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Bankstown Airport Desperately Sad

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Bankstown Airport Desperately Sad

Old 8th Oct 2014, 00:59
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Thornbird speaking of the land of the all bleck, can't any RPT New Zealand airline fly within Australia without having to deal with CASA ever ?
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 01:30
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Devil Pilots are daggy.

Sorry guys but flying just isn't sexy any more.

The re-development of aerodromes and the public apathy isn't a conspiracy... it is just reality.

To my Father's generation (now 65-80 years old) aeroplanes were an incredibly sexy machine that saved the world as they knew it. Pilots were hailed as heroes. Air travel was glamorous and private flying was gritty and technical and adventurous, for a generation of men that were (like Dick Smith) gritty, technical and adventurous.

Those of us aged maybe 40-65 have inherited some of our father's interest in the gritty, technical and adventurous but the last 20 years of GA have seen massive changes.

1/. No such thing as acceptable risk (for matters of public liability);
2/. No interest in dirty hands and little exposure to, or interest in, machines generally;
3/. The rise and rise of the safety/quality auditor and the uber-emotional response to the "Safety" red card.

For people with some money and a technical bent, things like motorbikes and jet skis provide a fun outlet for a fraction of the entry cost and a fraction of the regulatory embuggerance.

...and despite the hand-wringing faux outrage over the term "affordable safety", Blind Freddy can see that "Safety at any cost" (usually only incremental safety at exponential cost) is now regulating small aviation out of existence.

There is such a thing as "unaffordable safety" and this country is living it - and drowning in it.

Regulation, "unaffordable safety", audits and indifference have replaced the values that made Australia the great nation of the 1950s-1980s.

Where once we had integrity, public service, thrift, and common sense practical skills we now have corruption, self interest, profligagte spending and a nation of unskilled impractical housemaids incapable of making a decision for themselves or thinking their way out of a wet paper bag without googling the answer first.

I keep saying here that Dick could help revive public interest in aviation through a media campaign and sposorship or spearheading an EAA-style Young Eagles program in this country, but Dick never answers.
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 01:38
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Alas poor Aviation, I knew him well Horatio
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 02:11
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Originally Posted by Horatio Leafblower View Post
I keep saying here that Dick could help revive public interest in aviation through a media campaign and sposorship or spearheading an EAA-style Young Eagles program in this country, but Dick never answers.
I'll bet Dick could be interested in figureheading such a campaign, but to expect him to kick it off and direct it is a tall order. If enough aviation types could get together and agree on a strategy, he might be convinced to lend a hand.

However, I still see the malaise as much wider than just aviation in general and GA in particular. While our populous enjoys the benefits of the investments of the past and of other nations, we don't feel the need to bother our minds with technical stuff. You only need to refer to a) the current account deficit and b) the drop off in STEM participation to figure that out.

It will change, but it won't be change we currently believe in...
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 04:06
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There are two things that will lead to the eventual demise of Aviation in Australia; Loss of access to airports and bureaucratic interference. I have the benefit of having lived in the USA for a while and learning to fly there. I have seen a different approach to aviation.

Part of the key differences between Australia and Here is how united the pilots organisations are in their fight to maintain their status quo or indeed even improve their conditions for aviation. Here is Australia thereare constant squabbles between the different branches of aviation. You only have to look at the threads on this site to find people complaining about gliders and RAAus, or suggesting that homebuilts need more restriction. The converse is true on other sites, with complaints about RPT doing straight in approaches at uncontrolled fields. Until the participants unite to a common purpose the continuation of Aviation in this country in under threat.

I am also amazed at how many Australians have never been in a small aircraft. While a high proportion of Australians have jetted off overseas far fewer have been in a single engine aircraft. This leads to a perception in people’s minds that private aviation is only something that a select few rich people can enjoy. It’s why the boat ramps are safe from “user pays”, even those who don’t have a boat know someone who does and at some pointjust about every Australian has been out in one. When they hear of an airport closure or increases in landing fees it triggers no more reaction than the rugby results might trigger in an AFL fan. For this reason it won’t be Dick Smith who is able to galvanise the populous to action but will take the effort of “regular”individuals, people who work “normal” jobs who like flying and not feeding bait prawns to flathead or being towed behind an outboard on water-skis.

Imagine if there was a program similar to the EAA’s Young Eagles program operating in Australia. The young eagles program provides free flightsto kids between the age of 8 and 17 in homebuilt aircraft by private pilots.Now some, here on this website, would recoil in horror at the thought; No commercial license, no AOC, experimental aircraft!!!! But if 50% of the kids in the Wyong area had been for a free flight the article linked above about the increase in landing fees at Warnervale could have been straight out of the newspapers “think of the kiddies” back catalogue. What politician would like to be the one facing the press in these circumstances?

The fixing of aviation can be done. It will take a change ofheart of a number of individuals and organisations. It will take a lot of work. I only hope that we are up for the challenge.

Last edited by no_one; 8th Oct 2014 at 04:09. Reason: typo
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 06:31
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I think you will find that the exodus started around 1992 or so. That was when the FAC came along and jacked up the rents and costs and started to take in non aviation industries to pay for their custom number plates and fancy corporate logos. We had a small but profitable little maint. biz there but when the costs went up our customers started moving away and we could not afford the FAC rents and with the CAA/ CASA attitude it was just not worth it. Closed up and went sailing in the Whitsundays for ten years. I think that this was part of the CAA's plan to get rid of as many small operators as they could so they had only a smaller industry base to stand over. The big got bigger and the small just faded away.
BTW Dick who screwed up the original ANO95:10 for ultralights and made it compulsory to belong to those pecker heads at RAAus?
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 07:13
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Originally Posted by mr flappy View Post
I'm not sure what happened elsewhere when the Howard government sold off the airports
I wouldn't try to make this a political issue, since the planning and initial implementation was done by the Hawke and Keating administrations, starting in April 1994. The actual (Phase 1) sale was completed in July 1997 after tenders were called by the Keating government. Both sides are equally incompetent when dealing with Australian Aviation.

I flew two Keating ministers back to Tullamarine who were happily chatting away about what a marvelous residential development they had planned for Essendon Airport, unaware that the intercom included the driver. Since one was the Transport Minister Laurie Brereton and the other was the Deputy PM, Brian Howe, I wasn't too impressed with their commitment to general aviation.
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 09:19
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. yr right

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Can't put housing at bankstown as it is a flood plan.
Didn't stop them from developing Wallan for housing even though when it was an airfield there would sometimes be 12" of water in the hangars.

Kaz
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 10:52
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It's amazing what a bit of backfilling and drainage can do to increase the value of land for housing.
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 21:25
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Wakefield

Land - the modern gold rush!
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 22:02
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Part of the key differences between Australia and Here is how united the pilots organisations are in their fight to maintain their status quo or indeed even improve their conditions for aviation. Here is Australia thereare constant squabbles between the different branches of aviation. You only have to look at the threads on this site to find people complaining about gliders and RAAus, or suggesting that homebuilts need more restriction. The converse is true on other sites, with complaints about RPT doing straight in approaches at uncontrolled fields. Until the participants unite to a common purpose the continuation of Aviation in this country in under threat.
One person, and he's a no one (sorry couldn't resist), has got it right. While Australians are only prepared to whinge to their peers rather than get off their backsides, join an organisation that is prepared to fight for aviation, then GA will continue to go down the drain.

For all those who talk about CASA and the government being so stupid, look in a mirror. They know that they can do what they like because the Australian public are too stupid to put aside their petty grievances with each other to organise into a united front. It reminds me of the scene from Monty Python's "The Life Of Brian" where they keep complaining of the splitters. Just look at the threads we have had on splits in the warbird community, AOPA and others. Trivial in comparison with what is being done to aviation as a whole.

The Archerfield group reminds me of what was one of the very few successful groups to stop a major airfield being carved up for development, Jandakot. It was an example of a group putting aside their differences to achieve a common aim. Forget about government inquiries, that is just a re-arrangement of the deck-chairs as the results show that governments of all persuasions are to blame for the regulatory mess and the toxic relationship that now exists between the regulator and the aviation sector.

The great unwashed, better known as the Australian public, couldn't give a rats anus about aviation so long as they can get a discount fare to Bali or where ever. Besides, every government knows that if things get tough for them they can always press the button marked "xenophobia" and rely on our fear of the yellow peril to stop any mumblings of discontent.

The biggest danger to general aviation in Australia is US because we won't do anything but whinge to stop those who would destroy that sector of the industry.
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Old 8th Oct 2014, 22:57
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The biggest problem with aviation is ego. Everyone has an opinion & their opinion is the only one that's right! Everyone thinks that their area of aviation is the only one that really counts. Until you get rid of that & have people who support aviation rather than trying to run aviation & totally have their way, there will always be division. And when you have division its all over. Just a matter of time.

GA is also somewhat unwelcoming & I believe that ego is part of that as well. Every time I go out to a GA field & wander around I am watched suspiciously & never spoken to. All the pilot types are standing around in their groups talking & laughing & having a good time, but portraying exclusivity & superiority. I always feel like an outsider & even inferior at times. I therefore tend to never go near the aircraft & just watch quietly from a distance.

If I, as a current airline pilot, feel like that, what hope to those who are interested, but never actually flown or become involved in some way, feel like? Its all very well to say that people like us should just rock up, introduce ourselves & start chatting, but human nature doesn't work that way. If you don't actively invite people in, they will stand at the fence & watch & then eventually move on with their lives.
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Old 9th Oct 2014, 04:56
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I moved to Aus about five years ago after living in the US for 7 years and growing up (and getting my PPL) in the UK. I converted my PPL when I arrived and I've gone on to get my CPL recently.

I have made a couple of my own observations about the demise of GA here:

There appears to be a missing generation of PPLs in Australia - there are plenty of old fellas and plenty of debt-laden young boys and girls who want to press buttons in a shiny jet, but where are the younger and middle aged folk who want to fly for fun? The older guys and girls are gradually retiring and the young dreamers want out of GA ASAP.

I don't think flying is any more expensive relative to earning compared to 20,30 or 40 years ago, so there must be something else responsible. I'm sure having more and more pursuits to spend your money on is a factor, but my theory is that there has been less and less general interest in aviation in Australia and that this is fundamentally linked to the lack of public exposure to aviation. The only time the public see aviation is (i) RPT (in foul mood after being stung for parking etc) or (ii) prangs - i.e. never in a positive or exciting/inspirational light. GA firms are universally terrible at any sort of marketing (sticking a sign on the roadway outside your school is not sufficient in this day and age!), so I suspect the best way of swaying people toward aviation has to be through events like airshows. In the UK during the summer you have several big events every weekend and I believe these have been and continue to be instrumental in getting the general public interested and engaged with aviation. The US has airshows, fly-pasts at sporting events and of course the young eagle program. Maybe we have to plumb the depths of something like those awful reality TV shows but we need something that makes people sit up, see flying and think "that looks like fun and I can do it".

Getting people through the door is only the first step; consistent with Oakape's experience my initial impression with several schools around MB was terrible - At best I was treated as an inconvenience and the school cat was most frequently the friendliest and most helpful member of staff. Most surprisingly this bizarre attitude to strangers (i.e. potential students) hasn't really changed much since the disappearance of the lucrative overseas zero-to-hero cadets after the GFC. This is a complete contrast to places I've been to in the UK and US, where the staff of the flying schools I trained at would be tearing your arm off to show you their aeroplanes, fill you with coffee and talk about flying. Why do schools and clubs insist on shooting themselves in the foot after doing the hard part of getting people through the door? I trained at four flying schools at MB until I settled on one that I actually enjoy being at.

I don't think all is quite lost yet, but the status quo will not only lead to a slow agonizing death!

G
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Old 9th Oct 2014, 08:26
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gfunc,

Wholeheartedly agree, young people today, which most of your instructors are have no idea.

Its a service industry, people expect service, not some sprog kid who is convinced his/her sh..t dosnt stink because they have a few gold bars on their shoulder, treating them with contempt.

Someone should have told them they were on the bottom rung of the ladder to a real aviation career, with a long way to go.

Those people coming in the door are the ones paying your salary and expect service, and an experience for their hard earned dollar.
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Old 9th Oct 2014, 09:12
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I like the discussions regarding the olden days at the larger 'secondary' airports such as Moorabbin, Archerfield, Bankstown, Jandakot, etc, etc, and how it would be hard to get a parking sport because of the amount of aircraft there. I also believe they serve a valuable purpose for not just the GA community, but also to the smaller RPT and charter organisations.

But I do have questions about this subject: According to CAssA, there are many, many more aircraft on the register now than back then... So where are they now? They all can't be R22s in the dust or Pipers parked up in places like Broken Hill.

Where in the industry have the golden days transferred to? If they aren't at the second tier airports (and they're certainly not at the first tier ones), then where are they? Everyone is saying GA is dead - but there are more smaller GA aircraft than ever before? Are you all sure GA is actually dead, or are you wearing rose tinted glasses?

I'm not having a go, it's just sometimes the stories don't match the numbers.
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Old 9th Oct 2014, 09:38
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"I don't think flying is any more expensive relative to earning compared to 20,30 or 40 years ago"

With respect, I disagree. I recently renewed my expired instructor rating at YPJT (due to the many uncertainties involved with the Part 61 implementation). That exercise - which involved 2.6 hours flying in a C152 (1.3 practice + 1.3 for the test) cost $1030.

These days you pay airport fees to the greedy airport owners, ATS fees & GST - none of these were around when I learnt to fly & conservatively add around 50% more to the cost each flying hour...

Regards.

VH-MLE
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Old 9th Oct 2014, 09:57
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VH-MLE,

I admit that that quote lacks evidence! It was just my unscientific impression that an hours dual in a C152 cost of the order 1-2 days worth of 'average' wage both today and in years gone by. Sadly, the flight would probably be in exactly the same C152 today as it was 40 years ago!

I stand corrected.

Gfunc
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Old 9th Oct 2014, 09:59
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CAR42ZE - with respect - your numbers finish at the start of the "Indian" training boom.

I would be curious to see the numbers to the end of 2013... that graph will have turned downwards sharply I reckon.
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Old 9th Oct 2014, 10:47
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It's rather telling that CAR42ZE's supplied graph is the current one on CAsA' s website.


2006! Goodness, isn't it now 2014?
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Old 9th Oct 2014, 11:08
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The graph is also deceptive as the spacing of data points goes every 5 years up to 2004 and then every year. A fail in high school science.....
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