Statement of Aerobatic Competency Renewal, Temporary Relief - Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) No. 2020-14

Attention:

TCCA employees whose duties include the review of an application for and the issue of a special flight operations certificate – air shows

TCCA employees whose duties include the review of an application for and the issue of a Statement of Aerobatic Competency (SAC) Card

Air show organizers making application for a special flight operations certificate – air shows

Canadian licensed air show performers working to renew their Statement of Aerobatic Competency (SAC) Cards for 2021

File Classification No.: Z 5000-35
RDIMS No.: 17318787
Document No.: CASA 2020-14
Issue No.: 02
Effective Date: 2021-03-05

Purpose:

This CASA describes the temporary revision to the International Council of Air Shows, Aerobatic Competency Evaluation Program that has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and accepted by Transport Canada.

The purpose of this CASA is to provide notice to Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) employees, North American air show performers with a Canadian aviation licence, and air show organizers of the temporary revision to the International Council of Air Shows, Aerobatic Competency Evaluation Program, and to outline two alternatives being offered to Statement of Aerobatic Competency (SAC) card holders working to renew their cards for the 2021 air show season. These measures have been set up as a temporary relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Background:

Each year, approximately 300 air show performers entertain over 15 million spectators at more than 300 air shows across North America.

To perform at an air show in the United States and Canada, an aerobatic pilot must hold a current SAC card. A SAC card is issued to an aerobatic performer when the performer successfully completes a ground and flight evaluation in the presence of an industry-certified ACE.

There are three classifications of issuance for SAC cards:

  • 1) New Issue
  • 2) Renewal with Change (adding an aircraft, endorsement, and/or moving down to a lower altitude)
  • 3) Renewal without Change.

Renewals without Change represent 70% of the renewal requests and are unique as they are the only type of SAC evaluation which may be conducted during an air show.

In accordance with the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Aerobatic Competency Evaluation Program, renewal re-evaluation flights are generally conducted at an air show after coordination between the applicant and an Aerobatic Competency Evaluator (ACE) also performing at the show.

Due to COVID-19, opportunities for renewal without change have been unavailable due to the cancellation of most air shows scheduled for the 2020 season, as well as the temporary closure of the Canada / USA border to essential travel only. Both of these situations have severely impacted the air show performer’s ability to renew their SAC card for 2021.

As North American air show performers continue to grapple with the financial and logistical challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, ICAS and its Aerobatic Competency Evaluation (ACE) Committee are offering two (2) alternatives to Statement of Aerobatic Competency (SAC) card holders working to renew their SAC card for 2021.

Recommended action:

In order to provide relief to SAC card holders willing to renew their card for 2021, two (2) alternative options are being provided:

Option 1

Effective June 09, 2020, any pilot seeking to make use of this one-time relief has to perform and log not fewer than five (5) practice sessions and submit an unedited video recording of the applicant’s full performance sequence to an approved ACE. Documentation for these practice flights will have to include copies of the logbook in which the practice sessions are recorded (photocopies or smart phone photos of the relevant logbook pages) as well as summary information on when and where the practices were conducted and what sequences and/or maneuvers were practiced during each session. Pilots seeking this relief are also required to pass an extended and intensive ground evaluation conducted in person, over the phone or video conference with that same ACE. This expanded ground evaluation will include all those topics covered in a standard ground evaluation, but would also include these additional topics: changes introduced in the most recent changes to the respective ACE Manual; recent changes to FAA policy for performers; how the performer plans to regain currency; and how to practice under quarantine.

Option 2

Effective June 09, 2020, any pilot seeking to make use of this one-time relief has to log thirty (30) practice flights and present documentation (photocopies or smart phone photos of the relevant logbook pages) of those practice flights (logbook entries should include a summary of when and where the practices were conducted and what sequences and/or maneuvers were practiced during each session) and a request for exemption from the normal renewal process to the ACE Committee. In keeping with existing policy, a pilot may log as many as three (3) practice sessions in a single sortie if he/she has sufficient fuel, etc. Presuming the applicant has a current 2020 SAC card, these 30 practice sessions may be logged at any time between now and the applicant’s first air show of the 2021 air show season (although time for processing the exemption request should be factored into the submission).

Note 1: Any practice sessions undertaken and recorded as mentioned above from June 9, 2020, date which these options have been approved by the FAA, can be applied to the SAC renewal options.

Note 2: The methods specified in the ICAS Aerobatic Competency Evaluation Program of renewing a pilot’s SAC card are still preferable when possible.

Validity

This CASA is in effect until the earliest of the following:

  • a) The ability to use option 1 expires at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2021.
  • b) The ability to use option 2 expires on the date of the performer’s first airshow in 2021 (as described above).
  • c) The date on which a new directive to renew a SAC card is implemented and supersedes this current CASA.
  • d) The date on which this CASA is cancelled in writing by the Minister where he is of the opinion that it is no longer in the public interest or is likely to adversely affect aviation safety or security.

Contact office:

For more information concerning this issue, contact the Civil Aviation Communication Center by telephone at: 1-800-305-2059 or by e-mail at services@tc.gc.ca.

Original signed by

Andrew Larsen
for
Félix Meunier
Director
Standards Branch

The Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is used to convey important safety information and contains recommended action items. The CASA strives to assist the aviation industry's efforts to provide a service with the highest possible degree of safety. The information contained herein is often critical and must be conveyed to the appropriate office in a timely manner. The CASA may be changed or amended should new information become available.