Maintenance of composite structures

Composite structure maintenance is maintenance carried out on aircraft structures and components made of either:

  • fibre-reinforced plastic composite
  • metal to metal or non-metal bonded
  • sandwich or honeycomb construction.

Examples of composite aircraft structures and components are:

  • fuselage
  • wings
  • fairings
  • engine and nose cowlings,
  • flight control surfaces
  • fixed leading and trailing edge panels
  • access covers/panels
  • cabin floorboards
  • other cabin furnishings.

Tasks an authorised licence holder can perform

Under the privileges of a Part 66 licence, the holder of a category B1 licence can carry out and certify for:

  • general visual inspections of all aircraft composite structures including:
    • fuselage
    • wings
    • wing to body fairings
    • engine cowlings
    • nose cowlings
    • composite flight control surfaces – for example flaps, ailerons and elevators
    • fixed leading and trailing edge panels
    • access cover/panels
    • cabin floorboards and other composite constructed cabin furnishings.

    This includes routine and non-routine inspections on non-type rated aircraft and type-rated aircraft (if the type rating is on the licence). This does not include inspections where use of specialised test equipment is required.

  • a limited range of simple and non-structural composite repairs. This can include:
    • external patch
    • scarf patch
    • stepped repairs and bolted repairs.

    This applies only if the licence holder is appropriately trained, assessed as competent and qualified to do the repair, prior to being authorised as a certifying employee.

Aircraft composite primary structure

The composite structures privilege of the category B1 licence holder excludes inspection and certification following the completion of:

  • maintenance to those aircraft of primarily composite construction or with composite primary structures
  • repairs, modifications or assembly of aircraft composite primary structures.

Please note: you can only certify the maintenance to aircraft composite primary structures if you are a specially qualified person. Learn more about specially qualified people on this page.

Carrying out and certifying for maintenance

This applies to a Part 145 AMO or a CAR 30 maintenance organisation.

For more information about carrying out and certifying for maintenance of aircraft of primarily composite construction or with composite primary structure, refer to:

  • section 7A of Civil Aviation Order (CAO 100.5)
  • AC 66-04 – Maintenance of aircraft composite structures in a maintenance organisation.

Specially qualified person

A specially qualified person is someone who holds a category B1 licence issued under Part 66 of CASR, and who also either:

  • has been trained and licenced under the CAR 31 licensing system to perform maintenance of composite structured aircraft. This is provided we have not cancelled their licence, or
  • holds at least one of the following:
    • Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) unit of competency – MEASTR0002 (formerly MEA405)
    • a Transport Canada aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) licence endorsed with an ‘S’ rating
    • a New Zealand AME licence endorsed with an aeroplane Group 4 rating
    • another qualification approved by CASA as an appropriate qualification to perform composite maintenance
    • an authorisation issued by CASA under subregulation 42ZC (6) of CAR to perform composite maintenance.
Last updated:
14 Feb 2023
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