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Reports of excessive and unreasonable CASA actions

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Reports of excessive and unreasonable CASA actions

Old 22nd Aug 2003, 06:39
  #1 (permalink)  
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Reports of excessive and unreasonable CASA actions

I have just read Paul Phelan's article in the Sept/Oct 2003 edition of Australian Flying. Whilst it is not unusual for Paul to take an often well deserved swipe at CASA, what Paul has reported concerns me. If I assume that Paul has fairly summarised the facts/outcomes of three Court proceedings involving CASA - and I have no reason to believe he hasn't - CASA's conduct, at least in the instances Paul has cited, was unreasonable and grossly improper.

It also irks me that a CASA lawyer was reported as acting improperly - I would be interested to know what the Court considered to have been improper conduct. Has that lawyer been reported to the relevant law society or bar association that issued his/her practising certificate? Despite what some might think of the legal profession, there is a line a lawyer must not cross - a lawyer's duty to the court must prevail over a conflisting duty to a client/employer.

I would be interested to hear what Creampuff or other aviation lawyers have to say. This issue concerns me a great deal. Kind of makes me want to give up flying and take up something like motorsport, despite that sport's greater risks.
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Old 22nd Aug 2003, 07:10
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I always assume that Paul has not fairly summarised the facts/outcomes of three Court proceedings involving CASA - and I have good reason to believe he hasn't.

I don't know whether the lawyer referred to holds or is working under the supervision of anyone who holds an unrestricted practising certificate.
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Old 22nd Aug 2003, 08:48
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Arrow

Creampuff - why have you good reason not to believe this?
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Old 22nd Aug 2003, 08:52
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Thanks Creampuff. I gather there is a bit of history between you and Paul, or at least CASA and Paul.

Perhaps Paul will post a reply. Alternatively, if any one knows of an on-line report of any of the proceedings Paul referred to, that would assist.

As a pilot, Paul's article concerned me slightly. As a lawyer (yes Dingo, I must therefore not be a normal person) Paul's allegations cause me great concern.
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Old 22nd Aug 2003, 09:17
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I haven't read Paul's current article, but I've always found his articles rooted in well researched fact.

I know why Creamie and Paul don't see eye to eye.

I personally don't think CASA have always played by the rules. Like the time they simply failed to attend an AAT hearing, and Muddles famous comment (that got up everyone's nose including the AAT Commissioner) "You are the least deserving of CASA's help!" I'd love to know the legislative reference for that one!

Now watch Creamie flame me!

Last edited by Torres; 22nd Aug 2003 at 09:51.
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Old 22nd Aug 2003, 10:34
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THE CORPORATION WINS

Torres,
Nice to be in agreement with you today.

Having spent many years in a Govt corporation, I became somewhat expert at stalling tactics, delays, changes of tack, half-truths rather than lies and so on. Unfortunately, the poor individual under fire just doesn't have the resources to last out a war of attrition.

I have personally sighted Omnudsman & CASA documentation over a LAME case as one example. The CASA behaviour is a disgust but in terms of lies by omission and diversion, etc is a masterpiece. The Ombudsman in the last paper i saw had very appropriately summed up the behaviour. But, the poor individual involved has had to put out considerable of his own $ and time to get natural justice and also lost out on a significant business opportunity.

The cause - a totally incorrect analysis and decision in the first place by CASA but then a refusal to step back and admit it.

I suspect on the other side of the coin Creamie has seen many cases where it was guilt and nothing but guilt, so we have differing perceptions.

I guess what we see are the negative ones but I must say my general perception is of a regulator who is totally vindictive if you fight back. The case of the removal of Dennis's SPL after the win of the case is a classic.
Cheers
Brian H
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Old 23rd Aug 2003, 07:26
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CASA conduct

"Reason to believe" uninvestigated and unsubstantiated allegations may be enough to cancel a certificate and shut down a business or end a career, but it doesn't cut much ice in the real world where the rule of law still applies. In this case it is simply a cheap and unconvincing slur.

I have no idea whether the lawyer concerned was certificated or working under the supervision of somebody who was. In my observation most of CASA's conduct in the enforcement area has all the symptoms of a total absence of competent supervision. The comparison with a chook with its head cut off comes to mind.

Writing editorials gives the writer an opportunity to express an opinion. It should be based on fact, and the article referred to is based on fact. If there are any errors of fact in the editorial I would be interested to know what they are.

Somebody asked if there was any published data on the cases referred to. I have a copy of the entire transcript of the WA seaplane matter. I have adequate documentation on the chief pilot case, and I don't think the facts related to the license cancellation are in dispute. If anybody is interested in a transcript of the WA matter, e-mail me and I'll send it to you.

Some people may wonder why such a staunch defender of CASA's misfeasances is not still working for that organisation. I don't wonder, I know.

PS: I started typing this and it vanished off the screen, which will explain why (and if) an uncompleted copy appears in this thread.
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Old 23rd Aug 2003, 08:00
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Torres: Repeating the same thing over and over again does not make it true.

CASA wasn’t required to attend. It had much better things to do at the time, and chose to do those things.

Brian H: Dennis “won” his case, did he? 34 criminal convictions is a “win”, is it? And now he’s being led down another expensive and traumatic garden path to a finding that he’s not a fit and proper person to hold any flight crew licence. He’s now in deeply serious and permanent sh!t, through listening to likes of the people who write only half of the story on this forum and elsewhere.
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Old 23rd Aug 2003, 18:28
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My mum used to make creampuffs. She started with a bit of pastry and by some kitchen magic of which I'm unaware a bubble of gas in the middle caused the thing to inflate so that when it cooled, you could make a little incision and fill it with whipped cream. In my view the result had more substance than the previous post.
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Old 23rd Aug 2003, 18:48
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Angel

Geeze you're getting sarcastic in your old age Paul....!

Hope you've been well.

Ops.
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Old 23rd Aug 2003, 20:57
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Mate, I was accused of that before I was 21. In the intervening years a number of people have disaccociated themselves from me for the reasons you mention. The result has been a smaller but much more valued circle of friends, each of whom has a sense of humour, and an IQ that would show up on an X-ray. Some of them, but unfortunately a diminishing number, even work for the government. (Keep those envelopes with Canberra postmarks rolling in chaps, you're doing aviation a wonderful service!)

Not sure of your ID, but my e-mail is [email protected]
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Old 24th Aug 2003, 07:23
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A BIT SELECTIVE CREAMIE

Creamie

I have missed your input, it stimulates a good debate.

You are quite correct that reading the actual doco allows a correct analysis of the matter. I guess my thought on the "win" by Dennis was badly phrased - I look upon how the initial CASA list of charges was first reported versus what actually occurred as a win but I agree for Dennis it was still convictions. Was it 34 separate offences of totally different natures or one similar offence 34 times?

However, in terms of flying with an expired medical I still believe my greatest danger is getting to and from the airfield past the motorists who don't have medicals as they come from the opposite direction 3 feet apart at a closing speed of 200 kmh. But, it behoves we pilots to make sure we note them in our diary and ensure compliance. I know coz mine is coming up and while it gives no benefit to my flying it does ensure I get a regular checkup.

In the analysis of "criminal convictions" the ultimate has been presented to Australia this week. Someone commits a brutal murder and gets a payout and someone naive gets jail for a political error. What you need to keep in mind is that many of us for some reason view CASA action - in many cases - in similar vein. And, have a look at the opinion polls about the current jail term if you need a benchmark. By the way, did that guy really get off on appeal for the seaplane launch, turn etc in WA or is that another misreport - I personally find that far worse than an expired medical?

You forgot the LAME case I mentioned - now I remember the terminology of the CASA response to the Ombudsman it reminds me of someone elses style. We would view CASA in a far more favourable light if they did learn to say sorry when wrong. And, just to add to that theme, I well remember a certain (not mine) aircraft at Tooradin and the vendetta against its owner. The classic was when the inspector arbitrarily claimed the disc rotors were undersized and wanted to fault it - only to find out the owner was a mechanic, brought along the calipers, measured the rotors and ..........

If there is allegations of cronyism, favouritism, no reverse gears when wrong, and prosecution of people for expired medicals, CASA has a public perception problem. The Kings made a very interesting comment that the ultralight fraternity is so far ahead in Oz compared to the USA - I feel we know part of the reason.

As our Sunday morning funny, can I suggest the following (modified from auditors but anyway) quote :
"And lo, when the battle was over, along came the Regulator to bayonet the wounded from both teams".

As an aside, can you cast your legal eye over the thread "AOPA" - I am starting to feel a little like Ralph Nader when he first questioned the car companies.
Cheers
Brian H
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Old 24th Aug 2003, 11:00
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As a mere bubble of culinary flatulence, I am flattered by all this attention.

Brian H – our posts can be removed for any reason or no reason at all. This is someone else’s sandpit. However, I think it’s unfortunate that the ‘Woomera discretion’ appears not to have been exercised consistently in relation to AOPA threads of late. A hint: as soon as you see any two of Torres, Air Ace or Tail Wheel critcising a thread, it’s a pretty fair bet it’s about to disappear.

As to Mr Phelan’s posts above, I think an objective analysis of my posts on PPRuNe would show that I criticise CASA when I think it deserves criticism, I support it when I think it deserves support, and that I criticise it more frequently than I support it. I also think an objective analysis of AAT and Court proceedings arising out of CASA activities would show that so far as those bodies are concerned, CASA makes the correct and preferable decision 24 times out of 25.

But an objective analysis of any issue usually gets in the way of strongly-held prejudices. So much easier to conveniently ignore or twist facts that don’t support the pre-determined view, and to vilify those who disagree. Sound familiar?
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Old 24th Aug 2003, 13:37
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24 out of 25 ?, where did that come from ?.
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Old 24th Aug 2003, 17:30
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LHRT: it’s my count of the ratio between the number of times someone has gone to the AAT or a court with a request for a CASA decision to be overturned, and the number of times the request is granted. Around 25 to 1. All of the applications and decisions are matters of public record.

Anyone can and should make a big deal out of the independent umpire giving CASA a caning – this is a democracy. Indeed, I think it was me who posted a link on this forum to the most recent AAT matter in which Hotop and Gration did just that. The independent umpire’s there because no decision or decision-maker’s perfect. But to extrapolate from the decisions in which the independent umpire gives CASA a caning, without taking into consideration all the other decisions the other way, lacks intellectual honesty.

Justapplhere: your appearance, as usual, means it’s QED.
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Old 24th Aug 2003, 18:29
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MUCH APPRECIATED

Creamie

Much appreciated, I needed an external objective view.

I'm so impressed that I am not going to debate that 24 ex 25.

As in any organisation, what is seen at the top level of CASA may not reflect the reality of what is happening at the coalface. As I have often said, if I could have got rid of the customers and the staff I could have run a great business. What I have seen personally has been more the coalface and I feel a sense of concern at some of the happenings. Many cannot afford the AAT or the legal process, and my wish would be for a more open and unexpensive review process.

Cheers
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Old 25th Aug 2003, 08:39
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Vintage Creampuff!!

Where do I fit - in the "24" or in the "1"??

Day 1: AOC suspended.
Day 65: Charter AOC reinstated.
Day 84: Issue of Australia's second remote area RPT AOC.

It is my view that whilst CASA failed to attend the first AAT hearing (for whatever reason), had it not been for the pressure exterted by the AAT at the conference, the AOC would never have been reinstated?

I would be interested in your opinion. And be nice!

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Old 26th Aug 2003, 05:42
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You don’t fit in anywhere Torres. You’ve never held an AOC.

Your employer’s matter counts in the 24. The regulator refused to reinstate your employer’s AOC until your employer did what the regulator required it to do to achieve and maintain compliance with the rules. When your employer did that, the regulator reinstated the AOC. The AAT didn’t change the regulator’s decision.

Just: post whatever you like, to your heart’s consent. But you rarely fail to disappoint.

BIK. You ask:
Is 24 out of 25 a sign that CASA hardly ever get it wrong, or is it a sign that as far as the AAT are concerned all CASA has to do is turn up and mention the “S” word?
I don’t know the answer to that. Perhaps neither of your suggested alternatives is correct.

What I do know is that CASA always mentions the “S” word. So far as I’m aware, that’s its job. Thus I’m not sure whether the “S” word can be a discriminator between the 1 and the 24. I also know that it’s intellectually dishonest only to quote the AAT when it makes a decision with which we happen to agree.

You also ask:
Is the AAT effective, or does it tend to simply rubber-stamp CASA decisions for fear of having blood on its hands?
I don’t know the answer to that. Perhaps neither or your suggested alternatives is correct. We’d have to think about what we mean by “effective”. However, if it is merely a “rubber stamp” with a “fear of having blood on its hands”, how would we account for its decisions to set CASA’s decisions aside?

You also ask:
Why is it that CASA has such a hard time saying “sorry” when it screws up?
I suppose that’s a manifestation of the politicisation of the public sector generally. Nobody screws up, because that would be embarrassing to the political lords and masters who make the hiring and firing decisions. Slowly but steadily, everything’s run by people who’s primary concern is to maintain the façade of perfection.

You also ask:
If it's right and proper for the Prime Minister to say sorry to indigenous people on behalf of all Australians then why can’t CASA, as an organisation, have the guts to say sorry when it does wrong?
I assume the Prime Minister doesn’t believe its right and proper to say sorry to indigenous people on behalf of all Australians – he’s refused to do so. I think that’s unfortunate. If CASA can’t say sorry when it does wrong, I also think that’s unfortunate. However, I’m not sure what that’s got to do with its good-to-bad decision ratio.

PS: keep up the good work on the airspace reform debate. Despite the odd personal snipe, it’s refreshingly objective.
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Old 26th Aug 2003, 09:45
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"You’ve never held an AOC." Wrong. Personally held two AOC's.

"We will remain here as late as necessary until we have CASA agreement to reinstatement the AOC."
"We don't have authority to sign the agreement."
"Well, you better get the authority!"


Selective hearing Creamie? And the part that still makes me smile - at CASA insistance, we ended up with the only VFR Cessna 206 on an approved system of maintenance!

Paul, your Mum's cooking sounds great. But the best part probably goes when the bubble of gas bursts!

Last edited by Torres; 26th Aug 2003 at 09:58.
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Old 27th Aug 2003, 12:35
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Sorry Torres – I couldn’t resist leading you into a terminological trap. When I said “AOC”, I meant “AOC”. Licences under ANRs 199-203 don’t count as AOCs!

The AOC was suspended. The regulator decided what the operator had to do before the regulator would lift the suspension. The AAT did not set the suspension aside, or alter the regulator’s requirements, or alter the timing of the regulator’s decision lift the suspension. Still counts in the 24 in my book.

But I’m heartened to note your new-found support for the work of the AAT.
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