Ref: Mick Mack sacrifices a Virgin for a REX?? & https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/chaos-on…423-p54mlx & https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/inv…-2020-012/ & https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/inv…-2018-048/
Of Balance and the lack thereof. – AP Forum version.
“Our heaven is their hell, said God. I like a balanced universe.” ― Margaret Atwood, The Tent
‘Balance’ is an often used word, it creeps into every aspect of daily life, from diet to rocket science, from budget to justice; and from sanity to madness. “While the balance of his mind was disturbed”.
Latin – Bi (twice or having two). Lanx – Scale pan. Libra bilanx (having two scale pans).
This definition of ‘balance’ – “[a] situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions” aptly defines that what should be – but ain’t – in the way aviation Australian style is managed. The system is ‘out of whack’ is a comment I often hear; and ’tis true. When you look about, read through reports and study submissions dating from three decades ago until now, to some pretty heavy duty ‘inquiry’, the total lack of balance becomes apparent. One does not need to delve back into history to spot this; recent events merely reflect repetition of the same basic concerns, never properly redressed.
There’s plenty of good comment knocking about, all relate to the glaring deficiencies which deeply affect the aviation industry (and probably the whole country – but that is outside of my remit). Within the last fortnight we have four almost perfect examples appearing which clearly define serious, three decades old flaws within the current system.
Air Traffic and airspace. There has been an incredible amount of money and time spent trying to ‘sort out’ airspace management. Instead of a serviceable, useful system we get stuck with Halfwit’s wet dream of the ‘One Sky’ debacle and the huge debt that imposes. Then we have the tragic mid-air collision over Mangalore. Somehow, between ‘Pie in the Sky’ and parsimonious focus on bonus generation and a lack of controlled airspace where needed, the unthinkable in the modern era occurred. Four pilots dead.
“To maintain the P/PC Balance, the balance between the golden egg (production) and the health and welfare of the goose (production capability) is often a difficult judgement call. But I suggest it is the very essence of effectiveness.” ― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Accident Investigation. I don’t believe I have read a satisfactory report from the ATSB in over a decade now. Under Hood’s administration the quality and usefulness of reports has been sadly lacking. The nadir being achieved this past month – I can find three separate fatal accidents which involved ‘engine failure’ – ATSB reported that they were unable to define the cause of the failure. Seriously? The modern aero engine is a simple, robust, reliable thing – it has to be. Millions spent of design, testing and ensuring reliability, provided proper maintenance is carried out – as and when required. To add insult to injury, there are now fatal accidents which ATSB decline to investigate, preferring foist the responsibility onto other folk who may, or may not have a conflict of interest. Even the possibility of any thing other than an impartial, professional independent investigation is fraught with legal peril. Yet there it stands, while ATSB play around with statistics. It is way past the time when ATSB should be made truly independent – the NTSB model is the world best standard – and yet our politicians sit back, remote from the carnage, protected in bi-part-insane detachment.
Last, we have the masters of smoke and mirrors, the raconteurs, artful dissemblers and doyens of Faerie tale spinners. Here’s a question – there’s a choc frog in it so pay attention. Angel Flight had two VMC into IFR accidents (fatal) and got lumbered with increased engine maintenance; RAOz registered aircraft have racked up an impressive number of engine failures (some fatal) and nary a word of ‘increased engine maintenance for their fleet. Maybe the balance of my mind is disturbed; but it don’t seem right to me. Handing over…….
“When you are inquiring into any subject, maintain a due regard to the arguments and objections on both sides of a question; consider, compare, and balance them well, before you determine for one side. It is a frequent, but a very faulty practice, to hunt after arguments only to make good one side of a question, and entirely to neglect and refuse those which favour the others side. If we have not given a due weight to arguments on both sides, we do but wilfully misguide our judgement, and abuse our reason by forbidding its search after truth.” ― Isaac Watts, Logic: The Right Use of Reason in the Inquiry After Truth
Aye, many passing strange things to ponder in the land of Oz. Perhaps the strangest of all is why government, despite a veritable mountain of evidence allow this industry to stagger along under the incredible burdens imposed. ATCO hogtied and mired in ‘procedural’ restriction, ATSB merrily skipping along the statistical road to perdition; and CASA – well; what more can be said than that which is blindingly obvious to those prepared to take a clear look. That’s it – rant over.
But then, who am I to comment; I, who just yesterday shamelessly accepted a bribe. T’was a chocolate Easter egg bartered in exchange for my services. The door of a large ‘Dolls House’ has met with an unfortunate accident, a collision between a playful puppy and a responsible five year old. “Can you fix it – please” (cue sorrowful eyes) “ I can pay you” cue chocolate egg. So, P7 will find, sat on the workshop stool a relentless, unbending tyrant directing the slave work force, a large Dolls house parked on the bench, and my own poor self undertaking major structural repairs, while pretending not to notice, that the tyrant has spotted the paint tins on the shelf. Its going to be a long, hard day.