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FAA A&P-IA Activity Policy Change

Posted By:
H.G. Frautschy
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
96
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#1 Posted: 11/16/2010 06:19:48

The FAA has proposed a change in their policy regarding the definition of "actively engaged" with regard to A&P mechanics who hold an Inspection Authorization (IA). Read it here . We'll have much more to say about this topic in a later posting, but for now, we urge anyone who relies on a part-time A&P-IA to read this proposed revision to FAA policy.



H.G. Frautschy, Executive Director, VAA Editor of Vintage Airplane magazine & Vintage Aircraft Online
David Schober
8
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#2 Posted: 11/16/2010 09:56:38
David Schober
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#3 Posted: 11/16/2010 10:02:17

And here are my comments so far:

 

 



Files Attachment(s):
Comments on FAA Docket.doc (25600 bytes)
Bill Berson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#4 Posted: 11/16/2010 16:50:06

Hi David,

In general, I agree with your comments, but I would like to address one of your comments from my point of view.


My thoughts:

The words "actively engaged" appear in 14CFR 65.91 (2) (Have been actively engaged, for at least the 2 year period before the date he applies, in maintaining aircraft certificated and maintained in accordance with this chapter).

Therefor, the words "actively engaged" means maintaining aircraft in general. The performance of an annual inspection for each 90 days is not required to be "actively engaged". In fact,  the holder of an A&P certificate must be "actively engaged" for the two year period BEFORE he may apply for an inspection authorization.

And for renewal, the requirements in 14CFR 65.93 only require the applicant to be actively engaged as a current A&P.  The applicant has the option to comply using 8 hours of instruction if he choses. Or an oral test by a FAA inspector (few choose this option). Or the other options you listed from 65.93.


Thanks for your interest

Bill



David Schober
8
Posts
1
#5 Posted: 11/16/2010 18:54:06

Bill,

I couldn't agree more. The point I was trying to make is that ever since the FAA took over from the CAA, IA renewal was based on the 4 annuals or 8 337s a year. This has been considered "activly engaged" for IA renewal purposes. Using the same logic, an A&P could do as little as 4 100 hr inspections and in the past would be considered "actively engaged". This new proposal changes the definintion by policy rather than by rulemaking.

 

I think the biggest issue is the arbitrary way an ASI could deny renewal with no appeal process. Then even if an appeal is successful, just by virtue of the time involved his IA would have expired and he would have to go from square one. Not so bad today with the multiple guess test, but when I took my IA it was an all day affair, a wheel barrow full of books and cite paragraph and page fore each answer.

 

I think if FAA went back to requiring at least some actual experiance, and a real test, they would have to even consider this H_____ S___ idea.

 

Thanks,

David Schober



H.G. Frautschy
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
96
Posts
36
#6 Posted: 11/17/2010 17:31:06 Modified: 11/30/2010 15:46:07

This is the revised text of what we sent this out via the e-newsletters Vintage Aircraft Online and Warbird Briefing. It will be included in EAA's E-Hotline tomorrow:

 

EAA and the Vintage Aircraft Association this week quickly moved for FAA clarification on a policy proposal that is causing confusion among maintenance professionals and owner/operators who rely on a part-time Airplane and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic with an Inspection Authorization. A number of members have contacted EAA and two of its special interest divisions, the Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA) and EAA Warbirds of America, fearing that the proposal could mean the end of Inspection Authorizations for part-time mechanics.



The primary concern was that the revised policy would allow an FAA Air Safety Inspector (ASI) to subjectively reject an application for an Inspection Authorization, or its renewal, if that ASI deems his or her level of mechanic’s work does not meet the FAA standard for “actively engaged.”



As published in the November 5, 2010, issue of the Federal Register, Docket No. FAA-2010-1060, the “Policy Clarifying Definition of ‘Actively Engaged’ for Purposes of Inspector Authorization” is intended to provide an ASI with a more tightly defined definition of “Actively Engaged.”  The FAA intends to enforce the new policy when the IA renewal cycle begins on March 31, 2011.



H.G. Frautschy, executive director of VAA, contacted the FAA’s Flight Standards Service - General Aviation & Avionics Branch, for further clarification.  This FAA division “owns” the policy related to Inspection Authorizations.



Frautschy inquired, “If a part-time A&P-IA satisfies the requirements set forth in 14 CFR §65.91 and §65.93(a), para. 1-5, are they deemed to be ‘actively engaged’?”



“Yes, absolutely,” the FAA stated, and further explained that the proposed policy clarification is meant to make the decision more objective, removing any ambiguity related to the definition of “actively engaged.” If a mechanic meets the requirements set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations, an ASI is directed by the Flight Standards Information Management System, FAA Order 8900.1 Volume 5, Chapter 5, to issue the Inspection Authorization.


To put it simply, if your activity meets one of the five different criteria outlined in 65.93, you’re “actively engaged” in the FAA’s eyes.



For certain segments of the General Aviation community and many EAA members, the part-time A&P-IA is the backbone of a deeply knowledgeable corps of mechanics who have solid expertise within a certain aircraft type.  Since they often have a very high level of knowledge regarding vintage or warbird aircraft, their abilities to “keep ‘em flying” are prized among owners.  EAA  members are urged to review the proposed policy, check with their IA, and submit comments to the Federal Docket no later than December 6, 2010.  For additional information and continuous conversations on this topic, visit Oshkosh365. Further updates will also be included in future issues of EAA’s online newsletters, e-Hotline, Vintage Aircraft Online, and Warbirds Briefing.



H.G. Frautschy, Executive Director, VAA Editor of Vintage Airplane magazine & Vintage Aircraft Online
Bill Berson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
106
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#7 Posted: 11/17/2010 18:04:11

If the purpose of this FAA proposal was clarifying the definition of 'Actively Engaged' for the purpose of IA renewal, then it has failed.

I am thoroughly confused by the conflicting statement from Murry Huling, who seems to suggest nothing will change.


What exactly is the proposed change in the forms I need to send for renewal?



H.G. Frautschy
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
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#8 Posted: 11/17/2010 20:22:13

There is no change as far as an IA is concerned. Keep doing what you're doing, meet the requirements of 65.93, and you've satisfied the FAA. The reason this policy interpretation was issued was to clarify it for the FSDOs and Inspectors. Why? To give the Inspectors clear guidance that says, in essence, "if they meet the requirements set for in the FARs, issue the applicant an Inspection Authorization." Period. No question, no judgement needed on the part of the ASI. Meet the requirements of 65.91 for issuance of an IA, and 65.93 for renewal, and you keep your IA.



H.G. Frautschy, Executive Director, VAA Editor of Vintage Airplane magazine & Vintage Aircraft Online
David Schober
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#9 Posted: 11/18/2010 12:50:23

H.G.

AFS-350 may own the policy, but only the office of the Chief Council can issue a Letter of Interpritation. I would like to suggest that EAA contact the Chief Council and ask point blank for a LOI. The question to be posed is if an applicant for Inspection Authorization renewal meets the provisions of 14CFR65.93(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), or (a)(5), is he considered "activly engaged" for the porposes of meeting the requirement of 14CFR65.93(a) and 14CFR65.91(c)(2). If they come back in the affirmative then we have nothing to worry about. If they come back in the negative then we have a problem.

 

Thanks,

David Schober



H.G. Frautschy
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
96
Posts
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#10 Posted: 11/18/2010 23:34:49 Modified: 11/30/2010 15:47:02

HI David,

I was told by an FAA official in the Flight Standards office that getting a Letter of Interpretation from the Office of the Chief Counsel was not what we wanted, because it would wind up being too restrictive for us, and, for that matter, for the agency.  Interestingly, he was told he didn't really want the Counsel's office to given that interpretation, by, you guessed it, the Counsel's office!

I hope that makes sense, I'm not sure I fully understand it either. I'm hoping to get them to agree to a further, more in-depth discussion about this topic in the near future.

 



H.G. Frautschy, Executive Director, VAA Editor of Vintage Airplane magazine & Vintage Aircraft Online
Rod Pollard
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Posts
3
#11 Posted: 11/19/2010 05:20:08

The comment period closes December 6th and the FAA wants to use the new interpretation for the March 2011 renewal.

We are way behind the curve on this one.



David Schober
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Posts
1
#12 Posted: 11/19/2010 07:56:51

H.G., I kind of figured that, and that's why I didn't seek a LOI on this.

 

Rod, That's why in addition to making comments, you also need to submit a comment asking for an extension to the comment period. 30 days just isn't long enough.

 

David



Rod Pollard
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#13 Posted: 11/19/2010 08:13:08

 

David

 

I have been thinking about and trying to carefully craft my comment for a while. I have been waiting to see some other organizations weigh in on this. I had not thought of asking for an extension but I will certainly do so.

 

Rod

 



Brent Taylor
2
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0
#14 Posted: 11/20/2010 12:39:53

Rod,

    The Antique Airplane Association (Blakesburg, IA) has weighed in on this matter. Attached find a copy of  the comments submitted by the AAA to docket FAA-2010-1066.

Brent Taylor



Files Attachment(s):
FAA-2010-1060.pdf (114334 bytes)
Thomas Downey
Vintage Aircraft Association Member
31
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0
#15 Posted: 11/22/2010 19:34:59

My objection to this proposal is simple, there is no language saying the ASI must issue the renewal when the IA meets the rule.

And I do not know why the proposal was needed in the first place,  the system was working, why change it unless they intend to interpret  it in a different way.

 



Republican / Democrat, same stink, different pile.
Bill Berson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
106
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#16 Posted: 11/23/2010 16:44:11 Modified: 11/23/2010 16:45:40
Thomas Downey wrote:

 

My objection to this proposal is simple, there is no language saying the ASI must issue the renewal when the IA meets the rule.

And I do not know why the proposal was needed in the first place,  the system was working, why change it unless they intend to interpret  it in a different way.

 

 

The ASI would have the power to deny the renewal based on his 'evaluation'.

Normally,  arbitrary powers such as this, whereupon  one person exercises dictatorial control over another person would only happen in a Totalitarian State.   Of course, the ASI is exempt from this evaluation. Is this a surprise? 


quote from proposed rule:

" Applicants who are employed or participate in inspecting, overhauling, repairing, preserving, or replacing parts on aircraft on a part-time or occasional basis will be evaluated by the ASI to determine whether the applicant is actively engaged. The ASI will evaluate the scope of part-time or occasional activity based on the type of maintenance activity, including any special expertise required, and the quantity of maintenance activity performed. To evaluate the scope of the part-time or occasional maintenance activity, the ASI will use evidence or documentation provided by the applicant showing inspection, overhauling, repairing, preserving, or replacing parts on aircraft."


 



Thomas Downey
Vintage Aircraft Association Member
31
Posts
0
#17 Posted: 11/27/2010 20:19:34
Bill Berson wrote:

The ASI would have the power to deny the renewal based on his 'evaluation'.

Normally,  arbitrary powers such as this, whereupon  one person exercises dictatorial control over another person would only happen in a Totalitarian State.   Of course, the ASI is exempt from this evaluation. Is this a surprise? 


 

Please tell me what changed?

The ASIs have always had that ability. If you don't qualify under 65.91 as being active you can't renew.

Remember FAR 65.91 requires the A&P requesting renewal to be active in the industry,  renewal under 65.93 has always required the applicant to comply with FAR 65.91.

You can still maintain one aircraft and attend the recurrent training and renew. Just like before, but you can't hide in the back office and never show you use your A&P and qualify in and of the other 4 methods.

simply because you can't mark block #6 as yes on the renewal form. (8610-1), It's always been that way, the real change is, they are going to check to insure you do qualify.

 

 

 



Republican / Democrat, same stink, different pile.
Bill Berson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
106
Posts
19
#18 Posted: 11/28/2010 16:25:51

What will change is a new requirement to document  maintenance with some undisclosed means. Also the ASI might decide one aircraft is not enough. The words "Actively Engaged" is not defined. It would be up to the ASI and that's the problem.  



Thomas Downey
Vintage Aircraft Association Member
31
Posts
0
#19 Posted: 11/29/2010 11:47:59
Bill Berson wrote:

 

What will change is a new requirement to document  maintenance with some undisclosed means. Also the ASI might decide one aircraft is not enough. The words "Actively Engaged" is not defined. It would be up to the ASI and that's the problem.  

A new requirement doing what you suggest would require a rewrite of 65.93, that ain't going to happen under this new guidance.

Read the present guidance para 5 - 1309

It says that the ASI must ensure compliance,  If the applicant is compliant,  issue the renewal.



Republican / Democrat, same stink, different pile.
Bill Berson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
106
Posts
19
#20 Posted: 11/29/2010 12:28:09
Thomas Downey wrote:

 

Bill Berson wrote:

 

What will change is a new requirement to document  maintenance with some undisclosed means. Also the ASI might decide one aircraft is not enough. The words "Actively Engaged" is not defined. It would be up to the ASI and that's the problem.  

A new requirement doing what you suggest would require a rewrite of 65.93, that ain't going to happen under this new guidance.

Read the present guidance para 5 - 1309

It says that the ASI must ensure compliance,  If the applicant is compliant,  issue the renewal.

 

65.91(a)  requires documentation.


I am not sure what para 5 you are talking about.



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