The Ultimate Test: Inspection Authorization renewal

I just completed this year's round of IA renewal seminars.


2. In Block 5 of the Airworthiness Certificate it states that the maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations must be performed in accordance with Parts 21, Certification Procedures for Products and Parts, Part 43, Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Rebuilding and Alteration, and Part 91, General Operation and Flight Rules.

3. When you perform maintenance, you are held responsible for only that maintenance you perform until the part worked on is removed, repaired again, damaged, altered, meets its life limited, or inspected. For most Part 91 aircraft the longest time a mechanic is held responsible is 12 calendar months, when the next annual inspection is performed.

4. You are held responsible for the continued airworthiness of an aircraft that you just completed an annual on until the ink you used to make the section 43.11 entry dries. It is not fair for the U.S. government to hold a mechanic responsible for the future airworthiness of the aircraft when it is no longer in his care. What's the catch? The IA is not responsible for the future; he is responsible for the past. When a mechanic or an IA performs an annual/100-hour inspection he buys off every other inspection, major and minor repair and alteration, AD, service bulletin, STC, Field Approval, back to the date on the Airworthiness Certificate, be that date six weeks old, six months old, six years old, or 60 years old. He buys it all.

5. Field Approvals of Major Alterations require Instructions for Continued Airworthiness. Since a Major Alteration is a change to the type design of the aircraft there must be some way of maintaining the future airworthiness of that alteration. This is done by using Instructions for Continued Airworthiness that are attached to the Form 337 and accepted by the local FSDO Airworthiness Inspector.

6. Airworthy is defined as an aircraft or one of its component part(s) that meets its type design or properly altered condition (STC, Field Approval, or AD) and is in a condition for safe operation. (ref: Glossary AC 43.13-1b)

7. The four privileges are: Perform an Annual, perform or supervise a Progressive Inspection, approval for return to service either a Major Repair or a Major Alteration. (ref: section 65.95)

8. The three kinds of ADs are: Emergency/Priority Letter. It is a grounding AD that usually begins with the words: "Before further flight." The second kind of AD is the Immediate Adopted Rule. This rule allows the owner a short time to move the aircraft to a place where the repairs can be accomplished. The AD begins with words similar to: "Within the next 10 days, 10 landings, 10 cycles." The most common AD is the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, that when it becomes an AD (a rule) it usually defines a one-time fix or requires recurrent inspections.

9. In this case the mechanic leaves the IA no choice but to mark the appropriate block of the Form 337 as unairworthy, and sign off block 7, and send it to the local FSDO. The IA has accomplished two things. First he has alerted the local FSDO of an unsafe aircraft and he has received credit for a Form 337 that he can use for his IA renewal.

10. The new rule in Part 43 is section 43.10. It deals with the disposition of life-limited parts. The long and short of it is anytime a mechanic has removed a life-limited part and will not install it back on the same aircraft after repairs are accomplished the life-limited part must be controlled. The life-limited part may have run out of time or still has time remaining. In either case the part is controlled by marking it with permanent markings, or non-permanent markings, or use a tag, or destroying the part (note: need owner's permission). If the part is stored, then the run-out, life-limited part must be stored away from like parts. The marking must contain at least the N number, serial number of the aircraft it came off of, the part's part number and serial number if any, total time, and date.

Well how did you do? Eighty percent is passing for my tests. Too tough? Just imagine what kind of test I could dream up if I wasn't fighting off exhaustion and old age.

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