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Why didn’t ya call – why?
Or BJ’s cop out….

To begin a tenure by exposing a blatant lie; and accepting ‘that’ lie as part and parcel of just another day as an administrator is as disgusting as ‘the lie’. St Commodious got a ‘gong’ and informed a Senate committee that the ‘he’ had finally completed the 33 year marathon to provide what is, arguably, the worst aviation rule set ever inflicted on a long suffering, rapidly declining, once vibrant industry. Did Spence call Bollocks and inform the new Minister that not only was the complete cock up not complete but it was unworkable? No – she did not. Why didn’t she call? What this long suffering industry got was :-

“But the good news is the mammoth task of introducing the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations is inching closer to completion, so we are working from a much better position.” – –  BOLLOCKS”

Unmitigated, 100% proof pony pooh.

“To help both operators and pilots at this time, CASA is introducing an exemption which will allow pilots to exercise the privileges of their ratings without having to complete a flight review or proficiency check for up to 2 months past the expiry date.”

Oh, the joys of rule by exemption – except for those more than 8 weeks since the last check expired. Has Spence any idea of the costs involved in renewing a medical; an IR and the fees attached; without the benighted ASIC expiring. Spence has acquired the habit of doling out ‘exemption’ from the rules early in the tenure. I forget how many decades ago it was decided that ‘rule by exemption’ was declared ‘outlaw’.

“These two things have confirmed in my mind that my focus should be on incremental changes – we are a professional organisation, but that does not mean there is no room to improve. “BOLLOCKS”

There is no ducking time left for some wet flannel ‘incremental’ changes. There are no increments left to be exploited. Spence needs, urgently, to pick up the phone and tell the incumbent Minister the plain truth – the cash and no bullshit version. Authorise a change to ICAO compliant rules or; take the incoming blame for the ‘alleged’ regulatory reform which has not only brought an industry to breaking point, cost a King’s ransom and defies the convention Australia signed up to. We are heading toward a third world of made up rules, a system which will, make no mistake, lead to a downgrade of international acceptance. Over 4000 differences with the ICAO registered – a rule set no one truly understands – criminal penalty with no recourse under strict liability. –  Bloody barbaric, unconstitutional and undemocratic. If Spence thinks, for one moment, that this ‘gentile’ briefing will pacify or redirect industry anger; then she is in the wrong job. Want to win hearts and minds? Fire Aleck; Crawford; Monohan and Martin – immediately; without any other defence bar strict liability. Pay Buckley, revisit the ludicrous sanctions against Angel flight – day one on the road to recovery. Day two – call in every single person who has resigned from CASA; release them from ‘non-disclosure’ and hear their testimony in the Estimates. I dare ya…..No. Didn’t think so….

Spence would; had she been serious about getting the job done ‘right’ made this happen Day1, briefing 1. But no; a desperate industry has to read the waffle provided and bear up; while Mommy sorts it out. “BOLLOCKS”  – Pick up the phone – Call Barnaby – tell him the unpalatable truths. We are in a mess; out of control – we need the NZ rules ASAP and we need some qualified, sane staff for the top, middle and bottom end: now – now.

No, boys and girls; I’m not cranky – I’m bloody furious. The time granted, the money spent and patience afforded have all been wasted and gone. Enough (already)…

“Our discussion with Pip today confirmed they are trying to make things work without a commitment yet to change. I got the impression they are trying to adopt the FAR requirements.” – WTD??

“Agree. At least they are trying to make the US independent FI system fit under the regs.WTD??

FCOL – why not just adopt the NZ/FAA/ gold standard, world wide accepted regulations? The answer is simple – there is no incentive for Spence to actually reform SFA; paid and supported to pass out the placebos, sooth the ravening beasts and spend a comfortable three years ‘administering’ on her way to retirement – probably with a medal like Carmody got for lying his fat, jug eared head off.  Aye, gloves off boys and girls – Spence has shown her true colours; I hereby declare open season for the BRB and IOS – with the kid gloves off. For this I make no apology; nor crave your indulgence – across the planet under sensible ICAO compliant rules aviation is flourishing – everywhere except in this country, infected by a lunatic bureaucratic virus, for which there seems to be no cure.

Then, just one look at the silly, soppy picture of Spence and a read through the waffle of the CASA briefing – instant, ballistic response. Why :-

“…mammoth task of introducing the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations is inching towards completion.” “BOLLOCKS”

Anyway, time to dismount the old Hobby horse; sickened and furious though I am. Perhaps its private pilot medicals being so different; or the fact that in the USA my instrument rating is ‘valid’ provided I am current and have no need to find $3- 5000 bucks to renew it; or, perhaps because Buckley was so savagely dealt with – without explanation; or that there was another VFR into IMC fatal, completely legally done without a word; or that aerodromes are being built out; or, the total failure of government to realise that CASA is the biggest fraud ever inflicted on the tax paying public. Don’t know: the competition for that title wide open – ASA a starter, ATSB right up there with ’em all. Has any of this pantomime improved the aviation industry or it’s safety? Has anything said or done made the tax payer safer? Has anyone moved to prevent ‘large’ wind vortex generating building, full of people shopping close to runways ‘safer’. No.

Tonight along with P7 and a couple of good mates; in the sanity of my workshop we shall raise a glass (or perhaps two) to the memory of a once vibrant, flourishing industry which gave hope to newcomers and provided some of the best aircrew on this planet – RIP and tailwinds GA, Spence to be the nominated undertaker and lead mourner at the funeral (provided her ‘super’ is not affected). Pass that bucket please P2 – my need is urgent.


Second Edition.

Having gotten the ‘mild’ irritation with the ‘CASA briefing’ off my chest, there were some other matters of interest which could stand a little scrutiny, worthy of mention.

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There was nothing but praise for the latest AMROBA newsletter. Ken Cannane providing not only a detailed, accurate analysis of the deep hole the Australian aviation administration has dug for the industry; a hole they fully intend to keep excavating; despite the clearly defined ways and means of repair being provided. The News letter provides the Minister with the quality of advice he should be receiving, not the pap he’s being fed. There is no comparison possible between the expert advice of AMROBA and the Kool-Aide fuelled dribble Spence insulted the intelligence of not only the Minister, but the entire aviation sector.

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DPM Joyce on the other hand is off to a good start; for me the best part is allowing the Moorabbin developers a little more time to reconsider their ‘master plan’ and delay mixed with the potential of ministerial involvement spells trouble for the ‘big money’ interests. They cannot just ‘park’ the money earmarked, that must keep earning at profit level if fiscal balance is to be maintained. Another bright spot was the approval of funding for regional hub aerodromes upgrade. This shows a true understanding of just how important the regional centres are; good air services to and quality facilities at airports are an essential element in development for these important regional hubs. Bravo minister and thank you. 

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About the only person not happy with the new minister was Each-way Hitch; well on his way to becoming irrelevant. In a trite, snide little article he calls ‘pork barrel’ because Joyce announced funding for his own regional airports first. Shock – horror a politician meeting his promises to his electorate – there should be a lot more of it. Then a day or so later – the entire package for regional hubs is announced; Hitch caught with his pants down – will he publish some humble pie? I doubt it.

One mystery has caught the attention of the BRB; that of the MIA McDonald inquiry. That inquiry seems to have been extinguished, despite the fire and brimstone of the first rounds. There was a feint hope that a report would be produced in time to set a pathway for the new head of the Aviation administration – nope. A few invested considerable time, money and energy in laying out the facts to the McDoolittle inquiry, patiently awaiting ‘something’ positive to emerge in the public arena. Nada, zilch, zip, nuttin. To ask what the hell happened to that is a fair question. Maybe its a surprise. I’ll take your bets now………

I note that there has been a new boss for the ATSB announced. After ‘Beaker’ followed by the hooded canary there is every chance the new chum will shine; not too big an ask after the lack-lustre Hood’s puerile efforts. We shall no doubt see; and wish the new Commissioner all the best – he’ll need it.

That just about covers it all – the duplicity of Spence has stolen the thunder this week; many still in a state of mild shock. No one expected a dramatic change, can’t happen in a well run bureaucracy, but subtle positive change was hoped for; indeed, even prayed for by those with some belief in the gods remaining. The call to put the Spence’ picture on the dart board was defeated, but by a very slim margin. Open season declared.

“Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man.” William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet