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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 24th Feb 2015, 20:03
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Definitely a concerning response from Skidmore.



Let's not forget, it's not two AAT losses that CASA have had on CVD. This is the 3rd AAT loss after the earlier Pape and Denison appeals. When will these guys accept that they've got it wrong?

"The success of my own appeal was a just reward for a great deal of hard work and wide support, but the victory was bitter-sweet, as the Authority of the day refused to let the benefit of my success flow to any other pilot with the colour vision problem. That in turn led to a second far more comprehensive appeal for all the colour defective pilots of Australia. This case was nominally on behalf of Jonathon Denison, a young colour defective commercial pilot who had qualified for night flight in New Zealand, but who was prohibited from night flight in Australia. By mutual agreement between the parties, it was decided by the AAT to treat the Denison appeal as a wide-sweeping test case." – Dr Arthur Pape
déjà vu?
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Old 25th Feb 2015, 00:11
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But Brissy, according to CASA, it’s a new and much more complicated and scary world compared to the olden days of the Pape and Denison decisions: all those confusing colours in those airport gate signals and complicated modern cockpits. According to CASA, there’s a greater awareness of the safety risk posed by pilots with CVD based upon conclusions drawn from accident and incident investigations.

All that’s really changed is that Part 67 now gives CASA all sorts of powers to intrude into the private and medical lives of individuals. As I said earlier, the busy-work of putting individuals under the medical microscope is no-risk, low-stress employment for bureaucratic do-gooders, indefinitely. All in the name of "air safety" of course.

Meanwhile, almost all, if not all, of the aviation accidents ‘caused’ by pilots have nothing to do with CVD or medical problems.

But why bother taking on the real problems of aviation safety when there's the busy-work of picking off easy targets. CASA gets paid the same, either way.
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Old 25th Feb 2015, 06:23
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It has been long standing CASA policy that our standards development processes should ensure that regulations are necessary, risk based, cost effective, and that no unnecessary cost burdens are put on the aviation community. Late in 2013 the Government announced the Deregulation agenda which puts additional emphasis on the CASA policy and further extends it. The Deregulation agenda involves significant red tape reduction requirements and also requires any new regulatory costs to be offset, although not necessarily from the same regulated sector.

I recently wrote to all Industry and CASA SCC subcommittee co-chairs, asking them to ensure that these aspects of the Deregulation agenda are considered in the course of subcommittee deliberations. Working groups struck by the subcommittees should similarly be required to take these Government requirements into account. Industry and CASA members are requested to assist in identifying how regulatory costs can be reduced, either as a result of removing unnecessary regulations, modifying inefficient regulations, or by simplifying and streamlining CASA’s administrative processes, including systems and procedures used for the issue of civil aviation authorisations, application forms and the role of industry delegates.

In addition to the discussions on these matters that will be held at the SCC and subcommittee levels, it would assist us if you could send your proposals for improving the efficiency of our regulations and processes to [email protected] so a full listing of these can be maintained.

Thanks to all for assisting with this important initiative.

Standards Division
CASA

Folks,

The above was distributed throughout CASA (in one form or another) several days ago.

An opportunity to have an input ??

Should solve all the problems, and herald a glorious new beginning in the annals of the adventures in aviation regulation.

Yeah!! Verily!! the start of a Golden Age in Aviation Regulation, all the problems of a recalcitrant industry will be swept away - literally -- as most of the industry is an entirely unnecessary impediment to achieving aviation safety heaven, where:

Safety Is Our First Priority !!!! according the Holy Scriptures Chapter S.9A(1).

Or am I being just a teensy weensy little bit cynical??

Tootle pip!!
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Old 25th Feb 2015, 08:33
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Trust!

One of the major problems that CASA has is one of trust. Very few folk in this business trust the regulator. If Mr Skidmore can fix that we might see some change(?)

Oh, and a complete review of the Act would certainly help.

Fighting the CVD issue is a waste of money and certainly not in proportion to any perceive safety benefit!
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Old 25th Feb 2015, 11:55
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from a purely layman's point of view we now have a system where pilots have the following:

1. A medical that is valid for day - pvt - VFR operations only,
2. A medical that says valid up to CPL and within Australian Airspace only. So NVFR, CIR, CPL are all good, or
3. A medical that says the holder does not meet certain ICAO requirements.

The more CASA get into this, the bigger mess they make of it.
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Old 25th Feb 2015, 21:01
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But surely you feel ‘safer’, YPJT, as a consequence of the beneficent intervention of our regulatory saviours (blessed be our regulatory saviours).
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Old 26th Feb 2015, 03:59
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One of the major problems that CASA has is one of trust
Sadly, it is but one of a very long list of major problems, some of which (but by no means all) have been touched on by the ASRR (Forsyth) report.

Sadly, I do not see much changing for the better.

Tootle pip!!
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Old 27th Feb 2015, 06:05
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And Just Culture does not work without a high level of Trust!
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Old 28th Feb 2015, 05:15
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I thought that this, from the Tribunal's decision, gives an extraordinarily revealing insight into the mindset of Dr Navanthe (at least):
The evidence of Associate Professor Navathe was that a pilot’s licence goes on forever, but it is the medical certificate which enables the person to use the licence.
You see: The only barrier that prevents medically malfunctioning pilots from killing punters in a 30,000' death plunge is Avmed and its certificates.

It is a mindset that that is, evidently, almost completely uninformed - if not completely uniformed - by any knowledge of operational reality. But for the blessed intervention of the zealots on a medical crusade, apparently all of those doped up, drunk, sick, hungover and otherwise medically malfunctioning pilots would go undetected - unnoticed by colleagues, training and checking systems, ATOs during mandatory periodic checks, air traffic controllers who listen and watch them, and miraculously avoiding making a smoking hole in the ground.

Of course CASA never suspends or revokes pilots licences using administrative powers: It's left to Avmed to wield its holy certification sword as the one and only line of defence against licences that go on 'forever'.

It's therefore no wonder to me that Avmed is labouring under the misconception that their efforts are essential and make a positive difference to aviation safety.

The pilot in command of a 787 recently collapsed at the controls and died soon after in hospital. That tragedy helps to remind us what a Class 1 Medical Certificate really means: it really means that the holder has the same probabilities of suffering sudden incapacitation as the general population, CVD or no CVD.
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Old 28th Feb 2015, 06:02
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 naïve?
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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.

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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".

Tootle pip!!
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