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Section 1  Safety Assurance System: Authorize an Operator (Lessee) to Maintain a Leased Aircraft

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3-3941    REPORTING SYSTEM(S). Use Safety Assurance System (SAS) automation and the associated Data Collection Tools (DCT).

3-3942    OBJECTIVE. This chapter provides guidance for authorizing an operator (lessee) to maintain a leased aircraft in accordance with the previous operator’s (lessor’s) current and approved maintenance program for that type of aircraft.

3-3943    GENERAL.

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A.    Leased Aircraft. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 121/135,  135.411(a)(2) operators have leased aircraft from other air carriers, with the understanding that the aircraft will be returned to the previous operator upon termination of the lease. It may be to the lessor’s advantage to have the aircraft maintained under the lessor’s maintenance program rather than the lessee’s program so that it can be readily integrated back into the fleet when the lease expires.

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B.    Lessee’s Responsibilities. The key factors in this type of arrangement are the lessee’s capability of accomplishing the program to the lessor’s standards and the lessee’s responsibility for the effectiveness of the adopted maintenance program.

3-3944    ACCOMPLISHING THE TASK. An operator intending to maintain a leased aircraft in accordance with the lessor’s program must substantiate that:

    The lessor’s program, as carried out by the lessee, will result in a level of airworthiness equivalent to that of the aircraft maintained by the lessee.

    The lessee is capable of accomplishing the lessor’s program with regard to facilities, equipment, personnel, training, etc.

    The lessee arranges for the maintenance of equipment or installations not covered by lessor’s program, such as life vests, life rafts, emergency locators, pressure cylinders, etc.

    The lessee takes adequate steps to ensure that maintenance programs for the leased aircraft and any owned aircraft are kept separate and are applied to their respective aircraft.

    The lessee receives and maintains the records required by part 121, 121.380 or 135.439 or has arranged with the lessor to gain access to these records. The lessee must have and maintain adequate records to determine the status of applicable Airworthiness Directives (AD), life-limited parts, time‑controlled items, and inspections.

    The lessee has the necessary records to schedule maintenance tasks at the intervals specified by the lessor’s program or has arranged with the lessor for this service.

    The lessee has adequate manuals and technical material to accomplish the lessor’s maintenance program.

    The lessee amends its Weight and Balance (W&B) program, as necessary, to accommodate the leased aircraft. This may require coordination with the principal operations inspector (POI).

    The lessee has procedures for reporting maintenance activities and data to the lessor (e.g., component replacements, scheduled inspections, AD notes, engine trend monitoring data, and major repairs).

3-3945    APPROVAL. Adopted maintenance programs for aircraft on lease shall be approved by operations specifications (OpSpecs) (paragraph D080). Provisions for additional maintenance requirements and maintenance of equipment that is not included in the lessor’s program shall be listed in a nonstandard paragraph in those OpSpecs.

3-3946    COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS. This task requires coordination with the principal maintenance inspector (PMI), principal avionics inspector (PAI), and the POI. This task may also require contact with the lessor’s certificate-holding district office (CHDO) and/or the Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG).


A.    References (current editions):

    Title 14 CFR Parts 23, 25, and 43;


    Manufacturers’ Manuals;

    Volume 3, Chapter 31, Section 5, Safety Assurance System: Evaluate a Part 121/135 (10 or More) Certificate Holder/Applicant Maintenance Recordkeeping System;

    Volume 3, Chapter 31, Section 6, Safety Assurance System: Evaluate a Part 91K Non-CAMP Program Manager’s, 125.247 Operator’s, and 135.411(a)(1) Certificate Holder’s Maintenance Records;

    Volume 3, Chapter 43, Section 1, Safety Assurance System: Evaluate a Part 121 and Part 135 Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program;

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    Volume 10, Safety Assurance System Policy and Procedures.

B.    Forms. None.

C.    Job Aids. Automated OpSpecs checklists and worksheets.

3-3948    PROCEDURES.

A.    Schedule and Conduct an Informal Meeting. The operator/applicant must indicate its intention to utilize aircraft under a short-term lease arrangement with the use of the lessor’s maintenance program. Advise the operator/applicant of the following requirements:

1)    The aircraft must conform with all applicable requirements of parts 121/135.
2)    The lessee must have the capability to support and maintain aircraft in accordance with the lessor’s program to include:




    Equipment, and


3)    The lessee must have current records to determine the status of the following:

    Scheduled inspections,


    Life-limited items, and

    Time controlled components.

4)    The lessee must have the current W&B data for the leased aircraft.
5)    The lessee must provide a copy of the contract between the lessor and lessee to the CHDO.
6)    Lessee must initiate procedures for transfer of aircraft maintenance and performance data to lessor.
7)    Lessee must have procedures that ensure that maintenance programs for the leased aircraft and the lessee’s own are kept separate and are applied to the respective aircraft.

B.    Conduct Formal Meeting. The operator should state that aircraft, records, and facilities are ready for inspection and must present required data and proposed OpSpecs.

C.    Review the Contract. Examine the following:

    Length of contract,

    Maintenance responsibilities, and

    Data reporting requirements.

D.    Review Lessor. Review lessor’s maintenance program and OpSpecs.

E.    Review Lessee. Review lessee’s technical data. Ensure that lessee has all appropriate technical data to support the aircraft (see Volume 3, Chapter 43). This includes such items as maintenance manuals, wiring manuals, etc.

F.    Ensure Lessee. Ensure that lessee has adequate personnel to support the aircraft (see Volume 3, Chapter 31).

G.    Differences in Equipment. Determine if differences in equipment and installations have been addressed and personnel have been trained accordingly.

H.    Facilities are Sufficient. Ensure that facilities are sufficient to support additional aircraft. This includes special tooling, test equipment, spare parts, and equipment.

I.    Determine Adequate Procedures. Determine if adequate procedures are in place to ensure the separation of maintenance programs for leased aircraft. Ensure that these procedures are applied to the respective aircraft.

J.    Review W&B Data for Leased Aircraft. Ensure that data is compatible with lessee’s program. If data is not compatible, ensure that procedures have been developed and are in place.

K.    Review Aircraft Records. See Volume 3, Chapter 31.

L.    Inspect Aircraft, if Necessary. See Volume 6, Chapter 2.

M.    Review OpSpecs Parts D and E. See Volume 3, Chapter 18.

N.    Analyze Results. Determine whether the operator/applicant meets all necessary requirements.

O.    Meet with Operator/Applicant to Discuss Deficiencies. Advise the operator/applicant on which areas require corrective action.

3-3949    TASK OUTCOMES.

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A.    Follow SAS Guidance. Follow SAS guidance for task completion.

B.    Complete the Task. Completion of this task will result in issuance of an approved D080 OpSpecs and updating the Vitals Information in SAS automation.

C.    Document the Task. File all supporting documentation as required.

3-3950    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Follow SAS guidance.

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RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-3951 through 3-3965.