Manufacturer's Instructions: How the maintenance should be performed

When it comes to performing maintenance on an aircraft it is a little different than what we do when we need to repair our car.


The third T, tools, refers to the tools required to perform the task. The tools required to perform the task are so tightly related to the current manufacturer maintenance manual that the only reason to refer to them separately is because the regulation does as well.

14 CFR Part 43.13 Performance rules (general):(a) Each person performing maintenance . . . shall use the tools, equipment, and test apparatus necessary to assure completion of the work in accordance with accepted industry practices. If special equipment or test apparatus is recommended by the manufacturer involved, he must use that equipment or apparatus or its equivalent acceptable to the Administrator.(b) Each person maintaining or altering, or performing preventive maintenance, shall do that work in such a manner and use materials of such a quality, that the condition of the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance worked on will be at least equal to its original or properly altered condition (with regard to aerodynamic function, structural strength, resistance to vibration and deterioration, and other qualities affecting airworthiness).

The methods and techniques we have learned through training and experience call for specific types of tools and equipment to perform these tasks. The maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer assume some level of competence simply because of the requirement for certification of the person performing or supervising the work. The concern that is often missed is that when the manufacturer calls for specific equipment to be used, that must be used. The FAA helps to keep repair stations aware of this requirement and through periodic site visits, enforces the requirement. If you are not under the umbrella of a certificate repair station be aware of the legality of using tools and test equipment other than what is called out by the manufacturer.

In summary, maintenance that is performed on an aircraft is serious business. Using the current manufacturer's maintenance manual instructions to perform maintenance on aircraft not only makes sense, it's the law. Know your own limitations relative to your knowledge and experience and pay attention to the instructions you are following to perform the maintenance. If you need easier access to the technical data, call the manufacturer and find out if there is a CD or some other method of delivering the instructions. Technology is moving so fast you may not be aware of the latest developments. AMT

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