The code - Part II

In my preceding article, entitled: The Code: Part I, for this venerable publication, I went over the Code of Federal Regulations

Section 43.2 is a relatively new rule as you can tell by its even number suffix. This rule defines the terms "overhauled" and "rebuilt." The section defines the major difference between the overhauled unit and a rebuilt unit by stating the overhauled unit must meet manufacturer Service limits, and a rebuilt unit must meet new part limits. How many times have you and I used the term "rebuilt" to describe installing some seals in a Cessna nose strut, when we should have used the word "repaired" in the log book?

Performance standards: Technicians have it a lot easier than pilots because the FAA sets the standard for our overall job performance, or how we do our work, in just one rule.

Section 43.13 Performance Rules is a three-paragraph rule. Paragraph (a) sets the standard for data and tools that we must use. The rule requires that each person performing maintenance shall (imperative) use the methods, techniques, and practices identified in the "current" manufacturer's manuals or instructions for continuing airworthiness or other methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the administrator. The technician must also use the tools, equipment, and test apparatus to assure completion of the work in accordance with accepted industry practices.

Paragraph (b) sets the standard for the acceptable quality of work. The rule requires that each technician performing maintenance shall do the work in such a manner, and use materials of such quality, that the condition of the aircraft is at least equal to its original or properly altered condition. That reference in the rule "equal to" is very important. If a technician makes a repair "better than" the original, that technician made either a major or minor alteration to the aircraft's type design.

Paragraph (c) provides special provisions for air carriers. This paragraph basically states that an air carrier's manual and their operating specifications constitute an acceptable means of compliance with Section 43.13 Performance Rules.

The last rule that we are going to talk about in Part 43 is another "new rule" because it has an even suffix number. When you first read Section 43.16, it seems like it is repeating the requirements in 43.13 and 43.15, which is exactly right. This rule, further nails down the requirements for air carriers' inspections, plus it includes in those requirements, operators of large, multi-engine turbine aircraft operated under Section 91.409(e) who were kind of misplaced in earlier versions of Part 43 maintenance requirements.

Part 91 General Operating and Flight Rules
The rules in Part 91 that technicians concern themselves with are the general operating rules. These rules fall into two broad subparts in the rule.

Subpart C talks to additional equipment that must be maintained and Subpart E — maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations. Subpart C talks to equipment that for the most part were never part of the aircraft's original type design. This additional equipment was added to the aircraft because it either enhanced the aircraft's operating environment or, because it was required by regulation. An example of equipment that enhances the aircraft's operating environment are transponders, supplemental oxygen, TCAS, GPS, and even aircraft lights. An example of equipment required by mandatory law passed by congress is the ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter).

The one rule in Subpart C that technicians should understand is Section 91.213. This section talks to inoperative instruments and equipment. It states that no person may operate an aircraft with inoperative instruments or equipment installed unless the following conditions are met — an approved minimum equipment list (MEL), or the conditions of 91.213(d) are met such as a log book entry describing the inoperative equipment, and it does not constitute a hazard to the aircraft, the equipment is not part of the day VFR required equipment, not one of the aircraft's required equipment for the kind of flight being conducted, not required to be operational by an AD, and the inoperative equipment/control is placarded inoperative.

Granted, while this rule is not especially exciting to read, it can, and will, get a technician in trouble. How so? Because if you do not inspect each inoperative part under 91.213(d) in accordance with 91.405(c) at each 100 hour/annual/ progressive inspection, the FAA interprets this as not inspecting an "alteration."

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