AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

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skydiveireland
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AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by skydiveireland » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:22 pm

Aviators:

The AAIU are attempting to rush through a final draft legislation titled:
Air Navigation (Notification and Investigation of Accidents, Serious Incidents and Incidents) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

The AAIU are attempting to give themselves legislative authority over investigation of non-aircraft related accidents. Under current legislation the AAIU have NO legal authority to investigate accidents relating to model aircraft, para-gliding, hang gliding or parachute accidents (if it does not involve an aircraft)

As the AAU legislation currently stands the AAIU have NO authority to investigate accidents of the above activities and all Air Sports that are not "Aircraft" as defined under the Rules of the Air Order.

However the AAIU has conducted several investigations into these activities, questioned people under the authority of their current legislation and have produced reports.

I have engaged with the AAIU since April of this year to query their authority over investigations of parachute accidents and I have now documented some interesting replies and many evasive responses to very direct questions. It seems the Chief Inspector should have been a politician in my opinion. Their response to my queries have them now producing the said draft legislation.

I had a meeting with the AAIU cancelled with Mr Jurgen Whyte refusing to meet with me and my colleagues and stated in writing that he would only meet with me on my own at AAIU offices at the Dept of Transport. I did not deem this to be appropriate and decided that it was inappropriate to attent a meeting with the AAIU alone. Seemed very controversial indeed.

The AAIU have stated to me that they have engaged with other stakeholders on this proposed legislation which is now in the FINAL DRAFT format ready for approval of the politicians. However I have spoken with representatives of the other effected parties and they have stated they have had no communication from the AAIU on this matter.

I received this final draft document from the AAIU directly on the 8th September 2011 and I would like to make it available to any interested/effected aviator. Please email david@skydiveireland.ie if you would like a copy.

I encourage all Air Sport participants to consider a response to this proposed legislation that unless you make your views known will be passed into law giving the AAIU rights over our non-aircraft air sports.

Blue Skies,
David Byrnes
Skydive Ireland

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by Fanstop » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:53 pm

Why would you resist an AAIU investigation into a para accident. they do a very important and often difficult job with the sole objective of improving safety for all aircraft users (direct or indirect). they are completely independent and very profesional. perhaps I am missing something here but I would welcome their input anytime. they even give it to the IAA on occasion.

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by skydiveireland » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:36 pm

Dear Fanstop,

Can you first of all please confirm if you would be an effected person due the this legislation being approved?
In other words do you partake in the said Air Aports? Parachuting, Hang Gliding, Para Gliding, Model Aircraft Flying

it is not just simply a matter of resisting the AAIU. Let me explain:

Instead it is a matter of due process to ensure the AAIU are first of all following the correct and legal process of having legislation approved into law which then becomes binding on us all.

In addition to this I am greatly concerned that a prescribed body in this case the AAIU have already conducted investigations and published reports about matters that they had no legal right to conduct. This is not how a prescribed body should conduct itself.

In response to my queries the AAIU are now attempting to introduce new law giving them powers to conduct investigations, question people, retrieve private equipment, records, conduct inspections into activities that ultimately should not concern them.

It is of great concern to me and my colleagues that the AAIU have no expertise in the Parachuting, Hang Gliding, Para Gliding or Model Aircraft sports. This is very evident when one reads the report issued by the AAIU (AAIU File No: 2007/0031). This is the report published following an investigation conducted by the AAIU into a Tandem Skydive landing accident in Hacketstown Airfield which occurred on the 21 April 2007.

This investigation was conducted under the provision of S.I. 205 of 2007. However having refereed to the said legislation and having a qualified barrister read it and offer an opinion on it, there is no place in this law that gives authority to the AAIU to conduct the said investigation. When I queried it with the AAIU Chief Inspector back in April I have still not been directed to the provision in the law which gave them authority to conduct this as a formal investigation.

I am greatly concerned when any state authority imposes itself in this fashion on the premise they have the legal and lawful right to do so.

I agree that lessons can and should be learned from accidents and we should all try and keep up to date with safety review materials for our chosen activities etc. However our organisations are well equipped to conduct our own investigations into these incidents so that we can learn from them.

From a parachuting point of view I can say that in my research I have found that no other European state AAIU conducts investigations into parachuting accidents.

From my dealings with the AAIU since April I note they are not following the due process of engaging with the effected parties before attempting to pass this into law. I have confirmed this by speaking with some of the effected representative bodies who confirmed they have not been contacted by the AAIU on this matter to date.

Blue Skies,

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by bumitch » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:05 am

Statutory Instrument today, tomorrow Chicago Convention...:)

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by StrikeCommand » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:30 am

Re the question of expertise in the field of Parachuting etc:
Under the existing regulations the AAIU can appoint a person who is not currently an Inspector of Air Accidents as an Inspector for the purposes of that investigation - e.g. if that person has some special skills or knowledge that would aid the AAIU in the investigation. They have excercised this right already - in the case of Cor na Móna crash (PC-9), 2 Air Corps officers were appointed as Inspectors. Therefore if they felt they had a deficiency of expertise in relation to Parachuting etc they could request the assistance of someone who has that expertise and appoint them as an Inspector to assist for the duration of the investigation.
Just for arguments sake, Skydiveireland, if they asked you to assist in that role, what would you do? Refuse? :D
Also I think Fanstop is correct. It doesn't matter whether Fanstop is involved in paragliding etc or not. These activities share the Air Environment with GA operators and it would be better for everyone if AAIU did have the right to investigate incidents involving parachuting etc.

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by Flange Bracket » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:34 pm

Two Aer Corps officers investigating the PC9 crash, how independent is that?

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by StrikeCommand » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:49 am

Not independent at all, of course. :)
But that wasn't the point. The point was that they have that option open to them.

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by skydiveireland » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:34 pm

Attention NACI:

I sent an email to all the committee members of NACI about this matter on the 12th September.
So far NACI has not responded to me on the matter or posted anything on this thread.

I would have thought NACI would be concerned about this legislation going through because of it's effects on members. As far as I have discovered NACI has also not engaged with the AAIU or notified it's members of this development.

Cheers,
David

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by lorax » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:51 am

Would you not welcome their imput, David? Prehaps it was remiss of them to have excluded minority airsports such as yourself until now, a fact that they are now attempting to legislate for.
I find it interesting that the other Larger Parachuting centres have remained silent on this, Prehaps they already have been consulted through their Parachuting association?

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by skydiveireland » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:28 pm

Whether or not we welcome the AAIU input is secondary from how the AAIU has conducted itself thus far with this matter. We are after all a democracy. However we are very much against a state body imposing itself when they have no lawful authority to do so. After it has been pointed out to them to then try and attempt to rush through legislation as a reactive response, one in which we are so used of in the irish aviation community. That is the main theme of our concern.

We are also against a state appointed body conducting investigations into matters in which case it has no experience or expertise as it has so much potential to cause damage since the general public believe almost word for word what a state authority reports when it comes to air accidents. This is largely due to the fact that the general public have little or no knowledge of our aerial activities.
It also exposes the matter in a legal fashion if there is a law suit resulting from an accident (and most of them result in some sort of legal battle) and if the report is not conducted as it should (and in the case of the parachuting accident in Hacketstown that was investigated by AAIU (without lawful authority) it most certainly was a flawed report in my opinion and presents many potential areas for liability).

In this thread it is highlighted that the AAIU can appoint a person to act on its behalf. I understand this to mean in the case of the AAIU not having the expertise to investigate. However in the case of the investigation conducted by AAIU in Hacketstown, there was no appropriately qualified person with parachuting expertise appointed or else I am sure the report would have said so. Paddy Judge was the investigating person and my research reveals that Mr Judge has no parachuting experience.

If you wish to have a state body impose itself on you with an accident investigation with an activity that is legally nothing to do with them then I find that very strange.

With regards the other "larger centers remaining silent" you refer to you must please clarify. We are speaking about a few aerial sports effected by this matter. This is not just a "parachuting" matter and silence doesn't say anything and can easily mean they have not even considered to look into the matter or are awaiting committee meetings in the respective orgainisations and sports.

But neither of the other sporting organisations of the other effected aerial sports (non-aircraft) has publicly said anything which includes the body who is supposed to represent our aerial sport, which we all know as the National Aero Club of Ireland.

NACI have been made aware of this issue directly by u and have so far not commented after several weeks now. No comment has been made to state if they endorse the AAIU's proposed legislation or whether they are against it. Perhaps they are yet to consider the matter but the AAIU are moving fast to implement this last minute law....

Speaking about the independence of the AAIU:
As Flange Bracket pointed out the investigation into the PC9 state aircraft crash from the Air Corp was conducted by 2 ex Air Corp investigators. Say no more....

StrikeCommand:
If I was asked to assist with an investigation that I felt I had the qualifications and expertise on then it would greatly depend on the factors surrounding the situation. I can most certainly say that if I felt the AAIU were conducting an investigation to an accident that I knew was not lawfully permitted under their legislation then I can say that I most definitely would not get involved, as it would be an illegal investigation.

Blue Skies,
David

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by stovepipe » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:29 pm

Hi all,
For the record, I know the two Ex-Air Corps officers who were appointed to investigate the PC-9 crash. Both men are highly respected individuals, either in or out of the Air Corps and are eminently qualified to investigate air accidents, both being former Engineering Officers and both having had the benefit of Type Rating courses in Pilatus' HQ in Switzerland. So, you couldn't find anyone more experienced or qualified, in the country, to examine the case of the PC9 crash, with the appropriate level of independence. If they need expertise from Pilatus, they will bring it in. Both the AAIU and the Air Corps are well aware that they might be accused of lack of independence on this issue, which is why they are being very, very careful about it.
Apart from that, you have a nerve to be challenging the personal and professional integrity of these men. Taking issue with the AAIU as an organisation is one thing but aiming at the Inspectors on apersonal basis is out of order.

regards
Stovepipe

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by NAG » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:55 pm

@Stovepipe I think to say that the comments about the PC9 inspectors were of a personal nature is untrue. It was the independence of the inspectors that was in question which (if I've interpreted your reply correctly) you also appreciate to be an understandable viewpoint.

FYI, I'm in favour of the expanded powers of the AAIU so long as the legislation is properly considered and not a rush job.

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by bumitch » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:53 pm

@Stovepipe
I guess you might be happy to have former Anglo Irish Bank management investigate themselves, or have Manx Airlines or Aer Lingus/Aer Arann do likewise? The impartiality and competence of investigators is certainly a matter of public concern. As indeed is the time delay in issuing reports on substantial accidents.

As to referencing the author of a report, I don’t see a problem. I know nothing of parachuting, but if there are issues with a report (and I have no reason to believe there are), then such issues should be addressed.

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by stovepipe » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:57 pm

Hi all,
I assure you, from experience with these people, that they are impartial. They are not current Air Corps, they are ex-Air Corps and they are very experienced engineers. Like I already said, Pilatus' experts have been involved from the start, on the PC-9 case.
As for the slow publishing of case reports, there are several reasons why. First, the case itself has to investigated, which involves multiple agencies (AAIU, IAA, Gardai, Fire Brigade, ATC,etc,etc) and the individuals concerned (pilots, passengers, witnesses, interested parties such as owners, airlines, the military, foreign governments, foreign airlines,etc,etc) are interviewed/informed as required.Second,the logistical/Admin trail is huge and is often delayed by the length of time it takes individuals or organisations to respond.When the draft final report is completed, it is then sent to all parties for comment. It may then be altered or even rewritten as required. It must also pass legal scrutiny and is examined by the Chief Inspector before it is finally published.
Apart from all that, the AAIU is a very small unit, numbering less than 10 people, all in. If you want to see and hear how they work, contact them and they will come to your club or school and give you a very informative and detailed briefing.

regards
Stovepipe

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Re: AAIU - Proposed Legislation - Air Sports

Post by wexs2 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:59 pm

Very interesting information , anyone got any ideas when the pc9 report will be published?

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