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View Full Version : We must never become complacent – Dick Smith


Dick Smith
30th Oct 2018, 05:03
I find it fascinating that a number of people have contacted me to tell me how “safe” we are in Australia compared to countries such as Indonesia when it comes to airline flying.

Of course, the word “safe” means without risk and that unfortunately is not possible.

Both times that I have been Chairman of the regulator (CAA and then CASA) I would wake up every morning dreading that this could be the day when we have an airline accident.Yes, we have been very lucky and we do have very well qualified crew, and we can afford the best training and very often the most modern aircraft. However everything in life has risk and we must never become complacent.I know whenever I see or hear of an accident I try to find out how it occurred and always think “When will I do that?” or “When will it happen to me?”

Of course we have been incredibly fortunate. It was one of the Qantas pilots who mentioned to me years ago how fortunate we were that there was a golf course at the end of the runway at Bangkok and not a container terminal. Also, more recently, that the Airbus A380 incident at Singapore did not result in the fuel catching alight.

What I am saying in this post is never take for granted that we are perfectly “safe”. I sincerely hope, like everyone else, that we can go for as long as possible without a serious accident and a jet airline fatality.I think most would agree that the second you take it for granted that we are “safe” it could come back to bite you.

Icarus2001
30th Oct 2018, 05:12
Of course, the word “safe” means without risk and that unfortunately is not possible.

I agree with the sentiments of what you say wholeheartedly but we both know that "safe" does not mean without risk. Travelling to work by car carries risk but it is considered safe. Walking to work is safe but carries risk. Flight in a single engine aircraft at night is safe for a pilot to take friends flying but not "safe enough" to carry fare paying passengers.
When we say safe I believe me mean safe enough. Is tandem skydiving safe? Scuba diving?

mulisector
30th Oct 2018, 05:17
I think We’re always at risk with FRMS constantly being pushed back by CASA and them allowing our low cost carriers repeatly to get exemptions on the 900 hours/ year rule to let us fly up to 1000hrs. Fatigue and cost cutting is now the biggest risk of a major crash in Australia .... thoughts ?

wombat watcher
30th Oct 2018, 05:29
“Of course we have been incredibly fortunate. It was one of the Qantas pilots who mentioned to me years ago how fortunate we were that there was a golf course at the end of the runway at Bangkok and not a container terminal.”

Dick,
The person who made that statement is just as ridiculous as you are in believing it.
the aircraft came to a stop 220 m from the paved end of the runway. There plenty of gullies, creeks, roads, fences,depressions, valleys, ditches, oceans, harbours, rivers,etc about that far from the departure end of some runways but I don’t think there are too many stacks of containers or container terminals.

megan
30th Oct 2018, 05:51
I think the point the good Captain was making is that there was a golf course and not serious obstacles (insert obstacle of choice). One of the harbours you cite could very well be a container terminal. Nothing ridiculous about it IMHO.

George Glass
30th Oct 2018, 05:56
What complacency? When was the last time you sat in on matrix sim. session with one of our major carriers Dick? The "IAS Disagree Non-Normal",if that's what turns out to be the cause,is trained to competency in all major carriers in Australia.Have a chat to Trainers who have actually worked with our northern neighbors.You might get a reality check.They have a very real problem.Their hull-loss rate is off the scale.I personally have had several incidents in Indonesian airspace that made my hair stand on end.Comparing the Indonesian aviation environment with Australia's is simply ill-informed. Stick to GA Dick .And don't let your family fly domestically in Indonesia.

Rated De
30th Oct 2018, 05:56
Any idiot airline manager (executive) and quite a few come to mind, that thinks aviation is a game and 'just a business' should be mandated to walk through a debris field and pick up charred body parts.

For a company like (insert airline) although the ultimate arbiter of all financial decisions is the CEO, no AOC accountability exists at his level.
A useful idiot lower down the chain holds the can. CASA permit this.

wombat watcher
30th Oct 2018, 06:23
I think the point the good Captain was making is that there was a golf course and not serious obstacles (insert obstacle of choice). One of the harbours you cite could very well be a container terminal. Nothing ridiculous about it IMHO.

If you take the time to read the official report, you’ll find that most of the aircraft damage was by the concrete foundations of the ILS antennae. ( a major hazard at any airport). WLG has a harbour and the container terminal is miles away. SYD has a bay and the container terminal is nowhere near the runways. Lots of pax have been injured or killed over the years past by aircraft that run off the runway into other things than container terminals.
At SYD to the north there is a stack of containers off the end of the runway. In the event of an overrun, an aircraft would have to plough through the ILS antennae, the approach lights, a perimeter road, the boundary fence, a four lane major road, the Cook’s river , and veer 45 degrees left to find the stack of containers.

TBM-Legend
30th Oct 2018, 06:26
What complacency? When was the last time you sat in on matrix sim. session with one of our major carriers Dick? The "IAS Disagree Non-Normal",if that's what turns out to be the cause,is trained to competency in all major carriers in Australia.Have a chat to Trainers who have actually worked with our northern neighbors.You might get a reality check.They have a very real problem.Their hull-loss rate is off the scale.I personally have had several incidents in Indonesian airspace that made my hair stand on end.Comparing the Indonesian aviation environment with Australia's is simply ill-informed. Stick to GA Dick .And don't let your family fly domestically in Indonesia.

Dick said nothing of the sort. People in George Glass houses shouldn't throw stones!

Dick Smith
30th Oct 2018, 09:31
George , no. I will not be sticking to GA. I fly quite a bit with our Aussie owned airlines now that I have sold the Citation.

Thats one one of the reasons I would prefer that no one becomes to confident that we will never have an accident.

Global Aviator
30th Oct 2018, 09:33
Dick,

Excellent points indeed. Complacency and automation a deadly combination.

Yes Australia has a good safety culture and neighbouring countries certainly have issues. It is the big picture that needs to be fixed. Problem is like the tragic Air Asia A320 loss a few years ago nothing will be done, Lion Air will continue.

I say say good on the Australian government for not showing complacency and putting out the trave advice.

Back on topic, yes Australia has been lucky, it is the lucky country!

Look at the Mildura incident a few years ago, Perth and alternate fuel, I am sure there are many more.

Stay safe!

gordonfvckingramsay
30th Oct 2018, 10:25
Dick, I certainly don’t didagree with what you’re getting at. I do think the most complacent thing in Australian aviation is the assumption that CASA are an effective regulator. Our current safety record is only with us by virtue of the residual experience, culture and maintenance practices; all of which are being eroded by a regulator who capitulates to big business.

In my time in aviation, I have seen training, experience levels, maintenance (maintenance by MEL deferral due “nil time to rectify etc) all reduce to bare bones while MBA driven, career CEOs and slash and burn economics have risen unhindered.

Australia, at a latent level, is unsafe. We are a ticking time bomb and at any time, only hours away from having “the unimaginable accident”.

The fish rots from the head!

cattletruck
30th Oct 2018, 10:33
With a record like this
https://www.pprune.org/australia-new-zealand-pacific/614896-bb-solves-jt-610-crash.html#post10296321 (post #6)
how does a LLC continue to make money after damaging 13 expensive hulls?
I guess the answer is it's simply the wrong people are running that airline with no ability or capability or care to fix it.
We must never become like that.

George Glass
30th Oct 2018, 11:03
Dick, Have you the faintest idea what you are talking about? Have you any understanding of how the Check and Training systems of major Australian RPT carriers work? The system that functions 24/7 365 days a year doesnt happen by accident. Why do you feel the need to comment on something you know nothing about? Why you had the ear of politicians for so long is a mystery.

Gligg
30th Oct 2018, 11:50
I don’t believe Dick was questioning the hard work being done, more about not resting on laurels. Nobody is immune to complacency, it is a daily discipline.

gordonfvckingramsay
30th Oct 2018, 12:13
Laurels are already being rested upon. Everything has been paired back to nothing and the evidence being used to justify it is all based on retrospective success.....which was built on a management style which has all but disappeared.

LeadSled
30th Oct 2018, 13:37
Dick, Have you the faintest idea what you are talking about? Have you any understanding of how the Check and Training systems of major Australian RPT carriers work? The system that functions 24/7 365 days a year doesnt happen by accident. Why do you feel the need to comment on something you know nothing about? Why you had the ear of politicians for so long is a mystery.

George Glass,
Instead of using this thread as an opportunity to stick it to Dick Smith, why don't you contribute something useful.

A number of contributors to this thread thread are on the money, "things" have been pared back, and even in Qantas, the "Head of Safety" (or whatever the current title is) no longer reports direct to the CEO.

To have a careful look at the consolidated list of six months of reportable incidents for one major Australian carrier makes sobering reading. We are not nearly as good as many of you obviously think you are. And, after all, in world aviation terms, Australian RPT is little more than a statistical rounding error.

And, as for CASA, a case can be made that, certainly in GA and the smaller RPT carrier, CASA diktats actually increase risk, I most certainly agree that the latent conditions for a major accident exists. And don't forget, before the jet age, Australia had a terrible accident record, and it is still pretty ropy at the non-jet end of public transport.

Indeed, as a matter of policy, flying skills have been degraded in Australia over recent years, as a Senior Check for a major carrier said to me recently, we were discussing the deterioration in handling standards: "We have made a terrible rod for our own backs".

Tootle pip!!

PS: And how about we drop "safety", a useless word, dimensionless but charged with emotion ---- a meaningless word in the context of risk management.

Arthur D
30th Oct 2018, 13:54
I find it fascinating that a number of people have contacted me to tell me how “safe” we are in Australia compared to countries such as Indonesia when it comes to airline flying.

Of course, the word “safe” means without risk and that unfortunately is not possible.

Both times that I have been Chairman of the regulator (CAA and then CASA) I would wake up every morning dreading that this could be the day when we have an airline accident.

Dick, with respect, I disagree.

Comparatively, we are statistically less likely to be harmed flying by Airline aircraft in Australia than Indonesia. That is a fact.

I do not believe that is simply a function of training (even though we train to excellent standards).

The reason we are safer, is because we have a mature system of oversight and safety management in Australia. This is why the FAA and the Europeans banned Indonesian carriers, not because of just pilot or engineer standards, or aircraft age, but because their airlines ability to manage safety to a risk level as low as reasonably practical (ALARP) was poor and their regulators abilty to oversight that was even worse.

In saying that you, as Chairman of CASA, were effectively in constant fear of an accident concerns me as it implies that you had no faith in the organisation you were leading’s ability to oversight, regulate and improve Australian airlines safety management systems. It is in effect an indictment on that very organisation and the airlines it oversees.

Whilst I have some sympathy for that view in terms of CASA, (its inaction on Indonesian carriers being one example), I do not agree that we, in Australia should live in constant fear of an Airline accident. This is not to say it will never happen, but the likelihood is extremely rare and should be getting rarer every year.

Previous commentators have suggested that there is a lack of ‘proper’ accountability in Australia. I would suggest those in doubt read Section 28 of the Act, in particular 28BE. Directors cannot escape their accountability. If they choose to ignore operational risk, they do so at their own peril.

PLovett
30th Oct 2018, 14:03
Complacency is, I believe, another word for the normalisation of deviance and no, it is not something that comes in a plain-brown wrapper. It is the insidious tendency to shave safety standards to the point where a crash becomes inevitable. The phrase was coined by a researcher looking at the Challenger shuttle disaster, Diane Vaughan who was also involved in the Columbia shuttle investigation. In both cases she identified instances of where NASA had accepted dangerous practices (sticking O-rings on the booster rockets & ceramic heat tile damage) as they hadn't caused any issue on earlier flights.

Australia does have a good aviation record. Whether it would be as good if we had some of the traffic and weather problems experienced in other countries is arguable but all of our legislation is written in blood so it cannot be argued that it is our regulator that is keeping us safe. If safety was dependent of the regulator I would never travel by air again after having had to deal with them.

The reality is that airlines have realised that crashes are enormously expensive both in dollar and reputation terms; the vast majority of pilots do not want to die; and engineers don't like the thought of their work being the cause of a crash. The task is for managers to realise that cutting training or maintenance is short road to hell (not forgetting that under the present regulations they can be held liable for breaches); for pilots to put their egos behind them and realise that you are never too old to learn and for engineers to always remember maintenance procedures are there for a reason.

Torres
30th Oct 2018, 22:59
The authors of a few posts above are so far up themselves they fail to see reality.

It is only the competent, capable and experienced amongst our Australian professional pilot workforce who have retained and trained to a very high standard of airmanship and competency - despite the best efforts of CASA, incompetent and disinterested Ministers for Transport, Governments generally and airline executive management to minimize safety and investment in quality systems of type endorsement, check and training.

I suspect the most recent two B737 hull losses in this part of the World could be directly attributable to underfunded, inefficient and unskilled training and checking and possibly in the most recent loss, a near absence of checking and training.

When those few competent, capable and experienced amongst our Australian professional pilot workforce finally retire, watch the aviation accident and hull insurance rates both rise.

Dick Smith is on the money.

gordonfvckingramsay
30th Oct 2018, 23:00
so it cannot be argued that it is our regulator that is keeping us safe.

There is no doubt our safety record was earned in blood. Whether the regulator had anything to do with that is all in the past, but the problem is that nowadays CASA are not standing in the way of a backwards slide. I can quite categirically say that when an Australian airline has a major accident, it will not be an accident by pure definition, the causal factors will have been reported by a pilot/engineer etc as having a likelihood of causing an accident and the people with safety oversight will have deemed it a non threat.

Someone said in an earlier post that we should stop referring to the word “safe”, we should also stop referring to the word “accident” as there are very few true accidents in aviation. Almost all causal factors have been reported and then denied due to lack of evidence that they pose a threat.

We personify a normalisation of deviance in Australia.

777Nine
31st Oct 2018, 00:56
With a record like this
https://www.pprune.org/australia-new-zealand-pacific/614896-bb-solves-jt-610-crash.html#post10296321 (post #6)
how does a LLC continue to make money after damaging 13 expensive hulls?
I guess the answer is it's simply the wrong people are running that airline with no ability or capability or care to fix it.
We must never become like that.

Third world wages, turn a blind eye to everything, don't say anything if it is out of place, don't question authority. Catch my drift? I also think what keeps LLCs in Indonesia going is not only their massive domestic market, but South East Asia in general. They have a different attitude towards safety than we do and the general populace will continue to fly with them. You must remember, the average punter wants the cheapest possible flight, seldom are their interested things like the maintenance record of a company, its procedures, its training etc.

LeadSled
31st Oct 2018, 00:59
Torres, Gordonetc,
I could not agree more.
And for those of you who think we are pretty good at "committing aviation" in Australia, have a very close look (with your rose coloured glasses removed) at US accident/incident figure versus Australia, using ICAO DEFINITIONS, not Australian PR polished figures --- you might learn something, if you can open your eyes to the obvious.
Tootle pip!!

Traffic_Is_Er_Was
31st Oct 2018, 06:07
the average punter wants the cheapest possible flight, seldom are their interested things like the maintenance record of a company, its procedures, its training etc.
The average punter more than likely assumes that all of that is the same for airlines, because the "government makes them do it". Where they perceive the cheap fares come from is: reduced face to face staff, reduced services on the aircraft, paying extra for things like luggage allowance, food and beverages, In-flight Entertainment, etc that the expensive ticket has included. That is where they will think the airline is saving money. They just think the full cost carriers are ripping people off.

George Glass
31st Oct 2018, 09:25
Well,Leadsled,I dont know what your background is (mine is 30 years fly jets)but the only reason I'm wasting my time commenting on this website is that professional Pilots get pretty fed up with enthusiastic amateurs and know-nothing clowns commenting on issues that they know nothing about.Including Dick Smith Again I ask; What complacency? Dicks assertion is baseless.The mob I work for could be reasonably accused of over-training. I appreciate that the web is what it is.But why do so many people feel the need to comment on issues they [email protected]#k all about?

Nulli Secundus
31st Oct 2018, 14:23
Is that really you Dick? I thought you got out of aviation?

LeadSled
31st Oct 2018, 15:40
Well,Leadsled,I dont know what your background is (mine is 30 years fly jets)but the only reason I'm wasting my time commenting on this website is that professional Pilots get pretty fed up with enthusiastic amateurs and know-nothing clowns commenting on issues that they know nothing about.Including Dick Smith Again I ask; What complacency? Dicks assertion is baseless.The mob I work for could be reasonably accused of over-training. I appreciate that the web is what it is.But why do so many people feel the need to comment on issues they [email protected]#k all about?

George Glass,
Enough hours over more years than you, on a variety of ATPLs by whatever name, just about everywhere but China (except just in and out a few times) and long experience as an instructor, to know what I am talking about.

Although I admit that apart from a slew of light aircraft, I haven't flown anything as small as a B737.

And unlike you (wherever you are) complacency is rife at a Government level in Australia, and is far too evident in airline managements, and a broad generation of Australian commercial ( in many cases I am very hesitant to use the word "professional") pilots employed by airlines ----- in large part because they have been told how good they are so often.

The statistics do not support such abundant self-satisfaction.

They believe it, despite all the evidence to the contrary. And "normalisation of deviance" is the order of the day.

And six months consolidated incidents from a major Australian airline should pull anybody up short ---- far too many of them include one (or more) of the tec. crew exhibiting less than optimal performance ( to put it it in managementspeak). Too many of the maintenance incidents show similar unsatisfactory patterns.

As for over training ---- there is "training" and effective training ----- there is a big difference. And it is far too big a subject to even scratch the surface here.

And, as a matter of interest, there is, within CASA, a group that says that neither CASA, nor the Australian aviation community, is sufficiently mature for performance based (outcome based) regulation, therefor Australian aviation must have ultra-prescriptive detailed regulation for CASA to micromanage every facet ---- which they cannot, in fact, achieve, but that is a significant contributor to our shambles of a regulatory base.

Tootle pip!!

Dick Smith
31st Oct 2018, 23:12
Arthur D, it is almost as if you believe that if all the regulations are followed that aviation will be “safe”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For example, look at ETOPS operations. Under ETOPS there can be an engine failure and the aircraft can keep flying as a single engine aircraft for many hours to landing. Is there a chance that the second engine could fail? Of course there is. If this is over a remote ocean at night, the consequences will be serious.

One day it will probably happen because the ETOPS equation is based on probability.

megan
1st Nov 2018, 00:37
Under ETOPS there can be an engine failure and the aircraft can keep flying as a single engine aircraft for many hours to landingWhen looked at along side the limitations placed upon the operation of single engine aircraft in fare paying pax operations it does seem a bit of an anomaly.One day it will probably happen because the ETOPS equation is based on probabilityIt probably will, and I wonder what recommendations the report would make. Have extremely vague memory of an uncontained failure during take off in an under wing twin engine type and it took out the other. Maybe just an old brain misremembering.

Torres
1st Nov 2018, 00:41
Well,Leadsled,I dont know what your background is (mine is 30 years fly jets)but the only reason I'm wasting my time commenting on this website is that professional Pilots get pretty fed up with enthusiastic amateurs and know-nothing clowns commenting on issues that they know nothing about.

But why do so many people feel the need to comment on issues they [email protected]#k all about?

Well, George I suggest you quit whilst you are ahead. I don't know you from Adam but I suspect LeadSled's aviation credentials and achievements most probably outshine your probably quite credible credentials and experience.

I wonder whether you may be one of those I referred to back in my post # 19?

gordonfvckingramsay
1st Nov 2018, 00:48
Comparatively, we are statistically less likely to be harmed flying by Airline aircraft in Australia than Indonesia. That is a fact.

It is a fact...and a fact used to justify the erosion of acceptable standards across the board. That is the nature of complacency; "she'll be right, it won't happen to us, we're too safe"


The reason we are safer, is because we have a mature system of oversight and safety management in Australia.

Reported something unsafe lately? I recently reported an unsafe/illegal procedure and it was deemed to be a minor issue; a minor issue that has brought aircraft down in the past in other countries.


This is why the FAA and the Europeans banned Indonesian carriers

But Australia didn't.


Previous commentators have suggested that there is a lack of ‘proper’ accountability in Australia. I would suggest those in doubt read Section 28 of the Act, in particular 28BE. Directors cannot escape their accountability. If they choose to ignore operational risk, they do so at their own peril

You forget the peril the paying public are in just as their lives are taken from them. It's a bit late when there is a hole in the ground, the bonus is in the bank and the Directors are safely living in a country without an extradition treaty. I wouldn't put much faith in the Directors being held accountable while there is a legal system that lacks a spine. Don't forget, the Directors can mandate all sorts of dangerous things, it is still you who is legally responsible if you choose to do it.

LeadSled
1st Nov 2018, 00:57
When looked at along side the limitations placed upon the operation of single engine aircraft in fare paying pax operations it does seem a bit of an anomaly.It probably will, and I wonder what recommendations the report would make. Have extremely vague memory of an uncontained failure during take off in an under wing twin engine type and it took out the other. Maybe just an old brain misremembering.

Megan,
I can recall several, they were all, fortunately, four engine aircraft that took out the engine beside it.
The worst, to my mind, was the El Al freighter at Amsterdam.
Early days of the B747 QF had a double failure at YSSY , a birdstrike ---- seagulls?. Fortunately, the aircraft was light. Same for ANZ at Christchurch early '90s, the aircraft was light.
In piston day, there were several examples of a runaway prop taking out an engine on the other side of the aircraft.
The only double failures (and no re-start) in a twin that comes to mind are: an SAS MD82 --- ice ingestion, not initially mechanical failure per se. Same same with a B737 in US, hail/heavy rain, landed on the levy bank beside a river. Not to mention the "Adventure on the Hudson". Maybe CASA should take action against unregulated birds.
But that is from an imperfect memory, not a comprehensive record.
Tootle pip!!

Global Aviator
1st Nov 2018, 02:16
Megan,
I can recall several, they were all, fortunately, four engine aircraft that took out the engine beside it.
The worst, to my mind, was the El Al freighter at Amsterdam.
Early days of the B747 QF had a double failure at YSSY , a birdstrike ---- seagulls?. Fortunately, the aircraft was light. Same for ANZ at Christchurch early '90s, the aircraft was light.
In piston day, there were several examples of a runaway prop taking out an engine on the other side of the aircraft.
The only double failures (and no re-start) in a twin that comes to mind are: an SAS MD82 --- ice ingestion, not initially mechanical failure per se. Same same with a B737 in US, hail/heavy rain, landed on the levy bank beside a river. Not to mention the "Adventure on the Hudson". Maybe CASA should take action against unregulated birds.
But that is from an imperfect memory, not a comprehensive record.
Tootle pip!!

Drop it into Google, there have been a few!

Traffic_Is_Er_Was
1st Nov 2018, 03:30
and I wonder what recommendations the report would make.
The report would say the that the ETOPS rules be reviewed to see if the probability (ie risk) is still acceptable. In terms of "safety", ultimately not, but commercially, certainly. Nothing will change over one incident.

73qanda
1st Nov 2018, 08:13
I feel like our Australian industry leaders are tootling along assuming that past performance predicts future performance all the while chipping away at the training budget and adding more and more training load/subjects/requirements. While the training departments are working harder with less, the flight and duty limits are being targeted with more sophisticated software and new technology creates opportunities for gross errors that would have been difficult to make using a 2kg paper chart book. Opportunities for regular hand flying of visual approaches are less than they were and those under thirty probably had an auto pilot from 200hrs on. Add to this the ground staff being less experienced in aviation and under more time pressure year on year as split duties and third party contractors become the norm and we are more exposed to risk than many understand. I suspect that a large % of Airline executives don’t really understand how to achieve safety but are pretty good at managing systems.....that’s not a good place to be, we need real understanding at the helm in order to make sensible decisions around flight safety.
In short, I think Dick is right and we need more leaders driving to work concerned about whether they are getting everything right, not less.

LeadSled
1st Nov 2018, 13:16
I feel like our Australian industry leaders are tootling along assuming that past performance predicts future performance all the while chipping ---------
In short, I think Dick is right and we need more leaders driving to work concerned about whether they are getting everything right, not less.
73qanda,
In short summary, as a previous poster pointed out, all the conditions of latent failure are in place in Australia.
The probability of all the holes in the Swiss cheese lining up is getting greater.
Tootle pip!!

Capn Bloggs
1st Nov 2018, 14:46
we need more leaders driving to work concerned about whether they are getting everything right, not less.
We need more action by the regulator to maintain standards of an increasingly busy job. While some of you are saying companies should be doing the right thing, society has changed. Everybody's out to make a hard-earned buck, the bogans don't choose $$ over a safe operation, and the only way declining pilot standards will be maintained or elevated back to acceptable will be by the regulators upping the requirements.

Chocks Away
1st Nov 2018, 17:28
...and sadly Cpt Bloggs, the regulator aint worth a pinch if s#*t now!
I raised an issue over Medicals back awhile ago and the only time I got a response was after I went to the media and things happened fast then. I received an email and my medical 6am the Friday the story was posted in The Australian! A few in AVMED lost there jobs, medicals now processed in 3 days etc etc.
Since when did Australia become a place like China/Asia by which you need to shame people in public, to get an honest result... instead of once being "the yard stick" which many people looked up to?
CASA have screwed the pooch big time with the prohibitive litigiousness, costs & red tape, that to try and start an airline; get your Instructors Rating or even just be compliant in GA is utter and total b#ll.
73qanda covers it well, in that those trying to steer the ship, have no idea what the ship is for or it's workings! Many sirens are blaring away but they are oblivious to them or their reasons why.
Such examples include crewing experience shortfalls; crewing numbers shortage; Fatigue Management systems; Safety Management; Engineering quality assurance; Rostering "maximisation"...

I'll expand on that last point as it's a classic example and a big reason why many experienced crew hemorrhaged away from VB (back in the day) and is a great example - Kronos rostering came in to fix all the issues and iron out a massive Domestic roster at first (thence International later). First few months... brilliant! 75-80% satisfaction rating as everyone could lodge their preferences and the Canadian computer system would spit out the best optimum on given work rules. Everyones happy... sweet... until HR start pressing the "override button" to extend duties to max. Result? Discord, complaints... then resignations, slow at first but then a stream.
The lesson for desk jockeys & HR is that Flight & Duty Limitations ARE NOT A GOAL TO REACH but a MAXIMUM limitation by which you will lose and cost you money. Examples to see are littered everywhere on a daily basis throughout the globe.
Sadly, like the Banking & Financial Industry, their regulators - ATSIC & APRA have been "asleep at the wheel" or on holidays.
It's all very nice to hand over responsibility to the operators for many of the programs but CASA need to get a spine and start policing those who don't have their Fatigue Management Systems, their Quality Assurance; Part142; Safety Management Systems in place already... otherwise you're just as bad and corrupt as your Northern neighbors.

megan
2nd Nov 2018, 01:50
Australian industry leaders are tootling along assuming that past performance predicts future performanceAin't that the truth. An operator went for three decades without an accident or injury, when management was tackled about the lack of compliance they pulled out the chestnut "we've never had an incident or accident, so we're doing things right". Should frame that email.

machtuk
2nd Nov 2018, 02:18
Anytime I see a thread that Dick has started or even added to I enjoy the reading the replies etc, love the few same suspects that run Dick over by bus cause he gives an opinion different to them, that's entertaining:-) TEM, that's the 'IN' word these days, there's industries set up around it & is a subject that has a mythical aspect to it. In my opinion two of those threats are ATC & CASA, we are lucky (if that's what you want to label it as) here in OZ that the WX is mostly benign, training is reasonable & the skies not crowded but we do have the aforementioned two threats/risks.
Continue on Dick, you do add value to our aviation scene despite what some say:-):-)

Mr Approach
2nd Nov 2018, 10:41
Younger people may not agree but are we reaching the end of an safety era?
The years since WW2 have seen a generation of pilots brought up in a system where flying the aeroplane was paramount. They have come to terms with the new era where they get to monitor the aeroplane and enjoy the automatic help they get to complete the constant intellectual exercises of flying, navigating, and communicating; but the intellectual exercise is still going on in their brains...
Furthermore the people they are training are required to meet these age-old standards or they don't get to sit in the left hand seat.

Are the less well developed areas of the world, where flying was never the seat of the pants job, showing us a new failure mode?
Why does a flight instrument failure (yet to be confirmed) put a brand new aircraft into the ocean? How do two aircraft recently end up in the water short of their respective runways?
Can we, in Australia, hang onto those "master pilot" skills when the industry wants the equivalent of the unmanned ore trains in West Australia?

We may have reached a point on the airliner evolutionary stage when the aeroplane can do just enough to make everyone complacent, but not enough to not require a human to intervene when the FMS runs out of (pre-programmed) ideas.
The car industry is facing similar issues with driverless cars, how long before we start to see - I thought the car was driving itself - accidents?

Sorry I don't have the answers but I also don't think it is anything to do with CASA. We are the custodians of the standards, we should ensure we do not cut corners, we should report anybody that does.
In the end the buck stops with everyone of us who is in a position of accountability in the industry.
If you are young remember what an old man once told me "we have to teach the old blokes to trust the automation, and the young blokes not to trust it"

megan
3rd Nov 2018, 03:13
are we reaching the end of an safety era?One thing I've often wondered about is the complexity of todays aircraft such that the drivers are in over their heads. Thinking of the likes of the QF A330 that had a mind of its own and ATSB were unable to source the root cause, and the BA 747 at Jo'burg where some of the LE retracted during take off, a latent system logic failure that hadn't made itself known previously. It's not like the piston days where a handle in the cockpit operated some gizmo somewhere in the airframe through mechanical means without interlocks.

You only need to read Tech Log to see confusion that reigns on certain system aspects, currently the 737 STS.

Captain Sherm
4th Nov 2018, 11:11
Dick...professionals earn their living by embedding "Chronic Unease" into their daily lives. Not as a one stop shop for safety because training, SOPs, discipline, readiness, rehearsing of "what-ifs", listening, continuous learning, experience, culture, prudence etc etc etc are all foundation stones too.

First flight at Royal Vic 1966, Victa 100.....I remember the instructors words so well. "Always check the fuel in the tanks by looking, even if your own mother swears she's checked it for you". It all builds from there. And there's much more than just that in professional airmanship.

Reminding professionals of the blindingly obvious troubles me Dick because it makes me wonder just how much deeper than skin deep is your own knowledge of how real safety works.

Dick Smith
5th Nov 2018, 08:17
Could I suggest that anyone with an interest in continued air safety keys “normalization of deviance” into Google.

You will see what I am getting at!

George Glass
5th Nov 2018, 08:38
Good grief. Normalization of deviance? Based on what???What evidence do you have? What do you actually know about airline training? You are getting close to being libelous Dick.Are you really calling into question the check and training infrastructure of Australia's major carriers? I dont think you have any idea of what you are talking about.Why other posts on this thread think you have credibility is a mystery.

zanthrus
5th Nov 2018, 13:49
George Glass Libelous? Here you go then, JETSTAR ARE UNSAFE! QANTAS ARE UNSAFE! TIGER ARE UNSAFE! VIRGIN ARE UNSAFE! SOAR AVIATION ARE UNSAFE! REX ARE ******* RIPOFF MERCHANTS WHO TREAT THEIR CREW AS SCUM! GO YER HARDEST MUTHERF#CKER!

Rated De
5th Nov 2018, 20:57
When 'commercial considerations' are often emphasised in both simulator and line operations and company manuals rather than regulatory documents are more readily recalled than regulatory limits, there is a problem. This is apparent in most airlines, not just those north of Australia.

When 'management' set the regulatory limit as a KPI target, be it minimum rest period or maximum duty time or where 'efficiency' relies on pilots accepting to exceed maximum TOD there is a problem. Where 'over nighting' in a hotel due TOD limits results in a loss of income (hence most push on) the system is broken. CASA are as duplicitous as airline management, safe in their beds, with teams of lawyers protecting the company and the institution.

It isn't complacency that is the problem, the normalisation of deviance has been a result of regulators looking the other way, all in the interest of 'commercial viability' Eventually pilots notice and they focus on the commercial too. After all they usually have big debt to service.

JPJP
5th Nov 2018, 22:38
TEM, that's the 'IN' word these days, there's industries set up around it & is a subject that has a mythical aspect to it.

TEM is out. RRM is in. Not easy to keep up sometimes. I can now string entire sentences together using only acronyms. There’s no need for English. As long as ‘we’ve bult a shared mental model’. :E

georgeeipi
5th Nov 2018, 23:54
Just wondering, how often do we get unreliable/disagreeing IAS indications in air-transport operations in Australia?
That statistic might help us determine whether it is training or good maintenance that makes our airline ops "safe".
It shouldn't be too hard to get that statistic, it should be available in the maintenance documentation and incident reports.

Torres
6th Nov 2018, 01:16
Good grief. Normalization of deviance? Based on what???What evidence do you have? What do you actually know about airline training? You are getting close to being libelous Dick.Are you really calling into question the check and training infrastructure of Australia's major carriers? I dont think you have any idea of what you are talking about.Why other posts on this thread think you have credibility is a mystery.

Another in denial?

Arthur D
6th Nov 2018, 13:14
Arthur D, it is almost as if you believe that if all the regulations are followed that aviation will be “safe”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For example, look at ETOPS operations. Under ETOPS there can be an engine failure and the aircraft can keep flying as a single engine aircraft for many hours to landing. Is there a chance that the second engine could fail? Of course there is. If this is over a remote ocean at night, the consequences will be serious.

One day it will probably happen because the ETOPS equation is based on probability.

Dick, that is NOT what I am saying, far from it. The basket case we call regulations were never intended to and are far from a ‘how to’ guide on running a safe operation. However the Regulator does have an obligation to oversight an operators SMS.

An effective SMS being the very key to safe operations. Being a system, an effective SMS should never stand still in striving for continuous improvement. That system should manage Risk to an acceptable standard. If the standard is trending in the wrong direction, then action should be taken.

Ultimately the Board are the owners of the system and accountable as such.

In the case of CASA, the chairman owns the system which oversee’s the aviation industry’s SMS’s. I would hate to think that post an accident the Chairman of CASA stated that he/she expected that any day........

You are quite right with respect to ETOPS, probability is a key factor, as it is in any risk equation. Having said that, reflecting on recent accidents / serious events ie QF 32, AF 447, MH17, US Airways 1549, in all cases the number of engines was irrelevant. In all cases the flight crew played a pivotal role in the outcome, in success and otherwise. For me the debate is whether the results were a product of the airlines systems or outlying individuals (ie Sully).

moga
4th Dec 2018, 14:58
As a retired RFDS pilot, I still have the jeebies re entry into BK circuit in a B350 avoiding bug smashers ie come in high and descend steeply, to avoid low speed ga a/c
Or how about this one , flying Swan Airship as a Captain, and caught over the harbour bridge, doing scenic flight in a howling southerly. I had to declare a fuel emergency and crept up Parramatta river via helicopter lane, at a very low altitude, to return to BK. Could have ended up somewhat offshore in retrospect!