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One more sleep: wake up in Wagga.– AP Forum version.

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Wagga set to host aviation leaders from around the nation | The …
The Daily Advertiser
Wagga to host the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia’s aviation summit next week

When you awake on the morning of a hunt, you have choices. You may go along for the sheer thrill of hearing the hounds give voice, the surge of the animal you ride as it flies toward a thicket hedge and the adrenalin rush as you clear the thorns, to arrive back, dirty, tired and happy as the proverbial pig. Or, you may elect to adopt a more pedestrian role; amble along at the back, happy to ‘hack’ around and spend the day ‘a-chatting’. Lots of options, you can even stay home and watch MKR repeat episodes – up to you. However, if you turn out, then which ever way you decide to spend the day, you are involved. I’ve never been certain which came first – hunting or racing horses: you certainly ‘race’ when hunting; and you are effectively ‘hunting’ a prize when racing; no matter. The prize at Wagga is political understanding of the deep problems Australian aviation faces; the basic, fundamental, deeply entrenched, bitterly disputed, never ending or ever going away, AUD400,000,000 dollars worth and three decades old ‘troubles’. Racing or hunting, both demand courage, cunning, stamina, intelligence and ability – from both beast and man. The prize is elusive, the hunted a cunning dangerous creature. But as TOM say’s –Want a rabbit pie? – first you must catch your rabbit.

Now creatures like Creedy, Gibson and Hitch (and whatshisname from WA) ain’t ever going to take a chance; they are more the sit at home with a MKR replay type, a quick check to make sure their expenses sheets are filled out ‘correctly’, keep an eye on the old ‘super’ and check the gas bill against the meter, before writing, trite, nasty letters to the local council about next-door’s cat. Can you imagine a fellah who could write a totally shambolic, negative, incorrect, party line statement like this:-

Hitch – “The requirement probably stems from the regulator’s desire to protect the general public from perceived risk, but in demanding we tell passengers that we’re on a lower medical standard is the equivalent of demanding we tell them we’re not as safe”.

-ever saddling up to hunt a dangerous beasty like Crawford – at a gallop? Hah! I can just see old Fearless Phelan hurling his hearing aid at the screen on reading such a milk and water load of bollocks. It ain’t even factual, let alone up to the very high standards Paul created for Australian Flying. But I ramble, ‘tis but a small matter; of something nothing.

Our resident ‘wind-sniffers’, scouts and diggers have been hard at it; none have been able to create a clear picture; but, on balance, there is a cautious, underlying optimism. If I quiz ‘em too hard, the optimism diminishes – “hard to tell” they say and “perhaps, it all depends on XYZ”. With beer in their mitt and off the hook, they tend to smile and tell of matters aeronautical in a more humorous manner and there is many a true word spoken in jest.

But yet I pray thee be not wroth for game; [don’t be angry with my jesting]
A man may say full sooth [the truth] in game and play.(Chaucer).

So, on the plus side: looks like O’Sofullashite is headed for the knackers yard, the PMO has lost a shouting match with Carmody, the minister seems to ‘get-it’, and both Fawcett and Forsyth are to be represented, along with other ‘heavies’ at the Wagga Reform Plate day. Big guns from overseas are due to attend along with some other notables, Doc Jane (legend) of the Secretariat will be there to provide the Senate committee with balanced, sane, sensible ‘feed-back’ (hate that expression). So, this is no light weight bun-fight; and, I can almost guarantee, there will be no pictures of the DPM taking a leak plastered around the internet social media.

How it will all end is anyone’s guess; much depends on the minister; but if he can just be made to see the economic benefits to the country alone, then it will have all been very worthwhile; and worth a damn sight more than the last half dozen seriously expensive reviews, investigations, reports and Senate committee merry-go-rounds.

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Aye well; GD has tuned up the house boat, DT has stocked the fridge; I’ve loaded what I imagine will be enough beer, P2 is test flying his new elephant, so I reckon we are as ready as we’ll ever be. Well done AOPA, no matter the outcome; well done indeed.

Set course for Wagga GD – Yes; Full and By will do very nicely.

Toot – toot…………

P2 – Practicing my new party trick at Wagga…. Tongue

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…& just for a laugh – Big Grin