Decisions

CAT File No. W-1309-04
MoT File No. SA 5802-155981

CIVIL AVIATION TRIBUNAL

BETWEEN:

Charles Joseph Saville, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-2, s. 7.1(1)b)

Suspension of an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licence


Review Determination
Gordon R. Mitchell


Decision: February 7, 1997

I confirm the Minister's decision to suspend Charles Joseph Saville's Licence till the Conditions for Reinstatement are met.

The Review Hearing on the above matter was held Wednesday, January 8, 1997, in the city of Edmonton, Alberta.

THE NOTICE OF SUSPENSION ISSUED FOR CANADIAN AVIATION DOCUMENT AME LICENCE 155981 READS AS FOLLOWS:

Pursuant to section 7.1(1)(b) of the Aeronautics Act, the Minister of Transport has decided to suspend the above indicated Canadian aviation document for the following reasons:

APPENDIX A to NOTICE OF SUSPENSION

Grounds for the Suspension

The holder has demonstrated incompetence in the areas of Fixed-wing Airframes, Propulsion Systems, Standard Practices and Air Regulations; to wit, see attached Appendix B.

Conditions for Reinstatement

AME Saville shall demonstrate his competence in the subject areas relevant to the Licence Group M2 or current equivalent by successful completion of the current Aircraft Maintenance Engineer examinations that are appropriate to that Group and demonstrate that he has current experience as required by the Personnel Licensing Handbook Volume II or superseding document.

APPENDIX B

Appendix to Notice of Suspension

The following airworthiness defects existed in an aircraft registered C-FDKD following certification of an Annual Inspection of the aircraft by M155981 Charles Joseph Saville:

WING

a) Registration Marks not displayed in accordance with Air Regulation Series II, No. 2, 11(2).

b) 3 of 4 nuts on left hand elevator not in safety.

c) Right hand lower inboard flying wire nicked.

d) Flying wires nicked.

ENGINE

e) Fuel line chafing on the fire wall.

f) Carburator heat cable not properly attached.

g) Engine mount nuts not in safety.

h) Engine rubber mounts deteriorating.

i) Engine air inlet duct in poor condition.

FUSELAGE

j) Fire extinguisher not serviceable.

k) Battery not secured.

l) Non approved battery installed.

m) Trim control handle and pulley broken, trim cable crossed.

n) No indication of compliance with Airworthiness Directives 50-06-02 and 84-26-02.

This suspension comes into effect on the date indicated (June 20, 1996) and remains in effect until the Conditions for Reinstatement in the attached Appendix A are complied with and the document is reinstated by the Minister.

THE LAW

The Certificate of Airworthiness for C-FDKD, Boeing E75 (Stearman):

(5) This Certificate of Airworthiness is issued pursuant to the Convention on International Civil Aviation signed at Chicago the 7th December, 1944 and the Air Regulations in respect to the above mentioned aircraft which is considered to be airworthy when maintained and operated in accordance with the foregoing and either the Aircraft Specification or Type Approval, the Weight and Balance Report and Aircraft Flight Manual.

(6) Unless expired, suspended or cancelled in accordance with the Air Regulations, this certificate shall remain in force so long as the aircraft identified above is maintained and certified airworthy in accordance with the Air Navigation Orders.

(7) This certificate shall expire if the condition and conformity inspection procedure is not completed as provided for in Air Navigation Order, Series II, No. 4.

OVERVIEW

Boeing Aircraft Model E75 (Stearman) C-FDKD S/N 75-5169.

1) The Log Books for this aircraft show an annual Condition and Conformity Inspection carried out on the following dates:

June 14,1991 signed by C.J. Saville, Licence No. M155981
June 6,1992 signed by C.J. Saville, Licence No. M155981
June 17,1993 signed by C.J. Saville, Licence No. M155981
June1994 not signed, Journey Log shows 42 minutes.
June 5,1995 signed by C.J. Saville, Licence No. M155981
June 5,1996 signed by C.J. Saville, Licence No. M155981

2) On June 17, 1996, Transport Canada inspected C-FDKD and found the 14 defects listed in Appendix B.

3) This inspection was 6.4 hours flight time after the Annual Inspection by C.J. Saville on June 5, 1996.

4) C.J. Saville's Licence No. 155981 was suspended on June 20, 1996 by Transport Canada.

5) The aircraft owner, John Douglas Jasman, arranged with High River Aviation Services Ltd. to carry out an inspection on C-FDKD. A report on this inspection is covered in the letter from Murray Frame to Dave McNab shown as Exhibit M-14.

6) The estimated cost by High River Aviation to bring this aircraft up to standards is $17,000.00 to $18,000.00.

7) According to Murray Frame, Director of Maintenance and President of High River Aviation Services Ltd., in his letter to Dave McNab, the inspection at High River Aviation on C-FDKD revealed some thirty-two deficient areas.

EVIDENCE

Prior to the Minister's witnesses being called, it was explained to Mr. Saville that he would have the opportunity to question each witness following the questioning of the Minister's Case Presenting Officer.

The Minister's first witness, John Douglas Jasman, owner of Boeing E75, C-FDKD, was called, and the first Exhibit was produced:

M-1 Journey and Technical Log Books.

During questioning, Mr. Jasman testified that Mr. Saville had signed the aircraft as airworthy during the Annual Inspections on June 14, 1991, June 6, 1992, June 17, 1993, June 5, 1995 and June 5, 1996. The Logs were not signed in 1994.

He further stated that there were Airworthiness Directives recorded in the Technical Log: CF-63-3, CF-61-02, 60-08-02 and CF-90-03R2 but not signed by an AME.

Mr. Jasman said that, having purchased this aircraft, he found some areas of concern as to airworthiness. He contacted High River Aviation Services to have a complete inspection done and was given an estimate of $17,000.00 to $18,000.00 for repairs necessary to bring it up to standards.

Mr. Saville did not wish to question the witness.

The Minister's second witness, David McNab, Superintendent of the Calgary District Office, was sworn-in. He stated that his office had received a complaint regarding the condition of this aircraft, C-FDKD. An inspection was carried out by Transport Canada, and the defects in Appendix B were found. He said that the aircraft, C-FDKD, was inspected after 6.4 hours flying time following the Annual Inspection carried out and signed for by C.J. Saville, Licence No. M155981, on June 5, 1996.

Inspector McNab testified regarding the following Exhibits:

M-2 Department of Transport Ministerial Authorization.
M-3 Notice of Suspension to Charles Joseph Saville, Licence No. M155981.
M-4 Copy of Restricted Certificate of Airworthiness and Certificate of Registration.
M-5 Notice of Suspension of Certificate of Airworthiness for Boeing E75, C-FDKD, "on the grounds that an immediate threat to aviation safety exists or is likely to occur".
M-6 Parts and Maintenance Manuals for Boeing E75.
M-7 27 photographs of areas showing defects found during inspection of C-FDKD.
M-8 Phone report on Boeing E75, C-FDKD.
M-9 Computerized Airworthiness Information for C-FDKD.
M-10 Current File Inquiry for C-FDKD.
M-11 Letter from A.S. Soulis, Superintendent AME Licensing and Training, indicating current publications available for examination purposes.
M-12 Letter listing reference material related to defects.
M-13 Study and Reference Guide for AME Licence.
M-14 File information from High River Aviation Services relating to aircraft C-FDKD.
M-15 3 tail brace wires, one round and two streamlined. The two streamlined wires are different sizes and are not airworthy because of nicks. The round tail brace wire has flats ground on it to facilitate tightening, the grinding is not dressed out and could be a starting point for a fracture. This round wire is not likely aircraft quality to start with.
M-16 Trim pulley with damaged sheave and broken trim control handle.
M-17 Oil cooler fittings that appear to be black iron material that probably came from a commercial plumbing supply.
M-18 Fuel hoses.
M-19 Control pulleys that are well beyond safety limits.
M-20 Bolts.
M-21 Aircraft Type Approval for Boeing E75 Series.

Inspector McNab identified and explained each of the 21 Exhibits presented by the Minister.

Mr. Saville was asked if he had any questions for the witness, but again he said he did not. He said further, "If it pleases the Minister, I see no need having the other two witnesses come forward. I'm not contesting the condition of the aircraft."

Inspector Ribout, the Case Presenting Officer, asked if Mr. Saville was accepting the Minister's decision, and, unless he was, he preferred having the other two witnesses come forward.

I asked Mr. Saville if he was accepting the Minister's decision, and he said: "No, I have a rebuttal."

The Minister's next witness, David S. Austen, Airworthiness Engineer, was sworn-in. He was accepted as an expert witness. Mr. Saville was asked if he had any questions regarding Inspector Austen's qualifications; he did not.

On questioning, Inspector Austen explained the Type Certificate that applied to the Boeing 75. He explained the Manuals that applied to the aircraft type (ref: Exhibit M-6) and finished his testimony in agreeing that he would have to suspect the competency of the person returning this aircraft to service in the condition shown.

Mr. Saville was asked if he wished to question this witness, and he did not.

The Minister's fourth witness, Murray Frame, Director of Maintenance and President of High River Aviation Services, was called and sworn-in.

Mr. Frame related a conversation with the owner Mr. Jasman about an agreement to obtain a ferry permit to High River Airport. Mr. Frame had a look at the aircraft prior to ferrying and, on questioning, stated that it looked tired.

Inspector Ribout had Mr. Frame read his five-page letter to Inspector McNab into the record. This letter covers the condition of the aircraft as found by High River Aviation at its facilities. The letter along with another to Mr. Jasman is listed as Exhibit M-14.

Mr. Frame was questioned regarding the hard evidence, Exhibit M-15 to M-20. He explained the condition of these parts and gave reasons why they were not airworthy.

Mr. Frame, when asked, stated that this aircraft did not conform to Canadian standards and that the aircraft was not in a safe condition for flight and further that he would not trust the signature of an individual having signed it out. Mr. Frame who is Director of Maintenance and President of High River Aviation Services also holds a pilot licence.

Mr. Saville was asked if he had questions of this witness, and he did not.

It was pointed out to Mr. Saville that at this point he could be sworn-in and give evidence on his own behalf and be questioned by the Minister's representative following his testimony, or he could make a submission after the Minister's final argument and not be sworn or questioned. He chose the latter.

The Minister's final argument centred on alleged incompetence of the Applicant, Charles Joseph Saville, in signing the aircraft C-FDKD as airworthy when in fact it was not. It was pointed out that Mr. Saville had in fact signed this aircraft out on Annual Inspection each year from 1991 to 1996, with the exception of 1994 when it was not signed.

Mr. Saville, in a short submission on his own behalf, first stated: "I know I have made a grave mistake here; nobody is perfect; we wouldn't be human beings if we were."

Mr. Saville stated that what we were dealing with here is an old restricted category aircraft that has only flown an average of 4.5 hours in each of the past five years. He believes this should have some bearing on the issue at hand.

Mr. Saville went on to say he concedes that he may have made some serious errors in judgement in this instance; he did not feel that incompetence was a fair and accurate assessment.

Mr. Saville in his submission stated he did not believe that he had signed C-FDKD as airworthy on June 5, 1996, as the signing he had done at that time was only on an area rubber stamped in the log book.

CONCLUSION

I want to make this clear at the outset, this aircraft, C-FDKD, is the most maintenance-neglected aircraft that I have ever seen!

Mr. Saville denies having actually signed this aircraft as airworthy because of the use of a rubber stamp in the log book. He signed the aircraft in the same manner for five of the six Annual Inspections in the last six years. I will not accept this. It is not correct. He obviously believed he was signing the aircraft as airworthy all five times, or he should have.

Mr. Saville may be capable of carrying out proper aircraft maintenance, but knowing how and actually carrying out the work are two different things.

DETERMINATION

I confirm the Minister's decision to suspend Charles Joseph Saville's Licence till the Conditions for Reinstatement are met.

Gordon R. Mitchell
Member
Civil Aviation Tribunal