Maintenance

starcheckdriver

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Does anyone know if FAR 135 operators can allow pilots to perform any maintenance functions such as adding oil, draining pitot-static systems, etc.?
 

Checks

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No reference for you but adding oil and fuel are considered "servicing" the aircraft and is not considered maint.
 

nosehair

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starcheckdriver said:
Does anyone know if FAR 135 operators can allow pilots to perform any maintenance functions such as adding oil, draining pitot-static systems, etc.?
?!..Absolutely NOT!!...135 Pilots are NOT to touch anything beyound arm's reach of the Captain's Chair.

~Greasel
 

MauleSkinner

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nosehair said:

?!..Absolutely NOT!!...135 Pilots are NOT to touch anything beyound arm's reach of the Captain's Chair.

~Greasel

Right...ya gotta get a $5/hour line guy to add oil...just make sure you check the cap when he's done.

Fly safe!

David
 

bocefus

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Under normal circumstances nosehair is correct. HOWEVER, it can and has been done. You can have this approved in your op spec. There are a number of 135 helo operators that have approvals for pilots to perform varying levels of maintenance that would otherwise not be permitted.
 

starcheckdriver

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I have heard both sides of the argument and understand that FAR 43.3 (I think) states that 135 operators cannot allow pilots to do maintenance. However, where is it stated that things like adding oil are not considered maintenance?
 

erj-145mech

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14CFR43, appendix D spells out what may be performed as preventive maintenance, but that excludes aircraft that are used in part 121 or 135 certificates. As mentioned earlier, this may be changed depending on the operators ops specs. But if a discrepancy is found by the crew, it must still be rectified by a maintenance action.

Adding oil is considered servicing, so thats excluded. Draining water from a static line depends. Is there a quick drain valve that can be opened to allow the moisture to be drained? If you have to open a line, as in removing a fitting, then no. If the static system is opened, then a static system test must be performed.
 

nosehair

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nosehair said:

?!..Absolutely NOT!!...135 Pilots are NOT to touch anything beyound arm's reach of the Captain's Chair.



Hey!! Don't get me in this...I was only being facet...fasis..fashis.., uhh, just kiddin'.

Of course you can service the airplane....(rolleyes)
 

bocefus

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Hmmm, lots of opinions here. To properly answer the original question, the answer is no, unless you get it approved in your ops specs, or it is in the POH/AFM of your aircraft, and their are numerous examples where approval was given in ops specs for pilots to conduct maintenance. As I mentioned, it is not uncommon with 135 helo operators. As for part 121, numerous operators use PFE's who are expected to resolve maintenance discrepancies, and do.
 
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avbug

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The Director of Maintenance can authorize a pilot to perform a function as a delegated act under the authority of the maintenance department for the company. However, in order to do so, you must be knowledgeable in the techniques and practices necessary to accomplish the task, must have access to the current maintenance publications for the appliance, aircraft, powerplant, or accessory, you must have had training on that function, must have the calibrated tools called out for in the manufacturers publication, must be under a drug program (a given, if you're flying the airplane), and the work must be done to industry standard and to any specific standards spelled out in the manufacturers current maintenance pubs. You must also have undergone any company mandated training (eg, if the company GOM calls out flight safety as the maintenance training vendor, then you need to have attended the requisite FSI maintenance courses...not pilot courses...for that type). You'll also need specific training done and signed off in your employee records regarding Section D of your OpSpecs.

That all applies weather you're checking oil or performing a maintenance act.

If you're servicing the oil in a turbine engine, it needs a writeup. It may not necessarily be included in the permenant logs (seldom if ever is), but needs to be retained until oil is either added again or the oil is changed. This is generally kept in the flight logs, and is just as official a maintenance entry as any.

Same goes for a simple FMS database update.

You can do the work, if authoirzed, but still need to meet all the requirements that any maintenance personnel must meet. Additionally, there are a lot of functions you just can't perform if you're non-certificated, and a lot of things you can't sign off unless you're certificated. Any configurational changes require a signature, endorsement, and a rework of the weight and balance...which also requires a mechanic certificate and associated log entry.

Don't forget that any maintenance act you do will require a signature somewhere. Without the appropriate log entries, line 6 of your airworthiness certicate will tell you the aircraft is no longer airworthy, and that opens you up to more violation potential.

When serving as DOM in the past, I've caught pilots doing things on their own, and I subsequently grounded the airplane and required an inspection. Such acts, and the authorization to delegate or permit acts beneath the DOM, are at the purview of the DOM. It's his butt, his liability, and his responsibility.
 

cvsfly

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avbug said:
The Director of Maintenance can authorize a pilot to perform a function as a delegated act under the authority of the maintenance department for the company. However, in order to do so, you must be knowledgeable in the techniques and practices necessary to accomplish the task, must have access to the current maintenance publications for the appliance, aircraft, powerplant, or accessory, you must have had training on that function, must have the calibrated tools called out for in the manufacturers publication, must be under a drug program (a given, if you're flying the airplane), and the work must be done to industry standard and to any specific standards spelled out in the manufacturers current maintenance pubs. You must also have undergone any company mandated training (eg, if the company GOM calls out flight safety as the maintenance training vendor, then you need to have attended the requisite FSI maintenance courses...not pilot courses...for that type). You'll also need specific training done and signed off in your employee records regarding Section D of your OpSpecs.

That all applies weather you're checking oil or performing a maintenance act.

If you're servicing the oil in a turbine engine, it needs a writeup. It may not necessarily be included in the permenant logs (seldom if ever is), but needs to be retained until oil is either added again or the oil is changed. This is generally kept in the flight logs, and is just as official a maintenance entry as any.

Same goes for a simple FMS database update.

You can do the work, if authoirzed, but still need to meet all the requirements that any maintenance personnel must meet. Additionally, there are a lot of functions you just can't perform if you're non-certificated, and a lot of things you can't sign off unless you're certificated. Any configurational changes require a signature, endorsement, and a rework of the weight and balance...which also requires a mechanic certificate and associated log entry.

Don't forget that any maintenance act you do will require a signature somewhere. Without the appropriate log entries, line 6 of your airworthiness certicate will tell you the aircraft is no longer airworthy, and that opens you up to more violation potential.

When serving as DOM in the past, I've caught pilots doing things on their own, and I subsequently grounded the airplane and required an inspection. Such acts, and the authorization to delegate or permit acts beneath the DOM, are at the purview of the DOM. It's his butt, his liability, and his responsibility.

We wanted to address the FMS database (flash card - UNS-1M) issue some time ago (135 operator). Our DOM and ourselves thought it rediculous that an A&P had to install it (to the cost of .4 hr x $70 = $28). The FSDO inspector was kind of fuzzy on it, but asked our DOM to write a letter authorizing the pilot to replace the database card and he gave us "training on the procedure". We have a maintenance entry in the Avionics Log. He later made some comment that he might have to readdress this, but he never follwed up. We also recently made up an oil consumption log to keep better track/history of oil use (limitation in POH for oil consumption - BE-200). Didn't know you had to keep an official log, but it makes sense. BE-200 operators - how do you account for oil use as it relates to the limitation 1qt/10 hr? At what point do you establish the "stabilized" level to where oil is no longer "blown out" and can then establish a reliable consuption rate? Our's appears to be at around 3 qts low (cold). For those who suggest it be addressed in the Ops Specs - which paragraph in Part D are these maintenance functions addressed or do you mean written into the Operations Manual?
 

icefr8dawg

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Where I used to work we'd reposition the airplane around the corner where no one could see, accomplish the required maintenance task and contiue on. This prevented us from waiting all night for a mechanic to be brought up to wherever we were stranded. Although certain pilots were disallowed from filling oil because they subscribed to the more is better theory and blew seals and oil all over the place on a regular basis.
 

avbug

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Where I used to work we'd reposition the airplane around the corner where no one could see, accomplish the required maintenance task and contiue on. This prevented us from waiting all night for a mechanic to be brought up to wherever we were stranded.

Hopefully you're not advocating that.
 

icefr8dawg

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avbug said:
Hopefully you're not advocating that.

Do what you have to do to get home. If you have experience changing a starter or de-crudding plugs all the better to just get it done and get home.
 

erj-145mech

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Is your equipment that shoddily maintained that you have to violate the regulations, or is it that your company is too cheap to safeguard its crews lives?

Does this happen on a regular basis? You must be the apple of your bosses eye, not having to pay a mechanic when he's got you for free.

Changing a starter is not preventive maintenance. How do you log the change?
 

icefr8dawg

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erj-145mech said:
Is your equipment that shoddily maintained that you have to violate the regulations, or is it that your company is too cheap to safeguard its crews lives?

Does this happen on a regular basis? You must be the apple of your bosses eye, not having to pay a mechanic when he's got you for free.

Changing a starter is not preventive maintenance. How do you log the change?

Yea, it's a violation of MX Far's but who wants to wait in a hotel for a mechanic to come do a job i'm perfectly cabable of doing. They can inspect it while I'm sound asleep in my bed and not at some Acron, OH hotel for hours on end.
 

avbug

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Do what you have to do to get home. If you have experience changing a starter or de-crudding plugs all the better to just get it done and get home.

That's a poor attitude that's going to get you violated one day, or killed. What makes you think you can do the work? Do you have the publications, tools, training, and signoff to do the work? Once you've done it, and you've placed the company certificate in jeopardy by flying an unairworthy aircraft, how do you explain yourself?

Decrudding those spark plugs...how did you retorque them when you were done? Why were they "crudded" to begin with?

Same for the starter. Do you have the company authorization? Are you aware that hours spent as a mechanic are counted against flight hours, for good reason?

Yea, it's a violation of MX Far's but who wants to wait in a hotel for a mechanic to come do a job i'm perfectly cabable of doing. They can inspect it while I'm sound asleep in my bed and not at some Acron, OH hotel for hours on end.

You should have stopped at "Yea, it's a violation of..." and decided then and there that's as far as you're going to go. It's a violation, and therefore you're not goign to do it. Certainly not try to justify it. Especially on the grounds that you just didn't want to wait.

Ten feet down and still digging. Now's a good time to resolve to A) never do that again, and B) never tell anybody about it again, and C) avoid justifying illegal and potentially unsafe acts...especially for mundane and uncompelling reasons.
 

icefr8dawg

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Uh, NO. I'll work however I like to actually. If anyone is being dangered it's me and I've been doing this since I was little so actually there's no danger to myself.

What I'm saying is that if you have the knowlege and are stuck in the middle of the night it's ok to bend the rules a little to get the job done. I'm not saying you have to do it this way but I won't accept you telling me I can't.
 

icefr8dawg

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...and the sparkplug was fouled because someone forgot to teach leaning in Indoc I guess. I didn't foul it but I wasn't going to fly all night with it running like that. The torque wrench was absent that night but I assure you I didn't overstress the insert nor did the plug back out midflight.
 

avbug

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What I'm saying is that...it's ok to bend the rules a little to get the job done.

Ah yes, justification. The narcotic of the soul.

The torque wrench was absent that night but I assure you I didn't overstress the insert nor did the plug back out midflight.

You must have one of those calibrated elbows that modern mythology speaks so much about. One of the aircraft types I fly had three wing failures in flight due to people with such elbows, overtorquing wing attach clevis fittings.

Incidentally, the reason for the torque isn't to keep the plug from backing out...tight will do that. It isn't to keep from overstressing the helicoil. It's to prevent stress on the head itself, and to provide the proper tension in the metal...only one torque value or a value within a narrow range will do that.

The torque wrench was absent that night

So what you're really saying is that you flew an unairworthy aircraft with an invalidated airworthiness certificate (line 6, remember?), that night, following illegal maintenance that was improperly done using the wrong tools, and lacking the appropriate maintenance publications.

Gotcha.

I'm not saying you have to do it this way but I won't accept you telling me I can't.

Heavens no. I won't tell you that. We have the FAA for that.

You remember them? That pesky federal agency that grants you your flying privileges and establishes the regulations which governs them? Those guys. They tell you you can't.

If anyone is being dangered it's me and I've been doing this since I was little so actually there's no danger to myself.

Well there's a sermon and a half. From this we learn that it's okay to do dangerous things and break the rules so long as we're only hurting ourselves. Excellent rational justification if ever there was, and the bane of drug users, suicides, and criminals the world over.

Of course, it's perfectly justified since you've been doing it since you were a kid. I understand that completely. Speeding is illegal, but if you have done that since you were a kid, it's okay, and you're justified. Stealing is illegal, but if you have done it since you were a kid, it's okay, and you're justified. Ad infinitum.

Of course, as long as youv'e gotten away with it before, it's okay. Gotcha.

You're a bright one, right you are. Gotta give you that.

Of course, this is the FAR board...I suppose it's okay to brag about your justification for violating the regulation...so long as at least you're talking about regulation.
 
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