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WA Air Operator sues CASA and Officials

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WA Air Operator sues CASA and Officials

Old 5th May 2010, 20:20
  #21 (permalink)  
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What a sad state of affairs....
Sunfish is offline  
Old 5th May 2010, 23:45
  #22 (permalink)  
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Why would you expect comment from AOPA now about Boyd’s comments then?
If you checked Boyd’s website, I think the comments were made about ten years ago or a bit before??

Your request for comment is a bit like asking Rudd to comment on the performance of a PM from a decade ago. Why ask?

Now can we get back to the thread topic. After reading about similar things here before this is a bit serious.

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Old 6th May 2010, 08:26
  #23 (permalink)  
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Cool Well Said

I have had the pleasure of reading your comments.
Infact twice.
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Old 7th May 2010, 15:38
  #24 (permalink)  
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There is two sides to every story...
Not in this case, there isn't. The company and Butson had something like 20 years of safe and successful operations, with never a previous problem with audits.

The facts about the argument between Butson and one very opinionated FOI will come out in court, but suffice to say that, in my opinion, Butson conducted safe and sensible asymmetric training, with never a previous complaint.

But in his opinion, "CASA" was demanding something dangerous ---- and haven't we already killed enough people on asymmetric training, already.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 7th May 2010, 23:13
  #25 (permalink)  
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We've all heard this type of story before, the same game plan etc etc, it has to stop.

Glad to see someone has been organised enough to document the events and engage a law firm to take action against the offending parties.

It suprises me to see Alan Cook and Peter John listed as respondents, I have found them to be fair and reasonable and would not believe that to have changed since dealing with them.

There are some great people working at CASA, imagine how it must frustrate them to see this apparently unjust way of dealing with the industry and generally being powerless to stop it.


You may be glad to know, rumour has it that the
one very opinionated FOI
has had the stuffing knocked out of him recently, left CASA to join an operator in the west and "resigned" from this job before the final check, he might be a changed person, perhaps a little more humble which could be a good thing for the future.
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Old 7th May 2010, 23:57
  #26 (permalink)  
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Or perhaps having them listed as respondent will get them onto the stand and sworn, surely I do not need to connect the dots for you ?.

I stand by my statement(IMHO) regarding Alan Cook and Peter John, they no doubt had subordinates working for them, wonder what the court looking into that will present ?.

Clinton, if CASA had evidence (anything other than evidence is hearsay, is it OK to punish an operator on the basis of hearsay ?), why didn't CASA drag them into court and do it properly, you know, using the justice system, instead of the, what was the term:
lynch mob
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Old 8th May 2010, 00:32
  #27 (permalink)  
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Exceptions, sure, why not, are you suggesting that hearsay that is admissible is evidence enough to convict stand alone ?.

How about answering the questions ?.

If the AOC / Approval holder is believed to be breaking the law, why not take them to court ?, present the evidence and let the judge decide ?.

Is it OK to punish an operator on the basis of hearsay ?.


WTF are you talking about ?.
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Old 8th May 2010, 00:39
  #28 (permalink)  
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How about you answer my questions first ?.
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Old 8th May 2010, 03:44
  #29 (permalink)  
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Stink: are you really suggesting that false claims have been made against Mssrs John and Cook, merely to get them to court and give evidence. Why wouldn’t the claimants just use the traditional tool for getting people to come to court and give evidence: ask them to please come, or subpoena them to come?
No, trying to stimulate conversation.

So if there is a process by which the court can be used, why in the case of Polar, Uzu etc etc has the show cause process been used to punish operators/individuals by removing approvals & AOC's without the use of the Court system ?, even when the show causes were addressed, then the same show cause returns shortly after with slightly different wording.

In other cases CASA has gone to court very poorly prepared and loses, i.e. Wasn't it CYAS ?, regarding the C208 in the water at Green Island ( turning up with the incorrect flight manual as prosecutions evidence ). So they then revert to the "other method". Whilst the FOI/TL that did this are no longer an issue, the legislation that they "used" is still inplace.

In other case they gone to the court / AAT, been ruled against, ordered to return approval/licenses and still act in a rather mean spirited manner by adding some unusual conditions, usually so limiting the document is virtually useless.

As a Lawyer Clinton I would have expected more from you, the protection of the innocent etc etc, thats what going to court is all about, sure guilty people walk free from the courts everyday.

Some CASA staff try to remove themselves from having to prove guilt by using a system that can effectively remove the onus on the accusor of providing evidence.

CASA is not the power by which pilots licences are issued, it is the government body that administers, if you want to change legislation, it is the federal government in whatever form that makes it law.

CASA is not the law, they are the policeman.

Imagine if the police could jail you because they had a difference of opinion with you over something random ( such as the personal opinion of the police officer regarding multi engine training ).

How about you present a case study for us, where someone is convicted purley on hearsay ? ( there is a very big difference between a conviction based purely on hearsay and hearsay being admissible ).

I guess what I find the most offensive is when:

1) a show cause is issued, then,
2) the CASA people are not satisfied with the response, then remove licences and approvals etc etc.

I believe it should be:

1) a show cause is issued, then,
2) if CASA is satisfied with the response the process ends, if they are not, then,
3) DPP and Court ( at this stage actual guilt is proven or not proven based on actual evidence, testimony and sure Clinton, we'll throw in some hearsay). This IMHO is a fair process.

Last edited by Stink Finger; 8th May 2010 at 05:56. Reason: add info.
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Old 8th May 2010, 07:49
  #30 (permalink)  
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One further point Clinton,

You might wish to suggest that we are all banging on about things that happened upto ten years ago, these things are still able to occur today as the legislation has still, suprise suprise, not been fixed ( CAR 206, Part 28 and CAR 269 ).
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Old 8th May 2010, 10:25
  #31 (permalink)  
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You seem unable to understand that you don’t have to be ‘guilty’ of anything in order to fail to comply with or fall below a regulatory standard
Failing to comply with a regulatory standard is completely different to falling out of favour with your FOI/AWI.

Your example is pretty irrelevant, we are not talking about a medical, we are talking about FOIs and AWIs in the workplace:

* Personal opinions becoming enforced as law,
* Ego in the workplace,
* a "Get them" attitude, very personal.

A mean spirited FOI / AWI can do a lot of damage to an operator, they need to be held accountable for their actions, it is a matter of time untill this will be tested in Court, hopefully very soon if Mr Butson does not settle out of court or drop his case ( which I doubt he will ).

If an operator is no longer meeting the published regulatory standards, CASA should take action, clear and concise, understand that the holder is entitled to take it to court/AAT and for the allegations to be tested and evidence to be presented.

Understand in this example, in the time between you starting the process of taking them to court and actually going to court, the operator may make the required changes to meet the regulatory compliance standard, but this is not what we are talking about.

We are talking about misinterpretation of legislation, personal vendettas and individuals pushing their personal agendas/opinions with out, so far, being held accountable.

How do you think life would change is some of these situations found themselves in court and malfeasance was proven, people having their homes and possession taken from them.

If its not in the legislation is does not exist.

Last edited by Stink Finger; 8th May 2010 at 10:37.
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Old 11th May 2010, 12:30
  #32 (permalink)  

Check Attitude
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Good to see you back stinkie!

Thanks for reminding us that there were some misfits in CASA once upon a time, especially the North Qld Area Office, Townsville.

Despite a report ($84,000 of tax payer's money) that found there was no misconduct going on, the reality was eventually exposed.

There followed a few movements, either out of CASA or to other regions.
No CASA official faced charges, just golden handshakes instead for those departing.

Some that remained received counselling.

There were rogues in the industry, and there were rogues in CASA. Byron, to his credit, sorted some of this out.

Under the new leadership, some of the rogues are being reabsorbed into areas of power, but the new leadership warns us not to criticise.

When CASA and its officials become accountable for misconduct, we may see some improvement.

I doubt that we will ever see accountability.
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Old 11th May 2010, 23:41
  #33 (permalink)  
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Dear Clinton,

Disclaimer: I know nothing about this particular case.

I am a PPL holder. I have had nothing but good service from CASA. I have seen nothing but good behaviour from CASA towards others, and I try and operate as a law abiding pilot.

However, and this is what concerns me,

The little purple Class D airspace brochure that was mailed to me by CASA last week. contains the following introduction inside the front cover:

"This booklet is produced for aviation safety education purposes. It does not replace information contained in Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP), En Route Supplement Australia and/or NOTAMS. Pilots should always refer to these documents for up to date information.

This is "advisory"(CASA Quotes) material only and is not the only methodology that could be adopted. It is not legally binding.

....This information is a brief outline of the practices and procedures set to be adopted at Class D aerodromes and is designed to provide insight into the general philosophy behind the procedures. The information is not necessarily definitive and the information should not be used operationally without first cross referencing with the appropriate documentation.
Clinton Mate, this same disclaimer can be applied to everything that CASA has ever produced!

The laws, rules and regulations are a confusing mish mash of contradictory legalese such that CASA can not even provide cogent "Advice" as to how to comply with its own regulations without the need for the aforesaid page of disclaimers.

Many of the regulations compound the problem further by being framed in that legally satisfying but totally useless "Thou shalt not .. except for" construction that leaves all of us guessing as to how to comply. Of course you provide "Advisory " information that hints at how we might comply, but it is always covered by the same disclaimer. Maybe you do, maybe you don't.

Do you understand what a mess this makes of our miserable efforts to try to comply?

Do you further understand that then giving public servants considerable latitude to make their own interpretation of what "compliance" means creates a nightmare of a lack of consistency in application of the rules - and that is without having to make any allegation whatsoever about the character and motives of the enforcers or the members of the industry?

If we then make allowance for the occasional perfectly normal human failings among regulators and regulated, do we now understand how disputes ( regularly chronicled here and elsewhere) may arise? If there are "bad apples" in the industry, then is it not safe to assume that there are "bad apples" in CASA?

I am well aware of the consequences for a public servant of a bad decision. It also behoves of a public servant to be aware of the consequences for a business or pilot.

Were I a Minister of Aviation, would I be forgiven for thinking that the fact that the Buttson matter has even entered the courts points to systematic failure of CASA on many levels?

To put it another way, if any FOI were to give me a ramp check and didn't like me, do you think he couldn't find some infraction if he wanted to?

Now the personal consequences, and I expect these are amplified over thousands of pilots and prospective pilots. I am hoping to build a kit aircraft. I have succeeded in finding some information regarding registration from both the web and one or Two personal enquiries, however that has been like getting blood out of a stone.

I am aware that registering as VH experimental requires that CASA has to satisfy itself as to airworthiness etc., etc. I am also aware that I have to comply exactly with the kit manufacturers instructions. These leave considerable latitude in engine choice, positioning of radios and antennas, autopilots, fuel system component location, etc.. I am aware that some or all of this requires clearance from the manufacturer.

But in the back of my mind, amplified by events like the Buttson case, is the fear: "What if the FOI doesn't like me or my project? What if he takes it upon himself to decide I haven't complied? What if he takes it upon himself to apply restrictions?" If you think this is an exaggeration, talk to the boys at Gippsland Aeronautics.

Such questions are weighing on whether I will forget the whole thing. There must be thousands of similar people who are in exactly the same situation.
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Old 12th May 2010, 00:29
  #34 (permalink)  

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Firstly, go ahead with your homebuilt aircraft. You will have an AWI (Airworthiness Inspector). not an FOI, assigned to you and your project.

AWI's assigned to such projects usually come from a solid Civil avaiation background, usually General Aviation.

You can expect the AWI to be helpful and able to offer the benefit of considerable experience.

This is usually a true case of "we are from the Government and are here to help you".

AWI's without a GA background, i.e. ex Airline or ADF, can sometimes be a problem due to cultural differences.

I can recall a particular AWI who issued a defect report on a C182 because the rudder trim was "notchy".

His background was exclusive of single engine exposure and didn't know that most SE types use a bungee or spring assisted deflection of the rudder,
with its associated detenting mechanism, rather than a trim tab with its smooth opertaing mechanism as found on multi engine aircraft.

FOI's are a breed of their own, even the good ones are subject to peer group pressure from within.
Treat them with respect and great caution.
If you have a twisted shoelace on parade, they will find it.

The horror tales are regrettably mostly true. A targetted victim is the usual approach, and rather than look for compliance,
they are more focused on issuing "RCA's" (Request for Corrective Action).

Not only is the number of RCA's issued a measure to their leaders of their effectiveness, (bit like a quota of bookings for a police officer),
but it helps to sway a lay judge or magistrate if numerous RCA's can be presented.

It does not matter how trivial the RCA is, or whether in fact it is valid, it serves to reinforce their agenda.

Having said all of that, there are many fine and respected FOI's with their integrity still intact.

And as for the rules and regulations fiasco, as has been reported before, the Australian Government funded the overhaul of the PNG regulations.

Papua New Guinea adopted, with fine tuning, the USA FAR's.

Almost all Civil Aviation Authorities in the South West Pacific have done like wise, including New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji etc.

They have even formed a mutual organisation, PASO, Pacific Aviation Safety Organisation.

Australia is obviously incapable of adopting the US FAR's, being inclined towards the mish mash JAR's and the franchise type execution and adoption of them.

After more than twenty years of progress with our regs, we can expect at least another twenty,
rather than a common sense approach as taken by New Zealand and PNG.

And of course there will be justifications as to why the regulations of the world's pioneering
and foremost aviation nation cant possibly be adopted here.
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Old 12th May 2010, 10:08
  #35 (permalink)  
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I stand by what I said about Polar Air, but PPRuNe is not the place to go into detail, beyond saying that CASA "closed ranks" behind an individual, rather than having a somewhat more dispassionate look at what was going on.

I am aware that registering as VH experimental requires that CASA has to satisfy itself as to airworthiness etc., etc. I am also aware that I have to comply exactly with the kit manufacturers instructions.

Sunfish & Mainframe,

A bit off beam here, by definition, any Experimental Amateur Built is NOT AIRWORTHY, in the conventional sense, hence the system of limiting operational conditions attached/annexed to the Experimental Certificate, with the intent of ensuring "the safety of other airspace users and those under the flightpath of the aircraft".

If a builder is building an Experimental Amateur built ( NOT an LSA) from a kit, he or she can make whatever changes they like along the way, the producer of the kit has no power to require or direct otherwise, and is not liable for anything the builder does.

It would be a very rare thing for either a CASA FOI or AWI to get involved in "certification" of such aircraft, and the "airworthiness" is entirely the responsibility of the registered owner/operator.

With very few exceptions, all Experimental and Limited Cat. certificates are issued by industry delegates, CASA persons who might have a suitable delegation are actively discouraged. The person who does issue the certificate is NOT certifying the airworthiness of the aircraft.

Since mid-1996, CASR 21 has produced a completely different set of procedures, compared to the preceding AABA and the highly restrictive processes that Australian builders had suffered for years.

There is no relation between the hell that Gippsland, Seabird and others have suffered at CASA's hands and Experimental Amateur Built aircraft.

Jim Erwin,

Re. PNG,

They have NOT adopted the FARs.

The BALUS program, paid for with Australian aid $$$, put the "new" ( in 1996) NZ rules in place in PNG. Previously, PNG used the Australian rules, but they were considered no longer usable. This was no cut and paste job, two legal experts from NZ CAA were part of the BALUS team.

Doug Roser, former head of CAA, pre. CASA, was the leader of the BALUS program, which covered far more than just rules.

The NZ rules have been adopted, with local variations, by a number of countries, including an increasing number of CIS states, and several small nations in the Caribbean. Fiji has always closely followed NZ.

It has always struck me a curious that Australia paid to install NZ rules in PNG, because Australian rules were considered no longer suitable or usable.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 07:35
  #36 (permalink)  
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Polar Aviation

Sorry for the delayed response, I haven't visited this thread for some time.

Re the question: "Why didn't he just do what CASA wanted him to do" or words to that effect:

I think Clark was concerned (as many others are) that compliance with the requirements of this particular individual were either dangerous to the pilots or carried an unacceptably high risk of unnecessary damage to engines due to shock cooling, all without any safety plus-side at all.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 10:32
  #37 (permalink)  
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Re. Paul's last post ---- and put another way, a CASA individual demanding a sequence in an aircraft, for which the aircraft was not certified --- based on a very literal interpretation of the CAO ---- that to demonstrate an engine failure, you must fail the engine.

Reducing the power to idle at a safe hight, going through the identify, verify, secure then set zero thrust was "not acceptable".

FAR 23 aircraft ( ex. "Commuter category) are not certified to demonstrate a "V1 cut and continue the takeoff". That some aircraft, at favorable weights and in favorable conditions, may be able to do this is beside the point.

Further, the "technique" required for the training ( pull the mixture) induces far to great a probability of engine damage and a real engine failure.

We have killed far more pilots with (so called) Asymmetric Training and Checking, than with actual engine failures --- Polar Air was not going to be pressured into increasing the record of asymmetric training fatalities.

The rest, "as they say" is history, with the final chapter about to be written.
Tootle pip!!

PS: To the naive a question. How do you "do what CASA wants" ---- when every second CASA FOI wants something different??
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 13:26
  #38 (permalink)  
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Hi there Leadsled, you state:

Reducing the power to idle at a safe hight (sic), going through the identify, verify, secure then set zero thrust was "not acceptable".”

Are your sure assertions are accurate with this comment, or are you relying on second, third or fourth hand information on this? In any case, please provide the full (and accurate) evidence where a CASA person demanded this?

If many of the comments concerning CASA and some of its staff are not true (or contain significant inaccuracies), then such comments would be either ill informed or misrepresenting the truth. On that basis, it would seem fair to wait until all the evidence is heard whereby a more objective assessment can be made one way or the other. However, until such time, only hearing one side of this matter will not provide a balanced perspective.

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Old 13th Aug 2010, 23:44
  #39 (permalink)  
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With the greatest respect Clinton, the mere fact that you are arguing the right of a CASA to extend to its employees the power to choose the method of compliance with the regulations that suits them personally destroys your, and CASA's case (assuming that CASA holds your views) totally and completely.

You are completely missing the point of criticism of CASA.


Nobody gives a flying if you want to pull the mixture or the throttle, or how you require the performance of any other test or act involved with flying...

What all of us want is:

1. For the exact same requirement to apply from one end of Australia to the other.

2. For CASA to test for compliance with that requirement in exactly the same way every time.

3. For the method of compliance and acceptance criteria to be stated in writing and available to all pilots and organizations all the time.

In other words, Clinton, it should be possible for an operator or pilot, by reading coherent documentation, to determine exactly what compliance requires and exactly how it must be demonstrated.

Most importantly, it also constrains the testing officer or official involved, from exercising undue personal bias or partiality either for or against the subject.

The FACT that disputes catalogued in threads like this even exist is proof that CASA is a failed bureaucracy!!!

To put it yet another way Clinton, if shock cooling is a myth, and pulling the mixture is the way to go, then CASA MUST publish a directive to all FOI's and ATO's and the industry, requiring that this is the only acceptable way for these tests to be performed and specifying the exact test conditions.


And what does this thread contain? Petty arguments about the correct way of demonstrating engine out procedure. And please don't resort to arguments about differences between types. it's differences between CASA Officials that are at the root of the problem.

..and I say this in a caring and sharing manner in the hope that all of us will benefit.
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Old 13th Aug 2010, 23:58
  #40 (permalink)  
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great a probability of engine damage
Probability or possibility? Whatever- a mishandled engine "could" lead to a catastrophe, but correct handling.......... well, why would you tempt fate?

I thought you had more sense Clinton.
Frank Arouet is offline  

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