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CASA set to "fix" community service flights

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This will be a good test to see if sanity prevails or not. The  "Aviation Safety " view is to restrict angel flights in order to increase aviation safety.

This without regard to the total situation.  Insane if the pollies go for " aviation safety " at a net cost in lives.

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So Turbs, re post#26 where did your stats come from? Or did you do the bureaucratic thing of making up stats and hoping no one would ask where they  originated. Time to come clean

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I've suggested this before in other threads which were discussing CASA's inhibiting of light aircraft use for non-commercial purposes, but why don't we write to Senator Hanson and seek her support in bringing CASA stupidity before Parliament.

 

Now, don't let's get started attacking or defending Senator Hanson's many political ideas. That is not the point here.

 

Senator Hanson is a duly elected Senator for Queensland. As such, her role is to monitor Federal government policies so that the people of Queensland are not shafted. By extension, she can provide this service to the people of the other States ans Territories.

 

It is a fact that Senator Hanson has the experience of using light aircraft as an efficient means of transport to meet the people in places where commercial realities prevent the provision of Regular Public Transport air services. 

 

We should exploit her experience in this area to raise the subject of CASA's heavy-handedness in this volunteer activity, and to force Parliament, or at least, the Senate, to investigate CASA's stand.

 

OME

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 Anyone can start a feeder airline. You would have to have a desire to lose money. None are profitable because users want the same seat km cost you get on jets and that won't happen. In the "olden days" the Gov't subsidized the cost, and perhaps that's the only way it will happen. Connellan's routes were bigger than BEA. (British European Airways). and they had a pretty good record considering they were all piston. Fast trains etc will only PAY where there's a large population density (and total.) Nev

Edited by facthunter
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Not helped by ballooning costs of council provided service fees for security, staff, no doubt insurances on tiny RPT airports

Jet Go disappeared after action from Dubbo Council for $300K I thought

Council charges per head security fee even for those travelling in aircraft for which it isn't required, same deal at Orange and others

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If CASA want to limit the number of Angel Flights they should come and take some lessons fron W A Country Health Services, who in the 15 years of Angel Flight existence have never, to my knowledge, requested an Angel Flight for any patient. This is in the State that occupies one third of Australias land mass, concentrates the vast majority of its specialist medical services in Perth, or close by coastal locations. You would think Angel Flight woul be overwhelmed with reqests, but activity is pretty limited. I had a ten year active involvement as an Angel Flight pilot, was happy to promote the service within our W A Wheatbelt region, and saw our local community experience some the benefit of such a service, and they generously contributed to the funding of the Service.

 

We are fortunate to have an exceptional GP in our town who has provided an outstanding service for nearly two decades, which makes us a bit unusual for rural and remote, who recognised the benefits Angel Flight could provide, and was happy to request Angel Flights. Our best demonstrable benefit was when, over an eighteen month period, we had four ladies in our town requiring treatment for cancer, and 40 Angel Flights, all volunteer pilots and drivers, supported these ladies at a time when support was really appreciated. We have no public transport available, and a striaght trip to Peerth at the speed limit to the medical facility would exceed three hours non stop. If you wanted oustanding advocates for Angel Flight, those four ladies would be prime candidates,

 

Ironically, the HSM from the local hospital, after declining to submit a request to Angel Flight, was always quick to question each of the ladies what was their expereince with Angel Flight! I think the ladies might have indulged and embelished their opinions just a little, but they all relished relating favourable impressions to that health professional.

 

In contrast to my experiences with WA Country Health Services with Angel Flight, I have 14 years experience as a Volunteer Ambulance Officer with St John Ambulance WA, where in the Wheatbelt our ambulance service is provided entirely by vollies, when doing Inter Hospital Transfers at WACHS call, the potential for risk in my opinioin  far exceeds what I consider occurs in my good old 172. About five years ago WACHS changd their policy with limited consultation, and all Inter Hospital Transfers were to be done by ambulance, and introduced a 4 hour rule for assement by a Doctor. Our Sub Centre went from 60 call outs a year, a mixture of pre hospital and RFDS transfers, to in excess of 160, all done by a handfull of volunteers

 

Fatigue management was notionally talked about, but we did we push the boundaries. We got to the point that we were declining some jobs because the fatigue implications could not be ignored. Always hard in a small country town when it could be your mate who is going to have to wait. I had one experience where I scored a Inter Hospital Transfer just on midnight, got to bed about 3, had a motor vehicle crash in the mid morning, followed by another transfer in the afternoon. I scored a call from the State Operations Manager at COMMS on a welfare check as my service nmber must have come up on the system as being a bit busy. It also happened to be harvest time also, but was sanctioned because it was WACHS requested, I was in a green uniform and in an ambulance! Same person as an Angel Flight pilot gets scrubbed, even if I am rested, sober, medically cleared and in possession of an AFR in an airworthy plane!!

 

The provision of an adequate level of health care in the bush is a real dilemna, even basic primay health care, with no easy solutions. The appeal of Angel Flight was that it came with a bucket load of common sense, a rare commodity these days. The benefits that Angel Flight have contributed to alleviating the distance issue so that rural and remote patients are not precluded from access to appropriate health care should never be understated. I have been a firm advocate on this forum over the years for Angel Flight, yet have always stated that no organization should be beyond scrutiny. The twp tradgedies can not be excised from any considerations. The benefits attributable to Angel Flight by  getting patients to the best possible medical care, even if they do live in the bush, and keeping the stressed and tired families supporting our patients off the roads should be the principal focus to develooping at strategy to maintain its great work.

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20 hours ago, facthunter said:

 Anyone can start a feeder airline. You would have to have a desire to lose money. None are profitable because users want the same seat km cost you get on jets and that won't happen...

When our government tore up the "two-airline agreement" city people got cheaper flights, but rural people were the losers. Heaps of little towns lost their regular air services, oft used for medical reasons. Public transport services have also been reduced, putting more people on the roads.

 

Now crazy bureaucrats want to bugger up a common-sense, grass-roots alternative.

Edited by Old Koreelah

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from today's australian

CASA MOVES ON ANGEL FLIGHTS

The Australian, Robyn Ironside – Friday 8th February 2019

Changes to community service flights by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority are expected to be made as early as next week, barely a fortnight after the period for submissions closed.

The Australian understands widespread anger in regional and rural communities about the changes, has prompted CASA Chief Executive Shane Carmody to move quickly.

All but one of the changes, relating to aircraft maintenance, are tipped to be part of a new CASA instrument that will be tabled in federal parliament.

National not-for-profit operation Angel Flight has warned the changes could force it to stop helping rural people tavel to non-emergency medical appointments in cities.

Chief Executive Majorie Pagani said the changes would require pilots to meet a higher standard than those already imposed by their CASA licence, in order to help others.

But in an interview with ABC regional radio, CASA Chairman Tony Matthews said two fatal crashes involving Angel Flight gave CASA no choice but to review arrangements.

“We had to go back in as CASA and see what level pilots should be at to be flying passengers around on technically what is not a private flight,” Mr Matthews said.

“All the fuel is paid for, so we’re just looking at what level of safety that is suitable for what they’re actually doing.”

A minimum level of flying experience would also be imposed, to ensure a “level of performance from the pilots that’s commensurate with what they’re doing”.

“To some extent these flights put a little bit of pressure on you, in that you need to get people to their appointment or get them home. That puts pressure on the pilot,” said Mr Matthews.

Ms Pagani said she would be surprised if CASA had even read all the 160 submissions made to the authority in response to the proposed changes

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On 2/8/2019 at 12:30 PM, fly_tornado said:

Mr Matthews said.

“All the fuel is paid for, so we’re just looking at what level of safety that is suitable for what they’re actually doing.”

So paying for fuel is now a safety issue?

 

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Under the existing Angle Flight structure, is there a protocol or opps manual for running angle flights and any induction for volunteer pilots performing these flights?

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On 2/5/2019 at 1:20 PM, Bruce Tuncks said:

You are not generally  critically ill to start with. The mortality figures are in agreement with jetjr in that country people can miss out on advanced diagnostic tests which are available in the city, and therefore the angel flights save lives.

 

I know you mean well but it’s highly counterproductive implying CSF patients having acute life threatening illness AT THE time of the flight. 

 

This is  the type of misinformation  CASA use and have used in public statements  to add weight to their arguement to  limit CSF. They have said or implied  that the pilots are not medically trained and therefore get overwhelmed in decision making, by the perception of medical imperitive to complete the flight immediately. 

 

There may be a bit of truth to this as both accidents involved pushing on in bad weather, AFAIK. 

But in reality the patients are stable, and usually if they are delayed a day or even more, oftentimes, it doesn’t change the medical outcome as long as the service at the other end can flex around short delay. 

 

But typical of CASA they have gone off with red herrings and plan to impose maintenance, licensing etc etc all of which have nothing to do with the two accidents that started this. They also infer they are only giving conditions that country people deserve, ie not allowing less than charter standard aircraft and personnel. On the surface sounds right, but they happily ignore that such a charter service is not available currently and will not, in the future, be able to take up the slack. They are in effect stating “only the best service or no service!” 

 

I would reckon that CSF pilots might need to get some training on assessing whether to go-or-no-go and that part of this should include proper education on the relative non-urgency of the flight ( i would go as  far as saying that the end medical services could also do with some training in understanding the constraints of weather and flexibility for patients travelling great distances. (Some of our services already take this into account but some don’t) 

 

This extra training for pilots could easily be included in the signing up process for CSF and not impose an onerous burden on anyone. 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Jim McDowall said:

So did they really need to do this?

I guess they had to be seen to be doing something after Mount Gambier, now everyone has been talking hopefully that situation won't happen again. To me casa is saying if you are going to do CSF flights you need to be professional  even if your only a PPL. 

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4 minutes ago, APenNameAndThatA said:

Did CASA give an opinion about the impact on the health of the people if they cannot be transported? 

The users of CSF flights have been and will continue to be transported, and no I don't  work for casa.

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On 2/15/2019 at 6:42 PM, Thruster88 said:

The users of CSF flights have been and will continue to be transported, and no I don't  work for casa.

I'm not saying your wrong, but how do you know? 

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The problem is that CASA are only required to be concerned about aviation risks. They have no requirement to care about the total needs of the patient.

So they can best fulfill their charter by stopping flights, which is exactly what they are doing.

What is needed is to go beyond CASA to the pollies who should be looking at the bigger picture.  In the Mount Gambier crash, the terrible outcome could have been averted either by more training or by the intervention of an Angel Flight official. I agree that the perceived pressure of conducting the flight on time needs to be resolved.

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58 minutes ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

The problem is that CASA are only required to be concerned about aviation risks. They have no requirement to care about the total needs of the patient.

So they can best fulfill their charter by stopping flights, which is exactly what they are doing.

What is needed is to go beyond CASA to the pollies who should be looking at the bigger picture.  In the Mount Gambier crash, the terrible outcome could have been averted either by more training or by the intervention of an Angel Flight official. I agree that the perceived pressure of conducting the flight on time needs to be resolved.

 

These people, as we've seen above are not patients. This is a service which offers faster transport from the country to the cities.

That it can be done safely is the duty of CASA.

 

In both cases the training which produced the pilot qualifications is accepted as satisfactory to produce relatively safe flight in Australia for non-commercial flights.

What that means is that if there is any question about not being able to maintain VMC for the complete flight, there is no pressure on the pilot to conduct the flight.

 

In both cases, decisions which most VFR pilots would have made were not made, and people died as a result; that's not acceptable.

 

The simple step of the exact same passengers handing over money for the exact same flights in the exact same aircraft triggers the requirement for the pilot to have a Commercial Pilot's Licence.

 

So there has been a double standard.

 

There is nothing to stop CPLs volunteering their service for the same aircraft for these flights.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Jim McDowall said:

So what CASA is trying to do here is legislating against stupity which has never worked.

How would you fix it to avoid further examples like this then Jim?

 

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7 hours ago, turboplanner said:

The simple step of the exact same passengers handing over money for the exact same flights in the exact same aircraft triggers the requirement for the pilot to have a Commercial Pilot's Licence.

 

So there has been a double standard.

How the F**k do you get "double standard" out of that?????.....that is exactly the difference. Commercial = for money/reward, Private = not for money/reward.

If I drive a taxi and take a neighbour to the doctor, I need a taxi licence, if I pick them up in my private car I need nothing more than a driver's licence. Not complicated.

It's not broken, leave it alone. Sometimes bad decisions are made by pilots whether they have a CPL or not.

In a newspaper article I read the other day on interviewee summed it up when they said something along the lines that they felt that CASA was insulting in that they felt CASA thought that they were too stupid to understand the risks in using Angel Flight.

I think they were right.

Edited by M61A1
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