just isn't one of them!

DK: “But again, it’s whether there was any further action in terms of the maintenance of this craft, whether there’s more, broader systemic things that they think they need to do. So they’re continuing to look at that, but ATSB have finished its investigation and didn’t find any direct findings against CASA, and really what ATSB will do, and they’re the investigators, will look at whether there’s any systemic failures that need further work.”

BRB - But How??? This was defined (modulated) to a “defined” investigation; not a 'systemic' investigation. Whole world of difference. ATSB being obliging and Popinjay (he, a graduate of the NFI idea club) just hopes it all slides by. BOLLOCKS....

II - “Could they (CASA)  be more proactive?

DK:  “I think ATSB did not find that, but what I would say is we are all eyes.

BRB - NOT "Passing strange".  - They didn’t find any regulatory issues, as the weren't looking for them, as requested, -in a “Defined” investigation. BOLLOCKS.

(II) - Nadia Mitsopoulus : ATSB has completed their report and they’ve done what was asked of them, isn’t the issue here the fact that there were another six unreported incidents and accidents?

DK - “ATSB has completed their report and they’ve done what was asked of them.”

BRB As they’re an independent agency, free of ALL Ministerial directions and influence - (a subtle, yet important point) - they have “done" exactly that which what was 'asked' of them' and nothing more - other than assisting (once again) CASA to dodge the bullet.,

Look you; the BRB went on for hours – the ABC radio interview is – HERE – for those as can stomach it. But, if there was ever a more clearly defined example of why 'aviation' in Australia needs to be properly governed and brought back into the 'Mandarins' careful directing and management; if only to protect a crown minister making a 'tit' of his/herself on the international stage of 'matters aeronautical' through the ineptitude and insouciance of the monster they created. We used to be ranked amongst the top ten in the world – across the board. Reduced through governmental 'hands off' approach alongside deliberately (with intent) abrogating any and all responsibility to somewhere near total zero; bar collecting monies (tax money) and supplying more than enough for that 'independent' no accountable luxury.

“In a gold rush you make the easy money selling shovels”

There's more; much, much more. This event in WA has exposed the 'weakness' inherent in a system where the public pays, in dollars and lives, to protect a seriously flawed, demonstrably failing system of protection for the tax paying, voting, travelling public. It is as this case in point proves, a total duckling shambles based on bigger budgets which the tax payer meets, and professional arse covering . Nowhere near good enough. Not by a long, long, weary bloody march it ain't. What say you minuscule? Want to meet a team of independent, qualified professionals? Debate this case, in public? Nah; thought not, knife to a gun fight methinks.  Hint :-Remember that old joke about the fellah who berated God for letting him drown? When he'd finished raving about it; God just said well, I sent you a life jacket; ignored (on faith). I sent you the rescue boat; ignored; (on faith) I sent the helicopterSadignored (on faith) – small wonder you drowned.....

“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”

Its late; the Mog just strolled across the key board and left through the window in high dudgeon; big dog took himself off a half hour ago; the pup is sleeping wrapped around an almost destroyed tennis shoe; no matter, I shall sign off here; walk outside, whistle them up and we shall amble off into an almost perfect spring evening. Sometimes it is best to just do.


The time has come, the Walrus said;

Of Shoes; Handy things shoes; particularly when there is an arse kicking job that must be done. And; done it must be. It must be done by the Collation, in the 'now' before the next election. They have been gifted a pair of 'kicking clogs' in relation to the rapid delamination of the entire aviation 'infrastructure' in place, that which is supposed to have the 'safety' of the travelling public as a 'Raison d'etre'.

Of ships; these, believe it or not, may be considered the vessels used to haul the hoi-polloi, their peers and betters about the place; even the PM uses a 'ship of the sky' to tootle about in. Many and varied are the aeronautical beasts which plough the wide skies above the GAFA (Great Australian Fuck All).

Of sealing wax; strange stuff this, used to 'seal' promises, pledges, approvals, 'secrets' and many other bits of parchment and paper; those which matter and those which must be kept secret'. More often, these days, the simple 'rubber stamp' is used; but the effect, nevertheless, is the same. Operational approval for 'fings what fly' are 'signed, sealed and delivered: and; they are documents which matter.

Of Cabbages: not the brightest of beast; stuck in the mud and horse shit; one of the many, waiting their turn to be chopped out, with little regret, by those who planted this vegetable of limited intellectual capacity. However, with a little care and schooling, they can be coxed into singing, almost any small song their master requests to hear; they do it most beautifully,  - when schooled in chorus.

And Kings: well only one those for the opposition Senators to be concerned with. Not really a 'King' - more a subservient sort of puppet ruler, put in charge of a small chunk of the 'big King's' holdings. Given many minions and viziers: always, watched and carefully advised but rarely, if ever, let off the leash.

The purpose of all these wondrous things revolves around the two 'big' questions. To wit:-

And why the sea is boiling hot —?

Well, that's an easy one, ain't it boys and girls?  Very little spoils the big King's day except the water becoming a little too warm. Oh, don't fret, there's copious amounts of cold water available and many willing slaves to carry it to where it needs be placed; about the sensitive nether regions of the big King. Not much upsets this status quo – except when the question of:-

“whether pigs have wings”. Becomes a high voltage water heater. And; it seems children; they do. Or, they did, at one time actually have such appendages and they are defiantly going to heat up the water if (pregnant pause)........'IF' this most excellent committee, the one which dug deeply into 'Qatar gate' keep ramping up the 'heat'. The 'numbers' matter; P2's most excellent 'you-tube' channel and the humble numbers of AP reads reflect, quite accurately (IMO) the way the hoi-polloi are thinking.  On the forum boards and on P2's channel ministerial cabbage King runs at about 1: 12; that's one 'look at' for her and a dozen for the Opposition. But, its a small wonder; in reality; why would you bother to read, watch or listen to the King cabbage?  King, on the Qatar decision – 408 views. Sen McKenzie 5, 500 views. King has become as redundant, not called to the committee and now, if the good McKenzie keeps the heat on, likely to run into more 'flak' as the minister responsible for the right royal departmental cock-ups and fatal events occurring in the 'top end'. Great chance to flatten the 'opposition' for McKenzie et al – let's hope they seize the gifted opportunity.

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognise the opportunity.”

King is not, is any way shape or form responsible for three deaths related to the  'helicopter' operations to which the deaths relate. HOWEVER; as 'the minister' de jour; it falls to her to ensure; in no uncertain terms; that this type of CASA incompetence and lack of 'operational reality' combined with some clever manipulation of legislation and system sleight of hand cannot be 'authorised' or ignored; ever again. FCOL the bloody CASA board went on a junket with this 'Croc of' outfit; in the face of clear evidence of operational stupidity and possibly gross piss take of the safety system; with CASA in support. P2 has, (as usual) almost destroyed any possible defence CASA could mount in the face of the evidence, industry concerns and the crystal clear 'manipulation' of system.  Take the time and think it all through as an operator/ chief pilot or CASA delegate. The whole thing is outrageous and proven to be lethal,  P2' homework – HERE - HERE -  and – HERE.  CASA behaviour either so dumb as to beggar belief or so outrageous as to be construed as party to the problem. No one could possibly be that dumb, – or so I thought - until I read some of the names involved; then, Poof, just like that the mystery vanished. Aye; 'tis true, Cock up beats conspiracy every time...

“I was entirely unconvinced about anything, except that some people were strong and attractive and could do what they wanted, and others were caught and disgraced.”

All in all, an acknowledged, screaming basket case resulting in unnecessary fatalities. Bad enough on multiple levels;  but to add insult to industry injury we have the ATSB commissioner (no less) authorising a top cover 'report' which not only makes mock, but caps it all off with the audacity to publicly state this:-

“Chief Commissioner of the ATSB, Angus Mitchell, said the aviation safety watchdog “welcomes that CASA has revised its documented regulatory exemption process, which should assure an adequate level of safety is achieved and documented when approving regulatory exemptions”.  (Heave, retch – Bucket here; now, fast type)............

“Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain't that a big enough majority in any town?”

I say that those who actually 'know' the full story should be demanding a full inquiry into both the 'Broome' event and the 'Croc Eggs' saga. Forensic comparison of simple things like pilot log books/ trip records to invoice and maintenance records will reveal the story CASA failed to examine. There are some 'other' operational matters which, IMO could stand a serious, long, hard, independent 'look-at'. Ministerial integrity on the line here? Oh, you bet..

The problem you have minister; is so very, very simple. You only have CASA and ATSB to rely on; we, on the other hand have deep industry connections, experience, real credentials,  friends and some fairly hefty operational experience and knowledge to fall back on. Please be aware that if Sen McKenzie don't 'rock – you' – we just may – given a platform, in the interests of the travelling public and the honest, compliant part of the aviation industry which is suffering while the type of operation discussed is allowed, even assisted, to flourish. Until someone gets killed, of course.

Aye well; bloody rain. Build a 'shed' for a fellah, no trouble; then it rains and rains and the doors so carefully measured and made to fit flatly refuse to cooperate. I need two days of good weather; he wants his doors fitted. No problem; the doors are warm and dry in the stable – and when the weather decides to cooperate; then we shall see. Love building sheds; should be made mandatory – one in every back yard; two days of honest work and something to look at when its done. No two timber sheds are exactly same – Luv it.  I wondered what in the garden had attracted the little dog's attention; found out last evening “Away” I called, the Mog and big dog both stopped dead in their tracks; the pup was ahead of 'em by four yards – found the hole in the fence this morning. Too late to thump him and DT has not spotted it – I reckon I'll let it be for the while.


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