May the fool ask a question? – AP Forum version.
Warning – ’tis a ramble.
There are some questions to which there is no answer – for lack of certain knowledge.
“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” ― Arthur C. Clarke
Then, there are questions to which the answers are debatable; depending on perspective, knowledge and intended purpose.
Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature?” ― Marcus Aurelius
There are also answers to questions which very much depend on experience, foreknowledge of the way the world wags; and exposure to ‘life’ within an ambit.
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”― Mark Twain
Philosophical? Probably not; well, not too much anyway: more like a homespun whimsy of my own making. I have today chopped out by hand 18 off (x90 x 45 mm) Mortises for an equal number of cut Tenon’s – tedious, repetitive work, stuck to the workbench all morning, mind in random roam mode. Cricket is the best companion for this sort of work – alas. You see how easily your mind strays. Anyway – I ramble.
During such periods of mind in neutral the ‘why’ Australian regulation are made in the manner they are slips into the void. The notion of regulation in some form is an acceptable logic – human nature etc. But: are ‘rules’ the right way to ensure an outcome? The Christian first XI reckoned 10 rules were sufficient to manage mankind; yet even with forgiveness and forbearance: the results have, so far, been less than spectacular – est-ce pas?
So, what does it come down to: bottom line I wonder. I always liked the notion of “Primum non nocere”. (first do no harm). It makes sense – and it works both ways; firstly to yourself and others. It’s not a bad maxim for matters aeronautical though. A thing as simple as ensuring that there was enough fuel on the aircraft for example. Not bloody rocket science and yet accidents happen related to exactly this. Don’t hit stuff bigger, heavier and tougher than you are. Simple enough to fathom, cold logic and common sense. But at the end of every argument there is a ‘human’ element, in the form of ‘motivation’.
Not too may would set out with the idea of running into the arse end of a thunderstorm; even less who’d deliberately set off with not enough ‘motion lotion’ in the tanks; and even less who’d deliberately set out to tackle a mountain top – let alone a tall building. Yet it happens, with sickening regularity. It begs a very big question. How have the many thousands of words drafted into ‘law’ helped to prevent these horrors? The short answer is, they have not.
Ancillary law has been of great assistance in ensuring ‘best standards’ in aircraft manufacture, production, maintenance and airworthy standards. Lessons learned from accident have been invaluable, more so as those are writ in blood. These laws have developed ‘standards’ which are of great value. They have not however improved human behavior. We can force, under some form of threat, folks to ‘comply’. Yet in every day life most will chance their luck. No? – Well I beg to differ. Sign says “No Parking” and yet there is a small fortune spent on parking fines every day – despite the fact that there is a probably a sound (safety) reason for not doing so. Speed limit – who has not deliberately bust one. The laws are there and they are enforced; does the law and the penalty prevent reoccurrence? No: it simply does not.
As many more folk drive than fly aircraft, I’ll stick with the analogy. Hands up if today you shook your head at ‘some fool’ doing something stupidly dangerous on the road. Don’t be shy, it is the most entertaining part of any road trip. Some drivers take your breath away; others promote anger, cursing and horn blowing – they do – and; it’s dangerous to both parties. Does ‘the law’ prevent it – no; it does not.
I know, I’ve banged on but the point I’m trying to make is as simple and as complex as humans themselves. So, what’s best 10 simple commandments or 27,346 pages of thou shalt not?
Aye, ‘tis but a ramble; a twiddle of no significance. However, had you just tried to read and understand the motive, logic and ‘safety’ benefit of a thing like part 149 – you too would be in the workshop, chopping out mortise while trying to make sense of it all. Firstly to comprehend to ‘safety’ benefits, secondly to understand how it improves anything and; last but by no means least, what exactly is it trying to achieve. Got me beat four ways except one: in no way does it provide a safety or financial benefit to anyone. So I’m left wondering WTD have we spent the time, money and effort on? Because not only does it do harm; but does harm with malice i.e. they mean it. Why?
Well, it’s late. I know there is two thirds of an illicit cigar in the workbench drawer, time to down tools, find a match and take a stroll under the stars. Will I ask the dogs if they fancy a stroll? Yet another silly question: no doubt about it.