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here we go again, thanks FAA

LJ45

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when will the NATA, NBAA, AOPA.. etc, have enough balls to stop this crap the FAA keeps coming up with?

NATA: Database Updates Are Maintenance Tasks
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA), responding to recent member requests, issued a statement that clarifies FAA regulations that apply to updates of navigational databases used on modern avionics. The FAA changed the Part 43 Appendix A regulations in 1996, according to NATA, and classified database updates as preventive maintenance instead of maintenance. This change allowed pilots operating under Part 91 regulations to perform database updates, but as NATA noted, “for aircraft maintained under Part 135, the tasks must be completed by a technician. Many operators find this surprising, as typically navigational updates are very simple to accomplish using a memory flash drive or similar device.” And even though installing a database update seems like a simple task, because it is classified as a maintenance task the person performing the update must make a proper entry in the maintenance records, NATA noted. Preventive maintenance items listed in Part 43 Appendix A count as maintenance whether a pilot operating under Part 91 or an FAA-certified technician is performing the task.
 

LJ45

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I guess I am the only single plane operator without a dedicated maintenance staff that this could affect.
 

ultrarunner

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Good, then the wrench turner can come over and update my paper database as well!

They want to play that game, I'll make the argument that if the electronic database falls in that category, so does the paper!

Bring it on!
 

avbug

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when will the NATA, NBAA, AOPA.. etc, have enough balls to stop this crap the FAA keeps coming up with?

This has long been the case, is not new, and is hardly "crap."

Operators under Part 121 and 135 are held to higher standards in many areas, in the public interest, as operators holding out for common carriage.

I've seen pilots update a database and go fly, only to find out that the database they entered in the FMS or EFB did indeed load correct...but was for the wrong geographic location. On one occasion, I noted that the pilot had correctly entered the update...but failed to note that instead of the United States, it was an African database. Part of the the update processs involved deleting the former database, as is usually the case, leaving nothing usable.

Requiring a certified technician to perform maintenance tasks has always been standard under part 135, with some very narrow exceptions (such as removing seats or installing a stretcher/gurney, provided it doesn't require complex disassembly or tools). More on point, maintenance, including preventative maintenance, has always required log entries. This continues to be the case. As you may or may not be aware, failure to complete the log entries, including the update of an airborne data base, invalidates the aircraft airworthiness certificate.

They want to play that game, I'll make the argument that if the electronic database falls in that category, so does the paper!

No game. Paper vs. plastic is a rather stupid argument.

Updating equipment attached to the airworthiness of the airplane is a maintenance function, be it strictly preventative, or be it a change in the legal capability of the system. These affect airworthiness, and as such are the direct concern of those charged with the maintenance of the aircraft. This may be the director of maintenance who holds responsibility for the condition, record keeping, upkeep, function, and update of the airframe, avionics, powerplants, and appliances, it may also include the mechanic in the field or on the shop floor who does the work.

Updating paper charts in no way affects the airworthiness of the airframe or systems thereof. It's an operational issue, and falls under the flight department. Such a task is tailor made for pilots. Not mechanics.
 

ultrarunner

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Well Avbug, I guess we'll just agree to disagree, as I don't see inserting a single disk, pressing load, then selecting Check All, as being a maintenance function.

But I'll play. The feds can make all the rules they want, but the more they do, the more I'm going to walk into my local FSDO and DEMAND they accept an alternate means of compliance for times when the aircraft is operated in areas where no "suitable maintance" exists. The FAA dislikes it very much, and become MUCH easier to deal with on these types of matter, when you start talking about a "restraint of trade complaint".
 

LJ45

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This has long been the case, is not new, and is hardly "crap."

Requiring a certified technician to perform maintenance tasks has always been standard under part 135, with some very narrow exceptions (such as removing seats or installing a stretcher/gurney, provided it doesn't require complex disassembly or tools). More on point, maintenance, including preventative maintenance, has always required log entries. This continues to be the case. As you may or may not be aware, failure to complete the log entries, including the update of an airborne data base, invalidates the aircraft airworthiness certificate.

.

we have the one disk for the whole world, so that does fly in my situation.
So lets see, I come back from a trip late on a Friday night and I am going back out Sunday, I have to call out a contract "technician" to load up a freaking single zip disk. I have only been doing this for 13 years without a problem and with the blessing of my POI who told me to make an entry into our flight log for the update, so lets see if they say something now.
 

avbug

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we have the one disk for the whole world, so that does fly in my situation.

Irrelevant.

I have only been doing this for 13 years without a problem

Irrelevant.

Well Avbug, I guess we'll just agree to disagree, as I don't see inserting a single disk, pressing load, then selecting Check All, as being a maintenance function.

How you see it is irrelevant.

The feds can make all the rules they want, but the more they do, the more I'm going to walk into my local FSDO and DEMAND they accept an alternate means of compliance for times when the aircraft is operated in areas where no "suitable maintance" exists. The FAA dislikes it very much, and become MUCH easier to deal with on these types of matter, when you start talking about a "restraint of trade complaint".

Local FSDO? Irrelevant.

The FSDO level does not now, and never has made, nor interpreted regulation. Moreover, whatever is obtained at the FSDO level, even in writing, is not binding, and is no legal defense. The FSDO level does not have the authority.

However, you're welcome to address the FAA Chief Legal Counsel on the matter.

Proper maintenance is not restraint of trade. Regulations regarding the update and record keeping of permanently installed equipment databases is not new, and neither is the interpretation thereof.
 

LJ45

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Deviation needed, are you happy now? are we safer now?
 
Last edited:

LJ45

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I've seen pilots update a database and go fly, only to find out that the database they entered in the FMS or EFB did indeed load correct...but was for the wrong geographic location. On one occasion, I noted that the pilot had correctly entered the update...but failed to note that instead of the United States, it was an African database. Part of the the update processs involved deleting the former database, as is usually the case, leaving nothing usable.

.

irrelevant, "technicians" screw up also. :smash:
 

LJ45

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I guess I can't check the oil, or read the oxygen gauge...what else?
 

avbug

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are you happy now?

Irrelevant. I don't care.

are we safer now?

Irrelevant. This is a regulatory issue.

"technicians" screw up also.

Irrelevant. This is a regulatory issue. Focus.

I guess I can't check the oil, or read the oxygen gauge...what else?

You may be required to check the oil as part of your preflight duties, or you may be unable, depending on the aircraft. A good example is the Piaggio Avanti, which requires climbing on top of the wing, removing 15 specialty internally-threaded self-locking screws, remove a cannon plug and a panel, and then remove the dipstick. This is a procedure involving complex disassembly and reassembly, and for an operator under part 135, requires specific training and an authoriation.

You may be able to check your oxygen gauge (let's hope you can...you can, can't you?), but not service, refill, purge, or otherwise maintain your oxygen system.

You may see a requirement to check your tire pressure on your preflight checklist, but per recent legal interpretations, may not be able to do so as you're not qualified. Again, this may require the participation of a certificated mechanic or other authorized individual.
 

ultrarunner

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OK Avbug, in the event you are on a layover when your databases expire, and no suitable maintenance is available, what procedures do you have in place in order to continue the flight? This might help us all out.
 

ultrarunner

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You may see a requirement to check your tire pressure on your preflight checklist, but per recent legal interpretations, may not be able to do so as you're not qualified. Again, this may require the participation of a certificated mechanic or other authorized individual.

Not a big deal, the local FSDO's, yes Avbug, I mean the local stiffs, have been issuing exemptions for the tire-pressure check issue. Not a big deal to get one for inserting the memory stick.

But the thread was entertaining...

bye
 

avbug

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OK Avbug, in the event you are on a layover when your databases expire, and no suitable maintenance is available, what procedures do you have in place in order to continue the flight? This might help us all out.
Already provided...but again, this is something to address BEFORE taking the flight...not something to try and figure out on the spot.

I've handled this in a number of ways, in the past. As a certificated mechanic, I always hold an authorization letter from the operator allowing me to perform maintenance. Lacking that, however, the operator can overnight the database and have it done in the field. Maintenance functions can be authorized by the Director of Maintenance, providing you have the training and ability to accomplish a particular function. Has your company exercised the foresight to attend to this matter, rather than waiting until one is on layover to figure it out?

Operating with an expired database is an option, and one I've used internationally. With a MEL applicable to the expired database, the flight is conducted on victor navigation, with the FMS remaining "for reference only." This isn't really rocket science, and shouldn't entail any change in operational procedure. After all, one may continue to use the database (for other than approaches) so long as one verifies each waypoint.

Not exactly a major obstacle to operations.
 

avbug

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Not a big deal, the local FSDO's, yes Avbug, I mean the local stiffs, have been issuing exemptions for the tire-pressure check issue.
http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org.../interpretations/data/interps/2009/Coleal.pdf

The emphasis is mine.

Bombardier Learjet
David M. Coleal
Vice President and General Manager
P.O. Box 7707
Wichita, Kansas 67277-7707

Re: Request for Interpretation of Applicable Rules in 14 C.F.R. parts 43,
91, and 135 Pertaining to Whether a Pilot of a Transport Category
Aircraft May Check Tire Pressure During a Normal Preflight Inspection

Dear Mr. Coleal:

By letter dated January 8, 2009, you requested a legal interpretation that would answer the question whether a pilot could legally check tire pressure on a transport category aircraft that was being operated under 14 C.F.R. parts 91 or 135. You noted that this issue had been discussed at three meetings between representatives of Bombardier Learjet and officials from various offices of the FAA, including the Flight Standards Service (AFS). Your request was supplemented by a letter dated January 30, 2009, from
David M. Hernandez, attorney for Bombardier Learjet. Mr. Hernandez's letter provided additional information and legal analysis. For the reasons discussed below, it is our opinion that checking tire pressure on the transport category Learjet Model 60, the aircraft addressed in the correspondence, is preventive maintenance.

While your question was framed in the context of transport category aircraft, your inquiry, including as supplemented by Mr. Hernandez, is specific to the Learjet Model 60 aircraft. You referenced an FAA Continued Operational Safety (COS) initiative in which, in November 2008, the FAA's Wichita ACO (Aircraft Certification Office) requested an AFM (Airplane Flight Manual) limitation for the Learjet Model 60 that would require daily tire pressure checks. The issue, as you alluded to in your letter, is whether checking tire pressure on the Learjet Model 60 is considered to be a maintenance or preventive maintenance function, versus a simple preflight inspection task. Your correspondence correctly observed that, under 14 C.F.R. § 43.3(g), for aircraft not operated under part 121, 129, or 135 (e.g., part 91), a pilot may perform preventive maintenance on an aircraft operated by that pilot.

As you know, under the Federal Aviation Regulations, maintenance is defined to mean: "inspection, overhaul, repair, preservation, and the replacement of parts, but excludes preventive maintenance." 14 C.F.R. § 1.1. And, preventive maintenance is defined to mean "simple or minor preservation operations and the replacement of small standard parts not involving complex assembly operations." Id. Preventive maintenance, in
general, includes tasks that are less complex than those deemed to be maintenance, and requires less sophistication in terms of the knowledge, skill, and tools required.

Many preventive maintenance tasks are listed in 14 C.F.R. part 43, appendix A, paragraph (c). The paragraph sets forth in 32 numbered subparagraphs items the FAA has determined to be preventive maintenance. Even though the introductory text of subparagraph (c) states that "[p ]reventive maintenance is limited to the following work
.... " (emphasis added), in view of the broader definition of preventive maintenance in section 1.1, we believe that such limitation'is not controlling. Similarly, for the same reason, we also believe that the following sentence in Advisory Circular 43-12A, Preventive Maintenance (which was referenced in Mr. Hernandez's letter), is overly restrictive. That sentence, found in Paragraph 3(b)(1), states: "If a task or maintenance
function does not appear in the list, it is not preventive maintenance." As with the other paragraphs of Appendix A (i.e., on major repairs and major alterations), the lists are better viewed as examples of the tasks in each category-they cannot be considered allinclusive. There are, no doubt, many "simple or minor preservation operations [tasks]" and many "replacement[ s] of small standard parts not involving complex assembly operations" performed daily, especially on small general aviation aircraft, that the agency would consider to be preventive maintenance, though they are not included in the 32 listed items. It is our understanding that Flight Standards' Aircraft Maintenance Division is planning to clarify this issue in a future revision to the AC.

Mr. Hernandez's letter observes that the first item listed as preventive maintenance in Appendix A, paragraph (c), is "Removal, installation, and repair of landing gear tires," and notes that checking tire pressure is not listed as a preventive maintenance item. The implications appear to be two-fold: First, because checking tire pressure is not listed, it must not be preventive maintenance. Second, because checking tire pressure is but a
simplistic and small subset of the tasks necessary in removing, installing, and repairing landing gear tires, it does not rise to the level of even preventive maintenance, and should therefore be considered an appropriate pre- flight inspection task. We do not agree. Paragraph 3(b)(1) of AC 43-12A also cautions that "because of differences in aircraft, a function may be preventive maintenance on one aircraft and not on another." The above reference to changing and repairing landing gear tires illustrates this maxim. The FAA may agree that the pilot of a small general aviation airplane may change and repair its landing gear tire, but the agency would not consider the changing and repair of a landing gear tire on a large transport category airplane to be preventive maintenance that a pilot could permissibly do.

Your letter stated that Bombardier Learjet's engineering and pilot specialists believe ample precedent exists for "qualified pilots to safely perform tasks that require mechanical, physical interaction with the airframe under the umbrella of preflight checks. " You followed with a long list of examples of pre- flight actions performed daily by professional pilots, including many actions that require use of a calibrated device. Our response to your request takes no position on the propriety of any of the cited examples as pre-flight tasks.

We have discussed this issue with officials in the FAA's Flight Standards Service Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS-300) and concur with their determination that checking tire pressure on a Learjet Model 60 aircraft is preventive maintenance and not a simple pre-flight inspection task. We believe their determination is a reasonable one based on the relevant facts and circumstances. These include the high tire air pressure (up to 219 psi g), the need for a proper and calibrated gauge, and the possibility of an incorrect reading if the check is not performed properly. Accordingly, a pilot operating that aircraft under the operating rules of 14 C.F.R. part 91 may, in accordance with the provisions of 14 C.F.R. § 43.3(g), perform daily landing gear tire pressure checks. Under the same regulation, however, a pilot of that aircraft operating under 14 C.F.R. part 135 may not perform that task.

As you know, under 14 C.F.R. part 11, an affected party may seek relief from an FAA regulation by filing a petition for an exemption. This is an avenue open to persons operating the Learjet Model 60 airplane under Part 135 who would be adversely affected by the requirement that only a certificated mechanic may check the tire pressure. Each operator seeking such relief should specify in its petition the relief sought and the reasons for the relief. In addition, each petition must state the reasons why a grant of relief would be in the public interest and why granting the exemption would not adversely affect safety, or how the exemption would provide a level of safety at least equal to that provided by the rule from which exemption is sought. As to whether the FAA would entertain a request to grant a "blanket exemption" applicable to all operators upon their completion of "pre-determined criteria," we note that it is not the FAA's policy to do so.

This response was prepared by Edmund Averman, an Attorney in the Regulations Division of the Office of the Chief Counsel and coordinated with the Aircraft Maintenance Division of the Office of Flight Standards. If you have additional questions regarding this matter, please contact us at your convenience at (202) 267-3073.

Sincerely,

Rebecca B. MacPherson
Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations AGC-200
 

LJ45

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you have no clue about small operators such as Single pilot in command.
AvBug, If we could all be as smart as you and have the foresight as you to plan every possible contingence out there. You are the best, you should work for the FAA, they like your type.
I'm done here ....
 

can99

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Avbug sounds like a fun guy to sit beside with that attitude and open mindedness !

I know I know "Irrelevant" .....
 

avbug

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I'm done here ....

That was obvious when you first began posting. Unfortunately it took a little bouncing off the sidewalk for you to figure that out.

you have no clue about small operators such as Single pilot in command.

Actually, you're quite incorrect...but then you've been wrong with most of your observations and assertions this far. At least you're consistent.

AvBug, If we could all be as smart as you and have the foresight as you to plan every possible contingence out there.

You do realize that's not actually a sentence, don't you? Try again.

You mean you're not smart enough to plan ahead for the possibilities which may occur during a flight? You have no business in the cockpit, mate.

You find something deeply perplexing about keeping track of the expiration date of your database? This is hard to plan? You obviously have no clue about managing an aircraft, or tracking maintenance. Even a single pilot operation.

You know at the beginning of the cycle when that database will expire. Does yours somehow sneak up and attack you from behind, unawares, in complete surprise? WAKE UP!!
 

TMMT

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As a certificated mechanic


Certificated, that word has always bothered me for some reason, what's wrong with certified?

Makes it sound like the Queen just knighted you or something...

Bugs me almost as much as folks (Usually Euros) saying "finals" instead of "final" when referring to a final approach. I mean, what the hell... are you on more than one?
 

avbug

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The FAA maintains that it issues certificates to pilots and mechanics, as it's a pilot certificate or mechanic certificate (not a license). Accordingly, it's proper and appropriate to refer to the holder of one who has been issued a certificate as 'certificated,' and not 'certified.'

Use of the word 'certified' to describe the holder of a certificate is improper. The holder is certificated, not certified.
 
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