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Aircraft grounded by local CAA for expired Transponder / Pitot - Static bi-annual checks

As an active FAA A&P/IA specialized in GA, I see alot of FAA reg’d aircraft, day in , day out, wether for full FAA Annual Inspections, pre-buys or just “looking”.

By far the most often “over-looked” FAR is 91.413 bi-annual transponder checks and 91.411 bi-annual pitot / static circuit tests.

Whilst 91.411 is only required for IFR operations, 91.413 is required whenever flying in controlled airspace, ie. whenever the transponder is switched on.

I estimate that over HALF the FAA reg’d planes operating in Europe are NOT up-to-date re. 91.413 .

I have been militating about this for years but since no one has ever actually been reprimanded, or worse, they just shrug it off.

Despite that I have NEVER heard of a single instance where any action was taken against a pilot or owner for this infraction, until yesterday.

I got a call asking if I could assist a Piper that was grounded in Cairo by the local Egyptian CAA for lack of a current 91.413 test.

This is a serious pain, cause the local CAA reports this to the FAA and after the corrective work has been performed, a DAR must inspect and re-issue an AW Cert at HUGE EXPENSE !

Has anyone else had or heard of such actions ?

FAA A&P/IA
LFPN

Why is a DAR required to render an aircraft airworthy again?

Surely that is an A&P/IA function, at each Annual or other mandatory service action?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I don’t think an A&P / IA can issue an airworthiness certificate.

Yes ! 5 years ago I was grounded by the Cyprus Control whilst returning VFR to Greece from Israel.They could not “see” my code 7000 caused by circuitry malfunction and overheating of the Xpdr.Allthough I pleaded to fly 500’ ,they insisted that I land Paphos.Thus done,I took the transit bus to Larnaca airport and with the help of local colleagues we stripped another aircraft from its Xpdr to use it for the return leg.Thus done,I returned the borrowed one to Larnaca and sent the original for fix.

LGGG

That is a rather different scenario, Medflyer. It is “well known” that a faulty transponder can stop you getting access to CAS. In some places you can do it under VFR (France universally AFAIK (maybe not Paris Class A), UK if you ask nicely but AFAIK you will never get it on a Eurocontrol flight) but down where you are there is a lot of CAS everywhere.

I would like to understand how an aircraft can have it’s CofA voided by not having a mandatory maintenance action performed such that a DAR is required to restore it. On the face of it it sounds to me like a kneejerk/vindictive action by somebody in the FAA – the NY IFU which is responsible for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

There must be more to the story. All that would be required would be the 91.413 check performed.

KUZA

There is no more class A at Paris for about a year now.

Rwy20 wrote:

There is no more class A at Paris for about a year now.

There is a lot of class A around Paris, starting at 1500 or so. But the class A which went all the way to the ground was replaced with a class D and a restricted area which basically prohibits penetration without special permission, for example to access Enghien airfield or the heliport at Issy-les-Mlnx. So the effect is the same but it complies with SERA.

LFPT, LFPN

Peter wrote:

I would like to understand how an aircraft can have it’s CofA voided by not having a mandatory maintenance action performed such that a DAR is required to restore it. On the face of it it sounds to me like a kneejerk/vindictive action by somebody in the FAA – the NY IFU which is responsible for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

First off, I admit that this story is second hand to me, so there could be missing bits or whatever.

That said, I DO know of a case in France where there was question of the validity of the airworthiness of the aircraft and the DGAC called the FAA and the FAA said that only a DAR could “vouch” for the airworthiness of said aircraft.

It seems the Piper in Egypt is in a similar predicament.

@NCYankee : What you have to understand is that a Foreign (non FAA ) aviation authority can ground a suspect aircraft then report the incident to the FAA. Since the FAA no longer has offices in Europe, they delegate 100% of any field work to DARs . In the US this isn’t necessary since they just dispatch an agent from the closest FSDO.

FAA A&P/IA
LFPN

Obviously I know nothing about what actually happened here but my feeling is that this is one of those (many) cases where the target of the action got a bit cocky and p1ssed somebody off and that somebody just happened to be the wrong person.

The more south you go in Europe, roughly below the Pyrenees and the Alps, the more you can do what you like – provided you don’t p1ss off the wrong official. Because, if you do, the whole sky falls in on you.

The other thing is that if you have not had the FAA check done, and this is discovered in Egypt, your plane is not legal to fly, so what are your options? Is there an FAA 145 company in Egypt? You are grounded anyway. They can’t possibly let you fly out of there.

In the US this isn’t necessary since they just dispatch an agent from the closest FSDO.

What would be the reason for needing an FSDO inspector, unless there was something else going on?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
33 Posts
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