8130-3 Return to service certificate

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oamaris's picture
8130-3 Return to service certificate

Several days ago during an audit to a repair shop, we found an 8130-3  for return to service of an C20B igniter box as "INSPECTED". The company issuing the document was a parts broker not a repair shop. An the person signing the return to service statement entered an Inspection Authorization IA certificate. After an argument with shop owner, I decided to bring the question to this forum. Can IA sign the retun to service block on an 8130-3?

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n14ky's picture

This is a subject that has been debated ever since the use of the 8130-3 came into existance. The content of the entries on an 8130-3 could be used as compliance with 14 CFR 43.9 maintenance record entries, however Order 8130.21G specifically states in paragraph 1-7. "Purposes For Which FAA Form 8130-3 Cannot Be Used. FAA Form 8130-3 is intended to be issued for civil aeronautical products and articles by persons under the jurisdiction of the FAA. Its issuance by persons not described in Chapters 2 and 4 of this order, (i.e., FAA aviation safety inspectors (ASI) or FAA-authorized designees or delegations), or Chapter 3 of this order (i.e., certificate holders under 14 CFR parts 21, 121, 135, or 145) is not authorized. Further
purposes for which the form cannot be used are as follows:." That said, an Order is an iternal document that is to be used by FAA personnel and Designees. They are used to communicate internal POLICY, and are not regulatory in nature.

If a mechanic complies with the requirements for a 43.9 return to service entry, or a 43.11 inspection entry, there is nothing in the regulations that require what form, book, sticker or any other document on how the entry is made (FAA Form 337 excepted since it is in the regulations). The only thing that the mechanic or IA needs to comply with is the regulation requiring a maintenance record entry.

So, I guess the answer is it depends on who you talk to. By making the entry on an 8130-3 the mechanic has complied with the regulation, but he is outside the scope of the Order. I don't think there is any case law that would allow the mechanic to be violated for not following an Order, and you in fact have a maintenance record entry that (may) satisfies the 43.9 requirement. I guess my concern would be if the block 13 remarks describe what type of inspection was performed.

One other issue would be if the alleged inspection was an inspection covered under the privileges and limitations of an IA under 14 CFR 65.95. Since 65.95 only allows an IA to approve for return to service major repairs and major alteration (which must be done on an FAA Form 337) and annual inspections, I would think the "inspection" identified on the 8130-3 is in fact outside his limitations and he incorrectly used his IA. The form should most likely have been signed using his A&P for the subject inspection.

Phil Randall FAAST Team National Airworthiness Lead asked Dan Bachelder ,Deputy Assistant Division Manager, AFS-301B Federal Aviation Administration. And this is his answer :
FAA Order 8130.21G

3-1. General Information on Approval for Return To Service.
a. Air agencies certificated under 14 CFR part 145, or the holder of a U.S.
air carrier
certificate operating under 14 CFR part 121 or part 135, with an approved continued airworthiness maintenance program may issue an FAA Form 8130-3 for approval for return to service for a product or article maintained or altered under 14 CFR part 43, Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Rebuilding, and Alteration.
NOTE: The restriction in this order relating to the original issuance of the form does not apply when the form is used as a maintenance record and approval for return to service. Copies of the original form when used as a maintenance record or an approval for return to service may be provided to the owner/operator or others who require copies of maintenance records as prescribed by the applicable CFRs.
b. A PAH may issue an FAA Form 8130-3 for approval for return to service after rebuilding, altering, or inspecting its product in accordance with §§ 43.3
(j) and 43.7(d). The use
of FAA Form 8130-3 for this purpose is optional, but the FAA recommends its use. This will help aviation authorities and the industry to ensure complete traceability and ease the movement of products and articles through the aviation system. (Refer to paragraph
3-2a(2) and figure 3-1
of this order.)
NOTE: Rebuilt products and articles accomplished by a manufacturer may not be found acceptable by some European countries, because “rebuilt” is not included within the definition of “maintenance” as defined in 14 CFR part 1 or because the European system does not have a similar system that recognizes “rebuilt.” Therefore, when completing FAA Form 8130-3 for the purpose of “rebuilt,” refer to paragraphs 3-2a(3), 3-5m(3), and 4-5l.

bob.pasch's picture

I'm not gonna get into the 8130-3 debate at this time. There's a good bit of information posted that I disagree with. I do, however, take issue with n14ky's statement that "...If a mechanic complies with the requirements for a 43.9 return to service entry, or a 43.11 inspection entry, there is nothing in the regulations that require what form, book, sticker or any other document on how the entry is made." That statement is ludicrous and absolutely incorrect!

FAR Part 43.9 sez "...each person who maintains, performs preventive maintenance, rebuilds, or alters an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part shall make an entry in the maintenance record of that equipment containing the following information..."

While FAR Part 43.11 sez "...The person approving or disapproving for return to service an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part after any inspection performed in accordance with part 91, 125, Sec. 135.411(a)(1), or Sec. 135.419 shall make an entry in the maintenance record of that equipment containing the following information..."

Both specifically state that information be documented in the component's maintenance records. That's pretty specific in my opinion!

Bart Webb (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Nice comments - so I'll add that the FSDO PMI is authorized to make almost anyone a repairman on the spot by awarding them a repairman certificate. This is based on the persons work history, personal recommendations, and the trust the PMI places in the person and the repair station. The Repair Station's Responsible Manager just needs to request the PMI consider the applicant and explain how this helps the repair station support the aviation community.

Posted by Bart Webb via LinkedIn

Rick Armstrong (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

This document is signed by the person authorize by the administrator(FAA) as described in the RS/Quality manual that has been accepted by the administrator. All 14 CFR part 121, 135 and 145 have quality manuals. In this manual, it will describe the process the document will be completed and who will sign. Most offten the administrator will accept any licenced individual. AI, A&P or repairman.

Posted by Rick Armstrong via LinkedIn

bob.pasch's picture

You're close Bart but no cigar! Not "almost anyone" can receive a Repairmans Certificate. A person must be "specially qualified" for the job they're applying for. Part 65.101 gives you the particulars to qualify. As a DOM for many years, I've been thru this process many times and it's not a gimme!

n14ky's picture


Just like old times!

Agreed that 43.9 and 43.11 require entries in the "maintenance records"" Those records are further identified in 91.417.. The problem is,, whaen an owner presents a part or accessory for maintenance, there is no "record" for only that part. The record is for the entire aircraft, engine or propeller.

If you perform maintenance on, lets say a magneto, and it's not associated with an engine at the moment, there is no secific place to transcribe that maintenance record entry but on a plain piece of paper. A repair station could use a "yellow tag" if that's whats in their manual, or they can use an 8130-3. The owner is required to maintain that record per 91.417. As long as the record is made, and provided to the owner we, as mechanics have completed our regulatory responsibility per 43.9. What that piece of paper looks like doesn't matter so long as we date it, give a discription of the work performed, sign it and provide our certificate number. Since it's not in a log book it would also be advisablle to identify the unit that the record is associated with. Now, I think the 8130-3 has blocks on it for each of the required items for a maintenance record entry per 43.9 and it is the owners responsibility to keep the record per 91.417

There is nothing in the regulations that identifies how the maintenance records are kept, only what has to be there. If the owner chooses to keep a shoe box full of loose papers each with a seperate entry, he still meets the regulation. I wouldn't suggest it, and it would make our jobs hell, but it still meets the regulatory requirment.

David Schober

bob.pasch's picture

Yeah, it is just like old times Dave! And just like the old times, you [and Colaluca] always try to muddy the waters with superfluous B.S. 91.417 is a FLIGHT RULE. A flight rule does not dictate how I/we perform maintenance. 91.417 tells the owner that he must keep the records that we produce, it doesn't tell us how to produce them.

Just like Dale Forton's [next one down] double hearsay opinion post, nice info but it's GUIDELINES for inspectors, not maintainers, and it does not drive or effect how I/we do maintenance...

To answer the question without a lot BS NO the A&P or IA can sign the 8130-3. They are not authorized to do so and could very well get them selves is some serious trouble with unapproved parts. Only a few are authorized to sign the 8130-3 and a mechanic is NOT one of the list as an MFG, repair statation, or DAR with the proper ratings.

Same goes for 337's only certain people with the proper limitations can sign it. The FAA has guidance for both forms and the guidance in the form of AC's and Orders will explain this.

Under your rating as a mechanic you need to know what youy limitations are in accordance with Part 65. The inspection on a 8130-3 involves something very differnet than say an aircraft inspection per Appendex D or the the MFG maintenance manual.

I would not want to be the first mechanic to test the waters on case law for signing an 8130-3 when the FAA provides clear guidance on what the form is used for and who can sign it.

I cover this in my 8-hour IA refresher course. Know your limitations...

Can IA sign the retun to service block on an 8130-3?

There is no debate on this matter. An IA can NOT sign the return to service block on any 8130-3...The IA does not have the proper rating to sign this block and doing so would be a violation of their limitations under part 65.

The FAA has clear gudiance on the 8130-3 and 337 forms who can sign the return to service statement. And if a mechanic or any other person signs the return to service statement without the proper rating they are in violation. And yes there is case law to back this up under several fraud case involving unapproved parts from broker and others.

I would recommend everyone go to part 65 and review the limitations of a A&P and IA. Parts can get someone in serious trouble not only with the FAA but other government bodies.

whitefaced's picture

The original thread was related approval for RTS after maintenance (INSPECTED) and signing block 20. I agree with one post, that signing for this particular work (ignitor box inspection) in any document or format, is an inappropriate use of an Inspection Authorization. I also wonder what information may (or may not) have been included in block 13 on the original example. Just stating "INSPECTED" in block 12, to me does not adequately describe what maintenance was performed (as required by FAR).

I always expect to see an FAA signature or FAA designee's signature when the left side (block 15) of the form is used to certify new parts, but I don't think that that is the subject of this discussion.

As posted earlier, the 8130-3, when properly executed, does seem to contain provisions for all of the required elements of a legal entry (ref. FAR 43.9 and 43.11). If the identifing information for this particular part (ie. P/N and S/N) are included (blocks 7, 8, and 11) then the record has been made "in the maintenance record of that equipment" as required by regulation.The eariler sited FAA order does seem to say that it is reserved for use by 135, 145, 121 operators (as allowed by their ops spec.), but my question is: What regulation would an individual (mechanic with proper rating for work performed) be violated under, if they used this format as required maintenance entry for approval for RTS on a class II or III part?

To put it another way: If you say I can't do it, tell me why (quote the specific rule or rules).

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