The Case For Documentation: Two Recent TATC Cases
by Beverlie Caminsky, Chief, Advisory and Appeals, Policy and Regulatory Services, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

As it has in past issues of the Aviation Safety Letter(ASL), the Advisory and Appeals Division wishes to share with readers some interesting developments in Canadian aviation case law. Two recent cases released by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada(TATC) deal with record-keeping issues. As is our practice, the names of the people or companies involved have been deleted; our goal remains simply to be educational.

CASE No. 1-Record Keeping: Accuracy Is a Must

A company appealed a review decision that the TATC had rendered against it. The challenged decision dealt with numerous contraventions of the Canadian Aviation Regulations(CARs). The contraventions concerned the performance and recording of maintenance or elementary work[CARs 571.02(1) and 571.03], compliance with airworthiness directives[605.84(1)], requirements regarding journey logs and technical records[605.93(1) and 605.94(1)], and maintenance control systems[706.02]. The TATC appeal panel concluded that the review decision was reasonable.

The company was charged with:

  1. Installing equipment in a manner that was not in accordance with recognized industry practices and not entering that task in the technical record of the aircraft;
  2. Permitting one of its aircraft to take off on several occasions while it did not meet the requirements of an airworthiness directive(AD);
  3. Making false entries in journey logs; more specifically, flights had been conducted by pilots other than those whose names appeared in the journey logs;
  4. Making inaccurate entries regarding cumulative air time and recording excessive differences between air time and flight time;
  5. Not performing maintenance in accordance with its maintenance control manual(MCM); more specifically, an oil filter had switched to by-pass and the aircraft in question was flown for several days contrary to the required procedures set out in the company’s MCM; and
  6. Continuing to operate an aircraft despite numerous engine failures and not recording these failures in the journey log.

In conclusion, all entries in records must be documented accurately and maintenance must be performed in accordance with ADs and MCMs. Maintenance and record keeping must both be carried out properly and promptly.

CASE No. 2-Quality Assurance Programs and Maintenance

This second case involves a company with an ineffective quality assurance program(QAP). In this case, the document holder was a company that held an air operator certificate(AOC) and, over the years, had been subjected to audits conducted by Transport Canada civil aviation safety inspectors.

In the summer of 2007, an audit was conducted and, as a result, a number of non-compliances were discovered and discussed with the document holder’s representative. Some of these findings were identical or similar to findings detected during previous audits. The inspectors discovered, among other things, that the quality assurance system and maintenance control system were ineffective, maintenance schedules were not followed, the company’s MCM had not been complied with, and corrective actions with respect to certain irregularities had not been implemented.

The Minister of Transport decided to issue a notice of suspension under paragraph 7.1(1)(b) of the Aeronautics Act on the basis that the company failed to do the following: establish and maintain a QAP, ensure that the person responsible for maintenance(PRM) carried out his duties as required by CARs 706.07(2) and 706.03, and ensure that the operations manager performed his duties according to CAR703.07(2)(b)(i). In addition to the grounds for suspension, the notice also contained a number of conditions for terminating the suspension. The company had 30 days to meet those conditions, failing which the suspension was to take effect.

In her review determination, the TATC member concluded that the Minister’s decision was reasonable and appropriate. She was satisfied with the post-audit meeting and conclusions regarding the inefficiency of the QAP. She was also satisfied that the PRM did not carry out his duties and that the document holder’s operations manager failed to meet his responsibilities.

Moreover, the Tribunal found no fault with the process employed by the Minister’s officials in the application of its procedural guidelines, and rejected the Applicant’s argument that Transport Canada’s findings were minor and procedural in nature.

This decision confirms that every AOC holder must follow the regulatory requirements regarding QAPs and maintenance control systems or risk having their AOC suspended.

Corporate/Non-Corporate Offenders
by Jean-François Mathieu, LL.B., Chief, Aviation Enforcement, Standards, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

The Canadian civil aviation community may be interested to know that Transport Canada’s Aviation Enforcement Program provides for the monthly publication of all contraventions of the Aeronautics Act or the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). The rationale for this policy is that the publication of contraventions fosters a climate of compliance by those charged and acts as a deterrent to others. Both corporate and non-corporate offences are published on the following Web site:

Corporate offenders
In the case of a corporation, the corporate name is included on the Web site, along with a summary of the offence and the punitive sanction imposed-normally a monetary penalty or a suspension of the applicable Canadian Aviation Document(CAD).

The corporate name is published only after the monetary penalty has been paid or the suspended CAD has been surrendered, the final decision has been made by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada(TATC) or a court of law, and all associated appeals have been exhausted.

In the past, enforcement information related to aviation companies was available to the public following a specific request made under the Access to Information Act, thus not all corporate offenders ended up in the public domain. The current policy treats all corporate offenders equally by publishing the names of all corporations.

The information published remains posted for 6 months before being moved to the archive pages on the Civil Aviation Web site. Because of the various delays inherent with the enforcement and TATC processes, it is not unusual to see the date of a published violation posted 12 to 18 months after the infraction.

It should also be noted that only infractions for which a corporate entity is charged will be posted on the Web. This means that when charges are laid against an employee of a corporation, information specific to that individual will not be published.

Non-corporate offenders
In the case of a non-corporate offence, only a summary of the offence and the resulting sanction will be published. Information specific to the individual involved will not be published on the Web site.

We invite you to consult these publications periodically, as you may find them informative and helpful in our mutual endeavour to achieve on-going compliance.

Answers to the 2008 Self-Paced Study Program

  1. Yes.
  2. flight information service en route(FISE); remote aerodrome advisory service(RAAS)
  3. 24; 1-866-WXBRIEF
  4. 7–10 kt
  5. hatched areas enclosed by a dashed green line
  6. 25–50
  7. 30
  8. plus 6 SM with a 40percent probability of 2 SM in mist
  9. 1000; 9
  10. power-driven, heavier-than-air aircraft
  11. Clear of cloud and 1 mi. visibility for aircraft other than helicopters; and½ mi. visibility for helicopters
  12. Class F advisory
  13. 123.2
  14. CFS; NOTAM
  15. 5; 2; 6
  16. 0300; December23
  17. FIR NOTAMs
  18. the manufacturer’s recommended
  19. high
  20. When the ICAO Standard Atmosphere conditions exist.
  21. contrast
  22. reaction time; decision-making ability
  23. Slight dizziness; a feeling of coldness; a sensation like a tight band around the head; pins and needles in the hands and feet
  24. 0.05
  25. judgement; co-ordination
  26. Tent, tarpaulin, mosquito head nets, etc. as per AIR Annex 1.0
  27. 200
  28. Weight, location of the centre of gravity, power, turbulence, load factor, use of flaps, surface contamination/aircraft condition
  29. descending; visual clues
  30. Always cross at the tower.
  31. forward
  32. 30
  33. Straight ahead.
  34. release the tow rope immediately
  35. Cleaning of burner nozzles; removal and replacement of baskets, burners and gas tanks that are designed for rapid change in service.
  36. Fly the aircraft first. Light the burner, rather than the pilot light, and make the burn.
Date modified: