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

Merged: Senate Inquiry

Old 10th Apr 2014, 00:12
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Addendum to post #1869

From a bemused PMer- In case I lost people....with this part of my last post :
The transcripts of the contacts with air traffic services by the crew of the aircraft VH-NGA do not reveal any apparent communications difficulty. In interviews with CASA, Mr James did not express any views that there were any high frequency communications irregularities. The first CASA became aware of Mr James’s views on HF communications difficulties was when he raised it on the recent 4 Corners television program.

The transcript of the pilot’s conversation with Fiji air traffic control reveals that the pilot acknowledged the second report on weather information indicating it was received.

0802:32 from Nadi to VH-NGA. Roger this is the latest weather for Norfolk...SPECI... Isay again special weather Norfolk at 0800 Zulu... auto I say again auto, alpha uniform tangooscar, wind 290 08 knots, 999 november delta victor, overcast one thousand one hundred,temperature 21, dew point 19, QNH Norfolk 1012...remarks... romeo foxtrot zero zero
decimal zero oblique zero zero zero decimal zero go ahead.

0803:21 from VH-NGA to Nadi. Thank you Nadi... much appreciated NGA .

A different response could be expected if the pilot experienced difficulty hearing the radio transmission. The ATSB accident report on page 17 also advised that no difficulties were identified by the flight crew with their radio communications during the flight.
& "...Notice that (much like the CAIR 09/3 record of the transcript) the above AQON’s transcript copy fails to include the erroneous (infamous) 0801 Nadi transmission of the O630 METAR for Norfolk (reference page 1 - Attachment 9 Aherne submission)..."

Here is the relevant reference from CAIR 09/3…

{Note: CAIR 09/3 can be viewed at the rear of attachment 5 of FF PelAir submission, see link HERE}

you can see that much like the AQON (above) that the 0801 NADI relay of the 0630 METAR has been glossed over and the contents conveniently airbrushed out. Remembering that CAIR 09/3 was signed off by the Manager of the ALIU on the 21 July 2010, some 2 and a bit years before Fort Fumble were to sight the ATsB Final report.

Clear as mud now??

OK moving on...

But it was Beakers continued emphasis on 'feasibility' that is very very concerning. Forget SAFETY, forget they are the Australian Transportation SAFETY Bureau, forget that CVR/FDR's are probably the single most important piece of evidence in the majority or air crashes! No, we have a 'cost analysis' instead. Some figure crunching, some spreadsheet stimulation, some number juggling, some penny counting that was more important, took the most precedence, was the driving factor behind his decision making process! What a disgrace.
Well said 004 and a disgrace indeed, perhaps it is worth reflecting on a small passage from the Aherne evidence that highlights the significance of the black box in regards to AAI (my bold):
Senator XENOPHON: Okay. Let's not dwell on that. The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder are in approximately 47 metres of ocean off Norfolk Island. In your view as an independent safety expert, do you find it unusual that the CVR and FDR were not retrieved in this case?
Mr Aherne: I am. There are a couple of things I will go to quickly. First, I cannot find where a turbofan aircraft is ditched at night and everyone has lived, and I think we could learn a lot from what the crew did that night. The second thing is that there are so many assumptions in the fuel calculations of this particular flight. I have had six air transport pilots of high experience, and all of them came out with slightly different answers. It is not an exact science sometimes, but I think the only way we would really know is from the flight data recorder we could get from the accident. I know the ATSB justified that by saying that the crew were alive and they did not need to get it, but I cannot believe that the crew's input into this report is largely not there.
Senator XENOPHON: But also, if there is a conflict in terms of information that was supposedly given to the crew then the cockpit voice recorder might be of some assistance.
Mr Aherne: Definitely. The cockpit voice recorder in this case would fill in the gaps that Senator Fawcett was talking about in terms of the human factors: the relationship between the pilot and the co-pilot, their reaction to the ATC's requests or instructions, their lines of thinking, the verbalisations they were doing on the flight deck. We can learn a lot from all of these things, and it is a pity it is sitting on the bottom of the ocean.
The word PITY is an understatement… Bryan's BIZARRE comment was much more descriptive for the PelAir Gate charade..

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Old 14th Apr 2014, 16:19
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Thank you gentlemen.

Monarch, Seaview, Whyalla, Lockhart River, Ghost Flight, Pelair, when will it end?

I've lost count of the dozens of others and we still haven"t got even remotely close to regulatory reform. Its like Agatha Christies "Mousetrap", been playing since 1952, 25,000 performances, same story, same lines, just different actors.

And as the Senator at the end of the Aherne You Tube Pt 3 asks, what about the fuel and the capacity of the aircraft to perform the task "legally" in the first place? It may have been "legal" but was it smart, and were the medical crew, patients or even the flight crew for that matter "informed" that it is was being operated on a degraded standard from that required for "fare paying passengers". The medics and patients may not have paid a "fare" but they sure as hell were entitled to the same standard as if they had.

We can learn a lot from all of these things, and it is a pity it is sitting on the bottom of the ocean.
Too many questions too many cooks and too many agendas, it stinks to high heaven.

And why is the co-pilot MIA, I have no doubt she is traumatised, no criticism, but did she corroborate the evidence or did she not or did she choose as is her absolute right to remain silent. I was shocked to hear Ahernes comments on her injury, bravery and fortitude with just half a lifejacket. And that they did not crack a mention nor did there appear to be any regulatory concern about their unserviceability. I know of at least one operator who wisely, in this knowledge, does not now recertify but replaces lifejackets when they expire. Significantly higher cost but smart given that they need to work in anger.

I can personally testify that recertified life-rafts carry the same risks of failure.

The OBR's were always meant to expose, post facto, what was actually "said" and what was actually "done" against the perhaps convenient interpretation by the participants of the drama.
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Old 15th Apr 2014, 00:01
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Don't forget, the Senate inquiry was the one that ...discovered... the following:

1. Failure by PelAir to 20.11 the crew;

2. That the life-jackets mal-functioned;

3. That the PelAir fuel management strategy was flawed;

4. atsb and casa's refusal to raise the CVR and FDR


4. casa covered up it's failings through the non-declared "chambers report" [aka chamberpot report];


The Senate, among it's 26 reccomendations, and other findings, went to a likely breach by casa ["The Skull"] of the TSI [Transport Safety Investigation Act, by not passing information to beaker's atsb.

This is a serious matter, that mrdak [Minister's response to PelAir Inquiry] advised the Minister to "brush-off", thinking it was all "....going to go away...".

I am sure that the Senators have quite a different idea and will ensure that the matter goes to it's proper finality and in a short time-frame:

  • A proper re-work and re-structure of the Aviation Acts;
  • Introduction of the US-FAR's
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Old 15th Apr 2014, 01:45
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PelAir embuggerance timeline continues unabated??

The OBR's were always meant to expose, post facto, what was actually "said" and what was actually "done" against the perhaps convenient interpretation by the participants of the drama.
That may be so Mr G, however much like this statement in a SMH article on who will take custody (if able to be found and recovered) of the MH370 CVR/FDR…

“….Experts say finding the recording devices will be crucial to unravelling the mystery of what happened aboard the flight that was scheduled to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. But they say the cockpit voice recorder inside them may not be helpful because they store only about two hours of sound and probably have not preserved what was being recorded around the time the plane was diverted thousands of kilometres off course while over the South China Sea….”

SMH article link: Flight MH370: who will get custody of black boxes?

As it has been stated numerous times (and was the basis for Beaker ultimately justifying his decision to not recover the black box) the two hour timeframe wouldn’t cover the 0801 UTC RT from NADI to VH-NGA. However it could have covered the crew byplay as to their understanding of the relayed WX updates from NADI & Auckland. As Bryan Aherne highlighted...

“…The second thing is that there are so many assumptions in the fuel calculations of this particular flight. I have had six air transport pilots of high experience, and all of them came out with slightly different answers. It is not an exact science sometimes, but I think the only way we would really know is from the flight data recorder we could get from the accident…”

...perhaps of more importance is the up to 100 hrs of recorded information off the FDR.

Presumably one of the five parameters that NGA’s FDR recorded was fuel quantity/burn. So given that the ATsB investigators initially notified a CRITICAL safety issue that highlighted deficiencies within the interpretation of the regs and pilot guidance in regards to ALT requirements for remote islands etc, then it would be natural to assume that the FDR recording would have been invaluable to the ATsB reinforcing their originally intended CSI.

As a State sanctioned AAI the old (pre-Beaker) ATsB (and still practiced throughout the rest of the world) on recognising a critical or significant safety issue would then have been obligated to issue a safety recommendation to CAsA, who in turn would have been obligated to address the SR within a set timeframe.

As history will now show, the original intended CSI was downgraded to MINOR and no SR was issued, instead we are left with the following intended actions from CAsA for the MINOR SI (take note of the notified dates for intended proactive actions and the several CAsA caveats):Fuel planning and en route decision-making - AO-2009-072-SI-01
Safety issue description

The available guidance on fuel planning and on seeking and applying en route weather updates was too general and increased the risk of inconsistent in-flight fuel management and decisions to divert.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Action number: AO-2009-072-NSA-094
Date: 30 August 2012

Action status: Closed

During this investigation, the ATSB and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have had a number of meetings in respect of the general nature of the available guidance and its possible influence on the development of this accident. In response, in July 2010 CASA issued Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) 1003OS, section 3.3.4 of which stated:

CASA also intends to review Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP) 234-1 relating to fuel requirements. This review is being undertaken in two phases: the first to enhance the guidance for fuel planning and in-flight fuel-related decision making on flights to remote destinations (including remote islands); and secondly a holistic review of guidelines for fuel and alternate planning.

In addition, NPRM 1003OS proposed changes to the requirements for the carriage of fuel on flights to remote islands. The proposed changes affected Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 82.0 and included:

  • Designating Cocos (Keeling) Island as a ‘remote island’.
  • Removing the provision that allowed an operator not to carry fuel for diversion to an alternate aerodrome if the operator’s operations manual allowed such a procedure.
  • Amending the definition of ‘minimum safe fuel’ to require the calculation of fuel for diversion to an alternate aerodrome in the event of a loss of pressurisation coupled with the failure of an engine, in addition to either of the individual failures.
  • A requirement that a pilot in command who is subject to a condition to carry fuel for diversion to an alternate aerodrome on a flight to a remote island must nominate an alternate aerodrome
  • Extending the condition to carry fuel for diversion to an alternate aerodrome on a flight to a remote island to passenger-carrying aerial work and regular public transport flights.
  • Providing for CASA to be able to approve an operator not to comply with a condition to carry fuel for diversion to an alternate aerodrome on a flight to a remote island, subject to conditions that would not adversely affect safety.

    On 25 June 2012, CASA advised that amendment 36 to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 6, State Letter AN 11/1.32-12/10 detailed a number of new Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) in regard to fuel planning, in-flight fuel management, the selection of alternates and extended diversion time operations (EDTO). In this respect, CASA provided the following update:

  • CASA intends to review Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP) 234-1 relating to fuel requirements. The ICAO fuel and alternate Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) are the basis of these changes and will be coordinated by CASA project OS09/13. While this project will focus specifically on passenger-carrying commercial flights the project will also be reviewing fuel requirements generally. The project will now be conducted in four phases. The first three phases will involve amendments to the relevant Civil Aviation Order (CAO) applicable Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP) 234-1 and Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR) 234. The project objectives are as follows:
    • Phase 1 will involve amendments to the relevant CAOs and a review of CAAP 234-1 for flights to isolated aerodromes in light of the ICAO amendments. This phase will encompass fuel and operational requirements for flights to isolated aerodromes and will also consider the provision for flight to an alternate aerodrome from a destination that is a designated isolated aerodrome. The CAAP 234-1 will also be expanded to provide guidance and considerations necessary for flights to any isolated aerodrome, in particular when, and under what circumstances, a pilot should consider a diversion.
    • Phase 2 will involve amendments to the relevant CAOs and further review of CAAP 234 in light of the ICAO amendments. This phase will encompass regulatory changes related to the implementation of general fuel planning, in-flight fuel management and the selection of alternate aerodromes. This review will include the methods by which pilots and operators calculate fuel required and fuel on-board.
    • Phase 3 will involve amendment to CAR 234 to specify that the pilot in command, or the operator, must take reasonable steps to ensure sufficient fuel and oil shall be carried to undertake and continue the flight in safety. In addition, for flights conducted in accordance with Extended Diversion Time Operations (EDTO), CAO 82 and CAR 234 shall be amended to require consideration of a "critical fuel scenario" taking into account an aeroplane system failure or malfunction which could adversely affect safety of flight. It is anticipated that the methods chosen by the pilot-in-command and operator will therefore be sufficient to meet the requirements of CAR 234 to enable a flight to be undertaken and continue in safety.
    • Phase 4 will involve the publication of internal and external educational material along with conducting briefings where necessary.
and that:

The amendment to the ICAO Annex 6 standards will be considered, and where appropriate, incorporated into the relevant legislation/advisory publication. In addition it is anticipated that there will be guidance material for operators who can demonstrate a particular level of performance-based compliance. The intent is to provide a bridge from the conventional approach to safety to the contemporary approach that uses process- based methods and Safety Risk Management (SRM) principles.

The ICAO Fuel and Flight Planning Manual are reflected in the SARP to Annex 6. Inclusion of the provisions of the Amendment 36 SARPs will be captured throughout this project. The ICAO SARP becomes effective from November 2012.

CASA will endeavour to make the changes as soon as possible - subject to third party arrangements such as drafting and resource availability. However the timing of the CAR changes will be subject to a timetable that is not necessarily able to be controlled by CASA.

Finally, CASA also advised of their intent to regulate Air Ambulance / Patient transfer operators as follows:
  • Air Ambulance/Patient transfer operations in the proposed operational Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASRs) will be regulated to safety standards that are similar to those for passenger operations.
  • While CASR Parts 138/136 will be limited to domestic operations and, if CASA decides to retain Air Ambulance/Patient transfer operations in these rule suites, any such operation wishing to operate internationally will also be required to comply with CASR Part 119. If, however, CASA decides to move these operations into CASR Parts 121/135/133 they will already be required to comply with CASR Part 119. Either way, Air Ambulance/Patient transfer operations will be regulated to the same standard as Air Transport Operations (ATO). In relation to Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands, all ATO which include Air Ambulance/Patient transfer, will be required to carry mainland alternate fuel.CASR Parts 119/121/135/133 are expected to be finalised by the end of 2012 and are currently proposed to commence in June 2014. CASR Parts 138/136 are expected to be made by June 2013 and are proposed to commence in June 2014. Given that the drafting of these CASR Parts are subject to third party arrangements (Attorney-General’s Department) and CASA and the industry’s ability to effectively implement the new rule suite, these timelines are subject to change.
So everything is sweet, lessons learnt and future potential accidents averted.., therefore MINOR SI closed and there will be proactive action sometime (hopefully) in the next decade?? TICK TOCK!

Last edited by Sarcs; 15th Apr 2014 at 02:04.
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Old 16th Apr 2014, 06:23
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VARA ATR at Albury

Given the emerging story of the VARA ATR at Albury, what are the chances that the ATSB and CASA have found a deep enough part of Lake Hume to hide the CVR and FDR, given that everyone survived...
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 02:11
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Shades of PelAir perhaps??

Given the emerging story of the VARA ATR at Albury, what are the chances that the ATSB and CASA have found a deep enough part of Lake Hume to hide the CVR and FDR, given that everyone survived...
Classic scrubba... If part of the somewhat disjointed thread rumours are indeed true it certainly paints for some disturbing parallels with PelAir:
Virgin plane suffers two mid-air incidents, one resulting in woman breaking leg

Updated Fri 7 Mar 2014, 8:12am AEDT
Map: Australia

An investigation is underway into a flight that left a Virgin Australia crew member with a broken leg, and another incident involving the same plane a few days later.

The female crew member was injured when the ATR-72 turbo prop encountered severe turbulence on a flight from Canberra to Sydney last month.

Virgin says the plane was inspected by an engineer and cleared to fly.
Five days later, during a flight to Albury in New South Wales, the pilot reported a possible bird strike.

He later found the aircraft had been damaged.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says the plane remains on the ground at Albury.

The bureau is interviewing crew and maintenance personnel and examining the flight recorder.
Passing strange that the first incident (actually listed as an accident) is duly recorded (see here & page 15 of weekly summary here) and yet the ABC article listing a possible bird strike incident 5 days later is not recorded as such, rather it is listed pg 16 here as:
25/02/2014 * 201400985 *Accident-Yes - AO-2014-032* near Albury Aerodrome NSW*
ATR - GIE Avions de Transport Regional* ATR72-212A*Air Transport High Capacity*Passenger* D CTR
During a post flight inspection, substantial damage
to the aircraft's tail assembly was detected. The
investigation is continuing.
So the ATsB has tied the two incidents (accidents) together, yet there is no big media statements from the bureau/Fort Fumble, no pending show cause notices and no voluntary grounding murmurs from VARA... Oh that's right SOP 101 i.e. "nothing to see here...move along!"

One thing is for sure JB cannot be happy...

Last edited by Sarcs; 17th Apr 2014 at 02:28.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 02:55
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Easter long weekend diversion: MH370 Annex 12 & 13

Slight diversion but there is a point...

The ATsB investigation number AE-2014-054 summarises the bureau's requested involvement with the MH370 search and investigation:
At 1722 Coordinated Universal Time on 7 March 2014, Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, registered 9M-MRO and operating as Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, disappeared from air traffic control radar and a search was commenced by Malaysian authorities. The aircraft had taken off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on a scheduled passenger service to Beijing, China with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.

Under Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation (Annex 13) Malaysia, as the country of registration, has investigative responsibility for the accident.

On 31 March 2014, the Malaysian Government accepted the Government of Australia’s offer to take the lead in the search and recovery operation in the southern Indian Ocean in support of the Malaysian accident investigation. This assistance and expertise will be provided through the accredited representative mechanism of Annex 13.

In accordance with paragraphs 5.23 and 5.24 of Annex 13, on 3 April 2014 the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) appointed an accredited representative and a number of advisors to the accredited representative (ATSB investigators). These investigators’ work will be undertaken as part of an External Investigation under the provisions of the Australian Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

The Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation is responsible for and will administer the release of the final investigation report into this accident. Any enquiries in respect of the ongoing investigation should, in the first instance, be directed to:

Department of Civil Aviation/Jabatan Penerbangan Awam Malaysia
No. 27 Persiaran Perdana
Aras 1-4 Blok Podium
62618 Putrajaya
Telephone: +60 3 8871 4000
Email: [email protected]
The following is a truly excellent article from Joseph Wheeler (Shine Lawyers) on how our obligations to ICAO Annex 12&13 are supposed to work and possible solutions to the highlighted shortcomings of the Annexes in the case of MH370:
MH370 investigation: roles, responsibilities and rule changes
April 17, 2014 by Joseph Wheeler

The investigation of an international air accident follows clearly defined and regulated pathways. Roles and responsibilities are given to different countries (States) and different entities within States who have specific expertise or knowledge to share, under Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention 1944 (the Convention).

The announcement by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak on 24 March 2014 that the flight “ended in the Southern Indian Ocean” could be characterised as a trigger for the official air accident investigation under Annex 13 and the designation of official roles in the investigation thereafter.

This article will look at typical air accident investigations, describing what they are aimed at achieving, as well as suggesting some potential avenues for consideration of regulatory changes at international level to prevent initial search operations, such as those needed to find MH370, from being so reliant on individuals rather than proposed clear plans to activate appropriate State and commercial international cooperation.

Who are the players in an investigation?
When accidents occur outside the territory of any State which is a party to the Convention or otherwise, it is the State of Registry of the aircraft (for MH370, Malaysia) which must take responsibility for the investigation (para 5.3, Annex 13). It has a discretion, and on 31 March 2014 Malaysia formally exercised that discretion in favour of Australia, to delegate that responsibility in part to other States. Under that delegation the Australian official investigative body (the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, ATSB) accepted taking the lead in the search and recovery operation in the southern Indian Ocean, in support of the Malaysian accident investigation.

The ATSB investigation number for this role is AE-2014-054.

The style of appointment is an interesting one. It was open for Malaysia to ask that this role be undertaken by Australia given its proximity to the search area and regional expertise however, the appointment of Australia to take the role comes by way of a procedure in Annex 13 in relation to the appointment of accredited representatives of States to an investigation if they provide information, facilities or experts. Thus, in essence Australia has asked Malaysia to be involved in the investigation by virtue of the fact that it already assisted in the search operation and Malaysia has accepted that offer. In addition to having a representative on the investigation, the same procedure entitles Australia to have advisers in the investigation.
Pursuant to para 5.25, Annex 13, specific powers to participate in the investigation as a result of the operation of Annex 13 are broad. Thus, the Australian representative and advisers may:

  • Visit the scene of the accident;
  • Examine the wreckage;
  • Obtain witness information and suggest areas of questioning;
  • Have full access to all relevant evidence as soon as possible;
  • Receive copies of all pertinent documents;
  • Participate in read-outs of recorded media;
  • Participate in off-scene investigative activities such as component examinations, technical briefings, tests and simulations;
  • Participate in investigation progress meeting, including deliberations related to analysis, findings, causes, contributing factors and safety recommendations; and
  • Make submissions in respect of the various elements of the investigation.
The standards and recommended practices in the Annex are the bare minimum the lead investigation State may permit another participating State.

In addition, the other States who may participate in the investigation are the State of the Operator, the State of Design and the State of Manufacture (for MH370, Malaysia and USA). A feature of the Annex is that there is broad discretion of the lead State to include any other State who may be able to assist and a mandate for States which are asked for information to provide it to the investigating authority which seeks it out.

States which have lost citizens
States which have suffered fatalities to their citizens as a result of the accident are entitled to appoint an expert to the investigation who may:
  • Visit the scene of the accident;
  • Have access to the relevant factual information which is approved for public release by the State conducting the investigation and information on the progress of the investigation; and
  • Receive a copy of the final report.
Recommendation to release preliminary report within one year
In para 5.28 of Annex 13 there is a recommendation that:
the State conducting the investigation should release, at least during the first year of the investigation, established factual information and indicate the progress of the investigation in a timely manner.

The ATSB, in its online description of its role in the investigation, confirms that the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation is ultimately responsible for administering the release of the final investigation report for this incident.

Likelihood of release of preliminary report
The recommendation in relation to a release of established factual information within the first year looks exceedingly unlikely given the unprecedented circumstances surrounding MH370’s disappearance and lack of clues as to its actual location.

By way of comparison with the “usual” time needed to release accident investigation reports, consider the MASwings Twin Otter crash at Kudat Airport on 10 October 2013. In that case, investigation reports were expected from the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation within 6 months of the event, but none have yet been publicly released. That was an accident in which all the relevant evidence was available. It is clear that where next to no evidence is available, the official investigation cannot help but take significantly longer than the normal course of events which usually dictates a necessarily measured release of information in line with resourcing and other priorities on accident investigation efforts.

Official aviation accident investigations

The Australian approach to safety factor determination
An accident investigation in Australia by the ATSB involves a no blame investigation approach in line with international practice. The following is largely adapted from discussion in “Expert Evidence” by Ian Freckelton and High Selby, Chapter 141 “Transport accident investigation” by Patrick Hornby.

The purpose of air accident investigations, and in fact all transport accident or incident investigations by the ATSB, is to search for safety factors which contributed to the incident. In practice, while many think it is the case, there is never one “cause” for an accident. Events such as airline accidents and incidents are the result of multiple contributing factors, some technical, some human factors, some organisational or regulatory influences, some relating to particular local conditions.

The ATSB examines the evidence and evaluates how each potential safety factor (i.e., potential condition or element that increases risk) could have been a contributing safety factor which affected the actual outcome or outcomes in a particular case. A contributing safety factor is one which, had it not occurred or existed at the time of the event/occurrence/accident/incident, then the occurrence probably would not have occurred, adverse consequences associated with the occurrence probably would not have occurred, or been as serious, or another contributing safety factor would probably not have occurred or existed.
This evaluation is a process which often is confused by some as involving the attribution of “guilt” or “blame”. It is not the same. The search for answers involves a “link-by-link” approach in forming judgments about whether each element or contributing safety factor related to other contributing safety factors, rather than considering each factor relative to the occurrence (accident or incident) itself. This permits the identification of higher level safety factors or issues in the conditions which developed to result in an accident. It is those higher level factors which are of most utility to organisations following the conclusion of an official investigation and aligns with the purpose of producing a report which lends itself to the prevention of future accidents.

An example may clarify. Consider a crash which has arisen due to a wing breaking off in flight. The evidence has been gathered and the ATSB notes it has been proximately “caused” (i.e., the occurrence event) by a hairline fracture in a metal join breaking up in flight on an aircraft due to normal flight stresses. However, that is not enough information for preventing that type of accident from happening in future. Only an examination of why that hairline fracture was unnoticed during routine inspections, and an examination of the rules in relation to the regularity and types of inspections of such metal joins, as well as analyses of the maintenance on the aircraft, and other factors would result in the kinds of information needed to identify the contributing safety factors in the particular occurrence.

The safety message coming out of such a hypothetical investigation may well be something along the lines of “[X] type aircraft require 500 hourly inspections of their wing spar joins, rather than the presently required 1,000 hourly inspections”. That is very different to legal blame being apportioned.

What is the ATSB’s standard of proof?
How does the ATSB determine that one factor was related to another factor and how does that link up with the actual occurrence event itself? The ATSB standard is there to be a “probable” or “likely” link between a contributing safety factor and another factor. In the ATSB’s view this must be a high probability – that is, a 66% probability that one factor impacted upon another safety factor.

This approach leads to a strong probability of relationship between the occurrence event itself (e.g., the wing break up above) and the proximal factors which may have contributed to that event (such as rules on inspections which were insufficient or maintenance practices which fell short of sufficient rules).

In the end, this approach suits the purpose of the investigation – prevention of future incidents.

What changes might be needed following the disappearance of MH370?
Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention, Annex 12 on Search and Rescue, and standard practice can be seen to assume certain factors in relation to the normal, “routine” progress of air accident investigations. The rules themselves are limited in their ability to assist in instances such as the unprecedented case of MH370, where the search and rescue stage has far exceeded the length of any prior SAR operation.

The present standards and recommended practices are geared towards providing guidance on how States and entities should work together to determine the causes of an occurrence, for aircraft whose location is known, and where the main task of determining what has caused the accident is essentially all that remains to be done for the purposes of preventing it happening again in future.

In the present situation Malaysia, as the State responsible for the search operation, had relatively little guidance on the (other than purely diplomatic) ability to recruit technical and other State assistance to determine the whereabouts of a lost aircraft. This is because the rules are written with an implied assumption that the aircraft would typically have been found within a short time (i.e., days) of the SAR operation being triggered.

What is needed and what will be addressed at ICAO in due course are procedures and strategies to ensure that a situation of uncertainty in relation to the location of an aircraft is addressed with the same rigour as are “typical” air accident investigations under Annex 13. That is, where Annex 13 sets out the roles and responsibilities of States and entities in relation to gathering, recording, and analysing evidence following a crash, and Annex 12 demands a search operation continue until “all reasonable hope of rescuing survivors has passed”, both Annexes evince a leaning or presumption that the aircraft is at least reasonably “findable” or accessible, and also that that is possible within a reasonably short period of time (i.e., during which it would be possible to reach, attend to, and rescue survivors for example). Annex 12 is arguably more geared around coordinating responses to known emergency situations, than determining whether there is one in the case where an aircraft has missed all the normal indicators of communicating to the world that it is in distress.
There is no concrete guidance to States in situations where the aircraft is somehow “lost”.

There needs to be specific high level guidance or standards and recommended practices, on how States should cooperate to “find” a lost aircraft. The search operation led by Malaysia for MH370, criticised as it was for its sluggish start, has to a large extent been hampered by a lack of appropriate international regulatory guidance. The relative “success” of the search operation (in that States have cooperated and lent support and resources) has been the result of diplomatic efforts to recruit foreign assistance, but this is not the most efficient way to handle such situations.

What is needed next?
Ideally ICAO States should consider the creation of an Annex to the Convention which bridges the gap between Annex 12 and Annex 13 – focussed specifically on international cooperation to recruit and deploy all relevant State-owned and commercial resources of member States to find lost aircraft. Of course there would be major privacy and other diplomatic challenges with such an effort, but these have been shown to be surmountable in the MH370 search situation, given time. The time devoted to meeting those diplomatic challenges should be now, before another MH370-type event happens.

It is not suggested that such a regulatory response from the international aviation community would be enough to move forward from MH370. ICAO has quite rightly looked first at the simpler, technical responses which would be needed to ensure aircraft are properly traceable especially over the high seas. This is the subject of a special meeting to be held in Montreal from 12-13 May 2014 as described elsewhere on our website.

However, it certainly is an area in need of consideration, especially when one considers the explication of air accident investigation described above.
The families affected by MH370 and the world are desperate to know what happened to that otherwise seemingly routine Kuala Lumpur to Beijing flight. However, every air traveller and air transport stakeholder in the world has a stake in the prevention of such incidents again in future and as a result any higher level regulatory contributing safety factor which might need to be addressed should be.

In my mind at least, the dearth of relevant international guidance and regulation on cooperation to locate aircraft is one factor worthy of detailed attention at the international level.

- See more at: MH370 investigation - Expert aviation law insights - Shine Lawyers
Hmm...can anyone else see the irony of a law firm (that has strong associations with several LHR victims' families) basically pointing out the ATsB's international legal obligations to ICAO, under Annex 12 and in particular 13, when we have the spectre of PelAir Gate hovering in the background??

Addendum for post #1874: Planetalking article - Virgin Australia’s leg breaker ATR now ATSB double header

Last edited by Sarcs; 18th Apr 2014 at 03:06.
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Old 18th Apr 2014, 22:59
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Snoop International 'smoke & mirrors' politics competition??

Further to my last...

Malaysia Airlines MH370: Australia, Malaysia work on deal over recovery of missing plane

Malaysia and Australia will sign a deal that specifies who will handle any wreckage from missing flight MH370 that may be recovered, including the crucial black box flight data recorders, according to Malaysian media reports.

Officials in Malaysia are drafting the agreement "to safeguard both nations from any legal pitfalls that may surface during that (recovery) phase," the government-controlled New Straits Times says.

The Malaysian government hopes the deal can be finalised soon and endorsed in a cabinet meeting next week.

Australian officials are studying the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the newspaper says.

"The MoU spells out exactly who does what and the areas of responsibility," civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman was quoted as saying.

8 things about black boxes

Mr Azharuddin said Malaysia would lead most of the investigation, with Australia and others helping. Details of the memorandum will not be made public, the report said.

Mr Azharuddin and other officials could not immediately be reached by news agency AFP.

The Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people, including six Australians, inexplicably veered off course en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 and is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, off the West Australian coast.

But a massive international search - led by Australian authorities - has failed to turn up any wreckage.

A Bluefin-21 unmanned submarine is being deployed in the search for the missing plane but data from its dives has failed to reveal any trace of the aircraft.

Procedures for passenger remains to be governed by deal

The New Straits Times quoted a source with "intimate knowledge" of the deal saying it also specified where any passenger remains would be brought and who would carry out autopsies.

The crisis has brought intense international scrutiny on the Malaysian government, which has been accused by anguished Chinese families and other critics of hiding information and possibly trying to cover up its handling of the situation.

It is hoped any data contained within will indicate what caused the plane to divert.

"Malaysia's scandal-prone regime, which has a poor record on transparency, has pledged to reveal the contents of the data recorders if they are found."

A range of theories including hijacking, rogue pilot activity and aircraft malfunctions have been speculated upon.

Malaysia's government has rejected such claims, saying it is passing on all it knows promptly. Two-thirds of the passengers were Chinese.

A survey by Malaysia's leading independent polling firm released earlier this week found that only 26 per cent of Malaysians believed the government was being transparent about MH370.
Given our aviation safety agencies track record in obfuscation on matters to do with black boxes, MoUs and 'other safety related matters', my money is on Beaker, Skull, Kingcrat and the FF iron ring giving the Malaysians a run for their money in the hoodoo voodoo smoke'n'mirrors stakes...
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 01:46
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Beaker demotion and who cares about DAS (STBR) opinion on NZ regs??

Not sure about anyone else but I cringe anytime that Beaker is referred to in regards to the MH370 search & investigation... Fortunately in the following SMH post we are spared any vid or mi.mi.mi.mugshots but of interest is that it would appear that Beaker has been demoted..:
Debris on beach not from missing MH370: ATSB

The debris found on a beach in Western Australia is not connected to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau says.

ATSB spokesman Martin Dolan told ABC radio on Thursday he was satisfied it was not from the plane.

The item was found washed up on a beach 10 kilometres east of Augusta, near Margaret River, on the south-west coast of Western Australia.
"We've carefully examined detailed photographs that were taken for us by the police and we're satisfied that it's not a lead in the search for MH370," Mr Dolan said.

"From our point of view, we're ruling it out. We'll get some further details just to be sure but at this stage we're not seeing anything in this that would lead us to believe that it comes from a Boeing aircraft."

On Wednesday, Mr Dolan told CNN: "It's sufficiently interesting for us to take a look at the photographs.

"The more we look at it, the less excited we get."

He said the debris appeared to be sheet metal with rivets.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), which is overseeing the search for the plane that disappeared on March 8, said on Wednesday that Western Australian police had taken possession of the debris.
It was reported that the person who found the object initially kept it for a day or two before taking it to the Busselton Regional Airport for inspection.

The object was taken to Busselton Police Station on Wednesday.

Senior Sergeant Steve Principe at Busselton Police Station told The Busselton-Dunsborough Mail the object was about 2.4 metres high, half a metre wide and was of an alloy type of metal.

The object did not have any identifiable writing on it, Senior Sergeant Principe told the news outlet.

"The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is examining the photographs of the material to determine whether further physical analysis is required and if there is any relevance to the search of missing flight MH370," the JACC said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The ATSB has also provided the photographs to the Malaysian investigation team."

Malaysian authorities said on Wednesday that a report on the items found near Augusta had been received, but there had been no verification of whether they were part of the missing flight.

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said insights from Jean Paul Troadec, a key expert in the two-year search for wreckage from the 2009 Air France crash, and experience from the 1997 Silk Air crash, would be considered in determining the approach to the next phase of the search.

''When we have to regroup and restrategise, it's a matter of looking at all the data, whether it is satellite, whether it is radar, and that is very important as we chart our next course,'' he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

''Those are the sort of things we will be looking at in identifying the possibility of other locations, but that will be part and parcel of the whole work in progress.''

Up to 11 military aircraft and 11 ships are planned to assist in the continued search effort on Thursday.

Rough seas and poor visibility may hamper the search.

Before any of the aircraft take off, an assessment of current weather conditions will be made as ex-tropical cyclone Jack moves south.

The day's visual search area totals approximately 49,567 square kilometres.

The centre of the search area lies approximately 1584 kilometres north-west of Perth.

The autonomous under water vehicle, Bluefin-21 AUV, is completing mission 12 in the underwater search area.

It has now completed more than 90 per cent of the focused underwater search area and no contacts of interest have been found.
While on Beaker apparently there was a muppet (matching the description of Beaker) seen passing through KL airport. Which would seem to support the rumour that Beaker has personally fronted the Malaysians to beg for the ATsB to head up the MH370 investigation. Hmm trying to claw back some credibility perhaps??

Speaking of credibility I noted that the DAS (STBR) is still trying to defend his legacy while rubbishing those IOS members suggestions for adopting the NZ regs:
CASA says NZ regulations not suited to Australia

CASA Director of Safety John McCormick has dismissed calls for Australia to copy the New Zealand aviation safety regulations, saying that the Kiwi rules could not simply be adopted and enforced in their current form as Australian regulations, because many provisions in the New Zealand rules are not written in a manner consistent with Australian legislative drafting standards.

In addition, he says, some content is not consistent with the definitions, terminology and requirements set out in our Civil Aviation Act and regulations, which could mean a broad reconsideration and revision of the Australian aviation safety legislation in its entirety.

“If we went in this direction we may need to amend the Civil Aviation Act and rework the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations that have already been made (and) this would be a long-term undertaking, involving several additional years of legislative redrafting and industry consultation.”

The New Zealand rules often provide for considerable discretion to be exercised by the New Zealand Director of Civil Aviation in regard to the intent of the regulations and what is acceptable in terms of compliance, which could significantly hinder CASA's efforts to achieve a high level of standardisation in applying and enforcing the aviation safety legislation of Australia.

Also, the contravention of any New Zealand civil aviation rule is a criminal offence for which a person may be prosecuted.

In addition, the New Zealand rules for aircraft operations contain more differences to ICAO standards than Australia currently registers and their rules in some areas are not as up to date as the new Australian regulations.

“We believe some rules may not offer adequate levels of safety and do not take into account Australian conditions and considerations,” McCormick added.
The thing is do we, the IOS, really care anymore what the, soon to be former, DAS has to say...

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Old 24th Apr 2014, 02:19
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The thing is do we, the IOS, really care anymore what the, soon to be former, DAS has to say...
Of course we don't care what McSkull has to say. His 5 years as DAS speaks for itself. He may as well just speak (scream) at a brick wall because pretty well none of us have confidence in him (except of course Chairman Hawke).

ATSB spokesman Martin Dolan told ABC radio on Thursday he was satisfied it was not from the plane.
As for ATsB Spokesman Beaker, I can confirm that the budget conscious aviation accountant did indeed go for a little business class trip to KL. Unfortunately I wasn't a fly (or a Muppet) on the wall and the contents of any meetings are unknown. Perhaps he was there for a special screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted'? There are some funny scenes in the movie which members of the IOS will enjoy, especially when Dr Bunsen HoneyMrDak pineapples the poor googley eyed mi mi mi Beaker mercilessly! A sign of things to come? Art reflecting life?
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Old 24th Apr 2014, 04:21
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In Malaysia the Beaker sleeps tonight

Beakers activities in KL at 0:40


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Old 25th Apr 2014, 02:01
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Beaker's parallel investigation with MH370.

004 love it......still laughing...

While on the subject of mi..mi..mi..beancounter Beaker noted some interesting parallels with the PT article this morning..MH370 Malaysia agrees to release interim report, after final review...and the winged ATR at Albury... {Perhaps best described in my post here}

The ATR (apparent cover up..) mystery also gets a passing mention by Ben in his other article from this AM: Australian ATC sends Jetstar A320 through path of Singapore A330
Keep in mind, the ATSB isn’t investigating the incident for fun. And unlike its recent attempts to hide the very serious implications of the Virgin Australia ATR grounding at Albury, it has made only a half hearted effort to be obscure on this occasion.
Hmm...TICK TOCK miniscule!
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 04:47
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De disillusionment.

"McComic – "Also, the contravention of any New Zealand civil aviation rule is a criminal offence for which a person may be prosecuted".
The point, dearest John, is that NZ will ruthlessly prosecute, under the LAW. Bullshit, hearsay and technical breaches of administrative policy will not and cannot be made to work under NZ aviation law; i.e. proof must be provided. It's called facts and is presented as EVIDENCE for impartial assessment. This is different stuff to innuendo, hearsay, hay stacked reports of minor transgressions made up by willing accomplices to make much out of sod all. The bullshit we have come to expect, Barrier for one example. The supposition and artful manipulation of "facts and circumstances" to suit; the Airtex /Pelair treatments for example, which adequately and eloquently define the two faces of diametrically opposed non sequiturs. Cowardly scampering to tribunal which only "stands in the shoes of the regulator" and has no use for balls, brains and gods forbid, testable 'evidence'.

By using the AAT as a foil; the 'company lawyers' have cleverly manipulated, through the rules (always legal) a situation where the myth of CASA righteousness is used to hoodoo some 'arbiters' into believing that the CASA official, legal case is impeccably researched, totally impartial and; (saddest of all), righteous. Why are CASA so a-feared of prosecuting? Is it that the presenting of facts and circumstances, to a court of law and having to prove a case is just too hard? Or is just the potential humiliation of having your collective arses trounced on a trumped up brief too scary for the amassed ego's. Perjury and accountability do not make for easy minds, one element has to go.

Of course, there always is always the ICC; if we can ever find one who is not someone's "drinking mate", current squeeze or, a newly borne from the home stable. ICC? - it's been an industry standing joke ever since we lost Hart. What price to see/hear or read the Hansard testimony of that man eh?.

No, in NZ (and most civilised cultures) there would be both a desire and a need to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, the case for the prosecution, not to simply bamboozle or frighten administrative fossils and Muppets masquerading as 'arbitrator' to the 'authority'. You see in NZ system, the rules may easily be followed and are clearly defined, which takes away many of CASA's weapons. No rule broken= no case to answer.

If the CDPP cannot make a case for prosecution, then scampering off to the AAT should not be the primary or a secondary option except, perhaps for administrative misdemeanour. Who needs double jeopardy fenced by non accountability, guarded by 'the mystique'. Imagine the chaos if the coppers tried that on;– no case to answer, dismissed: OK, no problem, we'll get you at the AAT next week. Look closely at the Quadrio case (and that ain't over yet; not by a long shot).

But you could do us all a final favour; take some of your bloody 'mates' with you. There is nowhere for them to hide, not in the real world anyway. Because, it's as sure as eggs, soon as you leave the buildings' protection, someone will peach or squeal (hell they're queuing up even now); self protection, advancement and disloyalty is a prerequisite; but you know that. What then?, without the trappings of power and your small band of willing accomplices to protect and dissemble.

And you dare to call Butson disillusioned; what a hoot.

Toot toot.

Last edited by Kharon; 28th Apr 2014 at 09:31. Reason: Been a busy boy Sarcs, good job. Choc frog in post.
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 07:14
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Devil Oz vs NZ

Ah Kharon,

and I thought you were going to ask:

"McComic – "Also, the contravention of any New Zealand civil aviation rule is a criminal offence for which a person may be prosecuted".
if that is somehow different from Oz?
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Old 28th Apr 2014, 21:15
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Morning Niccolo. Ah-yup; I did play with that most sensible line of reasoning and argument. But, for some reason that one fatuous, arrogant, condescending, irrelevant line of manure made me cranky. No excuses, emotion, (read anger if you will) plain, pure and simple got the better of me and the construct, like Topsy, just grew. The condition of Australian aviation law is ludicrous, dangerous, dishonest and embarrassing enough without it being forced to endure further humiliation by the antics - etc. etc. Next paragraphs consigned to the tidy bin by act of sheer willpower. (Big smile).
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 01:51
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Kharon, twas a robust post that one of yours
Imagine if it had been the Gobbledock posting instead?? Then the complaints would have really rolled in.
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Old 29th Apr 2014, 23:14
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Right of reply-AMROBA three tiers & the Canuck vote plus PP opinion

In another robust, although rather less inflammatory.., response to the DAS (STBR) spin & bulldust monthly rant, I note that AMROBA have put out a Breaking News article:
Adapting Foreign Regulations - Can Do

Adopting International Aviation Standards

ICAO: Adapting or adopting regulations from other States
“To meet their requirements for regulations, Contracting States always have the option of adopting another Contracting State’s regulations. Even though the unilateral adoption of another Contracting State’s regulations may have some advantages, such as enhanced exchange of operating crew and aircraft, it should be done only after ensuring that the regulations have been updated to include all ICAO Standards.”

Why doesn’t government adapt the New Zealand system & then work towards a common Pacific Region aviation regulatory system? Shouldn’t be that hard, most Pacific Region countries have already adapted & implemented the NZ aviation rules.

However, our bureaucrats still say that it is not easy to adapt/adopt another country’s ‘rules’ because of our legal structure. Very misleading, only to a minor extent this is correct and it should never be used as the reason to over regulate this industry. The same excuse was made when CASR Part 21 was being developed but the Minister of the day overruled the regulator’s objection and CASR Part 21 was made based on FAR Part 21 with minor changes. It can be done if the attitude is right.

Australian Legal System
The Australian legal system is based on a fundamental belief in the rule of law, justice and the independence of the judiciary. Principles such as procedural fairness, judicial precedent and the separation of powers are fundamental to Australia’s legal system. The common law system, as developed in the United Kingdom, forms the basis of Australian jurisprudence.
Other countries that employ variations of the common law system are the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia and India.

Aviation Regulatory Development
For too long, Australia has had “unique” aviation requirements that have impeded safe growth of aviation in Australia. The consequence, we now have quiet skies, e.g. last Canberra flying school closed four years ago. Fuel companies pulling out GA fuelling facilities all over the country. Huge loss of flying schools and charter operators. It is a very sorry state of affairs.

The aviation regulatory change that commenced back in the late 1980s started the slowdown and all because the Civil Aviation Act does not require a regulatory system that ensures a sustainable and safe aviation industry. The changes since 2000 have added to the loss of charter and private operations. Changes and proposed changes since 2010 have also impeded growth in charter, small airlines and private aviation. The direction of regulatory development is, to some degree, dictated by the Civil Aviation Act.

The Minister’s Aviation Safety Regulation Review must be aware by all the submissions that the regulatory development over the last two decades has failed to provide a cost-effective, safe and sustainable system – the main reason is that we are made to use an unsuitable regulatory structure or government has applied an inappropriate structure.

Because of sec 98 of the Civil Aviation Act, Australia will always have a problem because “regulations” (standards) that are made by National Aviation Authorities in other countries are required to be made by the Governor-General – a totally flawed regulatory structure. New Zealand have rules made by the Minister, whereas the FAA and EASA make regulations just like CASA’s predecessors developed and promulgated Civil Aviation Orders.

This was a three tier system where there is an ‘enabling’ Act, Government regulations and CASA promulgated Civil Aviation Orders – it works. Canada also has a three tier system that is acceptable to both the FAA and EASA enabling Canada to have agreements in Europe, North America, etc.
Instead of following EASA or FAA, the structure should at least mirror image the Canadian model. The Canadian aviation model can fit under the current Act. It would reduce regulatory burden whilst encouraging growth and private aviation.

Even under the current Act provisions, regulatory development could be modelled on the Canadian regulatory system where the Regulation provides a “head-of-power” for the “standards” promulgated by Transport Canada Aviation.

Australian Regulatory Structure
Act: sec. 98 Regulations etc.
(1) The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act:
Sec. 9 CASA’s functions
(1) CASA has the function of conducting the safety regulation of the following, in accordance with this Act and the regulations:
by means that include the following:
(c) developing and promulgating appropriate, clear and concise aviation safety standards;

International Treaty Regulations/Rules Standards (ICAO SARPs)
Civil Aviation Act (CAA)
Sec. 98 CAA
Sec. 9(1)(c ) CAA
Enabling Act Regulatory “head-of-power” Requirements

“Note. — The term “regulations” is used in a generic sense to include but is not limited to instructions, rules, edits, directives, sets of laws, requirements, policies, and orders.”

Each contracting State undertakes to adopt measures to insure that every aircraft flying or manoeuvring within its territory and that every aircraft carrying its registration mark, wherever such aircraft may be, shall comply with the rules and regulations relating to the flight and manoeuver of aircraft there in force. Each contracting State undertakes to keep its own regulations in these respect uniform, to the greatest possible extent, with those established from time to time under this Convention.”

Further, the Article states that: “Each contracting State undertakes to insure the prosecution of all persons violating the regulations applicable.” &
“A better alternative would be to adapt the regulations to meet the aviation environment while still maintaining harmony with other States.”

The biggest singular problem confronting aviation regulatory development is the Civil Aviation Act. Though a “limited” regulatory development program can be initiated under the Act, the predilection with two tier regulatory system is totally flawed. A three tier system can be developed and implemented within two years with an extended compliance uptake.

The real test of being compliant with ICAO and harmonised with international aviation standards is by comparing the applied practices of operators, organisations and individuals in this country with their counterparts working under other aviation systems. The legislative structure adopted in different countries can be different but achieve the same outcome.
IMO this article, rather eloquently, meets the Skull ToR for robust debate...

“Do not be dismayed by our vocal but largely uninformed minority of critics; they are symptomatic of other ills in society. I prefer ‘facts’ when engaged in discussions; not hearsay and tautological rubbish that some others seem to regard as promising material.”

...and if you combine the AMROBA right of reply with this Proaviation article, you begin to see an IOS appetite for the fight (with historical facts included)...:
McCormick rebuffs Kiwi rules – Opinion

In his April “CASA Briefing” Director John McCormick has expounded on several points that have also been raised by numerous respondents to Australia’s Aviation Safety Regulation Review (ASRR), and which are currently under consideration by the Panel.

The Director’s opening shots are aimed at the popular belief that Australia would be (or would have been) better off adopting and adapting New Zealand’s aviation regulatory rule set from the start.
The language and subject matter of the briefing appear to reflect the style of CASA’s Office of Legal Services.

A widely experienced industry observer comments: “For a start I think it’s totally inappropriate that a government agency should be publicly arguing its position on the New Zealand rules issue while an enquiry commissioned by the Minister and covering that specific issue among others is still running. What he actually appears to be saying is, ‘we know there’s an enquiry going on, but we’ll go ahead and do it our way anyway,’ which is pretty well what happened with the department’s response to the senate committee’s unanimous recommendations in its Pel-Air/CASA/ATSB report.”

Clearly the Director disagrees with the NZ proposition:
There has been some comment in recent months suggesting a simple solution to updating the aviation safety regulations would be for Australia to adopt the current New Zealand rules. While this may sound attractive to some people there are real issues to be considered. Right now the New Zealand rules could not simply be adopted and enforced in their current form as Australian regulations. Many provisions in the New Zealand rules are not written in a manner consistent with Australian legislative drafting standards.

ProAviation has studied examples of the aviation regulations of several ICAO contracting states, and we have been unable to identify any rules that are written in “a manner consistent with Australian legislative drafting standards.”

In addition, some content is not consistent with the definitions, terminology and requirements set out in our Civil Aviation Act and Regulations. This means adopting the New Zealand rules could well require a broad reconsideration and revision of the Australian aviation safety legislation in its entirety. If we went in this direction we may need to amend the Civil Aviation Act and rework the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations that have already been made. This would be a long-term undertaking, involving several additional years of legislative redrafting and industry consultation.

Mr McCormick appears to overlook the fact that amending the Civil Aviation Act and reworking the CASRs was exactly what the whole project was about when it was first launched with clear, unambiguous guidelines and precise directives that complied with the founding principles established by (then) Minister John Anderson. However the assertion that sorting it out would take “several additional years of legislative redrafting and industry consultation” appears to assume the task would be assigned to those who spent all those years steering the program into its present botched state.

ProAviation has spoken to several people who were involved in the Program Advisory Panel processes over a lengthy period, and the following direct quotes from various PAP participants during the process, throw an entirely different light on the management of the regulatory reform program (RRP) from what is being put forward by CASA:

  • “Regarding the current status of the regulatory reform program, the best illustration I’m aware of is the truly hopeless flow of trashed maintenance regulations now [in 2010] being returned from the Attorney-General’s Department, which frankly might just as well have acknowledged (a named lawyer’s) authorship.”
  • “The PAP never “consulted interminably” as John McCormick and others seem to imply. While Leroy Keith was a member of the PAP, and to the extent that PAP decisions were usually unanimous, this meant that he, or anyone else for that matter, rarely (if ever,) exercised a veto. We did say, via the PAP Chair, that CASA needed to explain its decisions so well that they were accepted, and generally Leroy rose to this challenge.”
  • “As far back as the end of 1998 we had Parts 21 through 35 in place, in law, and we had Part 91 (General Operating and Flight Rules); Part 61 – licensing for pilots, Part 66 – licensing for engineers; and a lot of other rules more or less ready to go. However with a change in Director shortly thereafter (from Leroy Keith to Mick Toller), the departure of some of Leroy’s people and the appointment of a new RRP manager, all that went on the back burner because within CASA all knowledge and acknowledgement of the PAP era was extinguished – it just wasn’t referred to – it was like it never happened.”
  • “By about 2004 -2005, Part 91 was ready to go (to the attorney-General’s satisfaction and to the DOTARS’ satisfaction.) It was substantially the same as the one that we left in 1998. Just bear in mind that in 2005 Part 91 was ready to go into law at that point.”
  • “All these years later, the state of the maintenance regulations is that they are unusable and they will demolish all the remaining small maintenance organisations that haven’t already disappeared.”
  • “CASA’s ‘blame game’ variously attributes the 20-plus year fiasco to changes of management with each new director, and to “endless consultation.” While management changes certainly played a role, its claims regarding consultation are untrue. The Program Advisory Panel (PAP) was wound up by CASA in the late 1990s because the Minister didn’t extend it. It was only intended to be for two years anyway, because it was expected that by the end of two years the PAP would have had the job completed.”
It is also disturbing that Mr McCormick continues to imply that the rewrite of various rule sets is meant to give industry more time to understand them and prepare for their implementation. In our view this is an insult to the intelligence of an intelligent industry, of the general public, and of the parliamentarians.

The perception of industry in all affected sectors we have consulted is that the failure of the regulatory review program is due to the influence of various underqualified individuals and groups with their own motivations, personal or industrial, seeking to embed their philosophies in the regulations under which aviation must operate.

Another issue that needs to be resolved is the “criminalisation” of aviation law that is proposed, which has been likened to having the police write the motor traffic regulations. CASA has always insisted that this was “government policy.” A lengthy Freedom of Information process with CASA has failed to help us identify the person who made that decision.
However a response from the Attorney General’s Department as to the source of this philosophy makes it quite plain that despite the protestations of the (then) head CASA lawyer, that initiative was solely a CASA decision:
“The Attorney-General’s Department would like to provide the following points of clarification:
“The new draft maintenance suite of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations were drafted by the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing on instruction from CASA.
“The document ‘A Guide to Framing Commonwealth Offences, Civil Penalties and Enforcement Powers’ is a guide only. The decision as to whether conduct needs to be proscribed through the application of criminal penalties is a decision for CASA having regard to the principles in the Guide.”

It is arguable that the most expeditious and effective way out of the chaos would be to trace back in the history of regulatory development to the point where it all started to go wrong, re-adopt the guiding principles under which the RRP and the PAP were launched, enshrine those principles in the program’s marching orders, re-engage with the industry in a PAP format, and identify and eliminate enemies of the concept of genuine consultation.

That process might well demonstrate that a lot of the necessary work has already been done.
All the above two articles are missing is the Dear John,
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Old 30th Apr 2014, 09:14
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Very much - tongue in cheek. (a shameless Bump).

004 # 1884 – "Imagine if it had been the Gobbledock posting instead??"
Don't fret. The Gobbledock (GD) only exists to serve the cause. Now, safely returned from his sojourn as 'secret agent' (the IOS secret weapon) in Montreal and other 'interesting' places he is quite happy, taking a break at house boat park. Currently; pandering to the needs of his beloved elephant. He did however manage to track the WLR Secretariat on their mind boggling tour of foreign parts. To say their surprise at the levels of 'operational' ease, communication, mutual trust, the spirit of willing cooperation and the tangible (measurable) safety outcomes, easily achieved between industry and regulator, in meetings, was 'palpable', is an understatement.

Anyway, the BBQ is hot and (thank the gods) MKR is finished so here on the houseboat, all is well. Elephants fed, dogs and horses settling in for yet another quiet-'ish' evening of beer, BBQ and looking at a booking sheet which is; I must say, looking quite healthy. But company policy firmly bars wabbits for transport – no discussion. Gas chamber and onto the rhubarb patch; that's our firm, long standing policy (it ain't legal of course, but we do have some influence).

GD and Tidy Bin (laden with angst) simply failed to communicate; it happens even in the most pedantic of cockpits. GD is smiling, waving and; at least in spirit, is very much a part of PPRuNe (Bless it).

So, lest we have the thread locked, on free association grounds – that's it. Selah, Toot toot and good night. Endit........Jeez, those snags smell good.

Last edited by Kharon; 5th May 2014 at 20:16. Reason: GD forever.
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Old 3rd May 2014, 00:03
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Budgets, buckets & Estimates??

The QONs from last Senate RRAT Estimates were due to be answered by the 17th April, no surprises that date passed without any AQONs being listed...

What was surprising was the release of the QONs index only came out yesterday... However after reading some of the QONs perhaps there is a reason for the, usually efficient, committee Secretariat delaying the index... RRAT QoNs index 24/02/14

So a sampling of QONs of interest in what is going to be a pivotal month in the life & times of an ailing Oz aviation industry...

On John O'Brien CVD AAT matter (my bold):
Senator FAWCETT: I can give you the letter afterwards. I have it sitting right here in front of me from your organisation dated 24 January doing exactly that. I will put it to you that with due respect this is not moving forward, despite the evidence that you gave here at estimates in November that CASA had no agenda or no plans to wind back the gains of the Denison case. This is, in fact, a very deliberate effort to adopt a standard which might medically ascertain that somebody does have a colour vision deficiency, but clearly as evidenced by multiple pilots that have flown for over two decades, it is not an accurate or effective measure of their ability to safely operate an aircraft. This is going backwards and not, in fact, forwards.
Mr McCormick: As I said, what has happened between November when I was here and that letter, this is the first that I know of it. We were, of course, expecting to be in the AAT to respond to a Mr O'Brien in February 2012, however, those proceedings are currently not listed for hearing as the previous hearing to commence on 31 March was vacated at the applicant's request. So we have not had the opportunity to test these things. As I said, that is news to me. I will take it on notice and find out what we have been doing.

Senator FAWCETT: If you want to come back to experts, your organisation's previous experts, Ladel, Brock, Wilkins and others, were very proactive in recognising that practical tests were a viable alternative and, in fact, that many people with a CVD were able to fly. Their judgment has proven correct by virtue of the incident-free 20 years of flying. Is it the case that a personality has changed, not the science and not the safety? A personality has changed and now CASA's approach to this issue is changing?
Mr McCormick: I am not aware of any changes around our approach to this. As I said, that letter is news to me. I am not across everything that leaves the building, particularly medical matters where I normally do not involve myself. We will take it on notice and I will get you an answer about what has transpired.

CASR Part 67.150 (6):
(6) A person must demonstrate that he or she meets the criterion in item 1.39 of table 67.150 by: (a) in daylight, or artificial light of similar luminosity, readily identifying a series of pseudo-isochromatic plates of the Ishihara 24-plate type, making no more than 2 errors; or
(b) for somebody who makes more than 2 errors in a test mentioned in paragraph (a), readily identifying aviation coloured lights displayed by means of a Farnsworth colour-perception lantern, making:
(i) no errors on 1 run of 9 pairs of lights; or
(ii) no more than 2 errors on a sequence of 2 runs of 9 pairs of lights; or
(c) for somebody who does not satisfy paragraph (a) or (b), correctly identifying all relevant coloured lights in a test, determined by CASA, that simulates an operational situation.

Crtierion table:

Colour perception
Can readily distinguish the colours that need to be distinguished for the safe exercise of privileges, or performance of duties, under the relevant licence

Note: For how to demonstrate this, see subregulation 67.150 (6).
On A380 type ratings & training buckets:
Senator FAWCETT: How many people do you have endorsed on the A380?
Mr McCormick: We have at least one, but stand by. It may only be two. We will take that on notice, if we could.
Senator FAWCETT: Sure, if you could give us a list of their names that would be great.
Mr McCormick: We will.
Love this bit.. (my bold):
Mr Jordan: In response to your question, for our flight training budget for the previous financial year, we actually spent $2.3 million.
Senator XENOPHON: How many personnel within CASA was that spent for?
Mr Jordan: I do not have that information with me. I would have to take that on notice. But overall, the bucket of money we spent was $2.3 million, purely for our technical staff.
Senator XENOPHON: Does that mean that Mr Jordan's answer, that $2.3 million bucket of money for flight training for CASA, there might be some other funds available for flight training of CASA personnel?
Mr Jordan: Not necessarily flying training; there are other training monies available; for example, myself, as an accountant, to attend a training course. So there is more money than the $2.3 million.
Senator XENOPHON: I am more—
Mr McCormick: You are talking more about the flying side of things.
Senator XENOPHON: Yes.
Mr Jordan: So the $2.3 million is purely for flying.
Senator XENOPHON: So, it is not a requirement of your job to have an endorsement on an A380 or anything like that to be CFO?
Mr Jordan: No.
Senator XENOPHON: No.
Mr McCormick: We will give you a detailed breakdown on notice because I am not sure of all the facts.
Senator XENOPHON: That is fine.

Hmm...well that would be 2.3 million that presumably came out of the 89.9 million bucket...maybe come the next estimates we will have traced some more bucket money...

Much more to follow Sarcs...

Addendum to CVD matter

From the ICAO annex 1... An applicant obtaining a satisfactory result as prescribed by the Licensing Authority shall be assessed as fit. An applicant failing to obtain a satisfactory result in such a test shall be assessed as unfit unless able to readily distinguish the colours used in air navigation and correctly identify aviation coloured lights. Applicants who fail to meet these criteria shall be assessed as unfit except for Class 2 assessment with the following restriction: valid daytime only.

Note.— Guidance on suitable methods of assessing colour vision is contained in the Manual of Civil Aviation Medicine (Doc 8984). can be seen that Part 67.150 (above) pretty well matches the ICAO medical requirements for CVD, however as we all know we have actually been operating with a difference to for twenty odd years. So it would be natural to assume that this 'difference' should have been part of the, recently amended, mammoth list of notified differences to ICAO SARPs (i.e. AIP GEN 1.7) However if we refer to the AIP H18/14 reference for paragraph

"...Para Candidates for an air traffic controller licence who fail an Ishihara 24-plate test are, in practice, not employed by Australia’s ATS provider..."

...we can see that nothing has changed from the H12/11 version of the GEN 1.7...

To quote a much maligned former independent pollie..."Please explain!"

ps There is a DJ link in all this too (i.e. Wodger's wodgering)...MTF!

Last edited by Sarcs; 6th May 2014 at 09:13.
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Old 3rd May 2014, 05:13
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H18 and the Index of coincidence?

Sarcs # 1887 "However after reading some of the QONs perhaps there is a reason for the, usually efficient, committee Secretariat delaying the index".
The late release of the QON index, for several reasons makes it a remarkably interesting document when H18 is considered. Now I know you'll all moan and groan as each one is a bloody tedious read, but I have (yawn) ploughed my way through the pertinent sections (yawn) and saved you the reading of it (yawn) some of the potted highlights as follows:-

As H18/14 (ICAO differences) has only just been very quietly (stealthily even) released before the delayed Index; and, as Sarcs mentions the medical differences section combined with searching QON (Fawcett) particularly as related to CVD is of interest. Anyway you care to read it, the 'personality' of the driving, urgent need for ICAO compliance in this one small area; irrespective of science or safety outcomes has had a big say in the drafting of the ICAO difference. Perhaps Voodoo is de rigueur these days. The answers to the Fawcett QON will be 'interesting'.

The whole feel of the 'medical' issues is that of Rafferty's rules, of signed confessions and one mans word against that of 'expert' opinion. Lets hope the opportunity to delve deeply into exactly WTF is Avmed playing at eventuates, before confession of an afternoon nap or a pricking in your thumbs becomes lay evidence to ground a fleet.

Fawcett could do worse than have a look at the treatment AMSA received and do the same to CASA. Having a passing interest in matters nautical; I had a quick squiz at the QON to AMSA. Oh dear; someone has been monkeying with their 'Orders' and the troops are definitely not happy. Didn't count them, but looked like about 60 seriously well researched questions, asked by a very well briefed Senator, who didn't seem to think much of the changes. All the questions are written and I would hate to be the one burning the midnight oil trying to unravel the mess. Perhaps we could do the same thing with the CASA 'new' regulations; force then to justify the things, challenge every sentence and make 'em fix 'em up. Poor old AMSA legal eh?.

Sarcs –" PS. There is a DJ link in all this too (i.e. Wodger's wodgering)...MTF".
You're getting too good at this, had me going for a while, more bloody reading. Good catch though; if DJ chooses to use it; also explains the indecent haste to get that Part 61 crock up and running.

To explain; DJ (Pel Air swimming team fame) has now twice passed all the ATPL subjects and meets the qualifiers to hold and exercise a command >5700 Kgs. Loosely described, CASA are insisting on a flight test, with their special 'examiners' and offer no guidance as to where the pass/fail benchmark is. DJ has quite naturally declined the kind offer, sighting the expense of hiring an undefined but 'suitable' aircraft, covering the expenses and generally paying for a 'chop' as opposed to an un-required (by law) 'check' flight. This administrative embuggerance (cheers Sunny) is perpetrated despite the latest ICAO difference stating categorically that an ATPL flight test is not required; thus making the DJ flight test a 'unique' Australian safety milestone. Bloody amazing.

ICAO Annex 1- Skill. Notified difference....

Para There is no requirement that applicants for an ATPL(A) demonstrate their ability to perform as pilot-in-command of a multi-engine aeroplane required to be operated with a co-pilot.

Para Australian legislation does not specify demonstrated ability
Toot toot.

Last edited by Kharon; 3rd May 2014 at 05:23. Reason: No more reading - done my poor old wooden head in it has.
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