Vale - Phil Astley
We lost one of the good guys today
From CASA SCC forum
Phil Astley passed away peacefully last night after a long battle with illness. Phil spent the last three months of his life in hospital, where he was visited by colleagues, including the Director of Aviation Safety John McCormick.
Following a long and distinguished career as a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force (where incidentally, as a wing commander, he was Greg Hood's boss in the Sinai Peace Keeping Force), Phil started with CASA in April 2001 in Flight Crew Licensing as a project officer.
Phil worked tirelessly on developing the competency standards and related training documents that saw Australia lead the world in implementing competency based training systems into flight crew licensing. He was also an active person handling inquiries and solving licensing problems on a day to day basis.
Some of Phil's major achievements included significant contributions to the Day VFR syllabus, the flight crew licensing Manual of Standards which covers the full suite of pilot qualifications from licences at all levels, ratings and endorsements, and for the full range of aircraft categories including helicopters, aeroplanes, gyroplanes and balloons. This is a major achievement in itself and has been referenced by regulators and trainers around the globe.
More recently, Phil had been the author of several significant Civil Aviation Advisory Publications on multi engine aeroplane training, single pilot human factors and threat and error management for general aviation training, night VFR operations, and aerobatics. Phil had also started a new CAAP on flying instructor rating training; a topic he has always been passionate about. Unfortunately, he was not able to complete the job but we will finish it off as a tribute to Phil's work.
While he seemed to be a laid back person, Phil was always passionate about training and standards. He engaged everyone on equal terms and that is why he was able to achieve agreement on the publications he produced; he worked with colleagues and a cross-section of industry members. Phil never stood on ceremony but quietly went about his business. His tenacity to keep pressing on and resilience to diversions are evident in his achievements.
Phil played an important role in significant developments in flight crew licensing and improving flight safety through enhancements to standards. He was always a proponent of education and training and will be remembered as a valuable servant of the country.
For his immediate work colleagues, Phil will be remembered as a friend and a person who always wanted to help and assist regardless of the issue at hand. And he applied that to whomever he was interacting with.
Phil was a legend - a life well lived and always with the interests of aviation safety at heart.