A Complete Manual for Conducting International Flight Operations
What is a SAFA Check?
A SAFA check, which stands for Safety Check of Foreign Aircraft, is much like an FAA ramp inspection; however, it may be much more through. It is important for crewmembers to understand what items are included in a SAFA check and to have the required items prepared for inspectors to ensure that inspections go smoothly. SAFA checks are generally conducted at European and Eastern European airports. Inspectors will evaluate aircraft based upon the exterior of the aircraft, interior of the aircraft, required emergency equipment, aircraft documentation and flight crew documentation.
Much like an FAA ramp inspection, aircraft operators are required to submit to an inspection or risk having the aircraft impounded. Aircraft that are preparing for departure shall not be delayed according to the program; however, if it is determined from the exterior inspection that significant defects warrant further inspection, a departure delay may be warranted.
In the past our company had an aircraft that was inspected and it was found that the radome had small chips in the paint. The inspector believed that the chips in the radome coating would allow ice crystals to form and therefore cause the radar to attenuate. The remedy was having the radome repainted while in France.
Exterior defects would warrant a delay according to the program:
Class Action Categories
Like the example above, findings are divided into three categories. The result of a Class III action is fairly severe and may require restrictions on flight operations, correction of findings prior to flight or detention of the aircraft. In addition, notification of the discrepancy to the operator’s aviation authority will be provided. (FAA notification in our case.)
CLASS 1 ACTION
CLASS 2 ACTION
CLASS 3 ACTION
Another useful resource for pilots is the following checklist, which should be inclusive of many of the SAFA Checklist items.
Revision date: July 29, 2015
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