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Regulatory requirements for class B aircraft maintenance

Issue number: AO-2011-115-SI-01
Who it affects: All registration holders of class B aircraft
Issue owner: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Operation affected: Aviation: General aviation
Background: Investigation Report AO-2011-115
Date: 16 August 2013

Safety issue description

The Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 allow class B aircraft registration holders to maintain their aircraft using the CASA maintenance schedule in situations where a more appropriate manufacturer’s maintenance schedule exists.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Action number: AO-2011-115-NSA-054
Date: 16 August 2013
Action status: Monitor

In reference to the abovementioned safety issue, CASA provided the following comment:

While the CAR 42V regulatory requirement currently exists for Registered Operators to ensure maintenance is carried out in accordance with the applicable provisions of the aircraft’s approved maintenance data, CASA agrees that additional information may assist industry understanding of their regulatory obligations, mainly in conjunction with the use of CAR 42B CASA Maintenance Schedule. To this end CASA published a series of Discussion Papers in December last year (2012) setting out a range of options for developing updated continuing airworthiness regulations for all aircraft not used in RPT operations.

The discussion paper covering maintenance programs set out the items for consideration and options for the reform of the maintenance program requirements for non-RPT aircraft to bring the regulations up to date with modern technology and current international practices. Considerations that were addressed in this discussion paper included dealing with instructions for continuing airworthiness; assessment of ICA is considered a necessary continuing airworthiness management requirement for all aircraft that are adequately supported by a type certificate holder or national aviation authority.

ATSB response:

The ATSB acknowledges the actions taken by CASA to date and notes its actions regarding regulatory reform in relation to maintenance programs for general aviation operations. However, given the currently unresolved outcomes from the discussion paper, including the circumstances where the CASA maintenance schedule would continue to be used, the ATSB remains concerned that this safety issue may not be adequately addressed and has therefore issued the following recommendation.

Recommendation

Action organisation: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Action number: AO-2011-115-SR-050
Date: 16 August 2013
Action status: Monitor

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that CASA proceed with its program of regulatory reform to ensure that all aircraft involved in general aviation operations are maintained using the most appropriate maintenance schedule for the aircraft type.

Correspondence

Date received: 11 November 2013
Response from: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Action status: Monitor
Response text:

With regard to Recommendation AO-2011-115-SR 050 you have recommended that CASA address the safety issue that the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 allow class B aircraft registration holders to maintain their aircraft using the CASA maintenance schedule in situations where a more appropriate manufacturer's maintenance schedule exists. You remain concerned that this safety issue may not be adequately addressed and have issued the recommendation that CASA proceed with our program of regulatory reform to ensure that all aircraft involved in general aviation operations are maintained using the most appropriate maintenance schedule for the aircraft type.

I accept this recommendation and CASA will address this issue, work has commenced and again it will involve consultation with industry. As this is likely to be a protracted process; CASA is not in a position to specify a specific completion date at this time.

ATSB response:

The ATSB recognises the acceptance of the recommendation by CASA. The ATSB will continue to monitor the ongoing work by CASA until the issue has been satisfactorily addressed.

   
Current issue status: Safety action pending
 
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Last update 13 January 2014