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AVMED under fire again – Steve Hitchins comments

Steve makes some valid comments on the Skidmore lecture. [see below]

But Skidmore is not talking about the #casa that most of us are still seeing, as it is distinctly “Rule-by-Law”, not “Rule-of-Law”. Many of the pilot community have their eyes glaze over about now, but it essential that we see this situation for what it is.

Many years ago, the Democrats supported the AOPA-Aus view that there should be no statutory penalties, but a “Gary Gaunt”, against the wishes of the AOPA Board, spoke to Senator Meg Lees and said that it was OK for statuary fines. The Democrats withdrew the opposition and “Rule-by-Law” passed into the CAAct and regulations.

Look at the situation that exists now.

A single line incorrectly undertaken, elicits large fines. For what, you might ask??

There is no imminent safety risk at all and everyone must have log-book errors, which can be as simple as failing to add up a column or total the operating hours correctly.

A hanging and criminal offence according to #casa, with the current system. #casa does a log-book trawl and comes up with errors.

You get the fines in the mail, which, because they are statutory, you have no defence.

Under “Rule-of-Law”, there is a defence to this and an explanation can be made to the Magistrate.

Likely a different outcome.

AND to the AOPA-Aus petitions and letters. These have been e-mailed to members of AOPA, but the larger #aviation community is welcome to join AOPA.

Material includes:


Here is the AOPA background material for a evenings read [ColmarBrunton report]

Mark Skidmore delivered a sprightly and informal Lawrence Hargrave Lecture in Melbourne this week, despite having resigned as Director of Aviation Safety late last month. The official CASA speech was relegated to waste paper as he talked off-the-cuff about his vision for aviation safety. He came across as relaxed, stress-free and contented, almost as if he’d made a huge decision recently as was very comfortable with having done so.

The words that pricked my ears the most were the ones when he talked about the aviation community being “willing and able” when it came to complying with regulation, saying an operator who was willing but not able needed training to make them able, but an operator who was able but not willing needed to be dealt with more forcefully.

Now, whereas the are unwilling operators out there, I believe they are exceptions, not archetypes, but CASA has a history of dealing with both the same way.

It seems to many of us that CASA has shown a dogged determination to rule by law, shrugging all attempts to instill a genuine just culture.

So who’s unwilling now?

Skidmore’s attitude is not unreasonable, and would even be beneficial were it to become modus operandi within the regulator.

However, a flaw in the idea is exposed if we turn the concept around and point it squarely at Aviation House: CASA, it seems, is neither willing nor able to adopt the just culture that must be there to drive genuine improvement in aviation safety.

Now what?

And one of those areas of unwillingness has long been the AVMED branch.

They have stubbornly defied three directors now when it comes to Class 2 medicals, and it seems AOPA in particular has had enough.

They’ve started a petition to send to Minister Darren Chester asking him to direct CASA to adopt their policy, which is basically for the same medical criteria as RAAus, which some modifications.

It is good to see AOPA staying on the case, but I’m not convinced that a petition to Canberra will keep the heat on the minister. Darren Chester has had enough briefings on general aviation to be well aware of the push for a “driver’s licence” medical, and I personally will be very disappointed if it takes a petition to make him act.

And just how well will the petition be received in Canberra?

There are rumblings that the department is not happy with the bull-at-a-gate approach the association has adopted recently, and the petitions and letter could be seen as just another example of pressuring as distinct from lobbying.

But I doubt AOPA is going to apologise to anyone for that.

May your gauges always be in the green,

Read more at http://www.australianflying.com.au/the-last-minute-hitch/the-last-minute-hitch-9-september-2016#9z1rzyXHIUAFIHtL.99

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