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Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



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21 October 2020

As regular readers will know, I've had issues with New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority and the way they enforce part 101 of the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR).

Not only have they proven themselves less than 100 percent aware of the regulations they enforce but they have also taken to bullying kids as young as 14 who would dare to do something as harmless and inspiring as to build and fly their own RC model aircraft.

Clearly this has to stop.

I have posted plenty of evidence on my YouTube channel to prove that there is a defective culture and competence within CAA and its investigation team and now that I have made this point, it is time to fix that problem.

And this is how I am going to try and do that.

I've done berating them for their shockingly bad performance and actions of late, now it is time to help them improve that performance and attitude.

To that end, I have drafted this letter to CAA executive Dean Winter, the person I have communicated with throughout the recent issues.

Dear Mr Winter,

I would like to formally invite you and your team of investigators to a day at the Tokoroa Airfield (NZTO) during which you will be able to familiarise yourself with the latest in RC model aircraft, drone and FPV technology and practices.

As you are no doubt aware, knowledge and awareness are key elements of any safety culture but this is very much a two-way street.   Although members of the model and drone flying communities are expected to be very much up-to-date and aware of the regulatory requirements policed by CAA, it seems that to date, there has been little imperative for CAA itself to remain "up to speed" with changes and advances in either the technology or the culture of those communities.

This would be a great opportunity for that situation to be addressed in a very positive and forward-looking manner.

I am certain that your investigators would have a much better ability to gauge risk levels and more appropriately and effectively enforce Part 101 regulations if they had the opportunity to see for themselves exactly what is involved in the operation of these craft on a first-hand basis.

Should you and/or your investigators choose to avail yourselves of this offer, I will ensure that a range of RC model aircraft, drones, multirotors and FPV-capable craft are available both for demonstration and for use by those who attend.

By holding this session at the Tokoroa Airfield, CAA will also be able to see how the risks of flying not only "within 4Km of an airfield" but actually *on* a listed airfield are managed.

If you and/or your staff are prepared to attend such a meeting, please let me know ASAP so that we can coordinate to nominate a time that best suits all concerned.

I look forward to your earliest response

Bruce Simpson
on behalf of those flying under CAR 101 in New Zealand

I am never one to criticise unless I have a better idea or a practical solution to a problem so that is mine. I'd love to hear from readers as to what they think the response from CAA will be.

Will they act in the best interests of safety and attempt to mend the bridges they have so very clearly burned -- or will they simply hunker-down and follow the age-old line that so many bureaucracies adhere to by refusing any offer, where acceptance of such could be seen as an admission of wrong-doing or imperfection on their part?

Place your bets ladies and gentlemen, the email goes out today.

How would you have approached this situation, if not the way that I have?

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