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ATC Exaggerates NAS: AOPA

Old 20th Jan 2004, 06:34
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ATC Exaggerates NAS: AOPA

Quoted from Australian Aviation Express (bottom of the page):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

And lastly, perhaps you could explain the problem with an airline transponder going on the blink or being selected incorrectly, given that there are full-radio procedures and other mitigators, like two crew scans AND checks, and a casll to Depatures at 900ft AGL, that prevent any major reduction in safety (unless that aircraft is operated in E airspace, when the TCAS becomes the ONLY mitigator...).
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 07:20
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No wonder you AOPA idiots have no idea. You can't even accuse the right people. Who the F[_]ck is ATCA? Please for once do some research because you obviously have done none with NAS.

"Incidents where light aircraft go into places where they should not be is again nothing new," Lawford said
No joking! The problem with NAS is 'serious incidents' occur due to NAS in areas where the aircraft should be through no fault of anything other than the system and your poor attempt at an education program.
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 07:31
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Angry

(AOPA president Ron Lawford) said the new regulations had brought a negligible increase in the risk of accidents.
"It may have increased but it is probably increased from one in every 200 years to one in every 100 years,"
By my reckoning, that's DOUBLE the number that occurred under the system it has replaced.

UNacceptable - regardless of guesstimated co$t saving!!
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 08:55
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So Ron Lawford is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

ps. They have an interesting way of preventing those pesky light aircraft being where they shouldn't over here. It involves SAMs. Problem solved. No 'airspace improvements' required.
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 14:22
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How do loonies like the AOPA end up with so much say in what happens in our working environment? Thank God they always have fools like Lawford, Munro and company to show them in their true light.
The lesson for all ATC, AIPA , AFAP, AFAA and other aviation bodies from all of this is get out there and lobby Canberra, get a strong concerted industry voice and choke these weeds out.
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 16:04
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I'm starting to get a distinct impression that the acronym AOPA really does mean what I was once told jokingly.
They really don't get it, do they?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers


NOtimTAMs

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

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

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

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

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

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

If any of these can save one life or have a logical argument that it *might* save a life, it will be worth it - right guys?
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 19:01
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Difference is timtam, we aren't talking about 1 life, are we???? It may/will be 100 or more.............. And while your mythical 1 life is obviously the subject of some sarcasm on your part, i'm sure it means a great deal to it's owner...
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 19:29
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SHAME ON YOU !!

Ferris,

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

They shoot them down with a SAM ?

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

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

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

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

In the meantime, let's see some sensible discussion and less intemperate language, (e.g. AOPA Idiots). Aviation is a tough industry as we know, we should all work together for its advancement.
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 20:18
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hadagutful

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

Civil enough for you?
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Old 20th Jan 2004, 21:26
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No Tim Tams (or what ever you call yourself),

I did not, in my post, make any assertions/claims or otherwise about the change in collision risk. I was merely quoting what Ron is reported to have said.
I would therefore appreciate a retraction of your comment about me in your first post, thank you.
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Old 21st Jan 2004, 17:09
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Steady on chaps and chapesses. Lets have a Bex and nice lie down, shall we?

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers

NOtimTAMs
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Old 21st Jan 2004, 21:28
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According to the ATSB in 2002 there were at least four potential near hits between large rpt jets, in the Launceston incident the Tobago driver saw the 737 and decided that there was no need for evasive action so maybe its the large jet jockeys that need to have a look at themselves. At any GAAP training area you can have up to thirty or forty plus a/c operating in a very small area ranging from ab-initio,aeros,IF, formation and your weekend fliers and guess what no incidents ****** all comunication and no TCAS. So if someone could bring with them to the forums real facts regarding an increase or decrease in a/c safety then that maybe could at least make one of the two camps eat humble pie,
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Old 21st Jan 2004, 23:00
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Ethel,

What were the circumstances of the 4 near-hits?

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

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

By the way, ALL pilots learnt to fly in busy training areas, so you're not a hero. And most pilots today wouldn't bat an eyelid about flying in one of them now. But buzzing around a training area amoungst a bunch of Cesspits is a tad different to the issues being discussed here. If you can't appreciate that, your'e way out of your depth, sunshine.
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Old 22nd Jan 2004, 10:29
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Thanks for your humble opinion cpt Bloggs.
The near misses are published in atsb for 2002 and obviously mistakes were made either by atc or pilot.
my point regarding training areas is that low hour pilots in there slow a/c would be the same as highly experienced pilots in fast a/c. I can't remember hearing a t/area prang recently.
Instead of continually complaining on this site about NAS why dont you make positive suggestions to improve it with facts to back it up.
I'll start, If a major problem is what freqency a/c are on in and arround an mbz why not extend the size of the area to accomadate big jets, ie 50nm, only mbzs which take heavies obviously would need extending.then everyone would be on the same freq. Its not new jets mixing with lighties.
Awaiting to be shot down sweetie
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Old 22nd Jan 2004, 11:31
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Ethel,
Speaking of facts, practice what you preach!
The near misses are published in atsb for 2002 and obviously mistakes were made either by atc or pilot.
How about you tell us the facts of these incidents? Maybe you could tell us all how many checks and balances are in place in these scenarios before a stuff up occurs, and how many checks and balances are in place in a 737/Tobago NAS-style scenario. Perhaps then I might bother engaging you in a reasonable dialogue on this issue.

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

By the way, your idea of 50nm MBZs is a good idea. The powers-that-were prior to 1990 thought so as well. The "MBZs" were called AFIZs, and they ensured all aircraft within a reasonable distance of an airfield were on the same freq. Alas, VFR renegade Dick Smith changed all that.
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Old 22nd Jan 2004, 13:00
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Ethel

Grade 2, or Senior Grade 3?
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Old 22nd Jan 2004, 14:37
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1.Broome comes to mind as an mbz which uses 737

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

3.Can instruct.
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Old 22nd Jan 2004, 14:43
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I don't recall seeing any lighties doing 250kts + in a training area.....

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

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