Dick Smith recommends mass industry exit

Dick Smith has widely circulated the letter below among his aviation associates, and we’re publishing it here without comment in case any reader has missed it.

Dear All
It’s not the slow pace of Reform at CASA, it’s the fact that they are still heading towards adding to costs.
For example, we know the disaster of Part 61 when in a little over a year’s time every single aircraft that flies IFR will have to have ADS-B fitted.
No country in the world has such a requirement. Even in the USA where there is a requirement for ADS-B from 2020, that’s another 4 years away.
There is no requirement for ADS-B to be fitted for aircraft below 10,000 feet in D, E or G airspace unless the aircraft is within 30 nautical miles of a Class B zone, such as Los Angeles or San Francisco. This clearly means that most small aircraft that operate either IFR or VFR will not need ADS-B in the USA.
I was lucky enough to have an hour with the CASA Board on Thursday, 15th October 2015 and even though the Board seemed keen on getting a delay with this ADS-B mandate, it was quite clear that Mark Skidmore has no intention of giving any type of delay or dispensation.
Remember, there is no measurable safety issue being addressed because we have never had two aircrafts in cloud collide in this country.
Please pass on this email to everyone you can. I absolutely recommend that people get out of aviation as quickly as they can, sell up their businesses and close down because any damage now will be minimised compared to the damage that is going to happen because of the dogmatic attitude of CASA between now and the next 4 years. The damage will be horrendous, far more businesses will go broke and lots more people will be out of work.
It is quite clear with Mr Skidmore, because of his military background, that there will be no measurable reforms in relation to removing unnecessary costs. There is no suggestion that the Minister will put any pressure on to allow a viable General Aviation business and even if the Minister does not stand again, I have not seen the slightest suggestion that his replacement has an understanding that major cost reductions must take place if the General Aviation industry is to remain viable.
AOPA have asked for a delay in the introduction of the mandate for ADS-B for all aircraft that fly IFR and they have got nowhere.
On my recent flight in my Citation to Longreach, I was forced below flight level 290 on the last 300 nautical miles of the flight, even though the controller told me there was no traffic that could require the change in altitude – I was flight planned and operating at flight level 400.
As you can see, it is nothing to do with safety it is all about sheer bastardry and destroying an industry. The people at Airservices are worse, they have no understanding of how their costs for unique requirements can effect General Aviation.
I have presently got my Citation on the market and plan to sell my other aircraft. I would suggest everybody does the same if they don’t want to lose very large amounts of additional wealth and resources.

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About Paul Phelan

Paul Phelan flew for over 50 years in private, charter, corporate and regional aviation, worked in senior management roles with a major regional airline, and retains his license. In parallel he has been writing for Australian and international aviation journals for well over 20 years on all aspects of aviation including aircraft evaluation, flying, industry affairs, infrastructure, manufacture, regulatory affairs, safety, technologies and training. He has won three separate National Aviation Press Club awards for "best technical aviation story of the year."

1 thought on “Dick Smith recommends mass industry exit

  1. Carmel

    Dick, I never thought I would ever hear you talking quite like that!!! Your pure despair and feeling of “powerlessness” shows through!!!

    What has hurt the Industry most is the way that valuable lifetimes (plural) of devotion to The Cause and dedication to excellence have been “recognised” by a culpable few of those paid to steer the boat as a threat to their patch, instead of as the precious and irreplaceable resource that they are (or – more correctly nowadays – were).

    It’s like casting pearls before swine. They just don’t get it.

    Perhaps, for them, it’s a case of “easy come, easy go.”
    Which it could never be, for genuine Aviation devotees who gave it their all.
    For them, it’s just anguish and frustration at all the vandalism and destruction going on.

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