FAA answers AEA questions on MAG 5

The Federal Aviation Administration published Notice N 8900.336 addressing the U.S./EU Maintenance Annex Guidance, Change 5 requirements for the FAA Form 8130-3 from Production Approval Holder.

On Nov. 30, 2015, the Aircraft Electronics Association requested clarification from the FAA regarding the scope of parts traceability. On Dec. 7, the AEA met with the European Aviation Safety Agency in Cologne to discuss the traceability requirements.  On Jan. 12, 2016, the FAA answered the AEA's request. The FAA letter is consistent with the position explained by the EASA. 

Following are excerpts from the FAA's response letter to the AEA.

AEA ISSUE 1: In summary, you indicated that Section B, Appendix 1, Paragraph 10 titled "Release and Acceptance of Components" is clear that the requirement does not apply to the piece part and subassembly level and that there is a significant amount of communication that has implied that the MAG requirements are applicable to all levels.

FAA RESPONSE: MAG CHG 5, Section B, Appendix 1, Paragraph 10 (j), provides the intended meaning of the term "Component." It states:

"Component means any component part of an aircraft up to and including a complete powerplant and any operational or emergency equipment."

In conference with the EASA Maintenance Regulations Section manager, the word "part" would cover any part of an aircraft, engine, propeller, and appliance, and therefore, includes "piece parts" and "subassemblies." With exception to the provisions of Paragraph 10 (1) (v) "Standard Parts" all parts, piece parts, or subassemblies intended to be installed on articles or sold subject to the U.S.-EU Aviation Safety Agreement, must be accompanied by an FAA Form 8130-3.

AEA ISSUE 2: This issue is centered on maintained or used components. You have stated that Paragraph 10(k) (2) (i) states that "[u]sed components shall be traceable to AMOs and/or repair stations approved to certify previous maintenance, and in the case of life limited parts, certify the life used. The used component part must be in satisfactory condition for installation and be eligible for installation as stated in the TC holders Parts Catalogue." You interpreted this to mean that FAA Form 8130-3 is not applicable to individual piece parts and subassemblies necessary for the maintenance and/or overhaul of IPC listed components.

FAA RESPONSE: Your interpretation is incorrect. Unless specifically exempted, as cited above in the response to Issue 1, all parts, piece parts, or subassemblies intended to be installed on articles or sold subject to the U.S.-EU Aviation Safety Agreement, must be accompanied by an FAA Form 8130-3.

A certificated AMO and/or repair station with the appropriate ratings may approve for return to service a used component part upon making an airworthiness determination. This may be documented using FAA Form 8130-3, "14 CFR 43.9 Return to Service" portion of the form. The intended reference to the "TC holders Parts Catalogue" was to ensure the component part had installation eligibility but not to provide conformity to an approved design.

The FAA and the EASA do realize, however, that "aftermarket" parts are not generally addressed by a TC holder's parts catalog (e.g. PMA, TSOA, etc.) and are currently in the process of providing additional clarification to the affected paragraphs of the MAG and will be released in MAG CHG 6.

This is a work in progress. As such, the AEA will be updating this information as clarifications are provided. There also is an EASA rulemaking effort regarding the EASA Form 1 that will have an affect on parts traceability.

For clear guidance on parts traceability for an EASA 145, the AEA suggests the U.S.-based EASA 145 review EASA ED Decision No. 2003/19/RM 28/11/2003, specifically AMC 145.A.42(a)-(d) Acceptance of components. The intent of the MAG was to essentially follow the same overall processes adjusted for the FAA 145 processes (i.e. FAA Form 8130-3).

In addition to the continuing updates, this will be a topic of discussion at the 2016 AEA International Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, April 27-30. 

Contact Ric Peri, AEA vice president of government and industry affairs, by email at ricp@aea.net or by phone at 202-589-1144.