Decisions

TATC File No. P-3367-04
MoT File No. EMS 59672

TRANSPORTATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL OF CANADA

BETWEEN:

David Ralph Barron, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A 2, 7.3(1)(c)
Canadian Aviation Regulations, SOR/96-433, 571.10(1)


Review Determination
Arnold Price Vaughan


Decision: April 10, 2008

Citation: Barron v. Canada (Minister of Transport), 2008 TATCE 20 (review)

Heard at Kelowna, British Columbia, on December 11-14, 2007

Held: I find that the Minister of Transport has proven the allegations in this case. Therefore, I confirm the Minister's decision to suspend David Ralph Barron's aircraft maintenance engineer licence for 420 days, as follows:

· offence 1 - section 571.10(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations: 30 days;

· offence 2 - section 571.10(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations: 30 days;

  • offence 3 - section 7.3(1)(c) of the Aeronautics Act: 180 days; and
  • offence 4 - section 7.3(1)(c) of the Aeronautics Act: 180 days.

This suspension will commence 35 days after service of this determination.

I. BACKGROUND

[1] On April 24, 2007, the Minister of Transport suspended the aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) licence of David Ralph Barron, the applicant. The allegations contained in schedule A to the notice of suspension read as follows:

1. On or about March 25, 2004, at or near Kelowna, British Columbia, you, David Ralph Barron, permitted someone whom you supervised to sign a maintenance release in the technical records of Canadian registered DeHavilland Otter aircraft C-GSUV, when the standards of airworthiness applicable to the maintenance performed and certified in accordance with the requirements of "… DOT Supplemental Type Certificate SA01-111 and STC Engineering Company drawing list number DL98010 Revision P dated May 21, 2001 for later approved revision…" had not been complied with, specifically:

a. The Weldon automotive transfer fuel pump Part Number B2311-B installed was not an approved replacement for the aviation Delco A4949 fuel pump specified;

b. The cabin heating system installation, from the Walter M601E-11 turbine engine P3 bleed air outlet to the fuselage firewall, did not have the required Transport Canada approval;

thereby contravening subsection 571.10(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

SUSPENSION ASSESSED: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licence – 30 days

2. On or about May 30, 2004, at or near Kelowna, British Columbia, you, David Ralph Barron, permitted someone whom you supervised to sign a maintenance release in the technical records of Canadian registered DeHavilland Otter aircraft C-GKYG, when the standards of airworthiness applicable to the maintenance performed and certified in accordance with the requirements of "… LSTC C-LSA03-070 and in accordance with AOG Air Support Inc. Report No. AOG-03-400 Revision A DOT approved May 14, 2004 or later DOT approved revision" had not been complied with specifically:

a. The Weldon automotive transfer fuel pump Part Number B2311-B installed was not an approved replacement for the aviation Delco A4949 fuel pump specified;

b. The cabin heating system installation, from the Walter M601E-11 turbine engine P3 bleed air outlet to the fuselage firewall, did not have the required Transport Canada approval;

thereby contravening subsection 571.10(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

SUSPENSION ASSESSED: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licence – 30 days

3. On or about March 25, 2004, at or near Kelowna, British Columbia, you, David Ralph Barron, caused to be made a false entry in the journey logbook of Canadian registered DeHavilland Otter aircraft C-GSUV, a record required under this Part, with intent to mislead, specifically:

a. the standard of airworthiness applicable to the installation of the fuel transfer system and the cabin heating system were not as stated, "… in accordance with FAA STC SA09857SC, and DOT STC SA01-111 and in accordance with STC Engineering Company Drawing list number DL98010 Revision P dated May 21, 2001 or later approved revision…"

thereby contravening paragraph 7.3(1)(c) of the Aeronautics Act.

SUSPENSION ASSESSED: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licence – 180 days

4. On or about May 30, 2004, at or near Kelowna, British Columbia, you, David Ralph Barron, caused to be made a false entry in the journey logbook of Canadian registered DeHavilland Otter aircraft C-GKYG, a record required under this Part, with intent to mislead, specifically:

a. the standard of airworthiness applicable to the installation of the fuel transfer system and the cabin heating system were not as stated, "… as per LSTC C‑LSA03-070 and in accordance with AOG Air Support Inc. Report No. AOG-03-400 Revision A DOT approved May 14, 2004 or later dated DOT approved revision…"

thereby contravening paragraph 7.3(1)(c) of the Aeronautics Act.

SUSPENSION ASSESSED: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licence – 180 days

TOTAL SUSPENSION ASSESSED: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licence – 420 days

[2] At the time of the alleged offences in 2004, Mr. Barron was the president, chief executive officer (CEO) and director of A.O.G. Air Support Inc. (AOG), the approved maintenance organization 205‑91 (AMO), located in Kelowna, British Columbia.

[3] AOG had a business model to improve the flight characteristics and performance of the aging fleet of de Havilland aircraft, namely the Otter and the Beaver. It was also a fully integrated aircraft parts designer, fabricator and installer for other aircraft modifications with patent protected kits.

[4] With respect to this case, the key modification was the replacement of the Pratt and Whitney piston engine, which was originally certified in Canada for the Otter aircraft, with a modern turbine engine. This gave operators increased reliability and horsepower with greater access to spare parts. Rather than the more expensive Canadian-built Pratt and Whitney turbine, the engine chosen was a foreign-built Walter turbine from the Czech Socialist Republic. This modification was originally certified in the United States by the American regulatory authority, namely the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Associated with the power plant change were subcomponent changes or improvements to the fuel and cabin heat systems.

II. LAW

[5] Sections 6.9(1) and 7.3(1)(c) of the Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-2 (Act), read as follows:

6.9 (1) If the Minister decides to suspend or cancel a Canadian aviation document on the grounds that its holder or the owner or operator of any aircraft, airport or other facility in respect of which it was issued has contravened any provision of this Part or of any regulation, notice, order, security measure or emergency direction made under this Part, the Minister shall by personal service or by registered or certified mail sent to the holder, owner or operator, as the case may be, at that person's latest known address notify the holder, owner or operator of that decision and of the effective date of the suspension or cancellation, but no suspension or cancellation shall take effect earlier than the date that is thirty days after the notice under this subsection is served or sent.

. . .

7.3 (1) No person shall

. . .

(c) make or cause to be made any false entry in a record required under this Part to be kept with intent to mislead or willfully omit to make any entry in any such record.

[6] Section 571.10(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, SOR/96-433 (CARs), provides the following:

571.10 (1) No person shall sign a maintenance release required pursuant to Section 605.85 or permit anyone whom the person supervises to sign a maintenance release, unless the standards of airworthiness applicable to the maintenance performed and stated in Chapter 571 of the Airworthiness Manual have been complied with and the maintenance release meets the applicable requirements specified in section 571.10 of the Airworthiness Manual.

III. EVIDENCE

A. Minister of Transport

(1) Stephen Bailey

[7] Inspector Stephen Bailey has extensive experience as a pilot as well as in maintenance and enforcement. After establishing the date and place of the offences and the executive position held by Mr. Barron, he explained the logic behind the allegations with respect to section 571.10(1) (exhibit M‑5). This exhibit was used to visualize the linear progression for the charges or as a regulatory flow chart. It began with the definition of "major modification" that applied to the fuel and heating system changes carried out by AOG. The definition of "major modification" in section 101.01(1) of the CARs is as follows:

"major modification" - means an alteration to the type design of an aeronautical product in respect of which a type certificate has been issued that has other than a negligible effect on the weight and centre-of-gravity limits, structural strength, performance, power plant operation, flight characteristics or other qualities affecting its airworthiness or environmental characteristics.

[8] Inspector Bailey testified that major modifications to the original aircraft design needed to be supported by engineering orders (EOs) and certified by a professional engineer. They require test data from the certification process and are then approved by the regulatory authority via a supplemental type certificate (STC). The wording of the STC represents the official FAA approval of an alteration and it is used to authorize identical installations on other aircraft. In this case, the STC Engineering Company in Cookson, Oklahoma, owned the original STC (SA09857SC) that was approved by the FAA (exhibit M-7). The STC was later reissued on April 23, 2003 to Canada Turbine Conversions, Inc., in Manitoba (exhibit M-8), which licensed the conversion work to AOG. Based on transnational certification agreements, Transport Canada then issued a limited supplemental type certificate (LSTC) applicable to specific aircraft for those major modifications (exhibit M-17).

[9] The application of all of this for an AME at the level of the shop floor is that all drawings used to carry out the aircraft modifications must be tied back to the original EOs. Inspector Bailey demonstrated the verification process by referring to the approved engineering drawing (exhibit M-10). In order to authenticate the drawing, the AME would follow a series of checks. As step one, he would look at the top drawing list (exhibit M-9) and note the drawing number which is D28-10-00. Next, the revision status and date are checked in the appropriate block which is revision "A". This relates to the correct EOs and the appropriate release date. The plans that he would use for the modification work should match all the appropriate dates, plan numbers and revisions. This in turn is tied back to Canadian and American STCs (exhibits M-7 and M-8). All of these show that the only approved fuel pump make and model is manufactured by Delco.

[10] The relevance in the comparison of the three drawings (exhibits M-10, M-11 and M-12) is that there is only one (exhibit M-10) that follows the necessary verification process back to the top drawing list for the date of May 21, 2001 and to the necessary EOs. A major difference with two of them (exhibits M-11 and M-12) is the substitution of the Delco pump. Inspector Bailey characterized the drawing filed (exhibit M‑11) as a "fraud". The concern is that the original Delco pump which was certified for aircraft use has been replaced by a more recent Weldon model, which has never been approved for use in an aircraft. It is considered to be for automotive use. The substitution of the Delco pump serves as the basis of the two charges under section 571.10(1) of the CARs.

[11] Inspector Bailey used a similar verification process to show that the cabin heating system was also modified improperly. Exhibit M-13 has no tie to the original drawings produced by STC Engineering Company and there is no reference to the new heating system in the original STC documents. The design was finalized on May 21, 2001 and there were no subsequent revisions. Like for the fuel system, there is a safety concern with this modification. It is that there are no engineering studies, data or drawings for the high temperature air that is used in this system.

[12] Inspector Bailey referred to the linear progression for the charges (exhibit M‑5), which pertains to section 571.06 of the CARs. It relates to the person who signs the maintenance release in respect of a major modification. He discussed the maintenance releases describing the work performed on each of the two aircraft (exhibits M‑6 and M‑16). The releases have the two signatures of AMEs attesting to the correctness of the work and the subsequent independent check. Each AME who signed the maintenance release acted in good faith based on the appropriateness of the drawings which described the parts to be used.

[13] Inspector Bailey addressed the two questions of drawing control and supervision. The cost for AOG to make the drawing changes showing the unapproved parts would be expensive. An expense of this magnitude would have to be authorized by senior management and it would have been supported by a purchase order. Neither an AME on the shop floor carrying out the work nor an AME in charge of the modification project would have such an authority. There were two management personnel who could have initiated these changes: Mrs. Barron, who managed the drawing control office, and Mr. Barron.

[14] This leads to the final step in the progression of the charges (exhibit M‑5), which relates to who would have supervised the signing of the maintenance release knowing that the transfer fuel pumps and cabin heating modifications were not approved. Inspector Bailey determined that Mr. Barron was the senior supervisor. He held an AME licence and therefore had the knowledge, skill and experience to be aware of the regulations that apply to a maintenance release. Martin Jacques who signed the maintenance release did so, on directions from Mr. Barron, not as his immediate supervisor but as the most senior supervisor in the company.

[15] Inspector Bailey finally referred to the last charge which pertained to section 7.3(1)(c) of the Act. It relates to the intent to mislead. The instrument to mislead the AMEs was the applicable drawing that was used to carry out the work. The second component was the verbal assurance of Mr. Barron in his capacity as senior supervisor. This would assuage any concerns regarding two important issues. The first was the local source and the non-aviation nature of the parts used in the work. The second was that the regulatory approval was forthcoming. When that approval arrived, it would incorporate these design changes that AOG had carried out. The probable motive was based on the benefit in cost savings for using automotive category parts. Inspector Bailey stated that the initial acquisition costs for the approved and unapproved pumps were approximately $2 000. However, the approved pump was expensive to overhaul and hard to find. Given that some pumps failed in the first 50 hours, the cost was significant.

[16] In cross-examination, Mr. Barron focused on three points. The first was related to the corporate structure of AOG and the flow of responsibility from the AMEs on the shop floor to Mr. Barron in his capacity as CEO. From the organization chart, it was plain to see that the "accountable executive" for the modifications was not Mr. Barron. There were layers of responsibility prior to that of the CEO. The second point was that there were systems in place from the quality control manual, ISO 9001 certification and the maintenance policy manual which clearly set out the roles and responsibilities of employees. Finally, the original STC holder in the United States and the later Canadian holder should be held accountable for negotiating the design changes rather than AOG. There were collateral questions to Inspector Bailey about the drawings and specifically to errors in the dates. The rationale was since they were flawed they were "not legitimate". Inspector Bailey was also asked why he had not considered the actions of others such as Mrs. Barron, Dennis Sept (a program manager of AOG) or Martin Jacques (an AME of AOG) or Douglas Kobayashi (the president).

[17] In re-examination, Inspector Bailey confirmed that Mr. Barron as CEO could override the responsibilities of others.

(2) Paul Arnell

[18] Paul Arnell, the regional superintendent of aircraft certification at Transport Canada in Vancouver, is a professional engineer with a master's degree in mechanical engineering. He has many years of experience in the aviation industry and the military. Mr. Arnell's testimony added weight to the regulatory background and description of the STC process set out by Inspector Bailey. He also confirmed Inspector Bailey's testimony regarding the role of the master drawing list and the EOs. He supported the reasons why the modifications to the fuel and heating systems did meet the definition of "major modifications". Mr. Arnell testified that he had spoken to Mr. Lolopulus in quality assurance at Weldon. This person confirmed that the fuel pump in question was only certified for ground use. It was not manufactured to aircraft quality standards. It was a pump for use by racing cars.

[19] He also testified about the various safety concerns related to the design modifications of the heating and fuel systems. The use of the P3 line to bleed engine air for the heating would result in a loss of engine performance which had not been quantified. Mr. Arnell explained that there were added structural concerns over the piping used for this hot air. Related to that were unknowns about the risk from carbon monoxide leaking into the cabin if one of the pipes used should fail. Finally, there were operational concerns if a fuel pump malfunctioned. Without flight tests, it would be very difficult to determine the severity of these system failures. Mr. Arnell carefully crafted the concerns that the regulatory authority would have had with these changes. From his experience and knowledge of the modifications, he was confident that they would not have been approved.

(3) Courtney Hunter

[20] Courtney Hunter is an AME with a category "S" licence. He taught drafting in the field of aviation repair and overhaul as well as the application of the CARs at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He had been hired by AOG as the project engineering manager for the Walter turbine Otter conversion. His testimony gave an understanding regarding the work processes inside AOG and some of the concerns that were raised by the AMEs. Specifically, as a structures engineer, his testimony was very relevant to the design and installation of the cabin heating system (exhibit M-13). This design change, along with the applicable drawing, originated inside AOG. Mr. Hunter expressed considerable doubt about the correctness of the drawings and modifications.

[21] The major contribution of his testimony was the use of non-aviation parts in the heating system. In fact, on the drawing (exhibit M‑13), only item 11, the cabin heat mixing valve, was aircraft certified. When asked about the origin of the other parts, Mr. Hunter mentioned the local muffler and hydraulic shops. He said that it would be obvious to any AME handling a part, whether it was aircraft certified or not. Aircraft certified parts have an appropriate tag temporarily attached and a data plate permanently affixed.

[22] He became concerned after the crash of an earlier modified Otter aircraft although that was unrelated to any of the work done at AOG. However, Mr. Hunter started to question himself and others, including Mr. Barron, concerning the nature of the work at AOG. He was told that the changes did not meet the definition of a major modification. Since they were minor then they could be done internally. Mr. Hunter was also told that the changes made to the drawing (exhibit M‑13) by the drawing department were shipped to the original STC holder in the United States for review by the FAA. However, to his knowledge some of the drawings with his original signature never left the facility. It was Mr. Hunter who eventually expressed a concern to Transport Canada that automotive parts were used in the modifications.

[23] In cross-examination, Mr. Barron sought evidence that complaints were not properly raised through the company's organizational structure. For example, there was a service difficulty report that should have been used. His rationale was that, if the concerns from Mr. Hunter and others were genuine, there was a process in place that should have been followed.

(4) Dennis Sept

[24] Dennis Sept was the program manager for AOG. He has 36 years of experience in aviation, most of it in heavy maintenance as well as in manufacturing. He is an AME with both M1 and M2 licences. Mr. Sept's evidence is that he was also concerned about the modifications. His concerns began when he was asked by Mr. Kobayashi to investigate the drawing packages and anomalies with the turbine conversion. He then discovered that the fuel pump and other issues did not comply with the STC.

[25] The pump was a concern because there was a risk that the shaft would shear. The one thousandth of an inch tolerance was such that if there was any foreign material in the fuel it could impinge on the shaft and cause failure. This could happen when the aircraft was refueled in the field with contaminated fuel. This was a probable scenario, because the Otter aircraft was designed for use in austere operations. Mr. Sept added that the work‑around solution was to include fuel filters to protect the pumps.

[26] Mr. Sept explained the email correspondence (exhibit M‑20) between AOG and the STC holder over concerns about the fuel pump. He also explained the two safety alerts (exhibits M‑21 and M‑22) that were sent out to warn operators about the fuel pumps. Although these were written after the dates of the offences, they explain the gravity of his concerns.

[27] The email (exhibit M‑20) relates to AOG's substitution of the Weldon pump. In the email dated February 15, 2006, Mr. Sept seeks clarification to "the assumption within AOG that if an item is approved during the STC certification, then it is effectively approved for aircraft use". Another concern raised was his need for reassurance that the Weldon pump met the desired specifications for flow rate and engineering standards. James Senter, the project engineer at CenTex Aerospace Inc., indicated that if the automotive part did not meet the specifications, it could not be installed.

[28] The two safety alerts, dated March 29 and 31, 2006 respectively (exhibits M‑21 and M‑22), were issued when reassurances were not met. His recommendation to operators of the modified aircraft was for immediate replacement action. The reason was that the fuel pump installation could result in an "unsafe condition".

(5) Ken Gendron

[29] Ken Gendron was the director of maintenance at AOG. He was highly experienced with 41 years in aviation maintenance. He corroborated earlier evidence that Mr. Barron said that the drawings were either approved or about to be approved and that modifications conformed to FAA and STC requirements. He also testified regarding the maintenance practices, the work place environment, the corporate culture and the role of Mr. Barron within OAG.

[30] Mr. Gendron testified that, on many occasions, Mr. Barron had overridden his authority as the director of maintenance. There had been an occasion when Mr. Gendron had felt a sense of threat to his job. He added that mechanics had refused to sign for work done during questionable inspections on the weekends.

(6) William Ross

[31] William Ross was a production manager at AOG for 15 years and has several years of experience as an AME. Mr. Ross stated that he had signed out the independent check as part of the dual inspection (exhibits M‑6 and M-16). He was responsible for building the modification kit and was part of the design group. Mr. Ross explained that when the drawings (exhibits M-11 and M-12) were issued by the drawing department, he was told by Mr. Barron that they were genuine. At the time, he was confident that the modifications were safe. He then matched the parts to the drawings. Mr. Ross also testified that the pump replacements were made at Mr. Barron's suggestion, because the life expectancy of the original Delco pump was low. The pump was also hard to find and was an old design. The new pump solved these problems.

[32] Mr. Ross clarified why the pumps were used in the modifications. Their function was to transfer fuel from the rear belly tanks to the newly installed 50-gallon header tank.

(7) Martin Jacques

[33] Martin Jacques was an AME for five years with OAG. He was also part of the dual inspection (exhibits M-6 and M-16). His role was to produce and install parts for the modifications. His testimony had similar aspects to previous witnesses. This included asking about the status of the drawings issued by the drawing department. Mr. Jacques testified that he would not have signed the inspection if he did not believe that the described maintenance had been carried out according to the airworthiness standards. He relied on the correctness of the revision "P" drawings. He also had the verbal assurances from Mr. Barron that the drawings were consistent with the EOs.

(8) Douglas Kobayashi

[34] The last witness for the Minister was Mr. Kobayashi. He has been a professional engineer since 1974 and has a master's degree in science. He was initially hired by AOG to be in charge of business development. At the time of the allegations, he was president but resigned from this position on February 14, 2006.

[35] On February 10, 2006, Mr. Kobayashi wrote an email to Mrs. Barron about the Weldon fuel transfer pump certification (exhibit M‑23). He indicated that the pumps had not been approved nor would they ever have been approved for aircraft use. This was despite verbal assurances from Mr. Barron for almost two years. He expressed his own concerns over the use of the fuel transfer and boost pumps. Mr. Kobayashi stated that, according to Mr. Barron, the fuel pump was not critical and the STC allowed modifications by AOG without the approval of Transport Canada or the FAA. Mr. Kobayashi explained that, by the time he wrote his email, 14 fuel transfer pumps were in operation. For safety concerns, he had recommended that they all be changed. Mr. Barron did not agree with his recommendations, as he felt that this action would ruin his company.

B. Applicant

(1) Friedrich Hans-Dietrich Goldammer

[36] Friedrich Hans-Dietrich Goldammer was contracted to document the work done in the shop and produce the drawings. He stated that Mrs. Barron gave him instructions related to the drawings. He also worked on the shop floor with Messrs. Jacques and Ross to measure the parts and incorporate them in the drawings. In cross-examination, he stated that the design work that was done on the shop floor went to Mrs. Barron in drawing control.

(2) David Ralph Barron

[37] The first line of Mr. Barron's defence is that the holder of the STC was responsible for obtaining regulatory approvals, not AOG. An agreement with Eagle Aviation Ltd. (exhibit A‑7) and another with Canada Turbine Conversions Inc. (exhibit A-8) were submitted with respect to ownership of the STC and the commercial and licensing agreements that followed. The Minister objected because these added nothing to addressing the allegations. I chose to admit them with the caveat that the appropriate weight would be given in my determination. Exhibit A-8 supports the argument that engineering drawing no. DL98010 revision "P" was the approved FAA revision. Mr. Barron stated that STC updates were sent from AOG to CenTex Aerospace Inc. in the expectation that they would be approved by the FAA (exhibit A‑4). Emails attached to exhibit M‑4 referred to EO revisions and drawing revisions. Once again, the Minister objected since the email dates were in 2006, well after the dates of the offences. The letter to CenTex Aerospace Inc. added nothing to the defence against the allegations. I allowed this evidence again because I wanted to cross-reference drawing numbers and dates.

[38] Mr. Barron's second line of defence is based on the A.O.G. Quality Manual (exhibit A‑2). This is a cornerstone behind AOG receiving ISO 9001 certification. In order to achieve this standard, there must be an approved hierarchical structure with defined responsibilities in place. Mr. Barron had asked previous witnesses who should have been the accountable executive and what should have been the proper chain of authority when serious safety or certification concerns were raised. By referring to the organization chart, it was not him but rather Messrs. Jacques and Gendron who were responsible. He stressed that he was not the accountable executive nor had he made people sign documents. The maintenance releases (exhibits M‑6 and M‑16) came from Messrs. Gendron and Ross, who knew the exact status of the modifications.

[39] Mr. Barron introduced AOG quality assurance meeting minutes to show how the quality assurance team dealt with drawing changes and quality objectives (exhibit A‑5). Documents show the functions and tasks of various individuals. Mr. Barron was not an action addressee for any of the tasks mentioned in the minutes. The Minister objected to this document being filed in evidence, again because it was produced much later than the dates of the offences and added nothing. I accepted it because it corroborated the earlier concerns of Mr. Kobayashi. There was also the information that even though he was an engineer, he was not allowed to make even small design changes. That had to be done by CenTex Aerospace Inc.

[40] The third line of defence relates to the fit, form and function of the parts and modifications in question. There was no evidence that the changes contributed to serious safety outcomes. In fact, Mr. Barron stated that the pumps had been in service for two years, thus showing that automotive parts could be adapted for aircraft use. Safety was not compromised, because AOG had designed a redundant system for the installation of the pumps.

IV. ANALYSIS

[41] The Minister has to demonstrate that under section 101 of the CARs two things had occurred. The first was an alteration to the type design and systems in respect to the Otter's STC. The second was that those changes had more than a negligible effect on some of the seven characteristics described in the wording of section 101 of the CARs. If proven, then a major modification had occurred. Mr. Barron disputed the assertion that there was a major modification. He even argued with this definition when he was queried by his staff. Resolving the definition was essential.

[42] With respect to the first issue, the testimonies of Messrs. Bailey and Arnell demonstrated that the approved drawing and master drawing list were changed. These later versions (exhibits M-11 and M-12) were not approved by Transport Canada or the FAA. There was no doubt in my mind that in March and May 2004, neither the STC nor the LSTC for C‑GSUV or C‑GKYG had included the modifications so described in the notice of suspension.

[43] Through evidence, it was shown that the approved drawings used in the issuance of the STC had been changed to reflect the heat and fuel modifications. Such changes would have required the efforts of a professional engineer and not an AME. Even Mr. Kobayashi who is an engineer could not have completed those STC changes internally. They would have required lengthy and costly efforts by outside agencies. Rather, they were brought about by what was described as a "work‑around" solution to defects or inadequacies with the original Otter design. What drove these changes was expediency and cost saving, not regulatory or safety requirements.

[44] The second issue was over the "negligible" effect on the weight and centre‑of‑gravity changes due to both the heater and fuel pump modifications. I asked for the following clarification on this point. Would the weight of these apparently small pieces of equipment multiplied by their moment arm put the aircraft outside of centre-of-gravity limits for its flight envelope? It was not logical that on a utility category aircraft like an Otter that neither the centre‑of-gravity nor the gross weight limits would be exceeded by the modifications. In response, no empirical evidence was produced to show the fore and aft limits of the unmodified flight envelope. Nothing was introduced to show how the limits were exceeded by the modifications. Nor was there any reference to the resultant changes about the mean aerodynamic chord or controllability if the Otter became too nose heavy or tail heavy. The Minister only had a qualitative and not a quantifiable argument pertaining to the changes in weight and center of gravity. Therefore, under normal flight conditions it was quite probable that the changes did not meet the test of a "major modification". In that very limited context, I could see how Mr. Barron could argue that the changes were minor not major. With such a rationale, he could have circumvented the STC process.

[45] However, the Minister's argument was based on what would be the performance changes in a worst-case failure mode. In this scenario, something like the following would have to take place: the aircraft would have to be loaded to its most aft limit on take-off. The centre of gravity would then move further aft as fuel was burnt in flight. The centre of gravity would be maintained in limits only by the pilot transferring 50 gallons of fuel to the newly designed forward header tank. If this transfer could not occur because both of these automotive pumps failed concurrently, then, on a balance of probabilities, the aircraft would have exceeded the centre of gravity. The aircraft stability would be compromised and it would then be unsafe. The certification process must take into account such highly improbable circumstances. In order to respect the dictum to error on the side of safety, I accepted this was a major modification. Since aviation uses empirical data in the language of aerodynamics, it would have made the Minister's case much stronger if it had the numbers to back up the assumptions.

[46] The two other aspects in the definition of "major modification" were equally weak and not supported by data. Would there be an "other than a negligible effect" on performance and power plant operation? With the installation of the heat system, the Minister argued that there was an estimated power loss in the range of two percent. The original engine had 600 horsepower and it was certified for use in an aircraft of a maximum weight of 8 000 pounds (land plane). The new turbine engine has 751 shaft horsepower, but the maximum weight was not increased. Therefore, it provided considerable excess power. A loss of two percent would be negligible. The Minister again asked the valid question of what would be the power loss if the P3 line from the engine failed. The loss in mass airflow through the compressor and turbine sections may be considerable. If the aircraft was loaded to its maximum weight and a maximum performance was required and the line failed at the most critical time in the take-off, then it was plausible that significant power loss and performance degradation would result.

[47] Mr. Barron never introduced any empirical data to prove that AOG had studied these issues. It would have carried considerable weight if he had. Nor was there any concern shown if the non-aviation parts failed and introduced carbon monoxide or high temperature air into the fuselage. These are the components of due diligence safety emphasis that I was waiting to hear.

[48] Given the unknowns in a failure scenario, I had to allow that an "other than a negligible effect" on the weight and centre-of-gravity limits, performance and flight characteristics affecting the airworthiness of the Otter would occur. The Minister has proved the allegations with respect to section 571.10(1) of the CARs.

[49] With respect to the maintenance release, testimony by Messrs. Sept, Gendron, Ross and Jacques indicated that they were misled by false drawings and that they in turn were led to sign the logbooks. Mr. Jacques testified that he had acted on the word of Mr. Barron. The causes of the false entries were therefore twofold. The first was the apparent correctness of the drawings. The second was the assurance from Mr. Barron that the drawings had gone out to the STC holder for approval when there was no evidence to support this. The STC at the time certainly did not indicate that the changes were approved. The Minister has proved the allegations with respect to section 7.3(1)(c) of the Act.

[50] What has not been established is that Mr. Barron took all reasonable care to avoid strict liability. The actions of a reasonable owner and CEO would be to not assume that other persons or entities were attending to STC changes. STC management would be a critical success factor in the same way as cost control, revenue generation and marketing would be for the survival of the company. It would be a reasonable precaution for a CEO to ensure there was no threat to his company in this regulatory area. In fact, it would be reasonable to establish a close working relationship, using the resources of Transport Canada as an ally rather than an adversary in this entire process. It would be reasonable for this process to begin when the first Otter arrived at AOG. When an aircraft was brought in from another country, it should have raised a red flag. Would these modifications have been accepted for a Canadian LSTC? The reasonable actions of a CEO would have been to task one of his AMEs to investigate this and produce a definitive answer early in the modification program. This was not done.

[51] The mission statement in the A.O.G. Quality Manual (exhibit A-2) refers to improving the safety of aircraft. It also speaks of communicating to all the employees the importance of meeting statutory and regulatory requirements. The annual report of AOG also speaks of increasing safety. Both documents are signed by Mr. Barron. Yet an automotive fuel pump was employed in an aircraft. Spares were sourced from local non-aviation hydraulic and muffler shops.

[52] The A.O.G. Quality Manual refers to a mission to provide a harmonious working atmosphere of mutual respect. Yet testimony suggests the organizational behavior was one of deception and coercion. This coercion was even directed to AOG's president, Mr. Kobayashi, when he was told that if he went ahead with his corrective actions it would ruin the company. Also, the accusation that a witness was a "whistle blower" had an unseemly and inappropriate pejorative connotation. The aspect of the ISO 9001 approved organizational structure was used to erect a barrier to deflect any responsibility from the CEO. By blaming others and not assuming any responsibility, Mr. Barron makes it impossible to reconsider or reduce the sanctions imposed by the Minister.

V. DETERMINATION

[53] I find that the Minister of Transport has proven the allegations in this case. Therefore, I confirm the Minister's decision to suspend Mr. Barron's AME licence for 420 days as follows:

  • offence 1 - section 571.10(1) of the CARs: 30 days;
  • offence 2 - section 571.10(1) of the CARs: 30 days;
  • offence 3 - section 7.3(1)(c) of the Act: 180 days; and
  • offence 4 - section 7.3(1)(c) of the Act: 180 days.

April 10, 2008

Arnold P. Vaughan

Member


Appeal decision
Herbert Lee, Sandra Lloyd, Elizabeth MacNab


Decision: June 15, 2009

Citation: Barron v. Canada (Minister of Transport), 2009 TATCE 13 (appeal) 

Heard at Vancouver, British Columbia, on February 25, 2009

Held : The appeal is dismissed. The appeal panel upholds the member's determination and confirms the Minister's decision to suspend the applicant's aircraft maintenance engineer licence for 420 days. This suspension will commence 35 days after service of this decision.

I. BACKGROUND

[1] On April 24, 2007, the Minister of Transport issued a notice of suspension to the appellant, David Ralph Barron, suspending his aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) licence for a total of 420 days.

[2] The Minister alleged that on March 25 and May 30, 2004, the appellant permitted someone whom he supervised to sign a maintenance release when the applicable standards of airworthiness had not been complied with, contrary to section 571.10(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Specifically, the notice alleged that unapproved fuel transfer pumps and cabin heating systems had been installed on two aircraft.

[3] The Minister also alleged that on those two occasions, the appellant caused to be made a false entry in an aircraft logbook with intent to mislead, contrary to section 7.3(1)(c) of the Aeronautics Act (Act). This allegation related to the same maintenance releases and installations which formed the subject matter of the alleged offences under the CARs.

[4] The releases were multi-paragraph entries, in the logbooks of DHC-3 aircraft C‑GSUV and C-GKYG, that had been prepared by the director of maintenance of AOG Air Support Inc. (AOG), Ken Gendron. They were signed by two AMEs, Bill Ross and Martin Jacques, who were also employed by AOG. The releases referred to the installation of a Walter turbine engine in place of the original piston engine on each aircraft. They were signed while the appellant was president and CEO of AOG.

[5] A supplemental type certificate (STC) approval had been issued on November 26, 2001 by Transport Canada to STC Engineering Company, to allow the installation of the Walter turbine engine on DHC-3 aircraft, in accordance with STC Engineering Company Drawing List Number DL98010, Revision P, dated May 21, 2001, or later FAA approved revision.

[6] In addition, a limited supplemental type certificate (LSTC) approval had been issued by Transport Canada to AOG on May 14, 2004, to allow the installation of the Walter turbine engine on certain DHC-3 aircraft, including C-GKYG, in accordance with AOG Report No. AOG-03-400 Revision A, or later D.O.T. approved revision.

[7] A review hearing of these matters was held from December 11 to 14, 2007. The member's review determination dated April 10, 2008 confirmed the Minister's decision to suspend Mr. Barron's AME licence for 420 days.

II. REVIEW DETERMINATION

[8] In his analysis, the member at review determined that it was necessary that the Minister demonstrate that an alteration to the type design and systems in respect of the Otter's STC had been made and further, that those changes had more than a negligible effect on some of the seven characteristics described in the definition of "major modification" in section 101 of the CARs.

[9] The member found that the STC's approved drawings had been changed to reflect the heat and fuel modifications. He then undertook a detailed analysis of whether the changes to the fuel transfer pumps and cabin heating systems amounted to major modifications, and found that they did.  He also found that these changes had not been approved by the FAA or Transport Canada. The member concluded that the Minister had proved the allegations with respect to section 571.10(1) of the CARs.

[10] The member also found that Messrs. Ross and Jacques had been misled by false drawings, which in turn led them to sign the logbooks. Further, he found that Mr. Jacques had acted on the word of Mr. Barron, and that the changes to the STC had not been approved. He concluded that the Minister had proved the allegations with respect to section 7.3(1)(c) of the Act.

[11] Finally, the member found that Mr. Barron had not taken all reasonable care to avoid strict liability and that by blaming others and refusing to assume any responsibility, had made it impossible to reduce the sanctions imposed by the Minister.

III. APPEAL

[12] On May 7, 2008, Mr. Barron filed a letter with the Tribunal, in which he stated his grounds of appeal. The following is a summary of these grounds of appeal:

  1. He was not present nor did he witness persons whom he supervised to sign the maintenance releases.
  2. Documents relating to his personal knowledge of events were not admissible as evidence at the review hearing, such that the member did not get a full and true picture of events.
  3. The member advised him at the review hearing that he could present evidence at the appeal hearing if it was necessary and that the review was only for Transport Canada to prove its case.
  4. Transport Canada did not produce evidence as to the role of the STC holder that AOG built the kits for.
  5. There was no evidence that he used coercion or deception to mislead AOG's employees into signing logbooks.
  6. He had never been asked by the director of maintenance to sign out the installation of a Walter engine because of paperwork concerns.
  7. A revision A to the STC embodying more than 1000 engineering orders or drawing revisions had been sent in 2004 as a final draft for certification.
  8. There was no financial strain on AOG relating to these matters.
  9. An employee/officer of a company cannot be held liable for the actions of the corporation.
  10. As CEO/president of AOG, he gave his employees all the tools necessary to do their jobs and Transport Canada audits proved that AOG's management was effective in achieving its mission statement.
  11. When project manager, Courtney Hunter, left AOG, he did not explain why he was quitting, which Mr. Barron thought was strange.
  12. There was an unidentified disconnect in AOG's system, but Mr. Barron should not bear the blame just because he has an AME licence. Transport Canada's audits, as well as AOG internal audits, never produced any cause for alarm to support a claim of mismanagement or coercion by Mr. Barron.
  13. The engineers on the floor were not doing anything to the aircraft that would render them unsafe for flight certification.
  14. When this infraction was investigated by a new manager, Mr. Barron concurred with him that safety alerts would be issued by him immediately.

[13] At the appeal hearing, Mr. Barron made written and oral submissions in support of his grounds of appeal. The Minister also provided written and oral submissions, arguing, among other things, that the grounds of appeal were either not relevant or not supported in the evidence put on the record at the review hearing.

IV. LAW

[14] Sections 571.06(1) and 571.10(1) of the CARs provide the following

571.06  (1) Except as provided in subsection (5) and in the case of aircraft that are operated under a special certificate of airworthiness in the owner-maintenance classification, a person who signs a maintenance release in respect of a major repair or major modification on an aeronautical product shall ensure that the major repair or major modification conforms to the requirements of the relevant technical data

(a) that have been approved or the use of which has been approved within the meaning of the term "approved data" in section 571.06 of the Airworthiness Manual; or

(b) that have been established within the meaning of the term "specified data" in section 571.06 of the Airworthiness Manual.

571.10 (1) No person shall sign a maintenance release required pursuant to Section 605.85 or permit anyone whom the person supervises to sign a maintenance release, unless the standards of airworthiness applicable to the maintenance performed and stated in Chapter 571 of the Airworthiness Manual have been complied with and the maintenance release meets the applicable requirements specified in section 571.10 of the Airworthiness Manual.

[15] Standard 571.06 of the CARs states the following:

(1) The following definitions apply to this section:

"major modification" - as per the definition found in Subpart 101of the CARs.

Information Note:

For convenience, the Subpart 101 definition is reproduced here.

"major modification" - means an alteration to the type design of an aeronautical product in respect of which a type certificate has been issued that has other than a negligible effect on the weight and centre-of-gravity limits, structural strength, performance, power plant operation, flight characteristics or other qualities affecting its airworthiness or environmental characteristics;

"major repair" - as per the definition found in Subpart 101 of the CARs.

Information Note:

For convenience, the Subpart 101 definition is reproduced here.

"major repair" - means a repair to an aeronautical product in respect of which a type certificate has been issued, that causes the aeronautical product to deviate from the type design defined by the type certificate, where the deviation from the type design has other than a negligible effect on the weight and centre-of-gravity limits, structural strength, performance, power plant operation, flight characteristics or other qualities affecting the aeronautical product's airworthiness or environmental characteristics;

"acceptable data" - includes:

(a) drawings and methods recommended by the manufacturer of the aircraft, component, or appliance;

(b) Transport Canada advisory documents; and,

(c) advisory documents issued by foreign airworthiness authorities with whom Canada has entered into airworthiness agreements or memoranda of understanding such as current issues of Advisory Circular 43.13-1 and -2 issued by the FAA, Civil Aviation Information Publications (CAIPs) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of the United Kingdom, or Advisory Circular, Joint (ACJs) issued by the Joint Aviation Authority (JAA).

"approved data" - includes:

(a) type certificates, supplemental type certificates, limited supplemental type certificates, or repair design approvals, including equivalent foreign documents which have undergone the familiarisation or validation process set-out in Subpart 511 of the CARs, or are otherwise accepted in Canada; and

(b) other drawings and methods approved by the Minister or a delegate in conformity with paragraph 4.2(o) and subsection 4.3(1) of the Aeronautics Act.

. . .

2) The criteria to be used to determine which data applies to modifications and repairs is as follows:

(a) All major modifications and major repairs shall be performed in accordance with either "approved" data or "specified" data. A statement of "No technical objection", or similar wording, by the manufacturer does not constitute "approved", "acceptable", or "specified" data and shall not be used without further approval by the Minister.

(b) All other modifications and repairs shall be performed in accordance with "acceptable" data.

[16] Sections 6.9(1) and 7.3(1)(c) of the Act provide the following:

6.9 (1) If the Minister decides to suspend or cancel a Canadian aviation document on the grounds that its holder or the owner or operator of any aircraft, airport or other facility in respect of which it was issued has contravened any provision of this Part or of any regulation, notice, order, security measure or emergency direction made under this Part, the Minister shall by personal service or by registered or certified mail sent to the holder, owner or operator, as the case may be, at that person's latest known address notify the holder, owner or operator of that decision and of the effective date of the suspension or cancellation, but no suspension or cancellation shall take effect earlier than the date that is thirty days after the notice under this subsection is served or sent.

7.3 (1) No person shall

. . .

(c) make or cause to be made any false entry in a record required under this Part to be kept with intent to mislead or wilfully omit to make any entry in any such record;

[17] Section 14 of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act, S.C. 2001, c. 29 (TATC Act), states the following:

14. An appeal shall be on the merits based on the record of the proceedings before the member from whose determination the appeal is taken, but the appeal panel shall allow oral argument and, if it considers it necessary for the purposes of the appeal, shall hear evidence not previously available.

V. DISCUSSION

A. Grounds of Appeal

[18] Ground 1 is discussed below under the heading entitled "Section 571.10(1) of the CARs".

[19] With respect to grounds 2 and 3, we are unable to find any record, in the review hearing transcript, of the member disallowing any possibly relevant documents, or of the member advising the appellant that he would have the opportunity to produce evidence at the appeal hearing. Section 14 of the TATC Act, specifically provides that the appeal panel shall hear evidence only if it was previously unavailable and if it considers it necessary for the purposes of the appeal. There was no relevant evidence sought to be introduced at the appeal hearing that met the test in section 14.

[20] With respect to ground 4, we are of the view that the role of the STC holder is irrelevant. Ground 5 is discussed below under the heading entitled "Section 7.3(1)(c) of the Act".

[21] Grounds 6, 7 and 8 are not relevant. With respect to ground 9, the proposition is generally correct, but in this case we are concerned with the individual actions of Mr. Barron, not the actions of the corporation.

[22] Grounds 10, 11, 13 and 15 are irrelevant.  With respect to ground 12, the Minister has the authority to suspend an AME licence in accordance with section 6.9 of the Act.

[23] With respect to ground 14, it is not necessary for us to determine whether or not the modifications rendered the aircraft unsafe for flight certification in order to determine whether the Minister has proved the alleged contraventions.

B. Section 571.10(1) of the CARs

[24] With respect to the alleged offence under section 571.10(1) of the CARs, the Minister must prove, on a balance of probabilities, that Mr. Barron permitted someone whom he supervised to sign a maintenance release, when the standards of airworthiness applicable had not been complied with or the maintenance release did not meet the applicable requirements specified in section 571.10 of the Airworthiness Manual.

[25] In his analysis, the member at review found that the Minister had proved the allegations with respect to section 571.10(1) of the CARs, but did not specifically address the issues of whether the evidence showed that Mr. Barron permitted Messrs. Ross and Jacques to sign the releases, or whether they were persons whom he supervised. Mr. Barron's first ground of appeal is that he was not present nor did he witness persons whom he supervised to sign the maintenance releases.

[26] Mr. Ross testified that Mr. Barron was indirectly in control of AOG's drawing office, from which the drawings they used were issued. He also stated that changes made to the drawings were mostly at Mr. Barron's involvement, that changes were not made without his input, and were made at his suggestion. Mr. Jacques testified that Mr. Barron had stated at meetings that the drawings they used for the work they performed were approved. The journey logbook for C‑GSUV shows that Mr. Barron test-flew C-GSUV on the same day that its maintenance release was signed. We infer from the evidence that Mr. Barron was both aware of and permitted the signing of the maintenance releases by Messrs. Ross and Jacques.

[27] Mr. Jacques testified that Mr. Gendron was his immediate supervisor, according to the AOG policy manual and in actual practice. However, Mr. Ross testified that Mr. Barron was his immediate supervisor for 15 years ending in September 2005.

[28] Mr. Barron provided, as part of his evidence, an AOG Quality Manual dated March 14, 2006. The manual included an organization chart that showed layers of people between him and the persons who signed the maintenance releases, Messrs. Martin and Jacques. However, this document was dated two years after the signing of the maintenance releases.

[29] We are therefore satisfied, from the evidence of Mr. Ross, that he was someone whom Mr. Barron supervised at the time he signed the maintenance releases. We are also satisfied that the Minister has proved that the maintenance releases were signed when the applicable standards of airworthiness had not been met, as discussed below, and thus, that the Minister has proved, on a balance of probabilities, the contravention under section 571.10(1) of the CARs.

C. Section 7.3(1)(c) of the Act

[30] With respect to an offence under section 7.3(1)(c) of the Act, the Minister must prove that the maintenance releases were false entries, and that Mr. Barron caused them to be made with intent to mislead.

[31] The maintenance releases state that the maintenance " . . .has been performed in accordance with the applicable standards of airworthiness . . . " The applicable standards of airworthiness are found in standard 571.06 of the CARs, and require that major modifications be done in accordance with either "approved data" or "specified data".

[32] The maintenance releases relate to the conversion of the engine in DHC-3 Otter aircraft to a Walter turbine engine. There is no doubt that the installation of an engine is a major modification within the meaning of section 101 and standard 571.06 of the CARs. In accordance with standard 571.06, "approved data" is required in this instance. The "approved data" was the STC in the case of C-GSUV, and the LSTC in the case of C-GKYG.

[33] In the case of C-GSUV, the turbine engine installation was permitted only in accordance with Transport Canada's STC SA01-111, which requires that the installation be done in accordance with drawing list DL98010, Revision P, dated May 21, 2001, or later FAA approved revision.

[34] In the case of C-GKYG, the installation was to be done in accordance with LSTC C‑LSA03-070, dated May 14, 2004. The LSTC further provides that the installation is to be in accordance with AOG Report No. AOG-03-400, Revision A, D.O.T. approved dated May 14, 2004 or later D.O.T. approved revision. AOG Report AOG-03-400 Revision "A" refers to Master Drawing List DL98010, Revision P, dated May 21, 2001, as being applicable to the Walter Turbine Installation.

[35] In other words, the drawing list required was the same for both certificates and therefore, for both aircraft. Drawing list DL98010 includes fuel system drawings and particular part numbers specified for fuel pumps. However, unapproved pumps were installed on the subject aircraft.

[36] The cabin heating system used bleed air from the engine. Consequently, in our view, the installation of the cabin heating system must also be considered to be part of the engine installation, therefore required to be in conformance with drawing list DL98010. No cabin heating system drawings formed part of drawing list DL98010 at the time of the maintenance releases. The drawings used for the installation of the cabin heating system were unapproved drawings.

[37] Since the fuel system and cabin heating systems did not conform to drawing list DL98010, they did not conform to the STC and the LSTC. Therefore, the maintenance had not been performed in accordance with the applicable standards of airworthiness, contrary to what was stated in the maintenance releases. The maintenance releases were false.

[38] As stated above, Mr. Ross testified that the drawings he used came from the drawing's office, which was indirectly in control of Mr. Barron. Another AOG employee, Courtney Hunter, testified that Mr. Barron was incorporating modifications into the STC drawing package which were not within the package that was supposed to be used. He also testified that Mr. Barron stated in meetings that they had the approval to change the fuel pumps, and that they did not need approval to install the cabin heating system. Mr. Jacques testified that he asked Mr. Barron in a meeting "how's all the paperwork for the heaters and the pumps . . . ", and that Mr. Barron told him that the documents had been approved. Mr. Jacques testified that he would not have signed the maintenance release if he had known that the drawings were not approved. We infer from all this evidence that Mr. Barron caused the false entries to be made.

[39] The final element to be proved is whether Mr. Barron caused the entries to be made with the intent to mislead. It is apparent from the evidence that Mr. Barron was intimately familiar with the STC certification process and was very knowledgeable about the Walter turbine engine installation. There is nothing in the evidence to indicate that Mr. Barron believed, at the time the maintenance releases were signed, that the modifications were approved. To the contrary, Mr. Barron introduced into evidence a letter of agreement dated February 12, 2004, wherein he agreed to arrange with U.S. engineering firm Centex Aerospace to have, amongst other things, the paperwork for the fuel pumps and heater completed, hopefully by March, 2004. A letter from Mr. Hunter on behalf of AOG to Centex Aerospace, requesting that drawings dated February 12, 2004, be approved, was dated August 10, 2004 – well after the maintenance releases were signed. Mr. Hunter testified that Mr. Barron told him that approval was not required for the cabin heating system. We infer that Mr. Barron knew he had not had the paperwork completed, as promised, by the time the maintenance releases were signed.

[40] We conclude that Mr. Barron knew at the time that the maintenance releases were signed that the fuel pumps and cabin heating systems were not approved. He made false statements to his employees about whether the modifications to the fuel and cabin heating systems were approved or required approval. We infer from the evidence that Mr. Barron intended that the entries would mislead people into believing that the maintenance had been completed in accordance with the required standards of airworthiness.

[41] It follows that we see no reason to interfere with the member's finding that the Minister has proved the allegations with respect to section 7.3(1) of the Act.

VI. SANCTION

[42] We agree with the member's determination that Mr. Barron's actions do not warrant a reduction of the sanction imposed by the Minister.

VII. DECISION

[43] The appeal panel upholds the member's determination and confirms the Minister's decision to suspend Mr. Barron's AME licence for a total of 420 days.

June 15, 2009

Reasons for appeal decision by: Sandra K. Lloyd, Member

Concurred by: Herbert Lee, Member

Elizabeth MacNab, Member