8900.1 CHG 480



Section 6 Evaluate Part 125 Policies and Procedures Manual/Revision: Maintenance


A.    Maintenance: 3302, 3303.

B.    Avionics: 5302, 5303.

C.    Cabin Safety: Pending.

2-812    OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance for evaluating a part 125 operator/applicant’s policies and procedures manual/revision.

2-813    GENERAL.

A.    Manual Purpose. This manual must provide policies, procedures, and technical criteria in sufficient detail to ensure that regulatory requirements are fully met.

1)    The manual must be written so as to be readily understood. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 125, 125.71 requires an operator to have a current manual that is used by all flight, ground, and maintenance personnel.
2)    The original manual must be reviewed and accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before it is implemented by the operator. A manual revision may be issued by the operator prior to being reviewed and accepted by the FAA.
3)    The manual should define all aspects of the operator’s organization.
a)    The maintenance section must address policies, procedures, and standards for administering the inspection program and any other subject appropriate for the particular operator/applicant.
b)    The operator/applicant is responsible for ensuring that the manual provides sufficient guidance for maintaining a high level of safety. Inspectors may offer assistance in developing the manual/revision, but the operator is responsible for ensuring that the material complies with the regulations.

B.    References for Manual Development. Advisory circulars (AC), preambles to regulations, and other guidance material may be used to assist the operator/applicant in developing the manual. The operator should use caution when incorporating the text of these documents into the manual since they are advisory and may not meet the exact needs of the operator. Under no circumstances may the manual simply reference an advisory document. It may, however, reference technical documents, such as equipment manufacturer’s manuals or Service Bulletins (SB).

2-814    MANUAL CONTENT. There are certain items that the manual must cover in accordance with  125.73 and 125.249. Additional items may be incorporated at the discretion of the operator/applicant, provided they are not contrary to the regulations and the operator’s operations specifications (OpSpecs). The manual may be in two or more separate parts containing all the necessary information required by 14 CFR.

A.    Definitions and Acronyms. Each significant term used in the manual should be defined. The definitions must reflect their intended use and include acronyms and/or abbreviations unique to the manual.

B.    Scheduled Inspection Programs and Maintenance Requirements.

Indicates new/changed information.
1)    The contents of the inspection program approved by the Administrator and a copy of the OpSpecs or appropriate extracted information must be in the manual, as required by 125.73.
2)    Section 125.249 requires that the manual also contain any additional information that may not be part of the inspection program requirements.
3)    Scheduled inspection programs and the maintenance requirements section must include forms, detailed instructions, and references for routine and nonroutine requirements.

C.    Inspection Personnel.

1)    The manual must contain a current list of persons who will conduct inspections. They must be identified by name and address.
2)    The manual should describe the operator’s procedures for ensuring persons performing required inspections are appropriately certificated, trained, qualified, and authorized.
3)    Each person performing required inspections should be given written information describing responsibilities, authorities, and inspection limitations.

D.    Revision System. Manuals must be easy to revise. Each revised page must show the revision number and date. The manual should have a page control system which shows the number of pages and ensures the latest revision is included. Page control usually is identified as a List of Effective Pages (LEP).

2-815    FUELING PROCEDURES. The manual must specify procedures for fueling airplanes.

A.    Elimination of Fuel Contamination. The manual must contain procedures to prevent fuel contamination that can occur at the servicing station or within the airplane. Examples include water, incorrect fuel type, dirt, algae, and other foreign matter. If fueling is performed by a contractor, the operator must have procedures to determine proper storage and care of the contractor’s fuel and equipment.

B.    Fire Protection. The manual procedures for fire protection should address the following in sufficient detail:

    Proper grounding of the airplane;

    Use of any required electrical equipment;

    Availability of proper firefighting equipment;

    Minimum distance from other equipment, such as the auxiliary power unit (APU), other vehicles, etc.;

    Smoking and fire restrictions;

    Prohibiting fueling in hangars or in proximity to electrical storms; and

    Any other procedures determined necessary by the operator or FAA inspector.

C.    Passenger Protection. The manual must have procedures to ensure the safety, supervision, and welfare of all persons onboard the airplane, including any person who may be incapacitated. The effects of fuel fumes, accidental spills, fire, weather, and other factors should be considered.

2-816    INITIAL CERTIFICATION. During initial certification, applicants are encouraged to submit drafts of the manual before submitting a formal application. This enables inspectors to determine if the applicant is proceeding in an appropriate manner. Inspectors should retain copies of the draft after review to ensure that recommended changes are incorporated and no other changes have been made.

2-817    COMPLIANCE STATEMENT. The compliance statement often references the policies and procedures manual. Therefore, inspectors must ensure these documents do not conflict and that references to the manual are accurate.

2-818    ACCEPTING A MANUAL. The original policies and procedures manual is accepted rather than approved. An acceptance letter is sent to the operator/applicant indicating that the policies and procedures are not contrary to the requirements of 14 CFR. It is important that the manual be reviewed and accepted by all specialties.

NOTE:  There is no requirement to sign and date the complete manual. Each page should not be initialed and dated by the appropriate specialist.

2-819    MANUAL REVISIONS. Inspector should encourage operators to discuss manual revisions prior to printing and distributing them. Inspectors should review for conformity with regulatory requirements, and the operator’s OpSpecs and operating certificate can preclude the operator’s having to make costly changes after a revision has been printed and distributed. When a manual revision which does not conform to the appropriate regulations or the operator’s OpSpecs or operating certificate is printed and distributed, the inspector should immediately notify the operator in writing. The inspector should request appropriate action to resolve the discrepancy to the satisfaction of the Administrator.

2-820    COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS. This task requires coordination among Airworthiness and Operations aviation safety inspectors (ASI). Regional coordination may be necessary.


A.    References (current editions):

    Title 14 CFR Parts 25, 43, 45, 47, 65, 91, and 145.

Indicates new/changed information.

    Volume 2, Chapter 2, Section 5, Safety Assurance System: Evaluate Applicant’s Refueling Procedures and Facilities (Parts 121, 125, and 135).

    Advisory Circular (AC) 43‑9, Maintenance Records.

    AC 120‑27, Aircraft Weight and Balance Control.

    AC 125‑1, Operations of Large Airplanes Subject to Federal Aviation Regulation Part 125.

    Operator’s compliance statement.

B.    Forms. None.

C.    Job Aids. None.

2-822    PROCEDURES.

A.    Receive Manual, Revision, or Draft for Review.

1)    If this task is performed as part of an original certification, review the Schedule of Events (SOE) to determine the timeframe for completing the manual review.
2)    Assess the extent of the revision. If the revision affects only one area, it may not be necessary to review the entire manual. However, if a revision has a significant effect on several areas, or is, in effect, a new manual, review the entire manual. Ensure that each page shows the proper revision number and date.
3)    Review the operator file. Determine the reason for the revision (e.g., an FAA action, change in OpSpecs, or change of equipment or environment).
4)    Review the compliance statement. For original certification, ensure that the manual is not contrary to the operator/applicant’s compliance statement.

NOTE:  When reviewing the manual, ensure that each item listed in 125.73 and 125.249 is addressed. Items addressed must be complete, accurate, and ensure that the operator/applicant can maintain a high degree of safety and efficiency. Ensure that none of its provisions, procedures, instructions, etc., is contrary to other sections of part 125 or other regulations.

B.    Review Management Personnel Authorizations. The manual must contain the name of each management person authorized to act for the operator. The manual must describe the assigned area of responsibility, duties, responsibilities, and authority.

C.    Ensure Inclusion of Weight and Balance (W&B) Procedures. The manual must contain procedures to ensure that airplanes have been weighed within the preceding 36 calendar‑months. The operator may use fleet averaging.

D.    Ensure Inclusion of OpSpecs. Ensure that the manual contains a copy of the OpSpecs or appropriate extracted information.

E.    Review Procedures for Approving Airplanes for Return to Service. The following must be addressed:

    Qualifications and authorizations of persons approving airplanes for return to service.

    Procedures for determining when an airworthiness release or maintenance record is required.

    The form and manner of documenting that an airplane is approved for return to service (airworthiness release or airplane maintenance record).

    Procedures to ensure the airworthiness release or airplane maintenance record entry contains the certification required by 125.411(b)(2).

NOTE:  This requirement may be met by stating in the manual that the signature of a person authorized in part 43,  43.3 constitutes approval for return to service after maintenance.

    A means of ensuring the pilot in command (PIC) obtains a copy of the airworthiness release.

    Procedures to ensure that each airworthiness release is retained for at least 60 days.

NOTE:  Do not confuse airworthiness release requirements with maintenance record requirements.

Indicates new/changed information.

F.    Review Service Difficulty Reporting (SDR) Procedures for Each Failure, Malfunction, or Defect. Ensure that procedures address the following:

    Items required to be reported;

Indicates new/changed information.

    Persons responsible for preparing and submitting the report;

    The form and manner of the report, such as existing FAA form, operator‑developed form, or computer submission; and

    Submission of each report covering each 24‑hour period, beginning at 9 a.m. local time of each day and ending at 9 a.m. local time on the next day, to the FAA offices in Oklahoma City, OK.

NOTE:  Each report of occurrences during a 24‑hour period shall be submitted to the collection point within the next 96 hours. However, a report due on Saturday or Sunday may be submitted on the following Monday, and a report due on a holiday may be submitted on the next business day.

G.    Evaluate Procedures for Obtaining Maintenance When Previous Arrangements Have Not Been Made. The manual must outline appropriate procedures for obtaining maintenance, preventive maintenance, or servicing that has not been arranged previously.

1)    Ensure that the manual accomplishes the following:

    Indicates persons authorized to arrange for the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or servicing; and

    Describes procedures for the PIC to obtain maintenance, preventive maintenance, or servicing at a location where previous arrangements have not been made.

2)    If the PIC is authorized to obtain the maintenance on behalf of the operator, the manual must contain procedures for the pilot to determine if the maintenance facility is capable of performing the necessary work. The following factors should be considered:

    Type of airplane;

    Type of maintenance or service required;

    Certificate and rating of an approved FAA facility;

    If noncertificated facility, an appropriately rated, fully qualified, and current FAA‑certificated mechanic is required;

    Required Inspection Items (RII);

    Approval for return to service requirements; and

    Additional factors identified by the operator or inspector.

H.    Review Procedures Regarding Inoperable Equipment. The manual must describe procedures for operating when equipment becomes inoperable en route. If this requirement is met using an approved minimum equipment list (MEL), the approved list must be a part of the manual.

I.    Review Airplane Fueling Procedures. Evaluate the following:

    Elimination of fuel contamination,

    Fire protection,

    Passenger protection,

    Procedures for supervising fueling activities, and

    Electrostatic protection.

J.    Ensure Description of Operator’s Maintenance Organization. Ensure that the manual describes the operator’s maintenance organization, if applicable.

K.    Review List of Inspectors. Review the list of those persons with whom the certificate holder has arranged to perform inspections. Names and addresses must be included.

Indicates new/changed information.

L.    Ensure Inclusion of Inspection Program Approved by the Administrator. In addition to the approved program, the following must be addressed:

    Method of performing routine and nonroutine inspections.

    RIIs. These are items which, if improperly inspected, may result in a failure, malfunction, or defect that could adversely affect the safe operation of the airplane.

    Method of performing RII inspections.

    Procedures for inspecting work performed under previously RII inspection findings (buy‑back procedures).

    Procedures, standards, and limits for RII inspections and for accepting or rejecting items required to be inspected.

    Instructions to prevent a person who performs any item of work from performing any RII inspection of that item.

    Procedures to ensure that work interruptions do not adversely affect RII inspections.

    Procedures to ensure that RII inspections are properly completed before the airplane is released to service.

M.    Evaluate Recordkeeping System.

1)    Ensure that the manual contains a suitable system, which may include a coded system that provides for the retention of the following:

    A description of the work performed (or reference to data acceptable to the Administrator),

    The date the work was performed,

    The name of the person performing the work and the person’s certificate type and number, and

    The name of the person approving the work and the person’s certificate type and number.

2)    Ensure recordkeeping requirements of part 91, 91.417 are met. (Refer to AC 43‑9.)

N.    Evaluate Procedures for Performing Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, and Alterations.

O.    Review Procedures for Using the Maintenance Log. The manual must contain policies and procedures for using the airplane maintenance log. There must be provisions for keeping a copy of the airplane maintenance log in the airplane.

P.    Review Manual Revision and Distribution Procedure.

1)    Ensure that the revision system addresses distribution.
a)    The manual must be retained at the main base of operation.
b)    A copy or appropriate portions of the manual must be provided to the operator’s flightcrew members and the FAA certificate‑holding district office (CHDO).
c)    The manual or appropriately extracted information must be provided to the operator’s maintenance and ground crew.
d)    Each airplane must have on board at least the information regarding its particular needs and differences, unless the operator/applicant is operating into a facility where the information is kept.
2)    Ensure that procedures for revising and distributing the manual provide all manual holders with current information.

Q.    Analyze Findings. Evaluate all unclear areas, omissions, or apparent discrepancies to determine if changes are required.

R.    Conduct Debriefings.

1)    Discuss initial findings with appropriate FAA personnel to determine the content of the operator/applicant briefing. This discussion must include the certification team or assigned principal inspectors (PI). It may be necessary to coordinate with regional, engineering, or other FAA personnel.
2)    Brief operator/applicant on results of evaluation. Discuss any deficiencies.


A.    Complete the PTRS Record.

B.    Complete the Task. Completion of this task will result in the following:

1)    Acceptance of the Manual/Revision. If it is determined that the manual or revision meets all regulatory requirements, ensure the manual or revision has been fully coordinated with each specialty.
a)    The certification project manager (CPM) or PI should send the operator/applicant a letter accepting the manual. The district office file should be updated with copies of the acceptance letter.
b)    Revisions may be accepted by either of the following actions:

    The principal maintenance inspector (PMI) will receipt and return the revision transmittal to the operator, or

    The PMI will send a letter accepting the revision.

NOTE:  At no time will the manual pages be signed, initialed, and dated as accepted in any part of the manual.

c)    The acceptance letter should accomplish the following:

    Confirm all information given during the debriefing,

    Indicate the date the manual was submitted,

    State the manual is accepted and may be implemented, and

    Remind the operator to distribute the manual.

2)    Rejection of the Manual. If the manual is not acceptable, accomplish the following:
a)    Advise the operator/applicant by letter that the manual is rejected and return it to the operator/applicant along with the reasons for the rejection. Ensure that the letter accomplishes the following:

    Confirms all agreements made during the debriefing;

    Indicates the date the manual/revision was submitted;

    Identifies the revision number and date;

    Identifies and describes each deficiency by volume, chapter, section, page, etc.;

    References each deficiency by the regulation;

    Reminds the operator not to implement deficient items; and

    Returns the submitted, unacceptable manual.

b)    When this review is performed as a part of a certification, inform the applicant in the letter that issuance of the certificate will be withheld until deficiencies are corrected. If necessary, advise the applicant to revise the SOE.
c)    When this review is for a manual revision, request in writing to take appropriate action to resolve the discrepancies. The operator must make the corrections in the subsequent revision.


A.    Schedule of Events. In the case of original certification, review the SOE to determine if a revised SOE is necessary.

B.    Surveillance. Within 30 days, determine whether the operator is operating in accordance with the accepted manual procedures.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 2‑825 through 2‑840.