Cemair grounded - wins Appeal yet again!

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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by cage » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:34 am

AnAV8R wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:18 am
Just a comment about "recommendations"....
All ICAO "approved authorities" internationally have their regulations based on "ICAO recommendations"....unless they file a difference with ICAO.....
Just saying..... :wink:
spot on.
ICAO produce the standards that they "recommend" regulators follow, who then adjust as relevant for local conditions, so to speak.
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by Jack Welles » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:54 am

Does anyone know whether the official ICAO Safety and Recommended Practices (AIUI tech specs basically) get down to the level of, for example, how an airline deals with it's paperwork? Or would there be a degree of individuality allowed in fundamental business practices as long as the basic safety parameters were met?

The answer to that would give some idea of the degree of "checklist ticking" that needs to go on both by an airline and an auditing regulatory authority and how much subjective flexibility is involved in daily decision-making. Subjective flexibility would be a fertile field for disagreements as to whether appropriate standards had been met or not.
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by heisan » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:55 am

cage wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:34 am
AnAV8R wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:18 am
Just a comment about "recommendations"....
All ICAO "approved authorities" internationally have their regulations based on "ICAO recommendations"....unless they file a difference with ICAO.....
Just saying..... :wink:
spot on.
ICAO produce the standards that they "recommend" regulators follow, who then adjust as relevant for local conditions, so to speak.
Ummm... ICAO produces SARPS (Standards and Recommended Practices). Contracting states are required to conform to Standards, and will endeavour to conform to Recommended Practices.

Subtle differences, but the terms 'standards' and 'recommendations' remain as defined in the English language.

The one place this is different is Part 43 of the CARs, where the regulations explicitly make overhaul recommendations requirements (but only for TBO recommendations).
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by ArthurDent » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:35 pm

HJK 414 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:01 am

Dean - I think you are confusing yourself.

A Recommendation is just that - nothing "forceful" about it ....... no obligation to comply if you feel you can achieve the objective along another route.

A Service Bulletin is an advisory notice to an operator - advising him of a possible improvement to service a specific part / component or time life item - yet does not compel the operator to do anything with it.

An Airworthiness Directive is a mandatory notice to the operator / and could include a Service Bulletin as a guideline - and is to be implemented by the operator / without any delay.

How an airline can be grounded on the basis on not following recommendations is beyond me.
Unless some genius at CAA (same one checking accident reports.. ? ) did not understand the above and messed up with the terminology

JK
You are in way above your head here. As part of the certification and maintenance of CofA, operators are required to maintain aircraft according to the manufacturers maintenance manual. If in this manual, SBs are described as "mandatory", they become mandatory whether an AD has been issued or not. In many cases SBs are issued because of an issue on higher time airframes and will only become mandatory at a certain time/maintenance milestone on any particular airframe. It gives operators time to plan and budget for issues which will only really affect the aircraft later in its life.
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by apollo11 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:58 pm

Would a not more pragmatic approach work to these groundings?

If the airline is not blatantly a safety risk then why not a phased approach, failure to deal with XYZ will bring to you status down a reduced level of operation and so it goes until a solid grounding, this way the airline if not posing a blatant safety risk per se can still function at reduced levels whilst sorting out those issues.

Cemair have not been accused of being a blatant safety risk, have they?

What I'm trying to say is this not an approach of taking a rocket launcher to ram a thin wooden door. Is it not myopic to shut the whole business down and cause huge consequences for passengers staff etc..

I completely appreciate a grounding shut down if an accident is proved to be imminent but that was not the case at all here.
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by cage » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:43 pm

apollo11 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:58 pm
Would a not more pragmatic approach work to these groundings?

If the airline is not blatantly a safety risk then why not a phased approach, failure to deal with XYZ will bring to you status down a reduced level of operation and so it goes until a solid grounding, this way the airline if not posing a blatant safety risk per se can still function at reduced levels whilst sorting out those issues.

Cemair have not been accused of being a blatant safety risk, have they?

What I'm trying to say is this not an approach of taking a rocket launcher to ram a thin wooden door. Is it not myopic to shut the whole business down and cause huge consequences for passengers staff etc..

I completely appreciate a grounding shut down if an accident is proved to be imminent but that was not the case at all here.
This has been answered before.

They are being accused of being a safety risk, exactly that. This is the whole point of the exercise..
A Level 1 category finding can be described as a severe non-compliance or non-conformance that poses a very serious safety or security risk to the public and will necessitate the immediate exercising of the discretionary enforcement powers vested in the authorised persons, in the interests of safeguarding aviation safety or security‟.
How do you "phase in" dealing with aircraft that have not been deemed airworthy?
The report clearly shows that for the many findings, the proposed resolution was acceptable but in terms of maintenance not.
No regulator will permit the public onboard aircraft which cannot be shown to be compliant to required maintenance.

How do you prove an accident to imminent? A crystal ball? Quite a bizarre statement to make, if we could prove them to be imminent there wouldn't be any - regulations and regulators are there to enforce the standards developed from all the hard lessons learned and this action is specifically to prevent the circumstances that have been shown to lead to accidents.
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by apollo11 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:01 pm

The reason I ask this question is they managed to get around the grounding before and sure the judge is not an aviation safety expert, the CAA then accepted that ruling for them to continue if it was so dire why were they allowed then to continue with operations. Yes I know it was a slightly different application related to the appointment of a certain individual, so they have become an unsafe airline completely and utterly.

Obviously, you are the expert here Cage, so I'll just quietly withdraw, it just appears to be to be a rather over handed approach in the case with Cemair. I sort of get the feeling the CAA are just going really extra hard with enforcing damn well everything they possibly can do so with relating to Cemair notably after the last court ruling
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by Jack Welles » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:22 pm

The court did NOT decide that Cemair was right and CAA was wrong, ie, the Judge made NO decision on the merits.

There was an out-of-court settlement that was made an order of the court. The settlement was that Cemair could continue to fly pending an appeal to the CAA director but that the airline had to immediately sort out the safety deficits.

One of the things that stand out for me was that they were apparently flying outside permissible loading limits, including weight and balance.
"This means that the weights of the passengers and baggage declared by the flight crew were not the same as those recorded by the service provider contracted by CemAir.

Ledwaba added that a "myriad of identified noncompliances" showed the actions and conduct of the operator posed serious and immediate threat to safety.
Not many pilots on this forum, without even being LCC members, would approve of pilots who fiddle their weight and balance requirements ...

Of course it should be noted that Cemair are disputing the methods behind the relevant calculations etc, which is then the subject of their appeal to the Director.

However, it is respectfully submitted that adopting an adverserial approach is probably not the best way to win friends and influence people, which is my real argument. It's better to negotiate before you litigate.
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by apollo11 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:31 pm

Tks for the clarification Eddie, what I actually was alluding to was why not allow those aircraft that are conforming to continue operations rather than shut the whole airline down? Or is the whole damn fleet a problem?
Was that overloading not a point of debate on how the figure was being calculated at check in?

Absolutely agree would never consider flying an overweight out of balance aircraft no consciences pilot would.
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by Jack Welles » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:07 pm

apollo11 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:31 pm
Tks for the clarification Eddie, what I actually was alluding to was why not allow those aircraft that are conforming to continue operations rather than shut the whole airline down? Or is the whole damn fleet a problem?
Possible overweight wasn't the only problem. For example, an airline has to have an overall responsible person for the fleet (can't remember title) and there are certain laid-down regs (I think) that state what that sort of qualifications that would entail. Cemair appointed a very, very, vastly experienced pilot to that position, but he didn't tick all the regulatory boxes in terms of actual qualifications. When this was questioned they said CAA must apply a discretion because he must be considered good enough because of his background. I'm not sure if this has ever been resolved, if I've got it right in the first place, of course.
Was that overloading not a point of debate on how the figure was being calculated at check in?
I'm getting out of my depth now on the specifics but AIUI the service provider tallied the weights on check-in then (standard practice???) when the pilots did their calcs the std is to allow 60kgs (or something?) against the weight of each passenger to cater for carry on luggage. In the specific instance the aircraft didn't have overhead luggage racks so Cemair's argument was that they didn't have to allow so much for each passenger. Please note that I have no clue as to what the right answer is and merely relating what I understand the parties to be saying.

I reiterate that the technicalities are mostly beyond me but I would suggest that the very first priority would be to put someone in charge (a la Musk and Tesla) that can work at convincing (in a friendly cooperative) way CAA that they are doing all they can to meet whatever it is they have to meet as opposed to arguing about everything. Then over time make representations re how to calculate weights etc if they think CAA are being a bunch of idiots (just don't say this to them or even imply it through news comments etc!).
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by cage » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:24 pm

apollo11 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:01 pm
The reason I ask this question is they managed to get around the grounding before and sure the judge is not an aviation safety expert, the CAA then accepted that ruling for them to continue if it was so dire why were they allowed then to continue with operations. Yes I know it was a slightly different application related to the appointment of a certain individual, so they have become an unsafe airline completely and utterly.
remember, the previous contention was around hand luggage and aircraft weight and the accounting thereof iirc, in court both parties agreed (since the CAA couldn't really show this was an issue) to allow cemair to fly while the audit continued and to sort out the luggage issues along the way.

This grounding is now a result of the completed audit where numerous issues were found, most suitably addressed apart from this maintenance problem that has come to light. If the aircraft aren't airworthy (and you'd hope since this has involved the manufacturer this is credible and would stand up in any court) they can't fly until the findings are resolved.
I have more faith in this outcome given the above.
You can't argue about airworthiness, it either is or isn't and those rules apply to everyone.

EDIT: it is worth remembering that the release is only high-level, they wouldn't disclose much of the detail behind it, so there will be more to it than than what has been shared.
Last edited by cage on Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by apollo11 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:27 pm

Yes tks again Eddie, I appreciate you taking the time to explain, appreciate your humble reply too, absolutely not all on here are subject matter experts on airline ops but some as do I also enjoy being involved in the debate and it's rather unsavory when you get beat down, castigated, by certain posters showing arrogance who apparently know it all, everything from A-Z.

Whilst obviously not being privy to the behind the scenes process and discussions I'm rather bemused that some sort of middle ground could not be found here, the airline has had an exemplary safety record. From hero to zero, just like that.

Sure one cannot prove it but it smacks of a determined effort to close the airline down despite the comments we are working with Cemair to help as best we can... really?

I'm not arguing about the airworthiness being on or off that is an obvious point, I'm asking why the whole operation is shut down cold rather than finding some sort of the middle ground path to continue operations whilst those issues are addressed on the said aircraft or again the question, is the whole fleet problematic?
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by cage » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:37 pm

Perhaps go read some of @tansg's posts again, I think he qualifies as a subject matter expert..
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by apollo11 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:43 pm

Tks I will do but right now I'm off to play tennis and swim, a damn side healthier than sitting behind my PC... :)
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Re: Cemair grounded again

Unread post by Ned Yakman » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:53 pm

HJK 414 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:06 am
Jack Welles wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:56 am
Trimmed for brevity...................

Here's the thing, CAA isn't going anywhere. They have the power position in this relationship. Cemair needs to totally accept this and work hard to fix things. Much like Elon Musk/Tesla and the SEC, maybe Cemair needs to have a different person (without a history of adverse interactions with CAA) at the controls (pun intended) of the operation.
.................

Agree Eddie,

If Cemair wishes to resolve this - they have 2 options:

Satisfy SACAA - whatever it takes / and learn to live with it

or - if they feel they are being "targeted" by the regulator -

Engage the ICAO - ask for an independent assessor / audit and let them formulate a report on the actual state of affairs.
and if they are right in having been unfairly targeted - they have a case for damages

JK
Last time I looked, CemAir was on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) register. IOSA is an internationally benchmarked and standardised safety audit process carried out every two years. Without it a carrier cannot belong to IATA, which carries with it a whole bunch of financial and commercial implications. So what did the auditors miss that the SACAA picked up?

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