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

Merged: Senate Inquiry

Old 5th Feb 2014, 02:19
  #1701 (permalink)  
 
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Given that, why wouldn't the regulator seize the hull from the sea to aid anything it may have had on its mind? Being mindful of personalities, business dealings, politics etc. it makes one wonder if perhaps an element of cronyism isn't at work here. Any denial of cronyism should be accompanied with the recovered wreck at least. CASA are known for loosing evidence once it's been seized, but I guess if it stays where it is, it's effectively lost.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 02:52
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[Quote] "If the regulator considers a pilot does not reach the requisite standard for fuel planning and management, the regulator is justified in taking administrative action to ensure the pilot regains the requisite standard of competence. There is nothing contrary to or inconsistent with the concept of “Just Culture” in the regulator taking that action."

Given what came out in the senate inquiry its perhaps the CAsA "expert" who should have had administrative action taken against him.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 03:19
  #1703 (permalink)  
 
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For prosecution read persecution

Frank and CP agree with both of you. In the case of no prosecution CAsA knew it had no chance. By not rescuing the recordings both ATSB allegedly for financial reasons and CAsA for yet another form of withholding evidence, this time it wasn't misplaced but inaccessible. So the typical persecution, but only of the PIC?
What evidence did the co-pilot provide, we don't need to know her name but surely she could back up what really happened, is this another case of withholding relevant evidence or was it all discussed in camera??

Was this also a case of cronyism or selective investigation?

Ignoring the pre accident audit, the PIC appears to have followed an inadequate company procedure to the letter. Had he used some initiative he may have uplifted more fuel but with different performance consequences which had he got away with it may have been picked up by a professional audit. So he did wrong by following theoretical flt planning procedures or alternatively not following company (approved) policy.

Conclusion the aircraft was unsuitable in the first place for such transoceanic flights.

Assume the Skull has compensated DJ out of his own pocket?
S.H
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 04:54
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250k reasons for FF wet lettuce bitch slap of PelAir..??

Creamy...." I do not think we are talking at cross-purposes"..."I think we are in furious agreement..." to quote a certain Miniscule Senate rep

I agree that FF are quite within their rights to investigate the pilot on concerns that he doesn't reach the 'requisite standard for fuel planning and management'... and to take..."administrative action to ensure the pilot regains the requisite standard of competence".

Although I have some serious concerns about the due process followed in arriving at that administrative enforcement action (i.e. 'the Notice'). I also still believe that in a 'real world' the same objective, as outlined in the original NOS, could have been achieved internally with a FF observer along for the ride..

It is almost like FF has no faith in the robustness of their own regulated & approved systems, such as SMS ('just culture') , CAR 217 (including their own ATO delegates..) & FRMS. Perhaps this is because they know that DJ was, in reality, a 'normalised deviation' within one of their own fully approved AOC holders??

Comment: For a short, interesting read on 'normalised deviation' the following link is worth a peruse: "Normalization of a Deviation"

There is also much research and commentary on Just Culture & SMS in aviation, but perhaps for an up-to-date perspective from a (god forbid..) Human Factors mob, the following is worth a read: Safety Culture…Is not just part of your SMS, it is your SMS

Funny how these current experts (unlike Beaker) still espouse the teachings of James Reason..:
Aviation expert, Dr. James Reason said, “If you are convinced that your organization has a good safety culture, you are almost certainly mistaken… A safety culture is something that is strived for but rarely attained – the process is more important than the product.
But moving right along with a downwind tack.., came across this article c/o SMH yesterday : App bottom line no wheezy mark

Here is the relevant bit:
The Singapore-backed regional airline gifted $70,000 to the federal Libs and $95,700 to the Nats in 2012-13. Its largesse to the right side of the politics might not surprise too many, given its deputy chairman, John Sharp, was a transport minister under the Howard government. But what is a surprise is that its biggest donation - $250,000 - was to Labor.
It would appear that a former, right of centre, pollie & transport miniscule was having a quiet interlude..tiptoeing (with Albo ), on the LH side of the fence, at around the time that FF were putting in place the PelAir fix...
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 06:39
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Sarcsi,

couldn't be construed as the end of the month "Brown Paper Bag" could it?

Na, no way, that would imply the whole system is corrupt.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 21:59
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Unhappy Beaker still in denial…??

Although the Senate Estimate AQONs were still overdue (10 January), the release yesterday would still have to be close to an all-time record for the DoIRD (formally DoIT)…

DoIRD AQONs (Supplementary Estimates November 2013)

On a cursory review it would appear that most of the DIPs answers contain the usual (SOP) spin & obfuscation (i.e. taking the mickey of the Senators QONs).

However there are one or two notable exceptions…


In particular, Hoody’s adopted mob, the ASA take out the golden cheroot award for most directly answering the bloody questions.. : ASA AQONs & attachments for QON 160

Moving right along it would appear that the ATsBeaker are still in denial over the PelAir report….(my bold):
Senator Xenophon asked:
It is now over four years since the ditching of VH-NGA off Norfolk Island, and nearly seven months since the committee issued its report on aviation accident investigations. Has the ATSB formulated a response to this report?
a. If so, please provide a copy of the response provided to the Minister or department.
b. Will the ATSB be implementing any of the report’s recommendations? If so, when?
c. In particular, will the ATSB be withdrawing its report into the Pel-Air incident and conducting a further investigation?
d. Does the Chief Commissioner still maintain the ditching was the fault of the pilot, and that there were no systemic issues involved?

Answer:

Yes.

a. The ATSB provided advice to the Department on 31 July 2013, to assist it in briefing the Minister on a proposed government response. The various agency contributions, including the ATSB’s, to assist in the preparation of the Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry, are internal working documents provided to the Department as part of a deliberative Government process.

Each Government aviation agency cleared parts, pertaining to their organisation, of the proposed Government response to the Senate Inquiry before the response was provided to the Government. Accordingly agency views on the Senate Inquiry’s report will be reflected in the final Government response, which will be provided to the Committee as soon as it is approved by the Government.

b. The ATSB will implement those elements of the government response which are relevant to it and are consistent with the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. The timeframe for implementation will depend on the publication of the government’s response as well as the outcomes of the review of aviation safety regulation announced by the Deputy Prime Minister on 14 November 2013. The review team is expected to report to the government in May 2014.

c. The ATSB has no power to withdraw the Pel-Air report or plans to conduct a further investigation.

d. The ATSB stands by the findings of its report. Neither the Chief Commissioner nor the ATSB have apportioned blame for the ditching.The report identified systemic issues against which action has been taken by the relevant organisations.
And on Nick’s QONs in regards to the Canuck’s review etc of ATsBeaker:
Senator Xenophon asked:

I note that the Canadian TSB has been commissioned to undertake an independent review of the ATSB’s reporting processes.
a. Who commissioned the review?
b. Why was the TSB chosen, and who made that choice?
c. What is the process for the review?

Answer:

a. The ATSB Commission agreed to enter into an MOU with the TSB of Canada to facilitate the review, on 24 July 2013. The MOU was executed by the ATSB Chief Commissioner and the Chair of the TSB on 29 July 2013.

b. The TSB was identified by the Chief Commissioner as well placed to conduct the review because the TSB has a similar legislative framework to the ATSB and a long-standing commitment to systemic investigation to improve safety.

c. The review will involve the TSB conducting a comparative analysis of ATSB and TSB investigation methodologies, including a comparison against ICAO Annex 13.


As part of the review, the TSB will analyse a selection of ATSB investigations,including the Pel-Air investigation, to assess how the investigation methodology was applied.


The review will also assess the ATSB’s approach to the management and governance of the investigation process, the investigation reporting process and external communications.

The TSB expects to publish its report by May 2014.
Also of interest (& somewhat more informative ) was the AQON to Nick’s QON on Loss of separation occurrences and Pel-Air:
Senator Xenophon asked:
The ATSB recently completed a review of loss of separation incidents in Australia, and concluded that issues with military ATS were primarily to blame.
a. How does this compare with the CASA review of Airservices Australia, which found serious regulatory breaches and resulted in CASA revoking ASA’s ongoing approval? Isn’t this in contrast to the ATSB’s findings?
b. Given the findings of the Pel-Air report, what confidence can the Australian public have that the ATSB was thorough and rigorous in its investigation, and did not seek to mitigate any impact the investigation may have on CASA or Airservices Australia?
c. Does the ATSB acknowledge that the significant failings of the Pel-Air report, and the lack of response to those failings, puts the ATSB’s reputation at risk?

Answer:

The ATSB’s review did not conclude that issues with military ATS were primarily to blame for loss of separation incidents in Australian airspace.

a. The CASA Part 172 audit solely looked at Airservices Australia and used an audit methodology concerned specifically with regulatory compliance.
In contrast, the ATSB’s Loss of separation (LOS) between aircraft in Australian airspace, January 2008 to June 2012 research report analysed safety data in relation to reported incidents and associated ATSB investigations. Using an evidence-based approach, it aimed to document the level of safety in relation to aircraft separation across all controlled airspace. In doing so, the ATSB examined CASA’s involvement in aircraft separation as well as that of Airservices Australia and the Department of Defence.

The ATSB research report found that most (80%) LOS incidents involved aircraft under the control of Airservices. The report highlights areas of concern relating to Airservices in relation to these occurrences; it also identified a safety issue relating to Airservices not actively monitoring or investigating LOS occurrences deemed attributable to pilots. This resulted in a recommendation to CASA, who currently do not require Airservices to report on pilot-attributable LOS occurrences. The research report also makes reference to other safety issues involving Airservices that were concurrently identified in ongoing ATSB occurrence investigations, two of which were released on the same day and identified a range of safety issues relating to Airservices and included recommendations to Airservices (AO-2011-144, AO-2012-012).


The research report also noted that:
While a number of the above investigations are ongoing at the time of writing this report, and more detailed findings and associated safety actions will be included in those reports when published, most of the issues are consistent with some of those identified in the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s Review of CASR Part 172 Air Traffic Service Approval of Airservices Australia, which was finalised in January 2013.

The ATSB research report also examined LOS occurrences involving military air traffic control, which is currently not regulated or overseen by CASA. Analysis found that there was a disproportionate rate of LOS incidents in military terminal area airspace, and that these occurrences involved contributing air traffic controller actions more often than for equivalent civil airspace occurrences. The ATSB considers that, although small in terms of the volume of aircraft controlled, military airspace currently carries a higher risk of a separation loss than civil airspace and attention should be directed to reducing this risk. Two recommendations were made in relation to this, one to the Department of Defence, and the other to CASA.

b. Consistent with international conventions, legislative obligations and the expectations of government,the ATSB operates independently of regulators and other safety agencies.The ATSB has negotiated Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with these safety agencies that recognise their separate and independent roles but confirm a shared commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for transport safety.

Noting the concerns of the Senate References Committee Inquiry, the government has announced a review of aviation safety regulation which will consider the relationships between safety agencies.

Not withstanding the Reference Committee’s concerns, the ATSB makes a significant contribution to the safety of the Australian aviation industry through investigation, analysis, open reporting and education on civil aviation safety matters, free of any conflict of interest and without fear or favour.

c. The government is considering its response to the Senate References Committee report into Aviation Accident Investigations. Separately, the ATSB has invited the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada to review the ATSB’s investigation methodologies.The Australian public should have every confidence in the ATSB’s ability and commitment to carry out its functions fully. The ATSB looks forward to the outcomes of both the government review and the TSB review as an opportunity to further improve the ATSB’s contribution to transport safety.
Hmm..I get the impression that the clock is well and truly ticking....for poor old Beaker and the Miniscule response to the AAI report is (finally) imminent…..TICK TOCK!


PS Forgot to mention the FF AQON on the Barrier embuggerance...for those interested here you go :
Senator Fawcett asked:

Senator FAWCETT: Do CASA hold any records of what the content of those verbal outbriefs are?

Mr Campbell: I think you are talking about an exit meeting. I believe that we still have an exit meeting under our current processes and our current surveillance manual, and I believe there would be records of that meeting.

Senator FAWCETT: Are you able to provide those to the committee? Again, I am only getting one side of the story at the moment, and my understanding is that the exit meeting did not indicate any serious problems that would indicate a show cause notice forthcoming.

Mr Campbell: I would not expect our inspectors to be talking about show cause at an exit meeting, quite frankly. I think that is a decision that we make as part of our coordinated enforcement process, and it requires input from more people than just the inspectors to start talking about things like a show cause notice. I would expect them to say, 'We found this and this and this,' and we will be in touch with them.

Senator FAWCETT: I believe Horn Island was the area where the most concern was. I think there was an audit done—I think Twin Otter was the aircraft that was of concern. Can you tell me how many defects were found on that aircraft when you did the audit?

Mr Campbell: I do not recall the Twin Otter. I will have to take that one on notice.

Senator FAWCETT: My understanding is that it was less than a handful of things like landing lights. Again, there is no AAT process we can look at to understand the balance of this argument. Are you able to provide me—even if it is in confidence—with a record of what the deficiencies were that caused the concern in CASA, because I am certainly not seeing the same story from the other side that would lend weight to a grounding situation, which is essentially what has occurred?

Mr McCormick: Yes, we will take that on notice and provide you with all the documentation we can. I am cognizant that the committee had a discussion earlier today with Mr Mrdak about FOI versus committee requests, and we acknowledge that anything we give to you will be in confidence. We will do our utmost to give you anything we have available on that, and we will certainly find the reports you refer to and the recommendation paperwork that came to me which led to the serious and imminent risk decision. Is it satisfactory that we go up to that decision point?

Senator FAWCETT: Yes, that would be good.

Mr McCormick: We will do that. We will take that on notice.

Answer:
CASA is not aware of any Twin Otters operating in the Torres Strait/Horn Island area and have not carried out any audit or aircraft inspection on any Twin Otters in that region in recent years. It is possible that the question may be referring to another aircraft type, the Britten Norman BN2 (Islander), which was operated by Barrier Aviation (Barrier) at their Horn Island base.

A number of aircraft including the Britten Norman BN2 were found to have defects during CASA audits and subsequent investigations, and details of those matters were considered with regard to CASA’s serious and imminent risk decision.

As a result of a special audit of Barrier from 29 October 2012 to 12 November 2012, a total of eleven Aircraft Survey Reports (ASRs) were issued in relation to aircraft operated by Barrier. ASRs are directions relating to the maintenance of Australian aircraft for the purposes of ensuring the safety of air navigation. Of significant concern was that four of the ASRs were issued under Code A which requires the serious maintenance issues identified to be rectified before any further flight of the aircraft.

It should be noted however that it was not simply the identification of aircraft defects which led CASA to decide to suspend Barrier Aviation’s Air Operators Certificate (AOC). Barrier’s practice of preventing its pilots from complying, or directing them not to comply, with their legislative obligations, and flying aircraft on numerous occasions in charter passenger carrying operations with known airworthiness defects, many of which were major defects, gave rise to a serious and imminent risk to air safety.

The view was reinforced by the systemic deficiencies identified during CASA’s audit activities, the serious aircraft defects identified and Barrier’s poor safety record as evidenced by numerous safety incidents. This was also corroborated by the contents of the diary which was seized on 18 December 2012 when a search warrant was executed on Barrier’s Horn Island offices.

Justice Rares of the Federal Court of Australia on 22 February 2013 delivered a judgement stating he was satisfied that Barrier Aviation had engaged in conduct that either constituted, or contributed to, or resulted in, a serious and imminent risk to air safety, and as such the Court made an order that prohibited the holder from doing anything that was authorised by the AOC. Barrier Aviation did not oppose Justice Rares making such an order.
The results of further investigation and analysis were considered in relation to subsequent actions, including the cancellation of Barrier Aviation’s AOC on 13 March 2013 and the refusal to re-issue an AOC on 31 July 2013.
All clear as mud now??

Last edited by Sarcs; 6th Feb 2014 at 02:28.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 00:20
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Devil REX begs for Govt help, but what about Pel-Air victims?

Comment: Was going to work this in to a more general post but thought I couldn't do Ben's dot joining true justice..

So here is his article in full...

REX begs for Govt help, but what about Pel-Air victims?

Ben Sandilands Feb 11, 2014 11:53AM

There is something very rotten about the Pel-Air crash, the treatment of its victims, and the conduct of CASA and the ATSB in relation to their respective duties to the public and to air safety.



The outbursts by REX in recent days claiming that the aviation sector could collapse without government assistance raises the question as to what Labor values it found so compelling in July 2012 as to cause it to donate $250,000 to the ALP.

It may well be of interest to the Coalition Government, too, since despite vocal support for its policies, both when in opposition, and after its defeat of Labor last September, the parliamentary register of political donation doesn’t, so far, register commensurate generosity toward the government of tough love toward businesses in trouble, whether car makers or airlines.
The REX rhetoric was strongly anti-Labor. Yet the REX money was pro-Labor.

In the last year for which there is a public record Regional Express gave $70,000 to the Liberal cause, $95,700 to the National cause, and a quarter of a million dollars to support, one might assume, Labor causes.
Except that REX doesn’t support the carbon tax, and its chairman, Lim Kim Hai, has made no secret of his detestation for Labor in general.

After the end-of-the-world commentary from REX burst into full fury yesterday Plane Talking sought in writing answers from the airline to a series of questions exploring the rural aviation crisis (which is not to be underestimated) and the company’s costly infatuation with Labor.

It was a pretty straightforward request, but it has gone unanswered.
Which raises the poor optics for REX of an over the top donation to Labor coincidentally when the ATSB was close to publishing its final report into the Pel-Air aerial ambulance charter crash of a Westwind corporate jet near Norfolk Island on November 2009.

Pel-Air is a subsidiary of REX. All six people on board the Westwind miraculously survived the ditching of the jet in the sea in the dark after it was unable to land at Norfolk Island for refueling on its way from Apia to Melbourne.

There may of course be absolutely no connection between the donation, and that report, which was so obviously deficient in integrity and diligence that it became the subject of a scathing Senate inquiry and report which the previous Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, and his successor, Warren Truss, seem incapable of addressing.

The Senate inquiry’s report includes an entire chapter devoted to the committee’s unanimous lack of confidence in the testimony of the chief commissioner of the ATSB, Martin Dolan.

In an incredible development, in as far as Senate committee inquiries go, the Senators concerned uncovered a secret document that CASA the air safety regulator had withheld from the ATSB, the safety investigator, in which CASA was told of the unsafe state of the Pel-Air operation at the time of the crash, and a lack of regulatory oversight which could have prevented the crash happening.

It is now more than four years since the crash. None of those injured in the accident have been compensated. None of the regulations which CASA said would be changed concerning the fuel and diversion rules for charters like that being flown by Pel-Air at the time of the crash have been changed.

One of the victims, nurse Karen Casey, who has lost her capacity to work, and has been in pain since the crash, and has three children, has yet to receive any recompense from Pel-Air.

There is something very rotten about the Pel-Air crash, the treatment of its victims, and the conduct of CASA and the ATSB in relation to their respective duties to the public and to air safety.

When REX starts begging for financial assistance from government, perhaps it could consider those who are begging for it to address the damage done to the victims of its unsafe operation of the Pel-Air charter, an operation so unsafe it voluntarily grounded it in the aftermath of the crash.

REX needs to explain what was so admirable in the Labor government it so publicly despised yet so generously supported at the time the donation was registered.
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Old 12th Feb 2014, 21:43
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VH-WLR: “Mayday..mayday..mayday!”

Although slightly less damning of the ATsB (than Fort Fumble) in their WLR submission, the AAAA critique is nonetheless representative of mainstream IOS concern :
ATSB

AAAA still has some concerns with the lack of competence/expertise/experience of some investigators, especially when confronted with an aerial application accident. In particular, AAAA expressed strong concerns to ATSB management with previous attempts during investigations to attempt to mould evidence to fit a theory, rather than objectively analysing and presenting the evidence available.

ATSB has also demonstrated this approach in squarely stating that a particular issue (the example being agricultural weights) had nothing whatsoever to do with the particular aircraft accident being investigated, but that they thought an additional report was required – despite there being no evidence of an ‘issue’. This preoccupation by ATSB continues despite many more of these aircraft types operating safely at the same heavier weights in the US, Canada and NZ.

The practical challenge of having ATSB staff with experience across all areas of aviation operations should suggest that a different business model may be a useful approach, where existing independent industry expertise can be called up as required. Similarly, there may be other ways of capturing or utilising industry expertise – such as a joint venture with AAAA, for example – whereby investigators will not have to learn ‘on-the-job’ or by their mistakes and wrong assumptions, as is occasionally the case.

The Transport Safety Investigation Act allows for ATSB to recognise other organisations and their programs for fulfilment of responsibilities for reporting under the Act. Unfortunately, this avenue has never been genuinely pursued, despite various offers from AAAA to work with ATSB to develop such a program.

ATSB itself has identified underreporting of aviation safety incidents as an issue, but seems unable to link underreporting with the most obvious likely cause – the fear of regulatory or administrative action by CASA because ATSB reports are not adequately de-identified before publishing. Inclusion of VH registration numbers and very specific locations in ATSB reports means that ATSB reports are NOT de-identified, and certainly not de-identified enough to provide protection to reporting pilots.

This is a very significant safety issue that goes to the heart of the reporting system and the Australian aviation safety regulation system. Ongoing CASA efforts to undermine this system will simply further damage the essential protection pilots and maintainers require to report aviation safety incidents and accidents.

There is considerable sympathy and support from industry for ATSB efforts to protect the confidentiality of reporting from being ravaged by CASA.
There is also significant industry support for the ATSB’s turn-around in focus to provide more useful safety promotion products through improved analysis and reports.

AAAA also fully supports the addition of safety promotion responsibilities and resources to ATSB that are currently held by CASA, as recommended in the Forum policies.
And Miniscule the IOS consensus on your response to the PelAir report/recommendations is growing, example from AFAP submission…

“….25. We note that the Minister whilst in opposition supported demands for the immediate implementation of those recommendations and request that this Review revisit the findings of that inquiry and recommend the implementation of those recommendations as a matter of priority…”

Miniscule ‘bite the bullet’ and respond to the PelAir report , at least it will give you some clear air prior to the WLR ‘Mayday’ report…
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Old 14th Feb 2014, 07:56
  #1709 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs down Is Hawke spin code for royally pineappled??

Ben's passionate diatribe sums up the DASkull tenure best...

CASA director of aviation safety to stand down

Ben Sandilands | Feb 14, 2014 5:45PM | EMAIL | PRINT

The Chair of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Board, Dr Allan Hawke, has today announced that Mr John McCormick will not be seeking a further term of appointment as Director of Aviation Safety.

Mr McCormick has, however, agreed, to the Board’s request to stay on in the position until 31 August 2014.This will allow for an executive search process to fill the position and enable the Director to assist the Board’s initial consideration of the Government’s Independent Review of Aviation Safety Regulation scheduled to be completed around the end of May.

The CASA statement says “Mr McCormick’s leadership over the last five years has been the critical factor behind the significant improvements to Australia’s aviation safety regulatory regime and CASA’s performance.”

The full, effusive, and ridiculous statement can be read here.

In the more than four years since the Pel-Air ditching near Norfolk Island CASA has failed to make any changes to the safety regulations relating to aerial ambulance flights like that being performed by the Westwind corporate jet involved even though it recognised they were deficient and vowed to change them in a timely manner.

Four years and three months is not timely. Or acceptable.

McCormick admitted during a Senate committee hearing inquiry into the final report into that accident by the ATSB that he had with held certain CASA documents from the safety investigator which said that the accident could among other things, have been prevented had CASA carried out its obligations to air safety and the oversight of the Pel-Air Westwind operation.

Mr McCormick apologised for his actions. However the actions of CASA in not making available to the ATSB a document relevant to the crash of the jet, which referenced the lack of a suitable refuelling policy for such operations at Pel-Air, was referred by the Senate committee to the Australian Federal Police for advice as to whether or not CASA had offended the Transport Safety Investigation Act of 2003.

That reference has not as yet been returned to the Senators who made it. The Senators also heard testimony as to possible collusion between the ATSB and CASA over suppression or dismissal of evidence related to the crash. The committee issued a report which was highly critical of the ATSB and CASA, and made recommendations with the then Transport minister Anthony Albanese ignored, and which his coalition replacement and deputy PM Warren Truss has yet to respond to.

(The same committee took the unprecedented step of devoting an entire chapter of their report to their dissatisfaction with the testimony of the chief commissioner of the ATSN, Martin Dolan.)

Under McCormick’s tenure the Queensland Coroner John Hutton said it was “unbelievable” that CASA had allowed an aerobatic pilot, Barry Hempel, pilot to keep his private licence up until the day he killed a joyflight customer, Ian Lovell, by crashing their aircraft into the sea near South Stradbroke Island.

The coroner found that CASA was fully aware of Hempel’s history of seizures and safety breaches but did nothing about them.

The inquest raised key parallels with CASA total failure of duty in relation to the Lockhart River Transair crash which killed 15 people in 2005, in which the safety authority knew that Transair was unsafe and in breach of the regulations but did nothing material and told a Senate inquiry that it had no duty of care to warn the public of unsafe operations.

That incident preceded McCormick’s appointment. Aspects of the Hempel crash and the Pel-Air crash strongly suggest that CASA’s culture of indifference to public accountability or the enforcement of safety rules haven’t materially changed under his tenure.

There is widespread dissatisfaction and alarm in the aviation community as to the competency, fairness and accountability of the safety regulator. McCormick’s replacement and the more timely and sensible and effective overhaul of air safety regulations have been long argued for in the aviation community.
No further comment required accept a word of advice..."don't let the drawbridge hit you in the ar**!"...
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Old 18th Feb 2014, 01:26
  #1710 (permalink)  
 
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Devil “Three little ducks went out one day…”

….over the hill and far away…??”

The Senators chronology conundrum??

With regard to the PelAir report & Miniscule responses/non-responses we had some very mixed messages coming from the main players (DIPs)….

1st cab off the rank was the head Crat with this response to a DF question on when Albo first received the Dept brief:
Senator FAWCETT:The last time we met in estimates, you were anticipating giving a brief to former minister Albanese about the Senate report into air accident investigations. You anticipated giving that to him, I think, within 10 days of the date of the estimates. Could you confirm what date the department did provide that brief for action to the minister?

Mr Mrdak: Following our conversation at the 29 May estimates, I provided advice to the minister on 5 June 2013.

Senator FAWCETT: Did that have recommendations for a response to the Senate report?

Mr Mrdak: It provided advice on the Senate report, including options for handling of the Senate inquiry report, yes.

Senator FAWCETT:Did it flag the fact that there were safety implications raised in the Senate report?

Mr Mrdak: It certainly drew to the minister's attention the findings of the Senate committee report.
Next we had the byplay with Fort Fumble, the bureau & the Dept, which led to basically the same QON (152-154) being received and ultimately being answered (refer QON index):
Answer:
The various agency contributions to assist in the preparation of the Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry are internal working documents provided to the Department as part of a deliberative Government process.
Each Government aviation agency cleared parts, pertaining to their organisation, of the proposed Government response to the Senate Inquiry before the response was provided to the Government. Accordingly agency views on the Senate Inquiry’s report will be reflected in the final Government response, which will be provided to the Senate as soon as it is approved by the Government.

AQONs for QON 153 & 154:

Answer:
See answer 152.
Okay so far all the ducks were well and truly in alignment and accounted for in regards to dobbing in the previous Miniscule Albo…

It wasn’t till Senator X started asking for an expansion of the government (non-) response timeline that the ducks started to wander off…

“….Senator XENOPHON: But there were various recommendations and you have given your views as to those recommendations to the department?

Mr McCormick: Yes, we have.

Senator XENOPHON: When did you do that?

Mr McCormick: I would have to take the exact date on notice. It was before the election…”
Answer:

In response to a request from the Department, CASA provided initial comments on the recommendations to the Department on 7 June 2013. Formal comments on the proposed response were provided to the Department on 19 August 2013.

After the election, CASA received a draft Government response on 25 September 2013 from the Department inviting any final comments and CASA advised it had no further comments on 26 September 2013.
And from the bureau:
Senator Xenophon asked:

It is now over four years since the ditching of VH-NGA off Norfolk Island, and nearly seven months since the committee issued its report on aviation accident investigations. Has the ATSB formulated a response to this report?
a. If so, please provide a copy of the response provided to the Minister or department.
b. Will the ATSB be implementing any of the report’s recommendations? If so, when?
c. In particular, will the ATSB be withdrawing its report into the Pel-Air incident and conducting a further investigation?
d. Does the Chief Commissioner still maintain the ditching was the fault of the pilot, and that there were no systemic issues involved?

Answer:
Yes.
a. The ATSB provided advice to the Department on 31 July 2013, to assist it in briefing the Minister on a proposed government response. The various agency contributions, including the ATSB’s, to assist in the preparation of the Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry, are internal working documents provided to the Department as part of a deliberative Government process.

Each Government aviation agency cleared parts, pertaining to their organisation, of the proposed Government response to the Senate Inquiry before the response was provided to the Government.

Accordingly agency views on the Senate Inquiry’s report will be reflected in the final Government response, which will be provided to the Committee as soon as it is approved by the Government.

b. The ATSB will implement those elements of the government response which are relevant to it and are consistent with the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. The timeframe for implementation will depend on the publication of the government’s response as well as the outcomes of the review of aviation safety regulation announced by the Deputy Prime Minister on 14 November 2013. The review team is expected to report to the government in May 2014.

c. The ATSB has no power to withdraw the Pel-Air report or plans to conduct a further investigation.

d. The ATSB stands by the findings of its report. Neither the Chief Commissioner nor the ATSB have apportioned blame for the ditching. The report identified systemic issues against which action has been taken by the relevant organisations.
Okay so timeline with comments…
Not time lined: The interim period between Senate Estimates and the calling of the election; where there was numerous press releases, media reports {including a rather humorous moment where Albo was caught trying to escape out the back door to avoid embarrassing questions on the non-response to the AAI report}, tendentious blogger commentary etc.

23 May 2013: AAI report released.
{Note: Remember that apparently before the report was released the AFP accepted for investigation a referral by the Senate for possible breaches under S24 of the TSI Act. Now rumour has it that the AFP investigation, more than 10 months later, has subsequently stalled awaiting statements from the Dept, bureau & FF i.e. busy trying to find those damn ducks.}

29 May 2013: Estimates Dept/Govt serious/urgent undertaking to responding to AAI recommendations & significant safety issues highlighted in the report…

“…Senator FAWCETT: …. That three-month period will fall right in the middle of the caretaker period, which means that significant safety issues could potentially be stretched out beyond four or five months before resolution, which is unacceptable.Could you tell the committee what your plan is to make sure that those issues are addressed in a timely manner, given the overlapping of significant time frames?

Mr Mrdak : We are certainly aware of the seriousissues raised by the committee's report that was tabled last week in the Senate. The
minister has sought urgent advice from agencies in relation to the matters raised by the Senate committee.We are now in the process of providing that advice to the minister. The minister certainly does recognise the need to urgently review and address the recommendations...
...I can only say to you that the government is giving this serious and urgent consideration and looking to expedite its response as best it can.

Senator FAWCETT: I accept that you cannot speak for the minister and when he will release his response but can you give the committee an undertaking that the department's response to the minister will occur in sufficient time so that he can respond before the caretaker mode?

Mr Mrdak : Certainly that would be our intention. As I said, the minister has sought advice. In preliminary discussions with him on the issues involved he has sought that advice as a matter of urgency and we are doing that now, along with our portfolio agencies….”

5 June 2013: Department advice to Albo on AAI report.
Comment: However it would appear that the Dept advice was devoid of any ‘portfolio agencies’ advice…??

7 June 2013: CAsA provides initial comments on the AAI report recommendations to the Dept.

24 July 2013: ATsB Commissioners meet.
Beaker thumbing his nose at the AAI report…
“..Mr Dolan : There is a possibility—in fact, there is the certainty—that the commissioners will reconsider it. That is part of our review of the recommendations of the committee. Once we have done that, we will report back on the results of our consideration.

Senator XENOPHON: And when do you think that will be reconsidered?


Mr Dolan : At this stage—and I need to have further discussions with my fellow commissioners—we have a scheduled formal commission meeting on 24 July. At this stage, that is when we would expect to consider all the recommendations of the committee…”


31 July 2013: The ATsB provides advice to the Dept, to assist it in briefing the Minister on a proposed government response.

19 Aug 2013: FF provide formal comments on the proposed Govt response (i.e ‘draft’) to the Dept. {Note: Which was incidentally 2 weeks after the federal election was called..WTF??}

7 Sept 2013: New Govt & Miniscule.

25-26 Sept 2013: FF receives a draft Govt response from the Dept inviting any final comments & FF advises it had no further comment on 26 September 2013.
{Note: Interesting that the new Miniscule had a ‘draft’ response back in September but is yet to release the final version…WTF is the hold up??}

14 Nov 2013: WLR is announced by the Miniscule.

18 Nov 2013: Senate Estimates where Senator Sinodinos said…
“…My advice was we would respond before the end of the year…”
{Note: In the Miniscule’s Senate rep defence, he didn’t quantify ‘this year’ }

So there we have it, now a further 3 months down the track, we are still yet to see the Govt response…

IOS member: “Parliament House is on fire!!”

Secretary to the PMC: Standby, just drafting an urgent response for the PM…{30 minutes later}… “ there we go..forwarded to the PM’s chief of staff who is suggesting to the PM to call an urgent Cabinet meeting and to recall Parliament!”

3 months later…
Secretary to the PMC thought bubble (while picking through the rubble of his former grand office in Parliament House): “..Oh well at least my arse is covered..”

“Three little ducks went out one day…QUACK..QUACK..QUACK” (& TICK..TOCK)!
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Old 18th Feb 2014, 06:40
  #1711 (permalink)  
 
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And the word is...by the 27th March!

Addendum to my last from Phearless Phelan (Pro Aviation) :
Crash investigation response now due next month

Delays in the government’s response to a senate committee report that have dumfounded senators, the aviation industry and the general public are now expected to be resolved within five weeks. Transport Minister Warren Truss anticipates tabling the government’s response to the committee’s recommendations before the Parliament’s current autumn sittings close on Thursday March 27.

A spokesman for Minister Truss has told ProAviation the Government’s “detailed and considered response” was now being finalised for its tabling in Parliament.

The ATSB’s report on its investigation of the Pel-Air ditching at Norfolk Island in November 2009 was published in August 2012, generating furious debate and the perception that investigators had ignored critical systemic issues surrounding the carrier’s flight operations and operational support systems, as well as questions over CASA’s regulatory oversight of Pel-Air.

The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee conducted its “Aviation Accident Investigations Inquiry” between Sept 2012 and May 2013, but the task kept expanding and the committee’s report was finally tabled on June 19, 2013.

The government’s response is now expected to address the 26 detailed safety-critical recommendations.

Among these were the reopening of the ATSB investigation, the recovery of the ditched medevac Westwind jet’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders, and the question of whether the Australian Federal Police should investigate whether breaches under S42 of the Transport Safety Investigations Act had occurred.

The Pel-Air ditching has now generated endless inter-related reports but the government’s response to the senate committee’s recommendations was delayed firstly by the pre-election caretaker period, the election on 7 Sep 2013, and since by inter-departmental manoeuvering that has been closely followed by the increasingly frustrated multi-party Senate committee whose findings were unanimous.

Mr. Truss’s spokesman says: “It is however noted that the Government and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) have already taken actions relevant to the Committee’s report through the establishment of the independent aviation safety regulation review [ASRR] Panel and the independent peer review of the ATSB by its Canadian counterpart the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB).

The peer-review, announced last August by TSB Chair Wendy Tadros and ATSB Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan is “examining the application of investigation processes and methodologies in selected Australian aviation investigations.”

Over four years after the ditching and the dramatic night rescue of its four passengers and two crew, and against the background of the current ASRR Panel’s deep probe into related regulatory issues, there is close industry interest in what solutions the government’s response will identify.
Well that'll take some of the heat out of the questioning in Senate Estimates next Monday...still think that the Beaker lame duck is ripe for the Ferryman's spit roast..??

Either way it would appear that we're heading for a..."MAYDAY..MAYDAY..MAYDAY"....as it just so happens that May also coincides with the 2014-15 budgetary estimates (on the 26 May for the RRAT committee).

One would assume....that all the ducks will need to be well and truly found & lined up by then...

Last edited by Sarcs; 18th Feb 2014 at 22:13.
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Old 21st Feb 2014, 02:56
  #1712 (permalink)  
 
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Monday estimates.

Sarcs # -'Well that'll take some of the heat out of the questioning in Senate Estimates next Monday...still think that the Beaker lame duck is ripe for the Ferryman's spit roast..??
I just wonder about the heat emanating from the Senate kitchen. The Bar Room Barristers (BRB) had dinner and a quiet little drink (or two) for P 49ers birthday last evening, only a round dozen at the table (much dark muttering about closet MKR fans was heard), topics were, in no particular order:-

1) Have the Senators discovered who in the PMC provides Mrdak top cover?
2) Have the Senators discovered who in the PMC provides Dolan top cover?
3) If they know, can they neutralise or redirect?

The table was split 6/6 on these questions; Dr. Wall being deemed too academic to soil his hands directing traffic on matters aeronautical; there was some support for Hazelhurst but with so many female mandarins in position and without knowing all the local scandal, it was judged a bit too hard to call. The only line of inquiry that made sense was a time line and associated tasking schedule which makes for very interesting reading (cheers P7) but couldn't, not with any certainty throw a dart at the right answer. All the same, but it's fascinating to see how the buttons are pushed, the levers are pulled, the grease is applied and the coal gets shovelled into the boiler. Sir Humphrey was a pussy cat.

4) Is there enough steam left in the boiler to finalise the Pel Air fiasco and progress to the next logical step i.e. publicly (or privately, don't care) giving CASA it's comeuppance?

Ayes 8 : Nays 4. With McComic waiting for Beaker before sharing a cab to the ferry dock, consensus was that the bad boys will all be so busy queuing up for his job they won't see the truck coming. The Ayes feel that after all the buggering about, shuffling and sliding around the issues, the miniscule may well believe that throwing the McComic arse to the wolves will do the job, we beg to differ. The notion that this united, bi-partisan, angry, very aware Senate committee will accept this cynical, token gesture is risible. Acceptance is problematic, a poison chalice. The world and it's wife know that this committee is very properly briefed and therefore very, very aware of the ailments, who the villains are and where they live. Must they now stand and be judged as being either complicit or negligent if changes are not made. Never fear, the BRB has faith; lots of, in spades, redoubled, that the Senate crew will see the job through to a 'fit and proper' conclusion.

5) Is there enough political clout and courage to involve Abbott on a meaningful level; to where he appoints a junior minister, even if it's only an interim measure to oversight the changes?

Ayes 2 : Nays 10. Less faith in the PM, mostly due to past advice to PM's to do nothing. Apart from the one low life, we could not remember one PM who actually mentioned, let alone voiced concern or caring for the aviation industry per se (apart from Big Q matters, which don't count). Maybe if D. Fawcett Esq. could get 10 minutes; or, one or two of the 200+ WLR submissions was glanced at; or, even if just the Senate Pel Air report was smuggled into the PM briefcase, perhaps, just maybe, something may be achieved. We are, after all an Australian industry and boy, do we ever qualify for red tape relief. Endit.

6) Will Truss back up his pugnacious, pre election rhetoric with positive action or will he just wave a wet lettuce leaf and dive behind the barricades – yet again, to look after his old mates until they escort him off the premises on his Zimmer frame??

No brainer 12 :0 the Nays. In opposition with Albo running scared, let down by his 'trusty' CASA allies, ol' Trusty was on the podium like a rocket, flapping his gums and making fearful, ferocious noises, not too many promises though. Consensus was that the Wet Lettuce Review was deemed a suitable bone, sufficient to placate the plebs; anyway as Creampuff said, so many friends, so little time.

The signpost to where the action is and where the industry is headed may be revealed on Monday, then again, it may not be. But I reckon those that can will watch the CASA /ATSB sessions with some interest. Do hope it's not a fizzer, got snags for BBQ, beer fridge heaving and everything. The BRB have sanctioned the Gobbledocks attendance, provided he agrees not to pelt snags at the wide screen and that bloody elephant stay on the dockside; the mess last time was unbelievable.

Toot toot.

Last edited by Kharon; 21st Feb 2014 at 03:17. Reason: Friday arvo off and no MKR tonight. Hallelujah.
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Old 22nd Feb 2014, 00:58
  #1713 (permalink)  
 
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Maintaining the rage or submissive (wet lettuce) rollover??

Kharon:
The signpost to where the action is and where the industry is headed may be revealed on Monday, then again, it may not be. But I reckon those that can will watch the CASA /ATSB sessions with some interest. Do hope it's not a fizzer, got snags for BBQ, beer fridge heaving and everything. The BRB have sanctioned the Gobbledocks attendance, provided he agrees not to pelt snags at the wide screen and that bloody elephant stay on the dockside; the mess last time was unbelievable.
If the non-aligned Senators (now and into the future) require further incentive to 'maintain the rage' they should look no further than my post #471 of the Truss WLR thread..

On Monday's Estimates' Agenda it looks like the prime viewing time will be from 1400 EDST (0300 UTC)..:

DoIRD Estimates 24 February.

"Que Sera Sera... Whatever Will Be, Will Be..."
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Old 24th Feb 2014, 01:21
  #1714 (permalink)  
 
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Devil Step back in time..

Or if you want to go further back in time, to say 15/02/13 to put it all in perspective you can go HERE..

Hmm..looks like I might have to dust off the cobwebs of my old poohtube account...
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Old 24th Feb 2014, 04:40
  #1715 (permalink)  
 
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Dolan was glib about the terms of reference to TSB Canada. Who would have written them? I like the term 'peer review' as if there is anything like CASA or ATSB anywhere in the world. They have no 'Peers' to be on Par with except somewhere in a parallel universe. I think Fawcett is onto Mrdak. But... I was wrong once before.
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Old 24th Feb 2014, 05:02
  #1716 (permalink)  
 
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Short summary of today’s evidence from CASA and ATSB: Everything’s fine. Nothing to see here. Move on.
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Old 24th Feb 2014, 06:05
  #1717 (permalink)  
 
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Moving on.....

ICC Hart the Decent fiqured that herding cattle was more relaxing and worthwhile than herding (fat)cats...

Last lady ICC left the stage of "CAsA the Musical" by exiting ? falling stage left into the foot lights. Or was she pushed?. Or shouted at?

At AMSA ???...that fiqures, got the word "safety" in it , and as we know anything, and I mean ANYTHING, can be done in the name of "safety".
Hope she has something more to do there for value of the taxpayers dollars.

Latest lady ICC ex LSD (sic) Probably still learning the chorus lines for "CAsA the Musical"....

pretty easy really.... "Safety safety safety !!
Empty skies for all...." etc

WARNING : THIS is NOT a comedy. Its a McComedy R 18+
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Old 24th Feb 2014, 19:28
  #1718 (permalink)  
 
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CASA and ATSB have called the Committee’s bluff, and the Laborial Senators have been exposed as having insufficient moral fibre to put their Senate power where their mouths are. Political expedience wins every time.

Embarrassing questions aren’t even wet lettuce: They are just hot air.
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Old 24th Feb 2014, 21:16
  #1719 (permalink)  
 
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I used to wish I had a clue what you are on about UITA.

The only ICC whose name I recall is ‘Hart’, and that’s only because of threads on PPRuNe. I have no clue or interest in where s/he went, I have no clue or interest in how many successors s/he’s had, I have no clue or interest in who the successor/s is/are and I have no clue or interest in where they’ve gone, if they’ve left.

I can understand why lots of people leave CASA. Only people with extraordinarily low self-esteem or weak moral fibre could be prepared to continue to work for an organisation for which they have no respect or, in some cases, open contempt.
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Old 24th Feb 2014, 21:29
  #1720 (permalink)  
 
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Snoop TSBC review charade - Memo to Beaker: TICK TOCK!

Beaker's performance today....well you make up your own mind..

[YOUTUBE]RRAT Estimates 24/02/14 - ATSB Part 1 - YouTube

At about 06:00 classic Heff statement! "Would the man at the back of the room believe anything that comes out of Beaker's mouth these days..??"

"Caesar judging Caesar"..:

[YOUTUBE]RRAT Estimates 24/02/14 - ATSB Part 2 - YouTube

Additional vs Significant vs New..

[YOUTUBE]RRAT Estimates 24/02/14 - ATSB Part 3 - YouTube

Ps Love the gotcha moment towards the end from DF (at about 06:45)...hmm fair payback I reckon..

Pps Kingcrat was certainly squirming towards the end..

Addendum - 'The Battle of the two Big Macks'
Not wishing to detract from yesterday's episode of the RRAT Estimates, but I thought a flashback in time to a past, somewhat amusing, episode could help while away the time till Hansard & certain Tabled docs are released. Also features one of the former FF ICC Commissioners..

[YOUTUBE]RRAT Estimates 29/05/2013 - Battle of the two Big Macks - YouTube

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