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O war! thou son of hell – AP forum version.

(Whom angry heavens do make their minister,)

Ref: Dirty RRATs, government grants, charter stink and a plea for harmony. Read more &…6#pid10676

Has it finally come down to ‘battle’? I expected one when I toddled into ‘the Pub’ – no one at the dart board having an Ale, a laugh and a bit of practice. Looked askance of the venerable bar-keep; he just nodded toward the big room – “all there” quoth this worthy, as he topped off my usual, placing it neatly on the bar. I nodded my thanks, took the top inch off, a deep breath and ambled down to ‘the meeting’. “’Bout bloody time” growls P7; let’s get started”.

“Item One” – (Ills of Society #1) – “what the hell is the RRAT committee playing at?” ‘Twas a good question, one demanding an answer. One of the elder statesmen piped up “before you all go off at Rex (sicof ‘im) Patrick (looks at me) there are things you need to know about how the ‘committee’ itself works”. The wise owl explained, in some detail the rules under which ‘the committee’ may work. Long story, educational and (to me) somewhat confusing. But; in short, it seems that Patrick and Brockman may not have even known the final upshot and the presented report. Seems we must grant some latitude on just who drafted and approved for publication the final report provided. Which left Sterle, Rennick and McDonald ‘in the metaphoric gun’. Anyway, despite the facts of committee machinations being provided;
Safe Skies and the long term ‘relationship’ between Hood and various sinister characters with axes to grind and rice bowls to protect was examined, in detail. As ignorance is no excuse at law, a vote was taken. Result – no prisoners, no excuses and no quarter given: not for any party to the abomination delivered. Let battle commence. Your humble scribe to open the batting (gulp).

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

It falls to me to express the opinion of the associates. In essence, ‘tis a simple enough task, Disgust and Distrust. In reality its a screaming, hag ridden nightmare. Why? Well you may wonder. The short answer is, that it is a very deep, complex matter. With your indulgence and patience I shall do my best to untangle the skein. The best and easiest way to address the matter is by comparison and example. We may begin with Angel Flight (AF). Why AF? Well, AOPA, wheels within wheels and some very complicated ‘payback’ politics and ‘cronyism’ aside; take a long think about what the fuss is all about. It is over a fatal accident and the ATSB report into that event. The event of itself was not a rarity; indeed, it is one of the oldest, most documented, most ignored, invariably fatal accidents in the entire history of aviation. To wit: a known killer, ruthless and implacable. Pilots qualified only for operations in visual conditions; loosing control of the aircraft in cloud and crashing.

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” ― Heraclitus

The ‘reasons’ attending the Mt Gambier crash have been almost ignored in the ATSB report. There is no serious attempt to discern ‘what’ exactly happened and why. There is some serious (qualified) speculation that the pilot was ‘auto pilot’ and GPS dependent. Not examined. I will digress for a moment (con su permisso) to illustrate a point. In most (not all) aircraft there is a ‘button’ on the actual control wheel which will instantly disconnect the Auto Pilot; often, these buttons are sensitive. The lightest touch can (not always) disengage the AP. Here (at Mt Gambier) we have a visual flight rated pilot operating ‘illegally’ in weather conditions which prevented instrument qualified pilots to make an approach. For a starter; there is no way the approach path could have been flown by a visually rated pilot as neatly as the plot indicates. Hell’s Bell’s I’d have trouble making such neat circles with the AP running. So… What if; on take off the AP and GPS are united; the pilot accidentally bumps the AP disconnect at a low level, fails to realise until it is too bloody late that the aircraft is not climbing away but headed ‘home’ to Terra Firma. Alas…..Only one of the many ‘scenario’s not visited. But ATSB, now with Senate committee backing lay the radical cause at the feet of Angel flight.

The actual committee which drafted and published their ‘findings’ have failed Australia, miserably. The ATSB have failed to provide the nation or industry with a feasible reason for the Mt Gambier crash; this now added to a long list of delayed, obfuscated and manipulated reports into a considerable pile of real life safety issues to which no remedy has been provided.

“Study the past if you would define the future.” ― Confucius

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Ross Air Conquest; Air North Braz; the ATR; the Coal Loader; Mildura; Swan River; Canley Vale; Essendon and the DFO. Any sort of RRAT inquiry into the ATSB reports on these ‘fatal’ accidents? No, I thought not.

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“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte

The list, Dear Senators of the core committee, of aberration, obfuscation and non standard response from ATSB, in a timely manner is becoming a national disgrace and an international laughing stock. Time to get real or get pilloried. No one has forgotten the Pel-Air inquiry; nor the way the RRAT committee and the Rev Forsyth were simply ignored; despite a mountain of evidence and hours of rhetoric. Never mind the cost – to achieve Sweet Fanny Adams.

You bring shame to the title of Senator; then, to add gross insult to intellectual injury, you expect intelligent people to sit still, say nothing and acquiesce to your ‘beyond belief’ findings. Shame on the betrayal of this once proud, safe, sane industry. Shame redoubled as the committee does have the power to set this all to rights – simply by being honest. The questions are – why aren’t you; and, why do you not?  There is a small army quite prepared to bring the fight to you; it won’t be politically pretty. Nobody is joking about this. The Safe Skies mutual back patting gala looms; honest question – what do think the grown up aviation nations really think of ATSB and CASA – and now our disgraced Senate committee – a known ‘associate’. Think hard, think long and try to realise the aviation industry is in a mess – . Messenger to base – Handing over

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“I don’t know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they terrify me.” ― Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke Wellington (1769-1852)

You know, If we had a river to play in; the dogs and I would go there this day. Alas, to walk the river bank is no longer a playful romp. We shall go elsewhere, through the orchard gate, and on to Pook’s Hill, perhaps to even meet Puck himself. (No one seems to know who ‘Pook’ is. I often wonder why it is so).

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