Is there anybody there? – AP forum version.
Hello -knock thrice – if Aunt Mary……
I think this post – HERE – on the UP (and LL’s pertinent comments) merit further discussion. IMO it highlights one of the many ‘problem’ area’s of ‘unintended consequence’ the CASA approach to ‘safety’ brings. – To wit – Box Ticking.
The Biannual Flight Review (BFR) in theory is a very sound notion. In practice it should be ‘good thing’. In reality, because it is seen as just another long winded CASA paperwork exercise, both the spirit and intent of the exercise can get lost. “More cost and more pointless CASA bullshit” and unquote. The industry wide disrespect for the overweening, overbearing system, enunciated and demonstrated.
A BFR, done properly, is a really good thing, given the ‘in flux’ state of regulation; particularly for those who do not fly on a regular basis; or, are not as current with procedures and regulation as they might be when flying full time, under the supervision and eagle eye of a chief pilot. Junior professionals with limited experience have an ‘operations manual’ for reference and ‘senior’ people to ask questions of; further more, mostly they have other pilots with which they can discuss their ‘questions’. The private pilot has non of these advantages. Those who belong to a ‘club’ with an instructor can ‘discuss’ an area of concern (provided time is made available) but many are truly independent of and remote from any ‘support’ system.
In the professional world, with a good check and training system, attitude toward a ‘check’ is different. It is seen as a chance to explore both weakness and strength, a learning process and a chance to ‘polish’ a rough patch or two. Done properly, C&T is of great benefit. Or, it was. The rigid, inflexible ‘rools’ and iron clad, signed in blood system which requires a ‘cheat sheet’ to be completed, without any possible chance of an ‘outside – the box’ learning experience, coupled with the expense for the private individual preclude the luxury of gaining real life learning.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Xun Kuang
Private Joe 1. “Bugger it, my BFR is due, it will take at least half a day to get the paperwork done, cost at least 90 minutes maintenance, fuel and charges.” “Then it is the same old- same old box ticking which satisfies CASA that all is ‘legal’ – but WTD did I get from it?” SDA is the right answer. Our private chap has not ‘learned’ from a ‘rote’ exercise; nor may the instructor take him off the checklist. Both pilot and check pilot hide bound to comply – under strict liability’ and so they do. Just that and nothing else.
Take a ‘savvy’ PPL like the inestimable Lead Balloon; a decent instructor would (if allowed) treat the tick-a-box sheet with the contempt it deserves; then having identified any area of ‘weakness’ (for wont of better) proceed to eradicate, with malice aforethought, that which may lead his friend and client into harms way. The mandatory ‘check’ boxes ticked, been there done that – but there was a noted deficiency in; Oh say spin recovery: we spent the hour ensuring that the exercise was understood and beneficial. Both are now ‘illegal’. They broke the tick-a-box demands.
So the flight test officer has no option but to follow the prescriptive, useless to anyone but a neophyte, ‘rools’ and sign him off ‘competent as checked’. Was the BFR (as scripted) of any value to an experienced, savvy, seasoned pilot?
I hope that the powers that be can see the point; for it is really important. We have an increased Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) ratio of pilots ploughing into large lumps of Terrafirma. Back in the day, as I remember it, many a late Sunday afternoon was spent with the CFI stood at the blackboard (beer in mitt) explaining Williamstown airspace to seriously frustrated PPL about how a South Easterly flow, rain and low cloud could spoil their weekend away and the other ‘options’ they would have had if they had considered the forecast, terrain, airspace, daylight and alternate routes. All gone now, CFI hide and cringe from giving the benefit of their experience. Why – well read the ‘rools’ children; carefully.
On the CASA list of lost skills is ‘airmanship’. The art of not interfering with a heavy commercial aircraft in the circuit; of ‘situational’ awareness: of terrain awareness; of ‘reading’ the weather system correctly as it affects your journey; of being very, very aware of tangling with high performance weather and vertical dirt in a low performance aircraft. I’d bet good Choc frogs LB tries his very best to operate his beast as a ‘commercial standard’ operation. Why; because it is the only standard to strive for, anything below that is an insult to the medium. Only a PPL is no excuse. The licence granted – any licence – is not a full stop. It is and always has been a stepping stone to understanding the great skies and it’s ways.
“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ― Robert Frost
Yes, yes: I do know, but M’lud, ’tis but my own hobby horse; legally sanctioned death of brother pilots always provokes my outrage at any hidebound fool for believing that sloppy, legally compliant, tick-a-box paperwork makes for a competent, safe, fully situational aware ‘pilot-in-command’. It is a fallacy. Constant learning, practice, exposure and training produce the ‘better’ safer (whatever that means) airman. A rigid system does not.
But how does one change an ‘official’ attitude, let alone the ‘rools’ as laid down by folk who can barely define which end of the engine the smoke comes out of? The current system is killing people, through belief that being ‘legal’ makes for a safe passage between a squall line and a dust bowl. It does not. Situational awareness and an idea of personal limitations does.
Aye well; I’ve probably flogged my hobby horse to near death. Standards not regimentation; education not rigid rules; training not ‘testing’– I rest my case M’lud.
P7 has taken over the care of the stable cat – 1.1 Kg weight increase and returning to duty – two moths and a Skink tail; not a bad effort considering. Jointed and planed flat the main top of my Cherry table is truly a wonderful sight. It shines from the plane blades, the stable lanterns flatter and enhance the natural chatoyancy of the timber; ’tis a wonderful thing. That’s about it: can’t apologise for the ramble; we have managed to kill a fair few these last few years; it both saddens and annoys me, particularly when the ‘reasons’ are so devastatingly clear. No matter, not to the very hot dogs, I wonder (dare I ask and not get bowled over in the rush to the river). Swim?