4/17/19

 

8900.1 CHG 503

VOLUME 6  SURVEILLANCE

Chapter 9  Part 145 inspections

Section 23  Safety Assurance System: Inspect a Part 145 Repair Station’s Contract Maintenance Program

6-2103    REPORTING SYSTEM(S). Use Safety Assurance System (SAS) automation and the associated Data Collection Tools (DCT).

6-2104    OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance for inspecting a Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 145 repair station’s contract maintenance program.

6-2105    BACKGROUND. Contracting maintenance functions cover many situations which can lead to unique applications of the repair station’s privileges. The intent of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approving maintenance functions was to identify the capability that is outsourced under a particular rating. To exercise the privileges under part 145, the repair station must be afforded the opportunity for contracting maintenance functions if they have instituted the proper controls of the contracted functions. The easiest way to determine if a contracted maintenance function requires FAA approval under part 145, § 145.217(a) is to determine if the originating repair station is exercising the privileges of its certificate by assuming responsibility for the work performed by the contracted person or entity.

6-2106    GENERAL.

A.    Type of Inspection.

1)    Reasons for Inspection. Aviation safety inspectors (ASI) should conduct this inspection because of:

    A SAS risk‑based Comprehensive Assessment Plan (CAP),

    A previous surveillance effort,

    Allegations of improper maintenance, or

    Component failure trends.

2)    Inspection Frequency. The inspection frequency may:

    Be based on one or more of these risk indicators,

    Result in a comprehensive inspection, or

    Be focused on a specific identified risk.

B.    Policy Review. The principal inspector (PI) or ASI should carefully review the regulations and applicable FAA policy prior to the visit. The FAA advises that the inspector place special emphasis on the facility maintenance and on inspection personnel training records. The PI must verify the repair station determined that the contractors have the necessary training and are qualified to perform the contracted maintenance functions.

C.    Part 145 Requirements. The regulations enable a repair station to contract maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration for which it holds a rating, in accordance with § 145.201(a)(2). Contracted maintenance functions which require FAA approval under § 145.217(a) are only required if the repair station extends its privileges to the contractor and provides approval for return to service under 14 CFR part 43, § 43.9. In this circumstance, the originating repair station chooses to exercise the privileges of its certificate and assumes responsibility for the work performed by the contractor.

NOTE:  If the person (contractor) performing the contracted maintenance function is authorized under § 43.7 and provides approval for return to service under § 43.9, this would not require FAA approval, and is not considered a contracted maintenance function.

1)    When contracting a maintenance function to an outside source, the contracted maintenance provider must follow a quality control (QC) system equivalent to the system followed by the certificated repair station (CRS).
2)    A contract maintenance provider for a maintenance function must not provide a complete repair of a type-certificated (TC) product.

NOTE:  For the purposes of part 145 repair stations, a maintenance function is a step or series of steps in the process of performing maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations.

NOTE:  The purchase of maintained parts (including exchanges), brokerage, or using another FAA‑CRS to perform the work that is outside of the originating repair station’s ratings is not a contracted maintenance function and does not require FAA approval. This is because the originating repair station would not be exercising the privileges of their certificate for the work performed.

NOTE:  The sale of a previously maintained article (including TC’d products) is not considered contracting a maintenance function and does not require FAA approval. This action may be considered brokering or acting as a distributor, in that the originating repair station does not or cannot exercise the privilege of its certificate on the article.

D.    Contracting Maintenance Functions.

1)    To be considered a contract maintenance function that requires FAA approval, the repair station must meet both of the following conditions:
a)    Entering into an agreement with another person or entity (FAA‑certificated or noncertificated) to perform maintenance functions on an article, and
b)    Choosing to exercise the privileges of its certificate and assuming responsibility for the work performed by the contracted person or entity.
2)    In order for the repair station to contract a maintenance function, the repair station must:
a)    Make a list of maintenance functions.
Indicates new/changed information.
b)    Be certificated and appropriately rated for the article to which a maintenance function will be contracted out.
c)    Take regulatory responsibility for issuing an approval for return to service under § 43.9 for the maintenance function performed by the contractor.
d)    Obtain approval of the listed maintenance functions in accordance with § 145.217 and provide the list to the FAA in accordance with the procedures in § 145.209.
e)    Ensure that it qualifies the sources to which it contracts those maintenance functions in accordance with § 145.201(a)(2) (quality system).
f)    Maintain a current list of those contractors in accordance with § 145.217 and provide the list to the FAA in accordance with § 145.209.
g)    Ensure that it has procedures to perform the incoming inspection, final inspection, and return to service of articles in accordance with the pertinent subparagraphs of § 145.211(c)(1).
h)    Provide a procedure that confirms by inspection or test that the work (maintenance function) was performed satisfactorily and the article is airworthy before approving it for return to service.
i)    Ensure the contract allows the FAA to make an inspection and observe the performance of the person‑s work on the article.

E.    Maintenance Procedures. All repair stations contracting maintenance must have procedures in their Repair Station Manual (RSM) explaining how to accomplish this maintenance. Procedures should exist for both sending the product out to the contract maintenance provider and receiving the product back into the repair station. The PI should make sure each procedure includes sufficient details to explain the sending and/or receiving process. Procedures should exist to carry out specific repair instructions and should detail the steps contractors should follow to ensure they accomplish the instructions. Procedures should exist to detail how the receiving repair station should inspect work and to ensure that the contractors accomplish the work per repair station work scope, manufacturer’s specifications, and, if applicable, FAA‑approved data.

Indicates new/changed information.

F.    Contract Maintenance Function Approval. The PI/ASI must verify that the repair station has given a copy of contract maintenance functions to the FAA for approval. If a separate list is used to maintain the contractor’s information required by § 145.217(a)(2)(ii), this list does not require FAA‑approval. The repair station is required by regulation to have procedures in the RSM for maintaining and revising the contract maintenance information required by § 145.217, including submitting revisions to the responsible Flight Standards office of revisions to this information, including how often the responsible Flight Standards office will be notified of revisions.

G.    Air Carrier Maintenance Instructions. Each repair station sending maintenance to a contract maintenance provider must ensure that, if the product is from an air carrier, the provider receives and follows all air carrier maintenance instructions for that product.

H.      Specialized Services. No function of a limited specialized services rating may be contracted to an outside entity. The FAA must deny any request for contracting maintenance functions involving a specialized services rating. This is because the specialized services ratings require FAA‑approved data, and may require specific housing, equipment, training, and skills not ordinarily performed.

NOTE:  If a repair station applied for a limited specialized service rating and intended to contract out a maintenance function of the rating, the FAA would deny the rating.

6-2107    PREREQUISITES AND COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS.

A.    Prerequisites:

    Knowledge of the regulatory requirements of part 145.

    Knowledge of the RSM.

    Successful completion of appropriate airworthiness indoctrination course(s).

    Previous experience with part 145 air agencies.

B.    Coordination. This task may require coordination with other specialties or district offices and the certificate holder. If the repair station has an assigned Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) and a Principal Avionics Inspector (PAI), the two inspectors should coordinate the inspection between them.

6-2108    REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.

A.    References (current editions):

    Title 14 CFR Parts 43, 65, 121, 125, 135, and 145.

    Volume 10, Safety Assurance System Policy and Procedures.

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

    Advisory Circular (AC) 145‑9, Guide for Developing and Evaluating Repair Station and Quality Control Manuals.

B.    Forms. None.

C.    Job Aids. None.

6-2109    PROCEDURES.

A.    Review Applicable Information. Before inspecting, the PI should carefully review the following:

1)    Parts 43 and 145.
2)    Operations specifications (OpSpecs).
3)    The Safety Performance Analysis System (SPAS).
4)    SAS Configuration Module 1 Vitals information.
Indicates new/changed information.
5)    Responsible Flight Standards office files.

B.    Conduct an In-Briefing. Brief the certificate holder on the purpose of the inspection. This in‑brief may take place at the beginning of the inspection or at the beginning of each day. You can find detailed instructions for conducting this briefing in Volume 1, Chapter 3, Section 1.

C.      Review the RSM/Quality Control Manual (QCM). Verify the RSM/QCM procedures for maintaining and revising the contract maintenance function information required by §§ 145.209(h) and 145.217. The information required includes the approved maintenance functions the repair station will contract, and how the repair station maintains the name of each certificated and noncertificated contractor. If a separate list is used to maintain the contractorís information required by § 145.217(a)(2)(ii), the list does not have to be FAA‑approved, but the changes and the information must be available for inspection in a format acceptable to the FAA.

D.    Review the Maintenance Function Facilities List. Review a representative sample of the maintenance records to verify the repair station is contracting maintenance functions only to facilities identified on the repair station’s contract maintenance list.

E.    Check Records for Certificated Facility. If the repair station contracts a maintenance function to a certificated facility and the certificated facility does not provide approval for a return to service under § 43.9, verify the following:

1)    Maintenance functions sent to certificated contractors are on the approved list.
2)    There is information available and maintained that documents each contracted facility, identifies the approved function, and includes the name of the facility and the type of certificate and ratings.
3)    All certificated facility items are returned to the repair station through the receiving inspection per the procedures in the QCM.
4)    The repair station verifies, through testing and/or inspection, that the maintenance functions performed are satisfactory and airworthy per the RSM/QCM.
5)    The originating repair station exercises the privileges of its certificate by issuing an approval for return to service under § 43.9 for the same work performed by the contractor.

NOTE:  If the person (contractor) performing the contracted maintenance function is authorized under § 43.7 and provides approval for return to service under § 43.9, this would not require FAA approval, and is not considered a contracted maintenance function.

F.    Review Records for a Noncertificated Facility. If the repair station contracts a maintenance function to a noncertificated facility, verify whether:

1)    Maintenance functions sent to noncertificated contractors are on the approved list.
2    There is information available and maintained that documents each contracted facility, identifies the approved function, and includes the name of the facility.
3)    The repair station ensures that all noncertificated persons performing contract maintenance functions follow a QC system equivalent to that followed by the repair station.
4)    The repair station verifies, through testing and/or inspection, that all work performed by noncertificated persons is satisfactory and Airworthy per the RSM/QCM.

NOTE:  If the test or inspection is not capable of verifying the work performed, or if the work is not readily visible without substantial rework, then the originating repair station may have to observe the maintenance function, or develop an acceptable procedure to ensure the quality of the maintenance function was performed properly. Complex components may require a robust QC system and reviewing the received paperwork from the contracted facility may not be sufficient. Some quality assurance (QA) procedures (e.g., welding, plating, and heat treatments) may be conducted by an independent, accredited testing laboratory for analysis. This type of verification should be directed by the originating repair stations. The originating repair station’s personnel should be trained with the ability to interpret the analysis provided. Another example is the use of an independent third party audit to verify the work was performed properly (e.g., a Level III Nondestructive Testing (NDT) source). If the originating repair station cannot demonstrate adequate test or inspections, the maintenance function should not be approved by the FAA.

5)    The repair station remains directly in charge of the noncertificated facility work.
6)    The repair station is qualifying the noncertificated facility per the RSM/QCM.
7)    The repair station has provisions for the FAA to inspect and observe the noncertificated facility when performing the contracted work.
8)    Inspectors have appropriate technical data to determine airworthiness.
9)    Inspectors are properly trained and qualified to determine airworthiness.

NOTE:  A repair station cannot maintain any article for which it is not rated, per the repair station rule.

G.    Review the Repair Stationís QC System. For certificated and noncertificated contractors, the PI should consider:

1)    The procedures the repair station uses to obtain approval for the maintenance function.
2)    The repair station’s procedures to qualify the contractor.
3)    The repair station’s procedures for accomplishing audits of noncertificated facilities to ensure they follow an equivalent QC system.
4)    Repair station personnel who audit contractors have appropriate training in auditing techniques.
5)    The contractor’s information is current.
6)    Whether the repair station’s receiving inspection personnel have appropriate technical training on the contracted functions.
7)    Whether the receiving inspections provide enough technical detail to determine the airworthiness of an article.
8)    The currency of the list of maintenance functions for which the repair station has the housing, facilities, equipment, and materials.
9)    The method by which a maintenance function is added to the FAA‑approved list on an emergency basis is per the repair station’s RSM/QCM.

NOTE:  The repair station cannot give a copy of its QCM to the noncertificated contractor and assume the contractor will follow proper procedures. The CRS must conduct adequate audits to ensure its QC procedures are followed.

NOTE:  Contracting maintenance functions should not replace adequately staffed and trained maintenance personnel. PIs should pay careful attention to repair stations that constantly revise maintenance function lists on an emergency basis to complete work. PIs should verify that repair stations have the necessary trained personnel for the scope and complexity of the ratings they hold.

H.    Certificated Contractor. The use of a certificated outside source or entity to perform a contracted maintenance function only requires FAA approval, if the originating repair station chooses to exercise the privileges of its certificate by issuing an approval for return to service for the work performed by the certificated source. The contracted source may choose to not provide approval for a return to service under § 43.9 for the maintenance function. The originating repair station must determine that the contracted source is properly qualified to perform the maintenance. The PI should also inspect the following:

1)    Maintenance functions should be spot-checked to ensure the contractor is not providing a complete repair for a TC’d product. The originating repair station must complete some of the additional maintenance.
2)    The originating repair station must perform the test or inspection for the work performed by the certificated contractor. The test or inspection must be documented in accordance with § 43.9. This is only required because the contractor did not provide approval for a return to service under § 43.9 for the maintenance function.

NOTE:  The originating repair station must be aware they are exercising the privileges for the work performed by the certificated contractor. If the certificated contractor is not appropriately rated to perform the contracted maintenance function, they must follow a QC system equivalent to the originating repair station. Depending on the certificated contractor’s qualifications, the originating repair station may have to observe the maintenance function, or develop an acceptable procedure to ensure the quality of the maintenance function was performed properly. Complex components may require a robust quality system and reviewing the received paperwork from the contracting entity may not be sufficient.

3)    Verify that the certificated contractor has returned all required documents with the article. Ensure the originating repair station retains all complete records as in accordance with § 145.219.
4)    A repair station may issue an additional approval for return to service under its privileges, such as tagging a previously maintained or altered article, provided the originating repair station:
a)    Has the appropriate rating for the article;
b)    Conducts the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration, including inspection in accordance with §§ 43.13 and 145.201;
c)    Maintains traceability to the previous approval for return to service; and
d)    Documents the additional maintenance in accordance with § 43.9.
5)    Review the receiving inspection procedures to ensure that each article returning after maintenance has the required documents and receives proper inspection.

I.    Noncertificated Contractor. The PI should review the RSM procedures explaining noncertificated repair facility usage. If the person or entity is not certificated under part 145, the procedures should address the contractor’s QC system, which must be equivalent to the repair station’s system. The PI may inspect the documents of the noncertificated contractor’s QC system. The PI may:

1)    Verify that the repair station gives the noncertificated facility procedures to properly complete the requested maintenance function. An example of these procedures could include plating procedures, blueprints, and all data necessary to do the work.
2)    Verify by training records that the repair station inspector returning articles for return to service has the training and qualifications to properly inspect an article to ensure that it meets all airworthiness requirements. Verify that the noncertificated contractor completed the work per instructions and the data provided to the noncertificated facility was followed.
3)    Ensure that the repair station has documentation authorizing the FAA to inspect noncertificated facilities with which the repair station contracts.
4)    Coordinate with the repair station to arrange an inspection if the PI needs to inspect the noncertificated facility. The onsite inspection of a noncertificated facility is not a complete base inspection of that facility. This inspection determines if that facility has the housing and facilities, tools and equipment, adequate personnel, knowledge, and appropriate technical data to complete the work for which it was contracted. The inspector should verify that the facility has a QC system in place that is equivalent to the repair station’s procedures. Address all identified items given to the repair station for correction.
5)    Verify the originating repair station verifies, by test and/or inspection, that the work has been performed satisfactorily by the noncertificated person and that the article is Airworthy before approving it for return to service.
6)    Verify the repair station remains directly in charge of the work performed by the noncertificated person.

6-2110    TASK OUTCOMES.

Indicates new/changed information.

A    Document the Task. File all supporting paperwork in the certificate holder’s office file. Update the Vitals tab in the SAS Configuration Module, as required.

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Complete the Task. Follow Volume 10 guidance for Module 4, Data Collection and Data Reporting. PIs follow Analysis, Assessment, and Action (AAA) procedures for Module 5.

6-2111    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. Follow Volume 10 to plan future risk‑based surveillance in SAS.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 6-2112 through 6-2124.