Airworthiness Notices - B012, Edition 2 - 6 March 1998

 Maximum Take-off Weight for Small Aeroplanes Engaged in a Special Purpose Agricultural Operation for the Aerial Dispersion of Jettisionable Cargo

       (This Airworthiness Notice supersedes AN No. B012 Edition 1) 
(dated 21 June 1993)


The purpose of this notice is to inform the aviation industry that the Minister of Transport is prepared to grant an exemption from the Canadian Aviation Regulations, subsection 605.03(1)(b) and paragraph 602.07(b), to operators of small agricultural aeroplanes; and further, to provide updated information on the procedure for applying for such an exemption.


Operators of agricultural aeroplanes have requested permission to operate at greater take-off weights than presently authorized so that they may be more competitive and compatible with similar foreign registered aeroplanes which have a payload advantage.  In addition, they emphasize that the agricultural operation is conducted over sparsely settled areas outside usual lanes of air transportation and that no passengers are carried, thus the operation does not endanger public safety.

Transport Canada has concluded that operation of a specific agricultural aeroplane at an increased take-off weight may be authorized by the Minister using the authority found in subsection 5.9(2) of the Aeronautics Act to grant an exemption from the weight limitations of subsection 605.03(1)(b) and paragraph 602.07(b) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations subject to specific terms and conditions.

The Aeroplane 

Exemptions will only apply to aeroplanes with a normal take-off weight of 5670 kg (12,500 lb) or less which are equipped for the aerial dispersion of cargo in an agricultural role and have a cargo jettison system which permits the operator to jettison at least 80% of the disposable load in six seconds or less.

The Process

An application form for an exemption may be obtained from any Transport Canada Centre.

The guidelines for performing an evaluation of an aeroplane are provided by Transport Canada and are attached to the application form.

Before an exemption is granted, an operator will establish an increased take-off weight by evaluating a specific aeroplane type.

Since the evaluation requires that the aeroplane be operated at weights in excess of the maximum permissible weight contained in the special certificate of airworthiness, a specific purpose flight permit is required for the flight evaluation.

The evaluation guideline provides information on the suggested maximum take-off weight for airframe structural considerations and methods for determining the flight characteristics.  A pilot conducting an evaluation may obtain additional guidance by contacting Transport Canada, Aircraft Certification Branch, Flight Test Division at (613) 952-4315 or 952-4318.

The results of the evaluation are entered in an operating manual supplement together with a signed declaration by the pilot making the evaluation.

Copies of the operating manual supplement and the maintenance schedule to which the aircraft will be maintained shall be submitted along with the completed application for exemption.  The structural inspection sections of the maintenance schedule shall be sufficiently detailed to detect any defects prior to the beginning of each spraying season, and any deterioration that might occur due to operating the aircraft at increased take-off weights.

The Exemption

When an exemption is granted it applies to the operation of a specific aeroplane.  That aeroplane can be operated within the limits contained in the "Operating Manual Supplement - Overload Operations" which is NOT approved by Transport Canada.  A number of operating restrictions apply when an exemption is granted and these form the terms and conditions of the exemption.  Ferry flights to reposition the aeroplane may be conducted in accordance with the limitations contained in the aeroplane basic flight manual.  The conditions of the exemption apply to ALL other operations of the aeroplane.

To transfer the aeroplane for which an exemption has been issued, to another operating role, a special airframe inspection program is required and all detected defects must be rectified.

For Minister of Transport

K.J. Mansfield
Director, Aircraft Certification

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