In primus ignoring clearly defined warnings can get you hurt. The problem lays in too much ‘Nanny State’ interference and information overload, people get tired of ‘caution hot’ labels on coffee cups. Too many prissy, unnecessary, mindless prohibitions which numb the mind and dull the senses to the point where if any risk is not spelled out there is an assumption made that it is ‘safe’; whatever ‘safe‘ may be in your lexicon.
Playing with fire: The very high risk levels associated with Australian aviation risks have been very publicly and very clearly defined. The latest, in a long list of ‘evidence’ of a thoroughly dysfunctional system defined through a very close encounter of a public transport Saab 340 going very close to landing on a large coal loading facility, 6 miles from the runway. The icing on that cake the ATSB report which begins with an excuse. It was almost dark and visibility was poor.
Dancing with Death. When the music stops there can only ever be one result. Take two jet transport aircraft and despatch them to a destination with a high percentage risk of fog forming, then despite the ‘historical’ evidence ignore the possibility and depart with minimum fuel. Watch as they waltz past a viable alternate, mindlessly sticking to schedule only to ‘discover’ (shock horror) destination closed and not enough fuel to go very far. So divert to another fog bound destination and relying on blind luck, manage to squeak in, just before the music stops.
A deal with the Devil. Anyone who loves a good read is aware of the perils of making a bargain with the devil and yet, some still do it. Take the unholy alliance between the Minister for Transport and the department which manages it. This arrangement allows the reform and remedy, identified, evidenced and demanded by industry to be deferred, diluted and waived away as not being worthy of consideration. Had the ATR which was seriously damaged through mishandling and that damage not eventually recognised, there would have been an inflight break-up. But that’s Ok. The right backsides are covered, just a few more dead and the families left behind to be dealt with, as they historically have been. Through contempt, indifference, power, influence and money. All the devils toys.
Your local SP bookie (turf accountant) must, if survival is envisioned, be very able in the art of setting the odds and laying the field. It’s a numbers game and the SP odds for ‘Major Hull Loss’ are shortening every day, soon to go odds on. Look at the recent form: one seriously bent ATR, two domestic jets which flew past viable alternates only to land in a Mildura fog, one ATR doing silly things and a Saab which had trouble defining it was about to land 6 miles from the airport. Add some 60 odd recommendations for serious systematic changes which are being ignored, an ATSB which is happily providing top cover and a Minister riding shotgun on the status quo and suddenly Major Hull Loss is an odds on favourite. It’s high time the Australian travelling public paid a little more attention to matters aeronautical and demanded the powers that be get it sorted. Starting from the Senate inquiry into pilot training and working forward, the mess has been clearly defined. Why nothing apart from a little window dressing has been done is a very good question which needs to be asked. A coal loader through the windscreen is not a question which can be taken on notice, delayed, differed or obfuscated.
Aye, the only real gamble is to decide which airline, when, where and how many dead. The field is set and under starters orders; place your bet here.