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View Full Version : QF in the OZ paper today


megan
20th Aug 2018, 05:56
See today's issue contains an article on a QF A380 S/O who a neighbour has made a confidential report to CASA alleging he has a mental condition and likened him to the Germanwings pilot. Suing CASA after the anonymous report was shared with management, other senior pilots, and suspension of licence. CASA taking legal action against the pilot to have him return his copies of the anonymous report, claiming he's not entitled to have them.

Wonder how he came by copies? That aside, have a barney with a neighbour and it leads to this?

dragon man
20th Aug 2018, 06:05
If it’s correct it is a scandalous abuse of privilege. Qantas would have very few pilots left if every person you had a barny with put in a complaint to CASA.

MagnumPI
20th Aug 2018, 06:09
A friend of mine who works as a professional pilot in GA also had this happen recently.

Some incredibly gutless and vexatious person reported him to CASA as having suicidal tendencies and so forth. CASA wouldn't reveal who made the report citing confidentiality. The onus (and cost) was on him to prove that he wasn't unfit to fly as accused by this anonymous waste of oxygen, and his medical was suspended until this could be done by visiting specialists.

The accusations were of course completely baseless. No presumption of innocence. Mind you, what else would expect from our regulator?

On another related note; I had my medical renewal recently. My DAME highlighted to me out all the new post-German wings questioning around mental health. He is of the opinion that the tougher stance will only serve to drive pilots who actually have mental health issues to conceal them further.

Rated De
20th Aug 2018, 06:17
What is even more onerous is the complete lack of process.

The regulatory overreach is incredibly scary.
The recent rise in publicly shamed pilots in the UK and Europe for alcohol related incidents is a concern to many pilot bodies as it affords no due process.

CASA do not, as is the case in the UK have any real desire to deal with mental health. To do so would mean taking on very powerful commercial interests. Airline roster processes and endless pushing against regulatory limits may have, were it to be empirically researched an impact on mental health.
For an anonymous report to effectively end a person's ability to earn an income, without any finding in fact is a very worrisome development.
It shows that the regulator will apply a CYA process and is not in the slightest way concerned for process, rather is incensed that someone within the company afforded the individual concerned access to the basis of the allegation. This ability to confront one's accusers is a fundamental tenet of what purports to be a justice system.


On another related note; I had my medical renewal recently. My DAME highlighted to me out all the new post-German wings questioning around mental health. He is of the opinion that the tougher stance will only serve to drive pilots who actually have mental health issues to conceal them further.

Sorry Magnum did not see your post. This is of concern to the medical profession. CASA simply will not tackle the root cause with any transparency. Deprived of an income on an anonymous allegation without any due process is a sure sign that pilots will say even less. It is an abuse of position that ought not be tolerated. For once perhaps airline management and the labour organizations are on the same side. With respect to the the disastrous E health process, it has been a grave concern to the legal profession that among the myriad of agencies vying for access to the medical records was CASA.

LeadSled
20th Aug 2018, 06:52
Folks,
Over many years, there has been a small but steady history of similar complaints.

I am of the view that, in recent years, any ability of CASA to handle such matters in a fair and balanced way, has deteriorated, and it was never too flash in the first place.

A common source of such complaints, based on my experience, is a departing vindictive and vengeful ex-spouse or equivalent. Some of whom don't even seem to realise it will probably severely curtail their settlement.

Neighbors come next on the list. I have even seen two cases where the "complaint" was made by what turned out to be a disgruntled pilot or other cabin crew for the same airline.

Sadly, the easy answer, the easy way out, is to sacrifice the target. It is always a hard fightback from there.

Tootle pip!!

Lead Balloon
20th Aug 2018, 07:04
Just when I thought it was not practically possible for the medical zealots in CASA to overreach much further, we see this. Even if half true, it’s a level of overreach that is so appalling that I simply can’t articulate how wrong it is.

LeadSled
20th Aug 2018, 07:05
Pilot blames CASA’s sharing of anonymous complaint for loss of licence

EXCLUSIVE
ROBYN IRONSIDE
AVIATION WRITER
Qantas pilot is suing the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for defamation over a damaging “anonymous complaint” that was shared with management and other senior pilots, leading to his licence being suspended.Nathaniel Whitehall, 49, who is a second officer on Qantas A380s, filed the claim in the District Court of NSW on Friday, naming CASA as the respondent.Mr Whitehall claims a neighbour with whom he clashed used CASA’s confidential and anonymous online reporting system to make a series of complaints in May, July and August last year.The complaint claimed Mr Whitehall had a mental health condition and likened him to the pilot of the Germanwings aircraft that was deliberately crashed into the French Alps in 2015, killing all 150 people on board.As a second officer, Mr Whitehall would never be in the cockpit alone on an A380 and is not permitted to fly under 10,000 feet.Mr Whitehall alleges his pilot’s licence was suspended by CASA in October without him being given the opportunity to defend himself or prove the accusations made by his neighbour were false.He applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to have his suspension overturned but a hearing is yet to be held.Mr Whitehall also claims in documents submitted to the court that CASA “published the reports in their entirety to the applicant’s employer, Qantas Airways Limited”.“By reason of the publication of the matters complained of, (Mr Whitehall) has been injured in his credit, character, reputation and profession and has been brought into public disrepute, professional disrepute, scandal, odium and contempt,” the claim said.“(Mr Whitehall) claims general damages, together with interest, for consolation, reparation and vindication, and special damages for the loss of income in his profession as an airline pilot.”In a letter to opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese, seen by The Australian, Mr Whitehall said he worked very hard to achieve a “spot” in Qantas, “which is quite literally the pinnacle of aviation”.“I have not done anything wrong. I have worked hard at Qantas. My Qantas record is unimpeachable,” he writes.A CASA spokesman said the authority would not comment on the medical fitness of individuals or cases in which it may be a party.Regarding the confidential and anonymous reporting system, the spokesman said that following the Germanwings tragedy, CASA had streamlined the process for handling reports of safety concerns involving pilots.“These processes include making contact with the person who is the subject of a report, with a CASA medical officer normally telephoning the individual involved,” he said.“Depending on the circumstances and in the interests of safety, CASA may initiate certain action on a precautionary basis.”The CASA spokesman said if action were taken to vary, suspend or cancel a person’s medical certificate or any other authorisation, the individual involved would be formally notified.CASA has launched legal action to force Mr Whitehall to return copies of the “confidential complaints” relating to him, on the basis that he was not entitled to have them.Mr Whitehall denies any wrongdoing.A Qantas spokesman said the defamation action did not directly involve the airline and the company did not comment on individual employee matters
--------------------------------------------------
The above from Page 3 of today's The Australian

thorn bird
20th Aug 2018, 07:10
It is unconscionable behaviour by the regulator and all too common unfortunately.
The Qantas guy is just one of many who have had to face this and I applaud his
endeavour to stand up to them, I just hope his employer has the internal fortitude
to support him.
CAsA as an organisation is as leaky as a sieve when it comes to privacy.
When everyone down to the tea lady can access anyones medical or supposedly confidential files
what chance that leaks will occur when it suits.

MagnumPI
20th Aug 2018, 07:12
All of this serves as a timely reminder (if you haven't already) to opt out of your My Health Record ASAP. One can only imagine just how many mandarins at CASA would love to get their hands on your complete medical record, virtually unobstructed.

https://optout.myhealthrecord.gov.au

Capt Fathom
20th Aug 2018, 07:13
Wonder how he came by copies
From his neighbour or Qantas?

ACMS
20th Aug 2018, 07:38
I hope AIPA is providing appropriate assistance because this could effect any other QF Pilot and indeed any Commercial Pilot in Oz.
bloody incredible.......

Gate_15L
20th Aug 2018, 07:56
This should be at the top of every union agenda. Theoretically it could affect anyone holding a safety sensitive position.

Either that, we should flood the hotline to demostrate the absurdity of CASA.

Okihara
20th Aug 2018, 08:05
CASA has launched legal action to force Mr Whitehall to return copies of the “confidential complaints” relating to him, on the basis that he was not entitled to have them
– Hey, sure, no worries, here's your PDF back.

Okihara
20th Aug 2018, 08:06
This should be at the top of every union agenda. Theoretically it could affect anyone holding a safety sensitive position.

Either that, we should flood the hotline to demostrate the absurdity of CASA.

Haha, love this insane level of STASI-grade mistrust. So here's the deal:
– If you feel your next flight test isn't going quite your way, this story is a brilliant way to blackmail your ATO officer into giving you a pass.
– And to ground all the instructors of the competing flight school.
– And just to see how consistently this anonymous telling is being used, you could also use it to tell (the truth) on CASA staff.

LeadSled
20th Aug 2018, 09:18
Okihara,
You really should have a look at the legislation of the so called "confidential incident reporting".

It is an open invitation to a "Star Chamber" destruction of a person's career, and it is not limited to medical issues.

My experience over many years, including assisting pilots in trouble, tells me that what you choose to call "STASI-grade" mistrust is mistrust well warranted.

As I said in my first post, sadly, the easy way out is to sacrifice the accused, on the entirely unwarranted assumption that: "Where there is smoke there is fire". Place the accused in the position that they are guilty as charged, and let them prove their innocence

Some years ago, when CAA/CASA was not quite as disreputable as it is now, on a Friday evening in Canberra I wandered in to a bar that shall remain nameless, there was a group of CAA/CASA Flying Operations Branch having a beer, some of them vaguely recognised me as a familiar face, but not quite really who I was. The conversation was medical matters and several pilots who had lost their Class 1 --- why did these people even know about, it outside of Medical Branch, let alone discuss such matters as a group in a public bar.

Let alone in front of a "stranger" who has been mistaken for "one of their own". The lack of ethics in these matters really is of serious concern.

I have no idea how Mr. Whiteside got the details of the complaints ---- but the obvious answer is that CASA inadvertently gave them to him.

Personally, I think it is COMPLETELY IMPROPER that the accuser can remain confidential, the accused is denied the basic right to confront his or her accuser, a denial of basic justice.

Aviation confidential reporting was never intended for this sort of "confidentiality", but just about every case, in which I have been involved, or where I am aware of the facts, has indeed been this king of malicious reporting.

Tootle pip!!

Rated De
20th Aug 2018, 09:43
Personally, I think it is COMPLETELY IMPROPER that the accuser can remain confidential, the accused is denied the basic right to confront his or her accuser, a denial of basic justice.

Precisely the central tenet of a legal system is the accuser confronts the accused in open court.

cattletruck
20th Aug 2018, 10:17
Questioning one's "mental health" is the new corporate bullying tactic used indiscriminately against employees. Been there and copped that line from a previous employer and their lawyer - didn't stand up at court time but boy did it cause a lot of stress and employment discrimination until the court finally delivered it's verdict in my favour.

And the person behind these false accusations? A so-called professional Human Resources practitioner. I feel for this poor S/O but he really does have to stick to his guns and take it to its natural conclusion.

Ollie Onion
20th Aug 2018, 10:20
I know a guy who was grounded for 8 months while he proved his fitness to fly after an ‘Anonymous’ report details supposed statement made around aircraft sabotage. He had no recollection of making any statements to that affect yet CASA wouldn’t tell him the date of the flight or let him read the report as they didn’t want him to know who the anonymous reported was. He is now back flying after a series of psychological assessments deemed him to be ‘normal’......... he still has no idea who made the report or what he supposedly said.

Lead Balloon
20th Aug 2018, 11:05
A CASA spokesman said the authority would not comment on the medical fitness of individuals or cases in which it may be a party.You just leak to suit, instead.Regarding the confidential and anonymous reporting system, the spokesman said that following the Germanwings tragedy, CASA had streamlined the process for handling reports of safety concerns involving pilots.In other words, CASA has used Germanwings as justification to take unilateral action without affording the poor bastards on the receiving end any natural justice. Just invoke Germanwings and do whatever the f*ck you like. “These processes include making contact with the person who is the subject of a report, with a CASA medical officer normally telephoning the individual involved,” he said.The weasel word “normally” speaks volumes here. “Depending on the circumstances and in the interests of safety, CASA may initiate certain action on a precautionary basis.”The “circumstances” don’t depend on what the poor bastards on the receiving end have to say. The CASA spokesman said if action were taken to vary, suspend or cancel a person’s medical certificate or any other authorisation, the individual involved would be formally notified.”Formally notified” after the decision is made. That makes it OK then. And a stroke of administrative genius to let those you’ve shafted know you’ve shafted them.

Just goes to show: Any and all precepts of the rule of law will be sacrificed in the name of “safety” by zealots in positions of power.

Evidence and risk-based regulation my arse.

Okihara
20th Aug 2018, 11:10
Okihara,
You really should have a look at the legislation of the so called "confidential incident reporting".
[...]
Tootle pip!!

LeadSled, these are strange times we're living in where presumption of innocence no longer prevails. Just how exactly a small crowd of 15000+ GA pilots warrants so much safety paranoia in a country where there are [simultaneously] many a million of car drivers on roads who virtually undergo negligible training in comparison is unfathomable to me.

I don't think that there's much to add to your reply only that – sadly – this is not the first injustice the world has seen. You do make a good point by saying that is was gross negligence on CASA's part to leak the report. In many other circumstances that would actually void the evidence. CASA may be above many things but surely not above the law itself.

It would be quite informative for that report to leak to the Internet. Here for instance.

Lead Balloon
20th Aug 2018, 11:21
Leaking the report would “void the evidence”? Don’t let CASA (or your neighbour) know what drugs you’re on. This is adminitrative law torture, not a criminal prosecution.

It’s not CASA being “above the law”. It’s scaremongering zealots using the fear of tragedies like Germanwings to justify an individual pilot’s rights to natural justice and fact-based decisions to be overridden by the mere invocation of “safety”.

compressor stall
20th Aug 2018, 12:05
– Hey, sure, no worries, here's your PDF back.

yes but with my bush lawyer hat on I say that if you cannot have the evidence, then you can't use it to mount your case.... ie inadmissible?

Hence CASA is trying to take back what is already in the (semi) public domain.

wombat watcher
20th Aug 2018, 12:07
I know a guy who was grounded for 8 months while he proved his fitness to fly after an ‘Anonymous’ report details supposed statement made around aircraft sabotage. He had no recollection of making any statements to that affect yet CASA wouldn’t tell him the date of the flight or let him read the report as they didn’t want him to know who the anonymous reported was. He is now back flying after a series of psychological assessments deemed him to be ‘normal’......... he still has no idea who made the report or what he supposedly said.

i have first hand knowledge of another QF bloke who had a similar problem. A number of zealots like you lot , including his union, counselling him to defend his rights which he did until the last drop of his blood. Guess what : it was. He lost his career defending his rights with all the principled do-gooders supporting him.
I agree the confidential reporting system stinks but in the end realise what is important: Nate gets his medical back or he ceases to be a pilot whilst defending his rights. The sooner he realises this, the sooner he gets back to flying. The legal road is fraught with danger and the cards are stacked against him.
May his neighbour rot in hell.

Lead Balloon
20th Aug 2018, 12:09
Just goes to show the extent to which the system has deteriorated.

Just culture. “Just” culture...

Seabreeze
20th Aug 2018, 12:55
Perhaps a thousand or so confidential (and anonymous) reports suggesting the DAS has become deranged might underscore the problem.

Rated De
20th Aug 2018, 13:13
Is this really a surprise, when a social media post made about some alleged incident, not reported to authorities at the time, causes a person to lose their income and reputation? In the Orwellian world we now live, where the entitlement to due process has been eroded on the basis of terrorism, where there is no need for investigation or a burden of proof.

Papers please.


Maintaining sanity with this sort of crap is a real mental effort.

Kelly Slater
21st Aug 2018, 01:14
As Magnum says, opt out of My Health Record. Here is the link again. https://optout.myhealthrecord.gov.au/
Also, don't forget Loss of License Insurance generally does not pay out on mental health issues.
This poor bastards only hope of a future is a big payout, even if he is given his license back, it will haunt him forever.

LeadSled
21st Aug 2018, 01:57
Folks,
It is not clear to me how this matter started, was it a report via the so-called confidential incident reporting system, or a report direct to CASA.

However, a few words about the confidential reporting system are in order: A number of countries have them, properly used, they serve a useful safety purpose.

BUT -- In the ones that actually work as advertised all reports go to a body unrelated to the local regulatory/enforcement body, such body only receives trend data (not even de-identified incident data) for a particular category of problem.

For example, in the UK, the report goes to an air safety office within the RAF. As I recall, in US, it goes to NASA.

Needless to say, with the gotcha criminal enforcement mentality dominating in Australian aviation regulation, with the idea of any possible air safety benefits having long since been lost, what we have is a "dobber's charter'.

And, as is now well know, ATSB freely shares information (that ICAO says should be confidential) with CASA.

In short, typical of the misdirected shambles that characterises Australian aviation administration, which has done so much to inhibit development in aviation in Australia, not just GA, but all sectors. Pain, anguish and suffering for no air safety benefit.

Tootle pip!!

Rated De
21st Aug 2018, 02:39
For example, in the UK, the report goes to an air safety office within the RAF. As I recall, in US, it goes to NASA. Needless to say, with the gotcha criminal enforcement mentality dominating in Australian aviation regulation, with the idea of any possible air safety benefits having long since been lost, what we have is a "dobber's charter'.

And, as is now well know, ATSB freely shares information (that ICAO says should be confidential) with CASA

Yes Lead, quite correct, the UK and the USA maintain a separation. The ICAO protocol annex is very explicit that a division is supposed to exist between a report and the regulator.
The problem with a myriad of the ICAO annexes is that SARP is a 'recommended practice' and unfortunately some countries depart from the annex recommendation, Australia being one.

In short, typical of the misdirected shambles that characterises Australian aviation administration, which has done so much to inhibit development in aviation in Australia, not just GA, but all sectors. Pain, anguish and suffering for no air safety benefit.

Channeling Sir Humphrey Appleby. Au contraire, In chaos bureaucracy thrives! Rather like field mushrooms when growing in manure.

neville_nobody
21st Aug 2018, 02:41
Unless his neighbour is a Psychiatrist who can offer expert testimony how are CASA ever going to win the defamation case? What they should have done was yank his medical then fight it out in the AAT. By going to his employer I would imagine it will be a open and shut defamation case. It's a very risky move by CASA and I can't see why they even needed to go to QF in the first instance

Lead Balloon
21st Aug 2018, 03:19
CASA will claim qualified privilege, as will the neighbour (if the neighbour becomes a party).

The disclosure to the employer was justified - so it will be argued - on the grounds of “safety”.

It appears that someone within the employer had this totally crazy idea that before disrupting and potentially f*cking someone’s career and reputation on the basis of a complaint, the complaint should be put to the person. However, the interests of “safety” apparently override all that. It’s better that nine completely fit and proper pilots’ careers are disrupted and potentially f*cked on the basis of complaints the substance of which they are not aware, than one pilot with an undisclosed ingrown toenail is allowed to fly. It’s all about “safety”.

I’d say that it makes me angry and sick, but I guess that would put my medical certificate at risk.

neville_nobody
21st Aug 2018, 04:33
CASA will claim qualified privilege, as will the neighbour (if the neighbour becomes a party).

The disclosure to the employer was justified - so it will be argued - on the grounds of “safety”.
For that to be the case the neighbour and CASA will have to be qualified to make those assertions and the assertions have to be proven to be true. How you prove in court that someone is at risk of driving an aeroplane into the ground with 500 POB is going to be interesting.

The other problem for the neighbour is if it comes out that there is some other underlying issue between them. ie someone built a house and block my view of Sydney Harbour etc etc This will especially become an issue if the neighbour is the only person they can find to testify that they witnessed the alleged behaviour.

Lead Balloon
21st Aug 2018, 05:28
So far as I can tell, the neighbour isn’t a party to the proceedings. The allegation of defamation is against CASA, as a consequence of the disclosure, of the complaint, to the pilot’s employer.

All CASA has to do is prove is that its disclosure to the employer is subject to qualified privilege. Unless the pilot can show that CASA knew the complaint was false but nonetheless disclosed it to the employer for malicious purposes, my money is on qualified privilege applying. When in doubt, “safety” must prevail over mere bagatelles like reputation, career and natural justice, don’t you know...

Qualified privilege applies to some disclosures precisely because they may turn out to be untrue and defamatory.

You should google the term “qualified privilege”. The word “qualified” in this context has nothing to do with the qualifications of the person making the defamatory statement. It’s about the restricted circumstances in which the privilege applies.

LeadSled
21st Aug 2018, 06:02
Folks,
A while ago now, but in one case, of which I am aware, the first time the victim knew he had a problem, was a few hours before a trip report time, he rang in to confirm availability. The roster clerk's reply: "Didn't you know you have been displaced, your medical has been suspended". So began an almost career terminating episode.

Such are the ways of the real world of CASA, and it isn't all that uncommon.

If Mr. Whitehall's lawyers are looking for witnesses as to CASA modus operandi in similar cases, just advertise on pprune, I will bet there will be no shortage of (now retired) potential witnesses.

Tootle pip!!

neville_nobody
21st Aug 2018, 06:46
All CASA has to do is prove is that its disclosure to the employer is subject to qualified privilege. Unless the pilot can show that CASA knew the complaint was false but nonetheless disclosed it to the employer for malicious purposes, my money is on qualified privilege applying. When in doubt, “safety” must prevail over mere bagatelles like reputation, career and natural justice, don’t you know...

Qualified privilege applies to some disclosures precisely because they may turn out to be untrue and defamatory.



I undestand the meaning of the term, and CASA would qualify. However my point is how does the neighbour qualify as someone who can present an accurate interpretation of what happened? Unless the guy confessed something to his neighbour CASA are opening themselves up here if their witness gets discredited in court or is proven to have a beef with the applicant. Qualified Priviledge is out the. window then.

Or put it another way what is stopping someone making up a story about a pilot and going to CASA with it? CASA can investigate but beyond that it's just a case of one persons word against another. Also certain behaviour doesn't necessarily mean you have X condition anyhow.

Will be an interesting court case

Lead Balloon
21st Aug 2018, 08:00
I’ll try another way.

Your neighbour goes to the police and states that Neville Nobody is a child molester. Your neighbour does so on the basis of statements made to her by her children, believing them to be true. But it turns out the children made it up, and the statement is in fact untrue.

I’d suggest the statements made by your neighbour to the police are highly defamatory of you, but are protected by qualified privilege.

Your neighbour instead goes to the corner of your street with a megaphone and announces to everyone and anyone in hearing range: “Neville Nobody is a child molester”.

I’d suggest that the statements made by your neighbour to the public generally are highly defamatory of you and not protected by qualified privilege.

Note that the basis, substance and untruth of the statements is the same in both scenarios.

I’m guessing that in the pilot’s case CASA is going to have to explain why it formed the view that the neighbour’s allegations were not merely malicious as a consequence of a domestic dispute. That said, I’m also guessing that the ‘when in doubt the interests of aviation ‘safety’ must prevail over trivia like natural justice, reputation and career’ will be the primary argument. Once Germanwings is invoked, you can safely assume that the probabilities of recurrence will be grossly exaggerated in ordinary minds, thus justifying - nay, resulting in the clamouring for - the sacrifice of just about any individual rights in the name of claimed mitigation. Avmed is parasitic on this stuff. (Witness the departing PMO’s scaremongering swan song missive.)

The awful irony has been alluded to earlier in this thread and in CASA’s discussion paper that led to the much-lauded but in-substance-minor medical certification ‘reform’. Who’d make the mistake of discussing a potential mental health problem with anyone, when even the ‘healthy’ can be unilaterally grounded on the basis of a mere doubt raised by untested information?

What a fantastic outcome for mental health and aviation safety.

Rated De
21st Aug 2018, 09:05
What a fantastic outcome for mental health and aviation safety

Without due process there is no aviation safety.

Any due process, sees a defence allowed discovery, CASA will protect the bureaucracy.

Seabreeze
21st Aug 2018, 09:49
The problem is that CASA writes the regulations, interprets them, prosecutes "offenders", then is jury and judge, and sets penalties for those it finds guilty. As others have pointed out the normal legal process is totally subverted into a star chamber by CASA.

A useful first step would be to introduce an ombudsman. A better step would be to separate functions and put compliance under the federal police.

SEABREEZE

V-Jet
21st Aug 2018, 10:22
Ahhhh Lead Balloon. Your words are old, but that does not detract from their genius:

Lead Balloon 2018:
Who’d make the mistake of discussing a potential mental health problem with anyone, when even the ‘healthy’ can be unilaterally grounded on the basis of a mere doubt raised by untested information?

Joseph Heller 1970:
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.

"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.

I hope the similarities aren’t obvious to just me (waste of a good joke:)) and probably even more depressing to realise how much money Mr Heller made out of same, but, Mr Balloon, you were onto something!

angryrat
21st Aug 2018, 21:31
I’ll try another way.

Your neighbour goes to the police and states that Neville Nobody is a child molester. Your neighbour does so on the basis of statements made to her by her children, believing them to be true. But it turns out the children made it up, and the statement is in fact untrue.

I’d suggest the statements made by your neighbour to the police are highly defamatory of you, but are protected by qualified privilege.

Your neighbour instead goes to the corner of your street with a megaphone and announces to everyone and anyone in hearing range: “Neville Nobody is a child molester”.

I’d suggest that the statements made by your neighbour to the public generally are highly defamatory of you and not protected by qualified privilege.

Note that the basis, substance and untruth of the statements is the same in both scenarios.

I’m guessing that in the pilot’s case CASA is going to have to explain why it formed the view that the neighbour’s allegations were not merely malicious as a consequence of a domestic dispute. That said, I’m also guessing that the ‘when in doubt the interests of aviation ‘safety’ must prevail over trivia like natural justice, reputation and career’ will be the primary argument. Once Germanwings is invoked, you can safely assume that the probabilities of recurrence will be grossly exaggerated in ordinary minds, thus justifying - nay, resulting in the clamouring for - the sacrifice of just about any individual rights in the name of claimed mitigation. Avmed is parasitic on this stuff. (Witness the departing PMO’s scaremongering swan song missive.)

The awful irony has been alluded to earlier in this thread and in CASA’s discussion paper that led to the much-lauded but in-substance-minor medical certification ‘reform’. Who’d make the mistake of discussing a potential mental health problem with anyone, when even the ‘healthy’ can be unilaterally grounded on the basis of a mere doubt raised by untested information?

What a fantastic outcome for mental health and aviation safety.Except in this case it hasn’t gone as you have stated. CASA has all the tools to stop the pilot from flying by pulling his medical. CASA don’t need to inform QF because they already have the tools and have levered them to stop the individual flying in the guise of safety. Where I believe this pilot will go at them, CASA used qualified privilege to stop him flying, however, letting his employer know had no additional safety benefits because he was already grounded.

Also, I’m not entirely convinced that the neighbour is protected under qualified privilege. Whistleblowers are protected, unless what they say, has been done maliciously. If the pilot could prove it was malicious then the neighbour would be liable.

Lead Balloon
21st Aug 2018, 22:54
But as I keep saying: It appears the neighbour is not a party to the litigation. Unless the neighbour is a party, the question whether the neighbour’s disclosure to CASA is protected by qualified privilege is academic.

As to the disclosure by CASA to the employer? You may be right.

But we can all confidently bet leftie that CASA will invoke Germanwings and ‘safety’ as the justification - indeed, CASA already has. And we can all confidently bet leftie that CASA knows that rationality goes out the window, closely followed by concerns about trivia like natural justice and an individual’s career and reputation, when punters contemplate Germanwings. There can no price on aviation ‘safety’....

I anticipate CASA will use some exquisite sophistry to draw a causal link between ‘safety’ and the disclosure to the employer. All CASA needs to do is create enough fear of another Germanwings and they’d get away with putting up posters in airports with your picture and a sign saying “Warning: This pilot might be suicidal”.

Don’t get me wrong: If I were a religious person, I’d be praying to every deity for a win for the pilot. But, like religion, aviation safety regulation in Australia is about fear and intuition and magic, not objective risks and causally beneficial mitigations of those risks.

Seagull201
21st Aug 2018, 23:14
Everyone contributing to this thread is going around in circles, hold your horses.
Nobody knows what's actually written in rhe alleged report.
Eveeyone has to wait and see what lead to these circumstances and what's alleged to have been said.
All the facts please!
Also, who is this neighbour, their age, proffession, and relationship with the pilot?
Its an terrible situation for any person to be subjected to.
Really need to wait and see, the whole story.

TimmyTee
21st Aug 2018, 23:55
But that's the scary part Seagull. If it wasn't for this pilot luckily coming across the infornation, it's confidentiality would have meant the facts, and answers to all your questions, would have never come out.
That's the heart of the issue.

angryrat
22nd Aug 2018, 02:38
But as I keep saying: It appears the neighbour is not a party to the litigation. Unless the neighbour is a party, the question whether the neighbour’s disclosure to CASA is protected by qualified privilege is academic.

As to the disclosure by CASA to the employer? You may be right.

But we can all confidently bet leftie that CASA will invoke Germanwings and ‘safety’ as the justification - indeed, CASA already has. And we can all confidently bet leftie that CASA knows that rationality goes out the window, closely followed by concerns about trivia like natural justice and an individual’s career and reputation, when punters contemplate Germanwings. There can no price on aviation ‘safety’....

I anticipate CASA will use some exquisite sophistry to draw a causal link between ‘safety’ and the disclosure to the employer. All CASA needs to do is create enough fear of another Germanwings and they’d get away with putting up posters in airports with your picture and a sign saying “Warning: This pilot might be suicidal”.

Don’t get me wrong: If I were a religious person, I’d be praying to every deity for a win for the pilot. But, like religion, aviation safety regulation in Australia is about fear and intuition and magic, not objective risks and causally beneficial mitigations of those risks.Its going to take one hell of a lawyer to convince a jury to forget German Wings. That said, the lawyer might compare it to the government taking away Centrelink payments based on their neighbours false report 😉

With regards to the neighbour not being named, the pilot has probably been advised it’s not worth taking the neighbour on without substantial evidence of maliciousness. If the pilot doesn’t have what was reported by the neighbour, is it possible that action against the neighbour might come after some evidence is shaken loose?

Court cases aside, I hope the unions are onto law makers about this. It’s unconscionable that a pilot can be grounded without due process.

I wonder if Dennis Dunuto and Lawrence Hammill QC are available? The vibe of this thing might come under the Constitution :ok:

V-Jet
22nd Aug 2018, 04:20
The pilot is also a lawyer and I understand there is quite some police history between the two - history that all relates favourably to the pilot.

Lookleft
22nd Aug 2018, 04:27
Unfortunately its the pilot who is unable to work at the moment. I assume he is still being paid a base salary but he is missing out on the overtime and allowances. I wonder whether it would worthwhile paying a psychologist for an hour consultation for a mental health checkup and be certified healthy in the same way we have to pay for an ECG to assess the state of our heart. At least if there is an anonymous complaint you already have a Dr's assessment that you don't have a mental health issue.

Rated De
22nd Aug 2018, 04:32
The pilot is also a lawyer and I understand there is quite some police history between the two - history that all relates favourably to the pilot.

That is a very welcome development. It is much harder to bully and intimidate when an individual is well aware of their rights and knows when less is more.

It would be of immense value if the litigation exposes a woeful lack of due process by the regulator

megan
22nd Aug 2018, 05:54
That is good news V-Jet. Anyone know if the union is involved?

Traffic_Is_Er_Was
22nd Aug 2018, 06:05
Separate from the issue of QF finding out, how does he know it was the neighbour who complained to CASA? Is it not a "confidential and anonymous" reporting system? Is he making an assumption based on 'who else could it have been?' What sort of anonymous reporting system identifies and records those who report?

megan
22nd Aug 2018, 06:33
He is in possession of a copy of the report. CASA are pursuing legal avenues to have him return it. Someone must have his interest at heart to pass it on, good for them for doing something against this rapacious and inept organisation. Am I allowed to fly a lighty yet if the temp exceeds 40°C?

Okihara
22nd Aug 2018, 07:12
He is in possession of a copy of the report. CASA are pursuing legal avenues to have him return it. Someone must have his interest at heart to pass it on, good for them for doing something against this rapacious and inept organisation. Am I allowed to fly a lighty yet if the temp exceeds 40°C?
That's where I can't put 2 and 2 together. What is CASA hoping to achieve here? The pilot's already got the information, how can he possibly be expected to return it? Surely CASA can't believe that he wouldn't have made a copy for himself prior to sending it back. That's a ludicrous charge.

Rated De
22nd Aug 2018, 07:13
He is in possession of a copy of the report. CASA are pursuing legal avenues to have him return it. Someone must have his interest at heart to pass it on, good for them for doing something against this rapacious and inept organisation. Am I allowed to fly a lighty yet if the temp exceeds 40°C?

Agreed.
CASA could have simply suspended the medical certificate. They did not.
It would appear axiomatically that there are elements within both the regulatory and flight operations body that view this draconian overreach as very much against the interests of aviation safety. An otherwise anonymous and unreliable witnesses can cut down a professional pilot without any regard given to the motivation, qualification or history of the complainant.

Justice is served by open process, not dystopian bureaucracy.

wombat watcher
22nd Aug 2018, 08:35
Agreed.
CASA could have simply suspended the medical certificate. They did not.
It would appear axiomatically that there are elements within both the regulatory and flight operations body that view this draconian overreach as very much against the interests of aviation safety. An otherwise anonymous and unreliable witnesses can cut down a professional pilot without any regard given to the motivation, qualification or history of the complainant.

Justice is served by open process, not dystopian bureaucracy.


what makes you think CASA didn’t suspend his medical certificate? The article says “licence” but I wouldn’t place any credence on that. I doubt the reporter would know the technical difference.
Normally, the medical is suspended pending further evidence.
In a past case which is very similar, it involved requiring the pilot to attend a shrink to be assessed as not having the mental issues he was reported as having.
He spent the next 5 years highly affronted, refusing to see a shrink and taking failed legal action, mostly without pay. He was then terminated for not fulfilling his contract of employment. He didn’t ever fly as a pilot again.
All his mates and his union were egging him on and assuring him that the legal way would succeed. His mates and his union indirectly aided and abetted CASA in destroying his piloting career.

LeadSled
22nd Aug 2018, 08:45
Folks,
I would really like to know all the facts in this matter.
Tootle pip!!

Traffic_Is_Er_Was
22nd Aug 2018, 10:08
He is in possession of a copy of the report.
I get that, but why is a supposedly anonymous source identified in the report? I have never used CASA's "anonymous and confidential" system, but surely they don't ask for your name and address as part of the process? Or does the anonymous report contain enough detail that the responder can identify the source?

compressor stall
22nd Aug 2018, 11:33
Okiara, if you cannot legally have it, you can't use it to mount your case.

Traffic etc.... https://www.casa.gov.au/about-us/webform/reporting-unsafe-behaviour.

What is extraordinary is that there are two check buttons, one for "Health concerns about a pilot" and the other for everything else....

Lead Balloon
22nd Aug 2018, 11:47
what makes you think CASA didn’t suspend his medical certificate? The article says “licence” but I wouldn’t place any credence on that. I doubt the reporter would know the technical difference.
Normally, the medical is suspended pending further evidence.
In a past case which is very similar, it involved requiring the pilot to attend a shrink to be assessed as not having the mental issues he was reported as having.
He spent the next 5 years highly affronted, refusing to see a shrink and taking failed legal action, mostly without pay. He was then terminated for not fulfilling his contract of employment. He didn’t ever fly as a pilot again.
All his mates and his union were egging him on and assuring him that the legal way would succeed. His mates and his union indirectly aided and abetted CASA in destroying his piloting career.
So what do you suggest the pilot should have done? Capitulate in the face of such an outrageous denial of natural justice? Given how gutless most of the pilot population is, and given their propensity to scramble over the carcasses of their colleagues to get a job, you’re probably correct: Capitulation is probably the only practical option. Okiara, if you cannot legally have it, you can't use it to mount your case.Bollocks.

Administrative torture is not a prosecution. There are no rules of evidence in the administrative torture process.

wombat watcher
22nd Aug 2018, 12:10
If he wants to save his piloting career, do exactly what CASA asks him to do to deal with the accusation tht he is not really the person that the person who put in the CAIR report alleges.
OR
He can sue the pants off whoever he chooses, appeal his position through the various avenues of the legal system that are available to him to clear his name.
if he wants his job back, I recommend the former.
If he wants to clear his name, revenge, get back at his neighbour or any thing else, choose the latter.
he can’t have both.
The former has a good chance of success.
The latter, he has a better chance of winning the $50 million lotto.

mattyj
22nd Aug 2018, 20:28
Yeah taking the easier option to avoid making trouble for yourself is pretty much how the mafia works too

Rated De
22nd Aug 2018, 23:06
So what do you suggest the pilot should have done? Capitulate in the face of such an outrageous denial of natural justice? Given how gutless most of the pilot population is, and given their propensity to scramble over the carcasses of their colleagues to get a job, you’re probably correct: Capitulation is probably the only practical option. Bollocks.

Administrative torture is not a prosecution. There are no rules of evidence in the administrative torture process.


Very correct. It is akin to starving a pilot out. Denied of natural justice and starved of income, usually means the pilot will cease and desist. It is the cowardice of CASA on display for all pilots, and from the posts it appears they may have met an interesting adversary. CASA see themselves collectively above the law, not subject to oversight and therefore able to act unilaterally.

Also agree that CASA's insistence to invalidate possession of the said documents is bollocks, the court may well see it differently.

LeadSled
23rd Aug 2018, 01:26
CASA see themselves collectively above the law, not subject to oversight and therefore able to act unilaterally.

Folks,
Some time ago now, witnessed by me, so not a second hand story.

The then DAS/CEO in a meeting with the then Minister, the subject CASA treatment of an investigation, as investigator, judge, jury and executioner.

In answer to a direct question by said Minister, the DAS/CEO reply: "But, Minister, if I had to have proof, I would need another hundred investigators".

Aroa, who posts here, can tell you all about CASA "investigative procedures".

Tootle pip!!

ruprecht
23rd Aug 2018, 01:41
Yeah taking the easier option to avoid making trouble for yourself is pretty much how the mafia works too

My thoughts exactly.

Okihara
23rd Aug 2018, 03:11
Okiara, if you cannot legally have it, you can't use it to mount your case.
Traffic etc.... https://www.casa.gov.au/about-us/webform/reporting-unsafe-behaviour.
What is extraordinary is that there are two check buttons, one for "Health concerns about a pilot" and the other for everything else....

Definitely. But then: what's at stake for CASA to sue the pilot in an effort to have him "return" said report?

CaptCloudbuster
23rd Aug 2018, 07:33
https://www.casa.gov.au/about-us/webform/reporting-unsafe-behaviour.

What is extraordinary is that there are two check buttons, one for "Health concerns about a pilot" and the other for everything else....

I note though they managed 3 check buttons for Gender *Male *Female or *Other:rolleyes:

Biggles78
23rd Aug 2018, 11:11
If he wants to save his piloting career, do exactly what CASA asks him to do
And that worked so well for John Quandro didn't it.

Capt Fathom
23rd Aug 2018, 12:08
That would be John Quadrio?

Golden Rivit
27th Sep 2018, 18:25
Brief about the Quadrio affair,John Quadrio « Assistance to the Aviation Industry (http://vocasupport.com/casa/casa-and-actions-against-the-industry/john-quadrio/)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVtHIuZSWcM

oldm8ey
25th Nov 2018, 12:35
Wow. All too familiar. I took an 18 month break from flying and lived out of a suitcase while this happened to me. I chose the path of working with the regulator to slowly navigate the process. I'm back at work, business as usual now. Cost was well north of $200K in the end. Fortunately my employer was supportive through the process. The offender is now an RFDS nurse who misrepresented their qualifications to seem more credible (look out RFDS boys and girls). It still baffles me how it was ok for someone to do this with no repercussions. Of note: I thought hard about litigating but in the end chose to move on with my life. Hope this guy gets through ok.