Getting The Word Out

AMT contributor Bill O'Brien gets the message out on ICA.


For the purposes of this article, we are going to install a pair of cable cutters on a Part 91, Weston 210, 4 place, single rotor, helicopter using approved data under a FAA field approval. For the uninitiated, the cable cutters are two sets of long sharpened steel blades shaped like an open bird beak, mounted and riveted to the top and bottom of the aircraft along the longitudinal center line, just forward of the cockpit. The object of this alteration is to cut a cable in two with the fixed blades instead of ensnarling the helicopter in the cable. Using this installation scenario, I want you to figure out whether or not you would have to create instructions for all of the checklist items or just need to write N/A. So, for each of the following 16 items just write either a "yes" or a "no." "Yes" means you have to write something for the ICA and "No" means this is not applicable to this installation.

ICA Checklist

Item 1. Introduction. This is where you describe the aircraft, engine, propeller, or component that has been altered.

Yes________No________

Item 2. Description. Describe the major alteration and its functions, including an explanation of its interface with other systems, if any. Yes________No___________

Item 3. Control. Is the major alteration controlled in some way, are any special procedures needed to operate the device(s).

Yes________No________

Item 4. Servicing instructions. Does the installation require routine servicing such as maintaining fluid levels, servicing points, access panels, as appropriate.

Yes________No________

Item 5. Maintenance instructions. This is where you can set up the recommended inspection periods, cover what has to be cleaned, serviced, and maintained. This section can refer to the manufacturer's instructions, if any, by reference. It should also include warnings, special notes, cautions, etc.

Yes________No________

Item 6. Troubleshooting information. Describes any probable malfunctions, How to recognize those malfunctions and remedial actions to take.

Yes________No________

Item 7. Removal and replacement information. Describes the order and method of removing and replacing products and parts and any necessary precautions. This section can list replacement parts or their equivalent.

Yes________No________

Item 8. Diagrams. Where access plates are and information on how to gain access for inspection.

Yes________No________

Item 9. Special inspection requirements. Such as X-rays, ultrasonic testing, or magnetic particle inspection if required.

Yes________No________

Item 10. Application of protective treatments. Is anything applied to the affective area after inspection or maintenance, if any.

Yes________No________

Item 11. Data. This is relative to structural fasteners such as type, torque, and installation requirements, if any.

Yes________No________

Item 12. List of special tools. Such as required nuclear-powered torque wrench or wind drive safety wire pliers, if any.

Yes________No________

Item 13. For commuter category aircraft. The following information must be provided, as applicable:

  1. Electrical loads.
  2. Method of balancing flight controls.
  3. Identification of primary and secondary structures.
  4. Special repair methods applicable to the aircraft.

Yes________No________

Item 14. Recommended overhaul periods. This is required to be noted on the ICA when the manufacturer establishes an overhaul period for a component or piece of equipment. If no overhaul period exists then the ICA should state "no additional overhaul time limitations."

Yes________No________

Item 15. Airworthiness limitation section. Must include any "approved" airworthiness limitation(s) identified by the manufacturer or found in a companion STC or other field-approved installation that interfaces with this alteration.

Yes________No________

Item 16. Revision. This includes information on how to revise the ICA. For example, a letter will be submitted to the local FSDO with a copy of the revised FAA Form 337 and the revised ICA. The FAA inspector upon accepting the change, will sign Block 3 of the Form 337 with the following statement: The attached revised/new ICA (date____) for the above aircraft or component major alteration have been accepted by the FAA, superseding the ICA (dated______). After the revision has been accepted, a maintenance entry will be made, identifying the revision, its location, and date on the FAA Form 337.

Yes________No________

What I got! For those interested parties, I said, "yes" to items 1, 2, 5, 7, and 16. Others who took this little exercise may have also said yes to items 11, 12, or 13. What you have to remember is there is no 100 percent correct answer because none of us will write identical ICA for this installation.

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