An aviation researcher, writer, aviation participant, pilot & agricultural researcher. Author of over 35 scientific publications world wide.



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Aviation in Australia

In the aviation industry, particularly Australia, the regulator has unlimited power to be Judge, Jury and executioner.

This leads to serious doubts by the user of the system in how he or she will be dealt with if there is an infraction.

It leaves those accused of an infraction with the AAT or Federal Court.

The AAT has quite different rules as to evidence, which allow a much lower level of proof for “statements” made by the regulator compared to Federal or State Supreme Court – “Rules of Evidence”.

Does CASA behave as a “model litigant“?.

The answer is no – and there are numerous AAT and Federal Court cases to support this notion.

Further, with the matters raised as a result of the “PelAir” report by the Australian Senate, the ATSB also has serious questions to answer as to how it treats the regulator [CASA] when the regulator fails in it’s statutory obligations, through the SR/SA [Safety Recommendation/Action] system and the “softening” of requirements.

The effect of the ICAO/ FAA audit in 2008 was directed at areas that CASA failed to meet ICAO requirements. There were over 2000 non-compliance’s. These have still not been rectified and any attempt by the aviation industry to query and fix the situation have been firmly rejected by CASA. Compare with India’s audit.

In this web site, we are working to bring together information that can help others to understand why the regulator is taking a particular stand and publish difficult to find material from a range of publicly available sources, including FOI applications, Senate Inquiries, reviews [such as the ASRR]  and a range of publicly available web and other sources.

The replacement of all the CASA regs with the US-FAR’s would be a distinct improvement and a complete re-write of the CAAct and associated Acts would assist in getting the aviation industry rolling again.


What’s to come??

Thu 26 to Sun 29 May 2016: Rotortech 2016. 

11th October 2015: 10th anniversary of Col Pay flight of the Wright replica at Narromine

23rd September 2015: Understanding Part 61 and Transitioning your flying school to Parts 141 and 142

17 September 2015: Aviation Criminal Recklessness ALAANZ

4th September 2015: Aviation seminar – Cairns

4 to 6 September 2015:   AUSFLY at Narromine, NSW.


August 2015:

25th August 2015: September missive

25th August 2015: Release of #casa corporate plan

22 August 2015: 2015 Aviation Careers Expo – at Brisbane Airport.

21st August 2015: Sandy Reith has an open letter to aviation

20th August 2015: Paul Phelan publishes questions on #casa

19th August 20015: Dick Smith supports GA against #asa and #casa

18 August 2015: 05:00PM – Senate Commitee – Duration: 2 hours

18th August 2015: Aviation and Defence Forum.


July 2015:

23rd July 2015: TAAAF meeting

23rd July 2015: AHIA meets with CASA Board and DAS of CASA.

20th July 2015: Risky Goulburn Airport

July 2015: June missive

7th July 2015: NDB beacons removed on arbitrary basis by Air Services – Safety case??

5th July 2015: Terry Farquarson “retires”

1st July 2015: New CASA Board commences under Jeff Boyd


June 2015:

28th June 2015: Ben Sandilands brings the heat onto Air Services

27th June 2015: Arthur Pape meets with Skidmore in NZ

24th June 2015: PelAir investigation moves to Brisbane

24 June 2015: Senate report on the application of regulatory governance and economic impact of wind turbines.

Preliminary report released

20th June 2015: Skidmore addresses AOPA at Bankstown

14th June 2015: Request for tender by ATSB to raise/ recover VH-NGA [PelAir flight]

8th June 2015: Dick Smith awarded Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia

6th June 2015: Airservices [ASA] union – claims the moral high ground

5th June 2015: Dick Smith achieves a “win” against CASA on airspace issues


May 2015:

Wednesday 27th and Thursday, 28 May 2015 – Senate Estimates QON returned from February Senate Estimates

At the estimates were: CASA, Airservices [ASA], ATSB, AMSA

26th May 2015: Meeting of Skidmore and AFAP

25th May 2015: May Missive

19th May 2015: CASA Flight Crew Licensing Sub-Committee meetings – AHIA representation

19th May 2015: Senate Wind Turbine inquiry

12th May 2015: Federal Budget leaves aviation exposed to $25m per annum excise

7th May 2015: Lockhart River Tragedy now is 10-years-on from Wednesday 7th May 2005 at 11:44am

7th May 2015: Memorial service for Sally Urquhart at 1030 Police Academy Brisbane

6th May 2015: CASR PART 61 AHIA/CASA MEETING – SYDNEY 6 MAY 2015 + Comments

5th May 2015:  Shane Urquhart speaks out on 10th anniversay of Lockhart River

1st May 2015: Rumour that Terry Farquarson will move on – 30th June 2015


April 2015:

25th April: Anzac Day

24th April 2015: April Missive

15th April 2015: Publication of negative Ombudsman’s Report on CASA

2nd April 2015: March missive

1st April 2015: April Fool’s Day!!


March 2015:

March 23rd 2015: Closing date for submissions for Wind Turbine inquiry

27th March 2015:  Fee changes by CASA to seriously impact aviation

23rd March 2015: ABC Four Corners – Karen Casey and #PelAir

18th March 2015: Skidmore addresses Police conference on remote vehicles

16th March 2015: Part 145 Disallowance Motion – Senator Xenophon

12th March 2015: McCormick ‘misses’ becoming head of ICAO

11th March 2015: Funeral of Bernie Currall [private in Melbourne]

February 2015:

27th February 2015: Death of Bernie Currall [patient on the PelAir flight and ditching]

25th February 2015: ATSB attempts interview with PelAir flight nurse

24th February 2015:  Senate Estimates – Canberra  ATSB, CASA, AMSAR, ASA

20th February 2015: CASA loses CVD case

19th February 2015: ATSB starts PelAir investigation afresh

19th February 2015:  Bankstown problems exposed

18th February: Call for the PelAir CVR to be recovered and PelAir re-investigation begun

17th February: ICAO Head proposedMcCormick nominated Truss makes statement

15th February: PelAir / REX outed over $385,000 in donations to political parties

9th February: Parliament commences in 2015

6th February: PelAir and Karen Casey/ David Helm – ‘Reserved decision’

2nd February: PelAir action commences in NSW Supreme Court

January 2015:

23rd January: Truss announcement on McCormick

22nd January: Monthly missive by CASA

19th January: CASA web page gives us a new CASA CEO biography

12th January: Mark Skidmore Into office on 12th January 2015

7th January: Bankstown Master Plan Approval by Truss

1st January: Mark Skidmore commences his tenure


December 2014:

December 22nd: Release of Instrument and Repeal of Instruments

December 22nd: Release of Supreme Court finding on 2006 Parkes helicopter crash – implications for PelAir compensation

December 14th: ATSB “decide” to re-open PelAir investigation

December 11th: The Hitch response to the ASRR “Government response”

December 10th: Aviation Industry Consultative Council – first meeting

December 8th: ATSB announces a “review” of PelAir report

December 6th: Sandilands report on replacement of Martin Dolan [ATSB]

December 3rd: Xenophon response

December 3rd: Truss and mrDak response

December 1st: Mr Skidmore hits the deck – What are the CASA hierarchy telling him

December 1st: Canadians finally reply in ATSB [partial] review

November 2014:

November 10th: Has Mr. Skidmore started at CASA??

November 3rd: No show by Mr. Skidmore at CASA

November 1st: Annual report CASA and Annual report ATSB


October 2014:

October 31st: No announcement of New Board members

October 30th: Appointment of “Mark Skidmore” as CEO CASA

October 20th: Senate meetings and Senate Estimates

CASA in Estimates, ASA in Estimates, Bankstown Issues, Archerfield Questions

October 8th 2014: Cairns to Canberra Caravan leaves for Canberra

October 3rd 2014: No positive outcomes for Part 61

September 2014:

5th September: No announcement of New Board members

1st September 2014: Part 61 commences, to Industry dismay

1st September 2014: Farquarson appointed as acting DAS


August 2014:

31st August 2014: McCormick finished

8th August 2014: John McCormick [who has resigned as DAS] statement about Part 61 in The Australian

8th August 2014: MacArthur Job dies

6th August 2014: Minister Truss announces tenderer for MH370 search


July 2014:

17th July 2014: Senators Heffernan and Sterle put a second “Contempt of parliament” for consideration.

14th July 2014: Jeff Boyd of RAAA appointed to CASA Board – Is this a cynical sop to the Industry, as Boyd was out spoken earlier???

10th July 2014: Senator Xenophon puts “Contempt of parliament” for consideration


June 2014:

27th June 2014: Mrdak gets a 5-year re-appointment????

13th June 2014: ASRR panel release the public submissions and redact [confidential submissions] over 70 of the 269 submissions

3rd June 2014 – Minister Truss releases ASRR Report


May 2014:

29th May – Minister Truss says that MH370 search is “…back to square one…”

There is Senate estimates on the Budget 2014: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Infrastructure and Regional Development: Monday, 26 May and Tuesday, 27 May 2014

This is the month of the Australian Budget and questions for reduction of costs imposed on the aviation industry.

It is also the month for the submission of the ASRR report to the Minister.

A very important report that will either give life or death to the aviation industry.


April 2014:

Minister Truss takes 40 minutes to mention anything about aviation and in the questions [by the journalists], which go for 35 minutes, not a single aviation question.

Does the Minister need some questions asked??

Minister Truss addresses the Press Club in Canberra – 30th April 2014

Minister Truss gets the KSA announcement done today (15th April 2014) and Badgery’s Creek is alive.

Parliament releases next sitting days as May 13, 14 and 15th May, with Estimates on: 26, 27,28 and 29th May, then continued 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th June.

ASRR report due out in May 2014

Angus Houston takes charge of MH370 recovery – ATSB removed from obvious involvement


March 2014:

CASA attempts to smooth over the industry

Government Response to the PelAir Senate Inquiry [March 20th 2014]  See: PelAir Senate Inquiry

Legislation into the Australian Parliament to increase the number of people on the CASA Board by two.

Release of PelAir Ministers response due on 27th March 2014 ??

February 2014:

260 submissions to the ASRR but only a handful are public.

There has been no publication of non-confidential submissions to the ASRR.

January 2014:

The current inquiry is the ASRR [Aviation Safety Regulatory Review] as a result of the PelAir Inquiry completed in May 2013, with a reply [to the PelAir inquiry] given to Minister Albanese on 5th May 2013, but no action by the Member for Marrickville. ASRR calling for submissions now [by 31st January 2014] with a report in May 2014.

18th November 2013:

But on 18th November 2013, under questioning in the Senate, Mike Mrdak said he gave a report to Minister Albanese on 5th June 2013 [before the election] but nothing has been heard in the public sphere from Albanese.


October 2013: The Coroners Report came out in October 2013 for Hemple.

The Coroner for the Hemple Affair is on Monday 18th March 2013 and then Friday 22nd March. There is no news yet as to when the final report will be made. In June 2013, the  Coroners report is expected by August 2013.

See:  Coroners report

Australian Story makes interesting watching.


September 2013: Change of Government and Mr. Warren Truss becomes Minister, Mike Mrdack remains Head of Department

31st August 2013

Still no update on when a response to the senate. Minister Albanese chased down the street by a Prime News reporter, refusing to answer PelAir questions.

August 5th 2013: Australian Parliament porouged

24th July 2013

The latest is the ATSB referring it’s “Operation” to the TSB of Canada for a report.

This happened on 24th July 2013 in the Board meeting, that according to Dolan’s reply to the Senate was his response to the PelAir inquiry. The TOR’s have not been published and appear restricted in extent.

May 2013:

Current Inquiry [Report castigating CASA and ATSB out May 2013]:

The current Senate inquiry into aviation, which continues on 28th February 2013 will delve further into the dubious relationships between the regulator [CASA] and the accident investigator [ATSB].

The report is now “out” and the full details are here.



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