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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 10th Mar 2015, 00:17
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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, 03:19
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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 03:22. Reason: additional comment
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Old 10th Mar 2015, 12:30
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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, 12:36
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Smile

No offence taken!!
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Old 10th Mar 2015, 12:50
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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, 13:01
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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, 13:40
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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, 14:07
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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 12th Mar 2015, 00:46
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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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Old 12th Mar 2015, 03:54
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the PAPI

One issue to be aware of.

The disability discrimination act requires parties (including CASA and all airport owners) to modify their equipment as much as reasonably possible to accommodate workers with disabilities. This would clearly encompass removal of PAPIs and replacement with T-VASIS systems. The official reason why most airports removed the PAPI and replaced it with the T-VASIS was to save money.

If the PAPI is the only system in aviation that CVD pilots demonstrably can't use, then under legislation it is the PAPI, not the disabled workers, that must go.

CASA must show that the requirement for good colour vision is an unavoidable, inherent concomitant of aviation, not just the need to interpret one solitary instrument that could easily be replaced. They can't legally discriminate solely on the basis that a simulated test shows that the pilot can't use the PAPI.

Even if such a simulated test existed, which it currently does not.

And even if CASA could show that CVD pilots can't use the PAPI, which CASA cannot.
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Old 12th Mar 2015, 06:14
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Indeed.

But the regulator has already made its mind up, unperturbed by an objective analysis of the evidence. And it is practically unconstrained in the resources it can bring to bear in its crusade to save the world from the dangers of CVD.

Therefore, it’s just a battle of resources. Best to use the meagre resources of industry for the greatest potential effect, because the regulator has no compunction in bleeding it dry.

All necessary for the safety of air navigation, don’t you know.
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Old 12th Mar 2015, 07:43
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Creampuff, once again and in a most eloquent and concise manner, you have hit the nail right on the head. I fully concur with your assessment in regard to the CAD and especially in regard to the “medical zealots and experts with their snout in the CVD industry trough” description. As already stated earlier, there are new appeals that have been lodged at the AAT on the CVD issue, and I have no doubt that CASA would roll out the same medical zealots and experts to once again sing the praises of the CAD, hoping that this time they might get a different outcome. OR, they could have the CASRs changed to have the reference to “simulates an operational situation” removed from CASR 67.150(6)(c). As written, CASR 67.150(6)(c) is the Achilles Heel of the aviation colour perception standard as legislated in Australian law. I may be wrong, but I believe no other ICAO state has the option of a “simulation of an operational situation” in their version of the relevant CVD legislation.
I am of the belief that the way forward is in a Federal Court challenge to the narrow question of whether the CAD test (which I thoroughly endorse as a very smart and reliable test of colour vision) meets any criteria that qualify it as a test of “correctly identifying all relevant coloured lights in a test, determined by CASA, that simulates an operational situation”, which is what the law requires. My feeling is that such a narrow challenge should not cost the earth, and a dedicated group of people could make this happen at not too great an expense. This is something I am looking into at the present moment. Once I have an estimate of costs, we can start planning the challenge. Thanks again, Creampuff. You are a genius!
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Old 12th Mar 2015, 10:37
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Not really relevant to this thread. The new head of ICAO is Fang Liu not John McCormick according to China Daily and Wall Street Journal.
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Old 12th Mar 2015, 10:59
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Minister is out of touch with the Aviation Industry and so was mccomick

yep and a read of the release is here
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Old 12th Mar 2015, 21:26
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Genius? Far from it.

The prospects of success of a challenge to the validity of the determination by CASA of the CAD test for the purposes of CASR 67.150(6)(c) are not certain, and CASA will still want to turn it into an argument about how scary dangerous CVD pilots are.

In essense (and there are deeper complexities) the applicants would have show that the determination of the CAD test is so unreasonable that no reasonable person would determine it. Still, given that the CAD test doesn't simulate operational sh*t, it's not impossible.
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Old 13th Mar 2015, 06:45
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A quick squiz at the pommie rules indicates why they use the CAD test: They are stuck in the Dark Ages (to which CASA is trying to return Australia).

The pommie rules point to Annex IV to the EASA Aircrew Regulation. In relation to colour vision, that Annex says:
MED.B.075 Colour vision

(a) Applicants shall be required to demonstrate the ability to perceive readily the colours that are necessary for the safe performance of duties.
Straight out of the 19th Century Big Book of Ship Sailing!

The rule assumes as true that which used to be true but has been proved to be untrue in modern aviation. The ability to perceive actual colours is no longer necessary for the safe performance of pilot duties.

What the EASA rule would say, if it were based on evidence, is that applicants must demonstrate the ability to perceive readily the meanings of signals, symbols and indications that may be coloured and are necessary for the safe performance of duties.

As I’ve observed before, the current rule is just like the language test that used to be imposed on potential immigrants to Australia to ensure the ‘wrong ones’ were filtered out: “Applicants shall be required to demonstrate the ability to understand readily the languages that are necessary to become a good Aussie citizen.” The prejudice was dressed up as an objective criterion for achieving an unassailably important policy outcome.

This language test is necessary for the preservation of the fabric of our nation! Who would want to risk weakening the fabric of our nation?

Well, as a matter of fact, the test was not necessary for the preservation of the fabric of the nation, but rather the product of narrow-minded, paranoid bigotry.

The ability to perceive colours readily is necessary for the safety of air navigation! Who would want to risk the safety of air navigation?

Well, as a matter of fact, the ability to perceive colours readily isn’t necessary for the safety of air navigation.

MED.B.075 of the EASA Aircrew Regulation goes on to say:
(b) Examination

(1) Applicants shall pass the Ishihara test for the initial issue of a medical certificate.

(2) Applicants who fail to pass in the Ishihara test shall undergo further colour perception testing to establish whether they are colour safe.
Because the basic rule is that the applicant must be able to perceive colours readily, it’s no wonder that they’ve opted for the CAD test, because the CAD test is just a glorified colour vision test which, as noted by the AAT, just tells us what we already know: The applicant doesn’t have the ability to perceive the colours that a proper, red-blooded, patriotic pilot can perceive, so the applicant must be a danger to the safety of air navigation. Who could argue with that?

PS: For the person who PM'd me but whose inbox is now full, the UK CAA medical assessment review and appeal process is explained here:

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/49/2015010...hHearingV6.pdf

Last edited by Creampuff; 13th Mar 2015 at 06:52. Reason: Added PS
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Old 23rd Mar 2015, 23:49
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what next for cvds?

hi guys just wondering whats basically the next process step in terms of the cvd situation?
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 23:20
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Assisted by the disunity and weakness of the aviation industry, and encouraged by governments who’ve abdicated responsibility for anything other than their own political interests, CASA will continue to pick off and wear into the ground all existing CVD pilots with privileges beyond day VFR, and only issue certificates restricted to day VFR to new applicants.

All in the name of “air safety” of course. Pilots with CVD are scary-dangerous.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 07:47
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"All in the name of “air safety” of course. Pilots with CVD are scary-dangerous."

Creamie you cynical old basket you!!


Used to fly with a guy years ago, profoundly colour blind. He used to pass the Inshalla, oops Ishihara test by learning the pages off by heart. Best damn pilot and safest I ever flew with. Its a Crock!!
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:34
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Of course it's a crock.

But it's also a trough of low-risk, stress-free, busy-work for bureaucrats and a rich vein being mined by the CVD industry.

Who cares if some people's careers or career aspirations are destroyed?

Think about the hundreds of people killed in 'heavy metal' incidents in just the last few years. If only the pilots had been CVD-free.
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