FAA SAIB: PMA Parts Need COS, Too

 - August 20, 2008, 12:10 PM

Possibly as a result of its Repair, Alteration and Fabrication Team study, the FAA issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin SAIB NE-08-40, which reiterates the need for companies that make parts under Parts Manufacturer Approval regulations “to support the continued operational safety (COS) of their design.” While the agency said in the SAIB that “PMA and STC parts are thoroughly evaluated for compliance with respect to any changes they introduce and their effect on the original type design” and they are “a valid replacement part to the TC/PC holder part,” the manufacturers of these parts must ensure that any additional data needed to integrate their parts into the OEM’s product are readily available. The PMA maker can either prove that its part does not change the OEM’s instructions for continued airworthiness or develop its own instructions. Whoever makes the part, all are responsible, the FAA said, “for the COS support in accordance with the applicable standards for their parts and products which they have designed and produced.” Bottom line, according to Ralph Hawkins, chief engineer for PMA maker Northstar Turbine, is that “the FAA holds the TC holder and the PMA holder and the STC holder to exactly the same, extremely high standards. This SAIB clarifies the FAA’s position on this matter and hopefully reduces confusion within the industry.”