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ASRR – Review of problems of CASA/ ATSB

This review has started and is requesting information by way of submissions. Substantial problems have been raised by the industry, Senators and others.

The review has specific Terms of Reference, which are quite narrow and have been specifically done so on advice [apparently] of the Department [The head of Department is Mike Mrdack] – worth a read of the senate recomendations and report on PelAir.

The following is worth a read [from pprune.org] to see some of the inherent problems in aviation.

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 1,306
Sheep or Wolves?

This Truss review panel is going to need (like it or not) to address some big issues. Whether these issues go quietly into the night or not will very much depend how well the smoke, mirrors and ToR preventing clarity are circumvented. A fair test of this will be seen in two forms, the ministers response to Pel Air; and, whether the Senate committee responsible for the Pel Air inquiry turn out to be sheep in wolves clothing; or the real deal ‘wolf pack’.

Much depends on independent Nick Xenophon being supported by the other ‘bi-partisan’ Senate committee members. In terms of the ‘regulatory deformation’ process, NX has made a start, upsetting the CAO 48/ FRMS apple cart. There is much empirical evidence and scientific study which makes a nonsense of the CASA non science of flight crew fatigue. NX nailed this down during the inquiry into ‘pilot training’, ran with it through the Pel Air inquiry and, put his money where his mouth was, blocking the shambles known as CAO 48. The bi-partisan committee, although quiet must at least tacitly support his cause. For example; despite fatigue being blithely ruled as an irrelevance in the Norfolk ditching; fatigue was clearly a factor.

Although the serious safety based questions hanging over the ATSB, their relationship with CASA, the abysmal quality of their recent reports and the implications to industry being fed and reliant on non relevant or misleading safety information is not within the ToR for the Truss panel; the whole package is of critical relevance to ‘safety’. The Sarcs posts – 34104 – here on PPRuNe leave little room for argument that the fine work and positive safety outcomes generated by the – TSB reports – serve to highlight the depths to which our very own ATSB have plummeted.

Quote:
T28 #105 -“Has been on my mind for some time, is the “fix” in ? one might be a little concerned given the number of Montreal trips and the close association of the witch doctor in Montreal that the “fix” is indeed well and truly “in” we hope not but hope is a slippery thing to hold onto.

This is a racing certainty. One does not need clairvoyance or voodoo to agree with the T28D opinion of the lettuce leaf review. These issues may not be covered by the trite, narrow, nugatory Truss ToR, but they are crucial to safety. The Senators recognised this, industry recognises this, hells bells, the world and it’s wife realises this. So here we are then, nearly into another new year, dragging the last 25 years of baggage behind us. It’s not as if the Senators are unaware; it’s not as if the bi-partisan political horsepower is lacking: we’ve all seen all the Senators challenge the grip of the iron ring, unafraid to beard the lions in their dens.

Now good Senators; will you let Truss and his minders undo all your good work? What’s it to be Senators ?; will ye be seen as wolves or sheep ?.

Tick Tock indeed.


Last edited by Kharon; 29th Dec 2013 at 13:23. Reason: Lost links – weird

Kharon is offline Report Post Reply
Unread 29th Dec 2013, 16:38   #182 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
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The new “Price is (not yet) right” and the real elephant in the (TASRR) room!”

Kharon:

Quote:
Much depends on independent Nick Xenophon being supported by the other ‘bi-partisan’ Senate committee members. In terms of the ‘regulatory deformation’ process, NX has made a start, upsetting the CAO 48/ FRMS apple cart. There is much empirical evidence and scientific study which makes a nonsense of the CASA non science of flight crew fatigue. NX nailed this down during the inquiry into ‘pilot training’, ran with it through the Pel Air inquiry and, put his money where his mouth was, blocking the shambles known as CAO 48. The bi-partisan committee, although quiet must at least tacitly support his cause. For example; despite fatigue being blithely ruled as an irrelevance in the Norfolk ditching; fatigue was clearly a factor.

Creamy:

Quote:
The next time the government asks The Greens for its ‘wish-list’ in return for support for some government legislation (as has already happened with the ‘debt ceiling’), what is the risk to The Greens and how hard would it be for them to add to the list: “Finalisation of substantive actions to address the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into Aviation Accident Investigations”? You might find this a revelation, but members of The Greens may have the smarts to work out that it’s in the public interest for those recommendations to be properly addressed.

Okay so we all agree the TASRR fix is firmly in place and the Government response to PelAir recommendations will go begging unless the non-aligned Senators (including the Greens..Creamy!) create an alliance to force the Government to appropriately address the PelAir report recommendations.

IMO it is also crucial to aviation safety in this country that the current executive culture within the ATsB is fixed and that respective governments of either colour pay respect and action, not lipservice, their common rhetorical mantra of “aviation safety is…(our)… number one priority”.

To follow on from the Kharon post and on the subject of fatigue…

Over the last decade, in aviation safety circles, the buzzword has been human factors. As a consequence we saw the rise of HF experts with scientific based research exploring the human element causal to accidents/incidents; i.e. why do pilots, engineers, controllers etc continue to make, sometimes fatal, critical errors??

We then saw government agencies/authorities employing these HF experts to further promote/foster this new proactive safety age of trying to address the human error element in transport accidents.

In Australia Fort Fumble and the ATsB followed suit, employing their own HF experts. However after the previous 2 Senate Inquiries (especially PelAir) it became obvious that these HF experts were only ever meant to be ‘seen not heard‘. They weren’t meant to be making waves by producing potentially revealing, embarassing audits of the supposedly compliant, bigend of town Operator/Airline Safety Management and Fatigue Risk Management systems (ala Ben Cook’s audits of a certain airline’s YPDN base Flight & Duty practices and his Special Audit report on the PelAir FRMS).

The following article, from one of those bothersome “HF experts”, highlights that the HF FRMS conundrum is not just isolated to Australia

Quote:
Opinion: The Price of Reducing Pilot Fatigue

By Ashley Nunes

In 2009, Colgan Air 3407 crashed while landing at Buffalo, N.Y., killing all 49 people on board. An investigation determined that leading up to the crash, pilot performance was likely impaired by fatigue: a finding that came as no surprise to safety advocates who had long recognized its dangers.

In the 1980s, NASA dedicated an entire research program to understanding fatigue. The effort was groundbreaking for its time, as researchers examined the influence of sleep loss and interruption on brain function, muscle activity and alertness. Those measures were used to paint a snapshot of fatigue, based on when pilots flew, how long they flew and how much rest they had obtained before the flight. The program laid the critical groundwork for the development of the fatigue management standards used today.

However, these standards have faced stiff resistance from air carriers. For example, when the FAA recently announced limits on night flying, cargo carriers successfully lobbied for exclusion because of the “unreasonable” $550 million price tag. That decision appalled many. Robert Travis, president of the Independent Pilots Association, notes that it was not the government’s intent to address the important issue of pilot fatigue “only if the price is right.” Perhaps not, but costs are precisely why fatigue management standards are opposed; they reduce profit margins by limiting how much productivity can be squeezed out of workers. And in a climate of fierce economic competition, airlines hesitate to pass on any additional costs to customers.

Unsurprisingly, safety advocates lauded the FAA rule. Nico Voorbach, president of the European Cockpit Association, says that unlike European governments, the U.S. has taken a decisive step toward what a wide body of scientific medical research recommends to be safe. But does science really support the assertion that fatigue reduces safety? And more important, does the public value efforts to manage fatigue?

Justification of fatigue management standards is based on more than three decades of scientific research. Yet although these studies have examined the impact of fatigue on everything from oxygen levels in the brain to short-term memory, a mere handful have examined how fatigue affects a pilot’s flying ability. This is surprising because today’s technology allows monitoring of every facet of the job. Was too little engine power used during takeoff? Was too much brake pressure applied during landing? If so, the system has a record of it. And if a fatigued pilot is doing something dangerous, we should know about it.

Anecdotes tell of sleepy captains forgetting to extend flaps before takeoff to overworked first officers nodding off at the controls while in command. In one recent case, a fatigued Air Canada pilot sent an airliner into a 400-ft. dive over the North Atlantic after mistaking the planet Venus for another aircraft on a collision course. Sixteen passengers were seriously injured. However, standards must be based on methodologically sound research, not anecdotes, and as yet, the relevant research is lacking.

Whether the public values such efforts is a difficult question. A recent public opinion survey found that 82% of passengers rank fatigue as their most important air travel concern. But are their concerns reflected by their behavior? In 2006, a British television station used secret film to substantiate allegations that Ryanair forced its pilots to work excessively fatiguing schedules, flying multiple consecutive flights a day through congested airspace with few opportunities for rest.

How did customers respond? By helping Ryanair grow from a tiny, impoverished Irish carrier to Europe’s largest airline, and a very profitable one at a time when some of its competitors are facing loses and insolvency. The secret to Ryanair’s success is simple: cheap fares. Clearly, public concerns over fatigue are tempered by the prospect of flying from Brussels to Barcelona for €14.99 ($21).

Ryanair is hardly unique among its peers when it comes to reports of fatigue. But its remarkable growth despite such reports forces us to face a harsh reality: If passengers want air travel to be safe, they must be willing to pay for it.

Until governments, bureaucrats and airlines alike, realise that properly implemented FRMS/SMS are safety risk mitigators that are now essential to good, safe business practice then the bureau and Fort Fumble, ‘beyond all sensible reason’, will continue to operate in a vacuum, without scrutiny, without oversight and where aviation safety is in fact their very last priority….

TICK..TOCK indeed!

Addendum:

Recieved a PM from an IOS member suggesting I copy across some of my recent GA thread posts as they are somewhat relevant to this thread but I now see Kharon has linked them.

In case you missed the links:

TSBC in-flight breakup report a benchmark for ATsB??

Senator X questions veracity of the TSBC review?? & research report comparison.


Last edited by Sarcs; 29th Dec 2013 at 17:16.

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