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VOLUME 7  INVESTIGATION

CHAPTER 2  INSTRUCTIONS FOR INVESTIGATING A VEHICLE/PEDESTRIAN DEVIATION (V/PD) BY A MECHANIC TAXIING AN AIRCRAFT ON AN AIRPORT’S MOVEMENT AREA

Section 1  General

7-61    PURPOSE. This section provides Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspectors (ASI) with guidance on how to investigate a Vehicle/Pedestrian Deviation (V/PD) by a certificated mechanic who was taxiing an aircraft on an airport’s movement area.

7-62    BACKGROUND. On December 6, 2001, James Ballough, Director of Flight Standards Service (AFS-1), and David Bennett, Director of Airport Safety and Standards (AAS-1), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that delegates the responsibilities for investigating V/PDs.

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A.    AFS Jurisdiction. If the aircraft is being taxied by certificated mechanics on an airport’s movement area and becomes involved in a V/PD, then AFS has jurisdiction and will perform the investigation.

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B.    AAS Jurisdiction/Towing by Certificated Mechanics. If the aircraft is being towed by certificated mechanics and is involved in a V/PD, then AAS has jurisdiction and will conduct the investigation.

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C.    AAS Jurisdiction/Towing by Other Individuals. If the aircraft was being taxied or towed by a certificated repairman or by a noncertificated individual and is involved in a V/PD, then AAS has jurisdiction and will conduct the investigation.

7-63    DEFINITIONS. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

A.    Airport. An area of land that is used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of an aircraft and whose ground operations are controlled by the Air Traffic Organization (ATO) or an FAA certified contract tower.

B.    Movement Area. Runways, taxiways, and other areas of an airport that are used for taxiing, takeoffs, and landings of an aircraft.

C.    Non-Movement Area. Ramps, gates, loading areas, run-up areas, and aircraft parking areas.

D.    FAA Form 8020-24, Preliminary Vehicle or Pedestrian Deviation Report. This form is completed by ATO personnel when a V/PD has been observed.

E.    FAA Form 8020-25, Investigation of Vehicle or Pedestrian Deviation Report. This form is filled out by the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).

F.    Taxiing. As used in this section, taxiing is when an aircraft is being operated under its own engine power on an airport’s movement area.

7-64    DISCUSSION.

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A.    FSDO Responsibilities. FSDOs now have the responsibility to investigate V/PD incidents that occurred on a movement area of an airport if the incident involved a certificated mechanic who was taxiing an aircraft using its own engine power.

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B.    FSDO Inspector. The FSDO inspector who is investigating a V/PD must be aware of the following:

1)    When a mechanic is taxiing an aircraft on a movement area, even if the taxiing is related to a maintenance job function, such as returning from performing an engine run-up or repositioning the aircraft from the gate to the hangar, the mechanic is not exercising a privilege of his or her mechanic’s certificate under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 65. Therefore, no enforcement action shall be taken against the individual’s mechanic certificate or Inspection Authorization (IA) when the individual is found responsible for a V/PD incident.
2)    No enforcement action shall be taken against any other FAA certificate held by the mechanic, such as pilot, Flight Engineer (FE), flight instructor, or pilot examiner, because at the time of the incident there was no intent to fly.
3)    Since certificate action is not an option for a V/PD incident involving a mechanic, the only other option is to issue a Letter of Correction (LOC).
4)    For a V/PD incident involving a mechanic who is employed by a part 121 certificate holder, the Letter of Investigation (LOI) will be sent to the mechanic’s employer. The LOI should cite 14 CFR part 121, § 121.135(b)(2).
5)    For V/PD incidents involving mechanics who are employed by a part 135 or 145 certificate holder, the LOI should be sent to the certificated organization and cite 14 CFR part 91, § 91.13(b).
6)    For a V/PD incident involving a mechanic who is working under the privileges of his or her own certificate, the LOI should be sent to the certificated mechanic and cite § 91.13(b).
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7)    Enforcement investigation should focus on the root cause of the V/PD problem. For V/PD incidents involving a mechanic employed by a part(s) 121/135/145 operator(s), ensure that the mechanic has been retrained and the necessary revisions have been made to the organization’s manual and training program. The investigation should be closed out with an LOC to the certificate-holding organization.
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8)    For a mechanic who is working under the privileges of his or her certificate only and is involved in a V/PD incident at an airport, the mechanic responsible for a V/PD incident will be required to take training required per 14 CFR part 139, § 139.303. With the training completed, the FAA investigating inspector can issue an LOC to the mechanic.
9)    The LOC should be developed in accordance with the current edition of FAA Order 2150.3B, Compliance and Enforcement Program.

7-65    ACTION.

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A.    FAA Form 8020-24. When a V/PD incident involving a mechanic on a movement area occurs at an airport, the ATO will fill out FAA Form 8020-24 and send it to the airport operator and to the local FSDO.

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B.    FAA Form 8020-25. Upon receipt of the form, the local FSDO will start an investigation into the incident using FAA Form 8020-25 as a checklist. Instructions on how to complete FAA Form 8020-25 are found in the current edition of FAA Order 5200.10, Procedures for Conducting Investigations of Vehicle/Pedestrian Deviations. Order 5200.10 can be accessed on the FAA Web site at https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/orders_notices.

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C.    LOI and LOC Issuance. If a preliminary investigation determined that the mechanic did commit a V/PD incident, issue an LOI directly to the part 121, 135, or 145 certificate holder the mechanic works for or to the individual mechanic, as applicable. Once the causes for the incident have been resolved and steps are taken to prevent a reoccurrence, issue an LOC to the certificate holder or to the individual mechanic, as applicable. Upon finishing the investigation, the FSDO inspector will send a completed FAA Form 8020-25 to only the two FAA organizations listed below:

ATO-A (IT Directorate)

470 L’Enfant Plaza, Suite 7105

Washington, DC 20591

Airport Safety and Operations Division (AAS-300)

Room 618

800 Independence Ave., SW

Washington, DC 20591

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202-267-8731

202-267-5383 Fax

D.    Investigation Timeframe. The investigation must be completed within 90 calendar-days from the date of notification of the incident from the ATO.

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E.    Investigation Findings. If the investigation found that the mechanic was not responsible for the V/PD incident, then the investigating inspector will send a letter explaining the findings of the investigation to the above addresses.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 7-66 through 7-80.