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SOCATA MS 893 vs MS 892 - IFR capability? (why the VFR restriction?)

I turned a VFR aircraft into an IFR one just by adding all the required equipment. For completeness I also ordered a new POH from Socata with the IFR supplements included. I understand it’s a bit of a different case being a TB10, but practically I’m not sure it really is different.

I would be very interested to know if anyone knows of any enforcement action taken against a pilot based on type certificate or lack of required equipment for a given flight. For example, are there any cases of someone getting hit for flying an DME required ILS using a GPS for distance, or something similar?

MichaLSA wrote:

Different NAA will act different when asked on the topic whether it is ‘allowed’ to file IFR on a VFR aircraft.

I know a ferry who flew from Bulgaria to Germany on an IFR flight plan (VMC) using only ForeFlight on his phone. I do wonder how anyone would ever catch him, since even a ramp check agent would probably not think to check his flight plan.

EHRD, Netherlands

I would be very interested to know if anyone knows of any enforcement action taken against a pilot based on type certificate or lack of required equipment for a given flight.

That debate has used up 37.5% of the bandwidth of the internet (most of the remaining 62.5% is p0rn) ever since the SR22 started being imported with no ADF and no DME around 20 years ago, and there have been zero reports of busts. There was one rumour posted of a UK GA chat site years ago (of an SR22 bust after an IFR flight to Wick, Scotland) but all attempts to verify it failed and it seems to have been BS.

Same for all kinds of VFR-only homebuilts flying IFR, even quite openly in the Eurocontrol system.

I turned a VFR aircraft into an IFR one just by adding all the required equipment.

Anybody on that LAA-IFR programme list I linked above could have done the same, but most don’t dare to risk it.

Personally, I would not risk it unless I was flying out of a farm strip at both ends. You just never know who might be in the tower. But if you fly Z/Y the risk is even lower.

But detectability is a different question from legality There is a theoretical impact risk on an insurance claim if the flight was not legal. But, again, I know of no refusals.

The problem with these old Socata planes is that the paperwork is so old, so it is hard to know how some VFR-only status was decided and whether it has any legal standing. Socata have a long history of being ultra lazy (I would say “arrogant”) e.g. shipping TB20s to the US with GNS/KLN GPSs without an AFMS to make them legal for IFR. Most owners never noticed and for those who did, the importer in Florida was doing the AFMSs via field approvals.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

The problem with these old Socata planes is that the paperwork is so old, so it is hard to know how some VFR-only status was decided and whether it has any legal standing.

Yes indeed, it´s not crystal clear. Anyways, I realize that this has been discussed to lengths prior to my Post, so I don´t want to waste peoples time in repeating themselves, but appreciate the replies.
I´d want to keep it clean cut (or dare I say – close to!) legal, since I have a few more years to live off from my license.

Socata Rallye MS.893E
Portugal

dutch_flyer wrote:

I know a ferry who flew from Bulgaria to Germany on an IFR flight plan (VMC) using only ForeFlight on his phone. I do wonder how anyone would ever catch him, since even a ramp check agent would probably not think to check his flight plan.

I´m not sure if the ramp inspector wouldn’t consider the aircraft equipment vs the travel itinerary (ATC plan). I´ve had ramp inspectors, on my normal work aircraft, verifying aircraft navigation data base and on-board chart subscription validity. Though this may not seem as equipment check – it´s down that road, I´d say. Surely, if the Ramp Inspector would notice inoperative equipment (appropriately labeled with “Inop” sticker), I´d expect the him to query it with reference to Minimum Equipment List dispatchability – consequently that would in fact make reference to the conditions under which the actual flight is planned (including ATC filing), such as VFR, VMC, IFR, IMC, Extended Range etc. Perhaps this is a spin off – but just to add to your consideration.
I´m not sure have ramp inspections take place on private SEP operations.

Last Edited by Yeager at 14 Dec 13:01
Socata Rallye MS.893E
Portugal

No. Such ad hoc inspections where someone climbs on board, checks equipment (very difficult to do these days, with integrated avionics), checks databases or charts etc. do not exist for NCO aircraft.

It could only happen in this degree of throughness in so callled ACAM inspections (and then only if the aircraft is EASA-reg); but these are not ad-hoc, but rather pre-advised and pre-scheduled with the owner/operator.

Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

Quoteboscomantico wrote:

boscomantico14-Dec-22 13:1425
No. Such ad hoc inspections where someone climbs on board, checks equipment (very difficult to do these days, with integrated avionics), checks databases or charts etc. do not exist for NCO aircraft.

It could only happen in this degree of throughness in so callled ACAM inspections (and then only if the aircraft is EASA-reg); but these are not ad-hoc, but rather pre-advised and pre-scheduled with the owner/operator.

Ok, good to know this detail. Thanks.

Socata Rallye MS.893E
Portugal

boscomantico wrote:

No. Such ad hoc inspections where someone climbs on board, checks equipment (very difficult to do these days, with integrated avionics), checks databases or charts etc. do not exist for NCO aircraft.

Since when? Not so long ago two of these chaps did an ad hoc ramp check at mine and they also checked my flight planning on it, as well as the ordinary 90 days (just landed and had a PAX). The paper they filled and handed over had the charm of the 80ies, but looked quite official and my guess is they would have noticed if I had an IFR flight.

It could only happen in this degree of throughness in so callled ACAM inspections (and then only if the aircraft is EASA-reg); but these are not ad-hoc, but rather pre-advised and pre-scheduled with the owner/operator.

ACAM are pre-announced far in advance, indeed, but are to my knowledge no longer restricted to EASA as there appears to be an arrangement with the FAA for N-reg based in Europe to get inspected on behalf. Never gave it a thought as I am not N-reg.

Last Edited by MichaLSA at 14 Dec 14:27
Germany

Since when? Not so long ago two of these chaps did an ad hoc ramp check at mine and they also checked my flight planning on it, as well as the ordinary 90 days (just landed and had a PAX). The paper they filled and handed over had the charm of the 80ies, but looked quite official and my guess is they would have noticed if I had an IFR flight.

I wrote about checks where someone actually climbs on board of the aircraft checks equipment (which is anyway very difficult to do like this these days, with integrated avionics), checks the installed databases etc.

ACAM are pre-announced far in advance, indeed, but are to my knowledge no longer restricted to EASA as there appears to be an arrangement with the FAA for N-reg based in Europe to get inspected on behalf. Never gave it a thought as I am not N-reg.

Maybe in theory, but not in practice. In pratice, this only exists ist the airline/AOC-world. I think these are called SAFA inspections, But again, this does not apply to privately operated aircraft.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 14 Dec 14:44
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

Yes, in former times they did not put any VFR/IFR stuff in TCs, simply because they thought an aircraft as replacement for a car. Ever seen a car manual stating “do not drive at night” or “not approved to drive on a wet road”? (Ok, maybe they introduced that with Teslas …) Flying was about purely taking the chance to decide by yourself.

All of that is true for IFR now, in the present, for most types in service. Their TCs do not mention VFR or IFR, night or day.

@Silvaire Would you say that the MS 892 Type Certificate is “explicitly limited” from IFR operation/capabilities, considering the TC PDF
page 18 (MS 892) vs/page 25 (MS 893).

I would say that is correct. It’s the downside of older aircraft certified by European national authorities in the past, when they alone had this practice. However even then and there the practice was not uniform and I suppose it likely varied between countries. My N-registered plane was originally certified in Germany (the FAA certification was done by treaty over 50 years ago, a paperwork process only), however neither the current EASA TCDS nor the separate FAA TCDS which is relevant to me have any statement about VFR, night or IFR operation. The only ‘fly in the ointment’ is a placard requirement in the MM, which is less definitive and raises the question of whether the placard can be removed when the plane is equipped differently than when manufactured (none were delivered with all the equipment required by German authorities at that time for IFR operation). I fly in good weather and have no interest in flying IFR in the plane, so I have never needed to push the point.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 14 Dec 16:23

boscomantico wrote:

No. Such ad hoc inspections where someone climbs on board, checks equipment (very difficult to do these days, with integrated avionics), checks databases or charts etc. do not exist for NCO aircraft.

Do you have a reference for that? When I read ARO.GEN.305 “Oversight programme” it mentions inspection of “equipment” with no limitation to type of operation. Of course, the CAAs just may not bother.

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 14 Dec 15:21
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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