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The Forum > Article Comments > Ten years of aviation safety neglect > Comments

Ten years of aviation safety neglect : Comments

By Dick Smith, published 19/12/2006

There will be serious consequences from Australia's move to the back bench of aviation safety innovation.

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G'day from a desperately rainless cattle farm at Book Book, nearest airport Wagga Wagga.

As you probably know, Rex fly the Saab 340s here from SYD and MEL whilst Qantas favour the Dash-8s. The Saab seats 30 and the Dash, 36.
Now I know very little about aviation, but having read this I will advise my future visitors of the deficiencies pointed out and suggest, like me, they choose to travel by train or bus from either capital.

Perhaps Dick, if you're right about your critics prefering to play the man and not the ball, perhaps you might use this to your advantage and draw the issue into controversy.

I'd propose that a wider promotion of these deficiencies could be had before the nation in an instant if a somewhat morbid crash raffle or lottery be held.

For a small wager, concerned members of the Public can buy a grid of terrain below Australian airspace. Numbers of grids sold can be much like roulette. If the crash you anticipate occurs on the punter's square then, regrettably, the winner takes all, et cetera..

Admittedly, this could use a lot of tweaking, however the strap of the promo might run along the counter-argument of

"Why is it so morally reprehensible to gamble $50 on the inevitably of so many pointless deaths which might be stopped right now if the following steps are taken?"

"Commercial airline passengers in rural Australia are gambling with their lives unnecessarily each day, etc."

Anyway, best of luck with it. If ever you're in this part of the world, pop in for a beer.

Simon Bedak
Wagga Wagga NSW 2650
Posted by simon bedak, Tuesday, 19 December 2006 5:12:19 PM
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Tell me Dick, where does ADS-B fit into the scheme of things? I thought it was going to replace some of the radar.
Posted by VK3AUU, Wednesday, 20 December 2006 12:20:10 PM
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I share your concerns about safety, but what are the choices?

Surely they are:

1. Charge the full economic cost of these safety features, resulting in very few passengers, bankrupt airlines, and isolated inland towns.

2. Have the government subsidise these services.

3. Operate without these new services.

If the first is adopted most people will travel by car, with an accident rate far above the rate achieved by not introducing the safety services.

If the second is adopted we commit to massive subsidy of rural services for people who choose to live in remote communities. If their purpose serves some greater community need this could be justified, but not otherwise.
Posted by plerdsus, Thursday, 21 December 2006 7:06:29 AM
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Aust Aviation

In all my born days, I have never heard such a melodramatic case of ' sour grapes ' from high-flyer, enigmatic Smithy, since Hawke broke down on Prime TV and cried over the Tinaman Square debacle, circa 1998. Not long after BH's retirement, he confessed in his intimate bio, it was all a hypocritical sham. Phoniness in Politic's is synonymous with baby kissing and tax funded ' pork barrelling ', to win election votes.

Predictably, it focus's squarely at seducing the 'swinging' voter's, no less.

Evidently, ever since DS vacated the Chairmanship of Dept of Civil Aviation, he has waged a relentless vendetta against CASA, ATSB, FAA and myriad Institutions. Were it not for his high profile persona, urban lengend ascendency, copious Political connections, and affable nature, he would have by now been written off, as just another straight-jacketed psycho !

BTW, after chastising readers to forego playing the personality, he shamelessly lampoons John Andersen ( Minister Transport & Regional Services ) and demonises sundry Public Service appointee's.

In all fairness, we can't have it both ways ?

Admittedly, while showcasing TCAS, and TAWS as a way to go in Oz, I'll be the first to concede Safety is paramount, and no amount of procrastination should compromise this issue.

Let us be clear : there is NOT another agenda which is to besmirch the reputations of Government, and to advance spurious argument to achieve short term Political gain.

Quote: " In the US, airlines are not permitted to use any Airport without being in controlled air space ". Tongue-in-cheek, no less.

I have experienced multiple circuit and bumps on airport's the length and breath of the US/Canada and have never once been carpeted as alleged ! Since 9/11, restrictions have been broadened, nevertheless there are still airstrips where illegal contraband can/is freely exchanged, not in the dead of the night, but 9/5 business as usual !

As for second guessing the fatal Lockhart River, Fairchild Metro 23 a/c disaster 7 May 2005; described as Aust's worst catastrophe since 1968, I would like to remind reader's, the

Posted by dalma, Friday, 29 December 2006 3:23:30 PM
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the Aviation Safety Investigation is ON-GOING. As evidence becomes available : logs, maintenance reports, STD's, manufacturer's circulars etc. It takes painstaking thorough investigation to arrive at a final conclusive report.

Flight Safety Aust, and ATSB have issued 3 reports so far. The last 31 Aug 2006. No one was apportioned blame to the inadequacy of TCAS being the culprit. As far as the families are concerned, the Pilot's were executing an instrument RNAV - GNSS approach to the airstrip.The recovered Flight Recorder is explicit. It was on course and on track. Met records confirm there was a low cloud base. Without benefit of hindsight, who could say with any conviction, it wasn't a tragic accident ? In the interest of the deceased encumbent families, the owner's of the a/c, assessors etc we should show some compassion and respect.

Finally, whilst contributing to Opinion Forum and a wider media coverage, it behoves people who should know better, to be truthful and not resort to rhetoric, wedge Politics, and puerile, gratuitous speculation.

The Minister, CASA, ATSB and Aviation wathdogs are always receptive to innovation, risk Management, safety outcomes and constructive criticism.

There are protocols and conventions, and despite some juvenile 'grand-standing' by nameless people, the Dept's dealings where I am concerned and with the Public at large, has always been transparent, helpful and a credit to our Nation.

People who have grave concerns about Aviation in Oz, can make submissions, without fear or favour. It is in our National interest to maintain our credibility, safety record in the skies - At home and abroad.

We have an Industry Complaint Commissioner and Administration Appeals Tribunal - at the last resort an Ombudsman.

Posted by dalma, Friday, 29 December 2006 3:53:31 PM
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