The Sunday Brunch Gazette.

#SBG: 11 June '17

Of all the gin joints, of all the towns in all the world.

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Opening gambits. “In all openings there is a struggle for key territory, in particular the centre squares, and an effort to deploy pieces and pawns in useful positions. Some are direct, while others are more subtle and indirect approaches toward these goals.”  Wheeler.

Well; seems our minister for transport has finally managed to get his ‘pawns’ into ‘useful’ positions; the opening gambit has been an agonizingly slow process; due to the need for endless consultation with ‘advisors’. The time taken to position his pieces, has, more through ennui than concern for strategy; almost lulled the opposition into a somnambulant state; almost.

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One of the great things about chess is the onus of responsibility for future actions. One cannot blame a Rook if a Bishop claims it; no more than a Queen can be held accountable for the demise of a knight. They were moved as you dictated; their demise entirely of your own making and lack of foresight; you never loose at chess, you always get beaten by your own machinations, lack of imagination or an inability to see the others game. Unless of course the opposition spots your game  and moves to counter it through superior development. Later of course, when relaxing in the hairdressers, enjoying a well earned pedicure; there may be a moment when the thought “WTF - was I thinking?” emerges. That, is when the questions unanswered surface and the relaxation terminates.

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6D - "So that's what it feels like...!!"

You see, our hapless, witless, Darren-6D has arrived at the point where his reading of the game is in serious doubt; his pawn play has not quite developed the results expected; in fact, he is, to the close observer ‘in deep do-do’. The longer he stays in denial of the evidence in front of him, the more at risk his Queen becomes. He attempted to sacrifice his King early in the game (Red faced King for 6D) thinking there was an advantage to be had through the move; alas.

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The Knights and Bishops were well positioned to support the King so the sacrifice manoeuvre was not quite the success hoped for. In fact it placed his whole game plan at hazard. Looking now at the board, as it stands his position is almost untenable. There is a confused area in the middle board which, if he don’t untangle tout de suit (the tooter the sweeter) will; as the game progresses, undermine and eventually collapse the entire strategy.

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The miniscule’s last move came on the very last tick of the time clock; he has brought the Queens castle into the game; in the guise of a newly anointed director of aviation safety (silly name) or; boss CASA, the erstwhile Carmody. The popular ‘Australian Flying’ magazine asset ‘Hitch’ has penned another balanced, sensible comment on this appointment which is worth the time to read. Indeed, the article should, if matters aeronautical were ‘normal’, mark the end of the topic. Regrettably, this is not the case.

We, (BRB and IOS) have for a while now studied the Carmody ‘style’, listened to his words and noted the actions taken. Senate estimates is not a bad place to start; you get the sense of a dyed in the wool ‘ministry man’ speaking with his master’s voice; you note the hardened bureaucratic corners and the immediate retreat into ‘departmental’ deep cover when the game heats up a little. Argumentative in defence of his own department; unable to respond outside of the brief when that is challenged. In short, this is not a reformer. This is a safe pair of hands, covering the ministerial rump which will not rock the boat. Don’t forget they claim to have ‘scoured the world’ to find a suitable man to fill the role; and of all the men, in all the world, they only had to look two doors down the corridor to find Carmody. Well, believe it if you like; then give me a call, I’ve a bridge for sale you may be interested in buying.

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We could, at a pinch, tolerate this if things were not in such a bloody dreadful state. We could even feel comfortable with the selection if there was tangible, credible evidence that the 60 odd recommendations made, demanding  reform of CASA were taking place; albeit at a cart horse speed. We could even smile occasionally if we thought that ‘real’ safety was being pursued through the system. You could even take a safe bet that there would be a celebration if some of the known ‘evil’ in garden was being weeded out. I regret, non of this is likely to happen.

Carmody has clearly demonstrated, through his now infamous ‘Duck-off’ responses to various, serious matters where he stands on the deep reasons for industry outrage. The notion of turning over a new page and starting again cannot erase that which was written.  

There are other tell-tale signs that there will be no real reform of the regulator. That aside there are even more alarming signs that there will be no ‘change in approach’ to some very serious issues. As the ‘ministers man’ Carmody must find solutions to the questions which beset his masters.

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One of the most onerous and sinister hardly rates a mention anywhere this week; with your indulgence and patience, let me direct you to a recent case brought to the AAT; the tale of Wotherspoon v CASA. At first glance – it is a ‘so-what’ story. The underlying aberrations typify one of the major reasons for the demanded reform of the regulator. This was not a ‘safety case’ it was an example of CASA muscle flexing, for all the wrong reasons, to achieve absolutely no benefit to anyone; a gross misuse of system and power to achieve nothing that could not be settled over a coffee, by men of good will.  

Carmody must now try to remove his minister from the spotlight shining on the buildings encroaching on operational runways and the very real, significant risk to the shopping public that entails.

The almost farcical passing of all responsibility, denial of involvement and attempts to convince the SE committee that runway end obstacle clear surfaces are akin to public safety zones would be hilarious; if it were not so real and bloody dangerous. Carmody is up to his hocks in that and, through the Estimates Hansard, proven to be part of the problem. Airports = developers green fields in Mrdak speak.

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Rampant airport development puts thousands in danger: planning ...

The ministerial drone  is beset by plastic ‘drones’ and Carmody must also resolve that problem; much as he would like to deny that CASA have any sort of role to play. You know, they rolled the dice when they allowed, without protest, the building of the DFO at Essendon, nothing was said when Archerfield was seriously embuggered; even less is being said of the travesty at Bankstown. “Not our responsibility” they say, “we only advise”, while believing that an aircraft will never collide with a building ‘close in’. Well boys and girls one did, with fatal results. Is the Carmody CASA now taking steps to eradicate the 'drone' risk; or, looking for ways to duck the fallout when trumps turn to shite? You all know the answer to that question as well as I do. For the removal of any doubt; start HERE.

Carmody has a full plate of ‘other’ interesting matters which demand his attention; the small matter of the ASRR, the insignificant CVD issue, the part 61 shambles, the CAO 48.1 row, cleaning out the snake pit sociopaths;  all of this before breakfast and golf, followed by lunch and the Pel-Air report landing with a splash, on a desk near him in the near future. Do you see the waste of time and money preceding the Carmody appointment? Had the ‘reform’ process been instituted after the ASRR was published; there would be an almost perfect defence against the Pel-Air scandal. The layers of smoke and dazzle of mirrors may well fool the village idiot; or a minister, but not the real world. Not only was there never any intention of implementing the ASRR recommendations; there was an active effort made to make sure that the power base Carmody has inherited remained not only intact and immutable; but better protected.

This hapless minister needs to disavow, immediately, the notion that Mrdak, the department, Carmody or Aleck are there to keep him squeaky clean. They will, without any hesitation, throw him under the first bus which challenges the status quo. Ask John Sharp, he'll tell you - that and more.

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“ Nations thus tempted to interfere are not always able to resist the counsels of seeming expediency and ungenerous ambition, although measures adopted under such influences seldom fail to be unfortunate and injurious to those adopting them”. Lincoln.

That's it; to mention the shambles at ASA or consider the expense of pointless appearances of the Hi-Viz Hood at every bloody accident, getting under the IIC feet, seems to be one step beyond the sublime. This minister is in serious trouble; one has to wonder if taking a knife to a gun fight is really a sound policy? Mind you, he is unlikely to attend anyway - preferring the safe havens of the hairdressing saloons, surrounded by acolytes and such.

Enough: a new bench for the potting shed is required; there is no viable escape. Picks up tool box, whistles up dogs and trudges down the garden path to the 4x2 and 8x1 awaiting saw, plane, mallet and chisel. Mortise and tenon practice - lots of.

Toot - toot.

A most satisfactory Sunday afternoon.

Took a chance today; paid the ‘lad’ a visit; just on spec. Easy to find, down the garden path, left hand down for the potting shed, not right to the stable (domestic tyranny), the unmistakable, lazy, easy sound of a 136 year old ‘rip –saw’ taking down a wide board; I wish I had a dollar for every mile of timber that veteran has cut. Haven’t got the patience to ‘sharpen’ myself; “K” makes it look simple, one stroke with a file and the chisel edge tooth is razor sharp again. I had come prepared; I liberated a brown bottle and took the top off; lifting a second – to the shake of a head. Sharp tools and beer don’t really mix that well; “I’ll wait a bit” say he ‘thanks’. So we waited; chatting spasmodically while 24 Tenon’s were cut, 24 mortises were chopped; the frame assembled, not nail or a screw in sight; rock solid. So, we sat on the thing; I opened his bottle and we sat a spell, the floor covered in sawdust, shavings and ‘chips’, the shed redolent in the smells of freshly cut timer. “Job’s done” say’s he. “Done right” says I.

Oh, there is a point; humour me. One man can get things done ‘right’. The need for a new bench was clearly identified, modifications were required, discussed and finalised. Lumber was ordered, the tools were made efficient and available, the plan clear and understood. One solid day of hard work provided the end result. A little sweat, not much blood and very little in the way bad language (considering) produced the desired outcome; a rock solid, well constructed improvement, which will be of benefit.

Do you see how easy it could be for ASA, ATSB and CASA to simply ‘get it done’. No bullshit, no ducking, no weaving, no power play, no ego and importantly no reneging on promises made. Just roll up the sleeves and get on with it. If they need tools, we can lend them; if they need lumber we can find it; if they need some heavy lifting done we can assist; all they need is the discipline to realise that a job needs doing and set about it with a good heart. Hells bells, we even have the talent within the industry to make certain that what they do is rock solid, of both benefit and value. So? Why are they ducking around, pretending they can’t do it; or looking for reasons not to do it. They really don’t want to do it, that’s why.

I, for one, would like to know why they eschew gainful, satisfactory employment; preferring to hide from task. “They can’t mucking well can’t do it” says “K” as he heads for the stable, the fire place, the dogs and an ale – “but they dare not admit that”.

Out of the mouths of babes and suckling’s eh?

A calloused hand offers a glass full of amber promise, the fire crackles, the dogs settle down, the tools reflect stolen glimpses of fire light, clean, oiled and well satisfied with a days work – well done. Cheers and good night.

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A cluster of ducks.

Def: ‘Re’ – money down the drain.

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me."

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The ‘Iron Re’ can’t all be ineffectual, intellectually conflicted, incompetents; can it? It ain’t mathematically possible Shirley. I have met some X-Re’s who were first class; but bloody happy to be out of the Sleepy Hollow swamp. I wonder what an ‘exit interview’ review would produce, if the non disclosure and confidentiality clauses were set aside; a fine tale for a winters night is my bet. There is something seriously, fundamentally ‘rotten’ within the department satellites, aviation wise. Yet AMSA with a similar remit and system seem to manage, quite well, to keep their skirts out of the horse pooh and set an example how things should be. There are not a lot of ‘re’s’ on their copy books, few blots and not a great deal of ‘inquiry’ into the way they conduct matters maritime. They face scrutiny, get asked difficult questions and are asked to explain stuff about ‘what’ they do; but not ‘how’ they do it. 

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The aviation agencies just seem to stumble from crisis to crisis; inquiry to inquiry, investigation to investigation, report to report, review to review, rewrite to rewrite - without even a hint of apology or re – form. Valid question P2. Even more valid is how much has all this ‘re’ cost? I reckon the PM would donate his left one to charity for that amount of squandered hard cash on hand. We are talking billions here.

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I expect we could live with the expenditure if it had provided a world leading system, paving the way for the country to meet the challenges of the future and served the needs of a dynamic industry – alas. For many of the BRB the ‘money’ cost is not the biggest item on the  ticket. Airports and infrastructure rate high on the anger scale; what has been sanctioned and allowed to by pass any form of safety net is disgraceful.

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The recent fatal crash of a King Air at Essendon airport has highlighted some fairly serious safety issues. Safety of the general public and aircraft operations. A reasonable man could expect a massive, positive reaction from our safety agencies to the event; well folks, we got a reaction alright. Instant, holistic denial of not only the risks but of the responsibility; across the board, each department passing the parcel around. Mr Pea Body has provided some pictorial evidence (Pigs arse 3 and 4) which is damning.

The Estimates committee have asked questions which produced some of the most ingenious obfuscating ever uttered; the DoIT in flat denial and the ATSB far too busy, being 'busy' - trying not to rock the big boys boat and hiding behind the ‘investigation’. It is bad enough that that any and all ‘responsibility’ is denied, but where there is a deliberate muddying of the waters, it is time to call a halt. Much depends on RRAT committee, no pressure, but if this Senate crew can’t start to turn things around, then the need for elections is over – the bureaucrats are running the show.

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Looks like the SE committee have turned the heat up under the ASA pot another notch. Many believe the Senators know exactly where the bodies are buried and are now gathering the evidence required for conviction; this, will be worth watching as it unfolds.

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Not that the MSM will pay it the attention it merits, too many reasons not to.  “Delicious scandal boss; corruption, huge sums of money, sex, booze, drugs, dodgy deals, top floor involved, everything; there’s a prize in this story”. –  Ed. “Sorry Son, spike it, we’ve been asked to play this one down – top floor and legal involved, just leave it and go and cover the dog show”.

It was P2 who first spotted the ‘deficit’ in the ASA log of FOI. AP does not mind when he gets the odd juicy bone; but dreads having to take it off him. Seems our Estimate committee are of the same water.

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The ASA have sent Halfwit in to try and talk ‘em to death, hoping they’ll let go of their end. Someone, tell him – he’s dreaming’.

The drone wars saga is getting interesting, show casing several departments caught with their pants down, which is neither unusual or particularly novel. The way in which our Senators are using the leverage provided to open several cans of worms is of great interest. The session with Civil Air (ATCO’s association) was noteworthy – you could not see the smiles, but they were there; nicely done CA. Bravo. (Wait for Hansard – all will become clear).

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For those who have neither time nor patience to follow the stories unfolding, but prefer a ‘nutshell’ example of just how bloody hopeless the agencies really are; those responsible to the minister, responsible to the general public for their safety and security, read this small article from Australian Flying – penned by Hitch. A classic and the drop dead truth. Don’t say ‘unbelievable’ - just read it and try not to burst into tears of frustration or hysterical laughter. ASIC ‘re’ badged to Isic – I sick of it.

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The Last Minute Hitch: 16 July 2017
16 Jun 2017
There's revolution in the air, AAHOF gets a home, Bankstown and Camden are on the FOWSA map and the Wings Awards deadline looms. Read more

Two more for then pot then: RE form the bloody Regulator. Shameless O’Comedy is not the right man to do that; for a start he can’t speak the language, understanding only ministerial expediency and bureaucratic obfuscation. After the reform of the regulator – by all means bring in a mandarin, but only when the CASA board is useful, the department productive and honest and the wilfully destroyed bridges between industry and government have been repaired, declared serviceable and returned to design function.

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Aye well, there never was much hope that things would improve – not for real, even less now if the aviation community is so inured of the BOHICA mind set and continues to assume the position to accommodate, rather than telling ‘em to bugger off, there will be less chance again.

No matter; there is, hiding under a dust sheet in my stable a rather lovely, very old, much abused wardrobe. It must be 150 at least, the challenge is to restore it to ‘original’ condition, as it came the cabinet maker. First, it must be disassembled, it’s always fascinating to look at the saw kerf left by a craftsman on a joint that last saw daylight a century and a half ago; you can actually tell if it was an apprentice, journey man or master who made the cuts. Lost skills, redundant now – the lock on the door was even made by hand – can’t wait meet the shades of the men who made such things.    

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The poem; ‘An Irish Airman Forsees his death’ by the laureate Yeats is worth the time – as is the entire “the Wild Swans at Coole” collection. There were men of our line who would relate to every sentiment expressed, moreover, they would understand, completely, the messages. Anyway – FWIW, the whole thing:-  

I know that I shall meet my fate,
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind

In balance with this life, this death.

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Of Mushrooms and Mandarins.

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I’d reckon nearly everyone who flies any sort of aircraft has had the experience of being somewhere ‘social’ – BBQ – for example and being cornered by a ‘concerned’ person. You know the script – and the many variations of same. Part of the ‘job’ is to allay, as best you may, those ‘fears’; simple explanations of ‘technical’ matters to a lay person ain’t always easy, but we try. One of the problems you face, when ‘explaining’ a thing to a stranger is that you have no prior knowledge of their ‘knowledge’ or understanding of the subject. Now, lots of folk ain’t mushrooms and, the majority of folk have a ‘pony-pooh’ meter and can tell when they are being kept in the dark and fed same.  So it's best to stick close to the truth.

The Senators comments, highlighted toward the end of the - P2 Post - serve well to illustrate the point of this ramble.

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In primus; as mentioned, Carmody is the new face of Dorian Grey; however, the old, bedevilled painting still exists. Much as Darren 6D would like to convince the Senators that the new, manicured, massaged, carefully coiffured visage, the ministerial version DAS is not a revamped Dorian grey; it ain’t going to happen. I suspect the Senators are fully aware that the DAS ‘selection’ was an expensive masquerade. There is, by the way, a large shout for the SE committee to ‘interview’ the rejected, insulted ‘candidates’ for the position – it would be an interesting exercise.

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Large, destructive fires mostly don’t start off that way, same as thunderstorms and hurricanes, they ‘build’; or dissipate, depending on a series of triggers. If one of the triggers is missing – it’s a non event; but if the conditions persist, then, there’s bother. The shit-storm building up around aviation related public and operational safety has been a long while building. There have been so many opportunities, over the past three decades to remove several key triggers wasted, it beggars the imagination. The ASRR was a classic example; not everything desired was mentioned, indeed, it was a very light weight document which; intelligently and honestly applied would have taken some of the heat out of the equation and removed some key triggers - alas.

The compound interest on insults and sleights delivered to a very ‘savvy’, well advised and experienced Senate committee is mounting. Carmody kicked off with a good credit rating and the gifts of latitude and time to repair not only the bridges, but the Estimates crew’s confidence. It took he and his minister what, two Estimates hearings to not only destroy that advantage but reinforce the combative stance previously adopted. Insult to injury was added.

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Well Carmody has screwed the Senate pooch now; well and truly. The Carmody ‘attitude’ may work with a creature like 6D, it may even impress the miniscule’s adoring inner circle – but it cuts no ice with the Senate crew. They can read; and, even write, using joined up letters and everything.  Some of ‘em even know a thing or two about ‘matters aeronautical’; and, everyone one of ‘em has contact with folks who know a hell of a lot more, to explain that which puzzles ‘em. So bluff, bombast and baffling with scientific bullshit won’t work. The Carmody error score is mounting – daily.

Help CASA help you by completing this short survey about our customer service delivery. [url=][/url]

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A familiar pattern is emerging; the CASA customer service survey for example completely ignores every single bone of contention; Part 61, Part 135; CAO 48.1, and many other, significant items with which CASA customers are not bloody well happy; it is a long list. But the survey will be used to foster and promote the notion that all is well; this will be supported by the BITRE soft soap and the whole package, from the smooth Carmody, to the bogged up ‘results’ will be touted as industry satisfaction. Bollocks.

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Darren 6D and his glove puppet, marinating in self deception, are ignoring, at their peril not only several large warning signs, but their ‘true’ position. For a start – the ‘man-in-the-street’ could not give a monkey’s about the tinsel and window dressing; ask one, you’ll get a blank look. Which leaves only a fed up industry of professionals who deal on a daily basis with the shambolic system and the educated Senators – and they won’t hear a bar of the soft, sweet music being piped into the aviation waiting room. Then, one must consider the adding of gross insult to injury to those who are actually involved. There are other prime examples of this; but, for the sake of brevity, let’s just consider Glenn Sterle and Barry O’Sullivan for this exercise.

Both men are intelligent, astute and wise in the wicked ways of the world. Sterle for example may not understand a ‘technical’ detail, but a lucid, straight forward, short explanation will be understood and once the basics are in place, the man can work out the subtleties all by himself and take an argument to a very logical conclusion. You’d be brave and stupid to try and bullshit your way out of a question he asked. He may not know the immediate answer but can spot a fairy story at 100 yards and smell pony-pooh at a mile. O’Sullivan is all of those things, but has a deeper understanding of aviation safety, a coppers steel trap mind and a highly experienced, finely tuned bullshit meter. They are just two of the Senate panel; when you start to add the inestimable Fawcett, the inimitable Xenophon, Gallacher, Black etc. to the mix a careful man would think twice before trying to sell ‘em snake oil; and, at least three times before insulting them. Yet the brand new Mrdak appointee believes he and his crew can do this, with impunity.

Drones are a bit of a hot topic at the moment; there will never, ever be a better example of the CASA ‘method’ for dealing with matters aeronautical. The topic provides a perfect snapshot of the arrogance, belligerence and ‘don’t give a duck’ while covering their collective shiny arses.

Two examples; one to demonstrate the ‘madness’.

One to demonstrate the CASA willingness to tell a Senate committee to shove down the by-pass.

The Senate crew were ‘not amused’ by Pel-Air, they were insulted then; but this latest round of denigration, kicked off by the new DAS and his troops beats the band. Perhaps it’s time for a Senate inquiry into the selection process; backed up by some new legislation. Get the lid of this tin of snakes. What the hell is Carmody thinking with?

Aye, some would think Carmody and crew brave; but not I, nor anyone else I know; Disgusting is a commonly expressed opinion; along with some choice expletives.

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~ ~ ~ ~

FWIW - Seems my ‘Armoire’ restoration is becoming a trip back in time – to Morocco – about 200 years ago. There were some ‘curious’ techniques noted during the dismantling which demanded research, still working through that, but it is, to me at least, fascinating to think of that journeyman cabinet maker, a resident of Morocco – trained by a French master, carefully gluing and clamping the panels together, finishing tidy by the light of an oil lamp. The sound of his bare feet on the sandy stone floor as he swept the bench, that final glance at the work, snuffing the lamp before heading off to the pub. Some jobs are worth doing properly.


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The dilemma of little Bo-peep - understood.

Aunty Pru has lost her tweets, and don't know where to find 'em. In the new age, the notion of them coming home, wagging their tails behind 'em is a phurphey.

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Those following the ‘Drone’ saga will notice, we lost the entire thread during the week; and didn’t know where to find it.

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 However we have cobbled it back together, with little lost continuity, but the previous posts have been merged into a really long one; after that it’s business as usual.

Now, where was I? (shuffles through notes). Several matters worthy of mention; one of which features in a Hitch article from Australian Flying.

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Seems the Australian AOPA has been excluded from a ‘serious sit down’, sent off to sit in the corner. I can’t begin to imagine what the USA or UK chapters must think of this; or gauge their response, it has however created a debate and discussion within the BRB. There is to be an ‘Aviation Safety Advisory Panel’ – ASAP; yup, another one. We have seen this charade many times, in various guises, re-badged and put out as bait for the younger crowd. Older wiser heads can predict almost to the letter what will and what will not occur – history repeating – again. Now, I didn’t just make that up – Paul Phelan writing in Pro Aviation is recommended reading for the serious student.

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Paul has meticulously researched and followed the blighted history of the farce of aviation regulatory reform  for decades; his articles are no short grab, but provide a salutary history lesson. I digress.

Nonetheless, ‘people will come’ to the Darren 6D gabfest, no option mostly; any slim chance of a hint of real reform; or, genuine attempt to make the Forsyth recommendations a reality must be taken. The ‘official’ reason AOPA has been excluded is that it is a member of The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF); a worthy, grown up outfit with a lot of the credentials required to make a difference.

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The list of members is impressive and the management team top draw. On the surface this all seems reasonable, but surely a spare seat or two could be found for the AOPA President and his senior advisor; never would two more sanguine, practical, pragmatic people be found to contribute; if they wished to attend. Same as any senior representative from any outfit the TAAF represented.

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AOPA's Ben Morgan and AMROBA's Ken Cannane are both concerned over the make-up of ASAP. (Steve Hitchen)

Hitch - “This may reflect on AOPA's determination not to play by the traditional Canberra political rules”. Perhaps allowing them to attend would provide an ‘educational’ opportunity, to see how the grown ups must operate; if they are to have and chance of success; this is, after all the CASA monolith rolling down hill with momentum, they are attempting to stop.  Big job – huge; best of luck.

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The Senate committee ‘drone’ road show has once again earned it’s corn and kudos. I don’t much care what it has cost – whatever it is has been money well spent. The ‘professional’ bodies represented have been well served by their speakers; but, for me, the beauty part is that the Senators have accepted, without quibble, the freely offered ‘expert’ sensible opinion and advice.

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Carmody, Aleck and that Scot’s Git made no friends last estimates and the committee’s opinion of Darren 6D is patently, though tacitly obvious. They must arrive at the same conclusion industry did years ago – we need David Fawcett as a Junior Minister for Aviation – it is the only sensible, practical solution to stopping this never ending, very expensive, internationally embarrassing merry-go-round we are all trapped on. Just do it – you know you want to.

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Which brings to item last; sadly we have had yet another fatal accident. Too early to tell for certain if the latest was a VFR into IMC incident; but it serves as a stark reminder of the perils associated with such an excursion. There has been furious debate, spread over many decades on how best to reduce this repeating statistic.  It is an old killer, always present, the dangers well known. You can take your pick of practical solutions – there are many on offer. But clearly ‘regulatory’ penalties and punishment don’t work, much has been written of the ‘psychological’ reasons for pushing your luck; volumes have been published on what’s best to do and what’s not; yet the statistics, world wide, show no reduction. We’ve all done it – junior to senior; yet the only folk not tempted are those who have done it, survived and sworn never to do it again. One instructor, definitely of the ‘old school’ and decades ago, used to take his students into cloud and ‘time’ how long they lasted; not long was the answer.

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So much depends on ‘other’ factors that it is almost impossible to determine how long it takes to become ‘disoriented’ and once the holes in that famous cheese start to line up – the outcome is in the lap of the gods. “Just don’t do it” shout the purists – but what of the accidental encounter, the unintentional: or, what of the old trap, that of letting the door behind you close, of always having an escape route and somewhere to go, when trumps turn to dog-pooh? Don’t know the answer and I’ve never heard a complete solution. Seven families have been left grieving. ATSB and CASA do what they can – in their own way, they do and it is not their fault. The advent of GPS and reliable auto pilots create a false sense of security; perhaps these should be removed from the basic training syllabus. Situational awareness is an imperative – contact with the reality of what’s ahead, behind and around the corner; in your own hands and on your own head. I’ll leave it there; for I have no solution to offer, no silver bullet; just our condolences to those left behind.

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Aye well, best put the kettle on; the locksmith is due soon. Not any old locksmith mind you. The lock of the armoire door sticks a bit – being as ancient, if not older than the door it lives in, we sought some expert advice. Seems the lock was made in Spain as were the hinges – but well before the door; anyway, ‘the man’ is coming to have a look and fix the snag, who knows what marks we’ll find under the muck inside that venerable lock. Can’t wait.

Toot toot.

Some random thoughts on VMC into IMC..

What sticks out to me, in terms of my flight training, is the lip service given to basic instrument training. I really don't think that 2 hours under the hood, where you can still see outside the cockpit if you tilt your head just so, is good enough for a PPL, and likewise 10 hours for a CPL.
Most sausage-factory flying schools will cancel a VFR nav if the conditions are marginal - I say why not launch, and make the go/no-go decision in the air? So you may not achieve the objectives, flying from your home base to various waypoints around the place, BUT you get exposed to something a little more real, I would think.
Why don't instructors take their students into cloud and let them figure things out for themselves (at a safe height)? We do the same for stalling - one of the things I told my students was that you should never stall an aircraft by accident, but then we went out and did it deliberately. Why not with *real* IMC?

Anyhow, just some ramblings..

Its interesting to note that in the USA almost 80% of private pilots hold instrument ratings, against
around 20% in Australia. An instrument rating in the USA does not carry the very expensive impediment
of the costs of unrealistic over regulation nor recurrency requirements imposed upon the holder of an IF rating in Australia.
Its very simple to gauge a comparison of cost between the US and Australia.
A simple brows around charter operators in the US reveals that their hourly charge out rate, i.e. cost plus profit, is way less than the operating cost of the same aircraft in Australia. This would suggest that the cost of operating in the US, no matter if its private or commercial is cheaper than Australia,way cheaper.
It is not to much of a stretch to assume that if flying is cheaper in the US because the regulatory burden does not soak up vast amounts of money, private pilots get to fly more and are therefore far more "current" than their Australian brethren. The old axiom "Practice makes Perfect" I believe is so true.
I'd love to see some statistical comparisons between the average hours per year for a US private pilot against an Australian PPL.
Its very difficult to regulate nor educate against inadvertent or deliberate entry into IMC by private pilots. Far better to make it attractive and cost effective for them to upskill with sensible regulation.

I'd heard that too, Thorny. I reckon it'd be interesting to compare the number of incidents of CFIT due to inadvertent VMC to IMC over there and over here.

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A CASA Flight Operations Inspector at work. (CASA)

Sandy Reith • 9 days ago. (Australian Flying).

Wonders will never cease. As Soon As Possible (ASAP) or Aviation Safety Advisory Panel. My calendar must be wrong or April the First has repeated out of sequence.

Dear Darren Chester, Shane Carmody and Jeff Boyd,

After all of the inquiries and recommendations, the thousands of hours of wasted time, the millions of bytes uselessly cluttering cyberspace and the industry of General Aviation (GA) being regulated out of existence isn't it time for real reform, action to stem the loss of jobs?

Can't you see the legitimate frustrations are building in a manner that can only result in counterproductive outcomes?

Don't you see that the Holy Grail of "Safety" has been done to death? Certainly the death of GA and the loss of thousands of jobs, and opportunities for the youth of Australia to participate in aviation.

Why won't you immediately allow independent instructors (US system) so that flying can again be taught in small country centres? You should know that the number of GA flying schools have dropped dramatically and that the transition to your new and even more unworkable flying school rules will see more schools down the drain.

Why won't you immediately allow medical driving licence standard for private flying? All the evidence both from the Australian experience and all the exhaustive studies around the world is laid bare before your eyes, its time to act in the national interest.


erm....agree entirely with Sandy, but I'm a tad distracted by the picture
and the example it sets. The guy has CAsA emblazoned across his back,
a supposed "Expert"???....I seems to recall from the dim recollections of my
youth getting a "thick ear" from my Dad for fiddling with a propeller.
Getting sliced and diced sure can spoil your day....

What’s wrong with this picture?

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Why does it graphically depict just how bad an example the CASA version of ‘safety’ really is? I wonder, does the Hi-Viz vest grant super powers, god like protection or just promote fast healing?

Tosser, and they wonder why we call ‘em names like that. There is no excuse – not one to pardon gross stupidity – that ain’t leaning on the propeller; look at the tension through the left forearm and wrist. Aye, safety at work for all.

Toot - duck me - toot (June 24).

Gender and/or Agenda confused?

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We seem to have quite a lot of both. Agenda confusion is probably the easiest to unravel, particularly with regard to ‘matters aeronautical’. The nub is simplicity itself – Australian aviation is in a mess – across the board; it needs to ‘get sorted’. To achieve this within the next 100 years, there needs to be a ‘plan’ – a blueprint if you will; then there needs to be the will to execute that plan. To do this means top level government involvement, backing, support and, of course money. The latter is probably the easiest to sort; the amount spent on the current bun fight is staggering. The waste and excess in the ‘safety’ budget would easily fund all changes required, never mind curbing the wastage. Support is dependent on the governments determination level to reduce costs, improve safety and help an industry achieve it’s full potential to create employment and attract investment; that can’t be a bad thing; can it, Shirley? Backing is the major stumbling block – so many ‘other’ agenda’s and power plays in the back rooms and ‘rice bowl’ protection going on, there’s hardly a minute to attend to business. IMO what is needed is ‘leadership’ of the ministerial kind which will put its foot down, with a firm hand and make the ‘blueprint’ work.

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Maybe one in 50 will pick up the excellent report prepared by a NZ company (McGregor and Co.) for the Asian Development Bank and cherry pick their way through the 800 odd pages; I expect one in 200 will read ‘lumps’ of it and not many will ‘study’ the document. But someone should. It simply makes good sense and presents the government with a clearly defined way forward. P2 has provided in a long post some of the ‘gems’ from the report – HERE -. The report may not be ‘the’ perfect solution, but by Golly, it is a great place to start and stop the rot.  

Gender confusion and some form of mentally disturbed version of what is Politically correct seems to be flourishing at ATSB. This of itself is no real cause for alarum; however, once this begins to be reflected in essential safety reports – it is time for someone to put the brakes on.

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The report –HERE -is provided in response to a Be20 incident. IMO this report is as close to another Pel-Air style of manipulation as I ever want to read again; take the time to read it – carefully – and consider the implications in the part titled –'What's been done'.The Report’ stand alone, is a load of old cobblers; then to add injury, the unbelievable mangling of the English language is presented – and being accepted – as the norm. I despair for our children; but I digress. Risible don’t enter into it; this is serious – ATSB under the Uriah Heep of aviation was a crippled thing; under Hood it is degenerating into a confused, ineffective, expensive candidate for the knackers yard.

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If they can’t sort out the accident, then at least have the courtesy of sorting out gender – at least we can know then, for sure, if it ‘twas a Bloke; or blokes: or, a Blokette (s) driving the bus which killed all on board. For pities sake. 

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The perfect snapshot, which defines the pickle Austria is in comes from the ‘airports’ imbroglio. It is a classic; no one wants any of the responsibility for ‘em. Oh, they want the money allocated and the kudos; but no one wants to be ‘responsible’ for anything. The artfully prepared cut out points and word weasel excuses make for priceless entertainment; if you’ve a taste for macabre black humour. If you are some poor mutt stuck in an aircraft which is visiting a DFO – then; if you survive that, the system will kill you off. Our trusty Senators are on the job; which adds a dash of hope to the mix. It is a great pity we do not have a minister capable of supporting their fine work. However, as it is Sunday and the minister is beneath contempt, I shall save my key board a pounding (did that Wednesday) and not mention him today.

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Nah; duck it, I will. The revived AAOPA got off to a lumpy start, it did. Ruffled the ministers fine feathers, upset Boyd’s smooth delivery of platitudes and excuses; hacked Carmody off no end. However, there are strong indications of rapid maturing, a sharp edge being forged and delivered into some talented, experienced hands. Darren 6D has announced yet another gab-fest; CASA and ‘industry’, tickets to the show, (to listen and applaud only) have been difficult to obtain.

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When three of aviation’s finest are denied entre to an industry direction panel, by the minister, you have to wonder what, exactly, does he want to hear.

Aye; Muppets and puppets playing Ring-around-the Roses; speaking in the PC version of ‘tongues’ deciding what’s best for the industry – just what we needed.

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Who needs the Senate committee, Forsyth, ADB, PASO or even ICAO; we’ll always have our very own, slightly skewed, one eyed, ego feeding waste disposal system; after all we are unique. Isolated from the rest of the world, cocooned in arrogance, steeped in ignorance and as PC as all Hell. P2 reckons Mount Non Compliance is a tough climb; but Mount Indifference beats it, hands down.

Well, the dogs are crossing the yard; their breath steaming on the cool morning air, be here any second wanting to be away; I’ll not deny them their simple pleasures. How come they always know when to turn up; we underestimate them. Right: best crack on; dogs, second coffee, muffin and workshop. Bloody ‘armoire’ – some ham fiisted sod has, back in the day, banged a bloody nail deep into a joint  – took a lump out of one of my favourite chisels – best fettle that first; can’t work with useless tools, can you….

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Ps P2 - Birdstrikes & drones have been a hot topic this week, therefore I thought the following ICAO safety awareness picture worthy of regurgitation:

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[Image: huh.gif] ...except someone forgot the drone sign - here we go [Image: wink.gif]

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Of Pandora, and her box of tricks.

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"...Further afield, Infrastructure secretary Mike Mrdak’s second term, which finished on July 1, has been extended by just six months, after eight years in the job. Mrdak, now the longest serving secretary of the 18, is an exceptional talent."

An exceptional talent – indeed. There can be little doubt, Mrdak is bloody good at what he does. Which does not mean to say that what he done has been good for those who have been on the other end of that talent. From Pink Bats to Airports; from Pel-Air to the Mildura debacle, from McConvict to Beaker; every potential avenue to a platform from which Australian’s could come to grips with the waste, excesses and incompetence of aviation safety management has been blocked.

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A succession of ministers have walked away, unscathed, untouched by the shambles, protected by this talent. A series of agency ‘management’ have exited the building without ever being brought to task. ICAO, the FAA, the NTSBC, a Senate inquiry, a fellah who wrote an opinion and some talented individuals who could have got matters aeronautical back to taws have been neutralised; rendered nugatory through the exceptional talent of this man to protect the minister.

"…No other department secretary’s term is up this year but the turnover has been incredibly high in the last decade  — 31 have resigned, retired or been fired..."

Aye, but he will need six months and a bloody good shredder to cover his tracks. I can’t help but admire the talent – and I do wish he was playing for us; but the transfer fee is beyond the reach of the aviation lobby groups, and anyway – it would take even Mrdak decade to unscramble the twisted wreckage left in the wake of this prodigious talent.

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"Why, any thing, but to th' purpose. You were sent for, and there is a kind of confession in your looks which your modesties have not craft enough to color. I know the good king and queen have sent for you."

Which leads us right back to the problems we face. There are many; from CASA FOI’s running operating companies, through to the truly dreadful ATSB performance. If we step away from the awful regulations for just a moment and take a walk back through recent history there is another, IMO quite sinister bogey-man lurking in the wings. A genie which must not be allowed out of its bottle.  

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Our little research project has, like Topsy, grown. It’s a bit like the tale of Jack and his beanstalk. We wondered – as you do – why CASA had a massive overreaction to what was a simple accident i.e. the ditching off Norfolk Island. Prima facie, the pilot ran out of fuel – end of; you would think. But no, once you start digging about, the skeletons start popping up and you cannot ignore them. The developing time line is fascinating. For example; the FAA were very, very serious about downgrading Australia at the time of the Pel-Air ditching– can you imagine the fall out had had that happened? The we stumble into the ‘battle for the South Pacific’ with Australia desperately trying to flog off the worlds most disgusting rule set to the island nations against the Kiwi’s sane, simple rule set.

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Lots of money and kudos attached to winning that round. Now, Australia lost that round by a huge margin; however, 300 million and thirty years is a big investment to walk away from; and, to admit that the rule set was a totally useless thing was out of the question. Too much skin in the game to admit total failure; so the hubris began; arrogant, isolationist attitude was adopted. Then, in the midst of all this Dom James decides to take his crew for a midnight swim. – Game on. To crown it; young Andy Wilson had the temerity to crash; two grossly inconvenient accidents. To this day ICAO have no record of that accident; such was the cover up. Enough; it always makes me smile quietly when I hear folk decrying the Pel-Air debacle as an aberration which must not be repeated. I say if you though the treatment of Norfolk Island ditching was a national disgrace; look deeply into the treatment of Canley Vale fatal. We have; and, it’s a shocker.

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The problem with creating smoke is you need a small fire to generate the stuff; the problem with lying is that one must lead to another; the problem with believing your own lies becomes one for the trick cyclists to solve – provided you are willing to attend the session. Much help needed in Sleepy Hollow perhaps the grown ups from FAA and ICAO will lend a hand before an aircraft does actually land on a coal loading dock; or a forecast of no fog claims a couple of hundred lives; or an aircraft thumps into a shopping mall. What’s that you say? – Oh, done that one have we; well, well.

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Ah, but the minister is on to the game now; we are to have a gab-fest; we are! Only to look at how best to rescue a dying industry mind you. Only a very select group has been invited to attend.

Quote:Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association tips general aviation crisis

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Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester.

Why would you invite a maintenance expert along to such a party; why would you invite the boss of one of Australia’s biggest contributors to GA safety in a high risk field and why, for goodness sake would you invite representatives of the aircraft owners and pilots association along.

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 ...An internationally recognized aviation expert with over thirty years of experience in civil aviation, Mike offers extensive experience in general and commercial aviation, and substantial knowledge of corporate governance, regulatory processes and safety management systems. His aviation qualifications include both Australian and United States FAA licenses encompassing a broad spectrum of activity, from aircraft maintenance, through to commercial, recreational and sports flying operations.

Mike has held senior positions with both Air services Australia and the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), most recently at the level of Deputy Director. Mike has led numerous complex programs including the introduction of Global Navigation Satellite Systems for en-route, non-precision and precision approach use, development and introduction of Safety Management Systems (SMS) and Australian Airspace Reform. 

Since leaving the Australian Civil Service, Mike has been engaged as a senior consultant by airlines and aviation regulators around the world, predominantly advising clients in the areas of regulatory reform, ICAO USOAP and FAA IASA compliance and the introduction of Safety Management Systems and risk based oversight principles into their organizations. Recent clients include the World Bank and the civil aviation administrations of Singapore, the UAE, Nigeria and Bahrain. Mike led the World Bank funded program that gained IASA category one status for Nigeria in 2010, allowing that country’s airlines to operate to the USA. Nigeria remains one of only six African nations to hold that status...

It’s a ridiculous notion to have the man who should be CEO of CASA; an ex CASA heavyweight on aircraft maintenance and a top draw executive from a successful, safe, profitable branch of industry attend; WTF would they know. Rock on Darren 6D; show us what democracy means and how the constitution matters.

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"Democracy is no harlot to be picked up in the street by a man with a tommy gun. I trust the people, the mass of the people, in almost any country, but I like to make sure that it is the people and not a gang of bandits from the mountains or the countryside who think that by violence they can overturn constituted authority."

No matter; we shall complete the research then send it off to ICAO and a friend or two in the FAA – see what they make of it all – clearly Darren 6D ain’t interested; perhaps we may get a bit more than a polite duck off note from them; who knows. We shall see.

Big day today for me; the master craftsman is visiting to look at the armoire restoration. All of 80 y.o still spry with a gimlet eye, he supplied the timber I needed to exactly match the mouldings and lent me the moulding planes to make the replacements. Those planes are a work of art; hand made, with precision in beautiful rosewood. I’ve hardly ever used such and there are things one must know and rules which must be followed; I practiced on scraps until I took a big, deep breath and began in earnest to faithfully reproduce the mouldings; a little blood, not too much sweat and almost some tears as a ruined, almost perfect piece was binned due my clumsiness. Well, they’re done now and await the masters approval. I shall hate returning his tools to him; they are not only things of great beauty and precision, but they work; flawlessly. “Come on dogs, lets be having you; much to do”. Ambles off into the mist, thinking of errors made which cannot escape notice.


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Is that drums or thunder Tonto?

Ever since the first cave dweller put graffiti on the walls, mankind has had a fascination with the written word and graphics. The great libraries and galleries of the past and present world have collected and preserved these treasures for the benefit of the generations which had access and interest. In the course of a life a person may read many things, covering a vast range of topics, depending on taste and requirement. Working for AP, P2 and I have a great deal of ‘stuff’ to wade through; much may be skimmed through, some requires a little more effort, some is ‘of interest’ and some is of the kind that makes you reach for the bucket before the shotgun. The dreaded words – “have you seen this?”  For example:-

“Airport privatisation has a great deal to teach us.” Extracted from an article in ‘The Australian’. My answer was No; so I sat and read the blessed thing, it was a bucket grabber.

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Apart from a government grabbing a big lump of money, a couple of corporations making squillions and parking those funds ‘off shore’ and a few developers building stuff on runways – no one at all has benefitted from the privatisation of our airport infrastructure. But, many have suffered and still do from the effects of this ‘privatisation. In Sydney (Australia) there exists, as a shadow of it’s former self what is known as a Secondary airport, to wit, Bankstown. The forum thread on airports has scratched the surface, but cannot tackle the huge amount of ‘evidence’ which categorically damns privatisation and development, so I will leave that aside, in the hope that one day the grown ups will take the time to examine, carefully and thoroughly what privatisation really means; not only to the industry, but to the long suffering, fare paying public. For those who like information ‘in a nutshell’ consider this: you can wait three years and counting for your hanger lease after paying the fees; you can find yourself on very thin ice with no surety of tenure or protection from an unsolicited month to month arrangement, despite wanting to and desperately trying to finalise the lease deal. To myself and many others the Bankstown saga may be boiled down to one document – Parking – your aircraft on their aerodrome; read it weep, reach for the bucket, then howl for a lawyer – you’ll need one…..

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Bankstown Airport 202?

"There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth."

Even Halfwit is trying to justify the ASA ‘service’ and the ‘Accelerate’ program; hinting that fees for ‘service’ will remain static for the next while and dangling the carrot of future low fees, for selected clients.

Bollocks – at even half the current rate industry is being ripped off – but what can you do? We are relying, heavily, once again on the few good men of the Senate RRAT committee to take the lid off the can of worms into which ASA has degenerated. Good luck with that one fellahs

There is one little ray of bright sunshine this week – shining through Sam, the ICAO man, to whom we must, affectionately, refer to as ‘Excellency’. Aunty Pru has put the brakes on a tale we have been crafting, so patience is required, for the answers to some fairly serious questions are not yet to hand.

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All to do with ATSB, Pel-Air, ICAO and what appears – on the surface – to be some very dodgy doings. Too early to roll the story out just yet; however, I must say there have been some sensitive nerves hit and some interesting conversations held. What say you Ziggy?

This of course takes straight back to the Pel-Air scandal and the ‘mysteries’ surrounding. There is even a whisper floating about that maybe the AFP (Federal Police) are taking a close interest in the machinations of both ATSB and CASA during and after the event; let’s hope they keep digging.

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The release to the world of the rewritten report on the ditching incident has it’s very own slot on my tote board for the date when those who have not already read it may do so; short odds favourite is ‘More Time’ the smart money is betting on the DIP’s requesting and requiring more time to examine the missive as part of the howls of protest. ‘Nuff said.

Aye: been an interesting week, not much action on the surface, but occasionally on the breeze, you catch the faint sounds of whetstones being used to sharpen pitch forks, tar being warmed, feathers being collected and rumble of distant thunder over the ministerial mansion.

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Speaking of matters ministerial I almost had a pang of sympathy for him; I did, Wednesday last. Never have I seen anyone so neatly placed into the position his advice has landed him – he’s as close as toucher to being damned if he do; damned if he don’t, and never, ever, had a damned clue of where he was being led. As stated – almost a pang.

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere."

Its early yet; I may stroll down the dock with a fresh coffee and watch the day dawn, clear and bright; you can easily understand why so many ancients worshipped the sun as the chill of the predawn slowly creeps away as the warmth gains it’s hold. Enough, the coffee pot is playing my song; I shall stir these lazy, slothful brutes from dreams of chasing rabbits and large juicy bones, they may keep me company – what more could a simple man ask for?

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Chester and Mickey Bliss.

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Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester

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What a team. The two of ‘em; swanning about in China, no doubt impressing the hell out of the locals as they indulge in their passion for train sets.

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Probably got some grand plan to fetch one home to Victoria, in which they will ride to victory when the Premiership of Victoria is in the bag. Well, they have to do something, leading the Nats is out of the question and Barmy Baby is not a happy camper; Qld is unlikely to welcome a ‘Mexican’ to its Lib/Nat bosom, so it’s train sets and Victoria for Darren 6D and Mickey; or, the knackers yard.

They most certainly cannot stay on the ministerial transport portfolio, in fact you have wonder how they dare be seen in public, considering the unholy mess in their wake.

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I can see from the AP statistics that the ‘problems’ facing not only the aviation industry, but the general public being highlighted are well known. ‘Tis but a child’s play to identify the risks floating on the surface of the murky swamps; only a little puzzle to see where the deeply entrenched problems lay and only a few moments of constructive thought to define the deeper, underlying causes of the serious, long term, far reaching aberrations, which will, inevitably lead to tragedy. All of this and more are the responsibility of government and the minister they appoint. This is incontrovertible; even if the general public don’t grasp the notion, the opposition parties will (or should).

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Chester's understanding of the James Reason model   Big Grin

Yet, here we all sit, Sunday morning, looking at a long list of this weeks posts. Depending on mood and preference you can select the potential disaster area of choice; join up the dots then follow the breadcrumbs to the inevitable conclusion – someone is taking the Mickey. Consider the menu, carefully, before making a selection from the extensive Darren’s Disaster lunch menu. Look at the team of renown chef’s he has helping him keep that dream alive.

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Team ASA infamous for their confectionary and sweet meats made from the most disgusting elements, deceiving to the senses and difficult to stomach.

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The secret recipe for ‘Bus Stop’ dessert is closely guarded. Tough choices for 6D; One Sky Pie or the Accelerate Pudding; all saccharine sweet, messy and a difficult taste to cleanse from the palette.

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Team ATSB is a both a disgrace and a shambles. Not only taking the Mickey out of the public and industry, but charging an absolute fortune for doing so. Not noted for great flavours, but they continue to amaze the public with what they can conjure up from almost anything. Rightly famous for making Steak and Kidney pie taste like ice-cream. The ICAO deception dessert is world famous. Heavily tipped to provide Darren’s dance partner when he attempts to fulfil his dream of winning ‘Dancing with the Stars’.

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Team CASA jealously guards and retains their original recipes, handed down through the generations. There has not been one single, solitary change made to any of their offerings for almost four decades. Yet consecutive ministers have swallowed large portions of the ‘Bull-Pooh’ pie, if not with relish, then out of hunger - or fear; bit like boarding school. Eat it or go without.  The CASA special plate may be served up hot or cold, is easily transported and may  be eaten with either spoon or fork. Provided Darren can just keep swallowing it; all will be well.

Aye, it’s easy to see why Darren is happy to ignore recipes from other contenders, with such a stellar team lighting his way to fame and fortune. Such is his confidence in that team that he even feels secure denying any form democratic process or even listen to the ideas of potential competition winners.

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Unchallenged, untouchable, uncaring. Deaf, dumb, blind and unbelievable; on holiday in China at our expense. Three cheers for the man on the make; Darren Chester – minister for transport; and, Australia’s greatest aviation disaster.

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Call Bollocks if you will; it matters not, the evidence is there for all to see and its about time ICAO got off it’s massive rump, shook a leg and took a long hard look at Australian aviation.

No ‘links’ this week; click on the forum ‘search’ – type in Peetwo and read any one of the 20 carefully researched posts, then call Bollocks – if you can.    

But enough; I shall close down the computer and ignore it for this day. There’s timber waiting in the stable along with tranquillity and solitude. Maybe even some selected human company; later for a cooling ale by a warm fire after the off-cuts, shavings and sawdust are despatched and the tools put away, clean, sharp and tidy. Can’t wait….

Toot toot.

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The best laid plans of mice and men.

[Burns] -There I was, muddling and bumbling my way through another week, I’d even found some snippets which made me smile for the SBG. Grr8 thought I, a light hearted, quick post on Sunday; off the hook and the day’s my own – alas.

I believe ‘we’ are all aware that the aviation safety agencies are in a hell of a state; that condition being exacerbated by probably 'the' most useless minister for transport ever inflicted on a long suffering industry. It seemed reasonable to me that a little fun was in order, break the monotony and tedium of trying to ‘get it sorted’. All was going along well until P2 called – the dreaded words “You seen this”? Well, I had, ages ago when we did our own digging on the Pel-Air scandal; “Yup” says I (dodging the bullet) with enough venom to end the conversation. “Ah: yeah, but what about this” – he posed a question, the curiosity bump kicked in; and, just like that, there I was, back in the toils of deep research; week end shot to blazes.

So, we did the work. Then we tore it all down and tried to arrive at a different conclusion, from another perspective; then we did it all again. Every time, from every direction we could imagine, it was impossible to shake the foundations. Remember, we don’t go at this stuff with the intention of finding a line and building a case in fresh air; quite the reverse. We do try to ‘justify’ through the law, the Act, departmental policy and the constraints imposed on our ‘safety agencies’ the actions taken. It is the only way to reach a fair and reasoned conclusion; in fact we have been able to exonerate ATSB and CASA from some pretty nasty accusations ; believe it or not, we do try to play fair; if not always nice.

P2 - “From that extraordinary public hearing of revelations, obfuscating admissions, spin, bull-dust and denials, it would now appear that some of those involved individuals must have been telling the committee porky pies. This is because the existence of the Chambers Report was known at least 12 days before the first public hearing and is listed as a tabled document from CASA (i.e. 01 CASA_Doc 3_Web - PDF)”.

We sent our conclusions to the BRB, IOS and PAIN. There was not one dissenting response. In short, the Pel-Air Senate Inquiry; not the accident, but the evidence presented to the Senate Inquiry must be forensically examined, by the AFP. It is our considered opinion that an enormous blanket has been pulled over the eyes of the Senate in Parliament, the industry and the Australian public. There is also untested, but persuasive ‘research’ to support the notion that ICAO has been ‘hoodwinked’ particularly in relation to Australia’s much touted ‘safety record’.

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“Everyone admits how praiseworthy it is in a prince to keep his word, and to behave with integrity rather than cunning. Nevertheless our experience has been that those princes who have done great things have considered keeping their word of little account, and have known how to beguile men’s minds by shrewdness and cunning. In the end these princes have overcome those who have relied on keeping their word.”

So, it’s not just my Sunday buggered. Full team, all stops out, report to the RRAT required. You’re probably wondering what the fool is rambling on about; the answer lays within the following AP posts, start here:-

Dots and Dashes

Times up for Pel-Air.

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If you have a mind to, spend a half hour, do some digging and see where you finish up. I’ll even give you a hint – check the dates against the rhetoric; follow the time line breadcrumbs and pay particular attention to who was left standing. The Chambers report is of particular interest. You may, with some certainty, forget about the PA MkII report shedding any light on the Senate inquiry; that is the safest bet on my tote board; well, that and the fact that the accident re-investigation has SDA to do with the Senate findings. Those have all been very neatly despatched to history, classed as ‘opinion’ and deemed not legally binding.

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The stable door is closed, I can see it from my desk, bathed in the early sunshine, quietly waiting to be opened, racks of timber sit idle, the smell of sawdust and shavings waiting to greet you, a keg of fine ale in the fridge not far from the fire place. Aye, ‘tis incentive enough to finish this ugly work as soon as possible; but, AP has priority and needs must, when the devil drives.

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P2 on received vs tabled Blush

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You maybe wondering why our EAL (editor at large) P9 appears to have totally lost his marbles and in the process sabotaged our normally sedate, hopefully IOS topical, SBG? Well unfortunately I must admit that I am largely to blame...  Rolleyes

Yesterday I had an impromptu BRB sub-committee teleconference with "K" about my embarrassing (for me) extra findings in the process of scratching a 5 year itch - see: Dots and Dashes.

It was embarrassing because I had several penny drop moments... Blush

To begin here is a link for the PelAir (COVER-UP) Inquiry submissions page:

And here are the offending tabled 'Additional Information Received' documents in the order in which they are listed:
Quote:11 Internal CASA report titled "Oversight Deficiencies- Pel-Air and Beyond" also known as the Chambers report (dated 1 August 2010), received 10 October 2012;(PDF 6210KB) 

12 Internal ATSB email regarding the ATSB and CASA's approach to the Pel-Air investigation (dated 9 February 2010), received 10 October 2012;(PDF 1093KB) 

13 Internal CASA email regarding the discussion with the ATSB over the content of the ATSB report (dated 18 August 2010), received 10 October 2012;(PDF 1193KB) 

14 Internal CASA email (dated 4 February 2010) ATSB identification of a 'critical safety issue' may have ramification for CASA actions in relation to Mr James, received 10 October 2012;(PDF 913KB) 

15 Advice from the UK Civil Aviation Authority to CASA providing an assessment of the fatigue scores for the accidental flight (dated 11 December 2009), received 10 October 2012;(PDF 881KB) 

16 Internal ATSB email- reviewer wanting to look more closely at FRMS and re-interview pilots (dated 24 May 2012), received 10 October 2012;(PDF 535KB) 

17 Internal ATSB email- reviewer indicating they can't deviate at this point and they have to work with what they have (dated 24 May 2012), received 10 October 2012;(PDF 360KB) 

18 Internal ATSB email regarding the inconsistency in safety knowledge of ATSB staff (dated 6 August 2012), received 10 October 2012;(PDF 1597KB)

19 CASA Special Audit of Pel-Air Fatigue Risk Management System, received 10 October 2012;(PDF 5428KB)
Note that the date they were all received by the Committee Secretariat was on the 10 October 2012. However; the date that all the offending documents were copied/tabled, therefore made available for the Senator Committee members & public consumption, was on the 14 February 2013. This fits with the extraordinary revelations in the Senate inquiry public hearing the following day:  15 February 2013 Canberra, ACT
(HTML format) (PDF 104KB) (HTML & PDF)    

First QON & OBS (so far):

Q/ What was the delay in processing those documents?

Q/ In the context of this inquiry, how is it possible that such critical information and documentation effectively have been sat on (obfuscated), when the inquiry was still some 12 days from it's first public hearing?

Now besides the fact that I was slow to pick up (nearly 5 years - Blush ) on the date that the 9 documents were received by the Secretariat, I was also deceived by the PDF titling for the individual files, which also led me to be deceived by the significance of the order in which those documents were listed.

Here is the PDF titles as listed (above):

  1. 01 CASA_Doc 3_Web (Chambers Report)
  2. 02 ATSB_Doc 5_Web
  3. 03 CASA_Doc 4_Web
  4. 04 CASA_Doc 2_Web
  5. 05 CASA_Doc 1_Web
  6. 06 ATSB_Doc 7_Web
  7. 07 ATSB_Doc 6_Web
  8. 08 ATSB_Doc 9_Web
  9. 09 CASA_Doc 10_Web
(P2 note: The 'Doc' numbers fit a chronological order for the individual agencies)

What this appears to indicate is that the documents were sent collectively by an individual/entity/group, independent (officially) of either the ATSB or CASA. This IMO strongly suggests that this was a whistleblower(s) initiative. 

This opinion/suspicion is reinforced by the fact that the documents were received prior to the 1st public hearing and around the date the submissions from both the ATSB and CASA were received and/or copied/tabled.

If the ATSB and CASA had of wanted the information contained within those documents (with the obvious 'dirty linen' implications) made public, they had the perfect opportunity to send them along, as part of their submissions... Dodgy

At this point, I'll let those who are interested join the rest of these very disturbing dots and form their own conclusions - my bet is the picture that emerges from underneath the smoke and mirrors won't be too far off the ugly portrait that now sits before P9 and myself... Undecided

MTF...P2 Cool

P.S.  Excerpts of interest from Hansard AAI Inquiry 15 February 2013... Wink :

Quote:Senator FAWCETT: Could I start off by clarifying: were ATSB aware of the existence of the Chambers report or the fact that CASA had conducted an internal inquiry specifically into the efficacy of its oversight of Pel-Air and like operations? Were ATSB aware of the existence of the special audit into the FRMS at Pel-Air. Until the lawyers of the captain raised it, were you aware of the special audit that was conducted into Pel-Air?

Mr Sangston : I had no knowledge until I heard this morning, of the Chambers report. The second part of the question was about the special audit report. We had an awareness of the special audit report.

Senator FAWCETT: When did you have an awareness of that?

Mr Sangston : Via the draft report, the safety action that was reported by the operator Pel-Air was in response to the special audit report. So we had that awareness and it was included in the draft report and the safety action by Pel-Air. I am sorry, I have forgotten the third element of your question.

Senator FAWCETT: There were two special audits. The second one was on the FRMS of Pel-Air. Were you aware of that one?

Mr Sangston : I do not have an awareness of that one; no.

Senator FAWCETT: I accept that as well. Have you had a chance to read the chambers report?

Mr Dolan : I received it at most half an hour ago, so I have only had a chance to look at the broad headings in it.

Senator FAWCETT: I accept that. I also accept that so far you have not had a look at the fatigue special audit, because that is still being redacted prior to being distributed. Perhaps you could take this on notice: the committee would appreciate getting your feedback as to the content of those two reports and whether that would have changed some of your decision points in terms of the scope of the investigation.

I take you to emails of 9 and 10 February, between one of your officers and yourself, with a CC to Mr Sangston, where the officer talks about the fact that, from the systemic investigation perspective, there are three separate slices of the James Reason defences—that being the flight crew, the operator and the rule maker—and that it is important to look at all of those.

As I follow through the email traffic, it becomes clear to me that the scope of the operator and the rule maker appears to be reduced as a function of a lack of evidence. There is some discussion around evidence tables and what is hearsay versus what is clear evidence, and so those things are, essentially, scoped out of the report.

Mr Dolan : On the basis that we can only work on facts and evidence, Senator, and not on speculation, yes.

Senator FAWCETT: I understand that. If you had hard evidence that there were, in fact, issues with both the operator and the rule maker, is it therefore a logical conclusion for the committee to reach that you would have considered in more detail each of those elements of the factors leading to this accident?

PAIN takes the mantle of the Myth Busters.

The Nerve has been hit...

An exposed nerve that is loosing it's sheath, day by day.

2,818 days in fact.

The above uncovering is unarguable. The untouchables are coming undone.

The audacity of them all to behave within such a mob mindset is worthy of serious independent investigations.
Ego's such as those exposed are not compatible with leading a safe aviation environment.

The admirable people that do work within the aviation environment need to take lead. Many worthy people there more than qualified. How do they get past the untouchables though?

I've read all the posts relating to this matter. I'm just totally disgusted, disappointed and pissed off at the time wasted being consumed by this nightmare. Knowing that there was a nasty problem. Personal enquiry about the above was often met with a well read law. Intimidating, for a while. Seems that CASA is a law firm in disguise lending it's services to other agencies.

Close to 8 years of a really shitty existence. I was a very happy gal before that night. At times I  thought I was going crazy thinking that "something was not quite right". What's transpiring confirms these observations and thoughts of absolute collusion, corruption and disregard for not only the DIPs, but the aviation community and a few other very important people.
Shame on all those involved.

PAIN has this covered.
Thanks you awesome cats. Would have been lost without all the knowledge and support given so kindly.

Time to step back and concentrate on a new start.

Looking forward to watching the many safety changes that will hopefully be addressed and actioned. 

But for now, a message from a force which has a way of revealing wrongdoings over time... Call Karma 1300 - BITCH, never know what we'll find.

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Watching the games played over the years has made me wish I was ignorant to the fact that this sort of "thing" really does happen. The behaviour on Yes Minister! is not confined to the television.

Finally after 2818 days, as the truth sheds it's light; now, I'm ready to take some of Grandma's advice...

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