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What's wrong with CASA?

Old 20th Aug 2019, 04:18
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What's wrong with CASA?

What’s wrong with CASA asked my son Daniel a Private Pilot some months ago?

As I contemplated the question, I offered him the following explanation and at his suggestion I now offer my thoughts to you.

Let me introduce myself. I am a former Examiner of Airmen in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). I was one of the early General Aviation recruits to progress through the Flying Operations Inspectorate levels 2 and 3 when CAA changed name/restructured into the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). I hold an Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) aeroplanes, a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) helicopters, Instructor ratings on Aeroplanes and am an independent Approved Testing Officer (ATO)/Examiner of Airmen and act on behalf of CASA to conduct flight tests to allow CASA to issue Pilot licences and associated ratings. I was employed in the CAA/CASA in Inspector roles from 1990-2007.

G’day Dan, I have written lots on the basic problems internally in the past and have been part of a group of CASA pilots that have made many submissions, some are included in my thoughts below which have fallen on deaf ears as it is too close to the bone for governments of all persuasions.

The problem with CASA in a nutshell is the deliberate breakdown of the Westminster System of Government in Australia.

Incumbent departmental Government Ministers since about 1974 have found ways to avoid their Ministerial Responsibility and shift what was traditionally their accountability, to that of Departmental Heads, which is not realistically possible under a pure Westminster system.

CASA is an Executive arm of the Federal Government; it functions as the regulator and as the reader, you need to understand the actual role CASA plays under the Australian System of Government.

The Westminster system of Government has four elements, the people (you and me) the parliament, the judiciary and the regulator.

There’s a set of rules called the Constitution which controls the behaviour of each of the elements. Each element in the system has a distinct role to play and for the system to work properly, the powers of any one group must not be undermined by any of the others.

The system is designed to make each element answerable to some other, but no one group ever gets to hold all the cards.

Under this system, the regulator’s (CASA) job is that of a police force. The role of a police force is to administer the law, as written, without fear or favour. The policeforce is seldom loved by the people, but if it does its job, as it should, it will always be respected.

In aviation and in other specialised departments, the spin on the ball is the regulator has an additional role to play. Because aviation is a specialist field, the technicalities of which are not necessarily understood by those who comprise the government, the regulator, being a disinterested body [[b]a disinterested body is the fundamental pillar of any regulator], is required to contribute to setting and recommending standards.

CASA must not only be able to understand and implement the law, but it must have enough knowledge of the industry to remain abreast of changes and legislate accordingly, in aviation, a daunting task.

Given the complexity of the role, the ability of CASA’s senior management teams to handle the task must be closely examined on an ongoing basis.

Unfortunately, this task has largely been delegated to a group of so-called professionals called Human Resources (now I believe called People and Performance) (HR) in CASA and many other government departments. HR is a construct of non-technically qualified pseudo phycologists that were formally called personnel/payroll departments. When it comes to employing technical staff, they employ personnel who are submissive and compliant to the philosophy of the day, rather than to the discipline the personnel are to be administering. Over a period, the qualified and practiced technical staff have become very “Rumsfeld like”; they don’t know what they don’t know = ‘Compound Ignorance’.

On the Flying Operations Inspectorate (FOI) side of the equation there is no depth of regulatory expertise, nor is there a great degree of specialist knowledge. As a result, the inspectorate is open to capture by an enthusiastic but not necessarily knowledgeable Board. The fact that senior managers are on contract and do not have Public Service permanency does not help with the needed objectivity required to perform the task given to them by the people (PUBLIC).

Consequently, in recent decades, the 1990s and 2000s, managers have latched onto concepts that they can readily understand and can put before a Board as evidence of their success in their managerial field. Two concepts which come readily to mind are saving money and industry audit.

There can be no objection to management saving money - however, when the savings are made at the expense of a competent, flying currency and a well-trained Inspectorate then that is another matter entirely. CASA management rationalise that the Airlines are the experts in all areas of aviation which is another attack on the Executive arm of Government. It is akin to putting the fox in charge of the hen house. There is no easy way to say this but the Ministerial strategy of having contracted management who have converted inspectorate competency expenses (flight training) and industry credibility to that of budgetary savings (thanks largely in recent times to the longevity of the Howard governments). Has meant over the last 20 or so years, the deterioration in inspectorate competency is at the point where CASA is not even capable of knowing what competencies an inspectorate needs to perform its basic functions.

Governments rationalise the reduction in inspectorate competence, by emphasizing industry audit as CASA's primary role. Put simply, they see CASA as policemen. "Here is the standard - go and check against it - you don't need to know how to fly or maintain an aircraft to do that" and HR (payroll) employ that criteria. It is only necessary to have held or hold a pilot license at some time in your life to be an inspector.

Audit is seen in management's eyes, as a simple check, of actuality, against a published standard.

In some areas in aircraft airworthiness this is probably enough. The manufacturer builds an aircraft and produces a maintenance manual. Instructions are specific - "Install sump plug, part No x fitted with new O ring, part No y and tighten to z ft lbs". Under these circumstances, audit is easy.

The problem is that management, lacking the knowledge, considers that it is equally easy to audit in the flying operations inspectorate area, as HR in their wisdom have elected in many cases to have Airworthiness managers managing the Flying Operations sections.

What CASA has not appreciated and is so demoralising for me as an ex-CASA representative is that in much of the flying operations areas there are no manufacturer’s instructions. A flying operations inspector auditing an organisation to ensure that it has 'suitable procedures and practices' needs to understand that there are as many procedures and practices as there are organisations in Australia and the world.

What is acceptable and what is not becomes very much a matter of judgment on the Inspectors’ part.

Herein lies the key and why we are in such confusion and why there is such a demise in the flying operations inspector/inspectorate. An inspector can only exercise sound judgment if he/she can base that judgment on two attributes, namely knowledge and experience, both of which, have been leached out of the inspectorate in the last 20 plus years in the interests of saving what amounts to a few dollars. Such neglect will compound to provide us with little disasters at first, if we do not intervene, and we know what is needed of a regulator. We had it in 1988, a competent inspectorate, and mostly respected by the industry. Mary Schiavo who was the head of the FAA, was asked about a tricky incident on a technology issue when Fly -by-wire was being introduced. She said in words to this effect “it is not the FAA’s job to tell Boeing how to build an Aircraft but it is the FAA’s job to have enough knowledge to say that if you are going to have three flight control computers talk to each other then one of those computers programmes should be written by a different designer/programmer.” At the time it was only possible to audit about 20,000 lines of computer script. There’s no point in having a fault in a system and all three computers not seeing the problem. It doesn’t mean an incident wouldn’t happen but a line of defence for the ‘Public” has been put in place.

Pilot training these days is not really knowledge based but more checklist driven. When you’ve been around for a while you learn that checklist is a must in normal operations but it is often a best guess in an emergency, as emergencies in reality, when they occur, have not read the checklist (QANTAS A380) and do not necessarily conform to what some engineer has anticipated as a sequence of events in an emergency checklist. The exception to this being when emergencies are pre-programmed into pilot simulator training.

To some extent knowledge can be acquired in the classroom but the application of this knowledge requires a measure of experience and this can only be gained in the field doing the job. For example, no inspector should assess an operator's fuel policy until he/she has been in a minimum fuel situation and has understood the stress this situation places on a flight crew. {This is now an issue in the standard of training I see when doing flight tests of late, candidates can find information but interpreting the information is in some instances venturing into another reality. Scenario based questioning or the application of the requirements (Still a CASA policy) has been reduced to that of a box ticking exercise to meet pages and pages of competency standards now required by CASA. The ability of a pilot being able to save themselves if something goes wrong is disappearing fast in the General Aviation training field, and today is either not taught or not applied during their training}.

It is not enough to remember what it was like from years gone by (held or have held a pilot license to be an Inspector). In time, our human minds have the ability of blocking out unpleasant experiences, we recall the good weather and the great landings, but we somehow forget the occasions that we made a real pig's ear out of the situation.

In the final analysis, the credibility of CASA has been deliberately undermined on a false premise, that the industry has too much at stake to cut corners, the very reason Regulators were introduced in the first place. In the year before I joined the CAA in 1990 the Gyrocopter fraternity based in the Melbourne area killed 90% of their membership the previous year because there was no training and licensing. Late in 1989, training was introduced and the following year there were no deaths.

In response to the statement that “the Airlines and Operators are now the experts”, in days previously if CASA was to decide that an operator's procedures were unsatisfactory and consequently refused to issue whatever the permission or approval being sought, the operator, under the democratic system described, would have a right to take his/her case to the judiciary. This would result in CASA having to justify the judgment of the inspector before a disinterested third party.

The operator/Airline will always argue that his crews have thousands of hours of experience in the area in question and in comparison, what would CASA know?

CASA's counter to this, has in the past, always been that the Operational Inspector is not only an experienced pilot, endorsed and required to be current on the operator's aircraft but also experienced on a whole range of other aircraft and familiar with other operator's procedures and it is from this base that he/she made their assessment.

In previous decades, this was the case. CASA flying inspectors were recruited from experienced flying instructors, chief pilots, check captains or chief flying instructors. The skills they brought to CASA were enhanced by endorsements and flying on a range of Departmental aircraft which were representative of that portion of the industry in which they were involved. Those Inspectors involved in industry assessment were given regular training on the industry aircraft even to the extent of exposure to overseas simulators and operators. Those involved in setting standards were given the opportunity to use Departmental aircraft to validate the standards that they had produced.

This did in effect, ensure that the flying operational inspector remained abreast of industry developments. It did not provide the inspector with many flying hours, but it did provide them with a broad base of experience from which to make their judgments, and that, after all, was what they were employed to do.

Historically the DCA, CAA (department of many names) had their own aircraft since 1921 to enable the carrying out of the many duties required by legislation.
Even more so now, with technology racing ahead, the need for flying operations staff to have their own aircraft, like other world leading aviation regulatory departments such as Canada and the US, are essential to the business of an aviation Regulator.In 1992, the then chairman of CAA (Richard Harold Smith) very proudly disposed of the GA fleet of aircraft (G1000’s, BAE 125 and Beech Bonanzas) that were an essential part of the ability of flying operations staff to keep abreast of technology and the operating environment they were intimately involved in.

It was all about money and a deliberate perception created in the previous years by constant attacks from external interest groups and the emerging new Government practice of deregulation. The deregulation mantra, undertaken by groups ignorant of what a regulator and industry needed to keep the flying public safe over generations. The new Board realized that the industry didn’t fall apart after the pilot dispute in 1989 as the Pilots Union had predicted. Logic would tell even the casual observer that people who had been flying aircraft and trained in ways for 30 years previously, that it would take at least a couple of generations of pilots before the lowering of standards would start to show itself. This fact in combination with a total lack of appreciation and understanding of the roles of employees in regulating the industry, the then new Board of Management, set in train the predicament all regulators in Australia face now.

These days I’m afraid the inspectorate, it would appear, are only employed to create the illusion of competence, not to protect the people but to bluff them into believing the Government and its Regulator care about their safety. Some may contend that is what they do. If they are not given the skills or given the opportunity to maintain the skills, (I remind you Dan as you well know, flying an aircraft is a motor skill you must keep using it or you lose it), then, such a concept can only be an illusion.

The training offered to the flying inspectorate consumes all their training allocation to renew his/her basic qualifications and effectively many do not have an appropriate level of experience to exercise any judgement, and they are now equivalent to that of a village policeman with a clipboard.

With such competency levels, CASA’s advice to Government although well intentioned is effectively meaningless and has caused the government to look elsewhere for advice, for example the FAA or Transport Canada, not necessarily a bad thing but without the expertise to know what questions to ask such agencies, is akin to saying to a computer system designer I want my system to do this when you really want it to do something else. Ignorance is no excuse and generally it is very expensive to claw back from a mistake when millions of dollars are involved. Another unfortunate fact of life is that there are many vested interest groups just itching to take CASA’s place. It’s called self-regulation; the Australia Parachute Federation, Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus), Hang Gliding Federation (HGFA), Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association (ASRA). These organisations have been given the oversight of such activities but under the Aviation Act, CASA is responsible to the public for aviation safety and CASA cannot (legally) delegate that responsibility but effectively that is exactly what they have done.

This takes us back to where we came in, with the discussion on the system of government. What is happening is that one of the key elements of the system will/has been effectively neutered (CASA in this case) and the people will be encouraged to police themselves. It won't work, it never has in history; just look at the Banks in recent times, the building industry (Flammable Cladding) and the Insurance industry, to name just a few examples.

Over time, someone, or an organisation, will do something that gets the public’s attention and the ensuing inquiry (Royal Commission) will be critical of institutional timidity and self-regulation and heaven forbid the respective Government Minister. Then, it will all begin again.

What do we do? There’s a need to identify the difference between world's best practice and world's cheapest practice, between the best and the acceptable.

There’s plenty of models around and there are classic examples of countries getting it wrong. The New Zealanders got it wrong down south (Antarctica), the Canadians got it wrong at Dryden, we got it wrong with Seaview and our Asian neighbours seem to be getting it wrong everywhere.

CASA management must be required to justify/qualify all its changes to regulations (by adding such requirements to Government protocols).

To be honest, the technical staff they have employed are not kept up to date with the skill base, with new and emerging technologies. When Dick Smith first introduced the concept of reducing costs, we, ‘the people’, needed to ask exactly what proportion of the cost of a Melbourne /Sydney air ticket is directly attributable to the cost of operational safety surveillance, and follow up with the question "Does management really think that the 15 cent saving on an airline ticket by reducing the CASA inspectorate to a token representation will encourage the public to abandon their cars?

It is disappointing CASA management do not necessarily respond to reason, and only move smartly when their shortcomings are publicized. I was involved when ICAO (International Civil Aviation Authority) conducted an audit on the CASA licencing department. It basically said that we did not comply with International Standards in Australia, a deal was worked out then, a generic statement was made in order to show that Australia was still one of the safest places to fly in the world. No mention of the fact that we have the most benign weather, lowest mountains and generally low traffic density all of which greatly effect such an outcome.

In another example CASA had not operationally been monitoring Instrument Approaches throughout Australia. Their response to that ICAO audit around 2008 was that they were training staff for these duties and to my knowledge the staff are still waiting for their training. The advice proffered may have been genuine, but the significance of the finding certainly wasn’t to the management of the day.

The general destruction of the public service which is the keeper of the Westminster system of Government is a major factor in the failing of our democracy as we know it; done by destroying the checks and balances inherent in the system.

System changes must be subtle in nature otherwise, the ‘People’ would be wise to the situation. No one would allow our emails to be monitored, our ‘People’ to be locked up without rights if terrorism hadn’t arisen making such rationalisations possible. You cannot argue that such actions are not warranted for an immediate threat, but where are the mechanisms to repeal such powers given to un-named heads of known agencies and the agencies we are not allowed to know about.

I’ll give you an example of the subtle breaking down of the Public Service that the‘People’ seem to believe is perfectly reasonable.

When I was employed as an Examiner of Airmen in 1990, the CAA was what I still call, a credible Public Service. As a technical specialist, the induction involved the paperwork and the purpose of the position I held, and you were subtly assessed by some obvious mentors and some not so. The system (a somewhat osmotic process, a creation of many, many years) would assess one’s abilities. In my case, was I more attuned to the technical side of the service or were my abilities favouring the administrative side of the section? Had I been assessed as leaning to the administering side, my taskings would subtly favour those areas and eventually one would find one’s self in Canberra with the potential to be the Director of Aviation and had I been the Director, I would have known how the department worked from bottom to top. I would know that truism that everything is connected in regulation and change requires the ability to see the ripple down effects or consequences of change.

The Howard Government perfected the undermining of the Public Service by initially making lateral entries to protect Ministers responsibility under the Westminster system from administering their portfolios and they rationalised this by bluffing ‘the People’ saying that they would search the world to find the best personto head this or that department, so that world’s best practice will be introduced to the department. When an appointment was made, they became by government definition the expert in their respective field. They were invariably from somewhere else in the world and normally unfamiliar with Australia or the respective department’s history. They then compounded the undermining by government decree to employ direct entry personnel, so the incumbent could employ the best people (normally from their previous jurisdiction) to support them in redesigning the department from the top down.

It was obvious to the personnel in a department that if you employ a Director of a Department who has been declared an expert who employs his mates to restructure a department then they may be reluctant to ask the now subordinate personnel for advice, and even if they had such insight, human nature being what it is, why would personnel who have been holding a position for 30 years be encouraged to assist the new broom as they are now by government definition no longer competent, to use a modern term.

‘The People’ have been sold a lemon and they still believe the government in this respect. Big companies did this for a while, but it didn’t take that long especially for the ones not as big as governments to realise if you are going to restructure a department or a company it is necessary to establish the task you are doing. To ask basic questions e.g., here’s a job that needs to be done, how many people do we need to do the job? How many people do we need to supervise those personnel? You build a company or a government department from the bottom up not from the top down but still (neuronally challenged) government consultants think this is the way to restructure a department.

Back to the example; CASA had employed a direct entry Director of Aviation, Mick Toller. On the surface he met all the government world search requirements. A Cathay Pacific training and checking person who did much of his training Overseas and hadn’t operated commercially in Australia apart from the highly regimented International flights into/out of Australia. Mick and I had many arguments on the fundamentals of policy. As a man he was well intentioned, but he too was sold a lemon with respect to his position.

Not long into his appointment, there was a fuel contamination issue with the refineries in Victoria necessitating the grounding of many piston engine aircraft. In an undiluted CASA, the Director who had taken 30+ years to get there would have known how the system works and he would have said, when questioned, what CASA was doing about the fuel contamination issue. He/she would have simply stated that the aviation fuel has been found to be contaminated and the aircraft will not fly until the fuel was safe to be used in aircraft. This would have meant that
affected operators would take legal action against the fuel companies/agencies who were responsible for endangering the flying public.

What happened? Mick Toller went on the airways saying that it was unacceptable that the aircraft were grounded, and that CASA were using their Airworthiness engineers to come up with a solution; they did, CASA, came up with a work around.

This is not a safety regulators lot because now who do the affected sue? A small agency or the Federal government?

It then becomes a simple equation for the lawyers; who has the most money? CASA had now become part of the problem actively involved in finding a solution and as such, how can it be legally considered impartial or that of a disinterested body as an Executive arm of Government?

This scenario put to ‘the People’ seems reasonable for the regulator to be actively involved in finding a solution, instead of assessing whether the solution offered was effective.

The reality is that this is asymptomatic of the entire Executive arm of the Governments in Australia and around the world to a greater or a lesser degree where governments are advised in technical areas by administrative support who have been given the authority over technical personnel. When I was initially employed, the administration worked for the technical staff, but they were too hard for governments to control. They (technical staff) were also easy targets to undermine, as the technical people were out in the field while the administration staff were in the office. It is very hard to defend what you don’t know needs defending. It always was the downside of a genuine public service. This trait was taken by the new lateral entries as akin to twisting the knife into the technical expertise within departments. The Competent took packages and left and the incompetent stayed, which continues within government departments and will always be thus.

To answer the question Dan, CASA is a product of our system of government imploding and the only hope I can see of arresting the decline is for in-coming Governments to slash all contracted personnel and those that have worked for such people for more than 5 years as they unwittingly have been corrupted into the ways of the previous incumbent. Or return the public service to that of the system it was designed for; having the one mantra when assessing change; why was the requirement there in the first place? Have those circumstances changed? If so, what will be the effect on the system?

If for the better, then change it.I’m afraid there’s little hope my son.
The GV is offline  
Old 20th Aug 2019, 08:01
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Well reasoned response but I take exception to one assumption:

In some areas in aircraft airworthiness this is probably enough. The manufacturer builds an aircraft and produces a maintenance manual. Instructions are specific - "Install sump plug, part No x fitted with new O ring, part No y and tighten to z ft lbs". Under these circumstances, audit is easy.
No it isn’t. It’s just as challenging as flight operations and your comments are equally appropriate to engineering, and now software. My impression is that the then CAA lost the ability to audit/regulate airline engineering and maintenance around 1976 or earlier. A Qantas pilot acquaintance says much the same : “CASA turns up, we tell them bullshit, they go away happy and none the wiser”.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 08:37
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Summary. CASA is totally f##ked. Staffed my many well meaning folk but led by incompetent idiots and the Govt has a blindfold on to the reality of fort fumbles actions and their consequences.

Toss the lot out.

Copy the US FAR’s, metricise them and rework only the parts where necessary.

Start again with with a new proactive authority with a mandate to foster and support aviation as well as regulate it.

Do all the above in two years maximum.

Job done.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 08:46
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
A Qantas pilot acquaintance says much the same : “CASA turns up, we tell them bullshit, they go away happy and none the wiser”.
This is essentially the gist of the opening post (I believe); the dumbing down of the public service & loss of specialist staff.

I have seen it for myself over 10 years in an unrelated area. Where does the government now get current, best advice? Consultants. Often they are ex-employees of the very same agency...
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 09:24
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Hi Daniel, son of ‘GV’

What your father was trying to say, in not so (so) many words, is that the stultifying mediocrities which have presumed the title ‘government’ over the last couple of decades are the problem. Your job is to help fix that problem.

Enjoy your flying.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 09:44
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Originally Posted by Stickshift3000 View Post

This is essentially the gist of the opening post (I believe); the dumbing down of the public service & loss of specialist staff.

I have seen it for myself over 10 years in an unrelated area. Where does the government now get current, best advice? Consultants. Often they are ex-employees of the very same agency...
Sadly, I have also seen this in government and also the consequences when a poorly oversighted industry is loosed on the public.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 09:51
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I know what you mean but the corollary applies.
CAsA is not a poorly oversighted "Industry" ...there is NO bloody oversight AT ALL into the SSS/Self Serving Soviet that CAsA has morphed into, and the buggery it gets up to.
Its wherewithall is just to keep throwing up new ideas to load the industry, cost 'em heaps and mess with their sanity..eg 149
Do us an "exposition", throw money, (suck it back from members) all helping to make less aviation.
And so it goes....down the gurgler !
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 11:16
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They don’t give YES or NO answers either.

I had (well given up) a operational question in regards to if I was able to conduct this form of activity under this license etc..nobody could give me answer. Refer to the CAO they said...refer to our website...but don’t ask us any questions should the CAO or any regulations make no sense. The whole reason I was obviously calling them was the regs didn’t give me a straight answer it’s all just jumble.
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 04:21
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Just look at the 82 page CAO48.1 Carmody has just signed into law....they are doing my head in.
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 07:26
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EVERY generation of aviator in this country has something to say about the regulator of their respective generation. Fact.

Generally, that something is not positive.

Well written piece GV, but nothing new.

Last edited by currawong; 22nd Aug 2019 at 08:22.
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 08:05
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Originally Posted by currawong View Post
EVERY generation of aviator in this country has something to say about the regulator of their respective generation. Fact.

Generally, that something is not positive.

We written piece GV, but nothing new.

That is quite true actually, sad but true.

perhaps rather than ask the question " What's wrong with CASA" as that can never be definitively answered, not enough time in the universe...... a simpler question would be better asked " What's RIGHT with CASA" ? That could be answered in one word!!
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 08:28
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"Letter to Don"
Folks,
"The GV" style and content sound awfully familiar to me??

Quote: "Mary Schiavo who was the head of the FAA, was asked about a tricky incident on a technology issue when Fly -by-wire was being introduced."

Actually, Mary (Scary Mary) Schiavo NEVER worked at the FAA, let alone as the Administrator, and I suggest you take the rest of the "letter to my son" with a certain degree skepticism.

If you don't want to read the GV epistle, I will summarise: Back in the halcyon days of the Department of Civil Aviation every little thing in Australian aviation was perfect, we had the wold's best air safety record, (which we didn't) costs were irrelevant, and if only those interfering politicians and their supporters had kept their noses out, and "the industry" had been kept in its proper place by the DCA Experts (X-Sperts) like GV, there would be none of the modern (really, are they so new??) aviation problems.

Just a couple of additional comments, like so may critics don't, GV doesn't understand the difference between between "self-regulation" and "self-administration".

The depiction of the Christmas 1999 fuel contamination crisis is almost funny in its depiction of what CASA did or didn't do, CASA did ground just about everything in sight.

Yep!!, There are all sorts of things wrong with Government(s) in Australia, and CASA in particular, but that was a lot of words to say not very much.

Tootle pip!!

PS: As I have written elsewhere, read "The New Despotism" for an explanation of the behavior of the bureaucracy (aka: Executive Government) in the Westminster system, and this was 1920s, and the birth of the aviation bureaucracy in Australia. "Hewart's Law" is highlighted below. Fits CASA to a T.

Wikipedia: The New Despotism is a book written by the Lord Hewart, Lord Chief Justice of England, and published in 1929 by Ernest Benn Limited. Hewart described this "new despotism" as "to subordinate Parliament, to evade the Courts, and to render the will, or the caprice, of the Executive unfettered and supreme".[1] The evasion of the Courts referred to increasing quasi-judicial decision-making by the civil service and the subordination of Parliament which resulted from the growth of delegated legislation.
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 09:53
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One of my mates in QF told me that the head of the FTO turned to conduct an assessment, he advised QF that their fuel policy did not comply with the new CAAP 234 requirements. He's never flown anything close to what QF operate, never flown international, never had to cross ANY pond on min fuel. He's only got those aircraft qualifications after he got into the FTO and put himself in charge of the flying training budget!! Needless to say, his advice was duly listened to whilst he was on site, duly assessed, and then dispensed with immediately after he left the premises
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 10:41
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Or when the institutionalized intransigence of the organisation is recognized as so bad it is allowed for in new legislation... (also known as the nineties)

Or the 90 day hold policy on inbound paperwork at some regional offices... (to their credit it was 90 days, exactly)

Or the FOI that was found to be unemployable by the industry returns like a boomerang, this time with a clipboard...

As tax payers and voters, ultimately we are responsible. So, take a long hard look at yourselves.
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 10:51
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I suggest you take the rest of the "letter to my son" with a certain degree skepticism.

Might I offer a comment ? If The GV is who the registration claims to be, and I have no reason to suspect that it is not correct (certainly, the style is after his manner) he and I go back 40 years or so both pre-DCA and when he was with the organisation. I haven't spoken with him for some years but, in the past, I knew that person to be of pretty sound integrity and motivation. His post may contain an error - MS, as I understand things, was with the DOT (Inspector General ?) and an active sparring partner of the FAA ?
john_tullamarine is online now  
Old 23rd Aug 2019, 01:54
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,857
JT,
As I said, the style is awfully familiar, but that proves nothing.
But the whole piece is just so familiar as one person who opposed quite vehemently the CASA Review of the mid-90's, opposed the then Director, Leroy Keith introducing "septic tank" ideas, was scathing about the very idea that the Minister would appoint an industry panel (the Program Advisory Panel, PAP) to oversea the review, and after "retirement" was often heard or read in the various media decrying such interference, bu non-experts.
As was Mary Schiavo, he was of the view that introducing cost/benefit to air safety regulation was beyond the pale, although he probably believed that human life was priceless, for Scary Mary it was just part of the shtick of a very politically ambitious person.
Tootle pip!!
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