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


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Royal Commission into CA$A

There is a call for a Royal Commission into CA$A [Civil Aviation Safety Authority], the organisation that has gradually and systematically destroyed #avation, particularly general aviation [GA]

GA is the bit that is the small end of town, but does the pilot training local charter and supports local businesses.

Please support this petition.

Shannon Baker has a live petition


VALE Stan van de Weil

Aviation lost a good friend on 22nd December 2021.

For his friends, the service held on 30th December 2021 click on this link.

Stan was the holder of the keys for ProAviation, following the death of Paul Phelan, well known aviation commentator and an active aviation participant.

Stan was an instructor, aircraft owner, airport operator and AOC owner operating a small airline.

Paul Phelan gives us this summary of Stan in the late 90’s to early 2000’s particularly the absolute debacle Mobil and CASA caused with the avgas contamination.

This was also my introduction to Stan and the difficulties caused by CASA in denying there was any such thing in a number of locations, despite evidence to the contrary.

VALE Stan and thank-you for your personal support in my battle with CASA.

Fly high.


Cairns Airport Changes following removal of GA

From the Cairns Post on 25th November 2021

Cairns real estate: Airport industry and business centre plans for commercial operators

Bulldozers are set to roll through more than a dozen buildings to pave the way for a new industrial estate in Cairns Airport’s general aviation precinct.

BULLDOZERS are set to roll through more than a dozen buildings to pave the way for a new industrial estate in Cairns Airport’s general aviation precinct.

The collection of outdated and underused structures will be replaced by up to 10 new purpose-built sheds with access from the Captain Cook Highway – but first new tenants need to be found.

CBRE Cairns managing director Danny Betros expected interest for all manner of industrial uses, from rental car storage and warehousing to tradespeople who needed a presence on the city’s north-side.

“It’s going to cater for industrial demand on that north-side – there are no other available industrial sheds out that way at the moment,” he said.

“This is for anybody for any use, but they are light-to-medium uses only.

“We’re not talking heavy manufacturing, anything noisy or that sort of thing.”

Mr Betros anticipated some interest from operators that would benefit from close access to the airport, but said it was not a deal-breaker.

“Obviously it can be airport related but it’s also perfect for any trades, warehousing, storage – anything where people are looking for industrial space on the northern side of the city,” he said.

“If it’s an advantage being near the airport, that’s great, but they are really for anybody.”

The airport is planning to build the new sheds specifically for new tenants where possible with sizes up to 2000sq m, but typically about the 600sq m mark.

A row of 200-300sq m sheds is also on the cards for smaller operators.

The area is being marketed as ideal for food production, export facilities and other airport-related industries – and a separate piece of major infrastructure could have bearing on who signs up.

A development application has been made to Cairns Regional Council to carve off a long-term lease for a 3600sq m site at the Caudron Ave side of the airport.

“Following the reconfiguration, it is proposed to development the lot for the purpose of core airport infrastructure, being a regional trade distribution centre,” the document states.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles last month announced tenders were about to be called on a new $10m regional export hub to be built at the airport to give “farmers, graziers, growers and other producers and processors the best possible opportunity to get their products from paddock to plane to plate as quickly as possible.

The facility was first promised in 2019 but stalled while its sister project at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport was built from scratch and launched into operation in July this year.

Airport attacks on General Aviation

There have been a series of attacks on General Aviation by a range of methods and “owners” since I started flying in 1995.

These are broad ranging and really boil down to individuals, organisations, corporations, Government Departments or Councils trying to limit access to a “port” and essential aviation infrastructure.

What is an #airport?

The word “port” is important, as this really means an access point to a place.

Simple, a piece of the local infrastructure, with very specific design parameters and positioning in the horizontal world, we are well used to and then into the vertical dimension.

A 3D [Three dimensional] position in the world. It is difficult for those used to the 2D world to see the “roads”, highways and lanes that lead to the “airport”. Sometimes known as an ERC [On route chart]

For Australia, there are a series:

On the left is the ERC series for every airport in Australia. The second is the Adelaide to Essendon chart.

For those computer aware people, every day you use a “port” to enter the completely unseen “port” of your Wi-fi, being the seemingly crazy: or similar. We don’t ask questions on how we go to another place, neither do we when we go to an “airport”, board a plane and fly.

The complexity is obvious and any changes on the ground will have a much broader impact Australia wide. This seems lost on the National Government and the QUANGO – CA$A, put in place to oversee #aviation.

Question is, what airports have been impacted, how and what is the future.

Airports and questions about their future.

The Australian Airports Association – Policy

AIRPORTS in Australia

The airports in Australia are under attack.

Essendon Airport with buildings impinging safety envelope [RHS]










Is your Airport one of these?

Goulburn  YGLB   In late 90’s, under attack with Goulburn Coiuncil changing to “operational land”, despite land deeded to Council by Poidiven family. Sale stopped for almost a decade, then sold to Ferrara, who subsequently locked out hangar owners from access to runway, which was part of purchase contract.

Canberra   YSCB   FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels. A single landing and departure for fuel by 2011 reached $50.

Mildura     YMIA    Removed tie downs for GA on hard stand, causing damage by forcing gravel area tie-down, in causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels. Operator [on behalf of Mildura Shire Council], raising costs for all “services” to uneconomic levels.

Bankstown YSBK   FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels and removed only N-S runway in Sydney basin, essential for safe operations in event of serious wind changes.

Katoomba  YKAT  Despite long term and continuous usage, government department refuses to allow operation

Moorabbin YMMB   FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels, placing developments in “safety off-run areas” and removing aviation related activities from airport and attempting to remove owners hangars. Closing cross runway in breach of safety considerations.

Essendon    YMEN   FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels, placing developments in “safety off-run areas” and removing aviation related activities from airport and attempting to remove owners hangars.

Cairns          YBCN     Cairns Port Authority airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels, where these are almost extinct. Reclaimed hangars not owned by airport. By 25th November 2021, a massive change to use is announced.

Mackay        YBMK     Similar YBCN

Mareeba       YMBA    Attempted to reclaim hangar, fully owned by lessee by deception

Jandecot        YPJK     FACS airport, with owner causing costs for GA to rise to uneconomic levels and reportedly considering placing developments in “safety off-run areas”

Coffs Harbour YBCH  Regardless of assurances that no decision has been made to close runway 10/28 at Coffs Harbour, you would have to say it’s not looking good. The Enterprise Park development has killed the lit taxiway route to the GA park and the airport management are looking for an alternative.

Blackwater, Dysart and Moranbah

GA can not land on those airstrips, BHP will not grant permission. When those coal leases were granted, one of the conditions was to develop and maintain infrastructure which the public could use. Over the years there has been maneuvering to get out of this arrangement. If you want to waste your time just give BHP a call about landing on any of these strips.
Cobden YCDE  Series of reports of interest

The importance of airports in Australia


Mareeba Shire Council incurs costs following Supreme Court judgement over Airport wrangle

The Mareeba Shire Council has incurred costs following Supreme Court judgement over the Airport wrangle with Richard Rudd. Richard now retaining his hangAr.

It is adorned with the Eureka flag, flying high and proudly.

Even at the beginning, the lease to which Richard is a party and continues to 2037, at s2.02, describes the …use of the hanger…’. Clothes no doubt!!

The costs for the action by Mareeba Shire Council, in which they used a QC in the Queensland Supreme Court must exceed $100,000.

In defending Council’s action, Richard’s case involved two solicitors and a barrister.

As Richard could no longer afford the solicitors, with the first one becoming ill prior to Xmas, he soldiered on alone. His costs went through $40,000 in May, heading for the $100,000 mark.

The problem with these Council activities is that costs are driven up on both sides by the inevitable slowdowns, such as more urgent matters and a recalcitrant Council who at no stage worked for a settlement.

As the case commenced in Cairns, there was still NO EVIDENCE put forward by Council to support their actions.

The CEO and SCO [Senior Compliance Officer], directed two other compliance officers to investigate if Richard was residing at Lease N on 24th September 2020. This followed the placement of a FORM-7 notice on Richards hangar on 31st August 2020. Richard immediately wrote to Council’s solicitors, PrestonLaw, stating he was NOT RESIDING.

PrestonLaw in a letter to Richard refused to accept this as did the CEO and Mayor Angella Toppin.

The two week period failed to find ANY EVIDENCE to support the Form-7.

Not to be outdone, Mareeba Shire Council installs covert surveillance cameras, discovered on/about 8th November 2020.

On the SCO -Schuck in the Supreme Court acknowledged that there was NO EVIDENCE gained to support the allegation of the FORM-7


The Supreme Court Case:

Finally reaching Court on 6th August 2021, after being locked out from 20th January 2021 [almost 7 months], Richard had an offer by Council of $100,000 on May 7th. There was no costs and he lost the hangar for ever and Richard had to sign off on admitting that he was “…at fault…”.

You guessed it: “No THANKS…”

What is the real value of the lease?

The hangar itself – say $200,000. Improvements – SAY $25,000

The value of the residual lease [16 years] given the size of the site and the offer for lease, there being very limited leases of that size SAY $3500pm [$672,000].

A very valuable property.

Offers of settlement. Richard made two offers, but the CEO refused to even discuss them, rejecting them out-of-hand.

Even on 6th August 2021, when Richard’s application made it onto the Supreme Court calendar, Judge Henry suggested to Council to consider a settlement at the end of the first day.


And who should pick up the TAB?


The CEO??

The SCO???

NO, undoubtedly the Ratepayer.

PS: We understand that Mareeba Shire Council self insures. So, if you just take the sewage charge for Mareeba, the sewerage access charge for an average residential property is $923 per annum. Ratepayers contribute to the cost of operation, maintenance and capital expenditure associated with the sewerage system.

If the final cost of this failure by the Mareeba Council, being $200,000, some 216 ratepayers would lose this portion of their rates.

Mareeba Shire 2020/2021

No marker for here of labour cost. If like the adjoining Tablelands Regional Council, of 46% being labour. Pretty poor accounting practice and designed to deceive.

More #aviation news on Richard Rudd

The information continues, with another story in Richard’s local paper, The Mareeba Express. [See below] today [31st August 2021]

It has an interesting comment attributed to Mareeba Shire Council:

A spokesperson for Mareeba Shire Council advised “it was not aware of any action that Mr Rudd intends to take.”

In the previous article [Tuesday 23rd August 2021] it has attributed to CEO Peter Hamilton Franks:

Mareeba Shire Council CEO Peter Franks told The Express it had complied with Mr Henry’s decision.

“Council respects the decision of the court,” he said.

“The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.

“Council removed padlocks from the building on the morning of Thursday, 12 August 2021, and returned the keys for the hangar to Mr Rudd when he attended the Council office that same day.”

The Express reached out to Mr Rudd for reaction and comment however he was unable to be contacted before the paper’s deadline.

The Mareeba Shire Council certainly would not be aware of actions by Mr. Rudd as he has not telegraphed what actions he will take and he will keep to the Supreme Court Order:

ORDER of 11th August 2021 in Cairns Supreme Court

1. The respondent will forthwith restore possession of the leased premises known as Lease N on SP171528 at Mareeba Airport, along with the keys thereto, to the applicant as the lessee of the premises.
2. The respondent will pay the applicant’s costs of the application to be assessed on the standard basis if not agreed.

Richard called at Council offices on Thursday 12th August, only to be screamed at by a Council employee who identified himself as “…Anthony Archie….”.

Richard left to return to his vehicle and the person approached to throw some keys though a vehicle window. Richard returned them on Friday morning as the Council office opened as there was nothing to identify what the keys were.

Last Tuesday’s Mareeba Express has expanded on Council’s “view”, in that it has gone to the Airport, unlocked the hangar, BUT did not inform Richard of doing this action [by phone, letter or e-mail].

Consequently the hangar was unlocked until Sunday [15th August 2021, when Richard and friends occupied the hangar.

The Anthony Archie incident in the Council foyer has more relevance in that he was either unaware of “the Unlocking” OR failed to inform Richard of this action.

Either way, Council continues to refuse to honour the spirit OR the content of the Supreme Court ORDER.

Frank’s comment: “The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.”

Well, one should look at the Council lease, where at s2.02, it describes ……hanger(sic)…. . Likely, the lease is invalid anyway and Judge Henry corrects that in his Judgement, together with an apt summary of what a hangar is for, the use, storage etc.

A change to the lease at 2.02 should ensue Mr. Franks and become at least: “………..aircraft storage, maintenance and ancillary aviation uses….”

This is the common usage phrase in most leases at Mareeba Airport.

Richard is working to meet item 2 of the ORDER – Costs of the Application.


Judge Henry and his careful interpretation of what a HANGAR and IT’S USAGE is:

[13] The lease does not define the term “aircraft storage hanger” or the purpose of its use. Clause 2.20.7 was highlighted in argument by Council. It defines “hanger” as being “a building … suited for use as an aircraft storage facility”. However, that definition is expressly for the purposes of the lease’s construction clause only and, in any event, the undefined meaning of the words “aircraft storage facility” adds nothing material to the undefined meaning of the words “aircraft storage hanger”.
[14] It is well known that an aircraft hangar is a large building, usually located at an aerodrome, in which aircraft are stored. That might reasonably be described as its primary purpose and sensibly explains why the words “aircraft storage hanger” may have been adopted in the lease. However, it is similarly well known that the customary or ordinary use of an aircraft hangar is not confined purely to the act of parking and storing aircraft therein and that its use includes the performance of maintenance and repair work, that is, work performed upon aircraft housed therein, in order to maintain aircraft in or return aircraft to a state of airworthiness. That might reasonably be described as its secondary purpose.
[15] Further, because that secondary purpose is potentially time consuming, it may necessitate uses ancillary to that purpose – uses of a kind common to any building where human beings may work for prolonged periods, such as uses of a bathroom, kitchen and rest facilities.
[16] The lease’s use of the phrase “aircraft storage hanger” as distinct from “aircraft hanger” ought not be interpreted as confining the relevant purpose of use to that of storage to the exclusion of the aforementioned secondary purpose of maintenance and repair work and uses ancillary thereto. Such an interpretation would conflict with clear contextual indications to the contrary in the terms of the lease.
[17] The terms of the lease identify a leased lot which, on any view of the evidence, is a lot located at Mareeba Airport. Moreover, the terms of the lease implicitly contemplated that the premises would be accessible to travel at the airport from the airport taxi way and runway.
For example, clause 2.20.9 required the premises be adequately fenced “to prevent the ingress of wild or domesticated animals onto the airport taxi way or runway”. In short this was a hangar to be constructed and used at an airport, not off at some other location like a storage warehouse unconnected with tarmac and runways.
That context made it inevitable the hangar would be used at the airport by aircraft in which the premise’s tenant had an interest. It could scarcely be thought such aircraft would not from time to time require maintenance or repair work to ensure or restore their airworthiness or that such work would not be carried out in the tenant’s hangar.

Judge Henry’s full Judgement

2 September, 2021

Veteran top gun to pursue legal proceedings against Council

A LOCAL MAN who won his recent Supreme Court case battle which ruled he can continue to store and work on his beloved planes inside a local hangar says he now plans to start immediate legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council.

By Michael Warren

Long time pilot Richard Rudd says he intends to start legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council. He’s pictured here inside the controversial hangar. INSET: The bed Council suggested indicated permanent residency at the hangar.

A LOCAL MAN who won his recent Supreme Court case battle which ruled he can continue to store and work on his beloved planes inside a local hangar says he now plans to start immediate legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council.

Richard Rudd, whose story captured recent national attention says the hangar lockout saw one of his planes fall into a state of un-airworthiness and as such he couldn’t provide the upkeep and maintenance it required to stay in the air.

As such the 82 year-old who has been flying planes for the past 66 years said when his immediate health improves his priority is to recoup the losses he’s absorbed from being locked out of the hangar for nearly 12 months.

“Because I’ve been locked out I haven’t been able to put the oil through the engine or run the engine, the (Boeing Stearman) plane’s battery is also ruined and needs replacing. “As such my intention is to start legal proceedings against Council.

“I’m happy I won the case but it’s been nearly 12 months of sleepless nights, financial worries, stress and hurt, which has actually damaged my health, and I’ll be seeking further compensation.”

Mr Rudd who first worked on planes as a 15-year-old reiterated the bed inside the hangar is for convenience purposes only and not in any way for permanent residency reasons.

The bed inside the hangar was a contentious issue as MSC suggested its presence indicated the long time pilot was potentially living on site.

“Again the bed is here to rest between works – sometimes I drop my wife at work at 9am and I’m here at the hangar until 9pm until I pick her up, so as an 82 year-old man, sometimes I’ll have a quick nap, but by no means do I live here at the hangar.”

Mr Rudd said he feels vindicated by the recent Supreme Court decision.

“I was initially somewhat shellshocked by the Council’s decision to take the case forward, but I always knew the truth, and that came out in the judge’s ruling,” he said.

“My message to Mareeba Shire Council is this; whenever they take action against a person, they better make sure they get it absolutely right.

“By that I mean legal, spelling wise, wording, and everything else, because this has been the most disgusting exercise I’ve ever come across in my life.”

A spokesperson for Mareeba Shire Council advised “it was not aware of any action that Mr Rudd intends to take.”

Further reading:

Richard Rudd Returns

At 2.30PM on 15th August 2021, Richard re-entered his hangar with assistance of some friends, as Mareeba Shire Council had not met the terms of the Supreme Court ORDER [11th August 2021]

Mareeba Shire Council had not provided access at all and remains in breach of the Order by failing to meet:
The respondent will forthwith restore possession of the leased premises known as Lease N on SP171528 at Mareeba Airport, along with the keys thereto, to the applicant as the lessee of the premises.


In response to the Mareeba Express attribution to Mr. Peter Hamilton Franks:

Mareeba Shire Council CEO Peter Franks told The Express it had complied with Mr Henry’s decision.
“Council respects the decision of the court,” he said.
“The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.
“Council removed padlocks from the building on the morning of Thursday, 12 August 2021, and returned the keys for the hangar to Mr Rudd when he attended the Council office that same day.”
The Express reached out to Mr Rudd for reaction and comment however he was unable to be contacted before the paper’s deadline.


  1. No contact was made by Mareeba Shire Council in response to the Supreme Court of Queensland judgement AT ALL after the hearing on 6th to 11th August 2020 and judgement at 2.30pm that day
  2. Mr. Rudd had to go to Mareeba Shire Council at 4.30PM on 12th August to seek possession, which was not provided or offered to him and he left the building, after an Anthony Archie did not “Give Possession”
  3. No mention was made of any Mareeba Shire Council visit to the hangar to “give possession”
  4. An Anthony Archie approached Mr Rudd’s vehicle and threw a set of unmarked and unidentified keys into the vehicle.
  5. As Mr Rudd could not identify them, he returned the keys to Mareeba Shire Council
  6. A press release was made on Wednesday 11th August to The Express and provided details, together with a contact number.
  7. No call was or has been received, nor an email from Mareeba Shire Council;
  8. Mr Rudd has been under medical care since 11th August.
On Sunday at 2.30 pm, 15th August, Mr Rudd gained access to his hangar by removing locks and chains from the building.
Aviation enthusiast wins Supreme court case against Mareeba Council
A LOCAL aviation enthusiast is free to continue his passion of attending to his Boeing Stearman plane inside a hangar at Mareeba airport after he took his case against Mareeba Shire Council to the Supreme Court – and won.
By Michael Warren
Local aviation enthusiast Richard Rudd is free to store his plane at a local airport after winning his Supreme Court case against Mareeba Shire Council.
A LOCAL aviation enthusiast is free to continue his passion of attending to his Boeing Stearman plane inside a hangar at Mareeba airport after he took his case against Mareeba Shire Council to the Supreme Court – and won.
Richard Rudd has a 40-year lease on the hangar and has used it since 2016.
However, in January local Council changed the locks and told a perplexed Mr Rudd he breached the lease because the conditions of the contract were for aircraft occupation only, and not maintenance works, to any aircraft inside the hangar.
Further, local Council accused the 82 year-old of using the hangar for accommodation purposes because it housed both a bed and a bar bridge.
In addition Council also claimed Mr Rudd’s daily and regular presence at the hangar was beyond what was required to simply store his plane at the facility, suggesting the plane lover was taking part in commercial activities at the location.
However Justice Henry dismissed Council’s claims and ruled entirely in favour of Mr Rudd.
“It is well known that an aircraft hangar is a large building, usually located at an aerodrome, in which aircraft are stored,” Mr Henry explained.
“It is similarly well-known that the customary or ordinary use of an aircraft hangar is not confined purely to the act of parking and storing aircraft therein and that its use includes the performance of maintenance and repair work… in order to maintain aircraft in, or return to, a state of air worthiness.”
Furthermore, Mr Henry said “the lease contains no clause which expressly or by implication limits the times during which Mr Rudd’s conduct cause annoyance, nuisance or inconvenience to nearby occupiers… however no such behavioral breach was there.”
Council was ordered to pay Mr Rudd’s legal fees and restore possession of the hangar to him.
Mareeba Shire Council CEO Peter Franks told The Express it had complied with Mr Henry’s decision.
“Council respects the decision of the court,” he said.
“The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.
“Council removed padlocks from the building on the morning of Thursday, 12 August 2021, and returned the keys for the hangar to Mr Rudd when he attended the Council office that same day.”
The Express reached out to Mr Rudd for reaction and comment however he was unable to be contacted before the paper’s deadline.

Further Reading:




The Rudd story continues – #Mareeba Airport

The Rudd story continues – #Mareeba Airport

Facebook page for up-to-date information

Not quite viral, but the phone calls, e-mails, facebook posts, newspaper articles and on-radio requests certainly take it to that level.

The news from yesterday is that Mareeba Shire Council still have not called Richard to meet the terms of Judge Henry’s ORDER.

ORDER of 11th August 2021 in Cairns Supreme Court

1. The respondent will forthwith restore possession of the leased premises known as Lease N on SP171528 at Mareeba Airport, along with the keys thereto, to the applicant as the lessee of the premises.
2. The respondent will pay the applicant’s costs of the application to be assessed on the standard basis if not agreed.

Richard called at Council offices on Thursday, only to be screamed at by a Council employee who identified himself as “…Anthony Archie….”. Richard left to return to his vehicle and the person approached to throw some keys though a vehicle window. Richard returned them on Friday morning as the Council office opened as there was nothing to identify what the keys were.

Still has not had “……..forthwith restore possession of the leased premises known as Lease N……….” met by Mareeba Council


In The Australian this morning, with permission.

Council licks its wounds after fight with 82-year-old top gun

Richard Rudd's Boeing Stearman biplane which is housed at the Mareeba Airport hangar. Picture: Facebook
Richard Rudd’s Boeing Stearman biplane which is housed at the Mareeba Airport hangar. Picture: Facebook

An 82-year-old who was locked out of the aircraft hangar he was leasing to do maintenance on his plane has won his Supreme Court battle against the local council.

Richard Rudd held a 40-year lease on the hangar at Mareeba Airport in far north Queensland, and had been using it since 2016. But the council changed the locks in January.

He was told he was in breach of the lease contract because the hangar was intended for aircraft storage, not maintenance.

Mareeba Shire Council also ­accused him of using the hangar for residential purposes because it contained a bed and a bar fridge.

In a scathing judgment in favour of Mr Rudd, Supreme Court judge James Henry noted the council’s lease contract had not even spelt hangar correctly, and had not clearly defined the term “aircraft storage hanger (sic)”.

“It is well known that an aircraft hangar is a large building, usually located at an aerodrome, in which aircraft are stored,” said Justice Henry said. “It is similarly well known that the customary or ordinary use of an aircraft hangar is not confined purely to the act of parking and storing aircraft therein and that its use ­includes the performance of maintenance and repair work … in order to maintain aircraft in, or return aircraft to, a state of airworthiness.”

He also rejected the council’s evidence that Mr Rudd was in breach of the lease contract ­because he spent long hours there, “often throughout the day and into the early evening”.

The council argued Mr Rudd’s typical daily presence far exceeded what was necessary for the storage of his Boeing Stearman and suggested he was undertaking commercial activities.

But Justice Henry said it was “inherently plausible an aviation enthusiast such as Mr Rudd may choose to work long hours for his private purposes on maintenance or repair of aircraft”.

“The lease contains no clause which expressly or by implication limits the times during which Mr Rudd can be present at the hangar,” he said. “It does contain clauses protecting council’s position should Mr Rudd’s conduct cause annoyance, nuisance or inconvenience to nearby occupiers … however no such behavioural breach was alleged here.”

Council argued the presence of a bed and a bar fridge showed Mr Rudd was using the hangar as a home, but Justice Henry accepted his evidence the items were there for comfort.

“It would surely be unremarkable that someone working or taking a rest break in an un-airconditioned hangar in the tropics might want refrigerated ­refreshments,” he said.

Council was ordered to pay Mr Rudd’s legal costs and restore possession of the hangar to him.

Further comments to 14th August 2021

1 day ago
“The Castle” wins again!

Local councils should be abolished. 800 of them litter Australia with around 8000 councilors. What a gigantic waste of money they are.

Peter EE
2 days ago
Full marks to the court for a sensible ruling.   I’m also amused that the Council personnel don’t know the difference between “hanger” and “hangar”.
2 days ago
Another Council adding value and focussing on what matters.  Thank you.
2 days ago
Seems like a personlality clash somewhere in the background here .
2 days ago
I wonder if there is a development in the wind for that site and the leased building was in the way.
2 days ago
Maybe someone had a mate who wanted a hangar and there weren’t any others available.
But probably not ?

Roger 2

2 days ago

“Council licks its wounds after fight with 82-year-old top gun”

It’s not very often that a Supreme Court judgement ranks as “common sense’, but in this instance, I suspect that it has.
The “case” reminds me of a situation in Victoria a couple of decades ago:
A Local Council inspector was issuing “infringement notices” to residents (who put their bins out on the morning of the collection) for failing to put their garbage-collection bins out on the EVENING BEFORE  the collection date.

ALL the ‘fines’ were overturned and rendered illegal, but the capacity of minor bureaucrats to overstep their capacity remains unabated …

Brad (the quiet Australian)
2 days ago
This is a clear case of good justice at work. The council needs a rocket under them for this disgraceful conduct. Ratepayers in Mareeba Shire should not be impressed at the sheer waste of their money either.
2 days ago
Any win against a council is a good win.
1 day ago
I understand your sentiments but any financial liability incurred by the council in the loss will fall to the ratepayers.
1 day ago
Who can decide elect different councillors next time.
2 days ago
The sad bit in here is that it took a judge to get people to see some sense. It could have been very different.
Charles J
2 days ago
What on earth possessed the council in question to pursue such a ludicrous claim? It is quite obvious from the descriptions of the lease given by the judge they had no leg to stand on. I don’t think I know one person who leases a hangar who does not do some maintenance on their plane.
2 days ago
Suffer in your jocks council
2 days ago
Well in this case common sense won the day.
2 days ago
Great story about bloody minded bureaucrats.
2 days ago
Strewth, these people at Council were nasty – will the individual employees at Council now reimburse their rate payers for the legal bills? Or can they simply lose their jobs.
2 days ago
There’ll be a property developer pulling the strings on this one.
Local ratepayers might want to start asking questions about why their rates are bing wasted on vexatious litigation.
2 days ago
There must be a back story here, was the council trying to boot him out to redevelop or something ?  Unconscionable behaviour from council.
2 days ago
Wonder what irked the council bureaucrat? Very odd. Glad the tough old bloke won, and so resoundingly.
2 days ago
I thought that Queensland people were generally good mates and supportive of each other. Sounds like this council had some narrow minded people on it.
2 days ago
We need to change the law to make the bureaucrats more accountable.  If a government entity has costs awarded against it, the individuals who authorised the legal action should be required to pay those costs, out of their own pockets.
Peter A
2 days ago
Hear! Hear! All too often the Faceless Bureaucrats make wrong decisions and their employer wears the costs. The Faceless Bureaucrats should take the costs out of their hip pocket. I agree entirely. The Law needs changing immediately.
2 days ago
Agree, but also place their names on a national register for public viewing. It’s part of ACCOUNTABILITY – RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT.
2 days ago
That would make them think twice !
3 days ago
“Council was ordered to pay Mr Rudd’s legal costs…” Which means the rate payers pay.
MJ from Sydney
3 days ago
My god, a win for common sense!
Antipodean North Korean
3 days ago
Years ago I was unlawfully arrested by a local laws officer for minor dog-related “offences”. Also got stung about $700 in fines. Unlucky for him and his partner I have a background in federal law enforcement and after a bit of basic research of the Victorian Local Government Act – available online – proceeded to take the council apart with a series of emails.

Eventually got my money back, along with an apology and an assurance that they would receive better training. Not sure if that happened because it turned out they were causing headaches for the council all over the place and their positions were abolished. As far as I can tell, since then the relationship between the council and ratepayers has been much improved.

Don’t ever assume that just because someone is acting with the authority of council – or any other level of government for that matter – that they necessarily know what they’re doing.

2 days ago
Had plenty of liquor licensing officials who don’t understand the laws they’re enforcing!
3 days ago
I like Judge Henry, clearly a sensible man.
3 days ago
It feels like, We pay our councils to oppress us
3 days ago
following the state government lead
3 days ago
What harm was the guy doing? Any excuse to raise money in addition to the outrageous rates they charge.
3 days ago
This is fantastic news. Thank you Australia.
3 days ago
I wonder who it was that wanted his spot? That’s where the real story will be.
2 days ago
Good to have friends ! ?
Why not pick on the easy 82yo target, takes courage. Hope he claims for the stress in his life as well as all out-of-pocket expenses.
Shows the great culture of burorats throughout our systems.
Alan Ken
3 days ago
Glad you reported this. Did Council pay this fella’s legal fees?
3 days ago
In regional QLD common sense usually prevails.
Hope the electorate takes this into account on “who voted how” in the next election.
Please reveal the voting call so voters can lock them in as representatives to put at the bottom of the how to vote card..
Antipodean North Korean
3 days ago
The common sense happened in the Supreme Court.
3 days ago
Movie here.   Can see it now.
2 days ago
Call it “The Hangar”
Michael the Deplorable
3 days ago
This tier of Government is arguably the most petty and least competent.

Good to see them get their comeuppance. for once.

3 days ago
How can the council, ever imagine, in their wildest dreams, that an 82 year old would want to rest on a bed, now and again, after doing some work on a hobby, in the middle of no-where, to keep his interest, health and sense of some purpose in the remaining few years of his life?
Oscar O
3 days ago
Great refreshing story for a change,
3 days ago
I would strongly suggest to the ratepayers to rid themselves of this Council!
3 days ago
Ah, the meanness and pettiness of the ruling class.  Everybody loves a win for the battler.
3 days ago
A good news story.
3 days ago
And the ratepayers foot the bill. Maybe they would think twice if the moneys comes from their own pockets! Despicable!
3 days ago
Abolish local government. It’s the easiest to get rid of. They’re breading grounds for labor and green political parties. They’re also rife with nepotism and corruption. Glad this bloke won. Sorry he had to go through this ordeal.
3 days ago
The council found itself in a ‘region of reverse command’.
3 days ago
Many of my neighbours have sheds/workshops containing not only storage space but upholstered chairs and fridges. They sometimes maintain machinery in them. Lots of opportunity here for our local Council to waste money and annoy people.
3 days ago
Someone in the council wanted to use the hangar ?? Or his/her mate.
Great to see justice done.
3 days ago

It would seem so Jim
3 days ago
I wonder what was behind the need for the council to remove him…..the article never addresses why the council did what did.
3 days ago
He has upset someone. In a small country town,
everyone would know that person.


3 days ago
That what I was wondering whilst reading, there is no mention at all.  Something must have triggered a local to make an effort for something, that is not a naturally occurring state.
3 days ago
Good on you Richard!
3 days ago
As you get older it appear you become more vulnerable to the bullies of society , overpaid councils , and government officials top the list followed by Companies.
I suggest this form of abuse needs to be called out as it happens and make public.
I would call on our younger gens  to stand with the oldies to stamp out this growing injustice ., after all you get to take our place eventually .
CyberBloke.io ?
3 days ago
Applause. Congratulations.  Tell the rate-wasting, mean and un-spirited council who can’t even spell to go shove it.
3 days ago
There is a 1909 Wright Military Flyer on display in America’s National Air and Space Museum.  Suspended from the ceiling from what one presumes are aircraft hangers.
2 days ago
Thanks BGA – the best laugh I have had during lockdown
3 days ago
Yes folks, its sad but true.

We often complain about Canberra but a close look at the incompetence of our local councils will be all the more mind-boggling.

3 days ago
A great read.
Gravel Rash
3 days ago
Stupid bureaucrats taking delight in giving someone a headache, just to show how important they are (in their own minds). Good to see a rare victory against our new ruling class. Act of arrogance all charged to the tax payer.

Some comments from The Australian this morning:

Mike R.
15 minutes ago
Councils: one more cohort of bureaucrats trying to stifle ordinary freedoms.
45 minutes ago
At last, a feel good story. Got anymore?
45 minutes ago
Well done that man.
Another Peter
47 minutes ago
Great to see we still have some judges with common sense. Hopefully the council employees behind this nonsense suffer some personal penalties for wasting rate-payer’s money, and for wasting court time, on something which seemingly smacks perhaps of a personal vendetta.
46 minutes ago
Is this a Labor or Greens Council? No one else would be that stupid.
53 minutes ago
A beer or ten and a good lay down next to your man toy.Bliss!
1 hour ago
Great work Mr Rudd! (Never thought I’d say that.)
1 hour ago
A public servant in  the council decided to be a hero in the eyes of his boss , picked a soft target ( old man ) . Just because you are old does not mean you can be bullied , I can only imagine the stress and anxiety the guy was subjected to . Shamefull
1 hour ago
Justice is not dead in Australia.
1 hour ago
A feel-good story
1 hour ago
Great victory against bureaucratic bullies
There are plenty of them around
As the old saying goes   give them an inch and they will take a yard
1 hour ago
Please do a follow-up article in which you seek the Council’s views on the outcome.
53 minutes ago
Donn D
1 hour ago
You go Mr Rudd! Great to see an old coot (like me) still standing and still looking after yourself. (I have a great deal of difficulty doing that) but just because things are getting a bit difficult doesn’t mean giving in to idiots.
1 hour ago
A win for logic over lunacy….gave the week end a good start.
2 hours ago
Justice ruled by commonsense.
2 hours ago
This story has made me Saturday and restored some of my faith in the justice system. But knowing petty public servants as well as I do – they will be plotting some kind of retribution. Definitely should be a movie made. What an uplifting story. Go hard you 80 year olds!
2 hours ago
Sounds like Contact Tracing ,the council must be linked to that women who said Queensland  hospitals  are for Queensland’s only.  These people  should be put in quarantine for 10yrs
2 hours ago
Council should perhaps find someone who can write leases a little better
2 hours ago
I’d say the 40 year lease might be the problem for the council, Mareeba Airport is getting busier all the time and his hangar was not producing enough revenue for the council.
1 hour ago

They can always offer to buy out his lease – that would be fun. Suspect Richard would be a great negotiator as well as aviator! Staggering stupidity that a case like this even gets to Court – Shire should sack staff involved and their lawyers
2 hours ago
Michael Caton should play the lead role when this tale is turned into a movie. It’s a pity that Bud Tingwell is no longer around.  Great story of the little guy taking on a heartless bureaucracy!
3 hours ago
Commonsense reigns. Let’s savour this. It is rare and a breath of fresh air. Well done Mr Rudd.
3 hours ago

This case exemplifies my long held opinion of local councils.
Even if you are a rate payer.
Don’t be fooled.
“The council is not your friend”
3 hours ago
What nonsensical rubbish on behalf of the council. I hope the electorate make adjustments come the next election.
Antipodean North Korean
3 hours ago
Clearly at least one council employee is surplus to requirements. A classic case of looking for trouble because someone has nothing else to do.
Everyone’s an expert
5 hours ago
Council’s flight of fancy crashes and burns.
5 hours ago

Well done Richard.

Back to work.

But no holiday for you since you were locked out on January 20th this year, some 7 months ago.

Your support from the locals now is being seen.

7 hours ago
More over-reach by a renegade council. Glad he won.
8 hours ago
Legal action with other peoples money.. sounds like the principles of the ABC stretch far and wide throughout Australia.
the people who wanted him out should pay the costs, not the ratepayer..
sounds like someone wanted the hangar back.
9 hours ago
It would appear that crass stupidity in local government is not just confined to Victoria.
9 hours ago
A comment from the person(s) responsible for the decision to ‘void’ Mr Rudd’s lease might give us greater insight into the reasons why it took a Supreme Court to settle the matter.
11 hours ago

Am surprised this matter had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to be properly resolved. The matters at dispute appear to be relatively straight forward.

13 hours ago
Great outcome.
3 hours ago
Hey I’m an Oz living in England   ….   and so miles away from this  …  and if I may say an ex pilot   …   so very well done Mr Rudd !  …  but how refreshing to
see a clear eyed judge dispensing such clear eyed decisions  …

Richard Rudd wins against Mareeba Council

Richard Rudd wins against Mareeba Council


Today the Supreme Court of Queensland upheld the Application by Mr. Richard Rudd to have Mareeba Shire Council return his hangar at Mareeba Airport and for his continuing occupation.
It was a condition of the lease that Mr. Rudd did not reside at Lease N.

On the 31 August 2020, Mareeba Shire Council issued a notice to remedy saying Mr. Rudd was using the premises for residential purposes.

Mareeba Council said Mr. Rudd was residing, despite Mr. Rudd giving evidence to Council of his actual place of residence since June 2016.

Mareeba Shire continued the action alleging further misdeeds including “doing maintenance”.

On 20th January 2021, Mareeba Shire Council locked Mr. Rudd out of his hangar.

The Supreme Court judgement by Justice J. Henry awarded Mr. Rudd repossession of his hangar and continuing use.


e-mail: ozaviation@outlook.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/415535959533641

Some background:

Supreme Court Judgement 11th August 2021












Summary by Richard Rudd

Mareeba Council refuses to talk to Aviation stalwart


From Richard (Rudd)

A little history.

I first came to Mareeba airstrip in 1970 with an old aircraft.

In 1972 I called the first meetings in Cairns that resulted the Far North Queensland Soaring Centre, a sailplane and glider flying training group that operated for over 30 years at this field and a strip at Springmount.

Northair Surveys, the aerial mapping company I used to operate built the hangar on Lease F in 1988.

Hangar on Lease N was purchased from the previous lease holder/hangar owner and was finalised in 2016..

Two years ago I called the first meetings in my hangar, with a like minded group of aviators to discuss the need/ feasibility of establishing an Air Museum.

No such facility to tell the aviation heritage of FNQ or the beginnings of Mareeba airfield in WW2 was in existence. That idea has been embraced by many others and the younger generation and will soon become a reality.

You are all aware of the plans and future benefits to tourism, aviation activities and restoration of aircraft, etc for the airfield and the Shire with the Far North Queensland Aviation Museum.

My life time collection of aviation philately, stamps and commemorative flight envelopes, ephemera, posters, maps, photographs, engines and aircraft were to be gifted to FNQAM.

Along with all my tools, work benches, and artifacts, aircraft hardware and fittings for the museum and restoration workshops.

This action by Mareeba Shire Council has terminated this intent.


In the hangar there is a 1941 Stearman Bi-plane, which was used in filming TORA, TORA, TORA – the Japanese version of Pearl Harbour.

This is fully restored and ready to fly.

Senate Inquiry

Please get your pen out and put in a submission

Steve Hitchen relates this to a change in Minister and the rejuvenated Barnaby Joyce

– Steve Hitchen

Does the general aviation community have that much inquiry fatigue that they can’t find it in themselves to engage with the current senate inquiry? Or, are we dealing with a level of apathy generated by the impacts of the pandemic; impacts that have deprived the inquiry of energy?

Senator Susan McDonald issued a plea this week for the GA community to get their submissions in, a plea which has some merit given the recent experience at Moorabbin Airport where operators have been lumbered with a series of business-destroying master plans because almost no-one bothered to comment on them.

This is now solid proof that a lack of engagement with consultation demonstrates a lack of interest that is all the incentive politicians need to rubber stamp the plans and move on to something else. The senate GA inquiry will suffer the same fate if the community demonstrates the same levels of apathy, which looks like the paradigm right now.

If GA can engage more, we may be able to take advantage of an opportunity that has opened up: a change of minister. The GA inquiry is self-referred, which means no-one in the government is obliged to even so much as respond to it.

The word around Canberra is that a healthy, supported inquiry would get more traction with Barnaby Joyce than it would have with Michael McCormack.

However, if the senate presents a half-arsed, wishy-washy report drawn from the voices of only a passionate few, I suspect not even BJ himself will take a lot of notice.

The GA community needs to get over it’s apathy infection and engage in numbers to show Canberra that it is prepared to be involved in its own future.

The Senate entry point is: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Rural_and_Regional_Affairs_and_Transport/CovidAviation/Public_Hearings


Mareeba Council refuses to talk to Aviation stalwart

Richard Rudd is working through the inequity of the actions of the Mareeba Council CEO – Peter Hamilton Franks.
Richard reminded me yesterday that he contacted the elected representatives eleven (11) times from August 2020 to January 2021.
No response and Richard waits for that contact still.
Would be great to think Council could swallow it’s “pride” and settle this matter and allow Richard to be Richard and do what he is good at in Lease “N” at the local community airport.
Just a thought.
Maybe a letter to Angella Toppin, Mayor, Mareeba Council, Mareebe QLD 4880 would assist.
This is about Mareeba Council and it’s ceo attempting to remove a lease that has 14 years to run [2034] on spurious grounds from Richard and refusing to have a proper discussion with him.
This is not what we elected Mareeba Council to do.
More information on the Mareeba Airport page.  – Join the group and follow the progress.
Remember You Vote.
Richard’s Stearman, which has been restored over the past 10 years.

Gong’s galore in Canberra

Gong’s galore in Canberra

The following goes to Mr. Carmody, of ca$a, the ceo for the past few years, after the loss of Skidmore and McCormick.
















From the “Gong”, you would assume Carmody was a top level public servant, but NO, Carmody is far from that.

Ask the #aviation industry.

Carmody carries on with bullying tactics, removes instituted and agreed changes [ASRR] and is not liked by the GA [General Aviation] sector, particularly regarding part 61 [licencing] and AVMED [aviation medicals]

Ask anyone who has been subject to an “investigation”. They will tell you that there is “verbaling”, improper accusations and vexatious litigation.

AND does Carmody deserve the “gong”??


The Josh Hoch saga

Josh Hoch saga and #casa

This saga goes back to 2016, over 5 years ago. Now , the Supreme Court in Townsville has dismissed the “tampering” charges on the basis that it could not be proven: “Was it Josh Hoch who committed the act…”.

However, the fraud charges are a different matter and it will be interesting to see if the adjacent cancellation of Hoch’s AOC will proceed OR will #casa refuse to reinstate the AOC or is the use of the AOC related to the fraud.

Why did #casa issue the AOC, when Hoch had been operating in a commercial capacity in providing transport services to local politicians, at least to early 2016 or late 2015?


Josh Hoch case goes to District Court

Josh Hoch faces 343 charges including counts of endangering the safety of a person in a vehicle with intent, falsification of documents, and fraud; and Nichole Ellen Limburg faces one charge of fraud after a protracted multi-agency investigation was conducted in January 2017

North Queensland man’s charges of interfering with planes, sabotage of planes dropped in Supreme Court

A man in a striped shirt stands, staring directly at the camera. He is in a court house.
Josh Hoch was originally charged with more than 300 charges in 2017. Plane tampering charges were dropped in a Supreme Court sitting in Mount Isa.(ABC North West Queensland: Kelly Butterworth

A North Queensland pilot accused of tampering with his rivals’ fuel tanks has had charges of interfering with planes and associated sabotage of planes dropped in a Supreme Court sitting in Mount Isa.

Josh Hoch was 31 when he was charged with numerous offences including plane tampering, fraud, falsification of documents and other aircraft related offences in 2017.

Today Justice James Henry dismissed the jury after one week of the trial, which was expected to last three weeks.

Justice Henry told the jury in the first five minutes of today’s sitting that the Crown would not continue to prosecute the charges relating to interfering with planes and associated sabotage.

“The short version is the case has been dropped,” Justice Henry said.

He told the jury that because they had been sitting on the case for a week, he would explain the particulars of the change.

Three ‘critical layers’ in case

Justice Henry outlined three “critical layers” of the case which the jury had been tasked to decide upon.

The first was if the contaminants in the fuel tanks had been there as the result of human intervention, the second was if it was done as a deliberate act of sabotage, and the third was if it had been Josh Hoch who had committed the alleged acts.

Mr Henry said it was the third that “was always the prosecution’s real challenge” and that they also had to prove motive, opportunity and that he had knowledge that only the offender would know.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the prosecution put up the white flag and has dropped the case,” Justice Henry said.

“It has been officially concluded, it was not sufficient to pursue a case.”

Mr Hoch has further charges proceeding in the District and Magistrates courts.

Josh Hoch’s aircraft tampering charges dropped in Supreme Court

Josh Hoch was charged in 2017 with numerous offences including plane tampering, fraud, falsification of documents and other aircraft related offences.

Josh Hoch was charged in 2017 with numerous offences including plane tampering, fraud, falsification of documents and other aircraft related offences.

On Monday March 8, Justice James Henry told the jury that the Crown would not continue to prosecute the charges relating to the planes and associated sabotage, following insufficient evidence to prove Hoch had committed the alleged acts.

The trial was expected to last three weeks, however Justice Henry dismissed the jury after the first week of the trial stating “the short version is the case has been dropped.”

ABC North West Queensland reported that Justice Henry outlined three “critical layers” of the case which the jury had been tasked to decide upon.

The first was if the contaminants in the fuel tanks had been there as the result of human intervention, the second was if it was done as a deliberate act of sabotage, and the third was if it had been Josh Hoch who had committed the alleged acts.

Mr Henry said it was the third that “was always the prosecution’s real challenge” and that they also had to prove motive, opportunity and that he had knowledge that only the offender would know.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the prosecution put up the white flag and has dropped the case,” Justice Henry said.

“It has been officially concluded, it was not sufficient to pursue a case.”

Hoch was charged in 2017 with numerous offences including plane tampering, fraud, falsification of documents and other aircraft related offences.

Mr Hoch has further charges proceeding in the District and Magistrates courts.

CEO and Board Chair appointment to #casa

We have all been waiting for the Carmody replacement.

The press release from the Minister’s office is misleading at best: “Experienced … crew…”.

Well in aviation, one would expect a substantial GA or airline experience.

No, we have more of the “unqualified” people at the top.

At last look, #casa has responsibility for civil aviation.

Mark Binskin does not appear to meet that requirement, but he does have “…over 3,500 hours in single-seat fighter aircraft….” [see attached resume from Wikipedia]

As for Pip Spence: “…..comes to CASA from a senior leadership position within the Department of Infrastructure…….”, with “………..experience in aviation policy and regulation…..”, no better result here either. But Pip has “….strong track record “……strong track record of leading organisational change…”.

No GA or airline experience either.

All one can read here for the future is more of the same and lots of un-welcome change.

What is the Minister thinking?

Mark Binskin 2018.jpg

Experienced leadership crew to take the controls at CASA

The Australian Government has today announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Aviation Safety (DAS), and a new Chair of the Board of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) – the statutory authority that regulates aviation safety in Australia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Ms Pip Spence (CEO and DAS) and former Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC (Board Chair) would bring vast experience to these critical roles.

“These appointments are a critical part of shaping the makeup of the CASA Board and the culture of the organisation more broadly,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The depth and breadth of experience that Ms Spence and Air Chief Marshal Binskin bring to bear show the Government is serious about ensuring CASA performs its critical role effectively.

“Their combined skills and experience will be essential for leading this critical regulator in keeping Australians safe while flying, as well as supporting an efficient, effective and reliable aviation industry – which is economically crucial for communities right across the nation.

“Ms Spence comes to CASA from a senior leadership position within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. She offers substantial experience in aviation policy and regulation, as well as government administration and public policy – including a strong track record of leading organisational change.

“Air Chief Marshal Binskin brings outstanding leadership and expertise in both aviation and defence, including significant experience within general aviation.

“These appointments send a strong message about our commitment to high-quality leadership for Australia’s aviation safety regulator, while providing certainty to CASA personnel and industry.”

Ms Spence will commence in her new role in the coming weeks for a period of up to five years. Air Chief Marshal Binskin will commence in August for a period of three years, when the term of the current Chair concludes.

Media Contact:

Deputy Prime Minister – Dean Shachar 0418 202 860 | Caitlin Donaldson 0428 389 880

Mark Binskin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mark Binskin
Mark Binskin 2018.jpg

Binskin in April 2018
Born 20 March 1960 (age 61)
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Royal Australian Navy (1978–84)
Royal Australian Air Force (1984–2018)
Years of service 1978–2018
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held Chief of the Defence Force (2014–18)
Vice Chief of Defence Force (2011–14)
Chief of Air Force (2008–11)
RAAF Air Command (2007–08)
Air Combat Group (2004–05)
No. 77 Squadron (1998–99)
Battles/wars Iraq War

Awards Companion of the Order of Australia
Commendation for Distinguished Service
Gugseon Medal of the Order of National Security Merit (South Korea)
Distinguished Service Order (Singapore)
Meritorious Service Medal (Singapore)
Commander of the Legion of Honour (France)
Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)
Knight Grand Commander of the Order of Military Service (Malaysia)
Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Other work Commissioner and Chair of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements

Air Chief Marshal Mark Donald Binskin, AC (born 20 March 1960) is a former senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. He served as Chief of Air Force (2008–11), Vice Chief of the Defence Force (2011–14), and Chief of the Defence Force from June 2014 until his retirement in July 2018. In February 2020 he was appointed as a Commissioner and Chairman of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

Early life

Binskin was born on 20 March 1960 in Sydney and grew up in Campbelltown, New South Wales. He attended Campbelltown Public School, and completed secondary schooling at Hurlstone Agricultural High School.[1]

Service history

Binskin joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in May 1978, and on completion of flying training was posted to fly A-4G Skyhawk aircraft at Naval Air Station HMAS Albatross.[2] In January 1982, he was selected as the first RAN pilot to undergo an exchange with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), flying Mirage III aircraft. On completion of this exchange, and with the disbanding of the Navy’s fixed wing capability, he transferred to the RAAF in 1984.[2]

Binskin served as the Commanding Officer of No. 77 Squadron at Williamtown during the period 1998 and 1999, and later Commander of Air Combat Group from 2004 until 2005.[2]

Binskin’s flying qualifications include Fighter Combat Instructor and Tactical Reconnaissance Pilot. Additionally, he has served as the RAAF F/A-18 Hornet Demonstration Pilot, and in this position represented the RAAF throughout Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand, and has over 3,500 hours in single-seat fighter aircraft. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for his performance in these two positions.[3]

During Australia’s 2003 contribution to the war in Iraq, Binskin served as Chief of Staff at Headquarters Australian Theatre. Following this, he served as the first dedicated non-United States Air Force Director of the US Central Air Force Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, where he was responsible for the conduct of all Coalition air operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (ADF operations Catalyst and Slipper). For his leadership capabilities in this appointment, he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service.[4]

Binskin was appointed to the position of Air Commander Australia on 26 July 2007.[5] He assumed the position of Chief of the Air Force (CAF) on 4 July 2008;[6] upon assuming this appointment, he was promoted to air marshal on 4 July 2008.[2]

Binskin was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2010 Queens Birthday Honours for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force in senior command and staff appointments.[7] He has additionally been honoured with Singapore’s Meritorious Service Medal, and the Gugseon Medal of the Order of National Security Merit from South Korea.[8]

On 1 June 2011, it was announced that Binskin would be appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF) from 4 July for a term of three years in the Defence leadership change over.[9] For his “eminent service to the Australian Defence Force” as CAF and VCDF, Binskin was advanced to a Companion of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Australia Day Honours.[10]

On 4 April 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Binskin will take over as Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) when General David Hurley‘s term expires on 4 July 2014 and the current Chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs will replace him as VCDF.[11] The change of command occurred slightly earlier than advised, with Binskin promoted to air chief marshal and appointed CDF during a ceremony on 30 June.[12]

Personal life

Binskin is married to Gitte. They have two sons. His interests include camping, motor sports, dancing and motorcycle riding.[2]

And for Pip Spence.

No GA or airline experience either:

Pip Spence

Deputy Secretary,
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities


Pip Spence is the Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities where her responsibilities include Aviation and Airports, Surface Transport Policy and Portfolio Coordination and Research.

Prior to returning to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development in December 2015, Pip had a number of senior leadership roles in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, including running the Cabinet Division and the Ministerial Support Division.  She was also closely involved in the establishment of the National Broadband Network in the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and was awarded a Public Service Medal for her contribution to the telecommunications regulations reform associated with the implementation of the NBN. She commenced her career in the then Department of Transport and Communications, where she worked in a number of aviation-related areas, including as adviser to the then Minister for Transport.  She has significant policy and regulatory experience.

Pip has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Tasmania and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the Australian National University.

Airspace Changes by Airservices- E

Class E was an early introduction between Melbourne and Mildura, with a lower limit of 7500FT. A clear and concise usage.

AirServices [ASA] new changes are a mish-mash of levels, requiring significant pilot inputs.

The proposal, by ASA uses AGL [Above Ground Level], not the universally accepted AMSL [Above Mean Sea Level].

There is no safety case made by Airservices in proposed changes to Class E airspace.

Requirements of Class E Airspace

As with other classes of controlled airspace, Class E airspace has specific requirements which are outlined by the FAA. Areas designated as Class E airspace have:

  • Basic VFR minimum visibility requirements of 3 miles when flying below 10,000 feet
  • Basic VFR cloud clearance minimums of 500 feet below, 1,000 feet above, or 2,000 feet horizontally when flying below 10,000 feet
  • Minimum visibility requirements of 5 miles when flying above 10,000 feet
  • Cloud clearance minimums above 10,000 feet are 1,000 feet below, 1,000 feet above, and 1 mile horizontally
  • No specific equipment requirements

There have been a series of submissions calling for a different model.

The GFA says:

Airservices Australia has put in a proposal to lower the 8500-foot Class E airspace base between Cairns and Melbourne to 1500 feet AGL, a move that would eradicate most of the Class G airspace on the eastern seaboard.

The proposal has been given a very short consultation period and has not been accompanied by a safety case, which–along with the prospect of losing Class G–has raised the ire of many stakeholder groups.

RAus says:

Australian Class E airspace mandates a requirement for aircraft operating in the airspace to be fitted with a serviceable transponder unless the aircraft is exempt (gliders and other non-engine driven aircraft or aircraft with no electrical system capable of powering a transponder).

Additionally, this proposal would see the requirement for being fitted with dual serviceable VHF radio capable of ‘continuous two way’ communications. Low cost ADS-B and non TSO’d alternatives to Mode A/C or S transponders such as Sky Echo or Flarm equipment commonly used in gliders are not compliant to the requirements of Class E – refer CAO 20.18 and AIP for further information.


Gliding Federation [GFA]


Northern Users

The ASA response:

The refined design seeks to:

  • improve safety of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations by providing a more effective risk control against conflict/collision risk than pilot-separation
  • minimise adverse impact on the needs of airspace users, particularly general aviation operators, that will continue to require access to Class G airspace, including those without necessary transponder or radio equipment
  • provide more levels to cater for safety of operations outside proposed Class E airspace to avoid terrain (including a minimum of 1,360ft of Class G airspace between terrain and the base of Class E airspace in mountainous areas) and cope with convective weather
  • remove potential for confusion regarding the operation of aircraft in Class E or Class G airspace, and which frequency the pilot should be on, by referencing airspace levels to AMSL
  • reduce the impact of frequency transfer during critical high-workload phases of flight between area frequency and Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) while transiting across Class E and Class G airspace.

The ASA reasons:

In recent times there has been a relatively significant change in airspace usage and risk profile. While there has been an overall reduction in air traffic due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen in a surge in general aviation activities. We also expect the traffic mix and interactions between diverse types of airspace users to continue to change dynamically in response to the Government support for tourism recovery and regional aviation development, as we start to emerge from the pandemic.

This increased airspace complexity requires us to rethink traditional service provision and ensure that we are proactively adjusting to new and emerging risks. We also have had the opportunity to learn from recent safety occurrences, particularly in areas where there is a reliance on pilots self-separation.

The primary driver of the proposal is to deliver a net safety benefit to industry with minimal adverse impact on access, cost and other needs of individual airspace users. We aim to achieve this outcome by:

  • proactively reducing the conflict/collision risk between IFR and IFR aircraft in proposed airspace volumes that will be changed from Class G to Class E
  • retaining a portion of Class G airspace to meet the needs of non-transponder equipped aircraft and as part of supporting the general aviation sector.

There is NO data to support these assertions.

In fact, COVID has seen significant drops in traffic and this veiled “..dash for cash…” is not a valid reason for a change of this magnitude, where there has been no data shown in support.

And the e-mail:

Airservices Stakeholder Engagement

How #Mareeba Council deals with #Airport hangar leaseholders

What is going on at #Mareeba Airport?

To all those with airfield interests: you should be very concerned. Over the past seven months I have been subjected to a relentless campaign regarding the normal occupancy of my Hangar, currently culminating in a Lock-out, Lease termination and proposed eviction.
In June last year I wrote a letter to the Finance dept, having taken pensioner discounts off my Rate Notice, since I am a lease holder pensioner (of 81 yrs).
I also mentioned caretaking (which I wasn’t).
The result of this letter, without phone call, query, explanation or any discussion from MSC about the issue, was a Form 7 and threat of eviction if I didn’t stop residing there, issued by C.E.O. Franks.
The MSC lawyer was immediately advised..NOT residing, and the building remains “an aircraft storage facility”, the generic term for a hangar and its normal uses. This should have been the end of it, but NO.
C.E.O. Franks, (who I have never met) has conducted a vicious personal vendetta at ratepayer expense, under the guise of “compliance issues”, some of which are “homemade” fallacious and capricious nonsense.
Somehow I have fallen foul of this bullying bureaucrat, for reasons yet undetermined. I allege that he has an agenda, and I can only surmise, a corrupt one at that That is now not in doubt. So far this has all been targeted at myself only, but these so called “compliance” issues could be applied to all hangars on the airfield.
Until now I have done only the same in my hangar as at this airfield for the last 40 years.
So much for “occupancy for my quiet enjoyment” in my retirement years.
As given: Elder Abuse, discrimination, lies, denial of certain rights, lack of due process and abuse of power.
And an illegal covert cctv camera for Invasion of Privacy. Franks has no limits.
UPDATE: As of today, 4 Feb. my hangar is deemed to be “abandoned”, and MSC can sell my hangar and contents after 14 days.
Now QCAT and the Courts will have to decide. My fate. Or his.
Supreme Court Action:
Well #mareeba council solicitors are trying to “…get more time…”. Reckon, if Richard was locked out they had more than enough to reply.
Change to date proposed is the following Friday the 26th March.
MTF More to Follow.
#mareeba council will have to appear in the Cairns Supreme Court next Friday, the 12th of March.
The game is up. Explanations are now due.
Richard made 11 written requests for matters to be discussed over the last few months.
The Court is a public hearing.
The good thing about going to court.
The shenanigan activity will be made public and people can repeat the short comings with immunity because it has been made by way of a court proceedings.
FAR NORTH councils have recorded the most complaints across regional Queensland in the 12 months to June 2020, a new report has shown.
The latest Office of the Independent Assessor report released shows that 143 complaints about Far North councils were lodged with the office followed by Wide Bay Burnett at 105.
So why???????
The Mareeba mayor is saying…they the council have had few complaints and they the council are robust and transparent.
The stories are not adding up, just look at the fiasco at the Mareeba airport.
Then who is telling fibby wibs?
Must have had lessons from Annastacia & Co Pty Ltd..
Here’s what #Mayor Tippin says about complaints:
Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin said that while the council “has had very few complaints referred to the OIA, the robust process ensures that councillors are transparent and accountable”.

Gathering at #Mareeba Council Chambers on 16th February:

Richard outside #Mareeba Shire on Tuesday [16th February] morning calling for Franks to go or be removed for his scurrilous behaviour.
No new news on Wednesday, except for a call from #mareeba Council solicitor on direction from #franks, refusing to allow Mareeba Council or the Mayor to answer questions.
The question asked, a single one, was: “Why is Mareeba Shire refusing to talk to ratepayers?”
The solicitor, from Preston Law in Cairns, tried to put words in my mouth during the short “conversation”. Glad Juliananna CUDA, is not representing me!
This is the law firm who have not answered Richard’s letter of 8th February 2021.
Oh, by the way, Richard wrote to Council 11 times requesting a meeting/ reply/ conversation/ discussion/ explanation. All he got was a non-conclusive letter on 23rd December 2020 as a RTK/ FOI written by the compromised compliance officer – Schmuck. Preston Law said Richard should have written to them for a reply. Preston Law dodged the 8/2/21 letter, with no reply by 17th february.
No chance for a reply to any matter.
Read this pdf to see how Franks has dealt with Council matters in the past. This is Delatite Council in NE Victoria.

Activities to support Richard:
Well an interesting morning today.
I was asked to put a question to #Mayor Tippin.
She was asked as to how she represented ratepayers.
Expected a reasonable and workable answer, but NO a call by #franks and #mareeba council solicitors refusing ANY answers.
This demonstrates that Mayor #toppin has no intention of representing the #community.
ABC Cairns gave us air time this am. Discussed community representation by Councils and the failure of Mareeba Council to represent the community.
#Mareeba Shire Council is taking action against an 81 year old pensioner and has locked him out of his #hangar at the #airport.
The occupant, has requested explanations from Council CEO #Franks on eleven occasions [since September 2020], with no answer.
He arrived on 20th January 2021 to find his locks cut off and Council locks installed.
The occupant has been leasing the hangar site since 2016 and has a lease until 2037.
The Form 7 that were plastered on his door are for minor issues, which were requited prior to Christmas 2020, with one being requited in late 2016.
The #Mayor, Angela #Toppin, refuses talk to the individual and CEO #Franks, has forbidden any Councillor to have any involvement on the basis of being sub-judice.
There are no Court actions being taken against this individual by Council, just an unwarranted #administrative action.
Who runs this Council, the #elected #representatives, the #community representatives or an unelected CEO?
Visitor to Richard’s Hangar:
I’ve been in Richard’s hangar about three years ago. He keeps everything in very good order and his memorabilia make a valuable contribution to aviation. He should be congratulated for his collection and Council should encourage him to invite aviators and tourists to his hangar. Apart from being a gracious host and a Pilot with a great history, he is practically an institution at Mareeba airport.
The Council should go back to square one, declare a moratorium on action against Richard and restore his tenancy.
Australians need individuals like Richard, those that may not fit into a bureaucratic mould, but have ideas and enterprise. That spirit that made this country and inspires the free enterprise that gives us our prosperity.
As to the substance of Council’s objections to Richard I will pose the following:-

The Question.

“Has Richard harmed anyone by his tenancy of that hangar?”


 What of Peter Hamilton Franks: Does he have a history?

Yes: See document below at the italicised section, where Franks made a decision, with no Council approval.

Delatite Council is headquartered in Benalla, one of the four Council’s he has been at since coming to Australia in the early 2000 period.

TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF THE HUTS [1950’s migrant hostel]

5. There have been four separate approaches to locate any documents proving that ownership was previously legally transferred from Council to some current hut users.
• An FOI request by Sabine Smyth dated 4th January 2017.
• A Council request to hut users who were members of the CMP Steering Committee to table ownership documents.
• A Council search of Delatite Shire records.
• A Council request to hut users in September 2018.
No documents proving that ownership was previously transferred have been located or produced or tabled at any Council or Committee meeting considering the issue of ownership.
6. The report to the Planning and Development Committee of 12th June 2019 stated that Council wrote to all hut occupants in September 2018. The request was not for “ownership” documents but copies of “documents relating to each organisations’ occupancy of their respective hut”. As I raised at the time, via communication with Council’s then CEO, these same groups had previously been asked to table any “ownership” documents at meetings of the Conservation Management Plan (CMP) Steering Committee.
7. The report to the Planning and Development Committee of 12th June 2019 made no mention of any documentary proof of transfer of ownership being produced after the above-mentioned September 2018 request.
None was produced to the CMP Steering Committee. (See the notes of those meetings and documents tabled).
A letter purporting to transfer ownership is not documentary proof of transfer of ownership in the absence of proof that Council gave authority for such a transfer.
8. Similarly, no documentary proof emerged from the Freedom of Information request on Council by Sabine Smyth of Benalla Migrant Camp Exhibition Inc. dated 4th January 2017.

9. The FOI request sought documents including “Copies of any documents relating to the transfer or gifting of Huts 1 and 2” and
“Copies of documents relating to the transfer of ownership or lease from Council to an external group or body concerning Benalla Aeropark huts 1 &2, Ballooning Victoria Hut, Benalla Theatre huts 63 & 64.”
10. No documents produced under the FOI request proved a transfer of ownership of any of the huts.
11. The documents produced in response to this FOI request showed the following:
• In early 2002 Council had allowed the Theatre Group to occupy huts 63 and 64 “rent free” on the basis they renovated and maintained them.
• A report dated 19th March 2002 outlined two options to Council one of which was a recommendation to gift some huts and lease the land. There was no documented resolution of Council (including Delatite Shire) produced in response to the FOI request to either adopt this recommendation to gift nor to delegate that authority to a Council officer.
A Council officer (Peter Franks) sent a letter to the Balloon Association of Victoria, (29/5/2002), and another officer (Janine McMaster) sent a letter to Benalla Theatre Company (30/9/2002) indicating “Council by delegation now confirms and hereby transfers ownership and responsibility, including maintenance, repairs etc to your association with Council now only leasing the land … Council confirms that it will maintain the building insurance on the huts …”
• No Council document proving a delegated authority to transfer ownership was produced.
• No Council documents evidenced that the leasing of the land referred to in these letters took place.
• No Council documents evidenced any alteration to the arrangement that Council maintained the insurance on these huts.
• There was no similar letter to the Gliding Club produced referring to any transfer of ownership.
Judith Fleming Submission Planning and development Committee 17th July 2019 pg. 5
12. Whilst letters were sent from Council staff to these two organisations, the documents produced failed to show any authority for their actions on Council’s behalf. Ownership in property does not pass by mistake or by letters sent without foundation in a Council decision.
13. The fact that the resolution before Council now is to “gift” these huts confirms that Council knows that the ownership has not been previously transferred. If it had been, no Deed of Gift is needed now.
This is a flawed process.
14. I understand that the Ballooning Club and the Theatre Group may have been misled by the above-mentioned correspondence to some extent. The fact Council agreed to maintain insurance on the huts and supplied services to them for free must also be considered when assessing what type of “ownership” they might have thought they had. However, they have both had the benefit of rent-free premises for more than 16 years, with Council paying the insurance on the buildings and providing services. Any maintenance costs they have incurred is offset by this advantage and the Council’s payment of insurance and services on the huts. In addition, the Ballooning Club has been using the huts for a profit making accommodation business.
The cost of repairs was linked to this. Any leases paid by them have been on the basis of a peppercorn rent. The notes of the CMP Steering Committee meetings show that Council paid for some repairs. Further, the Theatre Group received a grant for repairs carried out in 2016/17.
15. These groups are not disadvantaged by the huts remaining in Council ownership.
16. If Council gives away the right to inspection and oversight of the condition of the huts by giving private ownership to hut users, how will it manage to ensure the place does not fall into disrepair? How will it ensure access to maintain them so that their conservation is not threatened? Council is still considered the owner of the place until it notifies Heritage Victoria that the land has been sold and the land title has changed.
Judith Fleming Submission Planning and development Committee 17th July 2019 pg. 6
17. If Council gives away the huts the proposed gifting will have impacts on Council well into the future. Council will still own the land but if any of the Corporations gifted these huts wind up, the ownership of the hut will go to whoever is the beneficiary of the assets of the Corporation. Council could be dealing with an owner who may be far removed from the place and who might not want to use the hut and yet Council would still be the liable as “owner” of the Heritage Listed Place. A Deed of Gifting cannot foresee and cover every future
18. If, at any time in the future the current users of the huts gifted ownership, or decided to vacate them, what then? They may walk away. Council would have no power to force them to remove the huts from the site and in any event, it is highly unlikely, in that event, that Heritage Victoria would allow this. So, Council would be in a worse position. It might be forced to buy back huts it is now wanting to give away for free. What if there are disputes within the Corporations given the huts? Council would have no power to resolve a dispute affecting how the hut was managed/treated.
19. These scenarios seem to be placing Council in a position contrary to responsibilities under the Victorian Local Government Act to apply Principles of Sound Financial Management to Council business. (Section 136). Exposing Council to legal liabilities whilst putting out of reach the means to protect Council against these liabilities, is not sound financial management.
20. A decision now to give away Council assets, such as these most significant huts, would surely raise questions of the integrity of Council’s asset disposal practices and policies.
21. Who is carrying the public liability insurance on these huts which are on Council land? Who is covering the building insurance?
22. None of the users of these huts need to own them to continue their use of the huts. Council does not avoid liability by giving them away.
So, why would Council take this step?
Judith Fleming Submission Planning and development Committee 17th July 2019 pg. 7
23. The Conservation Management Plan will be made more difficult to implement if inspections, maintenance, repairs etc. have to be coordinated with four different hut owners. Why would Council take this step?
24. Applications for available grants will be made more difficult if they have to be coordinated with four different hut owners. Why would Council take this step?
25. The report to the Planning and Development Committee, in support of the gifting, states that “the unsettled matter of hut ownership has prevented the lodgement of grant applications and is an encumbrance to coordinated planned works at the site”. On the contrary, dividing up the ownership of the huts will be an encumbrance. It will require greater co-ordination of decision making, grant applications, repairs and maintenance.

Why would Council take this step?

Other Airports:

Central Coast – Warnervale

Guidance from the former Central Coast Council Mayor on how to be deceitful, hide important matters in Confidential, and straight out lie to their constituents.
Get a bolt cutter – then if they lock it up again get the bolt cutter again just keep on going. That is what we did when Bankstown Airport took our big hangar years ago – We blocked the entrance with fuel truck and aircraft – Got some chain in case they were going to move the truck – they are not allowed to touch aircraft.
We kept on flying and got a good lawyer. Has he got an up to date signed lease?
I know one pilot who had his plane chained up because there was a fight going on with the government over his US registered aircraft they wanted tax. He just got the bolt cutters freed the aircraft and kept going. One fellow tried to fence Ray in and stop him getting logs out along a right of way – so he just got his bulldozer and tore the fence down!
Crookwell Airport:
Council are refusing to correctly recognise a lease of Jim Hutson’s, “removing” or at best hiding records and changing dates to benefit Council.

Senator McDonald in Charters Towers

Senator McDonald is available for aviators to meet in Charters Towers to meet with FNQ aviators and GA personnel.

She has a busy schedule and cleared it to listen to matters relevant to us in the region.

In the past 6 hours, people have been contacted in Townsville, Ayr, Rockhampton, Innisfail, Mareeba, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Hugheneden and Ingham.

Please  advise the organiser on 0428 483 155 in the next two days as to availability and arrival times.

We can meet people at the airport from 1200 until 1445 local time, after a phone call (as above).

DATE: 3PM Saturday 20th March 2021

Purpose of meeting:

Give the senator relevant information from your own point of view of the problems and solutions to the GA debacle. Five minutes to each speaker, with supporting paperwork as a submission. Names can be anonymous.

Importance and relevance: A perfect opportunity to assist the current Senate GA Inquiry and Meet like minded individuals.

LOCATION: In the Dining room, Commercial Hotel, 151 Mossman Street, Charters Towers.









PS: We apologise for the late notice, but the Senator’s itinerary was only just finalised.

Senate Hearing

Josh Hoch case goes to District Court

The Josh Hoch case goes to District Court in Mt. Isa. There is much more to see here.

Below is the summary so far. My question is simply: Where is CA$A in this saga??

Serious breaches of Civil Aviation Act by Josh Hoch

Josh Hoch, #casa, Queensland Police update


Josh Hoch and Nichole Limburg case sent to the district court

Mr Hoch was arrested by Mount Isa detectives on January 24, 2017 and was charged with 342 offences – mostly fraud related.

February 5, the DPP dropped two charges and seven more, mostly log book charges would remain with the magistrates court at a date of September 16, when the district court is expected to finish, but most charges will now be heard at the district court at a date to be determined.

Neither Mr Hoch nor Ms Limburg attended Wednesday’s court session and their bail was enlarged until September 15.

Crunch time for Josh Hoch and Nichole Limburg case

The case of Hoch and Limburg was heard in Mount Isa Magistrates Court today.

The case of Hoch and Limburg was heard in Mount Isa Magistrates Court today.

On Wednesday November 27, Mount Isa Magistrates Court briefly heard the charges against former local pilot Josh Hoch and his employee Nichole Ellen Limburg that involve tampering with aircraft and fraud.

Mr Hoch and Ms Limburg’s solicitor Morgan Whelan confirmed the office had disclosed a list of witnesses to the Commonwealth DPP on November 18, however had not disclosed the application for cross examination by deadline.

“Given the volume of material we anticipate that we will be able to provide the cross examination material hopefully by early next week,” Ms Whelan said.

When asked by Magistrate Trinity McGarvie why it was not disclosed by the November 18 deadline Ms Whelan said “we have partially complied with it.”

Commonwealth DPP and State DPP representative C. Moore confirmed the crown had received the list of witnesses at 4:56pm on November 18, but did not oppose the defence taking more time to prepare documents before the next court date of January 22.

“By that date I expect to have received it and both crowns to have provided their response to what they have consented and opposed to,” Mr Moore said.

Magistrate McGarvie said if applications were not filed she would have great difficulty in being satisfied after a two year delay that there was any reason to cross examine.

“My directions are for the filing and serving to cross examine witnesses is enlarged until the 15th of January 2020,” Magistrate McGarvie said.

“If failing, the matter will be listed for a hand up committal without cross examination on January 22, 2020 at 12pm.

“In those circumstances I will order that the personal appearance of the defendants is required on that day.”

Mr Hoch was arrested by Mount Isa detectives on January 24, 2017 and was charged with 342 offences – mostly fraud related.

Other charges include 64 charges of general dishonesty obtaining gain, 51 charges of dishonesty gain benefit, 99 charges operation of an aircraft results in contravention of air operators certificate, and 5 charges of endangering the safety of a person in a vehicle with intent; and more.

Ms Limburg was charged with one count of fraud by employee, associated with Mr Hoch’s case.

Hoch and Limburg cases on hold until matters finalised in Supreme Court

Mount Isa Magistrates Court heard the charges against Josh Hoch and Nichole Ellen Limburg as the DPP updated the court in a committal mention on Wednesday, July 17.

The DPP advised the court that the 343 charges against Mr Hoch and one charge against Ms Limburg could not progress due to constitutional matters being heard in the Townsville Supreme Court.

“There is a constitutional challenge to some of the state charges, and the committal mention cannot progress until those matters are finalised,” the DPP said.

“The constitutional matters are sitting on August 8-9 in Townsville Supreme Court, there was a mention in Supreme Court on July 16 and it was told that both parties are ready to proceed on that date.

“With respect to these matters in Magistrates Court, we will need to await the outcome of the constitutional argument first.”

The committal mention of Mr Hoch and Ms Limburg was adjourned until Wednesday, October 16.

Josh Hoch faces 343 charges including counts of endangering the safety of a person in a vehicle with intent, falsification of documents, and fraud; and Nichole Ellen Limburg faces one charge of fraud after a protracted multi-agency investigation was conducted in January 2017

Josh Hoch’s case ‘has had more starts then Phar Lap’

JOSH HOCH: The commital hearing was scheduled for April 18. Photo: Supplied

JOSH HOCH: The commital hearing was scheduled for April 18. Photo: Supplied

His case was adjourned until April 18 and if no notices are issued at this hea

Magistrate James Morton said the case had been stalling for too long.

“This case has had more starts then Phar Lap,” he said

“It’s been ongoing since I started in Mount Isa two years ago, now I’m about to leave.”

Mr Hoch was arrested by Mount Isa detectives on January 24, 2017 and was charged with 342 offences – mostly fraud related.

Five of those charges are more serious allegations of deliberating tampering with airplanes.

Other charges include 64 charges of general dishonesty obtaining gain, 51 charges of dishonesty gain benefit, 95 charges not authorised to perform duty as well as forging documents with intent to defraud and failing to keep personal log book.

Nichole Ellen Limburg will also face court on April 18, with a fraud charge associated with Mr Hoch’s case.


2020 – A summary of the past decade

In the past 10 years there have been huge changes in the #aviation industry.

Most are illusory and not required for a dynamic industry.

Safety has not improved, despite there being top-down extremely obstructive regulations.

The regulatory set, which has been in progress for 30 years is not complete and is proving to be a serious road block for the #aviation industry.

Numerous inquiries, with excellent outcomes expected, but stymied by the regulator – #casa.

Does an air-crash cometh?

AND 2020?

A new inquiry, from the Australian Senate and new eyes who must control the monster #casa.

Just a light read, which demonstrates the disquiet in the #aviation industry

Overbearing dead hand at the wheel – #CA$A is killing vital industry

#casa circular regulations could result in a $10.5K fine

Have been on a browse through the new regulations [or parts] and Part 117 is a doosey.

Simply, if you read a part, get it wrong in #casa’s eyes, expect a $10,500 fine.

Even if you ask #casa for an interpretation, don’t expect it any time soon. I know of one case where it took 23-months.

I know of lots of cases where, even with an FOI, #casa will expunge the record or say there is no record.

Just ask the FOI officer for information and check it out soon.



Part 117—Representations and surveys  

Contents of Part 117

117.005     What this Part is about

117.010     Misrepresentations about holding certain civil aviation authorisations

117.015     Safety‑related surveys or questionnaires—holders of certain civil aviation authorisations

117.005  What this Part is about

This Part provides for offences for:

(a)  misrepresentations about holding certain civil aviation authorisations; and

(b)  not completing safety‑related surveys or questionnaires.

117.010  Misrepresentations about holding certain civil aviation authorisations

(1)  A person commits an offence if:

(a)  the person represents to another person, in any way, that the person is willing to conduct an activity using an aircraft; and

(b)  the person does not hold a particular civil aviation authorisation authorising the person to conduct the activity using the aircraft; and

(c)  under the Act or these Regulations, it is an offence for a person to conduct the activity using the aircraft if the person does not hold the civil aviation authorisation.

Penalty:  50 penalty units.

(2)  An offence against this regulation is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For the definition of civil aviation authorisation, see section 3 of the Act.

Under Commonwealth law (i.e. the Crimes Amendment (Penalty Unit) Act 2017 (Cth)), the value of one (1) penalty unit is $210, as per section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).

On 1 July 2017, the value of a Commonwealth penalty unit increased from $180 to $210.

50 penalty units = $10,500

117.015  Safety‑related surveys or questionnaires—holders of certain civil aviation authorisations

(1)  CASA may, by written notice given to a person mentioned in subregulation (2), direct the person to:

(a)  complete a safety‑related survey or questionnaire by accurately answering all mandatory questions in the survey or questionnaire; and

(b)  submit the completed survey or questionnaire to CASA within the time stated in the notice.

(2)  For subregulation (1), the persons are the following:

(a)  the holder of an AOC;

(b)  a Part 141 operator who conducts flight training in aircraft;

(c)  a person who gave a notice to CASA under regulation 101.372 (Notice to operate very small RPA for hire or reward);

(d)  the holder of a certificate as an RPA operator under Division 101.F.4.

(3)  The person may, before the end of the time stated in the notice, apply in writing to CASA for an extension.

(4)  CASA may, by written notice given to the person (the notice of extension), grant the extension.

(5)  The person commits an offence if the person does not comply with the direction within:

(a)  if CASA grants an extension under subregulation (4)—the time stated in the notice of extension; or

(b)  if paragraph (a) does not apply—the time stated in the notice under subregulation (1).

Penalty:  25 penalty units.

(6)  An offence against this regulation is an offence of strict liability.


Reith letter to the Australian Senate

Sandy Reith reminds the Senators of the history of the past 10-years, where #aviation has come under extreme pressure due to indifferent Government action and failure to manage #aviation for the future.
The need for a major structural change is evident. [The letter is published below.]
The #casa experiment is a dismal failure, with the industry assessment [Colmar Brunton survey] being from 30 to 46% having any satisfaction in the regulator.
We remind you that in 30-years, #casa has not completed the task it was set up to undertake – new regulations, despite all #casa CEO’s claiming “…by the end of the year…”.
The #aviation industry needs to have a non-performer meet it’s maker.
The way forward:
  • Report under a Minister;
  • Remove #casa as an independent organisation;
  • Remove the un-nessesary red tape nightmare;
  • Introduce the US regulations [US-FAR’s];
  • Have a judicial inquiry into #casa nonfeasance;

As a result, there will be a restoration of business opportunities and a revitalisation of rural and regional #aviation, including training and the maintenance industry.

Removal of the improperly applied ASIC card and a rework of the Aviation Security Act would also assist. We note that this requirement is not applied in the States.

And there has been a political push from Queensland to censure #casa and make changes to the Aviation Act.

The #aviation maintenance industry, via AMROBA says:

GA and Alignment with Asia Pacific: To align with the Asia Pacific region is achievable but we also need to preserve and nurture our own GA system to provide various entry levels for pilots and maintenance engineers. Our regulatory system must return to the vision the Morris Report introduced for CASA to promulgated aviation safety regulations and standards for pilots and engineers. This would open the doors for cost effective processes to attract Y and Z generations into aviation.

Here is the letter from Sandy Reith to the Australian senators.

Dear Senators,
The last thing we need is yet another inquiry. You have the Forsyth Report from the (time consuming and expensive) Aviation Safety Regulation Review, the ASRR. You also have the BITRE report on GA. You have the CASA figures of current medical approvals and if you count out overseas students you will see a big decline.
In the ASRR you will find hundreds of submissions which go exactly to the problems and decline of GA in Australia. In the PDF attached you will see part of the problem, over regulation causing huge cost increases which is why we are now so uncompetitive, why we have to import our airline pilots. You might understand that GA activity has declined when our population has almost doubled.
Why we have lost thousands of jobs, businesses and services in GA right across Australia. In the USA an instructor can go out and teach flying. They are not graded. Not so here, you will have to be graded, vetted and spend many thousands ($50,000? more?) and wait uncertainly over months or years for a flying school permit. Totally unnecessary.
The attached table was produced by Adrianne Fleming, Head of Operations at Tristar Aviation, Moorabbin Airport regarding the latest rules versus the previous regime.
Tip of the iceberg. 
What is sorely needed is reform action. Not another inquiry.
You could start by requiring CASA to immediately allow independent instructors as per the USA.
Thirty one years ago CASA (it’s predecessor by another name change) was set by the Minister to rewrite the rules. It still hasn’t finished because the independent corporate body model of governance cannot work. It is incapable.
There must be a transparent line of Parliamentary oversight and accountability. We are entitled to expect governments to govern, not hand over virtually unlimited power to unelected bureaucrats.
If you suspect I’m exaggerating, look at the Glen Buckley case, an excellent example of the CASA modus operandi, how to crush a GA business.
There is a great opportunity to revitalise this ailing industry, there’s just enough left of the GA industry to build upon, please do not do a Nero.
Alexander C. (Sandy) Reith

Reform for General Aviation (GA), simple rules, independent instructors and maintenance engineers, car driver medicals for Private Pilots. Ring, write, email and contact your local MP and State Senators to lobby for US style aviation administration and rules.

To fly is not a government given ‘privilege’ but our right to pursue happiness as free people. GA is in severe decline and demands change for growth, jobs and a fair go.

My commercial flying operations commenced 1968. Former Chief Pilot, Chief Instructor, aircraft and airport owner running scheduled services, charters and flying school with licence testing approvals. Current private flying and aircraft owner.

“No axe to grind,”  wish to see my country do better. More info? Please contact anytime.



Senate inquiry into General Aviation – GA

Inquiry announced into General Aviation [#GA]

Many in the #aviation industry believe that #aviation is in a terminal state, the image below demonstrating the state of the nation.

Others have a more opportunistic view, but fully believe that #aviation, with the correct intervention can survive and thrive.

There are numerous things that must be changed to ensure the healthy survival of #GA, given it’s importance to the Australian economy and to Remote and Rural Australia.

The proposed restructure that came with the #ASRR report of David Forsyth [2013] of #casa became derailed after a very short time.

Most have the view that the derailing of the reforms that the #ASRR report proposed, was negatively driven and was purposeful by the regulator, #casa.

The Colmar-Brunton report, launched by #casa showed the depth of despair of the #aviation industry in 2015. Even the #casa Board has failed to properly drive the regulator in a direction that matches the #aviation community expectations.

In fact, two years after the #ASRR, there was little progress to implement the recommendations.

Even the [now] Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese did not get the importance of #aviation in his 2015 address.

Senate Estimates:

A casual viewer of the Senate estimates would come to the conclusion that there was something wrong in the process. The brush-offs of senators answers, the uncovered lies and the “…spin-doctored…” replies to Questions on Notice [QON], the lateness of the replies and so on.

The proposed Inquiry, announced yesterday [2nd December 2019], is, what may be the last chance the #aviation industry get to rectify the industry.

There must be major changes to how the regulator relates to Government and the Industry.


Australia’s general aviation industry

Status: Accepting Submissions
Date Referred: 02 December 2019
Reporting Date: 30 November 2021

Under Standing Order 25 (2) (a), the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee will inquire into and report on the current state of Australia’s general aviation industry, with particular reference to aviation in rural, regional and remote Australia.

The committee will consider the operation and effectiveness of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and other relevant aviation agencies, with particular reference to:

  1. the legislative and regulatory framework underpinning CASA’s aviation safety management functions, including:
    1. the application of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 to Australia’s aviation sector, and whether the legislation is fit for purpose;
    2. the safety and economic impacts, and relative risks, of CASA’s aviation safety frameworks; and
    3. the engagement of CASA with other relevant Australian Government agencies;
  2. the immediate and long-term social and economic impacts of CASA decisions on small businesses, agricultural operations and individuals across regional, rural and remote Australia;
  3. CASA’s processes and functions, including:
    1. its maintenance of an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry, including viable general aviation and training sectors;
    2. the efficacy of its engagement with the aviation sector, including via public consultation; and
    3. its ability to broaden accessibility to regional aviation across Australia, considering the associated benefits of an expanded aviation sector; and
  4. any related matters.

The committee will present its interim report on or before the final sitting day of December 2020, and will present its final report on or before the final sitting day of November 2021.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3511
Fax: +61 2 6277 5811

RRAT Committee – Senate

Who is on the committee for RRAT and responsible for the #aviation industry in Australia.

Photo of Senator Susan McDonald

Senator Susan McDonald – QLD Senator and Cloncurry origin

The underlined members, in red are those who have had positive interactions, or a personal knowledge of the #aviation industry.

Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

References Committee Membership

Committee Members

  • Chair

    Senator Glenn Sterle

    Photo of Senator Glenn Sterle

    Australian Labor Party, WA

  • Deputy Chair

    Senator Susan McDonald

    Photo of Senator Susan McDonald

    The Nationals, QLD

  • Member

    Senator Alex Gallacher

    Photo of Senator Alex Gallacher

    Australian Labor Party, SA

  • Member

    Senator Gerard Rennick

    Photo of Senator Gerard Rennick

    Liberal Party of Australia, QLD

  • Member

    Senator Janet Rice

    Photo of Senator Janet Rice

    Australian Greens, VIC

  • Member

    Senator Murray Watt

    Photo of Senator Murray Watt

    Australian Labor Party, QLD

  • Substitute Member

    Senator Nita Green

    Photo of Senator Nita Green

    Australian Labor Party, QLD

    Substitute Member to replace Senator Murray Watt for the Identification of leading practices in ensuring evidence-based regulation of farm practices that impact water quality outcomes in the Great Barrier Reef

  • Substitute Member

    Senator Larissa Waters

    Photo of Senator Larissa Waters

    Australian Greens, QLD

    Substitute Member to replace Senator Janet Rice for the Identification of leading practices in ensuring evidence-based regulation of farm practices that impact water quality outcomes in the Great Barrier Reef

Participating Members

Senators Eric Abetz, Alex Antic, Wendy Askew, Tim Ayres, Catryna Bilyk, Andrew Bragg, Slade Brockman, Carol Brown, Kim Carr, Claire Chandler, Anthony Chisholm, Raff Ciccone, Perin Davey, Richard Di Natale, Patrick Dodson, Don Farrell, Mehreen Faruqi, David Fawcett, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Katy Gallagher, Nita Green, Stirling Griff, Pauline Hanson, Sarah Hanson-Young, Sarah Henderson, Hollie Hughes, Kristina Keneally, Kimberley Kitching, Jacqui Lambie, Sue Lines, Jenny McAllister, Malarndirri McCarthy, James McGrath, Nick McKim, Sam McMahon, Jim Molan, Deborah O’Neill, Matt O’Sullivan, James Paterson, Rex Patrick, Helen Polley, Louise Pratt, Malcolm Roberts, Paul Scarr, Tony Sheldon, Rachel Siewert, Dean Smith, Marielle Smith, Jordon Steele-John, Amanda Stoker, Anne Urquhart, David Van, Jess Walsh, Larissa Waters, Peter Whish-Wilson, Penny Wong

Support Glen Buckley

Support for Glen Buckley is needed.


For an up to date expose of the story see:

Glen Buckley, AFTA and MFT suffers at the hands of #casa. Another #casa casualty


Overbearing dead hand at the wheel – #CA$A is killing vital industry

I think this clearly says it all.

We must immediately, as an industry, maintain order and deal with the immediate challenges, which is an #aviation industry creaking to a grinding halt, particularly in regional Australia.

#aviation is vital infrastructure, which must incorporate a plan that protects airfields and landing areas from local Council onslaught and the ever present developer.

A quote from CASA:

“Yes, GA is dying, but the good news is sport aviation is thriving”.

Industry comment from FaceBook:

If only there was a path from sport aviation to the airlines without 500 MECIR hours in a heavy, old GA twin, flying bank and mail runs, single pilot in crap weather at all hours of the day and night for small remuneration.

CASA is no doubt glad RAAus and LSAs are relatively new and simple to maintain, but none of that helps GA business resolve the 45+ year average age of GA aircraft (with their wiring, corrosion and fatigue issues) that aren’t being refurbished or replaced because GA has become uneconomical under the overbearing weight of CASA regulation and strict liability.

That is not to say that CASA should turn a blind eye to ageing aircraft, but small business is stifled by overbearing compliance costs and constantly shifting goal posts; they can’t charge a price that funds all the management overheads and still attract and sustain the volume of work required to amortise refurbished or new aircraft in a capital cost bracket of US$350-600k plus GST plus 3% hull value for insurance pa plus hangarage and operating fees.

We have a need and golden opportunities to build and sustain a thriving GA aviation industry in Australia, but not on CASA’s watch.

CASA has made the cost of management and governance more than the value of the business itself.

That’s viable for an 800 person, $300M pa taxpayer funded bureaucratic money pit with no KPIs (that expects ‘users’ to pay for full ‘service’ cost recovery), but no viable commercial outfit can operate that way.

Add that to the divestment of airfields to local councils (an epic fail in most areas), equally bureaucratic Government organisations that design and manage airspace (AsA), accident investigation (ATSB) and weather services (BOM) and now its up to Geosciences Australia to put a GEOSAT in orbit for SBAS (WAAS-like) service to Australia.

Have any of these organisations coordinated provision of free in-flight NEXRAD-like and NOTAM services to GA?

I doubt it …

If CASA was serious about general aviation safety, back in 2008 they would have opted to subsidise ADS-B for the 14,000 piston-engined GA aircraft in Australia, rather than spend $45M funding NAVIAD upgrades, over half of which have since been decommissioned.

… and where did the savings go?

ADS-B was supposed to substantially reduce the cost of primary radar services, so where did those savings go?

AsA corporate is a mess and the sky would fall in before the ATSB and CASA perked up.

We share a huge geography with a small population of relatively smart people.

We need aviation and it should be thriving.

Our industry has critical interdependencies, but how did we, collectively, allow public service organisations to become so self-indulgent so as to ‘govern’ the viability out of business?

Sometimes it’s all in the name.

Somehow the Federal Aviation Administration (not ‘Authority’) performs all these functions and more, and quite successfully by comparison.

Angel Flight – Senate Inquiry

The current inquiry by the Senate follows the loss of Don Kendall in the first Angel flight crash in August 2011 and the subsequent Mt. Gambier accident.

The inquiry is looking at whether or if there is a basis for the #atsb report and the findings.

We note that this is not the first #atsb report, where doubts have been raised on the veracity of the report, much less the reporting standards.  [PelAir  and   Norfolk Island]

David Forsyth in 2014, raised serious doubts that were similar in his #ASRR review.

The question needs to be raised:

Has #atsb and #casa learnt the lesson.

Should #atsb and #casa be brought back into the direct Government reporting structure and be directly responsible to a separate #aviation Minister, rather than this indirect management that prevails in 2019.

Here’s a thought. In the #Lockhart River #atsb report, the #atsb failed to interview key personnel involved in the flight.

Track of VH-POJ in 2011










This morning, Angel Flight wrote the following after the commencement of the Senate hearing in Sydney on 4th September 2019:

Most of you would be aware that we appeared before a public inquiry (on Wednesday) into the ATSB and CASA, in relation to the ATSB Report and the CASA CSF Rules.

After many requests for an answer by Senator Patrick directed to the ATSB, they finally conceded that they had not interviewed one single pilot before reaching their conclusion that there was ‘perceived pressure’ on volunteer flights – a significant matter as this assumption was central to their findings.

CASA admitted its rules may be ambiguous, and conceded it was an error to include helicopters. It has been required by the Inquiry (for the second time) to provide its safety case within two weeks.

The Senate committee will consider the evidence at the close of the evidence.

We would like to express our appreciation to all of the RRAT committee, in particular Chair Susan McDonald (Qld) and Rex Patrick (SA) for steering this important investigation, and giving us the opportunity to present our data (by independent experts) which shows clearly that the ATSB report and assumptions are seriously flawed, and to require both agencies to be accountable for their actions, which have adversely affected the general aviation community, and the disadvantaged people of rural Australia.

We would also like to thank our volunteer pilot and hon. Safety Manager Dr Owen Crees, for his invaluable assistance, and Ben Morgan and AOPA for the tireless efforts directed to protecting the rights of pilots to fly without unnecessary and unfair restrictions and costs. I urge those of you not already members of AOPA to consider joining, to help strengthen this important advocacy organisation.


Marjorie Pagani
Chief Executive Officer
Angel Flight Australia

 Operation of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, and in particular its report on the June 2017 crash of a flight conducted on behalf of Angel Flight Australia

The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee is conducting an inquiry into the operation of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, and in particular its report on the June 2017 crash of a flight conducted on behalf of Angel Flight Australia, under Standing Order 25 (2) (a).

Submissions close on Wednesday, 4 September 2019.


Submission 1 – Mr Howard Hobbs

Submission 2 – Mr Shaun Aisen

Submission 3 – Mr Allen Hilton

Submission 4 – Civil Air Australia

Submission 5 – Mr John Raby

Submission 6 – The Australian Aviation Associations’ Form

Submission 7 – Mr Alexander Reith

John Raby, in his senate submission notes the following:

Just for a moment look back on the period since the first fatal accident to an aircraft involved in CSF [Community Service Flights]. There have been to my knowledge at least another six similar fatal accidents to general aviation aircraft in Australia which have been the subject of ATSB reports.

  1. 15 August 2011 Piper PA28-180 31 kilometres North of Horsham Victoria (CSF)
  2. 7 November 2015 Airbus Helicopters EC135TI Cooranbong N.S.W. (Private)
  3. 29 January 2016 Piper PA28-235 33 kilometres South East of Avalon Victoria (Private)
  4. 7 April 2016 Robertson Helicopter R22 BETA (Private)
  5. 16 June 2017 Cessna 172 North West of Ballina N.S.W. (Private)
  6. 28 June 2017 Socata TB10 Mt. Gambier South Australia. (CSF)
  7. 4 February 2019 Pilatus Britten Norman BN-2A-20 Tasmania (Charter)

Another accident in the United States has chilling similarities to the Mt. Gambier accident.

24 December 2017 Cessna C340 Bartow Florida USA. (Private)

Note: The above list is from personal knowledge and therefore not exhaustive and does not include several serious non fatal incidents in Australia. Reading the ATSB and NTSB reports of these accidents reveals similar human frailties leading to tragedy. That is a single minded focus on completing the task despite all indications pointing to challenges well beyond the capabilities of the pilots. Importantly although the single minded focus was identical the factors underlying the tragically poor decision making were different.

For example:

  • A desire to assist others in need.
  • To reach a holiday destination.
  • To complete planned flight which had been much delayed in instrument flight conditions.
  • To meet a maintenance requirement within the regulations.
  • To complete a flight which if not undertaken would result in stranded passengers.

The submission of the TAAF group is quite at odds to the other six submissions offering un-conditional support to #casa and #atsb.


Senate RRAT Hansard report



#aopa on it’s website says it has conducted a “…ring-around poll…” of TAAF members:

Angel Flight and AOPA Australia have maintained that the ATSB report produced defective findings that were underpinned by false outcomes which were derived from wildly inaccurate and manipulated statistics, calling for the report’s withdrawal.

During the inquiry, the ATSB admitted that it had not interviewed any pilots in arriving at it’s conclusion; that community service flight pilots were operating under significantly more stress than pilots in other sectors.  The ATSB went on to admit that it had conflated findings from an unrelated survey to support it’s allegations of pilot pressure and stress.  When pressed on this issue, the ATSB argued that if it had surveyed or intervierviewd pilots specifically on the issue, they did not feel pilots would have given them honest answers.

Regarding the ATSB statistics, the investigator admitted that they did not have accurate data records and had based their report on estimated and modeled numbers, acknowledging that they did not include all Angel Flight’s undertaken during the statistical period used.  This modelling enabled the ATSB to produce a finding that alleged Community Service Flights to be 7 times more likely to be involved in a fatality, which sits in contrast to the reality that Angel Flight has experienced just two fatal accidents in 20 years spanning 40,000+ flights flown, which left the RRAT Inquiry panel questioning the statistical relevance of the ATSB’s claims.

And, the ATSB weren’t alone in their damning admissions.  CASA went on the record admitting that their legislative changes had no relevance to either of the two Angel Flight accidents, also stating that their changes would not have prevented either accident from occuring and would not stop similar accidents from happening again.

In view of the clear evidence given to the Senate RRAT Inquiry, which leaves no doubt as to the need to withdraw the ATSB report and CASA’s inappropriate legislative changes, it certainly raises serious questions as to how the TAAAF Chair, Mr Jeff Boyd, and it’s members could possibly have supported the ATSB and CASA at all.

Do Australia’s general aviation associations and bodies genuinely feel that it is appropriate or acceptable that the ATSB produce investigation reports based on manipulated data, conflated survey results – all without interviewing or surveying a single pilot or participant?  Its hard to imagine, but this is what the TAAAF have argued, which gives rise to serious quesitons.

Was the former CASA Chairman given a tap on the shoulder for support?  Was he called on to throw a lifeline to the ATSB and CASA?  Did the airline he works for bias his judgement?  Is the TAAAF statement supported by it’s members?  Does the TAAAF represent general aviation as it claims?

Over the past few days, AOPA Australia has reached out to the various members of the TAAAF, seeking to understand if each of the associations were in full agreement with the statement of support, which has revealed some telling facts;

According to the TAAAF letter to the Senate RRAT Inquiry, the association represents thirteen associations and bodies, claiming to be an alliance of the majority of Australia’s major aviation associations… these include;

  • The Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia (RFACA)
  • Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA)
  • Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA)
  • Recreational Aviation Australia Limited (RAAUS)
  • Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (ALAANZ)
  • Aviation Innovation Centre
  • Australian Women Pilots Association (AWPA)
  • Australian Business Aircraft Association (ABAA)
  • Australian Certified UAV Operators (ACUO)
  • Antique Aeroplane Association of Australia (AAAA)
  • Australian Sport Aviation Confederation (ASAC)
  • Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS)
  • Australian Warbirds Association Limited (AWAL)

A brief telephone investigation by AOPA Australia revealed that the majority of the TAAAF membership was either unaware, in disagreement or seeking to disassociate themselves from the statement of support.

These are our findings:

TAAAF asserts that it represents 13 industry associations and bodies:

  • Three (3) of the thirteen (13) member associations are entirely unrelated to manned general aviation in Australia;
  • Two (2) of the thirteen (13) member associations were unavailable for comment;
  • Five (5) of the thirteen (13) member associations were found to be disassociating themselves with the TAAAF statement of support, but did not want to indicate if they had agreed to its publishing;
  • One (1) of the thirteen (13) member associations was not aware that they were a member of the TAAAF and did not understand why their association had been included in the communication;
  • One (1) of the thirteen (13) member associations was aware of the statement, but did not want to provide any statement;


  • Just two (2) of the thirteen (13) member associations stated that they were in full agreement with the TAAAF statement;

The above results, appear to contradict the TAAAF statement that it’s membership ‘fully-supports’ the ATSB & CASA, and if correct should be the basis on which the letter should be withdrawn, as it could be considered a gross misrepresentation and an attempt to mislead a Senate Inquiry, leaving significant doubts as to the integrity of the TAAAF and their claim to represent the general aviation industry.

Withdrawn or not, I have no doubt that there will be many pilots shaking their heads, all wondering as to the motivations of each of the industry associations involved.

Sadly, it does appear that the ATSB, CASA and now the TAAAF all share something in common.

Something wrong here.

Senate inquiry announced into Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s report on Angel Flight

The debris from an Angel Flight crash at Mount Gambier in 2017 that killed three people. Picture: Tom Huntley
The debris from an Angel Flight crash at Mount Gambier in 2017 that killed three people. Picture: Tom Huntley

A Senate committee has launched an inquiry into the operations of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, following its report on the fatal crash of an Angel Flight service in 2017.

The final report, released last week, found Angel Flight had a fatal accident rate seven times that of other private pilot operations, after two triple fatality crashes in six years.

In both accidents, the pilot was found to have taken off in conditions they were not qualified to fly in, which ultimately led to them crashing and killing all on board.

The crashes have prompted a new safety campaign by the ATSB targeting private pilots with the slogan “don’t push it, don’t go”.

It was also recommended that Angel Flight consider booking seats on commercial flights for its clients because of the excellent safety record of Australia’s airlines.

Angel Flight CEO Marjorie Pagani spoke out against the report, suggesting it contained no useful information or guidance for them, and that it was ignorant to suggest commercial flights were an option.

Crossbench Senator Rex Patrick was also highly critical and said his concerns were shared by other senators on the Committee for Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport.

“There were concerns among a number of Senators about the findings of the report, not so much in relation to the forensic analysis of the accident at Mount Gambier, but the report as it covered Angel Flight,” Senator Patrick said.

“Firstly, there are questions over the statistical analysis and the committee rightfully wants to hear Angel Flight’s perspective, and secondly the claims that community service flights can be replaced by commercial sector flights was only supported by a narrow data set and in fact ignored some realities.”

At this stage a single public hearing has been scheduled for September 4, at which the committee will hear from Angel Flight, the ATSB and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Senator Patrick said submissions to the inquiry would be accepted and encouraged pilots and former clients of Angel Flight to do so.

He denied his vocal support of Angel Flight and public criticism of the ATSB demonstrated bias ahead of the inquiry.

“The way this works, is Senators reach a particular threshold that might cause them to call an inquiry, and from that time onwards they remain open to all perspectives,” said Senator Patrick.

“We are all open to the information that will be presented.”

ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood said they “noted the inquiry” had been established and were confident in their evidence-based investigation.

“The ATSB welcomes the opportunity to explain its methodologies and the findings of this comprehensive and thorough investigation,” said Commissioner Hood.

Senate Submissions

Submission 1 – Mr Howard Hobbs-1

Submission 2 – Mr Shaun Aisen

Submission 3 – Mr Allen Hilton-1

Submission 4 – Civil Air Australia

Submission 5 – Mr John Raby

Submission 6 – The Australian Aviation Associations’ Form

Submission 7 – Mr Alexander Reith

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600.                  

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) inquiry submission, an open email. 

Dear Senators,

I wish to support those submissions that I’ve read in regard to the ATSB by Mr. Aisen, Mr. Hobbs and of Mr. Hilton, and contribute additional opinion. 

Obviously the ATSB’s report into the Mt. Gambier accident is flawed and serious questions must be raised as to the motives or reasons for such a poor report. 

Professional and private aviation industry personnel have been following the ATSB’s reports for many years, but more particularly since it became an independent Commonwealth corporate body in 2009. 

Many, and probably the great majority, now have little or no confidence that the ATSB is capable of producing reports of value. In reality the reverse is true, the Mt. Gambier report, as an example, can only confound those who would look for answers and constructive suggestions that might lead into new avenues for the safety of flight. 

Whilst I concur completely with the thoughtful and detailed analysis by the submitters as noted, my concern is to respectfully ask the Senators to consider the broader context and the failed model of governance as represented by the independent ATSB. 

Similarly the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, independent since 1988, has failed to live up to it’s legislated duty to provide, quote, “clear and concise” rules and regulations (see illustration). The result is the most astonishing demise of a once flourishing industry of General Aviation (GA). Though my critique of CASA may not be directly germane to the performance of the ATSB, it does provide a clear demonstration of a failure of governance, by that of the relatively unaccountable independent regulator. 

This points directly to the need for a greater degree of Parliamentary control. Without direct and constant accountability to a Minister, or some other Parliamentary body of responsibility, then it is apparent and unsurprising that such bodies can stray from their legislated purpose. 

Certain settings have clearly influenced the actions of such bodies, the fact that, unlike a Government Department, they can be sued, has contributed to the CASA attempt to micro manage, to control to an extreme degree. In addition, CASA has caused Parliament, inappropriately, to migrate practically all the rules into the criminal code with strict liability as the standard of proof to ensure maximum prosecution success. This of course has driven incident reporting to very low levels. Who wants to own up and then bear a criminal conviction with all that entails including loss of international travel ability? The fear of reporting mitigates against safety. 

The CASA attempt to ‘straight jacket’ the aviation industry into an inhuman model of perfection has caused the extraordinary decline of GA that has become so evident. It has failed to produce a safer level in flying. It is easily arguable that flying is less safe because of incompetent administration and rule making. 

It is my belief, as a senior instructor and experienced commercial pilot and former GA business owner operator, that the severe punishments available to authorities for even the most minor of infringements (and for some that don’t even exist in the USA) have a deleterious psychological effect on pilots. By exacerbating stress levels this can go some way to explain illogical actions. If we can say the Mt. Gambier accident was as a result of illogical decision making then I will argue that stress levels and the loss of adrenaline are factors that should be taken into account and explored thoroughly. I have witnessed these phenomena, and have been personally subject to same, as have practically all pilots to some extent. Even before flight loss of adrenaline can cause extreme weariness and loss of clear and timely decision making. 

As others have rightly stated, the Mt. Gambier report deals at length with the operations of Angel Flight and largely ignores the causal factors of the actual accident and possible future remedies to prevent similar occurrences. 

Remedies like the provision of portable synthetic vision which reduced weather related visual flight accidents in Alaska by 50% (Operation Capstone). 

Provision of flying schools and instructors to teach for the Instrument Rating, unhampered by CASA’s near impossible flying school paperwork and super expensive, unnecessary administrative structures could also have been noted for policy adjustment. 

Thanking you,
Sandy Reith 
Alexander C. (Sandy) Reith 

New flying school comparison:

Australia….Permit $50,000?+? Months or years to negotiate, various approved personnel. 

USA……….No permit, Instructor Rating & book $15.99. Start immediately. Better safety record. 

[Image: image.jpeg.jpg]


ASRR Report – David Forsyth

The ASRR Report May 2014




ASRR Report released by Truss

Glen Buckley, AFTA and MFT suffers at the hands of #casa. Another #casa casualty

Glen Buckley and APTA [Melbourne Flight Training – MFT]:

Who was MFT/ AFTA?

pprune posts during 2019 [Produced in full]   Direct link from pprune

APTA/ MFT had a #casa AOC for training, for over 15 years. With the CASR changes and introduction of the Parts, “upgraded” the AOC to comply.

#casa agrees to the proposal and assists in this process.

At some time, #casa decide to rescind the AOC approval, giving the organisation no space to move and refuse to negotiate or retain the original approval.

APTA/MFT name the group (5 individuals) responsible for removing the approval to operate, including Graeme Crawford, sometime Acting #casa CEO.

The organisation – APTA-MFT is finished by July 2019 and #casa again move into the economic control of aviation, to the point where CEO Carmody says “…no further correspondence will be entered into…” and writes a letter to that effect.

A quick recap for those that are having trouble following the background is:

CASA introduced a regulatory change called Part 61/141/142.

It was finally introduced over 10 years behind schedule.

CASA set a date for all schools to “Transition” to the new regulatory environment of September 1st 2017.

Of Australia’s 350 schools, only 5% had achieved Part 142 status by the deadline. Importantly, APTA was among the 5%.

CASA delayed the date 12 months.

That delay cost me many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

23rd August 2019 – Carmody letter to Buckley


To #casaBoard, Minister, CEO, ICC

For clarity I intend to lodge formal complaints about a Senior Executive (done) and an FOI, a Regional Manager [Mr David Jones as a Level 2 audit], and a Team Leader.

I believe I can clearly demonstrate that 5 personnel within the Aviation Group of CASA headed up by Mr Graeme Crawford, have made decisions that demonstrate unconscionable conduct i.e. reasonable people making decisions primarily on aviation safety could not reasonably arrive at the same decisions as these individuals.

This conduct has substantially impacted on me and my business.

By June 2019, I made allegations against 5 people that were in CASA. I believe one has left. Therefore, the allegations are now about 4 CASA employees. One has come back to industry I believe.

The Problem:

The undeniable fact is that I spent many years working closely with CASA in the design of APTA. My business is Melbourne Flight Training, and that is where I have previously derived my income.

APTA was designed to facilitate continuing operations of my own business, and others in the new more cumbersome environment that we operate in. I sat down with CASA as we attended to more than 600 CASA requirements.

In fact, APTA was one of the 5% of Organisations that met the initial deadline of September 1st 2017, and we were significantly impacted by the CASA delay.

Irrespective, APTA continued on.

APTA was CASA approved and had been operating for 15 years, and almost two years as a fully transitioned Part 142 Organisation.

APTA was fully approved, and then in October 2018, I received a notice that CASA intended to bring a cessation to all operations, and that’s where the story begins. There was no prior indication at all.  [see below]

That opened up a pandoras box of problems.

I must emphasise that there are no allegations of any safety concerns, in fact CASA have agreed that APTA increases safety, so one would wonder my Mr Graeme Crawford in his role would work so diligently to bring APTA down.

The Issues for AFTA/MFT:

CASA provided a surety of operations for only 7 days into the future.

From the period 30th October until 25th January 2019, the business operated literally on a minute by minute approval.

On 25th January 2019 casa notified that my business could continue operating for three months until 25th April 2019.

On 12th February 2019 you advised me that my business could continue operating until 13th May 2019.

On 3rd May 2019 you advised that my business could continue operating until 1st July 2019.

Consider the commercial impact on any business, when you take such action.

APTAs “product” was in fact surety of operations into the future, in the more expensive to operate regulatory environment

All over for Glen Buckley, due to economic interference by #casa:

MFT Update [31st July 2019]

Good afternoon all,

I have a lot of people after me for a lot of information, and will try and dump it all down here in the one spot. I anticipate being back here frequently over coming days.

It is heartbreaking to advise that MFT is no more. Whilst the business does operate, I have lost my premises.

The facts are:

MFT was clearly in arrears on the land lease, and had been for some time.
The Airport personnel I deal with have been exceptional i.e. Mark, Paul, John and Diem, and I mean exceptional.
Under Marc’s stewardship, many months ago, Marc constructed a plan that I thought I could achieve, but alas I could not.
Fully in accordance with a lease that I have signed and understood, the owners of Moorabbin Airport, are exercising their right and their obligations to take control of the building.

Of course it is heartbreaking, but the responsibility is mine. This has had an enormous effect on the staff and students, and for that I apologise.

All students and staff are “APTA”, so their training can continue uninterrupted, or at least with minimal interruption. Operations have moved immediately to the Vortex building which is an APTA member. All staff will continue to get paid, and all staff will continue to deliver the same training from another building in the same aircraft. It is effectively only a building change.

My hope is that the new owners of the MFT building will lease the premises back to MFT. That is a project for the future when I am well underway cleaning up the fallout from this fiasco.

As most readers will be aware, CASA took action against APTA from October 2018. CASA actions placed a number of restrictions on my ability to trade. i.e. I could not market, advertise, take on customers, add capabilities, or renew existing capabilities. From the onset it was identified to CASA on numerous occasions in writing, that their actions would cost me at least $10,000 per week, as it has. In October 2018, I anticipated this matter would continue on for 6 weeks at most, with a total cost of $60,000. Unfortunately it has now dragged on unnecessarily for approximately 40 weeks.

If I had known it would drag on for this long, I may have taken a different course of action. In my worst nightmare I could not have imagined 40 weeks with no end in sight. Nevertheless, I was compelled to continue as I had a large number of operators depending on me for their own continuity. As time has dragged on and the financial impact worsened I called on MFT and my parents to support continuing operations.

It got to the stage where I could ask my family for no more, and the burden fell on MFT alone to sustain APTA operations. Quite simply the numbers didn’t stack up, and there was no resolution in sight. I was not going to be able to meet staff salaries, and APTA was sold for the value of the debt only.

I must use this opportunity to thank the team at MFT for their unwavering professionalism. To Sreya Brown, Will Long, Tim Verhoef, Tarik Hartley, Shingote Shubham, Rory O’ Heir, Pete Schultz, Cameron Meyer, Coby Ramos, Jake Lummis, Jo Ikin, Lawrie Byrnes, Pete Bishop, and James Skinner. They have worked under extremely challenging conditions over the last 6 months in particular. They have demonstrated uncompromising standards of safety and compliance.

The organisation has been under enormous duress, with all of the associated challenges and they have conducted themselves admirably.

They are all names worth noting because they are a truly exceptional team, and will be an enormous attribute to the new owners of APTA. I am confident the new owners have a vision, and will execute a vision, that will bring stability and opportunities for all.

Please feel free to fire away with any questions, cheers. Glen.


  1.  PM Morrison and how the Public Service should work;
  2. RRAT Committee – Senate;
  3. APTA Agreement Version 14.0
  4. Initial response from #casa
  6. Mr Carmody letter
  7. Documents released to Glen Buckley – sent 18-Jun-19 by FOI
  8. DPM response 17th July 2019
  9. Letter from #casa to Buckley













Letter to Minister McCormack 16th June 2019:

To the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, the Honourable Mr Mc Cormack.

I write to you in your role as the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, as the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development, and as the person responsible for aviation safety in Australia.

My name is Glen Buckley, the CEO of the Australian Pilot Training Alliance (APTA). I am writing to you on important matters of aviation safety, allegations of misuse of public funds within the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and allegations of unconscionable conduct displayed by at least 5 individuals within CASA. The conduct of those individuals compromises aviation safety, compromises regulatory compliance, and compromises people’s livelihoods. I have been involved in the flight training sector for 25 years, the last 15 years as the owner of a flight training organisation. CASA records will clearly support my contention that my operations have been well intentioned, safe, and compliant. I consider myself a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in my field, and I am qualified to make the statements that I make.

I stand fully behind everything I say. My assertions can be supported by well documented evidence. I understand that I am fully accountable for the statements that I make, they are being made in the interests of aviation safety, they must be responded to.

Although I am initiating this correspondence as an individual business owner, and drawing only on my own personal experience, I am confident my experiences will be shared by the entire General Aviation (GA) sector of the Industry. For those not familiar with the term “GA”, it includes almost all flying in Australia that is not airline flying, and GA flying is predominantly conducted in propeller driven aircraft. i.e. carrying freight and passengers in smaller aircraft, flying training, community flights, agricultural work, private flying etc. It also includes all the maintenance organisations, spare parts, refuellers and admin personnel that work in that industry sector supporting those safe operations.

My allegations are substantive and not limited to the following.

Breaches of obligations under the PGPA Act to use public resources responsibly

The aviation industry has a legislative program introduced by CASA referred to as Part 61/141/142. It was introduced a decade behind schedule, and is universally acknowledged as an absolute and complete failure. That component alone is estimated to have cost every Australian family $100. It is only one component of a much larger and mismanaged regulatory reform program that has cost both the taxpayer and industry an unacceptable amount, and this matter continues to escalate at an alarming rate. This issue must be addressed.

It can be demonstrated that CASA consistently choose the more costly option, when a more effective solution is available. In my own organisation, CASA have made decisions that have cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars, and taxpayers substantially more, when a simple well-intentioned conversation would have achieved the same outcome. I have many well documented examples. My experiences are not unique.

CASAs failure to achieve “clear and concise aviation safety standards”. This failure impacts on safety.

Critical to my assertions is an understanding that the Civil Aviation Act states the very first function of CASA as: “developing and promulgating appropriate, clear and concise aviation safety standards”.

There is no doubt that CASA have totally and completely failed against this core function, and industry will unilaterally support that statement. I strongly encourage the Government to do a random sample of 50 rural based, and 50 city-based GA businesses. You will find that in excess of 90% of respondents will support my contention that CASA have failed. If 90% of road users felt the road rules were so disjointed that they couldn’t understand them, we would have a major safety issue on our roads.

In the interests of aviation safety, and jobs, CASA must deliver rules and regulations that are clear and concise. For a clear demonstration of this significant issue. Ask someone from CASA to verbally answer this question, what activities can be delivered as an independent instructor? Then ask them to demonstrate how they arrived at that answer as they step you through the associated legislation. It is so complicated that it is truly akin to fraud. It’s simply not fair to deliver rules to a sector if the intended recipients cannot understand the rules because they are not clear and concise. It is actually incumbent on CASA to deliver clear and concise aviation safety standards. That failure directly impacts on safety.

Personnel within CASA displaying” unconscionable conduct”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website states criteria to determine unconscionable conduct. Those criteria include;

  • The relative bargaining strength of the Parties.
  • Whether any conditions were imposed on the weaker Party that were not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the stronger Party
  • Whether the weaker party could understand the documentation being used.
  • The use of undue influence, pressure or unfair tactics by the stronger party.
  • The requirements of applicable industry codes. (i.e. CASAs Regulatory Philosophy, requirements of the Civil Aviation Act, the Ministers Statement of Expectations, requirements of Administrative Law, CASAs Enforcement Manual and section 2 of the Australian Public Service Commission website.
  • The willingness of the stronger party to negotiate
  • The extent to which Parties acted in good faith.

From my own personal experience, I believe I can clearly demonstrate that 5 personnel within the Aviation Group of CASA headed up by Mr Graeme Crawford, have made decisions that demonstrate unconscionable conduct i.e. reasonable people making decisions primarily on aviation safety could not reasonably arrive at the same decisions as these individuals. This conduct has substantially impacted on me and my business. Previous approaches to your office have not been responded to, so I am simultaneously releasing this correspondence to other persons, including but not limited to, the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Honourable Catherine King MP. As this is a matter of aviation safety, and includes allegations of misconduct within CASA, I would call on bipartisan political support to work towards a solution that improves aviation safety across the GA industry, improves regulatory compliance, supports business, and encourages jobs in rural areas.

I am also advising that I make myself fully available to any media form, that is prepared to pursue this matter. It is a matter of aviation safety, and breaches of the PGPA Act, and inappropriate conduct in a Government Department, all of which impact on every Australian. My only request is that CASA be given the full right of reply to any allegations I make in the media.

These matters are significant. I have made repeated attempts to meet with the Board of CASA over the last 6 months, and all requests have been completely ignored. I have sent correspondence to your office on two occasions, and that correspondence has also been ignored. I feel I have no other option available to me, other than going public.

The purpose of this letter is to ensure I am given an opportunity to meet with yourself, or a nominee from your Department. I would like to attend that meeting and provide documentary support of all my claims. I respectfully request that the Honourable Catherine King, or her nominee be given the opportunity to attend that meeting. I would also call on two industry body representatives to attend in an observer role only. They would not have input into the meeting. My sincere hope is that you will attend to this matter as it deserves. At this stage I am requesting the opportunity to be heard. Failing that opportunity being provided to me, I will be forced to escalate the matter in the interests of aviation safety within the General Aviation sector.


Follow up to Deputy Prime Minister 21st June 2019

Dear Minister Mc Cormack, or the recipient.

I wrote to the Minister at the start of the week on matters I considered of significance, with regard to aviation safety in Australia. I have not received an acknowledgement, or a response. Can you please confirm that this is the correct email for such matters. Alternatively, if the correct protocols are to formally lodge such matters through the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ASTB) please advise. The issues are significant and effect aviation safety, so at least an acknowledgement that this is the correct email address to reach Minister Mc Cormack would be appreciated.

Glen Buckley

Letter sent to Mr Carmody 21/06/2019

Dear Mr Shane Carmody,

There are no regulatory breaches. There are no safety concerns expressed by CASA.

CASAs actions have placed significant restrictions on my ability to trade and that has been repeatedly identified to CASA, as has the associated commercial impact. Craig Martin will be the Subject Matter Expert (SME) within CASA.

Within a week, CASA will make yet another decision to allow continuing operations through another temporary approval, or in fact, close the operation down. I don’t need to outline the enormous organisational instability that brings to the staff, and my ability to retain them, to customers, students, members and suppliers. These “temporary approvals” have now continued for 8 months and understandably bought the business to its knees. The staff and I are exhausted and drained, so is the business.

My Key Personnel must now make decisions about their own employment options, and that impacts on continuing operations amongst the group, with the associated consequences on businesses, staff, and suppliers.

To bring this absurd matter to a close it simply needs one decent human being, acting in a well-intentioned manner, to make a good decision. It is that simple.

It needs one person to give me 3 hours of their time to tell my side of the story.

It then needs that same person to spend a further 3 hours revising the Regulatory Philosophy, the functions of CASA, the enforcement manual, the Public Service Commission website, the definition of unconscionable conduct, the PGPA Act, the Ministers Statement of Expectations on CASA, and a familiarity with Administrative Law.

It needs that same well-intentioned person, to then seriously contemplate what it means to operate under the Australian Coat of Arms that will be proudly displayed throughout every CASA office. Reflect on the substance of it, the history behind it, the standards, ethics, governance and integrity that is conveyed by having the privilege to operate under it.

Then simply arrive at a decision.

As you are aware my preference is to resolve these matters through well intentioned face to face discussion. That is the most effective way to resolve any dispute. However, I have had the opportunity to receive some industry funded and substantive legal guidance on my matter. This meeting was initiated by someone in Industry, and I did not pay for the consultation. This firm does not provide litigation funding, and that necessitates me seeking support from wider industry, should I elect to continue.

At this stage there is no obligation on my behalf to proceed.

If I do: The first stage is a relatively straightforward process costing approximately $50,000. This would provide a robust and detailed overview of the validity of the claim, for both Industry and CASA to consider and would provide full transparency to both parties. On production of the report perhaps I could have the opportunity to meet with CASA again. The case would be based around CASAs failure to deliver clear and concise aviation safety standards, and the effects of that failure on safety and industry, as evidenced by my experience, and no doubt many others. I am fully satisfied that in fact, CASA have failed to achieve “clear and concise aviation safety standards”. That is the root cause of every one of my current issues, and in fact the wider industry’s.

I am fully satisfied that 5 personnel within CASA have acted inappropriately, and in my opinion unlawfully, although I respect that that needs to be determined. My hope is that you could respond indicating if there is a potential change of stance within CASA and a willingness to genuinely resolve the matter via a well-intentioned decision maker that you nominate.


Letter to Mr Carmody 2/7/19

Dear Mr Carmody,

Prior to proceeding with the contents of this letter, it is important that I clarify some important matters.

The business has been operating for 15 years delivering well intentioned, safe and highly compliant flight training. CASA records will support that contention.

Flying schools conducting a practice referred to as ‘sharing an Air Operators Certificate” is a practice that has been going on for many decades within the flight training industry. The practice has been conducted with the full knowledge, consent, and support of CASA. This cannot be refuted.

There were deficiencies in those arrangements, as often the organisations operated independently and in their own interests.

APTA was the first time in Australia that the deficiencies in the existing practice were addressed. This cannot be refuted, as CASA personnel worked side by side with APTA personnel in designing the purpose built system that we now have. We attended to over 600 CASA requirements, and in fact we were one of the few schools that met the CASA stipulated deadline of September 1 2017. APTA was approved by CASA in April 2017 and has been operating in that format for more than two years. In November 2017, 6 months after we Transitioned, CASA conducted a level one audit (the highest available), and no concerns were raised.

At no stage during the process did CASA ever require contracts of us, or in fact any other flying training organisation in Australia. The requirements regarding contracts, is a requirement specifically being placed on APTA. Other operators continue to be exempted from this requirement. I assert that in the last 25 years of the practice of schools sharing AOCs, CASA does not hold any contracts on any other operators. They have chosen not to refute my allegation, because the fact is the CASA requirement is unique to APTA. It is unfair and unjust that you elect to single my Organisation out, and apply conditions to me that you choose not to apply to other operators.

Importantly, the use of a contract was an APTA initiative, and at no stage had CASA ever required a contract The contracts were drawn up by lawyers, and have been reviewed on at least 5 occasions since that time by lawyers. APTA and APTA members are satisfied with the contracts that we use. It is only CASA that is not satisfied. It is incumbent on CASA to tell me what you want in the contracts.

In October 2018, without any prior warning at all, CASA did a complete reversal of policy and initiated the action that has been continuing for more than 8 months now. The impact of that action on the business, my family, my members and staff has been traumatic. It is a clear breach of many aspects of your own regulatory philosophy.

Initially CASA action was not based on contracts, but the action was taken on the basis of

Aviation Ruling and
Temporary locations procedure.

After approximately two months, CASA admitted that the Aviation Ruling was the incorrect basis to be taking the action and “took the Aviation Ruling off the table”.

CASA also realised that the Temporary locations procedure was in fact their own procedure that they had suggested, helped us design, approved, and in fact they approved bases under the system. It is ludicrous that you now penalise me and my organisation for the very procedure that CASA in fact suggested.

After the CASA confusion was sorted out, they moved to the Latrobe Valley audit results. CASA has ignored 10 requests from me to finalise the allegations made, and they have tried to avoid addressing my concerns. The audit results and the associated process could not be justified, with new allegations arriving many months after you conducted an audit.

With the aviation ruling off the table, the temp locations embarrassingly identified as CASAs own procedure, and an inability to back up the allegations of regulatory breaches, CASA moved to the topic of contracts.

CASA initially accused us of not having contracts in place. CASA had forgotten they had been provided with contracts on multiple occasions. The topic them changed yet again but this time to a requirement to see signed copies of the contracts which we had, and they were provided to CASA.

As nothing appeared to be “sticking” he topic then moved yet again, but now back to the content of the contracts. CASA then provided guidance material on the first occasion that I fully adopted and submitted to CASA. For reasons that I cannot understand, they then rejected the contracts with their own material included.

CASA provided a second lot of guidance material, which I fully adopted. CASA then accepted the second version of the contracts. CASA advised “I have reviewed the draft contract provided this date. I can confirm the content is acceptable to CASA. My appreciation to you and your staff for provision of same”, but hours later reversed their position and withdrew the approved contracts. It appeared that nothing could satisfy CASA and I have no doubt that there was a “hidden agenda” and that was driven by Mr Crawford.

After approximately 6 months, and a high level of confusion within CASA, they were forced into outsourcing the contract requirement to an outside lawyer. That begs the question. Why would CASA initiate the action back in October 2018? In order to know that something is wrong, you do need to know what is right. CASA obviously didn’t!!! It took over 6 months before CASA had the third lot of guidance material.

Eventually a third set of guidance was supplied. CASA advised that it was guidance only and I should use my own terminology, rather than take theirs verbatim. I reviewed that against our contracts and exposition and am satisfied that our current contracts and exposition meet all requirements from their “guidance” material. I have asked CASA to identify any deficiencies and I will attend to them if they provide that information. There is no resistance from me, but I do require clear and concise guidance.

Unfortunately another point of confusion exists, as CASA have provided information on our Part 141 operations only, and have not provided any guidance on the Part 142 component, which is the majority of what we do, so until they clarify that, I am unable to move forward. I have made two requests, but they have not been answered.

CASA have also stipulated that all personnel must be APTA “employees”. The existing definitions of employees support the APTA model, so I have asked CASA to provide a definition of an employee that meets their requirements for this situation, which I am waiting on.

The third lot of guidance material suggests that we need to be assessed on the following. I point out that these are the exact items I attended to with CASA years earlier.

Suitability of the organisation.
Chain of Command in the organisation.
The number, qualifications, and competency of personnel.
Sufficiency of the facilities.
Suitability of the procedures and practices.
Suitability of Key Personnel.
Full operational control.
Compliance with procedures.
Capability to comply with legislation.
Compliance with directions.
Understanding of commitments
Access to reference library
Standardisation and proficiency checks
Ability to remove unsuitable personnel
Notification of change of Key Personnel.
Maintain a register of instructors.
Notification of
Provide a copy to all parties of the Operations manual
Supervision to ensure compliance with the manual.
Compliance with audit findings.
Access to records.
Log of all simulator training.
List of simulators
Information pertinent to aircraft
Log of medicals of all personnel
Ability of APTA to cancel or suspend the agreement.

As all members will be aware we do have all of these systems in place because we actually did exactly this more than two years ago, working with CASA personnel and that is what lead to our approval in April 2017. These were the exact items that I worked on with CASA over a two year period as we designed APTA, and they are the procedures we have been following for over two years.

It is obvious that the CASA personnel that I deal with really have no idea about APTA. I have asked CASA to describe to me their understanding of APTA, but they steadfastly refuse to do so. APTA is not confused. The members are not confused, and the personnel are not confused. It is in fact only CASA that is confused. It is CASA that is breaching its obligations placed on it by the Regulatory Philosophy. It is CASA that chose to initiate a complete reversal of policy with no warning, and it is CASA that has bought substantial damage to the business, the members, the staff and to me personally. There are no safety concerns, there are no regulatory breaches, and you cannot direct me to any legislative breaches. I am dealing with the “opinions” of CASA personnel who have displayed unconscionable conduct.

The current situation is that CASA will soon decide on continuing operations. I have engaged substantive legal advice, and a failure by CASA to act appropriately, will be met with a class action, and this will be immediately initiated if required. I will be calling on the wider industry and professional organisations to join me in that class action, as my concerns are shared by the wider GA community.

The failure of CASA to achieve clear and concise aviation safety standards, the failure of CASA to comply with its own regulatory philosophy, the malpractice of certain CASA individuals, and a flagrant disregard for the PGPA Act, the total disregard for the Ministers Statement of Expectation, and a complete failure to act in a well-intentioned manner, and a preference to act in a bullying and intimidating manner are in fact the causes of the problems.

Quite simply, the confusion exists within CASA. APTA was designed to increase safety, increase regulatory compliance, protect our respective business, and to create jobs. The concept is fully approved by CASA and the complete reversal of policy is not acceptable.

CASA has placed a number of restrictions on my ability to trade that have had enormous consequences, and I emphasise that there are no allegations of safety concerns or regulatory breaches. This entire issue and all of the associated damage to so many businesses and people is truly disgusting and could have been avoided had …………………………………… acted in a well intentioned manner, and adhered to the obligations placed on them, in their roles.

Glen Buckley

Will Nutall, Craig Martin, Brad Lacy, David Jones

Letter to CASA Board made on ~ 16th July 2019

I have made at least 6 requests to meet with the CASA Board since my dramas started unfolding over 9 months. Those requests were all ignored except for when Mr Crawford the Manager of the Aviation Group wrote to me explaining he would not permit it. Not having a lot of respect of the mans ethics I persevered and was successful. I met with Mr Tony Mathews at Melbourne Airport. I requested a response by 2nd August ( two weeks after our meeting). Typically, nothing came. For reference I have posted a copy of the letter that summarises the meeting. Due to length, I have had to post it over two consecutive posts. Cheers. Glen.

Dear Mr Anthony Mathews

Thank you for providing the opportunity to meet with you, in your role as the Chair of the CASA Board, and for facilitating the attendance of the Regional Manager, Mr Jason McHeyzer, in his role as the Regional Manager for the Southern Region, at Melbourne Airport from approximately 4PM to 6PM on Friday 19/07/19.

I attended with my father Derek Buckley, in his role, purely as my father, someone who has supported me throughout this experience, and is after all. My father.

As you are aware, I have made numerous requests over the last 8 months to meet with the Board of CASA. Those repeated requests were not responded to, or acknowledged, and this is a contributing factor to the delays in our meeting. I note that you are relatively new in the role, irrespective the delays in facilitating the meeting have had a significant impact, and due to the passage of time, unavoidably, the nature of the meeting has changed.I asked you if you had the opportunity to view the final report from the Industry Complaints Commissioner, and you responded that you had viewed that, approximately one month prior to our meeting, which was approximately one month prior to its release to me. My opinion of the ICC report is that it has been carefully written and it avoids most of the complaints. I will attend to that in separate correspondence.

During the meeting,I had the opportunity to very clearly identify to you that CASA has not at any time made any allegations of anything related to safety. In fact, CASA actions can be demonstrated to have negatively impacted on safety. I also had the opportunity to clearly identify to you that CASA has not at any time made any allegations of any regulatory breach.Very early in the meeting I asked if you aware of the commercial impact of the actions that CASA had taken, and I appreciate that in your role, you could not be expected to have a detailed knowledge of my issue.

I then asked the Regional Manager, Mr Mc Heyzer if he could perhaps outline the impact. As he has had been closely involved in this process since it began, he was better able to encapsulate the situation, as would be my expectation.

To recap,

CASA;· Placed a limited date of approval on my business that has been as short as, a minute by minute approval, but no longer than three months. That action alone would have an enormous and destabilising effect on any organisation, and the staff and suppliers associated with that organisation. That action has continued for a staggering 9 months and is still not resolved.·

CASA actions prevented me from marketing my product·

CASA actions prevented me from taking on customers.·

CASA actions prevented me from adding courses and capabilities that I am fully entitled to.·

CASA actions prevented me from renewing capabilities as they came up for renewal.

When CASA initiated that action in October 2018, I clearly identified to CASA that the impact on my business would be significant, and conservatively it would cause my business to lose $10,000 per week. This matter has now dragged on for over 9 months, and lead to a situation where the business was no longer able to sustain itself. In fact, no business in Australia could sustain those restrictions to its trade

.I outlined to you that the APTA model required 10 members contributing $80,000 each, as the cost of operating APTA was $800,000 per annum. By preventing me signing up new members, you will appreciate my problem. I outlined that APTA was purpose built over many years, and is a significant investment.

With CASA actions placing such insecurity on the business, it had no value and was sold for a price of 5% its actual value.

The business was sold under duress for no other reason than to protect the members and staff who depend on it for their livelihood.

Quite truthfully, I explained how I could no longer sustain the business and pay the staff salaries. If APTA were to discontinue operations at any time on CASA actions, it would directly impact on other operators depending on our continuing approval. I was carrying a significant burden as you will appreciate.

The associated impact on my own business, Melbourne Flight Training has been catastrophic, as it has been supporting the ongoing costs of running APTA. Its own certainty, now hangs in the balance.My own flying school, Melbourne Flight Training is currently in a state of financial duress that is quite likely to be irreparable. The Company has incurred unacceptable debt levels as it has attempted to ensure continuity of operations for APTA and the members that have depended on it.

I identified two other business that have ceased operations as result of the CASA decisions made in relation to APTA. By restricting my revenue streams for 9 months, I could not be expected to survive. No business in any industry, could sustain that.

Personally, the process since CASA implemented Part 61/141 and 142, has also been catastrophic. I clearly identified that in fact I couldn’t even muster up the money for the car park fees if the meeting extended for one more than one hour. That is the truth. I have been left destitute and that includes the loss of my family home. That is the fact. There are no hidden accounts or trust funds. I have exhausted every fund I have available to me to defend the APTA model.

I resolutely stand by the fact that it

Was well intentioned.
mproved safety.
Improved regulatory compliance.
Created jobs.
Protected regional aviation and most particularly regional aero clubs.
Protected the fast dwindling Australian Owned sector of the industry.

Importantly, it was a multi million dollar investment. It was designed with CASA. It was approved by CASA. It was audited by CASA. The fact is that Mr Crawford and four other CASA personnel operating under his direct operational control, and I include;· Mr Jones.· Mr Martin, · Mr Nuttall, and · Mr Lacy initiated a process in October 2018. That process was a complete reversal of previous CASA policy. It came instantly, and with absolutely no warning.

The entire process could have been avoided had CASA decided to inform me or meet with me. The associated impact on my business and the gross waste of taxpayer funds achieving that objective, has been truly disgraceful and unacceptable. My experiences may be shared by others in Industry, and if so, it requires a Royal Commission, it really does.

Those actions and decisions·

  1. Were in clear breach of almost every element of CASAs own Regulatory Philosophy.·
  2. In breach of the PGPA Act which requires these personnel to use public funds and resources responsibly.·
  3. Breach the requirements of Administrative Law, Procedural Fairness, and Natural Justice.·
  4. Were quite simply. Not well intentioned, and certainly not based on safety considerations.·
  5. Bullying and Intimidating in their nature.·
  6. Cannot be supported by any clear or concise legislation, and that is a requirement placed on CASA.

I offered up to 20 examples of the negligent conduct of those personnel, and their associated decisions.The examples I used were;

Example One
The inappropriateness of the use of the Aviation Ruling as the basis of the initial action in October 2018. As; · On its release in 2006, CASA advised flying schools that it did not apply to them, it was intended for charter operators, and CASA has in fact facilitated “shared AOCs” in flying schools since my initial involvement in the industry in the early 1980s.· It applies to “commercial purposes”. CASA removed flying training from “commercial purposes” in September 2014. How can it apply. Flying Training is not a “Commercial purpose.”· It has no Head of Power.· It refers to Key Personnel i.e. Chief Pilot that do not exist in flying training.· CASA themselves acknowledged it was the incorrect document after 2 months.· It is 13 years old, and written for an entirely different regulatory environment.

Example Two

CASA also initiated the action in October 2018 based on our Temporary locations’ procedure. Embarrassingly it was only later realised by CASA that it was in fact their own procedure, and that they had recommended it to us, approved it for our use, approved bases under that exact procedure, audited it, and even recommended it to flying schools. How can this happen? I simply cannot understand it, I really cant!

Example Three

The “contract issue”CASA never required contracts of us. I had a contract with my members. I had provided copies of the contract to CASA on multiple occasions. CASA seemed disinterested. October 2018 was a complete change of policy application and CASA insisted on provision of contracts within 7 days. CASA was embarrassed when I demonstrated that contracts had previously been provided, including a copy to Mr Graeme Crawford more than 12 months prior. In fact, had CASA realised they already held the contract, they may not have made the decision to take action on a perceived “lack of contracts”.CASA provided guidance material on the contracts which I fully adopted. CASA rejected that. CASA provided a second lot of guidance material. Again, I fully adopted the guidance material. CASA provided written notification the new version was acceptable, and I could proceed. Hours later, CASA reversed that decision and advised it was no longer acceptable. After many months. CASA engaged legal advice external to CASA and came back with a third set of guidance material. CASA advised that I should not use it “word for word”. So, I didn’t. I am satisfied that my contracts and associated Exposition are industry leading and meet all CASA requirements. I have not heard the outcome.I pointed out to you, that this requirement being placed on APTA is unique to APTA, and CASA is not applying it to other operators. I cannot understand how this issue can still be continuing on after 9 months.

Example Four

The impact of the CASA delay. I pointed out that the new CASA regulations i.e. Part 61/141 and 142 were implemented over a decade behind schedule, and they were underpinned by a grossly negligent Regulation Impact Statement (RIS). I advised I would provide a copy of that document and it is attached. I draw your attention to the effect on Businesses, identified on page 15 of the RIS. I discussed how CASA placed a Transition Date of September 1st of 2018 for all of Australia’s 350 flying training organisations. After that date, if they had not completed the re-approval process under the new rules, they would not be permitted to continue operating. My Company made an enormous investment in time and money over a two-year period to achieve the deadline referred to as the Transition Date i.e. September 1st, 2017.As the date approached it appeared to me that CASA was not ready for the Transition date. CASA assure me they were. I “flicked the switch” and Transitioned. That process resulted in a very substantial increase in operating costs.Weeks later, as only a staggeringly low 5% of Industry had achieved Part 142 status, CASA was forced into reversing its decision, and postponed the Transition date by 12 months. CASA forced me to operate under the new regulatory structure while other operators remained in the far more cost effective “Civil Aviation Regulation 5” (CAR 5) for a further 12 months. That delay alone, cost me many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Example Five

I talked to you about the commercially unviable turnaround times of CASA processing tasks, which are essential to running the business. I used the example of the addition of one of our “Temporary locations”. It was quoted by CASA as a five-hour task and took 10 months to complete. In fact, those timelines are indicative of my businesses experience. i.e. CASA process tasks at the rate of 30 minutes per month i.e. a 2-hour task will take 4 hours, a 5 hour task will take 10 months. In fact, this was the subject of a formal complaint to the Industry Complaints Commissioner, but was not attended to in his final report, only just released 7 months later.My point being, that these unacceptable timelines impact significantly on Industry and particularly so when industry is paying commercial rates for CASA services. The effects have been substantial on my business, and the members.

Example Six

The blatant and total disregard for CASAs own Regulatory Philosophy in its dealings with me since the change to CMT 3 headed up by …………… which coincided with the commencement of the action initiated by CASA without any prior indication in October 2018.

Example Seven

I clearly outlined my frustration that as a Part 141 and 142 Organisation I have authorisation to conduct a number of courses including low level, Multi Crew courses, Type ratings etc. CASA applied an “Administrative Freeze” on those tasks, and that had a significant implication on one of my members, leading to the closure of his business. CASA should have substantial grounds for refusing to process those tasks, as they were within my Authorisation and not related to any other issue, including bases.

Due to time constraints I did not get to touch on the other feedback that I can offer, including; the root cause of this entire issue being CASAs failure to achieve clear and concise aviation safety standards as is required of it in the Civil Aviation Act, technical incompetence on behalf of some personnel i.e. the Regional Manager stating “Im new to the role, and not all over it. I will need to organise a meeting with my staff, yet his signature sits on the initial correspondence that he sent a day earlier. Why sign it, if you’re not “all over it”!

I did briefly touch on CASA consistently ignoring my requests for assistance in resolving CASA allegations of regulatory breaches, and how well over 30 emails have been completely ignored, clear breaches of CASAs Enforcement Manual, breaches etc.

We closed the meeting with me asking that I be provided with a final CASA position on this matter by 5PM on Friday August 2nd. I appreciate you currently have obligations that require you to be outside of Australia, and I respect that. I did reply to you that it only needed one well intentioned person, to make well considered and well-intentioned decision. That person did not have to be you, but I needed to know by August 2nd.

The impact of CASAs actions has been significant, they really have. That impact has extended to me, my wife, and my children, it will impact on their education, I have lost my home, other businesses have closed as a result of this, safety has been compromised, staff will lose employment, and the APTA model has been completely decimated by CASA.

Businesses will be affected, and the entire process was so completely and totally unnecessary. It really could have been entirely avoided had CASA acted in a well-intentioned manner, in the interests of safety, and in accordance with the regulatory philosophy.

Those personnel I have named decided that APTA would not be permitted to operate, and they worked diligently to achiever that outcome.As a pilot with 25 years training experience, I cannot see how a less than ideal relationship between industry and CASA can possibly optimise safety outcomes. A relationship of confidence and trust is essential to achieve those optimal safety outcomes. In my opinion and drawing on my experience dealing with those five named individuals I sincerely believe they have demonstrated unconscionable conduct in their respective roles within CASA, and that is my only experience with those people. I can make no comment outside of my own perceived experience. Their actions and decisions have compromised safety. I can demonstrate that and am prepared to.

You are a Pilot, as I am. Our job is about nothing else than “good and sound decision making”. I call on CASA to deal with me in a fair and reasonable manner promptly. I do not want to involve lawyers. Two Parties acting in a well-intentioned and respectful manner and dealing only in the complete truth, can resolve anything. That has been my experience over the last 54 years, and I am hoping that common sense can prevail in this situation. By meeting with you, I have truly exhausted EVERY option for an internal resolution with CASA, and I will need to seek legal support and guidance if we cannot resolve this matter. I am mentally, emotionally, and financially drained and exhausted after this 9 month and more, I am only wanting to get some closure on this unnecessarily traumatic period.

I really am at the cusp. Please! Irrespective of the outcome, I sincerely thank you for your time. I felt you genuinely did provide “a good ear”, and I respect that.

Yours respectfully

Glen Buckley

#casa Board 9th August 2019 letter to Glen Buckley 090819

ICC report – August 2019 ICC Preliminary Review outcome 120419

CASA slam another door – The ICC process and reply by Glen Buckley

Dear Mr Hanton,

Please allow me to comment on my view of the ICC process, now that I am in receipt of the final report.

After waiting 8 months to receive the report, I am truly concerned at the avoidance of the key issues, and the apparent lack of intent to provide an honest, open and transparent assessment. Can I specially identify some critical shortcomings.

In matter A, I made allegations of shortcomings regarding the processes associated with the Latrobe Valley audit/visit by CASA. This had been identified as a Level Two audit by the Regional Manger in my presence, and in the presence of CASA’s Head of Regulatory Services.

CASA was later to reverse their stance and state it was not an audit.

At the exit interview at Latrobe Valley on the day, only a minor anomaly was identified.

CASA advised a written report would follow, as is the procedure. That report never arrived.

At a later CASA meeting, the audit was raised, and this time the topics had changed entirely in nature.

It was identified that the audit results had not been provided to me, although they had been provided to CASA legal, and CASA confirmed that fact.

CASA then denied an audit was done which surprised me. CASA then claimed there were no audit results.

I then tried to get them under Freedom of information, and there was simply page after page after page of completely redacted material, so you will appreciate my confusion. CASA prepared audit results months later that were not dated and differed completely from what we had previously been advised. Completely new allegations of regulatory breaches that I steadfastly refute arose. Over a 6-month period I have 30 emails that were not answered as I tried to attend to the fabricated breaches. Quite simply, CASA could not respond because they could not substantiate them.

I asked you to investigate why audit results would be sent to CASA legal before I am afforded the right to reply. You did not respond.

I asked you specifically to identify if breaches of Administrative law had occurred, and you chose to ignore this request.

I asked you to specifically investigate how an onsite audit debrief could differ from the Head Office debrief which differed entirely from the undated audit results written months later. You completely ignored this.

In Matter B, you specifically undertook to address” whether CASAs requirements of APTA were more onerous than those imposed on (XXXXXXXXXXX)”. You have chosen to completely avoid this most critical complaint about the different manner with which CASA engages different operators in your final report, despite undertaking to do so. This is fundamental to my complaint and by avoiding it you have denied me fairness. A determination here was one of my critical complaints.

You will recall that it was CASAs inappropriate use of the Aviation Ruling that has lead to this process that has resulted in business closures, loss of jobs, and associated damage. It was the wrong document to be using. In Matter F, you specifically undertook to make a determination on “the Aviation Rulings applicability”. Instead, because CASA chose to take it off the table, after two months, you have cleverly avoided the issue.

How can CASA use the wrong document, cause enormous damage, and then decide to “take it off the table”. That is in fact the very thing the ICC should be investigating, rather than be complicit in avoiding addressing the complaint. A thorough determination of this complaint was fundamental to an open and transparent investigation on your behalf.

In matter Q, I made complaints against item 9 of CASAs regulatory philosophy. https://www.casa.gov.au/about-us/who…ory-philosophy It cannot be denied that this entire situation could have been avoided had Mr Brad Lacy my first contact person within CASA decided to raise any concerns he had. Instead he initiated a course of action that bought significant damage. At the start of the process in October 2018, I made CASA very aware of the consequences of their actions, and tragically it has unfolded as I suggested. Closed businesses and lost jobs. CASA placed a number of restrictions on my ability to trade that ultimately lead to its failure. My expectation is that you would have comprehensively addressed CASAs stated criteria in Item 9 against my businesses experience, as I requested and you undertook.

In matter L, you undertook to address whether CMT 3 had acted in accordance with CASA regulatory philosophy although you chose to avoid this in your final report.

In Matter T, I specially mentioned that CASA processing times averaged 30 minutes per month. i.e. if APTA paid for a CASA task taking 5 hours, that would take 10 months to process. I alleged that my processing times were well outside industry norms. You undertook to address this, and in fact you chose to avoid addressing it.

Matter A1 and B1 were complaints about CASA continually refusing to respond to requests for assistance. CASA clearly made allegations of regulatory breaches of which I am required to resolve. I made over 30 requests to help me resolve those. That alone is outrageous, and you undertook to address this matter, which you did not.

My overall opinion of my ICC experience It can never have the credibility it deserves as long as the ICC is on the payroll of CASA. It is natural, that on receipt of such a substandard report, I would feel that I may not have been afforded fairness.

The Department is critically under resourced. It was clearly identified that the CASA action was costing my business $10,000 per week. Eight months is an unacceptably long-time frame for any business to wait.

Mr Crawford in his role as the head of the Aviation Group appeared to have more detailed knowledge of the process, and I will attend to that in separate correspondence.

Industry make claims that the ICC process is used as a CASA process to delay access to the Ombudsman, and sadly that is my feeling.
Having met you, I had a high expectation, to say that I am extremely disappointed in the depth and integrity of the work would be a significant understatement. Not only for my own interest, but for the benefit of those that follow me later, I am compelled to accelerate my complaint.

Respectfully, Glen Buckley

The Carmody – #casa bastardy continues in August 2019

Australian Senate calls an inquiry into #atsb and Angel Flight. {report in The Australian}

Senator Patrick said submissions to the inquiry would be accepted and encouraged pilots and former clients of Angel Flight to do so.


Current report – August 2019:

Angel Flight had insufficient controls in place, and provided inadequate guidance to pilots for addressing the additional operational risks associated with community service flights.

Furthermore, the ATSB found that there were limited opportunities for Angel Flight to be made aware of any safety related information involving flights conducted on its behalf, restricting its ability to identify and manage organisational risks.

2011/2013 report:

As a result of previous ATSB investigations the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has drafted new legislation, effective 4 December 2013, requiring a biennial review for night VFR-rated pilots. In addition, CASA has indicated that it will clarify the nature of what is meant by the term ‘visibility’ in dark night conditions, provide enhanced guidance on night VFR flight planning, and provide enhanced guidance on other aspects of night VFR operations.

The ATSB issued a safety recommendation as a result of investigation AO-2011-102 for CASA to prioritise this initiative.

The ATSB is also producing an educational booklet in its Avoidable Accident Series related to visual flight at night. When released, this safety education booklet will highlight a number of the risks associated with night VFR flight and discuss strategies for their management.

The #atsb reports:

  1. Mt. Gambier report for reference 2019;
  2. Nhill report – 2011 Report for reference December 2013

The change here is simply a blame game and has the #casa fingerprints all over it………

In 2011, after the loss of Don Kendall and his passengers on an Angel Flight from Essendon to Nhill, I was concerned that #casa would take the matter further to blame whoever #casa thought could be involved.    And that is what has happened.

This has continued with the accident at Mt. Gambier and the #atsb report following, which the industry has serious concerns about.

This was and still is the “modus – operandii” of the regulator, represented by current CEO – Carmody.

Let’s look at the Glen Buckley story to see this at work in real time.





Carmody “WORK” and letter on 23rd August stopping reasonable access to decision making just last week.











And examples of #casa and it’s method of dealing with the “…recalcitrant…” #aviation people and businesses.

#ASRR being ignored by #casa – Why is #casa Board not directing traffic??

Some general comments on #casa regulatory reform

The ASRR report was released to the public during 2014, being the most up-to-date review of the regulator [#casa] and the safety investigator [ATSB] that has occurred.

The report certainly contained many unpalatable issues for these two organisations. Any measurement around that time eg. Colmar Brunton, shows a serious decline in aviation, particularly General Aviation [GA] shows the effect of this intransigence on #aviation in it’s broader sense, although GA seems to have borne the brunt.

By May 2018, Dick Smith in his Oration put some mile posts and promise of a satisfactory reform to the aviation community.

This oration, which certainly explored some areas of definite difficulty for #casa and #atsb, was followed by the Wagga meeting of representative #aviation groups, such as AMROBA and AOPA.

I believe there has been a serious push back, supported by Minister McCormack. The articulation for this can be derived from public comments by McCormack at the Wagga meeting.

McCormack said at the conclusion of his “speech”. “….if you have any further questions, direct them to Stephen Campbell … at the back of the room…” McCormack pointed out Stephen Campbell.

Why is an advisor important in this perceived push-back of #aviation by both the Minister and #casa?

and who is Stephen Campbell??