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


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McCormick and CASA questions

Here is an interesting reminder of where the problems with CASA are.

Apology to Dick Smith from Caroline Tulip


My name is Caroline Tulip.  I am Regulatory Impact Analyst with CASA


Using the pseudonym TACAN400…..”

I have agreed to publish the following letter of apology in order to emphasise that anyone abusing their posting rights on PPRuNe, or anywhere else for that matter, cannot expect to be above the law. Whilst we respect the right of members to post anonymously, that right does not extend to them abusing that privilege by making allegations which may be defamatory and put PPRuNe at risk of legal action.

The IP address of every post is recorded. From that IP address, through legal process, the identity of the poster can be discovered. The legal process involves application to the relevant internet service provider for the identity of the user and, if refused, a court order will be issued provided there is just cause. Slander and libel are just causes.

Whilst everyone has the right to criticise and even express anger, that does not extend to making allegations which may be defamatory. Too many members, especially on this forum, are treading very close to the edge with some of their posts. The bravado that anonymity allows should not be abused and members are advised to discover for themselves the difference between criticism and defamation.

Whilst recent cases have added to the definition of limitations of liability between bulletin board hosts such as PPRuNe and that of the posters, it is still not clear cut as to who ultimately has responsibility. Here at PPRuNe we make as much effort as is possible for a bulletin board run by volunteers to keep posts within the law. However, as all of you who have posted recently will know, the rules have been clarified and you will all have agreed to abide by those rules.

If anyone thinks that they are above the law and are not prepared for the consequences of their actions, including what they post on PPRuNe, then they should read the following letter and bear in mind the liability they face if they abuse the privileges I provide through the use of these forums.

The content of the letter and the reasons for it are not open for discussion or debate. Please take the time to read it, digest it and remember it next time you make a post that contains something you are not sure what the consequences may be. If you put PPRuNe in a position where we have no option but to provide an IP address, then you may be identified and have to face the consequences of your actions.



My name is Caroline Tulip. I am a Regulatory Impact Analyst with CASA.

Using the pseudonym TACAN400 over a 12 month period I made a number of untrue and ill-considered postings on PPRuNe about Dick Smith. I now regret having made them and apologise for having done so. He has graciously accepted my apology without demanding any financial compensation for the damage I caused him and the hurt I caused his family.

I was egged-on into falsely believing that the redundancies of many of my colleagues were somehow connected to Dick Smith. In fact, I believe I became paranoid and conspiratorial and repeated and amplified ill-informed opinions expressed on PPRuNe.

My views on airspace matters are poorly informed as I am neither a pilot nor aviation professional. I found myself influenced by gossip and innuendo and could not tell between truth and untruth.

My greatest mistake was making my postings anonymously.

Dick spent over $39,000 on legal fees to uncover my real identity. He would not have had to do that had I made these postings over my own name.

I have therefore agreed to repay him a substantial amount towards these legal fees.

The lesson is clear – if you think that a posting on PPRuNe is anonymous you are mistaken, and it can be an expensive mistake.

I also apologise to Danny Fyne for bringing into disrepute the Professional Pilots Rumour Network.

Source: Professional Pilots Rumour Network (PPRuNe)
Author: Danny




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