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Old 6th Aug 2014, 20:55
  #1540 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 2,053
Thinking out aloud. (Allowed?).

Once again I must ask forbearance; in my own small way I've been trying to get to the radical (root) cause of the Tiger scuffle, not the detritus floating on the surface, which you must, for a moment set aside; but the 'causal' elements.

I helped a bunch of 'clever lads' with a submission to the Truss WLR, (heavy lifting only) part of that involved looking at how various regulatory 'enforcement' practices impacted on safety outcomes. There is a shed load of argument to plough through and the majority of that combined wisdom differed, in varying degrees with our Australian methodology. ICAO, FAA and EASA have published 'advice' which; in short, says that enforcing absolute compliance with minimum standards is actually detrimental, in that so much effort goes into 'pedantic' interpretation and micro management that development of (for want of better) 'innovative' advanced safety thinking is stifled in some cases, actively discouraged in others.

Enforcing the regulatory 'minimum' standards through micro management attracts a certain type of mind, which is not necessarily helpfully 'creative'. The argument goes that if the 'regulator' prefers this type of mindset, the regulator will 'encourage' those who fit their cardboard cut-out (protected species) and discourage those who don't (moving targets).

Only a personal observation; but 'we' seem to have a growing population of this 'type' of mindset, which in it's desperate need for the power to enforce the minutiae of a 'regulation' will go to extreme lengths to curry favour and perpetuate, through any means possible the legend that they, and only they can keep the operation compliant, viable and properly operational. To ensure this, skill in plagiarism, smoke generation, mirror polishing and management backside cuddling are required. Once the 'power' is gained, the ego beast demands constant feeding. The ego beast prefers to eat anything that may be seen as competition or remotely combative. With the power to satisfy the increasing demand of the addiction, the need for fresh meat increases in proportion; this in combination with unlimited power creates an atmosphere fear, but also promotes rebellion. Rebellion usually begins 'underground' and initially starts with small acts of subversion. When these minor transgressions are ruthlessly stamped out, the seeds for real trouble are sown. This self perpetuating game amplifies, more subversive action, more ruthless action taken against.

The surface reasons for the crew in question taking 'independent' action are clear enough and the conscious reasons for them doing so are also clear; but I wonder. What subconscious reasons prompted a sane, competent crew to an overt breach of SOP. I also wonder how much animosity was involved in a ruthless determination to eradicate, so completely the PIC. A bonus is the sending of a clear message to those who dare look askance at some of 'management' edicts. Not healthy, not at all.

Being mauled by McComic did Tiger no favours, it could arguably be seen as detrimental to the safety culture. Management made paranoid, determined to maintain the AOC at any cost; management pilots using that fear to elicit power and the crews all having kittens, because the post flight paper-work was not quite correct.

There are grounds for a reasonable man to believe something is fundamentally very wrong within the Tiger operation. If that element can be identified, isolated and removed, the lid may just go back onto the box which contains all the usual crew grumbling and the operation returned to an open, comfortable place to work. Happy people make for great airlines; frightened unhappy people will either leave or stay on, nursing a festering anger. Not healthy, not all.

Anyway – only my thoughts, we can always go back to pretending this is all about a SOP being busted by a drug fiend and once he is dismissed all things in the garden will return to a state of rosy, black letter compliance.

I know, I know: shut up and back to my knitting, right.

Last edited by Kharon; 7th Aug 2014 at 05:52.
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