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The Sunday Brunch Gazette.
"A truth that's told with bad intent Beats all the lies you can invent".

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It’s no good, sorry too much; I have to get this off my chest; so one topic only today. There are some good posts this week over a range of subjects; but the Essendon accident is so very important it demands attention. I ain’t certain the trick cyclists would agree, however as they hardly ever seen to agree with each other there seems little point in worrying about their opinions. The reason I mention it is there is talk that discussing the Essendon accident may ‘upset’ the relations and friends left behind. This has not been so, in my experience; in fact I have noted quite the reverse. ‘We’ at Aunty Pru believe that the whole truth, or as near as we can get to that goal is owed to those left behind to mourn.

Despite the ATSB commissioners utilising the ‘Beyond All Reason’ model for providing ‘the report’, the investigators will be looking for the elusive links in the causal chain. This information is, rightly, not available for public scrutiny, the AAI will present their conclusions to the commissioners who will release the final report.  The ‘technical’ conclusions concerned with the ‘aircraft’, pilot and operations will take a while to sift; there are however some areas which may be examined, those for which ‘facts’ and conclusions may be tested.

For example; the Essendon aircraft finished its journey, on fire after colliding with a building’s roof top.  For many years now the gradual encroachment of buildings onto airport land has been a vexed matter, subject to various appeals in tribunals and courts. All cases notable for a lack of success. The transcripts, in primus, are ‘interesting’. The arguments of the ‘users’ and rent payers have never been brought to court motivated by ‘profit’ but by safety. Every case is a safety case, related to preventing aircraft colliding with buildings. Remember, despite the spin, the aerodrome was there first, the businesses operating aircraft are responsible, under law, for the safety of those operations. As the buffer zones are eroded to maintain that safety level, operators are forced to reduce ‘payload’ and accept an unnecessary increase in operational risk; neither desirable. One glance at the Archerfield aerodrome overhead view tells the tale. It was inevitable that sooner or later a series of circumstances would combine and there would be an accident involving the public, a building and an ailing aircraft. QED.

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How this situation has been allowed to develop is a reflection on the way Australian aviation has been ‘managed’ by the government safety agencies charged with the safety the public. One could be forgiven for assuming that the CASA, touted as the ‘watch-dog’ would be treating the encroachment of development into airspace with the same vigour they pursue the minutia of operations; producing an ever increasing rule set and restrictions. Not so; according to the incumbent DAS. I draw your attention to the very latest from the Senate Estimates committee questioning.  There are video segments – HERE which are definitive comment.

Clearly no one wants to responsible for the unholy mess, but what you have above is merely the tip of the iceberg. Since the airports were sold off there have been some breath taking ‘soft’ manipulations and mind bending ‘interpretation’ of the ‘rules’, which, coincidentally suit developers. Muffled hearing, selective blindness and ‘stay out of it’ hints have become the accepted norm. Clearly demonstrated in the Senate committee hearing. The quote of the year comes from the Senator for NSW and, IMO, he is the type of man who likes to find answers to the questions asked, in hard, solid, realistic, testable answers.


Quote:In regards to Bankstown Airport

a) The Bankstown Airport was leased by the Commonwealth to Bankstown Airport Limited in 1998. The lease agreement contains the following provision:

"Clause 9.1

Subject to clause 9.2 the Lessee must keep and maintain the Airport Site including the Structures in good and substantial repair at all times during the Term (fair wear and tear excepted) and at the expiration or earlier determination of the term, vacate and yield up the Airport Site and the Structures in that state of repair and condition and in accordance with the Lessee's Covenants. The Lessee accepts the full and sole responsibility for the condition, operation, repair, replacement, maintenance and management of the Airport Site including the Structures during the Term."

Despite the clarity and unambiguity of this clause, the following breaches have been allowed to occur;
i. The original 1942 "Heritage" listed building located on Airport Avenue has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. This was the USAF/RAAF Headquarters building in WW2 and after the war it became Headquarters of the RAAF National Service.
ii. The original Male and Female toilet block are in a state of disrepair and have inoperative toilets and can only be described as disgusting. These are the Public Toilets for the major Secondary Airport in New South Wales and as such are a poor advertisement.

What action does the Department plan to take in relation to this clear breach of the lease agreement that the Commonwealth is a signatory to?

b) I now draw your attention to Clause 9.2 of the lease agreement.

"9.2 Maintenance of runways and pavements

The Lessee must maintain the runways, taxiways, pavements and all parts of the airport essential for the safe access by air transport to a standard at the commencement of the Lease."

This condition has clearly been violated with the use of runway 18/36 being discontinued and asbestos-contaminated landfill placed over it.

What authorisation, if any, was given for this condition of the lease to be so clearly disregarded? Please provide documentation.

c) Are you aware that leases to aviation tenants are only being offered on a three year lease basis, containing a relocation clause?

d) Do you accept that this denies a business security of tenure, and prevents them from being able to invest and carry on their business properly?

e) Are you aware that Bankstown Airport Limited has been purchased by First State Superannuation?

f) Are you aware that First State Superannuation has appointed Altis Property Partners to manage Bankstown Airport Limited?


There is a lot of reading associated with the aerodrome quandary and the Essendon accident which must be done. Our aerodromes are becoming dangerous places; an aircraft needs air space to operate in, when something goes wrong it needs more space again, not DFO’s full of the public. We have been incredibly lucky thus far, it is, IMO, time to take a long hard look at what is really happening to our safety standards. I will leave this here with a short read and a question for your consideration.

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Did CASA improve ‘real’ safety by approving a reduced ‘Effective Operational Length’ (EOL) of a runway to allow a building within the precincts of the existing, prescribed safety margins; or simply abrogate their responsibility to the operator?

There are other subjects of interest on offer this week; but non as important as this one. If the loss of life in the accident is wasted and the potential for further loss, had that building been crowded, does not provoke the government to act sensibly and step in, then nothing ever will, to their everlasting shame.

Selah. Solitude, wood shavings and a second coffee required.
“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

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(P2 comment: Before "K" says "gotcha P2", these words of wisdom were originally attributed to Confucius ) 

A candle in the window. The climb itself had been arduous, even without the weather being foul; the descent difficult and dangerous and the weather ferocious; such is the lot of a mountain climber. At last, in darkness a place was reached from which a walk to a hut could begin. Wet, cold and tired the dim light of a lantern could be seen in a window; it cheered a little until the truth was realised. There was still a steep valley to navigate and long dark walk in the rain to complete with treacherous footing to confound tired legs. This is where the CASA ‘reform’ process is; miles to go, in the dark with only a dim lamp to guide it over inhospitable terrain.  

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What a terrific effort by RAAA to reach a place where a discourse is even possible, the tantalising glow of the small lamp in a far off window. Serious students will appreciate just how difficult it has been to achieve this and will know that the game is far from over; there’s  still a long difficult march to complete, even with the most excellent Rev. Forsyth leading his flock. The end of a long difficult climb is no place to begin a battle against the denizens of Sleepy Hollow; but it must be fought.

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There’s hope, that most excellent of men, the Rev. Forsyth is padded up and heading for the crease to partner the doughty Davis; which should put a new shine on the RAAA innings. We wish him bon chance in the high stakes test match. AMROBA and TAAAF have made a great start to the match, and there are a couple of first class players  yet to bat; before the tail end gets to play, let's hope we don't need them..

The new ‘tools’ such as a ‘flexible’ SoE , a new DASaster and a Board with some backbone will assist greatly – provided the SoE is used correctly (as intended) the new DAS is a reform man who knows how to do the job and the Board has not been restrained, restricted or frustrated. That will sort out the top end, the cake eaters; but what of the bottom dwellers? Those who swan about making personal opinion and philosophy ‘law’ through manuals which must be to their liking before ‘acceptance’ is gifted; or, approval is given; or, take a dislike to someone and make their live a hell. I note the FAA have begun to address the problem of ‘subjective interpretation’ - HERE -  food for thought indeed.

[Image: faa-far-regulatory-consistency-communica...=775%2C349]Posted By: Joe Del Balzo March 30, 2017

The cake eaters will make great efforts to be seen to strive for ‘harmony’; but out on the coal face, over a coffee, the bullies will still be subtly intimidating their victims; or, having a quiet ‘chat’ with their favourites to ensure ‘their’ version of law is the one applied.  

Rumour morphs into fact as the mythical ICAO audit looms over the horizon. Providing ‘Evidence’ is a strange notion, in my experience, checking the ‘evidence’ is part of any audit process.  If for example ICAO make a recommendation to change the light bulbs every half year, then the ‘evidence’ could be furnished through the paper trail. Seems ICAO are not interested in the paper trail but want to examine each light bulb, to make sure it was changed. You can understand the reasons why; P2 “I note the following ICAO finding, recommendation and comment from Appendix 1-8-05:” CASA got a shed load of money to implement the last ICAO audit many findings; the money sure as hell got ‘used’, but as for complying with the ICAO recommendation, better ask the relatives of the King Air passengers what they think of the ‘improvements’ CASA made.

Shocked witnesses describe Essendon plane crash

Melbourne experiences its worst aviation disaster in 30 years after a light plane plummeted into the Essendon DFO shopping centre.

Further evidence of the CASA operating system may be seen as the battle lines for the ‘responsibility and liability’ wars are drawn. The agencies and departments are always quick off the mark in the rump covering stakes, with CASA leading the charge. Don’t forget, not for a moment, that it was CASA and the ATSB which brought you the Pel-Air disgrace; apart from some minor changes at the top, nothing underneath has changed.

[Image: 1491220316543.jpg] Firefighters at the scene of the plane crash at the Essendon DFO.  Photo: Jason South

Absolutely nothing; the same venal thinking will apply to Essendon unless the interested parties get together; and, like ICAO – demand to see every single scrap of ‘evidence’ related to this accident and have it independently analysed and tested to a court quality ‘evidence’ standard. Be warned, there is no level too low for the official side of this to stoop to; plenty of evidence to support that theory.    

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Matters aeronautical are approaching an ‘interesting’ junction. We have seen, several times now, matters reaching a critical mass; but little of practical use or ornament has ever emerged, despite the hundreds of millions thrown at ‘the problem’ in hope of a quick fix. A true ‘fix’ is painful and bloody, the longer it takes to affect a real cure; the longer the recuperation period. Will the King Air accident, the ICAO audit, the ASA audit, the Senate estimates committee efforts all combine to be the watershed? They should – but who knows. We shall watch with interest.

Toot toot.

And a word from the Murky Mandarin... Dodgy

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IOS comment: "BOLLOCKS!" Dodgy
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Democracy; a strange, almost alien concept – as currently applied to the aviation industry anyway. A huge, important multi billion dollar industry the participants of which, apart from being able to vote in the general elections, has little say in the government’s ‘management’ of it. There certainly is no meaningful input regarding ‘regulations’; history clearly shows that despite the best efforts of the many, the minority prevail. Often it is said that the ‘rule’ as proposed and agreed returns to become ‘law’ somewhat different to the original, particularly in ‘spirit and intent’.  In charge of all this ‘management’ is the boss of CASA.

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As there are only a few short days to go until a milestone in the DAS ‘selection’ process passes by, a process in which industry has no input, no power of reversal and no right to appeal. It may be worth considering the dreadful past decade. It has, truly, been a horrendous period. A time of almost despair which began with the Byron departure, supplanted by the brute McConvict, only to end ignominiously with the abject failure of ‘whatsisname’. Ten long years of no improvement, a decade of fatuous, expensive, no value law; all supported by some of the worst creatures to ever crawl out from beneath the slime of the Sleepy Hollow swamps. I have no fear of this statement ever being seriously challenged; the evidence is overwhelming. One need go no further back than Pel-Air to see the sanctified manipulation of system. Before the Board and the minister ‘sign off’ on the next appointee; perhaps they could find a little time to consider the past decade and contemplate just who is really running the Australian aviation authority. It ain’t the minister, certainly not board and the DAS could not possibly get away with the past shambles and aberrations without ‘deep’ internal support.  Perhaps a ten minute break may be found and the article, penned by Paul Phelan published in Pro Aviation could be contemplated; with this as an an introduction - 25 year disgrace.  Modern, pertinent history which is doomed to repeat, unless there is a concerted effort to reform the regulator. The appointment of a new DAS is not the end of government responsibility, but the beginning. The minister could demonstrate a commitment to ‘real change’ by withdrawing the effeminate ‘Expectations’ statement and replacing it with a more ‘robust’ Directive. Don’t ask ‘em. Tell ‘em, you blasted Muppet.

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Mini rant over; although there is still plenty of steam in the boiler for matters which should be of great concern to the minister and his ‘safety’ agencies. The encroachment of buildings into active airspace for one. PAIN has connections with PANS-OPS specialists; folk who design airspace and approaches, not to mention consulting, with those who matter, on obstacle clearance, impingement, safety zones and such. Three separate groups; three singular responses to the Essendon impingement – I shall paraphrase: “how the hell did they get away with that”. That is ‘the’ question, ain’t it. Perhaps our DoIT can answer it; we shall see.  

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While the boiler is still warm; the hi-viz ‘touchy-feely’ ATSB is delighted to have Thor Thormodsson (TT from now on; not typing that again) here to play in their mucky sandpit. Perhaps he’ll find some time away from training to practice a little digging. We can supply a bucket and spade, to assist, should it be required.  P2 has done us proud and provided a little map to assist the treasure hunt; and no, all those little ‘X’ are not tokens of affection – ‘X’ marks the spot. The digging exercise may assist with the training regime. Lots of old bones buried in the ATSB sandpit.  [Aside] why bother fluffing up the ATSB article with that marathon guff? Who gives a monkeys. Heigh Ho.

Speaking of P2; he does have a pawky sense of humour; taking great delight in finding 'images' guaranteed to make one reach for the ever present bucket. I should know better, but, quite sanguine and innocent I open the latest post on the great big ‘Pie in the Sky’ scam and am confronted by the visage of the hapless Halfwit. (a Gotcha from P2).

Quickly scroll past that and find an article from that man ‘Iggins which starts to take the lid off this very expensive scam ASA have been perpetrating. The ANAO audits and results have been very carefully constructed (conducted as briefed in ToR) to avoid the more awkward aspects of the ‘One-Sky, One pot’ debacle, which neatly avoids serious embarrassment for government and ASA board. But someone has to carry the can. The elephant's tail is not a good match for a donkey’s ass end, however, if it comes in ‘electric blue’ I believe we can, anywhere anytime, find a suit-able, match fit candidate.

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The endless ducking for cover from the ‘drone wars' is still hovering around the windows of parliament. The ministerial response has, so far, been to produce a picture of an empty Pizza box on twitter – WTD? Meanwhile, like Topsy the drone hazard just grows. No one seems to know quite what to do about it, but it is amusing to watch the scampering about of those who should know as they head for cover (under the empty pizza box?)

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Source: GE Aviation, modified by ATSB

On the plus side of the ledger we do have, courtesy of GE, some positive information on the Rex Saab missing propeller. They may have discovered a potential cause, which makes sound engineering sense. This is ‘investigation’ as it should be; swift, decisive, informed and a safety related outcome toward a positive fix. Now how good is that?  

There is quite a neat summary – HERE – which, for a stranger visiting Aunt Pru may help to explain why Australian aviation is in a mess and cannot seem to find a way out. Sleepy Hollow has that effect on those who venture in too deep without leaving a breadcrumb trail. Even for those with foresight to leave their breadcrumbs escape is ‘problematic’; the scavengers who haunt the dells and swamps will devour those crumbs. No minister has ever escaped the clutches of this fell place; they are escorted out, eventually, slightly dazed and bemused once they have been used to suit purpose.

Well, I need a haircut, the dogs need a bath and the elephant yard is in a hell of a mess; best crack on. Hold it – is that the smell fresh coffee and blueberry muffins baking wafting on the morning breeze? It is; and, seeing as the dogs have noted the ‘washing kit’ and buggered off; I may even get a whole muffin to myself. Aye - Heaven can wait…

Toot toot.

Purblind, Wool blind or just not looking?

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It is high time ‘Aerodromes’ and their operators stopped apologising for their existence. In fact, its time for airports to start pushing back. We have huge docks along our waterfronts; all parked on highly desirable development potentials; they are noisy, dirty and dangerous places – yet do they have a constant barrage of ‘developer attacks’, building shopping malls around the perimeter; course they don’t. Do the docks have to contend with a stream of whining householders who bought ‘cheap’ and are trying to get them shut down – NO, they don’t. Railway stations and the tracks through suburbs – do they have to face down developers or the endless whining of ‘ban noise’ groups; No they bloody well don’t. But ‘airports’ do, perhaps it’s the wide open green fields that drive developers into a feeding frenzy, who would know. What is patently obvious is the potential for an airport to generate income has not been fully realised; particularly from those bases ‘close’ to the city.

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The London docks airport for example; compare it to Sydney’s Bankstown (BK) airport. One flourishing, employing hundreds and generating some serious income. The other a mouldering pile of toxic waste and crumbling buildings, the South side a waste land. With comparatively little money spent, the airport could be developed into a crackerjack commuter /executive jet port and maintenance base. Why not close down Kingsford Smith and relocate the whole mess at Badgerys’s Creek and develop BK as the ‘city hub’?

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That notion makes sense to a lot of people; huge noise reduction over electorates; massive benefit to road users; savings off the chart for pollution; waterfront properties and a huge area to develop close to town. Mouth watering stuff – at least Wagners and some councils are seeing ‘the light’.  

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Or; why don’t the developers buy the ducking golf course next door to BK which employs what, 50 at the most and does little to assist ‘the economy’ - build their blasted shopping malls and DFO’s there – out of harms way and let the airport generate real income, jobs and business. Airports are ‘essential’ infrastructure, like docks and train stations. If the government insist on selling them off, then let it be responsibly; only to those who want to develop the airport and the aviation industry; not more DFO’s. Enough –.


The 2 'box sets' which made this morning's #roadtrip possible

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I note our illustrious minister Darren 6D stars again on the ‘reads’ count; topping the Senate Estimates and airports by a considerable margin. Not that it will trouble him, not so long as Cheezels and ‘the Boss’ are still freely available – at tax payer expense, so the hours between opening mouth to change feet can be filled in between manicures. Everything that can possibly be wrong with politicians in one neat, well groomed package. How can the likes of Barry - Braces – O’Sullivan who bother with tedious little issues like 'drones'; or David Fawcett fussing about dangerous airports; or, Burston trying to sort out the underhanded parting up of airport infrastructure possibly compare.

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Mind you 6D has some influence; he managed to get the Hi-Viz – oh, so delighted Hood to speak up on the MH370 shambles. I notice that man ‘Iggins was quick to pick up the clanger and use it to ‘foster and promote’ the integrity and expertise of the ATSB. Nary a word on the Pel-Air rewrite of the rewrite yet though. Although how, in the seven hells, two government departments, charges with ‘air-safety’ can get away with seriously ‘interfering’ with an investigation and audit still has me beaten hollow. Someone needs to be in jail over this event, actually several someone’s. But no; it’s all very low key and subtle shifting of positions for ‘distance’ and plausible deniability. We will be left wondering about the credibility of every report ATSB and CASA make now; can’t wait to see what they do with Essendon. Top marks for top cover and denial of any or all responsibility: again. No matter we will always have Darren 6D to rely on – who needs statesmen with guts and integrity caring about the country and its people.

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With your indulgence: a short ramble: prompted by the latest spill over of anger on an American carrier. From about the age of seven, a young “K” was a regular ‘commuter’ – boarding school – home – back again. One of two uncles often ‘in command’ and flight deck rides in the Britannia or Viscount were more usual than not. The thrill of arriving at the airport, checking in, waiting for the boarding call were eagerly anticipated, then the stroll out up the stairs, sitting down and strapping in were all part of the fun. The passengers always seemed polite, well turned out, the cabin crew immaculate, helpful and cheerful. Over the years, I have come to a point where I’d rather not travel by air, if I can avoid it. Not flying it – not going; if I can avoid it, much like the supermarket or dentist. There are, I expect, many reasons for things being the way they are; but for me, the saving of a few dollars on the ticket cost is not worth the trouble, aggravation and discomfort. – Must be old age creeping in, but if I get hit with one more backpack, or trodden on by someone trying to stuff a huge ‘bag’ into an overhead locker – or; another child swings on the back of my seat; or; the bloke in front insists on full recline; or; the lady in the middle really needs two seats and unlimited access to the dunny; or, the chap with the broadsheet newspaper can’t fold it in half…..well, I just don’t know. The joys of air travel.

Aye well; not today. Second coffee in the garden, lovely day – then; we shall see.

Toot toot.

P7 addendum - I note “K” fails to mention the VC 10; or the ‘brown paper bags’ full of sweeties which were gleefully hoarded in various tuck boxes (which he made) for the duration. I still keep my best planes and chisels in the last (a thing of great beauty, in Oak, Cherry and Cedar). Shhhhhh..

I also really like the pictorial ‘translation’ P2 does on the SBG; “K” can be a little obtuse, but the indefatigable P2 picture story always brings it home. Well done boys...;
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#SBG 30/04/17

Quote:“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn how to fly while remaining an egg.  We are like eggs at present.  And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.  We must be hatched or go bad.” – C.S. Lewis

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Both the response and resistance to ‘change’ is a fascinating area of not only individual behaviour, but of ‘groups’. Change is dynamic and the ‘knock-on’ effects can range between fantastic to horrendous, with many shades in between. Big changes, which affect life as we know it attract the whole spectrum of response; the changes to a woman’s role in the world is a classic. That has been a remarkable major change and to try and reverse that change would be even more remarkable; anyone who thought the resistance to women’s votes and right to education, work etc. was fierce would be surprised at the resistance to any reversion attempt in today’s world. It has proven, despite the resistance, to be a hugely beneficial, righteous move. Once again, particularly in the aviation industry, we are encountering serious resistance to necessary change. Industry is demanding that change; government agencies are resisting those demands, politicians swayed to serve the bureaucrats. This despite the fact that the government is, in theory at least, supposed to be there to ‘serve’ the people. I am not speaking here of the wishes of the land rights for gay whales crowd; but of sensible, sane involved people with their lives and money invested in an industry which is being restrained by an entrenched resistance to any and all change.

Some changes require this natural resistance, the increasing ‘drone’ population for example.

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It is wise to get ahead of the potential problems early in the game and get the solutions right. The discussion is in the safe hands of the Senate RRAT committee, who have to deal with not only the core issues, but the reluctance of the ‘safety agencies’ to even accept responsibility or develop plans to manage and control the potential dangers.

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Australia’s aging air traffic systems are due for replacement and once again ‘change’ is required. Other nations manage to simply get on with it, Canada for example has managed change very well, other nations are embracing technology and seeking to improve their systems.

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Quote:Mr Mrdak - "..The Functional and Efficiency Review did look at international examples of where governments have placed their air traffic control provider—air services provider—in different governance structures, particularly the United Kingdom and Canada, where they have been placed in either part-private ownership or a not-for-profit government body. They were models that were looked at in the scope. The Functional and Efficiency Review recommended that we consider further options for the future of Airservices Australia.."

Australia has burned some AU $74 million getting to position where it has been decided that the system which was ‘new’ several years ago, cannot now be afforded. It that weren’t bad enough, there is a potential scandal being investigated which will require government intervention to remove it from the public gaze if it ever becomes fact.

Insulted or consulted? There are two topics on which industry has been asked to ‘comment’, submissions have been called for related to pilot medical standards; and, a minor, but important matter of a common radio frequency. Despite the American FAA medical landmark changes, once again reluctance to change rears its ugly head, AVMED, the department which manages this area remains unmoved. Some of the tales told, particularly those relating to specialist medical advice being overruled by the ‘complex case’ panel are the stuff of legend. Go figure; you get seriously ill, go through the treatment and come out with, as far as the legally responsible specialist treating you is concerned, fit, well and good to go. Then the ‘panel’ decide to ignore reams of supporting evidence of this and decline to revalidate your medical. You can drive a 40 ton rig filled with petrol around the city; but cannot fly an aircraft. Now CASA have called for ‘submissions’ to the discussion and those are being ‘considered’. There are some first class submissions in that pile all worthy. But, how may industry rely on that ‘consideration’ being unbiased?

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The ‘consultation’ related to a simple ruling on a common radio frequency demonstrates exactly what will happen. Someone at CASA HQ goofed; the premeditated decision being published before the ‘discussion’ and ‘consultation’ process concluded. Now there is much scampering about to undo the damage to CASA credibility; too little, too late and, there never was much credibility to start with.

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I note one positive, which has the potential to overcome the resistance to change: IATA are calling for a better ‘reporting’ system of air accident and incident. Insurers need to be able to identify risk patterns in air operations; a trend in Mongolia may slip by unnoticed, but, if the same ‘trend’ is developing in Nigeria, Alaska and Fiji then that risk must be mitigated. ICAO have a data base which serves this function, but if the data ‘in’ is camouflaged or ‘tweeked’ the data ‘out’ is of little value. This reflects the ATSB approach to classification and ‘reporting’ of which many experts in the field are highly, if quietly, critical.

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There is one, solitary ICAO presence currently sniffing about the ATSB lampposts, however, according to Hood, the man is more interested in swimming and training than the quality, probity and strength of the ATSB reports. We shall see.

P2 and Mike Chillit have revisited what is considered by many to be a crucial stage in the MH 370 saga. The point where AMSA (Australia’s maritime search experts) were unceremoniously dumped and Australia’s ATSB (transport accident investigators) were shoved front and centre. This led to the change from an ICAO annex 12 footing, to an Annexe 13 basis. This effectively precluded ‘criminal’ investigations being perused. Many 370 researchers question this ‘switch’ particularly as the then ATSB ‘head’ was under a rather dark cloud, emanating from the Senate inquiry into the ditching of a light jet off the coast of Norfolk Island. Anyway, FWIW, the video is worth watching for body language and listening to for the ‘wording’. Remarkable retrospective – IMO.

Much to consider in the ‘now’, best do it before the future becomes ‘now’. The appointment of the new DAS is immanent, not that it will make much difference; the top weight and popular choice in the DASaster cup has been scratched by the stewards, insulted and offended by petty officials who have no appetite for anything but a neatly run, nicely rigged race – in the bookies favour. Disgraceful? You bet, changes are unacceptable to the status quo; but you knew that…

Best I toddle off now, couple of us are going to try and put a numbers cost of the Pel-Air debacle. It’s a challenge, starting from the moment the aircraft ditched to the last instruction issued by the Supreme court. It all started in the pub; P63 wondered at the ‘legal’ cost of lawyers and court; P17 reckoned the ‘authorities’ wages bill alone would outstrip that, P7 reckoned the Senate inquiry bill would top the lot. Rather than wrangle over it a clinical, forensic investigation was decided on. We begin today, the FOI requests alone will make for interesting discussion. I glance out of my study window at the workshop, the dogs patiently waiting at the door; alas, not this fine morning, I will see you after lunch (GW-WP).

Toot toot.

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Mike Mrdak is a master of ‘the game of fires’. Over the years we have all watched as spot fires are snuffed out and even the odd serious fire extinguished without too much strain on the nerve and sinew. Looking over the map of his kingdom I have to wonder, can he now prevent the many spot fires surrounding Sleepy Hollow joining up and becoming a major bush fire; fanned by the winds of outrage.

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It may be my sense of smell is faulty, but sniffing the wind I get a feeling that disparate elements of the aviation industry are slowly, but surely, uniting and beginning to sing from the same hymn sheet. It is unclear just yet, who is the choirmaster, who is conducting the orchestra and who is writing the musical score. But as you stroll past the cathedral of reform, the band is tuning up, the voices limbering and the seats are being rearranged. Before any major production is started, there must be a ‘top layer’ of organisation in place to arrange that which is necessary.

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I believe we may look to the Senate Estimates RRAT standing committee to fill this essential role. Setting the stage is a tedious, time consuming task. Generating the ‘right’ questions, waiting for the answers, sifting through those responses and then trying to affect a result requires tenacity, guile and some courage. To draw the disaffected elements together, keep them on song during the start up is no easy task. But I get the feeling that this is being managed.

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Senator David Fawcett 
Sen. Fawcett (legend) as far back as 2013 began the task, far sighted enough to foresee the mess and long enough in the role to watch his own worst fears realised.

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Senator Nick Xenophon
Nick Xenophon an able running mate, Sterle a driving force, lately O’Sullivan throwing his not inconsiderable skills and intelligence behind the ‘push’.

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Senator Glenn Sterle

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Senator Barry O'Sullivan

There are others equally commendable, and some we have yet to see. Burston from NSW for one, same ilk and formidable.

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Senator Brian Burston

Now I know it’s tedious, but the questions on notice (QoN) and the responses actually matter, IMO, the ‘Q’ show the way the RRAT is heading, the answers define the escape routes.  PreludeOverture.

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That leaves the choir and orchestra to unite and coordinate, no easy task. But it seems someone is managing to knit the whole thing together. AOPA seem to have gotten their bearings, shooting at targets they understand and doing a good job of it; I note Spencer Ferrier has written an opinion piece which is worth reading. This dovetails nicely with the sterling work Ken Cannane (legend) and AMROBA are publishing. It seems that the other ‘Alphabet-Soup-groups’ are singing along, if not in tune or exactly in time, then at least on the same page. An undertone, from the ‘big end of town’ at the Basso Profundo level would see the harmony complete. 

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One of the major calls for reform is to remove the ‘Strict Liability’ element from the regulations along with the use of the criminal code. There have been many calls for the removal of this anathema; all of which have fallen on deaf ears. It is a major complaint and it affects everyone from the hanger cat to Alan Joyce; mark you CASA don’t try it on very often with the big boys, preferring to throw rocks at the cat and call it a result for safety.

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Airports and the safety of the general public is another fire which needs to be extinguished before the out of control bush fire becomes a blazing inferno. MM and his crew are only patting down the edges and piddling around the perimeter, deeming it more important to protect their own steaks and sausages, rather than admit it was their cozy BBQ fire which started the blaze, hoping the smouldering pile at Badgery’s Creek will distract.

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At least those at the fire front will be well fed; the out of sight, out of mind, debacle of the drone wars continues. CASA have NFI what to do about the quantity and potential applications. They drafted a couple of lightweight regulations and thought ‘job done’. Not so; CASA are so far behind the game as to be not be even considered as playing. Typical; if one wanted to fully understand the massive shout for reform of the regulator; the total cock-up surrounding ‘Drones’ is ‘the’ quintessential example. Ducking hopeless (and we pay ‘em to be so).

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Our Hi Viz Safety Board continues to be just another banjo player in the orchestra pit, out of tune, out of time, but of little real significance.

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‘The man from ICAO is visiting, but no one seriously believes he can cure the weak technique or improve the timing. ATSB are not even sure which bloody tune they are supposed to be playing. Is it the ‘Beyond Reason March’, the ‘Toothless Tiger Rag’ or; the mighty ‘Hi Viz Rhapsody’. No matter, no one’s really listening.

A week of ‘big reads’ and much to consider; whether or not anything of either intrinsic or practical value will emerge from under the mountain of words is yet to be seen. Much depends on the orchestra and choir working together. When they do, it can be magnificent;

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic joins again
What convention strictly divides;*
All people become brothers,*
Where your gentle wing abides.

Aye well; the elephants patiently await their bath. Don't know how they get so scruffy, just hanging about in ministerial offices; but they do. Best crack on, a delivery of top grade American Oak awaits to become a desk for a budding student of stuff I can't fathom. Such is life and life is such.

Toot - toot.

Of Mice and Men.

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“To plainness honor’s bound when majesty falls to folly.”

You have to wonder; does 6D_Darren get his advice from Dr. Phil or Judge Judy?  It is a reasonable question when you consider the ever worsening state of aviation affairs and his resolute determination to avoid responsibility to the travelling public. One thing is for certain sure, he ain’t listening to the right folk. Prince Niccolò could, had he been allowed passed the guardians of the gate, provided some sage counsel, which, if listened to, may just have helped.

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“An inexperienced prince who takes counsel from more than one advisor will get conflicting advice, and will not know how to reconcile it. Each of his advisors will think of his own interests, and the prince will not know how to control them or to see through their ruses. And all advisors are like this, because men will always prove unfaithful to you unless they are kept honest by necessity.”

[Image: drones.jpg]References Committee inquiry into remotely piloted aircraft systems visit to Dalby, Queensland

Solutions to the ‘problems’ being deflected and ignored by the transport minister are freely available. It is a fact that the very best advice has been provided, at government expense, from no less a source than the Senate in Parliament. Some 30 odd invaluable recommendations were provided by a bipartisan, outraged, well briefed Senate committee. A further 27 (+/-) were provided within a report ordered by the last minister through the Forsyth review.

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When you add in the free, expert advice provided through the AAAA, AOPA, AMROBA, RAAA, TAAAF etc, you realise that there is a veritable pile of priceless advice available to make the minister into star – not a Muppet. Its well past the time for the minister to start saying “make it happen”. You must either question the motivation of those who are obstructing change; or, question the ministerial disinterest. Perhaps a little less time devoted to usurping Barmybaby’s throne and more spent seeing to ‘public safety’ would even assist in the power struggle. A reality check would help; but not so much as contemplating ‘why’ his internal advice is wrong. He probably needs to have a coffee with John Sharp; just to set himself straight on the games the fat cats play, with hapless ministerial mice.

For example; what about the recommendations made, not only by the ASSR, but by the Senate investigative committee on the Pel-Air scandal?

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CASA elected and publically stated that the ASSR (aka the Forsyth report) was merely ‘an opinion’ and dismissed it out of hand – barring some cheap window dressing and lip service. However the Senators recommendation’s have not; not since day one, been mentioned let alone acknowledged; forget ‘actioned’. I have no idea the cost of the Pel-Air inquiry; but it would be a fairly large number; wasted. The inquiry of no more value to the public than 6D-Darren’s happy snap of Barmybaby having a wee wee.  You have to ask, just how are such men to be worked on; a Senate inquiry followed by a ministerial report – 60 serious demands for change, made several years ago – all dismissed. It seriously beggars belief, but nevertheless, ‘tis true.  I note both Australian Flying’s ‘Hitch’ and AMROBA’s Ken Cannane (legend) have dragged up the ugly, unsavoury truth regarding the ‘recommendations’ and are asking the same questions– when is the mythical reform of CASA and ATSB going to begin?

Take ‘drone’ controls – the CASA crew did a very quick, cheap and nasty rule set based on the restricted scope studies of a ‘student’ who was doing a thesis 'related' to  the subject. This done, the rule drafted to suit; CASA knocked off, making sure non of the mud (or blood) splashed would stick. Now, they must catch up with the grown up nations who’s employees actually earn their money.

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Our stalwart Senators are on the job though – good sense may yet prevail, it may, gods willing, even penetrate the dark area’s between the ministers manicured ears. Preferably before there is a serious accident. We shall see how long the ministerial luck holds out. Does the minister realise we are watching, in real time – in the ‘now’ – a classic example of a exactly what the industry and the Senate is concerned about; CASA incompetence, abrogation, denial and ineptitude, shamelessly demanding more money to continue in the same vein, despite loud, long, desperate calls for reform. What’s next, a fat cat, cake eating bureaucrat to make sure there are no ripples on the ministerial duck pond and a tame board to see off the foxes? We must hope not, lest the CASA vision splendid of an aviation desert become reality. They have made a good start and with ministerial support, the project will continue; at a much better pace than Badgerey’s Creek will ever attain.

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The oft delighted ATSB boss,  Hi-viz Hood has been silent this week. No doubt visiting Beaker’s Mum, to have her read his tea leafs “Oh, please, can the leafs tell me what to do about the ATR incident?”

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Beaker sitting by the stove breaks wind, his Mum looks at him with affection –“the oracle has spoken; with the wind comes the change, the stench of foul, rotten things is wafted away to the kitchen of another; be patient, delay and in time all things come to pass away, out of sight, out of mind: that’ll be five dollars thank you”. Hoody, thus inspired and delighted trots off and buys a new pot of hair gel, to share with the minister – lavender flavoured (all the rage)……Laurence J. Peter sure got this one right – "Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and "managers rise to the level of their incompetence". You can stop now Hoody; destination reached.

He’s a canny blighter is our P2. He knows full well I am over the rambling and wrangling surrounding the MH 370 saga; the endless bickering and hypothesis; the Mick Gilberts and other ‘experts’ who wouldn’t know anymore about ‘what happened’ than the stable cat.

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However, cunningly concealed in a post I find this -

Q. Recently a fellow MH370 tweeper asked me if I had a copy of a debris modelling map, picture, or perhaps a graphical video (mentioned by Foley above) that showed how it was that the ATSB believed that debris would wash up on the west coast of Sumatra. To this date I am yet to find even a mud map drawn on the back of a beer coaster. Therefore this is just a general plea to any MH370 followers that may have a copy, of what at this stage remains a fictitious model - .

Q/ "..a drift model was applied by one organisation to the wide search area defined in the report..."  - Who was that 'one' organisation?

Q/ I wonder what happened to the AMSA initiated drift modelling working group? Was it officially disbanded at the end of the AMSA controlled surface search? If so why?

These questions all take us back, once again, to the ‘parting of the ways’; where the excellent, ocean search specialist AMSA was dumped and the unprepossessing visage of the Muppet Dolan was foisted into the public gaze. The old question – why was the search allowed to be continued when clearly, a criminal act had occurred is raised? Dolan, infamous for ICAO annexe legerdemain and the great Pel-Air scandal was ‘suddenly’ the ‘go to man’. Uncovering that small part of the mystery may not find the aircraft or even solve the puzzle – but by Golly; it makes you think. P2 attack on the curiosity bump complete.

That children, is more than enough from me. I have a cunning plan – raid kitchen, abscond with purloined goodies and second coffee, escape to the stable, enjoy a quiet moment (yes, yes, share goodies with dogs); then I must address ‘the monster’. It sits quietly under a dust sheet, the carcass of an Oak desk, it has legs and a top but, alas, no drawers as yet. These I must start to make, today. Four drawers, identical in size, all must fit exactly and even a small error can create havoc. 24, three pin dovetail joints, eight housed tenons, 12 channels for the draw bottoms. All square, all straight, all exact fitting, all by hand – not a machine in sight. I have high expectations of the colourful language department today; and, look forward to creating some inventive invective as the day wears on. Aye all to play for – but, the dogs are on the alert – the kitchen is all mine.

Toot toot.

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#SBG 21/05/17

I wonder if Shakespeare’s Gertrude would say as much of the Hi-Viz Hood? He has so completely and faithfully slipped into the Dolan mould, effortlessly aping the Uriah Heep of air accident investigation so seamlessly, it feels as though Dolan never left.

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“Gertrude*1 says that Player Queen affirms so much as to lose credibility. Her vows are too elaborate, too artful, too insistent”. Rings true don’t it?

There was, in the beginning a modicum of sympathy for Hood when he began signing the outlandish Chambers edicts and acceding to the outrageous demands of McComick during the rape of Airtex. Various ‘connected’ folk swore he was a good chap, doing the best he could for those across the gun barrel; not so, as it turned out. The next star role was with the Pel-Air scandal; where time and FOI returns have shown, quite unequivocally Hood was a ‘willing accomplice’ at least until the writing on the wall became clear and Farq-u-Hardson had to do ‘the signing’. Hood has been back pedalling ever since, trying to retrieve some credibility. Yet with duplicity proven, hock deep in the Pel-Air mire, the same is now the #1 man in charge of the people who must write the second Pel-Air report, of which he will play an influential, major role in it's approval (not right). Does he have a perceived conflict of interest? No he does not; there is no ‘perceived’ about the massive elephant in the room. The minister who signed off on this appointment needs to be unceremoniously fired as a prelude to the Hood resignation.

How can a honest politician support such a conflict and allow the same man to run the outfit which should be questioning the part played in deceiving the ATSB and the Parliament?  How dare Hood deny a legitimate FOI request from a DIP. The puling responses on the 370 episode, published on the risible ‘correcting the record’ blog will not hide the facts. Second the motion for the Hood resignation; just for being unqualified and crap at the job , if for naught else. Aye, enough –I refer you to the lengthy, but worthwhile P2 summary.

One of the more famous lagoons, deep within in the Sleepy Hollow morass is the ASA holiday money hideaway, the Slush-fund Wallow.

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There, under golden beach umbrellas, the unspeakable come to recline on golden sands, soaking up the golden sunshine while quietly smirking at each other; sharing ‘in’ jokes with the ‘match fit’.

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"How BIG??"    "Are they really that big? " asks O'Sullivan - "Oh yes"  the answer (taken on notice)..

Smugly contemptuous of those who are galley slaves and underpaid minions. No one swims in Slush-fund Wallow; for ‘the secrets’ are kept deep within those murky waters, protected by all manner of terrifying beasts. Even the ASA top dogs dare not swim in those waters; for the creatures kept there are on loan from a much higher order of pleasure seekers. Those highly favoured may paddle along the edges, but no further in than knee deep. The protectors of secrets are ferocious and ruthless in their tasks. Not only do they protect Pandora’s box, but the goose which lays those golden eggs: and, ‘other’ unsavoury things. Things which must not be seen in the honest light of day.

Not too much else of note: CASA continue to stumble along, trying to out drone the drones without actually doing anything. There is a little flicker of light shining under the ASRR reform ‘coffin’ but that may be a mirage; a  phantom light reflected from the highly polished mirrors being prepared for the great smoke and mirrors show heralding the announcement of a new CASA boss. A new title is recommended, that and an amendment to the Enforcement manual to reflect the signature of the latest incumbent. Just so we know who, exactly, is authorising legal embuggerance – this go around.  

Been a funny week; disjointed and piecemeal with some strange publicized articles emerging from left field. Hard to know if it is all part of a consolidated campaign or random ‘wind’, time will tell the tale. Of course Estimates is scheduled for next week, the program curiously intriguing.

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Never know, not for sure, what Estimates will shine a light on; if they can ever find the light switch. They’ve not had much luck with that so far.

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That’s it, except to heartily endorse the BRB ‘thank you and well done’ to the ABC for their efforts and follow up on the important tale of Karen Casey (legend) and the Norfolk Island ditching. Bravo 4 Corners, thank you ABC reporters, editors and producers.

Toot toot.

Notes *1. – “By "protest," Gertrude doesn't mean "object" or "deny"—these meanings postdate Hamlet. The principal meaning of "protest" in Shakespeare's day was "vow" or "declare solemnly," a meaning preserved in our use of "protestation." When we smugly declare that "the lady doth protest too much," we almost always mean that the lady objects so much as to lose credibility. Gertrude says that Player Queen affirms so much as to lose credibility. Her vows are too elaborate, too artful, too insistent.”


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* 3 Good to see our resident graffiti artist has not lost his touch

Of tongues, tied, forked and of sinister aspect.

"For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, who art as black as hell, as dark as night."

What caused this consternation, this seemingly endless wrangle between industry and ‘regulator’, with the Senators in the middle trying to make sense of it all? I am certain we all have things we’d rather be doing than raking through the in’s, outs and wherefores of the dreadful mess the management and administration of aviation has become.  

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Glossolalia or speaking in tongues, according to linguists, is the fluid vocalizing of speech-like syllables that lack any readily comprehended meaning, in some cases as part of religious practice in which it is believed to be a divine language unknown to the speaker.

Mini ramble: In my own, small, rudimentary way I try to understand why it so; most assiduously. Regrettably, I have a pragmatic, straightforward mind well suited to practical tasks; to me a joint is ‘square’ or it ain’t; am I visual and may land or I ain’t therefore plan B – no hesitation. Never seem to have the luxury of prevarication or ‘quibbling’ ; except in the pub, where one has the luxury of time and no consequence. There, a flight of fancy may be supported or ridiculed; easily forgotten with no rancour, damage or public cost the next day. This is not the case with our ‘agencies’. Senate Estimates is not the pub; or the think tank or some theme park for the witless. It is, I’m led to believe the highest court in the land. But Estimates is not a lawyers playground; no place to be tinkering with fine definition, or positioning for appeal, or depending on some esoteric notion which cannot be either proven or the converse. I realise I’m rambling, but serious questions and significant public money are involved in the process, the consequences – long term, have proven to have dire results. Why then, after all the time and money involved are we no better off – certainly poorer – than when we started.

I have watched every second of the last Hansard video recordings and diligently ploughed through the written version; my initial reaction – WTF is going on and more importantly why?

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Lookit – the AMSA breeze in, answer questions in a straightforward manner, admit the errors, show the corrections and just get on with doing what they paid to do. No inquires; no peer reports, no ministerial investigations, no outraged industry, no questionable reports, no audits, etc. They simply provide a function of government which works. Yes, there will be the disgruntled, the disenchanted and the odd aberration; they cannot possibly be all things to all men. Yet they seem to manage their end of the deal with panache, common sense, decency, probity, responsibly and without too much public fuss. So why is it ASA, ATSB and CASA are permanently ‘in the gun’?

Reference: Shame or fame for Chester? #273

P2 has, once again, done us proud, all the ‘vision’ if not that splendid, has been provided, supported by Hansard. There is a lot – a serious lot – of ‘stuff’ to wade through; all important. The BRB cried off ‘tuther evening – need another indaba – when the information has been given the time it requires; it does need some time to consider. It all depends of course on your point of view, bias, prejudice and credibility tolerance quotient.

So with your indulgence, even without it, this Sunday Brunch Gazette will pass the parcel back to the reader. The links below will take you to the video recordings of the last Estimates to make of them what you will. IMO the Senators have decided enough is enough and intend to get matters aeronautical sorted – once and for all. They may yet do it. I say, if this Senate crew can’t hammer out the truth and lay the foundations for the future; then it cannot be done; not in my life time, at least.

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Not to worry though, the ASA monkey in the dreadful suit has been told 'go away', the organ grinders are now invited to explain; the Senators growing tired of the monkey’s antics. The acting boss – CASA – allowed his rabid beast off the leash for a few moments, terrifying the children providing a heaven sent excuse to be rid of it – forever. The ATSB troops are making a monkey of their newly appointed organ grinder, determined to be shot of their antic role.

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All there, the grand circus. Handing over.


Aside - The desk of a budding genius is complete, finished and polished. There are a few ‘internal’ errors which a little ‘artistic’ sleight of hand and deft chisel work have I fudged to deceive the eye of a close (expert – P7) observer. I am not ashamed of those small deceptions; they add to the charm. Much rather have not made ‘em; however, the end product is most satisfactory and will outlast not only myself, but the budding genius and her children. I enjoyed the making of it, but not half so much as the smiles it will produce. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes that is reward enough, for a reasonable man.
Of Rhetoric, rectitude and reform.

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“Rhetoric, it seems, is a producer of persuasion for belief, not for instruction in the matter of right and wrong … And so the rhetorician's business is not to instruct a law court or a public meeting in matters of right and wrong, but only to make them believe.”

Have you ever noticed just how bloody good we are at rhetoric in Australia. Not only is it a widely practiced art-form; it seems to be a prerequisite skill for any government job. It has many colloquial names; ‘credible deniability’ for one; ‘spin’ another. I prefer the tried and tested Anglo Saxon – Bollocks. Golly our politicians and bureaucrats are good at it; world class. Never before has so much been said, by so many, signifying nothing.  This of course is expected of the politicians, who’s sole interest is playing the game and getting re-elected. If you can stomach it, listen to parliament; question time is an easy one. There is little spoken of which is of any practical or intrinsic value to ‘the nation’. Most of it is for the benefit of ‘party’ and position, none of which leaves the average bloke any wiser or wealthier.


Aviation in Australia is in a hell of a state; apart from a handful of statesmen in the Senate; those who have, through direct contact with industry, come to realise what a ducking mess it all is, there is, in reality, no one out side the industry who gives a fundamental flying duck about it. I note the Kiwi’s (bless ‘em) have not only a thriving aviation industry but have managed to support, develop and complete a space launch program.

Australia has been talking about this for years and years. Do we get a space program; nope, but we got ‘drones’ and Part 61.  

Is this a topic for debate in parliament – No it is not.

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Airvan 10 - This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and persistent dreaming on behalf of the entire GippsAero team, and it's a credit to the skills and ingenuity of Australia's aviation workforce. I flew this aeroplane several weeks ago, and I can tell you it is a remarkable machine that is the ideal utility for just about every operation you can think of. Much more about that is in the July-August print issue of (Hitch) - Australian Flying.

Was there a minister and press crew to make a headline of the Airvan 10 certification? No, there was not. GA must be congratulated, despite the serious number of hoops jumped through; they have managed to get it done. Not even a line on page three, let alone a grant and government assistance to develop and market the aircraft. Disgraceful.

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Yet we can easily find 2.5 millions to teach public servants the noble art of ducking Senate questions at Estimates.  I reckon that amount spent in Gippsland would have helped boost our exports.

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Even the very airports aviation needs to do business are no longer threatened; they are under a full on invasion. Not only is this invasion approved by government agencies; but the real danger to the public is being treated to a wonderful choral version of ‘not our responsibility’, the minister not only conducting, but leading the choir in a rousing chorus of “Ain’t we grand’. Pathetic.

The rot does start at the top though – the search for MH 370 has been a Tony Abbott drum since day #1.

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Abbott has been consistent and I believe honest in his support for finding the aircraft and establishing the cause of the tragedy. The increased need for ‘rhetoric’ and to be seen as doing something has reached the point where the PM (Turnbull) has actually had to have his minions find him something to say. I doubt he even knows or cares about the real need to find this aircraft; but he claims to mention the release of data with his Malaysian cohorts at every opportunity.

Higgens - The Prime Minister’s revelation that he has repeatedly raised the issue with his Malaysian counterpart also follows renewed activism among relatives of the Australian, Chinese and other victims¬ who disappeared with the plane when it went down more than three years ago. 'The Australian'.

Mr Turnbull said he had ¬made representations in the interest of the families of the six Australians on board, with his spokesman saying “the Prime Minister raises this issue with his Malaysian counterpart every time they speak”.

Now this is classed as Bollocks; there is a very real ‘red face’ for Australia in this fiasco; the ATSB refusal to released data adding further to the speculation of a cover up on a grand scale. Australia lost all credibility the moment AMSA were dumped and Dolan took the reigns. Now the Hi-Viz Hood must earn his corn and continue the crooked party line. Refusal to release 'data' under FOI now has Prime Minister support - WHY?

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Yet, despite the abysmal disinterest of the government and it’s agencies, the industry keeps on keeping on. Take the AAAA as an example; under the leadership of Phil Hurst, the Aerial Application crowd have gone from strength to strength; gaining relative independence from the toils of ‘the regulator’ and using collective expertise, they are showing other industry bodies the way to get things done. It is a fine example of how industry experience and expertise help guide the hapless regulator to making sensible decisions. Highlight of the week for me. Bravo AAAA, well done Phil and the crew.

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I could, I suppose, rattle on about the Barmy-Baby performance; or, the lack of any from Darren-6D; or the endless merry go round of regulatory reform; or, the new version of lip service to the Forsyth report. The AP boards have many interesting takes from this past week; the shuffling of feet, the ducking, the weaving, the pony-pooh and the distancing from association with any major topic – like the blessed ‘drones’. But enough: I shall leave there and leave it to the reader to make what they will of the Hi-Viz Hood poncing about in his ‘safety gear’ at yet another fatal crash site.

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Apart from providing the BRB a great deal of ribald commentary – can anyone explain why – without delving deep into physiological anomalies? Perhaps the ‘courage bracelet around his Willy is too tight – we’ll never know.

There’s a line by Milton which Darren 6D could ask one of his ‘aides’ to translate into small words; not that it would make a skerrick of difference; but, at least I tried.

“But wherefore thou alone? Wherefore with thee Came not all hell broke loose?”

Aye well; best clean up around here before all hell does break loose (domestic tyranny); then I shall take dogs and eagle out to play. I am seriously impressed at how quickly they have developed an understanding of each other; not a ‘bond’ as yet, so much as acceptance and understanding. I watch in wonder the bird at work and play; airborne. Man has a considerable amount of work to do to build a drone to match her grace as she effortlessly executes a canceleer. I am in awe.


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#SBG: 11 June '17

Of all the gin joints, of all the towns in all the world.

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Opening gambits. “In all openings there is a struggle for key territory, in particular the centre squares, and an effort to deploy pieces and pawns in useful positions. Some are direct, while others are more subtle and indirect approaches toward these goals.”  Wheeler.

Well; seems our minister for transport has finally managed to get his ‘pawns’ into ‘useful’ positions; the opening gambit has been an agonizingly slow process; due to the need for endless consultation with ‘advisors’. The time taken to position his pieces, has, more through ennui than concern for strategy; almost lulled the opposition into a somnambulant state; almost.

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One of the great things about chess is the onus of responsibility for future actions. One cannot blame a Rook if a Bishop claims it; no more than a Queen can be held accountable for the demise of a knight. They were moved as you dictated; their demise entirely of your own making and lack of foresight; you never loose at chess, you always get beaten by your own machinations, lack of imagination or an inability to see the others game. Unless of course the opposition spots your game  and moves to counter it through superior development. Later of course, when relaxing in the hairdressers, enjoying a well earned pedicure; there may be a moment when the thought “WTF - was I thinking?” emerges. That, is when the questions unanswered surface and the relaxation terminates.

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6D - "So that's what it feels like...!!"

You see, our hapless, witless, Darren-6D has arrived at the point where his reading of the game is in serious doubt; his pawn play has not quite developed the results expected; in fact, he is, to the close observer ‘in deep do-do’. The longer he stays in denial of the evidence in front of him, the more at risk his Queen becomes. He attempted to sacrifice his King early in the game (Red faced King for 6D) thinking there was an advantage to be had through the move; alas.

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The Knights and Bishops were well positioned to support the King so the sacrifice manoeuvre was not quite the success hoped for. In fact it placed his whole game plan at hazard. Looking now at the board, as it stands his position is almost untenable. There is a confused area in the middle board which, if he don’t untangle tout de suit (the tooter the sweeter) will; as the game progresses, undermine and eventually collapse the entire strategy.

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The miniscule’s last move came on the very last tick of the time clock; he has brought the Queens castle into the game; in the guise of a newly anointed director of aviation safety (silly name) or; boss CASA, the erstwhile Carmody. The popular ‘Australian Flying’ magazine asset ‘Hitch’ has penned another balanced, sensible comment on this appointment which is worth the time to read. Indeed, the article should, if matters aeronautical were ‘normal’, mark the end of the topic. Regrettably, this is not the case.

We, (BRB and IOS) have for a while now studied the Carmody ‘style’, listened to his words and noted the actions taken. Senate estimates is not a bad place to start; you get the sense of a dyed in the wool ‘ministry man’ speaking with his master’s voice; you note the hardened bureaucratic corners and the immediate retreat into ‘departmental’ deep cover when the game heats up a little. Argumentative in defence of his own department; unable to respond outside of the brief when that is challenged. In short, this is not a reformer. This is a safe pair of hands, covering the ministerial rump which will not rock the boat. Don’t forget they claim to have ‘scoured the world’ to find a suitable man to fill the role; and of all the men, in all the world, they only had to look two doors down the corridor to find Carmody. Well, believe it if you like; then give me a call, I’ve a bridge for sale you may be interested in buying.

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We could, at a pinch, tolerate this if things were not in such a bloody dreadful state. We could even feel comfortable with the selection if there was tangible, credible evidence that the 60 odd recommendations made, demanding  reform of CASA were taking place; albeit at a cart horse speed. We could even smile occasionally if we thought that ‘real’ safety was being pursued through the system. You could even take a safe bet that there would be a celebration if some of the known ‘evil’ in garden was being weeded out. I regret, non of this is likely to happen.

Carmody has clearly demonstrated, through his now infamous ‘Duck-off’ responses to various, serious matters where he stands on the deep reasons for industry outrage. The notion of turning over a new page and starting again cannot erase that which was written.  

There are other tell-tale signs that there will be no real reform of the regulator. That aside there are even more alarming signs that there will be no ‘change in approach’ to some very serious issues. As the ‘ministers man’ Carmody must find solutions to the questions which beset his masters.

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One of the most onerous and sinister hardly rates a mention anywhere this week; with your indulgence and patience, let me direct you to a recent case brought to the AAT; the tale of Wotherspoon v CASA. At first glance – it is a ‘so-what’ story. The underlying aberrations typify one of the major reasons for the demanded reform of the regulator. This was not a ‘safety case’ it was an example of CASA muscle flexing, for all the wrong reasons, to achieve absolutely no benefit to anyone; a gross misuse of system and power to achieve nothing that could not be settled over a coffee, by men of good will.  

Carmody must now try to remove his minister from the spotlight shining on the buildings encroaching on operational runways and the very real, significant risk to the shopping public that entails.

The almost farcical passing of all responsibility, denial of involvement and attempts to convince the SE committee that runway end obstacle clear surfaces are akin to public safety zones would be hilarious; if it were not so real and bloody dangerous. Carmody is up to his hocks in that and, through the Estimates Hansard, proven to be part of the problem. Airports = developers green fields in Mrdak speak.

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Rampant airport development puts thousands in danger: planning ...

The ministerial drone  is beset by plastic ‘drones’ and Carmody must also resolve that problem; much as he would like to deny that CASA have any sort of role to play. You know, they rolled the dice when they allowed, without protest, the building of the DFO at Essendon, nothing was said when Archerfield was seriously embuggered; even less is being said of the travesty at Bankstown. “Not our responsibility” they say, “we only advise”, while believing that an aircraft will never collide with a building ‘close in’. Well boys and girls one did, with fatal results. Is the Carmody CASA now taking steps to eradicate the 'drone' risk; or, looking for ways to duck the fallout when trumps turn to shite? You all know the answer to that question as well as I do. For the removal of any doubt; start HERE.

Carmody has a full plate of ‘other’ interesting matters which demand his attention; the small matter of the ASRR, the insignificant CVD issue, the part 61 shambles, the CAO 48.1 row, cleaning out the snake pit sociopaths;  all of this before breakfast and golf, followed by lunch and the Pel-Air report landing with a splash, on a desk near him in the near future. Do you see the waste of time and money preceding the Carmody appointment? Had the ‘reform’ process been instituted after the ASRR was published; there would be an almost perfect defence against the Pel-Air scandal. The layers of smoke and dazzle of mirrors may well fool the village idiot; or a minister, but not the real world. Not only was there never any intention of implementing the ASRR recommendations; there was an active effort made to make sure that the power base Carmody has inherited remained not only intact and immutable; but better protected.

This hapless minister needs to disavow, immediately, the notion that Mrdak, the department, Carmody or Aleck are there to keep him squeaky clean. They will, without any hesitation, throw him under the first bus which challenges the status quo. Ask John Sharp, he'll tell you - that and more.

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“ Nations thus tempted to interfere are not always able to resist the counsels of seeming expediency and ungenerous ambition, although measures adopted under such influences seldom fail to be unfortunate and injurious to those adopting them”. Lincoln.

That's it; to mention the shambles at ASA or consider the expense of pointless appearances of the Hi-Viz Hood at every bloody accident, getting under the IIC feet, seems to be one step beyond the sublime. This minister is in serious trouble; one has to wonder if taking a knife to a gun fight is really a sound policy? Mind you, he is unlikely to attend anyway - preferring the safe havens of the hairdressing saloons, surrounded by acolytes and such.

Enough: a new bench for the potting shed is required; there is no viable escape. Picks up tool box, whistles up dogs and trudges down the garden path to the 4x2 and 8x1 awaiting saw, plane, mallet and chisel. Mortise and tenon practice - lots of.

Toot - toot.
A most satisfactory Sunday afternoon.

Took a chance today; paid the ‘lad’ a visit; just on spec. Easy to find, down the garden path, left hand down for the potting shed, not right to the stable (domestic tyranny), the unmistakable, lazy, easy sound of a 136 year old ‘rip –saw’ taking down a wide board; I wish I had a dollar for every mile of timber that veteran has cut. Haven’t got the patience to ‘sharpen’ myself; “K” makes it look simple, one stroke with a file and the chisel edge tooth is razor sharp again. I had come prepared; I liberated a brown bottle and took the top off; lifting a second – to the shake of a head. Sharp tools and beer don’t really mix that well; “I’ll wait a bit” say he ‘thanks’. So we waited; chatting spasmodically while 24 Tenon’s were cut, 24 mortises were chopped; the frame assembled, not nail or a screw in sight; rock solid. So, we sat on the thing; I opened his bottle and we sat a spell, the floor covered in sawdust, shavings and ‘chips’, the shed redolent in the smells of freshly cut timer. “Job’s done” say’s he. “Done right” says I.

Oh, there is a point; humour me. One man can get things done ‘right’. The need for a new bench was clearly identified, modifications were required, discussed and finalised. Lumber was ordered, the tools were made efficient and available, the plan clear and understood. One solid day of hard work provided the end result. A little sweat, not much blood and very little in the way bad language (considering) produced the desired outcome; a rock solid, well constructed improvement, which will be of benefit.

Do you see how easy it could be for ASA, ATSB and CASA to simply ‘get it done’. No bullshit, no ducking, no weaving, no power play, no ego and importantly no reneging on promises made. Just roll up the sleeves and get on with it. If they need tools, we can lend them; if they need lumber we can find it; if they need some heavy lifting done we can assist; all they need is the discipline to realise that a job needs doing and set about it with a good heart. Hells bells, we even have the talent within the industry to make certain that what they do is rock solid, of both benefit and value. So? Why are they ducking around, pretending they can’t do it; or looking for reasons not to do it. They really don’t want to do it, that’s why.

I, for one, would like to know why they eschew gainful, satisfactory employment; preferring to hide from task. “They can’t mucking well can’t do it” says “K” as he heads for the stable, the fire place, the dogs and an ale – “but they dare not admit that”.

Out of the mouths of babes and suckling’s eh?

A calloused hand offers a glass full of amber promise, the fire crackles, the dogs settle down, the tools reflect stolen glimpses of fire light, clean, oiled and well satisfied with a days work – well done. Cheers and good night.
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A cluster of ducks.

Def: ‘Re’ – money down the drain.

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me."

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The ‘Iron Re’ can’t all be ineffectual, intellectually conflicted, incompetents; can it? It ain’t mathematically possible Shirley. I have met some X-Re’s who were first class; but bloody happy to be out of the Sleepy Hollow swamp. I wonder what an ‘exit interview’ review would produce, if the non disclosure and confidentiality clauses were set aside; a fine tale for a winters night is my bet. There is something seriously, fundamentally ‘rotten’ within the department satellites, aviation wise. Yet AMSA with a similar remit and system seem to manage, quite well, to keep their skirts out of the horse pooh and set an example how things should be. There are not a lot of ‘re’s’ on their copy books, few blots and not a great deal of ‘inquiry’ into the way they conduct matters maritime. They face scrutiny, get asked difficult questions and are asked to explain stuff about ‘what’ they do; but not ‘how’ they do it. 

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The aviation agencies just seem to stumble from crisis to crisis; inquiry to inquiry, investigation to investigation, report to report, review to review, rewrite to rewrite - without even a hint of apology or re – form. Valid question P2. Even more valid is how much has all this ‘re’ cost? I reckon the PM would donate his left one to charity for that amount of squandered hard cash on hand. We are talking billions here.

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I expect we could live with the expenditure if it had provided a world leading system, paving the way for the country to meet the challenges of the future and served the needs of a dynamic industry – alas. For many of the BRB the ‘money’ cost is not the biggest item on the  ticket. Airports and infrastructure rate high on the anger scale; what has been sanctioned and allowed to by pass any form of safety net is disgraceful.

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The recent fatal crash of a King Air at Essendon airport has highlighted some fairly serious safety issues. Safety of the general public and aircraft operations. A reasonable man could expect a massive, positive reaction from our safety agencies to the event; well folks, we got a reaction alright. Instant, holistic denial of not only the risks but of the responsibility; across the board, each department passing the parcel around. Mr Pea Body has provided some pictorial evidence (Pigs arse 3 and 4) which is damning.

The Estimates committee have asked questions which produced some of the most ingenious obfuscating ever uttered; the DoIT in flat denial and the ATSB far too busy, being 'busy' - trying not to rock the big boys boat and hiding behind the ‘investigation’. It is bad enough that that any and all ‘responsibility’ is denied, but where there is a deliberate muddying of the waters, it is time to call a halt. Much depends on RRAT committee, no pressure, but if this Senate crew can’t start to turn things around, then the need for elections is over – the bureaucrats are running the show.

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Looks like the SE committee have turned the heat up under the ASA pot another notch. Many believe the Senators know exactly where the bodies are buried and are now gathering the evidence required for conviction; this, will be worth watching as it unfolds.

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Not that the MSM will pay it the attention it merits, too many reasons not to.  “Delicious scandal boss; corruption, huge sums of money, sex, booze, drugs, dodgy deals, top floor involved, everything; there’s a prize in this story”. –  Ed. “Sorry Son, spike it, we’ve been asked to play this one down – top floor and legal involved, just leave it and go and cover the dog show”.

It was P2 who first spotted the ‘deficit’ in the ASA log of FOI. AP does not mind when he gets the odd juicy bone; but dreads having to take it off him. Seems our Estimate committee are of the same water.

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The ASA have sent Halfwit in to try and talk ‘em to death, hoping they’ll let go of their end. Someone, tell him – he’s dreaming’.

The drone wars saga is getting interesting, show casing several departments caught with their pants down, which is neither unusual or particularly novel. The way in which our Senators are using the leverage provided to open several cans of worms is of great interest. The session with Civil Air (ATCO’s association) was noteworthy – you could not see the smiles, but they were there; nicely done CA. Bravo. (Wait for Hansard – all will become clear).

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For those who have neither time nor patience to follow the stories unfolding, but prefer a ‘nutshell’ example of just how bloody hopeless the agencies really are; those responsible to the minister, responsible to the general public for their safety and security, read this small article from Australian Flying – penned by Hitch. A classic and the drop dead truth. Don’t say ‘unbelievable’ - just read it and try not to burst into tears of frustration or hysterical laughter. ASIC ‘re’ badged to Isic – I sick of it.

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The Last Minute Hitch: 16 July 2017
16 Jun 2017
There's revolution in the air, AAHOF gets a home, Bankstown and Camden are on the FOWSA map and the Wings Awards deadline looms. Read more

Two more for then pot then: RE form the bloody Regulator. Shameless O’Comedy is not the right man to do that; for a start he can’t speak the language, understanding only ministerial expediency and bureaucratic obfuscation. After the reform of the regulator – by all means bring in a mandarin, but only when the CASA board is useful, the department productive and honest and the wilfully destroyed bridges between industry and government have been repaired, declared serviceable and returned to design function.

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Aye well, there never was much hope that things would improve – not for real, even less now if the aviation community is so inured of the BOHICA mind set and continues to assume the position to accommodate, rather than telling ‘em to bugger off, there will be less chance again.

No matter; there is, hiding under a dust sheet in my stable a rather lovely, very old, much abused wardrobe. It must be 150 at least, the challenge is to restore it to ‘original’ condition, as it came the cabinet maker. First, it must be disassembled, it’s always fascinating to look at the saw kerf left by a craftsman on a joint that last saw daylight a century and a half ago; you can actually tell if it was an apprentice, journey man or master who made the cuts. Lost skills, redundant now – the lock on the door was even made by hand – can’t wait meet the shades of the men who made such things.    

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The poem; ‘An Irish Airman Forsees his death’ by the laureate Yeats is worth the time – as is the entire “the Wild Swans at Coole” collection. There were men of our line who would relate to every sentiment expressed, moreover, they would understand, completely, the messages. Anyway – FWIW, the whole thing:-  

I know that I shall meet my fate,
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind

In balance with this life, this death.
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Of Mushrooms and Mandarins.

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I’d reckon nearly everyone who flies any sort of aircraft has had the experience of being somewhere ‘social’ – BBQ – for example and being cornered by a ‘concerned’ person. You know the script – and the many variations of same. Part of the ‘job’ is to allay, as best you may, those ‘fears’; simple explanations of ‘technical’ matters to a lay person ain’t always easy, but we try. One of the problems you face, when ‘explaining’ a thing to a stranger is that you have no prior knowledge of their ‘knowledge’ or understanding of the subject. Now, lots of folk ain’t mushrooms and, the majority of folk have a ‘pony-pooh’ meter and can tell when they are being kept in the dark and fed same.  So it's best to stick close to the truth.

The Senators comments, highlighted toward the end of the - P2 Post - serve well to illustrate the point of this ramble.

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In primus; as mentioned, Carmody is the new face of Dorian Grey; however, the old, bedevilled painting still exists. Much as Darren 6D would like to convince the Senators that the new, manicured, massaged, carefully coiffured visage, the ministerial version DAS is not a revamped Dorian grey; it ain’t going to happen. I suspect the Senators are fully aware that the DAS ‘selection’ was an expensive masquerade. There is, by the way, a large shout for the SE committee to ‘interview’ the rejected, insulted ‘candidates’ for the position – it would be an interesting exercise.

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Large, destructive fires mostly don’t start off that way, same as thunderstorms and hurricanes, they ‘build’; or dissipate, depending on a series of triggers. If one of the triggers is missing – it’s a non event; but if the conditions persist, then, there’s bother. The shit-storm building up around aviation related public and operational safety has been a long while building. There have been so many opportunities, over the past three decades to remove several key triggers wasted, it beggars the imagination. The ASRR was a classic example; not everything desired was mentioned, indeed, it was a very light weight document which; intelligently and honestly applied would have taken some of the heat out of the equation and removed some key triggers - alas.

The compound interest on insults and sleights delivered to a very ‘savvy’, well advised and experienced Senate committee is mounting. Carmody kicked off with a good credit rating and the gifts of latitude and time to repair not only the bridges, but the Estimates crew’s confidence. It took he and his minister what, two Estimates hearings to not only destroy that advantage but reinforce the combative stance previously adopted. Insult to injury was added.

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Well Carmody has screwed the Senate pooch now; well and truly. The Carmody ‘attitude’ may work with a creature like 6D, it may even impress the miniscule’s adoring inner circle – but it cuts no ice with the Senate crew. They can read; and, even write, using joined up letters and everything.  Some of ‘em even know a thing or two about ‘matters aeronautical’; and, everyone one of ‘em has contact with folks who know a hell of a lot more, to explain that which puzzles ‘em. So bluff, bombast and baffling with scientific bullshit won’t work. The Carmody error score is mounting – daily.

Help CASA help you by completing this short survey about our customer service delivery. [url=][/url]

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A familiar pattern is emerging; the CASA customer service survey for example completely ignores every single bone of contention; Part 61, Part 135; CAO 48.1, and many other, significant items with which CASA customers are not bloody well happy; it is a long list. But the survey will be used to foster and promote the notion that all is well; this will be supported by the BITRE soft soap and the whole package, from the smooth Carmody, to the bogged up ‘results’ will be touted as industry satisfaction. Bollocks.

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Darren 6D and his glove puppet, marinating in self deception, are ignoring, at their peril not only several large warning signs, but their ‘true’ position. For a start – the ‘man-in-the-street’ could not give a monkey’s about the tinsel and window dressing; ask one, you’ll get a blank look. Which leaves only a fed up industry of professionals who deal on a daily basis with the shambolic system and the educated Senators – and they won’t hear a bar of the soft, sweet music being piped into the aviation waiting room. Then, one must consider the adding of gross insult to injury to those who are actually involved. There are other prime examples of this; but, for the sake of brevity, let’s just consider Glenn Sterle and Barry O’Sullivan for this exercise.

Both men are intelligent, astute and wise in the wicked ways of the world. Sterle for example may not understand a ‘technical’ detail, but a lucid, straight forward, short explanation will be understood and once the basics are in place, the man can work out the subtleties all by himself and take an argument to a very logical conclusion. You’d be brave and stupid to try and bullshit your way out of a question he asked. He may not know the immediate answer but can spot a fairy story at 100 yards and smell pony-pooh at a mile. O’Sullivan is all of those things, but has a deeper understanding of aviation safety, a coppers steel trap mind and a highly experienced, finely tuned bullshit meter. They are just two of the Senate panel; when you start to add the inestimable Fawcett, the inimitable Xenophon, Gallacher, Black etc. to the mix a careful man would think twice before trying to sell ‘em snake oil; and, at least three times before insulting them. Yet the brand new Mrdak appointee believes he and his crew can do this, with impunity.

Drones are a bit of a hot topic at the moment; there will never, ever be a better example of the CASA ‘method’ for dealing with matters aeronautical. The topic provides a perfect snapshot of the arrogance, belligerence and ‘don’t give a duck’ while covering their collective shiny arses.

Two examples; one to demonstrate the ‘madness’.

One to demonstrate the CASA willingness to tell a Senate committee to shove down the by-pass.

The Senate crew were ‘not amused’ by Pel-Air, they were insulted then; but this latest round of denigration, kicked off by the new DAS and his troops beats the band. Perhaps it’s time for a Senate inquiry into the selection process; backed up by some new legislation. Get the lid of this tin of snakes. What the hell is Carmody thinking with?

Aye, some would think Carmody and crew brave; but not I, nor anyone else I know; Disgusting is a commonly expressed opinion; along with some choice expletives.

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~ ~ ~ ~

FWIW - Seems my ‘Armoire’ restoration is becoming a trip back in time – to Morocco – about 200 years ago. There were some ‘curious’ techniques noted during the dismantling which demanded research, still working through that, but it is, to me at least, fascinating to think of that journeyman cabinet maker, a resident of Morocco – trained by a French master, carefully gluing and clamping the panels together, finishing tidy by the light of an oil lamp. The sound of his bare feet on the sandy stone floor as he swept the bench, that final glance at the work, snuffing the lamp before heading off to the pub. Some jobs are worth doing properly.


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