Cemair grounded - wins Appeal yet again!

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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Sun May 05, 2019 12:27 am

My take on the situation:

1. CAA's use of the big stick was overly harsh in grounding CemAir.
2. CemAir did not have all their ducks in a row. Too many ex-employees(disgruntled or not) confirm this. The aviation industry is small and people talk.
3. The conspiracy theory surrounding CAA's actions favouring other airlines is hogwash.
4. I believe CemAir's parting shot was to discredit the CAA as they have now done without the intention of correcting the misaligned ducks because they were unable to. I think it was an easy task to prove the CAA acted too harshly because we all agree they did.

This is a classic case of two wrongs never making a right.
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Mouser » Sun May 05, 2019 6:51 am

It seems a really sad outcome for SA aviation to me. Sure the "system worked" but at what cost? Really only both sides' lawyers did well out of it - is there a storey there?

I have had brushes with current government regulatory authorities (with some good reason but I can see how things could bounce horribly wrong) and CemAir would be really, really brave to get back into the market as they will have a massive target on their backs. As has been noted, in most inspections, some fault can be found - I participate in two yearly audits by engineers from external verifiers (the UK, US, Japan, Israel & India); the last from the German authorities and they have the ability to make a small fault and its corrective action requirements seriously onerous. Generally they don't, some polite direction, to which you pay very careful attention, allows the requests to be closed out with the appropriate penalties. It took us six years or so to learn this.

Learn the lessons for the future elsewhere, take your pie and waai; leave the lawyers to bicker it out.
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Sun May 05, 2019 8:39 am

Two lessons to be learned here.
1. As a regulator, allow stakeholders the time to resolve snags and refrain from vindictiveness.
2. As a stakeholder, allow the regulator to regulate and refrain from becoming obstreperous.

In other words, cooperation is key. This situation was allowed to deteriorate to the point where no winners have emerged. No sense of maturity was displayed by either party.

Quite a shameful indictment for the aviation industry as a whole.
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by JSB » Sun May 05, 2019 8:43 am

GL wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 6:09 pm
CemAir in no hurry to return to the sky:
CemAir.... won't be flying just yet - https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south- ... -just-yet/
The refund process or lack of it in this article tells me all I really need to know about Cemair and it’s management, all the CAA drama aside.
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by LvdM » Sun May 05, 2019 10:55 am

This is Laura van der Molen. I am the Chief Financial Officer of CemAir. I (we) have lived through a targeted attack by the SACAA for the past 6 months with the sole intention of closing down the airline. On 29 April 2019 the airline was vindicated. The Appeal judgement is comprehensively conclusive. The CAA acted unlawfully and without merit. There were no grounds for any of the actions taken. This is indisputable. The Director herself is found deficient in "failing to apply her mind", a condition aptly described in the judgement as "yet a more profound problem". Yet, here we are almost 7 days after the whitewash victory and still the SACAA defiantly display media notices of their illegal actions on their website and crow about how CemAir still cannot operate, whilst the airline is headlined by the brainwashed media as still having to answer for its "deficiencies". I am astounded. Where is the justice? What is certain is that the industry is afraid to speak up. I received advice from several key industry players warning against standing up to the regulator, no matter the merits. A battered wife syndrome in its most mature form. And yet South Africa’s Constitution exists for this very reason, to protect all citizens and to ensure that administrators act within the confines of their mandate and not for political or personal cause. Action must be taken. The industry is dying. Urgent resuscitation is required.
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Jack Welles » Sun May 05, 2019 11:38 am

Airwayfreak wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 8:39 am
Quite a shameful indictment for the aviation industry as a whole.
With respect this is a little strong. There have been a number of postings about pleasant interactions with CAA, eg, recently someone posted about filing docs on a Monday and collecting the ATF on the Wednesday, someone else commented on how helpful the CAA staff were. On a more macro level there are IIRC +- 12 airlines in SA (obviously big dogs like SAA, Mango and Comair but also smaller ones). Just because one smaller airline got into an arm wrestle with CAA doesn't mean the whole aviation sector is going down the drain (note: it might be but that one situation doesn't prove it).

As for Cemair I see by Laura's post that the attitude hasn't changed. Realpolitik rules! It doesn't matter who was in the right or wrong, and by how much, slagging off the regulator in public is not, in my opinion, helpful to building a new working relationship.

In some ways insulting organisations and/or people in public is just a cheap form of litigation because you're trying to pressure them to do something. It's also not very sophisticated and mature to crow in public about a legal victory unless you are determined to destroy any possibility of building a working relationship going forward. Negotiation 101.

It takes commercial and personal maturity (and you may have to grit your teeth) but negotiate before you litigate is still the way to go. Honey catches more flies (if that's what you want) than vinegar ...
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Johan.botha » Sun May 05, 2019 12:21 pm

The idea that you should not criticize the administration is deeply communist. The state can do no wrong and if you question its authority you must be jailed. For now, the constitution protects these rights and in SA you can still speak your mind. This probably will change in the not too distant future.

The CAA is a deeply flawed organization. Years of political hiring's exacerbated by internal politics have created an organization that serves to an extent its own needs but primarily the interests of its management. Safety is subordinate, a convenient catch word for justifying the unjustifiable.

The idea that you need to keep the regulator 'happy' to operate in the environment is very African. The regulation should be the focus not the 'pleasure' of the individual. Cemair has broken no regulation that is clear from the judgement. If failing to please a power hungry midget is a crime then they maybe.

People that have strong opinions that they will express publicly but anonymously are of little consequence.
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Jack Welles » Sun May 05, 2019 12:51 pm

Johan.botha wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 12:21 pm
The idea that you should not criticize the administration is deeply communist. The state can do no wrong and if you question its authority you must be jailed.
Huh? Talk about red herrings and strawmen, this takes the cake. it's just silly to suggest a clearly bizarre over-the-top situation and then claim it's evidence that being mature, courteous and polite (even when dealing with idiots) is wrong. Really, really silly.

And the negotiation 101 principle that you deal maturely and judiciously with situations is not limited to govt regulatory bodies.

Slag off your doctor on a public forum and then expect him to really, really make his best effort to sort your ailments when you're suddenly taken ill. Yeah, right!

Insult your garage, and the mechanic who worked on your car, all over the Internet and then expect them to go out of their way to help you when it breaks down! Yeah, right!

Stand in front of the teller at the bank and shout out in public how stupid and useless they are (even if they are) is really not a winning strategy!

It all makes a lot of sense - NOT!
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Sun May 05, 2019 12:58 pm

Jack Welles wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 11:38 am

With respect this is a little strong. There have been a number of postings about pleasant interactions with CAA, eg, recently someone posted about filing docs on a Monday and collecting the ATF on the Wednesday, someone else commented on how helpful the CAA staff were. On a more macro level there are IIRC +- 12 airlines in SA (obviously big dogs like SAA, Mango and Comair but also smaller ones). Just because one smaller airline got into an arm wrestle with CAA doesn't mean the whole aviation sector is going down the drain (note: it might be but that one situation doesn't prove it).
I'm always cynical of sentences beginning with, "With Respect" or "I feel your pain but..." :lol: :lol: :lol:

Unfortunately for every positive statement, there appear to be 2 negatives if Avcom is to be believed. I say its an indictment of the aviation industry as a whole because we really should not be having this debate. The fact that this issue has polarised average garden variety pilots/enthusiast like you and me is sad. I suppose it's a utopian concept to think otherwise
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by tansg » Mon May 06, 2019 6:13 am

Johan.botha wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 12:21 pm
The idea that you should not criticize the administration is deeply communist. The state can do no wrong and if you question its authority you must be jailed. For now, the constitution protects these rights and in SA you can still speak your mind. This probably will change in the not too distant future.

The CAA is a deeply flawed organization. Years of political hiring's exacerbated by internal politics have created an organization that serves to an extent its own needs but primarily the interests of its management. Safety is subordinate, a convenient catch word for justifying the unjustifiable.

The idea that you need to keep the regulator 'happy' to operate in the environment is very African. The regulation should be the focus not the 'pleasure' of the individual. Cemair has broken no regulation that is clear from the judgement. If failing to please a power hungry midget is a crime then they maybe.

People that have strong opinions that they will express publicly but anonymously are of little consequence.
It is obvious from these statements you have very little experience with regulators worldwide. This is not just an African thing it is a regulator vs operator thing worldwide. You also seem to have read a very different judgement to that what I did. As Jack Welles keeps saying, Negotiation 101 is the only successful solution. This does not mean you cannot disagree, it means that you have to make work to come to a mutually agreeable solution. The path that this whole episode has taken is such that it seems that both parties have got to a point where neither is willing to negotiate anymore, to the detriment of both parties. The only solution forward as I see it is 3rd party mediation and even then I don't see much success with the entrenched standpoints being broadcasted via the media who are only to keen to add some sensationalism to add to the juiciness of the "story". Time for everyone to pack the egos away in their back pocket and become pragmatic as to how this situation can be resolved, that is if all the parties actually want to get it resolved. Due to the path that this whole episode has taken and the public statements made, a solution will definitely require both parties to take a red face and admit culpability.
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Jack Welles » Mon May 06, 2019 11:15 am

Airwayfreak wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 12:58 pm
[I'm always cynical of sentences beginning with, "With Respect" or "I feel your pain but..." :lol: :lol: :lol:

Unfortunately for every positive statement, there appear to be 2 negatives if Avcom is to be believed. I say its an indictment of the aviation industry as a whole because we really should not be having this debate. The fact that this issue has polarised average garden variety pilots/enthusiast like you and me is sad. I suppose it's a utopian concept to think otherwise
:D was meant with great goodwill because I agreed with virtually everything you said except the bit about it being "... a shameful indictment for the aviation industry as a whole .." so felt that "with respect" was appropriate.

I do believe that we are largely on the same page. I just don't think that one arm-wrestle between one of the regulated and the regulator necessarily is sufficient evidence to prove the whole industry is stuffed.
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Thermalator » Mon May 06, 2019 2:57 pm

Jack Welles wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 12:51 pm
Slag off your doctor on a public forum and then expect him to really, really make his best effort to sort your ailments when you're suddenly taken ill. Yeah, right!
The only reason I read this forum is to try to understand the bad thinking,Yours, Airway freak, tansg

Your quote above is verbatim my definition of the word "professionalism" & that example being the way I imagine doctors to be (professionally non vindictive) (wise or not)
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Jack Welles » Mon May 06, 2019 3:30 pm

Thermalator wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:57 pm
Jack Welles wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 12:51 pm
Slag off your doctor on a public forum and then expect him to really, really make his best effort to sort your ailments when you're suddenly taken ill. Yeah, right!
The only reason I read this forum is to try to understand the bad thinking,Yours, Airway freak, tansg
Your quote above is verbatim my definition of the word "professionalism" & that example being the way I imagine doctors to be (professionally non vindictive) (wise or not)
:D two things (and ignoring the "bad thinking" comment because it's unsubstantiated, ie, not backed up with any specific contrary discussion, which I'd be happy to debate if actually presented):

1) Generally, the doctor thing was just one example (of a few) for showing (in a practical way) that the idea of being rude and insulting to people is really not the best way of getting their best efforts on one's behalf. Obviously your mileage may vary and in your opinion being rude may be the best way to work with other people. We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

2) Specific to the example, doctors are also just people, while I would agree that in a perfect world they might be able to ignore public insults etc and still apply their minds fully for someone who treats them in that way, unfortunately the world isn't perfect and I wouldn't be suprised if the odd doctor suggested you rather go to a different practitioner, even if just on the grounds that you obviously don't value their expertise anyway.

As an aside: this idea of professionalism is all well and good and it would apply to, for example, airline pilots ( to keep to the Aviation forum metaphor), as well, but then you get some character who flies himself and his passengers into a mountain or one who turns up drunk or one who fiddles his ATPL licence for 20 years. In other words, in the real world professionalism doesn't always win through. Bit of a bugger if it turns out to be the doctor you were relying on to keep you alive!
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Thermalator » Mon May 06, 2019 4:28 pm

to think that you cannot criticize an administrator is ludicrous....yet the 3 of U have not changed your stance since the start of this thread even when a court proves Cemair right. This simply explains to me why aviation is in such bad shape > because our own shoot us in the foot, unfortunately its often the dudley do rights that represent us.
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Re: Cemair grounded - and WINS Appeal again!

Unread post by Jfairwell » Mon May 06, 2019 5:06 pm

I also don't know how one can objectively defend the regulator after reading paragraph 263 of the appeal determination - "material errors", "irrational", "arbitrary" and "procedurally unfair". Also elsewhere in the determination - "biased" and "of a closed mind".

Cemair is however not alone on the receiving end of this treatment.
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