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Trike down at Goulburn, pilot killed.


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Hi David,

 

I agree with the sentiments but suggest that there is much more to successfully exerting influence than simply talking to (or at) someone. Indeed, several of the subsequent contributors have identified particular walls they have hit - or foresee.

 

They are all real problems, ego, ignorance, lack of perception, fear of being labeled a dobber, fear of isolation and so on. I outlined a few others. There are many more.

 

I submit that unless personal, social and structural forces are exerted, the best intentioned change efforts are unlikely to succeed.

 

[quote name='David Isaac']True John, but for everyone we lose, there are many others, some we may be able to influence in the right direction if we speak up.

Speaking up did not work with the expired subject of this thread. In fact, I would go so far as to submit that the effectiveness of speaking up is often inversely proportional to the need to improve. Those most likely to respond to advice are those most likely to listen. Those most in need of improvement are unlikely to be in that condition because they were diligent, careful, intelligent, humble, expert listeners.

 

The best we can hope for, in this case, is that a full and accurate disclosure of the facts preceding the "subject purchase of the farm" prompts introspection - sunlight being the best disinfectant.

 

Goulburn has more than it's share of dangerous behaviours and it is a useful case study because it highlights the absence of factors which are required to instigate and maintain safe recreational and light aviation operations. - personal, social and structural. The deceased simply served to combine them all in a fatal cocktail.

 

Great observation John and I agree 100%, we can never know how any particular individual will respond until we attempt to contribute to their education.

I submit that often we have a very good idea how they will respond, and it is the likely response which deters frank exchange of ideas and advice. In places like Goulburn there are a few dominant characters who have anointed themselves as being above the law, to the extent where the general populace have come to accept their aberrant behaviour as the norm. Ah yes, he is a "colourful character".

 

One of the other contributors identified the issue of confronting bullying individuals. For many this is an insurmountable hurdle - is it reasonable for the ordinary bloke to confront, for a random example, an over bearing ex-mayor about his low flying, his taxiing into populated hangars, the status of his medical or mental health, his licence status ? I predict that such a personality is a prime candidate for "rural land purchase". So be it. Lest you think me completely callous let me add that I took active steps to address the issues with the random example, with zero effect.

 

In some cases your are correct, but does that justify silence on our behalf where if we can use some discretion and speak up in a non aggressive manner, we may save a life or two?

It may not justify silence but I have sought to explain why silence is more likely than confrontation. I also submit that speaking up in isolation is unlikely to effect the required change.

 

Discretion is the better part of valour, read the body language, you will soon know if you are ****ing in the wind.

I agree. ****ing into the wind does, however, give a useful measure of wind strength....

 

John, I think we are all brothers, but just as in the biological form, there will always be some who will not listen and sadly may not be with us for long.
David.[/quote]

I beg to differ about implied lineage but I agree that there is some part of the human spectrum whose greatest contribution will be their departure.

 

Kind regards

 

John

 

 

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John,

 

I feel you make it sound as though Goulburn is the only aerodrome with any of these occurences? I don't believe this is the case - i'm sure every member of this board could easily relate just as many issues at whatever aerodrome they use.

 

We also all seem to feel more than happy pointing at other people and calling ourselves "safe" because we can see the errors they make and the things they do wrong. This goes to highlight my previous comment in that the primary outcome in these instances is feeding our own egos. It's a darn sight harder to see our own faults and harder still to do anything about them. I know how many times i've pushed a little too hard in the car after having talked myself into the "there's no-one else on the road" mentality...

 

From my perspective for change to occur it will take pilots not only able to see other peoples errors and communicate but also pilots willing to accept their own errors and change. It's not about to happen any time soon...

 

 

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John,You have made a great contribution to this complex issue. I agree with your detailed analysis, I was tending to generalise and you have given a sophisticated response and a bloody good one, thanks. Your final point is in all probability the most poignant.

David

Thank you for your kind words, David. Let me suggest that worthwhile conversations are never solo efforts, but reflections upon collective wisdom - so thank you for your contribution, also.

 

PS Sounds like you play in a stimulating environment.

I do.

 

I also just noticed the Varieze, how do you like it?

Well, I am hardly an expert on the subject, having only flown it a handful of times - but it is fun, slippery, easy to fly, and it rewards accuracy.

 

 

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John,I feel you make it sound as though Goulburn is the only aerodrome with any of these occurences? I don't believe this is the case

- Dear 68Volksy,

 

let me gently set aside your feelings and beliefs for a moment. I simply wrote to the subject which was Trike down at Goulburn etc. My comments relate to my direct observations at Goulburn. If there is a wider resonance with the content, fine. I have made no such assumptions - but if your belief is correct then we have a bigger problem....

 

i'm sure every member of this board could easily relate just as many issues at whatever aerodrome they use.

I do not know enough to be able to support or refute your conviction - but if you are right (and you may well be) you are implicitly identifying :

 

  1. a widespread lack of professionalism,
     
     
  2. general acceptance that aberrant behavior is acceptable
     
     
  3. powerlessness to improve
     
     

 

 

 

 

 

We also all seem to feel more than happy pointing at other people and calling ourselves "safe" because we can see the errors they make and the things they do wrong.

Let me gently exclude myself from your communal "we". There is no joy in having aberrant behavior threaten our safety and our freedom to enjoy aviation. I also submit that identifying error has no automatic effect on the safety or otherwise of the observer. Would we, for instance, assume that the contributor who listed the transgressions preceding this "rural purchase" be safer and happier as a result of his list?

 

I suggest the opposite is more likely. It is profoundly sobering to attend a fatal aircraft crash, to be actively involved in courts of inquiry and to attend the funerals. We can become safer if choose we to learn the lessons.

 

This goes to highlight my previous comment in that the primary outcome in these instances is feeding our own egos.

Again let me extract myself from your communal "our". I submit the primary outcome was a dead person....The secondary outcome may be a heightened awareness of the rules and the consequences of breaking them.

 

It's a darn sight harder to see our own faults and harder still to do anything about them. I know how many times i've pushed a little too hard in the car after having talked myself into the "there's no-one else on the road" mentality...

I agree that introspection is difficult. But you have clearly managed it, at least as far as your driving is concerned. Well done.

 

From my perspective for change to occur it will take pilots not only able to see other peoples errors and communicate but also pilots willing to accept their own errors and change. It's not about to happen any time soon...

I agree with your sentiments, but do not accept that we are doomed to mediocrity and the powerless acceptance of aviation ineptitude and irresponsibility. I do agree that a necessary condition for change is the recognition that change is needed.

 

A fatal on your home airfield is a pretty broad hint....

 

Changing entrenched misbehaviour is neither easy or comfortable but it is possible. The ingredients for improvement at Goulburn exist, what is missing is the recipe.

 

Kind regards

 

John

 

 

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Hi John,

 

My intention was too remove Goulburn as the focus of this incident and instead focus it on the wider aviation community. Unfortunately, as pilots, I do not feel we can exclude ourselves individually from this community. I think we can individually exclude ourselves from some of my statements however - my old high-horse gets a little tired some days...

 

I would argue that the untrained person in an unregistered and unairworthy aircraft is not, nor ever will be, a member of our aviation community. Unfortunately the wider community and the media do not make this distinction. Whilst the links and friends that the man had at the airport seem to run deeper than his one-time terminal visit might suggest I do not think he could be called a "local" Goulburn airport user. As such I do not believe his actions can go to support any argument that there is an entrenched attitude issue at Goulburn.

 

There are certainly many characters who believe that their way is the right way and they are capable of making better judgement without resorting to law books. There are also many who believe that by placing unwavering faith in legislators they will never do anything unsafe. These two tribes both exist at Goulburn (and elsewhere from my observations) and will always be in disagreement on some level or another. Unfortunately the history of Goulburn airport has been very much one of a nation divided - the three Kings in Glass Castles. The Kings are getting on a bit now though and i'm hoping there will not be any successors.

 

Most recipes generally involve a period of mixing. This in my opinion is what is missing most at Goulburn - a forum for communication to take place. There're quite a few airport users who get together for a monthly BBQ down at Goulburn Aviation - you may have seen the invites posted on this forum. Please feel free to wander down if you're around on the first Saturday of the month as the invitation is always open. It's a good place for sharing any issues that arise. There's no shortage of opinion but we try and stay true to the reason we're all there - a love of flying.

 

Cheers,

 

Tim.

 

 

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hi Tim,

 

My intention was too remove Goulburn as the focus of this incident and instead focus it on the wider aviation community. Unfortunately, as pilots, I do not feel we can exclude ourselves individually from this community.

I understand your intention and for the most part we are in furious agreement. I am simply reluctant to draw inferences about wider populations based on one event. By restricting my comment to observed behaviour at Goulburn, we can talk about facts rather than relying on opinions - however worthwhile those opinions may be.

 

In the spirit of staying on topic, your comments are probably worthy of a separate thread.

 

When we have multiple unsafe events in one location, and we do at Goulburn, warning bells ring for those of us who have examined the chain of events preceding accidents.

 

I think we can individually exclude ourselves from some of my statements however - my old high-horse gets a little tired some days...

Agreed

 

I would argue that the untrained person in an unregistered and unairworthy aircraft is not, nor ever will be, a member of our aviation community. Unfortunately the wider community and the media do not make this distinction. Whilst the links and friends that the man had at the airport seem to run deeper than his one-time terminal visit might suggest I do not think he could be called a "local" Goulburn airport user. As such I do not believe his actions can go to support any argument that there is an entrenched attitude issue at Goulburn.

I salute your tact, Tim. I completely agree that this person's attitude and behaviour had given him gold card access to pariah status. His actions were idiotic, arrogant and insane. Darwin won the day.

 

As for linkages? It would be very easy to overlook any common factors twixt the deceased actions and those of others - because it is profoundly unsettling to do so. I also submit that when aberrant behaviours are common place, they tend to become part of the fabric of the airfield behaviour and sink from view. Visibility is further hindered when there is:

 

  1. no external oversight,
     
     
  2. no internally sourced responsibility,
     
     
  3. no peer group pressure to comply,
     
     
  4. no formal structure to hold offenders accountable (other than a coffin),
     
     
  5. no incentive to improve,
     
     
  6. no penalty for transgression,
     
     
  7. no mentoring of any worth
     
     

 

 

 

Such behaviours do exist on Goulburn.

 

There are certainly many characters who believe that their way is the right way and they are capable of making better judgement without resorting to law books. There are also many who believe that by placing unwavering faith in legislators they will never do anything unsafe. These two tribes both exist at Goulburn (and elsewhere from my observations) and will always be in disagreement on some level or another.

i defer to your greater knowledge on the subject. I would have greater concern for the former group but submit that there is a place for informed wisdom when the bible does not have a "worked example" to cover given circumstances. Your second tribe might simply say it is not permitted so we will not do it. - hard to argue with that as a risk averse strategy. - It would have worked, had the subject belonged to such a tribe.

 

Unfortunately the history of Goulburn airport has been very much one of a nation divided - the three Kings in Glass Castles. The Kings are getting on a bit now though and i'm hoping there will not be any successors.

Well, land ownership is one thing. I know of no kings - self appointment is insufficient qualification, and few castles - compliance with the most basic of building codes and standards would eliminate most of the contenders.

 

I completely agree that the time has past for tolerance of incoherent, unethical, dishonesty devoid of personal or community accountability. The home for the bewildered beckons.

 

Safe, accountable aviation practice is quite another. I submit that strong, credible, informed, wise leadership in aeronautical behaviour would be a major step forward. It has been notably absent to date. The present aviation authority vacuum has a strong attraction for those with an aversion to restraint and adherence to rules.

 

Most recipes generally involve a period of mixing.

At the risk of starting a "Master Chef Goulburn" thread - might I suggest a good chef is pretty important as well.......

 

This in my opinion is what is missing most at Goulburn - a forum for communication to take place. There're quite a few airport users who get together for a monthly BBQ down at Goulburn Aviation - you may have seen the invites posted on this forum. Please feel free to wander down if you're around on the first Saturday of the month as the invitation is always open. It's a good place for sharing any issues that arise. There's no shortage of opinion but we try and stay true to the reason we're all there - a love of flying.

Thank you for the invitation. I had not seen them, but I am a newby on the forum so it is no surprise. As a heads up, I will be working closely with the new owner of the Airfield (if and when the sale is finalised) with the aim of an across the board cultural change in flight safety. Perhaps this death will provide something more useful than daisy fertilizer.

 

Might I publicly acknowledge the value of this forum (Ian and Ross!) and suggest that it serves an admirable role. If someone has something valid to say it can be said at a time, place and pace which suits the contributor. It also has the missing factors which i listed above.

 

Goulburn can be a great airfield but behaviours have to change. The gene pool is already improving. The old Guard have had their chance and verified that rampant self interest does nothing for community advancement or cultural improvement. Good things are happening now!

 

Kind regards

 

John

 

 

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John,

 

Goulburn is already a great airfield! It really is. If you stay out of the politics and try not to look at any of the privately-owned land on the way in anyway... I still maintain that the incident which is the subject of this thread has no place whatsoever in discussions on the safety of the airfield or the aviation community out there.

 

Your statement that strong, wise, informed leadership in aeronautical behaviour is absent is also a little baffling. I'd strongly suggest that you attend one of the BBQ's - I think you'll find the support for each other and attitude to safety amongst the recreational pilots out there is of a very high level indeed. I also think you'll find the knowledge, wisdom and strength of some of the regulars (not myself I will admit) a most refreshing change to your perception of the pilots at Goulburn Airport.

 

If you are aiming to undertake a cultural change in flight safety then logic would dictate you look to authorities such as CASA for guidance rather than a fully paid member of the "Old Guard" who's looking to buy Goulburn airport?

 

Cheers,

 

Tim.

 

 

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