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

Merged: Senate Inquiry

Old 6th May 2014, 01:22
  #1841 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 1,732
REPCON & Fort Fumble 'weasel words'!

From the thread...Stress caused by the handling by management of major changes within The thread primarily focuses on the one de-identified REPCON and inevitably drifts to Sky God (Red Rat) issues but there are some underlying, seemingly cynical, issues that Fedsec Steve & Kharon picked up on that needs further exploration. So reproducing the "K" post #15 ....
Quote: ALAEA #5 –"Just reading through the REPCONs generally. What concerns me is the way CASA seem to just fob everything off and the ATSB accept that".

If you go the Repcon link on post #1 in the left hand panel there's a black rectangle, marked Repcon, this will take you to three pages, containing 45 Repcon; most of which are aviation related. As Steve says, the responses are well rehearsed, smoothly executed excuses which make it look, through the smoke and mirrors, as though something is actually be done (disgusting).

If you can find the time have a look at the responses from the 'other' domestic transport agencies and compare them; then, if you want to get serious, have a look at the Canadian or USA authorities responses to similar 'safety reports'. I found an hour last evening to do this, not to make it a project, but to 'test' differences. I'm still shaking my head, well at least we can still drink most of the water in Australia.

If the Repcon in #1 achieves nothing else it has served well to highlight the appalling, self evident condition to which the official attitude on safety concerns has degenerated.

Quote: ALAEA "They simply never do anything".

Wrong Steve, they spend the entire day and budget making sure they cannot be held responsible or accountable for anything, while ensuring maximum control and kudos. It's an art form; deeply entrenched, fully supported and set to endure. The really 'nasty' part is they steal all the accolades for 'safe transport' from those who are at the coal face, keeping the public safe even while under the incredible pressure of work place uncertainty, mismanagement and not too much protection.
Here is the link for the bureau listed REPCONs. This initiative by the bureau, appears to have been brought in at the start of 2013, & should be applauded, but I wonder if it is doing anything to dispel the severe distrust the industry now has with both the regulator and the supposed safety watchdog...

Steve in his post #5 gives some examples of FF responses to various REPCONs and in a further post #27 makes the comment...

"...From reading the REPCON outcomes, one could easily come to the conclusion that submitting a report is pointless because there is never any resulting fix to identified problems. I think someone needs to talk to the good Senator before he goes into the next estimates hearings..."

So to add some more fuel to the fire......and to focus more on GA issues generally, here is a couple more examples of REPCONs followed by properly spun bureaucratic FF, weasel worded non-reponses...

This one is interesting in light of a current active bureau accident investigation:
Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding the continuation of cabin crew service in flight while the fasten seat belt (FSB) sign is illuminated during turbulent conditions.
The reporter is concerned that the serving of hot beverages during turbulence is unsafe for both passengers and cabin crew and may result in significant injuries. The reporter has witnessed first-hand hot drinks being poured and spilt while the FSB sign was on.

Operator's response (Operator 1)

In response to REPCON AR201300053, the severity of the turbulence determines the course of action. The turbulence matrix states that during all turbulent events Cabin Crew discontinue hot drink service; there is no requirement for the discontinuation of service or to be seated, unless instructed to do so by the Captain / Cabin Supervisor in a Light turbulent event. Cabin Crew are empowered to be seated at any time they feel their safety is at risk.
During a Moderate or Severe turbulent event the Matrix states that the Cabin Crew are to discontinue Cabin Service and re-stow carts, if it is safe to do so.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA has reviewed the content of this REPCON and advises the matter is being followed up with the operator and will take action as appropriate.

Love this bit...(my bold)

ATSB comment

REPCON received further comments from the reporter on this matter and the text below was sent to CASA for comment.
The 'matrix' seems to make a simple CAO into a complex issue.
The matrix suggests that it is safe in turbulence to have the cabin crew up and about with their trolleys, while the passengers are restrained and the Fasten Sear Belt Sign is on.
This is not applying the CAO correctly. Further, there are two potential "judgers" as to when cabin crew are to be seated. One is the Captain and the other is the cabin manager. Both will have different perceptions of when flight attendants are to be seated.
I do not believe the CAO in question is being applied correctly.

Regulator's response (Regulator 2)

I am advised that CASA has quarterly Cabin Safety review meetings with the operator. At the next meeting CASA will review the Operator's Seat Belt procedure collaboratively to ensure it meets CASA's regulatory requirements to provide an effective safety outcome.
Shades of Barrier perhaps??
Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding the maintenance of the two Cessna 182s operated by the operator. The reporter stated that when they were rostered to fly for the organisation, they were asked to falsify the maintenance release by significantly under-recording the hours they were actually flying.
The reporter is also concerned that the aircraft are not being maintained to the appropriate standard.
The reporter stated that the following concerns were observed:


  • The engine leaks an abnormal amount of oil
  • The pilot seat is difficult to lock in place after adjusting
  • The altimeter and tacho are often erroneous
  • The upward opening door for parachutists to exit is difficult to secure closed using the locking pin.
Operator's response (Operator 1)

We only employ Commercial Pilots to fly these aircraft and have concerns that this pilot has breached their obligations to report safety concerns to me and to act appropriately to ensure the safety of other pilots and passengers. I have investigated the claims made by this pilot and have concluded that they are baseless.

We have contacted our mechanic to investigate any oil leaks in theses aeroplanes. It was concluded that there was no evidence of any oil leaks. We have asked other pilots if there have been any issues with the seat, all of whom stated that they have had no problems locking the seat in.
The door can be difficult to use by pilots who have done limited hours on the craft, though no concerns have been voiced by my experienced pilots. We will endeavour to do more training on this aircraft for anyone that feels they need it. Also, as these aircraft are flown in controlled air space, the altimeter is checked on each flight. I believe that if the altimeter was incorrect or malfunctioning, this would be identified as we enter controlled air space. There have been no complaints by other pilot voicing concerns about the accuracy of the tacho.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA has reviewed the matters raised in the REPCON and advises that surveillance was conducted at the airport which identified an aircraft as undergoing maintenance. The defects reported on the REPCON were not evident on that aircraft as they had been rectified during the maintenance.

CASA notes that the reporter refers to two aircraft, however only one aircraft is identified in the report.

ATSB comment

After REPCON questioned CASA as to whether they had discussed the falsification of the maintenance records with the operator, CASA conducted further enquires. They formed the preliminary view that the defects had not been endorsed on the maintenance release when they should have been and these matters were going to be examined further.
And finally going back to one Steve quoted from (my bold):
Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding the fatigue experienced when flying either of two long distance return flights which are both back of clock duties. This fatigue is even worse on the second night if the crew is rostered on consecutive duties.

The flight time is eight hours and forty five minutes on the first return flight and nine hours and fifteen minutes for the second return flight and if the flight is diverted this generally occurs when the crew is already in a fatigued state and likely to make fatigue induced errors.

While most crews attempt to get enough sleep between consecutive duties, as they are driving home in peak hour traffic, arriving as their family is starting the day, and with body clock issues it is difficult to get more than three hours sleep during the day. This is inadequate for another back of clock duty.

While the duties may be considered below the threshold using the FAID fatigue management system, the reporter advised that they feel extremely fatigued during the latter part of the flight.

The reporter has stated that if the operator had a 'Just Culture', they may receive more reports of fatigue from flight crews rather than crews reporting unfit for duty.

Operator's response (Operator 1)

The airline takes fatigue management seriously and has a system for monitoring fatigue risk in our operations. Rosters are built to provide appropriate preparation and recovery time, meeting and often exceeding regulatory requirements. The number and frequency of consecutive back of flying operations for individuals are minimised and crew can express preferences for particular duties. The airline provides a just culture where crew can declare themselves unfit for duty if fatigued, consistent with crew individual responsibilities for fatigue management.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA is aware of the operator's fatigue risk management policy and monitors the system in respect of fatigue risk management objectives.

Risk mitigators observed include regular monitoring of roster pattern performance by the airline, adjustment of rostering rules, the ability for a crew member to opt out of a duty when fatigue is anticipated or experienced and the provision of company transport or accommodation in order to limit the fatigue effects following duty.

Under the proposed flight and duty rules which are expected to be in force from this year, it will still be up to the individual to determine fitness for duty and to make a report via the safety management system (SMS) where this is indicated under company procedures. CASA strongly recommends airline employees report potential fatigue events through the SMS, in order to identify areas where the company should focus resources to reduce operational risk, including fatigue risk. Comment: Isn't that what the Reporter indicated was a problem i.e. lack of true "Just Culture".

If the reporter has evidence of the reporting culture being compromised by management actions they are invited to make a report to CASA detailing any concerns.
Last para..."in other words if you continue to have a whinge then come to us so we can single you out for a selected tea & bikkies (pineappling) session "...yeah right like that's going to happen...

IMO the word REPCON should be replaced with WOFTAM...

All this system is achieving is further discouraging (muzzling) potential (genuine) whistleblowers from coming forward when concerned with safety related matters....TICK TOCK...miniscule!
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Old 6th May 2014, 20:41
  #1842 (permalink)  
 
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Nanny state – out of control.

Aaaand - Steam on.

Just reading through the Repcon, reporting the high drama of cabin service being continued during 'turbulence'. Everyone having a free whack at the safety Piñata.

The reporters version is subjective, emotive and fails to define the level of turbulence experienced at the time. It also fails to provide an accurate picture of the event; did the CA just finish dispensing the "hot drink" when the SBS came on, before docking the trolley and strapping in; or, did the CA blithely continue service during 'moderate' turbulence; or, is it that in some way the CA was 'forced' to continue in the face of 'grave and imminent danger? We are not advised, just left with a feeling that this all 'could be dangerous'. It neatly attacks the 'company' and also questions the competence of the flight crew, the CM and the CA, without a shred of evidence – other than opinionated hearsay. Bollocks.

The company comes close to reality, they define it quite clearly: passengers strapped down in 'light'; CA strapped in during moderate. Furry muff, even to the extent that the trolley must first be secured (probably why the CA seats are next to the trolley stow dock). Last thing you would want is the CA secured and the trolley floating about the cabin.

The 'regulator' has had a cuppa with the operator and maybe had a review of the COM procedures - which are probably as reasonable as could be expected without the PIC and CM being given training in the use of crystal balls. The 'regulator' quite properly agreed with the company practice, the proof being that not too many passengers, CA and most importantly 'trolleys' seldom end up damaged. QED. Regulator job done and seen to be done proper.

The 'Safety Watchdog' bit, as Sarcs points out is either loveable or risible. It's almost as hysterical as the original complaint. Of course it's complex, you bloody Muppet. (i) That turbulence can be 'predicted' with any certainty is really quite wonderful, but not an exact science; (ii) that aircrew are trained to recognise the 'potential' for turbulence and have a vague idea of where the switch for SBS is located and how to use it is a given fact; (iii) that cabin service trolleys need time to be stowed. So, here we are heading for some bumps, OK sign on, that secures the passengers, CM informed it's going to get worse, the trolleys go away and the CA are strapped in. FFS it happens 100,000 times, every day of the week. But the SWD wants to make it 'an issue', perhaps attempting to score a point over the regulator. Only a bleeding heart, rabid, pedantic OH&S guru could come up with this pathetic response.

"Both will have different perceptions of when flight attendants are to be seated". Bollocks.

"I do not believe the CAO in question is being applied correctly". Bollocks.

FCOL – what more is the regulator supposed to do?. They have been given supposition and fresh air to work with and must rely on an 'opinion'. The 'regulator' (bless 'em) have again, patiently trotted off for more tea, quite rightfully taking refuge behind the bit 'they' are responsible for – do the company procedures "comply"? – Of course they do.

This pitiful, un detailed, puling little complaint serves to show why the OH&S industry is loosing credibility; everyone is becoming a slightly hysterical, self appointed 'expert'. No wonder there is an element of cynicism when the Repcon system is used as an agenda tool, rather than part of a serious support structure for examining and improving 'real' safety issues. OBR?– "Oh, we don't do them". Silly half assed, subjective complaints from SLF – "Oh yes we do them, have expert opinion for those and everything; no, we never question motive". Spare me and bring back sanity.

- Steam off. There, I feel better now.
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Old 7th May 2014, 23:30
  #1843 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Beaker's REPCON scoping matrix may need reviewing??

The ATsBeaker initiative to publish REPCONs was justified with this preamble..

"....
New confidential reporting web page

A new web page featuring de-identified confidential reports on aviation, maritime and rail safety concerns is now available on the ATSB website.

The ATSB’s confidential reporting scheme, REPCON, allows people with safety concerns to report them confidentially to the ATSB without fear of being identified. These confidential reports often contain valuable information that can help industry address unsafe procedures, practices or conditions.

Because many important safety concerns are reported to the ATSB through REPCON, it is vital that all of industry is aware of, and can learn from, the reported concerns. To enhance awareness of these safety issues, the ATSB will make this information available through the publication of de-identified confidential reports on its website.

The published information will include details about safety concerns, as well as responses and safety actions taken by relevant organisations or government agencies about the concern.

It’s important to remember that the information published on the new web page is de-identified to protect the identity of the reporter or any third party individual. REPCON serves to collect information about safety concerns in the aviation, marine and rail industries, to help facilitate safety action and, ultimately, improve transport safety. REPCON is not used to apportion blame or liability—the underpinning legislation specifically precludes information in a report being used for disciplinary purposes. As well, REPCON reports are inadmissible in evidence in a court, except where a person has committed an offence under the Criminal Code (False or misleading information) in making the report..."


Not one to normally question the efficacy (or veracity) of such a statement (I'll leave that to the Ferryman...) but going through the ICASS list of Annex 13 signatory states (duly provided here by ATsBeaker), I am yet to find any other State that has taken a similar initiative in publishing confidential reports on their websites. Perhaps the Kharon post highlights why this may be so...

"...This pitiful, un detailed, puling little complaint serves to show why the OH&S industry is loosing credibility; everyone is becoming a slightly hysterical, self appointed 'expert'. No wonder there is an element of cynicism when the Repcon system is used as an agenda tool, rather than part of a serious support structure for examining and improving 'real' safety issues. OBR?– "Oh, we don't do them". Silly half assed, subjective complaints from SLF – "Oh yes we do them, have expert opinion for those and everything; no, we never question motive". Spare me and bring back sanity..."


If Beaker is to continue with this, yet another apparently unique Oz initiative, could I suggest they may like to revisit their current REPCON scoping matrix...

Sense & Sensibility??

Moving on but sticking with the theme of the FSB REPCON, I noted the following Paul B (Avweb) article...Sit the ^%$* Down! ...that provides a serious but somewhat amusing reminder on the dangers of unpredicted CAT...
The good thing is that the vast majority of passengers will never see this kind of turbulence. But the bad thing is not having seen how bad bad can be, they traipse around the cabin unsecured as if on the way from the couch to the refrigerator. Frankly, this makes me nervous as hell. When the flight attendants push the drink trolly up the aisle, that makes me nervous as hell, too. I’ve seen those things come off the deck even in mild bumps. And when I go to the lav, I use one hand for business and the other to maintain a death grip on the helper handle and I jam my head against the ceiling. Then I rush back to my seat and strap in, all the while nervous as hell. I’m not worried about crashing; I’m worried about a broken arm or a concussion.
The following article (also from the US), rather more satirically, reinforces the "K" 'Nanny State' post...:
Right to Bear Wings
Is confrontation the key to success?

"Aviation" rhymes with "American." Well, even if it's not that close a rhyme, you get the idea. Aviation in many ways represents what it is to live in a free land with free skies. The same, it goes without saying, is or should be true for many of our friends worldwide. Aviation, metaphorically and literally, is a magic activity, one that takes a mere ground-bound mortal and through the power of will, ingenuity and the elegant abuse of raw physics, places us high above the world.

This might sound overly romantic; trust me, I know there's the cost of fuel and insurance, Class A-F airspace, a thousand pages of regs (okay, lots more than that) and that darned FAA medical to contend with, but the basis of it all, the reason we go to all of the other trouble is because flying is special. Apologies to kayakers, cross-stitchers, Sudoku-maniacs and Civil War re-enactors, but there's nothing remotely like flying. Even sky diving gets it wrong. Staying aloft is the point of the whole thing.

My point is simply this: I'm tired of apologizing for flying. I'm tired of telling the "not-in-my-backyard" types that we're very sorry and next time we'll try to climb on thermal energy alone so as to keep the faint and passing noise of GA down while trucks and road crews blare away unabated with hardly any notice taken. I'm tired of apologizing for our use of land, our negligible impact on the environment and our lording it up over the common folk for flying around in our airplanes as we do personal or business travel or just take in the beauty of the day. I'm tired of it.

This is not to say we shouldn't be good neighbors and try to minimize our impact, like any responsible citizen should do, but not because we're begging to stay on people's good side but instead because we choose to do it.

We need to make our message clear. You mess with aviation, you mess with freedom. You try to limit my right to fly, you're messing with not just me but with more than a half a million of my good friends, many of whom feel even more strongly than I do about the issue.

My plane is no threat to you. My plane is an emblem of the freedom to fly, a freedom that generations before us have fought valiantly to protect and one that we take the utmost pride in, for their sake, for ours and for our children.

There might not be a constitutional right directly associated with travel, let alone travel by air — the forefathers were only so prescient — but that right has been interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States to be so fundamental that its very omission from the Constitution is proof of its unassailably fundamental importance.

And when you travel in a plane, it is, in my non-judicial opinion, even more fundamental and more central our rights as citizens.

Think about it. Our national symbol isn't a trout. It's an eagle. Fly on.
Love it.. {Comment: Hmm...maybe that's our problem we've got Skippy and a flightless bird on our national coat of arms??}

MTF Sarcs

{ps Does Beaker seriously think that his REPCON examples will remain confidential & de-identified. How hard is it, for the average punter, to work out who the reporter possibly is and who the operator is in some of those published REPCONs...FFS!}

Last edited by Sarcs; 8th May 2014 at 03:51.
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Old 8th May 2014, 03:53
  #1844 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Addendum to last...

This is even better.....from the same journo:
FAA: Stop That, It's Legal!

When feds bow to public opinion over the regs, something's wrong.
By Robert Goyer / Published: Apr 22, 2014


Enlarge Photo


It must seem that I'm always complaining about the FAA, but the truth be told, the vast majority of our employees there (that's right; they're our employees) are fantastic. From controllers who bend over backwards to get us routings away from the storms to inspectors who go the extra mile to make sure we give it our best shot on our checkrides to directors who are working to bring the agency into the new millennium, there's a lot to like about the FAA.

Then there's this.

I had a photo shoot all set in South Florida with the great folks from Daher Socata to photograph one of their lovely new TBM 900s. Gorgeous plane, different story.

We did the shoot — two of them in fact. One was in the afternoon over the Everglades and the second one was the following morning over the Atlantic Coast near South Beach. Our flight consisted of my photo ship pilot, consummate pro Bruce Moore, our safety pilot, Cesar Eugenio, with photo subject pilot Wayman Luy, a Daher Socata Pilot, and subject plane safety pilot (and Chipmunk owner operator) Michel De Villiers, also of Daher Socata.

The shoots went off great, though we did have to hunt hard for sunlight on a few occasions. Luckily, Bruce has a great nose for good light.

The highlight of the shoots was our circuits of South Beach. We steered well clear of restricted airspace and conducted the mission within full compliance of the FARs.

Which is why what happened the next morning surprised me.

Wayman emailed me the next day saying that an FAA inspector had called him asking about the shoot. The FAA guy, Wayman said, informed him that the FAA's office had gotten phone calls about two airplanes flying close together over the beach.

Now, I am tempted to discuss how desperate for attention or ignorant of the sky above them someone who made such a call has to be. I mean, were they afraid that the two planes didn't see each other as they made turns and remained in perfect formation? Or that the formation was part of a two-light-plane leading edge of a wave of invading Pipers and Cessnas planning to descend upon South Florida? Who knows, maybe they were worried we were snowbirds coming down at exactly the wrong time of year and they wanted to warn us. In any case, every one of those calls was a call that never should have been made.

No, the thing that really got me mad was what the FAA guy asked Wayman to do next. According to Wayman, the inspector said he was fully aware that our flight was perfectly legal, but he asked us that we not do it anyways. Well, at least not over populated areas, which is also perfectly legal as long as you maintain legal altitude, which we did, and then some.

The message I got was, the FAA wanted us not just to obey the FARs but to give up some of our precious airspace and flying freedoms so they wouldn't get any more phone calls from confused citizens.

Um, sorry, but no.
Read more at FAA: Stop That, It's Legal! | Flying Magazine
Yep says it all really...
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Old 8th May 2014, 06:26
  #1845 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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It's the dizzy limit – that's what...

Because many important safety concerns are reported to the ATSB through REPCON, it is vital that all of industry is aware of, and can learn from, the reported concerns.
Handing over – we can't get CASA to fix the issues; we no longer have a credible safety publication to place the valuable articles in, so we just cop out, right here. You kids out there can glean your own safety cures from the Repcon. Never mind the overseas folk, we have them trained to wait two years for the report. Who cares if life vests don't work properly, it's a unique domestic issue and anyway, we have registered our differences with ICAO. FFS.

See here, this is what we mean by cop out.

The published information will include details about safety concerns, as well as responses and safety actions taken by relevant organisations or government agencies about the concern.
Who'd expect the Safety Bureau to get the changes made eh? The NTSB must be reaching for a bucket; or perhaps the stop-me- laughing pills. Strewth....

REPCON serves to collect information about safety concerns in the aviation, marine and rail industries, to help facilitate safety action and, ultimately, improve transport safety.
Please show us one aviation item published recently where the ATSB recommendation has been taken on board and a tangible safety benefit has been produced; one 'real' one will do. It's all Bollocks – spin for the punters and the dopey politicians, who shake their wizened heads, nod sagely and do SFA except sign off on insulting responses to serious safety issues, raised by an educated Senate committee; smiling all the while....

What's wrong with this bloke, he has a good budget, good people, plenty of muscular law to support anything reasonable; so why all the Uriah Heep like hand wringing, obfuscation, humble PC crap and why, in the name of all the hells are CASA dictating the conclusions. The technical parts of the few reports we see are acceptable, definitely not stellar; but, the back few pages are completely beyond the pale. Bloody useless is how most describe them.


Fetch a bucket Minnie, a big one.

Last edited by Kharon; 8th May 2014 at 09:03. Reason: Suddenly, I'm very, very thirsty.
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Old 8th May 2014, 08:02
  #1846 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1998
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Kharon...

Who cares if life vests don't work properly, it's a unique domestic issue and anyway, we have registered our differences with ICAO. FFS.
Did you forget that the fact that life vests did or didn't work properly may not even be considered IAW the differences filed with respect to Annex 13, because, according to the ATSB under Dolan's (mis)management:

Decisions on whether a particular domestic accident will be investigated depend on resources, and the likely benefit to future safety, particularly in the general aviation sector.
Refer AIP Appendix 2 to SUP H18/14.

So, Kharon, if your scenario involved GA, then it looks as though you may as well assume that an investigation of the life vests probably WASN'T included, because it would have involved a cost.

FFS.
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Old 9th May 2014, 20:45
  #1847 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Safety statistics.

There are a couple on 'new' threads which raise some interesting questions about the new look ATSB web site and search 'philosophy'. I can't find the Sarcs post which first mentioned the 'new' system, bemoaning the loss of weekly summaries and noting how difficult it was to 'mine' the data required. I did have a whack at trying to 'navigate' through the wretched thing, only to give it up feeling slightly nauseous.

Trusting the Creampuff cock up over conspiracy system after reading the Ramble and Framer posts, I have spent some little time trying to research similar events and to generally make a honest attempt to find some 'useful' information. It's bloody hopeless – I am not one of those who can claim expertise at data mining, but can, normally, with patience (and tender words) extract the information needed; eventually. But I get the feeling that the ATSB site almost deliberately sets out to confound, the NTSB and other agencies all seem to have open, easy to navigate sites (by comparison). Some even offer to facilitate 'your research' if it's abstruse, for a modest fee (of course).

Ramble On.

It appears that the ATSB have just recently removed Aviation Weekly Summaries from their website.
Their new system is not fit for any practical purpose other than statistics.
The ATSB should take a leaf from the NTSB and list occurrences on a daily basis.

Its a valuable tool to see the nature of occurrences and what incidents are trending and at what locations.

Whomever introduced this new ATSB system demonstrates little practical knowledge of aviation operations.
The thing which prompts this post is 'Framer' doing a bit of research into the frequency with which runways are made unavailable (sudden like); probably break the data down into single runway and multiple runway airports and intersection events. It's worthwhile, even if it proves that 'statistically' the risks are low; there are those who would promote carrying an alternate and those who say it's a waste. It's tough enough to have a sensible discussion with facts, let alone without. The information sought should be readily available; it's not as though the data is not there.

Framer.
I would like to compile a list of unforecast airfield closures in Australia since the NZAA lights went out a few years back
.
Perhaps a Repcon; Oi, ya website is crap; howz about making it useful.

Last edited by Kharon; 9th May 2014 at 20:56.
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Old 10th May 2014, 02:05
  #1848 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
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Cause & effect and the four year cycle

While the miniscule & his team of dept crats are otherwise distracted with balancing the books for 2014-15, the Ferryman’s last perhaps provides a welcome diversion from the future ‘doom & gloom’ of TA’s budgetary crisis..

Kharon: "..But I get the feeling that the ATSB site almost deliberately sets out to confound, the NTSB and other agencies all seem to have open, easy to navigate sites (by comparison). Some even offer to facilitate 'your research' if it's abstruse, for a modest fee (of course)..."

Beaker & Co should have nothing to hide so why the seemingly impenetrable website?? The ATsB’s primary function is to promote open & free dissemination of vital safety findings, lessons, research and recommendations to further enhance safety risk mitigation for the greater worldwide aviation industry. Beaker should be promoting the good work his investigators, researchers & data entry folk are doing on the coalface. So why is the ATsB (in its current form) so obtuse (almost retrograde) in how they go about their primary function??

The four year cycle
As long as we can all remember the, once beloved, bureau (BASI/ATSB) had always been the cash strapped poor cousins to the FF behemoth. Yet with limited resources they still punched above their weight and in accordance with Annex 13 were lorded as setting a benchmark for a small but effective State AAI.

It wasn’t till 2000 with the Whyalla accident investigation that the wheels started to fall off and for the first time the bureau started to cop independent, external & international flak.

Then we had the 2004 ICAO audit of the ATsB which came up with the following finding and recommendation in regards to compliance with Annex 13:
FINDING:
The ATSB’s policy is to place the primary focus on fare-paying passengers and to investigate all fatal accidents (unless they involve sport aviation). However, accidents that are considered to have little potential benefit for prevention may not be investigated in detail. In such cases, the ATSB would not necessarily attend the scene,conduct an in-depth investigation or produce an extensive report.

RECOMMENDATION:
The ATSB should investigate all accidents as defined by Annex 13. The depth of such investigations should be at least to a level where it is evident that no further enhancement of aviation safety can be achieved.

To which the ATSB responded with this:

CORRECTIVE ACTION PROPOSED BY THE ATSB:
This recommendation is related to the earlier recommendation at Appendix 2-2 and the ATSB response at 2-2 is also relevant. The ICAO audit recommendation that all accidents should be investigated at least to a level where it is evident that no further enhancement of aviation safety can be achieved has significant budgetary implications that are outside of the control of the ATSB. While many accidents are essentially repetitive and involve little new safety learning and diminishing returns in their investigation, it is rarely possible to be so absolute as to assess that no further enhancement of aviation safety can be achieved by further investigation.

The ATSB will, before the end of August 2004, advise the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Departmental Secretary and the Department of Finance and Administration of the audit recommendation and its budgetary implications.

Which led to a rather prolonged action response:

ACTION TAKEN BY THE ATSB:
The ATSB formally briefed the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services on the final ICAO Audit and its recommendations by Minute dated 22 October 2004. This Minute was also the formal mechanism for briefing the Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS) Secretary and Deputy Secretaries. The ATSB briefed the Department of Finance and Administration (DOFA) at Division Head level on the ICAO Audit with a focus on recommendations CE-3/02 and CE-5/03 on 23 November 2004 via the Department of Transport and Regional Services’s Chief Financial Officer. On 21 December 2004 the Department of Finance and Administration responded that any additional funding was a matter in the first instance for the Minister's consideration against other priorities in his portfolio. DOFA stated also that only proposals with specific authority from the Cabinet or the Prime Minister were eligible for budget consideration.

In 2007-08 the ATSB was funded to undertake approximately 80 new aviation safety investigations of which about 30 are of the more comprehensive variety. Choice of the 80 from approximately 8000 accidents and incidents reported was based on published selection criteria. In addition, for the financial years 2007-08 to 2009-10 the ATSB was provided with additional budget funding to assist Indonesia with its transport safety improvement program.

But despite these initiatives, on the next four year cycle the bureau copped this finding & recommendation, again from ICAO {It is worth noting that 2008 was when Beaker first started his tenure and there was an underspend in the fiscal year 2008-09}:

AUDIT FINDING AIG/01
Funding for aviation accident investigations is provided by the Federal Government of Australia through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

To make the most of the funding allocated to it, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has established guidelines to determine whether to investigate an occurrence with the level of response to a notification determined by resource availability and such factors as:
1. existence of fatalities;
2. anticipated safety value of an investigation;
3. extent of public, media or political interest;
4. timeliness of notification;
5. training benefit for ATSB investigators;
6. likely possibility of safety action arising from the investigation or the existence of supporting
evidence or requirements to conduct a special investigation based on trends;
7. safety analysis or an identified targeted programme; and
8. scope or impact of any system failures.

Under the ATSB guidelines, occurrences that may fit the ICAO Annex 13’s definition of an aircraft accident or incident may not be investigated. Although the ATSB submits a notification of these occurrences to ICAO in accordance with ICAO Annex 13 provisions, the ATSB does not submit a preliminary report and/or an accident data report identifying contributing safety factors or probable cause.

And the response & action plan:

STATE’S COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS*
Australia has considered this finding and the related recommendations from the audit team.
Australia meets its Article 26 obligations. However, Australia has also lodged a difference with ICAO in relation to standard 5.1 and recommended practice 5.1.1 of Annex 13 as Australia considers it impractical to investigate all accidents and serious incidents within resources available. In addition to targeting those accidents and incidents that are likely to yield the greatest safety value in accordance with the guidelines quoted above, Australia normally gives priority to investigations of accidents and serious incidents involving regular public transport aircraft (especially with fare-paying passengers) and accidents involving fatalities other than those involving ultralights and sport aviation.

Australia notes that the investigation of accidents and serious incidents has been included for
discussion at the ICAO Accident Investigation and Prevention (AIG) Divisional meeting in October 2008. ATSB will participate in this discussion as it relates to upgrading recommendation 5.1.1 to a standard and allocating resources to those investigations that will yield the greatest safety value.

Australia may review its investigation policy following the AIG meeting.

Which led to the notified differences (highlighted by SIUYA) recorded in the ASA AIP SUP H12/11 in 2011 {Note: More on the notified differences later because there is some rather disturbing additions in the latest H18/14 SUP}.

Then we fast forward a further 4 years to the PelAir inquiry where we had another independent external body (i.e. the Senate Committee) which was heavily critical of the ATsB using lack of resources as an excuse to not thoroughly investigate (as per Annex 13) the Norfolk VH-NGA ditching. The Committee also made this recommendation:

Recommendation 9
4.103 The committee recommends that the government develop a process by which the ATSB can request access to supplementary funding via the minister.

More to follow on bean counter Beaker’s fiscal discipline, his new notified differences to Annex 13 & the history of REPCON (WOFTAM)…
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Old 10th May 2014, 03:27
  #1849 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1998
Location: Planet Earth
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Sarcs...

According to the ATSB Annual Plan for 2013-2014, the 'weasel words' are still being used to evade the obligations under paragraph 5.1 of Annex 13 to investigate ....... accidents.

We will work to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and timeliness of investigations. The ATSB's highest priority is investigations of accidents and safety occurrences that deliver improved transport safety outcomes for the travelling public. We will also give priority to investigating serious incidents or patterns of incidents.
I find it hard to understand how the Commissioners believe that the ATSB is actually maximising its contribution to aviation safety if its priority is on the travelling public, because that inevitably will result in it not always focussing its efforts at every occasion where they will '...likely result in safety improvements.'

The PEL-AIR investigation demonstrated that quite clearly.

There is no hope for the ATSB under the current (mis)management.
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Old 11th May 2014, 13:38
  #1850 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: australia
Posts: 1,002
We'll there is a white wash being undertakeimg right at this present time with the m18 turbine dromadra. There are people in the back ground at present that are doing everything in the power to try and make this not to happen. Casa and Atsb have laid there cards on the table now. Still wiring for the final report from David's accident.
Let's hope that David's loss is not in vain and heads roll at casa and not the person they trying to pin it on now. They know for over 10 years about the proem and done nothing.

Cheers
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Old 11th May 2014, 15:24
  #1851 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Get facts

YR right,
Get the facts on these guys and go to the Senate with solid evidence. They will back you. Vale David . RIP.
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Old 11th May 2014, 21:12
  #1852 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 2,053
Senate – in waiting?

Jinglie #1907 –"Get the facts on these guys and go to the Senate with solid evidence."
The Senate committee were onto the game and were all set to 'cut 'em a new one'; the WLR surfaced with a tight brief and narrow scope, even with those constraints they managed to bury the industry submissions. When the hoo-hah of the WLR is over, we can only hope that Fawcett becomes the aviation 'go-to-man' and Xenophon retains his zeal to get to the bottom of this putrid barrel we call aviation oversight and safety.

I believe Truss has been, once again, badly advised. His committee in the parliament Senate are cranky, they have had a glimpse of the truth; and, with a bit of luck after the budget brouhaha has calmed down; they will get back to work. Next estimates and probably the next few weeks will tell the tale; how much of that story will 'escape' into daylight is unknown. The hatch, match and dispatch list from Sleepy Hollow may give some clues.

As it stands, the neutered Senate committee represents a tragedy in a great waste of time, talent and money.
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Old 11th May 2014, 22:58
  #1853 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 1,732
Ozfucation of Annex 13 & 'saving for a rainy day'??

Stick it....said:
According to the ATSB Annual Plan for 2013-2014, the 'weasel words' are still being used to evade the obligations under paragraph 5.1 of Annex 13 to investigate ....... accidents.
Maybe the Ozfucation of Annex 13 is all about recouping the taxpayer funds spent (some would say wasted) on previous big bureau investigations, like Whyalla (over $15 million) & Lockhart ( over $20 million). To follow on...maybe the hiring of bean counter Beaker was put in place to save for the next big 'event horizon'??


But back to the Annex 13 and the bureau notified differences, from 2008 ICAO audit report...

"...Australia meets its Article 26 obligations. However, Australia has also lodged a difference with ICAO in relation to standard 5.1 and recommended practice 5.1.1 of Annex 13 as Australia considers it impractical to investigate all accidents and serious incidents within resources available..."

Which led to this, in our massively expanded version of AIP GEN 1.7, para 5.1 ND (NB: copied from SUP H18/14 , same as for H12/11):





However, most disturbingly, the Annex 13 differences did not stop at para 5.1 and it would appear that the 'weasel words' have continued unabated in the latest version of GEN 1.7 (SUP H18/14)...

Quick compare for IOS consumption...

Chapter 5 (2014) addition:



Chapter 6 (2011) deletion:



Chapter 7 & 8 comparison...

SUP H12/11:



SUP H18/14:



So it can be seen that Beaker (& his minions) have got the hang of this ICAO ozfucation thingy....and all in the name of saving us millions???

While on the subject of NDs to Annex 13 and in light of this comment from the bureau in reply to CE-3/02 of the 2004 audit....

"...However, the ATSB is not aware of many, if any, ICAO states that do not face a budget constraint that impacts the number and extent of accident and serious incident investigations..."

...I thought it might be prudent to do a quick compare with some other ICAO states, starting with the current benchmark in our region i.e. Singapore which, surprisingly, also has a ND for para 5.1:
Singapore

ANNEX 13 Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, 10th edition
Chapter 5 (Amendment 13)

5.1.2 ICAO requires States to investigate serious incident involving aircraft of a maximum certificated take-off (MCT) mass of over 2250kg. With effect from 2 August 2010, Singapore requires all serious incidents to be investigated, regardless of the aircraft’s MCT mass.
Gotta love the Singas...

And here's a couple more for comparison with a link to NZed:


Hong Kong
13. ANNEX 13 - AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION (9th edition, Amendment 13)
Nil
Canada
Annex 13, Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation
Nil
NZ Annex 13 differences



Yep SIUYA weasel words indeed...MTF Sarcs...
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Old 11th May 2014, 23:32
  #1854 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1998
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Posts: 604
"...However, the ATSB is not aware of many, if any, ICAO states that do not face a budget constraint that impacts the number and extent of accident and serious incident investigations..."
Really?

Chicago Convention - Article 38 Departures from international standards and procedures

Any State which finds it impracticable to comply in all respects with any such international standard or procedure, or to bring its own regulations or practices into full accord with any international standard or procedure after amendment of the latter, or which deems it necessary to adopt regulations or practices differing in any particular respect from those established by an international standard, shall give immediate notification to the International Civil Aviation Organization of the differences between its own practice and that established by the international standard.

The Ninth Edition of the Supplement to ICAO Annex 13 that was published in 2003 contained a list of Contracting States which had notified ICAO that no differences exist with regard to their compliance with the standards and recommended practices of ICAO Annex 13, as follows:

Austria
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Botswana
Canada
Chile
China
China (Hong Kong SAR)
Costa Rica
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Denmark
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Germany
Ghana
Guatemala
Iceland
India
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Ireland
Italy
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Lithuania
Malawi
Malaysia
Mexico
Namibia
Netherlands
Niger
Norway
Pakistan
Philippines
Qatar
Republic of Moldova
Romania
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Suriname
Thailand
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Uganda
United Arab Emirates
United Republic of Tanzania
Viet Nam
Yemen
Zambia

Seems like the person who made the comment in 2004 about the ATSB not being aware of ...many, if any... ICAO states that do not face a budget constraint that impacts the number and extent of accident and serious incident investigations didn't read the Supplement before shooting from the lip, doesn't it, because it that was a case then the States in question would have needed to file a difference.


Last edited by SIUYA; 11th May 2014 at 23:53.
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Old 12th May 2014, 03:23
  #1855 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 2,053
The safety slippery dip.

Ever watched the kids on a slippery dip? – some who try desperately to stop; others who manage to stop and then try to run back up to the top; all ends in tears. All you can do is pray they don't get too hurt or hurt others while the hard lessons of life are learned.

That's how our impoverished ATSB seem to be to me, stuck halfway on the slippery path to perdition, led to this sorry impasse by bureaucrats, politicians and bean counters; seduced by association with some of the darkest forces ever to hold sway over matters aeronautical, ably assisted by an incompetent, parsimonious management squadron of trained buffoons and spin kings. Have a look at the calm, professional bunch running the AMSA, then decide.

Some cultures do not place very much value on a human life, never have and are not likely to change. This is not the Australian way; men and women from the armed forces, police, ambulance services, fire-fighters and many, many more daily demonstrate the value we as a nation place on life. Where someone dies or is hurt there is an inquiry of some description – even a humble coroners court will attempt to define the cause and create some form of preventative measure, where practical and possible. We have an extensive, expensive system of rule, regulation, law, protocol, practice and common sense that attempts, barring stupidity, to prevent the unnecessary wasting of life.

Cause; now there's a word to consider: in the Beaker lexicon, a life is only as valuable as his parsimonious edicts say it is. You die in an aircraft tomorrow, the ATSB may, or may not deem your incident worthy of investigation, just a GA prang, move along. It may well be that there is some 'value' to the investigation: but only so far as to shift the blame; or, to be in concert with what the 'big dogs' want. No, not bollocks; look about you, see what you are spoon fed for reports, see what is passed off as 'cause', see what is milked as blame, see what is done to prevent, see, if you dare, what impact the 'investigation' has on the 'authority' responsible. You don't need to look very far or very deep, just ask any Pel Air committee Senator.

You can read it in the H14/18 words, these are 'differences'; scripted by lawyers who know how to appear ICAO compliant, while arrogantly flipping the bird at the ICAO spirit, intent and the rest of the world. Australia's Annexe 13 is a calculated, cynical exercise designed to confound the unwashed masses and makes a cuckold of the ICAO. No other country makes a such an open mockery of accident investigation, is selective in what it will investigate and blatantly blames this on lack of 'resources'. The budget may be constrained but there's no reason not to spend it – all of it and ask for more if needed. Hells bells that 'Direct action' outfit cleans up $2.55 Billion in handouts, surely we could use some of that so as not be an international, smart arse pariah, crying poor at every (given, taken or engineered) opportunity. Shame on you.

No other country takes the Mickey out of 'confidential' reporting; read what we say in H18/14:- Chapter 8 paragraph 8.2 – read it and weep. The only thing not provided to CASA is the pilot name; same - same for Repcon – colour of socks to date time place of the alleged incident; even if you reported yourself. Signed confession; and, ATSB dare claim to be 'puzzled' by a sharp decline in the numbers of 'reports'. FFS why hide it – we tell CASA all as per the MOU, which we will call 'differences'.

Have a look at the SIUYA list of other NAA, then have a look at any of the ICAO annexe 13 protocols; almost every country bar Australia is in tune, investigates accidents 'properly', generates reports and safety recommendations. The dinosaurs departed the fix many, many moons ago. It's time now for our cynical, parsimonious, deviate system to head in that direction.

Just stop it before Australia gets hurt – or ICAO spot the deliberate, systematic rapine of what should be a world class safety outfit, reporting honestly, openly and regularly to the industry it is paid to serve.

Arrrggggh – steam off.

Last edited by Kharon; 12th May 2014 at 04:55. Reason: I knew, the moment I started reading it; I'd made a bad blue
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Old 12th May 2014, 05:04
  #1856 (permalink)  
 
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Posts: 1,002
The facts are in and documented but still if the go the white wash going cost him $$$$$$$$$$$$$ to prove him self innocent while they get away with it. Watch this space
Cheers
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Old 12th May 2014, 05:30
  #1857 (permalink)  
 
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Ummmm...

Can you run that by us again please yr right?

Not too sure I'm with you there unfortunately.
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Old 12th May 2014, 09:12
  #1858 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: australia
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was in reply to this statement, they have the facts and statements but they in to deep now and cya themselves and looking to knock someone up for there own failings it seams as though they found that person sadly.


Get facts


YR right,
Get the facts on these guys and go to the Senate with solid evidence. They will back you. Vale David . RIP


cheers
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Old 12th May 2014, 19:45
  #1859 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
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Cross words and puzzles.

SIUYA -Can you run that by us again please yr right?
Yr right – "was in reply to this statement, they have the facts and statements but they in to deep now and cya themselves and looking to knock someone up for there own failings it seams as though they found that person sadly
Without meaning to offend – I have been reading the Yr-right posts in an attempt to join the dots and get a picture. To do this some assumptions were needed, no doubt YR will correct any errors or omissions.

a) "Dave" – was the pilot of the Drom involved in the fatal fire bombing accident, the one where the wing came off and was known to YR.

b) There has been a wrangle going on for many years related to concerns over the CASA ruling which allowed gross overloads; for special tasks.

c) YR is probably an 'engineering type' with much inside knowledge of the arguments, for and against, the modified weight, airframe modifications, maintenance and operations.

If that is ball park accurate, then we can join up another dot in the YR 'puzzle'. The investigation is complete and CASA are somehow implicated, by association, with the accident as the responsible authority which allowed the 'over-weight' operations. Which, from the last YR post, leads me (blindly) to the conclusion that 'someone else', probably an engineer is on the blame game chopping block for the accident. IF this is the case, then the anger and frustration in the post is understandable.

Yr right – "The facts are in and documented but still if the go the white wash going cost him $$$$$$$$$$$$$ to prove him self innocent while they get away with it.
Just saying – but I often stumble over the YR posts and the daemon curiosity whispers in my ear. No offence YR, but if this is the case.....always room for one more on the ferry.

Toot toot.
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Old 12th May 2014, 23:07
  #1860 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: australia
Posts: 1,002
Look I am sorry but am limited to what I can and cant say as it has gone before the senate and is still under investigation by CASA the inquest and then possibly a trail for the person involved. But you are right on the mark 4 deaths in Australia alone. Aircraft now parked up all over the place just a sorry mess at the end of the day.
The extended hopper was for bulk not liquid and hence we have wing fitting failures this was told to CASA approx. 10 years ago, what we can hope for if the inquest can reopen the other accidents and relook at what happened and maybe place blame where it rightly should be. And yes I am a LAME. What upsets me is they going to try and lay blame at a person that in the course of there duties didn't find anything wrong with the aircraft. The day was not fit for flying a kite let alone fight a fire in thoose conditions and an RFS officer believed to have said oh the real pilots are flying . Then we loose a life.


Its sad frustrating that it had to come to this.


Cheers
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