Parts Primer

How to tell a good part from a bad one.

Rebuilt parts

Again according to section 43.2 a rebuilt part is similar to an overhauled part except it must meet new part standards. However, the regulations allow the certificated person to use approved oversized or undersized parts such as bearings or bushings to meet new dimensions.

Zero time

This refers to section 91.421 Rebuilt engine maintenance records. This rule allows the owner or operator to use a new maintenance record, without previous operating history for an aircraft engine rebuilt by the manufacturer or an agency approved by the manufacturer. So the rebuilt engine from the manufacturer starts life all over again as a zero time engine.

Remanufactured parts

This is an excellent example of the term we call "advertising." There is no such word in FARs. In the real world the word "remanufactured" usually means "rebuilt" but then again you can never be sure because you have no FAA regulation to back up the claim. Get something in writing that tells you what limits the part meets before you buy.

Parts advertised as like new, as is, and parts from crashed aircraft: are questionable parts, most likely without paper, and should be avoided. Remember the old saw; you get what you pay for.

Closing comment

Every now and again in a mechanic's career you get lucky and run across a weird looking part that tickles the suspicious nature of your mind. Most likely you are looking at a SUPS or suspected or unapproved part. If you are not sure what it is, report it using FAA Form 8120.11 or by calling the FAA Hotline toll free at 1-800-255-1111.

Bill O'Brien is the national resource specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C.

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