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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

Old 25th Mar 2013, 21:17
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Spot on Sunny.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 23:25
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I must congratulate Kharon for not degenerating into an incomprehensible essay on characters from 1960's comedy shows. Your lucid and sage post above means much more to us 'general readers' than the confusing dissertations of past posts. Thank you.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 02:35
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Further to my last on the DCA days, (Dept Civil Aviation), most probably thought of them as over bearing twits just back from the war with nice facial hair. The thing was however they did have a measure of respect. Something the CASA lost years ago.

Not liking not being liked, they persue the stratagey of "the floggings will continue until morale improves".

Blokes like Bob Jarvis educated first and prosecuted as a last resort.

Prosecutions should be removed from the CASA duties and handed to the Federal Police if an audit is failed or a serious safety complaint is received.

CASA have proved incapable of a regulatory review. Until they get that right, they should stay after school until they get it right.

How can they prosecute laws when they can't make them in the first place?
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 08:32
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I must congratulate Kharon for not degenerating into an incomprehensible
essay on characters from 1960's comedy shows. Your lucid and sage post above means much more to us 'general readers' than the confusing dissertations of past posts. Thank you.
I'll second that motion.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 20:27
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Casa briefing March

Good news the casa briefing is out. Lots of useful advice including an article on fatigue. No mention of this inquiry though!
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 03:02
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Referral for investigation!

Kharon said: I can't see that the Senate has any option but to call in the DPP and closely examine the events subsequent to the ditching.
Or the Senator’s can directly refer the matter to the AFP for investigation as that is inevitably what the CDPP would have to do anyway as they do not have investigatory powers. DJ (and probably many others by the sound of it?), besides taking civil action, can as a private citizen refer a brief to the CDPP for their consideration.

I would say on the balance of probabilities and all the solid documented and verified evidence brought forward by the inquiry so far, I believe any good prosecutor could mount a prosecution for proving numerous breaches of the TSI Act, the CAA Act, the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act by various parties within FF and dare I say the bureau. Note: It would also appear that there has been serious obfuscation/abuse of a parliamentary process.

However before there is a prosecution the CDPP need to task the AFP with conducting a full and comprehensive investigation (i.e. you can’t just skip a step or two like FF invariably do) as per the AFP charter and the HOCOLEA AGIS (2011).

One would have to say that the AFP’s task has been simplified by the work of the Senate RRAT committee inquiry’s gathered evidence so far, however perhaps some suggestions on where to start could be helpful??

Perhaps the first place the AFP should start is to take a look at the CASA Accident Investigation Report (CAIR 09/3) that FF released under the MOU and section 32 of the TSI Act. This would appear to be the script that FF wanted the bureau to run with. It is also apparent that the bureau acquiesced with this script by many statements made by Beaker and in various AQONs/Supp submissions throughout this inquiry. Here’s an example:
From Senator X’s question 4 (written QONs for the 15/02/2013 public hearing):
4. Did the ATSB think to obtain some independent analysis of fatigue levels from another investigation bureau/aviation authority? Were you aware that CASA asked the UK Civil Aviation Authority to analyse the fatigue levels of the crew?

ATSB response: The ATSB has several human factors specialists. During the course of investigation activities, the ATSB will on a case-by-case basis obtain information and advice from external specialists in a specific human factors area, such as fatigue, when provision of this advice is necessary or will enhance the ATSB’s understanding of an issue. With regard to this investigation, the ATSB did not obtain any independent analysis of fatigue levels, nor did it think it was necessary to do so.

The ATSB was not previously aware that the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had provided CASA with an analysis of the fatigue levels associated with the accident flight (which was provided in the email titled ‘Air Amb Supp’ from a UK CAA officer to a CASA officer on 11 December 2009). The ATSB notes that the analysis did not appear to warrant inclusion in CASA’s Accident Investigation Report.
Note: It is simply extraordinary that Beaker essentially shrugs his shoulders at the fact that FF chose to barely even acknowledge in their report the comprehensive FRMS Special Audit Report compiled by Ben Cook a human factors expert, excerpts from CAIR 09/3:

And this:


It would also appear that in the spirit of the MOU ‘parallel investigations’ that the bureau, maybe due to lack of resources, accepted the findings and evidence gathered by the FF investigative team and subsequently didn’t deem it necessary to explore the veracity of the FF CAIR 09/3 review/analysis of certain documented evidence. Perhaps the following highlights one example of this:

From the FF constructed history of taped transcript pg 7 of CAIR 09/3:

0801 UTC NADI ATC provides the aircraft with the METAR for YSNF issued at 0630 ZULU. This was then updated with an Auto SPECI for Norfolk issued at 0800 ZULU. Wind 290 at 08 Knots cloud overcast (OVC) at one thousand one hundred ft AGL, 21ºCand the dewpoint was 19º C and the QNH Norfolk 1012.
Then from the 4 corners transcript:
MICK QUINN: In review when you look at the actual weather report that was issued, the actual cloud base was not at 6,000 feet. It was at 600 feet.
That indicates to Dominic, it reinforces his mental picture, that the forecast still is as it was, it's even better than what it was when he got the original forecast when he departed.
MARTIN DOLAN: That's not one that I am familiar with at the level of detail in the report so ...
GEOFF THOMPSON: So it might be a mistake.
MARTIN DOLAN: It, it may well be a mistake. I'll have to take a look at that.
GEOFF THOMSON: And he did.
Last Friday the ATSB acknowledged Dominic James received incorrect weather report from Fiji and changed its report.
DOMINIC JAMES: If I'd been told that there was cloud at 600 feet, even given the fact that I suspected the automatic system was overstating the weather at Norfolk, I would've gone to Fiji.
Note: This clearly shows that not only did the ATSB make a mistake but the CASA investigators neglected to include what the “0801 UTC NADI ATC” actually reported for the 0630 METAR, instead skipping to the 0800 Auto SPECI details.

Do we honestly believe that the bureau investigators, without FF involvement in this investigation, would have missed such an elementary and critical point on the erroneously transmitted 0630 METAR cloud base? Maybe the omission by the FF author of CAIR 09/3 was an honest mistake but it is something that remains outstanding and needs to be explored.

So maybe the AFP could start with CAIR 09/3 and ask why it appears the document has either been doctored or edited to suit some kind of self-interest direction from FF executive? And has this ultimately led to the integrity and veracity of the bureau’s investigation and report being severely compromised?

Last edited by Sarcs; 27th Mar 2013 at 03:34. Reason: Almost fell for a UITA yodel image
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 03:54
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On t'other hand.

Sarcs # 1330 –"Or the Senator’s can directly refer the matter to the AFP for investigation as that is inevitably what the CDPP would have to do anyway as they do not have investigatory powers."
Valid point: but why not cut out the middle man; is the question now one of law?. The AFP may well be great 'investigators" but are they the right folks to be deciding if ATSB is in breach of the TSI, or CASA flouted the Act?. There's some deuced tricky wriggling, giggling and plain old legal hanky-panky floating about the 'legalities' of the whole exercise. Perhaps CP could give us a steer.

The AFP could very easily, I should imagine define if a 'document has been interfered with, documents such as the CAIR 09/03 or the less obvious 'Chambers report". Was the CAIR 09/03 the song sheet for the investigation?; was the Chambers effort never to see the light of day? I believe the original has been manipulated, but was it before or after the FOI disclosed the thing? All passing strange.

The thing that really intrigues me is the why?, what's the motivation ??. At face value we have the heads of two separate government safety bodies, scampering about the place waving bits of suspect paper, ducking direct questions and playing at silly buggers with the Senate? They should have nothing to hide – simple exercise – simple solution. Pilot retrained, operator to fix procedures, CASA to fix up their end, increase oversight and a big tick when the job's done. Smiles all round, so why?; what has been a powerful enough force to motivate their bizarre actions? There may well not be a cover up, but it looks like a duck. There may well not have been some collusion, but it walks like a duck. There may well not have been some creative writing done, but it quacks.

Oh my goodness, how it quacks.

Always remember -
"We are not trying to entertain the critics. I'll take my chances with the public". Walt Disney.

Last edited by Kharon; 27th Mar 2013 at 04:17. Reason: To tell a quack from a Qwok of pooh.
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 04:45
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Sarcs... re yr #1330

Yr comment re DJ and submitting a brief to the CDPP.

Have just been down that path, having been advised about 18 months ago that I could do so, since neither the AFP or QPS would deal.

Two investigations had found the CASA SAWIs should be dealt with by the AFP. A chat from CASA and a 'no deal'.

The document in exactly the same format as the CASA brief, but the obverse of their shitty coin, having gathered my witness statements from folk who were in the investigations of ICC and Birrell contractor.

NONE from the CASA (non) "investigator" since he couldnt/didnt want to find anyone in my favour...funny that.
Dont upset CASAs pre -investigation punitive apple cart... ffs!!

My Brief did a quick round robin of offices, all in week...and the final suggestion is I refer to the AFP (Aarrgh...FFS!) and rejected because my gathering of statements doesn't constitute an "investigation"
Probably BS ....but just flick it on ..!

The CASA bum/"investigator" wasnt sworn in as a Part 111 until AFTER the event...so he was an individual as I was....and wasnt even doing his "job" properly either.

So just where does the individual go..???
OZ.. the Land of BUllsh*t Supreme. And Just Ar$e.
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 05:48
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aroa old chap;

We must refrain from cryptic innuendo which may confuse those who come to PPRuNe for entertainment lest you be accused of degenerating the thread into an incomprehensible essay.

I know what you are on about but people either ignorant by wont, or lack of emotional attachment are deprived of amusement.

For instance AFP-QPS-SAWIS-ICC-Birell- ffs- Part 111 exemplify this.

Being cognizant of the need for many to stray not into a legal battle as depicted on the PPRuNe Header, and the well known fact that those who suffer the barbs of these cryptic analysis full well know they are the target, may I suggest we refer only to published data of which William Shakespear is a prime example.

Don't want to exploit the innocent old chap.

Last edited by Frank Arouet; 27th Mar 2013 at 05:51. Reason: et tu 'brute.
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 07:54
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I second Franks comment!!

However I do believe there is a little room for cryptics still. I noticed in one of Sunfish's recent posts he refers to a certain individual as 'Beaker'. Rather unusual for Sunny as his posts are quite articulate in their structure, however he did make me grin. Now if we could just get people to use phrases such as Screaming Skull, Voodoo Witchdoctor..........
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 20:41
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Y'but.

Sarcs # 1330 –"Do we honestly believe that the bureau investigators, without FF involvement in this investigation, would have missed such an elementary and critical point on the erroneously transmitted 0630 METAR cloud base?
Yes, but; is this the only aberration within the documents? We could probably be convinced that a qualified, trained ATSB investigator managed to miss a single item in a draft report, we may even allow some latitude for an item being overlooked when a report is being cross checked during compilation. At a stretch we could even allow that the final edit before release missed one, solitary, albeit important item. This is (was) our trusted ATSB who's reports are relied on by Courts, Coroners and commoners alike. It is just within the realms of possibility that IF one such error was made. El Heffe's* famous 'man' at the back of the room may well accept an honest mistake, made in good faith, especially if the error was admitted to and corrected.

Is this what the Senate or industry is being asked to swallow?, what we appear to have here is layer upon layer of not quite believable 'evidence', obfuscation and rhetoric, presented to convince us that James, and only James is the sole cause of the incident. Having taken that stand at the beginning, CASA and ATSB are scrambling to justify it; irrespective of cost and hazard.

You know, I keep coming back to the why and the how of it?. Why take these incredible risks, publicly, on record, in the Parliament? How do you muzzle the honest folks who clearly understood the situation?: how do you even allow something like the Chambers missive to be written, let alone presented in evidence? (particularly given the 'unfortunate' anecdotal reputation of the writer). All high risk strategy - just the notion of someone being 'persuaded' to break silence, in camera, would keep me awake nights.

We and the Senate are being instructed that we are to accept not one, but several "inconsistencies" within a report. We are confronted with both the ATSB and CASA attempting, in Senate under oath to justify their position and bluff their way past a committee of the Senate in Parliament. This can only be seen as a high handed attempt to convince a jury that the not so well crafted fairy stories are scientifically established facts.

Common sense and a sense of humour are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humour is just common sense, dancing. William James.
Oh, by the by – I hear on the wind that there is to be an industry generated "Chambers Report", the crew doing it don't mess about or mince words, should be entertaining. More gossip, rumour and indeendtho from the BRB tonight I expect.

Last edited by Kharon; 27th Mar 2013 at 20:58. Reason: * El Jefe ; for those who need explanation or guidance, it's a pun.
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 21:09
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Who was the chief pilot at pel air at the time of the accident? Are they still there?
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 22:01
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Who holds the post and who runs the show.. not the same

The Chief Pilot now works for CASA. The guy that actually ruled the operation with an iron fist is, I believe, still there but deliberately distanced from the operation since the accident. I may be wrong.
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 22:24
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Crossed over to the dark side!

Perhaps Sunny this will refresh your memory? ...From AQONs 22/10/12 public hearing
CASA01: Experience of Pel-Air Chief Pilot
Hansard: p.34
CHAIR: It has been suggested to us that the chief pilot, who is now the CASA Bankstown person, did not really have a lot of experience himself with these types of aircraft. Do you know what his experience was with Westwind aircraft? I presume he was endorsed to fly the damn things—was he?

Mr McCormick: He was, but I do not have the figure in front of me showing what his experience was at the time. It may be in some of the documents we gave you.

CHAIR: Could you take that on notice?

Mr McCormick: Sure.

Answer:
Mr Wickham completed a co-pilot endorsement on the Westwind on 23 September 1992.
Mr Wickham has 50 hours experience on the aircraft as a co-pilot.
A chief pilot need not, in all cases, be endorsed to fly all of the aircraft types covered by an Air Operator’s Certificate as pilot-in-command. In such cases, the Civil Aviation Orders permit the chief pilot to delegate his or her operational duties to another member of the operator’s staff. In this case, the chief pilot’s operational duties in relation to Pel-Air’s Westwind aircraft had been delegated to the fleet manager, Mr Ian ‘Wally’ Meyer. At the time of the accident, Mr Meyer was fully endorsed on the Westwind aircraft, had over 20,000 hours total aeronautical experience with 147 hours as pilot-in-command on the Westwind in the 12 months preceding the accident.
Kharon said:
Yes, but; is this the only aberration within the documents? We could probably be convinced that a qualified, trained ATSB investigator managed to miss a single item in a draft report, we may even allow some latitude for an item being overlooked when a report is being cross checked during compilation. At a stretch we could even allow that the final edit before release missed one, solitary, albeit important item.
No there is quite obviously plenty of 'aberrations' in this whole sordid tale.

My point is the one document that FF wanted and apparently manafactured to suit a purpose (theirs) that was released under section 32 of the TSI Act in spirit of the MOU is CAIR 09/3. If you put the ATSB report alongside the CAIR 09/3 they basically run to a scripted outcome, albeit the bureau report has a lot more 'meat 'n' veg' and spin.

So are you trying to tell me that the two agencies dropped all their previous deeply entrenched animosities and all of a sudden they were running like two perfectly synced props? That's like the Carbon Queen telling us that last week's self-indulging labor party aborted leadership spill is all over.."nothing to see here, move along"! Yeah right??

Kharon said:
You know, I keep coming back to the why and the how of it?. Why take these incredible risks, publicly, on record, in the Parliament?
Who knows it is bizarre, my guess is it was some directive from the main circus act to stop all sideshow events that might detract attention from the ringmasters performance in the big top...but that's just my guess??

Last edited by Sarcs; 27th Mar 2013 at 22:40. Reason: back to my cryptic crossword..
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 23:12
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At the time of the accident, Mr Meyer was fully endorsed on the Westwind aircraft, had over 20,000 hours total aeronautical experience with 147 hours as pilot-in-command on the Westwind in the 12 months preceding the accident.
But that is not the answer to the question. How much time has mr. Meyer on the Westwind IN TOTAL? The answer lies between 147 and 20,000 hrs.

Could it be that pel air management had relatively little experience on the Westwind?

Could it be that Dominc James was left virtually to his own devices in planning and operating a Westwind?

Could it be that pel air provided very limited resources and operational support?

Last edited by Sunfish; 27th Mar 2013 at 23:16.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 00:12
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Yes it is between 147 and 20000 Sunfish. I have heard about 16,000!!.

It is interesting that CASA did not see fit to highlight that. Would make their guy look pretty deficient I would think.

All your other questions are valid.

The experience of the chief pilot is a question that cant just be thrown away because he had access to others with experience. You then have to start down the road of exactly what was he doing and how is this delegated duty working. Just because there is provision in the regs to delegate your duties you cant delegate your responsibility and the fact is this guy knew F??K all. I'm not sure that is the issue here is experience on type. The issue here is company culture and that lies with the CP at the end of the day.

The fact that he is now with CASA says it all. What a disgrace.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 01:55
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The Bankstown Chronicles ?? -

DC # 1340 –"The experience of the chief pilot is a question that cant just be thrown away because he had access to others with experience."
Aye, and therein, lays one of the Bankstown Chronicles; a sad tale of experience being sacrificed on the altar of slobbering 'blind obedience'.

For example ; one not so funny yarn is of a very experienced CP who, after chewing down a string of mildly annoying, silly operational dictates, dared to mildly disagree with a potentially dangerous 'edict' and was obliged; under duress and protest to undertake an anger management course. Of course, the stroking of marginally qualified administrative egos from above, being spoon fed by the operationally inept and guided by inutile rejects could not occur in the robust, shiny, squeaky clean world of Bankstown. No way: anger management ? - it's just part of -

There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless. Niccolo Machiavelli.

Last edited by Kharon; 28th Mar 2013 at 02:00. Reason: Writing more clues for Sarcs crossword puzzle. Forgot the last bit.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 02:42
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Culture and dancing, safety's friend??

So the question again has been raised and remains unanswered, 'why has Fort Fumble stood by its belief that the Pel Air ditching is all Dom's fault'??
Well I can shed some light. Apart from the fact that FF Execs are driven by pride, arrogance and ego, the real reason is the organisation in its entirety. It isn't a generative organisation in deeds, action and culture, it is pathological. We can measure that quite easily by comparing the two cultures.

A generative culture is one where:
- Information is sought and accepted
- 'Messengers' are trained
- Responsibilities are shared
- Reports are accepted and the reporters rewarded, so to speak
- Failures are scrutinised, evaluated and lessons are learned
- New ideas embraced and welcomed

A pathological organisation is one where:
- Information is hidden, buried and covered over
- 'Messengers' are shouted down, eliminated, bullied and silenced
- Responsibilities are shirked, avoided, abandoned and deflected
- Reports are discouraged, spun shredded or hidden
- Failures are covered up, buried or tucked away in a chamber pot
- New ideas are crushed, destroyed, flushed and shunned

So it's pretty easy to see what class the bumbling ninnies running the Regulator fit in to. Quite concerning actually. But obviously that's what the Government wants isn't it?

Kharon. Very entertaining video, but I don't believe that was Bankstown. Judging by the dancing style and robust uniforms it was the FNQ and NT Inspectors on audit and celebrating an operators Show Cause!
Then again perhaps in line with the true 'mystique of aviation' it was some kind of voodoo dance aimed at keeping the evil Senators away?

Last edited by my oleo is extended; 28th Mar 2013 at 03:11. Reason: Looking for logic as to why CASA don't have to comply with the same safety processes as industry.
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 02:58
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Bankstown bashing to Beaker bashing??

Sorry "K" and Oleo slight drift here and by the way I'm stuck on six across??

As if anymore needed to be added to Beaker’s systemic causal chain to relegating what was once regarded worldwide as being in the top 2 of aircraft accident investigation authorities, well it seems that mimimiBeaker keeps digging a bigger hole. Take a look at some of his answers to Senator X’s written QONs for the 28/02/2013 public hearing:
2. Since the Lockhart River inquest in 2007, how has the ATSB’s relationship with CASA changed?
o Does the ATSB still acknowledge oversight of CASA’s role as regulator?

ATSB response: The ATSB has never had oversight of CASA’s role as a regulator.

Its role is independently to investigate transport safety matters.

This was confirmed by Parliament in the passage of the Transport Safety
Investigation Act 2003 and in the establishment of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as an independent commission in 2009.

In the second reading speeches for both of these changes, it was highlighted that the ATSB must be independent from parties or actions that may have been directly involved in the safety occurrence or that had some influence on the circumstances or consequences of that occurrence. For example, the ATSB must be free to investigate and comment on any significant role of the regulator in a particular occurrence and as such must not itself play a regulatory role in the
industry. Investigations that are independent of transport regulators,
government policymakers, and the parties involved in an accident, are better positioned to avoid conflicts of interest and external interference.
Maybe we could map a chronology of the way the bureau has evolved in recent years? It could be labelled ‘Watchdog to Lapdog the Beaker years’!

Senator X QON 2 continued (my bold):
o If so, in what practical sense does the ATSB carry out its duties in this
regard?

ATSB response: The ATSB does not have oversight responsibilities for CASA.

o If not, who now has oversight of CASA?

ATSB response: The Civil Aviation Act 1988 clearly sets out accountability arrangements for CASA including reporting to Parliament and the Minister.

It also sets out the role of the CASA Board which includes deciding on the objectives, strategies and policies to be followed by CASA; ensuring CASA performs its functions in a proper, efficient and effective manner; and ensuring that CASA complies with certain directions given by the Minister. (note: Maybe Beaker is finally shining the light??)
So Albo’s circus is the mob that is tasked with the oversight of the heavily entrenched sociopath behemoth that is currently our regulator. Yet our minister is so disenfranchised from industry and his only line prattled out repeatedly is to say that the…“White Elephant is the holy grail..all hail the White Elephant”!!

Maybe the strongest conclusion that comes out of all this corrupt mess is that our bureau either files for divorce from DOIT (and perhaps cohabitates with the Senate as godfather), or it be consigned to oblivion forever because it is obviously no longer operating independently without ‘fear nor favor’ and no longer operating in the public or industry interest.

Okay after that small interlude back to the FFBKCP and FFCBSS bashing, after all it is much more fun!

Last edited by Sarcs; 28th Mar 2013 at 03:39. Reason: 'inutile' interesting word! Is that like 'obsolete' or 'worthless'?
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Old 28th Mar 2013, 03:23
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Crosswords and mi mi mi-ing

Sarcs, 6 across is 'pony' and 4 down is 'pooh'.

And as for the ATSBeaker/CASA 'separation requirements' which have been quite obviously breached it is a complete joke. No other oversighting body(s) have such a ludicrous interaction. Can you imaging the NTSB and FAA in this position, basically naked and dry humping each other and indulging in bedroom talk and the occasional happy ending???

Big Tony, Sith Mrdak, Skull and his Board of bloated bureaucrat spin doctors, Beaker and all the other postulating dollops of dross are completely disconnected from reality, drunk from the excesses of taxpayer troughs, limo drivers, executive salaries and generous superannuation entitlements.
They are so busy focusing on self preservation and self importance that their catch-cry should be "aviation, what aviation"??

Last edited by my oleo is extended; 28th Mar 2013 at 03:26. Reason: About to tee-off and crack open a CASA Easter Egg - crack it open and there is nothing inside!
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