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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

Old 23rd Feb 2013, 19:44
  #1121 (permalink)  
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Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
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Sarcs Sunday treat.

Ah, young Sarcs! I know him, Minnie, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. Let him in Minnie; he'll want a story.

Gobbles ? - Dunno 'bout soul mates, little bugger just pitched up here one evenin', but he earns his keep. Dead handy in a dust up, loves escorting our clients into the wettest, most uncomfortable seats and his "safety on board" briefing is a hoot.

Now young Sarcs, you seem to have your wabbits confused. There is only one Woger, the white, wily weport wabbit. He is easily identified by his cute little brown nose. We shall undoubtedly hear more of Woger when Canley Vale lands in the Coroners court; nothing tastes so good as twice woast wabbit.

The White rabbit, belongs to the Queen of Hearts (as you should well know). There is quite a story (hearsay of course) about how he actually got to be the Queens own personal rabbit, there were faster, smarter candidates; but, despite his lack of speed and intellect he wangled the post (dark magic, some whisper). This naturally caused some trouble in the warren. But: being good loyal troops, the others just muttered, scratched and sat on their bottoms, believing that the fix was in anyway and nothing could be done. Anyway, there are fell tasks which the Red Queen insists "her" rabbit perform, which are most distasteful to honest rabbits.

So they did nothing, just continued to monitor the positions vacant, page 3 and the race guide in the Warren Times; but they knew, soon or late the Queen's favourite would need some help. So they waited and they waited; when the time came, even had they wanted to help, they could not. You see the Queen needed a sacrificial rabbit for reasons of state and the Grim Hunt master was sent out one dark and stormy to set a trap for the White rabbit; and, not being the sharpest knife in the draw, the White rabbit was caught out and is now stuck in cold lonely place awaiting his fate.

That's it for today, school day tomorrow. "Gobbles, put that chain saw away", (honest, he's a nightmare sometimes).

Last edited by Kharon; 23rd Feb 2013 at 20:08. Reason: What ??? - and a punctuation punch up
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Old 23rd Feb 2013, 21:59
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Very astute Mr Kharon. The 'White stripes' was parked after being dispatched from his previous role due to another 'power hungry player' who had been eyeing off the White Stripes highly sought after role in the big sand pit. So the White Stripes became Mr Liaison between FF and ATSBeaker after being outplayed. There was nowhere else to put the bling wearing beautiful man, and of couse CASA don't fire people. Interesting thing is that the instrument behind the White Stripes pineappling then himself got pineappled, and now works in 'projects'. He should have remained in the little sandpit. We suspect this is Karma for his undermining another good person in the West some years ago.
But yes, the White Stripes has been on his lonesome for sometime, with others waiting for the day to cut him loose. I believe that day is coming and I can hear the river Styx ferry chugging close by!

Fort Fumble is a haven for those with little time other than to scheme, plot, plan, undermine and pineapple all and sundry so they can grab a ringside seat at the trough! Safer being closer to the tin boys.

Safe skies are political skies.

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Old 24th Feb 2013, 07:50
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Deja vu
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 09:39
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owen meaney

Senate Inquiry into CASA.
Deja vu
The 2008 inquiry was broad and shallow in comparison. I'd be interested to see what happens next after the revelations in the last hearing.

Nice summary from ABC
CASA accused of withholding key crash report
The World Today - CASA accused of withholding key crash report 15/02/2013

Doing nothing would appear not an easy option this time but perhaps your right. Although doing nothing would not help safety. The senators made that clear. I'm curious to know what the next move is. It's important for safety and industry in Australia and very important for those that were directly affected!

Last edited by halfmanhalfbiscuit; 24th Feb 2013 at 14:40.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 18:59
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Lessons learned? Not likely.

"Perhaps the SSS and SSI 's should write to the senate about the issues.

The senators are now listening
. "

They may even be interested in delving into Trim to get the 10,000 word report on CASA's response (more accurately the lack of) to the ATSB Safety Recommendations from the Lockhart River investigation.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 20:23
  #1126 (permalink)  
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Good catch Mr Biccy!

Here's the transcript from Sabra Lane's radio programme :
CASA accused of withholding key crash report

Sabra Lane reported this story on Friday, February 15, 2013 12:10:00
Listen to MP3 of this story ( minutes)
Alternate WMA version | MP3 download

SALLY SARA: Senators have accused the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) of a cover-up claiming the organisation withheld key evidence and may have skewed the final investigation into an aircraft accident off Norfolk island.

It's been claimed that a CASA internal report found the authority would have identified major deficiencies in the company involved in the crash, Pel-Air, if it had been properly carrying out its oversight duty.

But, the inquiry's heard that CASA didn’t hand over that report, because it didn't want to influence the investigation.

The aircraft with six people on board crashed into the ocean off Norfolk island in 2009 - all survived, but an official inquiry blamed the pilot for the accident.

One Senator thinks the crash may have been avoided if CASA had been properly carrying out its job.

Chief political correspondent Sabra Lane.

SABRA LANE: It was a remarkable story. On a stormy night on the 18th of November 2009, a CareFlight mission with six people on board, including a patient with a serious medical issue, crashed into the sea off Norfolk Island - everyone survived.

The Civil Aviations Safety Authority's director of aviation safety John McCormick.

JOHN MCCORMICK: Now it's not every day that someone ditches an aeroplane, it's as simple as that. The mere fact that happened, in fact I was thunderstruck to start with that someone had got to that situation, for whatever reason.

SABRA LANE: The Australian Transport Safety Authority investigated the crash, and blamed the pilot but a Senate committee thinks there's more to it. It's discovered that CASA carried out its own internal inquiry following the crash, called the Chambers report.

That investigation found CASA should have known there were major issues at Pel-Air before the crash happened - if the authority had been properly supervising the company. But that report was never given the Australian Transport Safety Bureau - even though there is a memorandum of understanding between the two organisations, where information should be shared.

Liberal Senator David Fawcett.

DAVID FAWCETT: If you go to section 4.1 of the Chambers report, it states that it is likely that many of the deficiencies identified after the accident would have been detectable through interviews with line pilots and through the conduct of operational surveillance of line crews in addition to the surveillance, the management checks.

It strikes me that the Chambers report is quite specific and it is only one example. There is a number of other areas where it is fairly clear that there were deficiencies in the oversight that had they been addressed through effective audit, that the accident may well have been prevented.

SABRA LANE: Senator Fawcett used to be a pilot in the Australian Army.

DAVID FAWCETT: In the audit that CASA put together it says it’s considered, this is CASA's own words, it is considered that the oversight by CASA has been inadequate as there is evidence to support that many of the problems identified by CASA during the surveillance audit of March 08 were never appropriately actioned.

There is a lack of any clear evidence to support corrective actions have been implemented, confirmed by CASA or that there were effective. If this process is indicative of broader practices of CASA, it is considered that CASA is exposed to unnecessary risk, particularly if required to provide evidence to support how it approved and operated a system, in this case their FRMS (Fatigue Risk Management Systems).

Now given that the ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Bureau) chose to ignore the whole issue of fatigue and how that might have affected the errors that were made by the pilot and they did that because of a lack of evidence and CASA had a formal report within their system dealing with the issue of fatigue and chose not to disclose that to the ATSB as required by the MoU (memorandum of understanding) I think Mr McCormack, you'd have to agree would seem a little unusual to the reasonable man in the street.

SABRA LANE: CASA's John McCormick says the information was kept from the bureau of safety because CASA did not want to influence its investigations.

JOHN MCCORMICK: We conducted this in the best possible way we could. We did it with the most probity and the best goodwill that we could muster at the time. Now in retrospect should the ATSB have an internal CASA document? That's something that I'll take away and consider again.

DAVID FAWCETT: The issue for this inquiry is that you had in your possession information that would have triggered to the ATSB the fact that your oversight was not adequate. They were assuming that it was a defence that was in place and effective. You had written evidence saying that was not the case and by not disclosing that information, you have in fact shaped the outcome of the ATSB report.

SABRA LANE: Mr McCormick was subjected to two hours of questioning. Senator Nick Xenophon took issue with some his answers.

DAVID FAWCETT: Well, Senator whether the ATSB would have changed its report as we've already said is a matter for the ATSB and I'm certain you can ask them that.

NICK XENOPHON: No, it's not. No, it's not.

DAVID FAWCETT: Well, I can't put myself in the position of the ATSB and decide what I would have thought if I received a report.

NICK XENOPHON: But you've withheld information from the ATSB.

DAVID FAWCETT: We did not withhold information. The information was not considered to be relevant to the operation, to the reporting procedures that went on. We are very cognisant that we did not want to interfere with anyone else doing the investigation, the other procedure that was on.

SABRA LANE: Senator Xenophon then asked the Transport Safety Bureau's chief commissioner Martin Dolan whether CASA should have given him the report and whether it would have made a difference.

NICK XENOPHON: Don't you think it's reasonable that you make an assessment as to whether something is relevant or not which you cannot do in the absence of knowing whether a document exists or not?

MARTIN DOLAN: As a general proposition Senator, more information is better than less and…

NICK XENOPHON: And you determine whether it is relevant or not in terms of (inaudible).

MARTIN DOLAN: And it would, in some cases, be better if we were in a position to assess the relevance of the information rather than another party, yes I would agree with that proposition.

SALLY SARA: Senator Nick Xenophon and the Transport Safety Bureau's Martin Dolan ending that report by Sabra Lane.
Wonder if Barrier's lawyers might be interested in the Chambers Report and the FRMS Special Audit report???

It also makes you wonder about the legal implications of what is obviously a deliberately misleading written 'CAsA Accident Investigation Report 09/3'??

Hmm FS 'fraid I'll have to do a Kelpie before I respond to your post...but top job

ps Creamy on the errors in the transcript it was probably because the ABC were working off an audio recording because remember the official Hansard wasn't released to almost a week later.

Do you want me to report them to Mediawatch??

Last edited by Sarcs; 24th Feb 2013 at 23:51.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 20:45
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Barrier post is worth catching up on

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Old 24th Feb 2013, 21:52
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FF Upper echelon caught in the Matrix. Quick somebody dial them out!

Mr Spike, good point. There is indeed some interesting worded documentation pertaining to Lockhart hidden deep within the bowels of TRIM. The difficulty for the Senators is how far does one go in order to seek the truth? A full blown inquiry is probably the only solution to get to the bottom of the worm farm, so to speak. What else is in this blackhole called TRIM? Perhaps internal reports on Canley Vale? Polar Aviation?
Those well practised in circus acts, smoke and mirror performances and spooky escape artist tricks have spent many years shuffling, hiding, burying, and I imagine in some cases 'misplacing' selected information.

I wonder why the 'not so robust' Sky Sentinel computer program has been introduced? Apart from the fact that it be rumoured one of the GWM mates got the I.T contract (did it go out to tender, if so who signed off on it?), the 'off the shelf system' (the Skull would love that) is rumoured to be complete pony poo. One source says it will be a miracle if all data including NCN's are uploaded into the system due to it being so klunky and surprise surprise, time consuming'. This would certainly be at odds with some of Wogers recommendations in his robust report to 'he who shall not be named'? Perhaps it is a case of 'the left DAS doesn't know what the right DAS is doing'?? Was this Sky Sentinel assessed for its capabilities prior to introduction and purchase with taxpayer money? What are the forecast maintenance costs for the system and who maintains it? Is this something that the Senators could ask 'he who shall remain silent at the Senate'?

Then again, on a lighter note, with a name like Sky Sentinel you would expect that FF, aka The Matrix, would thrive on such a system? The characters from the movie could be likened to FF characters;

Neo: The ever powerful Woger
Morpheus: The Doc
Cypher: The 'other' Woger
The Keymaker: Deputy DAS
The Oracle: The ALOO
Agent Smith: The Skull
Agents: Some within the Inspectorate
The Architect: Who other than the Minister for Mascot.

Yet, again, questions to be asked about the internal activities of the CASA.

Last edited by my oleo is extended; 24th Feb 2013 at 21:56. Reason: Avoiding Mr Smith in the middle of the room
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 22:38
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There are mistakes in the transcript above. For example, three comments that appear in the Hansard against Mr McCormick’s name are wrongly attributed to Senator Fawcett above.

The key parts of the Hansard are below.

I have to say I don’t quite understand Mr McCormick’s logic in withholding the ‘Chambers Report’ from the ATSB.

During the 15 Feb 13 hearings he said:
Mr McCormick: … Whether the ATSB would have changed its report, as we have already said, is a matter for the ATSB, and I am certain you can ask them that.

Senator FAWCETT: No, it is not.

Mr McCormick: Well, I cannot put myself in the position of the ATSB and decide what I would have thought if I had received a report.

Senator XENOPHON: That tells me you have withheld information from the ATSB.
So Mr McCormick seems to be saying that he cannot speculate on what effect, if any, the content of the Chambers Report would have had on the ATSB’s investigation and report. And that makes sense to me.

But his stated reasons for withholding the Chambers Report from the ATSB seem to be based on precisely that kind of speculation:
Mr McCormick: … I took the view that that did not, in any way—the Chambers report—should not be influencing ATSB in their deliberations. ... I am very aware that we do not want a contagion effect on the ATSB. …
Isn’t that speculation on what effect the Chambers Report may have had on the ATSB?

BTW, has anyone paused to reflect on what a complete nonsense the concept of an MoU is in these circumstances? An MoU is a typical ‘look busy’ non-response to a problem that had already been solved. There are hundreds of pages of legislation and policy about when and to whom CASA and the ATSB must, must not and may disclose information, and on what conditions. Adding a few pages of non-binding ‘understandings’ to the pile makes no difference to what the applicable pieces of legislation and policy already require, prohibit and permit.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 23:47
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The chamber of mystery

Creampuff, you need not look any further than at the role of the Associate DAS who is, may I say, most proud of his drafting of the MOU. He has been drafting agreements, reports, and all manner of written folly for years, including the unfinished Regs.
It would be likely that the FAA and ICAO have swallowed many of the scribblings from the LSD over the years, not to mention the continued fooling of the dopey Ministers in our own country.
I am wondering what the majority of CASA people is thinking
now the Chamber pot report has been aired? My guess is that there will be quite a few now waking up to the fact that behind the green door (reminds me of a Marilyn Chambers movie! And yes I know ironic isn't it??) they are being stitched up for the benefit of some political power playing as well as to fulfil some people's robust desire to bob for giant apples!

What can I say other than 'das is all shisen'.

'Safe skies are massaged skies'

Last edited by my oleo is extended; 25th Feb 2013 at 00:09. Reason: Looking on line for a remastered edition of Behind the Green Door.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 01:31
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Draft Transport Safety Report AO-2009-072.

Attachment to White’s letter: “Draft Transport Safety Report AO-2009-072.
Anyone else read this; it seems, cobbled together, disjointed and feels like the work of more than one man. The chronology is to say the least interesting, why would it take White a month to respond to the Feb 26 correspondence from ATSB? (which is another mystery). What did White do?, did every department have a whack at it? There are parts which are inarticulate to the point of making it appear as a joint effort to refute the Critical Safety issue. Were CASA surprised?; - surprised! ATSB nearly knocked their socks off. Oh!, what to do?, oh me, oh my.

Did they breach TSI 26; which applies to all those mere mortals who do not proclaim themselves as above the trivialities of law.

I wonder if White was persuaded to adopt the "Draft" defence; or if that he, being so qualified and all, actually believed it. A whiff of CASA legal wiggling creeps out from the behind the "Green door" about now. But the poor chap just couldn't (or wouldn't) sell the bill of goods to the ATSB and so a spin master was brought in to hold his hand. I mean the poor little bugger was hunting pilots under 20 A, then almost out of blue the back-flip is ordered; by whom and why for? is what I'd like know. But, perhaps you can get a glimmer of why the OBR was not recovered; that witness would have really spoilt all the spinning games.

Aye, 'tis all passing strange, even stranger that the ATSB swallowed the guff and downgraded the safety recommendation. But then, I find it passing strange when I fall over correspondence with QBE in strange places (redaction needs to carefully done, lest Freud raise a slippery eyebrow), where 'phantom' witnesses pop out to assist with diving jobs in Qld, then vanish 'poof'; where NCN for the AAT are kept in one file, and for the court in another and the truth is an optional extra. Yep, they surely have got things sorted over at Sleepy Hollow. No wonder my poor ol' wooden head hurts and I get cranky.

Last edited by Kharon; 25th Feb 2013 at 19:17.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 02:58
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Twilight zone

Has anybody, apart from Flyingfiend I would imagine, got a copy of the 10,000 word 'post Lockhart report' ? (I believe I hear the sound of a shredder??)
I would like to examine this 'mysterious document' so as to find out what it contains, why it was commissioned, who requested it be penned and whether it contains recommendations in line with the Lockhart investigation report and if those recommendations have been actioned?
It must exist as I have heard it mentioned on several occasions over the past couple of years. Is it trapped in TRIM? Stuck in the Matrix? Has it been 'time warping' around the nation in a flying Delorean? Was accidentally left in a bar in Montreal? Is it in FF basement worm farm?

I don't know about you Halfmanhalfsenator but I would like to know if Me Boyd will now resurect Team ASOP's remaining members (oh yes, the CASA stink tank) to look into all these unclosed loops (there are many) to ensure no residual risk remains out there for industry to step into? There are so many holes in FF that they are lucky there is nobody permitted to issue them NCN's as they would surely lose their AOC!
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 04:47
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Green door.

Oleo – Thanks for the memory jog, I was listening to some Johnny Dodds on Sunday, it's nice to have good sounds playing while reading PPRuNe. Anyway, I forgot to look for a you tube clip – so, when your Green door quest prodded the little grey cells.

Spike #1120 - They may even be interested in delving into Trim to get the 10,000 word report on CASA's response (more accurately the lack of) to the ATSB Safety Recommendations from the Lockhart River investigation.
Lockhart continues to haunt the Senate enquiry. Some ghosts just won't go away, they hang about waiting for release, until the issues are resolved, I believe 'given closure' is the modern expression.

Now we have Barrier contemplating a Styx river crossing, to join the other lost souls and CASA set to dance on the grave, high 5's all round. The list is now very long, the casualties many. This Senate Inquiry has been provided with some solid evidence of how rank the CASA 'A' game is. The Senators, probably still hopping mad after being so contemptuously fobbed off with the last White paper seem to be happy to get down and dirty this time.

Mind you, if they think Norfolk is bad; well, they ain't seen nuttin yet. The antics of CASA during the Norfolk shambles may well be classed as improved when compared to some of their current and previous escapades.

Enjoy Johnny Dodds - one of the all time greats. Some of the other clips are

Last edited by Kharon; 25th Feb 2013 at 05:05. Reason: Oh, the number - Pencil Papa.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 07:43
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In camera today?

From Senate Dynamic Red today:
Authorisation for committee to meet

Chair of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee (Senator Heffernan), by leave, to move a motion authorising the committee to hold an in camera hearing during the sitting of the Senate today (inquiry into an aviation accident investigation)

Commenced 5:01 PM
Agreed to

Dynamic Red - Monday, 25 February 2013
So any bets on who the Senators were grilling today??
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 09:28
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Another public hearing Thurs 28th Feb.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 09:41
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Good catch DCT seems to be ramping up:

28 February 2013
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 11:58
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Duration of the game has been extended.

You never know, Senator Nash might grill the Beaker about his pot plant expenses??

On a serious note, the Senators have every right to keep extending the inquiry as only the surface has been scratched. They have been overcome by the smell of rotting fish. There remains too many unanswered questions, including all the 'questions on notice' that CASA particularly like to take, and then of course either never respond or they blame Big Tony's office for being too slow. Not to mention the attitude, disregard and contempt the CASA has for anybody and everybody that isn't part of the inner sanctum.
Senator Xenophon is no ones fool, nor is Nash, Heff and Fawcett. Senator X is digging in the right places, and I think he and his steel headed shovel have a few more feet to go before they hit pay dirt, and he knows it.
The Senators angling on the potential CASA/ATSBeaker collusion is serious stuff. The 400 submissions from industry including cases of bullying, harassment and malfeasance by public servants is serious stuff. Incompetent management, persistent evasion of accountability and CASA's unbridled power to simply cut the legs off anybody who even smiles in their direction has to be brought to an end, effective immediately.

I think there are some more direct questions that should be aimed at 'he who shall not be named', 'the voodoo Doc', and especially 'he who stands in the senate not saying much'.
However, why isn't the CASA Board brought in for a round of robust questioning? Maybe they can explain a few things to the Senators, after all much of the CASA's direction is guided by these nupties, so perhaps they can help explain why there are so many fingers being pointed at their organisation? Because it would certainly appear that aviation safety has only slipped further since these apple bobbers were brought in.
I would like to see them explain that joke of a mid year CASA report card they released, the one in which they gave themselves a tick in the box for almost every single action item. What did they base the 'ticks in the boxes' on? How did they rank the scores so highly? What assessment tool did they use? How did they quantify the scores, weighted against what?

And while we are at it, the 2009 Aviation Shite Paper, you know, that couple of hundred page piece of glossy monkey poo that is meant to be the Holy Grail of Australia's aviation future, the 'paper' that contains virtually no financial commitments to improving our industry, rather it contains lots of fluffy statements, industry facts we already know, dashes of bureaucratic baloney and many robust pretty pictures with snazzy graphics!
Regardless, what is the status of this paper, what has actually been achieved to date? Are items being tracked and measured for progress? Or is it what we all know it is - A hollow non committal glossy load of shite that sits in TRIM gathering dust? Don't answer.

P.S Where is that journalistic genius Paul Phelan? Has Fort Fumbles tentacles managed to reach him and hobble him also? Paul's articles perfectly and succinctly paint an accurate portrait of FF's naughtiness.
At least we still have Ben for the moment.
Come back Paul.

Safe skies are Xenophon skies.

Last edited by my oleo is extended; 25th Feb 2013 at 12:19. Reason: The outboard motor on the Styx houseboat broke. Don't worry, it's fixed now.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 12:08
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JMac will be gone by the end of next week. I'll put a gentleman's bet of $1 on it. Anyone want to take my bet?
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 12:15
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Hmmm, Dangly, I don't know mate. The Houseboat hasn't arrived at the dock yet? But maybe the angry man will do a G. Russell and bail just as the curtain is about to drop?
Anyway, what the hell, just for sh#ts and giggles I'll take your $1 bet and will raise you a Beaker!!
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 15:34
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Have a look at this email in response to another Atsb suggesting they look at frms.

Don't deviate on the target. Interesting approach to investigation and doesn't suggest open approach. The target is likely to be a person!

Thursday could be interesting. Senators go deeper on Pel Air.

I think they need to ask about oversight of other companies now from the same period to now.

Last edited by halfmanhalfbiscuit; 25th Feb 2013 at 15:44.
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