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

PlaneTorque July 2010

elcome to the twenty-seventh issue of PlaneTorque. In this issue we take another look at Pre-Purchase Inspections/Reviews and another Safety Management Systems tool, this time in the training area.

Pre-Purchase Reviews

A “Pre-Purchase Review” however is more like an audit. Its normally a walk around the aircraft and good look inside, possibly a power check and airtest to check on equipment function and aircraft performance. Please note – none of the photos It should also importantly always relate specifically to this subject. include a detailed review of AD and SB compliance. Equally important are I must of course be careful not to log book reviews looking for major drop any clues in here that might modifications incorporated, damage allude to whom I am talking about. history and significant repairs. And Wouldn’t want their lawyers knocking last but by no means least to ensure on my door. an unbroken log book series is in hand from date of manufacture to current date. Same goes for engines and propellers. 1st looked at in May 2009 issue, revisited in this issue to highlight a few significant points, some I am sure readers will not believe.

Lets start off by revisiting the title. Here I call it a “Pre-Purchase Review”, why not a “Pre-purchase Inspection”? Well because quite simply its not an inspection with certifications. Unless of course the client has requested that and made it a condition of purchase. Ie: A maintenance facility carries out a defined scheduled inspection(‘s) and the costs are bourne by either the buyer or seller, but the purchase is conditional on the findings of such and inspection.

Now I hear some of you say, “Well who would buy an aircraft without first looking into these matters?”. Quite a few guys/girls let me assure you.

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On the other end of the scale, quite a few years ago now I had the interesting experience of performing a Pre-purchase inspection (Yes I used the correct word) on a used B200 in USA. The buyer wanted to make sure all serial numbered parts were as stated in the records. And I am not just saying the obvious ones like engines, props, landing gear etc. These guys were extremely anal and wanted to know about ALL serial number items ie: Even including such parts as autopilot actuator attachment brackets. Needless to say it took days pouring over, into and around the beast to find all offending items and checking these off against an original build listing. It wasn’t just torch and mirror stuff either I often had to use a boroscope to find the data plates.

Coming back to my point. What good does it do to get a cheap purchase then be faced with large bills this end as you try and unravel the missing history of your new flying machine? Not a lot I would suggest. In summery, if you are considering an aircraft purchase you would be well advised to do the following before you commit to the purchase:  Pay an independent expert to inspect the aircraft. Ensure all significant items installed and serviceable.  Pay an expert to closely audit log books and other key records.

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

PlaneTorque July 2010

  

Looking for damage, mods, SB & AD compliance. Where log books are missing or unreadable ensure you can from other sources build a defintive accurate tecxhnical and operational history of the aircraft and its key components, because if you cannot you may well be unable to get a CoA issued. Perform compression checks or power checks. Perform an airtest. Have an independent valuation carried out and make sure it takes into account all the above factors.

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seen suggested is that after each  entry or at least once a year a digital image is taken and filed. Just out of interest what do think CASA’s policy is on this subject?

 

Finding any useful guidence is challenging, I personally found it impossible. The only guideance is the statutory one given in CAO 100.5. Which of course does not address missing log books.

Here’s a brain dump of steps that one might find useful in determing What can you do when log books are how to recover from this situation:  Establish actual DOM. missing?  Establish period over which log Log books can and do get book/s are missing. misplaced/lost. A lot depends on  Was the aircraft inactive during where the aircraft was last operated this period? This must be and of course how diligent the proveable. various people involved have been in making and retaining records. A good  Complete a 100% audit of all required maintenance including place to start if your aircraft was life limited items and component last in USA is to seek a detailed overhauls. report from “Plane FAX Report/Title  Establish where the gaps in data Search”. are following above audit. What often happens is the original  Attempt to plug gaps in data and older log books are not filed from other reliable sources. with the current set. I regret to Make log book suggest its often the maintenance entries/certifications that cover team that drops the ball here. How these findings and include often have you walked into your supporting data in perminant maintenance providers technical records. office and seen it completely ship  Determine if the costs to plug shape? Come on, be honest, seldome any remaining gaps are cost would be the case for most GA effective. It sadly may be so facilties that I visit. Don’t forget non-cost effective that reducing it’s the owners responisibility to the aircraft to spares is the only ensure ALL these key records are viable option. retained. One very good idea I have Page 2 of 3

Components – Unable to verify status – Overhaul and replace any life limited components therein. Lifed items – Unable to veryify status – Replace. Inspections – Unable to verify status – Re-inspect.

What if the missing log books are only covering a small period of operation? What is a “Reasonable” course of action? Each situation will be different but looking at a simple one of say only one year and only the engine log book missing. A quick check of the airframe log book should (If its been completed correctly) enable the owner to raise a replacement engine log book and the first entry must cover the reason the new log book has been raised in detail.

Its not quite so straight forward for the airframe log books. What if say the main spars had a life limit based on a combination of hours flown and landings and you had four years of log books missing? Original in hand (With a lot of empty pages following the Export CoA from USA), last entry was one year since DOM and 65 Hrs/120 Ldgs only, then the missing four years, then the next log book. On the next available airframe log book the first entry isn’t “Carried forward from Log Book No. 3 – X hours/Y landings”, its simply a 100 hourly carried out at 12,500 hours (Landings blank) and on a date 10 years since DOM. Spar life limit

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

PlaneTorque July 2010

is 15,000 Hours/30,000 Landings whichever occurred first. 1,250 hours per year seems a tad high for a small GA aircraft but not impossible. So the vast majority of those 12,500 Hours have come from the missing log book period. Was the aircraft operated normally? Is the entry of 12,500 hours an error, should it have been closer to 1,250? How can you prove either case? In my opnion you would be wise to find these issues before committing to the purchase and if unresolvable or not cost effective to resolve, walk away from the deal. There may also be a “Duty of care” to report what you have found to the appropriate NAA.

What The! Where-What-When.

Answers in next months issue.

Last issue’s (June 2010) was taken USA, Grand Canyon, in May 2010. If you look VERY closely you can see a Bell Long Ranger about photo centre. Quite appart from the fact its an awesome place to visit the number of helicopters and plank wings buzzing around is amazing.

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Now our ever growing small adverts. Most currently have a Safety flavour. All links can be found on PTA’s web site.

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SMS-Pro SMS-Pro is a web based; complete Aviation SMS that fully supports ICAO, FAA, Transport Canada & ISBAO compliant SMS requirements. Let them know PTA sent you. SMS-Pro ® is a registered trademark of NorthWest Data Solutions of Alaska, USA.

GLOBAL WAR ON ERROR® Don’t forget to check out PTA’s web page. I cannot recommend this training highly enough. Global War on Error® is a registered trademark of Anthony T. Kern 2005-2009.

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PTA's July 2010 Newsletter