Select Page


Fairly strong theme here on Airports, starting with this week’s #SBG: Three or four heartbeats. 

Apart from the bare fact that there has been a collision between two light aircraft at Caboolture (Qld) claiming two lives, there’s little in the way of factual analysis as yet, but at least the ATSB have condescended to investigate this ‘mid-air’ event. It is the third fatal mid-air within the last 12 month. Perhaps, had they investigated the first event (even Mangalore properly) and provided a timely report – well, you know the rest, but I digress. The ‘thing’ which always creeps into any thinking about an event is the time difference; those three of four heartbeats between having a story to tell at the bar later and a coffin. Had the Jab pilot dropped his pencil and picked it up the time/space continuum would have been altered by those few seconds and it may have never happened. You just never know; not for certain, do you.. I am left wondering when the ASA management will realise just how quickly a mid air event can occur, despite all good intentions and artificial practice; and, just how fragile colliding aircraft are. A sad day for Caboolture: sincere condolences to all. 

“What God wills, will happen; thou canst not hurry it, thou canst not alter it; therefore wait, and be patient” (Twain).

Another ‘grim’ item which demands close attention is the collision between the Essendon DFO and a B200 aircraft. Now that the ATSB have released their ‘opinion’ piece it is now time for an open, independent inquiry – of the heavy duty type; before the opposition legal team tear the flimsy, current fiction apart? There are enough gaping holes in the ‘official’ knitting to render their position nugatory; possibly risible. Some of the pony-pooh dressed up and highly polished will not withstand a serious challenge; the flimsy top cover provided will disappear like smoke on the breeze when confronted. Not for Aunt Pru to give the minister advice; but, FWIW – getting a long way in front of the game and being seen to be taking corrective action may just save some red faces in international circles.   

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” (Lincoln).

Aye well; the only puzzle left to ponder is the air traffic control situation. The notion of a ‘toxic culture’ has been bruited about and whispered of in pubs, even openly mentioned in public. The subject got a fairly extensive mention in a Senate committee hearing not too far back in time. There exists a serious shortage of ATCO – fact. There was a large number of ATCO who took ‘early retirement’ / redundancy – fact. So why, given the need for experienced folk at the consuls, have those who departed the fix not been wooed to return to the fold? ATCOs like pilots are there for love of the game; so how hard could it be to persuade some of them to return, even on a short term contract until the new chums fill the gaps. How deep and damaging is the toxic layer within the EBH’s ASA? How much fiscal damage has the pie-in-the-sky bollocks really done? More questions for the minister to ask?- Nah – the right to remain silent and throw the rest under the first bus comes with the job.

“When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.”

But enough; there is Spring sunshine streaming through the windows and open doors; the dust of winter and sawdust and errant shavings all highlighted and stirred by the breeze. Technically the broom should be located and diligently applied. I did say ‘should’ – the short lived wrestle with conscience is over. The fishing rod weaves it’s own magic, a flask of fresh coffee, a swag of illicit sausage rolls – away dogs, the dirty widows and dusty floor will, no doubt, still be there tomorrow.


Next from search 4 IP: WOW! Popinjay produces a short investigation report inside 8 months??

Then this week’s LMH: The Last Minute Hitch: 4 August 2023

And then from BITN: Harfwit admits he is incompetent?? 

Finally from the Airports thread: A curious collection:-IFALPA rate YMEN a ‘Black Star’?? & YMEN original test case for Australian obfuscation of international airport safety standards??

MTF…P2 🙄