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Of the abyss; and, that which gazes back at you. – AP forum version.

It seems I am to be overruled – by the numbers. I have been opposed to providing a submission to the ‘Inquiry’ the good Senators are conducting; for all the obvious, long standing reasons. I always argue, when pressed that there was a recent amendment to the ‘Act’ of parliament which ‘defines’ how the CASA is obliged to act. Senator Patrick asked every single participant at the 20/11/20 interview session what results had filtered through from that ‘change’? Not a solitary one was the consensus. Remember, this is an ‘Act of parliament’ being disregarded by CASA. However, (and all my own fault), I found a line of approach which intrigued. Bear with me, I’ll explain.

There exists one, unspoken of fact, which hardly ever gets much more than a hint. Although it is never admitted; the ‘industry’ is scared fartless by CASA and what CASA can do and will do, Scott free, and get away with. They are a proven, serial offender within this ‘realm’ of their remit.

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‘Twas Morgan who triggered the response from BRB and IOS members –

Morgan: One of these examples is an AOPA Australia member who is based in Queensland, who is currently navigating a really disgraceful situation, to say the least. He is an approved testing officer up in Queensland; he provides services to the flying doctors and is quite essential to their overall safety and operation. He found himself being questioned by CASA in relation to a process of training that he was conducting, and he did what all responsible pilots and people in this industry do; he responded to CASA and said: ‘Look, I have no desire to want to break the rules. If you require me to work in a particular way, I’m happy to comply with what you need. Tell me what you would like me to do.’ They went through that process, and there was an agreement. That wasn’t good enough for CASA. They continued going after this individual and decided, ‘Well, we consider that there’s been a breach’— even though no-one had ever been injured or was ever put at a considerable risk. It was really an argument over a definition as to something that could be done. Again, I’m happy to provide an extensive brief on this as part of our package, which I recommend you go through.

This is not, nowhere remotely near an ‘isolated’ story. It is however an ‘unspoken’ of regular event. ‘Suddenly’ after passing (probably) 100+ flight test; and passing through the CASA approval process (not easy) to hold an Approved Testing Officer (ATO) delegation – the bloke cannot pas a check flight. Bullshit. Two flavour rides – Check or Chop.

Carmody : It would be. There is a different side to that story. The AAT fellow, if it’s the same one we referred to, is a person who has failed multiple flying tests and is back in the AAT. His licence is going to be reissued subject to him passing a test, and he has not yet.

We can tomorrow, if need be, provide at least half a dozen ‘hair raising’ fully supported cases, all of which beggar belief. You may take that to the bank. Evidence of the darkest, contrived, misbegotten actions against fully qualified ‘senior’ pilots can be served up to the committee; and, it would have been provided over a decade ago, had it been believed that ‘something’ may eventuate from the time, trouble and effort required to draft a submission along these lines; Alas. But be aware that ‘industry’ has suffered through; and heard, at grass roots level exactly the depths CASA will descend to, in order to achieve their goal. This is no faerie story; it is the deep, dark, well hidden, unspoken truth. But: before presenting any such evidence to a committee of any flavour; there must be an assurance that ‘justice’ will prevail. David Forsyth of ASSR fame and, quite probably Sen. Fawcett of legend ‘know’ full well the tales behind the scenes; in fact the world and it’s wife know; yet the dark, sinister side of CASA machinations remains unchallenged, simply from a very real, known, demonstrated and proven fear of reprisals, without recourse, inflicted as it pleased the CASA crew.

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For example – with supporting evidence – a snippet (in the broad). Monday – an experienced check and training pilot passed a difficult instrument and proficiency check with a peer ATO. Tuesday after a CASA audit the check was declared invalid – based on a ‘manual’ which had been replaced 18 months previously. Wednesday new check flight demanded – failed at question 3 {1030 hrs}. After 1600 hrs the CASA fellah sent a note to Medical, declaring, in his ‘opinion’, the pilot was ‘drunk’ no evidence provided – there was qualified testing folk ‘on deck’ at 1000 hrs – a DAMP test could have been done in a heartbeat – but no. The CASA man lied and continued to lie – all provable.  Friday Class 1 medical pulled – three very expensive sessions, over an eight week period, with one of only two ‘expert’ Professors in the field resulted in a letter basically stating ‘Bollocks – return the man’s medical’. Another month rolls by and the medical is reluctantly restored; with proviso’s for the next two years; every quarter year – a blood test. It bloody well near took an Act of parliament to get them to admit that there was no problem and remove the incubus. Meanwhile; on another front – there followed a three year battle to gain approval for an instrument flight check to be conducted – as writ in the law; without two CASA dudes presiding (for safety). There, that’s a benign sample of a relatively mild case which CASA pursed with malice aforethought, based on not only provable lies, but to meet an ‘agenda’ that decimated an operator who employed 40 full time and about 20 casuals – why? Well the CEO had had a head butting competition with the then CASA CEO – that’s why. There’s a lot more ( real lot) to that one tale All true – another 40 year career down the tubes; without any hope of recourse. ICC – forget it; about as much use as a chocolate firewall. So who cares to ‘really’ examine why CASA is a blight and an object of fear? No one ‘cept the poor sods on the receiving end.


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It is easy — terribly easy — to shake a man’s faith in himself. To take advantage of that, to break a man’s spirit is devil’s work. ― George Bernard Shaw

Morgan: I will quickly finish here, and I’ll be happy to take some questions. So we have a structure today in which we have this authority and we as an industry face enormous challenges in dealing with this authority. I’ve performed a multitude of interviews over the past six months where I’ve allowed individuals who’ve come up against CASA and experienced the worst of CASA to talk about those experiences and their dealings. The common theme in just about all of these experiences and dealings is that, once CASA decides they’re going to come after you, there is no help for you. We have an independent commissioner who reports through to CASA DAS and the CASA board. He’s paid by CASA. There is no independence here. There is no commission that oversights the power that this authority wields.

Many evil things there are that your strong walls and bright swords do not stay. – J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Fellowship of the Ring

Morgan: The net effect of this is that CASA decided that the best course of action to take with this pilot was not to encourage the fact that he worked with CASA and demonstrated that he was quite happy to meet their expectations and move forward in a safe manner—that wasn’t good enough. They’ve now decided to take his approvals from him, effective at the start of next year, for two years, and put this poor bugger out of work. CASA are leaving the RFDS short a critical person that provides safety to their organisation. They have hammered this guy so hard his only course of action now is to represent himself in the AAT. He is a pilot going up against barristers and legal professionals, on his own, to defend the fact that he is a highly respected, highly valued, highly trusted senior member of the aviation community. He now has to go to extreme costs to defend himself.

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So, what’s to do? It is possible, at the cost of much time and effort to provide a Senate committee with probably 100 pages of documented evidence which will show the dark, sinister, corrupt side of CASA – Oh, we can do it, make no mistake – but the burning question; is the game worth the candle and my time? Peer pressure is a bitch.

Aye well; that’s probably enough from me; probably understated; but there is a very real sinister side to CASA which no one dare approach. Well, we dare but to what purpose? I can stand and bang my head against a brick wall all day and make no ducking impression whatsoever; no matter; we shall have this out at the next BRB and see what emerges.

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I know indeed what evil I intend to do, but stronger than all my afterthoughts is my fury, fury that brings upon mortals the greatest evils. ― Euripides, Medea

Should you ever wish to measure your ‘dopey’ level; here’s a check. DT lobbed into the workshop carrying a small, brightly decorated cardboard box, (a coffee and a muffin) about the size of a cigarette packet; “here” say’s she with a knowing smile – I open the thing and ’tis a ‘sweatband’. Feeling slightly silly I donned the headgear and suddenly – no longer do I need to wipe the sweat of honest toil off my brow and from my eyes with shavings or the cat (whichever come to hand first). Bloody marvellous and how dumb am I eh? There are now eight of these in the workshop (dogs luv ’em). Brilliant. Well; why not – it is after all, a hot summer night. Smoke and stroll methinks.

Selah – Mind how you go.

PS – Sandy & P7 comments:

Sandy: Interesting to glean from posts to this thread about the plethora of approvals and the excruciating pain of obtaining or maintaining these permits that allow various General Aviation activities these days compared to previous times. There was plenty of silliness and patronising behaviour on the part of CASA of yesteryear but it worked in a clunky fashion due to degrees of commonsense and latitude that’s mostly gone missing today. The greater part of the problem being intransigence, and the control mindset of CASA coupled with the whole fee grabbing nature of CASA’s regulatory nightmare. Unfortunately, but predictably, introducing fees for permits is a powerful incentive to create more and more permissions.

In May of 1970 I obtained a “C” grade instructor rating, no fees or charges. The next grades progressed through “B” and to the highest “A” grade, no fees or charges. Various rules still apply about what is allowed, but for some obscure, bureaucratic baffling and completely unnecessary reason, around 1980 the classifications were changed to Classes 3, 2, and 1. Little did we know that in the USA no such gradings exist, except for Instrument Flight Training, and an instructor can teach without a flying school permit from the first day of qualification.

Mid 1970s;  now with Instructor Class B rating, obtained by virtue of having the requisite instructional hours, in other words it was a matter of course. I applied for a flying school licence which was granted after a CASA inspector visit to my airport premises, again no fees, licence in the mail a couple of days later. And yes I automatically became the Chief Flying Instructor (CFI).  To achieve twin training approval, flew an extra half hour in my Baron from the right hand seat with my Examiner after a routine Instrument flight check. No fees or charges.

After putting up a couple of Private Pilot applicants to CASA ‘Examiner of Airman’ personnel (now another mindless title change ‘Flight Operations Inspector’? ..or has it changed yet again?) I received Approved Testing Officer status for the testing of Private Pilot Licence and Night Visual Flight Rules Rating. I don’t recall applying for those approvals and was certainly never interviewed nor paid any fees for same. My Grade One Instructor Rating (previously the ’A’ grade) similarly was written at a routine instructor renewal on the basis of my hours flown, no fee. Yes I had passed the annual review but not anything special for the upgrade. 

Practically all flying schools also did charter work and word got around we should be doing proficiency checks as well as our instructor rating renewals so we CFIs used to sign out each other. 

Silly things used to happen, one Saturday morning I telephoned in a charter flight plan for one passenger from Phillip Island to Colac. The officer asked if I had an HF radio? I replied negative, have flown there on charters before so why now? Answer:-  a new interpretation of the carriage of radio rules. So it had to be made a private flight. I did fit an HF radio to that Cessna, it cost in the order of $1500 each per the three calls I was required to make with it for those odd flights where VHF was not covered at ground level. In spite of such inappropriate and expensive administrative and policy defects we could still operate.

Late eighties and the rot really starts in earnest, paper war and fees creeping in. Barriers at every turn with the much bureaucratically loved slogan of ‘user pays.’  No thought to the logical and obvious definition of ‘the user’ which is the Nation as a whole which makes, and demands, the standards for the benefit of the general public. Why else is government involved? 

The concept of an independent regulator has proven to be a disastrous failure. Removing responsibility away from the Minister and Parliament goes against the concept and practice of democratic control via our representatives.

P7: Hmmm!

Just an aside really; but the way ‘K’ has hinted at the very real truth, and placed a very serious issue in a nutshell, typifies the ‘untold’ but very true ways CASA operatives can and do set about the business of ‘destruction’.

I would like to have the skill to frame a question of the CASA – but it goes along these lines. Take Bruce Rhodes (RIP) case – the very first thing done is the operating certificate is ‘pulled’. The operation is closed, individuals are hounded – without a positive ‘safety’ result of any value being achieved, despite the cost of such a thing in terms of loss of revenue, jobs, service or even a realistic approach to ‘resolving’ or rectifying any ‘safety’ issues which should have been identified – before the accident. Shutting down an operator or the ‘senior’ men (and women) has never; not once provided an ‘increase’ in safety. Not once.

The easy option is to ‘shut down’ an operator. “There minister – a quick, neat, surgical safety resolution: now; ain’t we just bloody marvellous? “

What the Senate committee ain’t seeing; because no one is showing ’em is the ‘dark side’ of CASA’s version of safety. “Oh – you have a ‘technical’ breech of the regulations – BANG – no more breech.

The notion that ‘operational safety’ depends on ‘strict compliance’ with a set of rules that not even Rumpole of the Bailey could decipher is not only ducking risible, but shows a complete lack of any understanding of just how ‘industry’ itself sets about providing ‘safety’.

For an understandable example – take Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT). It happens; now Flight Safety (USA) and the FAA developed and provided, free of charge; a ‘risk matrix’ which defined whether or not a flight was at an increased ‘risk’ level of a CFIT occurring. Maybe a ‘blunt instrument but, it did highlight ‘where’ and ‘when’ the risk of CFIT was a possibility. I have only read through two operational manuals where this assessment was built into the operational approval matrix. In one instance, the CASA demanded it be removed; in the other CASA failed to assess the matrix; so it escaped execution – exists still to this day and have served the very humble purpose for which it was designed. A safety ‘risk’ analysis which indicated a ‘higher’ risk level. Flight crew alerted and aware of an increased ‘risk’ level.

The Bozo’s running CASA ‘safety’ analysis have only a vague inclination that such a free of charge, adjunct to ‘operational’ risk analysis exists.

If Big Grin Big Grin this sitting committee of the Senate are not prepared to look ‘under’ the blanket of bull-pooh spread over the industry, by the industry ‘safety’ experts; then there is little point in providing a submission to their inquiry. It is way beyond the time when a CASA ‘safety’ call can be considered anything else than Frog’s pooh. Should the RRAT want to ensure ‘public safety’ – then it is to industry they must look. Anything else is pure Bollocks – repeated; nauseam, ad tedium ad nullius pretii est. Of little value whatsoever.

The Southerly change has kicked in (hallelujah) ; temperature now acceptable. I have but four cigars in my case; one for ‘the Lad’, a stroll in the night air and a quiet appreciation of the respect both Possum and Dog have for each other; then more Ale. BRB on Wednesday night – then, we shall see what must be done; can be done and what effect it may, or may not have on the current proceedings of a Senate Committee with a mid range batting average. 4:1 (break even money the place) on the current tote board.