STC ICA's

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ICA that exist as required by certification rule for an STC or a TC do carry the same weight so to speak. The accepted methods, techniques, and practices contained in them are likely legally required [unless someone is legitamately using the "other" option in 43.13(a)] when performing maintenance. The other stuff in these ICA (TC or STC or field approval for that matter) are not legally mandatory. The FAA approved Airworthiness Limitations Section stuff is required for the operator by 91.403(c). 43.16 tells us in the maintenance world that we must perform that specific maintenance IAW the A/W limitations section of the applicable ICA.
ICA can also address additional inspection requirements. Those items could be legitamately be incorporated into the aircraft inspection program, making them legally required as well.

You've hit the nail squarely on your thumb, Whiteface! Your translation of 43.16 is lacking cuz you left out the part that doesn't support your argument! 43.16 actually sez 'Each person performing an inspection or other maintenance specified in an Airworthiness Limitations section of a manufacturer's maintenance manual OR Instructions for Continued Airworthiness shall perform the inspection or other maintenance in accordance with that section, or in accordance with operations specifications approved by the Administrator under part 121 or 135, or an inspection program approved under Sec. 91.409(e).' Reread the part that sez 'OR' instructions for continued airworthiness.' 43.16 doesn't limit you to Airworthiness Limitations sections, it gives you ICA's by themselves when it sez OR! Sorry man, try again...

43.16 Is titled Airworthiness Limitations. That is its subject. The OR in question refers to the fact that these FAA Approved Airworthiness Limitations can potentially be found in either document.
Part 21.50 causes ICA to come into existance. No requirement for maintenance personnel. It also specifies how ICA shall be designed (by reference to the appropriate airworthiness standard rule).
Part 91.403 requires the operator to comply with the FAA Approved Airworthiness Limitations section of the ICA ( or manufacturer's maintenance manual). No requirement for maintenance personnel.
Part 43.16 requires maintenance personnel to comply with the Airworthiness Limitations section (be it in a maintenance manual or in ICA) IAW that section.
None of these rules require other aspects (aspects other the FAA approved Airworthiness Limitations) of ICA (or maintenance manual)to be absolutely mandatory by law, regardless of whether they are born out of a TC, STC, or field approval.
43.13 requires the use of accepted methods, techniques, and practices when performing maintenance. If one was performing maintenance on an STC'd (or field approved) alteration to a product, it would be likely that the only source for these methods, techniques, and practices would be found within the ICA document for that alteration. Therefore, those methods, techniques, and practices (and only those items) would be required by law. This is a big reason for requiring design approval, TC and STC holders to address ICA. Without them (ICA for these designs), persons performing maintenance related to the specific STC or field approval could potentially be in violation of 43.13(a).

You're living in a convoluted world Whiteface! You can't see the forest for the trees!!! You are correct, 43.16 is titled Airworthiness Limitations NOT Airworthiness Limitations Section. An Instruction for Continued Airworthiness is a limitation placed on an aircraft, engine, propeller or appliance. It doesn't have to be in an Airworthiness Limitatations Section to be binding!

The phrase "Airworthiness Limitations" is not defined in part 1, however it is defined in the rules that create it.
The design of ICA are specifically spelled out in the applicable Airworthiness standard rule, ie. parts 23, 25, 27, 33, and 35 appendices. Each ICA require an Airworthiness Limitations section to be included in them. This required section must contain mandatory replacement times, inspection intervals and structural inspection intervals. This section of the ICA or maintenance manual has be segregated and labeled as the FAA Approved Airworthiness Limitations section....... (with other stuff included).
The point is, that the FAR's provide for very specific circumstances that are known as Airworthiness Limitations. ICA may contain many things that could be viewed as practical limitations for the operator, or the maintenance provider, but these are not legally speaking Airworthiness Limitations.
The Airworthiness Limitations Section is the vehicle that the FAA uses to mandate, by law, certain maintenance actions take place regardless of, and in precedence over other manufacturer requirements. These Airworthiness Limitations (found in the Airworthiness Limitations section of the ICA) are FAA approved. The rest of the ICA are accepted only. In alot of ways Airworthiness Limitations can be seen like Airworthiness Directives as they have, though the rules that create and apply them, the same effect on the products for which they pertain.

Again, ICA are not in and of themselves "Airworthiness Limitations". They (ICA documents) are required by law to address "Airworthiness Limitations" in the required airworthiness limitations section. Operators are required to have these requirements complied with as stated in this section of the ICA.
Maintenance personnel are required to comply with these "Airworthiness Limitations" IAW the applicable ICA airworthiness limitations section.

As before stated, all this applies whether dealing with TC, STC, or field approval.

You are 100 percent correct Whitefaced, however certain thick headed persons refuse to see it. Nice try at enlightening them though!

Once again you're half right! The sections you quoted refer to certification of new products. Believe it or not there are aircraft that were not certificated under Part 23! That's just an example, I still disagree with your interpretation (and by the way, so does the FAA!)

Parts 23, 25, 33 etc. are not certification rules, they are Airworthiness Standards rules. I referenced them to illustrate the source of the term "Airworthiness Limitations". Regardless of certification basis (CAR 3, 8 , FAR 23, 25 etc......) if an aircraft has a U.S. Airworthiness Certification, or is a component part of such aircraft, the rules for performing maintenance on it are found in 14 CFR part 43. With specific exceptions, if an aircraft is U.S. registered, the rules that govern what maintenance is required on that aircraft are contained in 14 CFR part 91. There is nothing in any of these rules that cause ICA to be universally mandatory by law regardless of whether they relate to an STC, TC or field approval. Portions of ICA that are legally required are specifically incorporated by reference to a rule.

As a pratical example: Owner brings in a Cessna 172 operated IAW part 91 rules, for an Annual inspection. The IA notices during his inspection, that this aircraft has been altered by the addition of an air filter that is not listed as a part of the original type design. The IA finds that this design change is as a result of an STC and all required paperwork is in order, and that this alteration meets the STC requirements. He also determines through his inspection, that the filter installation is in a conditon for safe operation. The ICA for this STC call for the replacement of this element every 12 months regardless of condition however there are no requirements of any kind in the FAA approved Airworthiness Limitations section of these ICA. He also finds no applicable Airworthiness Directives that require the mandatory replacement of this element. The IA notes that the last record of element replacement was 13 months ago. He informs the pilot/owner of this finding, and that he would recommend the element be changed. The IA approves the aircraft for return to service as it meets its Type design, and is in a condition for safe operation. The pilot is aware that he is required to have the aircraft maintained IAW the Airworthiness Limitations section of any ICA, and that none exist on his aircraft at this time. The pilot is in compliance with 91.403(c), and 43.16 is not appliable for the mechanic. When the mechanic does eventually R&R the filter element, he will be required (by law) to perform this maintenance IAW accepted methods, techniques, and practices contained within the STC ICA (unless he is using legitamate "other" ones) to comply with 43.13(a). The manufacturer of the filter STC would like to see the rule applied as you interpret it. He sells filters for a living. He doesn't get to make laws in this country though.

This is (as you know) an age-old arguement between pilots and mechanics, mechanics and mechanics, feds, and private sector. Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion, including the FAA. They (the FAA) are also required to share their opinions with the general public, and we can request that of their Chief Counsel. I am lucky to have a very field-saavy FSDO full of people with much more experience than I have. These folks have shared their opinions on this subject. They are not immune to being wrong however.
The rules, are the rules of "We the People", not any individual, organization, or even the FAA.
When you say that the FAA agrees with your interpretation, obviously I don't know whom you are specifically referring to, but who ever they are, ask them this question (if you care to): "If it is required by law that maintenance personnel or operators comply with ICA universally, please quote me the exact rule (or rules) that you would use to substantiate (in a court of law) an alledged violation." Press them for the actual rule, and not their opinion.

The thing is, I don't have a single original idea. All of the stuff in my responses has come out of regulation, or past interpretation of regulation. I hope I have kept my personal opinion out of it. I welcome anyone's correction if I have made an error.

Now I will give my personal opinion:
I stumbled into this site while looking for something else (the same way any member of the general public could do), and as a subscriber to ATP, I always new about it but had never checked it out.
I think one of the strengths of the aviation system in this country, is that its is made up of dedicated, opinionated, Professional AVIATORS. There is nothing wrong with being opinionated, or giving one's opinion in a professional way. This is the perfect forum for that.....................However, I see nothing professional about the dialogue that came out of the discussion about STC ICA that morphed into personal attacks of one's character, and using language that I wouldn't tolerate out of my kids.
We in aircraft maintenance are always crying out to be viewed as professional equals in the business community. How do we command respect from others in business, and behave this way?
The name on this site is: "Online Forum for Aviation Maintenance Professionals". Professionalism is a way of behaving, not something you say. And it sure has nothing to do with whether you sign you name, or remain anonymous. In fact, I tell my guys, that in my opinion, the best accolades we can ever hope for as aviation maintenance providers, is that no one ever knows who we are, because we make the pilot's job as boring as possible so that he/she can make the passengers ride as boring as possible.
I joined this site and responded to the STC ICA question not only because I thought I could add something to the topic, but because of the lack of professionalism shown by the respondant during the first half of the discussion. My responses about ICA were made in the hopes that I would eventually see a chance to give my opinion (for what it is worth). Now I have.

A better idea would to posit the question to Chief Counsel. As previously posted, the answer has already been delivered regarding mandatory enforcement of manucturer's maintenance documents, but some simply can't get it.

I guess they need something along the lines of;

Hey Mr./Ms. Chief Counsel, is compliance of all sections of STC ICAs, or any ICAs always mandatory for part 91 operators?

I must give Whiteface credit for speaking his mind Anonymous! Get an identity and you might lend some credibility to your comments!!!

They (the Chief Counsel's office) will answer, but they will tell you it's 120 days. I have talked directly with an attorney in their office regarding a very similar matter about a year ago, and it takes them forever to clear things up.
The FAA order that one of the respondants sited in the begining of the debate, is a good source for FAA opinion on the subject. There are also a number of court cases out there to reference as well. I know from first-hand conversations with the Chief Counsel's office, that they (the FAA) do have a postion on this issue, and it is as I have been stating in my replys to Mr. Pasch.

FINALLY! We agree on something!!! You don't have any original ideas... Your example of the air filter is 100% wrong. The IA is required by the STC to replace the element every 12 months regardless of condition. If not and he returns it to service he can be cited as the aircraft does not meet type design as legally altered.

As for calling the Chief Counsel, you won't get an answer on ICAs. They issued an opinion letter circa 1995 which was recinded in 1998 and they will not define ICAs in print in any form.

BTW, I agree with your comments on the purpose of this blog. It's an exchange of information for the purpose of education. I have been learning aviation since 1969 and an IA for 28 years! You?

Type design is as the name implys, the design of the product type. Once the applicant has proven that his or her product meet all applicable regulatory requirements, then the FAA will issue APPROVAL for that design or design change(TC, STC or field approval).
ICA (except the Airworthiness Limitations section)are FAA ACCEPTED only, and of course can be changed or revised by the manufacturer as needed. In the example given, not changing the filter element has no effect on the Type Design. If ICA were a part of Type design, then the manufacturer could alter Type design every time he changes them (the ICA), and would be doing so without FAA APPROVAL. ICA are however, required to be created and made available by the design approval holder. They are not required to be complete before type certification so obviously, they are not a part of the approval itself.

It is the FAA's responsibility to have an opinion on this, or any other subject related to our aviation system. If as you say, not changing that filter element could result in a violation charge, that is an FAA opinion in itself. It would not be an enforcable opinion though.

We have a MAJOR disconnect here! I believe it's a language barrier. First of all a Type Certificate doesn't IMPLY anything! It's the Bible for a product! An IA MUST assure that (in this case) the aircraft meets its original Type Design or as legally modified (STC, Field Approval etc.). In your air filter example, the aircraft was legally changed from its original Type Design by the STC allowing the different filter. That change, in its ENTIRITY, is now the new Type Design for that particular aircraft. It has been legally modified by an STC and the installation was approved by an IA, submitted and accepted by the FAA. YOU MUST COMPLY with all the requirements of that STC!!! YOU have no descretion in that matter-PERIOD!!! What the STC sez is the new Bible for this particular aircraft! The FAA has no "opinion" on this matter! It's black and white and the filter MUST be changed.

I'll ask you again sir, how long have you been a practicing A&P (IA)?

READ the rules that create ICA. They clearly indicate that design approval has already been given when ICA are required (21.50) and that the TC, or STC holder doesn't even have to have them (ICA) complete at the time of type certification, (parts 23.1529, 25........) and therefore cannot be a part of the type design. Its also clearly stated that they are FAA accepted (Airworthiness Limitations section excluded).
It was never said that a TC implys anything. The term type design does. It implys that we are talking about the design of the thing. Not changing the filter (in the previous example), has no effect on the design of the product.
How could a design holder even write maintenance instructions on a product until the design was complete and approved? He/she wouldn't know for sure what instructions to include, because the design was not done.

This really is a language issue here. You have no concept of what Type Certificates and Supplemental Type Certificates are at all as evidenced by your statement "It was never said that a TC implys anything. The term type design does. It implys that we are talking about the design of the thing [don't get too technical now]. Not changing the filter (in the previous example), has no effect on the design of the product."

You further my point of your lack of understanding by saying "How could a design holder even write maintenance instructions on a product until the design was complete and approved? He/she wouldn't know for sure what instructions to include, because the design was not done."

Responding to your comment "Not changing the filter (in the previous example), has no effect on the design of the product." An air filter, an engine, a propeller, a specific wheel and tire, the brakes or a hydraulic pump are all parts that make the TYPE DESIGN of a particular aircraft, i.e. a Piper, Beech or Cessna, Boing or Air Bus.

If you change ANY one of those parts and install ANYTHING but the original style part, YOU HAVE CHANGED THE TYPE DESIGN of that aircraft! You cannot change a type design without permission (approval of the Administrator), by an STC or Field Approval or mfg upgrades for example.

The job of an IA (my job) when performing an Annual Inspection is to insure that the aircraft meets its ORIGINAL TYPE DESIGN, in other words complies with all the data in its TCDS, or as LEGALLY modified. The STC LEGALLY modified the air filter! That STC has an ICA that MUST BE COMPLIED WITH by replacing the element every 12 months! You do not have the option to say 'it looks O.K. to me, I will not replace the element because its condition is serviceable.' You MUST replace the element on the authority of the ICA. It's legally binding to comply with the STC. Only after element replacement does that particular aircraft meet its legally altered type design! And only after it meets its type design can it be LEGALLY returned to service by the IA, NOT before.

I'll try one more time to get a response, Whiteface. How long have you been a licensed Airframe and Powerplant technician? Do you hold an IA?

Read the relevant rules,re-read the relevant rules.
Apply standard statutory interpretation techniques.
Request an opinion from the chief counsel's office. They are slow but they will respond.
Consult guidance material, notices and orders.
Research past legal presedent.

The language I have used is the language of the rules. I do think they (the rules) can be difficult to understand at times, but as I said before, and you agreed with, I don't have a single original idea. Everthing I have posted has come from one of the above sources, or a combination thereof.

Not quite Whiteface! You see what I have that you do not have is over 35 years PRACTICAL experience as an A&P/IA in America using this language! You can mis-interpret English from whatever language is your native tongue but that only shows your ignorance (that means lack of understanding)!

We already discussed the Chief Counsel. You will not get an answer from legal on ICAs. But since you're so enthralled by the American way, why don't YOU request an answer from the Chief Counsel and then maybe you'll believe what you see here!

BTW, why do you avoid answering my question about your experience? If you have any experience, share it with us! What do you have to hide?

comments posted below

Hello every body.
this is a very interresting discussion.
I have not a good practice of FAA rules because i work under EASA registartion.
on general aviation in France, STC application rules are very new but now similar to commercial aviation rules. so my opinion on this matter is:
ICAs are defined by TC holder to maintain continuous airwothiness and they are mandatory. (like AD)
STC is a supplemental type certificate and is required for major modification (or repair). an STC can be delivered only by a DOA (Part 21G organisation)and not necessarily approuved by TC holder
in conclusion, if ICAs are required for STC they are mandatory as soon as modifications (or repairs) are installed on an Aircraft
For information in Europe when you want to perform a repair not take into account in manufacturer manuels (AMM, SRM, etc.)and this repair is on critical part or primary structure, you need to developp an STC repair and you need to have a specific agrement (part 21G) to do it.
in the same way, after a major repair (under STC approval)
the STC holder can ask you to perform repetitve inspection and this inspection is MANDATORY
When Part 21G approuved an STC is under that own responsability and if you don't perform these maintenance requirements you are responsable and aircaft is not under airwothiness condition and must stay on ground

Now here's a (foreign) man who understands how it works!

Hello bob,
I very happy to see that we share the same rules even if they are not written by the same organization (FAA, EASA and other)
these rules are aeronautical rules based on experiences. they also can be applied in other industry like Boat, train, etc.
when you release an aicraft you mustn't think business but safety. I know sometime it's difficult but it's your responsability and an aicraft is not a car. you can't stop it on the road side and wait for assistance.
in conclusion: if you install other parts not defined in IPC by aircraft manufactuer (TC holder) you change the original configuration and certification so you must applied all recommendations required by the STC holder (and update you maintenance program accordingly.)

Does an operator have to comply with an STC ICA’s for equipment installed on his or her aircraft?

The short answer is YES you must comply with the ICA for the installed equipment.

Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) data, provided it specifically applies to the item being repaired/altered. STC’s are part of the type design under part 21.31, 21. 33, 21.41, and 21.53

Major alterations approved before October 7, 1998, were not required to have ICAs, but all STC’s were required to have ICA’s. However, if an owner/operator wishes to formally incorporate an ICA for existing field�approved major alterations, he or she may do so using the revision process in checklist item number 16 in Figure 4�66 of FAA Order 8900.1 Volume 4, Chapter 9, Section 1.

Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASIs) have to ensure that each major alteration that requires additional maintenance or inspections not covered by original manufacturer’s instructions approved under the field approval process will have ICAs prepared in accordance with:
· Section 23.1529,
· Section 25.1529,
· Section 27.1529,
· Section 29.1529,
· Section 31.82,
· Section 33.4, or
· Section 35.4, as applicable.

The ICA will be documented on FAA Form 337. When the FAA inspector stamps, signs and dates block 3 of the 337 form the ICA is now approved data and must be followed in accordance part 43.13 and 43.16.

As a CSR or an IA performing an annual inspection you are required to add those addition item listed on each FAA Form 337 to your checklist as required by section 43.16. Not doing so would be a violation and result in an improper annual inspection.

The ICA on the STC’s or Field Approval will tell you how, when and what to inspect for so you must comply with all ICA’s when perform inspections.

As a side not most if not all STC’s will have a section for Flight Manual Supplement (FMS) that must be FAA approved. This is called out in the ICA for all STC’s all FMS tied to an STC are approved.

On a side note I would recommend as part of your required training manual you add a training class on ICA’s. I am sure your local FSDO would be more than happy to provide you with training data you can add to your program. Or you can to my web site and down load data on ICA’s. The site is http://www.stacheair.com click on mechanic toolbox. The site is starting to go through a major change, but the data is all correct.

I think the point Bob Pasch, Acena and Stacheair1 are making is that the ICA is a required part of the STC. That the STC becomes part of the Type Design. And the ICA of the STC becomes part of the Type Design. To sum up the ICA of the STC is the same as any ICA in the TC and is required to maintain airworthiness.

Bob Jones

i would like to add: TC holder and STC holders are different manufacturers and not necessary communicate together .
for one aircraft you have one TC holder (CESSNA) and you could have differents STC holders (GARMIN, RAPCO, etc) depending of modification installed after delivery and not issued by TC holder.
usually, TC holder is not avare with all modifications available for its aicraft. it's why it's under operators responsability to collect ICAs from TC and STC holders and to be sure that they will be applied as required (maintenance check, shop visit, etc)

I agree Bob that the ICA of an STC are applied in the same way as ICA for a TC. I also agree that an STC is part of the overall aircraft type design when legally applied to the original TC. As far as they (the ICA themselves) been a part of the Type Design, I disagree.
As I posted eariler, the rules that require, and specifiy the construct of ICA state, that the design may be approved and ICA not complete. To me this make perfect sense, as a design holder could not even write appropriate ICA until the design was fully conceived, and approval granted. ICA are also FAA accepted data (except for the AWL section). The design holder can and should make revisions to their ICA as needed. Again, this is accepted data, and if it were a part of the type design, they (the design holder) would be changing type design every time they revised their ICA, and would be doing so without FAA Approval. My references for this statement are the relevant FARs (21.5, 23.1529, 33.4 etc......) and FAA order 8100.54A (which I am aware is not regulatory).

To restate my postion on this issue: Any person working on US airworthiness certificated aircraft (exceptions noted in 43.1) must (by law) use accepted methods, techniques, and practices. Two sources for these required items are ICA, or manufacturer's maintenance manuals. We all know the third "other" option. Reference is 43.13(a).
If either of these first two documents have requirements in an FAA Approved Airworthiness Limitations section, then the operator must comply with these requirements, and maintenance personnel must perform that maintenance IAW the Airworthiness Limitations section requirements. References are 91.403(c) and 43.16.
Inspection portions of ICA may also be incorporated into an FAA Approved inspection program, and if that is done, those portions of the ICA become legally required also.
The interpretation of 43.13(a) to encompass everything in the maintenance manual, or everything in the ICA is not correct (in my opinion). The rule clearly state that it is the methods, techniques, and practices contained in these documents, that must be used. There are a lot of other requirements contained in these documents. These may be manufacturer requirements, but are not required by law unless tied to a specific rule. (opinion)
The interpretion of 43.16 to mean AWL section in a manufacturer's maintenance manual, or ANYTHING labeled as ICA, is just a misapplication of standard statutory interpretation(opinion). All the OR in this rule is indicating, is that the AWL section can be found in either of these documents. 91.403(c) gives a similar statement for the operator, and is easier to follow (however either rule is clear) in my opinion.

Once again Whiteface, you've said a lot and were correct a little! 43.16 tells you the two (2) locations from which you may be performing an inspection or mx. One is the AWL section of a mfgr's mm and the second is an ICA. That's where you are missing the boat (translation).

As far as 91.403(c) goes, that has absolutely nothing to do with performing maintenance whatsoever!!! Part 91 pertains to flight rules (for pilots only) not for regulating how maintenance is performed. The same goes for your other examples of 8500, 21, 23, 33 etc.

Once again, your lack of comprehension of the English language has caused you to mis-state a regulation! Part 43 IS THE MECHANIC'S BIBLE! To that we must perform maintenance, not 8500 or 21, 23, 33 etc but ONLY Part 43. As I said in the beginning, two places can dictate your mx. One is an AWL section and the other is an ICA! Two completely separate and independant sections that have no requirements or interactions upon the other. Once you figure that out, you'll be fine because you understand an ICA must be complied with, you just don't understand when it must be done.

BTW, ICAs are not accepted data, they're approved data! There's a major difference and I hope we won't have to school you on that...

I think that this is a very good point. No single design approval holder can have knowledge of all the potential modifications to a product. Maintenance providers must consider the current configuration of the product that they are maintaining, and understand the relevant ICA for the specific operation concerned. In this country, A&P mechanics are required by law to understand current maintenance instructions before being allowed to exersize the privileges of their certificate. Reference is part 65.81(b).

Wrong again. ICAs are accepted data, only the Airworthiness Limitations section of an ICA can be approved data.

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