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PlaneTorque Australia Pty Ltd Professional Aeronautical Consulting & Auditing Services ABN 23 104 977 942

PlaneTorque March 2009

elcome to the thirteenth issue of PlaneTorque. Have you visited my web site lately? My son (IT Guru) has changed the look, your feedback would be much appreciated. As I commence writing this newsletter (08.02.09) the devastating bush fires over east and the floods in Queensland are taking a heavy toll in my fellow Australians. Now I know this is supposed to be a technical, lighthearted newsletter but out of compassion for all involved I would like to dedicate this issue to all who have suffered and those who are fighting these disasters on many fronts and the many dedicated people supporting all involved. My heart and prayers go out to you all.

“The operator is directed to undertake immediately an assessment of the risk to air safety presented by the operation of the systems, processes and procedures the operator relies on to monitor and manage, on an ongoing basis, the validity and currency of the licences, authorities and authorisations held by the operator’s maintenance and engineering personnel.”.

Quite apart from the obvious costs involved in such an exercise for a large operator there is the negative PR this will cause. It’s unfortunate for these bigger companies that our press seems to just love this type of stuff. The truth is though that many if not most GA operators have no system in place to manage these issues. When was the last time your company ran an exercise to confirm if all staff holding CASA approvals,

Staff Qualifications Can you be 100% sure they are current and legal? Have you read CASA’s Miscellaneous Instrument 8209? You might not if you see it’s directed at QANTAS but may I suggest you spend five minutes and read in all. Then if you are a manager ask yourself this question: “If it was directed at my company how would I respond.” If you are a licence or authority holder ask yourself this question: “If asked can I validate all my claims to fame?” The part that you should focus on is this:

authorities or licences were valid. Indeed if asked today how would you go about researching each persons claim to fame? What would a “Reasonable” person do to establish a good process. Here’s a few thoughts. Qualifications – Renewals. Set up a simple data base and register all the pertinent details. Make the administration of that data base a key task/responsibility of a specific person in your company. This person MUST be proactive in reviewing the data base and formally notifying staff of upcoming required renewals. Page 1 of 3

Issue 13

You could for instance set this up in MSOutlook as a series of tasks or if you were more adventurous design a dedicated MSACCESS dB. Or if you were really clever you would ask me how much for a copy of my existing staff dB. Qualifications – Validity. Now this is not so easy. Where exactly should one start? Here’s a suggested process that should work: New job applicants: a) Obtain a copy of the applicant’s qualifications. This should be a standard existing process anyway. b) For short listed applicants contact the issuing organisation of each document to obtain verification of validity. c) Record the replies on the staff dB. d) Where any applicants qualifications cannot be verified then advise the applicant of the reasons. Seek their assistance if all other matters are good and you feel the applicant might be a useful staff member. e) Consider including in your process a step to notify the issuing authority of your findings. CAREFUL seek legal advice on this one. What do you do for those “Old” (Dated) documents where the organisation no longer exists or where communications are impossible/impractical? Well that will depend on what it is you are trying to get verification on. If it’s a degree from a Uni then I would be getting suspicious. Have you ever seen a nice looking doc that in very fine print has

PlaneTorque Australia Pty Ltd Professional Aeronautical Consulting & Auditing Services ABN 23 104 977 942

PlaneTorque March 2009

words like “Royal Collage of Surgeons 1985 – Failed”? If however we are talking an aviation licence then be very, very careful. Personally if I could not verify it with the issuing authority then it gets a “” not a “”.

Existing Employees: Now it gets interesting and possibly expensive. This is the position QANTAS currently finds itself in if I read between the lines of CASA Misc. Inst. 82-09 correctly. I will assume you hold a current copy of all affected key documents. After following the same process as for “Job Applicants” hopefully all staff get ticks on aviation qualifications. Again lets focus on these key aviation documents. What must you do if after following due process you are convinced a staff member has presented bogus qualifications? Again I urge caution and my first recommendation would be to seek legal advice. However there are some obvious steps that it appears to me you must consider to mitigate the risks your findings have uncovered. These

are also covered in the CASA Misc. Inst. Keep in mind that the person involved is innocent until proven guilty, DO NOT JUMP to bad conclusions too soon. However if we look at a worst case scenario here are my thoughts: a) Where qualifications cannot be verified then advise the person of the reasons. Seek their assistance to resolve. b) Place the person on duties that do not involve exercising the privileges of the qualifications that are being questioned or suspend from workplace if deemed necessary. c) Immediately notify CASA that you have commenced an internal investigation of the potential impact. d) Investigate any maintenance task that the person has certified for whilst using the suspected invalid qualification. You are looking for certifications that would otherwise still be valid had the qualifications not been queried. For example: An inspection that has not subsequently be recertified by another person. The overhaul of a component that is either installed or in stores. Work that is currently in progress. e) Prepare a plan that addresses the findings. And here’s the bad news. You might under certain circumstances find yourself with grounded aircraft.

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DO NOT wait for the legal eagles to swoop. A proactive approach could save you many dollars. Do you have this area of your business well covered? Great if you answer “Yes”. Consider your options very carefully if you answer “No” or “Not sure”.

STC’s Conformance! OK I know you know what STC’s are and they are not things you see your doctor about after that overseas holiday!. We should also know the following: CASR 1998

21.114 Foreign supplemental type certificates A certificate (however described) for an aircraft, aircraft engine or propeller that is issued by or for the NAA of a recognised country and is equivalent to a supplemental type certificate that could have been issued by CASA (a foreign supplemental type certificate) is taken to have been issued by CASA for these regulations.

That’s the easy bit. Now what about a situation where you are doing an Import CoA inspection and there are obviously some STC’s embodied. Does the aircraft still conform to STC design? For instance the STC calls up for additional placards to be installed and certain instruments to be remarked. Are they? Indeed how can one first establish the impact of the STC unless a full data pack comes with the aircraft. Tricky! All very well and good to say the buyer/importer should check these things before committing to bring the aircraft into Australia, but not particularly helpful on the day. You must

PlaneTorque Australia Pty Ltd Professional Aeronautical Consulting & Auditing Services ABN 23 104 977 942

PlaneTorque March 2009

somehow obtain enough data to be able to ensure you can verify conformance. Even very old STC’s are often still available from the current STC owners. The FAA has a very good STC data base that can help. You might also need to get a CAR 35 person involved to revalidate the design changes. And please keep in mind that for Light Sport Aircraft the current legislation requires ALL modifications be approved by the aircraft’s manufacturer.

What The! Where-What-When?

Answers in next months issue. Last months was a radar nose cone on a Citation. Reason I used this photo was to highlight the probability that this type of damage can significantly affect the radars performance.

to see conventional red and green lenses. Whilst it was true they were both (More on that “both” in a moment) clear the lights are actually correctly colour LEDs.

Now the next trap was I couldn’t see the rear white NAV light. That’s because there wasn’t one. The aircraft conformed due to the wing tip white strobes. And of course to give the full picture there was no rotating beacon. This is allowed by dint of Exemption 880/99. Now let’s take a look at the required landing light. It has a nifty little feature that allows the owner to set it up so that it strobes (LEDs again) either white or white and red. This feature aids in the see and be seen area.

Avalon 2009 International Air Show Last Friday I spent an extremely interesting day at the air show at Avalon airport in VIC. This was the first time I have been to this event and I must say it was well worth the effort. The range of things that fly was impressive. From VERY big USA military transports to very small single seater home built helicopters and most of the in between. I will put a photo album on my web site asap for those that are interested.

Useful Links Now here’s a great one from CASA. Very good “On Line” quizes. And here’s a special prize from PTA. The first person to email me the incorrectly worded question in the general maintenance quiz will win a bottle of WA red. My Quiz closes 16:00 hours 27.03.09

Night VFR LSA Another first for me with LSA’s I recently completed the CoA issue for a client’s Light Sport Aircraft. It was the first one that I have done where the aircraft was equipped for Night VFR flights. One of the very cleaver features are the NAV lights. When I first inspected the aircraft I fell into the trap of thinking the lens colours did not conform. Showing my age I guess. I was expecting

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Anyone interested in finding out more about these features or the aircraft in general should contact Basil Lenzo of Cloud Dancer Sport Aircraft.

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Even in Perth we are not immune from those idiots that start fires. Watch a short video taken from my roof in early Feb.09 SBDrY

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