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Proof that DAS Skidmore is a new broom

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Proof that DAS Skidmore is a new broom

Old 20th Sep 2015, 22:21
  #241 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 7,293
Arm out the window makes Two arguments in favour of CASAs current regulatory system.

" The rules aren't all that hard to understand and comply with and most of us know when we're doing the wrong thing.", and

"The gist of Sunfish's argument is, it seems to me from that last post, that he wants rigid rules with no room for interpretation, which will remove the possibility of CASA officers either being lenient or harsh depending on their wishes."

The first part of the first argument - that the rules are understandable is bollox and needs no further evidence.

The second part of that argument is insidious; "most of us know when we are doing the wrong thing".

In other words, we know what the regulations mean and if we do not comply with them then we have guilty minds - mens rea, and thus are ripe for punishment.

This neatly encapsulates CASAs entire regulatory stance.

What should have been stated was :" Everybody understands the rules and most of us know when we are complying with them". That is the desired end state and removes the guilty mind assertion that automatically tags all infringers as criminals - even "criminals who haven't been caught yet" to use CASAs own words.

The second argument - that flexibility in enforcement is a good thing is about matters both of proportion and procedure.

YEs, FOI's and AWI's need flexibility, but that flexibility needs to be carefully bounded by a written policy (not fckuing philosophy") that describes in detail what the discretions are and how they should be applied. The usual rider at the end of such instructions is that any departure from policy has to have a written justification.

Now to procedure. When the traffic police pull me over for speeding. Strictly speaking, they have no more than Two options. They can sometimes give me a warning, or write me a ticket.

They do not have the right to make up a penalty on the spot or in cahoots with senior management and decide that they want to strap me to a hot exhaust pipe or send me for "counselling" or make me reset my licence test at their whim.

CASA on the other hand can construct its own fiendish set of punishments as it did with Dominic James - and it gets to be the torturer as well! This is plain wrong!

The "show cause" process is a perfect example, can the police cart me off to the station at whim and interrogate me until I self incriminate? Not without strict procedural rules they can't.

Yes, there does need to be discretion and nuanced enforcement, but it belongs in policies not philosophies.

My local police flashed his lights at me the other day, I was Ten kmh over. My police officer relative blips his siren when he sees a driver talking on their mobile. CASA should be doing more of the same.
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Old 20th Sep 2015, 22:26
  #242 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Let's consider Sunfish's "taking off downwind". I'll take off downwind when the combination of wind, slope and obstacles off the departure end are such that taking off downwind is the best option.
If you get this or many other things wrong, you risk your aircraft and your life. Do we really need a penalty other than this?
Do we really need to legislate good airmanship? Is it even possible?
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Old 20th Sep 2015, 22:56
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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Lead Balloon, I was just commenting on your own suggestion! You said this:

If the enforcement options available to the regulator were instead, for example, only education, counselling or proving, to the civil standard of proof, that the pilot's licence should be suspended or revoked, I reckon most of CASA's critics on the enforcement front wouldn't give a toss about the regulator's "philosophy". That's because the regulator's "philosophy" could change to "nuke everybody" and it wouldn't matter - the regulator wouldn't have the weapons to implement its "philosophy".
which boils down to CASA only having the options to

a) educate
b) counsel
c) prove the wrongdoing in court

That's why I mentioned court and the associated pain - I'm not defending it as a good option! You were the one who suggested not having other options.

Ask them how painless and cost-free CASA's acts of pure bastadry in relation to pilots with CVD were for Dr Pape and John
Again, I only mentioned the courts to illustrate the undesirability of going down that path, although you and aroa seem to think I reckon it's a good idea!

I was just a bit surprised to see the calls for more rigid rules and less flexibility in their delivery. Combined with no middle ground options, that would have us all either copping everything sweet or many more court cases, surely.
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Old 20th Sep 2015, 23:57
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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AOTW

You either ignore or fail to understand that going down the court path is not the only path that involves pain and cost to the licence holder. You're labouring under the misconception that all the "flexibility" is good for the licence holder.
many more court cases, surely.
Nope.

To prove a case in court, CASA has to have admissible evidence and discharge a burden of proof.

Let's take a hypothetical pilot called Bohn O'Jien. He has a medical certificate. He's been flying as a CPL for a very long time. He has CVD.

Let's imagine that one day a hypothetical medico in CASA with a pet project decides Bohn's CVD creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of air navigation. The medico unilaterally decides to impose a condition on Bohn's medical certificate, the consequences of which are that his career is stopped in its tracks. Bohn then has to spend about $40,000 to get representation in the AAT (not to mention the time he has to spend and the stress he's put under) to get an objective umpire to work out that there is no substantial evidence to show Bohn's CVD creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of air navigation.

If, instead, CASA had been obliged to prove to a court that Bohn's CVD created an unacceptable risk to the safety of air navigation, before CASA imposed the career stopping condition, there would have been no condition imposed.

The matter would never have got to court.

That's because there is no substantial evidence to prove Bohn's CVD created an unacceptable risk to the safety of air navigation. The only material on which CASA's proposed condition was based was the opinion of mostly biased medicos and scaremongers with an interest in perpetuating the prejudice against pilots with CVD - people who make money out of micro-managing other people's lives by preying on the populace's fear of dying in an aircraft accident. Bohn's side, on the other hand, has admissible evidence based on things called "facts".

Most of CASA's administrative actions are based on material that would never be admissible in a court action.

BTW: Not all court matters are prosecutions.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 01:15
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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If, instead, CASA had been obliged to prove to a court that Bohn's CVD created an unacceptable risk to the safety of air navigation, before CASA imposed the career stopping condition, there would have been no condition imposed.
The matter would never have got to court.
Court, tribunal, or something - for every alleged misdemeanour, there would still have to be a process where the CASA officer would allege that some person wasn't working within the rules, and if the person wanted to dispute that they would need to have a ruling involving lawyers and umpires of some kind, wouldn't they?

I've already commented about arbitrary groundings and suspensions:
I take your point about the suspension / revocation / testing process - that seems to be a weapon readily available for misuse by the authority, given that it can put a person or operation out of business while the matter's being (or not being) resolved.
I can't see that it's an improvement in the system if you can only educate or warn, and then your next step is threatening (or actually proceeding to) court.

To mix things up further, Sunfish wanted rigid rules a few posts back and now he wants more flexibility -
My local police flashed his lights at me the other day, I was Ten kmh over. My police officer relative blips his siren when he sees a driver talking on their mobile. CASA should be doing more of the same.
This is a fine example of an officer using discretion - I like the idea, but you can't have it both ways.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 01:32
  #246 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Great post Lead Balloon, summed it up perfectly . Those (past & present) at CAsA who are responsible for the whole CVD debacle should collectively hang their heads in shame.
When you get a chance, I'd love to see a similar hypothetical summary of the Jomonic Dames & Quon Jodrio cases..!
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 02:03
  #247 (permalink)  
 
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AOTW

We can have it both ways. Precisely the same flexibility is available if the only options available to CASA are:

- education
- counselling
- prove a breach in court.

Counselling is equivalent to the police officer flashing his or her lights, rather than taking court action for the offence of speeding.

Let's keep it simple. Focus on a hypothetical, hard and fast, "don't take off downwind" rule.

If you think it's easy to gather admissible evidence to prove that a pilot took off downwind, I'd urge you to think again. Bob glancing up from the other side of the airfield when he heard Fred say that the windsock was pointing in the wrong direction doesn't count. The TAF doesn't count. The passenger who thought they were all gonna die doesn't count.)

In circumstances in which there are witnesses who are able to give convincing, first-hand evidence as to the actual wind conditions in which the aircraft actually took off, the pilot probably deserves to be dealt with by a court anyway, if the regulator doesn't consider education or counselling to be an appropriate way to deal with the pilot's incompetence or deliberate flouting of the rules.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 21:02
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Gather 'round, ppruners ....

Once upon a time, in a far away land, there was a pilot named Jominic Dames.

Like most commercial pilots, Jominic worked in an environment that meant he was almost always in a double bind: He was expected to comply with his employer's operations manual (most of whose content was dictated by the regulator) and the aircraft flight manual, plus all the rules including rules about fatigue and fuel management and diversions. But, alas, all of those documents contained mistakes and the rules were ambiguous.

One dark and stormy night, Jominic took off while tired, in an aircraft whose fuel capacity and performance were not suited to the mission at the altitude he was forced to fly. He didn't notice that In the seat beside him there was a mannequin rather than a co-pilot.

Along the way, he was given erroneous weather information, and some relevant weather information was not provided. This meant he was misled about the weather conditions and trends at his destination. He then made the mistake of pressing on to his destination, and had to ditch in the ocean when a safe landing at the destination was not assured. All POB survived and were recovered, but some suffered lifelong physical and other injuries.

It was, of course, all Jominic's fault. There were no systemic issues. The performance of the life vests was Jominic's fault. The procedure for preparing the raft for ditching was Jominic's fault. The erroneous and withheld weather information was Jominic's fault. The unsuitability of the aircraft allocated by the operator for the mission was, of course, also Jominic's fault.

The regulator and transport safety investigator reached the obvious conclusion, and launched an investigation to prove it, accordingly.

Fortunately, the regulator and transport safety investigator were not distracted by irrelevant issues like the commercial and political connections of the operator which employed Jominic, the content of reports of audits of the operator carried out by the regulator before the accident, or the circumstances in which flight information services had been withdrawn by Airservices from the Australian territory that was Jominic's destination. Nor were the regulator or transport safety investigator diverted to trivialities like the content of the CVR or a proper analysis of the actual fuel capacity and performance of the aircraft in question. An earlier transport safety investigator report about the unreliability of weather forecasts at the destination was irrelevant. The 50/50 split between FOIs on the question whether Jominic was obliged to divert was neither here nor there. A competent pilot would, of course, have known the correct answer: yes and no. A competent pilot would have known that there were errors in the weather information provided by flight service, and that relevant weather information had been withheld.

In accordance with contemporary accident investigation techniques, just culture and the systems approach to identification of the causes of errors, Jominic was proved to be the cause of the accident.

In a happy coincidence, the matter could be dealt with 'flexibly' by the regulator.

Accordingly, the operator was given the flexibility to continue operations as if nothing had ever happened, and everyone else came to the same conclusions about themselves: FIGJAM.

Except, alas, for Jominic. He received a different kind of 'flexibility' because he had embarrassed all of the wrong people. Such was his level of incompetence that the regulator considered that gathering the evidence to support a prosecution would not be in the interests of air safety. The appropriate regulatory response to such a heinous safety risk was to f*ck Jominic over administratively, indefinitely.

And to this day, Jominic appreciates the benefits of the regulator having "flexibility".

Of course, it's all just a fairy tale and could never happen in the real world.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 22:50
  #249 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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AOTW:

To mix things up further, Sunfish wanted rigid rules a few posts back and now he wants more flexibility
Again, missing the point.

I want plain English common sense rules such that any reasonable person can determine what is required to comply. I do not want a system where we are told what does NOT comply, leaving us to crystal ball prognosticate what MIGHT satisfy CASA, even then CASA won't "approve" it just "accepts".

I want a clear set of policy guidelines on how such rules are to be enforced - including the degree of any discretion available to an investigator.

I want the final arbiter to be the judicial system where rules of evidence apply.

I do not want some Two bit, corrupt,, biased, Kangaroo court (show cause bullshyte) run by CASA which is both rule writer, rule interpreter and rule enforcer to have anything to do with punishment.

I want to be afforded procedural fairness, natural justice and the principle of equity and proportionality to be applied and always in the interests of the accused. Including the right to cross examine accusers and witnesses.

To put that another way; exactly how long do you think the general public would put up with the situation if the road traffic police were allowed to behave like CASA does writing rules, interpreting those rules to their own advantage and enforcing them capriciously like CASA does?

Last edited by Sunfish; 21st Sep 2015 at 23:41.
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 02:35
  #250 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Lead Balloon, you've done it again . Absolutely nailed it!
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 08:28
  #251 (permalink)  
 
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Sunfish, which rules don't you understand?

I can go to the regs and associated documents right now and have clear answers about pretty much any damn thing associated with a given flight - what instruments and equipment are needed, how much fuel, the weather minima, what I should take with me, so on and so forth. Don't give me that 'you miss the point' gumph unless you can be specific about what I'm missing in particular.

Concerning the road traffic police, they can be pretty bloody arbitrary too if they want to pull me up for what they consider to be dangerous driving, or any number of other things such as the roadworthiness or otherwise of my vehicle etc etc. They don't write the rules, but if you want we could have CASA or someone else interpreting the laws and writing regs, and they can commission a special aviation branch of the police if it'll make you happy.

You guys bag me out for not seeing through CASA's evil plot to kill GA, well the opposite could be said for you - you're never going to be happy with anything they do, but I bet any system you came up with to throw CASA out and replace them with something else would turn out to be just another version of the same.

To put it yet another way ... no, that's it.
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 10:00
  #252 (permalink)  
 
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AOTW

You are the pilot in command of a hypothetical flight tomorrow. Let's assume that it's going to be like a lot of other flights you conduct.

You are obliged to maintain a personal logbook and enter a number of details in that logbook. Failure to do so is a strict liability offence punishable by a penalty of (at present) $9,000. (CASR 61.345)

One of the details you have to enter is your "flight time". When does your "flight time" commence and end, for the purposes of complying with your logbook obligation and avoiding commiting an offence? How long do you have after the flight to enter the details in your logbook? Please provide specific references to the applicable regulations to justify your answer.

You are also obliged to record the aircraft's time in service in the maintenance release or approved equivalent. Another offence and large fine for non-compliance. When does the aircraft's time in service start accruing, and end? Please provide specific references to the applicable regulations to justify your answer.

When are you able to give directions, as PIC, that are binding on persons on board that aircraft? Please provide specific references to the applicable regulations to justify your answer.

You decide, after this flight, to hang up the headsets and retire. A year later, while flipping through your logbook and reminiscing, you notice an error. Are you allowed to correct an error in your own logbook, a year after you've retired? Please provide specific references to the applicable regulations, including 61.355(2), to justify your answer.

Given that you can "go to the regs and associated documents right now and have clear answers about pretty much any damn thing associated with a given flight", I look forward to your answers, and showing where they are wrong.
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 10:22
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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You blokes answer for one another a bit, don't you?

I'll play your game in the manner I always do, just trying to be honest.

I do fill my log book out after every flight, or as soon as practicable if I can't get to it straight away. My flight time at the moment is rotors turning time. Time in service for the machine is collective time, multiplied by a factor for certain types. If I need to give directions to pax that I consider to be necessary for the safety of the flight, I will. If I notice an error in my logbook years down track when I'm retired, I'll probably ignore it, or if I need a true statement of my hours I'll fix it. You go for it with your proof of my wrongness, I can't wait.
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 10:35
  #254 (permalink)  
 
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No regulatory references?

In that case, I will respond in kind: You make at least 3 errors.

Of course, it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter, that is, until the day on which you are in a position equivalent to Jominic Dames and it's expedient to deal with you 'flexibly'. Try using "honest" as a defence, then.

Sunfish and I are one in the same. Just as I'm LeadSled, Creampuff and yr right.
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 10:47
  #255 (permalink)  
 
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Well, this has been a silly multiple personality wankfest at my expense then, hasn't it?
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 11:06
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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The circumstances in which your language shifts from the objective and analytical to the emotional and personal are quite telling.

I earnestly hope that you're never in circumstances in which it becomes expedient for the regulator to deal with you flexibility.

I mean that. For everyone.

And back on topic, I continue to consider Mr Skidmore hasn't much of a clue what he's up against.
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 13:10
  #257 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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you have to admire greatness.
but what is it about CAsA that has caused it to be the greatest assembly of fckuwits in the history of aviation?

the new chief medical officer signs his name with MBBS, BsC, Postgrad, DipSci, FRACGP, SQNLDR RAAFSR.
so you think he was intelligent.
my recent medical has him asking for two followup items.
one doesn't exist and the other is nonsense.

they must search high and low for these idiots. normal people aren't this stupid.
I'm staggered at the level of moronic that these jobsworths can aspire to.

I am seriously thinking of telling the chief medical officer that he can add FOTM(September) to his list of qualifications. (fcukwit of the month for september).

if he is the new guy we're in for a rough ride....
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 20:37
  #258 (permalink)  
 
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The circumstances in which your language shifts from the objective and analytical to the emotional and personal are quite telling.
Your shiftiness is also quite telling, Sybil!
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 20:50
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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AOTW, if all was as rosy as you allege, what was the Forsyth Review Report all about? You seem to refuse to address its conclusions, the most damning one being the lack of trust between regulator and industry. It doesn't get much worse than that.
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 21:07
  #260 (permalink)  
 
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As I've made clear numerous times, I don't say it's all rosy. I take the position that CASA isn't all bad because:

a) I actually believe that;

b) I think Skidmore in particular is trying hard to change the status quo; but mainly,

c) because I think a lot of the CASA-bashing going on is just talk along the lines of 'get rid of the lot of the bastards', and any removal or blowing up of the lot of them as gets bandied around here quite a bit then requires replacement with something else which (and this is something I do allege) would turn out to be pretty much the same as what used to be there.
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