Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

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pelmet
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Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#1 Post by pelmet » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:42 pm

Went flying in a C172 a while back on a beautiful sunny day and another one in the fleet was grounded with bookings cancelled due to the strobes being inop. Apparently, they were following the legal rules which can be found in this article and apparently similar in Canada. Maybe just don't check the operational capability of certain non-useful items until back at base.


INOPERATIVE ANTICOLLISION LIGHTS

If your aircraft’s anticollision lights include both a red rotating beacon and white strobe lights, can you operate in VFR day conditions with only one of those working while the other is inoperative? The short answer is no, unless authorized by a waiver. Placarding the equipment inoperative is not sufficient.

The FAA’s Office of the Chief Counsel recently issued the Letts legal interpretation which examines this question in light of the applicable Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). The analysis turns first to § 91.205(b), which addresses required equipment for VFR day operations. The FAA’s position is that if an aircraft is equipped with both strobe lights and a rotating beacon, then they are considered to be part of the same anticollision system rather than separate systems. The conclusion is that all parts of the system required by 91.205(b) for day VFR must be “in operable condition” per § 91.205(a), which for Part 23 airplanes certificated after March 11, 1996 include anticollision lighting.

The interpretation acknowledges that in some cases, certain equipment may be placarded inoperative under § 91.213(d)(2). Part of that analysis hinges on whether the equipment was part of the aircraft’s Day VFR type certification and whether it is required by § 91.205(b). For further discussion on the process of determining airworthiness with inoperative equipment, see the October 2017 Pilot Protection Services article “Inoperative Equipment Shouldn’t Stay That Way Indefinitely.” However, for practical purposes, what matters in the context of anticollision lighting is how the aircraft is currently equipped.

The FAR that deals specifically with aircraft lights, § 91.209(b), provides that no person may “operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights.” There is an exception allowing the pilot-in-command to determine that, “in the interest of safety,” operating conditions dictate that the lights be turned off. However, the exception does not apply to inoperative equipment. The interpretation concludes that because the strobes and the rotating beacon are part of the same anticollision lighting system, the requirements of § 91.209(b) cannot be obviated by placarding the red rotating beacon inoperative and using only the strobe lights. The entire system must be functional unless a waiver from the requirements of § 91.209(b) is obtained from the FAA.

Neither the letter to the Office of the Chief Counsel requesting the interpretation nor the interpretation itself addresses the possibility of removing the inoperative equipment. Removal is one permitted method of dealing with inoperative equipment per § 91.213(d)(3)(i) as long as the conditions of § 91.213(d)(1) and § 91.213(d)(2) are satisfied (these address the type of aircraft and whether the equipment is required by certain regulations or documents, respectively). However, it is also necessary to consider the potential to negatively impact safety by removing part of an anticollision light system. The removal option may not pass muster with § 91.213(d)(4), which requires that a determination be made that the removal or deactivation of inoperative equipment do not constitute “a hazard to the aircraft.”

https://pilot-protection-services.aopa. ... 1520145518
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#2 Post by photofly » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:13 pm

Canada has different regulations.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#3 Post by PostmasterGeneral » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:40 pm

I always look for reasons NOT to go flying. If something is broken, it’s broken. If it grounds the plane, then it’s sn excuse for me to start drinking beer that much earlier!
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#4 Post by pelmet » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:10 am

photofly wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:13 pm
Canada has different regulations.
I did say in my post that I apparently it is the same here. That could be wrong but the aircraft at the Canadian flight school was grounded for inop strobes.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#5 Post by photofly » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:46 am

I invite someone to reason, with references to relevant and governing Canadian regulations, that a Canadian 172 with u/s strobes is unairworthy. Nodding to our recent discussion of the certification requirements of the G1000 equipped models, let’s perform the regulatory analysis for a 1975 model ‘M’.

I don’t believe it to be the case, but I’m always up for learning. (Since it’s impossible to ‘prove’ a negative, I can’t definitely show a regulation that says it’s ok to fly such an airplane, but I don’t know of one that says it isn’t.)

A flight school operates under an FTUOC that has defect reporting, maintenance procedures and airworthiness requirements dictated in the approved TC paperwork which go beyond the CARs requirements, so let’s stick to privately operated aircraft, too.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#6 Post by Heliian » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:39 am

Lighting is outlined in the CAR's

For Day VFR, you do not need lighting, however, if you are deactivating a system already installed then the regulations for such need to be followed.

CAR's 605 is your best start, then it goes into the standards for a/c and lighting specifications.

Unserviceable and Removed Equipment — Aircraft without a Minimum Equipment List
605.10 (1) Where a minimum equipment list has not been approved in respect of the operator of an aircraft, no person shall conduct a take-off in the aircraft with equipment that is not serviceable or that has been removed, where that equipment is required by

(a) the standards of airworthiness that apply to day or night VFR or IFR flight, as applicable;

(b) any equipment list published by the aircraft manufacturer respecting aircraft equipment that is required for the intended flight;

(c) an air operator certificate, a special authorization issued under subsection 604.05(2), a special flight operations certificate or a flight training unit operating certificate;

(d) an airworthiness directive; or

(e) these Regulations.

(2) Where a minimum equipment list has not been approved in respect of the operator of an aircraft and the aircraft has equipment, other than the equipment required by subsection (1), that is not serviceable or that has been removed, no person shall conduct a take-off in the aircraft unless

(a) where the unserviceable equipment is not removed from the aircraft, it is isolated or secured so as not to constitute a hazard to any other aircraft system or to any person on board the aircraft;

(b) the appropriate placards are installed as required by the Aircraft Equipment and Maintenance Standards; and

(c) an entry recording the actions referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) is made in the journey log, as applicable.


Any FTU or operator could easily use an MEL to defer lighting also.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#7 Post by pelmet » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:03 am

I think the first (b) may be applicable in my case.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#8 Post by photofly » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:43 am

Substantiate that strobes are “required”. (I think I have good evidence that they are not).

Does anything other than (b) apply?
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#9 Post by Heliian » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:02 am

photofly wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:43 am
Substantiate that strobes are “required”. (I think I have good evidence that they are not).

Does anything other than (b) apply?
Only if the Type Cert says so. The following is from CAR 523(normal cat aeroplane), Same for transport cat. aeroplane.

523.1401 Anti-collision Light System
(a) General. The aeroplane MUST have an anti-collision light system that:

(1) Consists of one or more approved anti-collision lights located so that their light will not impair the flight crew members' vision or detract from the conspicuity of the position lights; and

(2) Meets the requirements of paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section.

However, normal rotorcraft and 523VLA state that they are required only for Night certification:

[523-VLA.1401 Anti-collision Light System]

[Aeroplanes intended for VFR night or IFR operation shall meet the following requirements:

(a) General. The aeroplane shall have an anti-collision light system that:

(1) consists of one or more approved anti-collision lights located so that their light will not impair the flight crew members' vision or detract from the conspicuity of the position lights; and

(2) meets the requirements of paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section.

527.1401 Anti-collision Light System
(a) General. If certification for night operation is requested, the rotorcraft must have an anti-collision light system that:
(1) Consists of one or more approved anti-collision lights located so that their emitted light will not impair the crew's vision or detract from the conspicuity of the position lights; and
(2) Meets the requirements of paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#10 Post by ScottS » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:31 am

I thought I read somewhere that the issue is that the new 172 have MELs that include strobes. I have never seen the manual of a new 172, so I am just farting out speculation here.

So on an old 172, strobes out, fill your boots because they aren't required for Day VFR in Canada (we had a Cherokee 140 with dead strobes). New 172, MEL says no go without strobes in Day VFR.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#11 Post by pelmet » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:59 pm

ScottS wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:31 am
I thought I read somewhere that the issue is that the new 172 have MELs that include strobes. I have never seen the manual of a new 172, so I am just farting out speculation here.

So on an old 172, strobes out, fill your boots because they aren't required for Day VFR in Canada (we had a Cherokee 140 with dead strobes). New 172, MEL says no go without strobes in Day VFR.
Could someone point out to me where the MEL would be located. I see a Comprehensive Equipment List in the POH.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#12 Post by photofly » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:48 pm

There’s no MEL, but the equipment list is in section 6 of the POH, and in it items are marked -R, -S, -O or -A for required, standard, optional or additional as the rubric describes.

If an item isn’t marked as -R it’s hard to argue the manufacturers considers it to be required.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#13 Post by HansDietrich » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:58 pm

PostmasterGeneral wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:40 pm
I always look for reasons NOT to go flying. If something is broken, it’s broken. If it grounds the plane, then it’s sn excuse for me to start drinking beer that much earlier!
Spoken like a true pilot! I 2nd that one, thought I try not to screw over the company / pax with useless reasons. It's an internal battle between morality and my love for beer.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#14 Post by pelmet » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:14 pm

photofly wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:48 pm
There’s no MEL, but the equipment list is in section 6 of the POH, and in it items are marked -R, -S, -O or -A for required, standard, optional or additional as the rubric describes.

If an item isn’t marked as -R it’s hard to argue the manufacturers considers it to be required.
And the item in question is marked as -S for standard.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#15 Post by photofly » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:34 am

So it’s fitted to all aircraft, as standard equipment, but it’s not required for airworthiness.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#16 Post by pelmet » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:04 am

photofly wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:34 am
So it’s fitted to all aircraft, as standard equipment, but it’s not required for airworthiness.
Thanks, so the answer for the airworthiness of the aircraft when it comes to strobes is......airworthy in Canada but not in the U.S. (What about flying this aircraft in the US?)

If so, then there was a misinterpretation by the person who grounded this particular C172.

That being said, I think I will check strobe operation at this facility after landing, after all, there is no legal or flight school requirement to check its operation prior to flight(although it is in the checklist to check light operation).
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#17 Post by B208 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:55 am

In Canada it depends on whether the aircraft is operated privately or as part of a commercial air service. If it's a private aircraft the PIC has a great deal of latitude in determining its airworthiness. If the aircraft is operated as part of a commercial air service then the PIC must follow the Maintenance Control Manual.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#18 Post by photofly » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:17 pm

pelmet wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:04 am
photofly wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:34 am
So it’s fitted to all aircraft, as standard equipment, but it’s not required for airworthiness.
Thanks, so the answer for the airworthiness of the aircraft when it comes to strobes is......airworthy in Canada but not in the U.S. (What about flying this aircraft in the US?)

If so, then there was a misinterpretation by the person who grounded this particular C172.

That being said, I think I will check strobe operation at this facility after landing, after all, there is no legal or flight school requirement to check its operation prior to flight(although it is in the checklist to check light operation).
Flight schools have a Maintenance Control Manual, so different rules may apply.

I believe the country of registration sets the airworthiness standards, regardless of in which country the aircraft is operated.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#19 Post by pelmet » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:52 pm

B208 wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:55 am
If the aircraft is operated as part of a commercial air service then the PIC must follow the Maintenance Control Manual.
I bet the number of PIC's that have read a significant portion of a maintenance Control manual for their flight school or any operation is near zero.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#20 Post by photofly » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:06 pm

If american planes need anti collision lights, how do you fly a non-electric airplane? Oil lamps?
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#21 Post by pelmet » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:27 pm

photofly wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:06 pm
If american planes need anti collision lights, how do you fly a non-electric airplane? Oil lamps?
No one said American planes need anti-collision lights. The first post says that according to the FAA, American planes equipped with anti-collision lights are only airworthy if the anti-collision lights are operational. Airplanes without electric systems are not equipped with anti-collision lights.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#22 Post by photofly » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:53 am

91.205(b)(11) requires for all day VFR flight
For small civil airplanes certificated after March 11, 1996, in accordance with part 23 of this chapter, an approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system.
There’s no exemption for aircraft without an electrical system, so I don’t see how non-electric airplanes can be certified any more.

Would a set of individual lights with dry cells like bicycle light be approved?
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#23 Post by pelmet » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:36 am

photofly wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:53 am
91.205(b)(11) requires for all day VFR flight
For small civil airplanes certificated after March 11, 1996, in accordance with part 23 of this chapter, an approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system.
There’s no exemption for aircraft without an electrical system, so I don’t see how non-electric airplanes can be certified any more.

Would a set of individual lights with dry cells like bicycle light be approved?
Not sure...let us know when you figure it out. Which should pretty much mean the end of this thread.

Meanwhile, as implied by the thread title, I'm going flying but not checking the strobes prior to the flight, just in case a mechanic misinterprets the regs and wants to cancel my flight. :wink:
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#24 Post by pelmet » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:31 pm

A bit of an update on grounding aircraft for ridiculous reasons. Went flying the other day in a twin and the instructor was telling me about going to pick up a DA-40 on the west coast to ferry it back east for the new owner. Among his many reasons for refusing to fly the aircraft(some of which were valid) was that there was no portable fuel measuring device which is according to this forum link...."a glass graduated tubing that fits in a pin hole in the stall strip of each wing. You plug it to the tank drain and read the fuel quantity" and costs about 500 dollars from the manufacturer.

https://www.diamondaviators.net/forum/v ... php?t=3686

One was finally found but the glass was cracked(which apparently happens easily). To be honest, the DA-40 I flew did not have one but apparently it is listed in the Kinds of operation equipment list as required.

I vaguely recalled reading about this device once or twice and asking about it back when I flew this type. I listened politely of course as he was quite adament about the regs being followed and it is interesting to know the regs but I can't see myself cancelling a flight because there is no secondary fuel measuring device like that in the DA-40.
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Re: Be careful what you report finding on the walkaround

#25 Post by photofly » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:42 pm

New owner: "Thanks for bringing me my airplane. Now, where's the fuel measuring device?"
Ferry pilot: "It's broken."
New owner: "Then you owe me $500 for a replacement."
Ferry pilot: "It was broken when I collected the airplane."
New owner: "That fuel measuring device is clearly listed as required equipment. The airplane isn't airworthy without it. Do you mean to say you've knowingly been flying my airplane in an un-airworthy condition? In breach of insurance requirements and regulations? Buy me a new one, or I shall have to take this further."

Sometimes, it's best to avoid even the possibility of an argument, from the outset.
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