View Full Version : ATC Exaggerates NAS: AOPA

Capn Bloggs
20th Jan 2004, 06:34
Quoted from Australian Aviation Express (http://www.ausaviation.com.au/AAE/aaexpress.htm) (bottom of the page):

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has accused the Air Traffic Controllers Association (ATCA) of exaggerating incidents to push its claims that Australia's new airspace regulations are not working.

AOPA president Ron Lawford said the types of recent airspace breaches cited by the controllers union had occurred for years and were not a result of the new regulations.

"Incidents where light aircraft go into places where they should not be is again nothing new," Lawford said.

"There have been light aircraft that have gone straight through the Melbourne control zone and that has been occurring for the last 15 or 20 years."

He said the new regulations had brought a negligible increase in the risk of accidents.

"It may have increased but it is probably increased from one in every 200 years to one in every 100 years," he said.

"I do think that the air traffic controllers do seem to have a policy of beating up each incident as if it was a result of the airspace changes."

He said Australia's new airspace regulations were working, even if transponders in planes occasionally failed.

Lawford said the risk of an accident occurring in recent incidents would have been extremely low even if aircraft transponder did fail.

"It could very well be so but then the same thing applies to airline aircraft," he said.

"Transponders are not foolproof and it is quite possible to either put the switch in the wrong place or alternatively to have a particular function in the transponder not working when you think it is working."

With all due respect, Ron, surely being required to get a transponder check, and talking on the radio are a small price to pay to keep the midair collision rate at 1 in every 200 years instead of 1 in 100? Would you be happy for an A380 with 550 SOB to be brought down every 100 years by a lighty just because you and your mate Dick didn't want to talk on the radio?

And lastly, perhaps you could explain the problem with an airline transponder going on the blink or being selected incorrectly, given that there are full-radio procedures and other mitigators, like two crew scans AND checks, and a casll to Depatures at 900ft AGL, that prevent any major reduction in safety (unless that aircraft is operated in E airspace, when the TCAS becomes the ONLY mitigator...).

20th Jan 2004, 07:20
No wonder you AOPA idiots have no idea. You can't even accuse the right people. Who the F[_]ck is ATCA? Please for once do some research because you obviously have done none with NAS.

"Incidents where light aircraft go into places where they should not be is again nothing new," Lawford said No joking! The problem with NAS is 'serious incidents' occur due to NAS in areas where the aircraft should be through no fault of anything other than the system and your poor attempt at an education program.

Kaptin M
20th Jan 2004, 07:31
(AOPA president Ron Lawford) said the new regulations had brought a negligible increase in the risk of accidents.
"It may have increased but it is probably increased from one in every 200 years to one in every 100 years,"

By my reckoning, that's :mad: DOUBLE :mad: the number that occurred under the system it has replaced.

UNacceptable - regardless of guesstimated co$t saving!!

Four Seven Eleven
20th Jan 2004, 08:55
So Ron Lawford is:

a) Saying that a doubling of the risk is "negligible" (Based upon what calculation, by the way Mr Lawford?)
b) Saying that the Minister is not telling the truth when he says it is safer.

Ignoring the fact that the most serious incident so far (Launceston) occurred when every player was doing what they should have:
1) No VCA (VFR pilot entitled to be there.)
2) No transmissions by the VFR aircraft (because he was ‘educated, not to)
3) No chance of ATC being able to provide a service because he didn’t know about the Tobago
4) Despite one of the DJ crew looking and getting within 200FT and less than a mile, no ‘see and avoid’ opportunity.

To put it simply, the ‘one in a hundred’ incident was one circuit breaker away from happening, within less than a month of implementation.

Let’s face it – the system is less safe (AOPA acknowledges it, Dick Smith acknowledges that C is safer than E).

Let’s make it safe again. The time for political face-saving is over.

20th Jan 2004, 09:27
This bloke is 'helping' the AOPA cause?Incidents where light aircraft go into places where they should not be is again nothing new, So the system should be dumbed down to cater for these inept pilots?a policy of beating up each incident as if it was a result of the airspace changes So the LT incident wasn't a result of the airspace changes? Where are all those people who were crying for 'truth in the media'? Does this little piece of 'spin' warrant Civil Air, sorry, 'ATCA' coming out with a "you're all gonna die" press release? If it's good for the goose.........oh that's right, only one side of this debate is allowed to tell lies.even if transponders in planes occasionally failed. Good to see you acknowledging that NAS relies on transponders and TCAS. Shame the public doesn't realise what the increased risk means.

And all for what? Sooner or later AOPA will realise they were sold a lemon.

ps. They have an interesting way of preventing those pesky light aircraft being where they shouldn't over here. It involves SAMs. Problem solved. No 'airspace improvements' required.

The Baron
20th Jan 2004, 14:22
How do loonies like the AOPA end up with so much say in what happens in our working environment? Thank God they always have fools like Lawford, Munro and company to show them in their true light.
The lesson for all ATC, AIPA , AFAP, AFAA and other aviation bodies from all of this is get out there and lobby Canberra, get a strong concerted industry voice and choke these weeds out.

Pinky the pilot
20th Jan 2004, 16:04
I'm starting to get a distinct impression that the acronym AOPA really does mean what I was once told jokingly.
They really don't get it, do they?:confused:

You only live twice. Once when
you're born. Once when
you've looked death in the face.

20th Jan 2004, 18:06
Ron Lawford doesn't have the data to assert the amount of change in air collision risk.

Bloggs, Plazbot, 4711 etc. (posters here) do not have the data to assert this or otherwise.

DS and the ARG do not have the data to assert this either.

As has been alluded to on another thread, there has been no meaningful statistical analysis and comparison of types of aviation accidents, including MCAs, between Australia and USA under the "old" system and under the current and projected NAS. It has been apparently all guesswork, near enough is good enough and and beliefs. This is sad, because there are experienced and sophisticated folks in private industry and government who are adept at modelling scenarios and weighting raw data for variables such as traffic density, weather conditions, radar coverage, etc.

Why the AOPA board (please note, the board) needed to support it one way or another is beyond me as it makes vanishingly small difference to most GA flying apart from pushing up the cost and necessity of ERC-L's. They have enough to do (and have done well, BTW) with many of the other issues that need to be address. Drop NAS and concentrate on the other stuff - it really doesn't need to be AOPA's battle.

BTW, of the AOPA members that I do know, they seem to be fond of living, and are also concerned for the safety of friends and family that travel in the pressurised aluminium tubes.



PS A few ideas on safety - maybe, as a life is irreplaceable and priceless, we need to increase measures to make aviation safer:

Just for safety's sake, because some accidents can involve head injuries, why don't we make all pilots, passengers (and car passengers) wear helmets?

5 point harnesses definitely dissipate impact forces better than lap and lap/sash belts - lets make all restraints on all aircraft 5 point harnesses to be worn at all times.

As parachutes have been proved to save lives in cases of airframe break up, lets make all pilots and pax train in the use and wear of parachutes, hey?

As ATC staff can make errors, as can pilots, why not only allow one plane, per IFR segment, per shift?

Statistically, turbine engines are subject to failure less often than piston - and two engines are better that one - but assymmetric thrust is a survival problem - lets mandate twin push-pull turbines for all flying, too.

If any of these can save one life or have a logical argument that it *might* save a life, it will be worth it - right guys?

Dale Harris
20th Jan 2004, 19:01
Difference is timtam, we aren't talking about 1 life, are we???? It may/will be 100 or more.............. And while your mythical 1 life is obviously the subject of some sarcasm on your part, i'm sure it means a great deal to it's owner...

20th Jan 2004, 19:29

Is that right ? They have ways of dealing with 'pesky' light aircraft over there, (wherever that is).

They shoot them down with a SAM ?

Terrific, maybe we can arrange to bring that system in here and join the rest of the 'civilised' world.

You ought to be bloody ashamed to make such a stupid comment and if you think it was a bit funny then you have a sick sense of humour given the current aviation security issue.

It really is quite pathetic for you and many others to be putting forward the view that 'light' aircraft pilots are all cowboys weaving around the sky about to cause a mid air collision. Scaremongering doesn't serve any purpose.

We can be rest assured that the NAS in its early days will be monitered closely and maybe 'fine tuned' to ensure that safety is not unduly compromised.

In the meantime, let's see some sensible discussion and less intemperate language, (e.g. AOPA Idiots). Aviation is a tough industry as we know, we should all work together for its advancement.

20th Jan 2004, 20:18
wherever that is Being from Qld, I'm not surprised you don't know where Abu Dhabi, or anywhere else outside of QLD, is. Is it really necessary to trumpet your ignorance? Buy a map (or are they too dear now under NAS?). See, that last bit was a joke, too. I'll point them out each time, if you like.
It really is quite pathetic for you and many others to be putting forward the view that 'light' aircraft pilots are all cowboys Perhaps you missed that bit, but it was a Mr Ron Lawford of AOPA who was putting forward that view. As a light aircraft pilot myself, I don't think I have ever penetrated CTA.
We can be rest assured What do you base such missives on? The NASIGs track record of industry consultation? Heeding expert advice? Modification under fair criticism?
let's see some sensible discussion and less intemperate language, You mean like "bloody ashamed to make such a stupid comment " or "you have a sick sense of humour " or "really is quite pathetic for you and many others " ? How am I going so far? And all from just ONE post of YOURS:oh:
And finallymaybe 'fine tuned' to ensure that safety is not unduly compromised It's already been compromised , which is why so many on this forum are so upset.

Civil enough for you?

Capn Bloggs
20th Jan 2004, 21:26
No Tim Tams (or what ever you call yourself),

I did not, in my post, make any assertions/claims or otherwise about the change in collision risk. I was merely quoting what Ron is reported to have said.
I would therefore appreciate a retraction of your comment about me in your first post, thank you.

21st Jan 2004, 17:09
Steady on chaps and chapesses. Lets have a Bex and nice lie down, shall we?

Bloggs - I never said you asserted anything about change of MCA risk. My point was that none of the contributors and Ron Lawford and DS et al, as far as I know, have any DATA and/or properly worked statistical comparisons based on such data as to what the changes of risk. It's all based on "belief" and "argument", however commendable these may be.

If it helps you, Bloggs, I'm happy to make a retraction of something I never said!

The further "sarcastic" rantings I made on safety - which could *theoretically* save *more* than one life were to illustrate perhaps a little obliquely the point that there is a big difference between asserting something *could* save a life (even if based on "logical" argument) vs something being practical.

Ferris, good on you being a top pilot - I too have never made a VCA - lets form a club.

C'mon, lighten up a touch. The subject matter may be serious, but we don't have to be at each other's throats!



Ethel the Aardvark
21st Jan 2004, 21:28
According to the ATSB in 2002 there were at least four potential near hits between large rpt jets, in the Launceston incident the Tobago driver saw the 737 and decided that there was no need for evasive action so maybe its the large jet jockeys that need to have a look at themselves. At any GAAP training area you can have up to thirty or forty plus a/c operating in a very small area ranging from ab-initio,aeros,IF, formation and your weekend fliers and guess what no incidents ****** all comunication and no TCAS. So if someone could bring with them to the forums real facts regarding an increase or decrease in a/c safety then that maybe could at least make one of the two camps eat humble pie,

Capn Bloggs
21st Jan 2004, 23:00

What were the circumstances of the 4 near-hits?

When did you last attempt to spot a needlenose 737, opposite direction, closing on you at half a kilometre a second?

What investigation course did you do that has made you conclude that a Tobago pilot, using 2 degrees separation, had made a good operational and safe decision? Get a grip on yourself. Had that 737 been a couple of hundred feet laterally displaced, the tobago driver wouldn't have noticed, and wouldn't have been able to do anything about it. It was pure luck that they weren't in the same piece of sky.

By the way, ALL pilots learnt to fly in busy training areas, so you're not a hero. And most pilots today wouldn't bat an eyelid about flying in one of them now. But buzzing around a training area amoungst a bunch of Cesspits is a tad different to the issues being discussed here. If you can't appreciate that, your'e way out of your depth, sunshine.

Ethel the Aardvark
22nd Jan 2004, 10:29
Thanks for your humble opinion cpt Bloggs.
The near misses are published in atsb for 2002 and obviously mistakes were made either by atc or pilot.
my point regarding training areas is that low hour pilots in there slow a/c would be the same as highly experienced pilots in fast a/c. I can't remember hearing a t/area prang recently.
Instead of continually complaining on this site about NAS why dont you make positive suggestions to improve it with facts to back it up.
I'll start, If a major problem is what freqency a/c are on in and arround an mbz why not extend the size of the area to accomadate big jets, ie 50nm, only mbzs which take heavies obviously would need extending.then everyone would be on the same freq. Its not new jets mixing with lighties.
Awaiting to be shot down sweetie

Capn Bloggs
22nd Jan 2004, 11:31
Speaking of facts, practice what you preach!
The near misses are published in atsb for 2002 and obviously mistakes were made either by atc or pilot.
How about you tell us the facts of these incidents? Maybe you could tell us all how many checks and balances are in place in these scenarios before a stuff up occurs, and how many checks and balances are in place in a 737/Tobago NAS-style scenario. Perhaps then I might bother engaging you in a reasonable dialogue on this issue.

Could you please explain why I, or anyone else, should now start telling you and your mates how to improve NAS? I didn't want it, I told the minister so, with reasons why. It is your job to jusitfy the change, not ours to suggest how to make your change better!! Many of us believe NAS is a stupid idea, and if you can't understand why after reading the millions of words by myself and others here, then there's no point in going on about it. The same comments are made by many different contributors here, and you should have a good grasp of our concerns.

By the way, your idea of 50nm MBZs is a good idea. The powers-that-were prior to 1990 thought so as well. The "MBZs" were called AFIZs, and they ensured all aircraft within a reasonable distance of an airfield were on the same freq. Alas, VFR renegade Dick Smith changed all that.

22nd Jan 2004, 13:00

Grade 2, or Senior Grade 3?

Ethel the Aardvark
22nd Jan 2004, 14:37
1.Broome comes to mind as an mbz which uses 737

2.the atsb incidents highlight that c**k ups occur even in cta and always will untill the human element is removed.
I do not have to justify somthing that has already been put in place, I am also happy with change. But there is never a system which is perfect and is going to make everyone happy..

3.Can instruct.

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
22nd Jan 2004, 14:43
I don't recall seeing any lighties doing 250kts + in a training area.....

AOPA should really stop with the inferiority complex and realise that, given the correct and SAFE procedures, light aircraft and recreational pilots are welcome to share the skies - but not when things are so dumbed down to accommodate them and in turn, make them GREATER collision risks.

Read the regd and stay current - the rest is reasonably simple.

22nd Jan 2004, 15:05

A 737 is not a heavy, it's a medium.

4 near hits in 12 months
compared to
12 near hits in 2 months (they are not all on the ATSB website yet because it takes time to get them there, but they are on the ESIR database)

Which airspace seems to be safer?


22nd Jan 2004, 20:39

Now how did I know you were going to be so offensive again. Probably just your personality.

You've gone from suggesting shooting down 'pesky' light a/c with SAM missiles to casting aspersions on Queenslanders. Stupid comment.

Yes, I am from Queensland (but was born in Victoria) and by your idiotic derogatory comment about Queenslanders you offend a large sector of Australia's aviation community.

I strongly suggest that if you haven't got the mentality to debate the subject with some intellect, give it away.

Finally, if "over there" is Abu Dhabi or any other such place, take my advice and STAY THERE.

P.S. Don't bother replying to this thanks.

23rd Jan 2004, 05:46

Ayers Rock MBZ see about 3 or 4 B757s a year. Are they classified as "heavies"?

23rd Jan 2004, 06:05
Safety these days seems to be about risk management (Swiss cheese model). NAS clearly increases the risk (holes in the cheese) rather than decreases it. ATC are against it, professional pilots are against it.

Why you have 2 aircraft in the same airspace but one (a lightie with a more inexperienced pilot) not under ATC control and on a different frequency (or not supposed to broadcast) is completely beyond me, with the onus on the pilots to avoid each other?? You try spotting a lightie when travelling at 250+kts (usually this is occuring on descent), they are a speck in the sky, thank goodness for TCAS. Of course that scenario increases workload on pilot and ATC, increasing the risk.

The situational awareness of all involved plummets, again increasing the potential risk! What has happened to promoting airmanship?? I thought flying was largely based on situational awareness? Well according to this new system it's no longer required!

Why is AOPA supporting this system? So some weekend warriors can fly into new airspace? I'm not tarring all with the same brush but when the onus is left to a pilot who flies once a month, and has low experience, again the risk increases. Just sit in a busy CTAF, or at a GAAP before the tower opens. Not a pretty picture! From experience I would say 1 in 10 seem to be a problem. Poor procedures (joining cct in wrong direction, not broadcasting when conflicting track/altitude, etc), let alone very poor radio skills, yet this system promotes that exact behaviour! No procedures/radio calls required.

All the professional bodies oppose this system, after all, they're only the ones who use it day after day, not one weekend a month! Of all the facets of our industry, GA (especially the GA pilot) is the one which really needs a highly professional, smart and strong representation. Join the real world AOPA and stop proving yourselves to be a bunch of amateurs!

23rd Jan 2004, 18:47
Probably just your personality. Stupid comment.
you offend a large sector of Australia's aviation community. Stupid comment. I didn't realise you were the voice of the aviation community. Most people can recognize a joke, so would have to be extremely thin skinned to be offended. I strongly suggest that if you haven't got the mentality to debate the subject with some intellect, give it away Stupid comment. I thought I had made any number of posts on the pitfalls of NAS, most of which remain unanswered by the pro-NAS intellectual giants such as yourself. Where is all your reasoned debate about the wonders of NAS? P.S. Don't bother replying to this thanks I wouldn't have, until you issued that commandment. Stupid comment.

What I am sick of is AOPA trotting out a new protagonist every 2 weeks, so that we can go over and over the same ground.

ps. Don't bother replying to this thanks. bwahahahahahaha!!!

23rd Jan 2004, 20:53
Think again guys

There would be no aviation industry if we had a major airliner down once every 100 yrs.

That means a midair every 2-3 years around the world.

For catastrophic events in risk analysis we use multiples of 1 in 10,000 years for a particular mode of failure as they add or multiply up. For one particular mode ie: midair to be at 100 per 10,000 years would leave no room for any other mode of major airline failure as this is already bordering on being a unacceptable limit.

Think of it this way if each part in your aircraft had a 1 chance of breaking every hundred years your chances of even making one long flight would be slim. Remember a mid air is random so the gear breakage in your aircraft is random and not dependant on age. You have 10,000 parts? Your aircraft failure rate is Yikes.

Your house should be above the 1 in 100yr flood level and that is just to stop you suing if your carpets got wet. A 1in 100 storm should cause minor damage though not threaten the integrity of a structure eg: bridge, building, house, airport hanger.

With all respect the AOPA President clearly knows abolutely nothing about risk assessment and event statistics. He should take advise before commentig publically on a matter he has not the slightest knowlegde of.

26th Jan 2004, 00:48

I could possibly be wrong, but your comment about the new protaganist every two weeks was interesting.

I've been reading these NAS threads with interest and have noticed from the beginning that the same "style and content" method of posting has been used by a few Pro NAS posters.

To whit....Snarek, ULM, and now Pesawat-terbang.
Funny how that pillar of AOPA Mr. Adam Karens who signs off all his on line correspondence with "AK".
Funny also that AK owns the aircraft VH-ULM (see aircraft register) Amazing coincidence that.
Funny how Pesawat signed off one of his recent pro NAS posts, seemingly pretending to be the village idiot, with "AK".

OVer to you snarek-ulm-peserat for comments.

26th Jan 2004, 03:15
They are all banned if you do a search. Excellent AOPA advert that one.

27th Jan 2004, 20:03

You forgot to mention the funniest part about that whole unsavoury incident!!! That Mr Kerans was actually giving himself a very public well-done-you-deserve-a-pat-on-the-back when he inadvertently signed off with the AK.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I won't be renewing my AOPA membership until he and all others of his ilk are long gone.


P.S. Geez, that Adamastor's a good bloke isn't he!!! And handsome to boot!!! Tee hee.


10th Feb 2004, 19:48
Oh really Mr. Shit...........

You didn't expect the CASA etc. etc. not to review and if necessary fine tune the NAS ??

How dumb of you !!!!

11th Feb 2004, 04:56
hadagutful the NAS bandwagon is so 2003.

Did not expect fine tuning? This was billed as the US system. Under the premise of this there is absolutely no scope to fine tune as it would then no longer be the US system and proper consultation would have to take place.

And you call others dumb? I extend my usual invitation. Every time you think of posting, pm me what you are thinking about and I will proof it for you to stop situations that make you look so uneducated.

11th Feb 2004, 18:56
OK Tobzalp et al,

Don't mean to be offensive to anyone re 'dumb' remark, just a bit tongue in cheek actually.

The NAS is probably not the perfect system if there is such a thing anywhere in the aviation world but it is an attempt at reform to enhance cost efficiencies without compromising safety.

If safety becomes an issue then the right thing to do is undertake a review taking into account feedback form the various parties.

11th Feb 2004, 20:20
Yes, yes it is a good idea. An even better idea is to ask the industry before implementing such a proven to be rediculous system.

12th Feb 2004, 05:36

You've done it again.

Industry consultation for airspace reform? You just don't get it do you?

The "refine NAS" is spin doctor speak.

Industry consultation was a major reason for the support for LAMP which Dick Smith scuttled days before it was to be implemented.

Now Dick's NAS is about to be scuttled because there has been NO industry consultation, and Dick has ignored ALL the professional advice about the shortcomings of NAS. Now the industry incident investigator (ATSB) has advised that radical, I say again, radical changes need to be made to NAS.

The AsA Board have been advised that under NAS they will be legally liable for any accident that occurs. The Board know that under NAS there are NO cost efficiencies. In fact it will cost them money. At the current estimate, probably close to 100 million (if you take into account cancellation of LAMP). They are ducking for cover. The airlines should not expect any reduction in avcharges this year.

The whole sorry mess is about to come tumbling down. Hopefully the mess can be sorted out before there is an accident. Remember the NAS airspace exists right now and will take time to rectify.

Atlas Shrugged
12th Feb 2004, 06:39
This was billed as the US system. Under the premise of this there is absolutely no scope to fine tune as it would then no longer be the US system and proper consultation would have to take place.

Exactly. The NAS advocates promoted it as "world's best practice".

This is inherently insulting for two reasons:

1. it prohibits any further form of consultation or refinement - how can you possibly fine tune something which is already "the best" and

2. those who are against it, such as most of us here and with very good reason, are guilty of supporting a lesser system.

I've heard this expression used many times before in many different idioms and each time it related to something that failed or was withdrawn shortly after its implementation which always leaves me wondering just who it is that gets to decide what is "world's best"


Dog One
14th Feb 2004, 17:41
A colleague from Darwin tells me that a motion was moved at the last NT RAPAC meeting supporting the change of E airspace outside of radar coverage back to C airspace.

Also received minutes of the meeting between Unions/Staff Associations and CASA held in Sydney in January.

Certainly a lot of evidence of support from professional people for a rollback to at least what we had.

Heads should roll, especially as this is the second cock up with airspace in a short period. Any further airspace reviews should with the professional users of the airspace, not the week end warriors or the adventurers.

One wonders whether Mike Smith will invite the King's back to show how we went wrong??????????

15th Feb 2004, 00:06
hadagutful: "...it is an attempt at reform to enhance cost efficiencies without compromising safety."

ummm... on a daily basis, I'm watching A330's and B737's executing 90 degree right-hand turns at the last minute to avoid a TCAS Resolution Advisory in response to a close proximity C208 VFR parachuting aircraft (VH-OAI), operating in the vicinity of Brooklands dropzone near York on the approaches into Perth.

On each occasion, the aircraft add approximately 20NM to their track miles by the time they've regained track. I'm not a pilot, so, perhaps an A330 rated pilot could tell us all how many tonnes of fuel an A330 burns over 20NM at 300KTS at FL150 during descent to destination with the turn executed at, what was originally, 55 track miles to run...?

Ask QANTAS and Virgin Blue how much they're saving through "cost efficiencies" associated through NAS...

I think the emphasis should be on the word "cost" and not "efficiencies"...


404 Titan
15th Feb 2004, 11:41

Around an extra 200 kg of fuel to track an extra 20nm while on decent.