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SA CAA to probe foreign cargo firm

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SA CAA to probe foreign cargo firm

Old 23rd Feb 2004, 18:51
  #1 (permalink)  
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SA CAA to probe foreign cargo firm

Civil Aviation Authority to probe foreign cargo firm

February 23, 2004: Business Report

By Frank Nxumalo

Johannesburg - The Civil Aviation Authority is investigating the airworthiness of two aircraft owned by Volga Atlantic Airlines, a foreign-registered cargo company operating out of Johannesburg International Airport.

The inquiry follows a Business Report investigation into allegations that Volga Atlantic Airlines was misleading the aviation authority about the airworthiness of its Antonov aircraft, the former Soviet bloc's equivalent of a Boeing.

Volga Atlantic Airlines is owned by Ukrainian Yuri Sidorov in partnership with local businessman Fred Rutter, who also acts as his spokesperson.

The Business Report investigation follows a warning lodged by Antonov Design Bureau (ADB), the Ukraine-based manufacturers, with Wrenelle Stander, the department of transport's director-general.

ADB told Stander that despite current airworthiness and operating licence documentation issued to Volga Atlantic by Burundian civil aviation authorities, the service life of its aircraft had expired in 2001 and in 2002.

Seboseso Machobane, the acting chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, said: "We view the allegations in a very serious light. An internal airworthiness review has been instituted to investigate the allegations and the airworthiness of the aircraft.

"We have written to the operator [Volga Atlantic Airlines], which has acknowledged receipt of the letter and has up to the end of the week to respond."

ADB said it had written the letter to Stander as far back as July, warning her about the airworthiness of the aircraft and had not yet received a reply. The Civil Aviation Authority said it became aware of ADB's letter only last week.


ADB said the operation of the aircraft with registration numbers 9U-BHO and 9U-BHN, which were not airworthy, was not permissible.

It added that the allowance for 9U-BHO to fly without an overhaul of its engines had expired on May 28 2002 and its service life on May 29 2002. The equivalent dates for 9U-BHN were March 29 2001 and March 31 2001.

Anatoly Klimov, the deputy chief designer for ADB, said: "ADB did not perform [any repair] works and did not issue an authorisation on the extension of servicing time and service life [of the aircraft].

"Accordingly, these aircraft are not airworthy and we ask you to take urgent measures to stop [their] operation and to send us copies of documents on the basis of which the airworthiness certificates for these aircraft were issued."

Daniel Coetzee, the chief representative of private cargo operators in South Africa, said they wanted the department to level the playing field. "Foreign cargo operators should not be allowed privileges we do not have, as in this case - where we have to compete with people who do not have to pay high maintenance costs.

"And why is the director-general ignoring the manufacturer's letter and allowing unfit aircraft to fly in and out of South Africa?"

Rutter said there was no substance to the allegations. "We have documentation that is valid for 2004 ... issued to us this month by Burundi after their six-monthly inspections".

Sidorov said there was service life left in the aircraft yet.

The Burundian authorities said they were not aware of any reason to cancel Volga's licence.
Deanw is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2004, 00:59
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: South Africa
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About time I would say. These aircraft compete with western aircraft without the associated costs. SA operators have to spend millions of rands a year to maintain airworthiness standards. Not to metion crew training to part 121 standards.

I would like to know when last did crews on these aircraft attend CRM, Simulator, EPT, Fire Fighting, Technical Training, Dangerous Goods Training and ACAS training. (I doubt these aircraft even have ACAS II).

Nothing against Russian aircraft, but these so called foreign operators have lived in SA for at least the past 12 years. Registering there aircraft in states such as Burundi, is an obvious way to circumvent local legislation.

These guys just want money with no regard for safety. There is a licensed South African operator who operates Russian built Antonov aircraft. His aircraft are ZS registered, Crew licensed with South African Licenses and all aircraft manuals and documents in English. Why does this guy has to spend so much money to operate according to the law ? The CAA has to protect legal operators against these so called foreign operators.

In the mean time, ZS aircraft are constantly inspected whenever they land in African States. These inspections then often result in money changing hands due to certain perceived non-compliances such as the crew not wearing a tie with their uniforms or due to the Radio Station License not bearing an impressive stamp (Computer generated does not apply to Africa). But aircraft registered in some of these small states flies into our airspace all the time. Some even without the required crew compliment. How is that for double standards.
orgasmotron is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2004, 01:14
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Med
Posts: 255
It really is about time to do something for these Soviet relics!
There been enough accidents and life lost with these Leningrad Cowboys!
I wonder how many of those CIS airplanes are really airworthy that operated today worldwide? Some of those airplanes haven´t even been close to maintenance facilities for years!!!!

Good for SA CAA!!!!

Blues
bluesafrica is offline  
Old 25th Feb 2004, 03:39
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perspective 1 : great, theres another lot of unlicenced cowboys jaaged from our airspace

perspective 2 : there's another courageous operation been sucked into the deep morass of excess bureaucracy and extortionate fees by jealous others who havent the balls or wherewithall to stand up to their CAA and are happy to pay pay pay for mandatory non-essential 'dressing' such as 4-hour CRM and DG courses and safety officers

perspective 3 : the whole operation, legal and accepted in the rest of africa, moves to Harare and ZS- aircraft get the going-over whenever they land in Burundi or any other sympathetic state from now on

perspective 4 :
we cannot have aircraft or operators flouting our laws, we must enforce them. These aircraft could easily crash into a suburb. Get them out of our skies. rules are there for a reason.

perspective 5 :
my, the rand must be biting the local cargo boys hard. the freight dogs are snapping at each other's bread and butter...
AfricanSkies is offline  

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