Life limited components revisited

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Life limited components revisited

Postby seneca2e » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:42 am

Here is some interesting information on time life components. It clearly states that TCDS notes are NOT mandatory but does say that time limits on the TCDS(contained in a note lol would be based on 43.16. The letter that clarifies 43.16 clearly says that unless the maintenance manual has an FAA approved and worded "Airworthiness Limiations Section" or ICA that the maintenance manual is NOT mandatory. Hence it would seem even the TCDS notes on time life items would not be mandatory if you use the FAA's intrepretation of their rules. I have quoted the pertinent parts of the letters below.

"TCDS Notes. TCDS notes are intended primarily to provide information on the various requirements for issuing an airworthiness certificate as well as the type and location of various technical documents used to operate and maintain the product. Some OEM’s have placed mandatory language such as “shall,” “must,” and “will” on their TCDS that imply that compliance with TCDS notes is mandatory. However, in the absence of regulatory language, or an AD that makes such TCDS notes mandatory, compliance with such notes is not mandatory. It would mean that FAA regulations effectively authorize OEMs to issue “substantive rules,” i.e., it would enable an OEM to impose legal requirements on the public that differ from the 14 CFR requirements. This would be objectionable for two reasons. First, the FAA does not have the authority to delegate its rulemaking authority to an OEM. Second, “substantive rules” can be adopted only in accordance with the notice and comment procedures of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), which does not apply to an OEM.

2. Summary. Consistent with 14 CFR, a TCDS is part of a product’s TC. As such, for aircraft holding a valid and current airworthiness certificate, a TCDS should not be used as a sole source to determine what maintenance is required or what the flight operations requirements are. Any language on a TCDS, by itself, is not regulatory and is simply not enforceable"


"As a general proposition, manufacturer's maintenance manuals, service
bulletins, and inspection programs (with limited exceptions not pertinent here) are not
FAA-approved and are not mandatory; nor are subsequently issued changes to
maintenance manuals or inspection programs. If they were, and compliance were
required, this would be tantamount to private entities issuing "rules" of general
applicability without meeting the notice and comment requirements of the APA, and the
public would not have had an opportunity to comment on these future program and
airworthiness limitations changes."

"Section 23.1529 sets forth the requirement that the Instructions for Continued
Airworthiness (lCA) be developed in accordance with Appendix G to part 23. As with
the requirements for FAA-approved operating limitations in an AFM, Appendix G
requires that the Airworthiness Limitations section be segregated and clearly
distinguishable from the rest of the document. The section must set forth each
mandatory replacement time, structural inspection interval, and related structural
inspection procedure. It must contain a separate statement in a prominent location that
reads: "The Airworthiness Limitation section is FAA approved and specifies
maintenance required under §§ 43.16 and 91.403 ... unless an alternative program has
been FAA approved." The Beech Baron 58P POH/AFM you referenced does not
contain an Airworthiness Limitations section-generally the ICA (if they existi are·
found in the maintenance manual or a separate ICA document. The Beech Baron
Maintenance Manual does not contain an FAA-approved Airworthiness Limitations
section."

"As noted in footnote 1, above, the requirement for ICAs did not come into being until 1980, and applied to
aircraft with design approvals for which application was made after January 28, 1981- so they were not
required for the Beech Baron."

Note the Brantly was certified long before this and thus would be the same as the Baron.




http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/hea ... Millan.pdf

http://fsims.faa.gov/wdocs/Orders/8620_2A.htm
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Re: Life limited components revisited

Postby bryancobb » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:39 am

Put this in a practical sentence that applies to the Brantly.

Are you saying that life-limits called out in TCDS 2H2 are non-regulatory / and non-binding?
I.E. If your MRGB reached its' 3250 limit, what do you feel is REQUIRED for continued airworthines?

1) Trash the whole serial-numbered transmission assembly
2) Trash the serial-numbered case only, and install the internals in a case which has time remaining
3) Just continue using it so long as it has a current 600/1200 inspection and so long as the internals passed muster during the most recent inspection
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Re: Life limited components revisited

Postby seneca2e » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:42 pm

I'm not really making an intrepretation but it's pretty clear from what I posted a good argument good be made FROM the FAA's own rulings and intrepretations that could be the case. In the case of the Robinson helicopters for example it's clear that the time limits are included in the FAA approved airworthiness limits section of the maintenance manual. That was not in effect when the Brantly was certified. I always assumed that the tcds notes were binding. This letter clearly says they are not. If they are not as the FAA's own counsel says and time limits are based on 43.16 they further state that time limits must be in a FAA approved airworthiness limitation section or separate ICA(instruction for continued airworthiness). Neither existed when the case sited on the Baron was ruled on and certainly the Brantly would also be a similiar case. Hence Section 9(service life of components) of the Brantly maintenance manual is not labeled as FAA approved and hence would not be mandatory just as the FAA counsel states.

If that is the case then the components would be "on condition" much as an engine is under Part 91 with annual/100 hour inspections required under FAR 91.409.
Last edited by seneca2e on Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Life limited components revisited

Postby bryancobb » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:55 pm

I guess that's cool, so long as you keep your ship safe.

I'm sure insurance companies would frown, but most folks don't have insurance anyway.
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Re: Life limited components revisited

Postby seneca2e » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:02 pm

I just edited my post slightly after looking up section 9 of the Brantly mainenance manual. Absolutely no mention that it is FAA approved just as I assumed. I'm sure they could issue another letter contradicting their earlier rulings/intrepretations but it sure makes for some interesting reading.
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Re: Life limited components revisited

Postby 9121u » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:13 pm

I believe that ED is wright on time components .the only thing I see is approved by the FAA is the flight manual not the maintenance manual maybe a DAR cold clear this up for us... since the brantlys are considered a orphan helicopter... most components on a brantly will run out of time way after i am gone..it would be hard to put that kinda time on.....maybe a DAR will chime in....????
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