8900.1 CHG 514

VOLUME 6  surveillance


Section 5  Monitor Part 125 Airplane Inspection Program


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A.    Maintenance: 3637.

B.    Avionics: 5637.

6-1272    OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance on monitoring the scope, content, administration, and implementation of a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 125 airplane inspection program.

6-1273    GENERAL. Aviation safety inspectors (ASI) should be familiar with the certificate holder’s manual and have as much knowledge of the certificate holder’s operation as possible. This includes areas of operation, type of equipment, operating history, and the person(s) with whom it arranges for the performance of maintenance, preventive maintenance, alterations, or required inspections.


A.    Certificate Holder’s Manual. The certificate holder’s airplane inspection program must be included in the certificate holder’s manual. ASIs should ensure that the manual revision date matches the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) program approval date found in operations specification (OpSpec) D073, Table 1. As a best practice, certificate holders should be encouraged to develop controls that prevent any changes to the inspection program without prior FAA approval. Controls may be in the form of policy and/or procedures.

B.    Types of Inspection Programs. Regardless of which inspection program is chosen by the certificate holder, it must be approved by the FAA. Regardless of the origin of the program, it must cover the aircraft initial current configuration, to include all associated installed equipment, avionics, and components. Due to the variations in configurations and equipment, the inspection program that is part of a Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) may not fit the part 125 operator’s aircraft, as configured. Likewise, the program recommended by the manufacturer of the aircraft, engine, and associated components may not be adequate as some items or equipment installed after delivery by the manufacturer, may not be incorporated into the recommended program. Inspection items added to a manufacturer’s recommended program would typically result in a program that is developed by the part 125 certificate holder and approved by the FAA. Part 125 certificate holders are responsible for their programs and the airworthiness of the aircraft. The manufacturer’s recommended programs that utilize Web-based tracking and recording systems are not under the control of the part 125 certificate holder and should not be approved. However, they may be used as a basis for the part 125 certificate holder to develop its own program, with the necessary controls integrated in the program to ensure full responsibility is retained by the certificate holder. In accordance with part 125, 125.247(e), inspection programs which may be approved for use by part 125 certificate holders include, but are not limited to:

    The inspection portion of a current 14 CFR part 121 or 135 CAMP that has been approved for use by a certificate holder under part 121 or 135,

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    An inspection program currently recommended by the manufacturer, or

    An approved inspection program developed by the part 125 certificate holder.

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C.    Engine Overhauls. Per 125.247(d)(1) and (2), “engines must be maintained in accordance with the overhaul periods recommended by the manufacturer or a program approved by the Administrator and the engine overhaul periods are specified in the inspection programs required by 125.247(a)(3).”

D.    Life-Limited Parts. Per 125.247(a)(1), the certificate holder must comply with “the replacement times for life-limited parts specified in the aircraft type certificate data sheets, or other documents approved by the Administrator.”

E.    Defects. Per 125.247(a)(2), the certificate holder must ensure that “defects disclosed between inspections, or as a result of inspection, have been corrected in accordance with part 43.”

F.    Inspections. Per 125.247(a)(3), “the airplane, including airframe, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, and survival and emergency equipment, and their component parts, is inspected in accordance with an inspection program approved by the Administrator.”

G.   Inspection Program Requirements. The program submitted for approval must have instructions and procedures for the administration and implementation of the program. This includes procedures on the preparation of the inspection packages to ensure all scheduled inspections and tasks are included at the proper interval. Procedures for the control, review, and completeness of each check/inspection package should also be part of the administrative/implementation procedures. The airplane inspection program must include at least the following:

1)    Per 125.247(b)(1), “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.”
2)    Per 125.247(b)(2), “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.”

H.    Persons Authorized to Perform Maintenance. Per 125.247(c), “no person may be used to perform the inspections required by this part unless that person is authorized to perform maintenance under part 43 of this chapter.”

I.    Aging Aircraft Requirements. If applicable, the certificate holder’s inspection program must also include sections for programs mandated by 125.505, 125.507, and 125.509. Once program compliance has been validated, the principal maintenance inspector (PMI) will issue OpSpec D097, constituting FAA approval of these sections of the certificate holder’s inspection program. Guidance for validating aging aircraft programs is as follows:

    Section 125.505, Repairs Assessment for Pressurized Fuselages (refer to FAA Order 8300.13A, Repair Assessment Program).

    Section 125.507, Fuel Tank System Inspection Program (see Volume 6, Chapter 11, Section 23).

    Section 125.509, Flammability Reduction Means (see Volume 6, Chapter 11, Section 26).


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    This task requires coordination between ASIs (maintenance and avionics);

    If a geographic unit is performing this inspection, coordination with the certificate‑holding district office (CHDO) must be maintained;

    It is recommended that this inspection be performed in conjunction with the maintenance records inspection; and

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    Section 125.25(b)(3) requires certificate holders to “designate a person responsible for the scheduling of inspections required by the manual and for the updating of the approved weight and balance system on all airplanes.” The certificate holder must list this person by name and address in its manual including the person’s duties, responsibilities, and authority. Normally, ASIs should coordinate with this person when performing the inspection.


A.    References (current editions):

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    Title 14 CFR Parts 25, 43, 65, 91, and 125.

    Advisory Circular (AC) 20‑42, Hand Fire Extinguishers for Use in Aircraft.

    AC 91‑56, Continuing Structural Integrity Program for Airplanes.

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

    Volume 6, Chapter 3, Section 6, Inspect Part 125 Operator’s Maintenance Records.

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

    Operations Specifications (OpSpecs).

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    Certificate Holder’s Manual.

B.    Forms. None.

C.   Job Aids. None.

6-1277    PROCEDURES.

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A.    Prepare for the Inspection. ASIs should review the following:

1)    OpSpec D073, to ensure that the current Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS) template is issued.
2)    Section 125.247, Inspection Programs and Maintenance.

B.    Perform the Inspection.

1)    Conduct an in-briefing; instructions for conducting this briefing can be found in Volume 1, Chapter 3, Section 1.
2)    Inspect the certificate holder’s manual to ensure that the approved airplane inspection program is included as required by 125.249(a)(3)(i) through (vii), and that the revisions are current with OpSpec D073.
3)    Review the approved airplane inspection program to ensure the requirements of 125.247 and OpSpec D073 have been met. ASIs should verify that the airplane inspection program is comprehensive and completely covers the entire aircraft, including powerplants, airframe, accessories, avionics, and components, as configured.
4)    Conduct a debriefing; instructions for conducting this briefing can be found in Volume 1, Chapter 3, Section 1.

6-1278    TASK OUTCOMES.

A.    Complete the PTRS Record.

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

1)    Follow the process contained in Volume 14, Chapter 1, Section 2 to identify the root cause(s) that led to any deviations from rules, standards, or procedures. Resolve findings immediately with the operator if possible, and communicate with the PIs about any followup action required to validate that the operator has returned the program and/or facility to full compliance.
2)    A report of any deficiencies (if inspection was performed by the office having geographic responsibility). This report must be submitted to the CHDO.
3)    A letter from the CHDO informing the operator of the results of the inspection, as required.

C.    Document the Task. File all supporting paperwork in the operator’s office file.

6-1279    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Continued normal surveillance.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 6‑1280 through 6‑1295.