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Capot
7th Jun 2012, 11:19
I couldn't decide where to post this (Friday Jokes was tempting), and eventually decided on a new, probably short-lived JB thread. It's only to give us all a good laugh on a cold, wet Summer's day, in UK at least.

Those of us who have been wondering why the UK CAA seems to employ people as Aerodrome Inspectors who have very little knowledge of the subject should read an extract from one of the CAA's many comments on a draft of new EASA regulations for airports and their oversight. (I rather think, from long experience with Airworthiness and Flight Ops as well as Aerodromes, that the principle stated here governs all their recruitment; not just Aerodrome Inspectors.)

The draft rules (NPA) said the following, inter alia;
(Paragraph No: AMC2-ADR.AR.B.005(a)(2) (b))

The background knowledge and/or working experience of the aerodrome inspector determines its privileges (the scope of his/her inspection; what he/she is entitled to inspect). The competent authority should determine what the inspector is entitled to inspect taking into account the following considerations:(1) background knowledge; and
(2) working experience.There are a few comments you could make about that, but only quite minor quibbles. The thrust of the paragraph makes perfect sense to most people; an Inspector should have background knowledge and working experience, and only inspect the types and sizes of aerodrome of which he has background knowledge and experience.

The UK CAA thinks otherwise, Here is its comment;


Paragraph No: AMC2-ADR.AR.B.005(a)(2) (b)

Comment: Para (b) should be deleted in total.

Justification: It is seriously flawed by indicating an aerodrome inspector’s competencies are driven by background knowledge and working experience. This undermines the quality of training given by the NAA (that should address all background weaknesses).Translation;

"Background knowledge and working experience are unnecessary. We will recruit people we like as Aerodrome Inspectors (eg ex-RAF or RN helicopter pilots) and give them a short course in aerodrome operations and management, RFFS operations, fuel storage and delivery, civil air transport aircraft performance requirements and calculations, the relevant Regulations, and how to inspect and audit a major airport run by professionals who have spent their working lives learning their trade (That would not include the BAA, of course.)

That should cover everything they don't know but perhaps should, and is quite enough for anyone. The only thing that really matters is that new Aerodrome Inspectors should fit in nicely and not rock the boat.

Have another cup of tea.... you were saying?"

lomapaseo
7th Jun 2012, 11:25
I don't get the joke:confused:

Capot
7th Jun 2012, 11:54
Ah, I see your point; try focusing on the sentence;

seriously flawed by indicating an aerodrome inspector’s competencies are driven by background knowledge and working experience

IE, background knowledge and experience are not required to be employed by the CAA as an Inspector. I admit that it's a "joke" that will only appeal to those who are inspected by the UK CAA, and not really that funny!

ShyTorque
7th Jun 2012, 12:41
So you didn't get the job then? :p

Fox3WheresMyBanana
7th Jun 2012, 12:46
Without knowledge of Aerodrome Inspection, it is difficult to determine whether this is a joke or not.

Taking teaching as a profession of which I have experience.
Teacher Training is completely unnecessary in some cases (I would be one), unless you count a three week Aircrew Instructor Course (which I and others do, because it taught us all we needed to know to get started, but the teaching 'profession' doesn't). After 7 years, nobody cared that I wasn't trained because the background knowledge and experience counted for far more.
OTOH around 90% of Senior Management Team members I have worked with are awful at admin and organisation. I mean dire.* They've had decades years of experience and background knowledge but no proper training.

I'm happy to take your word for it that it's a joke, but it's hard to tell for those not in the know.

*One I know literally failed to organise a p!ss-up in a brewery.

Lon More
7th Jun 2012, 13:05
every time they open their mouths some fool puts his foot in it.
Not for nothing known as the Campaign Against Aiation these are the same people that once required you to give your weight, in centimeters, on the Class 1 medical form.

The SSK
7th Jun 2012, 13:09
These EASA Eurocrats, what do they know?

They're unelected, aren't they? Trying to tell the Brits how to do things, as usual.

charliegolf
7th Jun 2012, 13:39
Teacher Training is completely unnecessary in some cases

F3, your other posts seem to suggest uni and secondary school science (physics?) as your background.

That being the case, the old GIT Course, "We've taken all the useful stuff from the 3 year TT course and stretched it into a 2 week one", crap might hold water.

Not so with 30 5 year olds needing to learn how to read.

CG

Fox3WheresMyBanana
7th Jun 2012, 14:09
Correct.
Agreed re 5 year olds; therefore "some cases"

Point I was trying to make was that the call between training vs experience or some combination thereof is difficult to make without some knowledge of a profession.
It's one reason why politicians are so bad at implementing policy - education would be an excellent example.

Capot
7th Jun 2012, 15:05
I'm not sure that the comparison with teaching competence really stands up.

A better analogy would be employing people with no background knowledge or working experience of teaching to inspect schools, as opposed to teaching in them. I wonder how that would go down with the teaching profession.

One strong influence on the UK CAA's recruitment policies may be that if really competent people were recruited, they would quickly push out the existing bunch of unemployables. So they avoid that like the plague, rejecting any idea that an aerodrome inspector’s competencies should be driven by his or her background knowledge and working experience.

Perish the thought!

Ancient Observer
7th Jun 2012, 16:14
Any idea why they do that? Their ATCO inspectors are all ATCOs, and the Flight Ops inspectors are all (correctly sized) pilots. Why not airdrome ops?
I hope their airdrome fire boys and girls know what they are talking about.

Reading EASA drafts and CAA replies is a bit anoraky, isn't it?

Fox3WheresMyBanana
7th Jun 2012, 16:15
The analogy stands up because Ofsted Inspectors fit those criteria well.

This is why we have the farcical situation of the 'Satisfactory' grade being removed by Government. Everyone knows schools currently being graded 'satisfactory' largely aren't, but the Inspectors are apparently incapable of discovering this.

Firestorm
7th Jun 2012, 16:21
I think I get the joke, and the point. What does that say about me? :eek:

Capot
7th Jun 2012, 18:02
Reading EASA drafts and CAA replies is a bit anoraky, isn't it?

Oh God, a shaft straight into the heart. You're right, it's as bad as it gets.

But it's what I'm paid to do, which is my misfortune, so as to analyse/interpret/comment on them for those with better things to do.

It's not all I do, though, so perhaps I can be saved.

probes
7th Jun 2012, 19:06
You're totally missing the point - an inspector has to know how to inspect, not know some hard-to-define 'background'. Or have experience. In fact that could even be detrimental, as it may cause deviating from the bureaucratic regulations (or worse - make one wonder why this or that is/isn't required! or, God forbid, apply some thinking of one's own!) now and then.
Applies to schools as well.
Could be considered funny, to some extent, I guess. :E

Fox3WheresMyBanana
7th Jun 2012, 20:07
If an inspector has no experience, then it's too easy to hide what you don't want them to know.
'Yes, Minister' becomes 'Yes, Inspector'

Loose rivets
7th Jun 2012, 21:20
Our local council (Tendring area Essex) got a chap all kitted out with a book, and he went and inspected electricians. You can imagine what they thought of that - thirty years being a sparks, and along comes a bloke in a suit.

G-CPTN
7th Jun 2012, 21:32
Our local council (Tendring area Essex) got a chap all kitted out with a book, and he went and inspected electricians.
Was he called PAT (http://www.pat-testing.info/legal.htm) ?

Capot
7th Jun 2012, 21:42
an inspector has to know how to inspect

Yes, well, of course that's so. But some knowledge about what is being inspected, to say nothing of working experience of it, is also essential. Or so I would have thought.

This is especially so with Aerodrome Inspectors, because of the need to look at the unique characteristics of each one and form a rational view based on knowledge and experience of what is safe and what's not. The ICAO recommendations are just that; safety assessment of non-conformities at airports is on a case by case basis. If and when the EASA Regulations come into force this will be so to a much greater extent than now, in the UK at least.

So the idea that Inspectors don't need background knowledge AND working experience is absurd.

Solid Rust Twotter
8th Jun 2012, 07:21
Same problem we have here. Totally unqualified people are sent to AMOs to do an inspection. All they're capable of doing is making sure the appropriate weight of paperwork is being filled in. The actual aircraft are avoided as far as possible and don't even think of wasting your time asking them a technical question. They have no clue, despite being technical maintenance inspectors. They would be unable to tell if a bolt was correctly fitted or even if the correct bolt was being used. It's nothing but a huge arse covering exercise to ensure no shit splatters the way of the CAA when something goes wrong, hence the huge focus on exculpatory paperwork by shiny arsed seat warmers.

Of course you also have to pay for the privilege of having your day flushed down the toilet while unnecessary paperwork is pored and tutted over by these wastrels.

probes
8th Jun 2012, 07:35
So the idea that Inspectors don't need background knowledge AND working experience is absurd.
sorry, Capot, I should have made my sarcastic mode more obvious. Of course you're right, it's just that mostly those who can, do, and who can't, inspect. :sad:

mad_jock
8th Jun 2012, 08:23
and the Flight Ops inspectors are all (correctly sized) pilots

Not these days. The last team I saw had one that was sub 30 and had all the mannerisms of a long haul BA male cabin crew.

The Captain who was subjected to his aircraft inspection was just plain confused when it was announced that the plane was grounded. This was because the "working" first aid kit ie the one that you would use first so the aircraft one didn't have the seal broken and thus ground the machine for the next sector if someone needed a plaster, didn't have a seal on it. Then there was 14 findings on what can only be called engineering niff naf and shite. He of course completely missed the dodgy stuff which the auld boy who came to un-ground the aircraft picked up in 5 mins, which of course wasn't mentioned to the crew, he just went off to ream the CAMO out.

G-CPTN
8th Jun 2012, 09:20
An inspector has to know how to inspect so the idea that Inspectors don't need background knowledge AND working experience is absurd.

Tom Winsor, scourge of the force, set for top police job - Crime - UK - The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/tom-winsor-scourge-of-the-force-set-for-top-police-job-7827942.html)

Tom Winsor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Winsor)

Home Office risks backlash over pick for top police job | UK news | The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/07/home-office-police-tom-winsor)

Capot
8th Jun 2012, 10:27
G-CPTN

That was a....errrrr, modified quote, was it not? Somehow it has lost all meaning!

But I totally agree with the point you are making re Mr Winsor, who seems to proceed from one abject management failure to the next as well as any Quango Queen can manage, and carve out huge lumps of gold on the way, while his only qualification and skill is bamboozling the idiots who employ him.

Solid Rust Twotter

We set up a Part 145 organisation in the UK a few years ago, and even though I didn't expect much from the Surveyor, what we got, so far as knowledge of aircraft maintenance and EASA Regulations, and relevant working experience, were concerned, was just appalling. By all accounts things are now worse, and I gather that the Surveyor concerned is still there.

Cacophonix
8th Jun 2012, 11:03
But I totally agree with the point you are making re Mr Winsor, who seems to proceed from one abject management failure to the next as well as any Quango Queen can manage, and carve out huge lumps of gold on the way, while his only qualification and skill is bamboozling the idiots who employ him.


Mr Winsor is an astute lawyer (hence his ability to bamboozle idiots) and I found him pretty quick on the update when I did some consultancy for Railtrack years ago but have to agree that the whole Railtrack management approach was a fiasco and question why this stupid government would risk alienating the police force further by going down this route.

Have to agree that an inspector has to have an intimate knowledge of the subject domain. Would one want to fly an aircraft that had just been signed off by a bureaucrat with not a wit about aircraft engineering or systems? I think not!

Caco

Solid Rust Twotter
8th Jun 2012, 11:15
...Would one want to fly an aircraft that had just been signed off by a bureaucrat with not a wit about aircraft engineering or systems? I think not!


The sign off is done by the maintenance engineer (in SA) who takes full responsibility, despite having to pay a fee so the inspector will drop in and tut over the paperwork as if that is what really keeps aircraft in the air. They're happy to take the money while abdicating responsibility. The sole function of these bozos is to ensure no blame can ever fall on the authority, despite massive incompetence being evident wherever you look. Unfortunately the few good ones left are being weeded out in favour of those who know little to nothing about their field of endeavour.

This is just the overt, legal side of things. What goes on under the table in exchange for favours, monetary and otherwise, is another can of worms entirely. There is supposedly an effort under way to remedy this but I won't be holding my breath.

Ancient Observer
8th Jun 2012, 12:01
I had a few beers a while ago with someone who was a direct report of that Winsor bloke.
In the opinion of said direct report, Winsor was a politician first, second and last.
The example I was given was of a "very, very important meeting" which Winsor had insisted everyone shuffle their diaries to attend. On the day, allegedly, Winsor didn't turn up as he was seeing a politician. Clearly, politics was more important.

Ancient Observer
8th Jun 2012, 12:17
I suspect we are coming across the issue of content vs process.

Quite frankly, the airlines and customers will not pay for Inspectors of anything - airports/ATCOs/Pilots whatever - to inspect actual work. The days of an Inspector inspecting a weld, or inspecting the torque on a nut are over. No one will pay for it.

So what do we get instead? All the Inspector can do is check that, (for instance) the Engineer is properly qualified, and that the engineer has signed the job card. Then, if it all goes TU, then it is the engineer that carries the can, along with his company.

If all the Inspectors are allowed to do is check qualifications and signatures and processes, then they need to be qualified in Inspecting, not in whatever they are inspecting.

Union Jack
8th Jun 2012, 12:26
If Mr Winsor is actually appointed as Chief Inspector of Constabulary I'm sure he'll be able to make himself even more popular with the chief constables by dressing up as one .....:D

Jack

Capot
8th Jun 2012, 12:57
What goes on under the table in exchange for favours, monetary and otherwise, is another can of worms entirelyJust after returning to the UK, longer ago than I care to remember, I joined an airline that enjoyed excellent relations with its FoI, Surveyor and the CAA generally. It also drove a coach and horses through the regulations of the time (eg "AOG means keep flying but try and chase up the spare"; or "flight plan to an on-route destination, but nominate as a diversion and then divert to the real destination, much further on, so as to get another couple of passengers in", and such stratagems).

As the newcomer who did what he was told and was grateful for a job, it fell to me to deliver the incentives to those who turned the blind eye to all this.

I think that this simple, direct corruption may have reduced or even disappeared, but if so it has been replaced by the current CAA culture of arrogance coupled with real incompetence at all levels, a civil service work ethic and mind-numbing bureaucracy, which is infinitely worse. With a "Chair" whose only relevant knowledge and working experience as a Quango Queen appears to be in overseeing the safe manufacture of chocolate bars, this is not surprising.

AO - you make a valid point. But, especially with airports, a deviation from the statutory norm can be perfectly allowable and safe. To be competent to judge what is allowable and safe, requires knowledge and experience as good as or better than the person proposing the deviation.

Ancient Observer
8th Jun 2012, 18:03
Don't the CAA still allow some Scottish airport that is, in fact, a beach?

"I'm off to inspect the beach" would be a nice job.....

vulcanised
8th Jun 2012, 18:25
Do they get special training to be able to pronounce Hectopascals ?