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Lowering Class E between Melbourne and Cairns


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Remember the old joke: What's the difference between pilots and ATC? When pilots make a mistake pilots die. When ATC makes a mistake pilots die. Much better to put collision avoidance in the cockpits of those who will die.

The last instance was the poor guys in the Mooney inland of Coffs. Got messed around by ATC for no good reason. Class E over the D at Coffs would have had the guy simply continue to fly overhead Coffs at 6500 without a clearance required.
Australian ATC, with a couple of exceptions in my experience, is the pits. This country has an unfortunate tendency to take a good idea from O/S, then add one or two layers of extra requirements making the good idea far less useful.

Class E is for IFR to be separated from IFR (clearance required) and receive traffic information on VFR WHEN AND IF AVAILABLE. If the VFR doesn't have a transponder then it ISN'T AVAILABLE unless within Primary range and I bet those primary returns are turned off most of the time nowadays.

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RF guy, RAA and other organisations HAVE to reject this proposal out of hand or otherwise they are conceding Airservices the right to make arbitrary decisions. We are then reduced to just being suppli

Dont fall into their trap. To consider any change before a complete justification statement can be proven true and correct gives them leverage. By suggesting other than the status quo at this time say

'Welcome to OneSky™ Australia, where we want everyone to be included.' To be included in 'OneSky'™ will cost you about ten thousand dollars per aircraft for initial installation, An annual f

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9 hours ago, Jaba-who said:

That’s a point I hadn’t considered. 
Do air services send you a bill for any flights you do in Class E? 
You get bills for enroute services you use in class C but I rarely if ever have used Class E so have no experience about bills for that. 
 

anyone know if it will suddenly include charges? 

You will incur enroute charges only if you fly IFR. 

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(See Piper Cheyenne near Benalla, Qantas near Canberra one early morning where they went into holding so the controller could get to work and give them a landing clearance - they screwed up the holding and didn't have a moving map and damn near hit a mountain)

Mike, is the following crash the one you were referring to? The crash report details are different to what you've stated. Surely there wasn't another Piper Cheyenne that nearly flew into a mountain?

 

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2004/aair/aair200402797/

 

 

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onetrack, dig around and you'll find Dick Smith's comments on that accident with the Cheyenne. The Qantas near mountain collision was a 737 from Perth.
IIRC both were likely caused by incorrect entry into the nav system by the crews. In Class E ATC is required to warn you of impending collision with terrain because you are off track. they'll yell at you anyway if off track as an IFR flight has to comply with the clearance given.

Don't always believe anything and everything you read in ATSB reports. They aren't omniscient and their investigators aren't necessarily all that knowledgeable, though conscientious. I have provided information to them at my instigation and also their request in the past on several occasions.

See the investigation on VH-TWQ. Check out the reconstructed horizontal and vertical situation. Does a minor heading change over two minutes while large and increasing vertical excursions were occurring sound like pilot disorientation? They say there was no sign of control system issues but looking at the picture of the wreckage I'd doubt you could definitively say that. The amount of instrument time under the hood is probably misleading as you can't log it unless with an appropriate instructor (another safety counterproductive regulation). I knew the pilot and know pilots who did long cross countries with him doing hours at a time under the hood, no autopilot.

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Here is the ATSB report on the Qantas incident:

 

https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/5167388/AO-2012-138 Final.pdf

 

And a Canberra Times article:

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6076599/qantas-plane-flies-too-low-south-west-of-canberra-safety-report/

Edited by Garfly
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16 hours ago, Ironpot said:

You will incur enroute charges only if you fly IFR. 

Do you mean only in Class E?

 

I’ve never flown IFR but paid service fees for VFR ATC in Class C. 

I haven’t flown much in CTA lately so I haven’t been billed recently but haven’t heard that anything has changed. Though have done recently into Cairns so expecting something to arrive. 

 

Edited by Jaba-who
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You will get a TNC on the invoice - Terminal Navigation Charge - anywhere with a tower. Cairns, Mackay Townsville ?

 

https://mirror.airservicesaustralia.com/wp-content/uploads/Contract-for-Aviation-Facilities-and-Services.pdf

 

Unless you fly IFR you won’t be charged for “ Enroute Navigation Charge” so Class E for you is free.

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That's the one, Jim.

As I said before Dick's idea was to move to USA rules for airspace management, expanding Class E to protect the IFR guys and leaving the Class E totally transparent to the VFR's who wouldn't have an "Area frequency" nor a transponder requirement below 10,000 feet or within 3000 feet of terrain. We had the start of this in 2003 - 2004 but it was sabotaged by the ATC trade union and Australian pilots who deemed it "unsafe" (mostly from positions of ignorance) and couldn't get their heads around not being required to be on a specific frequency. If you want to know what is wrong with Australian aviation, look no further than Australian pilots and associated personnel.

Personally, I did a fair bit of cross country flying in that year and found that by listening to nearby CTAFs enroute instead of Centre Frequency I had a much better awareness of relevant traffic. It was great.

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the idea is to get 3000+ raa aircraft to pay air navigation charges. As always, follow the money!

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12 hours ago, walrus said:

the idea is to get 3000+ raa aircraft to pay air navigation charges. As always, follow the money!

Another windfall for Avdata?  
And what IF you don’t use any Air Nav services?

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On 20/03/2021 at 12:16 PM, jackc said:

Another windfall for Avdata?  
And what IF you don’t use any Air Nav services?

You don’t pay nav charges as a VFR in Class E airspace. Notwithstanding that, there are equipment requirements and that is where the cost is for us. 

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New brooms sweep clean. Change letter heads rename some things. It LOOKS like you've done something. Put out the idea that change is good. Works briefly till the mistakes emerge (as they will) and it's don't look here. It's NOT my departments problem.  Out comes another NPRM. and more submissions invited. The Frog cooks slowly. Many give up in frustration. Aerodromes turn into Housing estates and Car sales lots. Nev

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Whilst it's better, it's still garbage compared to what we have.

I typically cruise at 5500 - 7500 depending on bumps and direction i'm heading.

being stuck at 4500 would have made some of my recent trips very uncomfortable.

How do we convey to ASA that this is still not acceptable.

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Ironpot

 

That was my initial thought. I can live with this change. But this is how freedom is often lost.....incrementally. I'm still interested in the evidence and risk assessment that require the change of rules. My mind wonders as to whether they are simply following some sort of international obligation, whether there is empire building at hand etc. We'll probably never know.

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The Ausalpa response is to the original proposal not ASA's hastily revised proposal which has just as many drawbacks and I am sure that they are now preparing a response to the latest ASA proposal. It is heartening that their views reflect those of the vast majority of GA and RA pilots with some very scathing comments especially relating to the competency of ASA itself.

 

 RA-Aus have created a survey in the last Enews Email dated 29 march based on the changes now proposed by ASA. I have completed the survey and it is well worth the effort to make your voice heard. The results will be taken by RAA to ASA. The latest ASA proposal consultation closes on 30 April so RAA will need a few days I expect to collate their response. I will be making a personal submission on the revised proposal myself as well.

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On 23/03/2021 at 12:08 PM, RossK said:

Whilst it's better, it's still garbage compared to what we have.

I typically cruise at 5500 - 7500 depending on bumps and direction i'm heading.

being stuck at 4500 would have made some of my recent trips very uncomfortable.

How do we convey to ASA that this is still not acceptable.

Complete the RAA survey & make sure you add all of the issues in the comments box to every question.  

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1 hour ago, 408059 said:

Ironpot

 

That was my initial thought. I can live with this change. But this is how freedom is often lost.....incrementally. I'm still interested in the evidence and risk assessment that require the change of rules. My mind wonders as to whether they are simply following some sort of international obligation, whether there is empire building at hand etc. We'll probably never know.

There is no international obligation. That is just political spin and absolute rubbish. Ausalpa have exposed that in their original submission Excerpt below

 

“International consistency”

 

The proposal makes two claims: Delivery of the AMP will ensure closer alignment to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) system and proven United States practice of airspace management

 

Australian airspace accords with the ICAO classifications set out in Section 2.6 Classification of airspaces of Annex 11. Importantly, Section 2.4 Determination of the need for air traffic services merely identifies considerations rather than prescriptions, a process with which the determination of Australian airspace classification is already entirely consistent. Nothing in this proposal changes our alignment with ICAO. Aligning Australia’s airspace system with the FAA system requires replication of the US CNS capability and of the related procedures. AusALPA has no evidence that such a replication has been achieved in Australia or of which elements of the FAA system are confirmed as capable of excision, or selective application, without systemic consequences. More importantly, there is no evidence that the government has accepted the level of collision risk associated with the FAA system when key CNS elements are not provided. AusALPA doubts that the two claims have any relevance to the majority of Australian airspace users – they are political and promotional claims rather than safety or efficiency claims.

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Apart from being very impressed by this wise and eloquent AusALPA letter (linked to above by Ironpot)

https://www.ausalpa.org.au/Portals/5/Documents/Submissions/2021/210215 AusALPA Submission to Airservices re Lowering Class E on the East Coast V2.2.pdf?ver=2021-02-23-134706-453

My attention was caught by this bit where they're scathing of the Airservices 'Fact Sheet'

 

“Class E does not restrict access for VFR aircraft”

This Fact Sheet heading is completely misleading ... //  ... The change in airspace classification will also change the VMC requirements (Class E has more restrictive requirements than much of Class G), materially reducing the number of flying opportunities and days available to VFR pilots.

 

At first, I wondered what they were referring to but I guess it must be the less stringent 'clear of cloud'  VMC requirement in Class G, not above 3000' (or 1000' AGL).  That's what they must have meant by  'reducing flying opportunities and days available to VFR pilots'. 

 

"Completely misleading" indeed; yet another indication of the woeful unprofessionalism of the original ASA proposal.  It's interesting that it was the airline pilots who spotted this additional anomaly, basically on our behalf.  Good on them.

 

VFG VMC P3.pdfVFG VMC P5.pdf

Edited by Garfly
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Thought the same. They really hit hard on the "where is the justification" which is my main gripe. No data at all from ASA to justify any change at this stage. The survey from RA-Aus might have shown them where our position is and they have repsonded to ASA accordingly.

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