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The Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots

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The Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots

Old 25th Oct 2014, 04:10
  #481 (permalink)  
xjt
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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AAT Hearings Report

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

It has been a very busy week!

Thank you to all who were able to attend the AAT in person and support our cause. You would have no doubt found the process both interesting and frustrating, with CASA continue to perpetuate a myth based on unproven assumptions that CVD pilots pose an unacceptable risk to the safety of air navigation.

The hearings lasted for 3 days in total before a tribunal consisting of Justice Robert Benjamin and Dr William Isles.

Fortunately, the lawyers managed to reduce the amount of witnesses who were required to give oral evidence. On our side, the tribunal heard practical evidence from regarding how CVD pilots operate. We were also very fortunate to be supported by Associate Professor Geoff Stuart who provided terrific evidence on the numerous scientific flaws associated with the design of the CAD test. He also gave evidence regarding the flaws in CASA’s risk management process that they are adopting with CVD pilots. A. Prof. Stuart has over 30 years’ experience in vision science including studies of colour vision. He is also a human factors specialist and conducts work for a University Accident Research Centre.

On CASA’s side, the Principal Medical Officer Dr Navathe was cross examined and A. Prof. Geoff Stuart also gave concurrent evidence with CASA’s experts, Prof John Parkes and the inventor of the CAD test, Prof John Barbour. We did manage to achieve a number of oral admissions from CASA’s experts, including the fact that the CAD did not simulate an operational situation.

Despite this, there is still a long way to go and victory is by no means certain. CASA’s massive legal firepower was extremely obvious this week, with them being represented by a very experienced external barrister Ian Harvey QC. They are throwing everything they’ve got at this case and it continues to be a “Might” versus “Right” battle.

We are also facing the fact that what we are trying to achieve has never been done anywhere else in the world. Despite recent events this year, Australia continues to remain the most liberal country in the world with respect to aviation colour vision standards. For this reason alone, the tribunal will naturally be very cautious in making a decision which is so drastically different to the standards that are adopted elsewhere. We are fighting an uphill battle, but we are continuing to give this everything we’ve got. We have the emperical evidence to support our case and it's now up to the tribunal to see the light.

We next have until the 14th November to prepare follow up written submissions. This will require us to carefully study the transcripts and dissect the evidence that was given. A final public hearing day is then scheduled for the 24th November. At that point, the tribunal will then retire to consider all the evidence including the numerous experts who gave written statements, but were not required to give oral evidence in person. It could potentially take weeks or months before the ultimate decision is handed down.

We will continue to keep everyone updated throughout this process.

Thanks again for your ongoing enthusiasm and support.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 09:52
  #482 (permalink)  
 
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Canada

Please note that our standards are not the most liberal in the world. Canada has a very similar air safety task to ours, and their standards are roughly the same as ours.

Of course, that could change if CASA gets their way. I am deeply ashamed to be a member of the same profession as them.
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Old 2nd Nov 2014, 01:05
  #483 (permalink)  
 
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Harvey was also appointed "counsel assisting" in the Lockhart River coronial which seemed to me to be a bit odd given his closeness to CASA at various times.

They say appearances can be deceptive and I may have misinterpreted the appearances!

Tipsy
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Old 2nd Nov 2014, 06:21
  #484 (permalink)  
 
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Harvey is a hired gun.
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Old 2nd Nov 2014, 07:16
  #485 (permalink)  
 
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Your romanticizing him Frank,


He's a bottom feeding scumbag lawyer.
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 06:53
  #486 (permalink)  
 
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Red / green light at the end of the tunnel??

From the AvMed newsletter today, it seems Pooshan is now Pooshan't be staying on. Fallen on his sword? Told to take his Ishihara plates and p$&@ off?

Changing of the Guard

I have decided that it is time that AvMed is led by a different leader. As we get a new Director, it seems appropriate that we renew this area of CASA as well. Accordingly I will be moving on from CASA in the new year. More details about the arrangements of CASA AvMed are being finalised and I will provide more details in the next newsletter.



Regards,

Pooshan
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 08:42
  #487 (permalink)  
 
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Brilliant news!
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 08:45
  #488 (permalink)  
 
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Very encouraging news indeed.
But let's not pop the champagne corks just yet..
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 08:46
  #489 (permalink)  
 
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Hopefully someone with a modern commonsense approach.
Unfortunately, I feel we are being regulated out of existence.
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 14:46
  #490 (permalink)  
 
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That's wonderful news. He won't be missed one bit. I would wager he has been asked to leave. Oow
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Old 4th Nov 2014, 21:48
  #491 (permalink)  
 
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Dead men (wabbits) walking.

There will be many..many hundreds of pilots, airline operators etc. breathing a huge sigh of relief that the Pooh Shambolic - aviation medico zealot on a mission - has finally fallen on his sword...

Ever since the Hazelton AAT decision against - closely followed by several other AAT losses - the (soon to be former) PMO has been a dead man walking with his credibility as an expert witness shot in the eyes of the AAT..

The final nail however was the O'Brien AAT CVD case when the PMO was forced to admit (from tribunal transcript) that he had been "procedurally unfair":
15 I have another letter dated 23 June 2014, have you seen that letter before?---I have.
You specifically recall that?---I beg your pardon?
20 You have specific recollection of that?---Yes. Yes, I do, but I’m aware of the provenance of those letters. I created those letters to be written and sent to some people.
25 And you’ve mentioned that the decision is on the basis that procedural fairness required CASA to provide you an opportunity to comment on the imposition of the new conditions, which are those conditions in the first letter from CASA?---Where are you reading that, sir?
30 In the first paragraph?---Right, yes. Yes.
And those comments, the reference to those comments, are the two letters from (blank) to yourself, is that correct?---M’mm.
35 And you decided upon considering - well, what’s in the content of the letter you changed your view on Mr (blank) conditions and you allowed him to have an ATPL?---I did not change my view about the safety or not of it. I was - the decision, as it says there, was changed on the basis that procedural fairness had not been afforded. That it was not a safety related decision; it
40 was a procedural decision.
What factors did you take into consideration?---The fact that he had not been accorded procedural fairness. For a legal decision to be made my understanding is that it has to be procedurally fair, and the advice we had was
45 that it was not procedurally fair - - -
Another quote perhaps highlights how the current executive crew at Fort Fumble honestly believe that are quite literally above the law...:
During your examination you indicated that CASA had not yet adopted the CAD test, the formal CAD test. Are you aware that when Mr O’Brien was applying for the ATPL privileges you wrote to him and gave him no other choice but to take the CAD test, and unless he did, you would not be able to progress his application?
---Yes. I wrote that letter, yes. I’m aware of that. If you wish I can explain what I had. The important issue with that is that there is no limit on the test which can be asked for for any person with any kind of disability. There is an unlimited scope for CASA to ask for a test. The fact that it may or may not be - when I was talking about policy, I was talking about policy to demonstrate that you meet the standard. Once you do not meet the standard anyone in CASA for any test that they wish which will help to make the determination as to whether or not is, you know, at the extent where it does not affect the aviation safety.
So poor old Shambolic was only following executive SOP to the letter...
Now for the other wabbits...

"...Now, may I kindly, and selfishly, ask that those who supported Poohshan's abhorrent decision to inflict untold and unethical damage on our pilot industry - the other two members of the DAS trio, Ferret-a-day, LSD and others also be given their marching orders. The farcical CVD issue was a huge decision and unleashed on industry after many internal high ranking executives jointly agreed to the decision. The pineappling of Poohshan should be just the starting point in this issue. More blood should yet be spilled..."

Well said Soty...

TICK..TOCK goes the Playschool clock..

MTF...

Ps Loved this bit from the transcript..
HIS HONOUR: Dare I ask, if CASA believes that Mr O'Brien is a competent pilot as you described, why are we here?
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 01:31
  #492 (permalink)  
 
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Folks,
It is clear from the transcripts of John's case that the (former) PMO still does not understand the "standards" for colour vision in Australian regulation (or ICAO)
As Creamie has laid out, time and again, the standards is that a pilot must be able to operate safely.
The "standard" is NOT that one of a number of tests to determine a candidate's level of colour vision be passed.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 04:15
  #493 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry folks - Transcript no longer available, copyright issues due to AAT permission not being granted.

Regretfully withdrawn.

P106. a.k.a. Red Dog..

Last edited by PAIN_NET; 5th Nov 2014 at 19:02. Reason: PM's work just fine - ???
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 06:00
  #494 (permalink)  
 
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The important issue with that is that there is no limit on the test which can be asked for for any person with any kind of disability. There is an unlimited scope for CASA to ask for a test. The fact that it may or may not be - when I was talking about policy, I was talking about policy to demonstrate that you meet the standard. Once you do not meet the standard anyone in CASA for any test that they wish which will help to make the determination as to whether or not is, you know, at the extent where it does not affect the aviation safety.
Ah, the exquisitely circular reasoning typical of those on a crusade.

Until a candidate has undergone a test that simulates an operational situation, in terms of CAR 67.150(6)(c), you don’t know whether the candidate meets the standard set by law in Australia. And if a candidate passes a test that simulates an operational situation, in terms of CAR 67.150(6)(c), the candidate has demonstrated compliance with the colour perception standard set by law in Australia. Full-stop. Irrespective of the opinion of any zealot on a medical crusade.

By law, you can’t impose “any” test. There is, in law, a “limit”.

The law says the test must simulate an operational situation. That means what it says.

What it doesn’t say, and what it doesn’t mean, is the CAD test – which doesn’t simulate operational sh*t - or some other glorified colour perception test that bears no semblance to any realistic operational situation encountered in the real world.

The test – as least for pilot candidates – must simulate a safety-critical task involving the identification of the meaning of lights that happen to be coloured, with all of the same cues that would be available in the real world (subject of course to ‘normal’ emergencies), without characteristics that bear no semblance to anything encountered in the real world. The pass standard must be that achieved by the pilot population without colour vision deficiency, in the same test. Otherwise, the test is just another glorified game to find out what is already known.

My ongoing worry is that, notwithstanding Dr N’s departure, there remain people in CASA who understand all of this, perfectly, but who may have encouraged or assisted, either positively or by acquiescence, the CVD crusade so far.
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 09:48
  #495 (permalink)  
 
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Creamy,

I would contend that the parties most encouraging Dr Ns
medical crusade are actually overseas.
I'll bet my bottom dollar it's the UK CAA (and ICAO) driving
Poosham. The UK CAA have always
denied colour defectives flight at night and therefore a career.

They have never allowed a practical test and are probably
the most restrictive country with regard
to cvd pilots.


OOW
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 10:28
  #496 (permalink)  
 
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There is hope yet, in the UK.
GA is Donald Ducked,here....The current incumbents of what is termed "the Belgrano" have realised that their organisation has spent so long biting the hand that feeds it,they were in danger of imploding as it withers and bleeds to death.

They have initiated a "Red Tape Challenge" Where all could grind their axes without retribution....results, for GA are coming through, slowly but surely.
The latest easement to be announced,-Gyrocopters will be allowed to overfly built-up areas. A small detail but an important one for a very small but growing sector.----Small, single seat microlights are fully deregulated. You need a microlight Pilot's licence and away you go.You are treated as a responsible individual capable of assessing the risk/reward ratio of anything you undertake.
Wanna fly an unsafe SSDR Microlight?- go ahead and try to eliminate yourself from the gene-pool!
How long this new Pro-Aviation ethos is going to take to reachthe commercial-sector, remains to be seen.
I am surprised, in view of the Judge asking "Why are we here then? " that Pooshan was not focibly told "Stop jabbering rubbish and answer truthfully and succinctly"....Perhaps it was said?
Hopefully his putative new employer will study this case and reconsider his job-offer.
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 10:52
  #497 (permalink)  
 
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I'll bet my bottom dollar it's the UK CAA (and ICAO)
ICAO Manual of Civil Aviation Medicine Doc 8984 AN/895

"SAFETY MANAGEMENT AS A FOUNDATION FOR EVIDENCE-BASED AEROMEDICAL STANDARDS AND REPORTING OF MEDICAL EVENTS"

Anthony D Evans, Dougal B Watson, Sally A Evans, John Hastings, Jarnail Singh, Claude Thibeault
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, June 2009; Vol. 80, pp. 511 – 15.

See any familiar names in this list?
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 18:02
  #498 (permalink)  
 
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Reads more like regulatory bullying and harassment from the extracts than a legitimate safety case. Something for the new DAS to look at. I'm sure there are other cases relating to industry and employees?
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Old 5th Nov 2014, 20:09
  #499 (permalink)  
 
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Witing the wongs & widding us of wabbits??

Either way you cut it the new PMO, much like Skates, has a hell of a job to do when you consider how much Avmed have micro-managed pilot medicals to a point where many pilots are simply giving up the industry in droves.

A good start would be for the new PMO (supported by Skates) to immediately adopt R35 from the ASRR report:

35. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority devolve to Designated Aviation Medical Examiners the ability to renew aviation medical certificates (for Classes 1, 2, and 3) where the applicant meets the required standard at the time of the medical examination.
Due consideration should also be given to Dr Liddell's clear, succinct overview of the current Avmed regime given in his ASRR submission #69...:

Recently there has been a move for reasons that remain unclear to change the Australian regulations to be totally compliant with the ICAO medical standards. This move is without any evidence that adopting more restrictive practices will have any effect on safety but rather will discriminate against some pilots.

I now have several pilots, one of whom has over 16,000 hours of operation, most of it flying night freight in command on Boeing 727 aircraft and who in mid-career are being advised that they do not meet the standard because of their colour vision and so cannot hold the required class of licence to retain their occupation.

I suspect that due to my previous role in CASA, I seem to attract many pilots who are totally confused and despondent at their medical certification by CASA aviation medicine. This involves conditions such as head injury, hearing, cardio vascular disease and prostate cancer, where the opinions of the pilots own specialist doctors are ignored and stringent and expensive repetitive imaging and blood testing is required if the individual wishes to retain their medical certificate. On a weekly basis I receive requests for assistance by pilots with conditions ranging from renal stones to early type 2 diabetes where the pilots own specialist’s advice is ignored by CASA and further expensive or repetitive testing in required to obtain a medical certificate.

The dangerous result of CASA’s draconian regulatory measures is that now many pilots tell CASA as little as possible about any medical problems in order to protect themselves from expensive and repetitive investigations or possible loss of certification . Most pilots are responsible people and they have no desire to be in charge of an aircraft if their risk of incapacity is unacceptable. When their DAME and their specialist believe they meet the risk target for certification without endless further testing demanded by CASA and the advice of their own specialist is ignored by the regulator then the pilot’s lose confidence in the regulator.

In medical certification CASA appears to have lost sight of the fact that all pilots self-certify themselves fit to fly every day they take control of an aircraft. The only day in the year when a doctor has any control over their fitness to fly is the day that they have their medical examination.
They should also refer to the following from about 04:50...


While on the subject of media coverage the Poosham resignation is starting to attract some attention itself and AA online - CASA’s principal medical officer to step down - also references Dr Liddell plus his ASRR submission..
As CASA’s principal medical officer, Dr Navathe and his team were responsible for, among other things, the standards and policies regarding medical certification for pilots.

This included the recent move to change standards for colour vision deficiency (CVD), which has angered many pilots who have been flying with some form of CVD for many years but now faced the prospect of being grounded under new regulations.

In June, the Virgin Independent Pilots Association (VIPA) condemned the new rules relating to colour vision deficiency (CVD), saying they discriminated against pilots working in Australia’s major airlines and failed to deliver any better safety outcomes.

“Whilst VIPA always recognises that aviation safety remains paramount, we condemn CASA’s new procedures relating to CVD pilots,” VIPA executive director Simon O’Hara said on June 19.

“The fact is, there are hundreds of commercial pilots with CVD who have passed check and line training requirements and subsequently have thousands of hours flying without incident, who will be impacted by these restrictive practices.”

And on the broader question of CASA’s medical testing regulations, former CASA director of aviation medicine Robert Liddell said he regularly met pilots who were “totally confused and despondent at their medical certification by CASA aviation medicine”.

“The dangerous result of CASA’s draconian regulatory measures is that now many pilots tell CASA as little as possible about any medical problems in order to protect themselves from expensive and repetitive investigations or possible loss of certification,” Dr Liddell wrote in a submission to the Aviation Regulatory Safety Review.
MTF...
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Old 6th Nov 2014, 18:27
  #500 (permalink)  
 
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Of gravamen and pressed questions.

Seems we are not able to use the hearing transcript to illustrate a point, but thankfully the PM system works and I snagged the link for the PAIN download. The transcript is an interesting read for many reasons, hopefully the CVD crew will get off their arses and seek the necessary permissions so the MaM can discuss some of the twists and turns, without having to rely on independent, free hand translation. Until then you'll just have to put up with my twiddles for some of the highlights (no whinging, puleese).

Before we go any further, the President, His Honour (HH) should be congratulated; no matter the decision handed down, he ran a tight ship, was IMO fair, even handed and all together sane, safe, sound and reasonable. Nicely played Sir.... (Can you give a HH a choc frog?)

One of the more fascinating parts of the hearing came on day three, when the May 26 appearance before the Senate inquiry was raised and one Fawcett Esq. was mentioned along with the CAD test. The reaction from Hardly Normal was an instant – "Well, I object"; - you'd think his seat had goosed him, he was up off it so fast. All flustered and angry. HH, cool as a cucumber asks Lawson does he want to press the question; "Oh yes please" chirps young Lawson (for the CVD) with a big smile...

Well, Hardly drags in a big one and starts banging on about the Parliamentary Privileges Act, from memory mind you, and bemoaning the fact that while he doesn't have the Act itself about his person; he's bloody sure that drawing context, particularly judicial imperial context is a big no-no. Then he drops Joey Norules in it and expects him to produce that Act, wabbit like, out of his hat (Norules ain't got a hat), while bleating on about working from memory. The HH visage must have been a study – here's a QC, barking about a point of law, without a reference or even a hope of finding one for HH before tea time.

HH displayed his tact and reasonable attitude again and suggested that they move away from that minefield until later, when both sides know what they are talking about. It's fair to say young Lawson didn't have the PP Act in his briefcase either; but then, he didn't expect such a big reaction from Hardly at the mention of Senate or Senator. (Or did he?).

Now you'd expect Hardly to let that go through to the keeper and get his reference about parliamentary stuff then. But no; there is no way he is going to have the Senate dragged into play and he launches into one of those seemingly innocuous, well rehearsed, trusted, venomous soliloquies which have caused the 'other side' so much consternation in the past; he's good at it.

He starts off, looking reasonable and caring only for 'justice' to suggest that perhaps young Lawson could 'work around' mentioning the Senate; then 'sulkily' asks why he has to refer to the Senator at all, seems he can't understand that (wonderful theatre); the last part of the routine ends with a loaded question – imagine Hardly posed one hand on chest, the other extended forward, his ala Lincoln pose, and in a performance worthy of Portia cries (paraphrased) "Oh M'lud, what gravamen it has to quote the words of a political figure, can we not dispense with this foul calumny"; pause, sip, big breath, "I have not; not for four and forty years looked at the PP Act; but I am certain that it's very wrong to refer to any parliamentary doings, very naughty indeed". Pause for effect, sits dramatically to the gentle applause noise (some say wind) emanating from Norules.

Well children, young Lawson just smiled quietly and bowled around the wicket, the point had been made and the whole thing fizzled out; neither side dragged out the PP Act and argued the points of law.

Two things were shown, clear and bright through the murk: CASA don't much like not being able to lead a Senate committee around by the foreskin and they remember that one D. Fawcett Esq. kicked seven bells out them on Night Vision and is lining them up for round two on Colour Vision. Not true you howl; well, he nailed Pooh Shambollocks and provided young Lawson some superior ammunition, which was used wisely.

The CVD issue provides such a perfect snapshot of all that is wrong with the current CASA system and makes the case worthy of the time and effort taken to study it. Best of all, Pooh-Shambollocks will not be there for the return bout; and, perhaps Hardly Normal will take the hint that if CASA want to make a case, the 'evidence' must be beyond reasonable doubt, lest the AAT make another legally unsafe ruling. I think the AAT wise owls have tumbled to the fact that CASA can, does and will continue to rely on their name rather than 'facts and circumstances' to win at any cost; Jones being a prime example. Maybe, those days are over. We can only hope.

Toot toot - NEXT !.

Last edited by Kharon; 6th Nov 2014 at 18:52. Reason: Twiddles are a bugger to punctuate- that's why.
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