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VOLUME 4  AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT AND OPERATIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS

CHAPTER 4  CONFIGURATION DEVIATION LIST (CDL) AND MINIMUM EQUIPMENT LIST (MEL)

Section 1  Configuration Deviation List

4-621    REPORTING SYSTEM(S).

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A.    Safety Assurance System (SAS) Activity Recording (AR). For Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 91 subpart K (part 91K), 125, and 129, there is no SAS AR activity code specifically assigned to a CDL. The review of deferred CDL items should be captured through ramp and record inspection SAS AR activity codes:

1)    Operations: 1622, 1627, 1628, and 1661.
2)    Maintenance: 3627 and 3634.
3)    Avionics: 5627 and 5634.

B.    SAS for 14 CFR Parts 121 and 135.

1)    Operations:
a)    System/Subsystem Performance (SP) Data Collection Tool (DCT) 3.3 Flight Planning and Monitoring.
b)    Element Performance (EP) and Element Design (ED) DCT 3.3.4 MEL/CDL/NEF Procedures.
2)    Airworthiness:
a)    SP DCT 4.3 Maintenance Operations.
b)    EP and ED DCT 4.3.3 MEL/CDL/NEF and Other Deferred Maintenance.
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NOTE:  Never enter the same data into the SAS and AR.

3)    SAS for 14 CFR Part 141.
a)    SP DCT 4.3 Maintenance Operations.
b)    EP and ED DCT 4.3.3 (AW) MEL/CDL/NEF and Other Deferred Maintenance.
4)    SAS for 14 CFR Part 142.
a)    SP DCT 4.2 Maintenance Planning and Monitoring (M).
b)    EP DCT 4.2.1 (AW) Maintenance/Inspection Requirements.

4-622    GENERAL.

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A.    Purpose. This section establishes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements for oversight of an operator’s use of an FAA-approved CDL as applicable to operations conducted under parts 91, 91K, 121, 125, 129, 135, 141, and 142.

NOTE:  All regulatory references in this section are found in 14 CFR unless otherwise indicated.

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B.    Scope. This section applies to all parts 91, 91K, 121, 125, 129, 135, 141, and 142 operators and part 125 Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) holders utilizing airplanes with an approved CDL.

1)    Part 129 Foreign Air Carriers or Foreign Persons. Unless otherwise indicated in Volume 12, Chapter 4, Section 9, the CDL policy found in this section is applicable to part 129 foreign air carriers or foreign persons operating U.S.-registered airplanes in accordance with part 129, § 129.14.
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2)    Part 142 Training Centers. Part 142 references within this section apply only to those part 142 training centers utilizing airplanes as part of their training programs.

C.    Terminology Used in This Section.

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1)    Operator. Unless otherwise noted, the term “operator” in this section applies to an airplane owner or airplane operator conducting part 91 operations; a program manager conducting part 91K operations; a certificate holder (CH) conducting part 121, 125, or 135 operations; a LODA holder conducting part 125 operations; a foreign air carrier or foreign person conducting operations in accordance with § 129.14; a part 141 pilot school; and a part 142 training center. This section uses the singular term “operator” for simplicity.
2)    Responsible Flight Standards Office. The use of the term “responsible Flight Standards office” in this section refers to an FAA certificate management office (CMO) or a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) with oversight responsibilities for the subject CH.

4-623    BACKGROUND.

A.    Historical. The CDL evolved over several years from what was commonly known as a “missing parts list,” which was a list of nonstructural external parts of an airplane that were found missing after flight. The missing parts list is known today as the CDL.

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B.    Role of the CDL. Operating an airplane without certain secondary airframe and engine parts is permitted through the use of an approved CDL. The CDL plays an important role in the operator’s ability to safely continue flight operations. It is a list of externally exposed airplane parts that may be missing for flight while the airplane remains airworthy. CDLs are developed by airplane manufacturers, approved by the FAA, and tailored for each model airplane.

C.    Which Airplane Has a CDL. A CDL is developed for most U.S.-built transport 14 CFR part 25 airplanes and many 14 CFR part 23 airplanes by airplane manufacturers during the initial certification process. However, they are not a required element for aircraft certification. The manufacturer makes the decision to develop or not to develop a CDL. If deemed necessary, the airplane manufacturer develops a proposed CDL and coordinates submission with the responsible Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) and Aircraft Evaluation Division (AED). The ACO and AED review, evaluate, and may conduct or oversee any required testing and data collection necessary to approve proposed CDL items. Approval of a CDL is by the ACO or through an Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) Organization Delegation Authorization (ODA) program.

1)    U.S.-Manufactured Airplanes. For U.S.-manufactured airplanes, once the CDL is FAA approved, it is either:
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a)    Incorporated into the limitations section of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM),
b)    Published as an appendix to the AFM, or
c)    Published as a supplement to the AFM.
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2)    Airplanes Manufactured Outside the United States. For airplanes manufactured outside the United States, the CDL may be a standalone document that is part of the Structural Repair Manual (SRM) or another manufacturer’s document.
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4-624    OPERATOR’S USE OF A CDL.

A.    FAA-Approved CDL. The operator may use a CDL and incorporate it into their manual system. However, the official manufacturer’s CDL is already approved by the ACO and therefore must not be approved or accepted by the responsible Flight Standards office. It should not appear on the List of Effective Pages (LEP) of an operator’s MEL or any other documents showing approval or acceptance by the responsible Flight Standards office. The official manufacturer’s CDL may be attached to the operator’s MEL but must be treated as a separate and standalone document.

B.    CDL Use Instructions. The manuals used by flightcrew members, maintenance personnel, and dispatch personnel must include instructions governing CDL use. An operator may increase fuel and/or performance penalties, or add additional limitations and/or restrictions beyond what is already required in the FAA-approved CDL. These additional penalties, limitations, and restrictions may be listed in the operator’s manual system and approved or accepted by the responsible Flight Standards office. Such additions must be delineated as “operator-specific” requirements and under no circumstances be less restrictive than the FAA‑approved CDL.

C.    Coordinating a CDL Amendment. If an operator desires an amendment to the official manufacturer’s CDL, such requests may be coordinated with the ACO through the responsible Flight Standards office, directly with the responsible ACO, or directly with the airplane manufacturer.

D.    Operator-Specific CDL. An operator may also choose to create an “operator-specific” CDL for use in their operation, using the FAA-approved CDL’s data. Operators creating their own operator-specific CDL clearly must not confuse this CDL with the official FAA-approved CDL, or make it less restrictive than the FAA-approved CDL.

E.    What the Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) Must Know. For effective oversight and surveillance of CDL use, the ASI must:

    Be familiar with a CDL and how it is used by an operator;

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    Know where to access current FAA-approved CDLs for specific model airplane; and

    Know how to monitor the operator for proper application of fuel and performance penalties, procedures, and/or restrictions and limitations while conducting flight operations utilizing the CDL.

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4-625    ASI PROCEDURES. ASIs conduct surveillance of CDL use by an operator prior to and during flight. Primary areas of concern are the proper application of fuel and performance penalties, if applicable, and compliance with the procedures, restrictions, and limitations imposed by CDL items.

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A.    Adequate Operator Policies and Procedures. ASIs must ensure that parts 91K, 121, 125, 135, and 142 operators and part 125 LODA holders conducting part 125 operations have adequate policies and procedures in place to ensure that all penalties, limitations, and restrictions associated with a CDL item are properly addressed. These procedures may be combined with the operator’s approved MEL management program procedures (see Volume 4, Chapter 4, Section 3 for information regarding an MEL management program).

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B.    Prior to Actual Flight. Before conducting surveillance on specific flights, ASIs should review all penalties, limitations, and restrictions associated with any deferred CDL item(s) applied to the airplane.

1)    Newly Identified Missing CDL Items. For new missing items identified as CDL items, ASIs must verify that operators accomplish the following:
a)    The airplane manufacturer’s or Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) holder’s FAA-approved CDL must list relief for the CDL item.
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b)    If the CDL item is discovered by a maintenance person positioned at the airplane, that person notifies the flightcrew and the maintenance organization (e.g., maintenance control). The maintenance organization or flightcrew notifies flight operations personnel (dispatch, flight following, and/or other persons authorized to exercise operational control) in accordance with the airplane operator’s approved MEL and/or CDL procedures.
c)    If the CDL item is discovered by the flightcrew, the flightcrew notifies the maintenance organization and appropriate flight operations personnel.
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d)    Each CDL item is entered into the airplane maintenance logbook.
e)    Each CDL item is listed on a placard and affixed in the flight deck in clear view of the flightcrew, per the AFM:

1.    Operators may establish a standard procedure for advising flightcrews and maintenance personnel of an airplane’s status with current CDL and MEL issues and the conditions and limitations that apply.

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2.    Principal Operations Inspectors (POI) may allow operators to use their MEL procedures for addressing an airplane’s CDL status and limitations. However, any procedure used must conform to the CDL placarding requirements found in the AFM.

f)    Fuel and performance penalties, limitations, and restrictions associated with each CDL item are calculated and entered in the appropriate flight documentation (e.g., dispatch, flight release, flight plan). If flight documentation has been issued prior to the application of the CDL item, ASIs must ensure that fuel and performance planning are recalculated and flight levels are adjusted in accordance with the CDL item, if applicable. Operators conducting part 121 operations are required to issue a new or amended dispatch or flight release to include these penalties.
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2)    Open CDL Items. If a CDL item remains applied to an airplane conducting a series of flights, ASIs should monitor that the flightcrew, maintenance, and flight operations personnel are aware of the item for each flight and continually comply with steps listed above.

C.    During Flight. ASIs should verify that the airplane continues to be operated in accordance with the fuel and performance penalties, procedures, and/or restrictions and limitations specified in the AFM, as amended by the CDL.

4-626    TASK OUTCOMES.

NOTE:  See Volume 14, Compliance and Enforcement, for the Flight Standards Compliance Philosophy and specific requirements associated with it.

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A.    Unsafe Operation. ASIs must immediately bring any condition determined to be unsafe to the attention of the flightcrew or aircraft dispatcher.

B.    Discrepancies. Any discrepancies or deficiencies associated with the application of a CDL must be rectified with the flightcrew when either found or upon debrief, as appropriate. If issue resolution cannot be attained through discussions with the flightcrew, ASIs should discuss the discrepancies with the assigned POI or Front Line Manager (FLM) at the responsible Flight Standards office.

4-627    FUTURE ACTIVITIES.

A.    Surveillance. Principal inspectors (PI) and ASIs must ensure through regular surveillance that operators consistently apply the CDL policies and procedures.

B.    Enforcement. A CDL is an FAA-approved document and is typically part of an AFM and/or MEL management program. All penalties, limitations, and restrictions imposed by a CDL must be complied with. If an ASI determines that an operator is not complying with the requirements of a CDL, the ASI is responsible for pursuing the required compliance or enforcement activity.

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C.    Revisions. The ACO must approve all revisions to an official manufacturer’s FAA-approved CDL.

1)    ASIs and PIs are not authorized to approve or accept operator requests for revisions to the official FAA-approved CDL.
2)    PIs should accept operator-specific CDLs, when used by an operator in lieu of the FAA-approved CDL (FAA ACO-approved document). See Volume 3, Chapter 1, Section 1 for more information on this process.
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3)    ASIs and PIs may assist the operator’s efforts in coordinating with the ACO. However, it is the operator’s responsibility to work with the airplane manufacturer and ACO to achieve FAA-approved CDL revisions.
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4)    An Airworthiness Directive (AD) and/or an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) could affect a CDL. For example, an AD exists for an EMB-145 airplane which requires an item to be removed from the CDL. The ACO may grant an AMOC to the operator that allows them to keep the item in the CDL without going through a revision process.
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RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-628 through 4-641.