Aircraft owners and operators - Who must do what and when
Who must do what and when
All AFMs must be changed over to the new flight manual system in time for the 16 August 2002 deadline. The legal responsibility for changing over to the new system lies with the registration holder.
For further information about legal responsibilities, refer to the new regulations.
Under the new Australian AFM system, the registration holder (holder of the aircraft's Certificate of Registration) must ensure:
- The aircraft has the maker's approved basic AFM (unless a basic AFM is not required).
- The AFM is kept up to date with approved AFM amendments, obtained by subscribing to the maker's AFM revision service.
- The approved AFM supplements required for any aircraft modifications, non-standard configurations, special role equipment or other special purposes are included with the AFM.
- Any other AFM additions required by a CASA Airworthiness Directive (AD) or other written direction from CASA are included.
- The local CASA office is informed of every change to the AFM information, including changes to AFM supplements and AFM changes by AD. Each time the AFM information is changed, a copy of the updated amendment record sheet must be sent to the local CASA office, to be put on the aircraft file, within 48 hours of the aircraft returning to service.
If you are the registration holder for an aircraft, you are responsible for ensuring that the AFM is changed over to the new AFM system by 16 August 2002.
You may choose to contract another person or organisation to do this for you.
Aircraft owners and owner-operators
If you are an owner or an owner-operator, you are also likely to be the registration holder. As the registration holder, you are responsible for organising the changeover to the new system by either doing it yourself, or contracting another person or organisation to do it for you.
Operators and registered operators
If another person is the registration holder for the aircraft you are operating, and you are contracted to maintain the aircraft's AFM on that person's behalf, you should contact that person to ensure that the AFM changeover occurs before the deadline.
If you maintain an aircraft, and you are contracted to maintain the aircraft's AFM, you should contact the registration holder or the operator so that the AFM changeover occurs before the deadline.
If your organisation maintains an aircraft, and is contracted to maintain the aircraft's AFM, you should contact the registration holder or the operator so that the AFM changeover occurs before the deadline.
If another party is the registration holder for the aircraft that you or your organisation is operating, and you are the person maintaining the aircraft's AFM (often the job of the Chief Pilot) you should contact the registration holder so that the AFM changeover occurs before the deadline.
CASA maintains a database of the identification details, and revision status last told to CASA, for every approved basic AFM required for Australian registered aircraft. CASA will hold, and keep current, a master copy of every required basic AFM. CASA also maintains a list of aircraft models so far identified by CASA as not requiring an AFM.
CASA Inspectors will use these references to determine if an aircraft's basic AFM is correct and current.
Under regulation 322(4) of CAR (1988), the new AFM system is being implemented over a transition period which began August 1999.
Certain 'trigger' events described below may cause the AFM changes to be required earlier in the transition period.
The changeover deadlines are:
- 16 August 2000 for aircraft with a CoA in the Transport Category.
- 16 August 2002 for all other aircraft.
AFM changeover 'triggers'
If a 'trigger' event occurs before 16 August 2002, at the time of that event the AFM must be changed over to the new AFM system. These 'trigger' events are:
- An amendment to the AFM information is required.
- The aircraft's Certificate of Airworthiness (CoA) is re-issued for any reason.
If the maker issues an AFM amendment, then that is a 'trigger' to change over. If an AFM supplement is required to be added, amended or deleted, that is also a 'trigger' to change over.
For many AFMs, none of these trigger events will occur and the registration holder will have had a total of three years to change over to the new system - from the 16 August 1999 gazettal of the new regulations to the end of the transition period on 16 August 2002.
Registration holders should arrange to change over to the new AFM system as soon as practicable before the 16 August 2002 deadline because a delay could occur in getting the basic AFM from the maker.
A registration holder need not change an AFM over to the new system if the aircraft concerned is not being flown. If an aircraft has been inactive for a long time, the AFM should be changed over to the new system before the aircraft is flown again, to make sure the AFM information is correct and current.