Preliminary Inspections

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Preliminary Inspections

How does the FAA define "Preliminary Inspection" in regards to a part 145 repair station?  I have seen different repair stations interpret this term differently.  I'd like to know what the FAA is looking for here.

To help answer your question AC 145-9 helps sort this out. The “Preliminary inspection” will fall under the inspection system the repair station must set up in their Quality Manual. In the inspection system there are four inspections:
1. Incoming raw material inspection
2. Preliminary inspection
3. Hidden damage inspection
4. Final inspection and return to service

The nut shell the Preliminary Inspection is to determine current state of preservation and any defects of parts or aircraft that arrive in the repair station. Below is the example the AC 145-9 provides.

“The Chief Inspector (WHO) of the repair station is responsible for the performance of appropriate inspections, including functional and nondestructive tests. This inspection will be conducted on the hangar floor or in the inspection area (WHERE) for components. This will ensure that all units (WHAT) delivered to the repair station for maintenance are inspected to determine the state of preservation and any defects. This inspection will be recorded on the Preliminary Inspection Form (RECORD) with any discrepancies noted. The form must be attached to the work order and will remain with the applicable inspection records until the unit is released for service.”

What must a preliminary inspection form contain?

Preliminary inspection is for all incoming materials, hardware, parts, components, equipment and other products procured for use by the repair station are subject to receiving inspection to assure conformance to part number, purchase order and/or other applicable criteria.

Any products that fail to meet applicable specifications will be secured in a non-conforming holding area pending resolution of non-conformance. The part will be physically tagged using Tag # XXXX, “Non-Conforming Part”. A Material Discrepancy Report, Form XXXX, will be completed and maintained on file as a record of the deficiency. The files should be reviewed periodically by the Quality Manager. And this procedure will be in your Quality Control Manual.

Part 145 Repair Stations Section § 145.211 covers manual content and it states; “Performing preliminary inspection of all articles that are maintained.” Each repair station is going to be a little different and this will be your in house inspection in the quality control manual that will be submitted to the FSDO for acceptance/approval. So ever in in your manual the FAA will hold you to it.

What should be on the incoming preliminary inspection form is the following, keep in mind the receiving department will be conducting this inspection in most cases so keep it to the minimum as follows:
•Traceability and Certification Documentation
•Physical condition
•Proper packaging
•Shelf Life

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