Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Merged: Senate Inquiry

Old 2nd Nov 2014, 21:13
  #2361 (permalink)  
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Will the DSB be quite so naive??

PNM - Why are we getting our pantyhose in a knot about an accident investigation which the national body devolved to an independent body under arrangements established by ICAO in comparison to an administrative "benchmarking" activity requested by an agency that had nothing to do with ICAO or the investigation devolution arrangements?

The circumstances are not even remotely similar. The final product is sure to disappoint those who misunderstand its purpose.
Agree with "K" pure gold Princester...

Although I do wonder if the Dutch will be quite as distracted by the subjectively edited (smoke'n'mirrors); politically & commercially corrected ATsB report which the DSB will eventually receive in response to their request :
Assistance to the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) in the conduct of its investigation 'Decision-making regarding safety of flight routes'

Together with the investigation agencies of a number of other countries, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has received a request from the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) for assistance in the conduct of its investigation titled Decision-making regarding safety of flight routes. The DSB request seeks to provide a global context to its own investigation findings. The ATSB has agreed to this request and, in order to protect the information gathered as part of this process, has initiated an external investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The results of the ATSB’s investigation will be passed to the DSB for inclusion in their investigation report.
Not to mention how our two Senior Transport Safety Investigators will feel when Beaker & the other two (no nothing, yes-men) Commissioners executively correct the report for factual inaccuracies...

Oh b..b..boys you forgot your packed lunches!

For Beaker though it will be like water off a ducks back considering how he treated other Senior TSIs who dared to voice their objections in the PelAir (attempted) cover-up...

Addendum - Albo's cost cutting back to bite

Transport safety regulator hit hard by cuts
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau's annual report, released on Monday, said more than 200 years of combined corporate and investigative experience had left the agency after a four-year planning program completed in March showed it could not maintain current staffing levels into future years.
"The decision to reduce our staff numbers was particularly difficult as it was made in the knowledge that there is no contingent workforce of highly skilled transport safety investigators available in the marketplace to be deployed at short notice in the event of a new crisis," ATSB chief commissioner Martin Dolan said.
Q/ Is the ATsB now redundant??


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Old 3rd Nov 2014, 08:41
  #2362 (permalink)  
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Chaps all!

I have looked, examined, agreed, disagreed and wondered at the eloquent arguments or discussions put forward by the esteemed regular contributors to this thread.

The cloak of 'what if' has been draped, or thrown, over the shoulders of the incoming DAS. Perhaps this could be shrugged off and given time, not a week but at least six months, to reshape the arguments for providing the sensible outcomes discussed in previous posts.

However, and there is always one of those, being in the spotlight and centre stage, the bedraggled cloak be discarded and a clean, clear, straightforward purpose to the regulatory system is produced. But perhaps not!

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Old 3rd Nov 2014, 19:56
  #2363 (permalink)  
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Beaker raises, Truss folds.

Addendum - Albo's cost cutting back to bite.
Certainly supports the rumour that Albo was persuaded that a big R regulator would lead the way to fortune and glory – he got conned, again.

Now Beaker – HERE - wants us to believe that "200 years of experience" has been allowed to toddle off, due lack of funding? – Bollocks. Maybe a couple of retirements, but I'd bet the 'talent' has simply had a guts full and walked. The inflated salaries of the top three 'administrators' alone would fund training a few investigators, there's a saving. Why there is a need for the 'corporate' services levels of staffing is beyond me – except as an empire; which may explain the shortage or need of 'trained men' puzzle.

Or, is this now part of a planned move to have the ATSB subsumed into the CASA juggernaught, where the pre determined results can be more properly managed. If that is the case then we can dispense entirely with independent trained investigators and hand the tasks over to any of the 440 'corporate services' aviation experts at CASA. Cut out the middle man, as it were and eradicate those embarrassing Safety Recommendations, Senate questions and external audit.

Who needs two Safety organisations anyway?, it's confusing.

Who needs independent analysis of accidents and incidents?, particularly from a crowd who made a fearful hash of a simple ditching.

What need have we of accident investigation at all? – when, according to CASA-speak we have such a safe, world class rule set which prevents all but the wilful, deliberate, criminal actions of pilots and engineers involved in the accident. More lawyers and prosecution is required, not investigation, accurate reporting or education from experience. Waste of good money. Australia has the finest safety record in the world, don't it?; no need to examine the very few 'minor' incidents we have – no Siree...

Of course it could just be the dreadful Beaker, jiggling, wringing his hands, whining and snivelling his way into the government purse. After all is said and done, and beyond all Reason he does believe that the Pel Air style of reporting is a thing we need more of; and, of course he deserves a raise for doing such a mighty job on 'aberrations'.

Gods know what the world makes of this shambles; but all will be well. Beaker has had a word with the CASA tea lady and she has agreed to write the MH 370 report during her Christmas holidays, that'll save a few bucks and maybe even provide the answers. That combined with the full support of the ATSB and CASA top management, should satisfy the international press and not disturb the long lunch crowd.

Yes, boys and girls, it's all beyond reason, beyond the pale even and reaches the dizzy limits of total rule by the regulator. Would you buy a used car from this crew, trust them with your pocket money or even let them know you had sweeties in your pocket? then see Beaker for change, in threes, from a nine dollar note.

Toot toot.

"For the foreseeable future, we will be able to undertake fewer investigations and we will need to carefully consider and constrain the scope of investigations initiated. Our capacity for industry engagement will be limited and the timeliness of the completion of some of the investigations currently under way will be an ongoing challenge.".....
Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive. - Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808).
One indulgence, just for Nkosi.
Richard: - "And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol'n out of holy writ,
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil."
Richard III.

Last edited by Kharon; 3rd Nov 2014 at 20:54. Reason: Why can you never find a Barnaby – when you need one?
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 03:04
  #2364 (permalink)  
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CP:"..evidence that a person called Steve Creedy ever existed?"

From another thread..
Creamy - On a related subject, does anyone have any first hand evidence of a person called "Steve Creedy" having ever produced an original piece of work? More to the point, does anyone have any first hand evidence that a person called "Steve Creedy" ever existed? I have suspicions that 'he' is just an email address that's auto-forwarded to the sub-editor (who is probably 'himself' just an email address that's auto-forwarded to the 'pap content' address used to fill in the gaps between the advertising in the cockie-cage liner).
Gold Creamy..pure gold..

Love the concept, basically the MMSM have an app (call it iRobot Editor, a.k.a Steve Creedy) which trolls for selected subject matter news-bites. Then when it gets a hit it plucks up the relevant article, scrambles the words a little bit and then edits for political correctness etc. Then automatically hits send for online content & print for the following day hardcopy...

There is much evidence to support the iRobot Editor app theory, let us use the SMH article from my previous post as an example:
The transport safety regulator will be forced to undertake fewer investigations and will have less time for industry engagement in the foreseeable future after it cut 12 per cent of its staff earlier this year due to pressure on its forward budgets.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau's annual report, released on Monday, said more than 200 years of combined corporate and investigative experience had left the agency after a four-year planning program completed in March showed it could not maintain current staffing levels into future years.

"The decision to reduce our staff numbers was particularly difficult as it was made in the knowledge that there is no contingent workforce of highly skilled transport safety investigators available in the marketplace to be deployed at short notice in the event of a new crisis," ATSB chief commissioner Martin Dolan said.

The safety body was given additional funding for the underwater search for MH370, the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared off the coast of Western Australia in March. But Mr Dolan said despite that, there would continue to be pressure on ATSB resources.

Its aviation investigation teams completed 44 complex and 120 short aviation accident and incident investigations during the financial year ended June 30. Among them were a number of serious concerns about pilots flying in conditions of poor visibility, such as the loss of an ABC television helicopter north of Marree, near Lake Eyre, South Australia in August 2011. In that case, the final report found the pilot had become spatially disoriented while flying in dark night conditions.

As a result, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has action in progress to clarify the nature of what is meant by the term "visibility" in dark night conditions and to provide enhanced guidance on visual flight rules flight planning.

In addition, CASA has advised it will require that helicopter air transport operations with passengers at night use either a helicopter fitted with an autopilot or a two-pilot crew.

By the end of the financial year, ATSB had 102 complex investigations underway.

"We have more than 12 per cent fewer staff and we have been required to task some of our investigation and administration staff to the major and ongoing investigations into the two Malaysia Airlines disasters," Mr Dolan said.

"For the foreseeable future, we will be able to undertake fewer investigations and we will need to carefully consider and constrain the scope of investigations initiated. Our capacity for industry engagement will be limited and the timeliness of the completion of some of the investigations currently under way will be an ongoing challenge."

But he added that despite the challenges, he was proud of the dedication and achievements of investigators and staff.

Read more: Transport safety regulator hit hard by cuts
Not to be outdone (can't be trumped by the opposition) the iRobot (Steve) puts out - some 12 hours later - this...
Air safety investigator warns of cuts to capacity

November 04, 2014 12:00AM

THE head of Australia’s air safety investigator has warned that the internationally respected body will be able to conduct fewer investigations “for the foreseeable future’’ after budget cuts forced it to slash staff by 12 per cent.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau head Martin Dolan also cautioned that some investi*gations could take longer after the bureau had taken the decision to reduce its workforce, losing 200 years of experience.

The bureau still had 102 complex investigations under way at the end of 2013-14 and is leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Its staffing difficulties come despite an additional $90 million earmarked by federal government funding for the MH370 investigation.

Mr Dolan said the staff cuts meant it had to combine some functions and its capacity was *reduced in all teams including investigation, technical analysis and research and publications.

“The decision to reduce staff numbers was particularly difficult as it was made in the knowledge that there is no contingent workforce of highly skilled transport safety investigators available in the marketplace to be deployed at short notice in the event of a new crisis,’’ Mr Dolan said in the bureau’s annual *report.

“It was indeed sobering to see more than 200 years of combined corporate and investi*gation experience leaving the ATSB.’’

The ATSB boss said the *bureau would be able to undertake fewer investigations for the foreseeable future and would need to “carefully consider and constrain the scope of investi*gations initiated’’.
Yep definitely firming to your theory Creamy...

While on the subject of the (ir-)relevance of the ATsBeaker - as an effective State run & independent AAI - it is fascinating that prior to the PelAir (attempted) cover-up, such articles from the SMH & the Australian would have met with outrage from various sections of the aviation community but now..well to be honest does anyone really care??

And to think it all started with a 4corners program and a certain determined independent Senator who dared to refer to the RRAT committee for inquiry...

Even then the powers to be still thought they had the good Senator Xenophon's measure. Remember this from the CAsA FOI disclosure log: EF12/8481
Dolan Martin <[email protected]>
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 6:09 PM
Craig Carmody; McCormick, John

RE: Sen Xenophon Motion re Pel-Air [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Categories: Important

Thanks, Craig.

At the simplest level, the answers to the Senator's questions are straightforward - and a fair amount of the information is publicly available. We are prepared to answer them in whatever forum they arise (with the exception of anonymous rumour sites and some tendentious bloggers).

Let us know if you need any background briefing on the Senator's issues.
Martin Dolan
Chief Commissioner
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
P: +61 2 6274 61441 E: [email protected]

From: Carmody Craig [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, 12 September 2012 17:46
To: Dolan Martin; John Mccormick
Cc: Lovell Jaimie; Michael Choueifate; Virginia Kim; Jeff Singleton
Subject: Sen Xenophon Motion re Pei-Air [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

We are opposing this motion however Sen Xenophon will no doubt pursue in Estimates (or in the media).


Craig Carmody
Senior Adviser
Office of the Hon Anthony Albanese MP
Leader ofthe House
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
If you required any further evidence that the ATsB is in fact operating in contravention to ICAO SARPs (Article 26, Annex 13&19) and indeed the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003; go no further than this email...

{Comment: It should also not go unnoticed that - as representatives of the State - the Minister & his department are also in fact trying to impose/influence/pressure/have an effect on the ATsB Chief Commissioner in the course of a Parliamentary Inquiry}


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Old 4th Nov 2014, 03:57
  #2365 (permalink)  
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I think Creampuff is on to something here Sarcs, but don't hyperventilate in hyperspace, because Creedy gets everything off PPRuNe. That's if he exists I mean.
That's if he is reading this post today.
I mean not necessarily today, I mean tomorrow, for I wrote this post yesterday.

It's impordan (new trendy word), that you understand this.
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 19:04
  #2366 (permalink)  
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It's probably a good thing that the Australian media only regurgitates fluffy press releases and leaves it at that. If the real investigative journalists or aviation press overseas ever cottoned on to way matters aeronautical are conducted in Australia we'd be downgraded and made a laughing stock. Any thorough investigation and exposure of any of the PPRuNe tales would be a potential Pulitzer winner for anyone ingenious and brave enough to investigate and could find a publisher with balls enough to print it. But, unfortunately, the journalists of the real world are happy to accept the outlandish notion that Australian aviation is as good as it gets, safe as houses and CASA does a great job. Bollocks.

For fairy tales and feel good spin stories, read press releases; for reality – start – HERE-.
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 23:50
  #2367 (permalink)  
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ATsB & Chinese whispers.

Following on from the Beaker revelation...

"For the foreseeable future, we will be able to undertake fewer investigations and we will need to carefully consider and constrain the scope of investigations initiated. Our capacity for industry engagement will be limited and the timeliness of the completion of some of the investigations currently under way will be an ongoing challenge." now appears that the story on ATsB cutbacks has now gone international...

So we now get a totally different MSM version on the same story - this time without being sanitised for Australian political & editorial interests...

From the International Business Times:
MH370 Search Update: Lead Agency Admits Capacity Is Less Than Before

By Athena Yenko| November 4, 2014 9:06 PM EST

The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau or ATSB made the difficult decision to cut its staff by 12 percent within the next four years. With this, the agency leading the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 admits its capacity is less than before in all teams involved with investigation, technical analysis, research and publication. The revelation came as the agency release its annual report for 2013-2014.

Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan said the decision came in light when their planning of the next four years showed the agency would not be able to sustain the current number of staff it has for the next years. With the decision, the agency is forced to marry various functions under one job function, such as research and notifications.

Dolan highlighted the decision to cut staff was being made about the same time the news of the disappearance of MH370 broke. He said that as the agency was being required to reduce the number of its staff and resources, ATSB had also received the news that the missing Boeing 777 could possibly be in the Southern Indian Ocean, in Australia's Search and Rescue Zone. The agency was thereby delegated the responsibility to take the lead in searching for the missing plane.

Under this circumstance, ATSB's responsibility as the lead agency searching for the missing plane became its greatest challenge to date. With a limited staff in the coming years, the already "most serious aviation occurrence ever" that landed on ATSB's responsibility became all the more challenging. As how the global community describes it, the mystery surrounding the missing plane is the most mystifying, most expansive and most difficult search operation in the history of commercial aircraft.

In July, the agency subsequently received the news about the downing of MH17, claiming the lives of many Australians. The agency had then deployed two of its investigators to support the investigations of the Dutch Safety Board-led Annex 13.

"The decision to reduce our staff members was particularly difficult as it was made in the knowledge that there is no contingent workforce of highly skilled transport safety investigators available in the marketplace to be deployed at short notice in the event of a new crisis," Dolan stated.

"It was indeed sobering to see more than 200 years of combined corporate and investigation experience leaving the ATSB," Dolan emotionally said.

To contact the editor, e-mail: [email protected]
Hmm...wonder what the Chinese government snoops (i.e. cyber-hacking crew) make of all this...

Addendum: Passing strange - The apparently now emotional Beaker on losing some of his troops..compared to the vulnerable public being potentially smashed by some out of control UAV...well remember this??


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Old 5th Nov 2014, 20:43
  #2368 (permalink)  
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Sorry mate..

Sarcs – I did try to watch that video (bad enough the first time), I really did; had a bucket ready and everything, but it beat me........Perhaps that's the Beaker strategy – make everyone so nauseous that they give up trying to understand what the Uriah Heep of aviation is wittering on about.

Mind you, I have trouble coming to grips with the Truss decision to 're-appoint' given the shellacking dished out by the Senate committee and the carefully worded comments following the Pel Air double shuffle; the way this clown keeps mixing sheep with goats and getting away with it is beyond me. Perhaps it all comes down to the big end and airport leases, who would know?. It's certainly not the unswerving devotion of his troops; one look at the SMH picture expresses more about that than could ever be expressed by a million written words.

The thing troubles me most is Australia's international reputation becoming even more tarnished than it is. There are some clever, hard eyed folk with vested interests watching every move, analysing every syllable spoken, every word written and they are very good at 'seeing' far and clear. And we put up the Beaker: he of beyond all Reason, of dubious credibility, of the non retrieval of 'black boxes', of the obfuscation of Annexe 13, to face down the world on the MH 370 gig; what, in all the seven hells is Abbott thinking (or not, as the case may be).


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Old 6th Nov 2014, 03:34
  #2369 (permalink)  
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"For the foreseeable future, we will be able to undertake fewer investigations and we will need to carefully consider and constrain the scope of investigations initiated. Our capacity for industry engagement will be limited and the timeliness of the completion of some of the investigations currently under way will be an ongoing challenge."

"We have been directed to avoid controversy, synchronise our reports with the wishes of the Government, The Department, CASA and Air Services and above all avoid any criticism of their management.

That is what the words "carefully consider and constrain" mean in our press release - considered and constrained not to rock the boat.

The bit about "industry engagement" means that we won't answer your questions or discuss any misgivings you may have about our actions.

Our excuse for this dereliction of duty is that we don't have enough money to do our job properly.

Needless to say, we will broadcast any confidences you may wish to "confidentially" report to us to anyone in Government who wants to know who you are.".
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Old 6th Nov 2014, 08:42
  #2370 (permalink)  
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This press release wouldn't be a ploy to weedle more money out of the Guvmint would it?
I agree with sunny, given the "Integrity" displayed over recent times I think it would be a foolish man who communicated in anyway with the ATSB, or CAsA for that matter.
Watch them in the senate or in front of the icac, the "I don't recall" or "Not to my knowledge"answer to questions is a bit hard to challenge, they are masters of that game.
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Old 6th Nov 2014, 21:03
  #2371 (permalink)  
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Of gravamen and pressed questions.

Seems we are not able to use the CVD hearing transcript to illustrate a point, but thankfully the PM system works and I snagged the link for the PAIN download. The transcript is an interesting read for many reasons, hopefully the CVD crew will get off their arses and seek the necessary permissions so the MaM can discuss some of the twists and turns, without having to rely on independent, free hand translation. Until then you'll just have to put up with my twiddles for some of the highlights (no whinging, puleese).

Before we go any further, the President, His Honour (HH) should be congratulated; no matter the decision handed down, he ran a tight ship, was IMO fair, even handed and all together sane, safe, sound and reasonable. Nicely played Sir.... (Can you give a HH a choc frog?)

One of the more fascinating parts of the hearing came on day three, when the May 26 appearance before the Senate inquiry was raised and one Fawcett Esq. was mentioned along with the CAD test. The reaction from Hardly Normal was an instant – "Well, I object"; - you'd think his seat had goosed him, he was up off it so fast. All flustered and angry. HH, cool as a cucumber asks Lawson does he want to press the question; "Oh yes please" chirps young Lawson (for the CVD) with a big smile...

Well, Hardly drags in a big one and starts banging on about the Parliamentary Privileges Act, from memory mind you, and bemoaning the fact that while he doesn't have the Act itself about his person; he's bloody sure that drawing context, particularly judicial imperial context is a big no-no. Then he drops Joey Norules in it and expects him to produce that Act, wabbit like, out of his hat (Norules ain't got a hat), while bleating on about working from memory. The HH visage must have been a study – here's a QC, barking about a point of law, without a reference or even a hope of finding one for HH before tea time.

HH displayed his tact and reasonable attitude again and suggested that they move away from that minefield until later, when both sides know what they are talking about. It's fair to say young Lawson didn't have the PP Act in his briefcase either; but then, he didn't expect such a big reaction from Hardly at the mention of Senate or Senator. (Or did he?).

Now you'd expect Hardly to let that go through to the keeper and get his reference about parliamentary stuff then. But no; there is no way he is going to have the Senate dragged into play and he launches into one of those seemingly innocuous, well rehearsed, trusted, venomous soliloquies which have caused the 'other side' so much consternation in the past; he's good at it.

He starts off, looking reasonable and caring only for 'justice' to suggest that perhaps young Lawson could 'work around' mentioning the Senate; then 'sulkily' asks why he has to refer to the Senator at all, seems he can't understand that (wonderful theatre); the last part of the routine ends with a loaded question – imagine Hardly posed one hand on chest, the other extended forward, his ala Lincoln pose, and in a performance worthy of Portia cries (paraphrased) "Oh M'lud, what gravamen it has to quote the words of a political figure, can we not dispense with this foul calumny"; pause, sip, big breath, "I have not; not for four and forty years looked at the PP Act; but I am certain that it's very wrong to refer to any parliamentary doings, very naughty indeed". Pause for effect, sits dramatically to the gentle applause noise (some say wind) emanating from Norules.

Well children, young Lawson just smiled quietly and bowled around the wicket, the point had been made and the whole thing fizzled out; neither side dragged out the PP Act and argued the points of law.

Two things were shown, clear and bright through the murk: CASA don't much like not being able to lead a Senate committee around by the foreskin and they remember that one D. Fawcett Esq. kicked seven bells out them on Night Vision and is lining them up for round two on Colour Vision. Not true you howl; well, he nailed Pooh Shambollocks and provided young Lawson some superior ammunition, which was used wisely.

The CVD issue provides such a perfect snapshot of all that is wrong with the current CASA system and makes the case worthy of the time and effort taken to study it. Best of all, Pooh-Shambollocks will not be there for the return bout; and, perhaps Hardly Normal will take the hint that if CASA want to make a case, the 'evidence' must be beyond reasonable doubt, lest the AAT make another legally unsafe ruling. I think the AAT wise owls have tumbled to the fact that CASA can, does and will continue to rely on their name rather than 'facts and circumstances' to win at any cost; Jones being a prime example. Maybe, those days are over. We can only hope.

Toot toot.

Last edited by Kharon; 7th Nov 2014 at 17:15. Reason: Thought this was more Senate country – So; con su permiso, I double parked it.
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Old 6th Nov 2014, 23:06
  #2372 (permalink)  
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Should make you the court reporter Kharon.

Transcript is about as boring as watching the machinations of a bunch of newts at a lawyers conference on the bottom of the pond.

Your version is much more entertaining, and perhaps opening the pompous asses up to ridicule is a good thing.

As my granddaddy used to say:

"The law is for everyone. Justice is for them that can afford it"

Just ask a few of them that have been pineappled by CAsA if thats not true.

Questions for the new DAS:

"When can John Qadrio expect justice?"

"When can Karon Casey expect justice?"

Things really are sick when one group in industry is hoping for a major smoking hole, another plotting civil disobedience because they can see no other way of affecting change in time to save their industry.

All the while the minuscule fiddles while Rome burns.

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Old 6th Nov 2014, 23:53
  #2373 (permalink)  
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Part II - Will the DSB be quite so naive??

Was just watching a presser with PM TA & Dutch PM giving an update on the MH17 investigation. In the intro TA passed tribute to the many agencies & government officials involved in the DSB headed investigation and repatriation of victims remains, everyone it seems except for Beaker & his boys...

This omission - although obscurely - was somewhat recovered by PM Rutte when he paid tribute to our "forensic experts" assisting the DSB...

I also note from a presser held yesterday that PM Rutte recognises the importance of maintaining the independence - & therefore integrity - of the State Aviation Accident Investigation agency..: Joint Press Conference with Prime Minister Rutte, Parliament House

And on your second question, I can guarantee you that we will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice. We are working on this with all the countries involved through the independent Dutch Safety Board, through the public prosecutors, many people of high calibre are working on this on both sides of the world to get to the bottom of this. So, we are highly motivated. I have no 100 per cent guarantee but I do have 100 per cent guarantee that we will do everything we can to bring them to justice.

As you know, we as a Dutch Government we are leading the international investigation and that means that I will never comment on evidence or… I know there are many dots, there are many facts which have been established or facts which we think have been established, to make sure that we have absolute clarity about the facts and to connect the dots of these facts into a clear conclusion is up to the independent Dutch Safety Board and the reason we do this through the independent Dutch Safety Board is that Tony, myself and all the others involved we don't want to have political interference in the final conclusions of what happened. If it is independent then it is much more difficult for countries, probably being involved or potentially being involved, to question the outcome and that's the reason why we are so hesitant to connect dots.
Crying shame....we cannot say the same about our own AAI whose independence - after the PelAir cover-up - remains extremely questionable!

However we all know that these pressers are very much stage managed by the PM's minders. So was his omission of the ATsB involvement in MH17 (no doubt a valuable contribution) an attempt to distance himself from any association from mi..mi..mi..Beaker?? And will the Coalition government rue the decision of keeping Beaker in the top spot at the bureau and then putting him in charge of the MH370 search mission in the Southern Indian Ocean??

Time will tell I guess but TA & Co cannot say they were not given fair warning...

This from a Liberal Senator no less:
Senator EDWARDS: Chair, since we have started, there has been mea culpa after mea culpa after mea culpa in this thing. Now you are hearing evidence for the first time of what is supposed to be a forensic investigation. I have heard that this report would be a joke in the international standing—if other reviewers were to have reviewed this. I think that the evidence that Senator Xenophon and Senator Fawcett are drawing out would suggest that. We haven't even got to the black box yet. Are you proud of this report?

Mr Dolan: I certainly would not hold this report as a benchmark. I am still satisfied that the key elements—

Senator EDWARDS: Three years in the making. Mea culpa after mea culpa. Are you proud of this report?

Mr Dolan: No, I am not proud of this report.[20]

And this from Chapter 3 para 3.64 of the AAI report...

"...3.64 The committee finds the ATSB's refusal to retrieve the FDR incongruous and questionable. Furthermore, the committee takes a dim view of the ATSB's reliance on a version of ICAO Annex 13 that only came into force in late 2010, nearly a year after the accident, to justify this decision. Mr Dolan's evidence in this regard is questionable and has seriously eroded his standing as a witness before the committee..."

...a statement that Senator Xenophon drew attention to in his adjournment speech 04 March 2014, along with a query on how Beaker's position was now tenable:

There are now indications that the international community is becoming suspect on Beaker, now would be a good time for Beaker & the miniscule to be quietly shown the backdoor...

On the MH370 search simply pass the baton to the AMSA crew whose no fuss co-ordination of the initial search in the Indian Ocean has gained them much respect - Australia sponsors improvements to global aviation search and rescue - surely it would not be much of a stretch for AMSA to now oversee & co-ordinate the MH370 undersea search??

Addendum - MH370: Boeing needs to explain neglect of 777 security flaw

The above article from Planetalking perhaps perfectly highlights why it is essential for politics & aviation accident investigation to remain separate - as PM Rutte goes at length to explain (above). And why it is essential for an ICAO signatory State to protect the independence & veracity of the State appointed AAI.

The following quote also gives rise to questions on why TA's government would possibly risk putting an individual like Beaker - with zero credibility (or indeed believability) - in charge of the MH370 underwater search mission, when there is such huge interest internationally:
What we do know is that the Malaysia Government, having deliberately mislead its search partners as to what it knew about the course flown by MH370 on the morning of its disappearance on 8 March, has also suppressed two items in the cargo manifest, which among other possibilities, have been rumoured to have comprised gold bullion.

This is not the only thing that has been suppressed for, rather than by, the same government, but more about that sine dei as some Australian judges say.

The role of Boeing in this is important, but not officially explained. Boeing was told in no uncertain terms about the security risks of this unsecured access to critical flight and support systems several years, and as recounted in Jeff Wise’s blog, even Emirates, the largest user of the Boeing 777, brushed them aside at the time.

We will ask Boeing again why it designed such a crock when it came to security in the first place, and why it didn’t put in train immediate mandatory action to close it off. There are times when airlines, regulators and aircraft makers ought to listen to concerned pilots and take what they say seriously. Now there is risk of serious criminal liability arising from an incident in which 239 people died.
Pure gold Ben..pure gold..
"Leaving the door open to a potential for hijacking or terrorism is surely indefensible, but c’mon, give us some weasel words anyhow."

Last edited by Sarcs; 8th Nov 2014 at 02:39.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 19:09
  #2374 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 2,053
Speculation and Sunny's choc frogs.

We may yet, if (IF) the latest rumour out of Cant'berra proves accurate, have to have whip around to fill the Sunfish hat with choc frogs. Seems he may well scoop the pool if the dire warnings of PMC involvement go from 'strong' rumour to cold fact. We may yet have been throwing rocks onto the wrong chook shed roof. The latest has it that it's the Abbott chooks slowing down the process, not the Truss non layers. Word is the Yanks are coming and there's going to be trouble (T). So, the rumours make sense; well , enough for discussion purposes at least. The story goes:-

CASA were gifted a reprieve after the last FAA (ICAO) visit: the negotiation to give them a chance to put their house in order was conducted at high level, promises were made and money was made available to keep those promises. It seems, it's just not the IOS who are aware that CASA not only took the money, but the Mickey Bliss as well, by not keeping those promises and thumbing their nose not only at the Yanks, but their 'real' masters. Which, naturally enough, has angered and embarrassed some heavy duty folk. With the shameful CASA and ATSB performance known to the real world –.

Abbott is going to look bloody silly, grabbing 'Vlad' by the shirt front and banging on about anything aeronautical. It's a bad negotiating position and starting on the back foot is not a smart move; so until the G20 hoo-haa is over, rumour has it that the PMC have their foot on the throat of matters aeronautical and nothing will happen. Well, not until the PM can return to the land of the free only slightly ruffled, rather than humiliated and chastised. Anyone watching will see Vlad smiling quietly, listening to the Abbot tirade then saying "So; Tony, let go my shirt front (wipes off self righteous drool) and tell me, will MH 370 be managed the same way as Pel Air?" "I notice you have the same crew running it". Game, set and match - Vlad....

Then of course there is the Canadian cousins whispering to their American cousins. They may play the diplomatic game and 'massage' their report to fit the ToR, but make no mistake, they will be speaking to their counterparts in FAA. "Well, it's in a hell of a mess down there, thought you guys had sorted it out last trip" (smirk, smirk). The FAA will not be too happy that the Canadians are laughing and making snide remarks about how the Aussies 'third world' authority have treated the last FAA audit. The hook may not be so easy to shake this time; rumour has it the Yanks are officially, if quietly, miffed...

This is all to be kicked upstairs to their grown ups, who will talk to our grown ups, who will put the brakes and silencer on any or all proposed changes related to matters aeronautical. With nothing to be done until the top level gabfests and the G20 shindig are over and face saved. Which explains, in part, the appalling delay in any form of response from the miniscule.

It's true that most important matters are managed by the PMC in some way; but, if it is true that the PMC have actively taken over the management of aviation direction, then things may just work out as Sunny forecast. Then again, it may all be supposition, rumour and pub gossip. But it makes a sort of sense; and any morsel is welcome in the desert of no response, no comment and no announcement of any sort.

Still, big meetings to come, perhaps then we shall see. Time will tell if the tale is true.

But it's quiet Tonto, too damn quiet...

Last edited by Kharon; 10th Nov 2014 at 20:05.
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Old 11th Nov 2014, 08:20
  #2375 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 324
I was recently chatting to a guy who works for the FAA and is relatively high up in the FAA on the West Coast. Topics of discussion that came up from him were in no particular order, Pel Air, Qantas and Jetstar issues, Jetstar Pacific, the implementation of Part 61 and various other aviation topics. I would expect someone who is in the aviation industry on the other side of the world to know a little about these topics, but he was very well informed on them.

He may or may not be involved in Australia's next FAA audit, but if the people who are are as informed as him, it should be a cause of concern for those who are being audited. This guy is a very smart guy and I would not like to try and bul!shit him, as he will see through it. He even gets the sarcastic Aussie sense of humour, so he is not an average American.
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Old 12th Nov 2014, 06:35
  #2376 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: sydney
Posts: 1,443
Hmmm, heard the same rumour Kharon.

Does this signify that politics is suddenly taking an interest in aviation?

I sincerely hope that is the case.

Given the historical record one cannot help but be cynical.

Do I sense the clammy hand of that malevolent, manipulating, Machiavellian mandarin's mandarin meddling in the mire?

Was the scenario a dimly lit room, overstuffed chairs, decanter of the finest cognac, snifters and the wafting aroma of cuban cigars?

Sir Humphrey (Oz version)

"It is dreadfully unfortunate that the minister chose to ignore my advice and have this damned inquiry.

I warned him it could backfire, which it undoubtably has".

PM's man.

"How in blazes did you let that that happen Sir Humphrey?"

Sir Humphrey (Oz version)

The minister insisted it was an election promise. Silly old goat getting attacks of integrity all of a sudden, I tell you his minds going.

Those dreadful malcontents from industry fairly buried the committee in submissions, all damning.

We tried to keep it all under wraps, but as you know the DAS insisted he wanted names and addresses including next of kin for later retribution, he's as bad as the minister except he's convinced he belongs to the Stasi.

I mean, really, have you seen those thugs he employs as enforcers? good god, they even frighten the hell out of me.

Security was so lax bits and pieces got leaked to the ills of society and the next think we knew there was thirty four, Thirty four mind you, recommendations that would tear through the very fabric of the CAsA safety mystique we have worked so hard to develop.

PM's man

"So what do you want me to do?"

Sir Humphrey (Oz version)

"Well there are rumours that the FAA have been taking a strong interest in CAsA, this whole unfortunate business, along with the Pelair debacle, must have made it abundantly clear to them that they were, shall we say, snowed during their last audit. There is little doubt we would not get away with it again.

Think of the ramifications for the government and the PM if Australia were downgraded by the FAA.

You must be aware that my minister is...err...not to put it too unkindly, two penneth short of a quid, I am of the opinion that to leave him to handle it is fraught with danger. He could get another attack of integrity and call for a royal commission. Do you have any idea how corrupt CAsA is? Could bring us all down.

No No No, a royal commission is absolutely out of the question.

If you could see your way clear to take this damnable report away from the minister.

My concerns are entirely about protecting the PM from embarrassment of course.

You are in a far better position to withhold it than my department.

That will give me breathing space to fabricate the governments response to be released sometime in the new year.

With luck the industry will be too full of christmas cheer to notice and I'm informed there's a whole raft of new regulations about to be inflicted on them which hopefully will distract them from complaining too much"

Fiction I know But...

Last edited by thorn bird; 13th Nov 2014 at 01:45.
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Old 12th Nov 2014, 06:42
  #2377 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 1,733
Blast from the past.

Kharon - CASA were gifted a reprieve after the last FAA (ICAO) visit: the negotiation to give them a chance to put their house in order was conducted at high level, promises were made and money was made available to keep those promises. It seems, it's just not the IOS who are aware that CASA not only took the money, but the Mickey Bliss as well, by not keeping those promises and thumbing their nose not only at the Yanks, but their 'real' masters. Which, naturally enough, has angered and embarrassed some heavy duty folk. With the shameful CASA and ATSB performance known to the real world –.
Although the now infamous ICAO audit of 2008 is but a distant memory for many of the current crop of misfits at CAsA & the Dept; here is a reminder of how much of a scare it should have put through the establishment at the time:
Monday, 11 May 2009
Damning audit slams CASA’s safety record

by Ben Sandilands

The myth of Australian leadership in air safety has been exposed in a damning audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
In the final report of the audit carried out in February 2008 the body finds CASA lacks the competencies, resources, training, and regulatory powers to carry out a broad range of critical functions and meet Australia’s obligations under the ICAO treaty.

While Australia’s response in the sanitised final version of the audit pledges to fix deficiencies by no later than the end of this year, they will require a far better use of the hundreds of millions of dollars it has so clearly wasted each year on the ineptitude and ineffectiveness of CASA in the ten years since the previous ICAO audit.

The audit is a huge wake up call to the government, which left much of the dead wood bureaucracy which was responsible for air transport administration under the previous government in place.

This is the world’s peak aviation safety organisation telling Canberra that CASA is so inept it didn’t even exercise oversight of the strict operational requirements of ETOPS or long range operations over water of twin engined wide bodied airliners, like Qantas A330s and V Australia 777-300 ERs.
It finds CASA hasn’t even exercised effective oversight over those it delegates from industry to carry out functions on its behalf and those it directly employs are inadequately trained or monitored.

ICAO says that in CASA in general “the training provided to technical staff is insufficient to address the competency requirements for all the technical tasks.”

ICAO found that “There are no regulations in Australia that…clearly define the direct accountability for safety on the part of senior managements of airlines.”

This is one of the foundations of airline governance in the developed world, in defining the corporate responsibility for maintaining safety standards by airline executives.

It even found that Australia didn’t compel airlines to preserve to the maximum extent flight black box recorders in the event of a crash or serious incident.

Australia had either deficient or non existent rules for the reporting of sub standard or fake spare parts for aircraft and had failed to develop a program to ensure the safe transport of dangerous goods by air.
Regardless of what undertakings or remedial action CASA claims it is now undertaking, the audit shows that the last 10 years of safety oversight have been dysfunctional and inadequate.

The audit’s final report is a negotiated document. The audit team provides the interested parties with a draft, those parties take exception or otherwise to the wording, and a to-and-fro process occurs which retains the conclusions made by the auditors but in a language the parties are prepared to live with.

The audit was also conducted between 18-28 February last year, well before the CASA special audit of Qantas discovered that the airline’s safety standards were slipping, and also, that CASA had been clueless or mute as the case may be about those failings for years prior.

The audit was over when Qantas discovered it had forgotten a crucial airworthiness directive to complete modifications to the forward pressure bulkhead in five of its Boeing 737-400s, but then claimed it didn’t matter anyhow.

It did. It was serious. Airworthiness directives are by definition serious directions to remedy air safety issues. The former head of engineering, David Cox, who played down the matter has since left Qantas, and CASA to this day has denied officially having any responsibility for tracking and ensuring compliance with airworthiness directives.

The audit recommends that Australia sufficiently fund its air safety investigator, the ATSB so that it can investigate all rather than a selection of significant accidents and incidents and fulfil its ICAO treaty obligations in that regard.

Two things stand out from this report.

One is that Australia has agreed to fix almost all of these issues by the end of this year, which will require profound and widespread change in CASA.

The other is that for close on ten years prior to this audit the reputation of Australia as a leader in aviation safety was more the result of luck than rigour.
Now there is one thing about auditors eventually they come around again and after the recent bad press, the many..many negative findings/recommendations in various Senate Inquiries and indeed in the Forsyth Report itself; it is not too much of a stretch to imagine that the FAA/ICAO will be back sooner rather than later...

It is also not too much of a stretch, given Australia's strong involvement in the two biggest aviation related tragedies in recent memory, that the spotlight will be on just how well the government & it's agencies conduct themselves while the world leaders are in our patch; which gives credence to the rumour that the PMC is the current roadblock to all things aviation in this country - well at least till the G20 is over and all the bigwigs go home..

So fanciful rumour maybe but it would also make sense of the delay of the TSBC peer review report as well...

Although personally I'm not going to let our inept miniscule, Beaker - or if the rumour be true; our Putin shirt front threatening PM - of the hook anytime soon are you??

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Old 12th Nov 2014, 19:11
  #2378 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 2,053
Of pots and kettles.

Got busy on Skype last night; tried to get a feel for overseas interest and intentions. Seems 'they' all know, with Australia becoming a 'standard' butt for jokes, like the series of Irish or elephant gags: some of them are very good. It's probably just as well the national sense of humour is based on taking the Mickey; rather than wit, the irony should be appreciated.

I could not, not 100% determine if the Yanks were planning a trip 'dununder', they most certainly want to and if there were a few more pennies in the jam tin; they certainly would be here. As it stands, that decision is in the lap of the financial gods; however the will to do it exists.

The main concern of course is that now a small part of the 'system' has been exposed for what it is, through the Senate Pel Air inquiry and the expert recommendations of that panel; that being further supported by the Rev. Forsyth and his excellent review, that nothing, not a thing has been done to address the 60 odd far reaching, important fixes required by those reviews and demanded by industry. My response is to quote the 2008 audit, the money spent and the stellar achievement of Part 61 and CAAP 215 as proof of money well spent, when the coughing and spluttering dies away; always the same response to the "you're kidding" question – "no mate, I'm not". The next question everyone asks is – "where the hell are the press?". Your guess is as good as mine I reply. Unbelievable they say..

Now as it happens, I know a couple of 'producers', one in the US and I did manage a chat with him. He was as surprised that there was 'trouble at mill' as I was that he had NFI. It ended up being an 'interesting' conversation. Not holding my breath though, Sandilands reckons there are no journalists anymore and people are not interested in a good yarn, well told. Just 'grabs' of easily digested potted or regurgitated pap. A quick, vicarious thrill, a tut-tut and it's back to MKR. Friend of mine who makes a study of such things has always maintained that most conversation is carried out during the TV program and dries up when the advertisements are on; he's serious about it – go figure.

This all leaves us wandering about in the dark, and Vlad trying to understand WTF Abbott is on about; I couldn't snag the picture I wanted, but look at the Vlad expression in the one below. Talk about glass houses, rocks and them what chuck's 'em. The pot and the kettle, together at last; discussing who has the grimiest arse; which is rather a good question.

Courtesy Daily Mail.

Thorny, have you been keeping low company again, mixing with the IoS and MaM, drinking beer and attending arcane, lampshade wearing meetings with riff-raff?..... Good onya....See you next week mate.....

Toot toot. (MkI).

Last edited by Kharon; 12th Nov 2014 at 20:07. Reason: Nice one Sarcs – share your choc frog with comrade Sandilands.
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Old 13th Nov 2014, 00:22
  #2379 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 1,733
The TSBC peer review a "Clayton's" audit of the ATsB??

While on the subject of audits it is worth remembering that before the 2008 FAA/ICAO Audit the bureau asked for and got audited by ICAO on pretty much similar ToR to that of the TSBC peer review:
Media release

Positive results of ICAO audit of the ATSB

Date: 29 October 2004

An ICAO audit of the ATSB has reported high satisfaction with Australia's legislative, organisational and training framework for aircraft safety investigation and the professional and efficient conduct of the ATSB investigations reviewed in detail.

The audit by the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was sought by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to ensure that the ATSB met international best practice for aviation accident and incident safety investigation.

The ICAO audit team 'commended the positive and professional approach of the ATSB in proactively seeking the audit' and made a number of very positive findings.

For example, the team 'was highly satisfied with the legislative and organizational framework established by Australia and the ATSB enabling the conduct of aircraft accident and incident investigations' in particular through the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and Regulations.

The ICAO team 'commended' the ATSB's 'very comprehensive training policy and programme' and, based on the two complex accident investigations audited, found: 'despite multiple difficult circumstances in each of the investigations reviewed, the investigators appeared to have managed the investigation tasks in a professional and efficient manner, consistent with the established standards and practices of the ATSB. Furthermore & safety issues were properly addressed and the processing of reports of the investigations was generally accomplished in a timely manner'.

As expected, the audit team did make a number of recommendations for improvement including regarding documentation, memoranda of understanding, post-accident medical testing, budgeting and number of investigations, investigator training, and occurrence reporting, against which the ATSB has submitted a corrective action plan.

These recommendations are being progressed with the Minister and internally. In transmitting the audit report, ICAO stated that it was 'pleased to advise that your (the ATSB's) proposed corrective action plan was found to be fully acceptable'.

The field stage of the ICAO audit was conducted in May/June 2004 and the final audit report was transmitted this month. In the interests of transparency, the full ICAO audit report is available from the website, or from the Bureau on request.
A decade on and a lot of water under the bridge - which included significant events like the Lockhart River tragedy and the attempted cover-up of the VH-NGA Norfolk Island ditching investigation - did the bureau heed the lessons learnt from the ICAO audit or are the bureau diverging further from compliance with their obligations to ICAO Annex 13??

My money is on the latter and after the PelAir debacle for very good reason...

The following is a prime example of how the bureau has IMO regressed rather than improved over the course of the last decade. First an extract from the bureau link above...

"...Safety recommendations are issued by the ATSB in conformity with Annex 13 requirements..."

Then this quote from Ben's article yesterday - Boeing unwilling to comment on 777 security issues:
One of the protocols of air accident investigations that conform to the prescriptions and intent of ICAO Annex 13 (covering air safety inquiries) is that if a safety issue is identified in the course of an investigation then it is dealt with expeditiously rather than kept on ice pending the publication of a final report.
Which brings an interesting parallel to the PelAir investigation... As we now all know there was a critical safety issue identified very early on in the PelAir ATsB investigation - which in normal compliance with Annex 13 should have meant the automatic promulgation of an SR. Instead the bureau sat on this safety issue for a further 3 years and the SI is still yet to be adequately addressed...

The following vid - from 26 May Senate Estimates - perhaps further highlights this contradiction by the bureau (since 2004) in application of Annex 13 on the subject of safety issues and what Senator Fawcett refers to as 'closing the safety (issue) loop' i.e. mitigating safety risk.

It is also interesting to note that apparently the ATsB provided a copy of their actions in response to the 2008 FAA/ICAO audit to the TSBC - see QON 258 answered here by Beaker - yet they didn't furnish the Canucks with the 2004 exclusive ICAO audit of the bureau...

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Old 13th Nov 2014, 03:06
  #2380 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 2,053
Perfidious Australis.

Looking over the last post from Sarcs a couple of fairly significant things jump off the page:-

a) The Canadians were given the 2008 'general' ATSB audit which only lightly brushed over the 2004 response; the 2004 audit was a peer review and made some serious recommendations – and had much to say. Particularly related to 'investigation' (or lack thereof) independence and funding, all as required under Annexe 13, to ensure that obligations were properly met.

b) That had the ATSB acted as recommended; then things would be better and a damn sight closer to what a first world safety investigator should be doing.

Beaker is 'emotionally' and publicly bewailing the loss of '200' years experience; that's twenty years per annum for the last decade, if you like. More broken promises to the detriment of the ATSB to the point where the infamous, Beyond all Reason SR are left to sit in limbo for three years, before being diluted to a minor, politically correct SA suggestion: lots of accidents are not even cursorily investigated; reports are written by the tea lady and, once again, the department is complicit in deliberately thumbing it's nose at an ICAO audit. Had they complied, we would have a first class ATSB to be proud of. What do we and ICAO have – Mi mi meee, mee, me; trust me, mi mi mi.

I wonder why we bother; I really do. FCOL, the bloody Canucks have toddled off with almost exactly the same ToR that were used for the ICAO 2004, peer review made at ATSB request, but are working with the 2008 FAA light version of a 'general' review. No matter, both were not only ignored but have, as the facts show, been inverted and perverted into the shameful mess we see today.

We have now had several inquiries, reviews and audit; all danced to the tune of no change and obfuscation. Why bother doing them – if no one takes the slightest notice.. If we just didn't bother with 'audit' the ATSB could have afforded the $00.20 to raise the Westwind and maybe even replaced the 'lost' talent to write a report which was not an aberration and a SR that stuck. We may have even had some meaningful insight into why life vests failed, life rafts went walkabout, whistles didn't work and a sensible fuel policy; written into law. We may have even gained a better understanding of fatigue. But, hell the world don't need that kind of information now, do it? Bloody Bean counters, advisors, spin doctors and statisticians, all would make a stone idol weep.

And we, masquerading as an upstanding, righteous aviation nation feel it is our duty to 'shirt front' the Ivans of this world and have the rest of it believe that "our" ATSB can manage MH 370. Well, if it's to be a cover up of the duck up, they probably can; very well indeed. Sad part: the world will probably swallow it, whole, and ask for more.


Last edited by Kharon; 13th Nov 2014 at 03:12. Reason: Turn the steam off now Minnie, thanks.
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