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Senate estimates and CASA

Old 29th Oct 2009, 11:18
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Senate estimates and CASA

The Screaming Skull must have had a bad nights sleep when he went before the senate estimates last week ??

Insults and vilification cowardly - Director

John McCormick, Director of Aviation Safety
The Director of Aviation Safety has hit out at people who insult, denigrate and vilify CASA officers.
John McCormick told a Senate estimates committee hearing last week that self-serving and false attacks on CASA and its officers were wrong and unfair.

He said in some cases these types of attacks on CASA’s people were “downright cowardly”.
The Director said there is a big difference between candid and robust criticism which challenges CASA to lift its game and vindictive public disparagement of individual CASA officers by name and station.

“CASA is certainly no stranger to criticism, complaints and variably informed expressions of dissatisfaction with the things we do and the way we do them from the diverse industry we regulate, amongst others,” the Director told the Senate committee.
“I welcome this, as a responsible director of any regulatory authority should welcome balanced, reasonable and constructive advice about where we may have gone wrong, or where we may at least be seen by some to have gone wrong, or where we might do better.
“Well-meaning criticism can be helpful, even if it is wide of the mark, and it gives us a better understanding of the way our actions are perceived and experienced.
“So let me be clear: I have absolutely no interest in discouraging or dissuading our critics from drawing CASA’s actual or assumed shortcomings to my attention, to the government’s attention, or to the attention of the Australian public.
“As I said, I welcome and embrace this.
“At the same time, however, let me be equally clear in highlighting the very significant difference between candid, robust criticism of CASA’s actions as an organisation and what cannot fairly be characterised as other than mean-spirited, tendentiously self-serving and frequently false accusations about, and the vindictive public disparagement of, individual CASA officers by name and by station.

“This is wrong and unfair and, in some cases, I think it is downright cowardly.
“It does nothing to advance the interests of air safety or organisational improvement, and it almost certainly is not intended to do either.

“If left unaddressed, it impugns the reputations and integrity of committed, capable and professional individuals who are dedicated to the critical, and sometimes thankless, regulatory and other safety related tasks, and it takes a serious toll on the morale of the entire staff in ways that, I dare say, some of those who try to conceal what is often nothing more than demagogic vitriol behind the facade of a pointed revelatory critique could not begin to understand.”
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 11:59
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Thumbs up

It's good that he is standing up for his staff. A display of loyalty by the boss is normally rewarded with loyalty and support by the staff.
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 12:08
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J Mac Speaks out

Good on him I reckon. Maybe Heavy cargo will take note. More likely he wouldn't care.
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 12:11
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Question I actually agree !!

Hi Boeing.
I actually agree buddy. As much as it pains me to post this thread,I am silently jealous that he isnt my boss, even if he reportedly flies of the handle regularly ! Could you imagine Darth sticking up for his troops at QF ?? Unlikely scenario.
JMac apparently is a little 'old school' in the sense that he calls a spade a spade and does defend his staff when the are being shat on, something that more modern day bosses are to soft to do.
Perhaps he is earning Respect with an 'R' ?? Time will tell over at the Regulator,but judging my his comments the Inspectors may have their first supportive CEO in decades.
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 12:18
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The dreaded words - Heavy Cargo

Oh dear, good on ya Spike. Just when a somewhat positive thread is started you drag it down by mentioning the name Heavy Cargo !
Where is that foolish old has-been hiding out these days anyway, is he chipping away at a dodgy deal in Afghanistan somehwere ? Hiding from the creditors who have come to repossess his rusty orange 1977 Datsun 120y ? Or perhaps he is having botox injections inserted into his wrinkly old face as he seeks to hold onto his former beauty which he lost many centuries ago ?
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 14:34
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Arr, that's the Boorie I know!
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Old 30th Oct 2009, 00:53
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Jmc's discourse to the Senate Estimates regarding critical comment of CASA smacks of a massive 'dummy spit' that tends to reinforce the "Screaming Skull" reputation.

In todays (30 Oct) Oz page 35 under the banner headline "Critics Cowardly"the reported comments are repeated with an additional grizzle about "the internet has seen the emergence of websites allowing people operating under pseudonyms to launch angry, disparaging and sometimes defamatory attacks against each other and industry figures'.

I wonder which site or sites in particular he is referring to?

It would seem as though Jmc wants it both ways, on one hand he is encouraging critical observation, comment and appraisal of CASA, yet on the other hand he refers to critics as "cowardly".

And that gives me just a little feeling of unease for the industry that I for one care about.

CC
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Old 30th Oct 2009, 01:09
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I was told not to mention the screaming scull pseudonym to anyone.
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Old 30th Oct 2009, 01:18
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This same individual, 'protecting his boys' was a member of the infamous Cathay Pacific management 'Star Chamber' which, early this decade, selected about 50 pilots for dismissal (the Cathay Pacific 'forty niners') 'for no particular reason' in order to intimidate the rest of the pilot group.

As I write the presiding judge is considering his verdict regarding the civiL case some 'forty niners' brought against Cathay Pacific, just completed in Hong Kong; the case finally came to fruition some 8 years after, and there is optimism that the plaintiffs may get some justice, after one of the most cowardly acts of pilot against pilot I have witnessed in my 30+ years in professional aviation.

At least he may be able to make sure his 'boys' get the next DAMP calendar right.
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Old 30th Oct 2009, 02:02
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the internet has seen the emergence of websites allowing people operating under pseudonyms to launch angry, disparaging and sometimes defamatory attacks against each other and industry figures'.
The only person that pushes that barrow is Dick Smith. Perhaps he has had a word in Boorie's ear.
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Old 30th Oct 2009, 03:52
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some of those who try to conceal what is often nothing more than demagogic vitriol behind the facade of a pointed revelatory critique could not begin to understand
And to whom would he be referring, I wonder?
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Old 30th Oct 2009, 05:23
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Precisely Dart...
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Old 30th Oct 2009, 09:25
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And to whom would he be referring, I wonder?
Hows this spray for a start.

ALAEA Fed Sec wrote:

Our union have been raising countless issues with CASA in the past 18 months only to find that regardless of the evidence, they side with Qantas and allow them to do as they please in this country. Usually they don't even respond to our concerns and I understand that the atsb are having the same problem.

Although there are dozens of issues, I will raise two here and please shoot me down if our concerns are not valid.

Issue 1. Qantas 767 Bne-Cns lands in June 2008 after experiencing severe turbulence. A mandatory turbulence check is required with 25 items. 10 of them are deferred until the next a-check and the EA issued by the airline states as a reason – insufficient time and equipment are available to carry out the full AMM 05-51-04 inspections.

The deferred checks included visual inspections of engine mounts, empennage safety checks for structural security etc... Now I am no award winning aviation expert but I do think that my 24 years as an aircraft engineer tell me that a mandatory severe turbulence check cannot be deferred. To defer it for several weeks until the next a-check for the above reason makes it far worse.

So the ALAEA decides to write to CASA and what do you know; no response. It’s just one of 17 issues we have outstanding with them.

Issue 2. 747-400 leaves a HM check in Oct 08. Dec 08 on eng change it is reported that the HM facility had used only one washer in each of the 8 locations instead of two. In Jan 09 on another change it is also noticed that the engine mounts only have one washer. Additionally a number of these washers are upside down. Note that the washers are flat on one side and curved on the other to fit the curved underside of the bolt head.

Other two engines are checked and they are also found installed incorrectly. For those not technically minded, using half the washers only could lead to incorrect torque of the mounts. If one works free, load increases on the others which could lead to..... well you can work that out.

The LAMEs raise the appropriate reports and tick the SDR reportable box to ensure that this major defect is formally submitted to CASA. Qantas Quality Assurance decides to change the LAME reports and not report them under the mandatory SDR program. You can follow the link on this requirement -

http://www.casa.gov.au/download/CAAPs/Airworth/51_1.pdf

During discussions with the airline, they say that they phoned CASA and told them about it immediately. So bloody what. We are angry that Qantas refuse to submit the reports formally. If submitted formally, CASA would be required to publish in their SDR monthly report and also be obliged to act to ensure other aircraft flying around don’t have this same problem.

This is a very real safety issue. 4 engines fitted incorrectly on one aircraft. Visuals on the next Qf aircraft coming from the same facility showed that they were also being installed incorrectly. No action from CASA who should have immediately advised Boeing so other airlines using this supplier could be issued the necessary AD or instruction to correct the problem.

What the hell do we have to do to get CASA to do their god damn job.
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Old 30th Oct 2009, 09:38
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Managers Perspective, don't feel bad, you are not alone.

Industry associate wrote to CASA CEO in May this year, still waiting for a response but has given up on receiving an acknowledgement.

Be careful not to criticise or you'll be branded 'cowardly"

CC
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Old 31st Oct 2009, 00:44
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What the hell do we have to do to get CASA to do their god damn job.
I think there are many of us who could ask the same question an a myriad of issues.
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Old 31st Oct 2009, 02:30
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I think there are many of us who could ask the same question an a myriad of issues.
Industry associate wrote to CASA CEO in May this year, still waiting for a response but has given up on receiving an acknowledgement.
Exactly, there are many others who are still awaiting response from CASA on issues raised, etc.

Rather than use ornamental language to raise hidden issues to the Senate, (and I am sure more than a couple probably had no clue as to what he was talking about), if he believes such statements raised by individuals to be false with ulterior motives, then air them so they can be addressed.
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Old 31st Oct 2009, 05:37
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CASA, why not demand answers

I just read this.

CASA, Qantas and unanswered safety allegations – Plane Talking

Why don't you get your Fed Member to insist that the Fed Sec's issues with Qantas get investigated and answered. Every one of them. I'm dropping my letter on Albie Schultz my local pollie on Monday. Dead set. I can smell a full on crash in this country coming around the corner. It scares the crap out of me to read stuff like this and the questions have to be answered.
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Old 31st Oct 2009, 06:31
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characterised as other than mean-spirited, tendentiously self-serving and frequently false accusations and the vindictive disparagement of individuals is wrong and unfair and, in some cases, I think it is downright cowardly.
“It does nothing to advance the interests of air safety

Deliberately quoted out of text to highlight decades of the same behaviour toward individuals by CASA and their employees with a litany of lies, mismanagement, corruption, cronyism, a lack of public accountability, deliberate and vexatious legal proceedings, a preparedness to defend the indefensible to the last cent in the taxpayers purse, obfuscation, lack of moral integrity, etc etc etc……

This bloke seems to have a warped and jaundiced opinion of criticism and expects to have all the past ignored or whitewashed with the wave of a hand saying there is a new broom in charge. Calling people cowards is a sure way to get them to burr up.

When he / CASA prove to me they can be trusted and earn my respect they will get it, until then his outburst is arrogant and does nothing to advance the interests of air safety.
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Old 31st Oct 2009, 09:10
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OK I am not a CASA fan, let me say that from the beginning, BUT who is at fault here? Why is CASA a hated identity? Who's fault is it? Lets talk about GA here, but I suspect the majors are the same. I would say that 99.999% (I would like to say 100% but I know that somebody, somewhere will find an aircraft that has no faults at any particular time ) of the GA fleet have some form of defect on them, some of them quite serious! I will also say that <5% of thse defects are shown up on the maintenance release, or in fact, on any other written documentation. Now who's fault is this? CASA, the pilot, the operator or the owner, or infact some other identity? We all know CASA has no relationship to saftey, but who's fault is that? Us for not reporting faults (because we may lose our employment ) or CASA for not enforcing rules that are not being followed? I dont know the answer, maybe you do, or maybe I am just full of , what do you think???????
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Old 31st Oct 2009, 11:32
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Why?

We all know that operators, aircraft, engineers, passengers, air traffic controllers and god-forbid pilots are not perfect so why do we expect CASA to be? If all the aforesaid were perfect we wouldn't need CASA at all.
The lesson: Don't expect too much from CASA, after all, most of them came from industry!
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