Hi All, a new guy again....and I'm kind of bummed out that I am finding many interesting topics that have more or less "died on the vine" with no one responding for months or years. I guess that's the price I pay for being late to the party. :violin:
However, I will give it a try anyway. Maybe I just like discussing things with myself. OK, very simply put, excessive regulation is far, far more evil than limited regulation. No, I am not an anarchist and no, I am not a wild-eyed, daredevil. I am just a plain old, older-than-middle-age scientist.
Since I have been in Australia I (and I do love this place, its beauty, its people, its hospitality and its concentration of excellent scientists in numbers way more than would be expected for its population size) I have noticed a terrible problem with over-regulation.
Being from the USA, I never realized how wonderful it was to be able to work in my home lab/shop on virtually ANY project or innovation, invention etc. There is much I hated about the USA but its previous lack of unnecessary regulation has brilliantly driven amazing innovation and entrepreneurship at a level greater than any other industrialized country.
Now, just like in the USA, there are always people that will say "if you don't like our regulation, why don't you just go back to the USA?" But the problem with this cliche' is that it implies that in Australia, private individual's new ideas and innovations are not welcome here. Is that true?
Probably the most frustrating to me is the zillions of regulations based on some politician's/"citizen interest group's" SPECULATION that something MIGHT cause harm. The amount of things, actions and techniques that are illegal because of POTENTIAL issues is astounding.
When I came here I was excited that I was going to be out in the country and would have over a 100 acres to tinker with my various flying machine ideas. Boy did that excitement deflate when I read the regulations. Without getting into details, let me just say that with Australia's air regulations, the Wright brothers would have never flown, civilian flying platforms would be invented, perfected and patented elsewhere long before a single Australian would ever be able to develop and/or patent them.
In fact, Australia's truly talented and brilliant individual inventors and scientists are locked out of the process unless they are part of, or specially-exempted by, the government. A study of history shows that many, many significant advances in aviation (and science)were made OUTSIDE of government's knowledge, much less its approval.
So, why do Australians put up with these sorts of over-regulated, nanny-state rules? I don't really know but I suspect it is a combination of fear, complacency, misplaced "good citizen responsibility" and a culture of people "doing what they are told" by the government.
No don't get me wrong. Some regulations, ESPECIALLY THOSE SUPPORTED BY HARD EVIDENCE OF CAUSALITY AND A PATTERN OF BAD OUTCOMES, are worth considering and passing. However, the passing of regulations should always be subject to the same scrutiny and standards of proof that any serious criminal laws are subject to.
When I moved here, I paid well-over $10,000 to ship over my laboratory equipment, specialized instruments and precision prototyping machine tools (milling machines, lathes, etc.) and titanium, aluminum and CrMo stock. Unfortunately, they are now sitting idle in their crates and boxes because I pretty much am not allowed to use them to build human-operated flying prototypes and various machines. As I subsequently found out from other American ex-pats, a few of them are in exactly the same boat and are sitting on valuable prototypes.
So,all of this restriction MUST be because of REALLY IMPORTANT, PROVEN SAFETY RISKs....RIGHT?
Sorry to say...NO!! Not ONE study of how many incident per year of people working on unapproved flying machines in rural areas, flying their prototypes into an unapproved neighbor's airspace or property. Not one study (or even a single report) of a non-participating person being injured or killed because of a non-approved-for flight, flying machine encroaching on a privately owned area.
In fact, the only flying machines that seem to crash on private property are those that have been approved to fly by a government agency. I am not saying that this means that the government should NOT APPROVE ANY AIRPLANES (though I bet some out there thought that was the obvious solution).
What I am saying is that the ONLY effect of government regulation on experimental testing on local, PRIVATE or permission-given, property is the SUPPRESSION OF INNOVATION! That's It! So, one can reasonably conclude that this sort of regulation's SOLE EFFECT is:
I challenge anyone to produce even a shred of evidence of any real-world benefits of these kind of regulations. I hope you all realize I am bringing this up because i really wanted to come here and launch an R&D laboratory and be able to develop and manufacture innovative products. I wanted to do well here and employ people and compete aggressively with America. Now, I am not sure that is an option any more.
But for now....I have just began to fight! I hope many Aussies will support my (and their own) efforts. :rant::rant:
I do like the liberty gyro people have once they have completed their licenses and registered their machines (which, as I understand it, must meet various standards of "safe" design) with ASRA.
However, the machines I want to tinker with use some unconventional and/or non-standard designs. In order for me to experiment with and prove or disapprove the proof of concept, I need lots of money, specially-designated private testing facilities, specially licensed test pilots and a great deal of government documentation.
If I was a large company or super-well capitalized or if I could do it in partnership with some larger, more "connected" company...then it wouldn't be too difficult. But that is NOT who or what I am.
I operate on a shoestring and barely have the cash to pay for my tools and or parts. I sometimes make large changes one day and test them the next. It is possible that even at the very low altitudes I test at (usually below 15-20 feet) and even with my safety equipment, I might break a leg or worse. However, to date, the worst I have done is skin arms and legs under my armor and have given myself an occasional whack upside my helmet. I am careful and am not in any hurry to injure or kill myself.
Funny thing, in the past, many really important designs, innovations and inventions came about because of some "crackpot" messing around with something in his garage or barn. Do I think I am one of those special inventors? Probably not, but I won't ever know If I am not allowed to find out.
But as I understand it, as an independent researcher and technologist, I can't just go out and test on my land with me or a volunteer as the testers. I need lots more approvals, permits, dollars and hoops to jump through. But I'm just a little guy....not rolling in dough and not interested in selling my rights for the privilege of giving away my designs to someone else...assuming anyone were even interested.
So Murray, I am wanting to work on a couple of different simplified gyro propulsion systems. I have some preliminary designs that I would like to fire up and see if they are even practical. If they work, they have the potential to simplify a certain class of gyro for guys like me with little experience with standard gyros but a fair amount of experience with small specialized airplanes and highly-efficient propulsion systems. From that I became very interested in small gas turbines, super high-efficiency, rare earth motors and ducted fans.
In the end, both of those propulsion systems are going to be very important one day....even if nothing I do helps facilitate that. I would sure like giving my research a try.
OK, before I answer that, please let me dispel any POSSIBLE hostility some may be feeling because of my disagreement with what I perceive as 'over-regulation'. So, here goes:
1) I am NOT a troll (at least not in the Internet sense).
2) I am most definitely NOT ungrateful for the wonders and special privileges I have been granted by being allowed a resident visa here.
3) I really love this place and most of the terrific people I have met here.
4) It will do NO good to try to get me into a polemic where I whine about being here....it just ain't going to happen. I enjoy it here too much.
5) My disagreeing with something that objectively harms the people of Australia far more than it harms me is not the same as castigating Australians for not doing things MY WAY!
So, please put away the long knives and understand that I am NOT the enemy or a whinging American just running my mouth (well, at least not intending to sound that way).
Now to answer your question. I came here because my lovely fiancee' wanted to move from America, where she had spent the last three years with me, back here because her parents are getting old and sick. She wanted to be here for them if you get my drift.
So, I gave up my executive scientist position with a medium-sized international company in the USA, sold most of my personal possessions, had my lab and shop packed-up and shipped here and then jumped on Qantas with my fiancee' and headed to Melbourne. Once here and as planned, we went to stay with her parents on their horse ranch and we have been looking after them and helping out ever since.
After a year here, your government kindly granted me a permanent visa and has freed me up to work. So, being that I am a scientist specializing in R&D and applied energy physics products, I thought it was time to find something to do that I was good at rather than trying to convince various ill-tempered horses that I was there to be their best friend.
OK, so since I am here and not planning to leave very soon, I will be getting married here and will be here to help my fiancee' to look after her very wonderful folks (I never had much of a family so I think it is very important that she looks after hers as they age).
I have a great love of aviation and Australia is pretty darn advanced for a country of 22 million people in many areas of the sciences and some areas in aviation. So, it would not have mattered if I had checked the rules and regs here first, family takes precedence. And, if I find that I can't do anything in aviation, then I am sure I will find something else to do. My fiancee' and her folks come first now.
So, I'm sorry if I have offended you with my pointing out what many of you already know. If it pleases you and/or you agree that it is worth it that some forms of innovation are severely stifled by regulation, then by all means, change nothing. For now, I am just a guest here (at least until I get my dual citizenship) and am not here to make YOUR country, in my image. Nor to have you change anything for me. It was just a point I brought up for discussion.
In the sciences, we often say "Truth fears no rational inquiry" (actually it's a quote but I forgot who said it). My discussion of the regulations that are not helping me do research, I consider that a rational inquiry and, in my mind, worth discussing. If you think not and are offended, again, I apologize. Thank you for hearing me out.
I see from your comment that you consider my concern frivolous and "crackpot" in nature. I am sorry you feel that way. Frankly, if you all would prefer that move on elsewhere, I will understand and not hold it against any of you.
Unfortunately, I am not very good at being in a discussion forum and not discussing things. Many of the responses I get are how I learn. At the same token, My way of commenting/discussing might be too offensive for some (for which I apologize). Maybe you all would rather I leave so that you might have people around you that think and speak more like you do and "know their place".
If so, please let me know. As I said, I will not hold it against you and I will move on quietly and thank you for your earlier hospitality and information. Thank you.
I can't imagine the trouble I would get into with 100 acres at my disposal!
You got energetics to experiment with, flying things and maybe even flying energetic things!
It seems to me that you aren't taking your assets into full account, 100 acres affords you some serious privacy.
It is not really illegal here per se....and remember, I am FAR, FAR away from being an expert on Australian law/regulations. However, I don't really need to test that the propulsion systems work or their power outputs, they have already proven that. The issues I have are whether or not they will work attached to and confined to a free-floating craft and be smooth enough to control while in the air. Especially out of ground effect.
Additionally, I need to determine the effect on power consumption during lift generation while messing with generally unneeded lateral movement. All of the calculations in the world will not account for the many factors that cause excessive battery loads while airborne...in and out of ground effect. Finally, I need to be able to continuously change rotors and props will I am looking for various down/up wash patterns and effects on stability, power consumption (the less power need to compensate for drift, the more that can be used for remaining in the air). Finally, I have a two rotor system that has to be kept airborne at 20 feet....and stay that way for an hour or two.
I don't mean to be vague but there are a lot of measurements that are most effectively made when the test bed is free-floating and at the correct height & weight. Plus, the gas turbines I want to test are designed to turn a shaft that will swing a prop. They are very small, very light and very expensive. Think 35lbs for 125 hp. Finally, I want to test a parachute system that I can launch from 20 feet AGL. Kinda hard to do on a non-moving test stand.
Anyway, I'm not being real specific here. I just wanted to let you know that I would like to putter around with a couple of configurations while they are airborne and not under the most ideal of conditions. Nothing spectacular, just looking around for some things.
I wonder...say a commercial pilot has a heart attack, and so does the co-pilot. Some guy goes up front and lands the plane. He is vilotaion of FAA regs, or there is a reg that exempts emergencies like that?
You make a great point. But, technically it is not "my" acreage. I am allowed to use it if I want (and I don't annoy the horses) and I don't get the law aggravated at me. However, there are plenty of people around and it is not really hidden or particularly private. From what I was told, I best not do anything that I can't clearly explain and justify to the police.
I suspect that if I was on/in something that was about 20 feet long and floated up to about 15-20 ft AGL, I would have many neighbors very interested....some too much so. Especially because the electric drive system doesn't make any noise and it would attract attention like crazy. The gas turbine, on the other hand , is pretty loud at this point and sounds like a small fighter jet.
If i start working and don't get all of the permits and jump through all of the hoops, I will probably be fined and shut down. That would be a very bad thing.
So, I am kind of at a loss for the moment. I was thinking of trying to get one of the aero-manufacturers at a nearby airport to lease me some hangar space and set-up an impromptu research lab. However, that would really be a pain since I do my best work near the house. That way I can get a hare-brained idea and just walk across the compound and go right to work.
Oh....and one other point...someone mentioned that my thoughts on over-regulation amounted to a "tinfoil hat", "conspiracy theory" (yeah, I don't understand it either)....I just wanted to make one thing clear about how I feel about human "conspiracies", to wit:
As a rule, humans are too stupid to plan, execute and maintain a conspiracy of more than a few people for any more than a week or two. I am not sure why I got labeled by someone with that pejorative since I don't EVER consider humans capable of any sort of conspiracy more sophisticated than mice are capable of.
But I suppose if you don't have a rational argument and would rather try to discredit a perfectly legitimate question by ignoring the facts and making up some lame allegation to deride the concept, and to make others laugh, you might divert them from considering that the facts that the points brought up are completely valid....then such a lame tactic might be understandable.
Though I admit to being disappointed that such an attack came from someone in the aviation community. It is a shame.
So, why do Australians put up with these sorts of over-regulated, nanny-state rules? I don't really know but I suspect it is a combination of fear, complacency, misplaced "good citizen responsibility" and a culture of people "doing what they are told" by the government.
Firstly, your not liven in Oz, your liven on the Oz coast.
Compleatly different planet.
If your in the middle, they wouldnt even know you were ere.
If your lookn for room to move, iv got 1100 squ miles ere the guvment dont know bout.
And your rite, the reason why the govment gests away with it is coz 99% of its 'loyal subjects/peasants' just bend over n take it up the ***.
I have to say that to my knowledge (which is very limited under the best of circumstances---so be WARNED...I am no lawyer or expert) it is technically illegal to operate any aircraft (not part 103 which would not be considered an aircraft anyway), flying, preparing to fly or immediately able to fly without a license unless you are accompanied by a properly licensed PIC other than yourself. The PIC must be prepared to claim all actions that you take as their actions. The other condition is one where a student, properly licensed as same, operates a plane solo per the rules of solo-flight-in-training. Please do not quote me on this as this is how I learned it and I won't swear that it is 100% true.
Additionally, in times of life-threatening emergency where no other licensed pilot is available, an unlicensed person may take over flying an aircraft with the intentions of landing as soon and as safely as is possible. Said unlicensed person, if at all possible, is to remain in radio communications with ATC, a licensed pilot, an experienced less-than-licensed-pilot or any other person who is more familar with aircraft operations than yourself with the intentions of minimizing the risk to ALL persons, including those on the ground as well as the ones in the aircraft. All efforts should be made, if at all possible, to quickly move the aircraft to an area of the least risk to human life and property before any attempt to land is made. Barring that, attempts to bring the plane down as safely as possible should begin immediately. Under most situations, the "good samaritan(s)" involved in this action, shown to be intending to do the safest thing possible, will be held harmless for the attempt to take over and land, even if not successful (lawyer weasel language).
So, technically it is illegal....but practically defensible if shown to be for good Samaritan purposes. To my knowledge, no one has been prosecuted for legitimately taking over the controls of an aircraft in an emergency. That includes the case of an unlicensed 12 year old kid taking a parked airplane from the middle of nowhere and flying his mostly unconscious and dying grandfather to the nearest area with medical care, without any assistance whatsoever (don't know if that is an urban legend as I heard it many years ago from an old phart like me at a Lakeland fly-in).
I suspect this involves a lot of common sense and, in most cases, a judge would throw out such a case. And, if the judge didn't do it, then the jury would practice nullification and find "not guilty". And if that didn't work, most governors would issue a complete pardon and an honorary good citizen award.
All that being said, TSA/Homeland Security has numerous rules/laws/powers that would allow them to immediately take the good Samaritan into custody, not charge him/her with any crime, lock them away without putting them on trial for a crime nor allowing them a lawyer and then hold them indefinitely. They would be allowed to torture the good Samaritan in order to obtain the names of others in his "cell" and to provide information on the next flight takeover by fellow Samaritans. Technically, they could legally assassinate him and deny the whole thing since he was a potential threat to national security and a likely terrorist.
Supposedly these powers are outlined in what Americans call the "Patriot Act" (LOL!! the lulu of ALL misnomers!) and the new NDAA, all rushed though and passed by congress to protect the laws from being overturned by public outrage. Those laws allow for the implementation of immediate martial law if the public should try to resist the enforcement of these laws.
OK, that's my take on things. I will swear to none of it but I will say this is how I have had it explained to me by sensible sources. So I believe virtually all of it.
Even if you are not serious, I really enjoyed reading your post! Your attitude is one that many, many Americans cherish and respect. I am in complete agreement and have a great deal of respect for anyone who stands up for doing the right thing in the face of intense peer pressure. You are to be commended and looked up to as an honorable man I would be proud to know.
If you are serious, I would enjoy checking things out. But, since I am a guest in your country (though I plan to achieve dual citizenship if possible) I will NEVER violate any Australian laws, under any circumstances. Nothing I want to do would drive me to break your laws for any reason.
Your government has been very kind to me and has been very helpful getting my resident visa processed. As such, agree with various things or not, I will follow your laws and never make those that have helped me get here, regret their kindness. Sorry to sound like a coward, but I am honor-bound to support those who supported me. It is the kindness of the Australian people that has made it possible to allow me to be here with my fiancee' during this most difficult of times for her.
That being said, I will encourage others to follow your laws as well. If I think something is bad for Australia, I will question the need for it as much is considered acceptable in my current position. I will not "rabble rouse" or encourage others to do so. I will encourage legal, civil discussion and dissent where it is appropriate and allowed. However, I will do everything in my power to conduct myself as a "good resident" and try to always make it clear that legal and proper dissent is all that I will support no matter what. And this would only be for the reason to help other Australians, not just myself, as a fortunate guest.
I am sorry that I am not a good example of someone who is coming to Australia to "fight" for others rights. But, I do know my place and do recognize that no one 'owed' me anything allowing me to come here. I am very grateful to be here and I do not expect Australia to change to accommodate me. Quite the opposite in fact. I intend to change in order to be as "good an Australian" as I possibly can be.
But, I would definitely enjoy getting together with you and discussing what sort of testing you would allow on your property. Such wide-open spaces would allow for testing rotor-tipped, refillable rockets, emergency parachutes (two different types e.g., one mounted underneath the craft which would immediately fire back and upwards if the craft tumbles and the rotor begins to break-up or mounting on the rotor head assembly designed to shoot upwards, above the spinning rotors. With proper rockets, it should be possible to lift the craft high enough to get full inflation of the canopy before dropping in a controlled descent.
All sorts of things that I hope to test and design or test. Please let me know! Thank you!
I will NEVER violate any Australian laws, under any circumstances.
Id never break any laws either, cept the ones that are there to be broke.
And theres sh1tloads of them in this country.
Mostly ritn by wankers who never lived outside a airconditioner.
Theres only one law ere; if you so much as think the word 'sue', itll be with your last breath.
Everyone ere is responsable for everythn they do.
Such wide-open spaces would allow for testing
We got room ere to test big bombs, but i wouldnt let that happen.
The only problem with buildn anythn ere is, well, every aspect of buildn sumthn. Your hundreds of miles from nowhere, the roads are crap, and wen they are good, you still cant drive on them. Any specialty materials cant be found ANYWHERE in Oz of any real quality and freight companies still dont know where central Oz is. [ apparently 'the center' is a little too hard for them to understand.]
Oh, nearly forgot, theres usualy a million flies ere too.
It sounds like a great place to test stuff. I wish I could say that I have never blown up anything accidentally. But, I still have memories of a couple of gas jets, both a shaft drive and a pure thruster, that I either caused to cook-off or were part of a small group that caused them to cook-off. In either case, we concluded later that, had we known what we were doing, we might not have trashed our very nice little jets. I was a lot younger then and learned a very expensive but unforgettable lesson.
Now I am just an ole' phart making sure that when I am in Rome, I do as the Roman's do. Seems to me that there is a fairly large contingent of folks here who treasure each and every regulation, logical or not. Many of those very same folks consider it their mission in life to be sure everyone else does everything exactly as the regulations describe. Often, these people nearly worship the rule books and will virtually ALWAYS fallback, when challenged about their support for a given rule, on the fact that rules ONLY exist to make the sport safe for everybody.
Whether or not I agree with such statements or whether or not I think that aviation is an intrinsically dangerous activity and that it is not possible to remove all of its risks, doesn't matter at all. I have to say that if it's the law then I follow it a 100%. In the USA, we have lots of rules, regulations and laws that are made under the guise of safety but are actually put out there just because of politics, knee-jerk reactions by ignorant politicians, a means for special interests to protect their profits/powerbases or are just created because of unverified pseudo-science. In other words, many USA rules and regs exist, or are biased, for a a lot of bad reasons and not based on safety. The ones intended for safety are usually fairly obvious and virtually anyone with a brain follows them without question.
However, I am a new guy to Australia. From what I have been told so far, ALL Australian air rules, regs and laws are made for only two reasons and those are safety and/or the betterment of aviation. In fact, even the really restrictive rules are worth it because despite them being really crushing to small inventors and developers, the loss of innovation and technological advancement is well worth it because it keeps the sport SAFE for everyone. As such, there are plenty of folks out there more than happy to report ANY violations of any rules for the betterment of everyone in aviation.
Well being an American, I realize that we don't have good sense and are too used to being "cowboys" willing to take risks in order to advance science and technology. I realize that such an attitude is irresponsible and not acceptable here in Australia. The rules, regs and laws here may make it very, very hard to make any advances, but it is still much better to be behind others in aviation so long as we are the leaders in being safe, responsible and compliant. What good is advancement if people are unruly, don't follow the law precisely and take risks?
So, I have some equipment, some ideas, some parts, some designs and some tools that will just have to remain packed away so that we all can be very, very safe.
Coming from the part 103 world, I am not sure my opinions matter much on this subject but I'll give it a try. Having grown-up in northwest Florida, it was not uncommon that we would be airboating, and find a narrow land bridge or a huge mass of waterlogged branches and decide to jump it. We'd crank up the Lycoming powering the airboat, run in as tight a circles as we had the balls to, and then "snap the whip" and fly over the obstruction. It always looked and felt impressive even if it did usually dent the crap out of the keel and/or hull.
Obviously, the boats with largest engine power to weight ratio and the flattest hull to weight ratio had the largest effect on how far (and high) one could fly. No one ever bothered us about "flying", even if we grabbed 5 to 10 feet of air. Though if you wrecked and got caught you would get a reckless boating ticket. Other than that, everyone ignored it.
So, based on what has been said here, is that not an FAA violation?