The FAA has updated guidance provided to field inspectors on how to determine the recommended form of approval for aircraft alterations. Maintenance and modification companies and avionics installers often encounter problems when seeking agreement with the FAA on what qualifies for field approval by FAA inspectors and what needs to go through the more time-consuming supplemental type certification or DER data approval process.
Modification and Replacement Parts Association
PMA manufacturers might have a harder time exporting their civilian aircraft parts due to a new International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) rule issued by the State Department, according to the Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA).
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 th
“PMA parts? Ooh, now there’s a murky area,” said a maintenance supervisor who oversees the upkeep of an offshore oil support helicopter fleet numbering well over 100. His is the kind of large-scale operation where saving 10 percent on routine maintenance results in significant additions to the year-end bottom line.
“As an OEM we look at the product as a whole and not just as a collection of individual parts. We design our engines as an entire system,” Wayne Russell, manager of parts support for Pratt & Whitney Canada, told AIN. Russell said some engine parts have a high enough turnover rate that it becomes economically attractive for some companies to produce them for aftermarket installation.
Today it is normal to have maintenance performed on our aircraft or components almost anywhere in the world. With the availability of overnight delivery of almost any aircraft component to any location, it makes sense to seek out the most capable and cost-effective certified repair facility almost without regard for its location.
Comments were due June 14 on a new FAA Order that proposed changes in the way the agency processes mandatory airworthiness information. Draft Order 8040.2, when enacted, will take precedence over the FAA’s Airworthiness Directive Manual FAA-AIR-M-8040 where there is a conflict between the two documents.
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