PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Do the CAA/FAA obstruct Flight Safety?
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Old 3rd Aug 2004, 09:51
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Genghis the Engineer
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,725
I don't entirely agree with you IO540.

What you say is true - Cessna and the like continue to push out more and more new aeroplanes.... to 40 year old designs. Certification costs are steep, the CAA charges 151/hr for company approval work and 129/hr for product approval work. Those are steep - but you need not run up a huge bill; I've managed full certification of a public transport aeroplane through Gatwick in under 20 man-hours, which was trivial compared to the cost of the machine.

The problem in dealing with people like CAA or FAA is that they will not nursmaid any company through equipment approvals. So, you send the reports in requesting approval of your kit - they take a month or so to go through them, bounce it because you've fudged or missed a test or critical report, you then have to re-write and resubmit. All the while, your staff salaries, rent, etc. is building up.

The fact is however that very very few specialists know how to keep these authorities happy - I happen to be one of them, but my time is scarce, is it is of anybody else in my position.

So, companies are trying to get stuff through the authorities, and running up staff and resource costs over months or years whilst they try and work out what's required of them.

So, my criticism of CAA is not that they are anti-safety, that is not true. Nor is it that they are incompetent (okay, there are one or two, but on net, they're pretty good), but that they do not tell the industry what is required of them. There is, nowhere that I'm aware of, a document which tells you:-

- What qualifications they expect of an applicant for design signatory.
- A typical layout and content of a company exposition.
- What information is requried, laid out how, for approval of a VOR, panel-mount GPS, new undercarriage, silenced exhaust - or anything else, from a bolt to a complete aeroplane.

Nor does the CAA go to the universities teaching aerospace engineering and provide them with material to be included in degree courses, which would be the other way of doing it.

So, that's why it appears anti-safety, actually I think that they're anti-education. To be fair, the FAA are a bit better in that respect, but only a bit.

Genghis the Engineer is offline