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De Havilland owners to have option of Permit to Fly

PUBLISHED: 15:59 05 December 2011 | UPDATED: 14:10 10 October 2012

In a move which will be welcomed by many LAA members, Duxford-based de Havilland Support Ltd has announced it intends to rescind the Type Certificates for all of its de Havilland aircraft types

In a move which will be welcomed by many LAA members, Duxford-based de Havilland Support Ltd (DHSL) has announced it intends to rescind the Type Certificates for all of its de Havilland aircraft types, and also for the Scottish Aviation Bulldog. The move, which will take place in April 2012, will potentially release the aircraft into the Permit to Fly operation.

DHSL is setting up Type Responsibility Agreements (TRAs) with the CAA. This will allow the owners of Tiger Moths, Chipmunks, Bulldogs and the Rapide to continue to operate on a Certificate of Airworthiness (this would be essential for those aircraft being used commercially), however, owners will be able to opt for the Permit to Fly route if they wish.Under the new arrangements, owners of DH heritage types will only be able to elect for a Permit to Fly. Certificates of Airworthiness will not be issued or renewed after April 2012, as DHSL does not consider that this remains viable for airworthiness or commercial reasons. The types now included within the LAA’s scope include the original DH60 Moth, Moth Major, Puss Moth, Fox Moth, Leopard Moth, Hornet Moth, Moth Minor and the post-war Thruxton Jackaroo.

LAA’s Chief Engineer Francis Donaldson commented on the news: “For very many years the LAA has campaigned for CAA to allow a dual route option with vintage aircraft rather than being bound to the principle that if an aircraft can be kept on a Certificate of Airworthiness then no other options are permissible. The change in CAA policy which came about early this year represented a sea change in the Authority’s approach and DHSL’s latest move springboards off this result.”

LAA Chairman Roger Hopkinson said: “This is excellent news and is another opportunity to move the Association forward to where we saw its development when we changed from PFA to LAA in 2008. We shall be delighted to welcome the owners of these magnificent classic and vintage aircraft into the LAA family.”

DHSL stresses that it has taken this step because it feels that the certificated environment is becoming ever more incompatible with the majority needs of private operators. Owners of these essentially simple aircraft should be able to maintain them to an equally high standard within the more flexible Permit scheme. This will allow more ready availability of spares and for the dwindling number of released items to be saved for those operating on a Certificate of Airworthiness. DHSL, which maintains a comprehensive archive of drawings and manuals at its Duxford HQ, and enjoys a close working relationship with both the CAA and the LAA, will continue to provide technical back-up for all its heritage types, whether on C of A or Permit. This announcement comes after much negotiation between DHSL, BAE Systems (which contracts DHSL to look after the de Havilland heritage types) and the UK CAA.For more on this story, visit www.lightaircraftassociation.co.uk

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