Sealand Aviation Blog

Why isn't it flying? The TRACE engine saga continues

So why isn't C-GGBF flying?  The engine runs great, there are no problems with it. But the paperwork doesn't weigh enough yet.  It seems that Transport Canada and the FAA have different parameters for issuing a Flight Permit, and we need a Flight Permit to do the testing.

 We have been working with Transport Canada to get the Flight Permit because it is a Canadian registered aircraft.  Once Transport Canada has issued the Flight Permit, it would be approved by the FAA. But we all got hit with a Catch 22.

In order to certify the engine, we need to do a company flight test program and a FAA flight test program.  Transport Canada requires that the FAA approve both flight test programs before they can issue a Flight Permit.  The FAA does not approve company test programs.  Presumably they feel that common sense will prevail when a company tests its product.  And, they only approve the FAA test program after the company test program has been completed.

Dave Czarnecki of TRACE explained it this way  "FAA flight testing is only done after the company flight testing proves all aspects of the FAA testing can be met.  The FAA may add additional criteria based on the results of company flight testing or may remove some based on that initial testing ...  We can't even do ground testing for credit without a flight permit..."

Net result, our beloved C-GGBF (S/N 815) will be leased to TRACE for the Flight Tests, and will be American registered.  The first certified TRACE installation on a DHC-2 will be on an American registered aircraft.


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