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Aunty Pru Forum version – The dilemma of little Bo-peep – understood.

Aunty Pru has lost her tweets, and don’t know where to find ’em. In the new age, the notion of them coming home, wagging their tails behind ’em is a phurphey.

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Those following the ‘Drone’ saga will notice, we lost the entire thread during the week; and didn’t know where to find it.

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However we have cobbled it back together, with little lost continuity, but the previous posts have been merged into a really long one; after that it’s business as usual.

Now, where was I? (shuffles through notes). Several matters worthy of mention; one of which features in a Hitch article from Australian Flying.

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Seems the Australian AOPA has been excluded from a ‘serious sit down’, sent off to sit in the corner. I can’t begin to imagine what the USA or UK chapters must think of this; or gauge their response, it has however created a debate and discussion within the BRB. There is to be an ‘Aviation Safety Advisory Panel’ – ASAP; yup, another one. We have seen this charade many times, in various guises, re-badged and put out as bait for the younger crowd. Older wiser heads can predict almost to the letter what will and what will not occur – history repeating – again. Now, I didn’t just make that up – Paul Phelan writing in Pro Aviation is recommended reading for the serious student.

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Paul has meticulously researched and followed the blighted history of the farce of aviation regulatory reform  for decades; his articles are no short grab, but provide a salutary history lesson. I digress.

Nonetheless, ‘people will come’ to the Darren 6D gabfest, no option mostly; any slim chance of a hint of real reform; or, genuine attempt to make the Forsyth recommendations a reality must be taken. The ‘official’ reason AOPA has been excluded is that it is a member of The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF); a worthy, grown up outfit with a lot of the credentials required to make a difference.

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The list of members is impressive and the management team top draw. On the surface this all seems reasonable, but surely a spare seat or two could be found for the AOPA President and his senior advisor; never would two more sanguine, practical, pragmatic people be found to contribute; if they wished to attend. Same as any senior representative from any outfit the TAAF represented.

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AOPA’s Ben Morgan and AMROBA’s Ken Cannane are both concerned over the make-up of ASAP. (Steve Hitchen)

Hitch – “This may reflect on AOPA’s determination not to play by the traditional Canberra political rules”. Perhaps allowing them to attend would provide an ‘educational’ opportunity, to see how the grown ups must operate; if they are to have and chance of success; this is, after all the CASA monolith rolling down hill with momentum, they are attempting to stop.  Big job – huge; best of luck.

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The Senate committee ‘drone’ road show has once again earned it’s corn and kudos. I don’t much care what it has cost – whatever it is has been money well spent. The ‘professional’ bodies represented have been well served by their speakers; but, for me, the beauty part is that the Senators have accepted, without quibble, the freely offered ‘expert’ sensible opinion and advice.

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Carmody, Aleck and that Scot’s Git made no friends last estimates and the committee’s opinion of Darren 6D is patently, though tacitly obvious. They must arrive at the same conclusion industry did years ago – we need David Fawcett as a Junior Minister for Aviation – it is the only sensible, practical solution to stopping this never ending, very expensive, internationally embarrassing merry-go-round we all trapped on. Just do it – you know you want to.

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Which brings to item last; sadly we have had yet another fatal accident. Too early to tell for certain if the latest was a VFR into IMC incident; but it serves as a stark reminder of the perils associated with such an excursion. There has been furious debate, spread over many decades on how best to reduce this repeating statistic.  It is an old killer, always present, the dangers well known. You can take your pick of practical solutions – there are many on offer. But clearly ‘regulatory’ penalties and punishment don’t work, much has been written of the ‘psychological’ reasons for pushing your luck; volumes have been published on what’s best to do and what’s not; yet the statistics, world wide, show no reduction. We’ve all done it – junior to senior; yet the only folk not tempted are those who have done it, survived and sworn never to do it again. One instructor, definitely of the ‘old school’ and decades ago, used to take his students into cloud and ‘time’ how long they lasted; not long was the answer.

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So much depends on ‘other’ factors that it is almost impossible to determine how long it takes to become ‘disoriented’ and once the holes in that famous cheese start to line up – the outcome is in the lap of the gods. “Just don’t do it” shout the purists – but what of the accidental encounter, the unintentional: or, what of the old trap, that of letting the door behind you close, of always having an escape route and somewhere to go, when trumps turn to dog-pooh? Don’t know the answer and I’ve never heard a complete solution. Seven families have been left grieving. ATSB and CASA do what they can – in their own way, they do and it is not their fault. The advent of GPS and reliable auto pilots create a false sense of security; perhaps these should be removed from the basic training syllabus. Situational awareness is an imperative – contact with the reality of what’s ahead, behind and around the corner; in your own hands and on your own head. I’ll leave it there; for I have no solution to offer, no silver bullet; just our condolences to those left behind.

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Aye well, best put the kettle on; the locksmith is due soon. Not any old locksmith mind you. The lock of the armoire door sticks a bit – being as ancient, if not older than the door it lives in, we sought some expert advice. Seems the lock was made in Spain as were the hinges – but well before the door; anyway, ‘the man’ is coming to have a look and fix the snag, who knows what marks we’ll find under the muck inside that venerable lock. Can’t wait.

Toot toot.