8900.1 CHG 432

VOLUME 8  General technical functions


Section 1  Background Information

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8-23    CHAPTER CONTENTS. This chapter contains information for inspectors on the purpose and function of Aircraft Evaluation Groups (AEG) and the boards managed by AEGs. It also contains guidance, direction, and information to be used by inspectors concerning existing and newly certified aircraft. This chapter addresses inspector duties when serving as board members or technical advisors to a board managed by an AEG. This chapter is structured as follows:

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A.    Section 1. This section contains background information and definitions of AEG boards and certain technical terms that may be useful to inspectors when using Sections 2 through 9.

B.    Section 2. This section contains guidance for inspectors on services available from an AEG and a listing of AEG locations.

C.    Section 3. This section contains descriptions of the purpose, composition, and responsibilities of Flight Operations Evaluation Boards (FOEB) and a brief explanation of the minimum equipment list (MEL) approval process from the Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL).

D.    Section 4. This section contains guidance for an inspector serving as a member of an FOEB, example forms, and job aids.

E.    Section 5. This section contains a description of the purpose, composition, and responsibilities of Flight Standardization Boards (FSB), a description of the general process used to determine pilot type ratings, and recommended minimum training program requirements.

F.    Section 6. This section contains guidance for an inspector serving as a member of an FSB, example forms, and job aids.

G.    Section 7. This section contains general information for inspectors on the purpose and function of Maintenance Review Boards (MRB).

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H.    Section 8. This section is reserved.

I.    Section 9. This section contains guidance for inspectors on the AEG roles and responsibilities regarding outreach during the development and implementation of an Airworthiness Directive (AD).

8-24    BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND DEFINITIONS. Background information is contained in the definitions of the following terms used throughout this chapter.

A.    Aircraft Certification Directorates. The formation of aircraft certification directorates in the New England, Central, Southwest, and Northwest Mountain regions was established by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 8000.51, Aircraft Certification Directorates’ Delegation of Authority. These directorates were established to maintain or enhance air safety and public service and to standardize the application of airworthiness standards. An aircraft certification directorate has general responsibilities for the initial certification of aircraft, for accepting any significant changes to existing aircraft, for establishing the airworthiness standards of aircraft in operation, and for developing ADs, as required.

B.    Aircraft Certification Office (ACO). An ACO performs aircraft certification duties under the guidance of an aircraft certification directorate. ACOs administer most type certification and Continuous Airworthiness Program (CAP) activities. They also establish standards and procedures and recommend regulations governing the type design and certification of aircraft, engines, and propellers. An ACO administers follow-on activities related to certification, such as the evaluation and issuance of Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) and the issuance of ADs. They may provide expert technical support for aircraft accident/incident investigation and for service difficulties. An ACO often works directly with manufacturers and is normally located in a region that contains one or more aircraft or engine manufacturers.

C.    Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG). An AEG is a unit of the Flight Standards Service (AFS) and is usually collocated with and works closely with ACOs. AEGs provide initial operational evaluation of aircraft for AFS approval in the aircraft certification process. Following the certification and evaluation of an aircraft, an AEG is involved in monitoring the fleet service experience to help maintain continued airworthiness.

D.    Flight Operation Evaluation Board (FOEB). An FOEB is made up of technically qualified specialists, engineering representatives, and aviation safety inspectors (ASI). FOEBs are responsible for developing MMELs from proposed master minimum equipment lists (PMMEL) provided by the aircraft manufacturer. These MMELs are usually developed for and timed to initial aircraft certification. FOEBs are also responsible for developing revisions to MMELs. They may review proposed Configuration Deviation Lists (CDL) when requested by the ACO.

E.    Flight Standardization Board (FSB). An FSB is responsible for formally evaluating training, checking, and currency for flightcrew members and for establishing pilot type rating requirements. Additionally, FSBs develop recommended minimum training requirements used for flightcrew member qualification.

F.    FSB Report. The FSB issues a report after evaluating any new or modified aircraft. This report becomes the basis for approval of the training, certification, proficiency, and currency program requirements approved by FAA district offices.

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G.    Issue Paper (IP). An IP provides a means for identifying and resolving significant technical, regulatory, and administrative issues that occur during the certification process. IPs are primarily intended to provide an overview of significant issues, a means of determining the status of issues, and a basis for a post‑certification summary statement on how issues were resolved.

H.    Maintenance Review Board (MRB). An MRB is responsible for the development of FAA maintenance requirements for a new aircraft type. MRBs approve the initial maintenance and inspection requirements for new, large turbojet aircraft to be used in air transportation.

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I.    Make/Model/Series/Variation. The meaning of these terms may be seen in the example of a Boeing 727-231, where Boeing is the make, 727 is the model, 200 is the series, and 31 is the variation.

J.    Type. The following descriptions of “type certificates” and “type ratings” are an amplification of the definitions found in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 1, § 1.1.

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1)    Type Certificate (TC). An aircraft type includes all aircraft that are similar in design produced under a single TC issued, according to 14 CFR part 21 subpart B. Each aircraft type must have a TC before it can be issued its first Certificate of Airworthiness. Aircraft TC determinations are established by an ACO.
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2)    Type Rating. A type rating is assigned to a single aircraft type, typically a make and model (e.g., B-757). However, in some cases, a different series of the same model may require a different type rating. For example, the B-747-100, -200, and -300 series require one type rating (B-747), but the B-747-400 and -800 require a different type rating (B-747-4). An aircraft that has commonality with another aircraft may be assigned a type rating that is considered in common with another type rating (e.g., B-757 and B-767). Aircraft that are modified may be reevaluated to ensure the current type rating is still valid, or if a new or revised type rating is needed. An aircraft must have a TC before a type rating can be established for that aircraft in accordance with 14 CFR part 61, § 61.31(a).

K.    Base Aircraft. Base aircraft are aircraft identified by a certificate holder for use as a reference to compare differences with another aircraft.

L.    Related Aircraft. Related aircraft are any two or more aircraft of the same make with either the same or different TCs that have been demonstrated and determined by the Administrator to have commonality.

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NOTE:  Information regarding base aircraft, variations of an aircraft, related aircraft, differences training, and related aircraft differences training are contained in Volume 3, Chapter 19, Training Programs and Airman Qualifications. Inspectors should refer to Volume 3, Chapter 19, before approving an operator’s 14 CFR part 121 or 135 flightcrew member training program, and to Volume 4, Chapter 4, Minimum Equipment Lists (MEL) and Configuration Deviation Lists (CDL), before approving an operator’s MEL.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 8-25 through 8-39.