Plane Talking claims no credit for the following story, written by Paul Phelan and appearing recently in Aviation Advertiser.

The article is about how the safety regulator’s efforts to frame a celebrated wilderness photographer and helicopter pilot over alleged maintenance offences came undone.

It is being reproduced here because that publication isn’t on the radar of readers locked on the activities of major airlines and their regulation, or lack thereof.

Richard Green, the subject of the story, contacted us because of our earlier quizzical look at issues that critics see with CASA’s pursuit, at long last, of a completely new set of fundamental aviation regulations known as Part 91.

We think that producing a paperback sized package of prescriptive and potentially safety impinging measures to deal with the actions of pilots in an emergency that the FAA handles successfully with three paragraphs raising some pretty important questions about CASA’s approach to the industry from general aviation right up to Qantas and Virgin Australia.  We could be wrong of course, but its a discussion that ought to take place.

Here is the Aviation Advertiser story as provided by Richard Green.

Postcript: Richard Green clearly deserves an apology from CASA, and the public deserve some accountability for its disproportionate and often flawed pursuit of individual private pilots over regulatory matters, especially when it seems incapable of understanding manufacturer advice.

He has shared with us his most recent letter to the CEO of CASA, John McCormick.

Dear Mr McCormick

I refer to our earlier correspondence and our telephone conversation of nearly a year ago.  If you recall you made it quite clear that in your opinion I had operated my helicopter dangerously, and that I most certainly should not have the authority to conduct maintenance work on it.

The Senate Estimates Committee has taken some interest in these matters, and for your information I have attached a copy of a recent press article that summarises the outcome of the AAT’s detailed investigation.

After careful consideration Mike Hart had recommended an apology from CASA in relation to the former matter which, I am sure you will remember, you refused to issue. As you will be able to see from the article, perhaps an additional second apology from CASA is now in order.

What is far more important than apologies is the way in which CASA directs its efforts and public resources. CASA’s mandate is essentially to ensure safety for the travelling public.  Is it really good allocation of these resources to expend perhaps a half a million dollars of taxpayers’ funds chasing after one private pilot, who flies only about 100 hours a year and almost exclusively in wilderness areas?

I look forward to hearing your views.

Richard Green

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