- Steve Hitchen
It usually takes a few cups of coffee and a Tim Tam or two to get through CASA's Corporate Plan when it comes in, and fortunately for me this year the cupboard was well stocked. It is, of course, an official document written in fluent Officialese, which can take some interpretation to work out what they are actually saying. However, there's one statement on p23 that can't be read any other way: "Over the following three years we will complete the regulatory reform program." Next year, despite several assurances of definite completion deadlines, the reform program turns 30 years old (do we get cake?). Consequently, it's hard to approach this predicted end to the epic reform program with any confidence. If Byron, McCormick and Skidmore failed to bring it to a close, what is Shane Carmody going to do different that his predecessors failed to do? It could be that the current Director of Aviation Safety has a more secure handle on what the great hold-up is, and so can adapt a much more suitable solution. I suppose it has to end somewhere, but in the great tradition of painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge, by the time CASA announces the end it will be time to reform the original completed parts; they'll be over 30 years old by then. With that in mind, will there ever actually be an end?
What I did like to see on paper is that CASA has indicated it will in future accept regulatory change proposals from the aviation industry and community. This is simply smart. CASA, despite their position in the industry, is not the complete repository of all aviation safety knowledge, and there are many people in the industry with expertise that CASA could leverage through this sort of approach. However, it will take two things for this to work: the aviation community has to grit their teeth and engage, and CASA needs to get over it's chronic case of Not-Invented-Here Syndrome. If CASA can solve these two issues, and use the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel prudently, it could bring about a huge increase in aviation safety in Australia.
Dynon Avionics' entry into the certified aircraft market is sure to shake-up the traditional EFIS manufacturers. The company has made its name with top-quality products for the sport and recreational markets, and now they are leveraging that over to tackle some very great names like Garmin, Avidyne, Aspen and Honeywell/Bendix King. The end result for aircraft owners surely has to be a decrease in price as well as an increase in functionality and ease-of-use. It's an STC thing only at the moment, but can it be long before we start to see Dynon equipment fitted as standard to new aircraft?
Didn't Kazan turn the Red Bull Air Race World Championship on its head. Kirby Chambliss came out of the pack on the turn and now heads the field as they charge down the final straight! One week we were talking about how the field would be out after Yoshi Muroya, only to have Chambliss blind-side everyone with two straight victories. It has set up the series for a great last three races with only two points separating the top four pilots! By the end of the Porto round in the first week of September, any one of five pilots could have a points advantage over the rest of the field. This is going to be a brilliant finish and I won't be surprised at all if the contest goes all the way to Indianapolis.
May your gauges always be in the green,