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US TC holders are required to support a type for 15 years?

Came across this on the US Socata user group; someone was asking about high prices etc:

TB production stopped on 5/25/2005. You still have the option to purchase OEM parts from DAHER because we still want to support the aircraft (as a TC holder, we could have stopped at 15 yrs, minimum law requirement). Prior to stopping the production, we increased the parts in stock by 40% to support the fleet.

Now, 18 years later, some stocks have been depleted and still, we are launching new but smaller batches. To make these parts, the same amount of work is involved, these are assemblies, not parts that you can purchase, and because the volume of sales is extremely low, on this specific item, 1 kit every 39 months, the cost is automatically increased and beleive me, there is almost zero margin added to the MRSP even if we are going to support dead stock for years, on shelves, for the rest of this small batch. Stock costs money in case you might not know.

Is this 15 years an FAA requirement? I’ve never heard of such a thing before.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

FAA would have nothing to do with this. There are wider consumer protection laws that apply to cars and motorcycles and they may apply to planes as well if the manufacturer is still doing business in the US.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 20 Nov 14:21

That was a statement from the main Socata factory rep in Florida, so one wonders what he was referring to?

I can’t post on that group (evicted in 2008 ) and anyway anybody disagreeing with the “head(s)” gets evicted eventually.

Maybe it is a European (DGAC) requirement.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The typical parts supply period for cars is ten years and you hear people saying that’s required by law. I’ve never heard fifteen years in any context and think the Socata guy is trying to make his story more compelling by adding facts and figures that likely don’t exist in reality.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 20 Nov 14:49

And I don’t believe the zero margin bit either.

Under French and I think European law a manufacturer must support the parts necessary to repair a car for at least 10 years after production ceases. I believe during that time the parts must be available with a maximum 15day delay.
There is another supplier of Socata parts “”. They do parts for a range of aircraft.


The pricing on slow moving parts (car, or any other) is barely related to the original manufacturing cost, because

  • the cost of say 20 years of gathering dust on the shelf is a lot more than the cost of originally making it
  • the cost of making another batch after 20 years is going to be much higher than the last lot, due to
  • the proverbial man in the shed deep in the forest is long gone
  • the bigger company was bought by some US company which closed down slow moving lines

so Socata will have to go to some big inflexible firm which really hates small batches.

I have a customer who buys a product for £195 and sells it for £3000. He told me he does this to cover the cost of re-engineering a “box” to replace mine “when I disappear”. He’s been doing this since 1997 and everybody is very happy

I’d still like to know about that 15 year “requirement”. It would be amazing if it was FAA but maybe DGAC? They have done all kinds of weird stuff and you have to remember we are talking about the 1984-2002 time frame. The TB production stopped in 2002 (not 2005) but they recycled a few airframes like here. seems to be one of the many aviation part clickbait sites with OUT OF STOCK showing on almost everything “Socata” except generic US parts.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Who doesn’t remember the Porsche aero engine – similar story:
AFAIR they bought back the engines for an insane price to withdraw from the market, it was a financial disaster.

PS: The German Wikipedia calls the Continental and Lycoming engines technically obsolete – compared to that 1980 design…

Berlin, Germany

They might be obsolete but

  • they do that specific job well
  • Lyco still support almost every engine they ever made – even the IO-720 which achieved very low sales
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The Porsche engine which used in some Robin 400s was an excellent marriage
The problem was that it was more expensive than Lycomings and Continentals of similar hp or needed to be if Porsche were to make it profitable. IIRC new management came in and abandoned the aviation market before it really had a prove itself. It’s a shame because IMO it could have developed into a real contender.
Looking back at an old Info Pilote I see it (PFM 3200) was originally intended for the Mooney M20L.

Last Edited by gallois at 22 Nov 08:04
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