11/19/15

 

8900.1 CHG 327

VOLUME 3  GENERAL Technical administration

CHAPTER 60  PROCEDURES for Aviation Safety Inspector decisionmaking

Section 2  Safety Assurance System: Aviation Safety Inspector Surveillance Decisionmaking

3-4875    REPORTING SYSTEM(S).

A.    Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS). For other than Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 121, 135, and 145, aviation safety inspectors (ASI) (all disciplines) should enter the appropriate surveillance code for the surveillance activity they are accomplishing (e.g., 3627 for a Maintenance Ramp Inspection). In addition, they should enter “ASIDEC” (without quotes) in the PTRS “National Use” box.

B.    Safety Assurance System (SAS). Use the SAS automation and associated Data Collection Tools (DCT).

3-4876    OBJECTIVE. This section provides decisionmaking guidance to you, an ASI, when performing surveillance on air carriers, repair stations, or any operator. It also provides decisionmaking guidance for you when performing surveillance and you are unable to clearly determine the airworthiness of an operator’s aircraft, engine, propeller, or component.

NOTE:  For guidance regarding the ASI decisionmaking process for Airworthiness Directives (AD), see Section 1 of this chapter.

3-4877    GENERAL. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) policies and procedures require all ASIs to determine what resources they need to solve difficult and controversial surveillance issues that will eliminate single‑person and subjective determinations. ASIs must seek guidance from internal FAA resources, including the certificate-holding district office (CHDO), principal inspectors (PI), Front Line Managers (FLM), office managers, Aircraft Evaluation Groups (AEG), Aircraft Certification Offices (ACO), Regional Offices (RO), and/or appropriate FAA headquarters (HQ)-level branches. ASIs should rely on these resources to gather the appropriate information on which to determine proper surveillance techniques that apply using all related guidance in this order.

3-4878    INTRODUCTION. The FAA is responsible for announcing and enforcing adequate standards and regulations. Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.)  44702(b)(1)(A) specifies, in part, that when prescribing standards and regulations and when issuing certificates, the FAA will give full consideration to “the duty of an air carrier to provide service with the highest possible degree of safety in the public interest.” Thus, you should understand that  44702(b)(1)(A) means this responsibility rests directly with the air carrier, irrespective of any action taken, or not taken, by an FAA inspector or the FAA.

3-4879    DEFINITIONS.

A.    Airworthiness. Title 49 U.S.C. 44704(d) best defines airworthiness by imposing a two‑pronged definition. In order to be Airworthy, an aircraft must:

    Conform to its type certificate (TC), and

    Be in condition for safe operation after inspection.

B.    Surveillance. The term “surveillance,” as used in this order, relates to this ongoing duty and responsibility and related programs. Surveillance programs provide the FAA with a method for a continual evaluation of certificate holder compliance with 14 CFR and safe operating practices. Information generated from surveillance programs permits the FAA to act upon deficiencies and safety issues, which affect, or have a potential effect on, aviation safety.

3-4880    ASI DECISIONMAKING PROCESS. See Figure 3-184, ASI Surveillance Decisionmaking Process, for the following steps.

Figure 3-184.  ASI Surveillance Decisionmaking Process

Figure 3-184. ASI Surveillance Decisionmaking Process

A.    Surveillance Noncompliance Concern Identified (Step 1.0).

1)    When you suspect noncompliance when performing surveillance activities, you must determine if an actual noncompliance exists. Obtain and review all documents and evidence that pertain to the area of the suspected noncompliance. The documents and evidence may contain information to determine the nature and extent of an unsafe condition and what actions are required to correct the condition. You should consider at least these data sources:

    The operator’s General Maintenance Manuals (GMM), General Operations Manual (GOM), and Quality Control Manual (QCM);

    The Repair Station Manual (RSM);

    Minimum equipment lists (MEL)/Master Minimum Equipment Lists (MMEL) and Configuration Deviation Lists (CDL); and

    Copies of any maintenance records that apply.

2)    After reviewing all pertinent documents and facts, define the concern so you can appropriately analyze the concern in Step 1.1.

B.    Analyze the Concern (Step 1.1).

1)    After gathering and confirming the facts in Step 1.0, use your experience, ability, knowledge, skills, and professional judgment to analyze and assess the identified concern. By doing so, you may determine the severity and impact on safety.
2)    You should visually inspect the aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance to which the suspected noncompliance applies in order to determine the exact extent or nature of the noncompliance concern.
3)    To understand the scope of noncompliance, you should also use this step to identify and analyze any hazards in the operator’s operating environment or systems. This could help you decide if the noncompliance concern is an isolated incident, a systemic problem, regulatory noncompliance, or an airworthiness issue.

C.    Document the Surveillance Noncompliance Concern (Step 1.2).

1)    After analyzing the concern and data from the previous steps, you should determine if noncompliance exists. If the surveillance activity being conducted reveals noncompliance, you must properly document it. Proceed to Step 1.3 to determine if there is an immediate safety risk.
2)    Title 14 CFR part 91, 91.403; part 121, 121.363; and part 135, 135.413 state that the owner or operator/certificate holder is primarily responsible for the airworthiness of its aircraft.

D.    Is There an Immediate Safety Risk? (Step 1.3).

1)    You should consider the following questions to base your recommendations or decisions of an immediate safety risk. How an individual operator functions will determine this list, which is not all-inclusive:

    Is this a single aircraft or fleet of aircraft?

    Is the concern an imminent safety hazard?

    Is the aircraft undergoing maintenance?

    Is the aircraft prepared and available for flight?

NOTE:  Analyzing the noncompliance concern in Step 1.1 will assist you in answering these questions.

2)    You may advise the CHDO/Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) PI to use the risk management process (RMP), which provides procedures to manage hazards and their associated risks (see Volume 10).
3)    If the objective evidence does not show an immediate safety risk, proceed with Step 1.3.1 and follow through to Step 1.3.3, as appropriate.
4)    If the objective evidence shows an immediate safety risk, see subparagraph 3-4880H, Take Immediate Appropriate Action (Step 1.4), and perform Step 1.4 through Step 1.4.3, as appropriate.

NOTE:  An example of determining an immediate safety risk could be during a surveillance inspection. The assigned ASI finds a dent in the wing leading edge, and the aircraft is scheduled for a revenue flight. The ASI determines that the safety risk is low and informs the flightcrew of the problem. This condition would most likely not create a safety hazard if the flightcrew had the dent deferred by maintenance using the appropriate guidance prior to the aircraft departing.

E.    Notify the PI or CHDO/FSDO of the Surveillance Noncompliance Concern (Step 1.3.1).

1)    Notify the appropriate CHDO/FSDO, PI, and FLM of the surveillance noncompliance concern.
2)    The CHDO PI, in collaboration with you, starts gathering data and starts formulating and developing an action plan to correct the noncompliance concern that would help the operator bring its aircraft into compliance.
3)    As information becomes available, the PI may use the RMP to continue the risk assessment.

F.    The PI Notifies the Manager of the Airline, Office Management/Region, and AEG/ACO, as Applicable (Step 1.3.2).

1)    The CHDO PI identifies each area of expertise required and initiates the contact to gather additional data and expertise to resolve the noncompliance concern. In highly visible situations, all parties (i.e., AEG, CHDO, RO, and ACO) should conduct conference calls to ensure everyone understands the information and agrees on an action plan.
2)    PIs should contact the applicable AEG for technical assistance. The AEG acts as a subject matter expert (SME) for delegated type aircraft and works with the applicable ACO to resolve compliance issues. If further technical clarification is necessary with the content of the noncompliance, the AEG acts as a liaison with the appropriate ACO.
3)    Determine if the noncompliance concern may be more widespread (e.g., a fleet problem) and needs to be addressed at a broader level and coordinated with the AEGs and the RO.
4)    CHDO/FSDO PIs initiate enforcement action, if applicable.

G.    The PI Works Collaboratively with the Certificate Holder to Develop an Action Plan to Correct the Noncompliance Concern (Step 1.3.3).

1)    Based on the certificate holder type, and using SAS or National Work Program Guidelines (NPG) procedures for corrective action, follow appropriate FAA order policy regarding the next steps for correction and/or mitigation to address the identified noncompliance concern.

NOTE:  If necessary for action, the PI should consider the data sources identified in Step 1.0.

2)    The operator carries out the corrective action with the oversight of the PI. This process is usually an agreed-upon methodology with the operator and the CHDO. The PI must identify the necessary actions to oversee the operator’s correction or mitigation of the noncompliance concern and associated levels of risk. The official notification to the operator of the action plan approval should be in the form of a letter from the CHDO. The PI must also track and follow up on the operator’s corrective actions, and should use one or more of the following tools to do so:
a)    PTRS.
b)    SAS.

    RMP.

    Action Item Tracking Tool (AITT).

c)    Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS).
d)    Enhanced Vital Information Database (eVID).
3)    The PI may elect to continue the action plan within the CHDO. In this case, you will gather all relevant data, documents, and pictures.

H.    Take Immediate Appropriate Action (Step 1.4).

1)    If the affected aircraft is allowed to continue in service, take the appropriate steps to mitigate the safety risk. This step can be as simple as notifying responsible operator personnel (e.g., captain, station manager, or lead mechanic) of the concern and observing operator/air carrier action. You may also exercise FAA authority contained in Volume 8, Chapter 5, Section 12.
2)    Review all documents to determine the nature and extent of the unsafe condition and the nature and extent of the actions required to correct it.

I.    Notify the PI or CHDO/FSDO of the Surveillance Noncompliance Concern (Step 1.4.1).

1)    After you identify the noncompliance concern as an immediate safety risk, notify the CHDO/FSDO and your FLM.
2)    The CHDO PI, in collaboration with you, starts gathering data, and starts formulating and developing an action plan to correct the noncompliance concern that would help the operator bring its aircraft into compliance.
3)    As information becomes available, the CHDO PI may use the RMP to continue adjusting the risk assessment (see Volume 10, Chapter 7, or Volume 6, Chapter 9).

J.    The PI Notifies the Office Management/Region and AEG/ACO, as Applicable (Step 1.4.2).

1)    The CHDO PI identifies each area of expertise required and initiates the contact to gather additional data and expertise to resolve the noncompliance concern. In highly visible situations, all parties (i.e., AEG, CHDO, RO, and ACO) should conduct conference calls to ensure everyone understands the information and agrees on an action plan.
2)    CHDO/FSDO PIs should contact the applicable AEG for technical assistance. The AEG acts as a SME for delegated type aircraft and works with the applicable ACO to resolve compliance issues. If further technical clarification is necessary with the content of the noncompliance concern, the AEG acts as a liaison with the appropriate ACO.
3)    Determine if the noncompliance concern may be more widespread (e.g., a fleet problem) and needs to be addressed at a broader level and coordinated with the AEGs.
4)    CHDO/FSDO PIs initiate enforcement action, if applicable.

K.    The PI Works Collaboratively with the Certificate Holder to Develop an Action Plan to Correct the Noncompliance Concern (Step 1.4.3).

1)    Based on the office type, and using SAS or NPG procedures for corrective action, follow appropriate FAA order policy regarding the next steps for correction and/or mitigation to address the identified noncompliance concern.

NOTE:  If necessary for action, the PI should consider the data sources identified in Step 1.0.

2)    The operator carries out the corrective action with the oversight of the CHDO PI. This process is usually an agreed-upon methodology with the operator and the CHDO. The PI must identify the necessary actions to oversee the operator’s correction or mitigation of the noncompliance concern and associated levels of risk. The official notification to the operator of the action plan approval should be in the form of a letter from the CHDO. The PI must also track and follow up on the operator’s corrective actions, and should use one or more of the following tools to do so:
a)    PTRS.
b)    SAS.

    RMP.

    AITT.

c)    SPAS.
d)    eVID.
3)    The CHDO PI may elect to continue the action plan within the CHDO. In this case, you will gather all relevant data, documents, and pictures, and provide them to the CHDO PI.

L.    Task Outcomes, Project Completion.

1)    Complete the PTRS Record. For other than parts 121, 135, or 145:
a)    Use the appropriate surveillance PTRS activity code.
b)    Record the activity results.
c)    Enter “ASIDEC” (without quotes) in the PTRS “National Use” box.
2)    Complete in SAS Automation. For parts 121, 135, and 145, follow SAS guidance found in Volume 10, Chapter 5.
Indicates new/changed information.
3)    Complete Compliance and/or Enforcement Actions. Take and document other appropriate actions used to correct safety issues or deviations from a regulation or a standard.
a)    Compliance Action (see Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2).
b)    Administrative or Legal Enforcement Action, if deviations are caused by intentional, reckless, or criminal behavior, or if the person(s) is incapable of, or unwilling to, cooperate (see Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2 and refer to the current edition of FAA Order 2150.3, FAA Compliance and Enforcement Program).

3-4881    REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.    References (current editions):

    eVID.

    PTRS.

    SPAS.

    FAA Order 1800.56, National Flight Standards Work Program Guidelines.

    FAA Order 2150.3, FAA Compliance and Enforcement Program.

    Volume 6, Surveillance.

Indicates new/changed information.

    Volume 10, Safety Assurance System Policy and Procedures.

    Volume 14, Compliance and Enforcement.

B.    Forms. None.

C.    Job Aids.

1)    Refer to the Flight Standards Evaluation Program (FSEP) applicable job aids listed below:

    44709 Re-Examination (709).

    Advanced Qualification Program (AQP).

    Air Transportation Designee (ATD).

    Aviation Event Waivers/Authorizations Job Aid (AVENT).

    Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP).

    Check Airmen (CHKA).

    Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System (CASS).

    European Aviation Safety Agency Supplement to Repair Stations (EASA).

    Flight Crewmember Training Program (FCT).

    General Aviation Designees (GAD).

    General Process (GEN PRO).

    Minimum Equipment List (MEL).

    Operations Specifications (OPSS).

    Part 129 (129).

    Part 142 Training Center (PT142).

    Part 145 (PT145).

    Pilot Deviation Investigation (PD).

    Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program (VDRP).

2)    Please use the General Process job aid if no other job aid is applicable.
3)    You can access the current editions of these job aids at https://my.faa.gov/org/linebusiness/avs/offices/afs/programs/fsep/job_aids.html.

3-4882    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. For parts 121, 135, and 145 follow Volume 10 to conduct followup action or to plan future risk-based surveillance in SAS. For all other certificate holders, schedule normal surveillance as required.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 3-4883 through 3-4886.