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First this week’s SBG:

#SBG 08/01/23: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

That phrase from Pope’s essay sends clear warning to ‘critics’ but it also serves to warn those who’s work may be criticised, two sharp edges. However, the many warnings against hubris must also be acknowledged as an equally dangerous road to travel. The world has born witness to the Wee Bearded Popinjay’s dalliance with both now – twice over. The fool rushed in at the Appin event; then, changed outfits and raced up to Qld for the helicopters; and, wiser Angels may not have charged in, run off at the mouth so much, especially while changing feet. Amateur hour. Potential contamination, conflict, compromise, exclusion from the final report – individual press briefings, then the big one without an IIC and far too much speculation from an unqualified administrative type.  Hubris while on a fools errand. Aye, the bedazzlement of the media cameras and a microphone eh? (Bucket – NOW! need is great and urgent).

“Hubris is when God screws you over for being a smart-ass.”

So; when there is an episode which generates fury within the BRB, the best way to strike a balance is to not only apply the ‘pub-test’ but to balance that against expert opinion across a fairly wide spread of ‘disciplines’. Aye; it is often a puzzle, but, the path must be walked. We must begin with the big picture, immediate response and dissect that to work through to a very basic level if we are to see a balanced, rational opinion. On many levels, the verdict was clear. There is no way for the Popinjay to retain his tenure with ATSB, being compromised in so many ways that acceptance of resignation provides only two choices and no options for the minister.

“You are fettered,” said Scrooge, trembling. “Tell me why?” “I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.”

Gods know the ATSB has been on a pretty steep downward curve; the biggest losses reside in other external agencies ‘credibility’ score; close second comes investigative ‘probity’ and not far behind that comes agenda, followed by the MoU with CASA. In the opinion of several ‘heavy duty’ annalists, the descent into darkness was 100% recoverable after the Dolan tenure. Opportunity lost. Then, there was the Hood era; the less said of that is probably best. But, to allow any further descent into the abyss from there was a ‘Kamikaze’ folly. And yet, in their wisdom, the powers that be made and supported the remarkable appointment of the current ATSB head. Not many can understand why. But then the same lack of industry understanding surrounds the appointment of Spence to CASA; not to mention the continued employment of Harfield at ASA after the One Sky debacle and subsequent mess. To say that some ‘observers’ are wondering when the Hell the Australian aviation ‘safety’ management system is going to hit rock bottom and turn around is little understated; yet this is a very fair and most reasonable question for any responsible minister to consider answering.

“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.”

It is, in the opinion of many ‘professionals’ across the aviation spectrum of disciplines that the final straw on the camels back is very close to dropping. Within the last 36 months there have been three separate ‘mid-air’ collisions. All three agencies own an equal share of responsibility to the public to analyse, directly address, then disseminate the solutions provided on an joint agency basis. This to ensure that ‘all’ that could be done, is being done, in real time (like now – now)  if for no other reason than to reduce the possibility of a repeat event. Anything short of that level of ‘dedication’ to task is a desecration of trust and beggars the principal reasons for the existence of these agencies and the vast sums of money granted to these agencies in support of that cause. That cause would be a honourable, honest best efforts and a righteous use of the public money granted in expectation of ‘duty’ done, properly..

“Wisdom consists of knowing how to distinguish the nature of trouble, and in choosing the lesser evil.”

What we have right now is a ridiculous, risible circus the public may briefly attend, which is only of any real value to those who use the media to sell their products. What earthly benefit to aviation safety is the Wee bearded Popinjay’s mad dash to get in front of the camera’s twice now, while ignoring two other serious events? Our erstwhile rescuer of Kangaroo has effectively compromised his position to the point where he cannot perform design function in the final report of two fatal events. We have a whole load of ‘hoop-la’ attending the new ‘Vertiport’ (read heliport’) for the space age – while a needed hospital heliport is now (despite previous approvals)  deemed no longer suitable after years of ‘safe’ operation. We have public transport and charter aircraft ‘self separating’ in airspace which should be strictly controlled. Yet bigger budgets are granted without thought to how this money benefits the industry – if at all. A challenge – define exactly when, where and how the aviation industry has benefited from the public investment in what is laughingly defined as ‘aviation safety’. The name of this pantomime is ‘The Great Testiculation’. 

Testiculation?  – talking complete Bollocks whilst waving your arms around like a madman…..

Nearly done; but for pities sake, somebody get a rope and a muzzle on the Popinjay; tie him up when there is a camera and a microphone withing 100 miles and keep him out of Hoody’s Mardi Gras dress up chest  – please. Not only does it potentially compromise investigation but its bloody embarrassing. Take a few moments and compare the completely professional NTSB in action on a high profile Helicopter event to the unprofessional ‘gab-fests’ at Appin and Sea World. The international cringe factor and domestic implications are not only staggering, but likely to become a nightmare further down the road.

Yes, I know, back to my knitting I go. This week’s ‘knitting’ is interesting – a provenance supports the 250 years old Oak ‘chest’ I am to repair, ‘rejuvenate’ and make right. Made in France, it has lived in Egypt, and many other places in the Middle East, before a sojourn in London through the ‘Blitz” with scars to prove it, before eventually winding up in the land of Oz. Nearly too heavy for two of us to get on the bench, big and tough as old boots; not a nail in sight, decoration all ‘hand carved; animal hide glue and shellac (beneath the Bee’s wax). The lock a monster, the hinges ‘hand made’, It looks exactly as it should given its age and travels. Can’t wait to get started; I was however not the first to closely examine the inside; open the lid and, there is the bloody cat – how it got in I do not know; but no doubt my work will be closely monitored – between naps. Funny though, I can’t seem to walk past the chest without reaching out to run a hand over it.


Next and related: ATSB v NTSB: CHALK and CHEESE?? + CHALK and CHEESE: Part II

Plus (also related) from Accidents Domestic: Predictable and inevitable. + AO-2023-001 update: Lawyer’s Picnic??

Next from the Su_Spence Saga thread: The Su_Spence saga continues in 2023…?? 

And from the the miniscule La’King thread: Meanwhile after a 9 month (CASA induced) gestation  a Bonza is born?? 

And Sandy on the M&M thread: Sandy in reply to Money Morning 

Finally from the  “For want of a nail the shoe was lost.” thread:  ‘NOTHING to SEE HERE!’ L&Ks  Dominic 


MTF…P2 😛