Chapter 12. Publications, Forms, & Records

§43.11 Content, form, and disposition of records for inspections conducted under parts 91 and 125, and §135.411(a)(1) and 135.419 of this chapter.

Although this section deals exclusively with inspection record entries, the requirements are similar to §43.9 in that information of what, when, and who is required.

  • What — type of inspection, including a brief description.
  • When — date of the inspection and the total time in service
  • Who — the signature, certificate number, and kind of certificate of the person approving or disapproving the return to service.

Since this is an inspection write-up and not a maintenance entry, it is quite possible that the inspecting technician could reject or disapprove the item being inspected for the return to service. When that situation occurs, the regulation states in paragraph (b) that a list of discrepancies must be given to the owner. A reference to this list and its delivery to the aircraft owner must be reflected in the record entry. Although the regulation neither specifies how those discrepancies can be cleared, nor who may do them, it should be noted that any appropriately rated repair station or certificated technician can perform the required maintenance actions. When they are completed and the proper maintenance record entries are generated in accordance with §43.9, the aircraft is approved for return to service. It is neither necessary to have an additional inspection, nor is it necessary to contact the disapproving inspector.

If the aircraft is on a progressive inspection program, the inspection statement changes slightly from the statement referenced earlier by adding the reference to both a “routine inspection" and a “detailed inspection." (Refer to explanatory text of §43.15 for a definition of these terms.)

Inspections accomplished in accordance with other inspection program requirements must identify that particular program and which part of the program the inspection completed.

§43.12 Maintenance records: Falsification, reproduction, or alteration

The aviation community relies heavily on trust and honesty in both oral and written communication. The maintenance log entries described in §§43.9 and 43.11 provide the documentation trail relied upon by aircraft owners, pilots, and technicians regarding the aircraft’s maintenance history. Falsification of these records is potentially dangerous to the personnel who rely on the accuracy of these records.

This section identifies that fraudulent entries are unacceptable. If someone commits such an act, that action is the basis for suspension or revocation of the appropriate certificate, authorization, or approval. A technician who is encouraged by his or her employer, or by anyone else, to falsify records in any way should remember this comment: “Companies come and go, but my signature lasts a lifetime. I will not use it inappropriately."

§43.13 Performance rules (general)

This section deals with the specific requirements for conducting maintenance. (Note: This section is probably the best to reflect the relationship between the FAA’s numbering of ACs and the regulations they are related to.) Paragraph 3 on the cover page of AC 43.13-1B, Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices — Aircraft Inspection and Repair (dated 9/8/98) states:

“3. Reference: Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 43, §43.13(a) states that each person performing maintenance, alteration, or preventive maintenance on an aircraft, engine, propeller, or appliance shall use the methods, techniques, and practices prescribed in the current manufacturer’s maintenance manual or Instructions for Continued Airworthiness prepared by the manufacturer, or other methods techniques or practices acceptable to the Administrator, except as noted in §43.16." [Figure 12-8]

Although not all ACs are this directly linked, there is a definite relationship. (Refer to the text in this chapter on advisory circulars for additional information.)

Aircraft maintenance technicians are highly skilled personnel because aviation maintenance work requires a great attention to detail. The complexity of technology on today’s aircraft demands a significant level of communication to properly accomplish maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration. This communication frequently comes in written form, i.e., manufacturer’s maintenance manuals or instructions for continued airworthiness. If neither of these documents provides the guidance the technician needs, it is possible that the information found in AC 43.13 may be sufficient.

In addition to the documentation, the technician must also use the proper tools, equipment, and test apparatus that will ensure that the work complies with accepted industry practices. If the test equipment specified by the manufacturer is not available, equipment that is determined to be equivalent and acceptable to the Administrator may be used. The technician should be cautious, however, as “proving" the equivalence of test equipment may not be as simple as it seems.

Air carriers (commercial — “scheduled" airlines operating under part 121 and the “commuter/on demand" aircraft operating under part 135, and foreign air carriers and operators of U.S.-registered aircraft under part 129) may use the maintenance manual required by the operations specifications to comply with the requirements of this section. The operator must provide a continuous airworthiness maintenance and inspection program acceptable to the Administrator.

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