GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Discussions pertaining to Airline operations,safety and training for Flight Deck Crew. Open to anyone who would like to learn all aspects of the Airline industry from a pilots perspective.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
cage
8000 Tousand
8000 Tousand
Posts: 8868
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:47 am
Closest Airfield: FAGC
Location: ..for the grass 35

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by cage » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:29 pm

Jel wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:26 pm

I also wouldn't also rely on a judge to determine if an airline operation is safe no matter what the judgement says. Interesting that the CAA grounded him and within a few hours a judge is able to determine the safety of an airline :!:
I would expect a court to provide relief based on procedural failings, no judge would be qualified to make a determination of safety, as you say they aren't qualified and would in that case yield to the regulator.
Matters of procedure can be unrelated to safety, hence, reading the the judgement provides valuable context without all the deflect and spin from both sides.
Jel
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 613
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:16 pm
Closest Airfield: FALA

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by Jel » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:32 pm

cage wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:29 pm
Jel wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:26 pm

I also wouldn't also rely on a judge to determine if an airline operation is safe no matter what the judgement says. Interesting that the CAA grounded him and within a few hours a judge is able to determine the safety of an airline :!:
I would expect a court to provide relief based on procedural failings, no judge would be qualified to make a determination of safety, as you say they aren't qualified and would in that case yield to the regulator.
Matters of procedure can be unrelated to safety, hence, reading the the judgement provides valuable context without all the deflect and spin from both sides.
In other words... could be a case of simply not following procedure in implementing the grounding but not necessarily determining safety as such? Judgement would clear it up...
User avatar
Whirly
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 11282
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:25 pm
Closest Airfield: Ermelo
Location: Mpumalanga

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by Whirly » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:48 pm

As I understand it, and I am not very clever btw, CAA could not offer any reasons for saying flight safety was at risk, other than that Cemair had no Responsible Person Flight Operations (PRFO) which posed a flight safety risk. This while such a person was already appointed in November and approved by CAA.

Whirly.
Every dog needs a home and every home needs a dog (or two or three).
User avatar
nugpot
Too Tousand
Too Tousand
Posts: 2485
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:58 pm
Closest Airfield: MBL
Location: the non-ANC province

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by nugpot » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:47 pm

Jel wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:42 am

Cemair has shown just how polarised the industry is at the moment... there seems to be no middle ground anywhere... you are either on one side or the other, but nothing in between... its no wonder there is a huge gap between the regulator and the regulated... do people not know how to engage any longer...

It is also strange to me how the stakeholders in the industry cant even get it together and there is a feeling that the only way to achieve anything is by fighting the CAA and crying from the rooftops about how unfair this all is... and yet... the CAA is still there, and will be there forever... and working against them is simply not going to achieve anything...
For the past two years, I have been part of a working group consisting of representatives from all the Part 121 operators (who deigned to send representatives) and CAA staff. I’m sure that the CAA has its own issues, but I found the operators who showed up to be of common purpose and the attitude to and from the CAA to be cooperative, and not antagonistic.

All the established airlines have realized that the CAA has become a lot more pedantic and box-ticking during audits and spend enormous resources to cross t’s and dot i’s in complying with the letter of the regulations. Airlines in which any department fails in this endeavour, will unfortunately have CAA pain. I know this first-hand and it is entirely possible that one bad apple can bring an airline to the ground by not doing his/her job properly.

I was also extremely impressed with the quality of people who look after these things at Comair, Safair and SAA. SAX has overhauled internal oversight completely and have some very competent people steering things. Airlink was forced through the same exercise some years ago and by all accounts have everything ship-shape, although I haven’t dealt with them enough to know the individuals concerned.

Don’t think that the Part 121 oversight by the CAA is automatically bad because it takes 5 days to renew your PPL.

Also don’t measure airline industry ‘polarization’ by posts on an aviation enthusiast chat-forum like Avcom. If one thing is clear from threads on Avcom, it is that most posters have zero idea about Part 121 ops and obviously don’t know enough people in the airline industry to know the back-stories to what they read in the papers. For them it is a purely emotional reaction - picking sides on how they feel about the players without knowing the first thing about the facts.

This industry is so small that career pilots will have multiple acquaintances in every airline in the country and will know pretty well how things are in each airline. It was obvious over the last few days that the airline pilots had pretty much the same take on things. Our airlines have all published extensive policies on our utterings on social media and chat forums, so most of us try not to get too specific about anything, and some have stopped contributing completely.
Jel
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 613
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:16 pm
Closest Airfield: FALA

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by Jel » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:07 pm

nugpot wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:47 pm
Jel wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:42 am

Cemair has shown just how polarised the industry is at the moment... there seems to be no middle ground anywhere... you are either on one side or the other, but nothing in between... its no wonder there is a huge gap between the regulator and the regulated... do people not know how to engage any longer...

It is also strange to me how the stakeholders in the industry cant even get it together and there is a feeling that the only way to achieve anything is by fighting the CAA and crying from the rooftops about how unfair this all is... and yet... the CAA is still there, and will be there forever... and working against them is simply not going to achieve anything...
For the past two years, I have been part of a working group consisting of representatives from all the Part 121 operators (who deigned to send representatives) and CAA staff. I’m sure that the CAA has its own issues, but I found the operators who showed up to be of common purpose and the attitude to and from the CAA to be cooperative, and not antagonistic.

All the established airlines have realized that the CAA has become a lot more pedantic and box-ticking during audits and spend enormous resources to cross t’s and dot i’s in complying with the letter of the regulations. Airlines in which any department fails in this endeavour, will unfortunately have CAA pain. I know this first-hand and it is entirely possible that one bad apple can bring an airline to the ground by not doing his/her job properly.

I was also extremely impressed with the quality of people who look after these things at Comair, Safair and SAA. SAX has overhauled internal oversight completely and have some very competent people steering things. Airlink was forced through the same exercise some years ago and by all accounts have everything ship-shape, although I haven’t dealt with them enough to know the individuals concerned.

Don’t think that the Part 121 oversight by the CAA is automatically bad because it takes 5 days to renew your PPL.

Also don’t measure airline industry ‘polarization’ by posts on an aviation enthusiast chat-forum like Avcom. If one thing is clear from threads on Avcom, it is that most posters have zero idea about Part 121 ops and obviously don’t know enough people in the airline industry to know the back-stories to what they read in the papers. For them it is a purely emotional reaction - picking sides on how they feel about the players without knowing the first thing about the facts.

This industry is so small that career pilots will have multiple acquaintances in every airline in the country and will know pretty well how things are in each airline. It was obvious over the last few days that the airline pilots had pretty much the same take on things. Our airlines have all published extensive policies on our utterings on social media and chat forums, so most of us try not to get too specific about anything, and some have stopped contributing completely.
Thank you for taking the time to respond constructively.
User avatar
cage
8000 Tousand
8000 Tousand
Posts: 8868
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:47 am
Closest Airfield: FAGC
Location: ..for the grass 35

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by cage » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:34 pm

Pugnot, great to see you posting again and adding some thoughtful industry insight.
A Corbett
Engine Started
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:51 pm
Closest Airfield: Hilversum
Location: Netherlands

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by A Corbett » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:53 pm

Whirly wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:48 am
Was the verdict of the judge also "slanted" ? :?

Whirly.
There was no verdict. The press releases say that CAA's arguments fell apart before the judge needed to make a decision. They all then made a settlement order that Cemair can fly for another 30 days while CAA audits them to try to find something else wrong
User avatar
Expilot
Stressed Eric ain't got nothing on me
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:45 pm
Closest Airfield: FAHT
Location: Lowveld

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by Expilot » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:59 pm

Thx GL for calling a spade a spade...
Last edited by Expilot on Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chris
User avatar
nugpot
Too Tousand
Too Tousand
Posts: 2485
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 9:58 pm
Closest Airfield: MBL
Location: the non-ANC province

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by nugpot » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:02 pm

Thanks guys.

One thing I forgot to mention is how active the ALPA branches are in assisting their employers in this regard, both in cooperative and sometimes in more demanding fashion. Established airlines have so much expertise available in the pilot pool that it can tap into. I know pilots with better qualifications than the most senior managers at their airlines and in mature airlines, these guys are usually the first to help when they see room for improvement.

Even at airlines where the industrial situation can be "challenging", I have seen the technical experts from the union jump in to help compliance or operational recovery. Our industry is much more mature and professional than people seem to think. This is why a new entrant with a narrow management pyramid, junior pilots and no union representation might have more challenges, but there is no reason why they cannot be solved and the airline could prosper.
Airwayfreak
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:56 am
Closest Airfield: FAJS
Location: Johannesburg

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:45 pm

A Corbett wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:53 pm

There was no verdict. The press releases say that CAA's arguments fell apart before the judge needed to make a decision. They all then made a settlement order that Cemair can fly for another 30 days while CAA audits them to try to find something else wrong
Which takes us back to Nugpot's illuminating comments and a question that remains unanswered in my mind. Do you believe that the SACAA has singled out CemAir specifically and is intent on destroying this airline and why would they do that?

From personal experience, I can tell you that this scenario plays out in other countries as well. The FAA also gets accused of similar behaviour, quite coincidently by many who are also not involved in Part 121 operations. Many T's are crossed and I's dotted in FAA audits.

Nugpot, I understand and applaud your tact and sensitivity. You are a gentleman
Trent772B
Tripped over wheel chock
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:27 pm
Closest Airfield: HONG KONG
Location: Cape Town

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by Trent772B » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:23 pm

Nippon Cargo has just spent the last 10 months virtually grounded. Almost all their aircraft (I stand to be corrected here) were grounded pending detailed inspections stemming from a Regulator finding. This happens the world over.
Airwayfreak
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:56 am
Closest Airfield: FAJS
Location: Johannesburg

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:22 am

.
Last edited by Airwayfreak on Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Flying Sourcer
Mags On
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:56 am
Closest Airfield: Lanseria
Location: Johannesburg

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by Flying Sourcer » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:51 am

Let me just review the facts as I understand them. Please correct me Guy if I have something wrong.

1 CAA audits CemAir and makes no secret of their aggressive agenda.

2 CAA determines incorrectly that there is no RPFO. Grounds CenAir for 24 hours.

3 Disgruntled ex-employees by their own admission on this forum dig some dirt on CemAir and supply it to CAA.

4.CAA consumed by hate but limited by incompetence signs CemAir's death warrant.

5. Cemair takes recourse to the Court. Presents evidence that the said dirt is no dirt at all but codified into regulations.

6. CAA's Senior Counsel takes CAA aside and tells them their ship just sank.

7. The parties agree on a decision.

8. CAA declares a victory.

9. CemAir flies again while CAA plots another way to destroy them.

Any glaring errors there Guy?
User avatar
GL
8000 Tousand
8000 Tousand
Posts: 8775
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:08 am
Closest Airfield: FACT
Location: Lost for words

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by GL » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:31 am

Flying Sourcer wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:51 am
Let me just review the facts as I understand them. Please correct me Guy if I have something wrong.

1 CAA audits CemAir and makes no secret of their aggressive agenda.

2 CAA determines incorrectly that there is no RPFO. Grounds CenAir for 24 hours.

3 Disgruntled ex-employees by their own admission on this forum dig some dirt on CemAir and supply it to CAA.

4.CAA consumed by hate but limited by incompetence signs CemAir's death warrant.

5. Cemair takes recourse to the Court. Presents evidence that the said dirt is no dirt at all but codified into regulations.

6. CAA's Senior Counsel takes CAA aside and tells them their ship just sank.

7. The parties agree on a decision.

8. CAA declares a victory.

9. CemAir flies again while CAA plots another way to destroy them.

Any glaring errors there Guy?
Well Flying Sourcer - I wouldn't have put it quite so bluntly myself :lol: - but yes - that's pretty much my take on what went down this time.
In response to Airways freak - That article was on "op-Ed" - which means that it is opinion. I carefully avoided getting involved in the merits of the case myself. It was written for the general public who care not for the minutiae of disagreements as to what assumptions are made about the weight of carry on baggage - or whether RPFOs are acting or not.
Let me also address the issue of bias - yes these articles have a bias. They were written especially to ventilate the industry's frustrations with the regulator. At first I asked the Regulator for feedback and gave them a right of reply to my WUCAA articles but they (not unreasonably) declined to get into a mud fight. So now I just call it as I see it.
Let me add that I have a lot of respect for Ms Poppy Khoza and I believe that if we still sent Christmas cards we would be on each others lists! (She sent me a nice WhatsAp about my interview on Enca about SA's drone regs in the light of Gatwick.) So we box and agree to disagree.
And I am well aware that there are probably shortcomings in CemAir's SMS. My commentary was restricted to about how the CAA engages with the airline - eg: a 'cup of cold tea and no biscuit' - rather than the heavy handedness of a grounding.

As cage noted - that article was sub edited by DM - who introduced a good few typos. But what they also did was take out my last line which in a sense summarised one of the major points I was making:
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes – who guards the guards?”
Uncommon wisdom:
The grand essentials to happiness in this life are:
• someone to love,
• something to do,
• and something to hope for

Guy Leitch
A Corbett
Engine Started
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:51 pm
Closest Airfield: Hilversum
Location: Netherlands

Re: GL's commentary on CemAir vs the ‘Commission Against Aviation’

Unread post by A Corbett » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:16 am

Airwayfreak wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:45 pm
A Corbett wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:53 pm

There was no verdict. The press releases say that CAA's arguments fell apart before the judge needed to make a decision. They all then made a settlement order that Cemair can fly for another 30 days while CAA audits them to try to find something else wrong
Which takes us back to Nugpot's illuminating comments and a question that remains unanswered in my mind. Do you believe that the SACAA has singled out CemAir specifically and is intent on destroying this airline and why would they do that?
I am not interested in the wild speculation. Just the facts. Whirly was wondering if the judge had made a ruling in the case, but the judge only guided the arguments to the crucial aspects. CAA bailed out and went for a settlement in which they won nothing but a bit of face saving.

The fact that CAA's gronding of an airline was completely unfounded and they made a lot of noise about it on video and the media tells a story which I will leave up to the reader to evaluate for himself.

I don't have a dog in this hunt, unlike most of the posters here. GL's article is fairly balanced, but it is opinion and he is not going to alienate advertisers.

Return to “Airline Chatter”