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Old 18th Mar 2016, 04:40
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: BC
Posts: 451
SAFA Inspections

SAFA inspections are required by ICAO through ICAO Doc 8335 and standards of ICAO Annex 1, 6 and 8. There are 54 inspection items included in the check, furthermore; not all 54 items need to be checked if time is a factor. It is not the policy to delay a flight nor is it policy to delay boarding of the flight or the disembarking of a flight.

Nor is it the policy to ask questions on the operators procedures or anything that gets into SOPs. That is left up to the State of Oversight of the Operator.

Many operators are utilizing EFBs to hold their aircraft documentation. Some SAFA Inspectors have difficulties with this one however; there is no 'Standard' by ICAO on how documents must be presented. To clarify, the documents (AOC-OPS Specs etc) can be electronically held. The EASA ramp inspection program actually has instructions clearly giving inspectors guidance on documents.

One part of the check is to determine the Version of TAWS and TCAS. On many newer aircraft , there is actually no way for the flight crew to determine this because there is no test function. Inspectors are not in a position to request flight crews to provide evidence of the versions if it is actually a maintenance function. In such a case, as a flight crew member, you can argue this point successfully.

One item that regularly creates problems on inspections are crews who show up with no license or medical. These innocuous pieces of paper are required to be in your possession however; depending on how efficiently your company works, a quick phone call and documents sent via email and printed, can be the difference between going out on schedule or taking a delay. And yes, you are required to have a second pair of reading glasses available, if required on your medical.

The technical inspection can get detailed. Missing fasteners on leading edges of panels are one source of findings. As a flight crew member, not much you can do about that one, except to write it up in the tech log, if you see it on a walk-around and let your maintenance department get the work done.

You can get the latest information on SAFA here. Most States who have signed the ICAO Chicago Convention, use this material as their base.
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