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But, Is the game worth the candle? –  AP forum version.

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We seem to spend a great deal (extraordinary amounts) in the hope of getting the real stuff – and yet we are left without anything of ‘substance’ for that investment. When you reckon up the total hours flown per annum against the total cost of running  CASA – and operators meeting demanded ‘compliance’ – you arrive at some truly staggering numbers. When you reckon up the total cost, from both parties in the latest battle in the Parramatta court and determine exactly the ‘safety’ benefits gained, you end up with a dismal result. It has cost an obscene amount of money to achieve nothing in the way of a genuine reduction in accident rates. In fact, the only ‘real’ safety result (MTF) is one that should have been ‘self corrected’ or picked up by the student pre flight; or, trapped by the AOC holder;or, stopped cold by the local FOI. It has been alleged that ‘the practice’ went on for a long time and it was a ‘dangerous’ practice. But, IMO the really ‘dangerous’ thing is the disparity noted between various CASA reactions. For example; I’ve read through one long, drawn out part of a case CASA were trying to make, relating to an 16 Kg over weight based on a three degree temperature variable – and prosecute for a conviction against all fact, figures and logic – they lost. Yet an almost daily occurrence of blatant disregard for ‘the rules’ was allowed to continue – under the ‘mates rates’ rule set for a very long time, the only penalty imposed was a smack on the wrist, rather than compliance with the letter of the law and a conviction. This seems to have been almost a side bar to the CASA case presented; yet when the facts emerge, will there be some big questions for CASA to answer? We shall watch carefully and see. One wonders what the junior, or the unqualified would have learned from that stellar example?

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“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” ― Mark Twain

That the rule set is a crock is widely accepted and acknowledged; what is not analysed is the cost against the accident rate and ‘how’ this peculiar rule set has improved ‘safety’. Seems that all the legislation is geared to be effective ‘after’ the fact – in the laying of blame while being totally divorced from prevention and even then subjectively used, as suits. For example; the ATR with the busted tail. A classic case for James Reason; pilot training – legal, but clearly deficient; pre and post flight ‘inspection’ legal, but clearly deficient; pilot ‘walk around’ inspection – legal, but clearly deficient. Oh, the rules make it all too easy to prosecute after the fact – however, of what benefit were those ruled to the core value of genuine ‘safety culture’ or common sense? That incident could have been bloody serious, burning bodies strewn across the landscape – and what has the money spent on our self acclaimed gold plated regulator done to prevent a reoccurrence? Aye, @#$%^&& – that thar be the right answer.

“Well, what do they all amount to, these kings and captains and bishops and lawyers and such like? They just leave you in the ditch to bleed to death; and the next thing is, you meet them down there, for all the airs they give themselves.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Saint Joan

In any ‘cost-benefit’ analysis you can manage, the cost of the administration (as per the convention) posing as regulator/ ultimate doyens of ‘safety’ the numbers just do not stack up. When you add in the cost of the ATSB, AAT, court and associated claptrap – against the accident rates over three decades – there is only one logical, mathematical conclusion you can reach. It costs a huge amount of tax payer money to support the mystique of aviation safety for sweet sod all return on the investment. So, where does the responsibility for ‘real’ safety begin and end? With whom and how is it to be achieved?

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Anderson • 4 years ago

CASA serves only the interests of CASA.

First and foremost – self-perpetuation.

Closely followed by reaching its claws into the pocket of every GA participant to extract the maximum bounty to fund said self-perpetuation.

It long ago became an unwieldy beast that shed even any sort of pretence it might actually serve the aviation community that funds it through the regular extortionate gouging, both direct and indirect.

CASA certainly does “make no apologies” – never has, never will (if past behaviour is any guide)…

Why then does it expect anyone with a brain and even the slightest modicum of historical fact into aviation in Australia to believe anything the self declared non-apologist has to say on any topic?

It has been proven time and time again to be untrustworthy on almost every level (secret collusion to influence ATSB investigations and doctor accident reports – anyone, anyone…?).

An organisation that simply lacks credibility within the real aviation community (ie, not the segment that benefits from the largesse, corporate favours and behind the scenes political shenanigans) cannot be taken at face value.

Bureaucratic regulation for all is the panacea for everything.

By now it is clear the regulatory behemoth seeks to destroy GA and everything associated with it, to not only bite the hand that feeds it but to chomp, mangle and swallow to the GA armpit and beyond.

Whatever any new purported “safety measures” might be from CASA for the community service flight sector, it will be a rocky transition to yet more rules that will do nothing to protect anyone.

The only new protection needed is for the selfless humanitarians in the community service flight sector (and GA generally) from the CASA bureaucrats.

The “safety measures” will come with some new fee or charge associated – nominal at first of course so as not to create too much resistance – and given some fashionable newspeak name to allay any unease, which will of course be
simultaneously denounced as “misplaced concerns” when the CASA PR machine swings into action.

We all know by now where “nominal” fees end up down the track – the next CASA cash cow.

Remember this all well folks, for what will be sold out of both sides of the CASA mouth in the months and years ahead will be nothing but a wolf in the guise of a sheep. Harmless at first, only to reveal a savage bite when it’s far too late to fully comprehend what really occurred.

Given the behaviour of CASA over the past years, one really does need to wonder whether they are a completely delusional bunch (given the continued expectation we will blindly accept anything they broadcast), but more importantly whether there is indeed a hidden agenda to completely rout GA – to destroy it so completely that nothing remains but empty crown land, devoid of the now GA aerodromes and ripe for redevelopment – which will all be a sheer coincidence of course.

This latest little trojan horse from CASA is undoubtedly but the next distraction to interfere where none is needed and to spew forth but more needless regulation. This time it will be aimed squarely at those who provide a tremendous service and benefit to the community.

A type of actual service that CASA would not recognise if it were placed directly in front of its bloated waistline.

“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 Thoreau, Walden

Ramble Warning – (Click off here). Seems I have acquired an ‘apprentice’. The unannounced arrival sparked my ramble. There is a point – so, with your indulgence, I shall explain. Early Wednesday morning the dogs got up, tails wagging, a tap on the stable door, enter the young fellah with a smallish box under arm. This was placed with reverence on the workbench; he’d bought a ‘plane’ at the market (30 y.o. #4 Stanley) for less than the cost of a new blade.  “Can we fix it up?” he asked. This placed a great responsibility on me; the short answer was no, but you can. However, once fixed and lethally sharp, it would be used. So, four serious questions to consider; how to keep him safe (you can get hurt using these things), how to use it properly and achieve the desired outcome, how to maintain the thing, when not to use it (design function etc.). It took all day – disassembly, part name and function; salt and vinegar bath for all bar wooden bits; cleaning up for re-assembly, ‘fettling’ the sole and frog the logic applicable to ‘setting it up’ etc. We were left at last with just the cutting iron; dull, tarnished, out of true, out of square and badly dinged. Long yarn short – we worked through the process – without blood being spilled or patience lost – result first class. Of course young shaver wanted to try it out; no way. I gave him one of mine to use first – set fine – gave him the basics and an off cut (cranky grain) after about 10 minutes he was taking reasonable shavings. Then we tried his – instant disaster. Then I showed him how to set it up for ‘the job’.- Through practice, experience and a little education his smile was worth he time trouble and effort invested. The responsibility for safety and performance handed over after the lesson. That is where safety/ operational training begins and ends – in any field of endeavour – there are no written laws governing over and above long established ‘best practice’ gained through experience, education and common sense which will prevent excursion. There is only a right way and a wrong way to do things and no amount of legislation can change basic human nature; some will always do it the ‘right way’ other who will not. The point – the responsibility for training was mine, to instil the how, why and wherefore of the operation and the risks associated; the rest is up to him; understanding and respect for what he uses, self respect in performing the task and the responsibility for what he does with the tools at hand.

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“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Xun Kuang