STC ICA's

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So Buddy, do you comply with ALL service information supplied by the Airframe, Engine, Prop, and Accessories Manufacturer's?

Following your logic, it has to make the aircraft safer, right? Aren't you all about safety?

I would invite you to re read 43.16 again and note that it addresses only the Airworthiness Limitations sections of an ICA.

I believe that in the majority of instances, compliance with the complete ICA is a good thing. That's not the point here. The point is, it is not required and it voluntary compliance should be assessed from a safety AND economic standpoint. Just as SB' should.

Stache, it certainly would be helpful for some if the FAA regional counsel were to issue a letter of clarification as to when an ICA compliance is mandatory, but for those of us with an understanding of the regulations, and regulatory process, it's pretty clear. It's just like SB's. Compliance is voluntary unless invoked through the regulatory process. Thank you again for your dedication to our industry.

WOW is right Buddy! I agree with your WOW, there are way too many arguments against compliance but my WOW is for your question; "Is there a remote possibility the aircraft is safer if I comply with the ICA, or is it safer if I don’t comply with the ICA?"

IF... they ask themselves that question and IF... they choose, one way or the other, then they have elevated themselves from technician right past FAA Inspector to God! Something the privileges of our certificate do not authorize!

There are no questions to ask nor choices to make, ICA's are MANDATORY, period, end of discussion. §43.16 Airworthiness limitations section 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 §91.409(e).

ICA = Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, what part of that phrase is ambiguous, ambivalent, vague or confusing? "Instructions" are directions on "how to" perform tasks, "Continued Airworthiness" is the task the instructions are telling you how to perform. Basic, 1st grade English [a requirement to hold an A&P certificate BTW]...

Our job, our ONLY JOB, is to maintain the aircraft given to us in the utmost safe condition that is humanly possible! Nothing short of that is acceptable, NOTHING! Do you NOT understand that lives are dependent on you performing your job properly?

No disrespect to ANY nationality, race, religion or group but if these "technicians" who disagree with compliance of ICA's are allowed to continue to perform their brand of "maintenance" [and I use that term maintenance very loosely in their case] then our system needs more stringent initial testing, continuing education and surveillance to insure compliance.

And I am the LAST person to suggest more surveillance but if that's what's necessary for compliance then so be it...

So I'll ask you Mr. Pasch. Do you require that your customers comply with ALL Manufacturer's Service Bulletins?

If not, why not?

Stache,
You are no doubt aware, that words, more specifically details mean everything in our business (you pointed this out with your reference to court proceedings). I would like to think that I carefully read each person's replies in an attempt to fully understand what is being conveyed.
I raised issue with what I believe to be errors in your replies based on the words that you responded with. This is not mud-throwing in my opinion. It speaks directly to our discussion.

I agree 100% that there is nothing to be gained by personal attacks, and this thread is full of those. I see no point in responding to Buddy or Mr. Pasch's comments when they call an individual's personal integrity into question.
Anyway, this is a complex issue, and an open forum would be nice, albeit impractical.

Given the almost 5 yr. span of this discussion, I don't see anyone changing their opinions on the subject. I would give a personal disclaimer that if someone can give specific regulatory references (as I have tried to do) for their positions, I would most definitely take those into consideration, and likely have no choice but to reverse my opinion. To this point, that has not happened.

Doug Hereford

Whoa, hold on there Doug! Stache's comments throughout this post have been accurate, correct and right on point. Further, neither Buddy nor I have made any disparaging comments on integrity! Integrity has nothing to do with it, intelligence, however, is a very different story and has everything to do with it. That's NOT "mud throwing", that's a fact!

After reviewing the latest threads, I find it difficult to see your reasoning. I refer to your words to Stache "You are no doubt aware, that words, more specifically details mean everything in our business...” Using your words "Anyway, this is a complex issue, and an open forum would be nice, albeit impractical.", I question YOUR comprehension of this subject, nay this website. This IS an open forum and it's NOT "albeit impossible". That, sir, says nothing about your integrity! It does, however, go directly to your understanding of what was said.

Again, your words "I would give a personal disclaimer that if someone can give specific regulatory references (as I have tried to do) for their positions, I would most definitely take those into consideration, and likely have no choice but to reverse my opinion."

Well sir, respectfully, several times throughout this post, including my latest post, a reference to FAR Part §43.16 has been made. To your request, §43.16 is a specific regulatory reference and is titled Airworthiness Limitations and states:

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 §91.409(e).

Now to understand what that sez, I ASS/U/ME you accept SHALL as mandatory, no options there. Next, there are three choices in that regulation: if you are performing (1) inspection OR (2) other mx in an AWL of MM OR (3) Instructions for Continued Airworthiness. It is NOT required to have all three to be mandatory but ONLY ONE makes it MANDATORY to perform said ICA...

Doug, I take no position on your integrity. I have to believe you're an honest, trustworthy man until proven differently. I do believe that you, as many others here are, understandably confused about ICAs. Perhaps, if I might suggest, click on the link for the poster at the top of each post and peruse their qualifications, then absorb what they say.

Stache is Denny Pollard, an IA and DME and Buddy is Buddy Evans, also a DME as well as a DAR and a lengthy list of titles and accomplishments. Neither are posting to mislead, dupe, fake out, fool nor evoke responses but to educate those who are willing to learn. I presume you are among them and I welcome your comments...

To "Anyoneofus": No, sir! Manufacturer's Service Bulletins are only MANDATORY under certain situations, Part 91 is not one of them...

BTW, love your "handle", got any qualifications that put you in this debate?

You continue to misunderstand the requirement and basic grammar.

"Specified in the 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"

What section? The AIRWORTHINESS LIMITATIONS section. Compliance with other sections of the ICA are OPTIONAL!

Sorry Charlie! Dale Carnegie will roll over in his grave because he taught us to NEVER say you're wrong but YOU'RE WRONG!!!

You're the one who doesn't understand English. What section? The AIRWORTHINESS LIMITATIONS section OR [very important little word] other maintenance specified in an Airworthiness Limitations section of a manufacturer's maintenance manual OR [again, that very important little word] Instructions for Continued Airworthiness.
So your "What" ISN'T only the AWLS but could be the inspection OR it could be an ICA. The word OR is a conjunction used to link ALTERNATIVES i.e. Would you like a cup of tea OR coffee? That DOES NOT mean if you say yes, you get both. You pick ONE!

Try again?

Stache, please ask the Regional Counsel for clarification regarding ICA compliance. The naysayers will probably ignore that also, but there's hope.

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudic...

Paragraph 2 of this letter of interpretation from FAA counsel clearly states that for non air carrier aircraft, only the AIRWORTHINESS LIMITATIONS section of an ICA is mandatory unless promulgated by an Airworthiness Directive.

I'm sure some of you still won't be convinced. (:

I will send a formal request to the FAA, just keep in mind this may take a while for a response. So I will post it here and start a new blog.

Anyoneofus, Yes in fact we do comply with the manufacturers service bulletins; however the mandate has nothing to do with the FAA, but our insurance underwriter. Additionally, we have analyzed and found the cost of compliance for service bulletins is a prudent investment when your company and my company are bidding on the same contract. We have no reservation in informing the potential customer “We Do” and “They Don’t”.

While you’re saving pennies, were making millions. But then again, our company is owned and run by highly experienced aviation professionals not bean-counters, or individuals wired for “Just Enough”.

Thank you. I think you can see how the legality of ICA compliance question has already been answered in the attached FAA counsel link. I'm sure that some with a minimal understanding of English grammar would still attempt to obfuscate it.

Hey, you're singing my song here. Your referenced letter tells you ICAs ARE mandatory! Thanks for your help...

BTW, care to identify yourself with a quick bio? I thought not!

Thanks for answering. No questions that a lot of customers would avoid any repair entity that requires full service bulletin compliance on the airframe, engine(s), props, and installed accessories. The cost to implement these would be prohibitive on the typical GA aircraft that averages 30 years of age. While you may continue to argue that this would raise the level of safety, the data do not support this.

The vast majority of general aviation aircraft are not compliant with all manufacturer's service information and there is no data to support that safety is compromised.

While you do not state the specifics of your business, or customer base, I am certainly glad that your practices are financially advantageous to you.

Earlier in this thread, your staunch supporter, Mr. Pasch explained when asked why he did not comply with SB's on part 91 aircraft.

He stated that the obvious, SB's are not mandatory. So his reasoning for not complying doesn't include a safety aspect, only the legal aspect. Yet he seems to have a different logic as it pertains to ICAS.

And now we have conclusively proven that the FAA position is that ICA's are also not mandatory for part 91 aircraft, only the airworthiness limitations section is. 99 percent of ICAs, contain 0 airworthiness limitations.

So predictable, tt says no such thing for part 91 aircraft, in fact, it says that they are NOT mandatory. Please try and pay attention.

First Mr. Anyoneofus, please call me Bob. Our differences on this subject notwithstanding, there is no animus from this side. In fact, you stimulate my professional cerebral juices and challenge my ability to help others.

Second, to your "He stated that the obvious, SB's are not mandatory. So his reasoning for not complying doesn't include a safety aspect, only the legal aspect. Yet he seems to have a different logic as it pertains to ICAS. He stated that the obvious, SB's are not mandatory. So his reasoning for not complying doesn't include a safety aspect, only the legal aspect. Yet he seems to have a different logic as it pertains to ICAS."

Let me set you straight about SBs and my ways of mx, I do not REQUIRE customers to comply with all manufacturers mandatory service bulletins! That does not mean I don't sit sit down with the owners and discuss EACH optional, recommended and mandatory SB due on his/her aircraft.

My CI goes thru the entire log book history [makes it easier with returning customers] and compiles a list of services due. We make a list in the form of an estimate with mandatory items and optional items to include parts and labor [including discounts when possible.] Mandatory items are required mx for a return to service signature [NOT necessarily SBs] and optional are self explanatory.

That list is given to the customer to absorb, then we discuss compliance. I'll give my recommendations and they make the final, educated decision. So it's not a simple "Earlier in this thread, your staunch supporter, Mr. Pasch explained when asked why he did not comply with SB's on part 91 aircraft."

Third, to your "While you do not state the specifics of your business, or customer base,..." I will again try to help you understand as I did once before. Please click on the poster's name & you will see his bio, then there will be no ignorance as to your debator. [BTW, yours has no hyper link as you have no credentials here. Wanna fill in the blanks?]

Forth [and last], you have NOT "...conclusively proven that the FAA position is that ICA's are also not mandatory for part 91 aircraft, only the airworthiness limitations section is." In fact, your letter states exactly the opposite! So we still sit on opposite sides of this fence.

Just a thought here Anyoneofus, you seem to forget or ignore the fact that customers are people. And people are just like you and me, they wake up in the morning, get dressed, work, go home and go to bed and repeat. Over the years, I have befriended more than 90% of my "customers". I know their spouses and children, I socialize with a great majority of them.

Those who are not locals, I maintain contact through email, many on my "Jokes" list and all on my customer list. They receive EVERY piece of info regarding their aircraft that I receive. And I do have numerous customers who fly-in to FDK [I thought I'd put that in since you don't know me] from NY, NJ, DE, PA, WV, IL, MI and others.

Nonetheless, you must build a healthy relationship with each and every one of them. You have to build that "warm and fuzzy" from your initial introduction on forward. I try to do that by adhering to this philosophy: in order for ANY business relationship to succeed, it MUST be MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL!

If it's good for me and not for you, you don't come back. If it's good for you and not for me, I'll decline service. But if we're both happy, I've succeeded in building a business relationship [and a friendship] and made a profit for my bosses. If the customers go away happy, like the shampoo commercial sez they tell two friends and they'll tell two friends and so on... Try it, you'll like it!

So I hope I've changed your opinion about me, at least, when it comes to safety! So until then, I'll agree to disagree. Looking forward to your bio...

Would you please outline as to how you arrived at the mistaken understanding of the FAA letter of interpretation as stating that ICAs are mandatory for part 91 operations?

You are really reaching on that one.

I will, just as soon as you post your credentials to argue the opposite.

My credentials are impeccable! The abridged version:
U.S.A.F. crew chief, 7yrs 6mos; Crew Chief of the Quarter over a dozen times [Dover AFB], Crew Chief of the Year [MAC 21st AF] 1973, 1800+ hrs flying crew chief on C141s & C5As; Traveled to over 75 countries and 200 cities including the South Pole. I was qualified to do everything but fly them.

Chanute A.F.B. IL. 6 weeks initial (honor graduate)
Dover A.F.B. DE. 2 weeks C-141-A aircraft initial (honor graduate)
Dover A.F.B. DE. 2 weeks C-5-A aircraft initial (honor graduate)
Edwards A.F.B. CA. 26 weeks C-5-A Test Program
Dover A.F.B. DE. C-141-A engine run initial (honor graduate)
Dover A.F.B. DE. C-141-A aircraft refresher (honor graduate)
Dover A.F.B. DE. C-5-A engine run initial (honor graduate)
Dover A.F.B. DE. C-5-A aircraft refresher (honor graduate)
Maxwell A.F.B. AL. Community College of the Air Force –
June 1969 through November 1972 – A.A. equivalent in Aviation Science (honor graduate)
Dover A.F.B. DE. 2 weeks U.S.A.F. 21st Air Force NCO Leadership School (honor graduate and valedictorian)

General Aviation 1980 - 2014; A&P, IA 1983, DOM 1985 thru retirement; private pilot 2300+ hrs in anything from Cubs to Barons to Lears to choppers including the Goodyear blimp [yes, the blimp in my logbook!] Manufacturers' schools too numerous to mention.

Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology (honor graduate); Associates degree in Aviation Science (honor graduate). Member, Phi Theta Kappa.

Now, respectfully, explain how you have the knowledge, qualifications and credentials to support your side of this debate? I feel like I'm in a battle of wits with an unarmed man...

I didn't see any Administrative Law experience, or basic reading comprehension training listed. Instead of regaling us with your awesomeness, please focus on the topic of discussion and succinctly describe how you have the complete opposite interpretive view of a trained, legal professional representing the FAA.

Let me again assist you in comprehending, please re-READ that bio: Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology (honor graduate). I was a cop between military service and returning to aviation.

That equates to basic reading comprehension [BTW I graduated High School with honors as well but, after all, it was an ABRIDGED bio...]

My awesomeness notwithstanding, I'm proud to profess my credentials. Something you're obviously NOT willing to share! I DO HAVE the qualifications to debate this subject, do you?

Not identifying only leads me to believe you're embarrassed or ashamed of your creds or you don't have any. My daddy used to say "It's better to keep your mouth shut and allow people to THINK you're an idiot than to open your mouth and REMOVE ALL DOUBT!" Is that your dilemma? You continue to critique my creds but refuse to post yours. What are you afraid of?

Put up or shut up...

Something tells me you didn't graduate from anger management with honors. LOL! Again. please refrain from the distractions and focus on the topic by explaining why you consistently have a differing opinion than the FAA Counsel. Awesomeness notwithstanding.

Didn't need anger management and I don't need glasses or a hearing aid either. That's why I ANSWER questions, why can't you?
If you won't post your bio, I'm finished discussing this with someone who's posts prove he's clueless...

Bio or bye bye?

I thought I would mention this FAA order. As has been stated numerous times, we all understand fully that FAA orders are not regulatory.

http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/8620_2A.pdf

Paragraph 6 speaks to manufacturer's maintenance manuals and/or ICA created by the manufacturer, and sums it up pretty well in my opinion.
I don't know how FAA orders come into existence, but I would think that they are at a minimum, confirmed by FAA legal to not be contrary to regulation. At the very least, it appears that FAA orders are actual communication (National Policy) indicative of the FAA's position on a particular matter, as they are written to provide direction for its personnel to follow in the course of performing their duties.

Doug Hereford

I would like to take one last parting shot at answering the original question that was asked “Are an STC's ICA required by law.” I think from an legal stand point the answer is YES they are required under part 21 type certificate if the aircraft is deemed to be airworthy and meets the T/C requirement or properly altered condition.

Under the operating rules of the CFR/FARs, an owner or an operator of an aircraft is primarily responsible for maintaining it in an airworthy condition Part 91. In addition, the FAR states specifically that no person may operate a civil aircraft unless it is in an airworthy condition Part 91. The FAR defines the word "operate" to include "use, cause to use or authorize to use aircraft with or without the right of legal control (as owner, lessee, or otherwise)." Thus, under the FAR, both an aircraft's owner/lessor and its operator/lessee bear responsibility for maintaining it in an airworthy condition.

Part 43 of the FAR prescribes the FAA's regulations governing the maintenance of aircraft, generally, while Parts 121 and 135 prescribe the specific maintenance requirements applicable to air carriers. The FAA has the authority to enforce the FAR by civil penalty and other means against any person who violates them. A person who "operates" an unairworthy aircraft, as owner or otherwise, is subject to such sanctions.

Although the regulations make the owner or the operator of an aircraft responsible for maintaining the aircraft in an airworthy condition, as a practical matter, the FAA ordinarily holds the lessee/operator primarily accountable if the aircraft is actually operated while unairworthy. In general, airworthiness violations do not arise unless the aircraft is being operated. However, if circumstances warrant (e.g., if the owner/lessor knows or should know that the aircraft will be operated in an unairworthy condition), the FAA does hold the owner/lessor accountable for the aircraft's unairworthy condition.

This takes us back to part 43 Maintenance regulations for us maintainers. Part 43 applies to all aircraft regardless of what maintenance program or inspection program they are under.

In order for an aircraft to be considered airworthy two conditions must be met. The first condition is that the aircraft must conform to its type design. In the context of maintenance under Part 43 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, conformity to the type design is attained when maintenance work is done in such a manner, and materials used are of such quality, that the condition of the aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller or appliance worked on will be at least equal to its original or properly altered condition (14 C.F.R. Section 43.13(b)). In addition, all required equipment and instruments must also be installed and operable in accordance with 14 C.F.R. Section 121.303 for the aircraft to be operated (aircarriers). The second condition is that the aircraft must be in condition for safe operation. This condition requires the determination that the aircraft is in condition for safe flight. If one or both of these conditions are not met, the aircraft would be unairworthy.

It is clear that when an AD or ICA requires an "inspection", each such inspection must be accomplished and recorded by maintenance personnel; it is also clear that air carrier flight crewmembers do not come within the class of persons authorized to perform maintenance or preventive maintenance under Section 43.3 just us properly rated mechanics.

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 its manufacturer, or other methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the Administrator.

Accordingly, the mechanic is required to follow either the maintenance manual or the manufacturer's Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, or he must use methods, techniques, and practices that the Administrator has found to be acceptable.

In addition, Paragraph (b) of Section 43.13 states that:

Each person maintaining or altering, or performing preventive maintenance, shall do that work in such a manner and use materials of such a quality, that the condition of the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance worked on will be at least equal to its original or properly altered condition (with regard to aerodynamic function, structural strength, resistance to vibration and deterioration, and other qualities affecting airworthiness).

It is clear under paragraphs (a) and (b) of FAR Section 43.13, that it is not the prerogative of the mechanic to do whatever he wants. Nor is it permissible under any FAR for him to falsify an aircraft airworthiness release for return to service.

Just so everyone reading know I took a lot of the above subject material directly for legal briefs the FAA legal department sent out. Over the years I have saved a lot of legal briefs for questions airmen have sent to the FAA requesting guidance and answers. I could not find anyone in peculiar that asked directly about STCs, however part 43.13 does cover this as indicated above.

I am working on a letter to the FAA legal department, but I know what the answer will be before I send it in based on part 43.13, however I will send it anyways.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and wish you all well.

Thanks for that reference Doug. And as quoted in said reference: "b. The language of § 43.13(a) CLEARLY provides a person with THREE permissible OPTIONS when performing maintenance, alterations, or preventive maintenance on a product."

As I tried to tell no name, the FAA clearly states in that Order that there are three separate and distinct options. It is NOT a case where all three must be present to be mandatory. And, yes, Orders are NOT regulatory for us as you said but it clearly outlines the FAA's position on ICAs as dictated to their ASIs.

Thanks again, Doug...

Yes, thanks Doug. Both posted FAA documents clearly indicate the FAA's position that for part 91 aircraft, ICAs are not mandatory for compliance despite the futile attempt by some to completely misinterpret them.

Since 43.13(a) give us options for acceptable data when performing maintenance, it is clear to me that ICA are not required (except for the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the ICA).

As has been stated many times also, I believe that following manufacturer's recommendations is usually the right move. Since this discussion is focused of the legal aspect, the answer is still that accepted ICA are not required.

I would take the philosophical side of this a step or two further. It is popular opinion that the manufacturer is the foremost expert on maintaining their machine. I do not make this assumption in every case. I say that they are the experts on manufacturing their machine. They may or may not be experts on maintaining the machine.

Especially when it comes to any required inspection, it is the inspector's judgment that must be trusted. After all, the inspector is the one who's signature and certification statement approves the product for return to service..............not the manufacturer, and not the FAA. If I am that inspector, I plan to make my decision based on as much information as I can obtain. This information will most likely include ICA, but will certainly not be limited to ICA. I have personally seen cases where ICA are actually contrary to Airworthiness Requirements. I would be glad to give specifics on this if needed.

Doug Hereford

Excellent Response Doug, thank you.

This discussion has digressed into several topics. ICAs are not mandatory for part 91 aircraft unless it contains airworthiness limitations. This is crystal clear.

Another tangent of the discussion is whether legally required, or not, only those not interested in safety would consider non compliance. This position begs the question as to why one would also not comply with all manufactures service information if safety is the only consideration.

This is flawed logic and a failure of critical thinking.

To your point, the assumption is that the manufacturer knows best and most of us who have been in the industry for awhile know that this is also a flawed assumption.

I agree with you, gather all available information and data and make educated decision on which should and should not be implemented. This approach offers a greater level of safety rather than blindly following manufacturer's suggested practices under the mistaken believe that it is mandatory

Thankfully, our legal and regulatory system provide us with the option to choose.

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