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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??


Aviation Act Section 9A

There are proposed changes to the Aviation Act, which lapsed in the last Parliament (May 2019).

Senator Janet Rice [Victoria] says: “This bill has not been through sufficient scrutiny. These are very legitimate concerns and they need a robust hearing. It’s not just the Greens and the pilots. What’s the department’s justification for this bill? How does CASA itself think that this bill will change how it functions? What do the independent aviation safety experts in academia and the private sector think will happen as a result of these changes? I would certainly like to know the answers to these questions, and the Senate should know the answers to these questions. So I move:

At the end of the motion, add:

“, and the bill be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 10 September 2019.”


There is political support for a major investigation into ca$a in the 2017 Queensland LNP Policy supported by the Annual Conference.

In July 2018, McCormack addressed the Aviation Summit, referring all comments to a “Steve Campbell”. When this person is researched, we find that “Steve Campbell” was the advisor to previous Aviation Minister Darren Chester.

He was “let go” and turned up advising Carmody, the CEO of ca$a. Occupying the adjoining office!!.

“Steve Campbell” turns up in the advisory group for Minister McCormack.

What is more disturbing, is former Qantas operative Damian Callachor, who is Michael McCormack’s chief of staff.


There are only five at that rank [principal private secretary, the highest staffing rank in the government.] across the Morrison ­government: John Kunkel, Yaron Finkelstein and Simon Atkinson in the PM’s office, former EY brain Peter Crone in the Treasurer’s office and former Qantas operative Damian Callachor, who is Michael McCormack’s chief of staff.

May explain why GA is being shafted and RPT  gets an easy go.

Transparent – NO.

AOPA raises serious doubts about the process of this Wagga Meeting and other matters, being rewarded by being not nominated/removed from the ca$a ASAP committee. This is one of the main advisory groups to ca$a. As a result up to 20,000 pilots and aircraft owners are disenfranchised out of (say) 35,000 people involved at this level.

The Senate and the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2019

Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2019 – 6809703

House of Reps: 2nd reading Albanese

House of Reps: 2nd reading Littleproud

This started in February 2019 as: Civil Aviation Amendment Bill:

22nd July 2019

Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (18:28): by leave—I move Jacquie Lambie Network amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 8699 together:

(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (before line 4), before item 1, insert:

1A Subsection 9A(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

(1) In exercising its powers and performing its functions, CASA must regard the achievement of the highest standard of safety of air navigation, at the lowest charges consistent with both public demand and an economic return to efficient operators, as the most important consideration.

(2) Schedule 1, item 1, page 3 (before line 8), before paragraph 9A(3) (a), insert:

(aa) ensure that those aviation safety standards maintain or improve the overall safety of the civil aviation system; and

These amendments change the language in section 9A of the Civil Aviation Act, which states ‘CASA must regard the safety of air navigation as the most important consideration’. Everybody wants a safe aviation sector, but we want to see an aviation sector that is sustainable as well as safe. When it comes to aviation safety, the safest passenger is the one that never gets in a plane in the first place. The easiest way to prevent aviation accidents is to shut down aviation altogether—if every plane is grounded, every plane is safe. Excessive regulation is doing just that—keeping planes safe by keeping planes grounded. This is all made possible by the rules around the regulator, CASA, which currently has to consider safety as the highest priority above all else. It is required to ignore other considerations like cost, as if it is unrelated. Putting one pilot in the cockpit isn’t as safe as having two pilots in there. And having two pilots isn’t as safe as having 10 or 12 or 20. But which airline could afford to fill half its seats with pilots on the payroll? Sure, you would be safer but your ticket would be so expensive that nobody would be able to afford it. The reality is that proposals to make aviation safer—

Sitting suspended from 18:30 to 19:30

Senator LAMBIE: The reality is that proposals to make aviation safer are already limited by what is affordable. If a regulation makes travel one per cent safe but doubles its cost, does anybody here seriously think cost is not worth considering? If a regulation can save a dollar and maintain the same level of safety it should be supported. Every regulation should be assessed for the costs and the benefits. Right now, the legislation is geared only to how regulations impact on safety. The reality is that cost always has to be considered. The regulation pretends that it doesn’t, but that is a legal fiction. It makes you feel safe, but it doesn’t keep you safe. If the only consideration was cost every seat on an aircraft would be fitted with an ejection capsule, every second row would be filled with security officers from the AFP and you’d require every plane to be replaced every five years, just in case. Every one of those changes would make air travel safer, but every one of those changes would send the sector broke in the process. The reason these safety standards have not been adopted is that the costs aren’t worth the benefit. Cost is always considered. Cost is already being considered. But the Civil Aviation Act does not recognise it is happening or allow for it to happen.

Safety matters—nobody is arguing it doesn’t—but every safety decision ends up being paid for by the end user. Some operators already are being squeezed out by ever-increasing costs, and every new regulation adds to the price of doing business in the sector. The impact of these changes is regressive. They hurt people on low incomes the most because they are the people least able to absorb the higher price of a ticket. The impact of these changes hurts the bush more than anywhere else. Small-town air services are shutting down because the cost of staying open is too expensive for them to maintain. This pushes people off planes and onto roads. Is that really safer for the traveller? People are driving on roads that aren’t as well maintained, in vehicles that aren’t as well regulated and with a licence that isn’t as difficult to obtain. And that would happen in the name of safety.

These amendments ensure that safety remains a priority but not the only priority. That reflects what should be common sense. Making decisions about safety without thinking about cost simply leads to businesses with superb safety records being driven to closure. These amendments retain the commitment to safety but recognise that CASA has a responsibility to strike a balance. A plane in a hangar may be safe, but that’s not what planes are meant for. It’s not the job of the regulator to ground every aircraft in the country. It should be the job of the regulator to keep aircraft in the air and keep passengers and pilots safe while they’re there, and that is what these amendments seek to do. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to support them.

****The changes to the Aviation Act have now been passed by Senate now.****

Thursday, 4 July 2019   Senator DUNIAM (TasmaniaAssistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism) (11:53):
I table the explanatory memorandum relating to the bills and move:

That these bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.


Australian aviation is an essential part of our economy. It links our regions to our cities, and our cities to the world.

A strong aviation industry requires continuous improvement in the regulatory system which governs it. While Australia has an enviable record in aviation safety — built on a modern regulatory framework — any regulator must continue to keep pace with the industry it regulates.

Some sectors of the general aviation industry are seeking assurance that CASA takes into consideration the economic and cost impacts on industry, and the relative risk environment in the different aviation sectors, when developing broadly applicable aviation safety standards.

The Australian Government is very conscious of the challenges faced by small business in Australia and the need to remove unnecessary costs and regulatory burden.

We are committed to aviation safety being the most important consideration in safety regulation and recognise that CASA must be allowed to ensure aviation in Australia is safe and reliable.

Costs and risks are both carefully weighed by CASA when it develops aviation safety standards. The requirements behind this process are spelt out in the Government’s Statement of Expectations issued to the CASA board.

Today I introduce into the Parliament a Bill that incorporates those guiding principles from the Government’s Statement of Expectations into the Civil Aviation Act 1988.

The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill – “the Bill” – is in direct response to the concerns raised by the general aviation industry.

The Bill will allow the Government to ensure CASA continues to consider the economic and cost impact on individuals, businesses and the community. It will take into account the differing risks posed by those sectors when developing and promulgating legislative aviation safety standards.

It is important we continue to support an aviation industry that is dynamic and sustainable, with a regulatory system that is responsive and proportionate to risks. The Government seeks a level of regulation that maintains the safety of the system without unreasonably restricting innovation and growth.

I commend the Bill.

Ordered that further consideration of the second reading of these bills be adjourned to the first sitting day of the next period of sitting, in accordance with standing order 111.

Ordered that the bills be listed on the Notice Paper as separate orders of the day. [22nd July 2019]

Reading for the Aviation Act changes:

Minister McCormack has some serious work to undertake

Wagga meeting today



Judicial Inquiry into CA$A called for by LNP Queensland Conference




Bruce Rhoades – Update

I have recently had an update to the November 9th 2018 7:30 report interview and investigation.

This is a compilation that summarises the situation:




Not to be outdone, casa sent me a threatening letter on Tuesday 27th November 2018.

casa removed my AOC (Air Operator’s Certificate), depriving me of an income and driving me out of the aviation industry.

In this letter, casa continue in the same way.

Letter from casa


RAAus – What is the organisation?

This is a definitive post after the Senate inquiry, where RAus are certainly on “..another page…” compared to SAAA, AOPA, AMROBA and Warbirds.

It well explains the RAus setup and what Benjamin Morgan of AOPA was explaining to the Senators.

Senate on 19th December 2018

Those called as witnesses, were:

AWAD, Mr Mark, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Warbirds Association Ltd
CESCO, Mr Peter, President, Gliding Federation of Australia
Recreational Aviation Australia Ltd
FERRIER, Mr Spencer, Recreational Aviation Australia Ltd
KING, Mr Tony, Director and Acting Chair,
HILL, Mr Grahame, Chairman, Australian Parachute Federation Ltd
MORGAN, Mr Benjamin John, Executive Director, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Australia
SULLIVAN, Mr Mark, Branch Manager, Client Services Centre, Civil Aviation Safety Authority
TALBOT, Mr Richard William, Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association Inc.
WALKER, Mr Rob, Executive Manager, Stakeholder Engagement, Civil Aviation Safety Authority
WHITE, Mr Anthony Reginald Fensome, President, Sport Aircraft Association of Australia
Civil Aviation Safety Authority:
CARMODY, Mr Shane Chief Executive Officer and Director of Aviation Safety,
CRAWFORD, Mr Graeme, Group Executive Manager, Aviation, Civil Aviation Safety Authority
ALECK, Dr Jonathan, Executive Manager, Legal and Regulatory Affairs,
MONAHAN, Mr Chris, Executive Manager, National Operations and Standards,

Hi up-into-the-air,

fly_tornado has posted a topic,


Posted in Governing Bodies – Recreationalflying.com.au
MAJOR SET OF PROBLEMS.AOPA Australia – Member Opinion
September 25, 2018 | Nicholas ChristieWe uncover the complexities of a new era in Australian aviation and explain how ‘kicking the can down the street’ might simply delay the inevitable for RAAus.

Formerly the Australian Ultralight Federation – and operating under a myriad of exemptions and delegations – the privately operated not-for-profit company has a membership of around 9000, and a board of Directors who are charged with the responsibility of steering the RAAus company towards the vision of ‘SAFE’ Aviation (Safe, Accessible, Fun, Educational).

The board is elected and its role is to direct the organisation to achieve its stated aims while working on serving the interests of its membership. While Section 6 of the company’s own constitution doesn’t mention its members, its strategic plan does state that everything RAAus does should be ‘member-centric’. So it would be reasonable to conclude that it has consulted widely on the opinions of the membership as it has pushed through the regulatory red-tape they say is holding Australian aviation back from the brink, over the last few years. Or have they?

Corporate spin or effective management?

While we can’t definitively answer that question, what seems clear is that the ‘PR machine’ powering the organisation has its ‘Rotax’ at full ‘noise’. Michael Monck, (the ‘other’ Michael on the board who holds the position of Chairman, as opposed to Michael Linke, it’s CEO) regularly peddles a notion that RAAus is a “major player” in Aviation in Australia. Many contest that as simply a matter of opinion, and, frankly a whole lot of corporate-style spin. Others disagree and accept Mike’s claim that because “RAAus makes up 7% of all general and commercial flying” in this country, it has a right to call itself a “major player” and therefore should push hard to get what it wants from CASA, quickly (before, they say, the Aviation world as we know it ceases to exist).

The fact remains that whether the nay-sayers like it or not, the RAAus organisation is pushing forward with reforms and has the ear of CASA. Moreover, CASA seems to be peddling the notion that the organisation should take on the responsibilities (and costs) that CASA itself used to reluctantly muddle through in times gone by. In other words, what’s actually happened is that CASA has given RAAus – many would argue with a level of glee – the right to run and administer Recreational Aviation in Australia and, in time, bear both all the responsibilities and associated costs.

The current regulatory situation

While we find that CAO 95.10, 95.32 and 95.55 effectively provides the authority for members to operate their aircraft under the RAAus rules, CASA still maintains the authority to direct that amendments be made to the RAAus Operations and technical manuals. And importantly, CASA has authority over ALL recreational aircraft under the requirements of the CAA, CAR’s, CAO’s and CASR’s.

The RAAus company has made waves in the industry, and spectacularly negotiated its way through ‘self-governance’ in being accepted by CASA under the current regime. It has increased its membership (fixed it’s financial problems) and recently spent a whole heap of member’s money on IT systems that it says pave the way forward.

But now that it has CASA’s ear, many argue that RAAus seems permanently entangled in a sticky web that the CASA has weaved to either guarantee a way to better control RAAus and its member’s activities, or – if one was to take a more cynical view – to plot RAA’s ultimate demise. Any other option seems too unrealistic to be feasible.

The RAAus shopping list:

  • CTA,
  • Weight increase &
  • Part 149

In the August edition of Sport Pilot, the controversial ex-RSPCA boss (and now current RAus CEO), Michael Linke, boldly declared that RAAus “need(s) to further progress our push for CTA”. He also said that the company “needs to push for increased weight” (and) that it further “needs to transition to a part 149 organisation”.

To explain from where Michael’s ambitions are derived, one needs to perhaps to look closely at why he’s pushing the organisation down this path. Some implications could have members very concerned, if not for themselves, for the RAAus organisation as it currently exists – perhaps not in the short term, but down the track a few months, and years. From a short term perspective, while the current board sits, the view is good, the books are black and the membership is growing. But the plans for more and more, might just be the strategy that leads to the RAAus company’s ultimate demise.

CTA Restrictions lifted

Currently, if you hold a current CASA issued License and medical with appropriate endorsement, you can fly an approved RAAus aircraft into and out of controlled airspace. But if you have a CTA endorsement from an RAAus approved flying school, you can fly into CTA under direct supervision. Not great if you want to go directly to where you need to go – and find yourself navigating around those big blue lines to get there.

RAAus is pushing to change this so that RAAus members can fly approved, appropriately equipped aircraft in and out of controlled airspace, provided they have the RAAus endorsement in their logbook. Sounds logical and should be a blessing to many without too much administrative burden on the company.

Weight Restrictions increased

Now we start getting into more sticky territory. Because the RAAus MTOW restriction currently stands at 600kg for aircraft registered and administered through RAAus, the RAAus board has initiated an agreement in principle with CASA to begin increasing this weight towards 1500kg, in two or three stages.

It’s likely the first stage will be 760kg (or similar) which will bring the likes of the Victa Airtourer, Grumman AA1, Cessna 150, and Van’s RV-6 into the bosom of the RAAus company.

But, the downside of opening the ‘administrative umbrella’ too wide is potentially significant, if not immediately clear to the membership right now. And it comes in the form of the increased administrative and regulatory burden that will be placed on RAAus when all those new aircraft come in to ‘play’. At 760kg or so, it’s probably manageable with an incremental increase in staff and administrative capability (all other things being equal), but at 850kg and then over 1000kg, owners of other Cessna, Beechcraft and a heap of other types, old and new (the list is very long) will be ‘rushing’ to take advantage of the reduced medical and other fees – and before the board knows it, they’re spending more than the membership fees to administer, record, investigate, support and sanction members, aircraft and flight schools around the country.

If it doesn’t bring the RAAus organisation down financially, some argue that it will potentially bring membership and registration fees up quickly, and simultaneously create an unsustainable burden on its capabilities; the result of which will be increased CASA scrutiny and an atrophic cycle that may eventually render the organisation either defunct or far less relevant.

Applying for Part 149

Here’s the real show stopper. It’s important to all members to try and understand Part 149, and it’s doubtful that even CASA and the board at RAAus truly do. We still don’t have all the details to provide a full commentary but we will do our best with what we know (now’s the time for a cup of tea if you’re ready to take it on board).

CASR Part 149 refers to an authorisation that Sport Aircraft Organisations (SAO’s) need to apply for in order to make them ‘co-regulators’ alongside CASA.

It means that the board of RAAus (and the management of any other SAO taking on Part 149) will have to put in place the proper instruments and capabilities to deal with issues relating to administration, complaints, accidents & incidents and (often complex) regulatory issues that might arise along the way. Essentially, the obligation shifts squarely over to RAAus to act effectively when investigating all suspected and reported regulatory breaches and to establish a robust system of sanction management, similar to that you might expect in a tribunal, for instance.

But whereas now RAAus has an internal member process for administration, incident reporting and sanctions, (like any privately run club or organisation), the organisation will be forced to comply with a Part 149 ‘co-regulation’ regime that would effectively mandate it to investigate and report incidents, accidents and other breaches to CASA, where CASA will determine the outcome, or advise on a course of action.

Where the internal regulatory regime is deemed inadequate by CASA or where there are complex issues to deal with or challenges to defend, the real risk is that those organisations would probably have to employ the services of expensive legal teams, consultants and experts to fix them or run them in a way that’s deemed to satisfy CASA.

Part 149 is something that’s happening because CASA is effectively imposing it on the industry, and perhaps more importantly, because the industry, in turn, is accepting it as inevitable.

If RAAus rejects Part 149 as unacceptable (not their current trajectory), CASA will likely remove the exemptions that the company operates within currently and allow only Part 149 approved organisations to operate instead of it. That means that RAAus (and possibly other organisations, such as the Australian Warbirds Association) could cease to exist, at least in their current form.

One school of thought on Part 149 is that RAAus has been over-zealous in their ambition of late, and perhaps less focussed on thoughtful consideration of what’s best for the members that are “central” to everything they do. They may have pushed the throttles forward towards a legislative nightmare; one that sees CASA demand to take over the proverbial controls while they ‘threaten’ to fly that aircraft into the ground, if RAAus dares to touch them.

To accept Part 149, therefore, may be to step into a minefield of red tape, cost blow-outs and lack of sustainability for RAAus. To reject it, is to potentially lose RAAus as an organisation altogether while any number of other groups take the ‘big umbrella’ and apply to CASA for it instead.

So, the decision to either ‘reject’ or ‘accept’ Part 149 becomes, in real terms, a choice between the lesser of two “evils” for the board at RAAus. It’s a difficult choice – and perhaps worryingly for many – one it appears they have already made.

But there is another way.

Perhaps now is the time for the board to start consulting closely with important industry players like AOPA, SAAA, AWAL, HGFA and work together, towards an industry-wide rejection of Part 149 to ‘knock it on the head’, given that there’s still some months before the deadline.

That’s right – hand it back to CASA, with a “sorry, not sorry” note and a bouquet of supermarket flowers signed by the two Mike’s, Ben Morgan (AOPA), the SAAA and the others that really matter in the Australian General Aviation industry.

Just maybe, the thousands of members of these organisations will instead petition our Honourable members in Canberra to change the Civil Aviation Act and finally bring back a sense of sustainability (not just a focus on safety) to the industry? Many would argue that this would be the best way forward, rather than RAAus and the others pursuing Part 149.

While the risk is that other groups might come along one day and snuggle up to CASA’s 149 project, it may be in the interests of aviation in Australia that RAAus stands up now with everyone else – and says no. To do nothing and simply accept Part 149 could be a case of kicking a problem ‘down the street’, just to trip over it later – and fall face down in a deep, muddy puddle.

If RAAus continues their current strategy of industry dominance through division, it won’t work, say their detractors. And there’s more detractors now, all paid up and speaking ever louder. The question for these members is whether RAAus is listening to the membership sufficiently to give a damn about the future of Aviation in Australia.

Senate Inquiry 19th November 2018

The Senators appear to finally, by their own attitude, are finally “getting”, what we in #aviation already know, #casa are inherently corrupt.

The hearing, when you listen to the #casa response [Part -3], used an attendance register to say the the #aviation industry “…signed off…”.

This is the type of attitude that the industry have been complaining about for a lengthy period of time.

I know it will take a lengthy period to watch the video’s, which we acknowledge HANSARD for and AOPA Australia for the editing and public posting.


Oversight into CASA hearing: Self-Administration and Dual Standards in Private Pilot Medicals

Part 1: RAAus, AWAL, APF

Part 2: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia, Sport Aircraft Association of Australia, Aircraft Maintenance Repair Overhaul Business Association, Gliding Federation of Australia, Australian General Aviation Alliance

Part 3: CASA response

There is a lot more to come out of this and the Senators openly encouraged the #aviation industry to submit more evidence to the committee.

Please do this now.


Bruce Rhoades and the ABC 730 report

This is compiled from from recent press clippings and reports.

Bruce Rhoades says: “…………………….I just can not allow this culture of CASA to go on, without speaking up very, very loudly against it………………”


Sydney Morning Herald

Safety investigators face evidence allegations over crash probe

The owner of an aviation company involved in a plane crash that killed one passenger and injured another three has released evidence that raises doubts about the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) investigation into the crash.

Bruce Rhoades claims CASA relied on questionable information when it cancelled the licence of his company, Wyndham Aviation, his own pilot’s licence and that of his pilot Les Woodall, who was flying the plane that crashed, days after the 2017 accident.

A 29-year-old British backpacker died and two of the three other passengers, including pilot Les Woodall, were seriously injured when this Cessna 172 crashed near Middle Island.
A 29-year-old British backpacker died and two of the three other passengers, including pilot Les Woodall, were seriously injured when this Cessna 172 crashed near Middle Island.

Mr Rhoades, who has terminal cancer, spoke to a joint Fairfax and ABC 7.30 investigation to share his story in an attempt to try to clear his name – and Mr Woodall’s – before he dies.

He says CASA’s claims the company was a “serious and imminent risk to air safety” and that he and Mr Woodall did an “aerobatic manouevre” were untrue. He hotly disputes its assessment that the pilot should have behaved differently and accuses CASA of shoddy investigative processes that saw it rely on fuel samples collected from the plane in a used Coke bottle days after the crash.

“I am very bitter about this,” Mr Rhoades said.

“I feel that both Les and I have been grossly abused by CASA, therefore I am exposing myself to the court of public opinion which I believe to be the only one I can afford…”

Exclusive video provided to the media investigation captures the flight’s final moments before and after the plane crashed on January 10, 2017 on a remote beach off the coast of Queensland.

Light plane crash caught on camera


Light plane crash caught on camera

In January 2017, a Cessna 172 piloted by Les Woodall crashes on Middle Island, a remote beach in Queensland, killing one of the passengers.

A 29-year-old British backpacker died and two of the three other passengers, including pilot Les Woodall, were seriously injured when the Cessna 172 crashed near Middle Island.

The crash sparked several inquiries as well as the investigation by CASA. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is yet to make a determination on the crash. The Queensland police are still investigating the crash and a Coronial Inquiry is expected to be held early next year.

CASA – the body that licences pilots and oversees safety – launched its own investigation into the crash and released findings that suspended their pilots’ licences just 17 days after the crash. The finding was delivered the day after another light plane went down in Perth killing two passengers.

CASA said it had “reason to believe that the decision of Mr Woodall to pilot aircraft VH-WTQ at an impermissibly low level and his subsequent mishandling of the emergency landing were significant contributing factors to the accident which occurred on 10 January 2017.”

Mr Rhoades claims CASA’s investigation raises serious questions of procedural fairness and was flawed by sub-standard evidence.

Bruce Rhoades, in his Bathurst home,
Bruce Rhoades, in his Bathurst home,Credit:Phil Blatch

It said the plane exceeded its maximum take-off weight. Yet a load and balance sheet produced by Mr Rhoades says the plane was 15kg below the limit. Jason Lonnon, a passenger in the aircraft travelling behind the crash plane whose son was one of the survivors, was asked if he recalled being weighed and he said he couldn’t remember, but might have been.

He said “weight had nothing to do with the plane coming down.”

CASA claimed the plane’s fuel was contaminated, based on evidence collected in a used Coca Cola bottle some days after the accident.

A 29-year-old British backpacker died and two of the three other passengers, including pilot Les Woodall, were seriously injured when the Cessna 172 crashed near Middle Island.
A 29-year-old British backpacker died and two of the three other passengers, including pilot Les Woodall, were seriously injured when the Cessna 172 crashed near Middle Island.

It also said the pilot, Mr Woodall, should not have tried to land on the beach, an assessment disputed by a number of aviation experts, who were shown the video by the joint media investigation.

Like many of the experts, former CASA employee Kenneth Pratt, who worked as an airworthiness inspector for 20 years before retiring in 2008, said after watching the video, landing in water could have been even more disastrous.

“I don’t imagine that the passengers have vests or life preservers on so there would have been a potential for them to drown in an accident like that,” he said.

Mr Pratt said if the water was more than “four, five, six feet deep, the wheels would have dug in and the thing probably would have flipped which means it would have been upside down in the water.”

Bruce Rhoades whose aviation business had its licence taken away.
Bruce Rhoades whose aviation business had its licence taken away.

Mr Rhoades was on the scene of the crash within minutes and said the water was more than one metre deep.

Mr Rhoades said from engine failure to the crash was 27 seconds.

“From 180 feet with a failed engine choices are very limited….he [Woodall] made an impossible choice and saved three lives in 27 seconds, in some part due to the fact that he and I had discussed a water landing scenario and probable outcome many times,” he said.

CASA refused to be interviewed but responded to a series of questions. It said “based on available evidence, CASA’s position is that the pilot had a preferable option available and should not have attempted to perform a 180 degree turn back to the beach at the point in the flight when the alleged engine failure occurred.”

It said “the matter at hand is not about the potential risks involved in a water landing, but rather about the safest way to manage an aircraft in an emergency situation to avoid an aerodynamic stall”.

CASA also alleged that the plane was flying too low, which “significantly and unnecessarily raised the level of risk associated with the flight because it meant that, in the event of an unanticipated in-flight upset (such as an engine failure) he would have only minimal altitude, and therefore time, to safely manage the upset.”

Mr Woodall, the pilot who was flying the plane gave evidence to CASA and said he was inspecting the beach for debris prior to landing – something the company had approval from CASA to do.

Pilot Les Woodall.
Pilot Les Woodall.

Mr Woodall, who has an unblemished record, had planned to use some of this evidence to appeal the cancellation of his pilot’s licence in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. But in August CASA offered him a confidential settlement if he dropped the legal action.

It is understood the settlement did not require any admissions of wrongdoing or negligence. It also allows Mr Woodall to reapply for his pilot’s licence.

It is understood Woodall accepted the settlement offer and the action was dropped. He declined to comment.

The settlement was made before the police, a coronial inquiry or the official investigator, the ATSB, have finished their separate investigations into the accident.

Mr Rhoades, who has been given weeks to live after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in the brain, said his life had fallen fell apart after crash.

“The flashes I get the most, and I, I guess the thing that disturbs me the most, is doing CPR on that girl for so long. And, uh, that, I guess, is the thing that comes back, if you like, to haunt me,” he said.

“There’s Woody (Les Woodall) and myself being able to hold our heads up amongst our peer group in our own industry and the second reason is that, the family of the dead girl in particular and I want to make sure that they know the truth.

“And a third reason, I just can not allow this culture of CASA to go on, without speaking up very, very loudly against it.”

When CASA cancelled his licence, he said it not only financially ruined him, but destroyed his reputation.

Mr Rhoades has been flying since he was 18. He bought Wyndham Aviation in 2008 and said over the years about 30,000 people had taken his chartered flights.

He said in the early days he clashed with CASA, which didn’t like his adrenalin flights. In 2007 – when Mr Rhoades worked for another company, CASA grounded him which resulted in him pleading guilty in the Magistrates Court to four charges.

He pleaded guilty to administrative issues with his pilot’s log book and maintenance sheets. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of unauthorised commercial operations.

Mr Rhoades said he did charter flights but the company he worked for didn’t have a charter licence – something Mr Rhoades said he didn’t know and rectified once alerted.

He also let a tourist get a shot touching the controls mid-flight, which is not allowed. He said he never did it again.

The passengers on the back of the aircraft were far more severely injured because they did not have over shoulder seat-belting.

Bruce Rhoades

He was directed to undertake theory and flight examinations to demonstrate that he had the necessary knowledge and skill to continue to hold those licences.

Mr Rhoades said passengers enjoyed “rock and roll flights” but they weren’t aerobatic and before each flight passengers were asked to fill in a form if they wanted a flight which included a demonstration of a light aircraft’s ability within “normal” procedures. Passengers signed the form on January 10, before setting off.

But Mr Rhoades believes if CASA was serious about safety it would implement lessons learnt from his company’s accident.

“The passengers on the back of the aircraft were far more severely injured because they did not have over shoulder seat-belting in the back of the aircraft,” he said.

Jason Lonnon was one of the first people on the scene of a fatal plane crash. His son survived.
Jason Lonnon was one of the first people on the scene of a fatal plane crash. His son survived.

“If they mandated that all of those older aircraft be fitted with that over shoulder seatbelt immediately … They’ve not done that.”

“‘I thought I’d lost my son,” Jason Lonnon recalls. “It still amazes me today that he’s still alive and walking”.

Lonnon was on the second plane that landed minutes after the crash.

“It was a mess, it was like it had been chewed up by a dinosaur and spat out. It was a mess,” he said.

*See more tonight on 7.30, ABC TV

Dying pilot tries to clear his name after fatal plane crash


The owner of an aviation company involved in a plane crash that killed one passenger and injured three others has raised questions about evidence used by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to investigate him, his company and the pilot flying the plane.

Bruce Rhoades, who is dying of cancer, agreed to share new information with Fairfax and 7.30 in an attempt to try to clear his name — and the name of the pilot who flew the plane — before he dies.

Mr Rhoades questioned the evidence that CASA relied on to cancel his licence and the licence of Les Woodall, who was flying the plane that crashed.

‘Both Les and I have been grossly abused by CASA’

A 29-year-old British backpacker died and Mr Woodall and two other passengers were seriously injured when the Cessna 172 crashed near Queensland’s Middle Island.

Vision, which has never been seen publicly and obtained by the media, captures the flight and the final moments before and after the plane crashed on January 10, 2017.

The crash sparked an immediate investigation by the transport safety investigator, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is yet to make a determination on why the plane crashed.

Queensland Police is also investigating the crash and there will be a coronial inquiry, expected to be held in the first quarter of next year.

CASA, the body that licences pilots and oversees safety, raised a few eyebrows when it launched its own investigation into the crash and released its findings — just 17 days after the crash.

CASA defended this action, saying the safety interests of the public were at the forefront of CASA’s decision making.

“I am very bitter about this,” Mr Rhoades said.

“I feel that both Les and I have been grossly abused by CASA.”

CASA accused Mr Rhoades’s company, Wyndham Aviation, of being “a serious and imminent risk to air safety”.

It claimed the plane exceeded its maximum take-off weight but a load and balance sheet for the flight shows it was 15 kilograms below the maximum take-off weight.

CASA said passengers were not weighed prior to the flight, but the pilots disagree.

CASA also said the fuel was contaminated, based on a sample collected in a used Coca-Cola bottle days after the accident.

And it determined that the pilot should have tried to land the plane in water, not on the beach, a move a number of aviation experts, contacted and shown the video, said could have been more dangerous.

After watching the video, former CASA employee Kenneth Pratt, who worked as an airworthiness inspector for 20 years before retiring in 2008, said landing in the water could have been even more disastrous.

“I don’t imagine that the passengers have vests or life preservers on so there would have been a potential for them to drown in an accident like that,” he said.

Mr Pratt said if the water was more than “four, five, six feet deep, the wheels would have dug in and the thing probably would have flipped which means it would have been upside down in the water”.

Pilot ‘saved three lives in 27 seconds’

Mr Rhoades, who was flying behind the plane that crashed, was on the scene within minutes and said the water was more than 1 metre deep.

He said from engine failure to the crash was 27 seconds.

Mr Rhoades believes Mr Woodall deserves credit for the fact that more lives were not lost.

“From 180 feet, with a failed engine, choices are very limited,” he said.

“[Woodall] made a choice and saved three lives in 27 seconds.”

CASA alleged that the plane was flying too low, which “significantly and unnecessarily raised the level of risk associated with the flight because it meant that, in the event of an unanticipated in-flight upset (such as an engine failure) he would have only minimal altitude, and therefore time, to safely manage the upset”.

However, Mr Woodall said he was inspecting the beach for debris prior to landing, something the company had CASA approval to do.

Mr Woodall planned to use this evidence, and more, to appeal against the cancellation of his pilot’s licence in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

But in August, CASA offered him a confidential settlement if he dropped the legal action.

Fairfax and 7.30 understands the settlement did not require any admissions of wrongdoing or negligence.

And it allowed Mr Woodall to reapply for his pilot’s licence.

The settlement was made before the police, a coronial inquiry, or the official investigator, the ATSB, has finished their investigations into the accident.

Doing CPR on dead girl ‘haunts me’

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Mr Rhoades, who has been given just weeks to live after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in the brain, said his life fell apart after the crash.

“The flashes I get the most, and I guess the thing that disturbs me the most, is doing CPR on that girl for so long,” he said.

“That, I guess, is the thing that comes back, if you like, to haunt me.”

When CASA cancelled his licence, it not only financially ruined him but destroyed his reputation as well.

Mr Rhoades has been flying for decades. He set up the company in 2008, and said over the years about 30,000 people had taken his chartered flights.

He said in the early days he clashed with CASA, which did not like his adrenalin flights.

More than a decade ago, in 2007, when Mr Rhoades worked for another company, CASA grounded him which resulted in him pleading guilty in the Magistrates Court to four charges.

He was directed to undertake theory and flight examinations to demonstrate that he had the necessary knowledge and skill to continue to hold those licences.

He pleaded guilty to administrative issues with his pilot’s log book and maintenance sheets. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of unauthorised commercial operations.

Mr Rhoades said he did charter flights but the company he worked for did not have a charter licence, something Mr Rhoades said he did not know and rectified once alerted.

He also let a tourist get a photo touching the controls mid-flight, which is not allowed.

He said he never did it again and has had a clean slate up until the 2017 plane crash.

The pilot who crashed, Les Woodall, had no incidents and a clean record.

Mr Rhoades said passengers enjoyed “rock and roll flights” but they weren’t aerobatic and before each flight passengers were asked to fill in a form if they wanted a flight which included a demonstration of a light aircraft’s ability within “normal” procedures.

Passengers signed the form on January 10, before setting off.

‘I thought I’d lost my son’

The ATSB released an interim report into the crash in March 2017, but it did not conclusively say what caused the accident.

It is up to the coroner to examine all the evidence and determine the cause of death and make any safety recommendations.

But Mr Rhoades believes there is one lesson CASA could take from his company’s accident.

“The passengers on the back of the aircraft were far more severely injured because they did not have over shoulder seat-belting in the back of the aircraft,” he said.

“If they mandate that all of those older aircraft all be fitted with that over shoulder seatbelt immediately … they’ve not done that.”

Families of the passengers on the flight were contacted for comment.

Only the father of a 13-year-old boy who survived the flight agreed to speak.

He is still suffering trauma.

“I thought I’d lost my son,” Jason Lonnon said.

“It still amazes me today that he’s still alive and walking.”

Mr Lonnon was on the second plane that landed minutes after the crash.

“It was a mess,” he said.

“It was like it had been chewed up by a dinosaur and spat out.”

Mr Rhoades said he decided to speak out because he is determined to restore his and Mr Woodall’s reputations, and ensure the truth of what happened is known.

“There’s Woody [Les Woodall] and myself being able to hold our heads up amongst our peer group in our own industry,” he said.

“The second reason is that the family of the dead girl in particular … I want to make sure that they know the truth.

“And a third reason, I just can not allow this culture of CASA to go on, without speaking up very, very loudly against it.”

Watch the story 7.30 tonight on ABCTV and iview

Minister McCormack has some serious work to undertake

Minister McCormack has some serious work to undertake.

Here are the resolutions arising from the #aviation meeting in Wagga over the past two days [see below].

There has been some well thought out ideas here, which can be boiled down into:

  • Review of the Civil Aviation Act, to include as a minimum, a repeal of §9A (1) [changed to support aviation/ risk management?];
  • Inclusion of government’s Red Tape Policy to be permanently inserted in Section 98;
  • Established programme to identify, prioritise and implement a programme of these changes with defined time-frames and covering CASA, ASA and Aerodrome Operators;

Further, I believe that the Minister must introduce the US-FAR’s as a matter of urgency to ensure compliance of Australia with the rest of the world’s aviation bodies.

Also, it is important to develop and nurture aviation throughout Australia and a way to make this happen is t have a seperate Aviation Minister, rather than an omnibus Minister for Infrastructure.

This will simplify the current situation and prevent #casa from operating a “…let’s stop them…” process.

The bifurcation must cease



The General Aviation Summit has agreed to pass two resolutions which (1) sets out the principal findings of the summit with regard to the regulation of general aviation in Australia and (2) commits the industry to providing appropriate information and to make recommendations for action on reform as follows.

The General Aviation Summit concluded:

1.1 General Aviation wants to maintain or improve Australia’s aviation safety outcomes;

1.2 the General Aviation sector is of vital importance to Australia especially regional and rural Australia not only in economic terms but in social and community service provision terms;

1.3 the General Aviation sector, including the commercial elements of the sector, is overburdened with the complexity and cost flowing from the current Civil Aviation Act, Regulations and other aviation legislation;

1.4 the current regulatory regime is based on a prescriptive approach to rules and compliance. World best practice is based on Outcome Based regulation which Australia should implement immediately in accordance with DAS Directive 01/2015 and the Minister’s CASA Statement of Expectations;

1.5 the cost and complexity burdens placed on the General Aviation sector are exacerbated by the actions of Air-services and airport operators, both privatised and local government owned, by further cost impositions, operational restrictions and inappropriate infrastructure development;

1.6 the Australian economy has the opportunity to benefit from pilot and engineering training, aircraft and component maintenance and construction services flowing from the world-wide expansion of air travel and aviation activity – especially in Asia. To achieve this, we must be able to respond effectively and be liberated from over regulation; and

1.7 the attitude must be to adopt best regulatory practices in parallel with embracing safety and economic benefits of new technologies in Australian aircraft and operations. This will allow Australia to achieve its potential as an aviation leader, aviation service provider and exporter.

In looking to the future, the Summit further resolved to:

2.1 provide a statement of value of the General Aviation sector in Australia;

2.2 provide a statement of opportunity for the General Aviation sector in Australia;

2.3 recommend the Civil Aviation Act and other Acts associated with aviation including aviation infrastructure, be reviewed and amended to ensure implementation of Outcome Based regulation during the first term of the next government;

2.4 in the meantime, to recommend a small number of amendments to the Civil Aviation Act to immediately refocus to a less prescriptive and holistic approach to regulation for bi-partisan passage through the parliament before the next election;


Whereas the current regulatory stance adopted by CASA is out of step with contemporary regulatory practice, as adopted by The International Civil Aviation Organization through the promulgation of Annex 19, Safety Management Systems, and is contributing to the rapid decline of Australia’s general aviation industry,


Whereas the World is facing a growing shortage of skilled aviation personnel and Australia has the opportunity to contribute to the training of these personnel in a way that can improve safety, the Aviation Summit finds that elements of the current Civil Aviation Act are not fit for purpose.

Specifically, §9A, Performance of Functions, imposes upon CASA a limitation that impedes the development of performance-based regulation and the safety benefits that would otherwise be achieved. §9A (1) requires that, in exercising its powers and performing its functions, CASA must regard the safety of air navigation as the most important consideration and there is an urgent need to address this anomaly.

2.4.1. The Aviation Summit supports a review of the Civil Aviation Act, to include as a minimum, a repeal of §9A (1) and a replacement with the following language:
9A Performance of functions

(1) In exercising its powers and performing its functions, CASA must seek to achieve the highest level of safety in air navigation as well as:

(a) maintaining an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry, including a viable general aviation and training sector;

(b) the need for more people to benefit from civil aviation.

2.4.2. The Summit delegates support the need to amend, as soon as possible, the Object of the Civil Aviation Act and other aviation related Acts, without reducing the primacy of safety, to include an amended Object to support a sustainable and viable aviation industry;

The main objective of the Act is to establish a regulatory framework for maintaining, enhancing and promoting the safety of civil aviation with particular emphasis on preventing aviation accidents and incidents;

In addition to this, the objects must include:

i. a strong, efficient and sustainable aviation industry;
ii. enabling more people to benefit from aviation; and
iii. emphasis on substantially reducing the administrative and financial burden of regulatory compliance.

(Note: the final wording will be decided between both the Minister and Shadow Minister)

2.4.3. The summit delegates also support the inclusion of government’s Red Tape Policy to be permanently inserted in Section 98.

2.5 recommend establishment of an Office of Aviation Industry in the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to engage and assist industry to further foster and develop aviation both domestically and internationally; and

2.6 recommend that there are a number of advances in aviation safety and amenity that can be made within the current regulations and responsibilities.

The summit seeks to have an established programme to identify, prioritise and implement a programme of these changes with defined time-frames and covering CASA, ASA and Aerodrome Operators (see ANNEX 1)

Wagga meeting today

I have been listening since 10am this morning to the experienced aviators in Wagga today.

Hopefully this will not be the result from the meeting!!.

I am the eternal optimist!

The programme is extensive displaying the depth of experience.

The drive by the AOPA Board to this end, started by the Dick Smith Oration is to be commended. Opened by new AOPA chair, Aminta Hennessy who set a challenge to Michael McCormack to make Australian aviation great once again.

And as the chair of IAOPA [Mr Craig Spence, Secretary General of iAOPA] said, aviation is an essential part of infrastructure the world over and must be nurtured and developed without over zealous regulator interference.

Recordings from Wagga

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

News Reports:

Prime News

WIN News


1. The Mayor, City of Wagga Wagga, Councillor Greg Conkey OAM
2. Deputy Prime Minister, The Hon Michael McCormack MP
3. The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Shadow Minister
4. Member for Mount Isa, The Hon Robert Katter MP
5. Senator for Western Australia, Senator Slade Brockman
6. Senator for Queensland, Senator Fraser Anning
7. Senator South Australia, Senator Rex Patrick, Represented by Jonathan Sharman
8. Senator South Australia, David Fawcett, Represented by Mr Micah Wright-Taylor
9. Senate RRAT Committee Secretary, Dr Jane Thomson
10. Department of Infrastructure, Mr Jim Wolfe
11. Department of Infrastructure, Ms Melissa Cashman
12. Aviation Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Stephen Campbell
13. Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Group Manager, Mr Rob Walker
14. Airservices Australia, Mr Stephen Angus
15. Australian Transport Safety Bureau, TBA
16. iAOPA Secretary General, Mr Craig Spence
17. University of New South Wales, Prof Ian Hampson
18. Falcon Air Safety Officer, Mr Ken Lewis


1. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia (AOPA Australia)
2. Aircraft Electronics Association – South Pacific Region (AEA)
3. Aircraft Maintenance Repair Overhaul Business Association (AMROBA)
4. Airtourer Association (AA)
5. Antique Aeroplane Association of Australia (AAAA)
6. Australian Aircraft Manufacturers Association (AAMA)
7. Australian Beechcraft Society (ABA)
8. Australian Business Aviation Association (ABAA)
9. Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA)
10. Australian Mooney Pilots Association (AMPA)
11. Australian Parachute Federation (APF)
12. Australian Piper Society Inc (APS)
13. Cessna 182 Association of Australia (C182AA)
14. Cessna 200 Association of Australia (C200AA)
15. Cirrus Owner Pilots Association of Australia (COPA)
16. Colour Vision Deficient Pilots Association (CVDPA)
17. Experimental Light Aircraft Association of Australia (ELAAA)
18. Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA)
19. Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA)
20. International Comanche Society – Australia (ICSA)
21. Lancair Owner Builder Organisation (LOBO)
22. Recreational Aviation Australia Limited (RAAUS)
23. Regional Airports User Action Group (RAUAG)
24. Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA)
25. Seaplane Pilots Association of Australia (SPAA)
26. Australian Aero Clubs Alliance (AACA)
27. Your Central Coast Airport Association (YCCA)
29. Rotorcraft Asia Pacific– Observer Only**
30. Angel Flight Australia (AFA) – Observer Only**
31. Royal Federation of Aero Clubs (RFAC) – Observer Only**
32. Australian Women Pilots Association (AWPA) – Observer Only**
33. Australian Warbirds Association Limited (AWAL) – Observer Only**
34. Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) – Observer Only*
35. GARMIN Australia – Observer Only**
36. Hawker Pacific – Observer Only**
37. Thomas Global Systems – Observer Only**

#casa ICC – Industry Complaints Commissioner

The #casa ICC [Industry Complaints Commissioner] is, from the #casa web site:

CASA industry complaints commissioner

The office of the industry complaints commissioner (ICC) reports directly to the CASA Board.

It does not sit within CASA’s organisational structure to ensure independence and impartiality.

The ICC provides members of the industry, the wider aviation community and the public with an easy, accessible and effective way to make a complaint about:

  • the decisions, administrative actions or services provided by CASA staff, delegates or authorised persons to determine if they are wrong, unjust, unlawful, discriminatory or unfair; and
  • the behaviour of CASA staff.

Governance Arangements

Looking at process from this weeks Senate Estimates [May-2018] gives an idea as to the interference made by CEO Carmody in influencing the process of independence and impartiality.

At Senate Estimates, Carmody, in answer to Senator Patrick said:

I believe that pressure from the CEO of #casa, on the ICC is improper.

Ethics and Conduct Committee

The internal process of the Ethics and Conduct Committee was disbanded during 2017. This removes a layer for the complaint process.

It should be remembered that a Code of Conduct violation and a Criminal Offence by a #casa staff member are two different issues.

The #casa annual report says: Some minor changes to the governance arrangements were approved by the Board in April 2017.

A criminal offence is a criminal offence.

Criminal offence

An action which is punishable under the law [Collins Dictionary]

The WIKI definition is as follows:

In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority.[1] The term “crime” does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,[2] though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes.[3] The most popular view is that crime is a category created by law; in other words, something is a crime if declared as such by the relevant and applicable law.[2] One proposed definition is that a crime or offence (or criminal offence) is an act harmful not only to some individual but also to a community, society or the state (“a public wrong“).

Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law.[1][4]


Overly prescriptive methodology by #casa confirmed

Senate Estimates May 2018#casa answers Senator Patrick Questions

The overly prescriptive methodology by #casa has been confirmed in the answer to a complaint by #casa Industry Complaints Officer, Jonathon Hanton.

This prescriptive approach fails to meet industry needs [Complaint by Steve Purvinas, Secretary Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association]

This is the ultimate paragraph from the ICC letter, which is produced below.

The important feature here, in reading the ICC letter written to Steve Purvinas, regarding a tyre showing steel protruding from the tyre and whether or not the tyre should have been replaced prior to it’s reported flight: is the overly prescriptive instructions and micromanagement of the industry,

Question should be:

What was the risk entailed in the next flight??

rather than:

Was safety impinged??

Alan Jones and Dick Smith on Flying Training

Alan Jones talks to Dick Smith about flying training today [30th May 2018]

Dick Smith Oration

LNP policy support for immediate changes to Civil Aviation Act and review and change the regulations.

In July 2015, Dick Smith made earlier comments on the #casa malaise

How do I see this in 2018??

We now have a system where there is micro-management, poor relationships with participants and a lot of difference from 1969. Just look at the Dick Smith data.

Is it better?

The PelAir ditching tells us of a similar story.

Lucky individuals, saved by a vigilant group of locals prepared to put to sea in a lifeboat in 3-metre seas.

A recalcitrant regulator – #casa.



ABC interview with AOPA’s Benjamin Morgan

ABC interview with AOPA’s Benjamin Morgan

This is the Anne Delaney ABC interview this morning [2nd May 2018]



Civil Aviation Act – Act now

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Australia


AOPA Australia President, Marc De Stoop, and Executive Director, Benjamin Morgan, and AMROBA Executive Director, Ken Cannane, today met with Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack to discuss our support for changes to the Civil Aviation Act and the need for immediate general aviation reforms.

The Minister recognised our industry’s need for change and acknowledged the efforts of AOPA Australia member, Dick Smith, in building broader awareness on the issue.

With respect to the proposed changes, the Minister has called for general aviation consensus, to assist the government in this process.

The AOPA Australia through our Australian General Aviation Alliance will now hold a General Aviation Summit in Wagga Wagga on the 4th to 6th June 2018, inviting representatives from all general aviation associations to participate.

The purpose of the Summit will be to develop a consensus proposal for the government on the issue of change to the Civil Aviation Act.

The Summit will be chaired by Mr Geoff Breust, former Managing Director of Regional Express.

The Minister has invited our associations back to Canberra for a follow-up meeting and we are looking forward to working with the Government to achieve this important reform for all of general aviation.

AOPA Australia – Executive Director
Email: ben.morgan@aopa.com.au
Mobile: 0415 577 724

Dick Smith Oration

On the 26th April 2018, Dick Smith spoke in Wagga NSW about the challenges facing #aviation.

In the talk, which is below for an almost 20-minute listen, calls for substantial changes to the Civil Aviation Act [CAAct], which will immediately benefit the direction of #aviation and #saveGA.

Further Dick calls for the introduction of the US-FAR’s which could be undertaken quickly and change #aviation into a dynamic powerhouse, given the benefits of Australia’s good weather in the Flying School space.

There is already policy support from the Queensland LNP and it’s stated policy from July 2017.


Dick Smith’s 6-point plan:

Image may contain: text























The Act:

This is the proposal Dick refers to in the Oration:











Dick Smith’s Oration in Wagga

CAsA’s definitive effect on aviation compared to a continuing rise of the regulator’s costs to Government:



Prior to John Anderson changes

Anderson “fingered” by Dick Smith as real cause of aviation industry woes.

Dick Smith visits Wagga, calling out Deputy PM Michael McCormack on government’s aviation policy

CALLED OUT: Dick Smith held an open forum in Wagga on Thursday morning to ramp up pressure on the Turnbull government to reform the aviation industry. Picture: Les Smith

CALLED OUT: Dick Smith held an open forum in Wagga on Thursday morning to ramp up pressure on the Turnbull government to reform the aviation industry. Picture: Les Smith

Iconic Australian businessman and aviation advocate Dick Smith visited Wagga on Thursday morning to call for an extensive overhaul to the country’s aviation industry.

Mr Smith called out the government for introducing regulation after regulation in the name of safety without considering the costs piling up on flight training schools.

“We’re here today because successive National Party ministers who have been responsible for transport and aviation have allowed the destruction of the general aviation industry in this country,” Mr Smith said.

“Every couple of months, more rules come out that add to costs and, if CASA has its way, it will send that (Wagga) Rex flight school into bankruptcy.”

Mr Smith said he was deeply concerned about the future of Australia’s aviation industry in light of the rising pressure on flight training schools.

“So we’re now in a position where Qantas and Virgin are demanding 457 visas to get pilots from overseas – that is outrageous – we’re now in a position where it’s only going to be the children of the very wealthy who are going to be able to learn to fly,” he said.


Mr Smith also called out new Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack for failing to honour a bipartisan agreement to review aviation legislation.

“I’m calling on the new minister to go ahead with the Barnaby Joyce-Anthony Albanese agreement to change the act so it allows costs to be looked at – it’s just common sense,” he said.

“They were about to do it, it was bipartisan, then Barnaby Joyce resigned, and now you have a new minister who doesn’t support it.”

Mr McCormack, however, said he was not willing to rush change at the cost of safety.

“I’ve had a number of discussions with Dick Smith, and I appreciate that the industry wants to see changes made as soon as possible, but what I won’t do for anyone is rush policy change, especially when there might be safety implications,” Mr McCormack said.

“It’s all well and good to bind me to the Barnaby Joyce agreement, but the fact is Barnaby is not transport minister anymore and, while I appreciate that he had discussions with Anthony Albanese, I was not in on those discussions.”

#aviation is important, but so is transport safety

Some, almost 50 years ago, there was a collision of the First class rail service – The Southern Aurora and a north bound freight train just south of Violet Town in Victoria.

We know that in the current climate, #aviation is important, but so is transport safety.

On 7th February 221969 at about 0708, the Southern Aurora, traveling south, with a deceased train driver, hit a north bound freight train. The accident killed 9 passengers and crew, just 900 metres south of the Violet Town station on the relatively new standard gauge track.

The Violet Town residents – Firies, Ambo’s, Red Cross, Bush Nursing Hospital, Police, Station staff, passers-by , local Doctor’s and numerous others just went to the scene and helped rescue people, remove bodies, put out the fire and generally work to help all involved.

I know, because I was there.

I had not been to the scene until early February 2017, some 48-years later, when asked by an ABC stringer to describe what confronted me that day, almost 48-years earlier.

A scene where here were stainless steel carriages stacked over 11 metres in the  air. Carriages which were still linked by the carriage links and the wheels shorn off in a huge stack just at the intersection of the standard gauge rail line and the Dookie Road crossing.

We worked through the morning to free injured people [over 110] and remove the bodies of the sadly deceased people.

Lots of stories, but I have never spoken about it, just finishing the job, going home and getting on with life.

The only thing I have spoken about is the 6 1/2 year old girl who tumbled the 11-metres through a window and onto the train engine through a circular window onto the actual engine. We didn’t find her for almost 6-hours.

I am looking forward to meeting this young lady shortly.

2019, 7th February will be the 50th anniversary of this accident, with a memorial weekend in the planning.

The planning team hope to see as many people involved, family members, participants and supporters of what was an important event in Australia.

An event of national significance and one that deserves a lasting memorial.

Plans are afoot to meet this aim.


The ABC on the Back Roads programme ran some footage of the event:


How do I see this in 2018??

We now have a system where there is micro-management, poor relationships with participants and a lot of difference from 1969.

Is it better?

The PelAir ditching tells us of a similar story.

Lucky individuals, saved by a vigilant group of locals prepared to put to sea in a lifeboat in 3-metre seas.

A recalcitrant regulator – #casa.

The Border Mail

Violet Town has big plans for 50th anniversary of Southern Aurora crash with goods train

Grisly scene: Two of the Southern Aurora carriages that jerked into the air when the inter-capital train collided with a freight locomotive at Violet Town.

Grisly scene: Two of the Southern Aurora carriages that jerked into the air when the inter-capital train collided with a freight locomotive at Violet Town.

AS a teenage boy, 49 years ago, Bruce Cumming’s preparations for school were punctuated by a loud noise.

That bang, 12 kilometres away from his family’s farm, was to put his town on front pages of newspapers across Australia.

“There was a ribbon of smoke going up in the air,” Mr Cumming recalled.

Townsfolk descended on the scene, with the community hall turned into a makeshift hospital with 30 to 40 injured lying on stretchers.

The Southern Aurora’s driver John Bowden, of Wodonga, had died from heart failure before the crash, resulting in his train failing to stop at a loop to allow the wagons to pass.

Front page news: Bruce Cumming with his copy of The Age the day after the Southern Aurora train disaster at Violet Town on February 7, 1969. Picture: MARK JESSER

Front page news: Bruce Cumming with his copy of The Age the day after the Southern Aurora train disaster at Violet Town on February 7, 1969. Picture: MARK JESSER

Another eight people died, including Wodonga’s Lawrence Rosevear, the driver of the goods train, as the locomotives collided at the McDiarmids Road crossing, 900 metres south of the Violet Town station.

As a student at the time, Mr Cumming was fascinated and he has kept newspapers from the day after the crash on February 7, 1969.

But the self-described amateur historian does not believe enough has been done to commemorate the crash and the deeds of rescuers and helpers.

“We did think when the 30th and the 40th anniversaries came about we should do something, but it’s really taken until now for the community to say we really need to do something,” Mr Cumming said.

“There were quite a few people that were heroic on the day and we want to do something while they’re still around.”

Mr Cumming said visitors to Violet Town regularly inquired about the tragedy, but the sole memorial was a plaque on a rock at the crash scene.

“No disrespect, but the only name mentioned on the plaque is a public transport official, there is no names of the people that were killed or the people from the area that received awards for helping,” he said.

To remedy that, there are plans for signage to be erected at the site detailing what occurred and naming the dead and the helpers.

Lone memorial: This plaque on a rock at the site of the crash is the only formal recognition at Violet Town for the collision between trains in 1969.

Lone memorial: This plaque on a rock at the site of the crash is the only formal recognition at Violet Town for the collision between trains in 1969.

A path linking the train station and crash site would also be constructed as well as a memorial garden featuring a sculpture likely to depict helping hands .

Mr Cumming expects the tributes to be in place for the 50th anniversary commemoration next year.

A weekend of events are planned for the occasion with hopes the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove will attend after an invitation to Queen Elizabeth was turned down.

The homage, Mr Cumming said, would reflect how the town rallied when “a disaster appeared on the doorstep”.

Senate Additional Estimates – 27th February 2018 #casa fail to meet time limit

The start of 2018, with the Senate Additional Estimates due on the 27th February 2018 is upon us.

#casa is not off to a flying start, with outstanding answers due from the last Senate estimates, some 3-months ago.

Is this another “finger-up” exercise??

Where is the #casa Board on this, as it appears to be an organisation out of control and as you read through the Questions on Notice [QON] by the Senator’s, the lack of leadership by Carmody is obvious.

And his right hand man, the Discrepant Doctor Aleck is in best “dodging the question” mode. By the way, Aleck became Head of #casa legal again during the deck chair shuffle in 2017.

Perhaps a new year will shuffle in “The Rise of The Drones”, which can be brought down by well prepared Senator’s.

Questions on notice from 23rd October 2017 RRAT Senate Estimates

A good example of how Carmody deals with people who he answers to – the Senator’s

Imagine how he would handle those who are liable for #casa actions.

Question on notice no. 112  Portfolio question number: 461

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Janet Rice: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 23 October 2017—

What is the status of the flight crew fatigue rules, under CAO 48.1, currently?

  1. Have the anticipated changes been delayed? If so, for how long, and why?
  2. When is it anticipated that these fatigue rules will be in place?

Question on notice no. 113  Portfolio question number: 436

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Glenn Sterle: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017

ACTING CHAIR: You are inconsistent you being CASA. Let’s talk about the fellow who flew the drone down to Bunnings to pick up the sausage. What fine did he get?

Mr Carmody: I don’t know. One of my colleagues would know.

Senator GALLACHER: $3,000, wasn’t it?

ACTING CHAIR: Let’s get it out. I’d ask it to be on the record so every Australian can hear it: as long as you are a pilot and it’s the firsttime, you’re going to get away with it. Ready kids? All the kids are going to get the drones for this Christmas. There are rules that say you can’t do this, but it depends on who you are. There seems to be one rule for one and rules for others. I’m waiting for whoever you can bring up, Mr Carmody, because I really want to know why a pilot can fly a drone over Parliament House and then just get a tap on the toenail. But let’s hear what happened to the gentleman who flew his drone down to Bunnings to pick up a sausage.

Mr Carmody: I haven’t got the details. I’m waiting for one of my colleagues, who I hope will have the details of the offence. We’ll have to dig it up…

Mr Carmody: Dr Aleck will have some details about penalties.

Dr Aleck: I regret to say that I don’t have these identified by the Bunnings event.

Senator STERLE: Do you want me to google it?

Dr Aleck: I recall I will confirm this that that matter did invite an infringement notice.

Senator GALLACHER: $3,000 is what was reported.

Dr Aleck: Whatever the penalty was, if that was the case.

Senator GALLACHER: He put it on Facebook that his drone went down, picked up a sausage, came back. You looked at that and fined him $3,000. Dr Aleck: I believe that was the case, and I’m not doubting it. I’ll confirm it.

Question on notice no. 114

Portfolio question number: 437

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Barry O’Sullivan: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017—

CHAIR: I hope you don’t mind me interjecting. I wasn’t even going to buy into this I was half asleep here when this started. Do you mind if I return to a line of questioning of Dr Aleck? So far you’ve indicated that you identified one person and you reflected on the inability to identify others because you weren’t aware of their identity. So the one person you spoke to was a member of parliament.

Let me ask you, Dr Aleck:  surely, question 101 from your investigator would be to the member of parliament, ‘Who else was here?’ and I assume the member of parliament ought to be able to tell you, with about 80 or 90 per cent accuracy, how many people were here and who they were. My question is very specific: did your investigator ask the individual, the member of parliament who you’re about to identify, who else was present and how
many there were?

Dr Aleck: If our investigator had the opportunity to speak with them

CHAIR: If you don’t know the answer, Dr Aleck, say, ‘I do not know the answer.’

Dr Aleck: I do not know the answer, but I can assure you that the question

CHAIR: No, there’s no need for you to editorialise. I ask you to take on notice, with your investigator, whether they asked the member of parliament about who was there and how many there were. But you’re about to identify the member of parliament who was interviewed.

Dr Aleck: The member of parliament whose office was contacted was Michelle Landry and, as I explained, our efforts to interview Ms Landry were unsuccessful at this point.

CHAIR: So we’re dealing in months here. How many efforts have been made to engage with Ms Landry over the months?

Dr Aleck: I’ll take that on notice, but Ms Landry was identified only relatively recently. We had misidentified her as somebody else in the frame and that was corrected.

Question on notice no. 115  Portfolio question number: 438

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Glenn Sterle: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017

Senator STERLE: I’ll make a statement here, rather than a question. You ping any other Australian for breaking these rules, and you don’t think we’re going to come back here and say, ‘Here we go again’? You cannot be serious. You are the enforcers.
You are the ones who lay down the rules. You are so blinded because politicians or political employees can get away with murder around your rules defend that.

Mr Carmody: I’m happy to provide on notice lists of where we’ve provided counselling letters for similar offences. I didn’t realise that, from what Senator Gallacher said, you were after a higher standard. I thought you were after the same standard. We’re very happy to provide on notice where we’ve issued counselling letters as well, if that would help.

Senator STERLE: Have you had to counsel any pilots for breaking your rules for usage of drones?

Mr Carmody: I’d have to take it on notice. We’ve counselled a number of people. As I said, it depends on the circumstance. We’ve fined a number of people, and it depends on the circumstance.

Question on notice no. 116  Portfolio question number: 439

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Barry O’Sullivan: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017—

CHAIR: I’m not done. If you’d like some names, Dr Aleck: the Deputy Prime Minister, Senator Canavan, Mr Perrett, Mr McCormack and Mr Buchholz were there, and I’ll have some more for you in the fullness of time. My question to you is did your investigators even interview the operator of the drone?

Dr Aleck: Yes.

CHAIR: Did they ask him who else was present or what numbers were present?

Dr Aleck: I’ll take that question on notice. I assume they conducted a normal investigation, which would have involved questions of that.

Question on notice no. 117 Portfolio question number: 440

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Barry O’Sullivan: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017—

CHAIR: You’re telling me someone started an investigation and interviewed an individual, at least with a view to a prosecution, and didn’t record it to the standard that would be required to underpin that prosecution? Are there no notes, no contemporaneous record of the conversation, no recording taped, no video or otherwise? Is that what you’re telling us? Dr Aleck: I will only say that the maximum consequence of such an event was an infringement notice. I’m not aware of matters of that kind.

CHAIR: That is not the burden of my question. Are you telling this committee that your investigator, confronted with a witness or a potential offender, who you say wasn’t totally cooperative, did not record in any shape or form the interview that took place?

Dr Aleck: I said I don’t believe so, but I’ll confirm that.

Question on notice no. 119 Portfolio question number: 442

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Nick Xenophon: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October

Senator XENOPHON: It is a sensitive issue. The standard form recommendation, as I understand it, is a document relating to adding references to a flight crew licence condition. Is that right?

Mr Carmody: In reality it’s a recommendation that might have many functions. It’s a way of combining information to a decision-maker like me, a recommendation for us to take a particular course of action. So it might not be
licensing; it could be anything.

Senator XENOPHON: Sure, but the normal course is that for the document to be a valid document, it ought to be a signed document is that right?

Mr Carmody: Yes, that would be reasonable.

Senator XENOPHON: That’s in terms of the appropriateness. My understanding is that a recommendation was made, but it was not signed off. In other words, are you satisfied, and you may want to take this on notice, that the standard form recommendation that I have referred you to is appropriately executed so as to be a valid document?

Mr Carmody: I’d have to take it on notice. I haven’t got the document. I don’t know the date of the document.

Senator XENOPHON: I’m happy for you to take that on notice, but I’ve got concerns as to the validity of the document in relation to that. This document relates to Mr James having to take a proficiency check prior to being able to act as a pilot in command of a multicrew aircraft. I’ve provided you with a copy of that. It’s a form signed by Mr Roger Chambers, but my understanding is that it is not properly endorsed. Are you able to confirm that, or do you need to take that on notice?

Mr Carmody: I’ll take that on notice.

Question on notice no. 120 Portfolio question number: 443

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Nick Xenophon: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017—

Senator XENOPHON: So there’s a question there: is the standard form recommendation incomplete? I asked you to take that on notice. If it is in some way incomplete or deficient, that may have some bearing on the decision-making process of CASA. It’s a technical question, but could you take that on notice?

Mr Carmody: I’ll take it on notice, but if it’s a current standard form recommendation, then, as I said before, that’s why I’d like to review it. The standard form recommendation that I assume underpins the original decision probably has not changed. Anyway, I’ll take it on notice and have a look at it.

Question on notice no. 121  Portfolio question number: 444

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Nick Xenophon: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017—

Senator XENOPHON: I’ll put this in general terms. There’s an issue of process that I’m concerned about. The names of the individuals aren’t so key to this. Who was authorised to see the draft report, as to the processes involved for that? Can you take that on notice?

Mr Carmody: Certainly.

Senator XENOPHON: Were there any individuals who weren’t authorised to see the report who did see the report?

Mr Carmody: I’ll take both of those on notice. The draft report is provided to us to provide comment on, and you would expect my inspectorate those who are involved in the matter to be reviewing that report and providing comment

Question on notice no. 122  Portfolio question number: 445

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Nick Xenophon: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017—

Senator XENOPHON: Does that relate to documents such as standard form recommendations or not?

Dr Aleck: I think under the FOI legislation there are some limitations about what goes on there. But anything that we’re required to post publicly will be on there.

Senator XENOPHON: So there’s no question that these documents that weren’t posted publicly should have been posted publicly?

Can you take that into account?

Dr Aleck: If they were within the category of documents that ought to have been identified then I…

Senator XENOPHON: If you could take that on notice.

Dr Aleck: I will, yes.

Question on notice no. 123  Portfolio question number: 446

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Nick Xenophon: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017—

Senator XENOPHON: It’s good to clarify that. I’m almost finished. The Senate inquiry some time ago found that there were a number of points of fault in the Pel-Air incident. It’s clear there are a number of impositions on Mr James. Can CASA advise what other officials or what other entities by title, not name have had a remedial action placed on them in terms of whether there were multiple points of fault leading to this incident?

Mr Carmody: Sorry, Senator, can I just clarify that. Are you talking specifically about the Pel-Air incident?

Senator XENOPHON: Yes, I am.

Mr Carmody: And whether we have placed restrictions on anyone else? Senator

XENOPHON: Yes. Mr Carmody: I can take it on notice, but I understand the only restriction that was placed would be a restriction placed on the pilot in command, at this stage. I don’t believe any other restrictions have been placed on the first officer, but I can check.

Senator XENOPHON: And not on management issues with Pel-Air and their systems? Mr Carmody: I don’t know whether that leads to any restrictions, but I’ll take that on notice. Senator XENOPHON: And, on notice, there are issues of air traffic control and weather forecasting, so, if not restrictions, were there recommendations made in relation to improvements of that?

Mr Carmody: Certainly I’m aware that a number of changes or improvements were made post that accident, but I can provide those responses on notice. I think they’ve been provided before, but I’m quite happy to provide them.

Senator XENOPHON: Okay. On notice, after the release of the report, can you advise the committee of every person who was identified as contributing to the accident directly or indirectly and any action that CASA has taken in respect of those persons. That is something that can be done after the ATSB report.

Mr Carmody: We will have to wait for the ATSB report, but ertainly.

Question on notice no. 124  Portfolio question number: 447

2017-18 Supplementary budget estimates

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio

Senator Glenn Sterle: asked the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on 27 October 2017

Senator STERLE: Mr Carmody, I know you are just going to have a read of that, but I want to be very, very precise here. Dr Aleck, I’m going to ask you, in terms of your investigation and interviewing of Mr Ashby, did your investigators ask Mr Ashby if he sought approval to fly the drone over Parliament House from any government agency, department or bodysecurity agency?

Dr Aleck: I will take your question on notice as to whether he was asked if he had asked permission, but what we do have in the material in fact that’s before me now is that we inquired of the AFP and of the organiser of the event, and no permission was sought of those

Senator STERLE: I will come back a couple of steps. Can you tell this committee: did your investigators ask Mr Ashby or did Mr Ashby offer advice or answer your investigators’ questions that he sought approval from the AFP to fly the drone?

Dr Aleck: That information I haven’t looked all through this yet, but I can’t answer that question at the moment. I’m not aware of that, but I haven’t looked thoroughly at the materials.

Senator STERLE: How long would it take you to get that information?

Dr Aleck: Whether our investigator asked Mr Ashby that question?

Senator STERLE: Whether Mr Ashby offered an answer to your investigators that he sought approval to fly the drone over
Parliament House on that day from the AFP?

Dr Aleck: It shouldn’t take long.

Senator STERLE: Thank you. I’ll wait for that answer.