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AvMed - Time for some answers!

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AvMed - Time for some answers!

Old 25th Jun 2016, 00:01
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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CASA

I don't think going to local members and unions will achieve much. I suggest that if problems like these are substantiated then a direct approach to the full membership of the Senate Estimates committee would be appropriate. If you watch U-Tube for Senate Estimates proceedings, generally the representative Federal Departments send their top man plus a deputy to answer the Senators questions and do so well. In the CASA clips, CASA has up to 20 attending, none of whom including the Director can answer the Senators questions. These people are being paid very high salaries for this performance and one questions why the Senate Estimates committee have not initiated immediate action already. I wonder if any of them read the posts on this network. It seems the time for total disbandment of CASA is due and a return to a Minister of Civil Aviation being initiated.
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Old 25th Jun 2016, 02:03
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Get your hands on today's Australian-Aviation Section 24/06/16.
Missed it, are you able to give us the gist of it?
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Old 25th Jun 2016, 02:51
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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I suggest that if problems like these are substantiated then a direct approach to the full membership of the Senate Estimates committee would be appropriate.
Assuming that will be your last medical prior to retirement, excellent idea, for the rest of us, no. I suspect that in order to "substantiate" the claim, the pilot's details would need to be passed by the committee to CASA for validation and their own internal investigation.

Can you image the subsequent medical certificate delays that the poor complainant would suffer for the rest of his working days? Effectively CASA can railroad anyone out of the industry with constant and unceasing additional medical test demands on anyone who puts their case to such a committee. The East Germans even had word for it: Zersetzung.

I believe the ATO are great at playing the perpetual tax audit game for troublemakers. Why would CASA be any different? Who is going to protect someone from the arbitrary & capricious faceless Dr CASA?
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Old 25th Jun 2016, 11:15
  #44 (permalink)  
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Led Zep et all:

Almost 1000 pilots are facing delays of two months or more to receive the medical certificates they need to fly because of a mammoth backlog within the aviation regulator’s new online medical portal.

About 170 pilots are also within 14 days of having their medical certificates expire — which will *effectively ground them and put them out of work — as the backlog continues to grow and slow down the processing system.

The logjam was created with the introduction of Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s online medical records system, which has been in operation since March 21. The new system was meant to streamline the application process and create a repository of pilot medical records for future use but teething problems with the system has instead created a slowdown that is now affecting hundreds of pilots.

The new system is processing about 1700 medical certificates a month, down from the 2000 a month that the old system was capable of issuing.

The delays mean there is now a backlog of about 900 pilots who are being told to expect waits of two months to receive their certificates. In about 400 cases, some are being told the wait is even longer.

Under the old system, the average processing time for Class 1 medical certificates — which are issued to holders of Air Transport Pilot Licences, Commercial Pilot Licences, Multi-crew Pilot Licences and Flight Engineer Licences — was 17 days.

But that time has now blown out to an average of 20 days as pilots and doctors come to grips with the new system.

The average processing time for Class 2 medical certificates (for student pilots, private pilots and balloon operators) is taking 27 days and Class 3 medical certificates (for air traffic controllers and flight service officers) about 21 days.

One pilot who contacted The Australian — but asked to remain anonymous — has had to wait six months to get clearance for a Class 1 Medical certificate and has lost work as a result of the delays.

“It’s been a total ‘fubar’. I’ve missed out on some jobs because this is hanging over my head,” the pilot said.

An investigation by The Australian prompted the Australian Federation of Air Pilots — the largest industrial and professional association for commercial *pilots in Australia with over 3500 commercial pilots — to survey its members about issues with the new system.

The response rate on the survey set a record for the AFAP which has collated 19 pages of complaints about the system. In total, some 69 per cent of the 312 respondents to the survey have reported problems and major delays with the new online system.

Many of those surveyed pilots reported around a seven- to eight- week wait to receive their medical certificates, while the most severe cases had seen waits of up to four months.

The most common complaints about the system are that it is slow or not working, recurring glitches resulting in incomplete applications and payment problems.

“My company has been on my back about the expiry and renewal and told me that if my medical expires they will stop paying me until it is renewed,” one pilot said.

“All the while, CASA is still sending me emails reminding me that my medical expires within 60 days, and what the renewal process is. I have done everything required to renew it, well ahead of the expiry date.”

CASA has acknowledged the problem and is shifting additional staff into its aviation medicine branch to cope with the strains on the system. Changes are also being made to workflow practices to improve turnaround times.

“Some medical certificates are taking more time to process. CASA apologises to pilots who have been waiting longer than normal for their medical to be *finalised and thanks everyone for their patience,” a CASA spokesman said.

“Anyone who considers they are facing hardship due to a delay in medical processing should contact CASA as soon as possible, and assistance will be provided.”

The aviation regulator is also prioritising medical certificate *applications where the current certificate is due to expire within 14 days.

“There are more than 400 medical certificate applications that have been lodged for eight weeks or longer. In the majority of these applications CASA requires further information from the applicant and/or specialist medical reports,” the CASA spokesman said.

Story: Mitchell Bingemann - Aviation Editor, The Australian. [email protected]

Last edited by Chocks Away; 27th Jun 2016 at 06:55.
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Old 25th Jun 2016, 12:02
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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What a shambles!
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Old 25th Jun 2016, 23:05
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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"are more than 400 medical certificate applications that have been lodged for eight weeks or longer. In the majority of these applications CASA requires further information from the applicant and/or specialist medical reports,” the CASA spokesman said"

So wouldn't the DAME already know what is required of the applicant if they needed further testing/reports to pass onto casa for review or is this CASA micro managing the DAME expertise.
Why have DAME in the first place. Maybe we should rock up to Canberra and get tested there and then at AVMED.
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Old 26th Jun 2016, 02:40
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Well in my case CASA have become concerned due to me now having a family history of a heart condition that my Father was diagnosed last year. My DAME is more than happy with me as I have already had a test to rule out the genetic condition that triggered my fathers illness. Unfortunately it looks as though CASA may have a different attitude towards this as they may want me to undertake other tests in relation to my heart based on my fathers condition.

If the DAME had his way this wouldn't be required, however CASA will probably require further Cardiac testing. I don't have an issue with this in principal, what I have an issue with is that they have had my renewal application now for just under 7 weeks and haven't started to fully assess it yet due to the backlog. So if CASA come back to me now requiring a barrage of extra tests then I will be grounded until I can arrange to have all of those done, I just wish they could have put some sort of priority on this situation, it would seem though I am going to fall into the '400 pilots who require extra tests' category even though I could have had the tests done easily within the two month extension, if I knew what exact tests they were going to ask for.

In my situation the DAME has NO say whatsoever. A very frustrating situation for both of us.
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Old 26th Jun 2016, 03:22
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Ollie, surely if CASA had any concerns, they would have grounded you already!
I had a similar issue some years back. From memory I was given 3 months to get the tests done because of the time it takes to get a specialists appointment. I wasn't grounded in the interim.
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Old 26th Jun 2016, 09:45
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Well in my case CASA have become concerned due to me now having a family history of a heart condition that my Father was diagnosed last year.
Your biggest mistake was letting them know about your fathers condition.

This is really something of no relevance which they have no way of finding out anyway.
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Old 26th Jun 2016, 10:12
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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CASA apologises to pilots who have been waiting longer than normal for their medical to be *finalised and thanks everyone for their patience,” a CASA spokesman said


It is the gross presumption inherent in the gratuitous " thanks everyone for their patience" that results in an elevated BP and (to throw back at the c**** a medical term) hyper peristalsis of the gastric mucosa.

PPRuNe posters over recent years have pointed to a high level of medical incompetency in Avmed and a mind-set that looks to fail you rather than looks to pass you.


STOP THE WORLD - I WANT TO GET OFF

Last edited by Fantome; 26th Jun 2016 at 14:01.
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Old 26th Jun 2016, 14:22
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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from thorn-bird the other day on the subject of Australian aviation companies being sold to major SE Asian and Chinese concerns through sales of these companies unable to compete against such mega-corporations and hence ripe for the picking. His attack on CAsA is particularly relevant and may give incidentally an insight into why Avmed is so sick and remedies are not about to be prescribed.
The PM and the opposition make mother goose statements of supporting jobs, encouraging innovation and enterprise on one hand, then completely ignore the efforts of their bureaucrats to smother them.

It is inconceivable to me that AVM Skidmore can, with a straight face, say the industry is in good shape.

To me he is either very naive, if he does actually believe that. A complete incompetent, if he accepts the overwhelming evidence is true and has no vision to fix it, or an arrant coward, if he's not prepared to face down his mis-management team and institute real reform.

We should be asking our politicians why it is that comparable countries to Australia have vibrant aviation Industries?
Mark Skidmore is so snowed under he could not care a fig or otherwise have the time and energies to institute the reforms that Avmed obviously so badly need to make it an efficient arm of the bureaucracy serving its clientele responsibly. Many many moons have passed since 'the public service' in Canberra took a quiet pride in generally speaking providing sound advice and delivering positive results across a broad swathe of departments.
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Old 26th Jun 2016, 20:31
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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But Fantome, those employed by CAsA are not public servants. They recieve all the perks, but are actually employed by a corporation.
Of course if CAsA was a real corporation it would have failed long ago because if there was a choice, its customers would have deserted it through lack of service.
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Old 27th Jun 2016, 08:05
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks, Chocks Away. Still waiting on mine, and the company is on my back about it.
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Old 30th Jun 2016, 04:00
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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A few medicals back, I got the stamp and went home dumb fat and happy, then a couple of weeks later CASA advises me that one of my eyesight results fell below the minimum.

My first thought was...why didn't the DAME tell me that? Do the DAME's actually know what the minimums are for particular results like eyesight etc?
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Old 1st Jul 2016, 09:13
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Had the five year medical recently. First went to the CASA approved eye doctor, lots of tests, passed all of them -$250.


Went to the DAME and guess what, read the eye chart, read the small print at 30 cm and at 1 metre, (with both glasses) and then do the colour blind test. CASA requirement according to the DAME.


Ridiculous bureaucratic doubling up.
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Old 11th Jul 2016, 23:19
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Really feel for you guys trying to make a living from flying.
I fly for fun but still pay for the privilege of bureaucratic incompetence.
Did my medical back on 16th May and apart from the clumsy interface and the pain for the DAME which meant it took twice as long as usual, spiro test etc. included, all went well. Re validation runs out next week. Just got an email yesterday for further tests on my eye sight because I informed them that I had LASEK on one eye back in 2002, a procedure they were informed about at my next medical but now claim I hadn't previously advised. They are asking for details of the surgery from 15 years ago. Not sure why doctors would need to keep records from that far back when the AVMED website doesn't reflect reality form 2 years ago. I've had eye tests every year and medicals including Class 1s while I was in the UK every couple of years but they now need proof that the condition is stable ! Again I fly PPL for fun. Won't be now for a few more weeks/months while I go for another eye test and ask the ophthalmologist to answer as many of the questions as she/he can.
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Old 12th Jul 2016, 21:31
  #57 (permalink)  
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Thanks for your replies. There is not doubt after this media attention (The Australian & here & a letter to the Minister) has created a quicker result for many of you... I finally got my Class 1 (instead of ATC 2) reissued the morning the Australian published their story!

Last edited by Chocks Away; 12th Jul 2016 at 21:47.
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Old 15th Jul 2016, 13:30
  #58 (permalink)  
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http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/flaws-in-pilots-medical-portal-put-doctors-off/news-story/8c80c201239cd8c50369f3cf8a380aa1

Flaws in pilots medical portal put doctors off
12:00AM JULY 8, 2016
Mitchell Bingemann

Doctors fed up with a backlog within the aviation regulator’s new online medical portal are refusing to conduct medicals on *pilots, saying the new system is costing them too much time and money.

Designated Aviation Medical Examiners (DAMEs) — who conduct medicals on pilots in accordance with the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations — have reached out to The Australian to express their frustration at the new system, which they say is taking twice as long to navigate compared to the previous system.

The frustration of the doctors has fed into the list of perceived problems with the online medical record system that is straining under a backlog of 2281 certificate applications that have not been assessed within 20 days of being received.

The logjam was created with the introduction of Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s online medical records system, which has been in operation since March 21.

The new system was meant to streamline the application process and create a repository of pilot medical records for future use, but teething problems with the system has instead created a slowdown that is now affecting thousands of pilots.

Last month, The Australian revealed that 170 pilots were within 14 days of having their medical certificates expire — which will effectively ground them and put them out of work — as the backlog continues to grow and slow down the processing system. But the number of medicals within 14 days of expiry has now grown to 227. CASA has put these applications on an urgent priority list.

A recent survey about the new system conducted by the Australian Federation of Air Pilots — the largest industrial and professional association for commercial pilots in Australia with over 3500 commercial pilots — collated 19 pages of complaints about the system.

In total, some 69 per cent of the 312 respondents to the survey have reported problems and major delays with the online system. The most common complaints are that it is slow or not working, recurring glitches resulting in incomplete applications and payment problems.

The problems are not only causing headaches for pilots, but also the doctors who administer the medicals required by CASA to fly.

“(My) DAME informed me that the process is now so flawed he will cease being a DAME. The added administration and bureaucratic process no longer makes it worth his while,” said one pilot.

Another pilot said his DAME is now requiring a 90-minute appointment to complete the medical process and submit the required information to CASA.

“Finding a doctor in Brisbane who was willing to do my medical was difficult. The first three that I called refused to do pilot medicals anymore due to the complexity and lack of training in the new system,” said another pilot.

A CASA spokeswoman acknowledged there were ongoing issues with the portal, but said there were 834 active DAMEs “who appear to be meeting demand”.

“CASA is aware of DAMES having issues with using MRS and has two support officers available to help DAMEs during business hours,” she said.

“CASA has also just completed one-on-one training with 51 DAMEs who were having difficulty with using the new system, which was well received. CASA is also looking into other ways of providing ongoing training for MRS to DAMEs.”

In the past week CASA has issued 533 medicals, which was 61
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 08:51
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just sayin..

MEDICAL REFORM BECOMES LAW
PRESIDENT SIGNS FAA EXTENSION
President Barack Obama on July 15 signed third class medical reforms into law as part of an FAA authorization extension passed by the House and Senate days earlier. With the president’s signature, which came just hours before the FAA’s authorization was set to expire at midnight, medical reforms became law and the clock started ticking on an FAA mandate to translate that law into regulations.
Pilots who follow the necessary steps can fly in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 lbs. gross takeoff weight, with up to six seats and carrying up to five passengers. They can fly day or night, VFR or IFR, at speeds up to 250 kts and at altitudes up to 18,000 feet msl.
Pilots who follow the necessary steps can fly in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 lbs. gross takeoff weight, with up to six seats and carrying up to five passengers. They can fly day or night, VFR or IFR, at speeds up to 250 kts and at altitudes up to 18,000 feet msl.
“We did it together! Medical reforms are now the law, and that’s a big win for general aviation,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “It has taken years of commitment and hard work to make these reforms a reality. AOPA and EAA started the current reform effort back in 2012 when we petitioned the FAA for a medical exemption but the terms of that petition were much more limited than what pilots will get under the new reform law. This is something our entire community can get excited about.”

We did it together! Medical reforms are now the law, and that’s a big win for general aviation.—AOPA President Mark Baker

Although the extension only keeps the FAA running through September 2017, the medical reforms are permanent, and the FAA now has one year to develop and enact rules that align with the reforms. Pilots will not be allowed to fly under the reforms until the FAA has completed its rulemaking or the one-year time limit has elapsed, whichever comes first. The FAA has not yet said when it will begin the rulemaking process or what form that process will take.
“The reforms are now law and that means we’re in the home stretch when it comes to getting more pilots flying without compelling them to repeatedly go through the expensive and burdensome medical certification process,” said Baker. “But there’s more work to do to ensure that the law is translated into regulations that make sense and work in the real world.”

At a Glance
Medical reform highlights

Aircraft specifications: Up to six seats, up to 6,000 pounds (no limitations on horsepower, number of engines, or gear type)
Flight rules: Day and night VFR and IFR
Passengers: Up to five passengers
Aeromedical training: Pilots must take a free online course every two years
Altitude restrictions: Up to 18,000 feet msl
Airspeed limitations: 250 knots indicated airspeed
Pilot limitations: Cannot operate for compensation or hire
Under the reforms, pilots who have held a valid medical certificate any time in the decade prior to July 15, 2016, may not need to take another FAA medical exam. The 10-year lookback period applies to both regular and special issuance medicals. Pilots whose most recent medical certificate was revoked, suspended, withdrawn, or denied will need to obtain a new medical certificate before they can operate under the reforms. Pilots who have never held an FAA medical certificate, including student pilots, will need to go through the process one time only.

After meeting the initial requirements to fly under the reforms, pilots will need to visit a state-licensed physician at least once every four years and take a free online course on aeromedical factors every two years. More details about these requirements and answers to the most common questions about the reforms are available on AOPA's FAQ page.

"We have fought long and hard for medical reforms and thanks to the support of GA supporters in both the House and Senate, those reforms are now the law. We are very pleased that pilots will soon reap the benefits, but the devil is always in the details, and some of those details will be worked out in the rulemaking process," said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. "That's why our team will be closely monitoring the FAA's next steps and providing input and the pilots' perspective at every opportunity."

What happens next?
With medical reforms now the law, we’ve got some work to do to make sure pilots can take full advantage of the benefits they will offer.

Although the reform legislation included considerable detail about what the new rules should look like, it did not actually create new rules for pilots to follow. That task falls to the FAA, which has up to one year to develop and enact rules that meet the requirements of the law. Once the FAA has enacted the new rules, or one year has passed from the date the reforms became law, many pilots will be able to fly without ever needing to take another FAA medical exam.

The FAA has not yet said when it will start the rulemaking process or how that process will unfold, but AOPA will be engaged at every step along the way to make sure the interests of our members are represented.

During the coming months, AOPA also will begin the process of educating doctors, insurers, and pilots about the reforms and what they mean. We will help doctors understand and feel comfortable with their roles and responsibilities in performing medical exams for pilots. Insurance companies will need to understand how the new rules will affect pilots and how they compare to existing medical standards, like the one used by sport pilots. And pilots, too, will need to dig into the rules and understand how they relate to their individual situations.

At the same time, some pilots who’ve been out of the cockpit for a while may use this opportunity to return to flying. AOPA is expanding its Rusty Pilots program, which provides the information pilots need to catch up on changes that may have taken place since their last flight as pilot in command. Completion of the three-hour seminar counts as the ground portion of the flight review, and some Rusty Pilots programs qualify for FAA Wings credit. Search for an upcoming seminar on AOPA.org, or attend one at EAA AirVenture or at an AOPA Regional Fly-In.

so, whats the requirements to fly over here on a FAA ticket? and register my aircraft with a N number?
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 10:59
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
Well in my case CASA have become concerned due to me now having a family history of a heart condition that my Father was diagnosed last year. My DAME is more than happy with me as I have already had a test to rule out the genetic condition that triggered my fathers illness. Unfortunately it looks as though CASA may have a different attitude towards this as they may want me to undertake other tests in relation to my heart based on my fathers condition.

If the DAME had his way this wouldn't be required, however CASA will probably require further Cardiac testing. I don't have an issue with this in principal, what I have an issue with is that they have had my renewal application now for just under 7 weeks and haven't started to fully assess it yet due to the backlog. So if CASA come back to me now requiring a barrage of extra tests then I will be grounded until I can arrange to have all of those done, I just wish they could have put some sort of priority on this situation, it would seem though I am going to fall into the '400 pilots who require extra tests' category even though I could have had the tests done easily within the two month extension, if I knew what exact tests they were going to ask for.

In my situation the DAME has NO say whatsoever. A very frustrating situation for both of us.
My grandfather died of a boil on the neck, blood poisoning. I suppose I'd better ground myself, now aware that family medical history must be accounted for. Wonder if I can find grandfather's medical records (d.1913)? Fact is I do get a boiling feeling with the bouts of Casaitus that come on when spending money on unnecessary tests or wasting $thousands on new Aussie unique aircraft maintenance requirements.
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