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Whither, ah, whither? Are not these – etc.- AP Forum version.

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“There are some upon this earth of yours who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name; who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.”― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Here is where we stand; and we must accept some of the blame; even if ‘their doings’ have not been at our request. When a person or an organisation is granted unlimited power, without check, challenge, balance or responsibility to any man; deemed to be above the law in pursuit of some vague notion – such as ‘safety’ there is no one to blame but ourselves for allowing a continuance. We have allowed (with the best of intentions) politicians to purchase freedom from responsibility. We have allowed a government agency to take full advantage of the political weakness and capitalise on the same. We have sat back and allowed some of the most Draconian legislation to be brought into law, without a peep of complaint. Then, to compound our error, we have gone along to get along. Well, the results of our meek compliance are clearly visible now. May we be forgiven?

Yes; I believe we may. For a start, who would expect that any government would disown any and all responsibility for aviation, completely and quite comprehensively. They happily and quietly passed the responsibility, along with greater powers than any minister has ever had, over to a crew who could not believe their luck and immediately set about capitalising on the gift of unbridled power, unlimited funds and the ability to write their own rules, to suit ‘em best. An added fillip being that no rule drafted has ever been seriously debated in parliament, let alone challenged. But, industry did stand by and watch the monster grow – just like Topsy. Now, too big, too rich, too legally protected to be challenged. Out of all control many would say. Except for those who reap a benefit – by playing the game – no matter what the game – as required. Lip service and correct documentation traded for a kindly eye.

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“Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day”.― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.

Take the totally ridiculous Part 61 as an easily explained ‘for instance’. (Roger ‘the bald idiot’s wet dream’). Had the entire flight training industry stood up and said ‘ stick this load of bollocks where the sun don’t shine’ and, kicked up a hell of a fuss with the ‘parliament’ explaining why it was a crock- maybe things would be different. But what happened – they all groaned then set about ‘compliance’ being careful not to rock the boat the local FOI’s sat in. Same-same flight schools. No one wanted to be a ‘target’ so they meekly sat up till midnight, writing manuals they knew where the biggest load of Horse Pooh ever drafted. Then they signed the cheque – and their own death warrants at the same time. Now; when the world and it’s wife wants to train in Australia – guess what – the flight schools have all closed down or sold out. This is no ones fault but our own; we have allowed it. The horses have well and truly bolted.  Lack of courage, lack of foresight, lack of imagination and lack of backbone from those most affected completed the hat-trick. Fear of retribution is a factor; but, lack of self confidence is the big failing. Imagine that a CASA dilettante knows more about flight training, in the real world, than some of our expert veteran trainers do – it’s ludicrous; and yet all bow down and kow-tow to the local CASA FOI who can barely tie his boot laces. Ask the FOI three simple questions. (i) Have you owned and operated a flight school?. (ii) Have you been a CFI for a flight school if so, for how long and what size was it. (iii) Explain to me how these new rules provide an increase in ‘safety’? You could go for the big one – (iv) What, exactly is ‘safety’.

Who’s to blame for the current mess? Do not ask me – for I will tell you.

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..Dr Aleck also points out that making the breach of a safety requirement set out in the civil aviation regulations an offence of strict liability is entirely consistent with long-standing Commonwealth criminal justice policy. ‘This is and has been the norm for the vast majority of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, the Civil Aviation Regulations and the Air Navigation Regulations that preceded these,’ he says.

‘CASA’s regulations are made by the Governor General, not “by CASA”, Dr Aleck says, ‘and they are subject to disallowance by the Parliament. They are drafted by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel and, as with all Commonwealth regulations involving criminal offences, they must be acceptable to the criminal law branch of the Attorney-General’s Department before they are finalised.’


..He previously served as Chief Legal Officer and Executive Manager of CASA’s Legal Services Division.From September 1998 to August 2003, Dr Aleck served as the Representative of Australia on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montréal. Immediately prior to his appointment to the ICAO Council, he served as General Manager of CASA’s Aviation Safety Compliance Division, and before that as Regional Manager of the Authority’s West Region.Before and since arriving in Australia in 1988, Dr Aleck has combined a professional and academic career as a lawyer, a legal consultant and a university lecturer…

“Some men are born to good luck: all they do or try to do comes right—all that falls to them is so much gain—all their geese are swans—all their cards are trumps—toss them which way you will, they will always, like poor puss, alight upon their legs, and only move on so much the faster. The world may very likely not always think of them as they think of themselves, but what care they for the world? what can it know about the matter?” ― The Brothers Grimm, The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

Of course, the problem lays at the government door. This industry is well and truly buggered and it is time the ‘minister’ de jour got real and sorted out the mess – if for no other reason than the indecent amounts of tax payer dollars burned every year producing the unmitigated crap we call the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. They ain’t safe, nor do they promote safety – in fact quite the reverse. Time for a change; the Kiwi’s did it and they are thriving – So what’s the hold up? There is no excuse for any government which continues to doge the facts. The facts are there M’lud, have been for more than twenty years – perhaps we could respectfully persuade you to read ‘em.

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“Never,” said my aunt, “be mean in anything; never be false; never be cruel. Avoid those three vices, Trot, and I can always be hopeful of you.” ― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

The ‘evidence’ of a failed organisation is mounting. How much longer any responsible, honest government can continue to turn a blind eye is debatable. One thing is certain – the next Pel-Air or Essendon fireball will, I promise, bring down a government for disregarding empirical evidence, freely provided.

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”  ― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

Aye well; I doubt my twiddles or whimsy will change much; but at least I tried. My wee fart in the face of a typhoon; a poor substitute for honest, interested political inquiry.

No matter. DT is away from home – dogs stretched out where pleases ‘em best; the kitchen a shambles; my boots in the lounge room; and: best of all freedoms – I have the remote control for the TV – happy days. P7 will pitch up soon, I hope, with the Pizza and a case of Ale. Should be a good night once we decide on a movie. Paradise is not always found at the pearly gates. No Sir, indeed it is not.