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Of Mushrooms and Mandarins.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two examples; one to demonstrate the ‘madness’.

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

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

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

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