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Trouble in Paradise (Omarama)



 
 
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  #21  
Old March 9th 20, 10:26 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Default Trouble in Paradise (Omarama)

I expect that the facilities and airport will continue to be used by gliders and I hope that foreign pilots will have opportunities to fly there in the future.
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  #22  
Old March 9th 20, 11:58 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Default Trouble in Paradise (Omarama)

On Monday, March 9, 2020 at 6:26:59 AM UTC-4, son_of_flubber wrote:
I expect that the facilities and airport will continue to be used by gliders and I hope that foreign pilots will have opportunities to fly there in the future.


Other people's expectations seem to be the reason this operation got shuttered.

T8

  #23  
Old March 9th 20, 02:02 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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What an appalling case of bureaucratic overreach! My deepest sympathies to Gavin and the pilots of New Zealand, not to mention the many soaring pilots who dream of flying Omarama (including ME!)

Sir Edmund Hillary must be spinning in his grave, now that the Kiwis are destined to be flightless after all. Pretty sad state when NZ is rendered a testicle-free country. At least in Government. And I thought the French had that Olympic category locked up.
  #24  
Old March 9th 20, 04:16 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Shaun Wheeler
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Default Trouble in Paradise (Omarama)

On Friday, March 6, 2020 at 9:04:00 AM UTC-6, Duster wrote:
Notice from Gavin Wills: "Please note that all Glide Omarama services will be suspended from 15 April 2020.

After 20 years of flying from the Omarama Airfield without a Trial Flight incident the Civil Aviation Authority of NZ requires GlideOmarama to re-certify its operations from being a Recreational Aviation Organisation under the CA Rules Part 149, to an Organisation Conducting Adventure Aviation Part 115, and to re-license its pilot/instructors accordingly.

This certification process, consisting of negotiations, applications and approvals, is expected to take several months to complete.

Glide Omarama therefore has decided to suspend its operations from 15 April 2020, until the procedure is complete.

However, in anticipation of successful outcomes, the company is happy to receive bookings for the Soaring School and Trial Flights scheduled from 1 September 2020 onward.

Bookings scheduled for dates up to and including April 14 2020 will be honoured. Bookings scheduled between April 15 and August 31 will be refunded or rescheduled as directed by the client.

Glide Omarama regrets any inconvenience this suspension may cause to Club members, glider pilots and visitors. Throughout the period of self-suspension our office, phones, web site and email will remain live.

Thank you all for understanding and for your support to the Glide Omarama team at this difficult time.

Gavin Wills
Glide Omarama
7 March 2020"


When I began flying forty-five years ago I did not expect it to come without risks. I've flown with night vision googles looking up at canyon walls on both sides and landed in the middle of a clearing with trees on all sides. Some of the people I flew with died flying including one of my former instructors, a pilot and crewmember in my platoon and three more in an incident involving mast bumping that government refuses to accept was, in fact, mast bumping.

You should hold government accountable to prove an actual benefit and a compelling need to protect society at large or you will lose individual freedoms until you have none.
  #25  
Old March 9th 20, 04:54 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Duster[_2_]
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Default Trouble in Paradise (Omarama)

All the best to you and your colleagues, Phil. Most of us are in this sport as an elective hobby, but there are many people who's livelihood is at stake....about 2 dozen people at OG not to mention the local economic loss to such a small town. Here is some updated information from the Omarama Gazette:

"Glide Omarama is to cease operations from today (Monday, March 9, 2020.) with the loss of 21 jobs. On Friday, the company announced it would suspend operations from April 14 while it sorted out its re-certification. It anticipated a successful outcome and said it would open for bookings from September. “This certification process, consisting of negotiations, applications and approvals, is expected to take several months to complete. “After 20 years of flying from the Omarama Airfield without a Trial Flight incident the Civil Aviation Authority of NZ requires Glide Omarama to re-certify its operations from being a Recreational Aviation Organisation under the CA Rules Part 149, to an Organisation Conducting Adventure Aviation Part 115, and to re-license its pilot/instructors accordingly," the statement said. However, this morning [Monday] it announced the company would cease operation altogether from today. “Unfortunately, we at Glide Omarama have experienced unexpected re-licensing issues with the Civil Aviation Authority and have decided to cease all operations from 09 March 2020 for the foreseeable future. "It is unlikely we will be reopening.” In an interview Mr Wills said staff were told this morning ahead of the announcement. "It's heart-breaking. “It’s been a wonderful experience, the last 22 years. “I’m very proud of what we have built up. We are all devastated.” Support for the family-run business was coming in from around the world, he said. There had not been a single trial flight accident in 22 years of operation. The company operated under the certification of Gliding New Zealand and Gliding New Zealand had never had a fatality. “The reason we have to close down is the CAA claim we are breaking the law, as it is, by undertaking these trial flights. We argue we are not, but we’re not prepared to go to court to prove it.. “We asked to be allowed to continue until the end of the season, another five weeks, to be in a better financial position [to deal with it] but they are unwilling to allow that to happen. “There is no safety case to suggest we should be shut.” Mr Wills said all Glide Omarama’s systems and procedures “either meet or exceed requirements". “As an example they require pilots to have a minimum of 200 hours flying time, our guys have an average of 3800 hours,” he said. “My understanding is that Glide Omarama provides about 80% of the airfield income, so it will have a devastating effect. “It will affect The Pink Glider, and other businesses in Omarama. “Many gliding clients stay a week or more at a time. Staff rent in town or have bought. “It will have a big effect on the town and district,” Mr Wills said discussions with CAA had been “ongoing since 2002”.. The problem was the level of compliance it required was “burdensome in cost and in ongoing applications”. “We’re financially unable to do it. “There’s no other country in the world that certificates gliding in this manner, no one.” Mr Wills said the council-controlled Omarama Airfield Company were aware of the situation. In an email, Airfield Company chairperson Clive Geddes said Glide Omarama had, over the past twenty years, been a “significant contributor to the development of gliding in Omarama and New Zealand and to the improvement of the Omarama Airfield”. “The company started the Youth Glide movement and has continued to support it through the provision of plant and equipment and subsidies for its members to participate in competitions. “The airfield company appreciates the contribution Glide Omarama has made and regrets its closure but we fully understand the underlying reasons for that decision.
“We wish the owners and staff all the very best for the future. “The airfield company is in a sound financial position and will now be working with interested parties to ensure that services to the gliding community are available in the year to come,” Mr Geddes said. The Omarama Gazette attempted to get comment from the Civil Aviation Authority, but calls were not returned by end of business today – Monday, March 9, 2020. Mr Wills said clients could expect a full refund of any pre-paid flights and should contact the company to make those arrangements.
Copy and photos: Ruth Grundy, Omarama Gazette
Copyright © 2015 to 2020 Omarama Gazette, All rights reserved.
  #26  
Old March 9th 20, 05:52 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
David Hirst
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Default Trouble in Paradise (Omarama)


Are the rest of the NZ gliding clubs looking at the same fate?


No, or should I say, probably not.

Glide Omarama was the only overtly-commercial gliding operation in NZ. They paid their instructors - not a lot, but they paid them. To CAA, this put them well into the "Part 115" category. The two parties have been in discussions for several years but the recent culture shift at CAA has caused them (CAA) to read the law rigidly, rather than adopting a more relaxed interpretation for the greater good etc..

Many other gliding clubs in NZ have "summer crew" of visitng instructors who aren't paid a salary but get free accommodation (usually in some decaying club caravan) and the other club members provide food. A CAA lawyer with a grudge could interpret this as 'financial reward' but this would be viewed by GNZ (and probably the broader aviation community) as the most miserly, draconian and archaic interpretation of the law.

DH
  #27  
Old March 9th 20, 10:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Stephen Szikora
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I’m left wondering whether shutting down is a negotiating ploy - cause an outcry, focus on job loss, tourism, etc. to bring pressure on the regulator. I’m also left wondering whether the Covid-19 effects on travel and tourism will influence the CAA position one way or the other.
  #28  
Old March 10th 20, 12:17 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Shaun Wheeler
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Default Trouble in Paradise (Omarama)

On Monday, March 9, 2020 at 5:07:50 PM UTC-5, Stephen Szikora wrote:
I’m left wondering whether shutting down is a negotiating ploy - cause an outcry, focus on job loss, tourism, etc. to bring pressure on the regulator. I’m also left wondering whether the Covid-19 effects on travel and tourism will influence the CAA position one way or the other.


Regulators don't usually have to worry about the economy, they're paid by the taxpayers.
  #29  
Old March 10th 20, 02:40 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Duster[_2_]
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The NZ CAA has now responded to the newspaper's inquiry into Omarama Gliding's announced closure.

"GLIDE OMARAMA GROUNDED BY RED TAPE
UPDATED: 9 am Tuesday, March 10, 2020 to include response from the Civil Aviation Authority received today at 8.35 am.
RESPONSE FROM CAA Senior Communications Advisor Blake Crayton-Brown.

"Thanks for your patience waiting for our response to your story about Glide Omarama’s certification. Glide Omarama was informed by the Civil Aviation Authority last year that it would need to become certified as an adventure aviation operation in order to continue offering its passenger glider flights. Glide Omarama had been offering paid glider flights which were described as ‘trial flights’, but it is the Authority’s view that many of the flights on offer were adventure aviation flights, rather than the type of trial flights which would be available at gliding clubs elsewhere in the country. Under Part 115 of the Civil Aviation Rules, adventure aviation operations are required to be certificated before they can offer offer recreational flights to paying passengers, including flights in gliders. This rule was first introduced in November 2011 to regulate the adventure aviation industry, and require operators to be certificated in much the same way as air transport operators. In order to gain certification, operators need to satisfy the Director of Civil Aviation that they have appropriate management systems, structures and operating procedures in place to ensure compliance with the relevant safety standards. They also need to demonstrate that their employees are appropriately qualified and trained, and that their equipment is appropriate for the task and properly maintained. These rules are in place to keep the New Zealand public and tourists safe, both in the air and on the ground, when they pay for adventure aviation flights. The Civil Aviation Authority will continue to work constructively with Glide Omarama, and would welcome an application for Part 115 certification."

Copy and photos: Ruth Grundy, Omarama Gazette
Copyright © 2015 to 2020 Omarama Gazette, All rights reserved.
  #30  
Old March 10th 20, 12:55 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Trouble in Paradise (Omarama)

The CAA has one thing right, a focus on appropriate is what is appropriate here.

But making a better system than than what has been working for 20 years is a really high bar. The pluses and minuses of each tweak needs to be considered. For the medical story, it seems like this was not done.

Was there a careful rule making procedure where this was decided and the folks with the working system didn't show up?



 




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