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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 28th Feb 2015, 06:02
  #561 (permalink)  
 
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Be aware....

One should be aware that the ordinary run of the mill GP has little specific knowledge of aviation medicine. The other thing to be careful of, is that your DAME will normally only consider those matters on the renewal checklist. Therefore there is no assurance that a real or potential problem may be picked up. I know of some that will ask you to schedule another appointment ($$) if you wish to discuss something not on the checklist.
DOING A REGULAR MEDICAL IS LITLE ASSURANCE THAT YOU DONT HAVE ANY ISSUES (that may be outside the checklist).
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Old 28th Feb 2015, 11:49
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The Empire Strikes Back! on Colour Defective Pilots

.............

Last edited by Radix; 18th Mar 2016 at 02:16.
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 04:21
  #563 (permalink)  
 
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And Just Culture does not work without a high level of Trust!
Folks,
And the only parallels between the ICAO "just culture" and the legalistic and prescriptive CASA version of a "just culture" (which doesn't apply if the very human mistake you have just made is an offense under the regulations) is entirely accidental and unintended.

The "Australian" policy very firmly remains that those irresponsible enough to commit aviation must be regulated to within an inch of their aeronautical life.

As I have noted on a previous thread, only one FAA Administrator has visited Australia, Donald Engen. Only here for a few days, he nailed the "CASA Culture" in one:

"In the USA, because a person is a pilot, we trust them. In Australia, because a person is a pilot, you mistrust them".
Tootle pip!!
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 07:09
  #564 (permalink)  
 
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There is no such thing as "grandfathering" or equivalent concepts in medical certification.

They'll all be picked off, one by one
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 08:51
  #565 (permalink)  
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The Empire Ain't Beaten! Their power is immense.

The John O’Brien result is indeed bitter-sweet. John has had a victory of sorts and indeed most of the decision is such that it will enable him to progress his career, but with considerable operational restrictions . As to the rest of the CVD population, there is still a big dark cloud hanging over them. At a big meeting of aviation medical people in Melbourne this last Saturday, the O’Brien decision got a cursory mention. My take home impression was that existing CVD certificate holders would continue with what they now have, but that new applicants would be subjected to the standard three levels of colour vision screening in accordance with the existing ASR 67.150 (a), (b) and (c), where the CAD would be the standard test for the purpose of (c). A fail at all three levels will result in the refusal of ANY Class 1 medical and a Class 2 confined to Day VFR only. The attendees at the meeting were instructed that the Chatham House Rules were to be observed, whereby one could report but not attribute to any given speaker or attendee. Further, the meeting offered no opportunity at all to question, discuss or debate on any topic, and in particular the topic of CVD.
The use the CAD was falsely claimed to be a progressive step that would enable the rate of meeting the colour vision standard by pilot applicants to increase from about 95% to 97%. This claim is profoundly absurd. This entire project involving the CAD will send colour vision policy back to the Stone Age (i.e. pre WW2). CVD pilots who were unable to pass any of the levels of colour vision testing have nevertheless routinely been entitled to the Class 1 medical (with restrictions) for at least sixty years.
The implementation of this draconian measure by CASA is based on absolutely no credible evidence that supports the prediction that CVD are likely to perform their duties in any measure of unsafe manner. The real significance of the O’Brien decision is that the AAT accepted John’s impeccable safety history and outstanding reputation as a competent and highly regarded pilot.
CASA successfully objected to the submission of evidence that other individual CVD pilots, just like John O’Brien, had progressed to the highest levels of commercial aircraft operations with equally impressive and impeccable safety records.

To illustrate that CASA is determined to execute its new draconian measures, I will briefly outline the story of a very keen intelligent young man who is fresh out of year 12 at school and, in short, he has had his aspirations of a commercial flying career denied by CASA, and all this in the last few weeks, even as we awaited the O’Brien decision by the AAT. He has had a formal refusal of his application for a Class 1 medical certificate on the basis of his failures on the Ishihara, the Farnsworth and finally the CAD. In the letter of refusal from CASA he has been offered a Class 2 certificate valid for VFR Daytime only. He was advised that he could appeal to either CASA internally, or to the AAT. I am advised, but with little extra detail, that he has lodged with the AAT and that his first conciliation conference is scheduled for April.

So, in summary, the departure of the last PMO, it appears, will have little influence on the path CASA seems determined to follow. The issue of morality is bouncing around in my head. Indeed, there is a big battle ahead; the O’Brien case was never going to be the end of it!
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Old 3rd Mar 2015, 07:35
  #566 (permalink)  
 
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How can CASA continue to get away with wasting so much taxpayers money on prejudice and inequity on the basis of a spurious CVD testing methods being used to weed out those who can and cannot fly? There are decades of real experience that show the opposite?
Easy: Governments don't care if a few hundred careers and potential careers are destroyed. To do otherwise would, in the words of the erstwhile Director of Aviation Safety, Mr McCormick, be "dangerous".

All CASA has to do is say: "risk to the safety of air navigation", and governments run like seven year olds from a brown snake. The cognitive bias of punters, and therefore the majority of voters, dictates this behaviour.

Gone are the days of governments regulating on the basis of objective evidence - they and their advisors wouldn't know what that was, if it bit them on the arse. And, if objective evidence does bite them on the arse and it's politically 'inconvenient' and expedient to ignore it, it will be banned as dangerous.

Don't be fooled by the rhetorical fist waving of Laborial Senators on Committees. Judge them by what the governments of which they are a part do, not say. Mr McCormick was rewarded for his efforts.

The 'industry' doesn't help itself. With the signal exception of the people who signed the petition and wrote to their various elected representatives, the support of the industry for John O'Brien was PATHETIC.

But the 'good' news is that along with picking off the dangerous CVD people, CASA Avmed is now coming after everyone else because everyone else is presumptively dangerous and Avmed's crusade is to save the world from everyone. I anticipate that Avmed's crusade against people who commit the heinous sin of being ordinary Australians may goad all the Jacks and Jills into realising they aren't alright.

Have you consumed more than 8 standard drinks at one party in the last year? You're next!

And for those who think, because they've the memory of a gold fish, that Mr Skidmore is the Messiah for GA, I note some extracts from the Aviation Safety Regulation Review executive summary and Mr Skidmore's comments during the recent Estimates hearings, on the subject of 'trust'.

The executive summary of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review says this:
The current relationship between industry and the regulator is cause for concern. In recent years, the regulator has adopted an across the board hard-line philosophy, which in the Panel's view, is not appropriate for an advanced aviation nation such as Australia. As a result, relationships between industry and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have, in many cases, become adversarial.
...
A number of countries with advanced aviation regulatory systems have developed collaborative relationships between their regulators and industry, leading to open sharing of safety data. Due to the present adversarial relationship between industry and CASA, Australia lacks the degree of trust required to achieve this important aim. Sharing safety data is a fundamental principle of good safety management.

The Panel concludes that CASA and industry need to build an effective collaborative relationship on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. Therefore, CASA needs to set a new strategic direction. The selection of a new Director of Aviation Safety should concentrate on finding an individual with leadership and change management abilities, rather than primarily aviation expertise. Other jurisdictions have appointed leaders without an aviation background, who have been successful in changing the strategic direction of the safety regulator. ...
Think about how much time and effort was put into that Review, by all concerned.

Fast forward to the Estimates hearing last week (24 Feb 15):
Senator XENOPHON: So you do concede that there have been, in the past, barriers between industry and CASA?

Mr Skidmore: I am aware the ASRR put that forward as a view.

Senator XENOPHON: So you are attempting to redress that view?

Mr Skidmore: I will attempt to redress a view of that perception. I cannot say, because I was not involved in that discussion, whether it was actually occurring or not.
You see: This lack of trust in the regulator is just a "perception". What would the ASSR panel members and the authors of submissions know?

Last edited by Creampuff; 3rd Mar 2015 at 08:43.
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Old 3rd Mar 2015, 12:40
  #567 (permalink)  
 
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How can the 1989 Denison test case be ignored by CASA? Don't CASA have to abide by the judges decision?

That ruling decided all deuteranopes were no added risk to aviation safety. Albeit leaving out protanopes like Jon Obrien - hence the recent case.

So if CASA now refuse issuing a class 1 to a deuteranope shouldn't the applicant refer this to the AAT for them to force CASA to follow that ruling?

OOW

Last edited by outofwhack; 3rd Mar 2015 at 12:51. Reason: Grammar
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Old 3rd Mar 2015, 14:35
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I will first apologise to those who wrote to their respective members and those who donated to help Johns AAT case. To the rest Creamy is right, the support was extremely disappointing. I imagine this will end up in the federal court at some stage whilst a few may help, most will ride on the coat tails of others. I'm alright "Jack", until it affects me, is alive and well.
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Old 8th Mar 2015, 04:13
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Just thinking about the comments above. CASA's argument at the AAT seemed to mainly focus on a pilot with defective colour vision being able to accurately determine PAPI indications. So that, to my thinking anyway, should not give them cause to target all the pilots out there who are only exercising CPL or PPL IR and NVFR. Am I being nave?
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Old 9th Mar 2015, 02:02
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Don't lose sight of the big picture. Have no doubt in your mind Avmed was going to come after CVD's anyway. This started long before John's case was even thought about.

Last edited by Bill Smith; 9th Mar 2015 at 07:43.
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Old 9th Mar 2015, 14:32
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CASA's argument at the AAT seemed to mainly focus on a pilot with defective colour vision being able to accurately determine PAPI indications
And this was comprehensively refuted on scientifically supportable grounds, unlike the CASA "evidence".

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Old 9th Mar 2015, 23:17
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Clearedtoreenter,
Does this mean instigating another fight at the AAT to restore the rights for pilots that was won all those years ago?

Not denying for one second John's right to take his case to the AAT so he could get his ATPL but I had a sick feeling in my gut that sticking our heads above the parapet would have CASA going on a bit of a witch hunt.
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Old 10th Mar 2015, 02:19
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The fact is that the former PMO foreshadowed as far back as 2008 that he would "sort out the colour vision problem", in an address to the 2008 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine held in Darwin. He was then new to the job, and he had his targets well and truly selected even then. He tried to withdraw the ATPL privileges of one of our members, privileges that had been legally and reasonably granted by the earlier PMO Rob Liddell. We have access to case records and information under FOI that are compelling evidence of the zealous nature of Associate Professor PN's plans. What was clear then, and remains true today, that he was one of several of the team in AVMED that had CVD pilots in their sights. Hence, it comes as no surprise to me that the current incumbents are carrying on the campaign with equal vigour.


As said earlier, there are further cases proceeding to AAT appeals. The fundamental issue remains clear: the colour perception standard has no scientific basis and the exclusion of any person, including ab-initio pilots, on the basis of their colour vision is pure and simple discrimination. More people are "getting it" and supporting our cause. As to the suggestion that we should have kept our heads below the parapet, that is not how intelligent people should behave when they are being discriminated against.

Last edited by Arthur Pape; 10th Mar 2015 at 02:22. Reason: additional comment
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Old 10th Mar 2015, 11:30
  #574 (permalink)  
 
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Arthur,
I did not mean to offend with my comment about keeping heads down. I certainly wasn't aware of Navathe's personal little war on the matter.

Has there been anything communicated by AVMED of an intention to apply the current restrictions to those already exercising CPL, IR or NVFR privileges?
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Old 10th Mar 2015, 11:36
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Smile

No offence taken!!
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Old 10th Mar 2015, 11:50
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Interestingly a colleague of mine was at a dinner with Mr Skidmore last week. His impression was that the director came across as someone who really wants to see change in CASA's culture. Time will tell I guess.
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Old 10th Mar 2015, 12:01
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class action...

Any legal eagle able to say if.... all those CVD folk . now and future that are being discriminated against, on the basis of CAsA's non scientific whimsy, take an action against the regulator.??
It would seem to me that those in AVmeddle with their axe grinding dont really have a case and are just ignoring all the evidence and AAT outcomes.
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Old 11th Mar 2015, 12:40
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------ wants to see change in CASA's culture.
YPJT,
If that is the case, he did not make a good start when answering the CVD question, in effect he aggressively supported the new AvMed "Back to the Stone Age" approach.
You will find a link to the video on one of the other threads, or maybe earlier on this thread.
He has done the same thing on a matter concerning CAR 166 -- the more you talk on the radio, the safer you are doubtless being.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 11th Mar 2015, 13:07
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Leadsled,
Yes I saw his response to the AAT finding. Just saying what my colleague, who is a non pilot thought of him..
I too will be interested on the opinions of our more learned PPRUNERs to aora's suggestion of a class action. It could well come to that if CASA try a wind back on the current CVD CPLs.
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Old 11th Mar 2015, 23:46
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There is probably scope for a representative action (in the vernacular – a ‘class action’) on the grounds of disability discrimination, given the broad definition of ‘disability’ in the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act. However, it would be a very expensive piece of litigation, noting that there would be a conga line of taxpayer-funded lawyers, medical zealots and experts with their snout in the CVD industry trough ranged against the claimants. Also, the Disability Discrimination Act itself notes that “subsection 98(6B) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988, which allows regulations made under that Act to contain provisions that are inconsistent with this Act if the inconsistency is necessary for the safety of air navigation.” Of course, that merely begs the question, but it would be a very expensive route to get an authoritative answer.

Seems to me the weak point continues to be the CAD test, because everyone knows it doesn’t simulate operational sh*t.

In John O’Brien’s case, CASA’s submission to the AAT was that the CAD test is “a simulation of an aspect of a task required in an operational situation”. However, CASA also had little choice but to concede, in its submissions, that the expert they called had acknowledged that the CAD test “does not simulate an aviation task”. The AAT observed that:
The information obtained by CASA from [CAD] testing of Mr O’Brien is little more than that to which they were already aware, having had the diagnosis of protanopia confirmed in previous tests.
However, as predicted, CASA submitted and the AAT had little choice but to accept that the AAT does not have jurisdiction to review CASA’s decision to determine the CAD test.

CASA’s submission was that even if the CAD test is not one that can reasonably fall within the description of a test that “simulates an operational situation” in terms of CASR 67.150(6)(c):

- the AAT does not have jurisdiction to review CASA’s decision to determine the CAD test for the purposes of CASR 67.150(6)(c); and

- the Applicant still hadn’t passed any of the prescribed tests.

In other words, CASA said that even if the CAD test does not simulate an operational situation as required by the law: Too bad; too sad. The AAT cannot do anything about it and the Applicant’s career certainty, and other people in like circumstances, can go hang.

The only clear path to review of the decision to determine the CAD test seems to me to be judicial review in the Federal Court. All that is required is the Court to declare that the determination of the CAD test is not a valid test for the purposes of CASR 67.150(6)(c) in one applicant’s case, and that declaration is effective in respect of all applicants in similar circumstances. If an applicant can knock the CAD test over, that would be a major step forward (really a repositioning close to where we were before the zealots started their recent crusade).

The question whether the CAD test falls within the description of a test that “simulates an operational situation” in terms of CASR 67.150(6)(c) shouldn’t be one that requires a conga line of taxpayer-funded lawyers, medical zealots and experts with their snout in the CVD industry trough to answer. That question is one on which the opinion of operational experts, not medical experts, is relevant. And we know what any objective operational expert would say about what operational situation the CAD test simulates.

Of course a valid test for the purposes of CASR 67.150(6)(c) needs to involve coloured lights. But we already know what the most safety-critical operational situation involving coloured lights is for pilots: PAPI. Even the medical zealots and experts with their snout in the CVD industry trough acknowledge this (but change the goalposts to ‘prove’ their pre-judgement, in the face of evidence that pilots with CVD handle PAPI approaches as well as, and as badly as, the non-CVD pilot population.)

So if the Court:

- declared the CAD test not to be a test validly determined for the purposes of CASR 67.150(6)(c) in the case of pilot applicants; and

- ordered CASA to determine a PAPI simulation or real PAPI approaches for those purposes

the required standard would be restored to an evidence-based standard.

The battle then would be to prevent the medical zealots and experts with their snout in the CVD industry trough from designing something called a PAPI simulation but in fact, like the CAD test, merely a glorified colour vision test. A proper simulation needs realistic environmental integrity.
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