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

Merged: Senate Inquiry

Old 5th Dec 2014, 22:27
  #2501 (permalink)  
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Got him. Gone. Clean bowled by Truss

Dolan gone. See planetalking.

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Old 6th Dec 2014, 00:47
  #2502 (permalink)  
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Truss should also be rolled, and MrDak. Truss and MrDak both green lighted Beakers reappointment a few months ago. Fools. 5 years of mismanagement in which 30 years of good work, people and reputation was decimated. From this tendentious blogger I bid you a robust farewell Marty, and don't bang the door on the way out!
I hope next stop for the Senate Express is ASA, there are some passengers there that need picking up. But please make it an ontime arrival and subsequent departure as CASA also has a few more passengers awaiting pick up. Time to ship them all out.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 02:04
  #2503 (permalink)  
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By the pricking of my thumbs. etc

I believe that before Be-a-Cur is allowed to slither off, clutching his golden parachute, fur lined jock strap and hand crafted golf ball warmers; there are some serious questions which must be answered. Should the answers to those questions be found 'disingenuous', then the civil and criminal matters raised within those questions must be addressed; in the national interest, further, those that were associated with those acts should be included in the investigation.

We need to step back in time, just a short way, to identify where and when the whole Pel-Air saga began. The 'potted' version starts with the Chief pilot, as was in 2008, in the short version the CASA supported 'usurper' was, willy nilly, to have the job. In order to achieve this the audit weapon was used, selectively to erode the incumbent – 'things must change' – and the short term AOC ploy was dusted off and played. The incumbent demurred, got off the pot and the new bottom was plonked down on the still warm rim. Problem – the 'new-bottom' had NFI about how to set about doing an international, long range, jet operation, let alone developing policy and procedure to 'fix' the audit reported problems. No matter, as the problems were mostly artificially 'enhanced' they could be let slide and the 'fleet manager' (or some-such) was left to sort them out. Everyone forgot that the now FM, was, last week, the CP and smart enough to know that if little was done, the same 'audit' problems would, or could be aimed at the CASA glove puppet. Office politics, a nasty game, but no real harm done. Then DJ decided to give his West-wind a swimming lesson.

Suddenly, office politics took on whole new, sinister meaning; someone's arse was in a sling and the company reputation was heading down the pan at a hell of a rate. Oh oh. What's to be done? Which brings us to the point of the ramble – what was done, who did it and why?.

I feel it's a reasonable assumption that Sharp would want the whole thing hosed down, strapped, fed and back in it's box with the minimum of fuss. This, of it's self is an acceptable, honest request for a CEO to make of the regulator. What Sharp probably wasn't aware of and didn't realise was the unholy, artificial, fully supported mess the operation was in, to start with. It is, IMO also fair to say that had he realised it; something would have been done to fix the mess, properly, and sooner rather than later. A CEO playing for high stakes cannot afford to have the type of snake pit Pel Air was at the time; it's counterproductive and, as demonstrated, ultimately detrimental and expensive. Not the Sharp style at all.

So the games began, CASA audit, parallel investigations, reports, more reports and enough NCN to choke a horse. ATSB same-same; miles of paperwork. All for naught, the fix was in. But only certain, select Bankstown FOI knew where the real issues lay; their pet, hand reared CP had fluffed it, caught out by the 'enhanced', unattended audit 'gotchya's, raised by CASA used to nobble the previous CP. Followers of the Pel-Air 'ducked up cover up' will be aware of what happened next. Sharp only wanted expediency and closure; but, if the rest were horribly exposed to allegations of 'skulduggery', then every single method of CYA would be employed. There has to be some motivation for the terrible risks McComic, Chambers and his merry bunch took; CYA is as good a reason as any, and better than most.

This is however only where the questions start; just for fun, lets work backwards starting with what Dolan and Mrdak would have allowed the TSBC to see related to Pel Air. Would the TSBC have seen the original honest ATSB and CASA reports; those which were denigrated and shuffled off to one side, the HF, operational and fatigue reports?. Would the TSBC have even been given the sanitised versions?. Were the TSBC given the opportunity to compare those with the original, honest reports?

Then there are questions of the 'grape' (Ayup, there was a bunch of 'em) of the spirit, intent and rules of the MoU, which beg to be answered.

Then there are questions about the pillage and rapine of the TSI Act, section 24 and those who willingly participated in the event which beg for answers; even if just to 'eliminate' the suspicion from our ongoing enquiry', as they say..

Then the hiring by CASA of a protected species specimen, to further protect it from the cold winds of hard truth and responsibilities, was it just that which needed shuffled paperwork and a scapegoat to enact? This stand alone raises more question than have been answered.

I, for one would like to see Anastasi, Campbell, Chambers, Farquharson, Grima, McCormick, White and Whickham from CASA, followed by ATSB Dolan, Walsh and Sangston, in front of a fully briefed Senate committee armed with the evidence of Watson, Hattley and several others.

Was Dolan simply a dumb Muppet? Removing him and allowing the rest to escape unscathed seems pointless; particularly as the notion that the TSBC was short changed and the Senate was lied to has not been fully eliminated. While those questions linger, no one, not with any certainty anyway, can assume that a repeat performance will not be given, the next time valuable safety information is; ostensibly used to protect individuals, deceive management and enhance two careers at the detriment of others.

I'd bet the TSBC would be interested, maybe even the ICAO. Has independence has been curtailed, probity lost in the mists of obfuscation and the Senate a victim of sleight of hand? Then, just to put a hat on the ensemble, the same crew will all be ringing the changes and laughing with relief, that Beaker; poor, mislead, misguided, willing Be-a-Cur, the used and abused Muppet, has taken a big one, for the team, that brought you Pel Air.

Simply Marvellous Horse-pooh was clearly not the answer, was it children. 'Less he peaches, someone asks. Well, that would warm the pot up a bit; but no chance. New horizons on offer from the Murky Machiavellian job search team, maybe even with Customs – then he can have tea and pasta with Lubby Loo, before she goes on holiday – perhaps in the Canadian spring. That aught to make SMH page three, at least.

What a mess Mr. Dolan; what an absolutely disgraceful bloody mess you leave behind for others to clean up. But, be assured, the truth will out, one day. Where then will you hide and who will CYA, not the Murky Machiavellian, definitely not the Wabbits' crew: that is for absolute certain sure. Bet the house on it – Oh, you have.

Aye, it's a puzzle alright. But, as there is ice-cream and Brandy Snaps on offer, I may just take them to a shady part of the garden, sit a while watching the river flow by; and, maybe share the spoils of an illicit kitchen raid with the Gobbledocks' mighty elephant, who, as it happens, shares my particular fondness for stolen ice cream....

Toot toot...

Last edited by Kharon; 6th Dec 2014 at 02:15. Reason: A Sunday ramble on Saturday; why not??
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 04:50
  #2504 (permalink)  
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Seems very strange the outgoing CP (WM) was made fleet manager for international Westwind ops, and the new CP had no input into this area of PelAir's operations. But that was the conclusion of the 2009 CASA special audit.

Westwind international (air medical) operations were found to be in a very poor state, and a bucket was tipped on WM. Fortunately for the new CP, he was found not to have input into that area however. Lucky for him. Strange for a CP to not be across such a significant part of the operation however.

He then went across to CASA. That move has attracted a degree of controversy.

PelAir closed its air medical arm down after Norfolk. No choice really. The special audit showed that part of the organisation was in a mess. Plus their only TCAS equipped Westwind able to operate into Noumea was 45m deep off Norfolk. So that game was up. Best to close it down and hope for business as usual for Rex and the rest of PelAir.

A few questions for the new director of CASA to answer. What really went on 6 years ago? I hope the Senators chose to ask.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 19:47
  #2505 (permalink)  
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Farce, facts and fallacy??

Slats –"What really went on 6 years ago? I hope the Senators chose to ask."
Before the Senate may ask those questions Skidmore needs to do his homework, then find the bottle to provide the evidence which will answer those questions. It does not have to be a 'dirty washing' expose; in house, in camera would do the trick. But he must report; and the 'government' must be seen to take action; if any sort of international credibility for Australian aviation is to be accorded the Abbott government, that is.

Skidmore is very neatly perched between the devil and the deep blue sea; for the Senate Committee (SC) and most of the grown up aviation world know that he has entered the snake pit. Not finding a way of 'sorting it' condemns him to becoming part of the problem which cannot, not with impunity be ignored. For to simply ignore or soft soap the issues away will incur the wrath not only of the SC and Oz industry, but that of other national authorities; the FAA for example. The Canucks are probably queuing up for a whack right now, righteously miffed, having played Patsy in the Murky Machiavellian production of "Peer Review".

Passenger safety is not the issue. It's industry prosperity and investment safety which has suffered, particularly in the light/medium weight class. VLJ and corporate jet operators are a classic example; putting a new aircraft type on an AOC is another. The outrageous amounts of time and money, while an annoying speed bump is not the core issue. The disparity between 'officers' and offices causes heartburn; plenty of very good, clear examples. But these, although significant are not the core issues. It's uncertainty and fear.

The McComic system of predetermined outcome took root and was wholeheartedly embraced by his acolytes. McComic edict – "Fix that, make it go away, I'll back you". In go the Golden West Mafia (GWM) 'Black hats, who revelling in the top cover not only get to weave their evil as directed but get a free slap at the despised 'White hats'. The added bonus is that the 'White hats' are not only humiliated and made to look bad, but they are 'controlled', by fear, bullied into submissive positions. It was, is, and remains a very sick system, the exponents promoted and protected, building their very own little putsches of mischief and malfeasance.

Then there is the lobotomised fringe, those who write 'law' for helicopter operations, without having the faintest notion of 'operational' reality. Those who use every ounce of aero club experience to draft licensing laws and operational tenets; those who inflict their personal methods for operating aircraft onto the poor sod of a CP who must not only live with a flawed system, but be legally liable for it – and so on and so forth; you all know that tune.

We need to turn the heat down on regulatory reform. McComic only pushed that agenda hard because of bonus and, of course an eye on a plumb ICAO job. Although I doubt even ICAO is that 'Fick'. FCOL, If ICAO ever deigned to look at Part 61 and it's MoS; they would see exactly why the disgraced McComic should be consigned to the pencil sharpening cupboard; for all time.

So, if Skidmore can, as the IOS have done, identify the 'wrong un's' and with SC assistance weed them out of the system, he will have put the icing on the industry cake. With the 'White hats' support, the rest will fall into place – easy as pie. But if the 'Black hats' gain the ascendancy; it will be open warfare and believe me; they will trying to protect their rice bowls and will not 'play nice'

Pel Air is not a bad place to start; but there are others who were mauled by the 'Black Hat' brigade. Sorting out the GWM first will just make life so much easier as changes will not be undermined, perverted or used to covertly attack the man who made the industry demanded changes.

Sending Beaker to the naughty corner only punishes a cripple. Isolate the bullies and punish them; lest their mates decide it's easier to join in. Kicker or Kickee, that is the question Skidmore must ask himself and provide an answer to.

Skidmore is much like a priest conducting an exorcism; one small lapse of faith, a seconds hesitation or moments weakness and, Whammo, the daemon has you by the nuts; never to let go.

Aye, Grim thoughts indeed, for Sunday morning, I know. I do have happier. But if we are forced to dance with the devil; it's better we call the tune, early; just so there is no misunderstanding. The bones of Beaker are a welcome offering, but they have precious little meat on them. Meat, spuds and veggies please Mr. Truss: or, Wabbit pie with all the trimmings. We know you have both in the kitchen. Now then, will you serve them up, as promised, or renege??

Toot toot..

Last edited by Kharon; 6th Dec 2014 at 20:15. Reason: No, It's not me dear, that bloody elephant ate a bucket of ice cream yesterday and No: I've, no idea how he got it.
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Old 6th Dec 2014, 22:35
  #2506 (permalink)  
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The McComic Years - Terms of embuggerance.

We need to turn the heat down on regulatory reform. McComic only pushed that agenda hard because of bonus and, of course an eye on a plumb ICAO job. Although I doubt even ICAO is that 'Fick'.
Hmm...maybe, maybe not... If ICAO is run anything like the UN or (god forbid) FIFA then there is probably more graft than reviewing of CVs going on... How much was it again - that we the tax payers - forked out for those two campaigns (one successful one not)??

ICAO is celebrating 70 years (today) since inception... However like so many other proud institutions there is much recent evidence (e.g. involvement in MH17/MH370) that ICAO is fast becoming a 70 year old toothless tiger - so maybe the signatory states would vote in favour of a dictatorial, big 'R' type like McComic.

I know it doesn't bare contemplating but imagine if you will that this chamber were to become McComic's personal star chamber:

And if the duck-up of the cover-ups is required for both MH370 or MH17 who better to deflect the suspect millions of WWIOS members...

"Nothing to see here it was a psychotic pilot that did it!"


"Nothing to see here it was that mad bloody Vlad that did it!"

For those signatory states that are currently being wooed by the smooth, Hoodoo Voodoo, Murky Machiavellian contingent from Downunda here are 269 reasons (besides the TSBC peer review of the PelAir cover-up - read Kharon post) why you should seriously consider the other bloke...: Public Submissions to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review

Add the Forsyth Report to your reading matter: Report of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review PDF: 1598 KB

And a couple of recent Senate Inquiry reports: Aviation Accident Investigations & Pilot training and airline safety; and Consideration of the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment (Incident Reports) Bill 2010

It is also worth running a critical eye over the recently expanded - signed off by McComic/Stabbed in the Dark/M&M - list of Oz notified differences to ICAO SARPs (all 97 pages of it): H18/14

On a lighter note - but still with relevance to the McComic years - I came across an interesting article where another toothless tiger regulator is seriously considering adopting some of the big "R" CAsA terms of embuggerance...:
ASIC to crack down on financial planners exam

THE corporate watchdog has said it will ensure a national exam for financial planners can not be “gamed” as it called for a test to be structured in a similar way to exams sat by aspiring aircraft pilots.

Australian Securities & Investments Commission chairman Greg Medcraft has called on a national exam to be set by the financial planning industry, with ASIC to oversee exams to prevent cheating.

“We want a system not unlike the one the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) uses to test pilots,” Mr Medcraft told a Senate committee on Friday.
“I understand that pilots sit an exam set by CASA to test their skills and knowledge acquired from both training and experience.”

Regarding a national exam, concerns have been raised about its format and difficulty level.

In the US, aviation education for prospective pilots involves providing prospective students with a manual containing several hundred questions and corresponding answers, from which all exam questions are directly drawn.

CASA was immediately unclear whether the same system operated here.

The ASIC spokesman said the regulator would “ensure that the (national exam) system could not be ‘gamed’.”

Before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services on Friday, Mr Medcraft made no mention of ASIC’s previous calls for all financial planners to hold university degrees in “relevant fields”.

The failure to do so, and instead focus only on a national exam, suggests ASIC has been unable to gain support for mandatory university education from the financial planning sector.

ASIC has been dealing closely with the sector in recent months and a week ago filed with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann a joint ASIC/industry report making recommendations for improvements in financial planning education standards.

An ASIC spokesman said the regulator had “not abandoned its support for a uni-level degree” in favour of an exam.
Love this bit..

"...CASA was immediately unclear whether the same system operated here..."

Perhaps Anthony Klan should have contacted Adam at CAsA LSD as they seem to have an excellent understanding of the exam system and are very..very determined that it cannot be gamed: Civil Aviation Safety Authority v Marsh [2014] FCA 1253

60 In my view the learned Tribunal member adopted an incorrect approach in his interpretation of reg 298A(1)(c)(iii). Further, the Tribunal ought to have made the findings identified by the applicant in grounds 2, 3 and 4 of the notice of appeal. Although the Tribunal made a finding on the facts that Mr Marsh was a fit and proper person within the meaning of reg 269(1)(d), I consider it necessary that this decision be revisited in light of this judgment. As the underlying facts were fully explored by the Tribunal it may be that the decision of the Tribunal remains the same concerning Mr Marsh’s fitness and propriety, however that is an issue for the Tribunal. The appropriate order is to remit the matter to the Tribunal for determination according to law.

61 CASA seeks costs of the appeal. Although as a general proposition costs follow the event, in this case Mr Marsh has made no appearance and has not opposed the appeal. It was for the applicant to substantiate its case, and while it has done so in part, it was in the face of a Tribunal decision in Mr Marsh’s favour and without opposition in this Court from Mr Marsh. The better order in the circumstances is that there be no order
as to costs.
Ahh..the sheer embuggerance of it all..wonder how much that little case has cost us so far??

Sundy ramble over...MTF...
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Old 7th Dec 2014, 00:31
  #2507 (permalink)  
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a challenge to all the secretive quasi-judicial bodies that have proliferated across

This co-incidentally by way of reinforcing the rage.

ICAC is refusing to accept it was wrong | Daily Telegraph Miranda Devine Blog

Last edited by Frank Arouet; 7th Dec 2014 at 00:37. Reason: And don''t tell me phone taps aren't used in aviation regulation.
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Old 7th Dec 2014, 03:38
  #2508 (permalink)  
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So basically, CASA stinks and nothing it says can be relied upon? Furthermore, there will be no change as a result of the review?
Well, it seems MedusaCasa has had some of his snakelike appendages severed!

BEWARE! We now need a new name: CrocodileCasa - especally for our Queensland friends.
Just remember the words of the song in "PeterPan"

Never smile at a crocodile
No you can't get friendly with a crocodile
Don't be taken in
By his welcome grin
He's imagining how well you fit into his skin.

Remember how crocodiles grab their prey and sink through the murky waters until it stops kicking? NEVER stop kicking lest you become a clone.
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Old 7th Dec 2014, 15:20
  #2509 (permalink)  
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CAO 82.0 Appendix 1

2 Responsibilities of Chief Pilot
2.1 The Chief Pilot for an operator is to have control of all flight crew training and operational matters affecting the safety of the flying operations of the operator.
2.2 The responsibilities of a Chief Pilot must, unless CASA otherwise specifies in writing, include the following responsibilities:
(a) ensuring that the operator’s air operations are conducted in compliance with the Act, the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988, the Civil Aviation Regulations 1998 and the Civil Aviation Orders;
(b) arranging flight crew rosters;
(c) maintaining a record of licences, ratings, and route qualifications held by each flight crew member, including:
(i) validity; and
(ii) recency; and
(iii) type endorsements and any applicable licence restrictions;
(d) maintaining a system to record flight crew duty and flight times to ensure compliance with duty and flight time limitations, in accordance with Part 48 of the Orders;
(e) ensuring compliance with loading procedures specified for each aircraft type used by the operator and proper compilation of loading documents, including passenger and cargo manifests;
(f) monitoring operational standards, maintaining training records and supervising the training and checking of flight crew of the operator;
(g) conducting proficiency tests in the execution of emergency procedures and issuing certificates of proficiency as required by section 20.11;
(h) training flight crew in the acceptance and handling of dangerous goods as required by the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 or the Orders;
(i) maintaining a complete and up-to-date reference library of operational documents as required by CASA for the class of operations conducted;
(j) allocating appropriate aircraft.

3 Delegation by Chief Pilot
3.1 A Chief Pilot, in exercising any responsibility, may delegate duties to other members of the operator’s staff, but may not delegate training and checking duties without the written approval of CASA.

CASA 2009 Special Audit

Page 36. The aeromedical operation was also managed in isolation from other PelAir AOC activities...... The current Chief Pilot appears to have no direct control into technical Westwind matters, relying on the expertise and experience of the Standards Manager. This situation dilutes the authority of the AOC by putting a non-accountable person at the head of this complex operation.

Page 42. The special audit identified significant deficiencies with the Westwind operation......Up until 2008, the Westwind operation was managed by Mr Ian Meyer as the Chief Pilot and from 2009 onwards as the Westwind Standards Manager. Mr Meyer is relied upon heavily to oversee the training and technical practices for the jet fleet.

For Westwind operations, one presumes the responsibilities of the Chief Pilot were delegated to the Westwind Standards Manager as per CAO 82.0 Appendix 3.1

Given the special audit clearly established the standards manager had the responsibly to "oversee the training", one further presumes this delegation was with the written approval of CASA.

So when CASA approved the new chief pilot, they must have also approved (in writing) the delegation of training and checking duties to the outgoing chief pilot (i.e. the new standards manager).

The special audit doesn't explicitly state that CASA had approved this delegation of training and checking at the time. However they surely must have given such approval, and this would be kept on file
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Old 7th Dec 2014, 21:55
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An Interesting scenario Kharon alluded to on the Truss thread.

Surely not!!,...hmm... then again??

Regarding the Mcomical skulls appointement or not to ICAO.

Siuya said

"The appointment seems to demonstrate beyond any doubt whatsoever the contempt held by the leadership of the Department of the Australian aviation industry in general if it's prepared to make that nomination, particularly after all that's transpired with regard to the disgraceful events surrounding the PEL AIR investigation 'debacle', and especially after the concerns expressed by the Senate Inquiry regarding the involvement of the former DAS."

And robsrich informed us

"Mr John McCormick, recent past Director of Aviation Safety, CASA, has been nominated by the Australian Government for the position of ICAO Secretary General. This was announced during the ICAO International Aviation and Environment Seminar held 28 to 30 October 2014 held at the Concorde Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The announcement was made by the Director, International Standards, Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, at the conclusion of his presentation titled “Australia and CAEP”.

Then on another thread someone else mentioned the Lobbying effort going on in support of McComic by the voodoo Dr. and Murky Macavellian (Any Guvmint money being spent on that effort??. Hey legitimate question, they spent tens of millions lobbying for the world cup).

Could it be the ferryman is correct??

Could it be that the Murky Macavellian deliberately delayed the response to the "Forsyth Report",and the release of the Canadian "TSBC report"??

That would have kept any mud from spattering good old John boy while he and the hoodoo voodoo silver tongued ICAO into giving an angry man the head of table at future ICAO feasts including a vastly increased trough to feed from?

No, surely not, I mean, would that be strictly Kosher??..hmm as Ripley said.....

Last edited by thorn bird; 7th Dec 2014 at 22:11.
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Old 7th Dec 2014, 23:20
  #2511 (permalink)  
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With serious intent.

Slats –"The special audit doesn't explicitly state that CASA had approved this delegation of training and checking at the time. However they surely must have given such approval, and this would be kept on file"
Nice to see Slats has 'nutted' it out; (Choc frog)..... The quote above clearly defining the highly 'selective' nature of the audit managers approach to gathering what may loosely be described as 'evidence'.

When the 'black box' from NGA is recovered (Yes, they are) and the Pel-Air investigation is re-opened there will be some very serious questions raised about the CASA management handling of the matter and Nuremburg notions just won't cut it.

There are, as we know two sides to a coin, ours has a Pel Air side and an Airtex side and, although crafted by the same hand they are vastly different. You can see, from the Slats quote where a matter of some importance has been skimmed over. The tenets of the Operations Manual (OM) being conveniently overlooked in the covert defence of one of the anointed. Turn that coin over and you will see one of the most bizarre uses of a document suite ever encountered by some fairly experienced, street wise legal counsel. Where not only were the tenets of the existing (accepted) OM interpreted at the very 'extreme' limits of sanity, but when that would not suffice, the very existence of the OM was denied and an old version was quoted and used, as best suited. Any comparison between the 'handling' of the two cases, by the same manager would simply beggar the belief of any balanced, rational inquiry.

Now it appears the Senate committee may demand further inquiry, in one form or another, into Pel-Air. A simple CASA board inquiry, reporting to the RATT committee; or even a repeat of the Reverent Forsyth's sterling effort would suffice. But if the effort is to be truly useful, a parallel investigation into the same management 'team' handling the Airtex matter, must be included. IMO any fair comparison, made by reasonable, honest folk would reveal the precise nature of why the industry calls for 'regulatory reform' are just a catch-cry, covering the desperate, urgent, essential need for investigation into and reform of the 'regulator'.

It is my understanding that Skidmore has been provided a briefing which should, in a sane world, provide enough facts to provoke a board (or ethics committee) inquiry, making the comparison of both Pel Air and Airtex, at the very least a feature. Any honest person comparing the two cases will see, very clearly, the absolute bastardry of which industry despairs and hopes Skidmore will eradicate; (or exterminate; for there are pleasures to be found in both).

Mark my words, if these matters, starting with Pel Air and the actions of those involved are not dealt with honourably, honestly and quickly, the reputation of the Australian regulator will be denigrated, forever, to be held in open contempt. Not to know about a thing and failing to act is, perhaps forgivable. But failure to act with full or even partial knowledge is, shall we say, frowned upon in certain circles.

When you toss a coin, there can only be one of two possible outcomes; unless you have been gifted one of the departmentally minted two headed jobs that is..


Last edited by Kharon; 8th Dec 2014 at 01:06.
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Old 8th Dec 2014, 04:14
  #2512 (permalink)  
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Newsflash - ATSB begins action on Canadian review.

Media Release

Date: 08 December 2014

ATSB begins action on Canadian review

The ATSB has today begun action in responding to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) review into the ATSB’s methodologies and processes.

Released last week, the review found that the ATSB’s investigation methodologies and practices generally met or exceeded international best-practice standards.

The review also highlighted potential improvements, particularly about the way in which ATSB methodologies were applied in the investigation into the ditching of the Pel-Air Westwind Aircraft off Norfolk Island in November 2009.

In response to the TSB review, the ATSB Commission has decided to reopen its investigation into the Pel-Air accident. A new investigation team will review the original investigation and associated report in the light of any fresh evidence and relevant points raised in the TSB review and other recent aviation reviews.

At the same time, the ATSB Commission will continue to methodically and carefully work its way through the broader findings and recommendations of the TSB review, with the aim of ongoing improvements to the future work of the ATSB.

The ATSB will provide regular public updates on the progress with the re-opened Pel-Air review and with its broader consideration of, and response to, the TSB review.

TICK..TOCK Beaker any minute now...

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Old 8th Dec 2014, 12:00
  #2513 (permalink)  
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The ATSB - there is a whole lot of mi mi mi going on!

When the 'black box' from NGA is recovered (Yes, they are) and the Pel-Air investigation is re-opened there will be some very serious questions raised about the CASA management handling of the matter and Nuremburg notions just won't cut it.
Don't you mean the 'barnacle box'? It would be interesting to see if it is still readable after 5 years of peace and solitude off the coast of Norfolk? Don't be surprised if some unfortunate occurrence takes place and the barnacle box disappears or becomes damaged prior to retrieval, if a retrieval is approved. Dear oh dear, where will the ever budget conscious Beaker get the coin from to fund such an exercise?? I can hear the ever diligent beancounter belting away at the abacus as we speak!

In response to the TSB review, the ATSB Commission has decided to reopen its investigation into the Pel-Air accident. A new investigation team will review the original investigation and associated report in the light of any fresh evidence and relevant points raised in the TSB review and other recent aviation reviews.
Oh my, poor Beaker, that is one giant pooh sandwich he has been fed! That should keep him full in the belly for a good month!!
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Old 8th Dec 2014, 19:49
  #2514 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: sydney
Posts: 1,442
"A new investigation team will review the original investigation and associated report in the light of any fresh evidence and relevant points raised in the TSB review and other recent aviation reviews."

Oh dear, I'm becoming a cynical old fart.

But does that sentence sound like its taken directly from one of the pages out of the "Sir Humphry book of Flim Flam"??

Expect a report on that in about?? Oh... five years or so.
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Old 9th Dec 2014, 06:03
  #2515 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 355
It would have been better for the TSBC to have redone the investigation. Given their criticism of the way the original report was put together and the ATSB defence of that report I'm not sure Dolan is now going to say "Ah yes in fact we will recover the CVR/FDR and start again because the report we produced was sub-standard."

Expect a report on that in about?? Oh... five years or so.
Good to see you have some optimism about the time frame!
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Old 9th Dec 2014, 07:29
  #2516 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Having educated myself on this whole sorry saga, with some input from PAIN reference Lockhart incident, thanks K, I feel there is too much optimism that anything different will eventuate. Reading the ATSB media release doesn't increase my confidence that an actual re-investigation will take place.
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Old 9th Dec 2014, 07:41
  #2517 (permalink)  
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I'm a bit more confident than that Eddie. Cover ups are vigorously defended until they become indefensible. Then they often collapse spectacularly as no one wants to be caught in the fallout.

I suspect that may be the case here. New Director at CASA. A new Commissioner at ATSB (although I have not seen any confirmation that the new commissioner will actually replace Dolan and become the Chief Commissioner).

So people in senior roles with nothing to gain and lots to lose by trying to sweep anything under the mat.

Remember also the IACO / FAA elephant in the room.
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Old 9th Dec 2014, 08:06
  #2518 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Posts: 1,732
Part 1: Beaker - New but insignificant??

It would have been better for the TSBC to have redone the investigation.
Totally agree Lefty, throughout the PelAir debacle the independence of the ATsBeaker has been sorely tested so why would it be any different now?? Well at least while Beaker continues to hold the reins...
Kharon - But something has to be done and Be-a-Cur must go, for he cannot stay.
Hmm...while we are waiting for the Murky Machiavellian & crew to manipulate, spin & bulldust and delay the inevitable Beaker bombshell beheading, it is worth reflecting on a passage of Hansard extracted from - Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee - 24/02/2014 - Estimates - ATSB - just in case M&M was having second thoughts...
Senator XENOPHON: Mr Dolan, during the Senate inquiry into the Pel-Air aviation accident investigations there was some consideration given as follows. I understood the ATSB was going to revisit the issue of whether the flight data recorder could in fact be retrieved. Is that something that was considered by the ATSB in relation to the FTR at Norfolk Island?

Mr Dolan: In light of the references committee's report the ATSB did reconsider the question of the flight data recorders. Based on an assessment of the safety benefits and the likely cost, it was decided not to proceed with a retrieval.

Senator XENOPHON: The safety benefits and the likely costs were matters that were previously considered.

Mr Dolan: That is true, but we reconsidered it in light of the committee's report and its recommendation.

Senator XENOPHON: So no other factors were considered
in the context of retrieving the flight data recorder?

Mr Dolan: We considered it in the context of the parallel recommendation about reopening the investigation. Those two played against each other in the commission's consideration of those two recommendations.

Senator XENOPHON: In response to question 142, which I placed on notice at the last estimates, regarding the Pel-Air investigation the ATSB stated that it had no power to withdraw its report, no plans to conduct a further investigation and that it stands by the finding of the report. Is that the position of the ATSB?

Mr Dolan: That is correct.

Senator XENOPHON: During the committee inquiry into the aviation accident report—and I think it was in relation to a line of questioning from Senator Edwards—you stated that you were not proud of the report and that you certainly would not hold it as a benchmark.

Mr Dolan: That is correct.

Senator XENOPHON: Why is the ATSB standing by it given your previous comments?

Mr Dolan: There is a difference between us not wishing to hold up the report as an exemplar of our best work and whether we consider, in terms of the act, that the investigation is complete and, therefore, the report as published will stand.

Senator XENOPHON: But under the act you do have the power to reopen an investigation, do you not?

Mr Dolan: Yes, and we will when new and significant information comes to light that may be relevant to the previous investigation.

Senator XENOPHON: So, you do not think anything that was uncovered
in the context of the Senate inquiry was in any way new or significant?

Mr Dolan: I and my fellow commissioners very carefully went through the contents of the committee's report and tested it against the information we had available to us in the course of our investigation. There was nothing, in
our view, that constituted new and significant information that would lead to a need to reopen the investigation.

CHAIR: How did it go from a critical incident to a 'don't worry about it' incident?

Mr Dolan: That is a matter we did rehearse with the references committee. In short, our initial assessment of the issue of guidance as to dealing with the situation, weather deterioration and what was planned, we overassessed it as critical at an early stage and by applying our methodologies we concluded by the end of the process that it constituted a minor safety issue.

CHAIR: Can I commend you. You look really well. You look less stressed than you used to for some reason.

Mr Dolan: It is probably the lack of the beard.

CHAIR: With that particular incident of which I just spoke no thinking person would believe that bureaucratic answer. You cannot go from a critical incident to a minor one or whatever it was without something happening on the journey. Anyway, we will not go back there. To any sensible person it sounds like either a cover-up or a balls-up.

Senator XENOPHON: Mr Dolan, given in your view, and the view of the ATSB, there was no new or significant information arising out of the Senate inquiry—

Mr Dolan: New and significant.

Senator XENOPHON: So it has to be both new and significant.

Mr Dolan: Yes.

Senator XENOPHON: I understand the threshold that the ATSB had said in respect of that. Is this something that was considered by the board of the ATSB?

Mr Dolan: Yes, by the three commissioners who legally constitute the ATSB.

Senator XENOPHON: How much time was given to consider that at its meeting?

Mr Dolan: We set aside the bulk of our one-day formal meeting as a commission to work through the range of recommendations of the committee's report, both to inform our input to a government response and to look at what steps we needed to take to learn from the Pel-Air investigation and the investigations of the committee.

Senator XENOPHON: Can you indicate whether you provided advice to the government as to why you thought there was nothing new and significant arising out of the Senate inquiry report, with a view to reopening the investigation or reconsidering your findings?

Mr Dolan: The advice that we provided through the department to the government is decision-making advice for the government, and I am not sure I am in a position to comment on that.

Senator XENOPHON: I am not asking you for the content of that advice. I am asking whether, in fact, you provided advice as to whether you ought to reconsider reopening in any way the ATSB's report into the Pel-Air incident.

Senator Johnston: I do not think you can discuss the content or the inference.

Senator XENOPHON: I am not asking for the content.

Senator Johnston: Well, the inference to be drawn as to what the advice was about. If there was advice, there was advice.

Senator XENOPHON: I am just trying to establish whether there was
advice on this particular issue. I am not asking for an inference as to whether there was advice one way or the other. It is as to whether there was any.

Senator Johnston: I think departments provide advice on all manner of issues. I think you can assume that they did.

Senator XENOPHON: I was just trying to establish that from Mr Dolan.

Mr Dolan: As I indicated, the commission considered for its own purposes the question of whether to reopen the investigation, and our consideration also informed the nature of our advice to government about what we would see as an appropriate response to the report.

Senator XENOPHON: Now that the Canadian TSB is looking at the ATSB, and in particular given the terms of reference, the Pel-Air incident and the way the ATSB conducted itself, is the ATSB still open to either a withdrawal of its report or conducting a further investigation or reconsidering its report as a result of any findings by the Canadian TSB?

Mr Dolan: There are two points. As I tried to make clear in response to the question on notice, legally speaking we cannot withdraw a report. We can amend a report but we are not in a position to withdraw it.

Senator XENOPHON: Would you consider amending the report? You have not considered it on the basis of the Senate inquiry and its report, but is that something that will be considered in the context of the Canadian TSB report?

Mr Dolan: The threshold test remains. If there is new and significant information that is relevant to the investigation we have not just a power but a responsibility to reopen the investigation. If anything comes out of the Canadian review that points in that direction we will have to review it and make an appropriate decision.

Senator XENOPHON: Do you think it is appropriate? Is it a case of Caesar judging Caesar, because you need to determine whether it is new, which usually can be fairly objectively determined, but whether there is both new and significant material? Do you agree that that is something that can be the subject of a judgment call by the very essence of determining whether something is significant or minor?

Mr Dolan: I would totally agree that this is a matter of judgment. This is a matter of judgment, which under the Transport Safety Investigation Act is given to the ATSB as constituted by its three commissioners.

Senator XENOPHON: Given the matters that arose out of the Senate inquiry, the evidence that was given and that whole process and issues with respect to the MOU between CASA and the ATSB, for instance, and other matters about the downgrading of the nature of the report from critical to a minor safety incident, do you think in those circumstances it would be preferable for public confidence in the ATSB for there to have been an impartial arbiter or impartial advice sought from an expert to give advice to the ATSB in respect of that, rather than the commissioners basically just making a judgment call as to whether it ought to be amended or reopened based on your previous judgments? You can understand why there might be some concern about that.

Mr Dolan: I understand the concerns. All I can reiterate is that the
responsibility for making those judgments by law rests with the ATSB and we will continue to exercise our responsibilities under the act.

Senator XENOPHON: I understand your responsibilities under the act, but do you consider it preferable in terms of the public confidence in the ATSB, given the highly critical nature of the Senate committee's report with respect to the Pel-Air incident and criticisms from others who gave evidence to the inquiry, that it would not be unreasonable for the ATSB to have sought an independent entity to provide advice before you considered whether there was something new and significant in the context of reopening any investigation into the Pel-Air incident?

Mr Dolan: The three commissioners determined that it was their responsibility to make that assessment and we did not see any need or possibility to defer that decision to someone else. What we did do, quite deliberately, was ask a counterpart organisation, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, to benchmark our investigation methodology against their investigation methodology and to review three of our investigations in light of that, essentially against what the TSB would have done as against what we did, and to give us an independent report on the results. It is entirely possible that as a result of that there will be new and significant information. If there is, the commission will reopen the investigation.

Senator XENOPHON: It goes beyond methodology, does it not, because looking at the methodology of the ATSB is a little different from the reality of how the ATSB may or may not have implemented that methodology.
Mr Dolan: Yes, the methodology and how it was applied.

Senator XENOPHON: So, it does go beyond the methodology?
Mr Dolan: Very much beyond the methodology and into how it was applied.
Mr Mrdak: I think going back to my earlier answer about the integrity of the process, the terms of reference that have been given to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, the way in which they are looking at that and the advice to government from the ATSB on that process will underpin the government's response when that is tabled in terms of the very questions you are asking.

Senator XENOPHON: You would understand the disquiet in the aviation community that the ATSB was effectively Caesar judging Caesar. The commissioners had to make a determination as to whether they did a good job or not in terms of their previous report that was the subject of scathing criticism by a Senate inquiry. But you acknowledge that?

Mr Mrdak: I understand that and I have certainly closely reviewed the Senate inquiry report, but I think Mr Dolan has set out for you that seeking the advice from the Canadian authorities is the way in which the ATSB has sought to deal with a number of the issues raised in the Senate committee report.

MTF...with Part 2 of course...

Last edited by Sarcs; 9th Dec 2014 at 08:44.
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Old 9th Dec 2014, 08:39
  #2519 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Posts: 1,732
Part 2: "..Be-a-Cur must go, for he cannot stay..."

From Hitch today - ATSB to review Ditching Investigation - with comments from Dom:
For Dominic James, the pilot who had to ditch Westwind VH-NGA off Norfolk Island due to low fuel and poor visibility, the news comes as a huge relief. The original report pointed towards pilot planning as the cause, and James has been fighting to have the report withdrawn since the day it was issued.

"I am hugely relieved to see the ATSB finally withdraw this plainly dishonest report," he told Australian Flying, "but only after years of informed criticism from all fronts.

"The next important step will be the renewal of the Federal Police investigation so as to bring those responsible to account and to prevent this from happening again in the future."

The ATSB is expected to issue a response to the Canadian TSB report in the coming months.
But back to Beaker & his fellow commissioner's previous decision not to reopen the PelAir investigation...
Senator FAWCETT: One of the things Mr Dolan said to us earlier was that the TSB was going to give them a draft so that they could look at issues of fact. We have just had a prolonged discussion between Senator Xenophon and Mr Dolan around 'new and significant'. The facts, as came out on paper very clearly before the Senate committee was that there was new information—and I particularly refer to the Chambers report. It was significant, because the ATSB report said that the regulatory system that was in place did not need investigation and yet the new information highlighted that CASA itself knew that there were significant deficiencies in that which had not been highlighted. So, the evidence in black and white said that it was new and significant.

Our concern is that if ATSB is given the role of deciding what is factual and if there are factual errors in the TSB report, if TSB say that this is new and significant and it should have been investigated. What we have just heard from Mr Dolan yet again is that the ATSB considers it completely within their remit to say, 'We are the ones legally charged with deciding if it is new and significant. We decide that is factually incorrect. Send it back to the TSB with an amendment.' That hardly inspires confidence in the aviation community in Australia.

Mr Mrdak: I did read the way you have taken that from what Mr Dolan has said here today or previously in relation to the nature of the Canadian draft report. I would not lead you to the conclusion that you have reached, I do not think. Knowing the way in which these processes are undertaken and the integrity of the agency involved, I do not think you could lead to the conclusion you are reaching from the ATSB being asked to fact check a document. I do not think that is the way the Canadian authorities would ever see that taking place.

Senator FAWCETT: Was the Chambers report new information?
Mr Mrdak: I was not involved in the process at the time. From reading the Senate report, I can certainly accept the view that it provided additional and new information. As to whether that was germane to the issue of the circumstances which the ATSB reported on, that is a matter of judgment.

Senator FAWCETT: Which comes down to the issue at hand. I think the concern of the committee is very clear that, given ATSB's response to date, to completely deny the black and white facts that were laid before the Senate inquiry—upon threat we had to require the documents be delivered to us and they then exposed in black and white this new and significant information. For the agencies to say that it is not new and it is not significant or not a combination of both just flies in the face of logic.

Mr Mrdak: Again, I can only take you to what I anticipate being a very rigorous review by the Canadian peer review. We will have to look at that document at that time.
Well M&M what do you think now??

The next passage of Hansard is very relevant in light of Kharon's recent posts on here...:
Senator FAWCETT: Mr Dolan, can you clarify that there were three investigations that had been referred? Clearly, Norfolk Island was one, but what are the other two?

Mr Dolan: The other two were the Canley Vale crash, an aeromedical flight where a pilot and a nurse died, and the winching accident at Bridal Veil Falls, which was again an aeromedical procedure, and so we were looking at three that were in broadly similar territory. They are the three that the TSB, after some suggestions from us, agreed were appropriate to look at.

Senator FAWCETT: With the Canley Vale accident, were they also given access to CASA documents, given what we found in the Norfolk Island incident where significant issues like CASA's own recognition that their oversight of the company was deficient, which was never reported nor disclosed to ATSB? Does the TSB have the option to or did they have the option and access to CASA personnel and information about the Canley Vale incident?

Mr Dolan: The question never arose. Their initial review was based on the material that was available to the TSB and interviews with the investigator in charge and others in the organisation. I am assuming since there has been no request from the Canadians that they were not looking further than material that was already available to the ATSB.

Senator FAWCETT: I have one final question for the record. The fact that CASA had determined that their own regulatory oversight of the company in question was deficient and materially impacted on the safety with things like fuel planning and so on, can I take from your comments that you think that was insignificant?

Mr Dolan: No. It was significant, but in the assessment of the ATSB it was not new. We were aware of the territory that was covered and I gave a formal response to the references committee in relation to our views on the Chambers report and its relevant to the Pel-Air investigation.

Senator FAWCETT: Just confirming, though, in that response you did say that you were not aware of the Chambers report? You were aware they had done a special audit, but you were not aware of the Chambers report?
Mr Dolan: That is correct.

Senator FAWCETT: So, you have just said it is significant and you have just confirmed that it is new. To my mind, that very clearly brings about the two criteria for reviewing the efficacy of the report.

Mr Dolan: I do not think I said it was significant. I did say it was new. comment needed I reckon...


Last edited by Sarcs; 9th Dec 2014 at 09:01.
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Old 9th Dec 2014, 10:47
  #2520 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Frankston
Age: 60
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with thanks to SARCS

Mr Dolan: No. It was significant, but in the assessment of the ATSB it was not new.

Mr Dolan: I do not think I said it was significant. I did say it was new.

This, to my simple mind sums up the raison d'etre of the senate inquiry;

When you cannot rely upon what you are being told.....and yet these sentences were about the same subject (CHambers report) and related within seconds of each other?

But why was it all necessary - what was the aim - what did it achieve?
If lies follow lies? Was the Chambers report significant or new or neither?

with thanx also to NX - if he ever needs a vote?
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