5/11/09                          FY09 THIRD quarter Editorial updates               8900.1 CHG 0

Volume 2  Air Operator AND AIR AGENCY Certification and ApplicATION PROCESS

chapter 1  Chapter 1  THE GENERIC PROCESS FOR CERTIFICATING ORGANIZATIONS

Section 2  Assignment of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Responsibilities

2-26          GENERAL.

A.     FAA Activities. FAA activities associated with the certification process for air carrier and commercial operators and oversight of these certificates can cross district office and regional geographic boundaries. Existing operators can revise their organizational structures and change their scope of operations. These changes may affect the capabilities of a district office. Regional Flight Standards divisions (RFSD) are in the best position to know the capabilities of their district office and assigned personnel. Consequently, RFSDs must be responsible for assigning certification and certificate responsibilities to district offices. RFSDs shall specifically determine which district office will be assigned a certification project and have continuing responsibility for existing Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 135, Operating Requirements: Commuter and On Demand Operations and Rules Governing Persons on Board Such Aircraft, or 14 CFR part 121, Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations, operators. The RFSD must make periodic assessments of their existing certificate holder’s operations to determine that the assigned district offices continue to be the best suited to fulfill FAA responsibilities for a particular operation.

B.     For Existing and New Part 121 Air Carrier Certification Projects. See Volume 2, Chapter 3, Section 1.

C.     The Assignment of FAA Offices and Personnel for a Part 91K Application and Program Management Responsibilities. This assignment should be handled in the same manner as the certification of a comparably sized or structured part 135 certification, as described in this section. Fractional ownership programs are not issued certificates. However, they are assigned to a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) for the application process and continued oversight. The term “certificate‑holding district office” (CHDO) as used in this section refers to both an office that certificates and manages a 14 CFR part 119, Certification: Air Carriers and Commercial Operators, certificate and an office that issues the management specifications (MSpecs) and provides oversight for a fractional ownership program. The terms “operator” and “certificate holder” in this section refers to both part 119 certificate holders and fractional ownership program managers. A fractional ownership program manager may have one or more affiliate programs. Each affiliate program should be treated as a separate entity for the purposes of issuing MSpecs and oversight; therefore, each affiliate program must have its own assigned principal inspectors (PI). Some fractional ownership programs are associated with a part 119 certificate holder. Some or all aircraft used in the fractional ownership program may be listed on an air carrier’s operations specifications (OpSpecs). In addition, provisions of 14 CFR part 91 subpart K (part 91K), General Operating and Flight Rules—Fractional Ownership Operations, allow the use of part 135 manuals, training programs, proficiency checks, record keeping, flight and rest provisions, maintenance programs and minimum equipment lists (MEL), to meet the part 91K requirements. Therefore, the same PIs should be assigned to associated air carrier and the fractional ownership programs. See Volume 2, Chapter 5 for more information on fractional ownership programs.

2-27          PRINCIPAL BASE OF OPERATIONS. Both parts 119 and 91K utilize the term “principal base of operations” to mean the primary operating location. The certificate holder or program manager will designate only one principal base of operation, but may designate other operations locations as main bases. A certificate holder must maintain its OpSpecs at its principal base of operations. A part 91K program manager must maintain its MSpecs at its principal base of operations. If records are kept at locations other than the principal base of operation, the certificate holder/program manager will maintain a current listing that will include the location and persons responsible for each required record, document, and report. The office having responsibility for the geographic area in which the principal base of operations is located will normally be assigned the CHDO responsibilities. The principal base of operations and the responsibility for oversight of the certificate holder/program manager is part of the CHDO environment to include staffing considerations. It may be necessary to recruit or transfer inspectors, appropriately qualified for the type of operation, to the district office having geographic responsibility for the area in which the principal base of operations is located.

2-28          FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN DESIGNATING A PRINCIPAL BASE OF OPERATIONS. The FAA’s designation of a principal base of operation is essentially a determination of which district office will be assigned certificate holding responsibilities. In most situations this determination can be based on several predominant factors that clearly indicate a primary operating location and an obvious assignment of a CHDO. However in some situations the factors involved in determining the primary operating location and/or which district office is best suited for certificate holding responsibilities are complicated by the proposed or existing operation. RFSDs must consider all factors involved when designating a principal base of operations. Sometimes the decision will have to be based on a consensus of factors. Some factors that must be considered in descending order of priority include the following:

·        Location and accessibility of an applicant’s or existing certificate holder’s key management personnel and other persons who have authority to make decisions on FAA matters.

·        Location of the main operations base and operations system control center.

·        Location of the main maintenance base and maintenance system control center.

·        Qualification of available district office inspectors with respect to the type of operation and aircraft.

·        Geographic centers of route structures and/or areas of operation.

·        The applicant’s or existing certificate holder’s corporate headquarters location.

·        Training locations.

·        Employee domicile locations.

2-29          SPLIT MAIN OPERATIONS AND MAIN MAINTENANCE BASE LOCATIONS.

A.     Location of Inspectors. Occasionally an operator will locate its main operations base and main maintenance base in different district offices and/or regional geographic areas. The company’s management personnel (operations and maintenance) may be separated and maintain separate offices at the location of the activity for which they are responsible. In these situations the most practical and efficient arrangement is to locate the principal operations inspector (POI) near the main operations base and the principal maintenance and avionics inspectors near the main maintenance base. Any full‑time assistants should also be similarly located. Physical separation of these key inspectors, if not carefully managed, can result in significant coordination problems.

B.     Location of CHDO. When an operator splits its main operations and maintenance bases the RFSD shall decide which district office will be the CHDO. When two regions are involved, the respective divisions will coordinate and mutually determine which region is to assume responsibility for the operation and which district office within that region will be assigned oversight responsibilities. If the regions are unable to agree, the issues will be forwarded to the Director, Flight Standards Service, AFS‑1, for final determination. The basis for determining which region and district office is to be assigned certificate responsibilities will be a thorough consideration of the factors previously listed in paragraph 2‑28 and any other relevant data.

C.     CHDO Responsibilities. The assigned CHDO management shall have overall responsibility for all FAA reporting requirements, technical administration requirements, and regulatory oversight of the operator. The CHDO and the region shall also be responsible for budgeting travel and other necessary funds for assigned PIs and assistants to conduct appropriate work programs and certificate‑holding responsibilities.

1)      When an operation is complex and large enough to warrant full‑time PIs (inspectors who are solely responsible for one operator), arrangements will be made to locate satellite PIs in district offices that have responsibility for the geographic area where the appropriate main base is located. In these situations the satellite PI and any full‑time assistants shall report directly to the CHDO management on all functional and technical aspects of the operator. The CHDO shall have supervisory responsibility over the satellite PI. The district office where the satellite PI is located shall provide administrative support.
2)      When an operation is not complex or large enough to warrant full‑time PIs, the RFSD will take action as necessary to ensure the following:
a)      The assigned PIs are located in a district office responsible for the geographic area where the appropriate main base is located.
b)      The assigned PIs report to the CHDO’s management on all functional, technical aspects, and other vital information concerning the operator.
c)      The district office management where the assigned PIs are located has supervisory responsibility over the PIs and must ensure the CHDO’s certificate responsibilities are adequately supported.

D.    Split Operations. In situations of split main operations and main maintenance bases, the RFSD must monitor the activities of the respective district offices to ensure that appropriate coordination is occurring. The assigned PIs are physically separated and must be provided the necessary opportunities and tools to effect efficient and timely coordination on technical administration, surveillance, and investigatory matters associated with the operator. This coordination is essential to ensure that a standardized and common FAA position is taken with the operator.

2-30          REGIONAL COORDINATION FOR THE ASSIGNMENT OR REASSIGNMENT OF CERTIFICATE‑HOLDING RESPONSIBILITIES.

A.     Certification Project Reassignment to Different District Office. If at any time, it is determined that the certification project should be reassigned to a different district office within the region or a district office in a different region, the RFSD shall ensure that the transfer of work previously accomplished and still to be accomplished is thoroughly coordinated between the district offices. Coordination must include the transfer of working files, appropriate briefing of the applicant’s personnel, and interdistrict office briefings as necessary.

B.     Establishment or Change of Operation Base Location. Part 91, § 91.1015; part 119, § 119.47; 14 CFR part 125, § 125.47; 14 CFR part 141, § 141.25; and 14 CFR part 147, § 147.41 require a program manager/certificate holder to provide written notification to its CHDO at least 30 days before it proposes to establish or change the location of its principal base of operations, its main operation base, or its main maintenance base. The program manager/certificate holder should submit a plan to its CHDO for relocating its base. The details of the plan should be consistent with the size of the operation and the complexity of the move. At a minimum, the plan should provide answers to basic questions such as: who, what, when, where, why, and how. The proposal might include:

1)      Dates—Proposed or specific for moving and whether or not the move will be accomplished at one time or over a period of time.
2)      Organization—How will the move affect the organization? Does the program manager/certificate holder anticipate losing any (key) employees as a result of the move? How will the loss of experienced personnel affect the organization? Will the certificate holder have to hire and train new employees at the new location? When will this occur?
3)      Operations—How will the move affect the program manager’s/certificate holder’s operation? Does the program manager/certificate holder plan to continue a normal flying schedule while moving? Will the program manager/certificate holder provide additional supervisors to monitor the move? How will operations centers and maintenance control operate during the move? How will radio communications be maintained? How will aircraft be maintained during the move?
4)      Facilities—How will the move affect the program manager’s/certificate holder’s facilities?
5)      OpSpecs/MSpecs—Does the move affect any OpSpec/MSpec authorizations? Does the move affect any issued deviations or exemptions?
6)      Recordkeeping—How will the move affect required recordkeeping? Where will records be stored? How will required records be maintained during the move?
7)      Aircraft Parts—How will aircraft parts be moved and protected?
8)      Manuals—How will the move affect current programs and procedures?

C.     Notification of RFSD. The district offices will immediately notify its respective RFSD of the proposed change and forward a copy of the plan. The CHDO will provide any additional information and comments that may assist the RFSD in its review and assessment of the plan. The CHDO will provide any additional information and comments, which may assist the RFSD in its review and assessment of the proposed move. It is important that the CHDO communicate concerns about the program manager’s/certificate holder’s compliance attitude, history of compliance, working relationship with the CHDO, projects, or initiatives underway.

D.    Impact Assessment. The RFSD will assess the impact of the program manager’s/certificate holder’s move on the FAA. If the move will significantly impact the FAA or be complex and require additional FAA oversight, the RFSD will notify and coordinate with the Director or Deputy Director of the Flight Standards Service, AFS‑1 or AFS‑2, respectively.

E.     Reassignment of Certificate Responsibilities. If the RFSD determines that certificate responsibilities need to be reassigned to another district office, one of the following actions shall be taken.

1)      When the district offices are in the same region, the RFSD will accomplish the following:
a)      Before reassignment, inspect the files of the losing CHDO which are maintained on the operator to determine if they are complete and up to date and take action as necessary to ensure completeness and currency. Inspection of these files should also identify open items and/or discrepancies that must be resolved.
b)      Interview the losing CHDO manager and PIs to further identify open items and/or discrepancies that must be resolved by either the losing CHDO or the gaining CHDO.
c)      Decide how, when, and who will be responsible for resolving any open items and/or discrepancies.
d)      Arrange for a briefing of the gaining CHDO manager and prospective PIs on the certificate holder’s operation, key management personnel, and any open items and/or discrepancies that are being transferred for action by the gaining CHDO.
e)      Select a date to transfer certificate responsibilities.
f)        Arrange a briefing for the certificate holder concerning the decision, with an explanation for the need to reassign certificate responsibilities to another district office. Arrange an introductory meeting between the certificate holder’s management personnel and the new CHDO manager and newly assigned PIs.
g)      Supervise the transfer of the previous CHDO’s operator files to the newly assigned CHDO.
2)      When district offices are not in the same region, the respective RFSD will accomplish the following:
a)      Initiate interregional coordination and agree on the need to reassign certificate responsibilities. If the regions are unable to agree on a reassignment of certificate responsibility, these issues will be forwarded to AFS‑1 for final determination.
b)      The losing RFSD will inspect the previously assigned CHDO operator files to determine if the files are complete and current. The RFSD will take action as necessary to ensure completeness and currency. Inspection of these files should identify open items and/or discrepancies that must be resolved.
c)      The losing region will interview the losing CHDO manager and PIs to further identify open items and/or discrepancies that must be resolved by either the losing CHDO or the gaining CHDO.
d)      The losing region will coordinate with the gaining region and agree on how, when, and who will be responsible for resolving open items and/or discrepancies.
e)      The gaining region will arrange for a briefing of the gaining CHDO manager and newly assigned PIs on the certificate holder’s operation, key management personnel, and open items and/or discrepancies being transferred for action by the gaining CHDO.
f)        The respective regions will select a date to transfer certificate responsibilities. The losing region will notify the operator’s management personnel of the decision and give an explanation of the need to change the assigned CHDO.
g)      The gaining region will arrange a briefing for the certificate holder and an introductory meeting between the certificate holder’s management personnel and the gaining CHDO manager and prospective PIs.
h)      The respective regions will coordinate and supervise the transfer of the losing CHDO’s operator files to the gaining CHDO.

F.      RFSD Responsibilities. The RFSD will oversee and ensure the necessary changes are made to FAA documents and electronic databases (e.g., Air Carrier Certificate, OpSpecs/MSpecs, Vital Information Subsystem (VIS), Surveillance/Work Programs). Additionally, the RFSD will oversee and coordinate the transfer of files, manuals, and any other item relating to certificate management. Transfer of the manuals should include coordination with the program manager/certificate holder since many manuals are controlled.

G.    Impact of Base Relocation and Certificate Transfer. The impact of the base relocation and certificate transfer, on the air carrier and the FAA respectively, could be complex enough to be designated as an FAA project. If disagreements occur between CHDOs over the prior approvals or accepted policy or procedures, the RFSDs will mediate and decide on appropriate action. Good communication and timely decision‑making are essential to efficiently and effectively accomplish the task of transferring a certificate and meeting the needs of the program manager/certificate holder and the FAA.

H.    Documentation. RFSD and field personnel will document all certificate transfer and related activity in the Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) using activity codes 1245, 3240, and 5240.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 2‑31 through 2‑45.


6/2/09                                                                                                                           8900.1 CHG 0

Volume 3  general Technical Administration

chapter 30  EMERGENCY EVACUATION AND DITCHING DEMONSTRATIONS

Section 8  Reporting Evacuation Demonstrations

3-2946  GENERAL. The team leader is responsible for preparing and distributing the emergency evacuation or ditching demonstration report. The report must include at least the following:

A.     A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 8430‑1, Air Carrier Emergency Evacuation Demonstration Report (Figure 3-116), is required for each demonstration attempt. For example, if two demonstrations are unsuccessful and a third is satisfactory, three forms must be completed and submitted as part of the demonstration report package.

B.     The passenger information briefing card is required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121, § 121.571(b) or part 125, § 125.327, as applicable.

C.     A diagram of the aircraft is required, including emergency equipment, exits, exits used, the number of approved passenger seats, and the location of seats which were used by Flight Attendants (F/A).

D.    A list of names and specialty of each member of the FAA team is required.

3-2947  FAA FORM 8430‑1. The Air Carrier Emergency Evacuation Demonstration Report (see Figure 3-116) must be completed in accordance with the instructions in Table 3-120:

3-2948  DISTRIBUTION.

A.     After the district office manager reviews and initials the report, a copy must be forwarded to the regional Flight Standards division. The original package will be retained in the certificate-holding district office file for 6 years, in accordance with the current edition of FAA Order 1350.15, Records Organization, Transfer, and Destruction Standards.

B.     A Flight Standards specialist will review the report, sign and date block 25, and forward a complete copy of the report to the Air Transportation Division (AFS‑200).

Table 3-120, Instructions for Emergency Evacuation Demonstration Report

BLOCK NUMBER

DEMONSTRATION

1

Fill in date and time of the demonstration (use 24‑hour time).

2

Check results of the demonstration (Sat or Unsat)

3

Fill in full and proper name of the airline and its four‑letter designator.

4

Complete aircraft make, model, series, and number (for example: MD‑9‑80 (N 23AA)).

5

Fill in names and titles of FAA team members.

6

Check the appropriate block for the type of demonstration. Both an aborted takeoff and ditching demonstration block may be checked, if applicable.

7

Check the reasons for conducting the demonstration.

8

Enter the total number of flightcrew, F/A, and passengers aboard the airplane.

9

Check the applicable Regulations.

10

List each exit used and the number of persons who evacuated from that exit (for example, LF3/46).

11

Check the appropriate block for the type of slide used.

12

Enter the total elapsed time in the appropriate block.

13

Check the appropriate box which describes the airplane location.

14–20

Check the appropriate box (Sat or Unsat).

21

Briefly describe how nondesignated exits were blocked (for example, exits were blocked with red lights).

22

Briefly describe how the demonstration was initiated (for example, deactivated the normal source of power).

23

Remarks must reference the appropriate block number. More than one line may be used for one item. Comments must be listed for each unsatisfactory item.

24

The team leader signs this report and the district office manager initials it.

Figure 4-116, Emergency Evacuation Demonstration Report

EMERGENCY EVACUATION DEMONSTRATION REPORT

Instructions: Attach briefing card required by 14 CFR part 121, § 121.571 (b) or part 125, § 125.327 (c) and diagram of aircraft showing location of flight attendant seats, emergency equipment, and exits used for the demonstration.

1. Date and Time of Demonstration:

2. Results:

A.o Satisfactory

B.o Unsatisfactory

3. Name of Operator and Designator:

4. Make, Model, Series, and N Number:

5. Name and Title of FAA team members:

6. Type of Demonstration

A.o Aborted Takeoff Full‑Scale

B.o Aborted Takeoff Partial

C.o Ditching Full‑Scale

D.o Ditching Partial

7. Reason for Demonstration

A.o Initial Type Certification

B.o Initial Introduction Into Service (this operator)

C.o Increased Seating Capacity

D.o Change in Cabin Configuration

E.o Change in F/A Number, Duties, Location, or Procedures

F.o Change in Exit Number Location, or Opening Mechanism

G.o Other (Specify)

8. Number of Persons on Board

A. Flightcrew ____

B. Flight Attendants ____

C. Passengers ____

D. Total ____

9. Applicable Regulations

A.o 121.291 (a)

B.o 121.291 (b)

C.o 121.291 (c)

D.o 121.291 (e)

E.o 25.803 (c)

F.o 125.189 (a)

G.o 125.189 (c)

10. Exits Used*

11. Type Slides Used

A.o Inflatable

B.o Noninflatable

C.o Slide Raft

12. Time Record

A

B

C

A.o Aborted Takeoff Full‑Scale

B.o Aborted Takeoff Partial

C.o Ditching Full‑Scale

D.o Ditching Partial

___Sec.

___Sec.

___Min.

___Min.

D

E

F

Comment Record

13. Airplane Location

17. Crew Knowledge

A.o Hangar

B.o Ramp

A.o Satisfactory

B.o Unsatisfactory

14. Company Safety Precautions

18. Equipment Reliability

A.o Satisfactory

B.o Unsatisfactory

A.o Satisfactory

B.o Unsatisfactory

15. Emergency Equipment Inspections

19. Company Procedures

A.o Satisfactory

B.o Unsatisfactory

A.o Satisfactory

B.o Unsatisfactory

16. Crew Performance

20. Other (Record in Block 23)

A.o Satisfactory

B.o Unsatisfactory

A.o Satisfactory

B.o Unsatisfactory

*Exit Code: L‑‑Left; R‑‑Right; W‑‑Window; F‑‑Floor Level; VS‑‑Ventral Stairs; T‑‑Tail; C‑‑Cockpit; U‑‑Upper Deck; B‑‑Below Main Cabin Floor. Number the Exits from Cockpit to Tail.

FAA Form 8430‑1 (6‑87)

EMERGENCY EVACUATION DEMONSTRATION REPORT

21. How Nondesignated Exits Were Blocked:

22. Initiation Signal:

23. Discrepancies/Recommendations: (Make Reference to Appropriate Blocks)

Block

Remarks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24. District Office Action:

District Office Manager’s Initials:

Team Leader’s name (type)

Signature

Date

25. Regional Office Review:

Specialist’s name (type)

Signature

Date

FAA Form 8430‑1 (6‑87)

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3‑2949 through 3‑2965.


5/18/09                                                                                                                       8900.1 CHG 22

Volume 4  AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT AND OPERATIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS

chapter 5  AIR AMBULANCE OPERATIONS

Section 5  Operational Risk Assessment Programs for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services

4-981      BACKGROUND.

A.     Introduction. Helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operate in a demanding environment. They provide an invaluable service to the nation by providing crucial, safe, and efficient transportation of critically ill and injured patients to medical care facilities. While the contribution of HEMS is profound as a component of the nation’s medical infrastructure, from an operational standpoint, it is a commercial aviation activity performed by certificated air carrier operators. It must be conducted with the highest level of safety. To meet this requirement, risks must be identified, assessed, and managed to ensure that they are mitigated, deferred, or accepted according to the operator’s ability to do so within the regulations and standards appropriate to the operation.

B.     Regulatory Requirements.

1)      Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 135 operators are required to have management personnel identified per 14 CFR part 119, § 119.69. The pertinent parts of this section state (emphasis added):

(a) Each certificate holder must have sufficient qualified management and technical personnel to ensure the safety of its operations. Except for a certificate holder using only one pilot in its operations, the certificate holder must have qualified personnel serving in the following or equivalent positions:

(1)   Director of Operations.

(2)   Chief Pilot.

(3)   Director of Maintenance.

……………………………………………………

 

(d) The individuals who serve in the positions required or approved under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section and anyone in a position to exercise control over operations conducted under the operating certificate must—

(1) Be qualified through training, experience, and expertise;

(2) To the extent of their responsibilities, have a full understanding of the following material with respect to the certificate holder’s operation—

(i) Aviation safety standards and safe operating practices;

(ii) Title 14 CFR Chapter I (Federal Aviation Regulations);

(iii) The certificate holder’s operations specifications;

(iv) All appropriate maintenance and airworthiness requirements of this chapter (e.g., parts 1, 21, 23, 25, 43, 45, 47, 65, 91, and 135 of this chapter); and

(v) The manual required by § 135.21 of this chapter; and

(3) Discharge their duties to meet applicable legal requirements and to maintain safe operations.

2)      HEMS operators, which are certificated under part 135, must have adequate management personnel in place. These personnel, within the extent of their responsibilities, must have a full understanding of safe aviation operating practices. They must discharge their duties to meet applicable legal requirements and to maintain safe operations throughout their organization and locations. The use of a risk assessment and risk management program provides a way to ensure that these management responsibilities are met. The company’s operating procedures should incorporate the program’s principles throughout the flight, as portions of the flight may be conducted under 14 CFR part 91 (general operating rules) or part 135 (emergency medical services (EMS) passenger-carrying operations).

C.     Review of Recent Accident Data.

1)      A preliminary review of the commercial HEMS accidents from January 1998 through December 2004 revealed that controlled flight into terrain (CFIT), inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), and lack of operational control are predominant factors, particularly at night and during low visibility conditions. Of the 27 fatal HEMS accidents, 21 occurred during night operations. Of the 21 night accidents, 16 of the operations originated under visual flight rules (VFR); the pilots inadvertently flew into IMC conditions, resulting in a CFIT accident.
2)      This preliminary review revealed that inadequate risk assessment and management deficiencies might have contributed to many recent fatal accidents in HEMS operations. Notice 8000.293, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Operations, provided a recommendation that HEMS operators emphasize a safety culture within their organization by applying basic system safety attributes and risk management techniques to operations. Operators were also advised to apply safety attributes or risk assessment/management strategies to each flight.

D.    Basic Concepts Used in a System Safety Risk Management/Assessment Program. System safety risk management techniques optimize safety by identifying operational hazards and related risk, and eliminating or mitigating them to a safe state by using established policies and procedures. The company procedures manual should contain clearly defined procedures for maintaining operational control during all phases of aircraft operations, and those procedures should contain processes or procedures for risk assessment and management. The pilot has the ultimate responsibility and authority to determine the risks associated with a flight operation. The method of operational control, however, should promote his or her use, as a resource, the input of the mechanics, communications specialists (individuals who function as a dispatcher/flight follower), both ground and flight medical personnel, managers, and all other related support personnel involved with a flight operation.

1)      Concepts. The basic concepts of risk management include:
a)      The overriding concept is that the pilot’s authority to decline a flight assignment is supreme, while his or her decision to accept a flight assignment is subject to review, if certain risks are identified.

1.      The pilot’s decision to decline, cancel, divert, or terminate a flight overrides any decision of other parties to accept or continue a flight.

2.      The pilot’s decision to accept a flight assignment may be overridden by other personnel by use of the operational control procedures and policies of the certificate holder, including the use of risk assessment and management tools and techniques.

b)      If the pilot has declined a flight assignment, no other parties (management, operations, etc.) must continue to conduct risk assessments pertaining to that flight, as their input could not be used to override the pilot’s decision to decline the assignment.
c)      A risk-assessment plan is a tool used by the flight management personnel and flightcrews to expand the parameters of decisionmaking for the pilot and flightcrew, and to assist in preflight planning and operational control of the aircraft. The company should have procedures on how to mitigate or reduce the risk to an acceptable level.
d)      If the pilot’s initial risk assessment results in a tentative decision to accept the flight, but significant risks have been identified, then per the company’s integrated risk assessment plan, additional operational inputs are used.
e)      As potential hazards are identified in the assessment process, collaborative groups of additional persons who have the experience/knowledge to assist the flightcrew in safety determinations are brought into the decisionmaking process. Such collaboration should never result in the questioning or overruling of the pilot’s determination that the risks associated with a flight mission or operation are too numerous or high.
2)      Examples. Examples of risk assessment and risk management could include:
a)      A flightcrew is aware of a maintenance discrepancy that has been repaired, or a component that has been overhauled. The flightcrew may be concerned with what to watch for on subsequent flights, i.e., higher temperatures or higher pressures (providing the instrument readings are within the required operating range), and seek input from maintenance professionals.
b)      A VFR-only pilot accepts a flight assignment in marginal VFR conditions, and following the company’s risk management plan receives subsequent input on the status of nearby airports/heliports. The pilot then uses the information to support his or her decision: to fly the planned flight, cancel the flight, delay the flight until weather improves, or determines that an instrument flight rules (IFR) certificated aircraft and flightcrew is required. In any case, the information is used to support the pilot’s decisionmaking process.
3)      Variables. In the above examples, as more information is attained to assist the flightcrew with the go/no-go decisionmaking process, another iteration or cycle in the risk assessment process is begun and the determination to fly is reviewed against a new, better-defined, standard/environment. Typical risk variables include, but are not limited to:
a)      Weather (Current and Forecast).

·        Ceiling, visibilities-departure, en route, arrival, alternate,

·        Precipitation-type(s),

·        Turbulence-existing and forecast,

·        Icing-type and forecast,

·        Winds/gust spread-wind direction, speed, gust spread,

·        Density altitude, and

·        Ambient lighting.

b)      Airworthiness Status of the Helicopter.

·        Proper preflight,

·        Any deferred items in accordance with the minimum equipment list (MEL),

·        Fuel and oil serviced,

·        Security of cowling(s), doors and/or equipment,

·        VFR vs. IFR equipment capabilities,

·        Inspection status,

·        Recent maintenance actions,

·        Time remaining until next inspection, overhaul, teardown, etc., and

·        Required current maps, approach plates, Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs.)

c)      Incorporation of Technologies to Aid in Managing Risks.

·        Radio/radar altimeters,

·        High intensity search/landing light systems,

·        Global positioning system (GPS) moving map systems,

·        Airborne weather radar systems,

·        Night vision goggles (NVG),

·        Enhanced vision systems,

·        Autopilot/stability augmentation systems,

·        Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS), and

·        Adequacy of training on new technologies.

d)      Performance Margins.

·        Weight/center of gravity margins,

·        High density altitudes, and

·        Fuel margins and range limitations.

e)      Pilot and Flight Crewmember Performance.

·        Experience in make and model of helicopter, area of operations, and type of operation,

·        Rest, duty, and flight time impacts on human performance (additional duties during duty time and adequate sleep during rest period time),

·        Personal performance factors, such as personal stress (recent divorce, death, illness, or birth in family),

·        Influence of pilot’s knowledge of the patient’s status (pediatric, critical injury),

·        Communication between crew and all pertinent specialists,

·        Continuity during shift changes,

·        Currency of training,

·        Inadvertent IMC training,

·        Crew resource management, and

·        Experience of crewmembers operating together as a unit.

f)        Operating Environment.

·        Terrain/obstructions,

·        Ambient lighting,

·        Natural and industrial weather factors,

·        Availability and status of airports/heliports,

·        Air traffic density,

·        Knowledge that other operators in the area have declined the flight due to:

·        Localized weather,

·        Forecast weather, and

·        Recent flight(s) experiencing marginal conditions;

·        Airspace requirements,

·        Communications and navigation facilities, and

·        Availability of low-level VFR route structure.

g)      Organizational Environment.

·        Changes in required management personnel,

·        Changes in air carrier management,

·        Rapid expansion or growth,

·        New or major program changes,

·        Merger or takeover,

·        Labor management relations, and

·        Organization accidents, incidents, or occurrences.

4-982      RISK ASSESSMENT PROGRAM CONFIGURATIONS.

NOTE:        Figure 4-58A below, contains examples of risk assessment tools that are currently used in the HEMS operational community. There is no “one size fits all” tool. Each operator should consider its own operational and environmental needs in developing its risk assessment tool(s) and plans.

NOTE:        In addition, these unique operational and environmental needs will drive the relative weight of each identified risk for each operation and/or location. The operator must determine the specific weighting of risks for its particular operation. The examples given are for reference only; the FAA does not endorse the use of one tool over another. Each of the following risk assessment configurations is useful; however, an integrated program providing enhanced training in aeronautical decisionmaking, combining procedure-weighted, training-weighted, and other programs, may achieve the best results.

A.     Procedure-Weighted Program. To standardize risk assessment while minimizing training requirements, an operator may opt to develop and implement a “procedure-weighted” program configuration. This configuration typically uses a checklist format tool, often with numerical weighting values, which trigger levels of concurrence with the pilot’s “go” decision. Appendix 1 includes examples of representative procedure-weighted tools.

1)      Advantages of the Procedure-Weighted Configuration Include:
a)      Minimal training is required on the principles of risk assessment and risk management.
b)      Standardized assessment of risks and mitigations, especially when using a system that is numerically based.
2)      Disadvantages of the Procedure-Weighted Configuration Include:
a)      Takes more time and effort to complete the assessment, and may delay departure.
b)      May not provide visual cues to the level of risk and, therefore, may not be as obvious to all users.
c)      A checklist does not address the continuing risk assessment skills necessary during the entire flight. Risk assessment is an ongoing process; during a single flight, multiple risks are monitored on different levels.

B.     Training-Weighted Program. To minimize the time spent upon receiving a flight assignment, an operator may opt to “front load” its efforts in risk assessment and risk management by providing a higher level of training on the principles of risk assessment and developing a highly integrated risk management program. In doing so, it may be able to achieve an effective risk assessment and risk management program by using simple (and often graphically based) decision tools. Figure 4-58A includes representative examples of training-weighted tools.

1)      Advantages of the Training-Weighted Configuration:
a)      In practical use, minimal time is required to make the series of decisions necessary to assess and manage risks.
b)      The use of graphical tools provides a visual, immediately understood description of the risk and the required mitigations.
2)      Disadvantages of the Training-Weighted Configuration:
a)      May require more demanding training at the initiation of the process and in subsequent recurrent training.
b)      May require a stronger set of “soft skills” by users of the process.

NOTE:        “Soft skills” refers to proficiencies that go beyond technical knowledge and psychomotor skills necessary to operate a helicopter and are often the first line of defense¾and sometimes the last¾against accidents caused by lapses in human performance. This includes adherence to standard operating procedures, decisionmaking, judgment, Air Medical Resource Management (AMRM); similar to crew resource management), and professionalism. These skills are not easily or quickly conveyed in training programs but are developed through the continuing commitment of corporate owners/executives, managers, trainers, pilots, crewmembers, mechanics, medical staff, and communication specialists to an organizational safety culture.

C.     Alternative Risk Intervention Policy. Some operators integrate “releasing authority” after a nonroutine event. Experience has shown that the community tends to hire “mission oriented” individuals who will seek ways around an obstacle to complete the mission. It may be beneficial to slow intentionally the go/no-go decisionmaking process, particularly at the first indication that an abnormal situation might be developing. Figure 4‑58B is an example of an alternative risk intervention policy.

4-983   INSPECTOR RESPONSIBILITIES. Principal inspectors (PIs) assigned to HEMS operators, should review this guidance, and strongly advise operators to implement a risk assessment and management program. This may incorporate the information found in this guidance as a component of the program or otherwise identify their management processes and operational controls. These controls ensure that safe operating practices are applied in flight operations and maintain safe operations. PI’s should discourage the use of the term “mission” to describe flight assignments in operator manuals, training, and risk assessment programs. The emphasis should be on providing air transportation rather than completing a “mission,” which has been derived from military tactical or combat aviation that factors in “acceptable losses,” and may affect the normal go/no-go decision making process of an air transportation perspective.

Figure 4‑58A, Go/No-Go Decision Matrix

STATIC RISK FACTORS

 

SCORE

< 6 mos. on Current Job

+1

 

< 1 yr. in EMS

+1

 

< 200 hrs. in Type

+1

 

> 500 hrs. in Type

-1

 

Last Flight > 30 Days

+1

 

Last Night Flight > 30 Days (night requests only)

+1

 

6 mos. Since Check Ride

+2

 

Cockpit Not Configured for Inadvertent IMC

+1

 

Navigation or Radio Item on MEL

+1

 

Back-up Aircraft

+1

 

Newly-installed Equipment (i.e., satellite phone, avionics, GPS)

+1

 

Night Vision Goggles (NVG) Equipped

-2 (submit that NVG’s should have at least half the value of IFR risk factor)

 

< 3 NVG Flights in the Last 120 Days

+1

 

Medical Crew < 1 yrs. Experience (both crewmembers)

+1

 

IFR Program

-4

 

VFR Program

+1

 

External Stresses (divorce, illness, family/work issues/conflicts)

+1

 

 

 

 

Total Static Score

 

DYNAMIC RISK FACTORS

 

 

Ceiling within 200' of Program Minimums

+1

 

Visibility within 1 Mile of GOM Minimums

+1

 

Precipitation with Convective Activity

+1

 

Convective Activity with Frontal Passage

+1

 

Deteriorating Weather Trend

+1

 

High Wind or Gust Spread Defined by Operations Manual

+2

 

Moderate Turbulence

+2

 

Temperature/Dew Point < 3 Degrees F

+1

 

Forecast Fog, Snow, or Ice

+2

 

Weather Reporting at Destination

-1

 

Mountainous or Hostile Terrain

+1

 

Class B or C Airspace

+1

 

Ground Reference Low

+1

 

Ground Reference High

-1

 

Night Flight

+1

 

90% of Usable Fuel Required (not including reserve)

+1

 

Flight Turned Down by Other Operators Due to Weather (if known)

+4

 

Control Measures

 

 

Delay Flight

-1

 

Avoid Mountainous/Hostile Terrain

-1

 

Utilize Pre-Designated LZs for Scene Requests

-1

 

Plan Alternate Fuel Stop

-1

 

Familiarization Training (self-directed)

-1

 

 

 

 

Total Dynamic Score

 

 


Grand Total of Static and Dynamic Scores

 

 

 

 

 

 

RISK CATEGORY

COLOR CATEGORY

 

EOC ACTION

TOTAL POINTS

NORMAL

 

GREEN

Pilot Approval

0—14

FLIGHT MANAGER LEVEL

 

YELLOW

Call Manager

15—18

UNACCEPTABLE

 

RED

Cancel Flight

19 or Greater

NOTE:        This example is for reference only. Each operator should consider its own operational and environmental needs in developing its risk assessment tool(s) and plans.


Example 1. Assessment Chart

NOTE:        This example is for reference only. Each operator should consider its own operational and environmental needs in developing its risk assessment tool(s) and plans.

1. EXPERIENCE

Less than 2 years

2-3 years

4-5 years

 

+10

  +5

  +2

2. WEATHER

Less than 3,000' – 5 s.m.

(Anywhere on the route)

 

 

+5

3. NIGHT

(During any portion of the flight)

 

+5

4. NON-LOCAL

(Applies to all flights out of defined local flying area)

Not local

 

New location

 

 

 

 


+4

 


+3

5. EARLY MORNING

Flight between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

(If any portion of the flight to fall
in this time window)

 

 

+1

TOTAL

A TOTAL of 20 or higher requires greater operational control.

Considerations¾

1)         Have you been to this destination before? How recently?

2)         What are the weather conditions? How confident are you of the weather along the entire route?

3)         Is all or any part of this flight (or flight assignment) going to occur at night? If so, will you have some moonlight?

4)         Have you thought through the entire flight? That is, can you return as easily as you can get there?

5)         Are there any problems with the aircraft that may be a factor for this flight?

6)         How many consecutive shifts have you worked prior to this flight? How much flying have you done during those shifts?

7)         Do you feel fully rested and capable to accept this flight?

8)         Do you have any reservations at all with accepting this flight?

 

 


Example 2. Risk Assessment Matrix

Section 6  RISK ASSESSMENT MATRIX

 

Section 7  Severity

Likelihood

Negligible

Marginal

Critical

Catastrophic

 

Frequent

 

 

 

 

 

 

Probable

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occasional

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remote

 

 

 

 

 

 

Improbable

 

 

 

 

 

 

Severity Scale Definitions

Catastrophic

Results in fatalities and/or loss of the system.

Critical

Results in severe injury and/or major system damage.

Marginal

Results in minor injury and/or minor system damage.

Negligible

Results in less than minor injury and/or less than minor system damage.

 

Likelihood Scale Definitions

Frequent

Individual

Likely to occur often.

 

Fleet

Continuously experienced.

Probable

Individual

Will occur several times.

 

Fleet

Will occur often.

Occasional

Individual

Likely to occur sometime.

 

Fleet

Will occur several times.

Remote

Individual

Unlikely to occur, but possible.

 

Fleet

Unlikely, but can reasonably be expected to occur.

Improbable

Individual

So unlikely, it can be assumed it will not occur.

 

Fleet

Unlikely to occur, but possible.

 


Example 2A. Risk Assessment Matrix: Night Operations

Section 8  RISK ASSESSMENT MATRIX: NIGHT OPERATIONS

Section 9  Use this tool to assess the potential for links in the safety chain.

 

Section 10  Applicable Weather for Flight

Apply Operational
Factors

WEATHER Well Above Minimums and Stable

CEILING

Within 1000'

of Minimums

VISIBILITY

Within 3 mi.

of Minimums

CEILING & VIS

Within 3 mi. and 500' of Mins.

NIGHT

Normal ops

 

 

 

 

AIRCRAFT
Performance near max
Back-up or different A/C

MEL items

 

 

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL
Extreme heat or cold
High winds
Storms in area

 

 

 

 

FATIGUE
Late in shift?
Consecutive shifts?

 

 

 

 

Risk Assessment Value:

 

Normal Ops

 

Caution

 

Extreme Caution

 

Critical Safety Decision Required

NOTE:        The operator will have to determine next how to manage the identified risk by transferring, eliminating, accepting, or introducing a mitigating action. The operator may assign different values based on its operating environment.


Example 2B. Risk Assessment Matrix: Day Operations

Section 11  RISK ASSESSMENT MATRIX: DAY OPERATIONS

Section 12  Use this tool to assess the potential for links in the safety chain.

 

Section 13  Applicable Weather for Flight

Apply Operational
Factors

WEATHER Well Above Minimums and Stable

CEILING

Within 1000'

of Minimums

VISIBILITY

Within 3 mi.

of Minimums

CEILING & VIS

Within 3 mi. and 500' of  Mins.

DAY

Normal ops

 

 

 

 

AIRCRAFT
Performance near max
Back-up or different A/C

MEL items

 

 

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL
Extreme heat or cold
High winds
Storms in area

 

 

 

 

FATIGUE
Late in shift?
Consecutive shifts?

 

 

 

 

Risk Assessment Value:

 

Normal Ops

 

Caution

 

Extreme Caution

 

Critical Safety Decision Required

NOTE:        The operator will have to determine next how to manage the identified risk by transferring, eliminating, accepting, or introducing a mitigating action. The operator may assign different values based on its operating environment.


 



Example 4. Flight Assessment

 

NOTE:  This example is for reference only. Each operator should consider its own operational and environmental needs in developing its risk assessment tool(s) and plans.

FLIGHT PROFILE

Yes

No

Night

 

 

Scene, new LZ or no IAP within 5 miles

 

 

Concerns related to availability of fuel

 

 

Terrain (mountainous)

 

 

WX within 500' of mins at destination/alt

 

 

Pilot not recent on IAP to be flown

 

 

Flight conducted overwater

 

 

Winds > 30 kts, gusts > 15 kts

 

 

Severe WX, icing, thunderstorms

 

 

 

 

 

Overall assessment: Can the flight be completed as requested?

Totals from the Weather Chart: For any more than 6 shaded items checked “Yes,” exercise extreme caution and re‑brief options.
If “Yes” box and adjacent “Deteriorating” box are checked, VFR flight is not recommended or flight should be rejected.

Combined Totals from the Weather and Flight Profile Charts: For any more than six items checked “Yes,” exercise extreme caution and re-brief options.
If in excess of 10 items checked “Yes” or shaded, flight should be rejected.

 

WEATHER

Improving

Deteriorating

Yes

No

Starting point

 

 

 

 

Ceiling within 500'  VFR WX  mins

 

 

 

 

WX at VFR Mins

 

 

 

 

WX below VFR Mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

En route

 

 

 

 

Ceiling within 500' VFR WX mins

 

 

 

 

WX at VFR Mins

 

 

 

 

WX below VFR Mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Destination

 

 

 

 

Ceiling within 500' VFR WX mins

 

 

 

 

WX at VFR Mins

 

 

 

 

WX below VFR Mins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IFR

 

 

 

 

WX for IAP to be flown < 2000-3

 

 

 

 

Alternate airport required

 

 

 

 

Forecast WX at alt. <800-2

 

 

 

 

WX at or below 400-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4‑58B, Example of Alternative Risk Intervention Policy

Section 14  MEMORANDUM

TO:                  All Pilots

FROM:            Vice President, Operations

DATE:             June 22, 2005

RE:                   The “Official Time Out” Policy

______________________________________________________________________________

Over the past year, we have achieved some new highs and have seen some new lows in safety and regulatory compliance. A common thread connecting the several incidents and accidents is appearing. As pilots in command (aircraft commander is again a military term), in nearly every case we have been required to take action that most of us would describe as outside the norm. Examples include bird strikes, engine failures, and component failures. In nearly every case, we have conducted ourselves in the best traditions of aviation, successfully concluding these flights by doing that which we are trained to do.

It is only after the kettle is removed from the fire that we tend to make decisions that in retrospect seem less than optimal. We would do well to ask ourselves if making a go/no-go decision immediately after concluding an in-flight emergency is in anyone’s interest. It is the organization’s firm belief that the level of expertise at this air carrier is a standard to which most of the industry can only aspire. With this professionalism comes an inherent desire to complete the flight (or flight assignment) and consequently we permit ourselves to push on.

Effective immediately, it is the policy of this air carrier that if as a member of a flightcrew you are involved in any of the events listed at the end of this memo, you may be awarded an “OFFICIAL TIME OUT” (i.e., off duty for the remainder of the shift). The Official Time Out is as simple as saying “Nice job¾take the rest of the day off.”

The awarding of an Official Time Out is at the discretion of the Chief Pilot, but may be granted by the Vice President, Operations, Director of Operations, or Director of Safety in his absence. Any award of an Official Time Out is contingent upon notification of Headquarters and specific direction by the Chief Pilot or any of the above listed personnel. Site Managers have the Emergency Authority to award an Official Time Out if, in their judgment, waiting for specific direction from the Chief Pilot would compromise operational safety. The object of this policy is to remove you from the decisionmaking process. There are numerous pilots, maintenance technicians, and support personnel on this team. This is the time to use their knowledge and experience. The following is not an all-inclusive list and your comments are solicited:


Section 15  EVENTS SUBJECT TO AWARD OF AN OFFICIAL TIME OUT

A.     Any aircraft system malfunction requiring a precautionary landing.

B.     An in-flight engine failure.

C.     Any event for which an NTSB report is required.

1)      An aircraft incident.
2)      A flight control system malfunction.
3)      The inability of a flight crewmember to perform his duties due to injury or illness.
4)      Failure of structural components of a turbine engine excluding compressor and turbine blades and vanes.
5)      In-flight fire.
6)      Damage to property other than the aircraft in excess of $25,000.
7)      Aircraft collision in flight.
8)      In-flight failure of electrical systems requiring sustained use of emergency bus power such as a battery or auxiliary power system.
9)      In-flight failure of hydraulic systems.
10)  Sustained loss of engine power.
11)  An evacuation of the aircraft in which the emergency egress system is used.

D.    Any time an emergency is declared.

E.     Should there be a question as to whether an event fits the criteria for an Official TimeOut, the site manager’s emergency authority applies until the chief pilot, VP-Ops, DO, or DOS can be notified.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-984 through 4-990.


6/2/09                                                                                                                          8900.1 CHG 0

Volume 6  SURVEILLANCE

chapter 2  PART 121, 135, AND 91 sUBPART K INSPECTIONS

Section 18  Evaluation of Air Carrier’s Management of Significant Changes

6-561      PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES AND Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) REPORTING.

A.     ATOS Reporting. All surveillance elements are to be documented in accordance with Order 8900.1 Volume 10, Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS).

B.     Non‑ATOS Air Carrier Reporting. All inspection activities are to be documented in accordance with the PTRS Procedures Manual (PPM).

6-562      OBJECTIVE.

A.     This section provides guidance concerning oversight of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 air carriers during significant changes in the operating environment that may affect the carrier’s ability to balance resources, size, and organizational structure with operational requirements. Examples of conditions that reflect these imbalances include:

·        Financial distress,

·        Change in the scope and scale of air carrier operations (growth or downsizing), and

·        Labor unrest.

B.     This chapter contains procedures for evaluating an air carrier’s ability to manage these types of changes.

6-563      GENERAL. The current air carrier environment has become extremely complex and dynamic. Air carriers must continually seek a critical balance between markets, resources, and operations in order to remain viable. This leads to almost continuous change, with many periods of transition while these companies adapt to different arrangements for procuring and allocating resources and managing operations. During these transition periods, the carrier may knowingly or unknowingly accept, or even generate, an undesirable level of safety risk. These transition periods place additional responsibility on Flight Standards (AFS) personnel to anticipate the potential risks, to evaluate the likelihood and severity of these risks, and to ensure that the carrier is appropriately managing these risks consistent with the changing conditions.

A.     Action. Managers of part 121 certificate‑holding district offices (CHDO) must require appropriate personnel to evaluate an air carrier’s ability to manage significant changes in its operating environment when indicated by the triggers described below and in accordance with the instructions in Figures 6‑29 and 6‑30. The types of operating environment changes referred to in this chapter are caused by conditions that significantly alter the balance between resources and operations.

·        Resources include the air carrier’s ability to meet its financial obligations, the number of aircraft or fleet types it operates, its organizational structure, and/or the availability of key personnel and labor.

·        Operations include the ability of an air carrier’s operations and maintenance organizations to meet the demands of the air carrier’s flight schedule in a profitable way. Problems are more likely to occur when there are insufficient or improperly managed resources to meet operational requirements.

1)      Evaluation Process. Paragraphs 6‑564 through 6‑568 outline a process for evaluation of an air carrier’s management of significant change. CHDO managers will require appropriate personnel to use this process to help determine the need for further actions, including, where necessary, retargeting surveillance plans or using the Surveillance and Evaluation Program (SEP) or ATOS risk management process (RMP) to develop corrective action plans. Figures 6‑29 and 6‑30 provide decision aids to help in the evaluation process.
2)      Information Sources and Triggers. CHDO managers should refer to the information in this chapter whenever they become aware, whether through formal notification or through informal channels, of conditions or indicators of changes in the air carrier’s ability to balance resources and operational requirements. Examples of formal notification include documentation received from the air carrier or other appropriate agencies (Security and Exchange Commission, courts, banks, creditors, etc.). Examples of informal channels include information obtained from air carrier meetings or correspondence, conversations with knowledgeable air carrier personnel, press or industry publications, or any other credible sources that raise concerns about the air carrier’s ability to balance resources and operational requirements. Whenever these conditions are evident or suspected, the assessment process outlined in paragraphs 6‑564 through 6‑568 should be completed.
3)      Air Carrier Meetings. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors and/or office managers must participate in periodic meetings with their air carrier to stay informed on the carrier’s financial health and growth plans, or other conditions that might cause an imbalance between resources and operations. These periodic meetings are among the best informal sources of information about where the carrier is headed. If information gathered in these meetings raises concerns over imbalances between resources and operations, office managers will require the use of the evaluation process described in paragraphs 6‑564 through 6‑568.
4)      Indicators of Change. CHDO managers should not wait for formal notification of a problem before taking action to identify potential risks. Often, the safety impact has already occurred by the time the problem is formally announced (e.g., declaration of bankruptcy). It is necessary to evaluate the potential for problems before such a formal declaration by reviewing leading indicators. Leading indicators are observable conditions or events which tend to exist before the inability to balance resources and operational requirements has occurred. By evaluating these leading indicators, it is possible to determine the potential for risk and to prompt the air carrier to take action to avert the safety impacts of the imbalance of resources and operational requirements.
a)      Leading Indicators.

1.      Leading indicators of such a condition could be significant changes in the competition along key routes or changes in costs or pricing policies. Leading indicators are those observations that may indicate that organizational changes are occurring but where readily observable problems may not yet have surfaced. The situations may not be problematic in and of themselves, but they may be sufficient reason for inspectors to conduct more in‑depth inquiries or conduct targeted surveillance.

2.      Other examples of leading indicators include:

·        Changes in support staff positions such as quality control (QC), analysis, training development or middle management,

·        Departmental realignments or reorganizations,

·        Shifts in contractors or contractual arrangements,

·        Noticeable turnover of personnel, or

·        Changes in experience, training, or proficiency of personnel.

3.      While any of these changes may be the result of normal courses of business, they could have impacts on procedures, lines of communication, organizational and supervisory controls, external and internal interfaces, and organizational cultures. Inspectors should, therefore, be aware of possible impacts on safety of operations.

b)      Lagging Indicators.

1.      While leading indicators are preferable, sometimes such warning may not be available or may not be noticed. In that case, lagging indicators must be used. These are conditions or events that develop after the inability to balance resources and operational requirements has occurred.

2.      Examples of lagging indicators include:

·        Non‑payment of debts or expenses,

·        Significant shifts in stock prices due to investor concerns,

·        Adverse changes in the credit rating of the air carrier, and

·        Declaration of bankruptcy.

3.      When lagging indicators such as these occur, inspectors should evaluate the overall air carrier’s ability to mitigate the safety impacts of these changing conditions. Actions may include targeted surveillance or revalidation of affected programs.

c)      General Stressors.

1.      In some cases, the need to evaluate an air carrier’s ability to manage change may not arise from a single trigger. Instead, a combination or series of events may place the air carrier in a stressed environment that could have safety impacts.

2.      Examples of single events, that, in isolation or taken together, may indicate the potential for risk include:

·        Labor unrest, difficult contract negotiations, work slowdown,

·        Merger/takeover, change in corporate structure, personnel, or culture,

·        Competition changes in key routes,

·        Changes or reductions in the workforce, significant layoffs or retirement buyouts,

·        Changes in operational control systems,

·        Changes in program or subsystems that are part of the operational control system,

·        Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System (CASS) reveals a rising trend in deficiencies in the performance and effectiveness of inspection, maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration programs.

·        Revisions to operational procedures manuals,

·        Revisions to maintenance and inspection program procedures manuals,

·        Requests for changes in training programs,

·        Changes in aircraft equipment and/or parts inventories,

·        Reduction in route structure and/or flight schedules,

·        Reduction of line station and/or maintenance bases,

·        Changes in essential maintenance contracts,

·        Increase in repeat maintenance logbook discrepancies,

·        Increases in short‑term escalations,

·        Increase in the number of minimum equipment lists (MEL) deferrals,

·        Increase in the number of extensions to FAA MEL requests,

·        Delays in meeting payrolls,

·        Increase in the frequency of complaints against the operator, and

·        Media reports of an airline financial difficulty.

3.      The above conditions include both leading and lagging indicators. While any single condition mentioned above may not produce the imbalance of resources and operational requirements discussed in this document, taken in combination they could lead to significant safety risks.

5)      Assessments of Specific Conditions. Figures 6‑29 and 6‑30 contain decision aids to assess the condition of carriers with respect to financial distress and significant growth or downsizing. CHDO personnel need to apply their own knowledge of the carrier along with their assessment as to the prevalence and magnitude of the issues in the lists given in these figures. The decision aids are designed to assist in these assessments and subsequent action planning.

6-564      PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

A.     Prerequisites (Inspector Qualifications).

·        Experience with the involved operation, and

·        Knowledge of the equipment involved.

B.     Coordination. This task requires coordination with the CHDO, regional offices, the Air Transportation Division (AFS‑200), the Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS‑300), and the AFS Certification and Surveillance Division (AFS‑900).

6-565      REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.     References (current editions):

·        14 CFR parts 119 and 121, and/or

·        Order 8900.1 Volume 10, Air Transportation Oversight System. (ATOS)

B.     Forms. None.

C.     Job Aids:

·        Figure 6‑28, Oversight of Change Management‑‑Process Map

·        Figure 6‑29, Financial Condition Assessment Decision Aid

·        Figure 6‑30, Rapid Growth/Downsizing Assessment Decision Aid

6-566      ORGANIZATIONAL ASSESSMENT. This section provides guidance to CHDO managers on when to require use of the Financial Condition Assessment Decision Aid and the Rapid Growth/Downsizing Assessment Decision Aid, and how to process the results of these tools. These decision aids will provide insight about the likelihood that an air carrier will experience safety risk due to the misalignment of resources and operational requirements as experienced during times of significant change. Financial distress and extraordinary growth or downsizing are examples of this type of change. This process is depicted in the process map in Figure 6‑28.

6-567      RESPONSIBILITIES.

A.     AFS Headquarters. AFS headquarters division managers (specifically AFS‑200, AFS‑300, and AFS‑900) are responsible for maintaining an awareness of significant change management risks being experienced by the nation’s air carriers, and for ensuring appropriate adjustments of AFS resources are made to address these risks.

B.     Regional Divisions. Regional division managers are responsible for maintaining an awareness of the change management risks inherent in the carriers in their region, and for ensuring appropriate adjustments of regional resources are made to address these risks. This awareness is developed by review of the information provided by the CHDO managers and principal inspectors (PI) in their region. Regional divisions must comply with the reporting requirements.

C.     CHDO Manager and PI. The CHDO manager and PI are responsible for deciding how to anticipate or respond to air carrier risks, and for identifying what information they need to make these decisions. When faced with a potential imbalance of air carrier resources and operational requirements, these participants must decide if there is a critical problem that must be handled immediately, and if these problems warrant adjustment of surveillance to allow the CHDO to focus on the most critical risks. CHDO managers and PIs should consider information from all credible/relevant sources. CHDO managers and PIs must comply with the reporting requirements.

1)      Aviation safety inspectors (ASI). CHDO ASIs support these decision‑makers by providing insight into the air carrier’s status and communicating their concerns to the decision‑makers. ASIs also complete surveillance plans and action plans generated by the SEP and ATOS RMP. The ATOS Risk Indicators also provide the option and guidance to the inspector to use there decision aids anytime the Air Carrier Assessment Tool (ACAT) is being prepared by standard assessment of the Risk Indicators.
2)      Air Carrier. The air carrier is a participant in this process as the overseen entity, but also as potential source of information that could trigger the need to complete the evaluation process.
3)      External Information Sources. This generic description covers a wide range of organizations or people that could provide information used to assess the degree of financial or other stress on an air carrier and to evaluate the carrier’s ability to manage change. External organizations could be anyone other than the CHDO or the air carrier such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, banks, creditors, commercial and government publications, commercial sources of financial data, government sources of safety data (e.g., Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS)), or any other entity that provides information to the office manager or PI about the status of the air carrier.

6-568      PROCESS PROCEDURES.

A.     Initiate Process. The CHDO manager initiates the air carrier change management evaluation process based on the triggers listed below.

1)      Process Triggers. There are four potential means of starting this process: leading indicators, lagging indicators, informal notification and formal notification. Each is described below.
a)      Leading/Lagging Indicators. These indicators are detectable conditions that result from the imbalance of resources and operational requirements. Leading indicators are observable conditions or events that tend to exist before the inability to balance resources and operational requirements has occurred. Leading indicators provide some sort of advance notice that, if left unchecked, the imbalance is likely to occur. Examples of leading indicators include significant changes in the competition along key routes, changes in costs, or pricing policies. Lagging indicators are observable conditions or events that are detectable only after the imbalance condition has occurred. They may or may not indicate the presence of safety risks. Examples of lagging indicators include chronic non‑payment of debt or declaration of bankruptcy.
b)      Informal Notification. Informal notification includes any non‑formal notification that makes the CHDO aware of the actual or potential imbalance of resources and operational requirements. Examples of informal notification may include information gathered at an air carrier meeting, discussion with air carrier personnel, articles in trade or government publications, etc. While not formal notification, these may oftentimes be more valuable since they can allow the CHDO to anticipate the imbalance condition and prompt the air carrier to take action before it leads to a safety risk.
c)      Formal Notification. Formal notification is any legal or otherwise official notice that the air carrier is undergoing an imbalance between resources and operational requirements. Examples of this include declaration of bankruptcy, application for merger with or acquisition by another air carrier, request for modification to its operations specifications (OpSpecs) to allow the addition of new fleets or additional routes, etc. Typically, formal notification is too late to enable the CHDO to anticipate the potential for risk.
d)      Policy or Instructions. Accomplishment of the Financial Condition Assessment Decision Aid and the Rapid Growth/Downsizing Assessment Decision Aid may be initiated by an order or request sent to the CHDO by someone in the AFS/AVS/FAA chain‑of‑command. Use of these decision aids may also be directed by a policy in guidance material such as a requirement to evaluate the air carrier’s financial status before doing a periodic update of the ACAT and Comprehensive Surveillance Plan (CSP).
2)      Recognize Concern and Communicate Concerns. Realization by PIs or ASIs that an imbalance exists between resources and the operational requirements must be communicated to the CHDO manager immediately.

B.     Use of the Financial Condition Assessment Decision Aid. Use the Financial Condition Assessment Decision Aid (Figure 6‑29) to evaluate the degree of financial distress being experienced by the air carrier. The decision aid requires the user to match the air carrier’s condition or characteristics with a series of word pictures that address several dimensions. Each dimension results in a score that, when taken together, produces a scoring range from low to high.

C.     Use of the Rapid Growth/Downsizing Assessment Decision Aid. Use the Rapid Growth/Downsizing Assessment Decision Aid (Figure 6‑30) to evaluate the degree of growth or downsizing being experienced by the air carrier. The decision aid requires the user to match the air carrier’s condition or characteristics with a series of word pictures that address several dimensions. Each dimension results in a score that, when taken together, produces a scoring range from low to high.

D.    Evaluate Decision Aid Assessment Scores. The score of the Financial Condition Assessment Decision Aid and/or the Rapid Growth/Downsizing Assessment Decision Aid reflects the relative degree of risk being experienced by the air carrier as a result of the imbalance between resources and operational requirements. Decision aid scores are used to determine the action to take to prompt the air carrier to manage the risk appropriately, and whether or not retargeting of surveillance is necessary to validate air carrier performance in identified areas of risk. If the decision aid score is high, a relatively low level of risk is indicated and the existing surveillance program should be continued. However, if particular areas of concern exist, then they must be addressed. A score in the moderate range indicates a moderate level of risk. The surveillance plan should be retargeted based on the applicable risk indicators. A low score reflects a relatively high level of risk, requiring initiation of the SEP or ATOS RMP.

1)      Initiate RMP. Decision aid scores indicating a high level of risk require initiation of the RMP that targets the specific risks generated by the imbalance of resources and operational requirements and creates an action plan. The action plan generated by the RMP will be tracked and closed by the PI.
2)      Retarget Surveillance. Decision aid scores indicating a moderate level of risk require surveillance plans to be retargeted. Complete an ACAT or Surveillance Evaluation Assessment Tool (SEAT) to develop a surveillance plan that concentrates on the elevated risk areas and that balances the need to validate performance in those areas against priorities for performance validation in other areas of the surveillance plan.
3)      Continue Current Surveillance Program. Decision aid scores that indicate a low level of risk do not require any immediate actions, other than to continue the planned surveillance program to monitor the carrier’s condition and to address any particular issues of concern if they exist.
4)      Other Changes in the Operating Environment. The Air Carrier Change Management Assessment Process may be triggered by changes such as labor unrest that are not applicable to the Financial Condition Assessment or the Rapid Growth/‌Downsizing Assessment Decision Aids. In these cases, use the ACAT or SEAT to determine if surveillance retargeting or initiation of the RMP is appropriate.

E.     Reporting. Whenever the decision aids provided in Figure 6‑29 or 6‑30 are used to evaluate the balance between an air carrier’s resources and operational requirements, the following reporting procedures will be used:

1)      Regional divisions must notify AFS headquarters (specifically AFS‑200, AFS‑300, and AFS‑900) when they are informed of the use of the decision aids contained in Figure 6‑29 or 6‑30 in their region that resulted in a moderate or low score (i.e., the retargeting of resources or the initiation of a risk management plan). Regional divisions should also notify AFS headquarters when they are aware of significant risks developing in any of the carriers in their region.
2)      Whenever the CHDO manager or PI complete the decision aids contained in Figure 6‑29 or 6‑30, they must provide the following information to their regional division:

·        The indicators or set of general stressors that lead to completing the applicable decision aid.

·        The results of the decision aid, including the score that resulted from accomplishing the decision aid.

·        Any actions taken or planned to address any identified risks (take no action at this time, retarget, prepare an RMP, etc.).

6-569      TASK OUTCOMES. Recording of any findings pertaining to evaluations, assessments, and target surveillance associated with tracking conditions discussed in this chapter will be accomplished in the PTRS or ATOS Data Repository, according to standard instructions pertaining to those systems.

6-570      FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Surveillance.

Figure 4-117, Oversight of Change Management—Process Map

Figure 4-118, Financial Condition Assessment Decision Aid

1.         INTRODUCTION.

A. While there is no strict definition of “financial distress,” the following conditions or events may be indicators of financial problems in the company. Particularly where multiple indicators or multiple examples of single indicators are observed, inspectors should consider more in‑depth inquiries with air carrier management or targeted surveillance to determine possible impacts on affected programs or air carrier systems.

B. The Financial Condition Assessment Decision Aid evaluates the degree of financial distress being experienced by the air carrier. This Decision Aid asks the user to match the air carrier’s condition or characteristics with a series of word pictures that address several dimensions. Each dimension results in a score that when taken together produces a scoring range that indicates the financial health of the operator.

2.         INSTRUCTIONS. Rate each of the nine issues in paragraphs A-I below based on information available and your knowledge of the certificate holder. Once all issues have been assessed, use the table in paragraph 3 to determine the results of this assessment.

A. Financial Stability.

1) Deferment of discretionary spending (capital expenditure, training, advertising, etc.).

2) Sale of assets (spare parts, aircraft, lease back, etc.).

3) Loss of valuable suppliers.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The certificate holder is experiencing all three of the above financial stability issues.

3–5

The certificate holder is experiencing two of the three above financial stability issues.

6–7

The certificate holder is experiencing one of the three above financial stability issues.

8–9

The certificate holder is NOT experiencing any of the three above financial stability issues.

10

The certificate holder is financially stable.

B. Changes in Management, Turnover in Personnel, and Reduction in Workforce.

1) Significant reduction of executive management and/or new executive management qualifications and expertise.

2) Significant reduction of mid‑level management and technical and support personnel (includes planners, auditors, engineers, training designers, analysts, accountants, programmers, quality assurance, etc.) and/or new mid‑level management and technical and support personnel qualifications.

3) Significant reduction of other personnel (excluding executive management, mid‑level management, technical and support personnel) and/or new other personnel (excluding executive management, mid‑level management, technical and support personnel) qualifications and expertise.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The certificate holder is experiencing all three of the above changes.

3–5

The certificate holder is experiencing two of the three changes.

6–7

The certificate holder is experiencing one of the three changes.

8–9

The certificate holder is not experiencing any of the three above changes.

10

The certificate holder has a very stable workforce.

C. Other Areas Reflecting Change in the Carrier Status.

1) Not meeting Civil Reserve Aviation Fleet (CRAF) obligations.

2) Relationship between the operator and its labor unions is declining.

3) The operator’s load factor rate is decreasing.

4) The operator’s dispatch reliability is declining.

5) The operator’s cancellation and delay rates are increasing.

6) The operator’s aircraft utilization rates are decreasing.

7) The operator’s route structure maintenance including stations and facilities is of concern.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The certificate holder is experiencing five or more of the above issues.

3–5

The certificate holder is experiencing three or four of the above issues.

6–7

The certificate holder is experiencing one or two of the above issues.

8–9

The certificate holder is NOT experiencing any of the seven above issues.

10

The certificate holder is operationally very stable.

D. Safety Programs.

1) The operator’s Internal Evaluation Program (IEP) is ineffective.

2) The operator is not using existing safety systems, including RM, effectively.

3) The operator’s cooperative relationship with the FAA Certificate Management Team is declining (CMT).

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The certificate holder is experiencing all three of the above issues and/or adequate safety programs do not exist.

3–5

The certificate holder is experiencing two of the three above issues.

6–7

The certificate holder is experiencing one of the three above issues.

8–9

The certificate holder is NOT experiencing any of the three above issues.

10

The certificate holder possesses stable safety programs.

E. Air Carrier Programs.

1) The operator’s maintenance inspection department/system is inadequately staffed and/or managed.

2) The performance of the operator’s maintenance of its CASS and/or performance monitoring system is declining.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The certificate holder is experiencing both of the above issues.

3–5

A major concern exists about the certificate holder regarding one of the above issues.

6–7

A concern exists about the certificate holder regarding one of the above issues.

8–9

A minor concern exists about the certificate holder regarding one of the above issues.

10

The air carrier programs are stable.

F. Current Compliance Status.

1) The compliance culture of the operator is declining.

2) The number of operator self‑disclosures and Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) event reports is increasing.

3) The number of complaints against the operator is increasing.

4) The number of pending enforcement actions is increasing.

5) The number of regulatory enforcement actions is increasing.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The certificate holder is experiencing four or five of the above issues.

3–5

The certificate holder is experiencing two or three of the above issues.

6–7

The certificate holder is experiencing one of above issues.

8–9

The certificate holder is NOT experiencing any of the above issues.

10

The certificate holder is compliant.

G. Accidents/Incidents/Occurrences.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1‑2

The number of accidents/incidents/occurrences the certificate holder is experiencing is of high concern.

3‑5

The number of accidents/incidents/occurrences the certificate holder is experiencing is of moderate concern.

6‑7

The number of accidents/incidents/occurrences the certificate holder is experiencing is of low concern.

8‑9

The number of accidents/incidents/occurrences the certificate holder is experiencing is of no concern.

10

The certificate holder has not experienced any accidents/incidents/occurrences.

H. Aircraft Acquisitions.

1) Significant or sudden fleet reduction.

2) The average age of the operator’s fleet is high.

3) The number of fleets operated is high or increasing.

4) The operator’s maintenance of lease aircraft is declining.

5) The operator is continuing to take delivery of new aircraft.

6) The operator is not adhering to existing maintenance program intervals.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1‑2

The certificate holder is experiencing five or more of the above issues.

3‑5

The certificate holder is experiencing three or four of the above issues.

6‑7

The certificate holder is experiencing one or two of the above issues.

8‑9

The certificate holder is NOT experiencing any of the six above issues.

10

The certificate holder’s fleet is operationally stable.

I. Outsourcing.

1) The number and quality of essential maintenance providers is of concern.

2) Outsourced flightcrew training quality is of concern.

3) Outsourced cabin crew training quality is of concern.

4) Outsourced dispatcher training quality is of concern.

5) Contracted maintenance personnel training quality is of concern.

6) Outsourced ramp/ground training quality is of concern.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The certificate holder is experiencing five or more of the above issues.

3–5

The certificate holder is experiencing three or four of the above issues.

6–7

The certificate holder is experiencing one or two of the above issues.

8–9

The certificate holder is NOT experiencing any of the six above issues.

10

The certificate holder’s outsourcing quality is acceptable and/or the certificate holder is NOT outsourcing the above‑mentioned functions.

3.         OVERALL SCORE. After all the questions have been answered, add all the scores to obtain the overall score. Using the table below, determine what actions are necessary to ensure adequate surveillance is being planned for the operator.

OVERALL SCORE

ACTIONS

9–45

The operator seems to have major financial distress issues. Begin a RMP immediately and closely track all issues of concern.

46–71

The operator seems to have some financial distress issues. Use an ACAT or SEAT to further determine a course of action.

72–90

The operator does not seem to have any substantial financial distress issues. However, if particular areas of concern exist, then those must be addressed.

Figure 4-119, Rapid Growth/Downsizing Assessment Decision Aid

1.         INTRODUCTION.

A. Air carriers may make adjustments in their fleets, personnel, or operations in the normal course of business, either in response to environmental necessities or to enhance their business posture. These are usually normal events in the course of healthy business. However, if organizational structures and support resources do not keep pace with the scope and tempo of operations, safety problems can occur. Whether operations are growing without additional support resources, or if resources are shrinking under an unchanging operational tempo, there may be a mismatch of resources to requirements. A mismatch of resources and requirements may also occur if rapid growth is occurring in certain areas of the air carrier’s operation with simultaneous rapid downsizing in other areas. Particularly where multiple indicators or multiple examples of single indicators are observed, inspectors should consider more in‑depth inquiries with air carrier management or targeted surveillance to determine possible impacts on affected programs or air carrier systems.

B. This decision aid is used to evaluate the degree of change in the scope and scale of air carrier operations (growth or downsizing) being experienced by the air carrier. This decision aid asks the user to match the air carrier’s condition or characteristics with a series of word pictures that address several dimensions. Each dimension results in a score that when taken together produces a scoring range from high to low.

2.         INSTRUCTIONS. Rate each of the eight issues in paragraphs A-H below based on information available and your knowledge of the certificate holder. Keep in mind that the degree of change is being assessed. That change may be due to either growth or reduction, thus a low score could be assigned based on the high risk experienced because of significant growth or significant downsizing. Once all the issues have been assessed, use the table on the last page to determine the results of this assessment.

A. Changes in Fleet Size.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The fleet size growth rate or reduction rate is significantly above the historical average.

3–5

The fleet size growth rate or reduction rate is above the historical average.

6–7

The fleet size growth rate or reduction rate is equal or comparable to the historical average.

8–9

The fleet size growth rate or reduction rate is below historical average.

10

The fleet size growth rate or reduction rate is significantly below historical average.

B. Changes in Aircraft Utilization.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The overall aircraft utilization is significantly above historical average.

3–5

The overall aircraft utilization is above historical average.

6–7

The overall aircraft utilization is equal or comparable to the historical average.

8–9

The overall aircraft utilization is below historical average.

10

The overall aircraft utilization is significantly below historical average.

C. Changes in Fleet Composition.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

Changes to the fleet composition significantly increase the complexity.

3–5

Changes to the fleet composition increase the complexity.

6–7

Changes to the fleet composition do not affect the complexity.

8–9

Changes to the fleet composition decrease the complexity.

10

Changes to the fleet composition significantly decrease the complexity.

D. Changes in Personnel.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The number of key employees (e.g., mechanics, supervisors, auditors) relative to fleet size is significantly less than the historical average.

3–5

The number of key employees (e.g., mechanics, supervisors, auditors) relative to fleet size is less than the historical average.

6–7

The number of key employees (e.g., mechanics, supervisors, auditors) relative to fleet size is equal or comparable to historical average.

8–9

The number of key employees (e.g., mechanics, supervisors, auditors) relative to fleet size is greater than the historical average.

10

The number of key employees (e.g., mechanics, supervisors, auditors) relative to fleet size is significantly greater than the historical average.

E. Changes in Route Structure (Domestic and International).

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The change to the number of routes (growth or reduction) is significantly above historical average.

3–5

The change to the number of routes (growth or reduction) is above historical average.

6–7

The change to the number of routes (growth or reduction) is equal or comparable to historical average.

8–9

The change to the number of routes (growth or reduction) is below historical average.

10

The change to the number of routes (growth or reduction) is significantly below historical average.

F. Changes in Departure/Frequency (Domestic and International).

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The change to the number of departures (growth or reduction) is significantly above historical average.

3–5

The change to the number of departures (growth or reduction) is above historical average.

6–7

The change to the number of departures (growth or reduction) is equal or comparable to historical average.

8–9

The change to the number of departures (growth or reduction) is below historical average.

10

The change to the number of departures (growth or reduction) is significantly below historical average.

G. Maintenance and Ground Support.

1) Shortage of ground support equipment is of concern.

2) Increased MEL items or MEL extensions are of concern.

3) Increased use of short‑term escalations is of concern.

4) Decreased aircraft dispatch reliability is of concern.

5) Increased maintenance delays are of concern.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The certificate holder is experiencing four or more of the above issues.

3–5

The certificate holder is experiencing two or three of the above issues.

6–7

The certificate holder is experiencing one or two of the above issues.

8–9

The certificate holder is not experiencing any of the five above issues.

10

The certificate holder’s maintenance and ground support is very stable.

H. Resource Management.

1) Backlogged training and flight checks are of concern.

2) Delays due to crew availability are of concern.

3) Duty time and crew rest management are of concern.

4) Increased use of overtime is of concern.

5) Shortage of service personnel is of concern.

6) Inexperience of key personnel is of concern.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

1–2

The certificate holder is experiencing four or more of the above issues.

3–5

The certificate holder is experiencing two or three of the above issues.

6–7

The certificate holder is experiencing one or two of the above issues.

8–9

The certificate holder is not experiencing any of the six above issues.

10

The certificate holder’s personnel resource management is acceptable.

3.         OVERALL SCORE. After all issues have been assessed, add the scores from each section to obtain the overall score. Using the table below, determine what actions are necessary to ensure adequate surveillance is being planned for the operator. Consider whether the most significant changes that factored into the scoring were due to rapid growth, downsizing, or simultaneous combination of both, in order to assist in identification of the change condition at the air carrier and subsequent determination of course of action.

SCORE

WORD PICTURE

8–39

The operator seems to have major rapid growth or downsizing issues. Begin a RMP immediately and closely track all issues of concern.

40–54

The operator seems to have some rapid growth or downsizing issues. Use an ACAT or SEAT to further determine a course of action.

55–80

The operator does not seem to have any substantial rapid growth or downsizing issues. However, if particular areas of concern exist, then those must be addressed.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 6‑571 through 6‑585.


6/2/09                                                                                                                         8900.1 ChG 55

Volume 6  surveillance

chapter 2  PART 121, 135, and 91 Subpart k INSPECTIONs

Section 40  Inspect a Part 121 Certificate Holder’s Use of Other Persons to Perform Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance and Alterations on its Aircraft

6-1096  PURPOSE. This section provides information and national policy to Airworthiness aviation safety inspectors (ASI) for inspecting “other persons” performing maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations as provided in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121, § 121.379(a).

A.     Verification. The inspection verifies that:

·        Maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations performed by other persons are performed in accordance with the certificate holder’s manual;

·        Competent personnel and adequate facilities and equipment are provided for the proper performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations; and

·        Each aircraft released to service is airworthy and has been properly maintained for operation under part 121.

B.     Intentions. This section is for surveillances purposes. It is not to be used for evaluating a certificate holder’s contract maintenance arrangement which is covered in Federal Aviation Administration Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 42, Section 1, Oversight of Contract Maintenance Providers. Use this policy along with the Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) Element Performance Inspection (EPI) 1.3.7 Contract Organization (AW), to perform the inspection.

6-1097  GENERAL.

A.     Maintenance Definition. Many nonregulatory words and terms are used in the aviation industry to describe a person who performs maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations for a certificate holder under the provisions of § 121.379(a) such as outsource/contract, emergency, vendor, and oncall. It is important that the ASI understand and use these words appropriately to prevent unintended changes to the regulatory meaning of the word maintenance. Other persons who perform maintenance for a certificate holder under the provisions of § 121.379(a) can be a certificated repair station, a noncertificated organization or company, or a certificated mechanic at an airport. Other persons can perform maintenance in locations such as in a hangar; on the line, or in a shop. Regardless of who performs maintenance for a certificate holder, the word used to describe the person, location, and facilities used by another person, all maintenance must be performed in accordance with part 121, the certificate holder’s Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP), and the certificate holder’s manual. There should be no differences between maintenance performed by the certificate holder and maintenance performed for the certificate holder by another person.

Note:       The terms “other persons” and “certificate holder” are used in this section wherever appropriate because they are consistent with the regulatory language used in part 121 subpart L. The intended meaning of the word “person” is as stated in 14 CFR part 1 as an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint‑stock association, or governmental entity.

B.     Part 121 Regulations. All other persons, certificated or not, when used by a certificate holder to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations on its aircraft including airframes, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, emergency equipment, and parts thereof, are governed by part 121 regulations as stated in § 121.1(b). With few exceptions, part 121 maintenance regulations apply regardless of who performs the maintenance, the type of arrangement made between the certificate holder and other persons, the kind and amount of maintenance performed, the location of the maintenance provider, and whether or not the maintenance provider is certificated. Exceptions are noted in § 121.361(b) which provides for the use of noncertificated persons outside the United States, § 121.377 which specifies duty time limitations for persons within the United States, and § 121.378 which provides an exception for certificates when using a repair station located outside the United States.

6-1098  AUTHORITY. The inspector performing this inspection should have a clear understanding of the authority needed to perform and approve maintenance for a certificate holder under part 121.

A.     Approved Maintenance. In 14 CFR, part 43 provides general provisions and requirements for the performance and approval of all maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations on any aircraft having a U.S. airworthiness certificate. Part 43, §§ 43.3 and 43.7 provide a list of persons authorized to perform and approve maintenance respectively. Both sections recognize the holder of an air carrier operating certificate as a maintenance entity and provide the authority to perform and approve maintenance as provided in part 121. However, §§ 43.3 and 43.7 also list other maintenance entities authorized to perform and approve maintenance. It is with these other maintenance entities that confusion sometimes arises over the authority to perform and approve maintenance on a certificate holder’s aircraft.

B.     Authorization. Notwithstanding the authority granted to persons listed in §§ 43.3 and 43.7 to perform and approve maintenance, each person used by a certificate holder under part 121 to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations is governed by part 121 regulations as stated in § 121.1(b). The authority needed to perform and approve maintenance in part 121 is contained in § 121.379. Section 121.379 authorizes the certificate holder to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations as provided in its CAMP and its maintenance manual. It also provides for the certificate holder to make arrangements with other persons to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations as provided in its CAMP and its maintenance manual. Section 121.379 does not specify the type of person that the certificate holder must use, e.g., certificated or not. Additionally, a certificate holder may perform these functions for another certificate holder as provided in the camp and maintenance manual of the other certificate holder.

C.     Certificate Holder Authorization. Whereas, § 121.379 specifically provides for the use of other persons and other certificate holders to perform maintenance, it does not provide for the use of other persons to approve for return to service after maintenance is performed. Notwithstanding the authority granted to persons listed in § 43.7 to approve maintenance, § 121.379 authorizes only the certificate holder to approve any aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance for return to service after maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations are performed.

6-1099  RESPONSIBILITY.

A.     Certificate Holder. Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C) § 44702 recognizes the duty of an air carrier to provide service with the highest possible degree of safety in the public interest. This duty is not recognized for any other certificates issued by the FAA including air agency certificates (part 145 certificated repair stations). Additionally, § 121.363(a)(1) and (2) states that each certificate holder is primarily responsible for the airworthiness of its aircraft, including airframes, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, and parts thereof; and the performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance and alteration of its aircraft, including airframes, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, emergency equipment, and parts thereof. The responsibility imposed on the certificate holder includes the use of other persons who perform maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations for the certificate holder as noted in § 121.363(b). The certificate holder cannot delegate its responsibility to another person for the performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance or alterations.

B.     FAA. The FAA is charged with safety oversight of certificate holders including all other persons, certificated or not, used by the certificate holder to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations. There should be no differences in the FAA oversight of a certificated maintenance provider and one that is not certificated. Aircraft maintenance, no matter who performs it or where it is performed, requires effective oversight.

6-1100  MAINTENANCE ARRANGEMENTS. The FAA recommends that certificate holders make all maintenance arrangements or agreements in writing. The certificate holder should specify in the agreement the work they want the maintenance provider to perform. The agreement should include language necessary to ensure that only the work the certificate holder has authorized the qualified maintenance provider to perform is accomplished, the work must be performed in accordance with the certificate holder’s requirements stated in their manual. The policy and procedures portion of their manual should assign clear authority and responsibilities and outline procedures for their personnel to administer, control, and direct all contracted work.

6-1101  MANUAL. Section 121.133(a) requires each certificate holder to prepare and keep a current manual for the use and guidance of flight, ground operations, and management personnel in conducting its operations including maintenance. The regulation provides that the certificate holder may prepare that part of the manual containing maintenance information and instructions, in whole or in part, in printed form or other form acceptable to the Administrator. Section 121.369(a) further requires that the manual include, among other things, a list of persons with whom the certificate holder has arranged for the performance of any of its required inspections, other maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations including a general description of that work.

A.     Certificate Holders Manual. The FAA recommends that the certificate holder arrange the required list of maintenance providers in their manual to identify providers that are certificated, noncertificated, perform essential maintenance, perform scheduled maintenance and perform unscheduled maintenance. The certificate holder should specify in its manual how it will select, qualify, authorize, and control a maintenance provider and the maintenance they perform to ensure it is performed in accordance with the certificate holder’s manual.

B.     Current Manuals. Section 121.137(a)(1) requires each certificate holder to furnish copies of its manual or appropriate parts of the manual to maintenance personnel, which includes maintenance providers. Based upon the certificate holder’s requirements, the inspector should verify that a maintenance provider has the manual or appropriate parts of the manual necessary to perform the authorized work. If a certificate holder furnishes only parts of its manual to a maintenance provider, the inspector should verify that the parts contain all of the information and instructions necessary for the maintenance provider to perform the work with a high degree of safety in accordance with the certificate holder’s CAMP. The certificate holder should specify in its manual how it will control the manuals or parts of the manual issued to the maintenance provider and ensure that it is kept current.

6-1102  ORGANIZATION. Section 121.365 (a)(b) requires that both the certificate holder and each person with whom the certificate holder has arranged for the performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance, alterations and required inspections have an organization adequate to perform the work.

A.     Organization Extension. FAA policy states that when a certificate holder uses another person to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations for it that person becomes an extension of the certificate holder’s organization (reference Volume 3, Chapter 42, Section 1, paragraph 3‑3843A). The policy is applicable to the authority needed by a person to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations for a certificate holder. The authority, which is stated in § 121.379(a), comes from the certificate holder to the maintenance provider through the arrangement for the performance of maintenance.

B.     Maintenance Provider’s Organization. However, the relationship described in the previous paragraph does not relieve other persons from the regulatory requirement for an organization as stated in § 121.365. Therefore, a person performing maintenance for a certificate holder must have an organization and the adequacy of the organization must be based upon the work performed. The certificate holder should provide in its manual how they will determine the adequacy of a maintenance provider’s organization. The inspector should verify that persons performing maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations for a certificate holder have an organization adequate to perform the work as specified in the certificate holder’s manual.

6-1103  PROGRAMS.

A.     Requirements. Section 121.367 requires each certificate holder to have an inspection program and a program covering other maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations that ensures that:

·        Maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations performed by it or other persons are performed in accordance with the certificate holder’s manual;

·        Competent personnel and adequate facilities and equipment are provided for the proper performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations; and

·        Each aircraft released to service is airworthy and has been properly maintained for operation under part 121. (Reference § 121.709.)

B.     Ensuring Compliance. The certificate holder should specify in its manual how they will ensure compliance with their program requirements when using other persons to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations. The manual should address how they will ensure compliance with such things as the certificate holder’s:

·        Work instructions and forms for performing and recording maintenance, preventive maintenance and alterations,

·        Requirements for controlling and using special tools and test equipment,

·        Requirements for controlling aircraft parts and materials,

·        Requirements for controlling aircraft major repairs and alterations;

·        Requirements for controlling hazardous materials, and

·        Requirements for controlling the use of facilities, ground and support equipment.

Note:       With one exception, there should be no differences in the requirements for the certificate holder and the requirements for other persons performing maintenance for the certificate holder. The exception is when the certificate holder adopts the requirements of the provider as their own. However, the adopted requirements must meet the certificate holder’s requirements. There should be no instance where a lower standard is accepted to accommodate the use of another person to perform maintenance.

6-1104  REQUIRED INSPECTIONS.

A.     Verification. Verifying the proper performance of required inspections by other persons for the certificate holder is one of the most important aspects of this inspection. Due to the critical nature of the required inspection it is most important for the inspector to determine that all of the system safety attributes are addressed and incorporated into the certificate holder’s manual for required inspections performed by other persons.

B.     Inspection Requirements. The inspector should refer to EPI 1.3.7 for a complete listing of specific regulatory requirements (SRR) applicable to required inspections. The inspector should be aware of the different compliance requirements of some of the Required Inspection Items (RII) regulations. For example, § 121.371(a), (b) and (c) specifies compliance by a “person.” Section 121.369, specifies compliance by the certificate holder. Additionally, there are RII regulations that specify compliance by the certificate holder but allows for other persons with whom the certificate holder arranges for the performance of required inspections to accomplish the requirement such as § 121.371(d). Regardless of who is required to comply with a regulation, the certificate holder is primarily responsible and must have control over the inspections.

C.     Certificate Holder’s CAMP and Manual. If a certificate holder chooses to use another person to perform required inspections, the certificate holder’s CAMP and manual must be provided. The CAMP and manual should address such things as selecting, training, qualifying, and authorizing a maintenance provider’s employee to perform RII inspections. There should be no differences in the RII standards for the certificate holder’s employees and the RII standards for maintenance provider’s employees. The certificate holder should specify in the written arrangement with the maintenance provider for maintenance the details of the RII authorization and any limitations necessary to ensure that only the RII authorized are performed. The certificate holder should specify in its manual how it will ensure compliance with the following sections in part 121 that relate to other persons:

Note:       This is only a partial listing of applicable regulations for required inspections (See EPI 1.3.7 for a complete listing of SRRs.)

1)      Section 121.365(b) – Other persons performing required inspections must have an adequate organization to perform the inspection.
2)      Section 121.369(a) – The certificate holder must list in its manual other persons with whom it has arranged for the performance of required inspections including a general description of that work.
3)      Section 121.369(b)(3) – A designation by occupational title of personnel authorized to perform each required inspection.
4)      Section 121.369(b)(8) – Instructions and procedures to prevent any decision of a maintenance provider inspector, regarding any required inspection, from being countermanded by persons other than supervisory personnel of the inspection unit, or a person at that level of administrative control that has overall responsibility for the management of both the required inspection functions and the other maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations functions.
5)      Section 121.369(b)(9) – Procedures to ensure that required inspections that are not completed as a result of shift changes or similar work interruptions involving a maintenance provider are properly completed before the aircraft is released to service.
6)      Section 121.371(d) – Each certificate holder will maintain, or will determine that each person with whom it arranges to perform its required inspections maintains a current listing of persons who have been trained, qualified, and authorized to conduct required inspections. The person must be identified by name, occupational title, and the inspections that they are authorized to perform. The certificate holder (or person with whom it arranges to perform its required inspections) will give written information to each person so authorized, describing the extent of his responsibilities, authorities, and inspection limitations. The list will be made available for inspection by the Administrator upon request.

6-1105  CONTINUING ANALYSIS AND SURVEILLANCE. Section 121.373 requires the certificate holder to establish and maintain a system for the continuing analysis and surveillance of the performance and effectiveness of its inspection program and programs covering other maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations regardless of whether those programs are carried out by the certificate holder or by another person. If the certificate holder chooses to use another person to carry out any part of its inspection and maintenance programs it must provide for its use in its CAMP and its maintenance manual. Additionally, the certificate holder should specify in its manual how it will comply with the Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System (CASS) regulatory requirements to audit the performance of maintenance, analyze findings and correct deficiencies in those programs when those programs are performed by others. The manual should specify how and what type of data is collected during the audit including how other data, generated during the performance of inspection and maintenance by other persons that might be essential to the certificate holder’s CASS, such as tear down reports and SDRs, is obtained and provided to the certificate holder for inclusion in their CASS as applicable.

6-1106  TRAINING.

A.     Training Program. Section 121.375 requires the certificate holder or person performing maintenance or preventive maintenance functions for it to have a training program. If a certificate holder chooses to use the training program of the person performing maintenance or preventive maintenance for it to satisfy regulatory requirements, it should specify in its manual how it will evaluate, qualify and authorize the use of the other person’s training program to ensure it meets the certificates holder’s requirements and standards.

B.     Quality of Training. It is important for the inspector to verify that training provided to a maintenance provider (other person), whether provided by the certificate holder or the other person, is consistent with the certificate holder’s standard. Training provided to other persons who perform maintenance for the certificate holder should be, at least, equal in the amount, level and quality as the training provide to the certificate holder’s employees by the certificate holder for the same work performed.

C.     Valid Training. The inspector should verify that training is current and applicable to both the work authorized by the certificate holder and the work actually being performed, especially in cases where the certificate holder has not used the services of a maintenance provider for a period of time and the original training provided to them is out of date.

D.    Training Regulations. Part 121 maintenance training regulations are not performance based, which means that they tell the certificate holder what must be done, not how it must be done. FAA policy provides the details necessary for an acceptable training program (Reference Volume 3, Chapter 24, Section 1, Evaluate an Operator/Program Manager’s Maintenance Training Program.)

6-1107  DUTY TIME LIMITATIONS. Section 121.377 requires that within the United States a certificate holder or person performing maintenance or preventive maintenance functions for the certificate holder to relieve each person performing maintenance or preventive maintenance from duty for a period of at least 24‑consecutive hours during any seven‑consecutive days, or the equivalent thereof within any one calendar‑month. A certificate holder may accept the contract person’s method of controlling duty time limitations. In this case, the certificate holder should have a process in their manual for reviewing, qualifying and authorizing the use of the other person’s method for controlling duty time limitations. Additionally, it is not enough for the certificate holder to just accept the other person methods for controlling duty time limitations. The certificate holder must state in its manual how it will ensure the other persons methods will continuously meet the certificate holders requirements and the requirements of § 121.377. Duty time limitations are directly related to the performance of maintenance and the airworthiness of its aircraft for which the certificate holder has primary responsibility. The certificate holder should specify in its manual how they will review, qualify, authorize, and control other persons to perform this function. There should be no difference in the requirements for the certificate holder and the requirements for persons performing maintenance.

Note:       Persons performing work for the certificate holder that are self employed or work for a contract maintenance provider contracted by the certificate holder should be held accountable to the same duty time limitations as the person directly employed by the carrier. If not controlled the individual could work beyond limitations and become a safety hazard.

6-1108  CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS.

A.     Appropriate Certificate. Except for maintenance, preventive maintenance, alterations, and required inspections performed by a certificated repair station that is located outside the United States, § 121.378(a) requires that each person who is directly in charge of maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations, and each person performing required inspections must hold an appropriate airman certificate.

B.     Ensuring Proper Certificates. The certificate holder should specify in its manual how they will ensure that other persons who perform maintenance for them have the proper airman certificate.

6-1109  AIRWORTHINESS RELEASE OR A/C LOG ENTRY.

A.     Post‑Maintenance Requirements. Section 121.709 specifies that no certificate holder may operate an aircraft after maintenance or alterations are performed on the aircraft unless the certificate holder or the person with whom the certificate holder arranges for the performance of maintenance prepares or causes the preparation of an Airworthiness Release or an appropriate entry in the aircraft log. The Airworthiness Release or Log Book Entry must be prepared in accordance with the procedures set forth in the certificate holder’s manual. It must include a certification that:

·        The work was performed in accordance with the requirements of the certificate holder’s manual;

·        All items required to be inspected were inspected by an authorized person who determined that the work was satisfactorily completed;

·        No known condition exists that would make the airplane unairworthy; and

·        So far as the work performed is concerned, the aircraft is in condition for safe operation.

B.     Signature Requirements. The Airworthiness Release or the Log Book Entry must be signed by an authorized certificated mechanic or repairman except that a certificated repairman may sign the release or entry only for the work for which he is employed and certificated.

C.     Signature Exceptions. The only exception to the signature requirements is maintenance, preventive maintenance or alterations performed by a repair station that is located outside the United States. The Airworthiness Release or Log Book Entry may be signed by a person authorized by that repair station.

D.    Regulation Provisions. Instead of restating each of the four conditions of the required certification stated in the regulation, the certificate holder may state in its manual that the signature of an authorized certificated mechanic or repairman constitutes that certification. Most certificate holders choose to use this provision of the regulation. If the certificate holder uses this provision in the rule, it is highly recommended that the inspector verify that another person signing an aircraft log entry is aware of the conditions of certification he or she is signing for and the person has been authorized by the certificate holder to sign the log entry.

6-1110  SURVEILLANCE PLANNING.

A.     FAA Oversight. Currently, the trend in maintenance outsourcing is significant and underscores the need for effective FAA oversight. It is essential for certificate management personnel to have verified complete and accurate information on who is performing maintenance, where it is being performed, the amount and the type of maintenance being performed especially essential maintenance, any scheduled maintenance and on‑call maintenance. A risk‑based system for oversight of aircraft maintenance such as ATOS cannot be effective if it does not have complete and accurate information on the certificate holder’s contract maintenance.

B.     Certificate Management Team (CMT). The CMT should confirm the validity of the list of maintenance providers used by the certificate holder and listed in their manual as required by § 121.369(a) and those listed in operations specification (OpSpec) D091. The CMT must ensure that the list represents all providers, domestic or foreign, certificated or noncertificated, frequently or infrequently used. The CMT should give special attention to a certificate holder’s use of a noncertificated maintenance provider especially those providing essential maintenance and any scheduled maintenance. The CMT should ensure that noncertificated maintenance entities have the same level of regulatory safeguards and controls that meet the certificate holder’s manual requirements.

6-1111  Pre‑Inspection. Inspectors should notify the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) when inspecting a contract maintenance provider. If assistance with the inspection is needed the inspector should inform the principal inspector (PI). The PI might consider and find it advantageous to coordinate with the office or region to form a joint team to evaluate a maintenance provider that is used by a number of certificate holders in the office or region. Before inspecting a contract maintenance provider, the inspector should:

A.     Review. Review the certificate holder’s arrangement for the performance of maintenance by the maintenance provider. Verify that it meets the requirements specified in the certificate holder’s CAMP and maintenance manual.

B.     Contact. Contact the PI if necessary prior to the inspection to discuss any questions or current issues associated with the maintenance provider.

C.     Contact Information. Obtain contact information for the maintenance provider. If the facility is a certificated repair station, the inspector can obtain a listing of management personnel from Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS).

D.    Coordinate. If the contract provider is the holder of a part 145 repair station certificate, coordinate the inspection with the assigned PI of the repair station.

E.     International Travel. If traveling outside the United States, process travel plans in accordance with national and regional policy. Information on international travel guidelines for FAA employees can be found at https://employees.faa.gov/org/staffoffices/api/ international_travel/guidelines. Additional information on the FAA travel policy can be found at https://employees.faa.gov/org/staffoffices/aba/travel/policy. The inspector should contact the U.S. Department of State in the early panning stages of the trip. The Web site is http://www.travel.state.gov. The ASI should review any travel advisories for the country to which they are traveling. Restrictions must be addressed and visas must be obtained before departure. A minimum of 30 days is recommended.

Note:       Travel to foreign countries requires a security briefing per the guidance found in the current edition of FAA Order 1600.61, Foreign Travel Briefing and Contact Reporting Requirements for the FAA, and Contractor Employees.

F.      Foreign Inspections. Information relating to inspecting a certificate holder’s maintenance provider located in a foreign country can be found in 8900.1, Volume 12, Chapter 10, International Field Office Procedures for Conducting Sampling Inspections, FAA Independent Inspections, and Participating in Foreign National Aviation Authority's Internal Quality Audits Under a BASA/MIP.

6-1112  ATOS REPORTING. All surveillance elements are to be documented in accordance with Volume 6, Chapter 10. The inspector should validate the certificate holder’s process for making arrangements with other persons to perform maintenance preventive maintenance or alterations. A certificate holder’s CAMP must be comprehensive in scope and detail and should include a process that shows how the certificate holder retains and controls their responsibility for airworthiness. Safety Attribute Inspection 1.3.7 Contract Organization (AW) should be used to evaluate and record the certificate holder’s contract process. EPI 1.3.7 should be used to measure and record the effectiveness of the certificate holder’s process and the contract provider’s ability to follow the requirements of the certificate holder’s CAMP.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 6‑1113 through 6‑1120.


6/2/09                                                                                                                         8900.1 CHG 10

Volume 8  GENERAL TECHNICAL FUNCTIONS

chapter 5  GENERAL AIRWORTHINESS AND AVIONICS TECHNICAL FUNCTIONS

Section 6  Process Service Difficulty Report

8-425      PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.

A.     Maintenance. 3325, 3326.

B.     Avionics. 5325, 5326.

Note:       For an Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) air carrier oversight; this process should be documented using a Condor, targeting Element 1.2.5 (Service Difficulty Report (SDR) questions).

8-426      OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance on how to process a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 8070‑1, Service Difficulty Report‑Aeronautical Report, and introduce the Internet SDR system.

Note:       The principal inspector (PI) should ensure that the operator is aware of the SDR system.

8-427      GENERAL. The completion of a SDR requires careful review of the reported discrepancy and supporting data. An effective evaluation of the extent of the problem and its causes is essential for determining corrective action.

A.     Submission of Operator Report. The operator submits an SDR. The operator shall submit the reports directly to the FAA offices at Oklahoma City. Although FAA Form 8070‑1, Service Difficulty Report‑Aeronautical Report can be filled out manually and mailed to the address in this document, it is recommended that the form be submitted through the SDR system (http://av-info.faa.gov/SDRx/) managed by the Aviation Data Systems Branch, AFS‑620. Reportable discrepancies are listed in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121, § 121.703 and part 135, § 135.415, as well as the corresponding regulatory requirements.

B.     Evaluation of the Data. Although the information can be entered directly into the SDR system by the operator or a part 145 repair station (14 CFR part 145, § 145.221), on behalf of the operator, this bypasses the certificate‑holding district office (CHDO). The PI is still responsible for periodically reviewing the SDR data. The inspector should use the SDR Adhoc Query function of the SDR system to review individual operator’s reports. The SPAS SDR Database Query can also be used. If the initial evaluation indicates a serious airworthiness problem, the inspector should immediately contact AFS‑620, and the regional office. The FAA Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) and Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG) responsible for the product must be informed of the equipment service difficulty and any recommendations for corrective actions. Corrective action recommendations may include the following:

Note:       PIs for air carriers whose oversight is conducted under the ATOS should include a review of the reports submitted to the SDR system during the development of their Comprehensive Assessment Plan (CAP) and during the Quarterly Planning Review as outlined in 8900.1, Volume 6, Chapter 10.

·        Airworthiness Directives (AD);

·        Product modifications;

·        Revised inspection techniques;

·        Directed safety investigations;

·        ATOS Design Assessments (if applicable); and

·        ATOS Performance Assessments (if applicable).

C.     Checking for Trends. If the opportunity exists, the inspector should review prior reports for possible trends (e.g., vendor problems, manufacturer equipment problems, training, and/or procedural problems).

8-428      PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

A.     Prerequisites. Knowledge of the equipment involved.

B.     Coordination. This task may require coordination with operations inspectors, other district offices, AFS‑620, FAA ACO and appropriate AEG, and equipment manufacturers.

8-429      REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.     References (current editions):

·        14 CFR parts 43 and 145;

·        Manufacturer’s and operator’s manuals.

B.     Forms. FAA Form 8070‑1, Service Difficulty Report.

C.  Job Aids. None.

8-430      PROCEDURES.

A.  Electronic Transmittal of the SDR. SDR is now operational and available to operators. Information and assistance will be provided by AFS‑620 to operators desiring to input data electronically. Although optional electronic reporting does not alter the reporting requirements of § 121.703, the electronic transmittal will measurably reduce the time between service difficulties and database entry.

1)      For reports that are submitted electronically, the database can be updated with supplemental information by revising the original report and submitting it by using the same operator control number. The computer will display the operator control number and overwrite the original record with the corrected record.
2)      For more information concerning electronic transmittals, contact AFS‑620 at (405) 954‑4173 or write to the following office:

Manager, Aviation Data Systems Branch

AFS‑620

P.O. Box 25082

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125

B.     Conduct an Investigation. If the evaluation indicates that followup action is required to determine the cause of the discrepancy, inspect the following areas, as applicable:

·        Aircraft, engine, propeller, components, and accessories;

·        Appropriate maintenance records;

·        Maintenance procedures;

·        Training procedures and records; and

·        Vendor sources.

C.     Identify and Correct Discrepancies.

1)      If the investigation reveals inadequacies in the operator’s maintenance or inspection procedures, ensure that procedures are changed to prevent a recurrence of the discrepancy.
2)      If the investigation reveals a lack of training and/or inadequate training, evaluate the training program and incorporate procedural changes to correct the deficient areas.
3)      If the investigation reveals a serious manufacturing defect, contact the following immediately:

·        The appropriate regional office;

·        The Aviation Data Systems Branch, AFS‑620; and

·        The appropriate engineering branch.

8-431      TASK OUTCOMES.

A.     Complete the PTRS Record.

B.     Complete the Task. Completion of this task may result in the following:

·        Followup action for discrepancies, and

·        Enforcement action for regulatory noncompliance.

C.     Review Operator Data on SDR.

D.    Review FAA Form 8070‑1 (if submitted). To ensure that all related information is complete, including all recommendations and operator’s data. Forward the completed package to AFS‑620.

E.     Document the Task. Retain Form 8070‑1 (if submitted) in the operator’s office file in case any type of followup action is needed.

8-432      FUTURE ACTIVITIES. None.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 8‑433 through 8‑447.


6/11/09                                                                                                                       8900.1 CHG 10

Volume 8  GENERAL TECHNICAL FUNCTIONS

chapter 5  GENERAL AIRWORTHINESS AND AVIONICS TECHNICAL FUNCTIONS

Section 6  Process Service Difficulty Report

8-425      PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS) ACTIVITY CODES.

A.     Maintenance. 3325, 3326.

B.     Avionics. 5325, 5326.

8-426      OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance on how to process a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 8070‑1, Service Difficulty Report‑Aeronautical Equipment, and introduce the Internet SDR system.

Note:       The principal inspector (PI) should ensure that the operator is aware of the SDR system.

8-427      GENERAL. The completion of a SDR requires careful review of the reported discrepancy and supporting data. An effective evaluation of the extent of the problem and its causes is essential for determining corrective action.

A.     Submission of Operator Report. The operator submits an SDR. The operator shall submit the reports directly to the FAA offices at Oklahoma City. Although FAA Form 8070‑1, Service Difficulty Report‑Aeronautical Report can be filled out manually and mailed to the address in this document, it is recommended that the form be submitted through the SDR system (http://av-info.faa.gov/SDRx/) managed by the Aviation Data Systems Branch, AFS‑620. Reportable discrepancies are listed in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121, § 121.703 and part 135, § 135.415, as well as the corresponding regulatory requirements.

B.     Evaluation of the Data. Although the information can be entered directly into the SDR system by the operator or a part 145 repair station (14 CFR part 145, § 145.221), on behalf of the operator, this bypasses the certificate‑holding district office (CHDO). The PI is still responsible for periodically reviewing the SDR data. The inspector should use the SDR Adhoc Query function of the SDR system to review individual operator’s reports. The SPAS SDR Database Query can also be used. If the initial evaluation indicates a serious airworthiness problem, the inspector should immediately contact AFS‑620, and the regional office. The FAA Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) and Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG) responsible for the product must be informed of the equipment service difficulty and any recommendations for corrective actions. Corrective action recommendations may include the following:

·        Airworthiness Directives (AD);

·        Product modifications;

·        Revised inspection techniques;

·        Directed safety investigations;

·        ATOS Design Assessments (if applicable); and

·        ATOS Performance Assessments (if applicable).

Note:       PIs for air carriers whose oversight is conducted under the ATOS should include a review of the reports submitted to the SDR system during the development of their Comprehensive Assessment Plan (CAP) and during the Quarterly Planning Review as outlined in 8900.1, Volume 10, Chapter 2, Section 2.

A.     Checking for Trends. If the opportunity exists, the inspector should review prior reports for possible trends (e.g., vendor problems, manufacturer equipment problems, training, and/or procedural problems).

8-428      PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

A.     Prerequisites. Knowledge of the equipment involved.

B.     Coordination. This task may require coordination with operations inspectors, other district offices, AFS‑620, FAA ACO and appropriate AEG, and equipment manufacturers.

8-4210  REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.     References (current editions):

·        14 CFR parts 43, 121, 135, and 145;

·        Manufacturer’s and operator’s manuals.

B.     Forms. FAA Form 8070‑1, Service Difficulty Report.

C.  Job Aids. None.

8-432      PROCEDURES.

A.  Electronic Transmittal of the SDR. SDR internet reporting is now operational and available to operators (http://av-info.faa.gov/SDRx/). Information and assistance will be provided by AFS‑620 to operators desiring to input data electronically. Although optional electronic reporting does not alter the reporting requirements of § 121.703, the electronic transmittal will measurably reduce the time between service difficulties and database entry.

1)      For reports that are submitted electronically, the database can be updated with supplemental information by revising the original report and submitting it by using the same operator control number. The computer will display the operator control number and overwrite the original record with the corrected record.
2)      For more information concerning electronic transmittals, contact AFS‑620 at (405) 954‑4173 or write to the following office:

Manager, Aviation Data Systems Branch

AFS‑620

P.O. Box 25082

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125

B.     Conduct an Investigation. If the evaluation indicates that followup action is required to determine the cause of the discrepancy, inspect the following areas, as applicable:

·        Aircraft, engine, propeller, components, and accessories;

·        Appropriate maintenance records;

·        Maintenance procedures;

·        Training procedures and records; and

·        Vendor sources.

C.     Identify and Correct Discrepancies.

1)      If the investigation reveals inadequacies in the operator’s maintenance or inspection procedures, ensure that procedures are changed to prevent a recurrence of the discrepancy.
2)      If the investigation reveals a lack of training and/or inadequate training, evaluate the training program and incorporate procedural changes to correct the deficient areas.
3)      If the investigation reveals a serious manufacturing defect, contact the following immediately:

·        The appropriate regional office;

·        The Aviation Data Systems Branch, AFS‑620; and

·        The appropriate engineering branch.

8-433      TASK OUTCOMES.

A.     Complete the PTRS Record.

B.     Complete the Task. Completion of this task may result in the following:

·        Followup action for discrepancies, and

·        Enforcement action for regulatory noncompliance.

C.     Review Operator Data on SDR.

D.    Review FAA Form 8070‑1 (if submitted). To ensure that all related information is complete, including all recommendations and operator’s data. Forward the completed package to AFS‑620.

E.     Document the Task. Retain Form 8070‑1 (if submitted) in the operator’s office file in case any type of followup action is needed.

8-737      FUTURE ACTIVITIES. None.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 8‑433 through 8‑447.