real-world experience

(Axel Boer) #1
46 Aviation Maintenance | | June / July 2016


AA and the European Aviation
Safety Agency (EASA) have been
discussing new ways to document
and transfer aircraft articles across
international borders. This ends
up affecting the rest of the world, because it sets
standards for how both of those authorities will
operate that they then incorporate into their other
international relationships.
Many of the recent changes have their roots in
the FAA-EASA Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG).
This document is meant to reflect that working
procedures for shared maintenance oversight
between FAA and EASA. In theory, it should not add
any new legal requirements. But in practice, it has
recently evolved into a document that is setting new
legal standards that do not exist in the regulations of
either FAA or EASA. Because inspectors for the two
authorities are requiring compliance to the MAG, it
is important to review it and understand what new
standards are included in that document.
The MAG changes are motivated in part by a
recent change in US law that has permitted US
production approval holders (PAHs) to issue their
own 8130-3 tags for their articles. Those who take
advantage of this option would no longer need
to rely on the legal fiction of designees. This was
meant to ease the process of creating 8130-3 tags,
which have recently been viewed by the FAA as
an administrative matter that merely documents
a finding of airworthiness that is made whether
the tag is created or not. This change also helps
to harmonize with EASA, which has permitted
European manufacturers to issue EASA Form One
since EASA’s inception.
Although this new privilege should permit
more manufacturers to issue 8130- 3 tags, thus
creating a wider pool of documented articles, the
fact remains that many existing aircraft articles do
not bear EASA Form One or 8130-3 tags. Real-
world implementation hurdles have mean that
manufacturers needed some time before they
could start issuing the tags. In addition, there is a
huge quantity of existing articles in distributors’, air

carriers’, and repair stations’ inventories. Many of
those existing articles do not bear EASA Form One
or 8130-3 tags.
The industry has struggled for the last twenty
years to obtain these documents, or in the
alternative to find ways to receive aircraft articles
into inventory without these magic documents. In
many cases, the easiest path has been to find a way
to determine airworthiness without the Form One or
8130-3 documentation – this is a path that remains
legal under United States law because we have no
general documentation requirements for articles
under the FAA regulations.
Historically, repair stations with EASA 145
credentials have taken advantage of the EASA
regulatory clause that permits articles to enter the
repair station’s systems when they are in need of
maintenance (EASA 145.A.42(a)(2)). These articles
are not required to have any specific documentation
and could enter undocumented. The repair station
would then perform an analysis / inspection of
the article to confirm its airworthiness (such as
an inspection to new condition - an inspection is
defined as a species of maintenance under both the
EASA system and the FAA system). Repair stations
could therefore receive new articles without a Form
One or an 8130-3, so long as the repair station
independently evaluated airworthiness of the article.
The MAG appears to put an end to this practice
by distinguishing new parts and specifically requiring
them to have specific documentation even when
received under EASA 145.A.42(a)(2) - thus closing
the industry’s normal safety valve for receipt of
articles that typically do not bear 8130-3 tags.
The FAA was open to the idea of a grandfather
clause for existing inventory. Such a grandfather
clause would have extended to all articles produced
before October 1, 2016 (the date by which the
FAA believes many US PAHs will issue their own
8130-3 tags). They were also open to the idea that
a distributor could certify that the article existed
before October 1, 2016 on the grounds that it
existed in the distributor’s inventory before October
1, 2016 (the installer would still need to make a
determination of airworthiness prior to installation).

There is A Lot Going on

with Documentation!

By JASON DICKSTEINBy Jason Dickstein

Aviation Electronics Europe 24-27 April 2017 Munich, Germany

10_AVM_JunJul16_marpa_Signoff.indd 46 6/28/16 10:30 AM

Free download pdf