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When you’re in hole- Stop digging. – AP Forum version.

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We’ve all done it – you’ve said something daft or dopey or even mildly offensive; then you try to talk your way out of the gaff. Too late; you’re too deep in a sandy hole; the sides are caving in, time to stop digging. Metaphorically, this is the place our safety agencies have placed themselves, ASA, ATSB and the CASA all; gotten too deep in the mire and with much to lose, so they just have to keep on shovelling the muck out; or, admit they have completely ducked up the excavation, and admit they have struck a sewer pipe and the filth is getting not only deeper, but highly visible and definitely ‘on-the-nose’.

Perhaps it’s time terminal arrogance combined with gross ignorance was replaced with some cool, calm, sensible logic and a willingness to adapt world best practice. That is all the industry wants. First world aviation grown ups have been quietly working with industry expertise and legal logic to refine their strategies, across all disciplines to provide sensible, balanced, logical working solutions – legal and ‘safety’ related. They may not be perfect, nor suit everyman – but the effort is being made, with the willing assistance of the industry. So why is Australia not following suit? One of the suggested reasons is a lack of expertise; in the field. Another is rotten leadership.

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“He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara

The following impressive statement was written by someone who not only understands aviation very, very well, but the law and the politics associated. The lady even has the best interests of all topics at heart and; obliquely, offers solutions.

“Thanks Leddie. Ben at AOPA has been very helpful. But I think the real focus is on how they are attempting to bypass proper democratic and legislative processes ( quite apart from lack of consultation with AF and industry). To take away rights or impose restrictions on licence holders, with the stroke of the CEO’s pen, is dictatorial and an abuse of process. Our licences and maintenance requirements are governed by the Regs: any amendment should be by proper Regulatory change . By ambushing us all on the eve of long holidays , and by proposing an administrative direction, ensures no ‘interference’ by our elected representatives in parliament. Parliamentary members can disallow Regs – they cannot disallow a direction, and nor does it have to be presented to either House. The implications of this high-handed and undemocratic action, if allowed to proceed, sets a dangerous precedent which could see all or any of our aviation rights cancelled at the whim of CASA, and not the legislature.

Contacting State and Federal members to alert them to this proposed action would be helpful, particularly the attempt to block them from having a say in this process, which fundamentally alters the rights of licence holders and aircraft owners/operators.  – Marjorie Pagani Chief Executive Officer, Angel Flight Australia.


Say’s it all don’t it? By identifying the ‘nub’ of the distrust, dislike and disrespect of both ATSB and the CASA, the solution presents. It would be a simple matter to replace the three stooges at the top of the CASA heap and let the revised top end attitude flow down through the ranks. Despite rumour to the contrary, not all CASA employees are terminally stupid; they may be ‘dumbed down’ to preserve their rice bowls but there is some talent their – not much but some. Although why we have inexperienced flight instructors drafting regulation basis I’ll never understand; but it’s wrong.

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” ― Mark Twain

I could bang on about the aberrations, cock-up’s; clusters of ducks; pony-pooh; senseless rulings and the evil within the system: even the corruption of purpose and the machinations to achieve the twisted, slightly deranged outcomes we see today. I won’t. I’ll simply say there is a great need of positive change, starting from the top, driven by the minister and the respective boards. We could all walk away from the past, call it back in the dark days and move forward. I know the industry wants to. I’m certain the next minister will want to avoid the adverse publicity further duck-ups will bring, like Essendon for example. To think ATSB have got that little contretemps neatly wrapped up would be a gross, dangerous error of judgement.

Ref: P7 – Not a serious safety concern – Indeed.…33#pid9733

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” ― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

On a flight deck, when we see warning lights flashing, we do something about it. There is a full panel of red warning lamps flashing a message; this is no time to hide in the dunny. The warnings are clear and unmistakable.

Come on, you lazy hounds, let’s go. The arrogance of ignorance requires fresh air and a long walk to dispel.