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Pudniks and CASA [2021/5950]

Old 9th Dec 2021, 05:44
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Pudniks and CASA [2021/5950]

Hello all,

Glen Buckley encouraged me to share my story here, to gather feedback, and for ease of reference.

To paraglide or hang glide in Australia, one must be a member of the sports aviation federation of Australia (SAFA nee HGFA). The civil aviation order (CAO) 95.8 refers.

In Mar 2020, SAFA suspended my paragliding membership with no right of reply, and no right of appeal. This was for paragliding on Fri 13 Mar 2020 when no COVID lockdowns were in force, although SAFA wanted to lockdown anyway (to virtue signal I suppose). This membership suspension was unlawful under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (imho). Also the Australian Constitution says only the courts shall decide such matters.

In Aug 2020, I submitted my Part 149 paperwork to CASA to start my new paragliding organisation. Other Part 149 ASAOs are RAAus (GA) and APF (parachutes). SAFA is not yet an ASAO.

In May 2021, CASA tasked NSW Police to confiscate my wing with no warrant and no formal charges. CASA also tasked the Commonwealth Dept of Public Prosecution (CDPP) to investigate me for “flying an aircraft without a licence / unregistered aircraft (up to 2 years jail)” which remains ongoing six months later. The wing remains held with no formal charges. CASA is suggesting a paraglider is an aircraft despite its mass of 20 kg and airspeed of 20 kts, with no engine, no fuel, and no medical checks for pilots.

In July 2021, CASA wrote to confirm they are refusing to review my Part 149 paperwork, pending the ongoing CDPP investigation (which CASA started, then delayed by months by not providing basic information to the CDPP).

In Aug 2021, I referred CASA to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for their misfeasance re refusing to review my Part 149 paperwork in good faith, which they have held for over 1 year now. The link to the AAT matter is below (non-url mode sorry, due to being a new user).

2021/5950 Pudniks and Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Cheers,
Kurt.

Last edited by skinduptruk; 15th Dec 2021 at 06:51. Reason: fix url
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Old 9th Dec 2021, 08:19
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Pardon me, but were you a member at the time of the alleged offence. How can such a cancellation be retrospective??
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Old 9th Dec 2021, 22:15
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As I read this, your only so called crime was to fly during Covid against the recommendation of SAFA. Is this correct?

If this is correct then your plight is yet another terrifying example of bureaucratic over reach.

Our problem is that these bureaucrats have learned to use the bulltish “safety” card to scare their political masters into compliance.
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Old 9th Dec 2021, 23:42
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In Mar 2020, SAFA suspended my paragliding membership with no right of reply, and no right of appeal. This was for paragliding on Fri 13 Mar 2020 when no COVID lockdowns were in force, although SAFA wanted to lockdown anyway (to virtue signal I suppose). This membership suspension was unlawful under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (imho).
Nah. The AAT Act has nothing to do with it.
Also the Australian Constitution says only the courts shall decide such matters.
Nah. You’re going to the AAT and the AAT isn’t a court.

In Aug 2020, I submitted my Part 149 paperwork to CASA to start my new paragliding organisation. Other Part 149 ASAOs are RAAus (GA) and APF (parachutes). SAFA is not yet an ASAO.
And when you satisfy the criteria for the grant of a Part 149 approval, you will be entitled to it.

In May 2021, CASA tasked NSW Police to confiscate my wing with no warrant and no formal charges. CASA also tasked the Commonwealth Dept of Public Prosecution (CDPP) to investigate me for “flying an aircraft without a licence / unregistered aircraft (up to 2 years jail)” which remains ongoing six months later.
Nah. CASA doesn’t task police and the CDPP does not do investigations. CASA can inform police of alleged offences and police can choose to investigate them and prepare a brief of evidence for the consideration of the CDPP. Or CASA can conduct the investigation itself and prepare a brief for the consideration of the CDPP. Maybe SAFA dobbed you in to the police?

The wing remains held with no formal charges. CASA is suggesting a paraglider is an aircraft despite its mass of 20 kg and airspeed of 20 kts, with no engine, no fuel, and no medical checks for pilots.
It’s an aircraft. The clue is in the word “wing”. It's a "machine or craft that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air, other than the reactions of the air against the earth’s surface." CASA regulates gliders and model aircraft that weigh less than 1kg.

In July 2021, CASA wrote to confirm they are refusing to review my Part 149 paperwork, pending the ongoing CDPP investigation (which CASA started, then delayed by months by not providing basic information to the CDPP).
The CDPP doesn’t conduct investigations. If it is doing anything, it is considering whether or not to commence a prosecution, on the basis of the brief given to it, in the context of the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

In Aug 2021, I referred CASA to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for their misfeasance re refusing to review my Part 149 paperwork in good faith, which they have held for over 1 year now. The link to the AAT matter is below (non-url mode sorry, due to being a new user).
The AAT isn’t concerned about misfeasance and bad faith. It’s interested in whether your application satisfies the criteria for the grant of a Part 149 approval. You should focus on those criteria and showing the AAT that they are satisfied.

CASA will use whatever tactics they can to delay and put you in as bad a light as possible. Welcome to the party.
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Old 10th Dec 2021, 12:23
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There appears to be a series of items missing in your recollection of events from between March 2020 and May 2021.

What happened during this time in terms of your flying activities?
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Old 11th Dec 2021, 01:05
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I'm an active sailplane pilot and former skydiver.

It has been to the great advantage to sport aviation in Australia that CASA and its' predecessors have ceded authority to sporting aviation organistionsto self administor and regulate. It has kept costs down and meant experts in the actual activity make rules, train and administrate.

They are far from perfect, but if nothingelse, your story highlights why it's a good dea to keep within the framework of your association and avoid direct interaction with CASA.
As such, while I am not saying your treatment is justified or proportionate, there are two asects I find troubling.

If you dont like a rule, seek to change the rule. Not agreeing with a rule is not an excuse to break it, and deliberatley doing so will and should lead to consequences.

Secondly, and much worse, I abhore the idea of an individual being able to start his own associtaion in response to disciplin from an existing one.

We had exactley this situation when i was jumping- An individual with a string of violations finally went to far, and had a number of ratings permenantly suspended.

His response was to start his own association, start an independent operation, and rack up a string of saftey incidents that he, as master of his own federation, was the sole arbitor of.
He eventually left with a string of bad debts having put the whle sport in a very bad light.

There is no point having a regulatory authority f anyone subject to it can just start there own assocation and make there own rules.
I'm sorry if you have been badly treated, but I oppose your solution.
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Old 11th Dec 2021, 01:59
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But what's the safety purpose of providing a monopoly to one person (that includes corporate entity) to be the ASAO of a particular sector of aviation? I know that CASA pretends that limiting the number of ASAOs has some relevance to its religion 'the safety of air navigation', but that's like saying the number of AOCs should be limited.
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Old 11th Dec 2021, 12:04
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
But what's the safety purpose of providing a monopoly to one person (that includes corporate entity) to be the ASAO of a particular sector of aviation? I know that CASA pretends that limiting the number of ASAOs has some relevance to its religion 'the safety of air navigation', but that's like saying the number of AOCs should be limited.
Not really- all AOC holders are beholden to CASA. Having a delegate organisation basically makes them the "CASA" of that sector. Imagine the chaos if you could just start your own CASA, A regulator must have authority to regulate, including the ability to limit/discipline those that trangress. This is taken away if people can just shop for the authority they prefer.

Last edited by Wizofoz; 11th Dec 2021 at 21:10.
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Old 11th Dec 2021, 13:26
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The way "natural justice" works in Australian racing sailing. one assumes that hang gliding does something similar.......

We have a hypothetical new chum who wants to play. He buys ten tons of highly competitive carbon fibre racing yacht for a million or more plus hires some young guns to help him race it........

1. Now Chummy is a former pennant squash player champion or a motorcycle racer., doesn't really matter, he is ultra competitive and highly aggressive - sublimation from a hard day at martin place, etc. he knows the rules and has the technology and nobody is going to stop him, etc.

2. So chummy storms on to the race course and proceeds to throw his new toy around oblivious or not to the danger of collision or injury of fellow competitors. he may even be operating within the rules....just.

3. after a number of incidents or near misses, potentially involving amputation or other serious injury, not to mention very expensive insurance claims, his fellow competitors get aroused...... The "discipline" process starts...

4. Chummy is approached at the bar by a senior member who quietly and politely suggests he might like to moderate his behaviour on the race course, "a word to the wise" etc.

5. Chummys behaviour does not improve. next suggestion from same senior member; "would you like some coaching from XXXXX?"

6. We insist on some coaching from XXXX.

7. We will refuse to accept your race entry and so will everyone else.

8. We will advise your insurer of (7).

I have yet to see this system fail. What do hang gliders do?
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Old 11th Dec 2021, 21:34
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Originally Posted by tussy View Post
The way "natural justice" works in Australian racing sailing. one assumes that hang gliding does something similar.......

We have a hypothetical new chum who wants to play. He buys ten tons of highly competitive carbon fibre racing yacht for a million or more plus hires some young guns to help him race it........

1. Now Chummy is a former pennant squash player champion or a motorcycle racer., doesn't really matter, he is ultra competitive and highly aggressive - sublimation from a hard day at martin place, etc. he knows the rules and has the technology and nobody is going to stop him, etc.

2. So chummy storms on to the race course and proceeds to throw his new toy around oblivious or not to the danger of collision or injury of fellow competitors. he may even be operating within the rules....just.

3. after a number of incidents or near misses, potentially involving amputation or other serious injury, not to mention very expensive insurance claims, his fellow competitors get aroused...... The "discipline" process starts...

4. Chummy is approached at the bar by a senior member who quietly and politely suggests he might like to moderate his behaviour on the race course, "a word to the wise" etc.

5. Chummys behaviour does not improve. next suggestion from same senior member; "would you like some coaching from XXXXX?"

6. We insist on some coaching from XXXX.

7. We will refuse to accept your race entry and so will everyone else.

8. We will advise your insurer of (7).

I have yet to see this system fail. What do hang gliders do?
Hey Tussy, you left out points 9 and 10, (these extra steps worked in the ‘80’s but might be frowned upon in the modern touchy feely world)

9. Some important piece of equipment would go “missing” stopping them from racing that day.

10. The “skipper” would have a few to many Rums and “fall down” in the showers.
😂😂😂
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Old 11th Dec 2021, 23:12
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10. The “skipper” would have a few to many Rums and “fall down” in the showers.
Reminds me of the unwritten Olympic preparation that some teams use, certain European nations used to drinking large amounts of Ales would take fellow teams out for drinks the nights before competition and drink them under the table. The protagonists were more than capable of competing with hangovers or even slightly inebriated, the targets not so. Led to some less than optimum performances throughout the 80s-90s and who knows even now.
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 05:42
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Welcome back Sunfish. How was your holiday from PPRuNe?
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 06:14
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Originally Posted by Wizofoz View Post
Not really- all AOC holders are beholden to CASA. Having a delegate organisation basically makes them the "CASA" of that sector. Imagine the chaos if you could just start your own CASA, A regulator must have authority to regulate, including the ability to limit/discipline those that trangress. This is taken away if people can just shop for the authority they prefer.
And ASAOs are not ‘beholden to CASA’? CASA just lets them do whatever they like? Really? What are all of the pages of regulations in Part 149 about?

Are you sure ASAOs are a ‘delegate’ organisation? Sure? Even if they are, doesn’t the delegator have control over the delegatee?

Don’t AOC holders have an ability to discipline/limit personnel that transgress? They don’t need any approval or delegation from CASA to do that.

Only in Australian aviation could this make sense to some.

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Old 12th Dec 2021, 06:31
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
And ASAOs are not ‘beholden to CASA’? CASA just lets them do whatever they like?.
They allow them to regulate, train, oversee airworthiness,-It has to be with the CARs, but they have a lot of lattitude. For instance, saftey reporting and requlation withn gliding is pretty much totally in-house GFA unless there is injury. And that's a GOOD thing.

Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
Really? What are all of the pages of regulations in Part 149 about?
I said they regulate- I didn't sa they SET the regulations- CASA doesn't set the CAOs either, they enforce them.


Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
Are you sure ASAOs are a ‘delegate’ organisation? Sure? Even if they are, doesn’t the delegator have control over the delegatee?
Yes. What's your point?


Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
Don’t AOC holders have an ability to discipline/limit personnel that transgress?
No, not really. They can't suspend or cancel their licence. They can't even take employment action unless it confirms with employment law.

Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
They don’t need any approval or delegation from CASA to do that.
Do what? Tell someone off and give them a paid holiday? That's about the extent of their authority. The GFA and APF on the other hand can make it ILLEAGAL for someone to continue to jump or fly a glider.

Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
Only in Australian aviation could this make sense to some.
Well, in the case of the GFA it's work exceptionally well for decades. In the UK the similarly run BGA had to cede athority to EASA before Brexit, and ithad terrible consequences for British gliding.
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 06:33
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Originally Posted by tussy View Post
The way "natural justice" works in Australian racing sailing. one assumes that hang gliding does something similar.......

We have a hypothetical new chum who wants to play. He buys ten tons of highly competitive carbon fibre racing yacht for a million or more plus hires some young guns to help him race it........

1. Now Chummy is a former pennant squash player champion or a motorcycle racer., doesn't really matter, he is ultra competitive and highly aggressive - sublimation from a hard day at martin place, etc. he knows the rules and has the technology and nobody is going to stop him, etc.

2. So chummy storms on to the race course and proceeds to throw his new toy around oblivious or not to the danger of collision or injury of fellow competitors. he may even be operating within the rules....just.

3. after a number of incidents or near misses, potentially involving amputation or other serious injury, not to mention very expensive insurance claims, his fellow competitors get aroused...... The "discipline" process starts...

4. Chummy is approached at the bar by a senior member who quietly and politely suggests he might like to moderate his behaviour on the race course, "a word to the wise" etc.

5. Chummys behaviour does not improve. next suggestion from same senior member; "would you like some coaching from XXXXX?"

6. We insist on some coaching from XXXX.

7. We will refuse to accept your race entry and so will everyone else.

8. We will advise your insurer of (7).

I have yet to see this system fail. What do hang gliders do?
The major differences are that you do not need to follow a goverment order to operate a sail boat, and the danger to third parties is less.
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 06:55
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Originally Posted by Wizofoz View Post
They allow them to regulate, train, oversee airworthiness,-It has to be with the CARs, but they have a lot of lattitude. For instance, saftey reporting and requlation withn gliding is pretty much totally in-house GFA unless there is injury. And that's a GOOD thing.



I said they regulate- I didn't sa they SET the regulations- CASA doesn't set the CAOs either, they enforce them.




Yes. What's your point?




No, not really. They can't suspend or cancel their licence. They can't even take employment action unless it confirms with employment law.

Do what? Tell someone off and give them a paid holiday? That's about the extent of their authority. The GFA and APF on the other hand can make it ILLEAGAL for someone to continue to jump or fly a glider.



Well, in the case of the GFA it's work exceptionally well for decades. In the UK the similarly run BGA had to cede athority to EASA before Brexit, and ithad terrible consequences for British gliding.
So it’s beyond the wit and wisdom of Australians to create another organisation with same or better competence than the e.g. the GFA and have it run concurrently with the GFA? It would be raining aluminium or fibreglass?
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 08:41
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Most important question ...Did SAFA actually put in writing their COVID restrictions prior to your flight on that black Friday? Using a medical argument to stop flying like we had at our aeroclub was pretty well documented as per reference to Vic regulations. Was your situation the same?
EDIT to add. Vic Gov did not formally enact stage 3 restrictions until March 28th
EDIT to EDIT First state of emergency was not called until March 16th
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 10:20
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post
Welcome back Sunfish. How was your holiday from PPRuNe?
Ha, I love that! Nice one, Squawk!
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 10:38
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Originally Posted by josephfeatherweight View Post
Ha, I love that! Nice one, Squawk!
He’s like 95% of prisoners in Victoria. They just keep coming back :-)
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Old 12th Dec 2021, 13:10
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wow, awesome feedback so far, thanks!

i have many things to say in due course. and some AAT case law links too (via the austlii legal database).

quick note, SAFA is not yet a valid P149 ASAO. and CASA told me they cannot control SAFA until they do become P149 valid. a tricky situation!

PS. in my experience to date, CASA have been adversarial, petty, and vindictive. just like the many sad stories compiled in the below document. cant make this stuff up :/

Submission to Aviation Safety Regulatory Review by ProAviation (Paul Phelan, 2014).

Last edited by skinduptruk; 12th Dec 2021 at 22:00. Reason: typos
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