The Sunday Brunch Gazette.

Not a Gazette – Just my opinion.

Mr Campbell : I haven't seen this level of noncompliance in the other auditing we've done of similar category operators. Back in the Airtech Skymaster day it was a similar sort of thing; unfortunately they lost two aircraft.

Mr Crawford : This operator was under the CAR 217 arrangement, which essentially means if you're operating aircraft over 5,700 kilograms, either in charter or regular passenger transport, you have to have a checking and training regime. That was built into their manual. You could argue the people most familiar with that—their chief pilot, accountable manager, and checking and training pilots—should have been aware of this. They should've been keeping on top of this. The other thing is they knew on 6 December that the majority of their pilots weren't current, yet rather than make the effort, particularly with the Falcon 20, to send somebody to the simulator then, they pushed for an exemption. They made a commercial decision.

Senator PATRICK: They might have been trying to get back up into the air.

Milord’s ladies and gentlemen: I beg your indulgence for a few moments, whilst I ramble. You may, if it pleases, ignore this paragraph. Rest assured I won’t mind; however, IMO it is an essential part of examining what we have lost – as aviators. I spent yesterday afternoon with P7 – TOM as he finished a commissioned piece of furniture, to wit a dining table. I have no idea the value of the rare, aged timber which produced a 2400 mm x 1050 mm peerless dining table; but I’d hazard a guess at about $180 per linear foot (300 mm). Now then, the top is about 24 square feet, matched to colour and grain, seamlessly jointed, polished to a fare the well. So what you say. Well, it is related. I watched, in silence, at the time taken to make the first– singular – ‘cut’ to start off a critical joint. To me it seemed a straight forward event until I was invited to not just look – but see. The joint had to be perfect – critical; the wood awkward; the reading of the grain and the forecasting of the result was essential. The very first mallet blow was crucial to the result, as any diamond cutter would explain. Skill, understanding, knowledge of task, expected result – all sound familiar? There were not, never were, idiots, shametuers, pretenders, snake oil salesmen or even gifted amateurs writing the rules which govern fine joinery. They would have been drummed out by those who know and understand ‘the game’. Instead of a fine piece of furniture we’d end up with fine timber butchered, reduced to firewood, had they been allowed free reign. Yet here we are; wondering at WTF happened at last week’s Estimates, it looks like a school boys first attempt to make a teapot stand.

We are surrounded by amateurs. Highly paid, amateurs who would love to claim ownership of the skills required by a ‘master’ craftsman. People like Campbell who delight in claiming to have found fault in a check pilots ‘paperwork’ through his ‘understanding’ of one of the most confusing regulations ever scripted. The regulation was written by an even more incompetent fool – Weeks; who could, on his best day, just about manage a circuit or two – instructing. Campbell is, IMO a venal, disingenuous, lazy failure as a pilot who takes his vengeance on the better, more able men who shunned him. A known stalker of the minutiae, which, in the extremes of black letter law cannot be argued. A counter of drips and user of system to extract his petty vengeance, extract his pay while not being anywhere near a ‘competent’ pilot, let alone a chief pilot.

Senator PATRICK: Mr Campbell, on 8 December did you fly with any of these pilots?
Mr Campbell : On 8 December was the Dominic James flight to lift the conditions off his air transport pilot licence that were invoked after the Norfolk accident.

Senator PATRICK: Who was the pilot in command?

Mr Campbell : The pilot in command for that was David *****, the check pilot, who was No. 1.

Senator PATRICK: Despite the fact that it was too dangerous for these guys to fly, you allowed one of your staff—in fact, two of your staff, I believe—to go flying with these people. Is that correct?

Mr Carmody : That's correct.

Senator PATRICK: I don't—

Mr Carmody : It was a private flight. We can discuss the difference between the two. We were confident that we could manage that flight. That flight had been planned.

Senator PATRICK: The CASA people on board are not pilots. They can't assist if something goes wrong in the aircraft.

Mr Campbell : I was in the rear of the aircraft. We had a qualified Falcon 20 pilot in the jump seat supervising and monitoring.

Senator PATRICK: That was pilot No. 1.

Mr Campbell : No.

Mr Carmody : No, it was one of our staff.

Senator PATRICK: And he's qualified?

Mr Campbell : He's qualified.

Senator PATRICK: He's done all of the checks? The OPC? The IPC?

Mr Campbell : He's done the IPC. He's not within that company, so he doesn't do an operator proficiency check.

His last and only shot at that job netted the horrific crash at Young in NSW with multiple fatalities. He was the chief pilot. He did encourage and authorise that flight – he as good as killed ‘em all. Yet he has the audacity to sit, smirking and stretching the truth, along with the likes of Aleck, Carmody, Crawford et al in support, while destroying the name of a much better man typifies CASA style. IMO it is time certain credit card statements were examined in the wake of Pel-Air. There is much for which Campbell has to answer. It would delight me should he wish to prosecute - his chapter in the Bankstown Chronicles would make interesting reading for a jaded public. Which brings us neatly to his second best mate, the proven liar – Worthington.

It is my considered opinion that this Worthington creature is not a ‘real’ pilot. His only operational experience is as a flight school instructor, with a very spotty record at that. He joined CASA, only to be run out of Darwin by ‘the big three’. Left to rot in the pencil sharpening cupboard until the lunatic McConvict thought he was the answer to a pagans prayer and turned aviation’s version of Jack the Ripper loose on industry - again.

Dots & dashes #18

How, could Carmody; or Aleck support and explain how a barely experienced junior flight instructor, may be the ‘over sight’ expert of a Flight Safety qualified crew when (A) he barely managed a pass on type on the third attempt at Flight Safety: (B) he has exactly ZERO operational hours as a command pilot on any jet in ‘professional’ operations and © is a proven liar to boot. The man in charge of a private operation, with the power of pass/fail over both a 30,000 hour veteran and a well qualified captain ? Bollocks.

Then we have the very angry, confused ‘rabble’ to deal with. 400 emails – opinion equally divided (more or less). In short the raging argument is as simple as it is complex. Which side is O’Sullivan batting for? No one is even sure O’Sullivan knows. What a bloody shambles last estimates was. Pure theatre. The mongrel Hood was allowed to shut down the Pel-Air scandal, casually dismissing it to history. O’Sullivan let him get away with it Scot free, nary a shot fired.

O&O #164

Quote:..Basically I agree with everything you say, especially in fatigue (where I have some claim of expertise).  I think the NTSB could reasonably conclude that fatigue was likely in the case of the captain, given that he only had an estimated 4.5 to 5 hours sleep maximum (where as little as 2 hours less sleep than normal can be associated with impairment), where the quality of sleep would likely have been limited based on the available time of day, and where critical trip planning occurred during a circadian low in the afternoon 1500-1700 period. Further, NTSB would conclude that fatigue likely affected the accident as shown in factors such as the captain's uncharacteristic failure to load extra fuel and failure to review options as they approached the point of no return.  I think that fatigue or likely fatigue on the part of the captain should be cited as part of the probable cause.  Certainly, it raises questions about the company FRMS program and corporate culture.

I was also struck by a footnote that the captain, in his initial interview with the ATSB, claimed misleadingly that he slept well (and only changed his story later).  Similarly, the first officer claimed that the fact she took a controlled rest on the flight (and yawned on the CVR) is simply part of operational procedure and does not indicate she was tired.  My understanding is that she would have been unable to sleep if she was actually well rested.  Finally, I find it disturbing that ATSB reports that the company was unable to explain why scheduled crew rest was less than 10 hours but the ATSB says nothing further about this shortcoming.  This type of avoiding fatigue issues is more unusual in the US, where our regulation of duty time is less stringent.  We respect Australia as a leader in FRMS, and it seems unfortunate to think that careful regulation might also bring about a tendency to ignore or misrepresent discussion of fatigue in practical investigation...

That report is a masterpiece, designed to hoodwink the likes of O’Sullivan, who despite his oft repeated claims to expertise; is, essentially, an aeronautical Muppet. He has no idea, which we could pardon, but to allow master Hood to scamper off to a Toga party – after the second report – is almost criminal. P7_TOM went to Canberra you know – the invitation was to ‘brief’ the committee on the Pel-Air report. Chance would have been a fine thing. O’ Obfuscation not only opens the ATSB the stable door, but gives the horse a ‘Gee-up’. Shameful.

The other side of the discussion reckon O’Braces is not to be underestimated. They speak of a masterplan, a deep game. It is claimed that to avoid public shame, Carmody will sort things out, quietly, behind closed doors – a deal was made – if you will. Bollocks shouts the opposition – so it goes on; it all makes my head ache. So, my question to both sides of the discussion is simple enough – When, where, and how can this pantomime be brought to a conclusion?

Even if every line in the Hansard was examined and every aberration addressed, to whom would you send it. Who could you rely on to ‘see’ the flaws and lunacy in the Aleck litany. Who would understand the complexities and be prepared to stare down the CASA first eleven. I don’t believe even Carmody has anything like a firm grasp on the ‘truth’ – it is uncertain he even wants one; preferring to turn a blind eye and rely on the likes of Aleck and Crawford to work the smoke and mirrors machine, while he scoots out the back door, well fed and happy in his ignorance.

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Without the Senate committee backing aviation reform and keeping the agencies honest there is nowhere else to go. This is terrifying when you consider the performance of the “Chair’ at last estimates. Not only did he allow ‘em to get away with bloody, blue murder – he helped ‘em do it. WHY?  The CASA conga line as they exited the building and the resounding ‘Attaboys’ and high fives as they sailed off the local cat house must have been a grand thing to watch. What about it Barry – show us the tapes – or have they too been ‘clipped’ from the Hansard feed?

Sorry folks, not too much style and little grace; but at least it gets this incubus off my chest. Monday’s estimates leaves me feeling decidedly queasy and disgusted; without any semblance of humour. The battle is now an uphill one, on a very slippery slope, not sure I care anymore; we shall see what tomorrow brings. The problem is I still don’t believe what I witnessed the other night was real and yet there it all is, faithfully recorded on the Hansard video. But enough, maybe I’ll find the stomach to watch them again – later.


Big Grin Big Grin

The Empire strikes back at Estimates - Undecided

The following quote from "K" got me cogitating... Confused

"...How, could Carmody; or Aleck support and explain how a barely experienced junior flight instructor, may be the ‘over sight’ expert of a Flight Safety qualified crew when (A) he barely managed a pass on type on the third attempt at Flight Safety: (B) he has exactly ZERO operational hours as a command pilot on any jet in ‘professional’ operations and © is a proven liar to boot. The man in charge of a private operation, with the power of pass/fail over both a 30,000 hour veteran and a well qualified captain ? Bollocks..."

I believe "K" (above) was reflecting on this part of the farcical CASA testimony at Estimates:

Senator PATRICK: Mr Campbell, on 8 December did you fly with any of these pilots?

Mr Campbell : On 8 December was the Dominic James flight to lift the conditions off his air transport pilot licence that were invoked after the Norfolk accident.

Senator PATRICK: Who was the pilot in command?

Mr Campbell : The pilot in command for that was David #####, the check pilot, who was No. 1.

Senator PATRICK: Despite the fact that it was too dangerous for these guys to fly, you allowed one of your staff—in fact, two of your staff, I believe—to go flying with these people. Is that correct?

Mr Carmody : That's correct.

Senator PATRICK: I don't—

Mr Carmody : It was a private flight. We can discuss the difference between the two. We were confident that we could manage that flight. That flight had been planned.

Senator PATRICK: The CASA people on board are not pilots. They can't assist if something goes wrong in the aircraft.

Mr Campbell : I was in the rear of the aircraft. We had a qualified Falcon 20 pilot in the jump seat supervising and monitoring.

Senator PATRICK: That was pilot No. 1.

Mr Campbell : No.

Mr Carmody : No, it was one of our staff.

Senator PATRICK: And he's qualified?

Mr Campbell : He's qualified.

Senator PATRICK: He's done all of the checks? The OPC? The IPC?

Mr Campbell : He's done the IPC. He's not within that company, so he doesn't do an operator proficiency check.

CHAIR: He wouldn't have been legitimate to fly either. He had the same status as No. 1.

Mr Carmody : No, he was legitimate to fly. He was completely qualified.

CHAIR: Sorry. Again, I am interfering in your line of questioning.

Senator PATRICK: No, I think you're asking questions that need to be asked.

CHAIR: He hadn't had his proficiency check in an aircraft of that particular company.

Mr Campbell : No, but he had of that particular type.

CHAIR: The distinction was made before, when it was asserted—not disputed—that No. 1 had done that too in another company but it didn't count.

Mr Campbell : Correct.

CHAIR: So the fellow in the jump seat, in the copilot seat, wouldn't have traditionally qualified to fly that aircraft.

Mr Campbell : He would in a private situation. The operator proficiency check specifically details—

CHAIR: Let me tell you this. We get a bit excited here from time to time. If your defence around this is some split hair between 'it's a private flight' and 'it's a commercial flight', that doesn't wash with me. I'll be up-front with you. That's one cent either way on that.

Mr Crawford : Can I try and answer that?

CHAIR: No, we'll come back to you, Mr Crawford. I just want to clarify this. In the jump seat. In the copilot seat. So you are telling me there are different standards for private flights.

Mr Campbell : If I could explain.

CHAIR: Of course. That would be helpful.

Mr Campbell : With an operator proficiency check, one of the key points is crew coordination, where you've got specific company procedures that are different from company to company. So an interaction between a flying pilot and non-flying pilot in normal situations is coordinated, rehearsed and documented. In an emergency, it is coordinated, rehearsed and documented. So it's a drill. They don't have to think about it. That is what part of the operator efficiency check is. The operator proficiency check also includes an element of training. That training brings people's proficiency back up to standard prior to the check.

CHAIR: I appreciate that. But your fellow wouldn't have qualified under No. 1.

Mr Campbell : He wasn't qualified in that organisation, but he was in our control seat. He was in the jump seat. He was sitting behind the two crew. He was familiar with their procedures because he was the oversighting inspector.

CHAIR: Mr Campbell, I'm sure you've heard the old nursery rhyme about having your cake and eating it too. You've got to choose here. If your defence to Senator Patrick's line of questioning is 'We had a pilot in the right-hand seat who did not qualify to fly that aircraft and we had a pilot in the left-hand seat who didn't qualify to fly that aircraft'—in a technical sense; they both seemed to be competent pilots of type—then I'm looking for, and I think Senator Patrick was looking for, the distinction between those circumstances. All I have heard is 'private versus commercial'...

Which brings me to this from CASA released FOI documents to DJ:

Quote:[Image: MC-1.jpg]
[Image: MC-2.jpg]
Although not referred to by Mal-function (above) apparently there was another reason for there to be no CASA oversighted proficiency checks from the jump seat? From the same FOI released documents: Ref - AO-2017-057.
Quote:[Image: Ross-Air-quote-1.jpg]
This begs the question, what the hell changed to make it suddenly acceptable to ignore the 'Ross Air' moratorium when it came to the CASA observed DJ command proficiency flight? Especially when you consider the minimal operational experience (read zero) FOI Worthington had on type and in multi-crew operations?

Then I reflected on this revelation from "K": "..His last and only shot at that job netted the horrific crash at Young in NSW with multiple fatalities. He was the chief pilot. He did encourage and authorise that flight – he as good as killed ‘em all..."

This got me dredging up the extremely informative but disturbing BASI report for the Young accident, to which I extracted the following in reference to the former Chief pilot of Monarch Airlines: BASI 9301743  

Quote:1 September 1992 The assigned FOI met with the Chief Pilot and inspected documents. The Chief Pilot assured his willingness to ensure compliance with CAA
requirements. Staff were going through a learning process.

Issues to be addressed were:

Check and Training
– two checks per year to be conducted
– records to be maintained
Emergency procedures proficiency
– pilots to be certified annually
– Flight and duty records to be kept.

13 October 1992 Report by assigned FOI on ramp checks conducted at Cowra and
Cootamundra on 9 October 1992. The check at Cowra was satisfactory.
The check at Cootamundra was cancelled as the Monarch flight did not
operate due to lack of passengers.

The FOI proposed to undertake planned en route surveillance of
Monarch, commencing this month (October). Would also like to follow
up with unannounced surveillance flights. Also intended to organise at
least one ramp check along similar lines to those conducted on 9 October,
and to conduct specific checks of Monarch passenger manifests, rosters
and fuel load. Anecdotal evidence that Monarch were operating

30 November 1992 Airworthiness inspectors visited Monarch regarding a complaint
concerning engine TBO for VH-WZW.

3 February 1993 At a meeting between Airworthiness Inspectors and the GM of Monarch, the GM undertook to ensure compliance with the regulatory
requirements regarding the Maintenance Controller. The CAA
commented to the effect that it considered a line pilot operating for up to
12 hours per day could not be expected also to fulfil the functions of the
Maintenance Controller.

9 February 1993 Airworthiness inspections carried out on VH-WZW and VH-TXK. Some
serious non-conformances identified which needed to be addressed as a
matter of urgency. Maintenance Controller heavily involved with line

11 February 1993 At a further meeting with the GM and Chief Pilot, discrepancies
identified in maintenance control were discussed, including defect
reporting and recording, use of the MEL, and certification procedures.
The Maintenance Controller did not appear to be fulfilling that function.

Pilots were also not recording defects, as found in a review of VH-TXK
and VH-WZW maintenance records.

Monarch was advised that it was clear that their failure to observe all of
the requirements of the MCM was in breach of regulatory requirements.
The GM was directed to respond in writing by 15 February 1993.

30 March 1993 Monarch was required to surrender all maintenance records of VH-TXK
and VH-NDU to Bankstown Airworthiness for examination.

2 April 1993 The LAME responsible for certifying Monarch Air maintenance
operations withdrew his services.

8 April 1993 A letter was sent to the GM, Monarch Air, from CAA Airworthiness
requesting that no maintenance be carried out by Monarch until a
suitable LAME was engaged.

16 April 1993 Monarch GM applies for PUS to permit continued operation of VHNDU
with an inoperative autopilot. PUS issued, valid to 16 May 1993.

19 April 1993 A ramp check was carried out at KSA to verify whether Monarch was
complying with the conditions of the PUS for VH-TXK and VH-NDU. A
number of deficiencies were found, including identified breaches of the
CAR’s concerning the operation of VH-NDU. The aircraft was permitted
to operate RPT flights on the responsibility of the Chief Pilot and pilotin-

As a result of the ramp check, a recommendation was made by the acting
DAM to DFOM that Monarch be asked to show cause as to why its AOC
should not be varied, suspended or cancelled. The DFOM was also to
consider taking action against the Chief Pilot.

21 April 1993 A show cause letter was sent by the DFOM to the Chief Pilot asking him
to state why his Chief Pilot approval should not be cancelled as a result of
the ramp check at KSA on 19 April 1993. If the response is considered to
be unsatisfactory the DFOM proposes to suspend Monarch AOCs until
such time as a new Chief Pilot is appointed. The Monarch GM was also
asked to show cause why action should not be taken. A response was
required by 7 May 1993.

29 April 1993 The Chief Pilot was granted route checking approval to cover Southern
Airlines operations.

6 May 1993 Both the Chief Pilot and GM respond to the show cause letters.

14 May 1993 PUS for VH-NDU reissued in response to a letter from Monarch GM.
PUS valid to 16 June 1993.

17 May 1993 A letter was prepared to permanently withdraw the approval of the Chief Pilot; however, the letter was not sent as the Chief Pilot resigned from
that position on the same day.

17 May 1993 A new Chief Pilot was nominated by Monarch.

24 May 1993 A meeting was held between the new Chief Pilot and the assigned FOI to
discuss problems with Monarch.

28 May 1993 A letter approving the new Chief Pilot signed by the CAA.


1.19.2 Management structure

Prior to 18 May 1993 the day-to-day management of Monarch Airlines had been under the control of a GM who had been in that position throughout the formation and operation of the airline. Both the Chief Pilot/Operations Manager, and Chief Engineer or certifying LAME, reported to the GM, who in turn was responsible to the Directors of Aviation Operations Pty Ltd.

On 17 May 1993 the Chief Pilot resigned from that position, but remained as Operations
A new Chief Pilot took over on the same day and was occupying that position at the time of the accident .

A former Chief Pilot of Monarch, who had subsequently been retained on a part time basis to conduct Check and Training, resigned to take up a position with another company in early May 1993. The new Chief Pilot also took over the Check and Training responsibilities...

Oh the ironies when you consider Malcolm Campbell's oversight of Pelair pre the 2009 ditching of VH-NGA and now of FalconAir - UDB!  Dodgy

MTF...P2  Cool

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

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I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear
Affliction till it do cry out itself,
“Enough, enough,” and die. - William Shakespeare's King Lear

Never! not ever again will I spend hours of my life studying the CASA performances at Estimates. I have an overwhelming need of a long hot shower followed by sunshine, fresh air, solitude and above all silence. Far from the puling, snide, cynical, self serving voices answering fumbled, blunt questions. Questions to which the answers are turned into a cacophony of obfuscation and skilful deception.

[Image: deceive-inveigle-obfuscate-e1520727182729.jpg]

A deception which contains enough ‘fact’ to be parlayed into a legal argument which could stretch out for years and years, with no one any the better for it – barring the lawyers. Well and those politicians who would happily skip away from their well remunerated ministerial responsibility during the delay. But, before I wash the stench of it off, needs must I answer a very short question from Aunt Pru herself. “Can you define the most damning element of Monday’s events?” Good question; but where to begin.

The cast of Monday’s black comedy rivalled that of the ‘triumphant march’ from Verdi’s Aida i.e. there were a lot of ‘em. The hapless King trapped in the web of evil grand vizier’s, deceived by minions and ruthlessly milked of power by those held in thrall by dark magic. (A quick chuckle – it would be great fun to write it up as a faery story – alas). So to business. I gave AP”s request some thought and decided that the essential elements all lay within one passage of play – the ‘mystique’ of aviation safety used, once again, to scare the crap out of the audience. In the scene selected, the main players are Carmody and Aleck, supported by Campbell and Crawford. The words striking terror into the gullible ‘Currency’ and ‘Proficiency’.

From about 07:30.

Dr Aleck : I wish there were a magic test. The test is the risks that are presented can be mitigated to the point where the risk is not unacceptable in the interests of safety, balancing all the other relevant considerations. That is exactly the process Mr Carmody went through in allowing this one pilot an exemption to do what needed to be done. As Mr Carmody said, there was a risk attendant upon that. The irony is not lost that this was a defect.

CHAIR: In the case a mild nine days out of time—you could argue a position.

Dr Aleck : There are two things here. I think Senator Patrick was onto them. He was saying, 'A few days out—we talking about people who are reasonably competent.' There was this case that said this delegate who had not maintained proficiency conducted all these tests. How unfair it would be to all these people who paid money to have their tests conducted on the good-faith assumption that the person who was conducting them was capable of doing it. One of the things the court took into account there was that there were any number of people who had done this in good faith, without any reason to know or believe that the person who was conducting the test had fallen foul of a condition of his delegation.

They claim all manner of dire consequences for transgressions against a ‘black letter’ interpretation, go on to dismiss a perfectly sound Federal court decision on the flimsiest of grounds and go on to stretch the tale to terror to audience screaming point. For those afraid of these dark arts and dire consequences; with your indulgence, I shall dip a thumb nail in the tar pot and explain the basic fraud perpetrated.

There are serious legal implications to be considered relating to both ‘current experience’ and ‘proficiency’ for aircrew. Had there been an accident, with both pilots ‘not legal’ there would be hell to pay, in Coroners court, in the insurance court and just about any other court you care to name; without mentioning ‘the media’. Screaming headlines, ministers having conniptions, launching inquiry, heads rolling left, right and centre – it would be a blood bath – but only after the fact. It is quite acceptable for you to die in an aircraft accident, provided you do it quite legally, all boxes ticked, then all is well. Farewell; and, sorry for your loss.  However..

Within the Falcon story there are claims made of ‘wrong-doing’. To wit, #1 check pilot was not ‘current’ (let’s call it ‘legally’ qualified) therefore all the required check flights he conducted on other aircrew were rendered invalid. But was #1 check pilot ‘not legal’? CASA say Yes, there is however a very strong argument which says he was (benefit of the doubt ring any bells). Most certainly he was ‘rock solid’ legal under the old rules, before Part 61 reared it’s ugly, misshapen head. CASA claim the instrument flight check he completed was insignificant as it was not completed in a ‘comparable’ aircraft to the one currently being operated. Before 61 a multi engine aircraft instrument rating was acceptable – for all aircraft types on a licence.

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The Impact of FlightSafety International | JDA Journal
JDA Aviation Technology Solutions
flightsafety international

Even if the technicality could not be corrected the satisfactory completion of a week long, intensive check flight, under instrument flying conditions, in an ‘appropriate’ simulator, conducted by Flight Safety should carry that operational safety argument through – on the balance of probabilities and common sense at least; if not the black letter law legal case. Depending on which you prefer to prosecute – for the general good.

The final part of this saga borders on the place where spite meets lunacy. Let’s accept that ‘technically’ #1 was not ‘legal’. I say so what. How can check flights on other pilots possibly be deemed invalid? Provided those check flights were conducted properly and the required standards achieved, then, operationally at very least, there could be no impediment to continued operation of those pilots. Certainly, on a purely legal basis there is a case to answer and CASA is quite free and within their rights to prosecute that line and extract a penalty. Falcon needs a tidy up, no argument from me; provided CASA can actually produce the ‘evidence’ to support the ‘not legal’ charge, standing alone. The part which is completely ‘cock-eyed’ is the methodology used to generate argument of non ‘legal’ compliance. From a very small seed this monster has grown, like Topsy. Escalated from a grass roots level, not for ‘safety’s’ sake, that’s just a convenient catch-all. Campbell has, once again, used the system to kick this one up the line, aided and abetted by Worthington and amplified a small ditty into a symphony which needs the Director to conduct and defend the actions of his organisation.

Put the Falcon’s nose to the grindstone, sort out the technical and systematic errors within the CASA approved operating system, ensure that the administrative processes are compliant, make certain that the aircrew are both ‘legal’ and competent; just do it honestly, clinically, without rancour and be part of the solution; not the team attempting a dubious prosecution which achieves nothing apart from more fear and loathing of the CASA system and those who manipulate that system. Worked fine for Pel-Air did it not, despite the glaring irregularities. Sauce, goose, gander ring any small bells?

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Carmody reminds me of a circus bear, lead about the place with ring through his nose, dancing to the merry tune played by his captors. It is well past the time for a minister who actually wants to improve matters aeronautical, supported by a director who actually understands what the reforms so desperately needed are. There is no doubt a place in CASA for a career bureaucrat, once it becomes model citizen with aviation’s best interests at heart; but until then we need someone with aviation fuel running through his veins, not green ink and Earl Grey tea.

Enough and enough.

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"Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Well; it seems the inhabitants of planet CASA have decided to return to Earth – just for a visit you understand. Of course, we hasten welcome the aliens in the approved and proper manner. Lots of catching up to do -

Eventually, when the formalities have been observed; it’s down to business. The new leader of planet CASA seems to be making some welcome, long awaited noises: one of the best heard in in long while is the ‘harmonization’ word. What a lovely, soothing sound that is. Earthling Cannane is delighted – having worked long and hard and waited a long, weary wait to hear the word spoken out loud.

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AMROBA's Ken Cannane (left) and Senator David Fawcett (right) listen to industry

2014 a Year For Optimism: AMROBA - Australian Flying

Quote:"...As members will be aware, AMROBA has been lobbying to have harmonisation for the non-airline sectors with the USA general aviation regulatory requirements. Harmonisation with the Federal Aviation Regulations for all engineering (design, maintenance and manufacturing) would provide a safer outcome with economic benefits for each sector.

The higher safety standards with economic benefits will lower costs to private and commercial aviation. Exactly what government red tape reduction requirements demand.

CASA’s CEO Shane Carmody and his executive can take some accolades this time for announcing a CASR Part 21 “realignment” project at the 20th Asia-Pacific Bilateral Partners Meeting in Canberra, 6-8 March this year...

...Congratulation Mr Carmody, now apply the same ‘harmonisation by adoption’ policy to the GA operational regulations. Adopt FAR Parts 43, 61, 91, 141. Also, harmonise with FAR Part 145..."

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There is no accolade too great for Ken’s efforts on behalf of sanity and common sense. However it does take two to Tango and without the Carmody nod of approval harmonization with the FAR simply could not happen. There is no begrudging of a  ‘thank you’ offered to Carmody, there is however a bloody great shout of ‘Hallelujah’, well done and a “please Sir, I’d like some more”. It makes such good sense to ‘harmonize’ with our near neighbours, I’m surprised no one thought of it before – no matter; let’s hope we keep harmonizing like Billy-O for the next couple of years.

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Dick Smith - so close but no cigar

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Oz aviation, safety compromised by political and bureaucratic subterfuge ?

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What will a Quarter buy you? | : Home of PAIN

Smith, Joyce and Albanese – a prosaic enough trio to have created a breach in the previously impenetrable curtain wall protecting castle CASA. Well, I get ahead of myself, the notion to modify the Air Navigation Act (the Act) with bi-partisan support is a very good one; indeed it an urgent ‘must do’. Alas, politics now raises some road blocks. “Why should it?” asks the crowd. To the unwashed masses, seems as though an agreement has been reached between the major’ parties – Albo would not be acting without party support; Joyce would not be acting without at very least the support of his own Nats – so it becomes a ‘party’ thing, not an individual whimsy. The new minister better pull his socks up and get on with it, its too juicy a bone to snatch from the jaws of a very hungry, fierce, pissed off industry. The symbolism associated with changing the Act is massive, it heralds the first faltering but real, tangible steps toward true reform. It is a powerful statement of much needed hope and release from the incredible fiscal burden the existing rule set imposes. Take a look at the table half way down the P2 post – HERE.

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This impost, standing alone is enough incentive to enforce a change in system – a reform. $400 million spent so far and not one skerrick of safety improvement gained; just mountains of paper-work and strict liability criminal offences. Value for money? I think not.

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“The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending; or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous "turn" (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially "escapist," nor "fugitive."J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien on Fairy-stories

Whether a change to the Act and Carmody’s harmonization will affect the way CASA sets about doing its work is yet to be seen. The tentacles of Illich stretch far, wide and deep; it was his notion to ‘criminalize’ everything from licking a postage stamp the wrong way to failing to put the correct date on a letter. Reform of the existing regulation could begin by simply de-criminalizing everything not classed as ‘serious’. There are plenty of guidelines to assist with this small task and; then, to put some icing on the cake – CASA could consider revisiting ‘the intent’ element, which is enshrined in the law and the constitution. Three small steps for the new minister to win a gold star and the gratitude of the aviation community. IMO the new minister has had enough time to settle in – the gloves are off, the stakes are high – seconds away Round 1.

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Speaking of things getting done – is the Senate committee ever going to resolve the ‘drone’ quandary – before someone gets hurt? O’Sullivan seems to have the brakes on – again. The article – HERE – focuses attention on what can happen without proper controls in place. It would be a great pity to see the law abiding general public deprived of the pleasure of operating a drone for personal use – but, history shows t is easier to outlaw the entire thing rather than get in early and manage the hooligan element spoiling it for everyone else. Aero modellers have, for generations, managed their recreation and associations without so much as a close call, let alone a close encounter. The professional drone operating outfits manage to set a good example – most sensible folk seem to manage a spot of weekend drone flying without creating a furore; so why has the Senate committee not finished pontificating? Seems a simple enough matter to me – Sen Alec Gallacher is on the right track – technology is the solution – well; that and some pretty hefty penalties for getting caught ‘at it’.

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Lot’s to think about and some support for those trying to make things better is needed; its as good a time to speak up as you will ever have again – take 30 seconds to send an e-mail supporting ‘harmonization’ and a new Act.

For quite a long while now the bench seat by the orchard wall has need replacing; today I shall make one. Best crack on – before DT finds other, more mundane tasks which need to be done; I find a stack of timber on the bench, floor covered in shavings and sawdust a good deterrent. I can put those small jobs on the ‘to-do’ list, you know the ones – where it takes longer to get the tools out and put ‘em away than it does to fix the snag. Her wish list – my to do list – systematic excellence.

Toot toot

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Survival of GA - for debate.

Courtesy of GoFly Aviation - Wink :

Quote:"..I've written this blog in the hope of sparking a debate about a better future for General Aviation. What's lacking is a vision for the future which can replace rules & regulations designed 60+ yrs ago. If General Aviation does not adapt it will die..."

General Aviation is dying and here are 10 radical ideas for saving it!

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General Aviation in Australia is dying

General Aviation is dying a slow death. This is not just confined to Australia, this is a worldwide phenomenon. The reasons are many and varied. Some of the main reasons GA is dying in Australia are (but are not limited to) the following:

- A lack of interest from young individuals in wanting to learn to fly

- Overly complex loan structures for trainee pilots

- A training syllabus that was created over 50 years ago

- Rising costs in regulation, maintenance and aircraft manufacturing

- Slowness to adopt and incorporate modern technology

- A lack of entrepreneurial spirit to drive General Aviation into a new and vibrant future

- A lack of a clear vision on how the future should look

- Over-regulation and a slowness to adapt, in our governing body, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

- A lack of a commercial imperative within CASA

I do not presume to have all the answers,  I am writing this post not to pick fault with the current system but in the hope of sparking a debate on how we can imagine a better future for General Aviation. What is lacking is a vision of the future which can replace rules and regulations which were designed over sixty years ago.

We are starting to see some exciting technology on the very near horizon and if General Aviation does not adapt to these changes then General Aviation will die. There is not just one entity to blame for this: CASA, Flight Schools, Charter Operators, aircraft manufacturers and our current legal structures are all to blame. For example, the electric on-demand Air Taxi industry is predicted to be the next high-growth industry. There are currently over 200 new company startups working to develop on-demand Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) electric aircraft. If General Aviation does not act fast, it will be left in the dust.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has just released a report confirming that General Aviation has declined by 18 percent over the last five years. Recreational Aviation has increased by 0.2 percent in the same time period. This is hardly surprising given the cost and bureaucratic differences between RAA and CASA, and the differences between aircraft age, type and technology. Ease of access and training is another benefit that Recreational Aviation offers over General Aviation training. For example, a person can walk into a Flight School, sign a RAA temporary membership form and be learning to fly 15 minutes later.

CASA is finally trying to address a lot of these issues, however without a clear vision of what the future will look like, CASA will only be plugging the water leak in the sinking ship, when it should be creating a new and better ship. The world is changing so fast, that if Government agencies cannot change, innovate and adapt quickly, they will self-destruct and destroy the very industries that they are governing and supposedly protecting.

I am an eternal optimist and I believe that with enough public debate and enough passionate individuals, we can turn things around for General Aviation.

Here are my ten ideas to help stimulate a debate about what’s possible for the future of General Aviation.

1.CASA should simplify its business model and adopt a commercial imperative

You don’t have to be genius to realise that the structure of CASA is overly complex and is stuck in a post-World War II government bureaucratic mindset. This isn’t really anyone’s fault; it is more a limitation of this type of public service government structure.

NASA used to be a classic example of this mindset. NASA has finally seen the light and have finally contracted (outsourced) to private companies like SpaceX to supply most of their rocket requirements. They  realised that private industry is where innovation thrives, not in government agencies.

I’m not suggesting that CASA should privatise – though it’s worth considering – but it might not be such a bad idea to outsource many of its functions to companies which understand, and have a vision for, the future of General Aviation

The issue with government agencies is that they often sit above the sinking ship below them. They don’t realise that the sinking ship (private industry) is actually their supply ship, and if it goes down, they go down with it too. When you work for an agency which receives income from taxpayers – regardless of the state of General Aviation – it’s hard to have a ‘this needs to be changed now mentality.

All you have to do is log onto the CASA website to see how complex this agency is. This complexity is a byproduct of it being a government agency. I remember ringing CASA once to ask them the minimum hours required for a Commercial Helicopter Pilot to convert to being a Commercial Fixed Wing pilot. The wording in Part 61 was confusing, so I rang the licensing division. In the space of three weeks I had to call them three times, and I spoke to three different staff members and received three different answers. The licensing staff themselves admitted the wording was confusing.

Exams are another issue that needs to be addressed. At present a student can only sit the exams in an approved exam centre, and it can cost between $100 to $250 to sit an exam (depending on where you are doing it). I believe a simpler model would be to allow all flight schools to have access to the online exams and all responsibility should fall on the CFI to make sure the exams are completed honestly. Regular flight school audits would ensure everyone is doing the exams honestly and fairly.

The other issue is that, unlike the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the states, CASA does not have a commercial imperative to grow and promote General Aviation; its main purpose is to regulate it (to maintain safety). While there is no doubt that we require regulation to minimise risk in aviation, I do not see the point in having an organisation regulate an industry without also promoting the future of that industry, because without that industry the regulator would not exist.

In a recent interview, Former Chairman of CASA, Bruce Byron, backed key changes to the Civil Aviation Act being pushed by businessman Dick Smith, who has complained about a rise in needless red tape. The article says, ‘Mr Smith, a former CASA chairman, last month ­secured approval from Barnaby Joyce and Anthony Albanese for a rewrite of the Act, but the prospect of a bipartisan deal died with Mr Joyce’s resignation from cabinet on February 23. Mr Joyce, then the Coalition transport minister, had agreed with Mr Albanese, his Labor counterpart, about removing a key part of the act that requires CASA to ‘regard safety as the most important consideration’ in regulating the industry. Under the changes, CASA would instead be required to prioritise the ‘highest level of safety in air navigation’ with the need for ‘an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry’. We can only hope that this push for the rewrite of the Act, continues, despite changes in personnel within CASA and parliament.

Government agencies are notoriously slow to change and adapt, an example of this is the proposed controlled Airspace endorsement for Recreational Pilots. This proposal has been sitting with CASA now for at least seven years. The irony is that Glider pilots can do a controlled airspace endorsement, and gliders have been legally flying into controlled airspace for years. I understand that the new endorsement needs to be implemented correctly, but seven years is ridiculous. I’m  convinced that private industry could have implemented a project to safely roll this out within six months.

My suggestion for CASA would be to outsource the task of creating Survey and Innovation teams. The Survey teams could survey the stakeholders of the General Aviation industry, to collect positive and negative critical feedback on what needs to change within the industry, then the Innovation teams can oversee the implementation of any required changes.

2. Recreational Aircraft should be allowed to be ‘VH’ registered and used for both General Aviation and Recreational pilot training

With some light sport aircraft, if the plane is ‘VH’  registered, it can be used for GA training and even night training. However this same aircraft cannot be used for Recreational training unless it is ‘24’ registered (that is, registered through Recreational Aviation Australia).

At some schools that do both GA and RAA training, they have two of the same aircraft, one registered 24 (with RAA) for recreational pilot training and one registered VH (GA) for general aviation training. They are the exact same aircraft but registered with two different organisations!

My argument is that if a flight school wanted to best utilise an aircraft for both PPL, night and RAA training, the ability to use it should not be determined by how it is registered. This just adds complexity once again when it is not required.

I own a flight school which currently does both RAA and GA training in conjunction with another school, and currently leases aircraft owned by others. It would be fantastic if I could VH register our Sling aircraft and use it for PPL, controlled and night training for GA students (with a GA instructor) and then also use it for Recreational Pilot training through RAA. This would allow the light sport aircraft to be fully utilised and improve the aircraft owner’s return on their investment. It would also make it easy for students to transition from RAA to a PPL or even CPL licence.

3. CPL training should be allowed to be conducted in Light Sport Aircraft or General Aviation Aircraft without a design feature difference

Currently in Australia, a commercial fixed-wing student completing a non-integrated flying course can fly the majority of their training hours in a Recreational aircraft. However, to obtain their Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL), they need to sit and pass all their CPL theory exams, as well as pass a Class One medical and sit a flight test in a certified aircraft which can do at least 120 kts and has at least one design feature (e.g retractable undercarriage or constant speed propellor). This usually means you have to sit the flight test in an ageing Cessna 182 or 172 RG.

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Ageing Cessna 172 planes are still used for CPL training

The issue here is that there is now a plethora of new light sport or EaSA CS-VLA  aircraft which are modern and sexy and cost the same as an ageing Cessna, and about half the cost of a new certified single engine aircraft. The Blackshape Prime is a classic example of the new breed of light sport aircraft. This aircraft can cruise at 150kts, has a retractable undercarriage, constant speed, glass cockpit, a BRS chute and costs around $250,000 new (a new Cessna 182 is around $700,000). The operating costs are about one third of the costs of a Cessna 172 RG. And did I also mention that it is sexy?

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Blackshape prime aircraft

I know some instructors have argued that you should do your CPL training in a similar aircraft to what you will be flying for your first job, however this argument is becoming redundant as most jobs for new pilots are now going to be either direct entry airline or Instructing jobs.

The Blackshape Prime would be an ideal aircraft for night and CPL training but under the current regulations it cannot be used for the CPL flight tests even it is VH registered, as it is not a ‘fully certified’ aircraft. There are plenty of new Light Sport or ESA VL aircraft under $200,000 which could be used for CPL training. This would make it affordable for flight schools to replace their ageing fleets and at the same time attract new students with these new and exciting aircraft.

4. Airlines should do away with the Twin Engine Instrument rating requirement (single only)

Back in the dark ages when I was a Charter Pilot in the Northern Territory, young pilots would fight each other to get multi-engine instrument time as the airlines required at least 500 hours of multi-engine instrument time before they would even look at employing you. The major airlines have now reduced this requirement, however I propose that they get of this requirement altogether. The reason is simple: handling a multi-engine jet or turbine aircraft is fundamentally different than handling a piston twin. The first difference is of course that if a turbine twin aircraft or jet has an engine failure there is a very good chance you will keep flying.

The other reason is that the airline will do an aircraft Type Endorsement on the jet aircraft you will be flying anyway, and you will be spending a considerable amount of time as a co-pilot before they let you loose as a Captain. During this time you will have to demonstrate your proficiency in handling engine out procedures in the simulator. Most of the twin-engine Charter Pilots I knew never had an engine failure, so more time on a twin  – other than going faster – had no bearing on their ability to fly a twin-engine jet in the future.

I believe a more common sense approach would be to only require a single-engine instrument rating (as well as your CPL) as a requirement for airline entry. This would make it easier for Flight Schools as they wouldn’t have to own and house an ageing twin-engine aircraft just to satisfy this requirement.

A Flight School could potentially use an aircraft like a Cirrus SR20 for PPL, CPL and instrument training, and this better utilisation would increase return on investment for the school. Plus statistically, twin-engine training in light piston twins is a higher risk scenario than single-engine operations, due to increased complexity and controllability issues during asymmetric operations for twin-engine aircraft.

The other key benefit would be the reduced cost of flight training and of obtaining your CPL/instrument rating, which would be a huge benefit for everyone, including the airlines.

5. CASA needs to implement the FAA new Part 23 and make it seamless for new business startups to design new aircraft

The FAA has recently implemented a new Part 23 for the certification of light aircraft. Basically the new Part makes it easier and less costly for new aircraft manufacturers to design and manufacture new aircraft. Prior to this, designing and certifying a brand new light aircraft was prohibitively expensive. For instance, the cost to design and certify a new piston 4-seater aircraft in the USA was around $20 million. With the new Part 23 rules this cost drops to around $2-4m. This makes it a lot more attractive for investors to invest in new startups designing and building new types of aircraft . It also means the manufacturer does not have to recoup the huge costs of certification from the initial investment. This hopefully will lead to more modern cost-effective aircraft.

I would recommend CASA implements a Part 23 Team to foster new light aircraft design and production in Australia by following the new Part 23 rules which have been introduced in the USA. We have so many talented aerospace professions in Australia, and this new rule could be a huge boost for the Australian manufacturing sector (and economy), particularly if you consider our dollar exchange rate compared to other countries.

Designing and manufacturing aircraft and exporting them to the USA, China and Europe makes a lot of sense and it would invigorate our own General Aviation industry (and the economy) while at the same time allowing home grown products to be purchased by local flight schools, charter companies and private individuals.

6. The government needs to implement tax incentives for flight schools and aircraft manufacturers

Why not also make it easier for flight schools and charter companies to get started and keep doing business? Tax incentives for investors, as well as a grace period or reduced tax for new startups could be a good way to stimulate business growth in these areas. The other obvious solution would be to do away with the huge processing fees (and timeframes) required in obtaining an AOC for either a flight school or charter operation.

CASA could implement generic templates which could be used for all new startups, while a simple processing fee would be all that is required for your new venture to be approved – providing it follows the guidelines.

7. Change the flight training syllabus for greater use of flight simulation and alternative technologies

Our current flight training syllabus originated during World War II. While much of the syllabus makes sense and has served the General Aviation industry well for many years, I believe we need to take a close look at what is working and what is not working in relation to new technologies. A good example of a change that makes sense was the introduction of the MPL course which offers integrated training for would-be airline pilots and offers multi-crew training all the way through their course (with a high focus on jet simulator training and a reduction in flying real small aircraft).

An idea that was first proposed was that airline students could complete all of their training, from ab initio to being job-ready, on a simulator and never had to conduct any training in a real light aircraft. The reasoning is that flight simulators are so advanced the student does not know the difference, plus the student will be sitting in the right-hand seat under supervision for at least five years once they are flying real aircraft. Most industry professionals did not accept this innovative idea, but they do accept that simulators play a very important role in flight training.

While I believe in and see the benefits of training in real aircraft, I also feel that with the advancement in computer technology (including virtual technology) we could allow flight schools the ability to lower the hourly requirements if they could introduce low-cost realistic flight simulation to supplement training in planes. An example might be to reduce a 200-hour non-integrated CPL course down to 150 hours, providing 50 hours are conducted in an advanced low-cost simulator.

Everyone knows the benefits of simulator training for use in practicing emergency procedures that are too risky to practice in real aircraft, so why are they reluctant to adopt this technology in the smaller flight schools? Lowering the hourly requirements and relaxing the simulator requirements would encourage more Flight Schools to invest in this technology. Plus it would attract more young students. At my own Flight School I’ve created an Online Flight School, which consists of standard and 360-degree videos of pre-flight and in-flight lessons which can be watched by any student at any time and on any device. These videos supplememt the in-air lessons and make the whole learning experience more interesting than an Instructor standing at a whiteboard.

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8. The Government needs to introduce a new streamlined VET process for all flying schools

The current diploma HECS or VET Fee program for flight schools, while working successfully in some respects, could be dramatically improved. The scale of the VET Fee program has recently been reduced, due to many schools abusing the program. The other issue is that many VET providers have to wait up to three months to be paid by the government once an invoice has been submitted. Flight Schools are weather-dependent and cash-flow dependent businesses with high overheads (see my recent blog on this subject). Many schools which spent months jumping through hurdles and adapting their syllabus in order to be eligible to receive VET fees, have now had to close down altogether due to not being able to manage cash-flow during the three-month period between invoicing for and finally receiving the large VET fee payments!

I believe the government needs to make VET fee available for all flight schools, including Recreational Flight Schools (up to stage 02), and ensure all invoice payments are made within 14 days of submission to the VET fee government department.

If anyone asked me, my suggestion would be to introduce a three-step program for VET fee help for schools. The VET Fee would be consist of three stages:

First Stage  – PPL and CPL Theory course. This fee help would be around $6,000 and allow students to enrol in a full-time theory course to CPL level. If the student does not pass their theory tests then they cannot progress to the next VET fee stage. This ensures that only seriously committed students get access to the next stage of funding, and the worse case scenario for the student is that they are $6,000 in debt.

Second Stage  – RAA or PPL licence. This VET fee amount would be up to $20,000 and allow the student to conduct their RAA, RPL or PPL licence  – or an integration of both. The student would not be allowed to progress to the next stage unless they pass this stage of their training. They can choose whichever school they prefer.

Third stage – Command time and CPL/Instrument training up to $50,000 at any approved CPL school. This staged progression would reduce the risk of students getting VET fee funding for the entire course only to realise towards the end of the course that they are not CPL material, and now they have a huge debt with nothing to show for it.  This could be a great way to encourage young students to consider an airline career.

9. Airlines should hire new CPL pilots directly from flight schools

Airlines have forecast a serious pilot shortage in the future and are already putting in place programs for cadetships, quotas for more females and are even setting up regional training bases.

I think it is crazy that airlines can run their own cadet program and allow their cadet students to go directly into the right-hand seat of an airliner with minimum experience, whereas for those who have paid for their own training, they require them to build 500 to 2,000 hours of flying experience before the airlines will consider hiring them.

Here is a radical idea to fix the future pilot shortage: reduce the minimum hours required for entry into airlines to 200 hours with only an instrument rating and CPL licence for everyone. The airlines could do extra simulator training to bring these low-hour pilots up to speed on that particular aircraft type. The ATPL theory subjects could be studied part-time and completed before the new hire is promoted to Captaincy. The reality is that a new airline hire is going to spend three to eight years in the right-hand seat under supervision of the Captain. That’s around 2,000 to 4,000 hours of flying experience before they are ready for a command position.

If young students knew that they could go directly from a flying school into an airline job, I can guarantee there would be no longer be a future shortage of pilots, as the career path would be a lot more attractive than spending years out in regional Australian towns trying to build hours on an ageing light aircraft, or being paid a minimum wage as an instructor.

10. Encourage mature individuals to learn to fly and become career instructors

The other major issue affecting General Aviation is the poaching of qualified instructors by the airlines  – to the point where there is a serious lack of qualified experienced instructors. This is only going to get worse with the current pilot shortage. One of the current problems is that the younger instructors will work for a low hourly rate just to build their hours before heading off to the airlines (see my point above!). While this may benefit the Flight Schools in the short term, in the long term, the entire industry suffers.

I believe that one way of avoiding this is to try to attract the middle-aged individual who has left it too late to join an airline but would make an excellent career instructor. I know plenty of individuals who are in their late 40s who would happily give up their soul-destroying office or construction job to be a full-time or part-time flight instructor if there was a clearer pathway and the income was adequate.

Private industry needs to work together to improve the pay conditions and advertise the lifestyle benefits of changing careers to become an instructor. My experience is that a properly run flight school in a good location can comfortably pay its full-time instructors anywhere between $50,000 – $65,000 per year. I’m sure there are plenty of mature potential instructors who would love to fly planes every day for $60,000 per year.

Time for change

In fairness, CASA has a challenging job and they have been trying to innovate many of their processes for a while. The recent changes to the medical requirements for PPL holders is a good example and a step in the right direction.

Within 10 years we will have low-cost electric aircraft and electric vertical take off and landing aircraft readily available (see my blog on this subject). If General Aviation does not adapt with the times it will be replaced by something new and foreign to many of us. Self-flying air taxis are a real possibility, but who will manage the infrastructure and safety aspects of these new industries when we cannot get the current framework right?

We require inspiration and entrepreneurial leaders in private industry and in government to initiate change today, not tomorrow. If you have a vision for a better future for General Aviation don’t sit on the fence and hope things will improve, make a noise, join a board, or at the very least, comment on this blog.

The future of General Aviation is in your hands!

Thank you to Damien Wills and the team at GoFly Aviation - Tongue

MTF...P2 Cool

I disagree in part with point 3. Not all new pilots are becoming instructors or going to airlines, and there's no way of telling who will and who won't. While there may be an argument for doing the CPL test in an LSA, there will still be a requirement for pilot training to be conducted, at least in part, on bigger, heavier aircraft. That is what the charter companies are flying in the NT, and that's where a lot of pilots go for that coveted first job.

New DPM/miniscule finally mentions the A-word - Dodgy

From off the UP thread: Dick Smith initiated change to the Civil Aviation Act

Dick Smith

I met the new Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport yesterday at Parliament House. I will say right at the start I think he is going to be a very good Minister.

Yes, there is a problem. That is, most people who read this forum have had 10, 20 or 30 years involvement in the aviation catastrophe and non-reform in this country. Our new Minister, Michael McCormack, has now been involved with the Transport portfolio for just over 2 weeks.

The most important discussion we had was about changing the Act. I asked him if he would support the Barnaby Joyce decision to go ahead with the changes as amended by Anthony Albanese. It became clear that the Deputy Prime Minister was not going to proceed that fast. He rightly said that he wanted to come up to speed on the issue, but would be making a decision promptly. We can’t expect more than that.

We in the industry – especially the general aviation industry – will just have to wait and hope that these important legislative changes to the Act will go through. As other posters on this thread have stated, it is really the key to being able to move forward and get our aviation industry thriving again.

I’m more positive than I have been for a long time. We will see what happens.

Unfortunately not a presser responding to Dick Smith's (above) bi-partisan campaign to get changes to the CAAct, however yesterday I believe marked the first time that the miniscule publicly mentioned the words 'aviation' and 'safety' in the one statement:

Quote:Key appointments to national transport safety agencies
Media Release
22 March 2018

Safety was the focus of key appointments made to transport agencies announced today by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack.

“I am pleased to announce Mr Mark Rindfleish—who has held senior safety board and advisory positions in several major Australian airlines—has been appointed to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Board for a three-year term,” Mr McCormack said.

“In addition to possessing a wealth of aviation safety expertise, as a former Head of Flying Operations and Chief Pilot with Jetstar Airways and Singapore Airlines captain, Mr Rindfleish also brings extensive aviation operational experience to the Board.

“His appointment is timely given the completion of the remaining elements of CASA’s regulatory reform program, including modernising flight operation regulations, is one of the Authority’s key priorities.

“I am also pleased to announce the re-appointments of Ms Carolyn Walsh and Mr Chris Manning as Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Commissioners for a further two years.

“Ms Walsh is a former Chief Executive of the NSW Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator and will continue to furnish the ATSB with strong rail safety expertise.

“As a former Chief Pilot and Group General Manager Flight Operations with Qantas, Mr Manning will continue to provide the Commission with the benefits of his more than 40 years of aviation experience.

“I look forward to working with CASA and the ATSB to ensure Australia’s transport safety systems continue to meet world’s-best-practice standards.”

More information about CASA is available at and more information about the ATSB is available at

And remember this byplay from 01:20?

QON: Manning is still in the Government's favour - wonder why he was not in attendance to field questions on the PelAir MKII re-coverup report at Senate Estimates... Huh

MTF...P2  Cool

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Safety in mind: Normalisation of deviance

Remarkable debacles.

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“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“K” comment: the temptation to tear this happy, clappy, PR guff and puff apart borders on the irresistible, however, the bucket will suffice. Who writes this fluffy stuff; the PR lady from Qantas? Its not even technically correct - retch.

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The ATSB has released the final investigation report into a flight path management occurrence involving a Boeing 737. The accident resulted in two crew members being injured and prompted Qantas to issue a safety information notice. …

It is rare that I break a promise – it happens – and this once I will do exactly that. The reason is that I was reading through the thread, to catch up and came across the ‘incident’ _HERE_. All the lights went on along with ‘Oh Bull-pooh’ meter going off the scale. Then my own comment – alas; but, in my defence M’lud, I ask you to read the following quotes from our ATSB investigation –
“At 22,000 feet, an abrupt change in the direction of the wind resulted in the aircraft airspeed increasing towards the maximum allowable operating speed.”

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“The report also highlights the manufacturer’s preferred use of speed-brakes to prevent over speed. Boeing has advised that they are considering a revision to the over-speed guidance in the 737 flight crew training manual.”
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I won’t go on about it – but, for a choc-frog – what’s wrong with these statements; yes, the tea lady may enter the competition. Total bollocks – PR spin – at great expense to the long suffering public. Enough.

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“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” ― Mark Twain

Anyone else get the feeling that CASA are poised on the brink of actually grasping the realities of the unholy mess they have created? The big question is will the behemoth roll backward down the slippery slope to the swamps which spawned it; or, take a leap of faith toward sensible regulation? Time will tell – but its ‘time’ that is crucial. The money wasted is one sore point – but the time wasted is unforgivable. More time will go by now as matters aeronautical are pondered by folk who have no idea – time will be wasted while CASA try’s to unravel it’s knitting, time will go by as operators, once again redraft their operating protocols and procedures; more time will go by as CASA ‘approve’ (or accept) those manuals; time will go by as crew are trained or educated on the ‘new’ way of remaining legally ‘safe’.

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The Unreachables are they unteachable?

Meanwhile – count on one hand the actual improvements, beneficial to industry, seen over the past five years. We must hope the ‘new’ minister does not renege on the deal Albo and Barmy-baby cobbled together and have the Act rewritten; they could also repeal the 1920’ s dinosaur which has been the catspaw of much evil intent.

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Speaking of evil intent, the Falcon Air story continues to dominate BRB discussions: for example:-
Q/ Carmody quote: "...The check on Mr James continued as we decided to deem it a private flight..."  - Besides the fact that there is many unexplained contradictions in the timeline, it would seem in the above quote that CC has tried to make it seem he was doing DJ favour by allowing the check to continue in a 'private' capacity - WTD??
P2 has provided the perfect example of CASA swinging a long line. Seriously, the spin and pony-pooh contained within the highlighted line defines CASA first XI methodology and spin bowling techniques. How for Pete’s sake can the flight be anything else – in law – but a ‘private’ flight – conducted as ‘Air-work’; one may also question, quite safely why there was a need for two CASA people to be on board. Seems to me there’s a ‘stretch’ of rules right there and a safety case.

Aye well; let’s all hope Carmody has been presented ‘all’ the facts and that those facts are ‘precise’. If they are not – he’s been placed in a hellish position – resignation being the only honourable escape – unless he fires, publically, those who may have cruelly deceived him and set him up to carry a large, smelly can. Time once again will provide the answers.

“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” ― Mark Twain

P2 – “The following is the relevant part of the report that caused this inquiry to be extended/deferred for 1 year:”
I wonder when one of the unintentional ‘victim’ groups is going to pipe up and get this airports inquiry swiftly moving in the right direction, you can feel a soupçon of sympathy for them and their insurance companies. Of all the ‘victims, they probably have more to loose than anyone else in the game. “Who?” – Oh, didn’t I say – well ‘tis the developers, the owners of the buildings and the big end of town investors. Bloody chancy thing to do – placing a building within a designated ‘safety zone’. CASA would have the world and his wife believe that the SZ is sacrosanct; and, up to a point this is true –but only at the departure and approach ends of a runway. There is a splay – a fan if you like – free of man made obstacles – above a certain height – within a certain distance; providing an ‘obstacle clear’ gradient. An area within which an aircraft with say an engine failure – flying ‘blind’ in cloud can be assured of not hitting anything – provided the aircraft can maintain the promulgated climb gradient. No one builds anything which penetrates the ‘safe’ area on the approach or the departure end of a runway. Not so the side safety zones. Essendon has a designated minimum runway width and associated ‘along side’ safety zones. Mr Peabody’s exemplary work shows, quite clearly, that the along side buffer zones were compromised to allow development which infringes those zones - there can be no argument – the pictures tell the tale.

Had the King-Air been a few feet lower and had the time of day been different and the Toy shop full of children and grown ups – no need to elaborate that; a fireball, multiple fatalities and years and years of court battles.

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The political fallout immeasurable. Who would be the whipping boy? – Yep, you guessed, those with the most money. The insurance companies would go straight to the best chance of gaining compensation. Long winded way around the point I know – but I would imagine that ‘business’ would be making a submission to the Senate – just to cover their highly exposed rear ends. It’s a simple enough concept to grasp; don’t build within the runway safety zones – not even the along side zones. There’s still time – the Senate committee is moving at it’s customary speed; although what there  is to debate about clearly defined rules beats me.

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“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” ― Mark Twain

Ah! There is the ‘toot-toot’ I’ve been waiting for – my lift to visit a timber yard – far, far away. Shopping, for blokes will fill the day in nicely, checks complete, DT happy; dogs done; stable tidy – Are we there yet??

Toot toot.

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Discontinuity – disconnect and misdirection.

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In air operations a ‘discontinuity’ error is a thing you find on your Flight Management System (FMS) or Flight Management Computer (FMC). Say you are headed for Kickinatinalong – from Big Smoke – there is a promulgated ‘Airway’ (read motorway); but, before you can join the motorway you have to arrive at the joining ‘junction’ (or ramp). On the ground this is achieved by you finding your way from home to the junction. In the air, there are things known as Standard Instrument Departures (SID’s) which will take you to a point ‘in space’ i.e. a way-point.

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When you don’t tell the computer to ‘join’ the motorway (airway) – you get a ‘discontinuity’ error; you need to ‘step’ from the SID to the airway. It is a simple enough matter to ‘fix’ a discontinuity. You are probably about now wondering what the fool is burbling on about. Well I shall try to explain – but firstly I must apologize to the experts for my quick mud map of FMS: all in a good cause, I assure you….

When a discontinuity is flagged, the process to dismiss it is simple and clearly defined, the reason for its appearance understood. It may be logically corrected. ‘We’ - as in the BRB are working on what we believed to be a simple comparative exercise between the treatment of three different operators, all managed by the same CASA flight operations office, referenced to ‘deficiencies’ found at audit; the corrections applied and the time line – simple, straightforward, routine analysis – until we hit the ‘disconnects’ in the Pel-Air audit series. “Don’t make sense” mutters P2 (sotto voce) – long silence follows – “I say it don’t make sense” (a little louder); until “Oi – got a minute?” Well; I’m struggling with about 16 open screens trying to make notes and reference points, the other two assisting are about in the same position; so we agreed –its time for a break. As it’s quite late – ale was the preferred libation. It took two hours to arrive at one simple conclusion; in a nutshell, WTD was going on with the Pel-Air audits?

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"Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things." - Isaac Newton

We honestly don’t know – not yet; we will when we resolve the discontinuities and disconnects. For example – the erstwhile Ben Cook had cited problems with the Fatigue management system in place, recommended that the operation return to the CAO 48 standard until Pel-Air had things running properly. Not once but twice and the RCA raised were never acquitted, it appears they were never even addressed (on evidence available). For instance, there are hints in the paperwork we have which suggests that the ‘Chambers Report’ was conceived and drafted well before the ditching – to assist McConvict drag AUD$89,000,000 out of the government coffers to fix the problems cited in the FAA audit. It begs the question – was there a need to divert Senators attention from the Cook reports to the Chambers report?  If so, why?

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“Anything is better than lies and deceit!” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

I do wish we had never begun this exercise; whodathunkit – disconnects along an audit trail; discontinuity which cannot be remedied and what appears to be deliberate misdirection. An audit must be ‘auditable’ – n’est-ce pas? Clear lines- Item identified – correction applied – application accepted – all over; ‘till next time. But not this time – it could be construed that RCA/NCN have been ‘withheld’ until the operation was back into the air. It appears (on first acquaintance at least) that there has been a truncated time frame – almost impossible to achieve in real, unassisted life – between audit end and full operational status being achieved; despite 'phased in corrections'. The time line don't allow it, certainly not by CASA standard time -. Much to consider.

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Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of
the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his
own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of
your son: give me your blessing: truth will come
to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son
may, but at the length truth will out.

-  William Shakespeare - The Merchant of Venice: Act 2 Scene 2  

Aye well: ‘tis all passing strange and; I hasten to add, all speculation at the moment – speculation and research which has severely impacted on my free weekend. No matter – that's why they pay us the big bucks - right?

Serious question time – how do dogs always ‘know’ ? I swear, not a muscle moved, nor an ear waggled until I’d typed out that last confused sentence – now I look at a stretching, scratching, alert pair of ne’er-do-wells who know its time for a cigar, a stroll and a well earned Ale or, perhaps two, if TOM turns up. Oh, have no fear; he will – he has his own section of this analysis to plough through – best warn DT – the language will be ‘Blue’. Our resident graffiti artist is about as confused as we are – so perhaps he’ll settle for an Ale and let the ‘pictures’ rest for this evening at least.

Apologies to the purists and professionals – re the FMS – ‘twas really the only way to explain what ‘we’ have run into. It is, indeed, a cryptic puzzle. – That’s it – it must be Sunday somewhere on this planet.


P2 Addendum - [Image: biggrin.gif]

From the Senate thread today:

Auditing an audit - Part II 

Verdict: Besides the obvious Wodger cut & paste pugmarks, the disassociation/disconnection between the unbiased professional expert analysis of the Ben Cook/Mal Christie PelAir FRMS SAR and that of Wodger's chronologically fragmented tick-a-box SAR is fundamentally obvious. Therefore the verdict IMO is guilty on all counts of duplicity and hypocrisy 'Your Honour' - [Image: dodgy.gif]

[color=#993366]"K" Note - Did you notice how much of the Cook previous work on Pel Air (earlier audit) was 'borrowed' and pasted into the 'Chambers' report? Time to get the big shovel out I reckon...

Sunday pre-emptive? Betcha boots.

The Gordian Knot.

Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter – (Henry V.)

I do, for my sins, enjoy a good yarn – well told. The tale – legend – of the Gordian Knot serves to bring to mind a current, heated discussion centred on the inimitable David Fawcett, Senator.

“Alexander later went on to conquer Asia as far as the Indus and the Oxus, thus fulfilling the prophecy.”

Matters aeronautical are as well tied by such a knot as the one which confronted Alexander; yet he found a solution – so says legend. But in the very real world, far removed from ancient times, an Alexander is now required. Someone must solve the riddle of ‘the knot’. Many (76% of the BRB) believe Fawcett is ‘the man’. His brilliant (well it was) defence of Night Vision and track record at Estimates make him the only logical, sensible and popular choice to undo the current impasse between the deeply entrenched regulator and industry. Some (18%) believe that care taking of his political career prevents ‘deep’ involvement; others simply wonder why he is not ‘up to his hocks’ in the mire. He is, after all said and done, the one and only politician who can – on terms – converse with industry and the political powers that be. So why is he not leading Australian aviation out of the swamps and quagmires of Sleepy Hollow? There are few who would not steal the very Devil’s lunchbox, should Fawcett ask for it.

I must thank P2 for re-posting the video above – it provides not only a ‘classic’ portrayal of CASA deviance, but the willingness to deflect, be-fog and distract a focus away from critical information. Watch the Hansard video again; only this time consider the date of the Cook FRMS appraisal of Pel-Air and carefully read through the wonton plagiarism contained within the Chamber’s report. Then listen carefully to the questions posed by Fawcett ; then listen to the McConvict answers; then you decide. There can be no doubt of the time lines – of the FAA audit or, of the careful distraction from Cook, the FRMS and – importantly what was actually happening at Pel-Air.

Once you have gotten your aching head around the distractions, taker a careful measure of ‘how’ CASA surveillance of the operation was ‘managed’ and by whom. We have within the association some well qualified, current,  IOSA and BARS auditors. Being neither qualified or indeed competent to ‘audit’ an audit series trail we asked them for help. The verdict was as unambiguous as it was brief – Pel-Air = Bullshit – from start to finish. To quote P2 – “it don’t make sense”.

This of course places us in a strange position. Without ‘all’ the audit trail and responses and actions, proposed, taken and officially sanctioned, we are left with a shed full of supposition and an incomplete picture. Oh, we know alright– but what we have put together would never stand up in a court; not without supporting data. A FOI request, from the Houseboat crew is unlikely to be helpful. Get to the bottom line fool, shouts the crowd at the bar (my turn at the dartboard) But how to phrase it? That is the question which keeps me awake at night.

Simply and honestly put is probably best. So two, stand alone points for the Senate Committee to consider:-

1) While the Senate Inquiry into the Norfolk Island incident was ‘useful’ it missed the main event, by a whisker.

2) There is, we believe a pressing need for a full inquiry into the behaviour of CASA before, during and after the Norfolk incident, to be subtended by inquiry into other audits conducted since, by the Sydney office team; including Chambers; specifically Airtex, Sky Master and Falcon Air.

It is the opinion of this forum that the Senate Committee was deliberately misled to prevent detailed examination of the CASA process, procedure and motivation for their actions during the audits before and after the Norfolk ditching event. We certainly questioned it at the time – but; after extensive research, that questioning is done. Time to call in the professionals, at very least to eliminate the deep, dark suspicions which haunt our research….Someone was taking the Mickey Bliss and someone was having it extracted. Perhaps now O’Sullivan will stir his unprepossessing rear and bring on a ‘proper’ investigation’: and, maybe, if he is willing – allow Fawcett to run the show. ‘We’ would help Brockman, Fawcett, Gallacher, Patrick and Sterle in their endeavours, off or on camera. But no bull-pooh merchants or time waster will be afforded that support. Sod democracy – we have it appears (in our uninformed opinion) an expensive, counterproductive, rogue agency, running amok, uncontrolled, corrupt and unaccountable, ploughing its merry way through millions, every year, without a skerrik of safety improvement or benefit to industry. Its way past time Senators. This must stop. Right here, right now would be good, however we can wait, just a short wait before publishing some of the more intriguing aspects of our research.

Aye well – the board awaits – high stakes this night – the Kiwi’s can actually play the game. Right then - Ale, - cigar – where’s me darts’; off I go to the battle front.

Toot (research weary) toot.

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Value for money? Bloody good question.

Housekeeping, as in filing stuff so it may be found is one of my least favourite duties; particularly as some (no names etc.) have a fairly Caviller approach to labelling things. Which means someone has to open the file – see what it is – place it correctly (so it may be found) and updating the cross reference lists. Why is there is never a queue to do this? Anyway, I was digging about the piles of bumf looking for a file; no luck - so I got stuck in and started a tidy up. As I was seeking a Senate Committee Hansard reference – I started there. As you can imagine, the Senate paperwork pile rivals any we hold for volume alone; it is a very large pile.

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"At Kellynch Hall, the “method, moderation, and economy” of Lady Elliot is gone, and through vanity and carelessness, Sir Walter Elliot has grown “dreadfully in debt.”  Despite its substance, the property is unequal to his “apprehension of the state required in its possessor,” and as his tradespeople and his agent become more pressing." - Persuasion by Jane Austen

For ease of reference we break the pile down to ‘subject’ – say Pel-Air for an example. When you start to add and cross reference the ATSB, CASA, DOiT response, submissions and supporting documentation – the rather large pile quickly becomes a ‘shed load’ of paper.

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Gods alone know the cost – per page of this mountain. “That’s a lot of money sitting right there” I muse. The next thought was, ‘no matter, ‘tis money well spent’, just look at the results’. Well, for my sins, I did exactly that and set about listing the 'good' results. Disappointing is a gross understatement, if not an outright misrepresentation of the dismay and degree of disgust which multiplied with every dead end and zero result I built into the matrix. That’s quite a track record for thirty years of ‘Senate’ involvement with matters aeronautical; a veritable Bookies paradise.

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“October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.” ― Mark TwainPudd'nhead Wilson

In terms of ‘results’ or benefit to either the Australian public or the aviation industry – we may as well have not bothered and saved the time, money and effort; for all the good it’s done - seriously. The pathetic, anorexic pile of output ‘results’ is pitifully small when placed next to ‘input’ data: and this just for the Norfolk Island ditching mark you. There has been not one positive result of benefit to the industry from that wee contretemps – nary a one; nothing of either an intrinsic or practical value has been returned despite the huge sums of money and countless hours of time invested. When you begin to enumerate the last three decades of ‘inquiry’; commissions, investigation and reports purely related to matters aeronautical  and the Senate– you arrive at some fairly terrifying numbers. The cost of just the Norfolk ditching – standing alone – if only in man-hours invested, it is a truly remarkable figure; and for what return on the investment?

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“Then it is your opinion…that a man should never-“
-Invest in portable property in a friend?”… “Certainly he should not. Unless he wants to get rid of the friend- and then it becomes a question how much portable property it may be worth to get rid of him.” ― Oscar WildeThe Soul of Man Under Socialism, and Selected Critical Prose

The RRAT committee has several ‘open’ files on it’s collective desks at present; drones, air routes, airspace, One Sky, aerodromes, to mention but a few – the meter is running and the results are still in limbo. ASA, ATSB and CASA demonstrate, on a regular basis, their ability to confound, deflect and defer the committee’s questions, using time as a shield, obfuscation as a weapon and the ‘shell game’ to hide the pea of fact.

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"There is required for the composition of a great commander not only massive common sense and reasoning power, not only imagination, but also an element of legerdemain, an original and sinister touch, which leaves the enemy puzzled as well as beaten." - Winston Churchill.

Its nowhere near good enough, is it. There is a chronic ailment which no amount of money seems to be able to cure. The parallels between Lockhart River, Seaview and Pel-Air are truly remarkable – but even more remarkable are the results of the very expensive ‘inquirys’; which have not only failed to effect any worthwhile change but have allowed repetition; and, we are still highly unlikely to prevent future aberrations from occurring.

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“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it's impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.” ― Niccolò Machiavelli

I say; if the Senate committee cannot enforce the recommendations and edicts they eschew, then they should cease operation and at least save the country the expense of these charades and pantomimes. The committee was sold a bill of goods in relation to Pel-Air; distracted by the ‘ditching’. The real story begins with Albo, the FAA, Defence and McCormack and it ends with the risible return to service of Pel-Air through a process which, through our own investigation, has brought us to an opinion that the entire process needs to be forensically examined, by an independent (Judicial) organization. "If it walks like a duck" etc..

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“Who shot him? I asked.
The grey man scratched the back of his neck and said: "Somebody with a gun.” - Dashiell Hammett.

When you begin to calculate the cost associated with running the Estimates committee, the inquiries, ASA, ATSB and CASA then calculate the return on that investment, you really must wonder – do we get value for money? Can you even say that the committee is even interested in investigating the glaring ‘anomalies’ brought to their attention? You know the answers, but to whom will you turn and ensure real reform and probity? Don’t say the RRAT committee – I’ve laughed as much as I need to, this day.

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

Personally, I was embarrassed for the committee last estimates – a non entity like Hood wiped the floor with them and their ultra expensive second ATSB report into the Pel-Air debacle’ . Not nearly as embarrassed as I felt when CASA simply ignored their very expensive 37 recommendations. But the crowning glory was at last estimates – what a pathetic shambles – P7 and a couple of others, at the invitation of the committee mind you, tried to ‘brief’ on the ‘audit’ of Pel-Air and the parallels which could be drawn from ‘recent’ CASA excursions into the ‘Cor Blimey’. Alas – the chair would not have a bar of it. Debacle followed soon thereafter. Anyway – the BRB had somewhat to say about it all. A vote was demanded on several matters – one of the most significant was a call not to participate or assist with any future Senate committee inquiry; unanimous: the Nay’s have it (in Spades).

I hold my peace, sir? no; No, I will speak as liberal as the north; Let heaven and men and devils, let them all, All, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak. ― William ShakespeareOthello

It probably don’t signify to anyone who matters; but, by my vote count the Ayes win the proposition to move Fawcett and Patrick into the Hall of Shame: so be it. I may add that had O’Sullivan been considered – and many asked why not – he would have gone with ‘em: had he been worthy of his own thread. He has been post humorously awarded a Muppet avatar; of P2’s choice.....

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Value for money Senators? A return on the hope, faith, time and effort placed at your disposal? Major changes brought about by Senate Committee involvement, over the last three decades?

One may say “Sweet Duck All” in many languages, some expressions of this are quite elegant; however – Anglo Saxon will do very well for today. I note its not quite Sunday just yet – but I do have important matters to occupy my time this coming day; Gods sparing and weather permitting - à bientôt.


Enough with the bullshit already – for pities sake.

There are times in this life, as you all well know, when it is prudent not to speak up; particularly when speaking up will achieve nothing positive – except reaction rather than action. This is especially the case when you are ’uncertain’ that you have it right.

Such was the situation I found myself in – after the ‘Pel-Air’ shemozzle. It appeared, despite my misgivings that the Senate Committee had ‘understood’ what was happening and were moving to prevent it ever happening again. Then they presented their ‘recommendations’.

Lets pause a minute and consider what a ‘recommendation’ really is. The dictionary defines it thus:-

As you can see – it’s a fairly soft sort of word – just because Fred recommends Gowen’s lotion for spots on your bum; don’t mean he’s right. He simply recommends the stuff. Some recommendations carry weight – E.g. My vet recommends a certain drug and a dietary regime – he is the ‘expert’ and, all being well, it should work. I once had a highway patrol officer pull me over, he recommended that as I had broken ‘black letter’ law by not completely  ‘stopping ‘ at a stop sign, for the prescribed number of seconds, technically, I was in breach and next time I’d get fined. Thank you to that man; we had an interesting discussion  about ‘safety’ and parted on good terms. You see, some ‘recommendations’ are actually of value.

I cannot imagine, nor did I even envisage a situation, where; after a long, detailed ‘inquiry’ costing gods know what, into the Pel-Air incident that a committees ‘recommendations’ would be treated, as was the Forsyth report, simply as ‘opinion’. There are almost six dozen serious, far reaching, deep and meaningful ‘reforms’ contained within the very expensive pages of those two ‘inquiry’s’.  All ignored - fact.

Yet the RRAT committee, after all the evidence presented simply presented their ‘recommendations, folded their tents and ambled off into the sunset. Did absolutely SDA to ensure ‘change’ – failed to begin serious investigation into the glaring anomalies they identified – failed to carry through their investigation; in short just like Herod, simply washed their hands of the blood and went on to enjoy the ample remuneration – provided by the tax payer – and did sweet Fanny Adams about the mess they had revealed.

Now then; Fawcett knows and ‘Old Bill’ knew – categorically and absolutely -  that the committee was into the ‘guts’ of most of the aviation industry problems - where CASA is concerned. The committee knew and witnessed the beast at its best. Yet they sat back – duty done – fees (significant)  for appearance paid – and allowed the ATSB and CASA to walk away from not only the stark, clear evidence but from  their ‘recommendations’ - without even a ‘chirrup’ of WTF is going on.

A charade “K” calls it, a pantomime. To me it is a bloody disgrace. We aught to be able to have faith in these highly paid, heavy weight individuals - alas. They control the money and have enormous 'influence' and connections out the ying-yang; why not use 'em? Shame on the RRAT committee, those  who were so promising, yet became just another banjo player in the orchestra pit. Humiliated, disgraced and proven, by word, fact and law to be just another bunch of self serving, Lilly livered snake oil salesmen, feeding off the system. DO NOT get me started on O'Sullivan - just don't; there's a good chap......

Waited a long time to say all that – but; when you have invested time, money and effort in these parasites, there comes a time to speak out. Of all the world of words to define it – pitiful seems to fit best. The hall of shame is too good for ‘em I reckon; but there are some hearts a little more tender and forgiving than mine – and I’ve seen it all before. Disgraceful, deceitful and dishonest  - I can live with – but gutless, that just leaves me cold, devoid of pity, charity and goodwill.

There now, I feel better with that off my chest – ‘Yup same again Sweetheart’ – the boy will pay – he owes me (Big time) Oh ye of too much faith.

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 The invisible DPM & changing the Act cont/-

Following on from the Senate thread posts on the subject of Dick Smith's frustration with the latest 'do nothing' miniscule in charge of the aviation portfolio... Dodgy   

Via Oz Aviation yesterday... Wink

Quote:Are changes to the Civil Aviation Act in the pipeline?

April 9, 2018 by

[Image: PSA49535_PAUL-SADLER.jpg]The new minister responsible for aviation says he won’t be rushed into changing the Civil Aviation Act. (Paul Sadler)

New Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack says he is considering proposed changes to the Civil Aviation Act put forward by Dick Smith.

McCormack told The Australian on Monday he had met with Smith regarding changes to general aviation regulations.

“While I understand Mr Smith’s passion on this matter, my job is to ensure policy changes are given the due consideration needed,” McCormack told the newspaper.

“I will take the time needed to consider options and to have further conversations with industry and my colleagues.

“You cannot rush policy outcomes, especially when it involves people’s safety. If changes are possible, they will be properly considered and broad consultation will be held before any decision is made.”

Smith has proposed changing the wording of the act which says the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has to “regard safety as the most important consideration” in its role regulating the industry.

Instead, CASA would be charged with ensuring the “highest level of safety in air navigation” in addition to having consideration for “an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry”.

The proposed changes were designed to support a general aviation sector which the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia (AOPA) has previously described as been slowly dying and “collapsing under the weight of regulation”.

Smith told The Australian doing nothing would lead to the “complete destruction of our once viable general aviation industry”.

The Australian reported Smith’s proposals had been agreed to by former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce, as well as his opposition counterpart Anthony Albanese.

However, Joyce resigned in February after it emerged he had separated from his wife and started a relationship with a former staffer.

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Dick Smith fears the “complete destruction” of the general aviation sector.

Back to Ol'Tom's ‘recommendation’ post above, perhaps if REX just wants one thing to hang his hat on, with aviation safety matters, perhaps he should campaign to honour former Senator Nick's simple aviation policy statement (i.e. in bold):

A safe and strong aviation sector is vital to Australia's needs. Having our aircraft maintained in Australia is an integral part of ensuring high safety standards and trust in the aviation industry. 

What needs to be done:
  • There should be an Inspector General of Aviation that acts as an impartial watch-dog over all aviation regulators -  in particular CASA and the ATSB - to ensure that they operate in the public interest.
  • Implement recommendations from Senate reports on aviation and safety

The following are 3 Senate RRAT References Committee inquiries that were completed in the last 8 years: 

Airport and aviation security

List of recommendations

Recommendation 1  

2.62    The committee recommends that any future reviews of and amendments to aviation security regulation be risk-based and fit for purpose, with consideration given to the unique challenges faced by regional and rural airports and the overall diversity of Australian airports.

Recommendation 2  

3.74    The committee recommends that the Inspector of Transport Security complete and publish its review into aviation security training and education as soon as practicable.

Recommendation 3  

3.75    The committee recommends that the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development develop a framework to ensure that subcontracted screening bodies have appropriate employment standards and provide security training and services consistent with those provided by screening authorities under the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005. The framework should take into account any inconsistencies in the training and education as identified by the Inspector of Transport Security.

Recommendation 4  

4.53    The committee recommends that the Australian Government amend the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 to make it compulsory for aviation industry participants to report information currently captured under the voluntary reporting scheme.

Recommendation 5  

5.80    The committee recommends that the Australian Government review the feasibility of establishing a centralised issuing authority for Aviation Security Identification Cards.

Recommendation 6  

5.83    The committee recommends that the Australian Government consider the development of a national automatic notification system for aviation-security-relevant offence convictions of Aviation Security Identification Cards holders.

Recommendation 7

5.88    The committee recommends that the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development update the committee early in 2018, on progress and outcomes, following implementation of Stage Two of the Visitor Identification Card enhancements.

Recommendation 8  

5.89    The committee recommends the Australian Government consider mechanisms, including legislative amendment, to strengthen the Visitor Identification Card process, incorporating appropriate background checking where appropriate.

Recommendation 9  

6.19    The committee recommends that the Australian Government implement the regional aviation security awareness training package, in accordance with its 2015 commitment.

Aviation Accident Investigations

List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

3.68      The committee recommends that the ATSB retrieve VH-NGA flight data recorders without further delay.

Recommendation 2

4.41      The committee recommends that the minister, in issuing a new Statement of Expectations to the ATSB, valid from 1 July 2013, make it clear that safety in aviation operations involving passengers (fare paying or those with no control over the flight they are on, e.g. air ambulance) is to be accorded equal priority irrespective of flight classification.

Recommendation 3

4.43      The committee recommends that the ATSB move away from its current approach of forecasting the probability of future events and focus on the analysis of factors which allowed the accident under investigation to occur. This would enable the industry to identify, assess and implement lessons relevant to their own operations.

Recommendation 4

4.69      The committee recommends that the ATSB be required to document investigative avenues that were explored and then discarded, providing detailed explanations as to why.

Recommendation 5

4.78      The committee recommends that the training offered by the ATSB across all investigator skills sets be benchmarked against other agencies by an independent body by, for example, inviting the NTSB or commissioning an industry body to conduct such a benchmarking exercise.

Recommendation 6

4.79      The committee recommends that, as far as available resources allow, ATSB investigators be given access to training provided by the agency's international counterparts. Where this does not occur, resultant gaps in training/competence must be advised to the minister and the Parliament.

Recommendation 7

4.87      The committee recommends that the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 be amended to require that the Chief Commissioner of the ATSB be able to demonstrate extensive aviation safety expertise and experience as a prerequisite for the selection process.

Recommendation 8

4.101      The committee recommends that an expert aviation safety panel be established to ensure quality control of ATSB investigation and reporting processes along the lines set out by the committee.

Recommendation 9

4.103      The committee recommends that the government develop a process by which the ATSB can request access to supplementary funding via the minister.

Recommendation 10

6.41      The committee recommends that the investigation be re-opened by the ATSB with a focus on organisational, oversight and broader systemic issues.

Recommendation 11

6.52      The committee recommends that CASA processes in relation to matters highlighted by this investigation be reviewed. This could involve an evaluation benchmarked against a credible peer (such as FAA or CAA) of regulation and audits with respect to: non-RPT passenger carrying operations; approach to audits; and training and standardisation of FOI across regional offices.

Recommendation 12

6.55      The committee recommends that CASA, in consultation with an Emergency Medical Services industry representative group (eg. Royal Flying Doctor Service, air ambulance operators, rotary wing rescue providers) consider the merit, form and standards of a new category of operations for Emergency Medical Services. The minister should require CASA to approve the industry plan unless there is a clear safety case not to. Scope for industry to assist as part of an audit team should also be investigated where standardisation is an issue. This should be completed within 12 months and the outcome reported publicly.

Recommendation 13

6.58      The committee recommends that a short inquiry be conducted by the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport into the current status of aviation regulatory reform to assess the direction, progress and resources expended to date to ensure greater visibility of the processes.

Recommendation 14

7.15      The committee recommends that the ATSB-CASA Memorandum of Understanding be re-drafted to remove any ambiguity in relation to information that should be shared between the agencies in relation to aviation accident investigations, to require CASA to:
•advise the ATSB of the initiation of any action, audit or review as a result of an accident which the ATSB is investigating.
• provide the ATSB with the relevant review report as soon as it is available.

Recommendation 15

7.16      The committee recommends that all meetings between the ATSB and CASA, whether formal or informal, where particulars of a given investigation are being discussed be appropriately minuted.

Recommendation 16

8.35      The committee recommends that, where relevant, the ATSB include thorough human factors analysis and discussion in future investigation reports. Where human factors are not considered relevant, the ATSB should include a statement explaining why.

Recommendation 17

9.18      The committee recommends that the ATSB prepare and release publicly a list of all its identified safety issues and the actions which are being taken or have been taken to address them. The ATSB should indicate its progress in monitoring the actions every 6 months and report every 12 months to Parliament.

Recommendation 18

9.40      The committee recommends that where a safety action has not been completed before a report being issued that a recommendation should be made. If it has been completed the report should include details of the action, who was involved and how it was resolved.

Recommendation 19

9.42      The committee recommends that the ATSB review its process to track the implementation of recommendations or safety actions to ensure it is an effective closed loop system. This should be made public, and provided to the Senate Regional and Rural Affairs and Transport Committee prior to each Budget Estimates.

Recommendation 20

9.44      The committee recommends that where the consideration and implementation of an ATSB recommendation may be protracted, the requirement for regular updates (for example 6 monthly) should be included in the TSI Act.

Recommendation 21

9.45      The committee recommends that the government consider setting a time limit for agencies to implement or reject recommendations, beyond which ministerial oversight is required where the agencies concerned must report to the minister why the recommendation has not been implemented or that, with ministerial approval, it has been formally rejected.

Recommendation 22

9.77      The committee recommends that Airservices Australia discuss the safety case for providing a hazard alert service with Fijian and New Zealand ATC (and any other relevant jurisdictions) and encourage them to adopt this practice.

Recommendation 23

9.104      The committee recommends that the relevant agencies review whether any equipment or other changes can be made to improve the weather forecasting at Norfolk Island. The review would include whether the Unicom operator should be an approved meteorological observer.

Recommendation 24

9.106      The committee recommends that the relevant agencies investigate appropriate methods to ensure that information about the incidence of, and variable weather conditions at, Norfolk Island is available to assist flight crews and operators managing risk that may result from unforseen weather events.

Recommendation 25

9.108      The committee recommends that the Aeronautical Information Package (AIP) En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA) is updated to reflect the need for caution with regard to Norfolk Island forecasts where the actual conditions can change rapidly and vary from forecasts.

Recommendation 26

10.35      The committee recommends that in relation to mandatory and confidential reporting, the default position should be that no identifying details should be provided or disclosed. However, if there is a clear risk to safety then the ATSB, CASA and industry representatives should develop a process that contains appropriate checks and balances.

Pilot training and airline safety; and Consideration of the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment (Incident Reports) Bill 2010


Recommendation 1

2.278    The committee is of the view that an ATPL should also be required for first officers in high capacity regular public transport (RPT) jet aircraft such as Boeing 737, A320 and other aircraft of similar or greater capacity, and that consideration be given to implementing this as a standard.

Recommendation 2

2.279    The committee recommends that for non-jet operations which employ low-experience first officers, operators be required to provide enhanced supervision and mentoring schemes to offset such lack of experience.

Recommendation 3

2.280    The committee recommends that Air Operators Certificate (AOC) holders be required to develop and implement 'green on green' policy positions relating to the use of low experience pilots in RPT operations, to maximise, wherever possible, the collective experience level of flight crew.

Recommendation 4

2.281    The committee recommends that Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 61 ensure that all prospective regular public transport (RPT) pilots be required to complete substantial course-based training in multi-crew operations and resource management (non-technical skills) and human factors training prior to, or in reasonable proximity to, initial endorsement training; the committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) expedite, and assign the highest priority to, the implementation of CASR Part 61.

Recommendation 5

2.282    The committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) ensure that Part 61 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations currently being reviewed place sufficient weight on multi-engine aeroplane experience as opposed to the current recognition of glider and ultra-light experience.

Recommendation 6

2.283    The committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) be required to undertake a risk assessment of current simulator training to assess whether the extent, aims and scope of such training is being utilised to achieve optimum safety outcomes rather than minimum compliance objectives.

Recommendation 7

2.288    The committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Authority (CASA) expedite, and assign the highest priority to, the implementation of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Part 141 'Flight Training Operators' and Part 142 'Training and Checking Operators'.

Recommendation 8

2.296    The committee recommends that the Government require the Productivity Commission or another suitable body to undertake a review of the current and future supply of pilots in Australia, with particular reference to the general aviation and cadet training pathways, and HECS HELP and VET FEE-HELP arrangements.

Recommendation 9

2.299    The committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and Australian aviation operators review the final findings of France's Bureau of Investigation and Analysis into Air France 447, including consideration of how it may apply in the Australian context. Subject to those findings, the committee may seek the approval of the Senate to conduct a further hearing in relation to the matter.

Recommendation 10

3.146    The committee recommends that the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport provide a report to Parliament every six months outlining the progress of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority's (CASA) regulatory reforms and specifying reform priorities, consultative processes and implementation targets for the following 12-month period.

Recommendation 11

3.147    The committee recommends that the Government undertake a review of the funding to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to ensure that there is sufficient specific funding to support an expedited regulatory reform process.

Recommendation 12

3.149    The committee recommends that, as an ongoing measure, the Government provide the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) with specific funding to enable it to offer salaries that are competitive with industry; in addition, or as an alternative, the Government should consider implementing formal mechanisms for the sharing of expertise between industry and CASA.

Recommendation 13

3.158    The committee recommends that the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment (Incident Reports) Bill 2010 not be passed.

Recommendation 14

3.163    The committee recommends that the current prescriptive approach needs to be supplemented with a general obligation to report whenever the 'responsible person' believes that there is an urgent safety risk that must be addressed.

Recommendation 15

3.164    The committee recommends that the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB) review its approach to the investigation and publication of human factors with a view to achieving a more robust and useful learning tool for the industry.

Recommendation 16

3.165    The committee recommends that the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB) review existing processes for the categorisation of aviation events to ensure that miscategorisation is minimised and opportunities for system improvement are not lost.

Recommendation 17

3.166    The committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), in concern with Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB), consider developing and publishing guidance on model reporting to minimise understatement of the actual or potential significance of aviation events.

Recommendation 18

3.169    The committee recommends that Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) require operators to observe the highest standards of incident reporting from their personnel and provide appropriate training as part of the safety promotion function of their SMS.

Recommendation 19

The committee recommends that, in order to enhance 'just culture' and open reporting of incidents, aviation operators should ensure that their relevant managers are adequately trained in procedural fairness.

Recommendation 20

4.89    The committee recommends that, following the release of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) fatigue guidelines, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) should expedite necessary changes and/or additions to the regulations governing flght and cabin crew fatigue risk management as a priority

Recommendation 21

4.90    The committee recommends that, in the event that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) fatigue guidelines do not extend to cabin crew duty limits and fatigue risk management more broadly, the Government should amend the Civil Aviation Act 1998 to include cabin crew fatigue risk management under the Civil Aviation Safety Authority's (CASA) regulatory oversight.

Recommendation 22

4.92    The committee recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) specify the type of training and amount of training required for cabin crew, including mandatory English language standards.

There is also the recommendations from the ASRR (Forsyth report):

List of recommendations

The Aviation Safety Regulation Review Panel recommends that:

1. The Australian Government develops the State Safety Program into a strategic plan for Australia’s aviation safety system, under the leadership of the Aviation Policy Group, and uses it as the foundation for rationalising and improving coordination mechanisms.

2. The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development plays a stronger policy role in the State Safety Program.

3. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigates as many fatal accidents in the sport and recreational aviation sector as its resources will allow.

4. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority utilise the provision in their bilateral Memorandum of Understanding to accredit CASA observers to ATSB investigations.

5. The Australian Government appoints an additional Australian Transport Safety Bureau Commissioner with aviation operational and safety management experience.

6. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s Board exercises full governance control. The non-executive directors should possess a range of appropriate skills and backgrounds in aviation, safety, management, risk, regulation, governance and government.

7. The next Director of Aviation Safety has leadership and management experience and
capabilities in cultural change of large organisations. Aviation or other safety industry experience is highly desirable.

8. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority:

a. reinstates publication of Key Performance Indicators for service delivery functions
b. conducts a stakeholder survey every two years to measure the health of its relationship with industry
c. accepts regulatory authority applications online unless there is a valid technical reason against it
d. adopts the same Code of Conduct and Values that apply to the Australian Public Service under the Public Service Act 1999.

9. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority develops a staff exchange program with industry.

10. Airservices Australia, in conjunction with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, reconsiders the policy on ‘Assessment of Priorities’ that stipulates that air traffic controllers sequence arriving aircraft based on category of operation, rather than on the accepted international practice of ‘first come, first served’.

11. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority amend the wording of their existing Memorandum of Understanding to make it more definitive about interaction, coordination, and cooperation.

12. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority delegates responsibility for the day-to-day operational management of airspace to Airservices Australia, including the designation of air routes, short-term designations of temporary Restricted Areas, and temporary changes to the classification of airspace for operational reasons.

13. The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Department of Defence (and appropriate agencies) establish an agreed policy position on safety oversight of civil operations into joint user and military airports.

14. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority changes its regulatory philosophy and, together with industry, builds an effective collaborative relationship on a foundation of mutual understanding and respect.

15. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority continues to provide appropriate indemnity to all industry personnel with delegations of authority.

16. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority finalises its Capability Framework and overhauls its training program to ensure identified areas of need are addressed, including:

a. communication in a regulatory context
b. decision making and good regulatory practice
c. auditing.

17. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority publishes and demonstrates the philosophy of ‘just culture’ whereby individuals involved in a reportable event are not punished for actions, omissions or decisions taken by them that are commensurate with their experience and training. However, actions of gross negligence, wilful violations and destructive acts should not be tolerated.

18. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority reintroduces a ‘use of discretion’ procedure that gives operators or individuals the opportunity to discuss and, if necessary, remedy a perceived breach prior to CASA taking any formal action. This procedure is to be followed in all cases, except where CASA identifies a Serious and Imminent Risk to Air Safety.

19. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau transfers information from Mandatory Occurrence Reports to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, without redaction or de-identification.

20. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau transfers its safety education function to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

21. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority changes its organisational structure to a client-oriented output model.

22. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority establishes small offices at specific industry centres to improve monitoring, service quality, communications and collaborative relationships.

23. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority shares the risk assessment outputs of Sky Sentinel, its computerised risk assessment system, with the applicable authorisation holder.

24. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority provides full disclosure of audit findings at audit exit briefings in accordance with international best practice.

25. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority introduces grading of Non-Compliance Notices on a scale of seriousness.

26. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority assures consistency of audits across all regions, and delivers audit reports within an agreed timeframe.

27. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority implements a system of using third-party commercial audits as a supplementary tool to its surveillance system.

28. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority establishes a safety oversight risk management hierarchy based on a categorisation of operations. Rule making and surveillance priorities should be proportionate to the safety risk.

29. Recreational Aviation Administration Organisations, in coordination with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, develop mechanisms to ensure all aircraft to be regulated under CASR Part 149 are registered.

30.The Civil Aviation Safety Authority changes the current two-tier regulatory framework (act and regulations) to a three-tier structure (act, regulations and standards), with:

a. regulations drafted in a high-level, succinct style, containing provisions for enabling standards and necessary legislative provisions, including offences
b.the third-tier standards drafted in plain, easy to understand language.

31. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority structures all regulations not yet made with the three-tier approach, and subsequently reviews all other Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Parts (in consultation with industry) to determine if they should be remade using the three-tier structure.

32. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority reassesses the penalties in the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.

33. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority applies a project management approach to the completion of all Civil Aviation Safety Regulation Parts not yet in force, with drafting to be completed within one year and consultation completed one year later, with:

a. a Steering Committee and a Project Team with both CASA and industry representatives
b.implementation dates established through formal industry consultation.

34. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s Director of Aviation Safety meet with industry sector leaders to jointly develop a plan for renewing a collaborative and effective Standards Consultative Committee.

35. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority devolve to Designated Aviation Medical Examiners the ability to renew aviation medical certificates (for Classes 1, 2, and 3) where the applicant meets the required standard at the time of the medical examination.

36. The Australian Government amends regulations so that background checks and the requirement to hold an Aviation Security Identification Card are only required for unescorted access to Security Restricted Areas, not for general airside access. This approach would align with international practice.

37. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority amends the current Terms of Reference of the Industry Complaints Commissioner so that:

a.the ICC reports directly to the CASA Board CASA staff are excluded from the ICC’s jurisdiction
c.the ICC will receive complaints that relate to both the merits and the process of matters
d.on merits matters, including aviation medical matters, the ICC is empowered to convene an appropriately constituted review panel, chaired by a CASA non-executive director, to review the decision
e.while all ICC findings are non-binding recommendations, the original decision-maker is required to give reasons to the CASA Board if a recommendation is not followed.

And finally the recommendations from the TSBC peer review:


The TSB Review is making 14 recommendations to the ATSB in four main areas:
•Ensuring the consistent application of existing methodologies and processes
•Improving investigation methodologies and processes where they were found to have deficiencies
•Improving the oversight and governance of investigations
•Managing communications challenges more effectively.

Recommendation #1: Given that the ATSB investigation methodology and analysis tools represent best practice and have been shown to produce very good results, the ATSB should continue efforts to ensure the consistent application and use of its methodology and tools.

Recommendation #2: The ATSB should consider adding mechanisms to its review process to ensure there is a response to each comment made by a reviewer, and that there is a second-level review to verify that the response addresses the comment adequately.

Recommendation #3: The ATSB should augment its DIP process to ensure the Commission is satisfied that each comment has been adequately addressed, and that a response describing actions taken by the ATSB is provided to the person who submitted it.

Recommendation #4: The ATSB should review its risk assessment methodology and the use of risk labels to ensure that risks are appropriately described, and that the use of the labels is not diverting attention away from mitigating the unsafe conditions identified in the investigation.

Recommendation #5: The ATSB should review its investigation schedules for the completion of various levels of investigation to ensure that realistic timelines are communicated to stakeholders.

Recommendation #6: The ATSB should take steps to ensure that a systematic, iterative, team approach to analysis is used in all investigations.

Recommendation #7: The ATSB should provide investigators with a specific tool to assist with the collection and analysis of data in the area of sleep-related fatigue.

Recommendation #8: The ATSB should review the quality assurance measures adopted by the new team leaders and incorporate them in SIQS to ensure that their continued use is not dependent on the initiative of specific individuals.

Recommendation #9: The ATSB should modify the Commission report review process so that the Commission sees the report at a point in the investigation when deficiencies can be addressed, and the Commission's feedback is clearly communicated to staff and systematically addressed.

Recommendation #10: The ATSB should undertake a review of the structure, role, and responsibilities of its Commission with a view to ensuring clearer accountability for timely and effective oversight of the ATSB's investigations and reports.

Recommendation #11: The ATSB should adjust the critical investigation review procedures to ensure that the process for making and documenting decisions about investigation scope and direction is clearly communicated and consistently applied.

Recommendation #12: The ATSB should take steps to ensure closure briefings are conducted for all investigations.

Recommendation #13: The ATSB should provide clear guidance to all investigators that emphasizes both the independence of ATSB investigations, regardless of any regulatory investigations or audits being conducted at the same time, and the importance of collecting data related to regulatory oversight as a matter of course.

Recommendation #14: The ATSB should implement a process to ensure that communications staff identify any issues or controversy that might arise when a report is released, and develop a suitable communications plan to address them.

All in all there has been 108 aviation safety/security recommendations made and supposedly addressed by the Department and associated QANGOs... Rolleyes Yet the overwhelming evidence is that there is no real effective change to the status quo with the worst insult, coming from former CASA CEO Skidmore, that the Forsyth report recommendations was.."just someone else's opinion"..

My question on the 57 Senate committee inquiry recommendations is...

Q/ If these Senate recommendations were handed down by a democratically unanimous non-partisan committee process, why do they then go for a Government review and response?

That review and response involves the Minister's office handing the report & recommendations back to the very same bureaucrats that the inquiry was largely investigating/reviewing in the first place.

Which means that the unelected bureaucrats then provide the advice to the Minister on what the Government should or shouldn't accept from the recommendations - WTD?

Therefore REX your campaign should be that the Government response should not involve any consultation with the bureaucrats and aviation safety QANGOs but rather Government should consult with industry experts about how best to proactively address the recommendations and with the Finance Dept on how best to resource proactively addressing the recommendations.

Either that or do away with the Senate committee processes as being a WOFTAM and drain on the GDP of the country - my 2 bob's worth... Rolleyes

MTF...P2  Cool

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A cabaret in the temple of doom.

We managed to get ‘back stage’ at the rehearsals for what is touted to be one of the most expensive shows ever staged. It easily rivals, in cost, Barmy-baby Joyce’s top pick of the Pirates of the Caribbean ($378.5 million), although the Hobbit trilogy ran up to $623 million (Wiki). “A mere bagatelle compared to our show” said the PR lady as she gave us our back stage visitors passes – “we have already spent over $100 million in pre production and we’re nowhere near finished yet”.

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She rushed on, obviously disturbed by our stunned silence – “it may seem like a lot of money but really, it’s just a drop in the bucket when you compare it to some of the really big Canberra shows – which have flopped, costing the tax paying public billions - . “One –Sky is a great example” she gushed, “the CASR rewrite another; it’s just that there’s an endless supply of money for experimental theatre, so of course we take full advantage of it”. “Don’t anyone object?” growls P7. “Oh –tra lala” chirps our guide; “of course they do, but we have a system and friends within that system to make sure the money hopper is always chock full and the objections are ‘managed’ properly”.

For the sake of peace and to ensure we got ‘the tour’ I put my arm across P7’s shoulders and P2 looked to have a headlock on GD – “steady the Buffs” I whispered and we followed meekly along behind our guide. We were to meet some of the star turns and then watch the chorus line rehearsing. 

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The first tent we arrived at was a fantasy from the Arabian nights, herein resided the Mystic McComic, attended by his hand picked assistants. We were surprised to realise that his ‘assistants’ were all skilled ventriloquists, all McComic had to do was sit on a big cushion – looking all mystic and aesthetic like and repeat the words whispered into his shell like ears. We all thought the ‘mystic’ look was simply for the benefit of the audience – but even out of costume he manages to look vacant - like a constipated pilgrim praying to break wind; that or there’s a couple of pages stuck together.

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Of Mandarins & Minions.

Whatever, we were pleased to be out of there – the strange odour permeating from behind the boudoir curtains was quite nauseating. “Wow” exclaimed GD (who knows about such things) “that’s some good shit they got in there” as we floated away on a cloud of blissful tranquillity.

Have you ever seen the dance of the Seven veils practiced by a bloke – in drag – wearing military boots? We have; and, its quite alluring – even in rehearsal. The star in this little entertainment is Fan Dance Fawcfit – master of the great tease.

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Sen. D. Fawcett - Legend. - WOFTAM award nominee and Hall of Shame recipient

It is an acknowledged art form: the skill lays in always having the audience believe that some titillating part of the anatomy will be revealed and you will actually get to see beneath the veil – alas; ‘tis but a show for the punters. Yet they still turn up to watch, hoping that one day there will be something worth the entrance fee to see.

Of course the orchestra was there’ we were treated to a rendition of ‘Believe it if you like’ rearranged by the Iron Ring consortium, conducted by the maestro himself. The new arrangement has a fascinating, repetitive, primitive rhythm akin to the dark voodoo chants and incantations, which have the audience held in thrall – until the music stops and sanity returns.

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Strictly liable, fairly enforced | Flight Safety Australia
Flight Safety Australia

In the orchestra pit we have Ka-mate on first fiddle; supported by a full team of fiddlers and, strange as it may seem, a bagpipe – for an irritating counterpoint. Timpani is provided by the ‘Electric-Blue’ percussion group, who seem to enjoy making as much racket as possible without ever maintaining an even flow.

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Airservices continues to mislead at Senate Estimates — Just Plane ...
Just Plane Wrong

In the Banjo section we have the ‘windswept and interesting’ quartet, who seem to enjoy prancing about the countryside in leather chaps and Hi-viz vests; contributing very little to the sym-phony. No matter – it makes them easy to spot and avoid in the pub.

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The search for investigative probity.

Aye, it was an interesting day, full of smoke, mirrors and traditional stage magic. No doubt the audience will appreciate it, if they ever come out of rehearsal and into the public purview. This show has been in pre production for thirty years; the costs astronomical.

Out PR lady assured us, when we asked, that there was strict oversight of spending and close management of value for money spent. P2 had just about had enough by this time – “By whom?” he barks.

“Oh” says the winsome, perfumed waif – “why, we have our very own committee in the Senate dontcha know; lovely fellahs – all lovers of theatre and music; true patrons of the arts of deception and mysticism”.

“Yeah – well what about the hundreds of recommendations made to close this circus down and the thousands of complaints about the cost of this charade” growls P2.

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CASA lacks Expertise to adopt ICAO Standards: AMROBA - Australian ...
Australian Flying

“Silly boy” says our guide in a patronizing, pitying tone; “those are only the mere opinions of the plebs; the great unwashed, those of the unshriven mongrel breed who have not made the pilgrimage to Canberra and taken the waters”……….

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Link for Dr Aleck reply to RRAT Committee and the McComic IOS comment: PDF 221KB

As we had now a surfeit of real life theatre P7 suggested a drink in the nearest pub; GD seconded the motion – we departed at speed, leaving the venal, the vacuous and the fatuous far behind. The first Ale arrived at our silent table and was dealt with speedily, in stony silence. GD got the next round in – to more silence. Eventually, the question was asked “do you believe that crap?” In the stern silence that followed the answer was found; no one sane would admit to having witnessed and believed the spectacle was true. But it was children, it was; and, if you keep it secret, I can tell you it all still exists, thriving and growing bigger every day.

Some will have a little trouble believing today's faery tale; but empirical evidence may be found in the post above – If you’ve time and interest the Senate thread provides some insight and once we’ve cleared the decks a bit and the state of aviation is understood – we shall examine the Pel-Air mess in detail, with clarity. It is a cautionary tale – for government; ask Albo if he was deceived – he’ll tell ya a tale of a hook, a line and a sinker.


P2 thoughts after that vomitus tour... 

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P7 - OH, BRAVO! - and well done P2!!!! Duckling Brilliant; and, that was  no easy read. The boy leads the way for Cook's masterful reality check. - How shall we ever repay this dedication to task? Tim Tam's I suppose. Well done both, I salute you - both. (Not too shabby; indeed, not too shabby at all.

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Well; just a little rebellion then?....

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“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions indeed generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.” ― Thomas JeffersonLetters of Thomas Jefferson

It seems to me that aviation folk have just about had as much of the current ‘governance’ as they are prepared to tolerate. Whether the incumbent minister likes it or not, whether the top deck crew of the aviation oversight industries like it or not; or even if those protected species which survive and thrive within the deep dells and swamps of Sleepy Hollow like it or not; there must be a change – for the better. It would be most sensible for those who are currently in a position to make the demanded changes do so, if not willingly; then with good grace and a sense of self preservation. This rather than have those changes rammed down their ever open gullets. The cost to this nation, standing alone, is outrageous; the notion that the industry and fare paying passengers must provide the gelt required is unsupportable; and, the decimation of a vibrant tax paying, job providing industry smacks of lunacy.

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Nobody Cares - AMROBA

Yet for some thirty years and after millions and millions being spent on ‘inquiry’ into the current system, despite industry representation and expertise being offered and many, loud, long protestations made against the ludicrous edicts of the oversight agency – not one solitary meaningful, real change has ever been made. Certainly nothing of benefit to industry or the public has been decreed, placed into law or even contemplated. Sooner or later, the camel's back will quit; or, the worm will turn.

Two heavy duty revolutions and several small ones have been sparked by oppression, fee gouging, stupidity, a refusal to understand the basic ‘complaints’ and abject failure to address those elements.

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Thought Co : ”Essentially, it all began as a disagreement over the way Great Britain treated the colonies and the way the colonies felt they should be treated. Americans felt they deserved all the rights of Englishmen. The British, on the other hand, felt that the colonies were created to be used in the way that best suited the Crown and Parliament. This conflict is embodied in one of the rallying cries of the American Revolution: No Taxation Without Representation.”

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History lists : “The French Revolution was a major event in modern European history. The causes of the French Revolution were many: the monarchy's severe debt problems, high taxes, poor harvests, and the influence of new political ideas and the American Revolution, to mention only a few. Starting as a movement for government reforms, the French Revolution rapidly turned radical and violent, leading to the abolition of the monarchy and execution of King Louis XVI. Though the monarchy was eventually restored, the French Revolution changed France and the rest of Europe forever. It inspired a number of revolutionary movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that made the final end to institutions such as absolutism, feudalism, class privilege and legal inequality, and spread the principles of natural right, equality and freedom throughout the world.”

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Ergo : “The Eureka Stockade was caused by a disagreement over what gold miners felt were unfair laws and policing of their work by government.”

The folk involved in those wee contretemps were pushed beyond limits and were left with limited options. Just so for the downtrodden aviation masses; the first and most essential supporting pillar – finance – simply shuffles off and takes their money with ‘em. Try it once, try to get finance for any sort of ‘aviation project’. You work out a perfectly valid business plan for the operation, which makes sense to all: then comes the tricky bit. When you explain to potential cost in criminal liability, the time and money involved in gaining ‘official’ approval for the proposed operation – watch closely – as the ‘money’ pays for the coffee and ambles off to buy a cat house, or even a block of flats. This is not venture capital they say; ‘tis adventure capital. Investors like to see the return on a three year plan – not wait a year or more for an ever increasing cost of approval to operate appear. You’ve all heard to old adage – if it floats, flies or fornicates – hire it, pay for it and walk away when you’re done.

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So great changes are needed, beginning with the un constitutional Act, encompassing the risible, disparaged and despaired of ‘amateur’ rule set, writ by junior flying instructors, ending with the way the regulations are ‘enforced’ by amateur, wannabe police officers. It is a bollocks, an ugly, misbegotten aberration which must, if this industry is to continue, be addressed – and soon. “But by whom?” Asks the man at the back of the room. It is a fair question, the answer to which demands, at very least, a complete reform of the regulator. The anathemas of the past may; nay, must be politely and quietly buried provided an accountable, professional agency is raised from the grave. The current crew of misfits and sociopaths need not apply. A minister for aviation and a ‘reform’ CEO – sans ‘Board’ would be a ducking good place to start.

Reference pg 49 Birds? What birds?

“For whoever believes that great advancement and new benefits make men forget old injuries is mistaken.” ― Niccolò MachiavelliThe Prince

What we have at the moment is an obscene parody, dedicated to covering the ministerial arse and sucking as much money, power and control out of the system as possible; without any form of accounting or accountability. If (big IF) the current Senate committee were a little more use than a chocolate firewall they have the perfect time and opportunity to make this happen – before the finance and interest in a thriving industry departs for more lucrative, less hostile environments: far removed from the likes of Chester and Co.

19 Sept 2009:

“Do you operate or conduct business under any other names?"

19 April 2018:

Viva la Revolución - Part II

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.” ― Niccolò MachiavelliThe Prince

“Enough talk of revolution, fraud and villainy” says the opposition team, watching the score against ‘em rise. “What else is there?” says I, “Parts 61, 91 or CAO 48.1” thus closing down that discussion. The talk at the dartboard then turned toward the Senate committee outfit and those associated. In particular our overseas visitors were intrigued by the amount and scope of the recommendations which had been arbitrarily dismissed. Being from the USA they were stunned that those recommendations were simply held as ‘opinion’ and; that no one seemed to be in any sort of rush to meet the changes demanded. When we told them of the Forsyth report and the TSBC reviews, the silence was stunning. Honestly, I don’t think they believed us; but P2 provide a flash drive to their ‘leader’. Bless his socks – he rang me last evening – “this is ducking unbelievable” says he. “Wait till you get to the ICAO sections” I replied. Aye well, he at least has some reading for the long journey home – tailwinds old son.

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“Minds are of three kinds: one is capable of thinking for itself; another is able to understand the thinking of others; and a third can neither think for itself nor understand the thinking of others. The first is of the highest excellence, the second is excellent, and the third is worthless.” ― Niccolò MachiavelliThe Prince

It is good to see that the Dick Smith campaign has got some legs and the AOPA has weighed in. There’s to be a gabfest in the city of Wagga Wagga with Dick as the primary speaker. This, is a very good thing and it is what Dick does best – brilliantly even. I understand that Heff, just up the track, near Junee, has been invited as has the inestimable Fiona Nash of Pete the Pot Plant fame.

Wow! How good is that? You may not be able to get there; I know I can’t, alas. But the time is now to support this effort; it may not be a revolution – yet; but from small acorns etc. Wish ‘em well – send a text; a fax; or an email (if your NBN is working today) it is a worthy cause – entered into on your behalf without costing you one cent. Bravo Dick – break a leg

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"How have you been surprised in this same way: gotten valuable learning from people you assumed had nothing to teach you; help from folks you thought were completely unhelpful; wisdom from those you thought unwise...?"
15 Surprisingly Great Leadership Quotes From Machiavelli - Forbes

Revolting against the revolting is thirsty work; I know (for certain sure) that there are fresh from the oven Blueberry muffins in DT’s domain, the dogs are lined up at the back door already. A second coffee a muffin (or two) then I’m off on an exploration mission. The thing is beyond salvation, at least 200 y.o, a hand made ‘Welsh’ dresser, or it was; but the timbers are beautiful, so I shall un-make it and salvage the inch thick, 10 inch wide, eight foot long boards, true ‘em up and rebuild the thing as it was when made – replacing and repairing as needed. Can’t wait; and my rotten, unreliable NBN connection is threatening to collapse, yet again (hence early posting). Don’t care. “Away to me dogs – get on with ya”. Exeunt stage right - “Oi, which one of you buggers has my other boot” - heard fading away across the orchard, (dogs giggling in the background).  


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"..It started out small
Silent creeping round and round
Whispers in the night.
Things left unspoken.
Things left unthought.
The thought was always there
Thinking, growing, forming, twisting
Taking root, until, one day..." - Revolution: A Poem. 

Don’t pay the Ferryman.

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“If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not ...” ― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

D’ya know – my job as ‘the Styx ferryman’ brings me into contact with all manner of twisted, lost, begotten or forgotten souls. They have no one else to blame – bar themselves – and yet they hesitate to pay their coins for transport, hoping for a last minute reprieve. Even as I con the boat through the roaring rapids and down, into the depths – they still whine, snivel, moan and groan. Always seeking to blame instructions, ‘circumstances’ -- or some other poor sod. Why will they never admit to their own venal nature? To their greedy, vicious actions and a total insensitivity to the effect their very own actions have had on others?

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“Through me you go into a city of weeping; through me you go into eternal pain; through me you go amongst the lost people” ― Dante Alighieri, The Inferno

O’course; I just don’t hear it anymore. GD collects the penny’s, I steer the boat – we deliver and sail home – end of. We have of course discussed this many times; after a long day, over an ale, with a smoke, enjoying a cooling breeze (get’s bloody hot down there). Long ago, we both arrived at the same conclusion: how they arrive is not our concern - we are paid to do a job. It is a higher being (no idea who) decides just who goes where – we just cart the dunnage.

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“The devil is not as black as he is painted.” ― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

Of course we have appealed for noise protection !– against the lying, the obfuscation, the hidden agendas, the never ending sniffling and constant whining; it is a serious distraction to some very tricky navigation. Believe it or not; the pathway into the bowels of Hell is not for the amateur navigator. Alas; our boss is an old school boss – five bucks a trip, all you can steal and a new pair of boots at Christmas: – that’s your lot. Aye; ‘tis indeed a strange occupation, but, I digress. There are of course ways to escape a ride on my ferry and they are valid; right up to the time you walk across the gang plank and pay GD your Pennies and board – after that – all bets are off. You do the crime – you do the time.

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“Hope not ever to see Heaven. I have come to lead you to the other shore; into eternal darkness; into fire and into ice.” - Dante Alighieri, Inferno

We never know just who’s going to turn up – some of those slated to ride don’t make it, conversely; some of the most unexpected folk turn up. Back in the day the Egyptians used a feather, against which they weighed a man’s heart: life was so much simpler back then.

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“The god Ammut was always on hand after you died, in case she was needed. The ancient Egyptians believed that to enter your afterlife, your heart had to be light. You gained a light heart by doing many good deeds during your lifetime. After you died, on your way to your afterlife, you had to travel through the Hall of Maat. The god Anubis weighed your heart. The god Thoth (pictured above) recorded the findings. And the god Ammut stood by. If your heart was as a light as a feather, you passed Maat's test, and entered your afterlife. But, if your heart was heavy, Ammut would move swiftly and gobble you up.”

Now then – (and here’s why I run a Tote board) – you take a pathetic, lost creature: one like O’Sillyman; and, work out the odds of him taking a ride on my old (ancient) boat down the Styx. As the underworld’s ‘Bookie’ it is my task to set the odds for that event; his sins are manifold – however: until the time he steps onto the ferry and pays his Pennies – he has an equal chance of redemption. He is a classic example of the seven deadly sins in action. For those of you not aware (and ignorance is not an excuse) – here are those seven sins.

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“Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.” ― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Of how many is O’Sillyman guilty? Only he and his god know; but, comes the weighing and measuring – only we; the ferry crew, will know the result (and could care less).  Will he meekly pay over the only two coins he ever needed to GD. Knowing that the rest, that left behind, will be viciously squabbled over by the rapacious minds he brought into being, those as yet to make their own journey on my humble, ancient ferry?

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“False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

As ‘acting Chair’ of a very important committee – he has, in reality, only two real choices and not too many options. In one hand is the well being of a nation’s industry, reputation and the very lives of the people who depend on that industry to pay the mortgage, feed their children and pay their taxes. In the other is the continued pandering and prostitution of an august, venerable, respected body (the committee) to the highest bidder. This O’Sillyman holds, in those pale, fluttering, feeble little hands. What he is protecting ain’t no virgin Princess. It is but one of the three hoary, blood soaked old witches: those which set Macbeth on the road to perdition.

Via SMH:

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Accounts queried in tax sweep
''It's 7 o'clock in the morning. We should be rolling over and patting someone on the arse,'' joked Mr O'Sullivan as he and Dr Flegg sat in a cafe, cold-bloodedly discussing how to knife Mr Langbroek and replace him with Campbell Newman.

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“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Your conflict Senator - your name, your influence. But please note well;  all is marked down in the ‘big book’. Either way, my two pennies are guaranteed. You have until boarding my ferry to decide your own fate. Be aware, we don’t care, provided of course you can pay the fare.

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“Here pity only lives when it is dead - Virgil”― Dante Alighieri, The Inferno

There are more pressing demands on my time – DT for one; and, an 0330 kick off. The antique ‘dresser’ proceeds at a pace, (Cheers TOM). The owner most pleased with the restoration so far. I don’t know how many have had the pleasure (and heartbreak) of working with old (very) English Oak, Cherry and Walnut; all wonderful woods - in their own right – but try making dovetails of Oak and marrying them into Cherry – patience, skill, knowledge, an indomitable will; assisted by a sharp saw and a bloody sharp chisel, mandatory prerequisites, Even then; you’re heart is in your mouth, with every mallet blow. Sleep:- I may tarry no longer.


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“Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,

Toot – toot…….

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Well. Are we; or, are we not on the cusp of change?

[Image: dick_smith_wagga.jpg] Flying - Australian Flying
Australian Flying - Australian Flying
Dick Smith's Six-point Plan for General Aviation

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” ― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

Serious, far reaching, important changes. Perhaps we shall no longer ignore the log book as it sits innocently on the desk awaiting our scribble to deter ‘criminal intent’. Maybe, we may even see the land grabbers told to pull back from our aerodrome boundaries. It could even occur that one early morning, in a dream like state, we approach the task of delivering said aircraft, to stated destination – without looking over our shoulders to ensure no particle of an obtuse, useless regulation will come back to haunt us as a criminal act. Then there is the dream of a wondrous board meeting when it is announced that costs are down 25%. You could extend that to an Estimates session where the CASA budget is reduced 40%, the cost of litigation is down 70% and audits have provided some beneficial results. Ah, the dream of regulatory reform; as opposed the hag ridden nightmare we nervously exist in. Think on children; only a consensus is required “Yes Minister, we agree the Act should be changed”. Ten seconds, a one line email and the miracle happens; thirty years late – but nonetheless, most welcome for all of that.

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“Who dares not speak his free thought is a slave.” ― Euripides, The Phoenician Women

If we are indeed on the cusp of meaningful change – then it is time for all good men and true to speak out; regardless of tribe, code, exemption, funding or favour. We must; at very least say thank you to Dick Smith for his continued efforts on behalf of Australian aviation. 

Despite the brick bats and some purblind fools on the UP, Dick has the best interests of aviation at heart. His time, reputation and money on the line, without even a whiff of self interest. All the ‘community’ need to do is get behind a push to change the aviation Act – gods know they have little else to do; bar bitch, whinge, moan and slag off anyone ‘not of their tribe’. On the table is a golden opportunity – but I repeat myself. 

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“Let no one think of me that I am humble or weak or passive; let them understand I am of a different kind: dangerous to my enemies, loyal to my friends. To such a life glory belongs.” ― Euripides, Medea and Other Plays

We are still waiting the long wait for the ATSB to get off it’s collective regarding the tragic accident at Essendon, to mention just one of the PR specials yet to be published. I note P2 has cribbed an educational article on (wait for it) James Reason and his famous cheese.

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The Age of Reason | NTSB Safety Compass
NTSB Safety Compass -

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Of Pandora, and her box of tricks. | : Home of PAIN : #MH370

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Speak softly; yonder, as I think, he walks. | : Home of ...

Not that the current HV- Toga crew need a refresher – they have gone beyond all reason – to the dogs being the current popular pronouncement. You have to ask – why and WTD for? It is all very well for ‘the professionals’ to sort out a companies SOP and rapidly eliminate, in house, the problem and effect a remedy. They are ‘true’ professionals, in the real world sense.; which is fine and Dandy for ‘Big Rig Aviation’ – but what of the rest of the world? What value have the ATSB added to the world wide store of aviation safety. – Beaker may well have been the most useless creature the gods ever shovelled guts into – but the current politically correct blarney and the endless avoidance of fact and the total, deliberate delays in passing on less than useful information is a bloody disgrace. Add that to a thing like O’Sofullame allowing the second Pel-Air report to dance out of an Estimates hearing, without a shot being fired. This speaks of further systemic, entrenched collusion and political manipulation. This must be stopped before it becomes yet another ‘public sector’ normalized deviance. We may need a strong, independent, impartial ATSB; but we desperately need true analysis, probity and solid, reliable advice. Not the sort of stuff best kept confined to Woman’s Weekly, after the knitting patterns. 

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“Nothing has more strength than dire necessity.” ― Euripides

The ‘HV-Hood and his fresh faced lawyer performance at last estimates triggered a deep anger; which is understandable– considering. But the sheer fury O’Sofullame generated is still to be measured. The affronted anger of the BRB and the IOS was slow to surface; it began as a simple question – based on hope. Most believed O’Sofullame was playing with a straight bat and it became a game to determine what the overall plan was. Alas; disappointment followed disappointment; then came the probing questions. P7 actually left his favourite barstool to ‘tell the tale’ of the committee requested private briefing on Pel-Air. He told it straight and succinct - (as is his way): there was a moment or two of deep quiet before the implications  dawned on the assembled crews. The rest is history. There is nowhere to appeal and no-way to excommunicate the large, verbose obstacle playing for the establishment. But, you may rest assured children; Aunty Pru has taken a keen interest.

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“There is one thing alone that stands the brunt of life throughout its course; a quiet conscience.” ― Euripides, Hippolytus

But enough: P2 has provided enough research into matters aeronautical this week to keep a honest senate committee busy for a month. Whether they will return to form or continue to be bullyragged into sullen acquiescence is a question still to be answered. There is great work to be done gentlemen, tempus fugit and the dollars are all headed off shore. Time to step up to the crease methinks. We can’t loose much more, anyway, there is precious little left to loose. Perhaps, free of fear it is time to begin reclaiming our industry, credibility, dignity, ethics; pride in our work and our professional standards.

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Euripides - Wikiquote

“He who believes needs no explanation.”

I almost believe dogs are connoisseurs of fine coffee; normally, a second coffee is frowned on – they want out; but, today’s brew haiis from the island of Tanna and, it is exceptionally good. I poured my second and the mutts settled, hoovering up the aroma, understanding that to sit with my feet up on the old stove, in the best chair, with an excellent brew is all part of a Sunday well spent. Aye, ring away at the bell Vicar – we’ll soon be far away from the noise, to return replete with the balm of woods, mists and river, to the sanctity, solace and silence of the old stable and the unfailing honesty of seasoned timber.


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Gates of Horn and Ivory.

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"Stranger, dreams verily are baffling and unclear of meaning, and in no wise do they find fulfilment in all things for men. For two are the gates of shadowy dreams, and one is fashioned of horn and one of ivory. Those dreams that pass through the gate of sawn ivory deceive men, bringing words that find no fulfilment. But those that come forth through the gate of polished horn bring true issues to pass, when any mortal sees them. But in my case it was not from thence, methinks, that my strange dream came."  - Virgil.

It is said that the first mention of ‘Ivory Towers’ was in the Song of Solomon, today of course it has a different meaning:-

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“To live or be in an ivory tower is not to know about or to want to avoid the ordinary and unpleasant things that happen in people's lives:”

All of which make it bloody difficult to have dreams come true – to gain access to the Ivory tower one must first pass through the Ivory gate. I know, bit too esoteric for pragmatic aviation types – whimsical even – but perhaps it may help to bring some realism into the hopes and dreams of the aviation industry, those who rely on it for ‘bread and butter’ and those who use the services provided.

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Outback residents slam regional air travel costs in Senate inquiry ...
ABC Danielle Doyle and her family of three kids and husband in a group photo.

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Airway robbery': Regional Australians speak out about exorbitant ...
ABC Hamish Griffin standing in a wide-brim hat out the front of the Cloncurry airport

Hard working folks in Far North Queensland (FNQ) for example; almost totally dependent on air transport unless they are prepared to be on the road – for maybe two or three days - with the high risk of accident that involves – simply because the air fares are too expensive. For their dreams too must pass through the Ivory gate and the gatekeepers. i.e. the Senate Inquiry team. I’d hate to have to cost the entire Senate committee mission to ‘hear’ the FNQ pleas – it cannot have been cheap. Can you imagine the voters chagrin when, very shortly after presenting their case, Halfwit announced a price hike for the very services those folks depend on. Defence can’t or won’t pay more for less; the airlines will not be able to reduce fares due to no improvement in schedule losses. In short; the way the Electric Blue Halfwit decides he will meet his now contracted commitments and keep One Sky ‘rolling out’ is to charge even more for ASA services. Fantastic. This, by the by is to support a silly notion which will be out of date before it’s fully operational. Aye, the Ivory gate works just fine; and, I can’t see O’Sofullame stirring his rotund rump to assist any other but the ‘establishment’ tucked up in the Ivory tower penthouse. We can all relate to poor old Hamish Griffin who found that out – when he tried to challenge the A4A Ivory tower and O’Sofullame (key holder and gate keeper) just shut him down – without a by your leave or apology. Classic Ivory Gate dream.

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The 11 most unusual items from Budget 2018 | INTHEBLACK
INTHEBLACK The 11 most unusual items from Budget 2018. Budget Economics 09 May 2018. The Australian Government has provided funding for safety standards and compliance ...

Another dream waiting at the Ivory gate is Drone control; what a farce this is turning into. There is a solution mooted – more money, and time, and money, and time, and CASA says all will be well. Like hell it will – OK, so you must now licence yourself to operate a drone – pass a CASA test – probably even a medical (joking) which is fine in principal. Except those with evil intentions simply will not bother to become either registered or licenced; nor will there be any real life control over an individual once they have paid the fee to CASA. That job will fall to local council who have boots on the ground and control of local ordinances. Will they get any additional funding? CASA grab the loot, make some linguistic, jingoistic rules up and toddle off with no responsibility and even less interest. Another Ivory Gate dream.

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Dick Smith – Wagga Wagga Aviation Oration. | : Home of ...

Then, there is reforming 'the Act' waiting in the long queue at the Ivory gate. This is formed by those waiting on reports to be finalized, ICAO requirements to be met and some useful information related to preventing accident re-occurrence. Pel-Air is one such, the Essendon crash another; with some other close calls on the three year delay cycle.

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pelair hashtag on Twitter 
Twitter #pelair hashtag on Twitter

But enough of all that – there’s been enough written and said this week about the truly alarming state of aviation: for those of an inquiring nature to digest. The truly dreadful thing is the reluctance of successive government to actually ring in the changes, which is bad enough, but when the agencies get tea, sympathy and robust support from those who could effect the changes – it’s time to fold up the tents and melt back into the wilderness.

Its rare, but occasionally I’ll accept a ‘commission’ from an antiques dealer of my acquaintance to ‘restore’ a piece of furniture; there are rules though. I’ll only take on a rare, exquisite, unique piece, - ‘a thing of beauty and a joy forever’ - so to speak. When something like that turns up, often abused it takes a while to sort out, repair (as it was made) and restore it to glory. Can you imagine the uproar if I treated the piece in the same manner as our ministers treat aviation? A quick whip around with the glue pot, rub of sandpaper here, dab of lacquer there, quick polish with Mr Sheen and out of the door with a hefty invoice attached. Man, I’d get sued to the end of time. We pay an incredible sum for the services of government, we pay them to take responsibility and trust ‘em to do the right thing. It begs the question – why did we actually buy the Harbour Bridge and why are we still paying for it?

We are in a mess Minister – you know it, we know it, the tea lady knows it. What are you going to do about cleaning it up? I’ll give you a hint – throwing money at ATSB and CASA won’t and never has fixed anything; quite the reverse in fact. 

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Aye well: another week has slipped away without a even glimmer of hope that the minister or even the Senate RRAT committee will actually begin the restoration project. But restoration requires knowledge, skill, patience and understanding; all of which seem to be missing from the politicians tool box – well, that and the interest in doing a job properly, finished tidy, tools clean, bench swept. No matter – there’s a good fire in the old stove, the stable is cosy warm, the dogs nicely toasted after being cold and wet – P7 is due any tick of the clock, the coffee pot is full and there are croissants. That should cheer a bleak day.  

Toot – toot..

P2 - A P7 blast from the not so distant past.. Rolleyes

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AOPA Oz Presser today - 14 May 2018:

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Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Australia
29 mins 


I am pleased to announce that twenty-eight (28) Australian general aviation industry associations have confirmed their attendance for the upcoming General Aviation Summit 2018 - calling for an update to the Civil Aviation Act.

The participation of the vast majority of Australia’s general aviation industry associations conveys a clear message to both the Minister and Government, that our industry is determined to end aviation decline, seeking a cooperative transition towards growth and opportunity through a positive change to the Civil Aviation Act.

I thank the participating general aviation industry associations below for their commitment and participation.

In the spirit of bipartisan support, both the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Michael McCormack MP, and Mr Anthony Albanese MP, have been invited to attend.

If you are a member of an industry association that is not listed below and would like them to be represented at the General Aviation Summit 2018, please call 0415 577 724. The Summit is open to all general aviation associations and we welcome full participation.


Executive Director - AOPA Australia

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia (AOPA Australia)
Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA)
Aircraft Maintenance Repair Overhaul Business Association (AMROBA)
Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA)
Aircraft Electronics Association – South Pacific Region (AEA)
Australian Aircraft Manufacturers Association (AAMA)
Australian Business Aviation Association (ABAA)
Experimental Light Aircraft Association of Australia (ELAAA)
Recreational Aviation Australia Limited (RAAUS)
Australian Warbirds Associations Limited (AWAL)
Australian Women Pilots Association (AWPA)
Seaplane Pilots Association of Australia (SPAA)
Australian Aero Clubs Alliance (AACA)
Royal Federation of Aero Clubs (RFAC)
Airtourer Association (AA)
Cessna 182 Association of Australia (C182AA)
Cessna 200 Association of Australia (C200AA)
Cirrus Owner Pilots Association (COPA)
Lancair Owner Builder Organisation (LOBO)
Australian Beechcraft Society (ABA)
Australian Mooney Pilots Association (AMPA)
International Comanche Society – Australia (ICS)
Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA)
Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA)
Australian Parachute Federation (APF)
Your Central Coast Airport (YCCA)
Regional Airport User Action Group (RAUAG)

AOPA Oz Presser today - 14 May 2018:

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Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Australia
29 mins 


I am pleased to announce that twenty-eight (28) Australian general aviation industry associations have confirmed their attendance for the upcoming General Aviation Summit 2018 - calling for an update to the Civil Aviation Act.

The participation of the vast majority of Australia’s general aviation industry associations conveys a clear message to both the Minister and Government, that our industry is determined to end aviation decline, seeking a cooperative transition towards growth and opportunity through a positive change to the Civil Aviation Act.

I thank the participating general aviation industry associations below for their commitment and participation.

In the spirit of bipartisan support, both the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Michael McCormack MP, and Mr Anthony Albanese MP, have been invited to attend.

If you are a member of an industry association that is not listed below and would like them to be represented at the General Aviation Summit 2018, please call 0415 577 724. The Summit is open to all general aviation associations and we welcome full participation.


Executive Director - AOPA Australia

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia (AOPA Australia)
Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA)
Aircraft Maintenance Repair Overhaul Business Association (AMROBA)
Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA)
Aircraft Electronics Association – South Pacific Region (AEA)
Australian Aircraft Manufacturers Association (AAMA)
Australian Business Aviation Association (ABAA)
Experimental Light Aircraft Association of Australia (ELAAA)
Recreational Aviation Australia Limited (RAAUS)
Australian Warbirds Associations Limited (AWAL)
Australian Women Pilots Association (AWPA)
Seaplane Pilots Association of Australia (SPAA)
Australian Aero Clubs Alliance (AACA)
Royal Federation of Aero Clubs (RFAC)
Airtourer Association (AA)
Cessna 182 Association of Australia (C182AA)
Cessna 200 Association of Australia (C200AA)
Cirrus Owner Pilots Association (COPA)
Lancair Owner Builder Organisation (LOBO)
Australian Beechcraft Society (ABA)
Australian Mooney Pilots Association (AMPA)
International Comanche Society – Australia (ICS)
Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA)
Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA)
Australian Parachute Federation (APF)
Your Central Coast Airport (YCCA)
Regional Airport User Action Group (RAUAG)

MTF...P2  Cool

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Paul Revere midnight ride | Paul revere midnight ride poem
"Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere"

Twas on the bridge at midnight.

“I wonder” say’s an aviation savvy visitor “why more of your GA industry isn’t on this list”. It was one of those occasions where you bump into a mate you’ve not seen in a while and there is time for coffee and natter. The conversation had turned to ‘the reform’ proposal and the ins and outs of the thing. But, his question struck a chord; which I thought about as the chauffeured Mercedes (bus) took me home from town. Of course, with being from overseas he has an entirely different view of what GA is. Australian GA has an image problem, which is not self generated but one which has been carefully nurtured by the dark forces opposing ‘change’. Ask your neighbour what GA means to them – if they have a clue then you’ll get an answer something like “ Oh that’s those old farts in Towelling hats and long socks who go out and fly for fun – hobbyists, thrill seekers and Wannabe’s in small aircraft.

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“Here too it’s masquerade, I find:
As everywhere, the dance of mind.
I grasped a lovely masked procession,
And caught things from a horror show…
I’d gladly settle for a false impression,
If it would last a little longer, though.” 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This is so wrong; but I have no doubt various ministers hold or have held a similar misconception as fact. So, it becomes important to disavow the decision makes of this notion. GA is no tuppence-halfpenny industry; even in its current dilapidated state there are millions upon millions of dollars invested, many jobs created and some of the most essential services provided to the nation. In almost every service area great skill, dedication and determination are essential. Look no further than our RFDS – GA to the hilt; Fire fighting – GA to the hilt; Police, Air cargo, the humble Metro which does FIFO, the small jets operating charter services; the corporate aircraft; tourism flights to remote wonderful places; all fall into the GA bucket.

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All are affected by the unnecessary, complex, incredibly expensive rule set which governs them. The net result is simply more expense and restriction without added value or improved safety. It is a fact that some of regulations actually create an elevated risk level, which, when translated by CASA officers into operational ‘requirements’ become potentially lethal.  A highly skilled, motivated, job and service providing branch of industry ignored and denigrated. Time to change that, time to speak up, time to join in the push for regulatory reform. The major carriers are smart enough to see the benefits for themselves; perhaps they could weigh in and tip the scales – even if only to improve their bottom line. Handing over……….

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“The price of greatness is responsibility.” ― Winston Churchill

So much for the trivial matter of regulatory reform and revitalizing an essential aviation sector; all the minister needs to do is pick up where his past political party leaders John Sharp and Mark Vaile left off - two decades ago.

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I notice MH 370 is back in the news; I flatly refused to watch the 60 minutes show – 18 minutes of advertisement, 22 minutes of some gabby woman flogging the bleeding heart drum and Dolan – live, in the flesh and speaking dribble in expert company. Every time I even hear the Dolan name spoken I wonder why he and McConvict ain’t being prosecuted over the Pel-Air debacle; the old questions of why did they take such risks re emerge and I reach for the bucket. 

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MH370: $200-million taxpayer funded search is 'troubling'

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Transport Bureau to face senate over botched MH370 search | Daily ...
Daily Mail
Transport Bureau to face senate over botched MH370 search. 

If Rex Patrick wants to get to the nub of the 370 scandal, then he needs but ask one question – “Why was AMSA dumped and why was Dolan put in command?” Solve that and you may open an interesting can of worms.. But enough.  

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“A novel is an impression, not an argument; and there the matter must rest.” ― Thomas Hardy

Actually: enough for this day – the forum has provided enough data and research this week to fill in an idle couple of hours for those who wish to get a handle on the big ticket items, perhaps some of the GA industry leaders could weigh in and help make the long awaited reform of the Act, the regulator and the rules a reality.

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“Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan."

[News conference, April 21 1961]

John F. Kennedy

That’s it – dogs to walk, logs to split and that Elephant is seriously in need of a scrub before going to Canberra; best crack on.

Toot toot….

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Big Grin Big Grin - P2's vision of upcoming trip to Can'tberra.

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