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Flarepath November 2016 By: Tom Chalmers

PROBLEMS WITH the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) regarding the transfer of ownership of aircraft have arisen yet again despite the authority’s undertaking some months ago that a “streamlining” process was being introduced and that many of the earlier problems were being eradicated.

“Not so,” is the basic message of a letter sent to World Airnews recently by a well known aircraft sales personality who stands to loose a sale involving a twin engine aircraft , as well as the commission and may also have to pay interest on money deposited by the potential buyer which is still languishing in some bank account after many months waiting for the transaction to be concluded, but which has been held up by the SACAA dragging its heels and insisting on some outof- date and ridiculous regulations.

The salesman wrote: “I write this open letter to you on my behalf and on request of several adversely affected parties in the hope you would write something in your magazine which might spark the relevant authorities to find a solution for a problem which has been prevailing for years and which is set to cost me a deal (and have no doubt cost others many deals).

“A problem with avionic certifications within the SACAA can be traced all the way back to the ill-conceived Mandatory Advisory Notice (MAN 43). It should have been snuffed out in infancy, but has now grown into a full-blown giant sapping the life from virtually an entire General Aviation industry and particularly the pre-owned market. According to engineers up to 60% of pre-owned ‘planes may be affected. Notwithstanding, disgruntled owners, engineers, technicians and even representative aviation organisations seem powerless to change the dismal state of affairs.

“The authorities have been aware of the problem for a long time, but factions within SACAA, especially within the Airworthiness Department, seem to render even the popular Director of Civil Aviation, Ms Poppy Khoza, ineffectual in this regard. According to one technician who attended an SACAA Industry Liaison Meeting on August 23, none of the undertakings by her to resolve issues by the deadline of September 8, 2016, has been kept.

“The effects are that most aircraft owners who have been waiting for months to have release certificates issued for annualcum 100 hourly Mandatory Periodic Inspections (MPIs) have to wait even longer for prerequisite approvals from the SACAA for equipment installed years ago.

“The lack of consistency in equipment lists,” the letter continues, “dates back to the former dispensation when an understanding among members of the industry and the ruling authorities existed that engineers and technicians could certify and/or exchange defective equipment without the relevant modapprovals and Supplemental Type Certificates, if of similar make and generics. The interpretation of the rules coincided with international best practice. But, with the change of the guard virtually a forensic audit has to be done now on each aircraft certified.

The writer added that the changeover in the logbook system at some stage did not help much with the preservation of old records. The general presumption, also in accordance with international standard best practice, was that official records only needed to be kept for a limited number of years. The former high turnover in the used aircraft trade saw too many engineers losing track of records being rather rapidly passed from one workshop to the next.

Then came the recession of 2006 when whoever could not afford to make use of the MAN 43 Interim Ruling and two or three subsequent extensions, discovered that their aircraft had become virtually redundant and had lost much value in terms of avionic systems for which the certification deadline had been missed..................................... To read the full article please subscribe to our E Magazine Here.

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