Approving an aircraft or aeronautical product for return to service – proposed under Part 43

Learn more about the requirements for approving aircraft or aeronautical products for an aircraft for return to service under the proposed general aviation maintenance regulations (Part 43 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR) and the Part 43 Manual of Standards (MOS)).

Who should read this?

  • Licensed aircraft maintenance engineers
  • CAR30 organisations
  • Part 145 AMOs
  • Pilots

Approval for return to service after maintenance

An approval for return to service of an aircraft or aeronautical product for an aircraft after maintenance is a statement that the aircraft or aeronautical product is airworthy with respect to particular maintenance that it has undergone (for example. a specified modification or repair).

A record of the maintenance carried out and a certification for completion of the maintenance must be included in the maintenance records for the aircraft. The certification for the maintenance constitutes the approval for return to service of the aircraft or aeronautical product in relation to the maintenance. It is not a statement about the general airworthiness of an aircraft.

Approval for return to service after an inspection

When an inspection is completed, the record for the inspection is comprised of 2 parts:

  • a statement that the inspection has been completed, and
  • a statement that the aircraft is either
    • airworthy and approved for return to service, or
    • not airworthy and not approved for service.

Section 4.16 of the Part 43 MOS sets out the format for either approving an aircraft for return to service, approving an aircraft for return to service with a list of deferrable defects, or not approving an aircraft for return to service.

When an approval to return to service is required

An approval for return to service is required any time an aircraft has undergone preventive maintenance, rectifications of defects, repairs, modifications, or inspections.

The approval for return to service is included in the maintenance records for the aircraft and is to be in accordance with relevant certification statement set out in the MOS or similarly worded. However, if a Part 145 organisation approves the aircraft for return to service the certificate of release to service issued for the aircraft constitutes the approval for return to service of the aircraft.

Persons who can approve an aircraft for return service after maintenance

Depending on the circumstances, an aircraft can be approved for return to service by a pilot, a B2 or B1 LAME, the holder of an inspection authorisation a holder of an AMTC, a CAR30 organisation, or an approved maintenance organisation.

A pilot may approve the aircraft for return to service if the maintenance is preventive maintenance or maintenance that is listed for the purpose outlined in the Part 43 Manual of Standards (MOS).

A holder of a pilot licence, other than a recreational pilot licence, may only approve an aircraft for return to service if:

  • they are licenced to fly the aircraft as pilot in command, and
  • for an aircraft being used for aerial work operations, they have carried out pilot maintenance for which they have been authorised by the registered operator of the aircraft

Note 1: preventive maintenance activities are listed in part 1 of schedule 6 of the Part 43 MOS.

Note 2: pilot maintenance activities are listed in part 2 of Schedule 6 of the Part 43 MOS.

A holder of a recreational pilot licence who is the RO of an LSA may approve the LSA for return to service if they have carried out preventive maintenance.

A B2 LAME may approve an aircraft for return to service if the maintenance is classed as avionics maintenance and does not involve disturbance of a flight control, mechanical or primary structural system.

A B2 LAME may only approve an aircraft for return to service after a major modification, or major repair, to an avionics system or an electrical system of the aircraft if:

  • the B2 LAME holds an avionics inspection authorisation (IA)
  • the maintenance has not disturbed a primary structural aircraft system, a mechanical aircraft system or a powerplant system or a component of those systems.

A B1 LAME with an IA must approve the aircraft for return to service if the major avionics modification or major repair has disturbed any of the above systems or components.

A B1 LAME who holds an IA may approve the aircraft for return to service after annual or progressive inspections, a stage of a progressive inspection or a major repair or major modification.

A B1 LAME with or without an IA may approve the aircraft for return to service after

  • preventive maintenance, rectifications, minor repairs and minor modifications, or
  • a 100-hour inspection.

An approved maintenance organisation may approve an aircraft for return to service after any maintenance within the scope of its approval.

Persons who can approve an aeronautical product for return to service

A B1 LAME may approve an aeronautical product for return to service after maintenance, repairs, or modifications with the following exceptions:

  • Propellers: a B1 LAME may not approve an aircraft propeller for return to service after a major repair or modification. This work may only be carried out by a Part 145 approved maintenance organisation (AMO), a CAR30 organisation, or a specialist who holds an AMTC1 certificate.

Note: Schedule 5 of the Part 43 MOS describes what is a major repair or modification.

  • Aircraft flight and navigation instruments: A B1 LAME may not approve a flight or navigation instrument for return to service after a repair or modification. This work may only be carried out by a B2 LAME, a holder of an AMTC, a CAR30 organisation or a Part 145 AMO.

A B2 LAME may approve any avionics components or systems for return to service after maintenance, repairs, or modifications subject to task familiarity conditions in section 2.11 of the Part 43 MOS.

An approved maintenance organisation may approve a component for return to service after maintenance, repairs, or modifications.

An AMTC holder whose certificate cover the maintenance may approve an aircraft for return to service after the maintenance.

A manufacturer, subject to conditions, may return to service after maintenance, an aircraft or aeronautical product which it has manufactured under a type certificate or production certificate.

A Part 145 AMO or a CAR30 organisation may approve an aircraft for return to service after an annual inspection if the scope of their approval includes annual inspections.

Disclaimer

The content provided in the information sheet is a guide only as to how the rules may work in practice once Part 43 is made and commences.

Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//search-centre/supporting-resource/approving-aircraft-or-aeronautical-product-return-service-proposed-under-part-43
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