8900.1 CHG 483



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Section 4 Evaluation/Certification of a Part 125 Applicant/Operator’s Maintenance Capabilities


A.    Maintenance: 3202.

B.    Avionics: 5202.

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2-767    OVERVIEW.

A.    Certification Process. This section provides guidance on evaluating the maintenance capabilities of a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 125 operator during the certification process. The entire certification process is outlined in Volume 2, Chapter 6, Section 2.

B.    Certification Project Team (CPT). A CPT composed of qualified inspectors will accomplish the maintenance capabilities evaluation/certification of new part 125 air operators.

C.    Air Operator Certificate. Before issuing an air operator certificate, the CPT will verify that an applicant is capable of operating safely, and the applicant must demonstrate compliance with the regulations and standards prescribed by the Administrator.

NOTE:  In this section, the terms “applicant” or “operator” refer to a part 125 certificate holder applicant.


A.    References (current editions):

    Title 14 CFR Parts 39, 43, 91, and 125.

    Advisory Circular (AC) 125-1, Operations of Large Airplanes Subject to Federal Aviation Regulation Part 125.

    Volume 2, Chapter 1, The Generic Process for Certificating Organizations, Sections 1 through 4.

    Volume 2, Chapter 6, Title 14 CFR Part 125 Certification and Operating Rules, Sections 1 through 9.

    Volume 6, Chapter 3, Part 125 Inspections, Sections 1 through 7.

B.    Forms. None.

C.    Job Aids. None.

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2-769    DOCUMENT COMPLIANCE. The CPT shall verify that each of the applicant/operator’s manuals, or portions thereof, is complete and correct when submitted to the CHDO. All maintenance policies and procedures stated in the applicant’s manual must meet the highest degree of safety to comply with 14 CFR.

A.    Review. The CPT must review the compliance statement and the appropriate manuals or documents to ensure they meet the requirements of part 125, 125.71, 125.73, and 125.249.

B.    Evaluate. The CPT will evaluate the operator’s policies and procedures manual pertaining to maintenance operations and capabilities.

C.    LODAs/LOAs. It is recommended that the applicant/operator include a copy of each part 125 Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) and any letter of authorization (LOA) that has been previously granted to them in their submissions.


A.    Applicant/Operator’s Maintenance Responsibilities (Refer to 125.243).

1)    With regards to airplanes, including airframes, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, and survival and emergency equipment operated by a part 125 operator, that operator is primarily responsible for airworthiness.
2)    The operator is responsible for:
a)    Scheduling and the performance of inspections required by regulatory requirements.
b)    Ensuring that each person with whom it arranges for the performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance, alteration, or Required Inspection Items (RII) is identified in its manual and has an organization adequate to perform that work.
c)    Ensuring the performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alteration is in accordance with applicable regulations and the operator’s manual.
d)    Ensuring that maintenance personnel make entries in the airplane maintenance log and maintenance records, which meet the requirements of part 43 and the operator’s manual, which indicate that the airplane has been approved for return to service after maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration has been performed.

B.    Maintenance Manual Requirements. Each applicant/operator shall prepare and keep current a manual setting forth the operator’s procedures and policies acceptable to the Administrator. Section 125.249 lists the operator’s maintenance manual requirements. The operator’s manual should include at least the following information:

1)    A description of the operator’s maintenance organization, when the applicant/operator has such an organization.
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2)    Personnel qualifications, to include:


    Responsibilities, and


3)    Person designated as responsible for scheduling inspections and for updating the approved Weight and Balance (W&B) system.
4)    A list of those persons with whom the operator has arranged for performance of inspections under part 125. The list shall include the persons’ names and addresses.
5)    The inspection programs required by 125.247.
6)    The method of performing routine and nonroutine inspections (other than required inspections).

C.    Other Maintenance-Related Manual Contents (Refer to 125.73). The following procedures are also required to be in the operator’s manual:

1)    Procedures for ensuring compliance with airplane W&B limitations.
2)    Procedures for ensuring that the pilot in command (PIC) knows that required airworthiness inspections have been made and that the airplane has been approved for return to service in compliance with applicable maintenance requirements.
3)    Procedures for reporting and recording mechanical irregularities that come to the attention of the PIC before, during, and after completion of a flight.
4)    Procedures to be followed by the PIC for determining that mechanical irregularities or defects reported for previous flights have been corrected or that correction has been deferred.
5)    Procedures for the release for, or continuation of, flight if any item of equipment required for the particular type of operation becomes inoperative or unserviceable en route.
6)    Procedures to be followed by the PIC to obtain maintenance, preventive maintenance, and servicing of the airplane at a place where previous arrangements have not been made by the operator, when the pilot is authorized to so act for the operator.
7)    Procedures for refueling airplanes, eliminating fuel contamination, protecting from fire (including electrostatic protection), and supervising and protecting passengers during refueling.
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D.    Airplane Inspection Program (AIP).

1)    The operator’s manual is required to contain the inspection program required by 125.247. The CPT should review the AIP for regulatory compliance. The inspection programs which may be approved for use under part 125 include, but are not limited to:
a)    A continuous inspection program which is a part of a current Continuous Airworthiness Program (CAP) of a 14 CFR part 121/135 certificate holder;
b)    An inspection program currently recommended by the manufacturer of the airplane, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, or survival and emergency equipment; or
c)    An inspection program developed by the applicant/operator.
2)    The AIP must include at least the following:
a)    Instructions, procedures, and standards for the conduct of inspections for the particular make and model of airplane, including necessary tests and checks. The instructions and procedures must set forth in detail the parts and areas of the airframe, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, and survival and emergency equipment required to be inspected.
b)    A schedule for the performance of inspections that must be performed under the program, expressed in terms of the time in service, calendar-time, number of system operations, or any combination of these.
3)    No person may be used to perform the inspections required by part 125 unless that person is authorized to perform maintenance under part 43.

NOTE:  Volume 2, Chapter 6, Section 7, provides additional guidance on how to evaluate and approve a part 125 AIP and an engine maintenance program.

E.    Part 125 Maintenance, and Continued Airworthiness Requirements. The applicant/operator must have policies and procedures to ensure:

1)    The replacement times for life-limited parts specified in the aircraft Type Certificate Data Sheets (TCDS), or other documents approved by the Administrator, are complied with.
2)    Defects disclosed between inspections, or as a result of inspection, have been corrected in accordance with part 43.
3)    The airplane, including airframe, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, and survival and emergency equipment, and their component parts are inspected in accordance with an inspection program approved by the Administrator.
4)    The installed engines have been maintained in accordance with the overhaul periods recommended by the manufacturer or a program approved by the Administrator.
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5)    The engine overhaul periods are specified in the inspection program required by 125.247(a)(3).
6)    Repairs assessment for pressurized fuselages is complied with, as applicable. (Refer to  125.505.)
7)    The fuel tank system inspection program is complied with, as applicable. (Refer to 125.507.)
8)    Flammability reduction means (FRM) is complied with, as applicable. (Refer to 125.509.)
9)    Other additional maintenance requirements are completed, to include:
a)    Emergency locator transmitter (ELT) test and inspection. (Refer to part 91, 91.207.)
b)    Altimeter system and altitude reporting equipment tests and inspections. (Refer to 91.411.)
c)    Air traffic control (ATC) transponder tests and inspections. (Refer to 91.413.)
d)    Airworthiness Directives (AD) compliance. (Refer to part 39, 39.11 and 91.403.)
e)    Instructions for continued airworthiness (ICA) for any alterations or repairs that have been accomplished. (Refer to 14 CFR part 21, 21.50 and part 43, 43.13).
f)    Manufacturer’s maintenance manuals having Airworthiness Limitations sections. (Refer to  21.50, 43.16, and 91.403.)
10)    The current empty weight and center of gravity (CG) are calculated from the values established by actual weighing of the airplane within the preceding 36 calendar-months. (Refer to 125.91.)

F.    Manufacturers’ Service Publications. Refer to the current editions of AC 20-77, Use of Manufacturers’ Maintenance Manuals, and FAA Order 8620.2, Applicability and Enforcement of Manufacturer’s Data. These documents list situations when Service Bulletins (SB) would be regulatory.

G.    RIIs. The applicant/operator must have policies and procedures for RIIs that include:

1)    The operator may not use any person to perform required inspections unless the person performing the inspection is appropriately certificated, properly trained, qualified, and authorized to do so.
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2)    No person may perform a required inspection if that person performed the item of work required to be inspected.
3)    The operator’s manual contains the following RII policy and procedures:
a)    The designation of the items that must be inspected (required inspections), including at least those which, if improperly accomplished, could result in a failure, malfunction, or defect endangering the safe operation of the airplane.
b)    The method of performing required inspections.
c)    Procedures for the inspection of work performed under previously required inspection findings (“buy-back procedures”).
d)    Procedures, standards, and limits necessary for required inspections and acceptance or rejection of the items required to be inspected.
e)    Instructions to prevent any person who performs any item of work from performing any required inspection of that work.
f)    Procedures to ensure that work interruptions do not adversely affect required inspections and to ensure required inspections are properly completed before the airplane is released to service.

NOTE:  Volume 2, Chapter 6, Section 9, provides guidance for evaluating a part 125 RII training program.

H.    Maintenance-Related Records and Reports.

1)    As per 125.249, each operator’s manual shall contain a suitable recordkeeping system which may include a coded system that provides for the retention of the following:
a)    A description (or reference to data acceptable to the Administrator) of the work performed.
b)    The name of the person performing the work and the person’s certificate type and number.
c)    The name of the person approving the work and the person’s certificate type and number.
2)    Part 125 subpart L, Records and Reports, contains certain regulatory requirements for maintenance-related records and reports.
a)    Maintenance log: airplanes. (Refer to 125.407.)
b)    Service Difficulty Report (SDR). (Refer to 125.409.)
c)    Airworthiness release or maintenance record entry. (Refer to 125.411.)
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3)    Section 91.417 requires registered aircraft owners or operators to keep records containing the following information:
a)    The total time in service of the airframe, each engine, and each propeller.
b)    The current status of life-limited parts of each airframe, engine, propeller, and appliance.
c)    The time since last overhaul of all items installed on the aircraft which are required to be overhauled on a specified time basis.
d)    The current inspection status of the aircraft, including the time since the last inspection required by the inspection program under which the aircraft and its appliances are maintained.
e)    The current status of applicable ADs and safety directives including, for each, the method of compliance, the AD or safety directive number, and revision date. If the AD or safety directive involves recurring action, include the time and date when the next action is required.
f)    Copies of the forms prescribed by 43.9(d) for each major alteration to the airframe and currently installed engines, propellers, and appliances.
g)    The records specified in 91.417(a)(1) shall be retained until the work is repeated or superseded by other work or for 1 year after the work is performed. The records specified in 91.417(a)(2) shall be retained and transferred with the aircraft at the time the aircraft is sold.
h)    The owner or operator shall make all maintenance records required to be kept by this section available for inspection by the Administrator or any authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

I.    Applicant Profile. A new Applicant and Personnel Profile should be started in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enhanced Vital Information Database (eVID) and the Enhanced Flight Standards Automation System (eFSAS).

J.    Document Compliance Deficiencies.

1)    If deficiencies are found in any document, notify the applicant.
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2)    If significant revision is required, return the document/manuals to the applicant with a letter outlining the deficiencies. When the action is completed, note the date on the office file copy and advise the applicant that the action is satisfactory. Address any impact on the Schedule of Events (SOE) and request the applicant to provide a revised SOE.
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A.    Conduct Demonstrations and Inspections. The applicant/operator and CPT should conduct demonstrations of agreed-upon policies and procedures, and inspect areas that require special emphasis. During the demonstration and inspection phase, the certification project manager (CPM) shall ensure the following is accomplished:

1)    Inspect airplanes for conformity with appropriate type certificates (TC) and applicable requirements of part 125, including subpart D, subpart E, subpart F, and subpart M.
2)    Review the applicant/operator’s agreements for acquiring airplanes and appropriate maintenance facilities.
3)    Observe company or contract maintenance personnel as they perform scheduled and unscheduled airplane maintenance and inspections.
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4)    Review airplane records to ensure there is a clear understanding between the operator’s operations personnel and maintenance personnel on what record entries must be made and who should make them.
5)    Check that the aircraft has a current airworthiness certificate and registration certificate.
6)    Evaluate maintenance facilities. This evaluation should be made by the principal maintenance inspector (PMI) and principal avionics inspector (PAI).
7)    Evaluate aircraft spare parts and materials availability.
8)    Inspect the airplanes for conformity with noise control standards, as applicable.
9)    Conduct a base inspection. (See Volume 6, Chapter 3, Section 4.)
10)    Evaluate the operator’s maintenance recordkeeping system. (See Volume 6, Chapter 3, Section 7.)

B.    Exceptions. A part 125 applicant is not required to conduct proving flights. Emphasis is on compliance with applicable regulations and documented safe operating practices.

2-772    TASK OUTCOMES. Completion of the entire certification project, airworthiness and operations tasks, results in either:

    Issuance of a certificate and operations specifications (OpSpecs) authorizing operations under part 125, or

    Written notification to the applicant denying the certificate.

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A.    Certification Report. Provide the findings of the airworthiness CPT members to the CPM so that a certification report containing the results of the project can be assembled.

B.    PTRS. Complete the PTRS record, entering the appropriate information.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 2-773 through 2-785.