Decisions

TATC File No. A-3913-35
MoT File No. 5504-77616

TRANSPORTATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL OF CANADA

BETWEEN:

Jeffrey Douglas Pollett, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
section 571.03 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, SOR/96 433, pursuant to section 7.7 of the Aeronautics Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. A-2


Review Determination
Richard F. Willems


Decision: November 18, 2013

Citation: Pollett v. Canada (Minister of Transport), 2013 TATCE 32 (Review)

Heard in: St. John's, Newfoundland, on May 29, 2013

REVIEW DETERMINATION AND REASONS

Held: The Minister of Transport has proven, on the balance of probabilities, that the Applicant, Jeffrey Douglas Pollett, contravened section 571.03 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. As such, the monetary penalty of $1 000 is upheld.

The total amount of $1 000 is payable to the Receiver General for Canada and must be received by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada within thirty-five (35) days of service of this Determination.

I. Background

[1] An American registered aircraft on a ferry flight from the United States of America (U.S.A.) to Europe diverted into Gander, Newfoundland, due to engine problems. The Applicant, Jeffrey Douglas Pollett, an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME), was asked to troubleshoot and repair the aircraft. The aircraft sales company responsible for this aircraft was not satisfied with the service provided, and contacted Transport Canada to inform it that, among other things, no log entries had been made by Mr. Pollett for the work performed on the aircraft.

[2] After investigating the issue, the Minister of Transport (Minister) sent Mr. Pollett a Notice of Assessment of Monetary Penalty (Notice) on August 16, 2012, pursuant to section 7.7 of the Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A‑2 (Act), with respect to an alleged contravention of section 571.03 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, SOR/96‑433 (CARs), which reads as follows:

2. On or about 2011-08-23, at or near Gander, NL, you performed maintenance on a Piper PA32R‑301T Saratoga registration N227EM, where you did not ensure that:

The details were entered in the technical record for Aircraft N227EM in respect of the task performed;

Thereby contravening section 571.03 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs), Monetary Penalty Assessed: $1000.00

[3] On September 17, 2012, the Applicant's Request for Review was filed with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (Tribunal).

II. REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS

[4] Section 571.03 of the CARs reads as follows:

571.03 A person who performs maintenance or elementary work on an aeronautical product shall ensure that

(a) the details required by Chapter 571 of the Airworthiness Manual are entered in the technical record for the aeronautical product, in respect of the task performed; and

(b) the technical record is accurate with respect to any outstanding elements of the work performed, in particular, the need to secure any fastening device that was disturbed to facilitate the work.

[5] Standard 571 to the CARs reads as follows:

571.03 Recording of Maintenance and Elementary Work

[…]

(1) A person who performs maintenance or elementary work on an aeronautical product shall ensure that the following information is recorded in the technical records, established in accordance with Subpart 605 of the CARs, for the aeronautical product:

[…]

(a) product identification (aircraft registration marking, nomenclature, type/model number, name of manufacturer, part number, and serial number), unless the entry is being made in technical record that contains this information;

(b) a brief description of the work performed;

(c) where a standard other than the manufacturer's recommended practice is being used, reference to the standard used in the performance of the work;

[…]

(d) the date on which the maintenance was performed and the identification of the employee who accomplished the task;

(e) where the maintenance involves a repair that includes making and installing repair parts in accordance with subsection 571.06(4) of the CARs, a statement to that effect;

(f) where disassembly is required during performance of work, a general description of any defect found prior to re-assembly;

(g) where a task is partially completed, a general description of any outstanding work, including the specific location of any parts/systems that have been disturbed, is to be recorded. Where the open work lists, inspection sheets or job cards used to accomplish the work clearly indicate any outstanding work, they are acceptable for meeting this requirement; and

(h) where the part has been accepted pursuant to Appendix H of this standard, a statement indicating that it has been inspected and tested to ensure it conforms to its type design and is in a safe condition, and a maintenance release has been issued to that effect.

III. Evidence

A. Minister

(1) Patrick Lastére

[6] Inspector Patrick Lastére has been employed by Transport Canada Aviation Enforcement for five years as a Safety Inspector in Moncton, New Brunswick. In May 2012, he was assigned to an investigation concerning Mr. Pollett.

[7] Inspector Lastére testified that Transport Canada received a letter from Strasbourg Aviation concerning a Piper PA32R‑301T Saratoga registered as N227EM (Exhibit M‑1). The aircraft had experienced engine problems, then landed in Gander. Afterwards, Exploits Valley Air Services Ltd. (Exploits Valley) was contacted by Strasbourg Aviation to repair the aircraft. In its letter, Strasbourg Aviation advised Transport Canada that no log entries had been made for the work on the aircraft, which it had paid the bill for.

[8] On July 31, 2012, Inspectors Lastére and Lloyd Taylor interviewed Mr. Pollett with regard to Inspector Lastére's letter of investigation sent to Exploits Valley concerning the alleged offence (Exhibit M‑3). During this interview, it became apparent to the Inspectors that they would need to request the original log books for the aircraft. Mr. Pollett did not agree with the information contained in the photocopies taken from the log books sent to Transport Canada by Strasbourg Aviation. Mr. Pollett indicated that either pages were missing, or that the photocopies had not been made from the correct log books.

[9] Inspector Lastére then contacted Cory Smith of Briggs Aero Ltd. who told Inspector Lastére that he received the log books with the aircraft when he took the aircraft from Exploits Valley to perform work on it. Mr. Smith told the Inspector that he had been briefed by Mr. Pollett as to the work done on the aircraft, but Mr. Smith also stated that he did not see any entries or signatures from Mr. Pollett in the log books.

[10] Inspector Lastére stated that the original log books were sent to Transport Canada from Strasbourg Aviation.

[11] During cross‑examination, Mr. Pollett asked Inspector Lastére about his statement in the email he had sent to Georges Kern of Strasbourg Aviation (Exhibit M‑5) that he had “revised” the log books that had been sent to him. Following their exchange, Mr. Pollett agreed that it was a language and communication issue in that Inspector Lastére meant that the log books had been reviewed. Inspector Lastére testified that he did not tamper with the log books.

[12] In response to questions from the Chair, Inspector Lastére indicated that he contacted the U.S.A. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with regards to the requirement of journey log books, and was informed that small U.S.A. registered aircraft do not have such a requirement. He also noted that he contacted the pilot who had flown the aircraft into Gander to ask him if he had made entries in a journey log book, and was informed that none had been made.

(2) Lloyd Taylor

[13] Inspector Lloyd Taylor is employed by Transport Canada Airworthiness as an Aviation Enforcement Inspector in Moncton. He has been with Transport Canada for 22 years, is a licensed AME, and holds a Professional Pilot Licence. He was the Senior Inspector working with Inspector Lastére in the case at hand.

[14] Inspector Taylor testified that during the interview with Mr. Pollett on July 31, 2012, Mr. Pollett told the Inspectors that he had changed a cylinder in the engine, and that prior to this being completed, metal had been found in the engine oil system. Inspector Taylor indicated that Mr. Pollett stated that due to all of the issues with this aircraft, he kept the log books locked in his office. As well, Inspector Taylor stated that Mr. Pollett indicated during the interview that he had used his personal AME licence to sign off the entry. The Inspector also reported that Mr. Pollett told him the entry stated that the engine had to be overhauled because of metal in the oil, and that the log books were then placed in the aircraft prior to putting it outside of the work shop for Mr. Smith to pick up.

[15] Inspector Taylor stated that he asked Mr. Pollett to produce a copy of his log book entry, but that Mr. Pollett was unable to do so. Mr. Pollett then explained to him that prior to the interview, his vehicle had been broken into and that the documentation related to the completed work sought by the interviewers had been lost. Mr. Pollett then further stated that he had completed a police report, and when Inspector Taylor asked if he could give a copy of it to Transport Canada, he indicated that he would do so. However, Inspector Taylor never received a copy of that report.

[16] Inspector Taylor stated that he also spoke to Mr. Smith of Briggs Aero Ltd. Mr. Smith indicated that when he picked up the aircraft, the logs were on board, and that he was not able to find anything in the logs as to the work performed by Mr. Pollett.

B. Applicant

(1) Jeffrey Douglas Pollett

[17] Jeffrey Douglas Pollett has been in the aviation industry for 25 years, has 22 years of experience as a licensed AME, and is also a private pilot.

[18] Mr. Pollett provided the Tribunal with a detailed description of the situation, which was similar to the evidence provided by the Minister's witnesses, with the exception that he stated that he made an entry with regard to the engine issues in a green FAA journey log book.

[19] Mr. Pollett testified that he locked the log books for the aircraft in his office, and that once the bill was paid, he hand‑wrote an entry in a green FAA journey log book indicating that there was metal in the oil, and that the engine required removal for overhaul.

[20] Under cross‑examination, Mr. Pollett testified that he did not make copies of the entry made in the green FAA log book.

IV. Analysis

[21] Mr. Pollett stated under oath that he performed maintenance on the aircraft in question. He stated that he made an entry in a green FAA journey log book which identified a defect found while working on the aircraft, that defect being metal found in the aircraft's engine oil system. He also stated that he did not make an entry for the maintenance work performed on the aircraft. He testified that because the maintenance work was not completed, he was not required to make an entry with regard to it.

[22] Although Mr. Pollett stated during the Review Hearing that he had made an entry in a green FAA journey log book, neither Inspector testified to having seen this log book, and no documentary evidence was provided to demonstrate its existence.

[23] The evidence indicates that Mr. Smith made entries in the Aircraft Log from Strasbourg Aviation provided by Transport Canada (Exhibits M‑10 and M‑12), as well as the Engine Log (Exhibits M‑9 and M‑13). However, neither of the log books from Strasbourg Aviation contain an entry from Mr. Pollett. With regard to the alleged green FAA journey log book, Inspector Lastére stated that the ferry pilot told him that he did not make any entries in a journey log book; as well, the FAA indicated that small U.S.A.-registered aircraft are not required to use them.

[24] Furthermore, by Mr. Pollett's own admission, he did not record the maintenance that was performed on the aircraft. Moreover, he stated numerous times during the Review Hearing that he was not required to do so. However, under direction from the aircraft owners, Mr. Pollett had a cylinder changed, and since the engine was test run by the pilot, it follows that a cylinder must have been reinstalled.

[25] Section 571.03 of the CARs is quite explicit that a person who performs maintenance or elementary work on an aeronautical product shall ensure that the details required by Chapter 571 of the Airworthiness Manual are entered in the technical record for the aeronautical product, in respect of the task performed; and that the technical record is accurate with respect to any outstanding elements of the work performed.

[26] However, it has not been demonstrated that a log book entry describing the work done by Mr. Pollett exists. The only evidence that such a record was made is Mr. Pollett's testimony stating so, which is not enough to convince me that such a record exists. As such, I find that, on the balance of probabilities, the Applicant did not enter the details in the technical record for Aircraft N227EM in respect of the task performed, thereby contravening section 571.03 of the CARs.

V. Determination

[27] The Minister of Transport has proven, on the balance of probabilities, that the Applicant, Jeffrey Douglas Pollett, contravened section 571.03 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. As such, the monetary penalty of $1 000 is upheld.

November 18, 2013

Richard F. Willems

Member