3/2/16

 

8900.1 CHG 172

VOLUME 6  SURVEILLANCE

CHAPTER 11  OTHER SURVEILLANCE

Section 22  Safety Assurance System: Conduct Night Vision Imaging System Evaluation Inspection

6-2679    REPORTING SYSTEM(S).

A.    Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS). For other than Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 135, use PTRS activity codes: 4634, 4651, 6634, and 6651.

B.    Safety Assurance System (SAS). For part 135, use SAS automation. This section is related to SAS Elements 2.3.1, (OP) Appropriate Operational Equipment and 4.2.2, (AW) Maintenance/Inspection Schedule.

6-2680    OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance for evaluating an operator’s Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) to include night vision goggles (NVG) and maintenance documents for aircraft operated under 14 CFR parts 91, 133, 135, 137, and 141.

6-2681    GENERAL. Airworthiness inspectors will use the information outlined in the following paragraphs when evaluating parts 91, 133, 135, 137, and 141 operators’ maintenance practices for NVIS. NVIS includes: lighting, filtration, transparencies, head-mounted NVG, and ancillary equipment. This guidance does not apply to other night or low visual environment enhancement devices (i.e., Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS)). Minimum equipment list (MEL) information is found in Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) Policy Letter (PL)-127, Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS), and Volume 4, Chapter 4, Minimum Equipment Lists (MEL) and Configuration Deviation Lists (CDL).

A.    NVIS Installation. NVIS are approved for installation through the type certificate (TC) or Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) certification process. As part of the process, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accepts instructions for continued airworthiness (ICA) for installed NVIS equipment. Some NVIS STCs have specific NVGs documented for use. However, they are not considered part of the approved installation. Aircraft modified for NVG operations must be configured as described in the NVIS STC, to include any engineering change orders or other supplemental data related to the NVIS modification.

NOTE:  Field approvals are not authorized for NVIS aircraft modifications as described in Volume 4, Chapter 9, Section 1, Perform Field Approval of Major Repairs and Major Alterations. Visual flight rules (VFR) night approvals do not constitute NVIS certification. In addition, some aircraft may not be suitable for NVIS modification due to factors such as cockpit obstructions, inability of pilots to move their heads while wearing NVG, the inability of the cockpit to accommodate a pilot wearing a helmet, etc.

B.    NVGs. It is important to recognize that NVGs are a part of the overall NVIS. The NVGs are appliances although they are not physically connected to the aircraft. NVGs that have been demonstrated to be compatible with the installed NVIS lighting system are identified in the flight manual supplement (FMS). NVIS ICAs do not include NVG maintenance documents. The NVG maintenance documents are provided by the NVG manufacturer or an FAA‑certificated repair facility with approved repair specifications. NVGs used for civil operations must meet the minimum performance standards of Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C164, Night Vision Goggles, which include the RTCA, Inc. document RTCA/DO-275, Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Integrated Night Vision Imaging System Equipment.

6-2682    PROCEDURES.

A.    Preparation. Prior to performing the NVIS inspection, it is important that the aviation safety inspector (ASI) is familiar with the following documents, if applicable to the operation/aircraft being inspected:

·    Operations Specification (OpSpec) A050, Helicopter Night Vision Goggle Operations (HNVGO).

·    OpSpec D093, Helicopter Night Vision Goggle Operations (HNVGO) Maintenance Program.

·    OpSpec/Management Specification (MSpec) D095, Minimum Equipment List (MEL) Authorization.

·    STC limitations and conditions.

·    Download NVIS-related FAA Form 337, Major Repair and Alteration (Airframe, Powerplant, Propeller, or Appliance), from the Electronic Document Retrieval System (EDRS) II database located in the Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS) database.

·    Applicable maintenance manuals, ICAs, and operators’ inspection programs.

·    NVIS alteration documentation.

·    Other alteration documentation that could affect NVIS compatibility.

·    Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)-manufactured NVIS documentation.

·    Flight manual (FM), FMS.

·    OEM and STC holder Service Bulletins (SB).

B.    Records Review. The inspector must verify that the documents collected in the preparation phase are the correct documents for the aircraft being inspected. Also, the inspector must verify if any modifications were accomplished after the installation of the NVIS STC. If modifications were performed after the NVIS STC, the inspector should ensure that the operator has documentation verifying that a compatibility evaluation was performed. Refer to the “Limitations and Conditions” section of the STC for the aircraft being inspected. NVIS STCs may have varying requirements.

1)    Make arrangements for access to STC-related documentation. Request any engineering change orders or other supplemental data related to the NVIS alteration.
2)    Review NVIS ICAs. Ensure the ICAs include the most current appendix changes if applicable.
3)    Review current FM and/or FMS for NVIS checks, inspections, and operation.
4)    Review the Master Drawing List to confirm applicability of the aircraft being inspected.
5)    Review the operator’s aircraft maintenance or inspection program for NVIS ICAs and NVG maintenance documents or procedures.
6)    Verify any subsequent aircraft modifications to the cockpit, cabin, or aircraft exterior, involving a light-emitting or light-reflecting device, were properly evaluated in accordance with the “Limitations and Conditions” section of the STC.
7)    Review any alterations incorporated on the aircraft, both major and minor, that may have an adverse effect on NVIS compatibility.
8)    Review Figure 6-110, Flight Standards Service Night Vision Imaging System Aircraft Inspection Job Aid.
9)    Review applicable SBs. SBs are not regulatory unless the following situations apply:
a)    If an Airworthiness Directive (AD) incorporates by reference all or a portion of an SB;
b)    If the SB is part of the FAA-approved Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the manufacturer’s manual or the TC;
c)    If an FAA-approved inspection such as an Approved Aircraft Inspection Program (AAIP) or Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) incorporates SBs directly or by reference; or
d)    If the certificate holder’s OpSpecs list SBs as an additional maintenance requirement.

C.    Aircraft Inspection. The inspector should not remove panels or disassemble the cockpit, cabin, interior, and/or exterior lighting. Visually inspect the aircraft NVIS lighting configuration against the STC drawings or the drawings specified in the ICA. During the visual inspection, verify the following:

·    Instrument panel modification.

·    Lower console modifications.

·    Overhead panel modifications.

·    Internal cockpit and cabin lighting sources (e.g., map lights, utility lights, and/or aft cabin ceiling lights).

·    External lighting sources (e.g., position lights, strobe lights, and/or search lights).

·    Installed equipment with light-emitting sources (e.g., medical equipment, infrared imaging systems, hoists, and/or telecommunication equipment).

NOTE:  Carry-on equipment is not required to be depicted on the STC drawings.

D.    Closure.

1)    For part 135, the inspector should follow SAS guidance for Module 5.
2)    For all other operators, the inspector will debrief the operator about discrepancies found during the NVIS inspection. The inspector must document all discrepancies found during the NVIS inspection in the comments section of the PTRS record. A PTRS entry must be created for each aircraft listed in OpSpec D093.

NOTE:  The operator is responsible for ensuring all equipment installations after the NVIS STC modifications have been evaluated for NVIS compatibility.

Indicates new/changed information.
3)    Compliance Action. Follow the process contained in Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2 to identify and document the root cause(s) that led to any deviations from rules, standards, or procedures and the corrective action taken to resolve them. Follow up as required to validate the operator is in full compliance.

6-2683    NVIS/NVG, PERSONS PERFORMING MAINTENANCE, PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE, RETURN TO SERVICE, AND AIRWORTHINESS APPROVAL TAGS.

A.    Maintenance and Preventive Maintenance Documents.

1)    Maintenance and preventive maintenance documents for NVIS-installed lighting should contain, at a minimum, one of the following documents or procedures adequate for NVIS maintenance.

·    The ICAs that are accepted by the FAA and are provided by the TC or STC holder as part of its design approval,

·    FAA-approved maintenance/inspection program containing NVIS procedures,

·    FAA-approved NVIS repair specifications, or

·    NVIS maintenance procedures developed by the operator and approved by the FAA.

2)    NVG maintenance and preventive maintenance documents should contain, at a minimum, one of the following documents or procedures adequate for NVG maintenance.

·    Maintenance/preventive maintenance procedures accepted by the FAA and containing, at minimum, the elements specified in RTCA/DO-275, section 5;

·    FAA-approved maintenance/inspection program containing NVG maintenance procedures;

·    FAA-approved NVG repair specifications; or

·    The NVG manufacturers’ maintenance manual.

NOTE:  Ensure the maintenance documents are applicable to the aircraft and equipment being inspected. For part 135 operators, the maintenance documents inspected must match the maintenance documents authorized in OpSpec D093 with current applicable revision level(s).

B.    Persons Performing NVG Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, and Return to Service. Maintenance, preventive maintenance, and return to service for NVGs produced under a Technical Standard Order Authorization (TSOA), or that meet the minimum operational performance standards of RTCA/DO-275, will be performed by persons authorized under 14 CFR part 43.

C.    Airworthiness Approval Tags. As stated in the current edition of FAA Order 8130.21, Procedures for Completion and Use of the Authorized Release Certificate, FAA Form 8130-3, Airworthiness Approval Tag, “…persons…authorized by § 43.7(c), (d), and (e), may issue an FAA Form 8130-3 for approval for return to service of products and articles that have undergone maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration, provided the applicable recordkeeping requirements of §§ 43.9, 91.417, 91.421, 135.439, or 145.219 are met. The use of FAA Form 8130-3 for this purpose is optional, but the FAA recommends its use. This will help aviation authorities and the industry to ensure complete traceability and ease the movement of products and articles through the aviation system.”

1)    An appropriately rated FAA-certificated repair station may issue/attach FAA Form 8130-3, Authorized Release Certificate, Airworthiness Approval Tag, to NVGs that are manufactured under a TSOA.
2)    Products and articles not produced under an FAA production approval are not eligible to receive an FAA Form 8130-3. FAA Form 8130-3 does not constitute approval to install a product or article on a particular aircraft, aircraft engine, or propeller, as stated in FAA Order 8130.21. Therefore, FAA-certificated repair stations must not issue/attach FAA Form 8130-3 to NVGs that are not manufactured under a TSOA.

D.    Assistance. ASIs who encounter any potential safety concerns during NVIS surveillance should contact the appropriate Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG). The AEG serves as liaison between Flight Standards (AFS) and the Aircraft Certification Office (ACO).

6-2684    MEL CONSIDERATIONS.

·    MMEL PL-127 is the only MMEL relief available for NVIS systems and equipment.

·    If the operator has not incorporated MMEL PL-127, then confirm that the operator does not defer any inoperative NVIS equipment.

6-2685    DAYTIME AND NIGHTTIME READABILITY.

A.    Daytime Readability Assessment. Confirm that the filtered instruments are readable under natural daylight conditions. Normal deterioration of markings and colors on instrument/equipment faces may cause difficulty in reading filtered instruments during daytime conditions.

B.    Nighttime Readability Assessment.

1)    Ensure the aircraft has ground power applied and is configured for NVIS operation as specified in the FM or the FMS for the NVIS system installed.

NOTE:  Have an operator, maintenance, or flightcrew personnel assist with this step.

2)    Confirm the NVIS lighting is functioning as specified in the FMS.
3)    Inspect cockpit for any potential NVIS incompatible lighting sources (e.g., unfiltered equipment/instruments, mirrors, and/or light leakage).

NOTE:  The ICAs may include information addressing NVIS aircraft incompatible lighting and requirements for cockpit lighting survey.

4)    Ensure the aircraft is configured for night VFR flight while not using NVG (known as “Night Unaided Flight”). Confirm that instruments and equipment are lighted for nighttime operations.

NOTE:  Have an operator, maintenance, or flightcrew personnel assist with this step.

6-2686    ANALYZE FINDINGS.

A.    Determination. For other than part 135, analyze each finding to determine if the discrepancies are the result of improper maintenance and/or missing or inadequate maintenance/inspection procedures. Ensure the operator completes necessary followup/corrective actions and notifies the inspector. Inspectors will follow up with operators within 30 days to ensure the corrective action has been accomplished and meets the requirements of the approved data. Document the results of the analysis and operator followup action in the PTRS. For part 135, follow SAS guidance for Module 5.

B.    Debrief the Operator. Inform the Director of Maintenance (DOM), Director of Operations (DO), Chief Pilot, or his or her representative about the status of the inspection and discuss any discrepancies found. The ASI must notify the DOM, DO, Chief Pilot, or his or her representative in writing and in a timely manner. The operator should be given an opportunity to take corrective actions. The ASI must verify that all corrective actions taken were in accordance with the requirements of the operators’ maintenance program.

6-2687    COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS. This task is performed by Airworthiness ASIs. It may require coordination with Operations ASIs and/or region specialists.

6-2688    REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.    References (current editions):

·    Title 14 CFR part 91, § 91.205(h) and part 135, § 135.411.

·    Advisory Circular (AC) 27-1, Certification of Normal Category Rotorcraft.

·    AC 29-2, Certification of Transport Category Rotorcraft.

·    FAA Order 8130.21, Procedures for Completion and Use of the Authorized Release Certificate, FAA Form 8130-3, Airworthiness Approval Tag.

·    Volume 4, Chapter 9, Section 1, Perform Field Approval of Major Repairs and Major Alterations.

Indicates new/changed information.

·    Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2, Flight Standards Service Compliance Action Decision Procedure.

·    Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) Policy Letter PL-127, Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS).

·    RTCA/DO-268, Concept of Operations, Night Vision Imaging System for Civil Operators.

·    RTCA/DO-275, Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Integrated Night Vision Imaging System Equipment.

·    RTCA/DO-295, Civil Operators’ Training Guidelines for Integrated Night Vision Imaging System Equipment.

·    TSO-C164, Night Vision Goggles.

B.    Forms. None.

C.    Job Aids. Automated OpSpecs checklist, worksheets, and Figure 6-110.

6-2689    TASK OUTCOMES.

A.    Complete the PTRS Record. The outcome should be entered into the PTRS in accordance with the PTRS Procedures Manual (PPM).

B.    Follow SAS Guidance. Part 135 must also follow guidance for SAS Modules 4 and 5.

C.    Complete the Task. Completion of this task may result in the following:

Indicates new/changed information.

·    Compliance Action per Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2 when analysis of the findings discloses improper maintenance.

·    Written notification to the operator/program manager of the necessary changes to the manual when analysis of the findings discloses missing or inadequate maintenance/inspection procedures.

·    Communication with the certificate-holding district office (CHDO)/certificate management unit (CMU) by the geographic unit finding discrepancies.

Indicates new/changed information.

6-2690    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. For other than part 135, based on inspection findings, determine if increased surveillance, additional Compliance Action, other job tasks, and/or additional coordination between the CHDO/CMU and geographic units are required to regain compliance. Future activities for part 135 certificate holders will be determined by the SAS process.

Figure 6-110.  Flight Standards Service Night Vision Imaging System Aircraft Inspection Job Aid

Purpose: This job aid provides guidance for inspecting Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS)-equipped aircraft, to assess the quality of maintenance, configuration control, and the degree of compliance with the operator’s maintenance procedures on in-service aircraft.

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    Procedural Guidance:

·    Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) 10022, Maintenance of Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS);

·    Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) Policy Letter (PL)-127, Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS);

·    Operations Specification (OpSpec) A050, Helicopter Night Vision Goggle Operations (HNVGO);

·    OpSpec/Management Specification (MSpec) D072, Aircraft Maintenance—Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) Authorization;

·    OpSpec/MSpec D073, Approved Inspection Program;

·    OpSpec/MSpec D085, Aircraft Listing;

·    OpSpec D093, Helicopter Night Vision Goggle Operations (HNVGO) Maintenance Program; and

·    OpSpec/MSpec D095, Minimum Equipment List (MEL) Authorization.

B.    Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) Activity Codes: 4634, 4651, 6634, and 6651.

Section 1—Preparation. Prior to performing the NVIS inspection, it is important that the aviation safety inspector (ASI) is familiar with the following documents:

·    OpSpec A050.

·    OpSpec D093.

·    OpSpec/MSpec D095.

·    Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) limitations and conditions.

·    Download NVIS-related FAA Form 337, Major Repair and Alteration (Airframe, Powerplant, Propeller, or Appliance), from the Electronic Document Retrieval System (EDRS) II database located in the Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS) database.

·    Applicable maintenance manuals, instructions for continued airworthiness (ICA), and operators inspection programs.

·    NVIS alteration documentation.

·    Other alteration documentation that could affect NVIS compatibility.

·    Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)-manufactured NVIS documentation.

·    Flight manual (FM) and Flight Manual Supplement (FMS).

·    OEM and STC holder Service Bulletins (SB).

Section 2—Records Review.

Item

Complete Yes/No, or Not Applicable

Task

Description

1

 

Maintenance/Inspection Programs

Review the operator maintenance/inspection program to determine if it includes NVIS ICA procedures. Ensure the program contains all the applicable data to maintain the NVIS-modified aircraft (e.g., configuration drawings and/or ICA with appendices).

2

 

NVIS FM/FMS

Review the FAA-approved NVIS FM and/or FMS as identified in the STC data.

3

 

ICAs

If the ICAs are not incorporated in the maintenance program, review the NVIS ICAs.

4

 

Night Vision Goggle (NVG) serviceability/inspection

Review the records for NVG daily check, preflight check and 180-day inspection of the NVG. Reference NVG maintenance procedures as applicable.

 

NOTE:  These requirements may be included in OpSpecs A050 and D093. (e.g., The requirements for check/inspection may be found in the Rotorcraft Flight Manual Supplement (RFMS), the NVG Technical Manual, or the ICAs).

5

 

Minimum equipment list (MEL) usage for NVIS modified aircraft

Review the operator’s approved MEL procedures. Determine if MMEL PL-127 has been incorporated.

 

NOTE:  Standard MMEL supplemental lighting privileges do not apply to NVIS‑modified cockpits/cabins.

6

 

Aircraft records

Review the applicable FAA Form 337, the STC “Limitations and Conditions” section, and aircraft record entries for the NVIS modification (e.g., flight log, logbook, and/or work orders).

 

NOTE:  In some cases there may be multiple entries.

7

 

Post-NVIS STC Modifications

Verify any subsequent aircraft modifications to the cockpit, cabin, or aircraft exterior involving a light emitting or reflecting device were properly evaluated in accordance with the Limitations and Conditions section of the STC.

 

NOTE:  Any alteration, major or minor alterations, could adversely affect NVIS compatibility.

8

 

Airworthiness Directives (AD) and SBs

Review applicable ADs and, if required, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) SBs and STC holder SBs for compliance.

 

NOTE:  Ensure the operator has a process to obtain STC holder SBs.

9

 

Aircraft records/Approved data

If possible, obtain copies or photographs of any documents with potential concerns for later evaluation by the appropriate office. These may be needed to resolve findings.

Section 3—Aircraft Inspection.

Item

Complete

Yes/No, or

Not Applicable

Task

Description

1

 

Instrument Readability

·     Survey cockpit/cabin in daylight conditions, preferably in full sunlight.

·     Confirm all gauges/instruments are easily readable.

·     All colors on the gauges/instruments are easily identified.

·     Filters are not cracked, crazed, faded, or clouded by condensation.

·     Filtered electronic displays are easily readable at daylight brightness settings.

·     Caution and warnings are easy to see.

·     Filters are installed in accordance with the approved data.

2

 

Instrument Panel

Verify that instrument panel modifications are installed in accordance with the approved data (e.g., configuration exactly matches installation drawings and/or ICA).

3

 

Lower Console

Verify lower console(s) modifications are installed in accordance with the approved data (e.g., configuration exactly matches installation drawings and/or ICA).

4

 

Overhead Panel

Verify that overhead panel modifications are installed in accordance with the approved data (e.g., configuration exactly matches installation drawings and/or ICA).

5

 

Internal Aircraft Lighting

Verify that all internal cockpit and cabin lighting sources such as map lights, utility lights, aft cabin ceiling lights, etc., are modified in accordance with the approved data (e.g., configuration exactly matches installation drawings and/or ICA).

6

 

External Lighting

Verify that all external lighting sources, such as position lights, strobe lights, and search lights, are modified in accordance with the approved data (e.g., configuration exactly matches installation drawings and/or ICA).

7

 

Installed Equipment

Verify that installed equipment with light emitting sources such as medical equipment, infrared imaging systems, hoists, telecommunication equipment, etc., are modified in accordance with the approved data (e.g., configuration exactly matches installation drawings and/or ICA).

 

NOTE:  Carry-on equipment is not required to be depicted on the drawings.

8

 

Design Deficiencies

If deficiencies are found with NVIS filtration and NVIS lighting for installed equipment that could affect aircraft operation (i.e., safety issues). (See Section 4, item 4 for more information.)

9

 

Photos

Document the aircraft configuration with photos. These photos should document multiple angles depicting all equipment that emits or reflects light. It’s recommended to take these photos with power applied to the aircraft.

Section 4—Closure.

Item

Complete

Yes/No, or

Not Applicable

Task

Description

1

 

Disposition Findings

Analyze findings to determine the area of responsibility (e.g., Operator, modifier, or Aircraft Certification Office (ACO)/STC holder). Include any documents and photographs obtained during the inspection.

Indicates new/changed information.

2

 

Debrief Operator

Debrief deficiencies to the operator, Director of Maintenance (DOM), Director of Operations (DO), Chief Pilot, or his or her representative. Initiate any necessary Compliance Actions per Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2 to address deviations.

Indicates new/changed information.

3

 

PTRS Entry

Document activities in the PTRS database.

NVIS PTRS Activity Codes: 4634, 4651, 6634, and 6651.

 

Compliance Action PTRS Activity Codes and/or NVIS activity record keyword comments per Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2.

4

 

Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG) Notification

(if necessary)

Contact the appropriate AEG and coordinate any issues with ICAs or type design deficiencies. Details should include at a minimum:

 

·    Inspector name and contact information.

·    Date of inspection.

·    PTRS number.

·    Aircraft make/model, tail number, and serial number.

·    NVIS STC number.

·    Applicable drawing number(s), revision levels, dates, and zones.

·    Equipment part numbers.

·    Short description of the service difficulty.

·    Detailed photos of the deficiencies.

Indicates new/changed information.

5

 

Task Completion

Followup options may include:

 

·    Appropriate Compliance Action per Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2 when analysis of findings discloses maintenance issues.

·    Written notification to the operator/program manager of the necessary changes.

·    Communication with the certificate-holding district office (CHDO)/International Field Office (IFO) by the geographic unit finding deficiencies.

RESERVED. N/A.