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FAA revokes certificate of maintenance firm that delivered faulty 737 MAX AOA sensor to Lion Air
27 October 2019

FAA revokes certificate of maintenance firm that delivered faulty 737 MAX AOA sensor to Lion Air

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an order on October 25, 2019, revoking the repair station certificate of Xtra Aerospace, LLC, of Miramar, Florida.

According to the order, Xtra failed to comply with requirements to repair only aircraft parts on its list of parts acceptable to the FAA that it was capable of repairing. The company also failed to comply with procedures in its repair station manual for implementing a capability list in accordance with the Federal Aviation Regulations. Xtra is a repair station certificated under part 145 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA began its investigation in November 2018. Investigators looked specifically at the company’s compliance with regulatory requirements that apply to its capability list, and records and work orders for aircraft parts it approved for return to service. The investigation determined that from November 2009 until May 2019, Xtra failed to complete and retain records in accordance with procedures in its repair station manual to support parts on its capability list. The company also did not substantiate that it had adequate facilities, tools, test equipment, technical publications, and trained and qualified employees to repair parts on its capability list.

The agency issued the order as part of a settlement agreement with the company. Under the agreement, Xtra waives its right to appeal the revocation to the National Transportation Safety Board or any court.

On the same day the order was issued, the Indonesian NTSC investigators published their final report on the Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX crash. It was concluded that MCAS activation on a previous flight was caused by faulty repair and calibration of an AOA sensor by Xtra Aerospace.  This led the NTSC to issue a safety recommendation to the FAA: “The absence of equivalency assessment required by Xtra Aerospace procedure and unavailability of procedure was not detected by the FAA. This indicated inadequacy of the FAA oversight. Therefore, NTSC recommends that the FAA improves the oversight to Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO) to ensure the processes within the AMO are conducted in accordance with the requirements.”

 

Ukrainian authorities suspend YanAir’s AOC over safety issues

Ukrainian authorities suspended YanAir’s Air Operator Certificate over safety issues on June 7, 2019.

The airline was involved in an incident in Moldova on April 19, 2019. YanAir operated a Boeing 737-400, UR-COX, on behalf of Air Moldova on a flight from Istanbul, Turkey, to Chisinau, Moldova.

On approach the failed to follow ATC instructions, flying an erratic approach pattern. As a result, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Moldova started an investigation and on 26 April 2019 notified the competent authority of Ukraine and forwarded to it the information collected to investigate the circumstances of the event.

The State Civil Aviation Administration of Ukraine then conducted a comprehensive inspection of YanAir. This revealed a number of remarks, some of which are critical, in the organization of the carrier’s activities, which could adversely affect the safety of flights. These findings led the authorities to suspend the airline’s AOC from 00:00 UTC 07 June 2019.

The operator’s certificate can be restored after the issues have been rectified by the company.

 

EASA extends validity of conflict zone warnings for Sinai and Yemen

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) extended the validity of its Conflict Zone Information Bulletins for Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Yemen.

 

FAA: Costa Rica does not comply with ICAO safety standards

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that the Republic of Costa Rica does not comply with ICAO safety standards and has been assigned a Category 2 rating based on a reassessment of the country’s civil aviation authority.

A Category 2 International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating means the country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or its civil aviation authority – a body equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters – is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, or inspection procedures. With a Category 2 rating, Costa Rica’s carriers can continue existing service to the United States. They will not be allowed to establish new service to the United States.

In 1996, Costa Rica was assigned an initial Category 1 rating, meaning the country’s Direccion General de Aviacion Civil (DGAC) complied with ICAO standards for aviation safety oversight. The FAA conducted an in-country reassessment of Costa Rica under the IASA program in October 2018, and met with the DGAC in February 2019 to discuss the results.

As part of the FAA’s IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States, or participate in code-sharing arrangements with U.S. partner airlines, and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.

ICAO

As part of ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) an ICAO audit was conducted at Costa Rica’s DGAC in 2017.  The country then scored an average of 89,26% level of Effective Implementation of its safety oversight system, placing it among the 30 highest ranking countries in the world.

 

More information:
ASN Safety Profile Costa Rica

Russia restricts Nordwind Airlines’ ETOPS operations over safety concerns.

The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) restricted Nordwind Airlines’ ETOPS operations over safety concerns.

The agency cancelled the airline’s special permits for flights using the ETOPS rules (extended flight time to the alternate aerodrome of over 60 minutes for twin engine aircraft), on the entire Nordwind fleet. The airline currently operates nine Airbus A321’s; two Airbus A330-200’s; ten Boeing 737-800’s; six Boeing 777-200 and three Boeing 777-300’s.

The decision was based on the results of an unscheduled inspection of the operator in February 2019, which revealed a discrepancy in training for the airline pilot training program for admission to flights according to ETOPS rules, incidents of operations on aircraft that did not undergo maintenance, and the lack of the necessary number of technical staff in the airline.

File photo of Nordwind Boeing 777-200ER (Anna Zvereva / CC:by-sa)

File photo of Nordwind Boeing 777-200ER (Anna Zvereva / CC:by-sa)

Blacklisted Avior Airlines passes IATA safety audit

Avior Airlines, blacklisted in the European Union, passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

Avior is a Venezuelan airline. It was founded in 1994 and currently has a fleet of five Boeing 737-200; eight Boeing 737-400; and one Airbus A340-300 aircraft.

On 30 November 2017 Avior was added to the List of air carriers banned in the European Union, stating that, at the time there was “clear evidence of serious safety deficiencies on the part of Avior Airlines.”

The IOSA programme is an evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. IOSA uses internationally recognised quality audit principles and is designed to conduct audits in a standardised and consistent manner. It was created in 2003 by IATA.  All IATA members are IOSA registered and must remain registered to maintain IATA membership.

More information:

File photo of ann Avior Boeing 737-200 (by: Maarten Visser / CC:by-sa)

File photo of ann Avior Boeing 737-200 (by: Maarten Visser / CC:by-sa)

FAA: Vietnam meets international aviation safety standards

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that Vietnam complies with international safety standards and has been granted a Category 1 rating under the agency’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program.

A Category 1 rating means Vietnam’s civil aviation authority meets International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for personnel licensing, operations, and airworthiness. With the Category 1 rating, Vietnamese air carriers that are able to secure the requisite FAA and DOT authority can establish service to the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers.

FAA audit

The FAA had not previously assessed Vietnam’s civil aviation authority for compliance with ICAO standards. The Category 1 status is based on an August 2018 FAA assessment of the safety oversight provided by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.

As part of the FAA’s IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States, or participate in code sharing arrangements with U.S. partner airlines, and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.

To maintain a Category 1 rating, a country must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance. IASA information is posted on our website.

ICAO audit

Vietnam’s aviation authority has also been audited by ICAO in 2016, under ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP). At that time the level of ‘Effective Implementation’ of ICAO standards was above world average for the categories legislation, organization, accident investigation, and ANS. Below world average scores were noted for licensing, operations and aerodromes.

Turkmenistan Airlines banned from into European Union over safety concerns

On 4 February 2018, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) suspended permission for Turkmenistan Airlines to operate services to the European Union.

EASA suspended the airline “pending confirmation that it meets international air safety standards”, without going into details.

Turkmenistan Airlines operates a fleet of 4 Boeing 737-700’s, 8 Boeing 737-800’s, 3 Boeing 757-200’s and 2 Boeing 777-200LR’s. European destinations were Frankfurt, Germany; Paris, France; as well as Birmingham and London in the United Kingdom.

-Turkmenistan_Airlines_Boeing_757

File photo of -Turkmenistan Airlines Boeing 757 (Aero Icarus, CC:by-sa)

South African CAA again suspends CemAir Air Operator Certificates over safety concerns

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) again suspended CemAir’s Part 121 and 135 Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) on Friday, 11 January 2019.

The regulator stated there were “concerns over the systemic failure of the airline’s maintenance controls […] the most recent annual renewal audit revealed CemAir’s inability to prove the continued airworthiness of its fleet.”

CemAir’s two AOC’s had earlier been suspended on December 13, 2018.  On December 18 however, a court order lifted the suspension. A subsequent audit revealed eleven findings of which five  were classified as Level 1. CemAir then submitted a Corrective Action Plan to the CAA for 11 of the findings. The initial plan and subsequent revised versions were reviewed and found to be unacceptable. On 26 December 2018, the SACAA grounded eight of the airline’s aircraft with immediate effect.

The regulator performed additional inspections and learned that the operator could not produce sufficient evidence that maintenance recommendations made by the aircraft manufacturer were fully implemented. The CAA judged the findings to be ‘serious’ and proceeded to immediately suspend CemAir’s Part 121 and 135 AOC’s.

 

 

CemAir’s AOC suspension lifted


On December 18 a court order temporarily lifted the South African CAA’s ban of CemAir.

The airline and SACAA reached a settlement, which was made an order of the court. Among others, CemAir was to immediately comply with the weight and balance requirements and appoint a post-holder for Flight Operations.

CemAir’s two AOC’s had been suspended on December 13, 2018

More info:

SACAA media statement 18 December.