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Old 1st Aug 2014, 20:28
  #1470 (permalink)  
Kharon
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 2,053
A tiger – by another tale...

Hear ye. hear ye – The Kangaroo court is now in session; draw near and be heard.

The piece below is extracted from a SMH article – HERE – and perfectly demonstrates exactly how naive the press is when it comes to dealing with matters aeronautical. The 'writer' even has the hide to ask "know more- contact Fairfax". Bloody Ada – this mutt has walked by a bloody good story, picked out the recognisable bits and left the real tale behind. Lets try and help young spotty the journalist (for wont of better).

The captain responsible for the March 3 Sydney to Perth flight was stood down after he reported the erroneous flight plan. He decided to load extra fuel and did not request a new flight plan because he risked missing the Sydney airport 10pm curfew.
Lesson one – the flight plan would not change, neither Sydney or Perth would have moved very far, nor would the air route selected. As Pilot in Command (PIC) the skipper is ultimately responsible (in law) for ensuring that sufficient fuel is loaded and a check for gross errors in the fuel plan is normal. It is a fairly simple matter to nut out how much is needed and ask the fuel truck to pump in some more. So far completely legal and responsible to the company; rather than delay and miss the curfew the skipper has exercised his command prerogative.
Shortly after reporting the flight plan error, the captain's medical certificate was suspended after an anonymous allegation was made to Tiger, Virgin Australia and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority accusing him of cocaine use.
Lesson two. Anonymous; allegation; accusing. Ask the next officer that pulls you up for a RBT how the police would get on in court, for a DUI offence with that type of 'evidence' and could he suspend your licence against it. When he stops laughing, think about your pilot license and professional reputation. Yet without a skerrick proof, CASA 'suspend' the Tiger pilot's brief.
The captain, who is understood to strenuously deny the allegation, had three months earlier passed drug and alcohol tests.
Lesson 3. Guilty and needing to prove innocence through a difficult, expensive, time consuming, soul destroying process. A simple 'routine analysis' will not suffice; a visit to one of the very, very few specialists in Drug and Alcohol Dependency, a fellow of the RACP Chapter of Addiction Medicine (M.B. B.S FAChAM), who must meet the CASA nominated, unusual, extreme prerequisite formal qualifications to 'satisfy' the Avmed comfort prerequisite. This will, in all probability require quarterly blood tests or some other form of 'comfort' test provided to Avmed for a further 12, possibly 24 months, to be sure, to be sure. All of this against an unproven 'allegation'..

A CASA spokesman said it was standard procedure to suspend the medical certificate of any pilot accused of drug use until another drug test was conducted.
Lesson 4 - Bollocks – if the PIC had failed a random and a second test; then quite rightly based on evidence, the medical should be suspended. DAMP statistics alone show that 'real' positives are a very rare event; it seems the strike rate is much better - on the 'accusation' side of the ledger.

Tiger confirmed that the captain and his first officer were stood down after the Sydney to Perth flight. The airline said this was standard procedure to enable both to assist the investigations.
Lesson 5. What's this – both of them; on the Peruvian marching powder: or were they both accused of discussing the botched flight plan then exercising their right, under legal obligation to add the extra fuel required. Perhaps Tiger think the right thing to do would be delay the flight until new 'paper work' was generated, then refuel and then, just for fun, send the passengers to the nearest hotel due to curfew restrictions at Sydney.

The first officer has returned duties at Tigerair and the airline is understood to have asked the captain to return once he complies with CASA's requirements to reinstate his medical certificate.
Lesson 6 – see lesson 3, clearly the FO was not a dope fiend and not ultimately responsible for the safe dispatch of the flight nor it's timely arrival, before curfew in Sydney.

Attempts by the captain to find out the source of the drug allegation have been unsuccessful, with CASA refusing to disclose whether it was someone in Tigerair management or elsewhere responsible.
Lesson 7 – Not only an unnamed accuser, but denied the right to take civil action against 'someone' who has potentially destroyed a career, professional reputation and prospects of future promotion; not to mention a permanent black mark on the CASA ledger, which can and will be used at any future wrangle with the Regulator. Is this fair, reasonable or just? you know it ain't.

CASA has refused a freedom of information request lodged by the captain for all documents regarding the drug use allegations because it would involve an “unreasonable disclosure” of personal information about the source of the complaint.
Lesson 8 – Now insult is added to the injury of a man not yet proven guilty; there is a case where the FOI act was used to establish 'the facts' of an 'accusation'; the results are far from salutary and the picture which emerged was really, really ugly. Now that one was CASA doing the 'accusing' and those documents were released; so why are these documents being denied to the PIC.

CASA also said release of information could harm Tiger’s business affairs and affect its ability to enforce aviation safety laws.
Lesson 9 – This puerile excuse has never, ever prevented CASA putting the boot in, when it suited; CASA were quick enough last time Tiger was bullyragged, in public. I can't believe that they now have, all of sudden - 'come over all sensitive like'.

So there you go young Spotty, there is a real story out there. Why not do your own digging instead of plaintively asking "Do you know more"; get off your arse, your Pulitzer prize awaits.

Read more: Safety questions hit Tigerair

Apologies for a long post. it is shorter than I would have liked; but, only being a glorified bus driver, with the attention span of a well trained racing rabbit; I leave it up to you guys and girls to have a say.

Selah – and a pagans prayer in hope of continued sanity.

Last edited by Kharon; 1st Aug 2014 at 20:45.
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