Be advised that the FSDO inspector who is going to do your oral test did not hire on to the FAA just to save your butt. He is well aware that you had a year to meet the renewal requirements. So you will not be dealing with a happy camper. So show the inspector a little respect at test time because I am sure he or she has a thousand other things he could be doing other than pulling your fat out of the fire.
The oral test by rule is left to the FSDO inspector to design. If it was left up to me I would design a 10 question test. You don’t need a 50 question test to know if an IA is still at the top of his game. I would then notify the IA on the subjects that I would cover and the date and time of the test so he could prepare for the test without wasting his time or mine. My test would cover at least the following areas:
What you need to know for the test
The Test: The first three questions should cover the four FARs in Part 65 that establish the IA’s privileges, renewal, and responsibilities, (FARs 65.91-65.95). Next, I would ask about the scope and detail of an annual and progressive inspection found in FAR 91.409 and the recommended logbook entries in FAR 43.9 and 43.11. This would be followed by a couple of questions on how to fill out a Form 337. I know, I know, you have been filling out 337 forms forever, but there is a new AC 43.9-1F: Instructions for filling out a FAA Form 337 that came out in January 2007 and it has some new policy in it. So whether you met the IA renewal rule already or not it is well worth a few minutes of your time to read it.
Next, I would hit on the “approved data” requirements found on the signature page of AC 43.13-1B and AC 43.13-2B. Make sure you read the signature page of AC 43.13-2B! This is important because since March of 2008 it now allows the data in the AC to be used for major alterations if it meets the three conditions on the signature page. I would ask the last three questions on how to obtain field approvals of data found in AC 43-210, Standardized Procedures for Requesting Field Approval of Data, Major Alteration and Repairs, and at least one question on Instructions for Continuous Airworthiness (ICA) for a Major Alteration performed under a field approval. Policy on ICA is found in FAA Order 8900.1 Volume 4 Chapter 9.
If you really want to ace the test, I recommend that you just google the FAA.Gov website and pull up the Regulatory and guidance library site and download all the above referenced ACs and chapter in Order 8900.1 along with any other material you think you need to pass the FAA oral test.
In closing, this change to IA renewal rule is not the end of the world. It is just a different way of doing business. In the long run, this new change may turn into a good thing and surprise us all.
Bill's take on the two-year IA renewal.
I just completed this year's round of IA renewal seminars.
The path to Inspection Authorization
AMT contributor Bill O'Brien gets the message out on ICA.