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RAA licence renewal rant - its not automated..?


rrogerramjet
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Just used the secure webform to process my licence renewal and received a message on submission to the effect of "Thanks, RA AUS will process and get back to you in due course".

 

My certificate expired on 9th Aug and it seems this message indicated that this was a request for renewal, not an automated process, so I rang and asked - yes indeed, the little lady in the back end of the website must manually process my renewal and it could take a couple of days....

 

So until I receive some sort of confirmation from RA-Aus, I am grounded - no insurance and no licence.

 

Though I would have thought that use of a https site and submission of payment details would invoke some sort of automation in the back end...but no. Surely all member records are in a database, accessible by API's and web services etc... No??? This is basic 20Century shopping cart technology stuff. 078_pc_revenge.gif.92f2d38a0e662b2e0b6cba4dc0ba5c35.gif

 

It's not the end of the world, but I wish I'd known that...I could have dropped into the office.

 

Anyway, I'm sure many will say it serves me right for waiting until after expiration date. 054_no_no_no.gif.950345b863e0f6a5a1b13784a465a8c4.gif

 

</off soapbox>

 

 

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Are you aying that in this digital age you expect things to be done quickly and easily. Have you ever tried to renew an ASIC? Come to think of it most government payments seem to be done on line and the sites are a pain in the butt. Some don't even work, so I can't see that RAAus is an exception.

 

 

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Are you aying that in this digital age you expect things to be done quickly and easily. Have you ever tried to renew an ASIC? Come to think of it most government payments seem to be done on line and the sites are a pain in the butt. Some don't even work, so I can't see that RAAus is an exception.

Yes I am 'aying that ;-)

 

Maybe I'm just a digital native and expect a little more in the 21C... government payments (or private ones for that matter) transacted online result in an immediate outcome not a "we'll get back to you soon" message.

 

I'm thinking RAAus could spend a few bucks on some decent IT. That might reduce delays, frustrations, and increase productivity. Just thoughts....

 

 

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Hehehe I had a similar discussion the day after mine lapsed.

 

I had been away and realised I hadn't seen a renewal and called to find out when it was due. Shock of shocks, the day I was due to return was the day and I couldn't hand a card detail over that minute to beat the date as I was on site and hadn't brought my wallet - there's nothing to spend money on here anyway.

 

I was dropped home after business hours meaning I had to wait until the next day. I dutifully called to pay explaining I wanted to go flying immediately after was told I was not able to.

 

Questions were asked and I eventually explained the concept of having received confirmation that payment details were in hand at RAA, processing was not a matter for me and was an administrative process which was of no consequence to my obligations (unless, the credit card declined and I ought to have known it would).

 

The first admin person told me I was wrong. However, the ops manager and I had a chat later and she agreed with my take on the issue (we specifically discussed the online payment issue - this was last month).

 

At my end, just like when the debacle over the rego was going on, my position is and will remain until law changes negate it, that once RAA has the ability to avail itself of my money, I can consider myself financial/registered etc, whether staff have bothered to process the payment and rego/license-renewal, or not.

 

And I would feel quite comfortable arguing the point with an over-zealous insurance drone, in court if necessary.

 

All that said, the discussion/feedback with the ops manager leaves me feeling like some positive change is coming in RAA. In fact, I was feeling that way after meeting the assistant ops manager a couple of months ago, too on a separate matter.

 

I'd suggest you put fingers to keyboards and send in these concerns utilising a constructive, un-emotive tone, as feedback to the organisation.

 

Tell the staff what we like and don't like. Or feed the info to your local board member, in writing. It is the best way to ensure issues are raised and (hopefully) dealt with.

 

 

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The problem is some at the RAA office are of the (very wrong) view you are not financial, past the due date, unless they have processed the payment... and they are advising that you effectively are not authorised to fly, in that case.

 

The online form does not take payment, it merely collates the details entered and requires manual processing - just for info.

 

 

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What we are "enjoying"is the result of many, many years of member apathy. Many on the Board were returned unopposed year after year and, in the case of Tasmania, decade after decade. In my view they began to think that they were RA-Aus as opposed to Turbo's (correct) view that the Members are RA-Aus. So, the Board unfettered by the democratic process did what they liked. Appointed Steve Tizzard on a whim without a proper recruitment and interview process and we had four years of stagnation particularly with regard to Information Systems and the Ops and Tech Manuals. The answer to more members was more staff and costs rose and membership fees went up.

 

In February last year the old stagers were brought to account by the members in the extraordinary General Meeting at Queanbeyan. They got the message from the members, loud and clear "Enough!"

 

That piece of member activism was followed up by better election results at the last AGM and we now have a Board majority that are looking forward and working hard to drag RA-Aus into the 21st Century. We have, imho, the most competent Board Executive that RA-Aus has had in the last ten years.

 

Voting closes at 4 pm today and I hope everyone has exercised their democratic responsibility to find out who the candidates are, ask around to find out who could do the job, and vote!

 

Time will tell but the new CEO, Michael Linke, is showing signs that he is able to get things done and high on the list is the clean up and modernisation of the re-registration and membership renewal processes. That of course means real online renewals and not the faux online renewals we presently have. The new CEO must find himself in, to quote Maverick, a "target rich environment".

 

 

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Adam

 

I don't want to sound negative but the rules as written today specify that to fly your aircraft you must have the registration card on display and that card has to show the aircraft as being in registration when it flys........I personally accept that if you are sent a registration renewal with an offer to renew online, you provide payment details and the web site accepts these with no warning to the contrary then in principle you have renewed whether the card is processed at that point or not. However if you fly on that presumption and have an accident then I feel you might well be in trouble accessing the pilots insurance for 3rd partys and proving that the aircraft was registered by virtue of a lack of in time card on display.

 

The only way that RAAus can avoid that presumption of automatic renewal is if on the website they specify that collection of payment details does not infer automatic reregistration and that registration is said to occur when the back office checks are done, your credit card is transacted and you have the renewed card delivered to you via post.... If they say something like that at the point you use the site then I reckon your logic will fail. Its been more than a month since I used it so I cant recall if that was mentioned or not.

 

I too am in limbo at present so like others feel the issue is close to me. Jabs don't like sitting, the engine cylinder bores corrode if not used....nothing worse than a 140km round trip to just run the engine up to operating temperatures before putting it away not flown.....

 

Andy

 

 

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Hey Andy... I was going to go step by step and work through a few things... but I stopped 3/4 way (about a page and a half of reference to RAAus constitution, definition and the Operations Manual, when I decided to do this another way.

 

Mate... where is it put that a plane "must display" a current registration certificate as opposed to "must have" one?

 

Where is the definition or explanation of what "have" means, precisely?

 

Where is it put or even implied, that not having an in-time registration certificate is synonymous with being not registered?

 

Re the pilot certificate... are you aware (I learned this whilst mid-way through the obligatory "prove myself on the internet" thing I changed my mind about) precisely the point at which the ability to legally fly as PIC stops when a certificate holder hasn't paid their membership renewal? If so, when is that?

 

Which specific sections of which specific documents have interplay which lead you to the answers to the above?

 

Enjoy...

 

 

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Adam

 

Its on this page, https://www.raa.asn.au/safety/airworthiness/ under general Airworthiness, and specifically here https://www.raa.asn.au/documents/airworthiness/TECH AWB 010310-1.pdf

 

Took a few minutes on Google to find

 

I would have assumed if your pilot certificate says it expires on the 15th of August then you are good to fly until last light where ever you are on the 15th of August. You could fly later and not technically have an expired certificate, but you would not then be day vfr which is all we are allowed.

 

The trick to know is that the tech and opps manuals in the last decade have often been spoken of in terms of needing an update, but a lotto win was more likely as such you need to look at the airworthiness page (for tech) and the pilot updates under opps( https://www.raa.asn.au/pilot-updates/ ) to pick up all the changes that are supposed to eventually be in the tech or opps manuals but haven't yet made it......

 

Andy

 

 

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Don't assume. Go read the relevant sections on pilot certificates, membership and renewals.

 

I got a surprise when I did...

 

And that bulletin absolutely does not say a registration card must be displayed, in isolation. There is a qualifier. Read it again. It does not quite say what you have alluded to earlier. It does not state anything in it that would render a plane unregistered without the certificate being in hand or on display. It clearly talks about renewal in isolation of the actual receiving...

 

 

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Adam not sure what you are getting at....I've cut some bits that I think are absolutely relevant out of the bulletin (Bolding and colour is mine not in the original) :-

 

Discussion:

 

The circumstance outlined above is a major concern to RA-Aus, since the operation of

 

unregistered aircraft is illegal and brings adverse attention to recreational flying. An

 

 

 

aircraft ceases to be legally registered at midnight on the date indicated on the

 

 

 

registration certificate and plastic registration card. Operating unregistered aircraft is a

 

 

 

very serious offence which also has insurance cover implications. To help overcome

 

some of these problems a new registration card has been developed and will be sent to

 

aircraft owners when the aircraft registration is renewed or is registered for the first time

 

with RA-Aus. This card has the expiry date in large numbers and letters across the

 

centre of the card.

 

Requirements:

 

On receipt of your new card and pocket, the owner/operator of the aircraft must place

 

 

 

the card in a position where it can be read from outside the aircraft cockpit when the

 

 

 

aircraft is ready for flight..............The new registration card can be placed into this wallet with the date facing out and be

 

 

 

replaced at each renewal.

 

Cancellation of this Bulletin:

 

This Bulletin will be cancelled with the issue of an amendment to the RA-Aus Technical

 

Manual or a cancelling Bulletin. (since the tech manual hasn't been updated (at all) to include this, and the bulletin has not been cancelled then to me it still has full force and effect.)

 

I guess you may be alluding to the "registration certificate AND the plastic registration card", but the reality is that you don't get one without the other so the AND there to me is moot. Furthermore you don't have the certificate and the plastic until Australia Post deliver it to you. The fact that it is in the "post" is of little value in complying with this bulletin.

 

Do you see it differently?

 

Andy

 

 

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Well it could be argued both ways.

 

1 yes you MUST display the registration card as soon as you RECEIVE it, doesn't really mention the few days after registration has been processed and it's in the mail. I would think if you have email notification of your registration being renewed then that would be sufficient in the interim (not dissimilar to keeping your car license receipt while waiting for a new one in the mail if your RMS doesn't have printer capabilities.)

 

The emphasis seems to be on being registered or not which is obvious but it doesn't say you are not registered till you display your card it does however say you must display it as soon as you get it.

 

 

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Yes I do see it very differently. You need to read this sort of thing literally.

 

First of all, the discussion section does not set out the requirement. It is literally discussion... or background. It gives some context and reason and general... well, discussion.

 

Under Requirement the key phrase here is On receipt of your new card and pocket

 

Very specifically, the Requirement in the bulletin does not say you must not fly the plane as it is not registered until you are displaying an in-date registration certificate.

 

What is does say, is that you must display the new (registration) card, using the provided pocket, once you receive it. Ie, once you have it, you must then display it.

 

In the discussion section where you have bolded the part about when the registration ceases... what you are missing, is that this is in isolation of any renewal you have made. That period of registration does expire on the date printed on the card, but were you to have renewed the registration, it negates this as the aircraft IS registered under the new certificate of registration which you must display "upon receipt of your new card and pocket"...

 

See the difference?

 

 

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Exactly. And the very reason anyone would make an insurer look and feel very stupid if they tried to refuse a claim on the basis that of an incident whilst not displaying an in-date registration card/certificate, in circumstances where there was renewed rego and waiting to go through the processing phase with RA-Aus.

 

Now let's have a look at that lapsed Pilot Certificate issue.

 

I'm going to be less of a bastard. It is in the operations manual at Sect 2.14, 8.

 

In summary it reads that flight crew certificates are cancelled automatically if the holder fails to renew their membership within 14 days after the renewal date. (paraphrased... but please do go read it).

 

Some-one is bound to raise the "financial member" issue from another section... under the constitution of RA-Aus at Part 2, Membership, section 7 Fees, subscriptions etc.

 

  1. (iii) The Association shall cause notice of the subscription expiry to be sent to all Members on or before the last day of the month of expiry. If the renewal subscription remains unpaid thirty days after expiry, the Member's rights as provided within these Rules shall be suspended.
     
    (iv) If the renewal subscription or any amount levied remains unpaid ninety days after the date of expiry or imposition of the levy, the membership shall be terminated. The member shall not be required to be notified of such termination.
     
     
     
     

 

 

So... unless I missed something elsewhere in the constitution, you do not lose your rights as a member (which would mean you are financial because you actually need only be posted your renewal on the last day of the month it expires in) if you haven't paid within the 30 days following the expiry you have your rights suspended - pretty fair to say this is the point you cease to be a financial member... i.e., when the fee falls due and remains unpaid. It appears to be due 30days after it expires! You cease to be a member a after a further 60 days.

 

Soooooo..... I was a day late, but could have just gone flying. How annoying is that, huh?

 

 

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You lead.......I'll follow when safe to do so.

 

The only thing missing from your rationale is the intent of the bulletin which is to prevent unlicensed flight, interpreting as you have, shows that the whole thing is generally a waste of time achieving nothing, and I don't believe that was ever intended.

 

Andy

 

 

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