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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

Old 21st Nov 2012, 09:08
  #801 (permalink)  
 
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OK Ferris, tell me how PNG would go about telling ASA to regulate Australia's airspace.
Why the straw-man argument, Blakhand? I take it you are one of those being criticised, and unable to accept it might be done differently?
Once again; if AsA is delegated to manage the airspace over PNG sovereign territory, then PNG has every right to tell Australia how to do it. I witness this being done every day (in another part of the world).
I'm sorry if that doesn't fit with your view that "Australia doesn't manage the airspace over Norfolk Isl, and therefor has no responsibility/cannot do anything/etc." view of the situation.

Reading the other thread, QSK puts up a very reasonable post about why this confusion over responsibilities may have developed (thanks for that ).
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 09:54
  #802 (permalink)  
 
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It doesn’t seem to me to be a vexed issue, at least in so far as Norfolk Island and its associated territorial airspace are concerned: Airservices Australia is responsible for ‘Australian-administered airspace’, and that includes Norfolk Island and its associated airspace (as defined). Airservices Australia might choose to discharge that responsibility by entering an agreement with someone else, but it’s up to Airservices Australia to ensure the agreement results in the appropriate levels of service in ‘Australian-administered airspace’ as defined in the Airservices Act.

For completeness’ sake, I copy QSK?’s post in another thread:
I think the responsibility for providing the FIS for YSNF "fell through the cracks" between the Australian and NZ civil aviation agencies when the Norfolk Island FSU closed. And the NZ AIP references would appear to imply that NZ still thinks the FIS responsibility for Norfolk Island lies with Australia.

As you would be aware, prior to its closure in the '90s, the NF FSU used to hold the FIS responsibility for advising aircraft on NF weather during its hours of operation even though it was located within the Auckland Oceanic FIR. Outside of the FSU's hours of operation, the FIS responsibility reverted to the Sydney FSC and subsequently to the BN FSC when the Sydney FSC was closed. My understanding is that the FIS responsibility was totally transferred to the BN FSC when the Norfolk Island FSU was finally decommissioned.

I'm proposing the view, that the issue of Norfolk Island FIS responsibility may have been overlooked by Airservices/CASA/CAANZ/Airways either when the FSU closed or with the subsequent institutional changes implemented by Australia (i.e the integration of ATC/FS functions) as well as the change to the Flightwatch "self help concept" in lieu of the directed FIS.

It's this issue that requires investigation and comment on by the ATSB and, if necessary, be the subject of a safety recommendation so that the appropriate MoU/LoA remedial action, as you have proposed, is implemented between the Australian and NZ agencies so that we don't have a repeat of this situation again in the future.
If anyone can identify any flaw in QSK?’s reasoning, I’d be interested to hear about it.

However, I say again, that none of this appears to answer the question as to who is responsible for providing what services to whom, and to what standard, in ‘international’ airspace.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 10:06
  #803 (permalink)  
 
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Sosij Sizzl

You appear not to have watched to the end of the AA part of the hearing on 19 November, or read to the end of that part of the Hansard. At the end of the AA part of the hearing, the Chair said to the AA witnesses, and Hansard records, this:

Quote:
CHAIR: Can I clarify that I am disgusted not by the officers but by the system that allows this to happen. We are in no way blaming you. I think you are the bunnies.
As I have previously observed, Senator Heffernan tends to be flamboyant and tiring. But the substantial difference in this matter is that he is far from alone in his open disgust at and contempt for what he is hearing.

And Senator Heffernan is no dummy (or bunny).
Creampuff,

You appear not to have watched the majority of the AA part of the hearing on the 19 November, or read the majority of that part of the Hansard. During the hearing, the Chair said to the AA witnesses, and Hansard records, this (my bolding):


Mr Harfield: The fact is that we have a Pacific safety forum that comes up where you get all these people from the various jurisdictions. We are not just dealing with Fiji by itself; we are dealing with New Zealand. We go through an agenda of all the issues that have popped up over that time and discuss them as a group rather than individually.
CHAIR: So, in the meantime, if it happens again, that is too bad? What a joke. You are a joke. Back to you, Senator Xenophon.
Senator STERLE: Colleagues, I understand the frustration and I am experiencing it too. But, with the greatest respect, yelling at the officers from the department is not called for. Chair, I think Senator Xenophon, rather than putting the question on notice, should put his questions to the officers now while we have the opportunity.

Mr Harfield: We would have to take that on notice.
CHAIR: You are a perfect bureaucrat. Senator Fawcett.

Mr Harfield: In this particular case, because this happened in a foreign jurisdiction, we would not necessarily be doing our own investigation into it.
CHAIR: The perfect mushroom!

Mr Harfield: Correct.
CHAIR: The world's perfect bureaucrat. Congratulations. Have you read the ATSB report?

CHAIR: How long have you been at Airservices?
Mr Harfield: Nearly 25 years.
CHAIR: I think you need a change of career.

CHAIR: We would be delighted to have him come here and give evidence, Ms Staib, if you would permit that—if you do not, we will subpoena him.
Ms Staib: I do not think you will need to do that.
CHAIR: I am disgusted. Thank you very much for your evidence.
Using the convenient Christian model of sinning your entire life and then recanting on your death bed might cut it for you, but I’m sorry, I just don’t swing that way.

Ferris,

I understand the point you are making and had mulled it over previously, but I feel the sovereignty of airspace above Norfolk is not relevant in this case, and with all due respect it is you who is putting up the straw man argument. To anyone not following the nuances very closely, your posts, along with some of the rubbish at the inquiry, read as though Australia did not promulgate the weather change at Norfolk which is simply not true.

Consider this scenario, and I warn you that it’s pretty damned close to what actually happened, although let’s assume to begin with that there are no airspace ‘administrations’ going on and that each FIR belongs to an independent ICAO State. Aircraft is tracking from A to D via four FIRs. Whilst flying through FIR B, the weather at destination deteriorates. The ANSP for FIR D duly passes the revised weather to FIR C, FIR B and FIR A. FIR B (& C) fail to pass the revised weather. Upon arrival at FIR D, the aircraft is asked whether he received the revised weather. He says no and is issued it, but it is too late: the aircraft passed his PNR in FIR C. The aircraft crashes and all on board perish. Now, I may have the wrong end of the stick here, but you seem to be saying this is the fault of FIR D for not ensuring that the weather was passed by another State (FIR B or C)? Twaddle. How is the ANSP of FIR D to enforce the delivery of information to an aircraft that is in another jurisdiction? You said in post #855 that you can think of several ways, though I think in that case you were talking about ‘FIR D’ only, and an FIR D being administered on behalf of another State, in which case I tend to agree – your PNG example in post #868 is correct – but that doesn’t truly fit the circumstances of the Norfolk incident. If you think it can legitimately be done outside your own borders then please enlighten us all (that sounds sarcastic, but I genuinely would like to know).

The fault for the Norfolk incident was originally laid squarely where it lay. Unfortunately, we now live in spoon fed world where people refuse to own their errors and nebulous systemic faults, with their inherent grey areas, are the convenient fallback defence. A technologically advanced industry like aviation offer a multitude of these shadows for nefarious characters to hide in.

(NB To head off the inevitable reductio ad absurdum, I am not saying that system errors are not sometimes the legitimate issue).
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 10:09
  #804 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for that re-post, Creampuff. Interesting indeed.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 10:37
  #805 (permalink)  
 
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Hi again Sosij Sizzl

I watched the lot and read the lot.

Let’s assume the parliament and its committees do not exist.

Let’s also assume your daughter was in the stretcher and your brother was the pilot of the Westwind in question.

Are you seriously able to come to the conclusion that no systemic issues within the management of the AOC holder’s operations, or within the ATS system, or within the rules about this kind operation, contributed to this accident? Seriously?

Are you seriously able to come to the conclusion that the experience of the survivors, in relation to the effectiveness and operation of the emergency procedures and emergency equipment, provides no information that is relevant or of concern to the other people who (to this day) are carried on aircraft with those procedures and that emergency equipment? Seriously?
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 10:51
  #806 (permalink)  
 
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Ben sums up this arvo's theatre best!

Pel-Air inquiry to get critical CASA-ATSB attitude adjustment documents

Ben Sandilands | Nov 21, 2012 9:01PM | EMAIL | PRINT

A late session by the Senate committee inquiry into the Pel-Air crash report hears ATSB say it was focused on pilot errors not violations of the rules by the operator, and sees a perceived insulting email about them from CASA head John McCormick.

The Senate committee inquiring into the final report the ATSB issued on 30 August about the 2009 Pel-Air medical charter ditching of a Westwind jet near Norfolk Island last night asked the safety investigator to provide full correspondence as to how CASA the safety regulator persuaded it to change its mind about the seriousness of the safety issues the crash raised.


The chief commissioner of the ATSB, Martin Dolan has previously told the committee that the safety investigator had originally come to the view that there were ‘intolerable’ safety risks arising for the circumstances leading up to the crash, but in consultation with CASA had downgraded its assessment to ‘broadly acceptable’.


The general manager aviation safety investigations at the ATSB, Ian Sangston, after being pressed to answer a line of questioning by the chair Senator Bill Heffernan, confirmed that the evidence on which the investigation reached its initial conclusion didn’t change, but its view of its seriousness did.


In the first of a series of unpublished drafts of the final report circulated to affected parties about 23 March this year the ATSB view was that the crash was very serious. But when the final version of the final report was released in August the safety risks it raised were described as ‘broadly acceptable’ and all of the material blame for the crash was attributed to the captain of the flight Dominic James.


The jet was flying from Apia to Melbourne via Norfolk Island when it was first banished from cruising at its fuel optimum altitude because it wasn’t equipped to maintain safe separation from crossing traffic, and having passed the point at which it could have diverted to Noumea, it made four missed approaches to the island in poor weather and was then ditched by the pilot immediately before the remaining fuel in its tanks was exhausted.
The six people on board were able to escape from the sinking jet and were fortuitously rescued by a boat from Norfolk Island.


In his testimony Dolan also acknowledged that the pilot community was divided as to whether James was correct in proceeding to the island, unaware of an amended weather forecast that warned that conditions had deteriorated to below the required minimum conditions, or should have diverted on a mandatory basis.


He would not be drawn about an email between two senior people in CASA management in which one says that there was legal risk for the regulator in a situation where its Flight Operations Inspectors were divided as to whether James should have diverted or continued, and that this uncertainty which the regulator had left unresolved for years was ‘untidy’ and potentially embarrassing.


Under questioning by Senator Nick Xenophon, Dolan, said he hadn’t asked until 4 July this year for the special audit of Pel-Air conducted by CASA shortly after the accident, which found the operator in breach of more than 30 safety rules and variously deficient or unsafe in its lack of fuel planning policies for its Westwind fleet at the time of the crash.

In subsequent answers Dolan declined to confirm that he had actually read the document, even though he had insisted elsewhere on the public record that it was irrelevant to the ATSB inquiry.


He could not explain why something he hadn’t read could be ‘irrelevant’ but described the focus of the ATSB investigation as being into ‘errors’ while the audit report, which was the business of CASA was about ‘violations’.


Dolan agreed to find out the date at which the chief pilot for Pel-Air at the time CASA found its Pel-Air fleet operations to be critically unsafe or in breach of important safety regulations was recruited to the regulator but according to earlier testimony by the Director of Safety at CASA, John McCormick, to have played no role in the ‘consultations’ in which CASA persuaded the ATSB that the intolerable situation at the charter operator was in fact acceptable.


Dolan evaded a concise answer as to whether or not it was the responsibility New Zealand Airways, which provides air traffic control for most of the route flown by the Westwind jet from Apia to the sea near Norfolk Island, to ensure that it informed the pilot of the deterioration in the forecast weather for its intended arrival.


Senator Xenophon told Dolan that the committee had information that the weather warning, which would almost have certainly made James divert to Noumea when he was in a position to do so, was not passed on to the pilot.


However as disclosed in a hearing this Monday, AirServices Australia sat on its hands unaware of this issue of weather warnings not being passed on to an Australian jet approaching an Australian airport because it was awaiting a safety recommendation in the ATSB final report.

That same hearing heard that the ATSB had suddenly decided to stop ‘overusing’ safety recommendations and had made none in the case of Pel-Air, a change in policy not announced by the Minister, and unknown to AirServices Australia, until this information was dropped on Monday.

Dolan also agreed that had the pilot of the flight, Dominic James, fully fuelled the Westwind before its departure from Apia, it would have been too heavy to have climbed to an altitude above the region of airspace the NZ control asked it to vacate as it wasn’t equipped to remain in its optimum altitude band while modern better instrumented aircraft were in the same airspace.


He agreed to release the entire paper trail generated by the ‘consultations’ between CASA and the independent air safety investigator which lead to its changing its assessment of the risks revealed by the Pel-Air flight.


Dolan was excused from answering a question as to whether he agreed with assessments made CASA’s current director of safety, John McCormick, in an email considered by some members of the Senate committee to be personally insulting.


That email as received by at least two Senators is published below:

We recently appeared at a sitting of the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Reference’s Committee Inquiry into the ‘PEL-AIR’ ditching report and ‘other matters’. I wish to pass on my personal thanks for the outstanding effort everyone made to meet the requests of the Senate Committee inquiring into the PEL-AIR ditching report. I fully appreciate the time and effort that was required and on behalf of everyone else at CASA, thank you and well done! That sort of spirit is very humbling to me.
As for these Inquiries themselves, they are an important part of Westminster Democracy in this country and, as such, are not events to be feared or avoided. I personally welcome the opportunity to present CASA’s positions at any venue.


However, 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.

I look forward to assisting the Committee conclude its investigations. At the completion of this Inquiry there is a report produced. That report becomes a ‘Report of Parliament’ and will be forwarded, by established process, to the Minister for his consideration.


Comment. The McCormick email, like the ATSB final report, and its failure to deal openly and in detail with the systemic failings of CASA and Pel-Air, brings the administration of air safety in Australia into disrepute.




Wonder how Ben feels about being called a "tendentious blogger" as per that FOI e-mail PAIN put out?

Pel-Air inquiry to get critical CASA-ATSB crash documents | Plane Talking

Last edited by Sarcs; 21st Nov 2012 at 10:58.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 11:09
  #807 (permalink)  
 
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I watched the lot and read the lot.
So did I. That's why I parroted your condescending remarks back at you.

Are you seriously able to come to the conclusion that no systemic issues within the management of the AOC holder’s operations, or within the ATS system, or within the rules about this kind operation, contributed to this accident? Seriously?
Alas, I wasn't able to head off the reductio ad absurdum, but I'll endeavour to clear it up!
  • Yes, I am comfortable after reading the report that the overwhelming failing in the incident was the PIC's failure to process changing weather information and conduct the flight accordingly.
  • Yes, I am glad I wasn't faced with the circumstances he was that day.
  • Yes, I have empathy for both he and his pax.
  • Yes, I was listening when my instructor told me that no matter how fastidious the engineering standards, pre-flight checks and operational planning are, every single flight carried out in every single jurisdiction in the world is ILLEGAL for one reason or another, and that will often come out in the event of an accident. It is a complex industry.
  • No, I will never declare that there were no contributing factors, flawed procedures, ambiguities, inadequate or incomplete regulations for this flight or any other (see above).

Are you seriously able to come to the conclusion that the experience of the survivors, in relation to the effectiveness and operation of the emergency procedures and emergency equipment, provides no information that is relevant or of concern to the other people who (to this day) are carried on aircraft with those procedures and that emergency equipment? Seriously?
  • All knowledge is sacred and there was some very valuable stuff in there. But I'd prefer there were no lessons learnt from that flight at all. So would plenty of others, I suspect.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 11:09
  #808 (permalink)  
 
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To anyone not following the nuances very closely, your posts, along with some of the rubbish at the inquiry, read as though Australia did not promulgate the weather change at Norfolk which is simply not true.
At no time have I said that, or even hinted at it. I really don't know how you get that interpretation.
My point has been that Heffernan appears to be having a go at Harfield in this latest hearing, not about what the rules were or who was responsible for what, he is having a go at him for having done absolutely nothing to fix it. To the good senators, it looks like CASA hasn't done their job, the ATSB - god knows what they are doing- they seem a bit lost about what their job is, AsA is saying "it isn't our responsibility" and the senators are getting a bit frustrated/exasperated. All these bureaucrats sitting around going "it's not our fault" and conveniently running lines that end with it being no-ones fault (except the pilots, of course), and them not having to actually do anything differently in future.
If you think it can legitimately be done outside your own borders then please enlighten us all (that sounds sarcastic, but I genuinely would like to know).
OK, Norfolk is Australia. That's step 1. Accept that Norfolk is Australia, just like SY. Australia is getting someone else to do the airspace management at Norfolk. This happens by agreement, thru ICAO. Australia can ask to change the agreement to put in place FIS (hazard alerting) or whatever else Australia decides wants to happen at/inbound to Norfolk, to Australian standards (if that is currently not the case) with NZ, and then NZ to Fiji, or whomsoever else is required. If NZ politely declines to amend the agreement, Australia can lodge a dispute with ICAO, who can force agreement upon NZ, or Australia could even petition to take management of the airspace back (including an appropriate area around Norfolk to facilitate services). ICAO has a resolution system which can do that. In reality, most countries agree on such things without having resolution forced upon them.
States are voluntarily part of ICAO, but that membership infers rights on ICAO.
In practical terms, I'm sure Australia does not want to take over a big section of oceanic airspace- it costs money! These days, the way things are done is to put the onus on operators eg. Australia could require (thru normal air regs) the PIC of an operation inbound to Norfolk to calculate a PNR and obtain updated wx from Norfolk/sat phone/HF briefing/whatever at 30 mins prior to PNR. Doing so means your landing fee is $100, not doing so means it is $10,000. Or it could be an offence (and I don't want to start an argument about whether an offence can be committed over the high seas). But there are lots of ways to skin that cat.
Anyway, before we get too far off track- things can be done, and it appears no-one is doing them, nor has any intention of doing them.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 12:23
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CASA regulating effectively? Tick.
Australia playing the regional aviation police and wheeling out Article 84 each time they observe a shortcoming with one of our neighbours? Not so much.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 12:32
  #810 (permalink)  

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You may call it theatre, I call it the democratic process and the professional public service taking responsibility for what they do.

I have always had a deep and abiding respect for Mr Dolan, I was not disappointed in the way he calmly and professionally handled the questions and commanded the respect of his inquisitors.
I was going to say "defended" the ATSB position, but he needn't have being probably the only agency to have done the job properly. Airservices are by definition service providers not regulators. CASA? the less said the better.

It is undeniable the process issues revealed are critical, but I do not get caught up in the angels dancing on the heads of pins in relation to what in this case Airways should or should not have passed on or what CASA should or should not have done post facto.

The AIP may not be perfect but IMHO it simply makes the core responsibilities of the PIC as they have always been, crystal clear.

The PIC is and always has been personally responsible for the safe conduct of the flight and assessing ALL of the matters extant. Otherwise what are the privileges of his license about. The ATPL syllabus used to spell it out, until it became a precious CAA/CASA inspired obstacle course in trying to find the oh so clever bullshit trick in the question rather than a straight out test of knowledge and command thinking.

You all complain about the proscriptive nature of the regs, yet now you want them changed to to be even more so. Why don't we even have a Naional flight planning service and save everybody the trouble.

What I took away from the ATSB this afternoon was that the crew had been deficient in their flight planning responsibilities.
Notwithstanding some confusion about the accuracy of the Metar, it appears they DID ultimately receive and ackinowledge the correct SPECI in a timely manner and for some time after its receipt had the fuel to make a safe diversion even to the point if necessary of declaring a fuel emergency at La Tonotouta. IMHO the paperwork being a more desirable alternative to swimming around YSNF in the middle of the night.

Further I have not seen any questions, answers or comment as to why a non RVSM aircraft with acknowledged Medevac priority in these levels, accepted an ATC request to change level for crossing traffic, without query. Were the crew and ATC aware they had this ability? Screw the crossing traffic.

So tell me why over the middle of the South Pacific at night yet with not many escapes around, you would not sit bolt upright and pay very close attention when Fiji (Airways is irrelevant in this context) says, "SPECI repeat SPECI" and acknowledged by the aircraft. To suggest that a more proscriptive Australian or even Martian AIP should provide the answer to what should happen next is a bad joke.

CDF is missing here in the rush for every one to plunge their respective knife into their particular target of choice and granted there are many.

IMHO the really simple issues in this case are being lost, and there is a faint flavour that it is not accidental, in the frenzy to knife "insert your favorite target" here.

The PIC is the PIC and carries the considerable responsibilities of the privileges of his/her license. Whether Private, Aerial Work, Charter, RPT notwithstanding regulation is not relevant. The passengers and the crew deserve the same duty of care.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 13:20
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Australia playing the regional aviation police and wheeling out Article 84 each time they observe a shortcoming with one of our neighbours? Not so much.
I'm pretty sure Australia doesn't care what NZ does in NZ. But Australia (especially someone like a coroner) should care what NZ is doing, when it is doing it in/on behalf of Australia.
The PIC is the PIC and carries the considerable responsibilities of the privileges of his/her license. Whether Private, Aerial Work, Charter, RPT notwithstanding regulation is not relevant. The passengers and the crew deserve the same duty of care.
If you think it should all be down to CDF, scrap all the rules and scrap CASA, and let AsA simply apply Doc 4444. Might be a lot of support for such an idea.

Oh- and have the ATSB make recommendations

Last edited by ferris; 21st Nov 2012 at 13:25.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 20:03
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If it rediculous to expect ASA to regulate safety procedures for airspace that is not their own regardless of sovereignty. The ATSB made a report and sent it to the relevant safety authorities, it is up to the safety authorities to act upon it and come up with procedures to ensure it doesn't happen again. All ASA should be doing is learning any lessons, which it already had in this case by making the issuance of ATAFs mandatory.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 20:42
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I am grimly amused by those who presume to know the precise terms of the weather information actually heard by the crew in flight. Not the words transmitted from the ground: the words actually heard by the crew in flight.

Someone said someone transmitted some words. Therefore all of those words were heard by the crew. Therefore the crew failed to correctly assimilate the information they had.

Now that’s solid gold “hearsay and tautological rubbish”.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 20:55
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Well, Oh dear.

Ne pensez-vous pas Aristotle's "Reductio ad absurdum" un peu recherché.

To do is Voltaire, to be is Hamlet and to Do Be Do is Sinatra. "K".

Cribbed from Wiki – to assist, or not as the case may be.

The primary motivation for paraconsistent logic is the conviction that it ought to be possible to reason with inconsistent information in a controlled and discriminating way. The principle of explosion precludes this, and so must be abandoned. In non-paraconsistent logics, there is only one inconsistent theory: the trivial theory that has every sentence as a theorem. Paraconsistent logic makes it possible to distinguish between inconsistent theories and to reason with them.

Research into paraconsistent logic has also led to the establishment of the philosophical school of dialetheism (most notably advocated by Graham Priest), which asserts that true contradictions exist in reality, for example groups of people holding opposing views on various moral issues.

Being a dialetheist rationally commits one to some form of paraconsistent logic, on pain of otherwise embracing trivialism, i.e. accepting that all contradictions (and equivalently all statements) are true. However, the study of paraconsistent logics, does not necessarily entail a dialetheist viewpoint. For example, one need not commit to either the existence of true theories or true contradictions, but would rather prefer a weaker standard like empirical adequacy, as proposed by Bas van Fraassen.
PS + What Creampuff said.

Last edited by Kharon; 21st Nov 2012 at 21:02. Reason: French grammar and French Grandmama's being the fundemental issue
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 01:36
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Depends on what court we’re in and for what purpose the transcript is being adduced.

But let’s apply Occam’s Razor and assume it’s admissible and incontrovertible evidence that the precise words in the transcript were transmitted, at the time and on the frequency stated in the transcript.

It does not follow that those precise words were heard by the crew. Anybody with any experience in radio voice communications – especially HF voice communications – knows how easy it is to misunderstand, or not hear at all, some of those communications.

That’s why there’s a phonetic alphabet. That’s why there are standard transmission formats and phrases.

That’s why the standard phrases include: “say again”, “speak slower” and “words twice”.

There is only one person who can give first hand evidence of what the PIC heard. And the 'blame the pilot' crowd might want to entertain the possibility that what the pilot actually heard supported his decision, and he didn't know what he didn't know.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 02:46
  #816 (permalink)  
 
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I'm guessing the CVR would tell us this? But alas it's not been recovered.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 03:47
  #817 (permalink)  
 
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Or evidence under privelege in The Senate which most "givers" are prior warned of contempt;

The principal immunity is the freedom of parliamentary debates and proceedings from question and impeachment in the courts, the most significant effect of which is that members of Parliament cannot be sued or prosecuted for anything they say in debate in the houses. The principal powers are the power to compel the attendance of witnesses, the giving of evidence and the production of documents, and to adjudge and punish contempts of the house.
Is evidence thus assumed to be sworn because of the contempt provisions?
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 04:26
  #818 (permalink)  
 
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Is this what you are after:

Time UTC
From
To
Transmission
0756:34
VH-NGA
Nadi
Nadi radio victor hotel november golf alpha request
0756:46
Nadi
VH-NGA
Victor november golf alpha nadi
0756:48
VH-NGA
Nadi
Is it possible to obtain a METAR for yankee sierra november foxtrot please
0757:01
Nadi
VH-NGA
Victor november golf alpha nadi standby
0801:15
Nadi
VH-NGA
Victor hotel november golf alpha nadi
0801:20
VH-NGA
Nadi
Nadi go ahead victor golf alpha
0801:24
Nadi
VH-NGA
Roger ready to copy METAR Norfolk?
0801:27
Go ahead victor golf alpha
0801:31
Nadi
VH-NGA
METAR Norfolk at 0630 Zulu wind 300 09 knots 9999, few 6,000 broken 2400 temperature 21 dewpoint 19 QNH norfolk 1011 remarks closed till 1930 UTC go ahead
0802:08
VH-NGA
Nadi
Ahhh ...copy... just say again the issue time for the METAR
0802:14
Nadi
VH-NGA
Issue time for the METAR this is the latest 0630 Zulu
0802:22
VH-NGA
Nadi
Victor golf alpha thank you
0802:26
Nadi
VH-NGA
Victor november golf alpha nadi
0802:29
VH-NGA
Nadi
Go ahead nadi victor golf alpha
0802:32
Nadi
VH-NGA
Roger this the latest weather for Norfolk...SPECI... I say again special weather Norfolk at 0800 Zulu... auto I say again auto, alpha uniform tango oscar, 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
VH-NGA
Nadi
Thank you nadi... much appreciated november golf alpha
0803:24
Nadi
VH-NGA
November golf alpha...DOLSI, DOLSI contact Auckland thank you
0803:24
VH-NGA
Nadi
Auckland at DOLSI victor golf alpha
(End of Transcript)

Some of you are still banging on about fault and who was most at fault for this accident, please remember that currently the ATSB Final Report puts the blame solely at the feet of Dominic James.

The Senate inquiry isn't about whose fault this accident was it is more about what appears to be an extremely substandard Final Report put out by the ATSB some three years after the event. The 'blame game' and, as ferris clearly highlights below, those that are trying to escape scrutiny or ownership of any blame has come about as a consequence of the inquiry:
ferris: My point has been that Heffernan appears to be having a go at Harfield in this latest hearing, not about what the rules were or who was responsible for what, he is having a go at him for having done absolutely nothing to fix it. To the good senators, it looks like CASA hasn't done their job, the ATSB - god knows what they are doing- they seem a bit lost about what their job is, AsA is saying "it isn't our responsibility" and the senators are getting a bit frustrated/exasperated.

All these bureaucrats sitting around going "it's not our fault" and conveniently running lines that end with it being no-ones fault (except the pilots, of course), and them not having to actually do anything differently in future.
You can continue to play the 'blame game' or you can question how it is that such an important safety agency (the ATSB) can deem that this flawed, deficient final report is an acceptable "safety document" to publish and be disseminated worldwide.

I remind you that these are the terms of reference:
Terms of Reference

On 13 September 2012, the Senate agreed that the following matters be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 29 November 2012:

(a) the findings of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau into the ditching of VH-NGA Westwind II, operated by
Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd, in the ocean near Norfolk Island airport on 18 November 2009;

(b) the nature of, and protocols involved in, communications between agencies and directly interested parties in an
aviation accident investigation and the reporting process;

(c) the mechanisms in place to ensure recommendations from aviation accident investigations are implemented in
a timely manner; and

(d) any related matters.
Sarcs is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2012, 04:31
  #819 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 7,486
Gaunty:

The PIC is the PIC and carries the considerable responsibilities of the privileges of his/her license. Whether Private, Aerial Work, Charter, RPT notwithstanding regulation is not relevant. The passengers and the crew deserve the same duty of care.
Not so fast, we have heard this before and it isn't necessarily true.

The problem is known as The double bind problem" and it is well known and frequently deadly, as it almost was in this case.

A double bind exists for a person when the formal rules and regulations they are expected to work to are totally at variance with the informal rules and regulations of an organization. That leaves the employee, like James, totally exposed when there is an accident because they have not complied with the formal rules but the informal rules.

CASA and ATSB have dutifully ignored the informal culture of Pel Air and instead hung the pilot out to dry.

As has been stated elsewhere I believe, strict application of relevant fuel planning principles by a competent chief pilot would have meant that it was impossible to use the Westwind for this mission. But the Westwind was used, so we have to ask the question that the ATSB and CASA studiously ignored: are the operations manuals for Pel Air adequate? Apparently not according to the secret CASA audit.

So now we get to the question, assuming James followed Pel Airs manuals to the letter, would he have been safe? apparently not.

That begs the question: what would have happened to James had he got up on his hind legs and told the CP that he was in error as evidenced by the less than stellar Pel Air documentation? whAt would have happened if James had then lectured the cp on the correct fuel planning technique and announced that he would ignore the manual and employ a better and correct procedure instead?

What would have happened to James if he had decided to bring the manuals shortcomings to the attention of CaSA?

What would have happened to James if he told the CP that this flight was just too dangerous in the aircraft concerned?

That's right Gaunty, every single one of those courses of action finishes with D. James out on the street and another dumb schmuck at the controls of the Westwind. Pilots are just like everyone else, if they aren't supported in the pursuit of safety, let alone undermined, they can and do make mistakes.
Sunfish is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2012, 04:34
  #820 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney Harbour
Posts: 312
Was a MAYDAY call ever made?
Dangly Bits is offline  

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