Meeting with the CAA

by Bevan Thomas

Thursday, 11th Feb

The meeting with the Director and two of the PSG was predictable and useless, they had nothing to offer and I suspect it was an intimidation and information gathering exercise. When I got home just now I found some faxes from the Director, one placing a condition on our helicopter's airworthiness certificate prohibiting Rack operations and three others imposing restrictions on our pilot licences, that is my commercial licence, and Thomas's and Fransje's licence as well, which has them quite angry as they are not even flying the Rack and have not breached section 17 or 12 of the Act as the Director claims.

Any volunteer pilots out there want to fly the Rack?

I will be declining the Directors invitation as a matter of course on all counts. Kevin also states I cannot use my Australian ATPL(H) licence without first registering with the CAA but I asked Iain Kerr of the CAA last year when I was working there and he said there was no further requirement to use the Aussie licence, so use it I shall. I question the CAA's actions of late with undercover agents, raids, throwing one of my pilots out of the CAA offices, holding staff breifings denigrating the Rack and comparing the Rack to cartoons of the Dog on footrot flats swinging off the rope, selectively choosing negative reports to back up a predetermined outcome and a number of other unacceptable actions which defy explanation and do not reflect the professional partnership approach between CAA and industry.

Its quite upsetting how they are going about things, I'm not breaking any laws nor am I endangering anyone, I exceed the safety requirements for human sling loads and have stopped on four other occasions when they requested. Every time their agreement was breached, first they needed Industry endorsement, we got that but not good enough, then they wanted six months to write a rule, that wasn't good enough either as that was 5 years ago, they made a rule in our ops spec's singling us out and prohibiting Air Transport human sling loads, which is deceptive and misleading as Human Sling Loads are not ATO, then they called it Sport and recreation and I found out The Rack was not that either, so many misleading actions, broken promises, no apology, no attempt to work through the issues, consistant denial of my pleas to work with me on it, goes on and on over many years.

Their offer to me today was that I should stop or suffer the consequences, not an offer at all. I don't see myself as a criminal but I'm going to continue making a stand for whats right.

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