I'm off to Europe on Wednesday and won't be back until late October. Consequently, this will be the last Last Minute Hitch until then. The website and weekly newsletter will be consigned to the capable hands of Senior Contributor Phillip Smart. Phil has an extensive background in aviation and knows what it takes to keep news feeds up-to-date. It will give me a chance to get over to Italy and Austria, where I am scheduled to test-fly both the Diamond DA-62 and the Tecnam P2010. And do you think I'm looking forward to doing that? You betcha.
News reached us this week that Paul Tyrrell is ending his time as CEO of the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA). Paul has worked hard in Canberra as an advocate for regional airlines and airports, and been a stauch supporter of The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF), which has done a lot of good work that produced benefits for GA. Whatever Paul goes onto next, we wish him well and thank him for his efforts.
Mark Skidmore is obviously prepared to tell the rest of the CASA board and the Minister exactly what the state of play is. His recent memo to CASA internal staff stated that he was prepared to ignore the government's deadline to finish the regulation review if it meant getting it right. This is a bit of a quandry for GA. The regulation reform program has been running longer than The Simpsons, but hasn't been anywhere near as much fun, and realistically maybe we've all had enough. It has been badly mismanaged and several deadlines directed by several ministers have done nothing more than be measuring sticks for the extent of the problem. So, for Skidmore to come out now and say he's prepared to ignore another one takes guts, especially when he's running in the face of a storm of criticism that nothing's happening. On the contrary, if that is what it will take to get the regulations right, maybe that's what needs to happen. Do we really want another Part 61 generated by a desperate need just to hit a deadline? Bad regulation won't hurry the end of this, it will only drag it out further as we try to battle even more nonsense.
Our Friday Flying Video this week is straight from Airservices Australia. It outlines in more understandable terms exactly what ADS-B is and why all IFR aircraft are going to forced to install it by February 2017. For the time being, ignore all the political storm over the whole cost/mandate issue and take the time to watch this video. It's not going to be that long before the term ADS-B will become part of the general aviation dictionary, and we all need to understand it.
Matt Hall is confident of a good chance to take more points off Paul Bonhomme in Fort Worth this weekend, thanks to the heat. Hall regularly practices his flying at home near Newcastle, and consequently is more tuned to flying in the less dense air of hot environments than most of his competitors. Warmer weather has boosted his results in other races before, and now may stand to be his best mate when he needs it the most. With only two races to go, he is five points behind Bonhomme, which is still a decent margin in a championship that awards only 12 points for a win.
And it's good to see Matt and fellow MXS-R pilot Nigel Lamb stepping up to fly at Warbirds Downunder in November. This is a great show put on by the Temora Aviation Museum and is well worth getting up to. It deserves the support of all in general aviation, and seeing these two together in the sky is even more incentive to be there.
May your gauges always be in the green,