EASA registered aircraft – Lease transition flight awareness

Aircraft leasing is a complex and vast area with regards to its scope, requirements, interactions, and multiple party agreements.

Leasing works for different parties in different ways such as for lessee’s it allows limited initial financial exposure while affording the ability to operate, while for a lessor there is a profitable return on the asset value though payments, while limiting exposure.

Part of maintaining the asset value comes from awareness that the operator of such flights that are required for a lease transition comply with regulation requirements.

Regarding EASA registered aircraft, it is important to be aware of some of the requirements for aircraft flights where leasing is concerned based on how the aircraft will be operated.

Operations are split into 2 major categories; that of commercial and non-commercial.

Non-commercial operations is broken into NC Non-Commercial & SPO Special Operations

Which include the following approvals for large complex aircraft:
–         Demonstration flights
–         Ferry flights
–         Maintenance check flights

SPO – specialized operations are where the aircraft is used for specialized activities such as agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, observation and patrol, aerial advertisement or maintenance check flights.

It is the maintenance check flights (MCF) that we have interest in here for lease transitions.

NCC – Non-commercial operations for complex aircraft covers the remaining flight types:

–         Demonstration Flights
–         Ferry Flights

We must consider the content of the required flight as often Manufacturers do not use the terms to describe a flight. This actually means we MUST consider the technical content of the flight and evaluate against the below definition of a Level A maintenance check flight to define what approval we require.

“The use of abnormal or emergency procedures, as defined in the aircraft flight manual, is expected, or where a flight is required to prove the functioning of a backup system or other safety devices”

Why is this important? Because the regulations require that the operator of such a flight holds an appropriate approval. The flight requirement would fall into one of the following Parts and it means that we should look for the operator to confirm they have the corresponding Part Approval:

Part NCC:
Ferry/Delivery Flights

Part SPO:
Maintenance Check Flights
Elective Check Flights
Acceptance Check Fights

Larger operators, under their AOC approvals may have procedures in place to allow MCF flights to take place, this normally only occurs with larger operators. In such a case the MCF may only be made when the aircraft is operated on that specific AOC.

Why not take a look at the presentation for more details & learn more by looking at our courses on offer.

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