8900.1 CHG 221



Section 1  Safety Assurance System: Evaluating a Part 119 Certificate Holder’s and a Part 91K Program Manager/Operator’s Special Flight Permit with Continuing Authorization to Conduct a Ferry Flight Program


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A.    Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS). Use PTRS activity codes 3404, 5404 for Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 91K and 125.

B.    Safety Assurance System (SAS). Use SAS automation and the associated Data Collection Tools (DCT) for 14 CFR parts 121 and 135.

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4-1327    OBJECTIVE. This section provides airworthiness inspectors with national policy and guidance for evaluating and approving a 14 CFR part 119 certificate holder’s special flight permit (SFP) with continuing authorization to conduct a ferry flight program (CAFP) required by 14 CFR part 21, § 21.197(c)(1). It also provides policy and guidance for evaluating and accepting a 14 CFR part 91 subpart K (part 91K) program manager/operator’s CAFP that maintains its aircraft under a Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) as provided in § 21.197(c)(2). Section 21.197(c) and this chapter do not apply to part 125 operators. The only difference in the evaluation of a part 119 certificate holder’s and a part 91K program manager/operator’s CAFP is the process that inspectors follow. Inspectors should follow the general process for approval or acceptance contained in Volume 3, Chapter 1, Section 1, General, as applicable. SAS inspectors must use DCT 4.4.1, Special Flight Permits, along with this section to evaluate all CAFPs. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) encourages non-SAS inspectors to use the DCT, as applicable, to provide standardization and incorporate system safety elements.

NOTE:  The current edition of FAA Order 8130.2, Airworthiness Certification of Products and Articles, is the governing document for the issuance of SFPs. Chapter 4, Section 13 of the order states the inspector will follow the instruction contained in FAA Order 8900.1 for issuing an SFP with a continuing authorization. Therefore, this handbook section only applies to the issuance of an SFP with a continuing authorization as provided in § 21.197(c).

4-1328    COORDINATION. Airworthiness principal inspectors (PI) are responsible for evaluating and accepting or approving a CAFP. However, because of the operational aspects of ferry flight, PIs must closely coordinate the review and evaluation of the program with the principal operations inspector (POI). Additionally, PIs should verify that the certificate holder includes both its maintenance and operations management personnel in the development and operation of the CAFP.

4-1329    GENERAL.

A.    Amendment to Eligibility Requirements. A recent amendment to § 21.197(c)(1) changed the eligibility requirements for obtaining an SFP with a continuing authorization to ferry aircraft. Formerly, the FAA authorized only parts 121 and 135 certificate holders that maintained their aircraft under a CAMP. The changes make eligible all part 119 certificate holders for an SFP with a continuing authorization to ferry aircraft, provided they have an approved CAFP. The changes, in effect, make part 135 (nine or less) certificate holders that do not maintain their aircraft under a CAMP eligible for the continuous ferry authorization.

B.    Standards. The regulatory changes do not lower the standards for obtaining the continuous ferry authorization. The changes recognize that some part 119 certificate holders that do not have all 10 elements of a CAMP are capable of developing and operating a CAFP at an equivalent level of safety as a certificate holder with all 10 CAMP elements. Regardless of how the certificate holder maintains its aircraft, it is responsible for safe operation of its aircraft and the control and oversight of the CAFP.

NOTE:  Section 21.197(c)(1) does not specifically exclude part 135 single pilot, single pilot in command (PIC), and basic part 135 certificate holders from eligibility for an SFP with a continuing authorization. However, it is unlikely that these certificate holders could support an approved CAFP to a high degree of safety. Therefore, these types of certificate holders should not have an authorization issued to them unless the manager of the certificate-holding district office (CHDO) determines that the certificate holder has adequate personnel, manuals, quality systems, etc., to control, operate, and oversee the program with a high degree of safety.

C.    Requirements. Section 21.197(c) provides for the issuance of an SFP with a continuing authorization to ferry aircraft. Section 21.197(c)(1) specifies the requirement for an approved CAFP for part 119 certificate holders to obtain the authorization. Section 21.197(c)(2) requires part 91K program manager/operators to have a CAMP. The regulation states that upon application, as prescribed in part 119, § 119.51 and part 91, § 91.1017, an SFP with a continuing authorization may be issued for aircraft that may not meet applicable airworthiness requirements, but are capable of safe flight for the purpose of flying aircraft to a base where repair station personnel may perform maintenance or alterations on the aircraft. Section 21.197(c) by itself does not provide the authorization. The certificate holder or operation must apply for operations specifications (OpSpecs) or management specifications (MSpecs). Additionally, the intent of the authorization is for flying aircraft that do not meet applicable airworthiness requirements but are capable of safe flight. It is not intended for any other reason or purposes such as:

·    Repositioning flights;

·    One-engine inoperative ferry flights (refer to § 91.611);

·    Maintenance flights (refer to § 91.407(b));

·    Delivering or exporting aircraft;

·    Flights in excess of maximum certificated takeoff weight;

·    Special Flight Authorization (SFA) for foreign aircraft (refer to § 91.715);

·    Operating aircraft not on OpSpec/MSpec D085; and

·    Evacuating aircraft from areas of impending danger.

NOTE:  In reference to the SFA for foreign aircraft (refer to § 91.715), the applicant must submit the application for an SFA to the Flight Standards Service (AFS) Division Manager or Aircraft Certification Directorate Manager of the FAA region in which the applicant is located, or to the region within which the U.S. point of entry is located. However, in the case of an aircraft to be operated in the United States for the purpose of demonstration at an airshow, the applicant may submit the application to the AFS Division Manager or Aircraft Certification Directorate Manager.

NOTE:  The FAA authorizes the SFP with a continuing authorization in the form of OpSpec D084 for part 119 certificate holders and MSpec M084 for part 91K program manager/operators.


A.    Operator Authority. In accordance with 14 CFR part 39, § 39.23, some OpSpecs may give an operator the authority, including the provision to fly an aircraft to a repair station to perform work required by an AD. If the operator does not have this authority, the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) may issue an SFP in accordance with § 21.197(a) unless the AD states otherwise.

1)    In cases where the SFP paragraph is intentionally missing from an AD, § 39.23 authorizes the issuance of an SFP if the AD was published after August 21, 2002 (the effective date of § 39.23). In all new ADs, the SFP is authorized by § 39.23 and not the AD, unless the engineer determines that the aircraft cannot be moved safely; therefore, the AD will include a paragraph that does not allow any SFP or has certain restrictions.
2)    The aviation safety inspector (ASI) also has the authority under § 39.23 to deny an SFP request for safety reasons as well as adding operating restrictions to the proposed route of flight. An example of a justified denial would be an SFP request for operation over large bodies of water or mountainous terrain with a single-engine aircraft that has an AD applicable to the engine or propeller.

B.    Product Operation. If the product is not an aircraft, and the AD does not provide for the product’s operation during a ferry flight in accordance with § 39.7, the product cannot be operated during such a flight. If the aircraft on which the product is installed can be operated safely without operating the product, an SFP could be issued in accordance with § 21.197(a) with a limitation that would render the product inoperative for flight.


A.    Application. As stated above, § 21.197(c)(1) and (2) alone do not automatically provide the necessary authorization for the SFP with a continuous authorization to ferry aircraft. It only provides eligibility for obtaining the authorization. The eligible certificate holder must apply for an amendment to its OpSpecs. The certificate holder must also submit its CAFP for approval or acceptance, as applicable, to its assigned principal maintenance inspector (PMI).

B.    Program Review.

1)    Prior to reviewing the certificate holder’s or operator’s CAFP, the inspector should review applicable parts of Order 8130.2, Chapter 4, Section 13, Special Flight Permits. This section will provide the inspector with general information on SFPs that can be of use when reviewing the CAFP even though it applies to the FAA when issuing SFPs. The inspector reviewing the CAFP for a part 135 non-CAMP certificate holder should also review the requirements of part 135, § 135.411(a)(1) and (2). This review will provide the inspector with information on the regulatory differences between a CAMP and a non-CAMP operation. The inspector can use this information as a basis for what to look for and consider when reviewing a non-CAMP certificate holder’s CAFP. The intent is not to impose CAMP requirements on non-CAMP certificate holders by using the CAFP approval process. The intent is to consider what is missing from a non-CAMP operation that might be necessary (equivalent level of safety) for the proper control and application of the CAFP to a high degree of safety such as an organization, a company maintenance manual, and a maintenance training program.
2)    The inspector should verify that the certificate holder and operator document their CAFP and control it as an approved or accepted program as applicable. For part 91K program manager/operators with a CAMP, the maintenance manual required by § 91.1427 should include the accepted CAFP. For part 119 certificate holders with a CAMP, the manual required by part 121, § 121.369 or § 135.427 should include the CAFP, as applicable. For part 119 certificate holders without a CAMP, the manual required by § 135.21 should include the CAFP. All part 119 certificate holders must show how they will control the approved CAFP in an otherwise accepted manual. Without the proper controls, there is a potential for the certificate holder to make changes to the CAFP without receiving prior FAA approval.
3)    All inspectors should use SAS Element 4.4.1, (AW) Special Flight Permits, Environmental Deterioration (ED) DCT to evaluate all CAFPs. Using the ED DCT will ensure consistency and ensure the CAFP incorporates system safety attributes. For non-CAMP or part 91K certificate holders, the inspector should use the SAS DCT more as a system safety attribute tool than a regulatory compliance tool. Inspectors for part 91K certificate holders and operators can disregard any non-applicable DCT regulatory references.
4)    In addition to the ED DCT, the inspector should verify that the CAFP contains requirements addressing the following, as applicable:
a)    All the conditions, limitations, and provisions listed on OpSpec D084 and MSpec M084.
b)    Requirements for conveying the authorization to ferry to the flight crew.
c)    Provisions for ferrying aircraft to which an AD applies unless the AD states otherwise (refer to § 39.23).
d)    International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) prohibition pertaining to ferrying aircraft.
e)    Ferry flight situations (especially aircraft damage) that might require the performance of maintenance or alterations on the aircraft to assure safe flight. Even though the certificate holder or operator might consider or call these actions temporary, the regulations govern the performance of all maintenance and alterations. The use of such things as metallic tape (speed tape) must meet regulatory requirements for acceptability.
f)    Requirements for training and authorizing maintenance personnel involved with the CAFP, including contract personnel, and how the certificate holder will keep them informed of any changes to the CAFP.
g)    Requirements for complying with § 119.43(b)(1), (2), and (c) as it applies to the CAFP and OpSpec D084. The regulation requires each certificate holder to keep each of its employees and other persons used in its operations informed of the provisions of the OpSpecs that apply to that employee’s or person’s duties and responsibilities.
h)    Requirements for documenting the basis used to determine that the aircraft is safe to fly and that the aircraft is in a safe condition for the flight with the discrepancy or condition that triggered the need for the ferry flight permit.
i)    Requirements to ensure the safety of the crew and the safe operation of the aircraft with inoperative avionics, instrumentation, and equipment.
j)    Aircraft logbook requirements for documenting the ferry flight. The requirements should address such things as persons authorized to sign the log entry for the issuance of the permit, persons responsible for ensuring signature documentation, and what the signature signifies. If the certificate holder or operator uses its own form for issuing the ferry permit, the inspector should verify that the form addresses, at a minimum, all the applicable limitations and provisions listed on OpSpec D084 or MSpec M084, as applicable, and control of the form as a required aircraft record.
5)    The inspector should verify that the CAFP contains operational requirements such as:

·    Ferry flight pilot training/authorization;

·    Pilot ferry flight briefings;

·    Aircraft configuration control;

·    Operational equipment necessary for safe flight;

·    Aircraft weight limits;

·    Fuel and fuel distribution limits;

·    Center of gravity (CG) limits;

·    Maneuvers to which the FAA limits the aircraft;

·    Limit on usage of flight equipment such as autopilot, etc.;

·    Meteorological conditions to avoid;

·    Airspeed limits as required; and

·    Weather minimums appropriate to the aircraft operating condition.

C.    Issuance of OpSpec D084 and MSpec M084. Upon completion of the evaluation and the acceptance or approval of the CAFP, the inspector will issue OpSpec D084 or MSpec M084, as applicable, in accordance with Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 6, Parts D and E Maintenance OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs.

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NOTE:  OpSpecs and MSpecs are “approved by direction of the administrator.” This approval is for the OpSpecs paragraphs that provides the certificate holder only the authorization to use the referenced document, process, aircraft, or program. The FAA’s issuance of OpSpecs to a certificate holder does not typically approve the actual document, process, aircraft, or program. Unless otherwise specified, documents requiring FAA approval must attain that approval separate and apart from the issuance of the OpSpecs authorizing their use.

4-1332    APPLICATIONS INVOLVING FOREIGN AIR TRANSPORTATION. ICAO Annex 8, Airworthiness of Aircraft, Section II details the airworthiness requirements for all contracting states. This section basically states that all contracting states operating their aircraft over foreign (other contracting states) territory must be airworthy. Because aircraft operated under the provisions of ICAO must meet this requirement any time an aircraft will operate in an unairworthy condition (under the provision of an SFP), the certificate holder must have special permission from each foreign country it wishes to fly over. Because of this requirement, the SFP with continuing authorization alone is not valid outside the United States. Special permission from each foreign country must accompany it in order to be valid.

4-1333    ISSUANCE OF CONTINUOUS SFA TO CERTAIN CANADIAN AIR CARRIERS. The FAA developed a new policy on this subject to satisfy Transport Canada’s (TC) request to allow certain Canadian air carriers continuous (blanket) SFA in U.S. airspace. Managers from the Aircraft Certification Service’s Production and Airworthiness Certification Division (AIR-200) and the Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS‑300) issued a letter to TC outlining the FAA’s policy and procedures for applying for this authorization. The purpose of the FAA’s continuous (blanket) SFA is to allow the appropriate FAA official (defined below) to issue the authorization for a repeatedly conducted operation during a given period or for a number of aircraft engaged in the same type operation (e.g., ferry flights).

A.    Part 91 Applicability. Section 91.715 pertains to foreign-registered aircraft that do not meet applicable airworthiness requirements.

B.    Eligible Applicants. Canadian air carriers with valid, special purpose flight permits issued in accordance with the Canadian airworthiness manual are the only applicants eligible for FAA continuous (blanket) SFAs. These permits, issued by TC, allow Canadian air carriers to issue SFAs for aircraft listed in their maintenance control manual that do not meet all airworthiness requirements, but are capable of safe operations.

C.    Application to the FAA. A Canadian air carrier applying to the FAA for a continuous (blanket) SFA must submit, in writing, the application required by § 91.715 to the FAA’s regional Flight Standards division (RFSD) manager where the Canadian air carrier is based. However, the RFSD manager may delegate the authority to issue a continuous (blanket) SFA to the FAA’s FSDO location of the Canadian air carrier’s PMI.

D.    SFA Documentation. Canadian air carriers issued FAA continuous (blanket) SFAs may issue SFAs in the United States. Canadian aircraft must carry the following documents aboard when operating with an SFA in the United States:

·    A copy of the FAA continuous (blanket) SFA; and

·    A copy of the Canadian air carrier’s special purpose flight permit, issued by TC, and the appropriate section of its maintenance control manual.

E.    PMI Notification. The Canadian air carrier should inform its FAA PMI within 72 hours of operating an aircraft with the FAA continuous (blanket) SFA of the reason (including aircraft malfunction), date, registration, flight route, and preparatory maintenance actions accomplished.

F.    Required CAFP Elements. The inspector should verify that the CAFP contains requirements for displaying the SFP in the aircraft. The CAFP should include requirements for carrying OpSpecs, MSpecs, or portions of the certificate-holder’s/program manager’s manual containing those conditions, unless the SFP form used by the operator/program manager lists those conditions and limitations.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-1334 through 4-1355.