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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

Old 8th Jun 2013, 00:24
  #2021 (permalink)  
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I had it from a fairly reliable refuelling source that "Defo" is a very hard argument to win, particularly when professional privilege is dragged into the mix.
You mean qualified privilege, not professional privilege.

Prospects of success: almost nil.
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Old 8th Jun 2013, 00:51
  #2022 (permalink)  
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I would be interested to know where the defamation took place. Anything said in the Senate Inquiry is subject to parliamentary privilege and the ATSB report can't be used as evidence in a court of law. That only leaves media outlets and I don't recall anything defamatory being said on ACA or TT!

If Mr Entsch is serious about exposing corrupt practices then he should be calling for a Royal Commission-something that has a bit more clout to it.
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Old 8th Jun 2013, 14:50
  #2023 (permalink)  
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Connecting dots?

Sarcs, some very good points. Senator Xenophon and Co, Warren Entsch et al are chipping away to the best of their ability.
Perhaps the two gentlemen have a robust understanding of ANZ's encounter with Mt Erebus? By all accounts the Erebus accident and Pel Air's ditching are chalk and cheese. However it becomes very very similar when you look at the actions of the key power brokers.

New Zealand (Erebus);

• The CAA was incompetent and tried to cover up.
• The Government of the day was incompetent, crooked and tried to cover up.
• The accident investigator of the day was incompetent and tried to cover up.
• The then Prime Minister was not interested in truth or justice.
• All blamed the pilots.

Australia (Norfolk);
• The CAsA has been incompetent and it has been alleged during the inquiry, tried to cover up.
• Our Government has been incompetent and allowed monumental travesty of justice to occur. Spin, lies and deceit.
• The ATSBeaker has tried to spin, deflect, has proven incompetent, conducted a woeful investigation and is also lead by an incompetent leader.
• Our Minister is not interested in fact, truth or justice for those suffering.
• All have blamed the Pilots (well Dom anyway).

Although there are other factors involved with both accidents I have mentioned, it is amazing to see similar tactics by governments and bureaucracies taking place?
Long stretch of the bow one may ask? Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not. Either way, should the astute Senators push for a royal commission then it may be wise to study up about the treatment of Mahon in his quest for transparency and justice.

Apologies for the slight drift, it is not my intention to rehash Erebus on this thread, but the behind the scenes political similarities do align in my opinion.
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Old 8th Jun 2013, 18:21
  #2024 (permalink)  
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Just let there be no smoking hole today............I'm trying QF again.
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Old 8th Jun 2013, 22:12
  #2025 (permalink)  

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The question is, I suppose, will that inquiry be opened up to include the 'industry' or simply restricted to Cairns?
The real question is whether there will ever be an inquiry? Highly unlikely I suspect. And I'm sure Warren Entsch will be very quiet 14 September.
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Old 8th Jun 2013, 23:13
  #2026 (permalink)  
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In pragmatic hope.

Taily, agree; in all probability the Hon. Entsch will slide off the fork come Sept, especially if he is allowed to through industry apathy or a belief that nothing can be done. I expect it's up to the individual to decide if the 60 seconds it takes to send an email applauding and supporting his very public declaration is worth the effort. "Great idea, go for it Wazza, bring it on....etc."

I'll support Thorny on this one. If nothing is done, then apart from a few dreamers and the 'heavies' the detrimental effect of the 'malign influence' will drive 'large' GA operations out of existence. I doubt, given the vast amounts of 'national' debt that the cost of doing business will ever be reduced; but, it may be hoped that the ability to conduct business and attract investment improves. For my small say – a Junior minister and a panel of four 'truly' independent analysts could sort out the issues in about six months, there is help available, the Auditor General, the Attorney General and the AFP - for example. We have the tools, just need some political horsepower (flower-power or firepower for the purists).

Anyway – Even if 'Wazza' ditches the rhetoric (again), somehow I just can't see the likes of Fawcett, Xenophon, Macdonald, Nash, Edwards and even Sterle walking away, with a clear conscience, from the disgusting Pel Air episode. They simply know too much.

Fingers crossed : eyes wide open....

For clarity - TB. - So our regulators, happy with the odd brown paper bag on Friday arvo, free lunches and "Study" trips continue to "regulate" the industry into oblivion. What will these people do when there's nothing left to regulate, no free lunches then. From the Barrier thread.

Last edited by Kharon; 8th Jun 2013 at 23:46. Reason: Seems I forgot Sen. Edwards - you know who you are.
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Old 9th Jun 2013, 03:26
  #2027 (permalink)  
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Industry apathy or fear of retribution??

Anyway – Even if 'Wazza' ditches the rhetoric (again), somehow I just can't see the likes of Fawcett, Xenophon, Macdonald, Nash, Edwards and even Sterle walking away, with a clear conscience, from the disgusting Pel Air episode. They simply know too much.
Perhaps the 'few good men' and woman (Sen Nash) should be given more encouragement?? The 'Heff' emphasised in Estimates that this was a Partisan enquiry:
Senator HEFFERNAN: 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.
But as we all know there is no votes in partisan politics, however if industry stakeholders encouraged the Senators to keep the pressure up..let them know we're not going away then perhaps at least we may 'Save our Bureau' and make steps towards fixing the festering, corrupt, malfeasance within the walls of Fort Fumble.

By the way I missed the following media release from Senator Fawcett's web page (must be falling down on the job):

** Media Release **
30 May 2013
MR 05/13


It has been revealed in Senate Estimates this week that aviation safety has been given a lower priority than the desperate attempt at balancing the budget by the Gillard government.
On questioning by Senator David Fawcett, the Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB), Mr Martin Dolan, revealed that the substantial cuts to the ATSB budget were imposed on them without consultation and necessarily eroded the capacity of ATSB to complete the range of activities expected of it.
Mr Dolan highlighted that the cuts resulted in reducing staff numbers and choosing not to investigate some matters or constraining an investigation because of the call on his resources.
This is a serious dereliction of duty by the Gillard government given Minister Albanese’s declaration in 2008 that “nothing, I repeat nothing, is as important in aviation as safety”.
The Senate report into aviation safety released just last week highlights the unintended consequences of cutting funds to a safety agency.
“The Gillard government stands condemned for these grossly irresponsible cuts to Australia’s aviation safety investigator,” Senator Fawcett said.
So you can see that DF isn't going away anytime soon...here is a couple of the other Senator's webpage addresses for your interest.

Nick Xenophon and his enquiry report 'media release'.
Senator Macdonald.
Senator Edwards.
Senator Nash on CAsA taxi fares.
And don't forget Wazza.

Stop wingeing don't be defeatist and speak up....

ps PAIN sure aren't going away..see PAIN:
Oz Aviation Industry and Sen RRAT Com requires urgent response from DoIT and @AlboMP to Senate AAI (Pel-Air) report

Last edited by Sarcs; 9th Jun 2013 at 21:26. Reason: Oldtimers move with the times or get off the pot!
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Old 9th Jun 2013, 11:07
  #2028 (permalink)  
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But Senator Fawcett's release is pure politics.

Who believes the ATSB's behaviour during the Pel Air investigation is the product of funding cuts alone? Diligent but overworked and underfunded experts?

Senator Xenophon was on ABC's Insiders this morning. Warren Truss last week. Not one question and not one syllable uttered about aviation safety or accident investigation.
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Old 9th Jun 2013, 12:20
  #2029 (permalink)  
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$180k on taxi fares and the CFO can't provide a breakdown? Hardly believable. Don't CAsA folk still collect all their little receipts and stick them to A4 paper, attach an explanation and then have them signed off by a Manager prior to them being submitted to Finance? Seems a bit odd that a CFO in a Government department can't reoncile almost $200k worth of cab fares?? I think I smell pooh. Maybe they need Betty to return, considering her and Herr Harbor felt that they ran the place! Oh Mr Skull, no control of the departments finances, tsk tsk. Is it because of a lack of procedures and processes? A failure to adhere to internal SOP's? Time for KPMG to come and do a robust audit?? PENALTY = 50 points.

And poor old Pete the Pot Plant. Another $150k caring for his needs, and the needs of his fellow plants. Add that to the taxi bill and here alone is a total of $330k of waste. Tsk tsk. And to think they could have shared that money with their brother Beaker!! It could have paid for the retrieval of the Pel Air CVR/FDR, had some left over change and flown to Washington business class to use the NTSB's equipment to examine the recordings.
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Old 9th Jun 2013, 23:29
  #2030 (permalink)  
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Monday - mixinup metaphors.

You know Creamy, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the Senators are publicly doing all the right things; I mean why would you waste a public media session on the small beer of aviation. There's comrade Sunny, like most folk stepping onto an aircraft with a reasonable assurance of arriving at their selected destination, this is as it should be. The aircraft is as fit as our top class engineers can make it, the flight crew are competent, operating in benign weather conditions over a land mass which is relatively flat. The smoking hole argument, for the punters is almost nugatory. So why waste air time and why not use that time to make sure that 'you' get elected ?, it is important we elect the right people. A minister who actually gave a toss about industry and would support the independent, non in house groomed and selected DAS would be a nice change.

Someone to plug up the smoking holes for industry; decreased or capped administrative costs, a reduction in regulatory purgatory, decriminalisation of non safety issues and the instant removal of the obscene, ludicrous 'strict liability' option. Someone to enforce the law – innocent until proven guilty - in court; transparent due process and to destroy, forever the horrendous, double jeopardy of the AAT system, currently providing an administrative life support system for piss-potical whimsy in place of solid evidence, facts and proof.

A new system of regulation would be a fine thing to have, but until the open slather of half baked, subjective opinion is removed, there is no point to bringing in nice shiny new rules. Until some of the inutile rubbish, masquerading as "expert" anything, except as pencil sharpeners, is put back into the stationary cupboard, where it belongs the new broom will not clean out the dark corners. CASA needs to be slapped into it's proper place, taught some manners, humility and probably how to do it's bloody job properly, that's working with industry expertise to achieve a superior system, instead of poncing about the place annoying the crap out everybody. Hells bells, we pay them enough for it.

None of which make any difference to the punter except yet another fare increase and perhaps, one Tim Tam instead of two; except should another 'systematic' failure bring about the unthinkable.

Aye well, those of the public who have never been touched do have short memories; regrettably, those newly touched by an aviation tragedy soon arrive at the same conclusions as their predecessors. Ask them, they'll tell you. 004 has the right of it, sighting the disgraceful "Erebus" aftermath.

Anyway – enough: I just hope Fawcett gets re elected becomes junior minister and the gummint is smart enough to allow him the decision on who will be DAS and the discretion to dictate the course for CASA, ASA and ATSB reform, for they have surely lost their way.

Oh, I feel better now, getting that lot off my chest. I really do.

Last edited by Kharon; 9th Jun 2013 at 23:38. Reason: Perhaps mixin my toesis, not t'other one. Argh, WGAT.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 00:30
  #2031 (permalink)  
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Saw the relevant minister and senators on the news. No mention of this accident, only who is going to take over from the PM
How is Ziggychick going, can't see any postings from her, maybe she has changed her mind about who to believe.

Last edited by FONC; 10th Jun 2013 at 00:38.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 01:30
  #2032 (permalink)  
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not one syllable uttered about aviation safety or accident investigation
What do you expect from mainstream jurnos. The only think they think of these days is who is up who and why
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 03:59
  #2033 (permalink)  
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Sadly I think the "benign weather, flat terrain" argument is one of our greatest threats. Airlines and the politicians who work for them () would love to use that as evidence supporting the current rationalising of our safety bodies.

But you are right, the punters just want cheap fares. As long as our memories are long enough to finger those who had the opportunity to reverse the trend and chose not to, then so be it. The guys and girls at the pointy end will continue to be the last line of defence as always.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 05:04
  #2034 (permalink)  
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Reading back through many of these threads, and probably stating the obvious, it is very apparent that a complete disconnect between industry and regulator has occured...... or was it ever so?
In America, their regulator rose from civilian roots, ours rose through the military. Is this why the culture of ignoring industry needs and advice became entrenched? "you will follow orders" no questions!!
Once, long ago, Australia was an innovator in things aviation, yet no real industry developed here. Many of our innovations were taken by others and developed. Some of those are still in use today, reaping millions of dollars for someone elses economy. Why not ours?
Was it because they were regulated out of business here before the business even began?
The UK was once a world leader in things aviation. Their regulator rose from the same roots as ours. Where is their aviation industry today?
Could it be that without "Foster and promote" included in a regulators brief there is very little hope that innovation and development can exist?
I have trouble trying to figure out exactly why this is so, what are the regulators motives for its actions? Some here contend it is mearly following government "Policy". So then the question becomes is it really government "policy" that its regulator should suppress an industry that contributes to the economy? if this is so, Why?
Is it simply a misinterpretation of what government policy actually is?
Or a more sinister reason that because a lack understanding of how the industry works, leads politicians to accept whatever "policy" the regulator puts before them?
It is apparent from these threads that the regulator totally ignores the experience, qualifications and know how that exist within industry, in fact from the top down this expertise is held in contempt, just look at the DAS's performance at industry meetings as an illustration.
Why is this so? From a "Safety management" point of view is this a healthy state of affairs? To ignore the untapped wealth of expertise that resides within industry and the rest of the world?
Does our regulator believe it has a monopoly on safety management and knowledge? Or are they conditioned by their management "System" in that belief? Their front line troops certainly display this level of arrogance, then again they receive precious little in the way of training, which maybe explains why their only recourse when confronted with their own incompetence, is to resort to bullying and threats. Like the incompetent military commander they are perfectly prepared to force those they control into annihilation rather than admit they dont know what they are doing.
The DAS disparages our neighbour’s reforms, describing them as "basket cases" in denial of the facts, hopefully as time goes by and their aviation industries thrive and ours declines politicians will start asking Why? and as our industry gets further out of step with the rest of the world their regulators will begin to ask is Australia a safe place for their operators to aviate into and our aviators to operate out of.
If, as many tell us on this thread, it is a waste of time lobbying our government we should be directing our efforts to convincing other governments that Australia is becoming an unsafe place for their aviators to be operating in.

Last edited by thorn bird; 10th Jun 2013 at 06:49.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 06:37
  #2035 (permalink)  
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Their (the UK) regulator rose from the same roots as ours.
Errrr!, Yes and no.

Until it was subsumed into the then new CAA, the ARB Ltd. was an independent body setting airworthiness standards. In the G.O.Ds, the RAC did all the flight testing short of the CPL, GAPAN did all the GA instructor training and testing.

In my view, the military influence in the UK was/is less than here. Government policies in the UK, monopoly Government owned airlines, central government planning, whether the industry was nationalized of not, all played major parts in the downfall of UK manufacturing, post WW11, and a major Labour antipathy to private enterprise also played its part, a very big part, prior to Thatcher.

Although UK CAA can be difficult to work with at times (particularly in the JAA/EASA era) I have never found the same level of outright obstruction and hostility as is a common experience in dealing with CASA, and I certainly have not found the outright incompetence of operational staff, as is also common in CASA.

CAA UK have always attracted a fair proportion of experienced and qualified staff, compared to CASA in recent years. I find myself dealing with peers.

On the subject of "promote and foster" (long since removed from the remit of the FAA) the following is of note:
To further the reasonable interests of users of air transport services (s. 4 (1) Civil Aviation Act 1982) (UK).

Quite apart from the individual problems of CASA staff, perhaps the biggest single problem is the "risk averse to the extreme" culture that grew in the old CAA/AU and has amplified in CASA/AU.

We all know the difficulties of getting decisions out of CASA, because saying NO! is always easier, with fewer potential repercussions than saying YES. Saying Yes means making a decision, with the potential risks and repercussions.

This is probably the core reason for the ridiculously protracted nonsense that goes on with issuing almost any kind of approval. ( Sorry, "permission" --- as CASA emphasizes your position in the "command and control" structure)

As those of us who work with them know, Mr. McCormick, in my opinion, completely misrepresents the situation in NZ.

The "basket case" comment in a Government inquiry referred to some individuals, and that report made NO REFERENCE AT ALL to the NZ Act and Regulations being a basket case. In fact, it made no significant reference to the NZ Act and Regulations, at all.

Tootle pip!!

Last edited by LeadSled; 10th Jun 2013 at 06:40.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 07:01
  #2036 (permalink)  
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could you give us an opinion on NZ or Singapore reg's compared with ours?
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 10:00
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Thorn Bird,

The Singapore regulations are plain language, simple, understandable, pragmatic, and ICAO compliant without filing thousands of differences. I have only limited experience of working with CAAS, but have found them straightforward, and “interpretations” of the regs. have never been an issue.

A good starting point for the NZ regs, and why they work is the Act, S.14:
14 Objectives of Minister
  • The objectives of the Minister under this Act are—
    • (a) to undertake the Minister's functions in a way that contributes to the aim of achieving an integrated, safe, responsive, and sustainable transport system; and
    • (b) to ensure that New Zealand's obligations under international civil aviation agreements are implemented.
Section 14: substituted, on 1 December 2004, by section 4 of the Civil Aviation Amendment Act (No 2) 2004 (2004 No 95).
In my view, the above is a better approach to making things work, than the now extinct FAA “promote and foster”, because it putting responsibility where responsibility sits, with the Parliament directing the Minister in his or her duties.

The NZ regs. can be characterised as the FARs cleaned up and modernised, with a bit of JAA/EASA influence, particularly in areas where the (then) FAR/JAR harmonisation program was/is producing results in continuing airworthiness areas.

They are plain language as a you and I would understand plain language, not “legal” plain language, as interpreted by the Parliamentary drafters in Canberra.

As far as I can see, there are no strict liability offenses that should not be strict liability, and the way the regulations are set out, they don’t throw “the offense” in your face with every regulation.

They are written for the information of participants in the aviation sector, not for the safe prosecution of those participants.

The NZ regulations are ICAO compliant without filing thousands of differences. ICAO and FAA audits of NZ have not thrown up adverse reports, like multiple ICAO and FAA audits of CASA.

The best judgement that can be delivered on the NZ rules, is the number of countries that have taken them up, or are in the process of so doing, we all know about PNG, but the “NZ Rules” have been taken up by a some of the CIS states, and, as I recall, in some of the Caribbean states. Bermuda was also considering the NZ rules, but I don’t know the outcome, as they were under a lot of pressure to harmonise with EASA.

Prior to the complete shakeup of the NZ CAA in the 1990s, which included the new rules set, CAA/NZ was just as difficult to deal with as CASA, but the transformation has made the organisation easy to deal with --- and they have performance standards for turnaround of application which they meet. For example, if you have all your documents up to speed, which is easy under the NZ system, a HCap. Transport AOC will take about 90 days.

Can anybody remember CASA turning around any new AOC application for anything more than airport dog catcher in 90 days. You are doing well if you can get an Ops. Manual amendment "accepted" in that time.

As many of you will recall, and Australian financed program in PNG found the Australian regulations no longer useable, so we, the Australian taxpayers paid Australians (headed by a former head of CAA/AU to put the NZ rules in place in PNG --- and they work well.

That just about says it all about the NZ regs., I do wonder if Mr. McCormick actually knows anything about NZ, or is he just parroting the partly line he has been served up??

Tootle pip!!

Last edited by LeadSled; 10th Jun 2013 at 10:02.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 11:40
  #2038 (permalink)  
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Can anybody remember CASA turning around any new AOC application for anything more than airport dog catcher in 90 days. You are doing well if you can get an Ops. Manual amendment "accepted" in that time.
If an ab initio HICAP RPT AOC application can be considered and granted in NZ within 90 days, NZ is a regulatory joke.

But I suspect that, as usual, you are making it up Leadsled.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 11:52
  #2039 (permalink)  
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Leadie, agreed. CAA NZ and the Singaporeans rule sets are quite good. I reckon they would probably sufficiently cover 90% of our requirements down under. Which is better than the present shite we have.
Our problem in AUS is twofold. The 'iron ring' has used the regs, legislation and the law as a personal play thing, to be meddled with and fiddled with more than they do with their small undersize shlongs. The second reason is paranoia. The paranoia of being accountable. So make the rules so grey, so confusing, so unworkable that when things do go wrong the CAsA and Australian government can escape accountability each time, they can manipulate the 'intent' to suit themselves and flick the blame back on all and sundry, anybody but themselves.
It is a well orchestrated and conducted game of throwing the blame.

My question to people like ICAO, and more so the FAA is this - Are you all willing to allow the CAsA game to continue, knowing that their obsfucation, incompetence and arrogance could, as has happened in the past, contribute to a serious incident or accident? You see that is the bigger picture here. All the carrying on's have the potential to put an international operator at risk, not only in this country but in their own. Again I ask, are they really prepared to accept this ongoing risk?

I do however disagree on one point Leadie. A new AOC, general rule of thumb takes a minimum of 12 months to implement properly. Just a wee example, remember AN introducing the 747 a/c type? They did it in 4 months, and it was a major f#ck up which resulted in VH-INH's nose sitting on the deck at SYD APT.
VA tried to introduce the A330 onto the AOC with an original audacious plan of around 6 months. It didn't happen. It blew out to a more respectful 13 months approximately, after numerous implementation issues.
90 days? Hmmmm. Not so sure, if it is correct then the operator applying must be pretty switched on, and the Regulator certainly not a lazy ass shelfware organisation. Indeed they must truly have their pot plants in a row

Last edited by 004wercras; 10th Jun 2013 at 12:10.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 16:12
  #2040 (permalink)  
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But I suspect that, as usual, you are making it up Leadsled
You are the lawyer, I didn't say anything about RPT.

I said HiCap Transport. And I did have the caveat that you had all your paperwork together --- which, under the NZ system, is far easier than CASA AU. How do they do it? By not having the answers to the Compliance Statement and the contents of the Exposition subject to the whims of individual inspectors, something that has reached a ridiculous state here. And the quote is usually accurate, very unlike CASA AU.

I really don't care what you believe, I am simply quoting from my personal experience.

which resulted in VH-INH's nose sitting on the deck at SYD APT.
007 minus 3,
That accident had absolutely nothing to do with any "rushed" introduction of the B747 Classic into Ansett, the Captain was highly experienced on the aircraft, but, in my opinion made an error of judgement which resulted in a rushed approach -- so rushed they landed over max. landing weight.
And that is where the buck stops --- he knew, just as any of us who have been on Classics, about the pilot panel gear indication, versus the and-and/and-or logic indications on the F/E panel. You didn't even need a checklist to work that one out. He didn't check. I suggest you read the ATSB ( or was it BASI then) report.

---- if it is correct then the operator applying must be pretty switched on,
Yes, they are, and shouldn't be applying if they are not.

There is simply no point in quoting time in Australia, and suggesting they are reasonable, they have always been beyond the Pale.

It is some years ago now, and in the UK, but getting a new type large 4-engine jet on a Public Transport AOC took us (the airline I was working for at the time) a few days over four months --- and that included getting the CAA Inspector endorsed on the aircraft type.

Tootle pip!!

Last edited by LeadSled; 10th Jun 2013 at 16:38.
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