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Ref: Supplementary Estimates – The Three Amigos & CHALK & CHEESE: FAA call to Action. & Hansard OUT – ASA QON?? & CHALK & CHEESE: Nepalese AAIC release preliminary report 

Ciu bono?

“In this treacherous world
Nothing is the truth nor a lie.
Everything depends on the colour
Of the crystal through which one sees it”― Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Yes children: I know; I’ve asked this question dozens of times; but it stands the time test of being both a reasonable and reasoned question. ‘Tis but a simple one; of all the public and industry time, money, effort and countless submissions to parliament and millions spent on inquiry and prosecutions and ‘white paper’ and ministerial contact and questions at Estimates and etc, etc over the past three decades; “to whom is it a benefit?” Serious question. Of all the players in this great game; who is the better off; who has unparalleled security, support, pension, super, stress leave and free access to ‘top line’ legal counsel, free of charge? 

Well, it ain’t Andy Pascoe; deferred now until August. It ain’t Glen Buckley: it most certainly is not those who depend on a ‘medical’ to continue working, stuck in limbo shelling out for ‘expert’ opinion and ‘risk’ associated tests, which lets CASA AVMED off the hook. It is not those operating scheduled services into rural and regional ports with ‘uncertainty’ about conflicting traffic. It is not our ATCO who work overtime without quite the latest equipment to assist them comply with their liabilities and strict regulatory requirements. It is not those left behind after a fatal event waiting years and hoping for a report which may, at least, assuage their grief with clearly defined reasoning. Is it then the tax payer who contributes to the ‘government’ system of management of matters aeronautical? I cannot see how anyone apart from the ‘system’ has even finished anywhere near a minor placing in the run home; bar those who ‘run the game’.

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“My more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more; that I should forge
Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal,
Destroying them for wealth.” –  Shakespeare (Macbeth).

Last Estimates session; for anyone who even dares to believe that this was not a carefully planned ‘train wreck’ and orchestrated result; I do have a second hand bridge, in reasonable condition (with dystopian flags and poles) which I’ll part with for a small consideration (all tax deductible). 

There are, at the present moment six ‘adults’ on the continent. They are examining the incident involving a USA registered Boeing 737, based here on fire suppression duties; (that, stand alone) (Martin?)  is a tale worth many paragraphs: (alas). It is ‘unusual’ for the NTSB to become involved, Boeing is a fair call, but is the FAA an absolute ‘contributor’ to the event? If so, then why? Perhaps and maybe; the grown ups were just waiting for a reason to get up close and personal with the archaic, complex, contradictory rules and systems which are driven home through ‘strict liability’ and criminal charges – willy nilly; as pleases CASA best. Or even to prevent ATSB making a meal and mockery of an event. If we get really lucky, say our prayers to pagan gods and be very good boys and girls; perhaps (please) there may be enough ‘discomfort’ generated for an ICAO audit and a comparison made between the garbage CASA eschew and the real world ‘modus operandi’. You must understand that the rest of the world has progressed; Nigeria kicking goals; the Nepalis 30 days for an on time, instructive accurate safety report. We’ve got ‘bird strikes’ costing big dollars; mid-air collisions of a systemic nature ignored and an ATSB which is demoralised; captive and fearful of the MoU. Not trusted to investigate (rightly so IMO) a crash involving foreign nationals. Look: read, the list is endless; start with Notams; go to ATC services; take CASA complete denial of their way being ‘wrong’ in the face of world wide progress; and, it all costs a bomb. No quarrel with the money spent – however, in terms of value for and improvement of ‘system’. We’ve pissed millions against the wall and only got wet boots for the effort.

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.”  – J.R.R Tolkien.

I actually (once) held Glen Sterle in high regard, until his latest imitation of Pinocchio the puppet. He has served with Heffernan, Fawcett, Xenophon and others on the RRAT committee; been part of Panza attacks on the system; even managed to win a few rounds. Went nowhere but they tried. It shames me; that I could support and help the man who managed that last shameful exhibition in our very own house of ‘probity’ – the Senate; and, it’s committees. Appointed to ask the questions; seek the answers and actually ‘do something’ to curb spending and dismiss the ‘clear and apparent’ danger of bullshit ruling – forever. Shame on you Senator. Shame; from watch dog to lap dog in one session of Estimates. 

Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls. – Shakespeare. (Othello).

Aye; it makes me cranky – and why not? Estimates costs the tax payer bomb; the aviation industry is almost on it’s knees – the problems are known, world wide; and yet, ‘we’ simply get (like it or lump it) that last, late, short chance for the questions which must be asked to be tabled. Bollocks; spin, shameless manipulation and Moon-shine; borderline to dishonesty.

“Remember this: The house doesn’t beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself.”  (Nick Dandolos).

Well; that’s off my chest – but, bit like the cat my tail is still signalling caution. Much caution was needed this last week – deuced tricky stuff is Cedar; soft and deceptive; tough as old boots and not quite as easily persuaded to compliance as first imagined. Anyway; job done and I can take a deep breath. Tricky splinters though; a bugger to get out. No matter, it looked great and almost seemed to be happy to be back home when we restored it to rightful place. Storms tonight – and rain, cat ignores my ‘away’ call; but the dogs – bound away, chasing raindrops, running through puddles; sliding in the mud – they know how to ‘live’ with and enjoy whatever the world throws at ’em. That’s it.