8900.1 CHG 422



Section 6  Interdependence with Assigned Principal Inspectors

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14-3-6-1    GENERAL. This section addresses some of the challenges faced with effectively sharing information between the different elements of the Flight Standards Service (FS).

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14-3-6-3    PRINCIPAL INSPECTOR (PI) NOTIFICATION AND ACTION. When an inspector initiates an investigation, the inspector should immediately notify the appropriate PI(s) of the impending action. This will allow the PI(s) to determine the extent of the problem and to ensure that the operator takes corrective action. Additional coordination between the inspector and the PI(s) may be necessary to determine who processes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) initial and followup oversight actions, and who communicates with the certificate holder (CH) on corrective actions, in accordance with the guidance in Volume 14. Remember that the PIs and Certificate Management Team (CMT) are the primary interface with the regulated person and should be engaged to find and fix safety problems.

14-3-6-5    NONCOMPLIANCE DISCOVERED DURING SPECIAL INSPECTIONS CONDUCTED BY OTHER THAN THE RESPONSIBLE FS OFFICE. This paragraph contains information on some of the problems that occur when inspection teams discover noncompliance.

A.    Problems with Special Inspection Findings.

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1)    Sometimes the inspection team does not discuss apparent noncompliance found during the inspection with the CH, the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or certificate management office (CMO) during the inspection or at the debriefing. There have been times when the FSDO/CMO has been advised during debriefing that no instances of noncompliance were found, only to be followed later, sometimes much later, with a report stating that noncompliance had been found.
2)    Teams may include alleged noncompliance in special inspection reports when there is insufficient evidence included with the reports to prove the noncompliance.
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3)    One way to diminish the effectiveness of an enforcement action, especially one with any complexity, is to have one inspector investigate the apparent noncompliance and another write the report. It is impossible to assure a 100 percent transfer of technical information from the investigating inspector to the reporting inspector. Therefore, the quality, timeliness, and overall effectiveness of the Enforcement Investigative Report (EIR) is significantly diminished. The members of the inspection team who find the apparent violations are in the best position to be writing the report. If the specific investigatory team process or procedure requires otherwise, it is the duty of the investigating inspector/team to make sure all required documentation is captured and provided, and that all relevant information is conveyed effectively to the reporting inspector/office.

B.    Solving the Problems. Since the crux of the problem appears to be the handoff of information from the investigating inspector to the reporting inspector, it appears that better coordination and cooperation during the inspection is needed to help solve the problem.

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1)    The special inspection team leader should immediately notify the appropriate FSDO/CMO PI of any apparent noncompliance found during the inspection. From that point on, the PI should assist in the noncompliance investigation.
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2)    Before the inspection is completed, or at least before the inspection report is written, the team leader or the PI should read and analyze the regulations involved and write a preliminary Summary of Facts on each section of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) believed violated. They must ensure that there is sufficient evidence available to prove every element of each rule at issue, in accordance with the instructions in Volume 14, Chapters 2 and 3, and in FAA Order 2150.3, FAA Compliance and Enforcement Program.
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3)    Whoever writes the preliminary Summary of Facts should test the Summary of Facts and supporting evidence with the other inspector before citing the occurrence as a noncompliance in the inspection report.

14-3-6-7 through 14-3-6-21 RESERVED.