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Recreational Flying at the Crossroads


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Guest Maj Millard
With respect. The problem is, Ross, that we don't have a clue what the Board is thinking on a vast range of issues.We don't know why RAA is removing CTA from the Ops Manual and we don't know what the Board's attitude to CTA access is. The Board has to be a lot more open and upfront with the rank and file.

Perhaps the Board should start with a clear policy on registrations and maximum normal delay times so that members can work with the Techman to achieve win-win results.

 

The Board could issue a precis of proposed Ops and Tech Manual changes and the justification.

 

The Board could issue a position statement on CTA access.

 

Among "other duties, as required".

 

Keep well.

Col,

 

If the board shared everything with members day to day, blow by blow, the members would become very bored, very quickly as much is very mundane and lacking in general interest.

 

The membership elects the board to make capable decisions of their behalf. There has never been a more open board with member input then the one we have currently. My postings on this forum is one attempt to keep members informed as is Jim Tatlocks. Additionally I produce a ' Communicae' very now and then which I Email to members and other interested persons in my NQ area furthering the direct communication between board and members.

 

I believe I am the only one doing this for members and I too would like to see more board members do this .

 

Michael Monck the board President has been very forthcoming in his magazine reports, and doesn't waste his words there so what he says can be taken as gospel so to speak.

 

The General meeting and board meeting minutes are on the RAA website for all to see, and the RAA website for that matter has more information on it now for members than it ever has in the past, and it is being continuely improved. Look at the incident/accident reports for instance put there for ops, there now as a result of an initiative by the current board members. The board will meet at Lethbridge Vicin October furthering its programm to take these meetings to the people as they did at Jacobs Well a couple of meetings ago.

 

Communication between members and the board will only become more transparent in the short term as important changes and developments are reported, particulary those dealing with our relationship with the regulator. Exciting times ahead for sure.

 

Cheers .............Maj.....

 

 

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.....it's CASA who set the rules there.......

In my humble little opinion, CASA are a bureaucracy out-of-control in the Recreational Aviation area, using people who have too close a history from within RAA and those people may even have a history and/or partisan relationships and/or an agenda which has an adverse effect on their approach.

 

 

 

I, for one, have no (none, zero, not a smidgeon of) faith in the CASA in the Rec Flying scene. (In my view the CASA's present attitudes & competencies should be limited to & focused on the Commercial Aviation sector and a more relevant, simple, competent and meaningful mechanism be found by the Government to administer non-commercial aviation).

 

 

 

And based on what I saw at the last Natfly, RA Oz now has some senior staff who think that more regulation is needed in order to make RA Oz a "world leader".

 

 

 

I assume & hope that the RA Oz Board is monitoring the situation and giving policy direction on this to the staff so that privileges are protected to the maximum possible extent.

 

 

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Maj, as usual a long post that really provides no information other than "just wait and see, things are going to be really great".

 

Nobody has asked for the day to day, normal ruunning of RAA to be put to the members. Issues such as the new Ops Manual secrecy and the current issues with registration delays are NOT day to day minor issues and the Board still has a lot to answer for in regard to keeping secret items such as these that members do deserve some explanation. Doesn't the fact that members are continually asking for this information tell you that it is not a minor issue the members don't need to know about?

 

There is no logical reason that I can think of that the Board cannot release the proposed Ops manual or provide a detailed explanation of why the registration issues are continuing. If the Board does have some logical reason to keep these matters secret then they have a duty to tell the members what it is.

 

As most new Board members in the last year or so campaigned on openness and accountability I would be really interested to know if their view of what that means has changed since being elected.

 

Kev

 

 

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Openness and transparency are ideals, much easier to leave well enough alone.

From the outside looking in, there has always been & predictably there will always be a culture within RAA & CASA that we little people have to talk up to RAA & CASA people & they talk down to us, rather than talk eye ball to eye ball & respect that we are all equal. This culture has never changed & it is unlikely that it ever will, as sure as my tail points to the ground.

It is apparent that once a member is elected to the RAA Board, & they get the "INJECTION" like CASA employees, the new surge of elevation & power instantly goes to their heads, & remains until they come down to earth sooner or later.

 

There are 2 old saying as follows:

 

1. It takes a lot of steps to climb up a ladder, but it takes a short time to fall down the ladder once up the top.

 

2. Water a weed long enough & it will surely grow into an ugly weed.019_victory.gif.9945f53ce9c13eedd961005fe1daf6d2.gif

 

 

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There seems to be a lot of backbiting still going on in this forum. We have some emmbers who are actively trying to get the problems sorted out and another group who can only snipe at them. Those who consider that they know all the answers should put up for board positions, so that there mates can shoot them down. As far as sniping at CASA we should be lobbying our ploliticians, they are the ones who gave CASA so much power and they havn't got the guts to rein them in. Over the years several ministers have been ignored by CASA. If you give someone unfettered ability to control safety issuas, all they need to do is say it is a safety issue and you are stuck with it. That is what CASA do. I doubt that the recent government enquiry will do any good, and in the same way I doubt that constant sniping on this forum will do any good.

 

 

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Maj, as usual a long post that really provides no information other than "just wait and see, things are going to be really great".There is no logical reason that I can think of that the Board cannot release the proposed Ops manual or provide a detailed explanation of why the registration issues are continuing. If the Board does have some logical reason to keep these matters secret then they have a duty to tell the members what it is.

 

As most new Board members in the last year or so campaigned on openness and accountability I would be really interested to know if their view of what that means has changed since being elected.

 

Kev

174 CFI's have had access to the draft of the new Operations Manual for review and comment since April.

 

 

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I am not against extra rights, so long as we don't end up with extra responsibilities. If CTA endorsement requires a class 2 medical, fine. If all certificates then also require a class 2, not so fine.In short, we don't want or need to be a mirror of GA - that already exists as a good option.

If we can get CTA transit (or full CTA) without putting undue extra responsibilities on those that don't need it, great.

 

dodo

Wouldn't life be grand if it really worked that way - all care no responsibility, and we wonder why we have issues...

 

 

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Lo

 

174 CFI's have had access to the draft of the new Operations Manual for review and comment since April.

LOL bad luck for the members, but there's some rough justice, that just about outnumbers the voters.

 

 

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I doubt I've read more uninformed nonsense in quite a while.

 

Yes, RA-Aus Board and particularly Management have a long way to go in terms of providing a running commentary on what's going on within RA-Aus.

 

To my mind, it is the role of the CEO to keep members informed about what's developing - more so than the Board. To the extent that the new CEO has been in the job 5 minutes and inherited a pile of poo, I'm prepared to give him a few months - say until the AGM in October - to show what he can do.

 

I think people have to be realistic that a lot of things can't be communicated while they are in process because that information could be detrimental to RA-Aus. Also, good manners may dictate that the matter should stay confidential, e.g. why a staff member leaves the employment of RA-Aus (unless of course it is a dismissal for gross misconduct and even then there can be legal reasons for not being totally transparent). I'd like to see more information about cost reduction initiatives but, our biggest costs are in salaries and showing your hand too early could be very counter-productive. Similarly, a move out of the very expensive Canberra may be a good way to reduce costs but you have to have all the details worked out before you spook the staff.

 

If you really want to have a say in where RA-Aus heads in the future there are a few things you can do:

 

1. Get involved in campaigning for the Board either as a candidate or in support of somebody in whom you have confidence.

 

2. Talk to your local Board Member and possibly invite him/her to a meeting of your club.

 

They can often say stuff one on one that can't readily be written down.

 

3. Offer your services to the CEO and Board stating the sorts of areas where you have particular skills or expertise.

 

4. Attend the AGM and Natfly General Meeting. Meet and talk to a few Board Members.

 

5. Try sending your Board member(s) an email - all the addresses are in SportPilot.

 

If you don't get an adequate response go back to 1 above and get cracking.

 

I think the Maj has given a few insights into what the current priorities are and I can't disagree with the ones they've chosen.

 

Thanks again Ross

 

 

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Lo

LOL bad luck for the members, but there's some rough justice, that just about outnumbers the voters.

From what I've seen over the years many pilots don't read what's in the current manual! I can't believe how many I see with the original rubber band still on them. But maybe I'm wrong and there will be a massive turn around and everyone will read it cover to cover and apply what's in it and pilots will comply ... And ... Ohh ...sorry .... I just woke up from a silly dream.

 

 

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Lo

LOL bad luck for the members, but there's some rough justice, that just about outnumbers the voters.

Yes, it is somewhat ironical that democracy is so little appreciated.

 

Ops Manual has to be approved by CASA. What the CFI's recommend has to fall within the operations boundaries and not in policy, strategy and other locations where CFI's may hold strong opinion. As members know, CASA have the last 3 Ops Managers of RAAus sitting in positions of power over RAAus operations. Whether 173/174 CFI's are in favour of any change - it can be scuttled by CASA with the stroke of a biro. CFI's are well down the pecking order, and it would require united and concerted Board representation for major changes to the scope of RAAus operations, eg, CTA access, to be approved by CASA.

 

happy days,

 

 

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This certainly has stirred a hornets nest. some of the comments may be a bit harsh, but shows the frustration some members have of receiving very little information of any value from the Board. It is no longer acceptable for the Board to keep everything secret just because in their view it would bore us all to death. The situation has changed little from the one we were in 2 years ago. We had Board members telling us how wonderful things were and how great they were doing, but unable to actually show any significant results of what they had achieved. Pretty much what is still happening.

 

I disagree that it is the CEO's position to keep us informed. We vote for our Reps, and they employ the CEO. As far as I am aware, we have been told the CEO is providing very good and regular updates to the Board (which is his role) but it is the Board failing to keep the members informed, which is their role.

 

I don't think it is reasonable to expect people to place their trust or faith in a small group of elected officials without any feedback as to what they are doing. Especially after what happened last time and the organisation still appears to be in some form of crisis.

 

It seems common to throw in a defence that they didn't create the mess, so give them time to clean it up. Fair enough.... but how much time is enough time before the Board can start to explain to members just what they are doing. They may have been doing a wonderful job that most members will be very pleased with, but until they can show some tangible results or provide meaningful information, members have every right to be skeptical and call for some answers.

 

Kev

 

 

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Kev,

 

I agree with most of what you say here and it is reasonably deduced from what we can all see happening and not happening.

 

We really do have a new Board compared to where we were back at the extraordinary General Meeting in Queanbeyan February 2013. And we do have a new CEO only weeks into the job.

 

My understanding is that we will be hearing some good news by the AGM on 18 October and I'm prepared to wait that long to find out. I've been finding Mick Monck's reports in SportPilot good reading and informative. No sign of the waffle from some of our previous Presidents.

 

When I was on the Board I was frequently told no point trying to do things by email because as many as 25% of members don't use a computer. Well, I doubted it then but we now know this is no longer the case. We enabled in the Constitution that formal Notices can now be sent by email and it won't take too much to get more regular briefings via email.

 

The website is still not getting updated with anything like the currency we would like to see. That has to change. An RSS facility is something I've asked for because that would clue you in every time something on the website changes. We have that with our own Club and it works great.

 

 

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From what I've seen over the years many pilots don't read what's in the current manual! I can't believe how many I see with the original rubber band still on them. But maybe I'm wrong and there will be a massive turn around and everyone will read it cover to cover and apply what's in it and pilots will comply ... And ... Ohh ...sorry .... I just woke up from a silly dream.

I can understand your frustration, but it should be fundamental knowledge for all managers that if you involve Australian employees/members in a decision, they will take ownership and you will get good compliance, whereas if you make a decision behind their backs you have very little chance of compliance and a percentage will work directly against you.

 

 

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Mick's reports certainly are a step in the right direction, its just crazy to still be using the magazine as the primary source of information when by the time we get it, it is already weeks, if not months out of date. I find it strange that not one of the board members who frequent the forum will ever comment on the actual issues they are facing, or say why they are unable to comment. I think the Board will have great support whether they are reporting good news or bad news. They can no longer get away with no reporting.

 

A couple of years ago there was very little interest in the running of RAA by the general membership. We were all flying, happy and ignorant of any problems. That has now all changed as flying privileges for many have been affected in some way. Many of the new Board members are now there as a direct result of those problems and their desire to get RAA back on track for the benefit of all of us and should be commended for their efforts. I would love to be able to give some, or maybe all, a big pat on the back for their efforts but the reality is I have no idea what they have done, are doing or intend to do.

 

If we had been a company employing a Board instead of an organisation using volunteers, this board would have been either sacked or given a please explain for their failure to communicate. There is no reason for the Board to treat their role any less seriously just because they are elected volunteers. Being volunteers and having a lot to do is no longer a reasonable excuse for any failure to communicate as it should take very little time to provide quality updates regularly. They are already being regularly provided the required information by the CEO, just lack the desire to pass it on to members.

 

 

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Kev, I think you just wrote very well what most of us are thinking. I reckon the Board would agree with you as well and know they have to do better. I believe it will happen and I just hope that it is soon before we all doze off again and leave them to it.

 

You are absolutely right about the Magazine. Contributions to the September mag will be a month old by the time we get to read it. That is crazy in the 21st Century. As I said, we need an email system.

 

Once things settle down a bit and we are through the biggest changes, then the need to communicate can get back to monthly. The Board should be focussed on long term strategy issues like organisation structure (size of the Board, etc.) where RA-Aus should call home (not Canberra!), progress on on IT projects, CASA relationship issues, OPs & Tech issues, initiatives to provide benefits to members in the areas of insurance, fuel discounts, saving airports from closure, etc., etc. With those big issues, we don't need minute by minute updates but we do need milestone reporting.

 

 

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So ewhere here its discussed having all CFI a board members was a bad thing, then we see the new ops manual being vetted by exactly that

 

What about other (majority) of aircraft owners and maintainers for whom the changes to the manual could have huge impacts

 

Id have guessed once its been past CASA review its too late to alter much

 

Probably to somes annoyance, i believe the idea to get things happening like rego renewals we have to approach board member or become involved in RAA is not realistic.

 

As for many mid aged members, i for example have massive work and kid commitments, and could never do justice to a position in on or near the board. I respect those who can and do.

 

Very busy trying to fund the habit..........and the wasted money on grounded aircraft really hurts.

 

 

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I don't know the status of the Ops Manual revision but I am happy that it is being read by 174 CFIs. We didn't say CFIs on the Board is a bad thing we said that too many is not a good thing. We need people with maintenance, legal, financial and strategic business skills as well. Imagine if we had people on the Board like Bill Cain (maintenance, airworthiness and business management skills), Kaz Gurney (legal), Mick Monck (management and business) etc. as opposed to 7 out of 10 of one particular skill/knowledge base.

 

If you want to know where the Ops Manual is up to and how it is being proofed, why not ask a Board Member? Agreed it would be nice if we all knew and the info came from the Board to all Members. Similarly, a major review of the Tech Manual is well advanced and from what I hear around ther traps, it is going to be very well received. It would be hard to find anyone better than Darren Barnfield to be leading that project.

 

 

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Don, the conflict of interest here that everyone dreads, is that the new manual may require members to undergo another expensive course at their flying school.

 

The RAA should be working towards reducing the cost and complexity of aviation, after all this is/was supposed to be fun right not an excuse to bleed people?

 

 

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There is a move to ensure that pilots with L1 status actually know one end of a spanner from the other. It was OK when all us old stagers picked up spanners to work on our push bikes and went on to mend lawn mowers, our first car etc. But, kids these days have grown up with disposable bikes, 4 stroke mowers (pushed by "Jim"), cars that you only have to put petrol in and everything else is done by the dealer. So, we then give these people the right to do a 100 hourly on a Savannah? Does that make any sense? Is that a responsible thing to do.

 

The test to see if you deserve to have L1 status will be a doddle for people like us. I doubt it will require a course but there may be some need to demonstrate that you do know a spanner from a screw driver.

 

I've not heard any whisper that Ops would be requiring more compulsory training for Pilot Certificate holders.

 

If we get equivalence with the RPL, as has been mooted, then we may well need to do some additional training for heavier aircraft and CTA.

 

 

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So ewhere here its discussed having all CFI a board members was a bad thing, then we see the new ops manual being vetted by exactly that

Jetty,

 

 

 

I am absolutely opposed to having a Board dominated by CFI's where I believe that they will have such a clash-of-interest/pecuniary interest that they can't fairly represent the interests of your average member and would need to disqualify themselves from many of the discussions (but Board governance was abysmal for many years and I bet that they haven't done that at all times in the past).

 

 

 

However I do think that CFI's can make a relevant contribution to a scan and final (hopefully) edit of the Ops Manual. This Ops Manual saga was a scandal under the oversight of previous boards and I believe that RA Aus should do anything that it reasonably can to get it progressed and out to the membership. A CFI Review phase is a cheap way to advance the status of the document. CFI review of the document and their suggestions would also be a good and meaningful final check. But to put it out for comment to 8,000 members would be over the top and unworkable as it should be a prescriptive manual, not a consensus document.

 

 

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