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Not a Gazette – Just my opinion.– AP forum version

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 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

..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.


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