12/28/16

 

8900.1 CHG 504

VOLUME 2  AIR OPERATOR AND AIR AGENCY CERTIFICATION AND APPLICATION PROCESS

Indicates new/changed information.

CHAPTER 11  CERTIFICATION OF A PART 145 REPAIR STATION

Section 6  Safety Assurance System: Part 145 Repair Station Ratings and Classifications Under 14 CFR Part 145, 145.59 and 145.61

2-1257    REPORTING SYSTEM(S). Use Safety Assurance System (SAS) Automation and the associated Data Collection Tools (DCT) for certification.

2-1258    PURPOSE. The purpose of this section is to explain the ratings contained in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 145, 145.59 and 145.61.

NOTE:  Ratings specify the types of articles the repair station may perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations on. They specify what the repair station is allowed to do. Ratings exist as a means of authorizing repair stations to perform maintenance. A repair station may only perform the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations for which it is rated. The following ratings are the only ratings that may be issued to a repair station.

2-1259    GENERAL. Certificated repair stations are authorized to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations on products that have an approved Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS), or used on aircraft with an approved TCDS. Section 145.201(a)(1) requires a repair station to perform maintenance in accordance with 14 CFR part 43. Part 43, 43.1(a) states, in part, that “this part prescribes rules governing the maintenance, preventative maintenance, rebuilding, and alteration of any—(1) aircraft having a U.S. airworthiness certificate...” Repair stations are not authorized to perform work on, and therefore should not receive ratings to maintain, noncertificated products or those products not approved under a TCDS, such as certain military aircraft, engines, or components.

A.    Adding or Removing an Article to an Existing Limited Rating. Adding or removing an aircraft, engine, or component to an existing limited rating is an amendment to the rating, not an added rating. The addition or removal of an aircraft, engine, or component is a change to the limitations under the rating.

B.    Revising or Amending a Rating. If the repair station desires to add an additional articles under the present rating, it will be an amendment to the rating and will not require a reissue of the certificate. If the repair station uses a capability list (CL) as authorized by 145.215, then the certificate-holding district office (CHDO) will receive a copy of the change, and the operations specifications (OpSpecs) will not need to be changed as long as the articles are covered under the existing ratings. If the repair station does not use the provisions of  145.215, then an amendment to the rating will require submission of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 8310-3, Application for Repair Station Certificate and/or Rating, and changing of the OpSpecs. Whenever there is a change to the rating in the OpSpecs, the repair station must submit a new FAA Form 8310-3. For example:

Indicates new/changed information.
1)    A repair station currently holds a limited airframe rating, limited to Cessna 150 series aircraft. They would like to add Piper PA-28 series aircraft. The repair station does not use a CL.
a)    The repair station submits FAA Form 8310-3 to the CHDO with the request to add the Piper aircraft.
b)    The aviation safety inspector (ASI) verifies that the repair station meets all of the applicable requirements and then adds the Piper PA-28 series aircraft to the OpSpecs. The Air Agency Certificate would not change. The limitation section in OpSpecs should depict any limitations. The principal inspector (PI) must use good judgment and carefully consider potential unintended consequences if no limitations are listed.
2)    A repair station currently holds a limited airframe rating and would like to add a limited engine rating.
a)    The repair station submits FAA Form 8310-3 to the CHDO with the request to add the limited engine rating.
b)    After the ASI verifies that the repair station meets all of the applicable requirements, the certificate will be changed to add the limited engine rating and the OpSpecs will be amended to add the limited engine.

2-1260    CLASS RATINGS UNDER 145.59.

NOTE:  Class ratings are issued if the repair station can prove its capability to maintain a representative number makes and models of products under this rating. A class rating does not have restrictions for a specific product. If any restrictions or limitations apply, then a limited rating would be issued in lieu of the class rating.

A.    Airframe. The following class ratings are listed under airframe:

1)    Class 1. A composite construction of small aircraft. Gross takeoff weight is (GTOW) 12,500 lbs. or less, which a major portion of the airframe is of composite construction.
2)    Class 2. A composite construction of large aircraft. GTOW is more than 12,500 lbs., of which a major portion of the airframe is constructed of composite material (e.g., Boeing 787 or Airbus A380).
3)    Class 3. An all-metal construction of small aircraft. GTOW is 12,500 or less, of which a major portion of the airframe is all metal construction.
4)    Class 4. An all-metal construction of large aircraft. GTOW is more than 12,500 lbs., of which a major portion of the airframe is all metal construction.
Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Powerplant. The following class ratings are listed under powerplant:

1)    Class 1. Reciprocating engines of 400 horsepower or less.
2)    Class 2. Reciprocating engines of more than 400 horsepower.
3)    Class 3. Turbine engines.

NOTE:  A powerplant rating provides the privilege of performing maintenance and alterations of powerplants, but not to adjoining airframe or propeller components. Repair stations may remove access panels, doors, and nacelles, as needed, to gain access to the powerplant.

C.    Propeller. The following class ratings are listed under propeller:

1)    Class 1. All fixed pitch and ground adjustable propellers of wood, metal, or composite construction.
2)    Class 2. All other propellers, by make.

NOTE:  For a Class 2 propeller rating there must be a list of propellers by make contained in the OpSpecs.

D.    Radio.

1)    Radio Ratings. Radio class ratings are categorized under communication, navigation, and radar classes. Modern avionics equipment typically integrates communications and navigation functions into a single appliance. Also, radar equipment or a radio that operates using pulse technology also serves communication and/or navigation functions. The combination of functionality and operations of these articles may require the repair station to attain a rating for all three classes, depending on the complexity of the articles being maintained, and upon determining the repair station can maintain a representative amount of articles within each class.

NOTE:  A repair station with a radio rating may install complete radio systems in aircraft. Radio installation requiring alterations to the aircraft structure must be performed, supervised, and inspected by qualified personnel.

2)    Radio Class Ratings. The following class ratings are listed under radio:
a)    Class 1 Communication Equipment. Radio transmitting and/or receiving equipment used in an aircraft to send or receive communications in-flight, including auxiliary and related aircraft interphone systems, electrical or electronic intercrew signaling devices, and similar equipment. This does not include equipment for navigating or aiding navigation of aircraft.
b)    Class 2 Navigational Equipment. A radio system used in an aircraft for en route or approach navigation. This does not include equipment operated on pulsed radio frequency (RF) principles, or equipment used for measuring altitude or terrain clearance.
Indicates new/changed information.
c)    Class 3 Radar Equipment. An aircraft electronic system operated on radar or pulsed RF principles.

E.    Instrument.

NOTE:  An instrument rated repair station may install instruments. The function of installation includes fabrication of instrument panels and other installation structural components. Installation requiring alterations to the aircraft structure must be performed, supervised, and inspected by qualified personnel.

1)    Instrument Ratings. The instrument rating divides into four classes (i.e., mechanical, electrical, gyroscopic, and electronic) based on the article’s general principles of operation. Multiple class ratings may be necessary to perform repairs on these articles.

NOTE:  ASIs must verify that a repair station obtains the appropriate supporting requirements for the capabilities it is requesting.

NOTE:  The guidance on limited ratings provided in paragraph 2-1261, Limited Ratings Under  145.61, also applies to limited radio and instrument ratings.

2)    Instrument Class Ratings. The following class ratings are listed under instrument:
a)    Class 1 Mechanical. A diaphragm, bourdon tube, aneroid, optical, or mechanically-driven centrifugal instrument used on aircraft or to operate aircraft, including tachometers, airspeed indicators, pressure gauges’ drift sights, magnetic compasses, altimeters, or similar mechanical instruments.
b)    Class 2 Electrical. Self-synchronous and electrical indicating instruments and systems, including remote indicating instruments, cylinder head temperature gauges, or similar electrical instruments.
c)    Class 3 Gyroscopic. An instrument or system using gyroscopic principles and motivated by air pressure or electrical energy, including automatic pilot control units, turn and bank indicators, directional gyros and their parts, and flux gate and gyrosyn compasses.
d)    Class 4 Electronic. An instrument whose operation depends on electron tubes, transistors, or similar devices, including capacitance type quantity gauges, system amplifiers, and engine analyzers.

F.    Accessories.

1)    Accessory Ratings. The accessory rating is divided into mechanical, electrical, and electronic classes, based on an article’s principle of operation. The combination of functionality and operations of these articles may require the repair station to attain a rating for all three classes, depending on the complexity of the article.
Indicates new/changed information.

NOTE:  Because night vision goggles (NVG) are no longer novel, unique, or unusual in application, and more repair stations perform and seek to perform this type of maintenance, it is no longer appropriate to issue a limited rating for specialized services for future NVG ratings. Since NVGs are certificated as appliances (and they meet the requirement of a Class 3 accessory) the FAA should issue a Class 3 accessory or limited accessory rating, as appropriate, to repair stations that apply for a rating and that meet the requirements of part 145.

2)    Accessory Class Ratings. The following class ratings are listed under accessory:
a)    Class 1 Mechanical. An accessory that depends on friction, hydraulics, mechanical linkage, or pneumatic pressure for operation, including aircraft wheel brakes, mechanically driven pumps, carburetors, aircraft wheel assemblies, shock absorber struts, and hydraulic servo units.
b)    Class 2 Electrical. An accessory that depends on electrical energy for its operation, and a generator, including starters, voltage regulators, electric motors, electrically driven fuel pumps, magnetos, or similar accessories.
c)    Class 3 Electronic. An accessory that depends on the use of an electron tube transistor, or similar device, including supercharger, temperature, air conditioning controls, or similar electronic controls.

2-1261    LIMITED RATINGS UNDER 145.61.

A.    Limited Rating Issuance. Repair stations are issued limited ratings for the performance of maintenance and alterations on particular makes and models of airframes, powerplants, propellers, radios, instruments, accessories, and/or parts thereof, or performs only specific maintenance requiring equipment and skills not ordinarily performed under other repair station ratings. Such a rating may be limited to a specific model aircraft, engine, constituent part, or to any number of parts made by a particular manufacturer.

B.    Limited Rating Applicability. Limited ratings listed in 145.61 are limited to not only a particular article make or model, but may also to be further limited to certain maintenance functions on a particular make or model.

C.    Limited Rating Types. The FAA may only issue the following limited ratings:

    Airframes of a particular make and model;

    Engines of a particular make and model;

    Propellers of a particular make and model;

    Instruments of a particular make and model;

    Radio equipment of a particular make and model;

    Accessories of a particular make and model;

    Landing gear components;

    Floats, by make;

Indicates new/changed information.

    Nondestructive inspection, testing, and processing;

    Emergency equipment;

    Rotor blades, by make and model;

    Aircraft fabric work; and

    Any other purpose for which the FAA finds the applicant’s request is appropriate.

NOTE:  The limited rating, “any other purpose for which the FAA finds the applicant’s request is appropriate,” is intended to be issued for repair stations that wish to perform maintenance on items and other component parts that do not necessarily fit into one of the other 12 limited ratings. This action provides future and current certificate holders another option for ratings that will better define the type articles the repair station may perform maintenance on. It will reduce the number of limited airframe ratings issued for component part work for which an airframe rating is not needed. Similarly, articles such as examples listed below, could be provided for by the limited “other” category. These could include items such as: aircraft interiors, upholstering, serving carts, cabinets, unit load devices (ULD), cargo pallets or containers, coffee makers, and litters.

1)    Limited Specialized Service. Limited specialized service ratings are issued for a special maintenance function when the function is performed in accordance with a specification approved by the FAA. The OpSpecs must include the specifications used by the repair station to perform that service in accordance with 145.61(c). No function of a limited rating for specialized service may be contracted out. The specifications may be:

    A civil or military specification currently used by industry and approved by the FAA, or

    A specification developed by the applicant and approved by the FAA.

NOTE:  The repair station may request a limited rating for specialized services utilizing a civil or Military Specifications (MIL-SPEC) currently used by industry. The ASI should carefully consider if this specification covers all areas required for the repair prior to approval. Will this repair, when completed, allow approval for return to service for the article? In some cases, the ASI may need assistance from the Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) to determine if the specification is adequate for the rating requested. The ASI is responsible for verifying the applicant can accomplish the work outlined in the specification. If the specification does not meet the requirements of 43.13, then the ASI should inform the applicant that the specification may be used as part of a process the applicant can develop under the provisions of 145.61(c)(2). The ASI must evaluate if the process is appropriate for the article. The ASI should note the need for additional limitations, if any, in the limitation section of the OpSpecs. Many civil and MIL‑SPEC currently used by industry are generic. The ASI should verify the repair station has provisions in its manual for evaluation of the article to determine if anything would prohibit the specification utilization.

Indicates new/changed information.
2)    Limited Specialized Service Requirements. The limited specialized service rating would require a repair station to have the housing, facilities, equipment, tools, trained personnel, and data to perform the process on an article. The specification on the OpSpecs would set forth the minimum standards for performing the generic process (specialized service). For example, the specification would include an explanation of the housing, facilities, equipment, tools, trained personnel, and data necessary for the overall process. The applicable manufacturer’s maintenance manual, air carrier manual, or other FAA-accepted or FAA-approved data would define the specific parameters associated with performing the process on the particular aviation article.
3)    Unusual and Unique Processes. At the onset of the performance of a new, unusual, and unique process a limited specialized service rating may be appropriate if the repair station performs the process as described in subparagraph 2-1261C1). The process may eventually become common and more appropriately identified by a rating other than a limited rating for specialized services. In these cases, future repair station ratings will be issued in the more appropriate class. Ratings for currently rated repair stations can only be changed by application from the repair station or as a result of enforcement action. A repair station with a limited rating for specialized services in this circumstance should be advised of the change in classification. The FAA may recommend to the repair station that they apply for a change of rating.

D.    Limited Rating Identification. OpSpecs should identify the manufacturer and the make/model. In certain rare occasions, the term “all” may be appropriate when identifying the make/model. When using “all” to denote the make/model, the PI must use good judgment and carefully consider potential unintended consequences. If the inspector is not careful, use of the word “all” could inadvertently authorize work beyond the desired intent. For example, use of the word “all” may seem appropriate to authorize structural repairs on all models of aircraft manufactured by Mooney International Corporation. However, unless the PI excludes several early production models, this authorization may inadvertently allow structural repairs on both wood and metal primary structures. The use of “all” provides that the rating will include any future products that may be developed that fall within the listed limitation as well as all past products.

NOTE:  Limited ratings may incorporate a CL if the repair station has elected to employ one. For example, a repair station without a CL might receive a limited airframe rating for the performance of transponder testing on a specific make/model aircraft, in accordance with part 43 appendix F. A repair station that employs a CL, may list the transponder make/model on the CL. For the performance of transponder testing on a specific make/model aircraft, the aircraft must be listed on OpSpecs.

E.    Airframe Ratings. Airframe maintenance or alteration:

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1)    Repair stations require an appropriate airframe rating when performing maintenance or alterations on the fuselage, booms, nacelles, cowlings, fairings, airfoil surfaces (including rotors but excluding propellers and rotating airfoils of engines), and landing gear of an aircraft and their accessories and controls. Examples of what may also be under an airframe rating are as follows:

    Seats,

    Seat belts,

    Berths,

    Galleys,

    Lavatories,

    Cabinetry,

    Cabin/cockpit interior foam and fabric upholstered parts,

    Dividers,

    Curtains,

    Windows, and

    Any other interior structure.

2)    Additionally, repair stations require an appropriate airframe rating when performing maintenance or alterations on external aircraft structures or fuselage articles such as:

    Aircraft composite components,

    Aircraft painting, or

    Electrical wiring harnesses.

3)    Similarly, articles of all-cargo configured aircraft are considered part of the airframe and require an appropriate airframe rating. These include:

    Bulkheads,

    Ball mats,

    Floor roller tracks, and

    Floor or side locks.

F.    Limited Engine Rating. Repair stations require an appropriate limited engine rating when performing maintenance or alterations on engines. Inspections of engines performed under 14 CFR part 91,  91.409 and removal and replacement of engines and components installed on an aircraft, may be performed under an appropriate airframe rating as described in the airframe maintenance manuals. An engine requiring repair or alteration as a result of the aircraft inspection would require a limited engine rating.

Indicates new/changed information.

G.    Limited Rating Limitations. The current OpSpecs allow the proper identification of the limitation of makes and models, as well as maintenance functions in the “Limitations” section. Limitations must not be vague and undefined. It is important that the repair station clearly understand its privileges and any associated limitations. When issuing a limited rating, the PI must adequately describe the scope of the rating and any associated limitations in a clearly understood manner. Vague or misunderstood OpSpecs could lead to operations outside the intended scope of the certificate. When necessary, use of the limitations column may further limit the intended scope of the rating. The PI should use good judgment and carefully consider possible unintended consequences of not specifying limitations. If painting, for instance, is the only maintenance function a repair station intends to perform, the limitation should read, “Limited to painting airframe structure and components on Boeing 737 series aircraft,” or similar language. If the repair station’s limitation is performing maintenance on only a certain part of the airframe, that language should specify the manufacturer, make, and model of the component, and describe exactly what the repair station is limited to do.

NOTE:  Painting of aircraft may also involve other maintenance functions such as balancing of flight controls. The repair station should have the ability or be authorized to contract out those functions.

2-1262    RATING EXAMPLE. Specific ratings issued to a repair station are dependent on the equipment, personnel, technical data, and housing and facilities of the repair station. Depending on how a repair station intends to perform a maintenance function, it may require multiple and or different ratings. For example, to perform air traffic control (ATC) transponder testing and inspections as described in part 43 appendix F, or altimeter system tests and inspections as described in part 43 appendix E, Table 2-19, Authorized Repair Station Ratings for 14 CFR part 91, 91.411 and 91.413 Testing, would prescribe the requirement for different ratings in the following conditions.

Indicates new/changed information.

Table 2-19.  Authorized Repair Station Ratings for 91.411 and 91.413 Testing

Authorized Repair Station Rating(s)

Condition

Rating(s)

Part 91, 91.411

 

Component removed or installed by repair station.

Instrument rating Class I, or

Limited Instrument rating appropriate to appliance (unless limited from this function), or

Airframe Class (), appropriate to airplane or helicopter tested, or

Limited Airframe, appropriate to airplane or helicopter tested.

Integrated system tested on aircraft without removal or installation, normal operation of system without disassembly of aircraft.

Instrument rating Class I, or

Limited Instrument rating appropriate to  appliance, or

Airframe Class (), appropriate to airplane or helicopter tested, or

Limited Airframe, appropriate to airplane or helicopter tested.

Specific components tested on the bench (may not satisfy all requirements).

Instrument rating Class I, or

Limited Instrument rating appropriate to appliance, or

Airframe Class (), appropriate to airplane or helicopter tested, or

Limited Airframe, appropriate to airplane or helicopter tested.

Part 91, 91.413

 

Component removed or installed by repair station.

Radio rating Class III, or

Limited Radio rating appropriate to appliance (unless limited from this function), or

Limited Airframe, appropriate to airplane or helicopter tested.

Integrated system tested on aircraft without removal or installation, normal operation of system without disassembly of aircraft.

Radio rating Class III, or

Limited Radio rating appropriate to appliance, or

Limited Airframe, appropriate to airplane or helicopter tested.

Specific components tested on the bench (may not satisfy all requirements).

Radio rating Class III, or

Limited Radio rating appropriate to appliance.

Indicates new/changed information.

2-1263    EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT. Occasionally repair stations request ratings or additions to their OpSpecs to perform work on certain experimental aircraft (e.g., amateur built, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA), or experimental light sport) or other products to which part 43 does not apply.

A.    Part 43 Applicable Aircraft. Part 43 provides that it applies only to certain products. Those products are:

    Aircraft having a U.S. airworthiness certificate (with certain exceptions);

    Foreign-registered civil aircraft used in common carriage or carriage of mail under 14 CFR part 121 or 135; and

    Airframes, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, and component parts of the above aircraft.

B.    Part 43 Non-Applicable Aircraft. Part 43 does not apply to any aircraft for which the FAA has issued an experimental certificate:

    Unless a different kind of certificate was previously issued to that aircraft; or

    Under the provisions of 14 CFR part 21, 21.191(i)(3) and the aircraft was previously issued a special light sport certificate under 21.190.

C.    Part 145 Repair Station Rules. The applicability of the repair station rule (refer to 145.1) is clear that part 145 contains the rules a repair station must follow related to its performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations of an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part to which part 43 applies.

D.    Part 43 Non-Applicable Product Requests. The FAA office receiving a request to add a product to which part 43 does not apply, to a certificate (rating or OpSpecs) will advise the repair station making this request that repair station ratings are not issued for products to which part 43 does not apply and those products will not be added. This includes any aircraft identified under 43.1(b) as having been issued an experimental airworthiness certificate unless that aircraft was previously issued a different kind of airworthiness certificate. It would be inappropriate to issue ratings to a repair station for the performance of maintenance on a product to which part 43 (and therefore part 145) does not apply.

E.    Experimental Aircraft Operating Limitation Provisions. Experimental aircraft operating limitations may contain a provision that certain maintenance or inspections may be performed by a certificated repair station. A repair station may perform such work in accordance with the provisions of the limitations issued for the aircraft. Any work performed by a repair station in accordance with the limitation issued to the aircraft may satisfy the requirements of the limitations, but the repair station is not exercising certificate privilege when it applies its certificate number to any work for which part 43 does not apply.

Indicates new/changed information.

NOTE:  The maintenance provider may release an aircraft that holds an experimental certificate aircraft and/or a UAS, upon completion of maintenance based on the owners written request and limitations specification provided, but are not exercising the privileges of their certificate when they return to service of the experimental aircraft. Additionally, the holder of the Mechanic Certificate may perform maintenance per owner request and in accordance with the limitations issued for the aircraft.

2-1264    COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS. This task requires coordination among the ASIs (Airworthiness) and may require coordination with multiple regions.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 2-1265 through 2-1269.