AOPA Readies Fight Against Mandatory SBs

 - November 16, 2006, 11:55 AM

A recent NTSB decision has sparked action by AOPA on behalf of Part 91 operators. The Safety Board, ruling on a recent enforcement action against a mechanic (Administrator v. Law), seemed to say that aircraft manufacturers could make service bulletins (SBs) mandatory, essentially giving them the same force of law as an AD. “That is not the FAA’s interpretation of the regulations,” said AOPA. “Service bulletins are considered advisory, not mandatory, for Part 91 operators.” The association said its legal counsel will “thoroughly research this issue so that we have all the ammunition to reinforce the longstanding rulings that SBs are recommendations, not mandates, for Part 91 operators.” A 2004 letter of interpretation to AOPA from the FAA’s Aircraft Maintenance Division said that, “Unless the FAA includes these documents [SBs] in an AD, they are optional.”