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Glen Buckley and Australian small business -V- CASA

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Glen Buckley and Australian small business -V- CASA

Old 30th May 2019, 12:26
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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The problem in my opinion is political mate; If you succeed, then everyone else is going to do the same thing: - operate under one AOC and share the costs of compliance.

The trouble with that idea from a CASA senior management perspective is one of critical mass - a group of you represent a serious chunk of business and have the financial and legal resources to match CASA. What’s the union chant? “ united (together) we cannot be defeated”. The thought must give senior management nightmares for you can’t push a cooperative around like a bunch of tiny individual operators.

To be fair to CASA, it sounds like your original CASA contacts were helpful, honest and trying to do the best they can for you and the industry.

However, once senior management got wind of your little plan, all hell has broken loose.

It it now sounds to me from what you have written, that you are alleging that CASA is not conducting itself in good faith. This has a legal meaning although i’m not a lawyer but it basically means you both have to be working truthfully. There is also another legal word “estoppel” which means CASA (and you) can’t change your story to suit your current circumstances, but again I am not a lawyer and you need one.

I don’t know but It sounds to me like this matter crept up on CASA senior management. The guys that helped you are in trouble, CASA is now desperately trying to squash you and stick the cork back in the bottle because your idea APTA provides a way for individual businesses to band together and stand up for themselves - which doesn’t sound like it’s what CASA wants.

you might like to think about crowd funding via the internet for some legal, facebook, twitter, etc. couldn’t hurt since you have gone public. Nothing left to loose. What has AOPA said BTW/

Last edited by Sunfish; 30th May 2019 at 12:42.
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Old 30th May 2019, 13:24
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Sunny, you are absolutely correct in your post!
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Old 31st May 2019, 11:50
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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I can buy an Australian shelf company for less than a thousand dollars in one day. Stamp, articles minute book, asset register, shareholder register, etc., etc. Why not an AOC?

I fail to understand why a plain vanilla AOC is not similarly available for a flying school, club or charter operation using plain vanilla cessnas and pipers with maybe VFR and IFR options. There would also need to be add on modules for acrobatics and other endorsed activities.

Clearly the cost of an AOC is a barrier to entry which is not in the public interest.

As an AOC is a barrier to entry that does not add value to an operation, I would have thought CASA would be actively in favour of a simple cheap off-the-shelf product which it sounds to me was what APTA was attempting to offer. After all, where is the value for the taxpayer in forcing each fledgling business to reinvent the wheel at great cost before it can get started?

I would have thought a Government interested in jobs, investment and economic growth would reward an institution like CASA for streamlining business approvals processes to make it quicker, cheaper and easier to start an aviation business.

Lets hope the current problems Glen thinks he has are just a minor glitch and that he and CASA can work out a solution that is a win/win for everyone.
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Old 31st May 2019, 12:16
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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glenb my heart goes out to you for choosing to live by your convictions, and you have my utmost respect in choosing to stand by them and go down this path, but surely you must be aware that you are dealing with a bureaucracy that at times can be seen to be incredibly naive, bumbling, and inept in the worst kind of light with the way they conduct themselves.

If you were a fly on the wall in these kinds of organisations you would soon see the molasses the staff have to swim through to get the most simplest of things done through no fault of their own. These kinds of government organisations are mostly dysfunctional when it comes to straying from the straight and narrow for reasons too varied to mention, and a small part of that has some minuscule relation to aviation.

As best as I can tell from the information you have provided, AFTA is at the end of the day just a document, albeit a practical one thanks to the incredible efforts put into it by yourself and CASA staff. But the truth with these organisations is that every [email protected] and their dog with an idea of any kind is producing documents that demand attention from everyone, however nobody actually reads them, they are ultimately filed away in a repository I refer to as a cemetery for documents. Your valuable efforts are then quite easily drowned by those with no practical experience in aviation.

Currently I have a gig with the feds (not CASA) and I see this kind of thing everyday. It was only last month when I was threatened with my job because I didn't support a change, which turns out to be motivated by some overpaid bimbo contractor after his bonus by completing what seems to me to be a very dubious task before EOFY. I am not alone here, and there are other staff in the organisation that can see through the crap but our efforts in swimming through all this molasses turns out to be just another occupational hazard.

My message to you is not to bleed yourself dry, it really aint worth it, the illogical modern corporate practices used by these organisations are stacked up against the people they serve including themselves. I can't see the situation getting any better unless we either a) go to war or b) there is a major recession.
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Old 31st May 2019, 12:34
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Sunfish,

In the USA independent flying instructors train over 70% of all pilots. No AOC required because all the syllabuses and standards are readily available, written in plain english and the ONUS and liability placed on the individual instructor to complete those syllabi and ensure the required standards are reached.
The paradox in all this if American pilots are so poorly trained would it not be beholden for CAsA to prohibit them from operating to Australia, "Safe Skies for all" is their mantra. Or does that only apply when it suits?

Glen himself has stated his AOC cost $700,000 dollars to obtain, I don't know how long that took, but I do know of a company that spent $250,000 for a charter AOC which took two years to obtain. The same AOC in New Zealand could be obtained in a couple of months for less than twenty grand. If it cost Glen that amount for a flying school AOC what would an RPT AOC cost?

It is a fact that Glens business model only works because of CAsA's amateurish, inane regulations and the massive costs it places on industry and good on him for seeing an opportunity and devising a sensible way to share the costs burden. What I find unconscionable is CAsA leading him up the garden path knowing he was expending his capital, then pulling the rug out from under him by devious and underhanded tactics. That is just diabolically unethical.
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Old 31st May 2019, 13:25
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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It is a fact that Glens business model only works because of CAsA's amateurish, inane regulations and the massive costs it places on industry and good on him for seeing an opportunity and devising a sensible way to share the costs burden. What I find unconscionable is CAsA leading him up the garden path knowing he was expending his capital, then pulling the rug out from under him by devious and underhanded tactics. That is just diabolically unethical.
Thorn bird, I reckon you have summarised the situation exceptionally well - it is indeed appallingly unethical and a crying shame to see someone who has worked so hard, in good faith, to be destroyed like this. A more professional, committed and caring individual you won’t come across, than Glen. I believe he genuinely started this venture to create a solid business that helped everyone out.
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Old 31st May 2019, 14:36
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Folks,
If rumors about a/the new DAS/CEO have any foundation, it is only about to get worse.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 31st May 2019, 21:55
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Oh god lead,

not the screaming skull clone with a Scottish accent?
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Old 1st Jun 2019, 05:25
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by thorn bird View Post
Oh god lead,
not the screaming skull clone with a Scottish accent?
Thorny,
The Skull was actually quite a knowledgeable chap, aviation wise, just that, in my opinion, he wasn't "foreman material"..
I am of the opinion that such accusations cannot be made in the current climate.
Tootle pip!!

Last edited by LeadSled; 2nd Jun 2019 at 05:35. Reason: minor text correction
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Old 1st Jun 2019, 17:28
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Please keep us posted Glen. Have you got legal advice now? Don’t do anything rash.
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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 02:38
  #71 (permalink)  
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Update-Query from Sunfish-Legal advice

Hi Sunny,

and thanks for the query about legal advice. To be frank, it is my very last course of action. CASA is aware of that and during this week I will demonstrate on here, and any other forum, that I have gone to great lengths to resolve this, in fact more than could be reasonably expected of any human being. I think it will clearly demonstrate the lack of resolve within the Aviation Group headed up by Mr Crawford, to resolve this. As always, I encourage CASA to become involved. Perhaps a person could be nominated from within CASA to publicly respond to claims that I make on here. That would be fair and transparent. It would also demonstrate that CASA is prepared to publicly defend the way they engage the GA Industry. I have no doubt that CASA will have some defence to stop them coming on here.

Lets get back to basics. The Board could make a direction and nominate someone to represent CASAs perspective. They wont. They will actually DECIDE not to.

Let me be very clear. I worked side by side with CASA personnel ,irrefutably on record. (in fact they wrote to me drawing my attention to how many resources they were directing to the project), and CASA had approved me to do what I do, 18 months earlier. Without an inkling of notice, or any prior concern expressed at all, that initial document they sent me, left me in no doubt of CASAs intention, that in 7 days it was more likely than not, they would bring my entire operation to a halt after 15 years of safe and compliant operations. There were no safety concerns at all expressed by CASA, and there were no regulatory breaches. CASA cannot refute that.

Such action, at least begins with a face to face discussion with me, and if CASA understood APTA, they would appreciate the domino effect of their action, as it effects a number of operators, their continuity of operations, and the people who depend on them for their livelihood.

Anyway, I have been mindful of public funds, as that it one of my major concerns with the way CASA operate, in fact I believe the Aviation Group within CASA has shown a blatant disregard for its obligations under the PGPA Act, and I have continually put forward solutions that would minimise the impact on Public funds. I will demonstrate that later on, as time permits.

For those that have an interest in following this matter on here, you may wish to acquaint yourself with the PGPA Act. No doubt you will roll your eyes thinking "not more rules". Its not bad document. In fact its quite "clear and concise" for a legislative piece. Almost demonstrates that it can be done. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2013A00123

I will continue to avoid engaging any legal advice for as long as I possibly can. The engagement of legal advice suggests to me that their is no remaining good intention in the process. The ball is in CASAs court.


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Old 2nd Jun 2019, 08:46
  #72 (permalink)  
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Glenb thanking you for your support

Hopefully I get a chance to continue unfolding the APTA experience on here over the next 24 hours. But I do want to sincerely thank everyone for their support. It has really been very much appreciated. To date, I had tried everything to resolve this internally and as discretely as possible, but my hand was forced. "Coming out" has been a liberating experience. I am on the phone quite a bit at the moment, and I am having trouble keeping up.

But to every Industry peer, ex school mate (SB), work mate, customer, person I respectfully bang heads with (Gerard), employee, past boss or supervisor, competitor,or Airline Pilot and father of a friend (Gav), thanks for the calls and encouragement. Trust me, its very much appreciated. If I cant take your call, im sorry, but the name popping up as a missed call gives me encouragement. Everything is appreciated and valued, it really is.

Let me assure you, I don't like fighting, and those close to me will testify to that. I can sit at a green arrow behind someone for two sets of green arrows without tooting my horn. I don't get upset at people that make errors. If I toot my horn, the person in front might lurch forward, and have an accident. They may get stressed and make a bad decision, they may actually have inadvertently prevented me being in an accident up the road.

I do also appreciate that two parties can look at exactly the same thing, and have a COMPLETELY different perspective, and I will use the example that I used at my staff meeting last Friday.

Most Sunday mornings, my wife, my 21 year old daughter, and myself sit across the kitchen bench with my daughter in the middle. I munch on my toast looking at my daughter who came home in the wee hours. I think to myself, "wow the father of an angelic 21 year old girl patiently waiting and resisting temptation waiting for Mr Right". As I glance across the table, I catch my wife's steely eyed glare fixated on my daughter, I can see it in her eyes "you dirty filthy wh$%@".

Anyway, as in my issue with CASA, I am strengthened by the fact, despite two sides having a different perspective, one of us is right. I choose that word with consideration. Its a bigger issue than correct or better. It really is a very pure issue, despite any attempt by CASA to smoke it up. It is very simply about right and wrong. Some behaviour, simply cannot be accepted because it is clearly wrong, as I believe it is in this case.

Let me assure you however, I will fight people who head out into the world, and decide to act with bad intent. Im not talking about the person who misses the green light. Im talking about the person that decides to spit on a security guard, the group of young thugs that decide to intimidate a lady at a train station, the group that decide to steal someone's Jet ski ( not mine), the driver that decides to drive on ice and kill an innocent lady, or the jerk that decides to try and steal stuff out my glovebox. I don't like people that actually decide to act inappropriately, and those close to me will confirm that. If you after an interesting story pop down the airport and ask about the Jetski fellas that pulled a gun on me. Its my favourite. But I do back up my words, and the issue is no different with CASA.

Its about decisions, and accepting the responsibility for decisions. As I say to all my learn to fly inquiries. Pilot training is simply a course of "decision making", and the Industry's safety depends on good decision makers. Every employee, and I mean every employee. From the CLARC office (who I find exceptional by the way) right through to the CEO and Board, need to stop before they walk through those doors at CASA, and actually commit themselves to Safety.That needs to drive every decision they make, and I mean every decision they make. If they think their decision potentially compromises safety in any way, or doesn't at least maintain or improve safety, they should stop. That should be the driver behind every decision. That combined with a genuine commitment to CASAs own Regulatory philosophy, and I mean a real commitment.

That alone is all CASA need to do, to improve safety outcomes. Those well intentioned within CASA will concur, because they probably already do it!!!

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Old 3rd Jun 2019, 22:13
  #73 (permalink)  
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CASAS APPROACH IMPACTS ON SAFETY

To those of us operating at the General Aviation (GA level) in Australia, and I include smaller Charter Operators and Flying Schools in that grouping, the manner in which CASA conducts itself with Industry compromises safety and that's why it must be checked.

Whilst I am somewhat time limited, I do intend to demonstrate, from my own personal experience, how the Aviation Group headed up by Mr Graeme Crawford has lead actions, or been responsible for actions that have negatively impacted on safety in my Organisation On all occasions my organisation has taken action, and often at significant expense,to counter the effects of those actions.

I intend in this post, and by updating via the "edit" function, to very clearly demonstrate that. I am sitting here waiting to have a coffee with someone, so will return and update as time permits.

Example One

I have received a very high level of support from many areas of industry including many GA Operators. My advice is do not become involved in my issue if you have a commercial interest in the industry. If you have nothing to lose, or are prepared to lose everything, I welcome your support.

I have been a critic of many of CASAS decisions over the years, and I have put my name to those criticisms. I've been very upfront admittedly. The passage of time has demonstrably proven my criticisms correct. From my own personal experience, CASA as an organisation, is dangerously resistant to Continuous Improvement or substantive feedback. From my personal experience, that creates personnel within CASA that have an "axe to grind", and they will use their position inappropriately, and make decisions that cannot be demonstrated to be in the interests of safety. The result of those decisions, is that they will cause commercial, or other damage to your business. CASA personnel would be aware of those impacts when they make those decisions. I draw on my own personal experience when I make those statements. That commercial impact on your business and its effects on safety must be considered, in deciding your course of action.

CASA have created an environment where many operators feel too are scared to intimidated to speak up. That negatively impacts on safety. That has been my personal experience.

Last edited by glenb; 4th Jun 2019 at 05:17. Reason: adding on considerations
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 00:19
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Glen, thanks for sharing your story and spearheading the effort against this tyranny.

Words of encouragement will only lift your spirits so much and, as you mentioned, some who may not want to become personally involved with your issue may still want to put their money where their mouth is (or would be in this case).

CASA have created an environment where many operators feel too are scared to intimidated to speak up. That negatively impacts on safety. That has been my personal experience.
Hence: why not set up a gofundme.com page and raise some funds for your upcoming legal expenses? As others pointed out, you need to lawyer up lest you get gobbled up by your opponent. Many in the industry stand to benefit from your initiative so let them support you. This way people can support you while remaining anonymous.

What I would also suggest: Think of this as the opportunity to take the APTA philosophy of united we stand to make it the defender of GA rights across the board and not just for your own organisation. Talk to your contacts in flight schools across the country and propose a $10/h (voluntary) increase on instruction rates to finance your legal costs.

Apologies if that has already been mentioned before. I'm still catching up with this thread.

Last edited by Okihara; 4th Jun 2019 at 12:20. Reason: I type too fast. I often forget words and I rarely see it. Moreover, I am seriously wondering how long this field can be.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 00:52
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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I'm a student at an APTA-affiliated flying school. Having witnessed the significant benefits of this business arrangement first hand, I - and likely many other students - would be happy to offer any support via means mentioned above.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 04:13
  #76 (permalink)  
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Correcting Mr Carmody in post 43

Dear Mr Carmody,

Thankyou for your email response posted in Post 43 on the PPRuNe Thread.

In your correspondence you claim that there is no "administrative action" pending against APTA, and that response actually clearly highlights the manner in which CASA choose to engage industry, so I thankyou for providing me the opportunity to highlight it.

Attached to this thread is your response, plus the four pieces of correspondence I have received from CASA regarding my "interim operations"

CASA reference f14/9540 was the initial notification. In the last paragraph it clearly states that "within 7 days, whereupon CASA will make a final determination. As the business owner that leaves me in no doubt that my business only has 7 days surety of operations. Note that there are no safety allegations or any regulatory breaches associated with this document, although CASA elects to give me 7 days notice. That surety of operations expired 7 days later on 30/10/18.

On the expiry of that approval on 23/10/19, my business operated on a minute by minute verbal approval. Still there were no allegations of and safety concerns or regulatory breaches.

On 25/01/19 CASA provided a letter to me dated 25th January and stating "CASA could consider interim arrangements to allow the APTA business model to continue in the short term up to three months (CASA underlining).

On 12/02/19 CASA graciously release further correspondence dated 12/02/19 permitting me to continue operations until 13/05/19. Still there are no safety allegations or Regulatory breaches.

On 03/05/19 I receive correspondence permitting an extension to our operations until 01/07/19, which is the current status i.e. less than 1 month surety of operations.

As the Owner of the business, I can assure you that the consequences of your action are devastating on this business, as in fact they would be on any business. This is very substantive action to take against a business, that is not based on a grave and imminent risk to aviation safety In fact the decisions repeatedly made by CASA have nothing to do with safety or in fact any regulatory breaches.

For you Mr Carmody, to claim that CASA is not taking any administrative action may be correct but it indicates the approach that the Aviation Group headed up by Mr Graeme Crawford chooses to engage industry. Very early on in this process, I became very concerned about decisions being made by CASA and I approached the Administrative Appeals tribunal, and that will be on record. Very cunningly the action taken by CASA cannot be appealed. I wrote multiple emails on this topic, but have included the email exchange for your benefit.

On 01/04/19 I wrote to the Industry Complaints Commissioner

Hi Jonathan,

CASA has applied a “freeze” on all my regulatory tasks, some dating back to August last year. Many of these relate to courses that APTA is authorised to deliver i.e. MCC Course, Low Level. The “Freeze” is what has crippled my business, over the last 5 months. If CASA suspend, vary or cancel an AOC, I believe they are obligated to provide an Administrative Decision. I have made a number of contacts with AAT over the last 5 months, and they advise that they have no jurisdiction unless I have that document.I don’t believe that I have been issued with the appropriate paperwork, although admittedly the misunderstanding could be on my behalf.My request is that CASA issue the required document, to give me access to procedural fairness, so that I can contact the AAT. Hope that clears it up, but happy to take a phone call, you probably have it on speed dial, but just in case 0418772013."

The response I received back later in the day from CASA stated;

Hi Glen, i undertook to get back to you about whether CASA’s correspondence of 12 February varied APTA’s approval, obligating CASA to provide AAT referral rights.I’ve received legal advice to the effect that the letter doesn’t vary the term APTA’s Part 141 certificate remains valid. On that basis, CASA wasn’t obliged to provide AAT referral rights. Regards Jonathan.

So we have this incredible situation where an operator can be operating in a well intentioned, safe, and compliant manner for almost 15 years. Then without no prior indication or notice at all, CASA can place a restricted date on a business, for reasons not related to safety. When the business owner wants to pursue an appeals process, he is denied it, because CASA have set the whole thing up so that I cannot appeal it. I have only used one example in here, but there were multiple requests over the last 7 months.

I will point out that Chapter 6 of CASAs enforcement manual covers Administrative Action. and I include an excerpt here; The Civil Aviation Act 1988 (CAA) gives CASA the statutory power to address safety issues. One of the ways of addressing these issues is by the use of administrative action to suspend, vary or cancel licences, certificates, permissions, approvals, and authorisations that it has issued...….

Therefore Mr Carmody, I am of the strong opinion that CASA has taken action to vary my approval, and therefore I should be able to access procedural fairness as is required. I appreciate the stance has taken on this matter, but it is highly unethical.

If CASA claim that they have not varied my authorisation, I would call on CASA to provide an example of an Administrative Action deidentified, but taken against an Operator. That will clearly demonstrate that the action taken by CASA is akin to Administrative Action, even if CASA elect to try and "smoke it up".

Mr Carmody, this continuing approach by CASA only further highlights the lack of ethics and good governance in the Organisation. As a pilot, and instructor of many years. A lack of ethics and good governance, gets people killed. It really is that simple but significant.

Respectfully. Glen Buckley




Jonathan
Attached Files
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 04:48
  #77 (permalink)  
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Feedback to CASA 27/08/15

I found some correspondence from nearly 4 years ago. I wonder if this was the start of my problems. Refer attachment.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
feedback to CASA 270815.pdf (822.4 KB, 93 views)
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 09:28
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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What’s the judges maxim? Justice delayed is justice denied? Get a lawyer Glen! Set up a crowd funding page.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 11:54
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Sunny, a wise man once said "The law is for everyone, justice is for them that can afford it"

Unfortunately in Australia the public servant mandarins are increasingly manipulating the political class
to enhance their "Powers" to increasingly intrude on our freedoms and make themselves unaccountable to anyone.

The law, the politicians and the parliament and by extension we the people.

When one looks at press reports lately, and indeed when we consider what is happening to Glen Buckley,
could we be forgiven for suspecting that the probity of our public officials is seriously compromised.

CAsA is a case in point, in all aspects of political direction they have failed miserably to complete the tasks they were set.
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Old 4th Jun 2019, 23:45
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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I have to ask the question with respect to both Glen and CASA; What is going on here?

Is this bureaucracy trying to unjustly destroy a man and is business as Glen seems to imply?

On the other hand is CASA trying to do its duty by resolving a situation that might involve a flagrant breach of the law in as sensitive and efficient way as possible?

I do not know.
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