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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

Old 3rd Jun 2013, 01:00
  #1981 (permalink)  
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Sunny- nice paraphrase of this post:

Yep great report with some very relevant recommendations. ATSB
and to a lessor extent CASA come out looking dodgy. Do you know what happens now? The government has 3 months to reply. That reply is drafted by the same agencies that the report critisizes, three months from now the current government is in caretaker mode then there is an election. Assuming a new government they take a few months to get into the groove of being in power, then its Christmas the summer holidays and now its February

Be careful though with such thoughts lest someone:
reveals himself as a troll by dissimulation about the impact of the report

Just sayin'

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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 04:44
  #1982 (permalink)  
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Robo outstanding safety issues (Part I)??

Important note: Please don't read this post as a helicopter accident investigation, it's not. Read it as continuing on from the Senator X and Fawcett probes into the quality of service, grudgingly spared to similar accidents such as Canely Vale and the Air North Brasília. It also highlights the ineffectiveness of bureau highlighted ‘Safety Issues’in reports vs the direct effect of bureau issued ‘Safety Recommendations’ (may they RIP). The lack of a 'closed loop' system for ensuring preventable accidents are not repeated is easily determined from the long-term history of repetitive incidents/accidents, which have resulted in fatalities.

From Hansard 29/05/13:
Senator XENOPHON: But weren't there several earlier accidents involving post-crash fires with R44s before the manufacturer issued their service bulletin in 2003, 2006 and 2008?

Mr Dolan: There had been a number of post-crash fires associated with R44 helicopters. In the vast majority of those cases they represented high-energy impacts, which is to say accidents that were unlikely to have been survivable and which would have led to a post-crash fire in almost any helicopter.

Senator XENOPHON: So you are saying that the retrofitting would not have made any difference?

Mr Dolan: That would be our general assessment.

Senator XENOPHON: Take it on notice, because I have a few other matters to raise. You are saying that, from a causation point of view, even retrofitting the helicopters with that protective bladder, it still would have been a fatal accident?

Mr Dolan: On the facts that were available to us. We are not aware of any previous to Cessnock. I do not think we are aware of any of the low-energy collisions leading to that sort of thing. There were, as you say, a number of high-energy collisions that would have led to a ruptured fuel tank in any helicopter and therefore a great likelihood of a post-crash fire. Those are the sorts of accidents that generally are not survivable.

Senator XENOPHON: If you would not mind taking that on notice, even if it is just referring us to what you consider relevant, that would be very helpful.
Here are the links for the 2003, 2006, 2008 R44 accidents that involved post impact fires:




With the possible exception of the 2003 accident there would appear to be general debate on whether these accidents could be classified as high-energy impact as Beaker generalises them to be.

Its kind of academic really and maybe it’s just another Beaker throw away line but what is the definition of a high-energy impact?

From the Bungles report on page 7 here is a couple of excerpts:
Damage to the engine firewall and skids showed that the helicopter impacted the
ground generally upright, in a right skid-low attitude and with high vertical
Then there is this:
The absence of surface or vegetation disturbance in the vicinity of the wreckage indicated little or no forward speed at impact. Fire damage allowed the helicopter to subside onto its right side.
And there is also further mention on page 10 under (the very brief) ‘Medical and pathological information’The post-mortem examinations for all occupants of the helicopter described varying degrees of injuries consistent with the high vertical velocity impact. All sustained extensive thermal injury.”

There is also this interesting observation… “The pilot’s post-mortem report indicated that he was found ‘...a slight distance from the damaged aircraft’…. ”

So there was high vertical velocity but little or no fwd velocity, however there is also possible evidence (not conclusive I know) that the pilot (at least) survived the initial impact but may have received fatal injuries from the post impact fire!

Yet there is nowhere in that report, or indeed the 2006 and 2003 reports, that the post impact fire survivability issues were ever explored in the context of the ATSB investigations.

So Beaker’s generalised comment…. There were, as you say, a number of high-energy collisions that would have led to a ruptured fuel tank in any helicopter and therefore a great likelihood of a post-crash fire….” in my personal opinion definitely needs exploring and the Senators need applauding for exploring these still outstanding safety issue??

Kind of cold comfort for the victims families like the Cousin’s in the Bungle Bungle’s accident.
Well we had our inquest which was an absolute joke and embarrassment for the fact that so many documents were not produced / lost / created etc and no one did a thing about it. Our Coroner Ms Fricker left a lot to be desired and the fact that in the 2 years 7 months not one person in the court room excluding us had even visited the accident site or gone out to witness just what happens out there. We came away just blown away with the fact that so many things were dismissed/ allowed/undisclosed and were allowed to be.

That smell of money I think well and truly came into play!!!

I personally lost all respect for our government representatives, law, safety authorities after sitting in that court room for 5 days and listened to excuses on their behalf...instead of reasons to rectify and was horrified after the evidence given that it was declared and accident.

As I said in court this was an Accident waiting to happen and will occur again!! The coroner in her report even noted the number of helicopter accidents just since the inquest - approx 4 month....and not one recommendation was handed down. She used the words like Breached and Failed to comply in her report and yet not one recommendation.”
Carolyn Cousins. (mother of Jessica Cousins) Slingair Robinson 44 Bungle Bungles 14 September 2008 4 fatalities
Note: I have made thisRobo outstanding safety issues (Part I)” because there is more, much more ‘not satisfactorily addressed’ safety issues that have been brought to my attention in reviewing the R44 accidents…..

Hint: Look at the safety issues/actions sections of the three linked reports and also refer to Robo’s Safety Notices SN-10, SN-24 and SN-34; here is the ‘link’. Also refer to 'FAA SFAR 73-2'.

There is also this ATSB report for an 'R22 fatal crash' on the Gold Coast, which is also relevant.

To borrow from the ‘Kelpie’ (I see he is back: Jetstar Pilot Cadet Program!’) …..more to follow!
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 09:17
  #1983 (permalink)  
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Caretaker mode

sunfish, Be aware that CASA and ATSB are playing for time.
Election 14th September - not sure when caretaker mode would start. A number of pollies have stated in press articles it already has.

I think Dolan stated in estimates 24 July was when re opening the inquiry was to be reviewed. Couple of delays for further info and into caretaker mode.

It is very clear they do not want the inquiry re opened.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 11:18
  #1984 (permalink)  
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The writs are issued on 12 August.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 14:20
  #1985 (permalink)  
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Angry ICAO Approach indeed

QUOTE "Mr Boyd: We have replied to the association to say that we are taking the ICAO approach, and that is what we have taken all the way through this development of the fatigue regulations."


Last edited by kimwestt; 4th Jun 2013 at 08:24.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 16:53
  #1986 (permalink)  
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The writs are issued on 12 August.
24 July to 12 August. That is 3 weeks to dodge re opening the accident investigation before caught by caretaker mode.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 21:28
  #1987 (permalink)  
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He who hesitates. etc.

Again, just thinking out loud here; but caretaker mode or not I wonder if Dolan is not taking an unacceptable risk, prevaricating over the matter. IF the other team win the election and someone like Fawcett gets hold of matters aeronautical, will the fall out be worse?. Should Dolan grasp the nettle now, while he retains some control of the process by 'voluntarily reopening the 'investigation'. Then he can truthfully say to whomever is his new master, "we have progressed, here is a revised interim report and a modified version of our investigating protocol". He has all the toys to do the job, so why bugger about delaying. This is not going to just disappear on some arbitrary date. If he sits on his hands the new master may just call in a professional outfit and bring on an independent audit of the whole shemozzle. Which would be no fun for anyone.

Common sense says get on with it, but sadly, having watched and listened to this man in the committee room, I doubt he has the humility or honesty required to complete the task.

Shame really, all things considered.

Last edited by Kharon; 3rd Jun 2013 at 21:31.
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Old 3rd Jun 2013, 22:41
  #1988 (permalink)  
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Should Dolan grasp the nettle now, while he retains some control of the process...
Fair comment, but I think it's safe to say that Dolan is no longer effectively in control, and is simply doing as he's being told. Which is, as you describe, to buggerise around and prevaricate about the matter until it's too late to do anything effective before caretaker mode sets in and shuts down everything.

I reckon Cactusjack is correct, and that Dolan's days are numbered. He's 'damned if he does and damned if he doesn't', so he's really got nothing more to lose by continuing with the idiotic delay tactics that he's now engaging in.

We can only hope that the new government will ensure that as one of its first acts, it makes sure that there is a clean sweep of the management 'clowns' presently in position at the ATSB so that it has a chance to regain its former (BASI) reputation.

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Old 4th Jun 2013, 00:01
  #1989 (permalink)  
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Sorry boys, I flubbed it a bit saying Dolan. I what I really meant was the "ATSB" (woolly thinking). I just meant to say that the 'problem' exists and must be dealt with. Much as in any operation where a 'real' live safety issue presents, you can't just sit on your arse and wait for a 'change' of whatever. I guess with 20/20 what I was getting at is should another event, such as the Brasilia, Canley Vale, Norfolk or any of the many other badly analysed events reoccur, "we" are going to be in a world of hurt. Have a look at the Robbo case history. The advice needed to prevent a reoccurrence still is not out there. Sure, we can try to sort it out, but without solid data, we are just making it up; and, if push comes to shove, it's anyone's guess what would be the repercussions of an inquiry into a similar accident should the home made 'fix' be judged wrong.

For my two bob's worth, the industry and courts rely heavily on the probity and quality of an ATSB report. Reported issues, (such as life jacket questions) need, I believe, to addressed swiftly. Imagine the fuss if some unfortunate drowns in the same situation. To do a Sunny, and put it another way, the safety case will not improve with time like a good claret. We need reliable answers to questions now, not at some point in the future. 24/7 operations - there is no time to waste on rhetoric and certainly not for political tap dancing at glacial speed.

Aye well; Serves me right for thinking out loud, before second coffee. Mea culpa.

Last edited by Kharon; 4th Jun 2013 at 00:02.
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 12:29
  #1990 (permalink)  
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The number of people who actually complain and have something that they actually bring to us is very small.
I hear it time and time again from folks in the industry when dealing with CASA.

"just give them want they want so I can on with my job"
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 14:49
  #1991 (permalink)  

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Mr Mrdak, at least in my experience, is a very competent career Public Servant with a depth of experience in the Transport portfolios through Labour and Liberal Governments.

I suspect he is one of the old school, which in my view is a plus not a negative in the sense that he actually works for the public interest.
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 16:37
  #1992 (permalink)  
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I suspect he is one of the old school, which in my view is a plus not a negative in the sense that he actually works for the public interest.
Jeeeze!!!, what a blast from the past, Gaunty's back, still got the same old, same old rose coloured glasses.

Yep, Mr. M did a great job in the public interest on airports, particularly the secondary airports --- that is why those of us who are left are so ecstatically happy about the airports and aerodromes in Australia, that's why we're all 100% in support of what Mr. M did in allowing local councils to abrogate their duties under the ALOP contracts.

Gary, go have a look at the public records, to see who did what to whom, and where Mr. M has fitted into the system in the last 15 years.

Remember the problems at Jandakot, until you and your group got Mark Vaile to actually enforce the law and the terms of the airport lease.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 21:46
  #1993 (permalink)  
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Leadie, bravo bravo! Well put sir, you are 100% correct

And so it would seem the politicians cheer squad has arrived
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 21:53
  #1994 (permalink)  
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From Barrier thread!

Serious shot across the bow, love it! :
Mr ENTSCH (Leichhardt—Chief Opposition Whip)(21:30): I rise tonight to outline a very serious issue —the seemingly corrupt and anticommercial conduct of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority office in Cairns, which appears to hide in the shadows and cites 'safety' as a reason to advance personal vendettas against local aviation operators. Numerous operators in Cairns have been subjected to incompetence, threats and demands from individuals who make decisions outside of CASA's authority. Barrier Aviation is the most recent victim, but I know of at least three other operators who have been irreparably damaged by the gestapo tactics of a few individuals, namely, Phil Lister, Mark Ayrey and Gerard Campbell, and with the Director of CASA himself turning a blind eye.

The complaints include: totally incorrect interpretations of regulations, requiring operators to jump through unnecessary hoops at the inspectors' commands; the inexperience of inspectors, not knowing how to interpret regulations or legislation; inspectors entering aircraft unauthorised and unsupervised and interfering with master control switches; inspectors threatening regulatory action if operators do not do as they are told even when the inspectors are wrong; formal complaints being buried and never responded to.

It is common knowledge within the aviation industry that, if CASA want you shut down, they simply bury you with regulations and wear you down with costs until you go broke. In Cairns the personal vendetta against David Kilin, an industry stalwart of almost 40 years, has led to the closure of his life's work.

It started back in 2011 when a complaint was made by Barrier to the Industry Complaints Commissioner. This complaint implicated a number of individuals within CASA Cairns who had displayed incompetent, unethical and irresponsible conduct towards Barrier. In a blatant conflict of interest, the main subject of the complaint, Mr Phil Lister, remained as an inspector of Barrier Aviation and associated companies and, incredibly, received a promotion. Despite requests, CASA's office refused to assign Barrier to another CASA office. Meanwhile, the complaint was never responded to and, in retaliation, CASA spent almost 18 months setting Barrier Aviation up. This included a complaint that was lodged against Barrier by a disgruntled ex-employee, who then fled back to his home country of New Zealand, resulting in the cancellation of Barrier's AOC.

Barrier has serious concerns with CASA Cairns's procedures, including the total lack of collaboration between CASA and the industry, unilateral decisionmaking, reversal of the onus of proof and the lack of procedural fairness and rights of appeal. At no time did CASA try to work with the operator to address their concerns. It was simply a witch-hunt to seek revenge on David Kilin. CASA has lied about evidence and padded their investigation to make Barrier into an
unsafe operator despite Barrier previously excelling in this area.

What is also unbelievable is the abuse of process. Six months after Barrier was forced to shut its doors, they still have not been able to test a single allegation in court—and at the cost of $28,000 per day in lost revenue. And to top it off, CASA has sent press release after press release with statements that have never been tested.

Around 50 people have lost their jobs, investors have lost millions of dollars, and David Kilin has lost his life's work. And even now, CASA is not content with just burying Barrier, they want to dance on the grave as well. I was disgusted to learn that CASA Cairns has been speaking to potential purchasers of Barrier aircraft, threatening that they will not approve their airworthiness.

Since Barrier's very public demise, I have had numerous calls from right across the country from people telling me that CASA Cairns has a history of destroying small businesses. The most troubling thing is that, while these callers are keen to express a huge amount of sympathy for Barrier, they are too scared to speak publicly. This industry urgently needs an independent body and rights mechanisms to hold CASA Cairns accountable for their own inadequacies and conduct. After 14 September, I will be calling for a full inquiry. I will not let Barrier be destroyed without holding those individuals who are directly responsible for this sordid business accountable for their actions.
Top stuff Wazza!

Last edited by Sarcs; 5th Jun 2013 at 02:39.
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 22:22
  #1995 (permalink)  
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Well done Mr Entsch. A perfect case study for why CAsA needs overhauling. Long term employees known for their 'activities' yet in return for these actions over many years they have been dutifully rewarded with promotions. One of these gentlemen is now spreading his message further throughout CAsA whilst serving in senior role in Brisbane.

Creampuff, I share your cynicism as to whether anything will come of Mr Entsch robust desire to see justice upheld, but you have to give credit to anybody who spends time and energy fighting an axis of evil on behalf of his constituents?
In general I wouldn't give 98% of politicians the sweat of my scrotum (and that includes all the bottom dwellers who attach themselves to politicians like a sucker fish to its host), however people like Entsch and a number of independents are at least proving their worth, earning their keep and doing what they are paid to do - to represent the people.

This weeks chocolate frog award goes to Warren Entsch. He now goes into the draw for this months grand prize of two business class tickets to Montreal. However I do fear that somewhere within the bowels of CAsA there will be a voodoo doll of Mr Entsch with many pins in it!

Last edited by 004wercras; 4th Jun 2013 at 22:25.
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Old 4th Jun 2013, 22:39
  #1996 (permalink)  
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Mr Entsch is big on words and short on action. I’ve heard it all before from him. Lots of huffing and puffing, but never any substantial action.

Let’s see how Mr Entsch votes and acts when back in government.

CASA’s power to suspend and cancel certificates could have been taken away at the stroke a parliamentary pen, a thousand times over by successive governments (of some of which Mr Entsch was a part and likely to be a part, come September).

My prediction: At most, the CASA Board will be removed and a new CEO appointed, justified on the same specious grounds that the Board was reinstated and the current CEO appointed.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 03:15
  #1997 (permalink)  
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Entsch adjournment speech!

Wazza's speech almost follows verbatim his previous media release back on the '19th of March' and also covered by 'Paul Phelan'.

Part of one of the comments from the PP article more than summarises the past and current status quo within the walls of Fort Fumble :
There is no judicial process, no appeal, they have used delay as a deadly weapon. Staff are sacked, finance companies take back their aircraft and another good Australian General Aviation company is gone forever. Is it any wonder that the oil companies are de-commissioning refueling points all over Australia? General Aviation is dying because governments have allowed CASA to run amock with the millions of taxpayer funds. Waste, incompetence and dysfunction are the hallmarks of CASA, a federal body out of control.
Maybe Creamy is right about Wazza but I do find it interesting that he has waited this long to introduce the matter to the parliament when the original media release came out in a sitting week?

Then we have the enquiry report which Senator Heffernan emphasised was apolitical..."It weighed heavily on the minds of all members of the committee—and you will note it was a unanimous report—that we address the issues raised in the way we have. We absolutely wanted to be open and honest in that report and we did not want to have even the slightest prospect that in future there could be a calamity which would come back to haunt our conscience...."

And we had several commitments throughout the day in Senate Estimates from Mr Mrdak, example:
Mr Mrdak: We already have officers in the department—and clearly me and senior officers—who have carefully read the report now. I have had discussions with my senior officers. We envisage being in a position to provide some initial advice to the minister, I expect, certainly within the next week to 10 days in relation to it. We have been through the process of the budget and now estimates. I envisage having conversations with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority CEO and the head of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau in the coming days to ascertain their views, to enable me to provide a comprehensive view to the minister, I would hope by the end of next week.
And we also had Senator Edwards putting Mrdak and by default the Minister on notice:
Senator EDWARDS: When do you think the department will be responding to the Senate report?
Mr Mrdak: I undertook this morning to get some advice to the minister within the next week in relation to the initial piece of advice. That is the approach. I cannot comment on when the government will respond to the report, but I think, as I acknowledged to the committee this morning, the minister certainly understands the urgency of responding to the report.
Senator EDWARDS: Aviation safety and its culture cannot wait. Thanks.
The end of the week is fast approaching...maybe the government response will be inadequate and largely discussed behind closed doors but there is definitely more to follow!
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 03:30
  #1998 (permalink)  

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Mike was 100% supportive AND ensured, with his impramtur, we got access to the people we needed to get there.

Yes they were asleep at the wheel at the time. But awakened pretty quick. No consolation, but at least they didn't get bored to death or back to sleep as some are wont to achieve.

BTW I and most of us have achieved more by wearing my rose colored glasses than otherwise. It doesnt get you noticed and on soapboxes but it does get things done. Being part of the solution rather part of the problem is much more satisfying.

There you go, an opportunity to have a rant. Off you go then.
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 05:21
  #1999 (permalink)  
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Phelan and terms of reference!

Paul Phelan has got wind of Wozzas speech, see here 'Warren Entsch challenges CASA'.

Phelan also follows up with an article called 'Has anything changed'? One look at the 'Executive Summary' of the 13 year old document it would appear to be a valid question....

  1. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s handling of its enforcement responsibilities has already seriously degraded Australia’s air safety climate by generating mounting mutual distrust and antipathy between industry and regulator. There is now more confrontation, and less mutual respect and cooperation, than has ever existed between the regulatory body and an industry which now considers itself to be under siege from its own regulator.
  2. Every certificate holder is continually faced with the threat that it can be shut down almost at the whim of a single CASA decision maker through the continued exploitation of apparently unintended provisions of the Civil Aviation Act and Regulations – some would describe these as loopholes:
  3. The confrontation has been worsened by gross and growing deficiencies in the delivery of regulatory services, which shackle the conduct of aviation businesses; and the fear that the apparent abuse of regulatory processes by CASA can shut them down immediately without recourse to due process.
  4. At the centre of these problems appears to be the absence of effective management, training, defined and uniform policy, guidance, and prioritisation.
  5. This has resulted in an appalling degradation of morale amongst operators, industry employees, and the diminishing number of individuals within CASA who still subscribe to the principles of fairness, due process, and the rule of law.
  6. CASA has apparently elected to circumvent normal and available legal avenues, due process, natural justice and procedural fairness in pursuit of the policy goal of reducing the number of air operator certificate holders. This is demonstrated by the application and the apparent abuse of administrative procedures available to it under the Act, as an alternative to available remedies offered by proper investigation, legal process, and prosecution.
  7. CASA now says it intends to apply identical treatment to major air carriers, in order to be seen to be equitable in its application of what it perceives to be its regulatory functions. This will naturally have even more serious implications for Australia’s international reputation, with a demonstrably negative impact on the industry’s safety performance and image.
  8. Declining to acknowledge the impropriety of its actions, CASA’s Office of Legal Counsel makes it clear that while Government allows it, CASA will continue to pursue its goals through the application of administrative decisions rather than through proper and available legal channels and the legal processes by which other regulatory bodies in Australia are bound.
  9. This has resulted, in an unacceptable number of cases, of air operators (and significant employers) being forced out of business by the weight of their financial burdens, without CASA’s allegations against them ever having faced the scrutiny of a court or without according the victim the opportunity to face and cross-examine its accusers.
  10. CASA is clearly acting contrary to legal advice it obtained from the Attorney General’s department which states that “there is a high risk of liability for defamation under current legislation.” CASA is now apparently defaming certificate holders by publishing unsubstantiated allegations against them. Its Office of Legal Counsel has asserted that he believes it has a government mandate to continue with this course of action.
  11. The above tactics are apparently necessary because CASA, which has a dismal record in the investigation and prosecution of alleged rule breaking, has a fear that the use of normal legal processes would expose the inadequacy of its rule structure, and its investigation and surveillance procedures.
My bet is that most on here, and despite the DAS's assurances otherwise, would already know the answer to that question???
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Old 5th Jun 2013, 05:36
  #2000 (permalink)  
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But awakened pretty quick. No consolation, but at least they didn't get bored to death or back to sleep as some are wont to achieve.
But they went back to sleep rather quickly, didn't they? It might even be said that "certain people" were very brave, when it came to putting a small South Africa group back in their box, but were somewhat less enthusiastic about taking on the likes of CBA and Macquarie Bank, and some large Australian public companies.

As for the rest of your nonsense, I will leave it up to others to judge who has achieved what for the industry as a whole, as opposed to self-interested "success".

Apart from the single issue of Jandakot, remind me again, where have you been part of the solution, and not part of the problem??

The cross examination of Mr. M will be fascinating, when the AACC matter gets into the courtroom.

Tootle pip!!

Last edited by LeadSled; 5th Jun 2013 at 05:38.
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