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QF in the OZ paper today

Old 20th Aug 2018, 05:56
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QF in the OZ paper today

See today's issue contains an article on a QF A380 S/O who a neighbour has made a confidential report to CASA alleging he has a mental condition and likened him to the Germanwings pilot. Suing CASA after the anonymous report was shared with management, other senior pilots, and suspension of licence. CASA taking legal action against the pilot to have him return his copies of the anonymous report, claiming he's not entitled to have them.

Wonder how he came by copies? That aside, have a barney with a neighbour and it leads to this?
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 06:05
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If it’s correct it is a scandalous abuse of privilege. Qantas would have very few pilots left if every person you had a barny with put in a complaint to CASA.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 06:09
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A friend of mine who works as a professional pilot in GA also had this happen recently.

Some incredibly gutless and vexatious person reported him to CASA as having suicidal tendencies and so forth. CASA wouldn't reveal who made the report citing confidentiality. The onus (and cost) was on him to prove that he wasn't unfit to fly as accused by this anonymous waste of oxygen, and his medical was suspended until this could be done by visiting specialists.

The accusations were of course completely baseless. No presumption of innocence. Mind you, what else would expect from our regulator?

On another related note; I had my medical renewal recently. My DAME highlighted to me out all the new post-German wings questioning around mental health. He is of the opinion that the tougher stance will only serve to drive pilots who actually have mental health issues to conceal them further.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 06:17
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What is even more onerous is the complete lack of process.

The regulatory overreach is incredibly scary.
The recent rise in publicly shamed pilots in the UK and Europe for alcohol related incidents is a concern to many pilot bodies as it affords no due process.

CASA do not, as is the case in the UK have any real desire to deal with mental health. To do so would mean taking on very powerful commercial interests. Airline roster processes and endless pushing against regulatory limits may have, were it to be empirically researched an impact on mental health.
For an anonymous report to effectively end a person's ability to earn an income, without any finding in fact is a very worrisome development.
It shows that the regulator will apply a CYA process and is not in the slightest way concerned for process, rather is incensed that someone within the company afforded the individual concerned access to the basis of the allegation. This ability to confront one's accusers is a fundamental tenet of what purports to be a justice system.


On another related note; I had my medical renewal recently. My DAME highlighted to me out all the new post-German wings questioning around mental health. He is of the opinion that the tougher stance will only serve to drive pilots who actually have mental health issues to conceal them further.
Sorry Magnum did not see your post. This is of concern to the medical profession. CASA simply will not tackle the root cause with any transparency. Deprived of an income on an anonymous allegation without any due process is a sure sign that pilots will say even less. It is an abuse of position that ought not be tolerated. For once perhaps airline management and the labour organizations are on the same side. With respect to the the disastrous E health process, it has been a grave concern to the legal profession that among the myriad of agencies vying for access to the medical records was CASA.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 06:52
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Folks,
Over many years, there has been a small but steady history of similar complaints.

I am of the view that, in recent years, any ability of CASA to handle such matters in a fair and balanced way, has deteriorated, and it was never too flash in the first place.

A common source of such complaints, based on my experience, is a departing vindictive and vengeful ex-spouse or equivalent. Some of whom don't even seem to realise it will probably severely curtail their settlement.

Neighbors come next on the list. I have even seen two cases where the "complaint" was made by what turned out to be a disgruntled pilot or other cabin crew for the same airline.

Sadly, the easy answer, the easy way out, is to sacrifice the target. It is always a hard fightback from there.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 07:04
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Just when I thought it was not practically possible for the medical zealots in CASA to overreach much further, we see this. Even if half true, it’s a level of overreach that is so appalling that I simply can’t articulate how wrong it is.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 07:05
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Pilot blames CASA’s sharing of anonymous complaint for loss of licence

EXCLUSIVE
ROBYN IRONSIDE
AVIATION WRITER

Qantas pilot is suing the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for defamation over a damaging “anonymous complaint” that was shared with management and other senior pilots, leading to his licence being suspended.Nathaniel Whitehall, 49, who is a second officer on Qantas A380s, filed the claim in the District Court of NSW on Friday, naming CASA as the respondent.Mr Whitehall claims a neighbour with whom he clashed used CASA’s confidential and anonymous online reporting system to make a series of complaints in May, July and August last year.The complaint claimed Mr Whitehall had a mental health condition and likened him to the pilot of the Germanwings aircraft that was deliberately crashed into the French Alps in 2015, killing all 150 people on board.As a second officer, Mr Whitehall would never be in the cockpit alone on an A380 and is not permitted to fly under 10,000 feet.Mr Whitehall alleges his pilot’s licence was suspended by CASA in October without him being given the opportunity to defend himself or prove the accusations made by his neighbour were false.He applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to have his suspension overturned but a hearing is yet to be held.Mr Whitehall also claims in documents submitted to the court that CASA “published the reports in their entirety to the applicant’s employer, Qantas Airways Limited”.“By reason of the publication of the matters complained of, (Mr Whitehall) has been injured in his credit, character, reputation and profession and has been brought into public disrepute, professional disrepute, scandal, odium and contempt,” the claim said.“(Mr Whitehall) claims general damages, together with interest, for consolation, reparation and vindication, and special damages for the loss of income in his profession as an airline pilot.”In a letter to opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese, seen by The Australian, Mr Whitehall said he worked very hard to achieve a “spot” in Qantas, “which is quite literally the pinnacle of aviation”.“I have not done anything wrong. I have worked hard at Qantas. My Qantas record is unimpeachable,” he writes.A CASA spokesman said the authority would not comment on the medical fitness of individuals or cases in which it may be a party.Regarding the confidential and anonymous reporting system, the spokesman said that following the Germanwings tragedy, CASA had streamlined the process for handling reports of safety concerns involving pilots.“These processes include making contact with the person who is the subject of a report, with a CASA medical officer normally telephoning the individual involved,” he said.“Depending on the circumstances and in the interests of safety, CASA may initiate certain action on a precautionary basis.”The CASA spokesman said if action were taken to vary, suspend or cancel a person’s medical certificate or any other authorisation, the individual involved would be formally notified.CASA has launched legal action to force Mr Whitehall to return copies of the “confidential complaints” relating to him, on the basis that he was not entitled to have them.Mr Whitehall denies any wrongdoing.A Qantas spokesman said the defamation action did not directly involve the airline and the company did not comment on individual employee matters
--------------------------------------------------
The above from Page 3 of today's The Australian
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 07:10
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It is unconscionable behaviour by the regulator and all too common unfortunately.
The Qantas guy is just one of many who have had to face this and I applaud his
endeavour to stand up to them, I just hope his employer has the internal fortitude
to support him.
CAsA as an organisation is as leaky as a sieve when it comes to privacy.
When everyone down to the tea lady can access anyones medical or supposedly confidential files
what chance that leaks will occur when it suits.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 07:12
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All of this serves as a timely reminder (if you haven't already) to opt out of your My Health Record ASAP. One can only imagine just how many mandarins at CASA would love to get their hands on your complete medical record, virtually unobstructed.

https://optout.myhealthrecord.gov.au
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 07:13
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Wonder how he came by copies
From his neighbour or Qantas?
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 07:38
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I hope AIPA is providing appropriate assistance because this could effect any other QF Pilot and indeed any Commercial Pilot in Oz.
bloody incredible.......
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 07:56
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This should be at the top of every union agenda. Theoretically it could affect anyone holding a safety sensitive position.

Either that, we should flood the hotline to demostrate the absurdity of CASA.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 08:05
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CASA has launched legal action to force Mr Whitehall to return copies of the “confidential complaints” relating to him, on the basis that he was not entitled to have them
– Hey, sure, no worries, here's your PDF back.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 08:06
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Originally Posted by Gate_15L
This should be at the top of every union agenda. Theoretically it could affect anyone holding a safety sensitive position.

Either that, we should flood the hotline to demostrate the absurdity of CASA.
Haha, love this insane level of STASI-grade mistrust. So here's the deal:
If you feel your next flight test isn't going quite your way, this story is a brilliant way to blackmail your ATO officer into giving you a pass.
And to ground all the instructors of the competing flight school.
And just to see how consistently this anonymous telling is being used, you could also use it to tell (the truth) on CASA staff.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 09:18
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Okihara,
You really should have a look at the legislation of the so called "confidential incident reporting".

It is an open invitation to a "Star Chamber" destruction of a person's career, and it is not limited to medical issues.

My experience over many years, including assisting pilots in trouble, tells me that what you choose to call "STASI-grade" mistrust is mistrust well warranted.

As I said in my first post, sadly, the easy way out is to sacrifice the accused, on the entirely unwarranted assumption that: "Where there is smoke there is fire". Place the accused in the position that they are guilty as charged, and let them prove their innocence

Some years ago, when CAA/CASA was not quite as disreputable as it is now, on a Friday evening in Canberra I wandered in to a bar that shall remain nameless, there was a group of CAA/CASA Flying Operations Branch having a beer, some of them vaguely recognised me as a familiar face, but not quite really who I was. The conversation was medical matters and several pilots who had lost their Class 1 --- why did these people even know about, it outside of Medical Branch, let alone discuss such matters as a group in a public bar.

Let alone in front of a "stranger" who has been mistaken for "one of their own". The lack of ethics in these matters really is of serious concern.

I have no idea how Mr. Whiteside got the details of the complaints ---- but the obvious answer is that CASA inadvertently gave them to him.

Personally, I think it is COMPLETELY IMPROPER that the accuser can remain confidential, the accused is denied the basic right to confront his or her accuser, a denial of basic justice.

Aviation confidential reporting was never intended for this sort of "confidentiality", but just about every case, in which I have been involved, or where I am aware of the facts, has indeed been this king of malicious reporting.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 09:43
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Personally, I think it is COMPLETELY IMPROPER that the accuser can remain confidential, the accused is denied the basic right to confront his or her accuser, a denial of basic justice.
Precisely the central tenet of a legal system is the accuser confronts the accused in open court.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 10:17
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Questioning one's "mental health" is the new corporate bullying tactic used indiscriminately against employees. Been there and copped that line from a previous employer and their lawyer - didn't stand up at court time but boy did it cause a lot of stress and employment discrimination until the court finally delivered it's verdict in my favour.

And the person behind these false accusations? A so-called professional Human Resources practitioner. I feel for this poor S/O but he really does have to stick to his guns and take it to its natural conclusion.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 10:20
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I know a guy who was grounded for 8 months while he proved his fitness to fly after an ‘Anonymous’ report details supposed statement made around aircraft sabotage. He had no recollection of making any statements to that affect yet CASA wouldn’t tell him the date of the flight or let him read the report as they didn’t want him to know who the anonymous reported was. He is now back flying after a series of psychological assessments deemed him to be ‘normal’......... he still has no idea who made the report or what he supposedly said.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 11:05
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A CASA spokesman said the authority would not comment on the medical fitness of individuals or cases in which it may be a party.
You just leak to suit, instead.
Regarding the confidential and anonymous reporting system, the spokesman said that following the Germanwings tragedy, CASA had streamlined the process for handling reports of safety concerns involving pilots.
In other words, CASA has used Germanwings as justification to take unilateral action without affording the poor bastards on the receiving end any natural justice. Just invoke Germanwings and do whatever the f*ck you like.
“These processes include making contact with the person who is the subject of a report, with a CASA medical officer normally telephoning the individual involved,” he said.
The weasel word “normally” speaks volumes here.
“Depending on the circumstances and in the interests of safety, CASA may initiate certain action on a precautionary basis.”
The “circumstances” don’t depend on what the poor bastards on the receiving end have to say.
The CASA spokesman said if action were taken to vary, suspend or cancel a person’s medical certificate or any other authorisation, the individual involved would be formally notified.
”Formally notified” after the decision is made. That makes it OK then. And a stroke of administrative genius to let those you’ve shafted know you’ve shafted them.

Just goes to show: Any and all precepts of the rule of law will be sacrificed in the name of “safety” by zealots in positions of power.

Evidence and risk-based regulation my arse.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 11:10
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Originally Posted by LeadSled
Okihara,
You really should have a look at the legislation of the so called "confidential incident reporting".
[...]
Tootle pip!!
LeadSled, these are strange times we're living in where presumption of innocence no longer prevails. Just how exactly a small crowd of 15000+ GA pilots warrants so much safety paranoia in a country where there are [simultaneously] many a million of car drivers on roads who virtually undergo negligible training in comparison is unfathomable to me.

I don't think that there's much to add to your reply only that sadly this is not the first injustice the world has seen. You do make a good point by saying that is was gross negligence on CASA's part to leak the report. In many other circumstances that would actually void the evidence. CASA may be above many things but surely not above the law itself.

It would be quite informative for that report to leak to the Internet. Here for instance.
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