Microlight airplanes attempted sold with fake documents

Civil Aviation Authority Norway has gained knowledge about microlight airplanes with fake airworthiness certificate. The planes were attempted sold with documents which could make an impression that they were issued by CAA Norway.

In 2017 at least two microlight airplanes with fake documents were put on sale on online trading sites for aircrafts. CAA Norway was contacted by potential byers from Belgium, France, Netherlands and Norway. They wanted to find out whether the documents were forged or not.

Airworthiness inspectors of CAA Norway quickly found that the airworthiness certificates were scams.

Even though the falsifications weren’t anywhere near expertly made, CAA Norway would like to warn people all over Europe that fake documents appear in relation to aircraft trading. The problem seems to occur more often than before. If you’re considering to buy an aircraft, you should be alert, as equally as you are on the watch when buying a house or a car. Unfortunately, some people attempt to swindle when selling an aircraft in order to make more money out of it than they would have without an airworthiness certificate. If someone buys such an aircraft, they are deceived to believe that the aircraft has a higher level of safety than it really has, says Morten Larsen, CAA Norway’s head of Airworthiness.

Regarding aircraft parts, fake documentation is a well known issue. In August European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) made awareness of the problem with fake, unknown and unapproved parts, Suspected Unapproved Parts (SUP). See EASA Safety Information Bulletin 13/2017 for more info.

In this Information Bulletin there’s a list of aircraft parts that probably don’t have the required approvals.

According to EASA’s Airworthiness Directive (AD) producers are required to give each aircraft part a unique batch number, or both a batch and a serial number for larger parts, making sure that production history is identifiable and documentable. When it comes to Suspected Unapproved Parts (SUP) batch/serial number and production history is missing or fake. Insecurity about SUP is easiest avoided by purchasing parts from recognized dealers.

If anyone discovers fake parts or fake documentation, or if they are unsure about this, they should contact EASA or their national Civil Aviation Authority. Unapproved parts and invalid airworthiness certificates can lead to accidents and disasters. The investigation of the Partnair Flight 394 concluded that the root cause of the accident was unapproved parts. The airplane crashed into the ocean north of Hirtshals, Denmark on 8 September 1989. All aboard, 50 passengers and five crew members, died in the crash.

Published: 18. Jan 2018