Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

Avalon Airshow, the military industrial complex (MIC), GA a distant second place

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

Avalon Airshow, the military industrial complex (MIC), GA a distant second place

Old 4th Mar 2017, 06:53
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Victoria Australia
Age: 77
Posts: 143
Avalon Airshow, the military industrial complex (MIC), GA a distant second place

A few Avalon Airshow comments having flown in on the Tuesday and attended again by car on Thursday.

This gathering is a far cry from the great early days of Airshows Downunder when General Aviation was a major participant. At this airshow only a small showing remains of GA, and almost no showing at all in the three main exhibitor halls which are practically all given over to the spending of taxpayer dollars through military equipment providers.

Observing the strictures to follow the business style dress code required by the Airshow promoters, and being a hot and dusty day, it was gratifying to find that no tie and (pretty snappy) knee length shorts did not preclude entry, maybe the polished leather shoes without socks did the trick. Otherwise the MIC crowd were, to a man or woman, in dark suits, with black shoes and pant legs well dusted.

Flight planning for Tuesday trade day I was exhorted by the Airservices Notam that pilots would need to display a high level of airmanship and situational awareness due to traffic congestion. Presumably this means that Airservices believes that the average pilot may not be capable and, like children about to cross a busy road, must be sternly admonished to behave carefully. This is typical of the insulting attitude of our aviation regulators. As it happened I was distracted on the approach attempting to find the non existent painted containers that were supposed to be the markers for base and final to Avalon East runway 17, as per the 16 page notam. I think ATC Avalon East were pleased to see me, they must have been bored stiff with so little business. Probably the last of the day to fly in, after a bone shaking touchdown on a very rough grass surface not fit for most aircraft, we were directed by numerous bat waving ground marshalls to line up with the maybe twenty other aircraft in a parking area capable of taking perhaps four or five hundred. The marshals told me that, as at previous airshows, CASA inspectors were conducting ramp checks on all arrivals.

Can't help wondering if these several CASA inspectors couldn't be retrained for motor cars and put to better use checking (tyre wear, GPS data bases, factory recommended maintenance and compliant levels of washer fluid etc.) all the vehicles parking at footy venues on the weekends. Yes, they would have to be issued with weapons and protective clothing.

But back to my Tuesday fly in and park experience, the CASA inspectors were a no show for me, must have been at lunch so disappointingly I was left wondering if me and my aircraft were really fit to fly.

Attending the AOPA Pacific Forum at Avalon on Thursday one could be forgiven for a feeling of being underwhelmed. Coming off a slow start, in part due to an unusually foggy morning, chairman Spencer Ferrier introduced the four speakers who had ten minutes each to address the audience of about sixty (?) mostly GA people.

CASA Acting Director of Air Safety Mr. Carmody repeatedly stated he would act on evidence based proposals. He said that there were 40,000 pilots. We know this is not true. We know that years ago licences were deemed to be "perpetual", and the question has been asked before does CASA take note of those licence holders who have died? But this has little to do with how many pilots, that is those with current medicals, let alone those who fly regularly. In a dying industry the CEO of CASA should be across the facts, should be aware of the evidence.

Jason Harfield of Airservices made an important point that they, Airservices Australia, are required to promote and facilitate aviation, too bad CASA doesn't have the same imperative.

Australia Transport Safety Bureau CEO Greg Hood, peculiarly dressed in a high vis ATSB inspector's jacket, spoke about the work of ATSB and notably told us that his railway accident experts had little to do most of the time. In which case would it not be sensible to fly in some experts when needed? As he spoke he ran a series of aircraft accident photos dispaying on a large screen for the edification of the audience. These several photos were run on a loop so we got a second dose of the unfortunate crumples, but we were also treated, in ghoulish fashion, to stills of the Perth Mallard in its fatal nose dive when its occupants were about to die. I could not ascertain why Greg had this slide show, whether to create a distracting emotional response or frighten us wasn't clear, but it was embarrassingly weird. If it was to distract it certainly accomplished that aim, few, if any, would remember what Greg's speech was all about. Pelair was not mentioned, or raised by any of the audience, probably because we ran out of time.

Ben Morgan was to the point regarding reform for GA and covered the live issues and certainly gave lie to the 40,000 pilot number with his graph showing the precipitous decline of pilot numbers.

Question time evoked plenty of audience participation with many grievances being put to Shane Carmody. Predictably these were deflected or "let me look at that". The AVMED catastrophe probably took up the most time in questions.

The proceedings confirmed to me that there's no substantial reform in the offing, that delay and obscurantism are situation normal in the failed model of governance, the Commonwealth Corporate Body. These independent bodies have the greatest incentive to perpetuate and improve their feather beds. Without day to day departmental oversight it's just human nature to glorify one's status, climb the ladder and creatively make work (the rules rewrite 29 years, $hundreds of millions, still not finished and what's foisted onto GA so far is unworkable).

Incredible really, Can'tberra, 400,000 of the best paid with cushy jobs and great super cannot provide cost efficient governance. A city of virtually no freehold, practically no free enterprise, the most planned, stratified socialist capital of any in the developed world throttling what should be a great Aussie industry.

Parliament is the only hope for change and we need the media to get their attention.
Sandy Reith is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2017, 12:53
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Sydney
Posts: 820
Probably more accurate to ask how many valid medicals are out there!
apache is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2017, 20:17
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,271
An informative and entertaining read thanks, particularly around Avalon East, however I must say that YAVE was going gang-busters yesterday (Sat), I don't know how many were parked, however I've never seen that many parked there for at least 6 years, they were well down past the control tower to the north. The strip was a tad rough but probably better than normal. With a distinct lack of rainfall, very little can be done to smooth it out at this time of year. My tie-down pegs snapped off - not much anyone can do to help that.

PS: The dress code has been on the website for years, but largely ignored - if ever heard of anyone being rejected.

The trade (military halls) were also chockers yesterday. I've never seen an Avalon Airshow as busy as yesterday. Reported to be over 200,000 visitors this week.
Squawk7700 is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2017, 22:17
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Victoria Australia
Age: 77
Posts: 143
Fix strip

[QUOTE=Squawk7700;9695788]An informative and entertaining read thanks, particularly around Avalon East, however I must say that YAVE was going gang-busters yesterday (Sat), I don't know how many were parked, however I've never seen that many parked there for at least 6 years, they were well down past the control tower to the north. The strip was a tad rough but probably better than normal. With a distinct lack of rainfall, very little can be done to smooth it out at this time of year.
Squawk, Glad to hear that activity is up, we certainly can use any enthusiasm and promotion to the general public if we are to slow the GA decline or even turn it around. I should say good on ASDU for helping to keep GA alive.
Hopefully they understand that without grass roots flying we lose the base on which civil aviation is built.

As one who has had plenty to do with maintaining grass strips it's easy to provide a smooth surface in dry conditions. Simply run out a few truck loads of fine gravel, granitic gravel is rounded and best, at high speed for a thin cover, then drag a smudger over it. A narrow strip is sufficient. Some smart shiny pants will object and talk about uneven friction or wheel drag but from many years experience it is a non issue in your average lighty. This variation in surface composition only becomes a problem if your narrow runway centre is firm and the sides are very soft, eg wet and boggy and or, to a lesser extent, with very long grass.
Sandy Reith is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2017, 22:53
  #5 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Victoria Australia
Age: 77
Posts: 143
Medicals

Originally Posted by apache View Post
Probably more accurate to ask how many valid medicals are out there!
Quite so, the numbers have been checked and crunched, Paul Phelan for one did them some time back, you can see the results on ProAviation, VOCA Support, AOPA and AuntyPru websites. How many lost since then compared to new would be essential information, any truly interested regulatory body would have that running total at their fingertips. A guesstimate now would be 15 thou Class 1 & 2s, taking out the O/S students. Of course the waters are muddied with RAAus numbers, but with so few GA flying schools and DAMES dropping out by the dozens it all becomes more and more difficult and expensive, especially for those in the bush who don't want to squeeze into a 600 KG category that's not suitable for the job. BTW creating that category was one of the worst decisions ever, inducing thousands into aircraft often not optimal or sufficiently capable or suitable for purpose. Eg., lack of interior space, range, carrying ability and strength to cope with our often windy and harsh conditions. Not to decry all of those building and flying in RAAaus, lots of amazing and inventive designs. I could go on but might get chopped for thread drift. Cheers. PS there's no safety case for av. specific medicals, another topic!
Sandy Reith is offline  
Old 5th Mar 2017, 00:21
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: YLIL
Posts: 240
Originally Posted by wren 460 View Post

I was distracted on the approach attempting to find the non existent painted containers ...
After several years, I've never yet found the yellow one, you think they'd make something bigger, or at least not the same colour as the field it sits in.

Runway OTOH, was OK and better than home.
triton140 is offline  
Old 5th Mar 2017, 05:29
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,271
I didn't know there was a yellow one until I saw it this year. It was a combo of yellow-green flouro.

Regarding gravel on strip - my understanding is that the trip is a cow paddock for 51 weeks a year however I may be wrong.
Squawk7700 is offline  
Old 5th Mar 2017, 14:07
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Perth - Western Australia
Age: 70
Posts: 1,803
The items are called a motor grader and a water truck. Judicious use of both over a few hours turns most cow paddocks into very passable airstrips.
However, I guess with the $200M invested in a couple of state-of-the-art JSF's, there wouldn't be enough left in the budget to employ the local grader and water truck owner for a few hours.
onetrack is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.