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Steve Bentley MD of Sofema Aviation Services (www.sassofia.com) takes a look at the Flight Ops Quality System

Introduction

In 1998 The Joint Aviation Authorities launched JAR OPS 1 (and “3”) contained within the document was for the first time a specific requirement (JAR OPS Subpart B 1.035) for an independent audit function within the Operations Environment – With the transition to EASA Regulation 965/2012 a number of anomalies and miss conceptions where addressed. 

The UAE Ops Regulation is fundamentally based on JAR OPS 1.

What is an EASA Quality System?

Essentially it consists of a method to deliver the organisations “product” under the control of nominated persons – this is a “Control of Quality” together with an independent function to assess compliance and this is known as “Quality Assurance”.

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Note 1 – This appendix carries essential information relevant to the management and oversight responsibilities of an Organisation, both internally within the organisation and externally related to subcontract service providers.

(a) General An operator must have a sound and effective management structure in order to ensure the safe conduct of air operations.

Nominated post holders must have managerial competency together with appropriate technical/operational qualifications in aviation.

Note 2 – Consider the challenge of managing and maintaining competence – how is it controlled? How is it managed and against what standard is it audited?

(b) Nominated Post Holders

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FDM Data Analysis Introduction

Introduction

EASA Compliant Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) is the exploitation of flight data to support an understanding of the various exposures, the knowledge of which, may successfully lead to the development of mitigations which can be employed to enhance flight safety.

Aircrafts are analysed to identify any exceedances (a specialist task typically performed using software tools). Analysts can analyse data from normal ops to identify trends before there is a significant event or incident.

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The amount of Digital Data available in modern aircraft facilitates FDM providing the opportunity for effective analysis which is essential to provide for the best decisions regarding both the performance of flight crew as well as the aircraft systems and processes.

Aircraft are analysed to identify any exceedances (a specialist task typically performed using software tools).

Gathering FDM Data

Traditionally, data needs to be downloaded to a removable disk regularly before the data is lost. But latest technologies allow wireless data transmission from recorders to the ground station, which is more accessible for research and monitoring purposes.

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SofemaOnline (www.sofemaonline.com) takes a look at fire safety.

Understanding simple rules can help us to do the right thing when we are faced with a Fire Emergency.

Ensuring Fire safety means understanding the set of practices which are intended to reduce the exposure to the risk of Fire under any circumstances.

Fire safety measures include all activities and behaviours which are intended to prevent the possibility of an uncontrolled fire.

Tagged in: Emergency Fire Safety
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What is Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA)?

Even though Aviation is probably the safest form of mass transport, there remains an inherent obligation to reduce exposure and thereby drive down accident rates.

Operational Flight Data Monitoring, known more recently as Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA), is probably the most important safety tool available to aviation.

Essentially Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) is the exploitation of flight data to support an understanding of the various exposures, the knowledge of which, may successfully lead to the development of mitigations which can be employed to enhance flight safety.

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SofemaOnline www.sofemaonline.com takes a looks at a typical FDM configuration

Primary Objective

According to Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012, “Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) means the proactive and non-punitive use of digital flight data from routine operations to improve aviation safety”.

European regulations expect the National Aviation Authority – NAA (competent authority) to have oversight of the Management Systems of their aircraft operators.

An EASA Flight Data Monitoring System (FDM) provides a set of tools for the operator to monitor operational safety. (FDM becomes the main data sources for monitoring the operational safety level.)

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Operational Flight Data Monitoring, known more recently as Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA), is probably the most important safety tool available to aviation.

Rather than reacting to serious incidents, operators have a very useful tool to proactively identify safety hazards and mitigate the risks.

What Happens to Identified Events?

Whilst each individual event typically needs to be investigated so that the appropriate management decisions may be made by the airline, there is an opportunity for a deeper and longer lasting outcome.

Event data may be managed to facilitate the wider and longer-term trend analysis so that events & issues can be identified and corrective action is taken.

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Practical guide to Fire & Safety Risk Assessment

What is Fire Safety Risk Assessment?

Essentially it is the process of considering any aspect within the workplace which could cause harm to people or premises from fire. To determine both the possibility of a fire occurring together with the potential dangers from fire.

What do we Meaning by Risk?

“Fire Risk” or “Potential” can be defined as the Likelihood of a fire occurring multiplied by the Severity of the fire.

The potential of a fire hazard depends on the “opportunity for development” of a fire which originates from the hazard and then develops the potential consequences related to the loss or injury of both life & property.

Tagged in: Assessment Fire Risk Safety
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The following white paper considers a number of challenges faced by EASA Regulatory Authorities to engage with a Performance-Based Approach in this case with Aircraft continuing airworthiness monitoring (ACAM) (however there is a read across into SMS).

Steve Bentley is MD of Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com

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The Role of EASA 

EASA commenced operations on September 28, 2003. Under the regulation, EASA initially has responsibility for: 

a) All design approvals
b) Continued airworthiness
c) Design organization approvals
d) Environmental certification
e) Approving production
f) Maintenance (repair station), and
g) Maintenance training organizations

Tagged in: Bilateral CA EASA FAA TCCA
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How Effective is your Maintenance Error Management System (MEMS)?

The basic MEDA philosophy is based on an understanding that people do not intentionally make errors and that organizational factors play a significant and contributory role.

It is widely recognized that the majority of causal and contributory factors leading to an error can be managed. In addition developing root cause understandings, leads to a wider and more effective mitigation process.

Where do you Stand?

How many of the following questions can you answer?

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The Top 13 Techniques, Attitudes and Behaviours which may be adopted by effective Trainers – Presented by Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com

1. How to Attract Attention

Being Able to Engage with the students and maintaining interest and attention is very important, this requires familiarity with adult learning behaviours.

2. Keeping Attention

Engaging with a range of techniques which focuses on maintaining the interest of the delegate is important – how to achieve?

3. Avoid Unrelated Theory

Keeping attention means also keeping interest and staying on message is a positive way to ensure this.

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How to deliver Performance Audits?

One example concerns a process or concept which is known as Total Quality Management (TQM), if TQM is effectively embedded within the organisation it can play a significant role and serve as a driving force to improve performance.

As with all effective business processes it requires ownership and a timeline to deliver.

If the organisation system process is to be improved, then that system must be understood in terms of all key elements:

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Industry Steering Committee (ISC) Role

A team composed of delegates from:

The proposed or actual operators

Manufacturers (does not “own” the process)

Regulators - typically chair the process

The activities of the ISC are to essentially follow Advisory Circular AC 121-22A , based on:

Use of ATA MSG 3 methodology to develop the scheduled maintenance program for a given aircraft systems structure and engines.

Tagged in: EASA ISC MPD MRB
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The U.S. government has a bilateral agreement in place with the European Union, rather than EASA.

The U.S./EU Agreement covers more areas than bilateral agreements the U.S. has with other countries.

It is a three tiered agreement.

a) The highest tier is the Executive Agreement, which provides the framework for all cooperation between the U.S. and the EU in the area of aviation safety.
b) The second tier is the Annexes.

- Annex 1 covers airworthiness and environmental certification, and
- Annex 2 covers maintenance.

Tagged in: Agreements EASA EU-USA FAA
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To be approved in accordance with 14 CFR Part 145, pursuant to the terms of this Annex, the AMO shall comply with all of the following Special Conditions:

The AMO shall submit an application in a form and a manner acceptable to the FAA.

a) The application for both initial and renewed FAA certification shall include:

i. A statement demonstrating that the FAA repair station certificate and/or rating is necessary for maintaining or altering U.S.-registered aeronautical products or foreign-registered aeronautical products operated under the provisions of 14 CFR.

Tagged in: 14 CFR AMO FAA ICAO Part 145
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Accountable Directorate:

The aircraft certification directorate with final authority, accountability, and responsibility for type certification programs, the development of airworthiness standards, and development and standardization of technical policy for an assigned product and a specific part of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR).

Aircraft Certification Office (ACO):

The aircraft certification directorate’s engineering operational element. This office administers and secures compliance with agency regulations, programs, standards, and procedures governing the type design of aircraft, aircraft engines, or propellers. The term “ACO” also refers to the Engine Certification Office (ECO), the Rotorcraft Certification Office (RCO) and the Special Certification Office (SCO), and the Military Certification Office (MCO).

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Objective

That only Maintenance Staff Qualified and Trained to certify CAT II & CAT III systems may return to serviceability following defect rectification.

All Company and Contracted technical personnel working on company aircraft must complete pre-authorisation training. “CAT II/III A” Awareness Course “Read and Sign Training” before working on, or managing, Company aircraft.

NOTE - This does not constitute Release authority for Auto-Land operations.

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SofemaOnline www.sofemaonline.com takes a look at the FAA Training Requirements to comply with AC 120-29A

Initial and Recurrent Maintenance Training

a. Maintenance personnel should be knowledgeable regarding the information contained in this AC and 14 CFR related to any significant aspects of LLM that may pertain to maintenance.

Operator and contract maintenance personnel including mechanics, maintenance controllers, avionics technicians, personnel performing maintenance inspection or quality assurance, or other engineering personnel if applicable, should receive initial and recurrent training as necessary for an effective program.

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