Maintenance of amateur-built aircraft and light sport aircraft – proposed under Part 43

Once the general aviation maintenance regulations (CASR Part 43) is made and commences the new set of rules will provide for the maintenance of Amateur-built and Light Sport aircraft by individuals other than LAMEs and AMOs.

Who should read this

  • Registered operators
  • Part 145 Approved Maintenance Organisations
  • Licensed aircraft maintenance engineers
  • Holder of an aircraft maintenance technician certificate

This information sheet explains the proposed policy for maintenance of sports aviation aircraft under the new rules.

Who can performance maintenance of Amateur-built aircraft?

Any person may perform maintenance other than an annual condition inspection on an amateur-built aircraft. No licences or qualifications will be required under the legislation however the annual condition inspection may only be carried out by:

  • the holder of an AMT 2 or 3 certificate for the aircraft or one that is essentially similar (AMT 3 certificate only)
  • a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (LAME)
  • an approved maintenance organisation (AMO).

Condition inspections must be recorded in the aircraft maintenance records showing the following or a similarly worded statement:

'I certify that this aircraft has been inspected on (insert date) in accordance with the scope and detail of appendix D to Part 43 and found it to be in a condition for safe operation.'

The entry will include the aircraft's total time in service, the name, signature, certificate number, and type of certificate held by the person performing the inspection.

Note 1: a LAME or an AMO is not required to hold an Inspection Authorisation (IA) or engage an IA holder for the purpose of carrying out a condition inspection on this class of aircraft.

Note 2: Inspections carried out in accordance with the CASA Inspection Schedule (schedule 5 of CAR) meet or exceed the scope and detail of Appendix D.

Aircraft maintenance technician certificate

CASA is proposing to adopt the FAA Repairman Certificate model (to be described in Part 43 as an aircraft maintenance technician certificate (AMTC)) to provide for specific maintenance tasks to be carried out by qualified persons who do not hold a Part 66 licence.

These authorisations for maintenance were previously (and are currently) available via various legal instruments made under regulation 33B or 42ZC(6) of Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR).

Of interest to sport aviation owners and maintainers will be:

  • AMTC 2 – Experimental Aircraft Builder
  • AMTC 3 - Inspection, Amateur-built and Experimental Light Sport Aircraft
  • AMTC 4 – Light Sport aircraft- Maintenance.

AMTC 2

Primary Builder of the experimental aircraft

An AMTC 2 is issued to a primary builder and applies to the aircraft for which it is issued but only while the aircraft is owned by the original builder. A primary builder is a person who has constructed or assembled the major portion of an aircraft.

The holder of an AMTC 2 may certify for completion of the annual condition inspection of an aircraft that is covered by the certificate.

Who will issue an AMTC 2?

CASA permits an authorised person who issues a special certificate of airworthiness (CofA) for an amateur-built aircraft to issue an AMTC 2 to the primary builder.

If an aircraft is constructed by a group, and no individual member meets the primary builder requirements, an AMT 2 certificate will not be issued to an individual within the group.

In the case of a group-built aircraft for which no primary builder is authorised, the condition inspections must be carried out by an AMO, a B1 LAME, or the holder of a relevant AMTC 3 issued under the Part 43 Manual of Standards (MOS).

AMTC 3

Annual Inspection of amateur-built or experimental light sport aircraft

A person who is not a primary builder may attend an approved course of training and be issued with an AMTC 3 by the approved course provider on successful completion of the training course.

The course must be at least 16 hours in duration and cover the inspection procedures for a certain class of amateur built or experimental light sport aircraft.

Assessment and approval of AMTC 3 training courses will be carried out by the General Aviation Section of CASA's Aviation Group.

A holder of an AMTC 3 may certify for the annual condition inspection of an amateur-built aircraft that is listed on the certificate including any amateur-built aircraft that is essentially similar to it.

Note: essentially similar in this context, refers to the type of aircraft (helicopter or aeroplane) and method of construction — for example, wood, composite, steel tube or all-metal construction.

Annual Inspection of experimental light sport aircraft

The owner of an experimental light sport aircraft (ELSA) may be issued with an AMTC 3 for that aircraft upon completion of at least 16 hours of approved training in the techniques and standards for inspecting the aircraft. The holder of an AMTC 3 for an ELSA certificated under 21.191 (j) or (k), may carry out annual condition inspections for the aircraft which is owned by the holder and any other ELSA in the same class of light-sport-aircraft for which the certificate has been issued.

Note: class of LSA or ELSA means: aeroplane, rotorcraft, sailplane, balloon.

AMTC 4

Maintenance for LSA (factory built and certified) aircraft

A person may be issued with an AMTC 4 upon successful completion of an approved training course on maintaining the class of light-sport aircraft for which the person intends to exercise the privileges of the certificate. The training course must, at a minimum, provide 120 hours of instruction.

The holder of an AMTC 4 may:

  1. approve and return to service an aircraft that has been issued a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category under 21.186 of CASR, or any part thereof, after performing or inspecting maintenance (to include the annual condition inspection and the 100-hour inspection required by the Part 43 MOS), preventive maintenance, or a modification (excluding a major repair or a major modification on a product produced under a CASA approval)
  2. perform the annual condition inspection on a light-sport aircraft that has been issued an experimental certificate for operating a light-sport aircraft under 21.191(j) or (k) of CASR
  3. only perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, and a modification on a 21.186 light-sport aircraft that is in the same class of light-sport aircraft for which the holder has completed the training. Before performing a major repair, the holder must complete additional training acceptable to CASA and appropriate to the repair performed.

The holder of an AMTC 4 may not approve for return to service any aircraft or part thereof unless that person has previously performed the work concerned satisfactorily. If that person has not previously performed that work, the person may show the ability to do the work by performing it to the satisfaction of CASA, or by performing it under the direct supervision of an appropriately licenced LAME, or a certificated AMT, who has had previous experience in the specific operation concerned. Additionally, a person may not exercise the privileges of the AMTC unless he or she understands the current instructions of the manufacturer and the maintenance manuals for the specific operation concerned.

Approval of AMTC training courses

CASA's General, Sport and Recreational Aviation section will assess training courses for AMTC 3 and 4. As a general rule, equivalent courses that have been accepted by a recognised national aviation authority, will be acceptable to CASA.

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/maintenance-amateur-built-aircraft-and-light-sport-aircraft-proposed-under-part-43
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