What Does "All Applicable Airworthiness Requirements" Include?

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

Maintenance Safety Tip
Notice Number: NOTC2807

 

FAASTeam Maintenance Safety Tip
February 2011
 
What Does "All Applicable Airworthiness Requirements" Include? 
 
14 CFR Part 43.15 requires mechanics to verify that each aircraft meets all applicable airworthiness requirements when conducting inspections (annual, 100 hr, etc.).  What does this include? 
 
Some items may be Airframe, Engine and Propeller Total Time, Status of Life Limited Parts, Time since Overhaul, Current Inspection Status, Status of Airworthiness Directives, Copies of 337 Forms, Altimeter, Transponder, and ELT inspections.
 
You should also confirm that maintenance previously performed, especially maintenance that was not recorded in the maintenance records (or is no longer in the maintenance records), is inspected, and that inoperable equipment is repaired, replaced or properly deferred.  These items can be found in the regulations and in the Inspection Authorization Knowledge Test Guide (FAA-G-8082-11C). 
 
Whether you are a new mechanic, a seasoned IA or a Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award recipient, the Test Guide provides a wealth of information worthy of your time.  Read it online at the following website:
http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/airmen/test_guides/media/faa-g-8082-11c.pdf
or contact your local FSDO for information on how to get a paper copy to keep in your toolbox.

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This is a timely post by the FAA following the HOT discussion on "If ICAs in STcs are required maintenance (http://www.askbob.aero/content/stc-icas)

O.K. I'll start by saying that altimeter, transponder and ELT inspections are NOT airworthiness requirements, they're flight requirements and that is completely different! It's the same as having inoperative nav lights. Is that an unairworty condition? Those who say 'yes' are wrong! Having inoperative nav lights just means you can't fly after dusk, it doesn't mean you can't fly!

There are thousands of N registered aircraft that fly regularly without transponders, ELTs, nav lights or even electrical systems and are perfectly legal! So we can eliminate that portion of your post... Next?

Not my post Bob. This was published by the FAA FAAST team :)
I wonder what their point was on transponders and other certifications? If it is a flight restriction is it up to the AMT to tag a item as inop? If the nav lights are broken should we sign off the aircraft as airworthy for day operation only?

Bob Jones

An AMT is obligated to identify an inoperative system or component only if the aircraft is undergoing an inspection. During the normal usage of the aircraft, the AMT has no regulatory requirement to take any action at all. Remember whose responsible for determining the airworthiness of an aircraft - the owner/operator!

If he/she discovers a discrepancy and reports it to their tech, the AMT should troubleshoot the malfunction and determine a repair solution. When the owner/operator is presented with the repair solution, he/she determines which course of action will be taken. If they choose NOT to repair, the AMT must make a maintenance action to disable that system/component (e.g. pull and lockout C.B., remove a component etc.), place a placard in full view of the pilot and make a log entry stating such.

During an inspection, you would sign the aircraft off as airworthy, list your maintenance actions and place a statement describing the inoperative item, the maintenance action taken (disable and placarded) I/A/W 91.213 and release the aircraft to the owner (after they pay!)

From there, it's the pilot's responsibility to determine if the aircraft is capable of performing the intended flight. If he's going to do pattern work, for example, the aircraft is capable of performing the intended flight. Now, if that flight is 10 minutes before stipulated dusk then the aircraft is not capable of performing the intended flight. It's still airworthy and fully capable of flight but can't fly because of a flight limitation. Hai capito?

This is a very interesting (and important) rule in my opinion. When someone signs-off an inspection (Annual, Phase, "A" check, etc...) they will likely be required to include a statement certifying the aircraft or portion thereof as airworthy. Unless they comply with 43.15(a)(1), then it would seem to me that they cannot make this statement.

An Annual inspection is perfomed IAW scope and detail of 43 app. D. There is nothing in this inspection that requires AD research, verification of compliance with airworthiness limitations, inspection of properly defered items or conformance with type design. And yet if the aircraft is not in compliance with an AD, airworthiness limitation, or type design, then it could not be certified as airworthy even if the scope and detail of app. D inspection has been performed and found satisfactory.

Similarly, if a repair station performs the tests and inspections required by 91.411, and 91.413, but doesn't verify AD status, AWL compliance, and Type design conformity of the portions of the aircraft inspected, then it (the CRS) could not certify airworthiness following the inspection, even if the alt./static systems and transponder(s) meet the 43 app. E and F requirements.

It seems to me that 91.213 gives relief to non-turbine aircraft for inoperative stuff in a similar way that the MEL does for other aircraft. 91.213(d)(4) states that with the inoperative instruments or equipment, the aircraft is in a properly altered condition acceptable to the administrator. As long as all of the requirements of this (91.213) rule are met (deactivation or removal, inspection/hazard determination, placarding, and maintenance record entry if required), then it would seem that the inoperative nature of the instrument or equipment would be by definition, a minor alteration, and not affect the overall airworthiness of the aircraft with regard to the inspectors sign off and approval for return to service.

Whiteface I'm going to start charging you for these lessons! First of all, an AMT performing an inspection will either return the aircraft to service [or not] with a staterment worded like "I have inspected this aircraft and determined it to be airworthy [or unairworthy] condition IAW a(n) Annual [or other type] inspection" and proceed from there.

You properly point out 43.15 and then shove your boot in your mouth when you say "An Annual inspection is perfomed IAW scope and detail of 43 app. D. There is nothing in this inspection that requires AD research, verification of compliance with airworthiness limitations, inspection of properly defered items or conformance with type design."

[Note this, you won't see it often!] You're right Whiteface, there is nothing in Appendix D, those are inspection requirements [or a crumbling resemblence thereof] but there is, as you so blindly pointed out in 43.15 ADDITIONAL Performance Rules. That is what requires you to perform AD research and AWL checks etc. BTW, most inspections are not performed to the scope and detail of Appendix D these days. As a matter of fact, very few are done to "D" because technology has passed it by, it's outdated!

Furthermore, you don't need 91.411 and 91.413 to sign off an inspection. They are... everybody together now, FLIGHT RULES Whiteface! Not applicable to the tech performing an inspection.

And for your grand finale you equate performing maintenance on an inoperative piece of equipment as a Minor Alteration. I refer you to the very lackluster definition of a Minor Alteration in Part 1 and await your convoluted response...

P.S.
I take Visa, MC or AmEx. For your convenience, use your PayPal account...

No disagreement about what happens after an inspection. Its approved or not approved for return to service. Noting in my previous post said differently.

I also never said that the aircraft was inspected IAW 91.411 or 91.413. Again, these are only references to show where a required inspection comes from, and I also included mention of the actual inspection criteria contained in 43 app. E and F.

As for the minor alteration statement, I quoted the part of 91.213(d)(4) that speaks to the aircraft being in an ACCEPTABLY altered condition with the inoperative instrument or equipment. Since this ALTERED condition is ACCEPTABLE, and not APPROVED (as with an MEL deferral), this altered condition would (in my opinion) be minor in that major alterations are required to conform to APPROVED data.

.

Let's jump in with both feet here my friend. First of all, you need to understand the difference between a repair and an alteration. Although not specifically defined in the regulations, a repair is maintenance that takes place to restore a type-certificated product to a "condition for safe operation." However, an alteration is maintenance that is performed that adds to and/or removes from the type-certificated product's configuration. So it is obvious to see that you're performing repairs when complying with 91.213.

I would also refer you to Ric Peri's (AEA) Architecture of an Alteration:Determining Major or Minor. It's an excellent tool that's been approved for IA refresher training and worth putting in your tool kit.

As for your 91.411 and 91.413 comment, you inferred that these inspections are part and parcel to an [choose type] inspection stating "...if a repair station performs the tests and inspections required by 91.411, and 91.413, but doesn't verify AD status, AWL compliance, and Type design conformity of the portions of the aircraft inspected, then it (the CRS) could not certify airworthiness following the inspection..." Again, these are Flight Rules and can be performed at ANY TIME, not necessarily during an inspection and have no relationship to the inspection itself whatsoever!

You're up to $75.00

It seems like we are saying basically the same thing. 43.15(a)(1) exsits to cause the inspector to capture other airworthiness requirements that may exist outside of the scope of the specific inspection being performed.

As for the part 91 stuff. We all know that these are flight rules, but since aviation would cease to exist without flight, we in the maintenance world should concern ourselves with them. If not for them, we wouldn't have anything to do but sit around and pat ourselves on the back (some of us spend a lot of time doing that anyway ha. ha.).

As for the $75 bucks...... Maybe you should send a check to Joe Hertzler since you copied the first part of your reply from his article. Nah. He's a good guy and will probably just let you owe him :)