8900.1 CHG 0

VOLUME 2  Air Operator AND AIR AGENCY Certification and Application PROCESS


Section 3  Evaluate Airworthiness Issues of Part 141 Pilot School


A.     Maintenance. 3230.

B.     Avionics. 5230.

2-1122     OBJECTIVE. This section describes how to evaluate an applicant for a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 141 pilot school certificate.

2-1123     GENERAL.

A.     Certification Process. The certification process provides for interaction between the applicant and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), from initial inquiry to certificate issuance or denial. It ensures programs, systems, and intended methods of compliance are thoroughly reviewed, evaluated, and tested.

1)     The certification process consists of five phases, as follows:

·     Preapplication Phase,

·     Formal Application Phase,

·     Document Compliance Phase,

·     Demonstration and Inspection Phase, and

·     Certification Phase.

2)     Due to the nature of 14 CFR part 141 operations, the way the five phases are used will depend on the size and complexity of the proposed operation. The five phases may overlap. For example, an inspector might review documents during the Document Compliance Phase prior to attending the meeting in the Formal Application Phase.

B.     Certification Project Manager (CPM). The CPM shall closely coordinate all activities with the appropriate specialties.

C.     Importance of Maintaining Training Aircraft. Training aircraft are subject to greater wear and deterioration because of the frequent takeoffs and landings. Malfunctions that may be controlled by an experienced pilot could place the relatively inexperienced student pilot in a critical situation. This is particularly true in complex aircraft with controllable propellers and retractable gear. The frequency of takeoffs and landings on a training aircraft can make engines vulnerable to overheating and rapid cooling damage.

D.     Application of Systems Analysis Processes. Experience has shown that safety is enhanced when operators employ systems analysis concepts. Inspectors should encourage operators to develop and use systems to control the maintenance of school aircraft.

1)     Inspectors should suggest that operators do the following:

·     Clearly define the management organization;

·     Establish a well-defined chain of command;

·     Provide individual job descriptions explaining the scope and detail of authority and responsibility; and

·     Provide specific instructions regarding the accomplishment of jobs.

2)     Inspectors should encourage pilot schools to define the following:

·     The control and schedule of aircraft for required inspection(s) and maintenance;

·     The scope and detail of maintenance inspections;

·     The correction and recording in aircraft records of pilot-recorded discrepancies; and

·     The maintenance of aircraft operated under lease agreements.

E.     Contract Maintenance. Maintenance may be accomplished under contract arrangement, providing enough certificated mechanics are readily available to maintain the school’s aircraft. Arrangements for maintenance by other than school-operated facilities and personnel should be described in a written statement.


A.     Prerequisites. Familiarity with the type equipment to be used by applicant.

B.     Coordination. This task will require coordination with maintenance, avionics, and operations inspectors.


A.     References.

·     Title 14 CFR parts 43, 45, 47, 65, 91, 133, and 137; and

·     Appropriate sections of this handbook.

B.     Forms.

·     FAA Form 8420-8, Application for Pilot School Certificate; and

·     FAA Form 8000-4, Air Agency Certificate.

C.     Job Aids. None.


A.     Application Form. Provide the applicant with necessary information and an application form. Advise the applicant to submit a letter of intent.

B.     Preapplication Meeting. Schedule a preapplication meeting, if necessary.

2-1127     FORMAL APPLICATION PHASE. Following submission of the application form and letter of intent, discuss with the applicant any obvious deficiencies in the application and suggest corrective actions.

2-1128     DOCUMENT COMPLIANCE PHASE. Review the application, letter of intent, and any relevant attachments in detail for completeness and accuracy. If necessary, meet with the applicant to resolve deficiencies and answer questions.


A.     Review General Aviation Alerts. Review for trends and problem areas regarding the make(s) and model(s) of aircraft the operator intends to use.

B.     Inspect Aircraft. Inspect aircraft for certification, registration, airworthiness, and condition for safe operations. Ensure the operator has available aircraft equipped to perform functions appropriate for the course of training.

1)     Inspect special purpose equipment installed on aircraft, such as external load equipment, agricultural dispensing equipment, and modifications for handicapped students, for approved data.
2)     Ensure the aircraft and the equipment list agree.
3)     Ensure that the installed equipment to be used for radio navigation and instrument training is operational and complies with the minimum requirements.

C.     Inspect Aircraft Maintenance Records.

1)     Inspect aircraft maintenance and alteration records to determine that all aircraft have current, appropriate inspections and meet all of the Code of Federal Regulations requirements. Ensure compliance with all applicable Airworthiness Directives and life-limited parts requirements.
2)     Ensure that current weight and balance information is available to the pilot of the aircraft.

D.     Ensure Adequate Personnel, Facilities, and Equipment. Discuss with the applicant the advisability of having properly certificated and trained personnel to maintain the aircraft. Verify that any contract maintenance agreements are described in writing and provide for a sufficient number of certificated mechanics readily available to maintain the school’s aircraft. Ensure the applicant has access to facilities and equipment adequate to maintain the school’s aircraft.

E.     Analyze Findings. Discuss with the Certification Project Manager any deficiencies or problem areas found.

2-1130     CERTIFICATION PHASE. When the applicant has met all regulatory requirements for certification, the Certification Project Manager must prepare FAA Form 8000-4, Air Agency Certificate.

2-1131     TASK OUTCOMES.

A.     Failure To Complete Process. If the applicant terminates or fails to complete the certification process, a letter should be sent to the applicant confirming this action. All documentation furnished by the applicant shall be returned.

B.     Task Completion. Completion of this task will result in one of the following:

·     Issuance of a certificate; and

·     A letter to the applicant indicating the certificate is denied.

C.     Establish an Office File. The Certification Project Manager will establish a district office file to contain all documents associated with the certification process.

D.     PTRS Transmittal Form. File a PTRS Transmittal Form.


A.     Transition. The district office manager must ensure there is an orderly transition from the certification process to certificate management.

B.     Postcertification Program. Carefully observe the operator during the first 90 days. Additional inspections may be necessary to determine operating practices are performed at an adequate level of safety. Direct particular attention to areas that may not have been demonstrated or observed during certification.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 2-1133 through 2-1150.