Decisions

TATC File No. O-2833-37
MoT File No. PAP5504-049791

TRANSPORTATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL OF CANADA

BETWEEN:

Minister of Transport, Applicant

- and -

Brampton Flying Club, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-2, s. 7.7
Canadian Aviation Regulations, SOR/96-433, s. 605.03(1)(a)


Review Determination
Richard F. Willems


Decision: March 2, 2004

The Minister has proven each element of the offence. Therefore, Brampton Flying Club did contravene paragraph 605.03(1)(a) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. I uphold the monetary penalty of $1,250.00 imposed by the Minister. That amount is to be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada and must be received by the Tribunal within fifteen days of service of this determination.

A review hearing on the above matter was held Tuesday, January 20, 2004 at 10:00 hours at the Four Points Hotel in Mississauga, Ontario.

BACKGROUND

On June 22, 2002, C-GJSY was flown from Pembroke to Brampton with five persons on board. Transport Canada conducted a regulatory audit between November 18 and 27, 2002. It revealed that the flight had been made after a hydraulic line had been replaced with a non approved line which according to Transport Canada rendered the certificate of airworthiness invalid.

The Brampton Flying Club was charged under paragraph 605.03(1)(a) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) which states in part that:

605.03 (1) No person shall operate an aircraft in flight unless

(a) a flight authority is in effect in respect of the aircraft;

EVIDENCE

The Minister's Exhibit M-1 is the journey log for C-GJSY. It indicates the log entry dated June 22, 2002 which states "Hydraulic system inspected, hydraulic line from left hand engine check valve to filter, found bad pin holes in line, hydraulic line installed in that position and ground run, serviceable, no leaks noted. Aircraft serviceable for ferry flight from Pembroke to Brampton only."

The next page of the journey log indicates the flight took place on June 22, 2002 from Pembroke to Brampton, the crew being Wynott and Jacobs, departing 17:44 arriving 19:06, with a total of five persons on board.

Exhibits M-4 and M-6 provide the information that the Brampton Flying Club is the owner and operator of C-GJSY, and that Richard Charles Wynott holds the following positions at that company:

(1) Chief Flying Instructor

(2) Chief Pilot

(3) Operations Manager

Exhibit M-5 is the certificate of airworthiness which was in force on June 22, 2002. Paragraph 6 of the certificate states "The aircraft identified above shall be maintained and certified in accordance with the applicable requirements of the Canadian Aviation Regulations."

Exhibits M-2 and M-3 show us the process of the audit team, in finding the log entry for the hydraulic line change, and subsequent to the finding, the interview with the maintenance manager where he explains to them that the defective metal hydraulic line had been replaced with a flexible line removed from a Cessna 100 series for the flight; and that an application had not been made to Transport Canada for a flight permit.

Exhibit M-7 is a registered letter advising the Brampton lying Club of the possible violation of subsection 605.03(l), and invites them to respond; however, they are advised that they are not obliged to respond and that if they do, the statement made will be used as evidence in this case.

Exhibits M-8 and M-9 address Brampton Flying Club's response. It describes the events of June 22, 2002 as viewed by Rick Rantz, Director of Maintenance. It enlightens us to the thought process and procedures used to solve the problem on June 22, 2002. He has no problem with the allegation that a flexible line from a Cessna 100 series was installed on C-GJSY. Exhibit M-10 identifies the hydraulic line in question.

Exhibit M-11 is of particular interest. Mr. Dwayne Ayres from Cessna Product Support advises that a different line could possibly be used for a ferry flight as long as it was determined how much pressure the line could withstand. He stated that there is a pressure test outlined in the maintenance manual to do a pressure test on the system. This test involves taking the pressure up to approximately 3,000 psi in order to check the lines.

Exhibits M-13 and M-14 confirm the fact that the manufacturer of C-GJSY states there is no alternate part number for this aluminum line. M-14 also indicates that installation of a flex line to replace the aluminum line would require a supplemental type certificate.

Transport Canada Inspector Miller tells us that in order to have the certificate of airworthiness in effect, only approved parts can be installed, and that the flex line was not approved.

Mr. Chiu, an aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) and shop manager for Leggat Aviation, under cross-examination stated that the line could only be replaced with a line with the same part number.

Exhibit M-12 supports the fact that a flight permit was not applied for or issued with regard to the flight in question.

The Brampton Flying Club's exhibits D-1 thru D-7 were accepted at the hearing. None of them go to the events of the day in question; consequently, I will not give them any consideration. They do however provide some insight to the flying club's very positive policy on training and safety.

DISCUSSION

Do we know that an unapproved hydraulic line was installed on C-GJSY, which caused the certificate of airworthiness to be invalid? Exhibit M-1 shows us the log entry made by the AME stating that new hydraulic line had been installed. In a letter to Inspector Miller (Exhibit M-9), Mr. Rantz states that the failed line in the stub wing had been replaced with a serviceable flexible line from a Cessna 100 series aircraft. Exhibit M-14, a letter from the manufacturer, states that only approved parts can be used.

Exhibit M-l shows us that the aircraft was then flown from Pembroke to Brampton by Captain Wynott. These events took place on June 22, 2002. We also know that a flight permit had not been applied for, or issued. This is based on Exhibit M-12. Exhibits M-4 and M-6 show us the aircraft in question is owned and operated by the Brampton Flying Club, and that Captain Wynott is one of the officers of the company.

The Minister has proven all elements of the case.

SANCTION

The Brampton Flying Club does not dispute that all the events took place; however, they do take exception to some of the policies and procedures of Transport Canada.

The Brampton Flying Club submits that they have been harshly dealt with because this is a first offence, and by Transport Canada's own admission, has a good maintenance record, cooperated during the audit and this investigation. They also referred to the problem of the time needed to obtain a ferry permit, especially on a weekend.

In their view the hydraulic line installed did not take away from the safety of the flight later that day. The decision to change the line was made by company personnel which included the Director of Maintenance and the AME with 25 years in the industry, who did the work.

According to Mr. Ayres from Cessna Product, a different hydraulic line could be installed for a ferry flight as long as it could be determined how much pressure the line could withstand, and the pressure test outlined in the maintenance manual followed. None of this was done, and proves fatal in the decision process used by the Brampton Flying Club.

DETERMINATION

The Minister has proven each element of the offence. Therefore, Brampton Flying Club did contravene paragraph 605.03(1)(a) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. I uphold the monetary penalty of $1,250.00 imposed by the Minister.

Richard F. Willems
Member
Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada